“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:12)
Scripture frequently refers to the Christian life and work in athletic or combative terms. When all things are considered, reason compels the Christian to enter into the race and fight.
First, our Commander is worth following. He leads us into battle and stands with us on the front lines receiving the fiercest fire: “Let us run with patience the race. . . . Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Second, we are well-armed and protected. The “whole armour of God” includes the girdle of “truth,” the “breastplate of righteousness,” shoes of “the preparation of the gospel of peace,” “the shield of faith,” “the helmet of salvation,” and “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:13-17). The warrior’s mouth is filled with prayers and bold speech (vv.18-20); his sword has no scabbard, and his back has no armor, for retreat is unthinkable.
The goal of our fight urges us on. We strive to undermine the kingdom of darkness and to fill it with light. Each must battle on to exalt our Leader and to champion His Word. “Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds” (Hebrews 12:3).
To the victor belongs the spoils. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne” (Revelation 3:21). We no longer will be soldiers, but kings; we will trade our battle armor for robes, washed and made “white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). Our helmet will be replaced by an “incorruptible” crown (1 Corinthians 9:25)—“a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give [us] at that day” (2 Timothy 4:8). JDM