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The Good Fight of Faith

11 But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

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11. But thou—in contrast to the "some" (1Ti 6:10).

man of God—who hast God as thy true riches (Ge 15:1; Ps 16:5; La 3:24). Applying primarily to Timothy as a minister (compare 2Pe 1:21), just as the term was used of Moses (De 33:1), Samuel (1Sa 9:6), Elijah, and Elisha; but, as the exhortation is as to duties incumbent also on all Christians, the term applies secondarily to him (so 2Ti 3:17) as a Christian man born of God (Jas 1:18; 1Jo 5:1), no longer a man of the world raised above earthly things; therefore, God's property, not his own, bought with a price, and so having parted with all right in himself: Christ's work is to be his great work: he is to be Christ's living representative.

flee these things—namely, "the love of money" with its evil results (1Ti 6:9, 10).

follow after righteousness—(2Ti 2:22).

godliness—"piety." Righteousness is more in relation to our fellow man; piety ("godliness") to God"; faith is the root of both (see on Tit 2:12).

love—by which "faith worketh."

patienceenduring perseverance amidst trials.

meekness—The oldest manuscripts read, "meek-spiritedness," namely, towards the opponents of the Gospel.

12. Fight the good fightBirks thinks this Epistle was written from Corinth, where contests in the national games recurred at stated seasons, which will account for the allusion here as in 1Co 9:24-26. Contrast "strifes of words" (1Ti 6:4). Compare 1Ti 1:18; 2Ti 4:7. The "good profession" is connected with the good fight (Ps 60:4).

lay hold on eternal life—the crown, or garland, the prize of victory, laid hold of by the winner in the "good fight" (2Ti 4:7, 8; Php 3:12-14). "Fight (literally, 'strive') with such striving earnestness as to lay hold on the prize, eternal life."

also—not in the oldest manuscripts.

professed a good professionGreek, "didst confess THE good confession," namely, the Christian confession (as the Greek word is the same in this verse as that for "confession" in 1Ti 6:13, probably the profession here is the confession that Christ's kingdom is the kingdom of the truth, Joh 18:36, 37), at thy being set apart to thy ministerial function (whether in general, or as overseer at Ephesus): the same occasion as is referred to in 1Ti 1:18; 4:14; 2Ti 1:4.

before many witnesses—who would testify against thee if thou shouldest fall away [Bengel].