Summary: Staying true to God in spite of difficulties
When you have reached your final Chapter
6. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that loves his appearing.
Paul is writing one of his last letters, which is addressed to Timothy, his son in the faith.
In this letter he is reviewing his life for God. He knows that his life is almost over.
So he describes his Christian life in three distinct terms.
1. He considers the Christian life as a “good fight.”
He fought against Satan. In Ephesians 6:12 Paul wrote, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
He fought against the Jewish and Pagan vices.
He fought against immorality in the church, against false teachers, the distortion of the gospel, worldliness and sin.
Yes he fought a good fight, and held his ground until the very end.
2. Secondly, Paul wrote that he had finished his course.
Amidst trials, difficulties, discouragement and affliction he has remained faithful to his Lord and Savior.
3. Thirdly, Paul wrote that he had kept the faith.
In times of adversity, severe testing, great discouragement, and many afflictions, Paul kept holding on to his faith in God.
When he was forsaken by friends and opposed by false religious teachers he stood firm upon the gospel of Jesus Christ.
He never once compromised the truth of the gospel.
The last chapter of Paul’s life was truly victorious.
As I was praying a few days ago these few verses were impressed in my mind.
I began to think, “What can we say when we have finally reached the last chapter of our life?”
Now, this isn’t a funeral sermon, even though it may sound a little like one.
It is a message to jolt within us the realization that our lives are spent here only for a short time, and only what we do for Christ will be of everlasting value.
It is a message also to remind us to stay faithful and true to God in the midst of trials, temptations and struggles that we face while fighting this battle of faith.
When I come to the end of my journey here I hope I can say with Paul, “I have fought a good fight.”
I’ve had a lot of struggles, but I have fought my way through.
I hope I can say, “I have not fought the evil fights of ambitious or quarrelsome people, fighting for power or position.
But my fighting has been the good and noble fight of faith.
A fight with the world, the flesh, and the devil, a contending for the faith delivered to the saints.
A fight maintaining the lustings of the Spirit against the flesh, a warring with spiritual wickednesses in high places.”
Paul was saying, “I’ve struggled hard! It hasn’t been easy! Sometimes it was tough!”
“I’ve had to stand against those who would pervert the gospel, and those who would try to mix paganism and Christianity.
I’ve fought with immorality in the church! In 1 Corinthians 5:1 Paul wrote, “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you.” And Paul even advocates that some were having an affair with their step-mother!”
Talk about scandal in the church!
As we mentioned, Paul fought against those who would take the gospel and distort and misinterpret its meaning.
He fought against worldliness and worldly methods in the church.
I have a feeling Paul wouldn’t be popular in today’s church world either!
Paul said he had fought a “good” fight! And it was a good fight indeed!
For he bravely and courageously stood upon the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ, not compromising or watering down the truths of the gospel.
Paul didn’t desire popularity nor did he preach to please men.
When it comes my time to leave this world I hope I can say, “I have fought a good fight, I have stood upon the Word of God, I have not compromised the gospel to please men,
I have not bowed to the pressure of the carnal crowd, but I have preached against sin, I have stood against immorality, I have stood against anything that would pervert the pure gospel,
and I have not implemented the world’s standards to gain favor from them.
Listen church, continue fighting the good fight!
Take a stand against anything that opposes God!
Take a stand against the wicked devices of Satan!