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1 Timothy 6:12 – Contend the ideal contest(2)

10-07-2024 - Posted by Hans

Contend the ideal contest of the faith…

The word for ‘struggle’ (Gr. agon) used here only occurs in this letter in 4:10, in some of the manuscripts. “For for this are we toiling and being reproached, that we rely on the living God, Who is the Saviour of all mankind, especially of believers.” This is what Paul calls the faithful saying(4:9) and he commands that it be taught (4:11). He himself is a shining example of this “excellent fight of faith.” Nothing could have stopped him from making this unsurpassed news known. But because this word meets opposition and resistance everywhere, propagating it in practice also means toil and struggle. Or as other manuscripts say in 4:10: toil and reproach.

Paul not only believed this Gospel word, but he also fought for it. Those are two different things. You believe with the heart, you confess with your mouth (Rom.10:9). And it is by confessing the faith (= coming out openly) that the battle begins. Those who remain silent will not encounter any contradiction. And neither is rejection or defamation. But how could others ever hear the good news if no one tells them (Rom.10:14)!? Hence the call: “Contend the ideal contest of the faith.”