From Lynda Lindsey
Paul to Timothy, Paul’s true son in the faith: I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. I Timothy 1:18-19
Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. I Timothy 4:15
Fight the good fight. Hold on to faith and a good conscience. Be diligent. Make visible progress. Persevere in matters of faith and doctrine. Stay the course. To fail in this calling is to shipwreck our faith. A shipwrecked vessel breaks up or runs aground in a storm and suffers total destruction and loss. A ship or plane that veers off course sets itself up for ruin. It is no different in matters of faith; to stray from the true course invites shipwreck.
Paul’s advice to Timothy is good counsel whether or not we are in leadership roles. We must know and apply truth. We learn truth as we read, study, meditate on, mull over, and ask questions about Scripture. We pray, seek counsel, listen to sermons, and make it our life’s vocation to handle Scripture accurately. We must apply what we have learned to our personal situation, which is to give our full attention to the task of learning and obeying God’s Word. Right belief motivates right behavior.
Paul constantly and consistently hammers home the true gospel. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Jesus shows mercy and unlimited patience toward those who would believe on Him and grants them eternal life. Simple, unadorned truth. Yet false teachings, myths, pointless speculation and arguments had arisen to complicate the truth. God is truth. God’s Word is truth. Knowledge of and obedience to Scripture, plus the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence make it possible for us to keep a good conscience and anchors us against shipwrecked faith. Fight the good fight! Stay the course! Hold on. Persevere. Jesus is worth it!