1 Timothy 6:12 "Eternity Starts Now" (Shield of Faith - Week 2)

1 Timothy 6:12 "Eternity Starts Now" (Shield of Faith - Week 2)

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (ESV)

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (NIV)

Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. (NLT) 


Dive Deeper:

When it comes to the Gospel, we often hear something along the lines of putting your trust in Jesus so that you can go to heaven when you die. This concept is vital to understanding the Good News of Jesus, but it doesn’t give the whole picture. It leaves out something altogether… what do we do with our lives before we die? When our Gospel presentation focuses so heavily on what comes after death, we miss our calling for life right now. How do we live in light of eternity? How does faith work out in the following decades of life we live?

In 1 Timothy, Paul encourages his protege to fight the good fight of the faith in the present age. He calls him to take hold of eternal life right now. Paul’s understanding of salvation was that, yes, one day, we will be saved from the presence of all sin, evil, and death, but it was also an understanding of being currently saved as you work out your faith day by day.

Tyler Staton puts it this way, “When we overemphasize a salvation moment, the unintended possibility is that we can receive Jesus' life without being Jesus' disciple. We make a transaction of a pathway. Salvation is by grace from Jesus, yes, but it is one that gets worked out over life. It is like a seed planted, and it must continue to be nourished in order to grow up.”

In Paul’s vision of discipleship, the hope of eternity isn’t an escape mechanism to avoid faith in practice; eternal life is the vision for how we should fight the good fight here and now. This will by nature, lead to growth in us and around us. This is how Jesus’ kingdom will come, through his people, empowered by the Holy Spirit fighting the good fight, living faithfully. In Matthew 13, Jesus describes the kingdom this way, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32).

So, our call as those who have trusted in Jesus is to put our total weight in that faith. We know this intuitively in life, and as we listen and trust doctors, auto mechanics, or plumbers, our trust leads to flourishing. In the same way, let your trust lead the way you fight for the faith. Let your faith in Jesus inform the life you live. Eternity starts now.


Written by Ben Hesch

 

Challenge:

Audit your life. Consider how you live your life in light of eternity. Has your faith in Jesus for eternity in heaven translated to how you obey him and fight the good fight of faith day to day? Write down the inconsistencies, pray about how you can lean into the life Jesus has for you, and seek to close that gap.

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