Paul tells Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12) and to “wage the good warfare” (1 Timothy 1:18). Clearly conflict is to be part of our Christian life — but conflict with whom or what? We will search the Scriptures in vain for the idea that the conflict is supposed to be with other genuine Christians. It is a conflict with sin, with Satan, and with false doctrine that undermines the fundamentals of the Christian faith.
There are limitless, and never-ending, bad battles we can potentially be sucked into as Christians — issues of personal taste or hobby-horse doctrines — but there is only one good warfare. It is against the powers and deception of Satan, according to the revelation of God’s perfect Word, to the glory of God in Jesus Christ.
There are limitless, and never-ending, bad battles we can potentially be sucked into, but there is only one good warfare.
May we come to the end of our lives and be able to say, like Paul himself, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). The good fight is finishing the course that God has for us individually, keeping the Christian faith personally and reverently, looking for the righteous judge Jesus Christ along with all those that love his appearing.
When I get to the end of my life, like Paul, what do I want to be able to say? What battles do I want to have fought? Which will I wish I had ignored or left off fighting?
How well do I want to fight the battle to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ? To be a godly spouse or parent? To have been a light to a dark world? How am I training for, and fighting, the good fight right now?