Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time–God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:12-16 NIV)
Today’s passage is all about the “confession.” In the church I serve, we have something we call the “good confession.” When people come to publicly proclaim their faith in Jesus, before their baptism they often say, “I believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and I want Him as my personal Savior.”
The greater portion of this phrase comes from something the apostle Peter said in Matthew 16. Jesus had asked His disciples who other people were saying He was. They said, “Some are saying Elijah…some John the Baptist…some Jeremiah…or one of the (other) Prophets.” Then Jesus asked them who they believed Him to be. Peter proclaimed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
These words from Peter have generally been accepted as the “good confession” and were probably on Paul’s mind when he referenced Jesus’ own words about Himself. When Jesus was standing before the Jewish Sanhedrin He proclaimed His identity as the Son of God. Later, before Pilate, He confirmed His place as the King of the Jews (which was the prophetic equivalent of “Christ” or the “Anointed One”).
If you like history, you might check out the record of a group of believers known as the “Confessors.” The Confessors were “almost” killed for their faith in Jesus. They were not martyred, but demonstrated by their willingness to suffer they were willing to die for Jesus.
As an interesting aside, I have heard there was a time when the church had to decide whether or not to accept those back into the fellowship who had denied their faith in Jesus to avoid persecution and death. It seems the group that was most sympathetic to their cause was that of the Confessors. Perhaps those who almost died for their faith understood how close they had come to denial, leading them to show more grace to those who were weaker.
All of this is to say that the concept of “fighting the good fight of faith” was serious business to an early Christian (any those in persecuted countries today). The hope was to be willing to confess Jesus as Lord to the very end. Most of the Apostles died for their confession, and thousands after them.
What is your spiritual battle? Are you fighting the “good fight?” Don’t be embarrassed if you stumble in the fight. But don’t be afraid to get back in the fight either. We want to go out swinging or have Jesus find us fighting when He comes. And He will come. “To him be honor and might forever. Amen.”
Dear God, help me stay in the fight. In Jesus’ name, Amen.