“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” – 2 Timothy 4:7
When we are in school and the day of our graduation comes, have you ever felt the joy of finishing? Have you ever thought that you fought a good fight and that you literally survived something so hard? Have you ever felt so satisfied with life to the point that you can say that you did a good job and have lived great? Are you sure that one day you will be able to say that you have lived great and had amazing years?
Paul on the other hand can definitely say those. He can definitely claim that he lived well and that he spent his years alive so well and worth it. He definitely said that he fought the good fight of faith and has kept the faith. Our verse today pertains to Paul’s letter to Timothy to which he encourages Timothy with his personal challenges in life. For some cases, Paul has been so mindful and caring for Timothy he has been encouraging him always.
However, how did Paul conclude that he lived his life great? How did he conclude that he has fought the good fight of faith? How come he can say that he has kept the faith? And why do we have to also take this as an encouragement? Why does it matter? Didn’t the only thing that matter is that we believe in Jesus Christ?
Well, for some cases, many Christians believe that once we believe in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for once, we are already excused for everything we will do including our future mistakes. This is halfly true and halfly false because first, indeed it is always enough to just have faith in Jesus Christ and believe that He died on the cross for our sins and rose again the third day. Second, Jesus indeed can forgive our sins including our past, present and future sins. However, the next statement is false. Having an unlimited forgiveness from God does not excuse us from doing sins. In fact, God is indeed gracious and merciful and He offers unlimited forgiveness for those who repent but this does not mean that this unlimited forgiveness is our license to sin.
It is very significant for us to understand that as a Christian, there should really be a change within us. If we continue to sin deliberately after knowing and understanding the true meaning of our salvation, then we need to reassess ourselves if we truly believe and if we truly understand. True Christian should know better who to fear. True Christian should fear God at most than to fear what other people think if they will follow God.
So, the very point of Paul’s encouragement to Timothy is to remind him how important it is to keep the faith. Keeping the faith is like fighting a long and ambiguous battle. We won’t know until when we will keep fighting but we still have to wake up every morning to continue fighting. We won’t be able to know when to stop and when will be enough because we won’t be able to know when we’ll be united with Christ. However, we have one thing constant and certain, is that we will be with Him in paradise as long as we keep the faith in Him.
Paul also called the long battle as a good fight because it is indeed a good fight. The time and the end of this battle can be ambiguous but the prize and the reason why we are fighting which is to keep ‘the faith’ is never ambiguous for we know that this faith is the saving faith that can only be found in Jesus Christ. This is why Paul called it a good fight of faith. He had indeed fought the good fight of faith to the point that he was so ready to die and that he is already satisfied because he knows that he has done everything he could for the kingdom of God.
Therefore, as Christians who had the same calling as Paul, we should also fight the good fight of faith to keep our faith. As long as we are still alive and still have the chance to bring more people to Christ, let us proclaim His Gospel of Salvation and let everyone know the only way to heaven. Let us not let our salvation and God’s unlimited forgiveness be our license and excuse to deliberately sin, but let us instead make this as our drive to do His will and to follow His commands. Keeping the faith is indeed hard especially in these trying times, but it is possible. The only way to make us strong and to help us fight this good fight is through always meditating on His Word and living according to it.
May we always meditate on His Word and always keep God’s commands on our hearts. Let us always remember that God’s forgiveness is never our license to sin. We should always put in our minds that our duty as Christians is to live our lives as good witnesses of Christ and to bring more people to Him. May we live our lives worthy of God’s calling until like Paul, we can say that we have fought the good fight of faith and that we have kept the faith.
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