In 2 Timothy 4:7,
“I have fought the good fight, I have
finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
This well-known and oft-quoted passage is
quite significant in that this epistle was Paul’s last
before his martyrdom in A.D. 67.
It is a deeply moving affirmation
of his unwavering faith and unyielding love for
the gospel of Jesus Christ
(Galatians 1:4; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:21).
“I have fought the good fight” is also significant for believers today
because it serves as a stark reminder that the Christian life
is a struggle against evil--within ourselves and in the world
(John 15:9; Romans 8:7; James 4:4).
Earlier in this same epistle, Paul reminded Timothy to
"endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ”
(2 Timothy 2:3).
The Greek word agonizomai, translated “fought,” means literally
"to engage in conflict.”
The word was used in the context of competing
in athletic games or engaging in military conflict
Considering that Paul was chained to a Roman soldier when he wrote this epistle,
it would have been easy for him to make such an analogy.
In fact, he had known many Roman soldiers
and during his imprisonment had won a number of them
to Christ, some of them members of the Praetorian Guard
Our battle is not with flesh and blood “but against principalities,
against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the
The Christian life is a fight in that Christians face a never-ending struggle against evil—not an earthly military campaign, but a spiritual battle against Satan.
This is why we must "take up the whole armor of God,
that you may be able to withstand in the evil day
(see Ephesians 6:13-18).
the apostle Paul was the consummate warrior,
never quitting, never flagging in his zeal for the Lord
He knew where lay the source of his strength
(Philippians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 12:9).
His campaign to spread the gospel of Christ
began on the Damascus Road
and eventually took him across the ancient world on
four missionary journeys.
He had witnessed of Christ before Felix and Agrippa,
the legates and officials of Rome
(Acts 23:26; Acts 26:1).
He contended with false teachers and false brethren
within the church
(2 Corinthians 11:13; Galatians 1:7; Galatians 2:4).
Paul’s “good fight”
included an astonishing series of dangers and indignities
(2 Corinthians 11:23-33).
Even in these he proclaimed his victory in Christ:
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us”
Paul’s life and ministry provide
for us a powerful example for modeling Christ today
Not only did he "fight the good fight,”
but he also “
finished the race”and kept the faith
(2 Timothy 4:7).
Paul knew that his death was near (verse 6) but had no regrets.
Jesus took control of his life
Paul had lived life to the fullest, fulfilling
all that Jesus had charged
and empowered him to do
(Ephesians 3:6; 2 Timothy 4:17).
He had a remarkable
fulfillment and contentment
with his life
(Philippians 4:11-13; 1 Timothy 6:6-8).
As believers today, we can have no greater sense of fulfillment
than to know, as Paul did, that we have fully accomplished
all that the Lord has called us to do
May we “fight the good fight” and
“be watchful in all things, endure afflictions,
do the work of an evangelist,
fulfill [our] ministry”
(2 Timothy 4:5).