|1 Timothy 6:11-12 |
11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness.
12 Fight the good fight of faith,3 lay hold of the eternal life to which you are called and have professed before many witnesses. [Maintain your faith in the promises of God, and His warnings of necessary suffering to be through with sin. Keep waiting on God, listening, and watching. Stay in the cross of obedience. He will not fail you. It is a fight that yields victory.]
3 Fight the good fight of faith. Faith must grow. Every revelation you hear or see from God increases you faith. Peter defined the process of faith's growth, where he said: make every effort to add to you faith. 2 Pet 1:5-7. Your faith must stand in your experience of the power of God, not in words spoken by men or reading. The power of God is promised to deliver you [separate you] from your sins, which is salvation. You are saved through faith, and by faith your hearts are purified; but obviously in the beginning of faith, you are not purified, neither are you saved. Before purification and salvation, your faith must be tested in several trials, in which you must grievously suffer in order to be purified of sin. You must contend for the faith, grow in the faith, build up your faith, increase in faith, perfect what is lacking in your faith, fight the good fight of faith, until victory, when your faith is finished by the finisher; faith is a process and a journey of works of repentance and love, the end of which is to see Christ bring your salvation, to bring your eternal life.
With what are you contending? Your own selfish nature; your lusts and affections; your pride and your pleasures — these are the enemies of your soul — sin. How do you contend against sin? By faith, which is to deny your own will and obey the spoken-to-you commands of God. Such faith will lead to your heart being purified, lead you to the glorious Christian rest and to receive the fruit of the Spirit, which includes a large additional measure of faith.