THE THREE LIFESTYLE OF A CHRISTIAN (FIGHTER, RUNNER, AND SOLDIER)
The Apostle Paul drew three comparisons to illustrate what it is like to live as a believer. He likened himself to a fighter, a runner, and a soldier. First, he said he was like a fighter: “I have fought the good fight . . . ” (2 Timothy 4:7). The idea Paul was conveying was a potential fight to death to self life style. He is not saying that he was a physical boxer, he is telling us that we must fight against all the ungodly lifestyles in us to a standstill, and this is what you must fight against:
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal.5:19-21)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (Gal 5:22-23)
This reminds us that the Christian life is a life of spiritual warfare. Once you enter into this new relationship with God, you discover that your adversary, the devil, will try to undermine you. It is a spiritual battle, and thus we need to use spiritual weapons.
Paul also compared himself to a runner. He said, “I have finished the race . . . ”
(2 Timothy 4:7). The word he used for “race” described an event with obstacles in it, more like getting through an obstacle course. I believe we all know how athlete do in field event. Paul is saying here there were numerous hurdles and obstacles that he had to deal with in his life, and Paul was saying he had completed that race. This simply tells us that Christianity is a RACE and that CHRIST is the end of this RACE.
Let’s note in this race there are rules and regulations even in the physical athletics there are rules you must follow if you must win, you see they borrow this things from the scripture. Paul is saying that he was not running with uncertainty, he was running with a mindset to win a prize which is Christ. How are you running yours?
A song says I am running a race to meet my redeemer, Heavenly race…to meet my redeemer.
Finally, Paul said he was a soldier:
Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. 6 And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labour. 7 Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things. (2Tim 2:3-7) NLT
“I have remained faithful” (2 Timothy 4:7). In the original language, this statement carries the meaning of having guarded the faith as an armed soldier would guard his post against enemy attack. Paul was saying that he had not strayed from the truth of God’s Word, that he lived it out.
So have you been winning or losing in the struggle against the adversary and personal sin? Have you kept pace in the race of life, or have you slowed down? Have you guarded and kept your faith in the way that you live and tell others? Let’s make it our aim to be able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.”
May the Lord help you and I to attain to this Christ like life in Jesus Mighty name Amen. Shalom!