Summary: This message is designed to encourage us to live for the Lord in every aspect of our lives and do so in such a way as to bring glory to God.
Fight The Good Fight Of Faith, 1 Timothy 6:11-16 & 20-21
A. The apostle Paul writes For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph 6:12
1. Life in this world is a fight – a wrestling match if you would
2. Watch this YouTube clip
3. Did you notice the struggle?
a. Two forces at odds with one another, both striving for the mastery
b. Both want on top
4. We can use this wrestling match to illustrate our Christian life in one of two ways
a. First, if we look at the pair, there is the good and the evil, the spiritual and the fleshly, struggling for the mastery of our life
b. Second, if we look at each individual we would find an internal struggle
1) The one on the bottom is struggling with losing, wanting to win, trying to figure a way to get on top, while making sure he does not get pinned on the bottom
2) The one on the top is struggling with winning, wanting not to lose, trying to figure out how to pin the other without losing the advantage and ending up on the bottom – possibly pinned.
c. Can you see the parallel with our Christian life – it is a struggle, a wrestling match, a fight.
B. Either makes a good illustration of Paul's words found in this final portion of scripture from 1 Timothy, beginning
1. In 1 Tim. 6:11 Paul writes But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
2. There is a force to flee from (the world's way of thinking & living) and a force to follow after (the godly way of thinking & living)
3. There is this constant wrestling of one against the other
4. This struggle can again be seen in Paul's words in Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
5. This is the battle each Christian must face and so Paul concludes his words to Timothy with: 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.  I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;  That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;  Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen…O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust…Grace be with thee. Amen. 1 Tim. 6:12-16, 20-21
C. This morning I want to encourage you to live for Christ.
1. It will not be easy – it will be a struggle, a wrestling match, a fight!
2. But we must persevere – we must continue on in the faith – the stakes are high – eternal, in fact!
3. So Paul closes this first letter to Timothy with:
a. An Exhortation
b. Followed by A Charge.
4. May God grant us the grace to Guard the Deposit: Keeping That Which God Entrusted Unto Us, that we might pass it on to the next generations.
As Paul bring this letter to a close he sets before Timothy something we all need
I. AN EXHORTATION: 1 Tim. 6:12 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.
A. The first words of exhortation, Fight The Good Fight Of Faith
1. Oh, how we need to hear these words!
2. The life we live as Christians is not for cowards!
3. It is a fight, sometimes an agonizing one.
a. The Greek verb (ag-o-needs-zo-my), translated "fight" at the beginning of verse 12, and the Greek noun (agon) translated "fight" three words later are the words we get agonize and agony from.
b. So we could translate the phrase "Agonize the good agony of faith!"
c. It's agonizing because the fight is as much internal as external - John Kitchens writes, "The words used here describe not just the outward engagement of such a fight, but also the inward turmoil inherent in such conflict."
1) It is not just the outward match that is taking place, but an inward one as well: it is a fight of our thoughts and our actions! And the present tense affirms that it is something we have to continually do.