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Paul's Exhortations & Instructions to Brother Timothy 2nd Letter Volume 47
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Paul Writes to Timothy his Farewell Oration Part 2
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: KJV
The Apostle Paul had already exhorted, encouraged, and even empowered Brother Timothy (with his teaching and with his exemplary life) to wage powerful spiritual warfare against our enemy the devil, as it is written by him in his first letter to Timothy with these words, "Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold on eternal life, to which you are also called and have professed a good profession before many witnesses." (1 Timothy 6:12) (Modern King James Version), therefore, it is well understood that he should testify of his own steadfastness in waging war against our enemy the devil and his invisible devils and his visible two-legged devils with these words, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:" (2 Timothy 4:7) (KJV). The little English phrase 'I have fought' that begins this testimony of Paul is translated by the Greek word agōnizomai which is perhaps where we get our English word 'agonize' from and it means to struggle, literally (to compete for a prize), figuratively (to contend with an adversary), or generally (to endeavor to accomplish something): - fight, labor fervently, strive. The English word 'fight' is translated by the Greek word agōn which means properly a place of assembly (as if led), that is, (by implication) a contest (held there); figuratively an effort or anxiety: - conflict, contention, fight, race. In other words, the Apostle Paul contended or engaged in a constant and continuous fight with the devil and his principalities and powers working outside of human beings and those who fought against him through human beings.
Paul fought against the principalities and powers/demons that worked through human instruments of the Jews during his day as he wrote to Brother Titus with these words, "They must stick to the true message they were taught, so that their good teaching can help others and correct everyone who opposes it. There are many who don't respect authority, and they fool others by talking nonsense. This is especially true of some Jewish followers. But you must make them be quiet. They are after money, and they upset whole families by teaching what they should not." (Titus 1:9-11) (Contemporary English Version). However, Paul recognized that his war was not against human beings, no matter how vehemently they spoke against him or how volatile they became with him and those with him (Acts 19:21-41) or how violate they were with him (Acts 14:19-23), Paul knew that his enemy was invisible as he wrote this very fact to the Ephesian Church with these words, "Finally, let the mighty strength of the Lord make you strong. Put on all the armor that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil's tricks. We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world." (Ephesians 6:10-12) (Contemporary English Version). Here is what Matthew Henry had to say about Paul's fighting the good fight, "He did not fear death, because he had the testimony of his conscience that by the grace of God he had in some measure answered the ends of living. As a Christian, as a minister, he had fought a good fight. He had done the service, gone through the difficulties of his warfare, and had been instrumental in carrying on the glorious victories of the exalted Redeemer over the powers of darkness."
The little English phrase 'I have finished' is translated by the Greek word teleō which means to end, that is, complete, execute, conclude, - accomplish, make an end, expire, fill up, finish, go over, perform. The phrase 'my course' is translated by the Greek word dromos which means a race, that is, (figuratively) career: - course. In other words, Paul now at the end of his spiritual race for our Lord, Master, and Savior Jesus Christ can look back on his life (not with pride), but with graditude for the grace of God that worked in him mightily (Ephesians 3:7) that enabled and empowered him to fulfill the ministry Christ Jesus our Lord had given to him, just as he had proclaimed he would to the elders of the Ephesian Church with these words before he ever wrote this letter to Brother Timothy, "And now, behold, I am going bound by the Spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit witnesses in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. But none of these things move me, neither do I count my life dear to myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus Christ, to testify fully the Gospel of the Grace of God." (Acts 20:22-24) (Modern King James Version). Note: "The Apostle Paul had run the race of life for the glory of God and not to build himself a temporay kingdom of material things down here on the earth that will be burned to ashes (2 Peter 3:7), but he built a kingdom of souls headed for heaven with him that would last for all eternity with our Lord Jesus Christ."
The English phrase 'I have kept' is translated by the Greek word tēreō meaning (as used here) to guard (from loss or injury, properly by keeping the eye upon. The English word 'faith' is translated by the Greek word pistis meaning persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: - assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity. In other words, unlike those who had apostatized, that is, abandon or turn aside and away from the truth and did exactly what God the Holy Spirit spoke to Paul in his first letter to Timothy with these words, "God's Spirit clearly says that in the last days many people will turn from their faith. They will be fooled by evil spirits and by teachings that come from demons." (1 Timothy 4:1) (Contemporary English Version), Paul had guarded the truth in his inner man by way of the Power of God the Holy Spirit within him, just as he had prayed for the Ephesian Christians likewise with these words, "That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man;" (Ephesians 3:16) (Modern King James Version). Here is what Dr. John Gill had to say concerning Paul keeping the faith, "By which he means, not so much the grace of faith, that was kept by Christ, the object, author, and finisher of it, and through His effectual grace and powerful intercession; but rather the profession of faith, which he had held fast without wavering; and chiefly the doctrine of faith, which was committed to his trust, which he had kept pure and incorrupt against all opposition; unless his faithfulness and integrity in the ministerial work should be thought rather to be intended; and which sense is favoured by the Syriac and Ethiopic versions, which render it, 'I have kept my faith'; or have been faithful to my trust, as a good steward of the mysteries of God; not concealing and keeping back anything that was profitable, but declaring the whole counsel of God."
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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