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1 Timothy 6:12 – Contend the ideal contest

10-07-2024 - Posted by Hans

Contend the ideal contest of the faith…

Twice in this letter “the ideal contest” (1:18; 6:12), although the words he uses for “battle” differ. In 1:18 it is about warfare (Gr. strateia > strategic), here in 6:12 it is about a competition (Gr. agon > agonie). Also in his second letter to Timothy, the apostle uses both the soldier and the athlete as examples of warriors (2:4,5).

The excellent battle in question here is the “battle of faith.” Earlier (4:1) Paul seriously warned that in later times some (influential) teachers would distance themselves from the faith. Faith here is the truth of faith, the word of God. Because this word is constantly under attack from all sides, standing for and on that truth is in practice a fight.

Unfortunately, there are many struggles that have the reputation of being “struggles of faith,” but are neither excellent nor evidence of faith. For example, the desperate question of whether God is also my Savior? Although that question leads to a lot of soul-struggle, it is certainly not a “battle of faith”. After all, the Gospel proclaims that God is the Savior of all. Anyone who doubts or contradicts this (under whatever pious pretexts) is fighting against faith. Religious disbelief.