LAY HOLD ON ETERNAL LIFE
1 Tim 6:11-12 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
Whether Paul is specifically addressing Timothy as a man of God, or all Christians throughout the world, the teaching is the same. Looking at the verses in this chapter, which predede the lesson text, Paul exposes false preachers that teach servants to rebel against, and escape from, their masters; that teach a false doctrine of ungodliness, which leads to envy and strife within the body of Christ; that teach discontent with God's provisions, which leads to entrapment within Satan's snare, due to the inordinate love of money, which leads to an erring faith, many sorrows, and spiritual self-destruction. Here in the lesson text, Paul emphatically tells us to flee these things.
Rather than allowing our lives to be led in these sinful ways, Paul says that we are to follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. With these characteristics guiding our lives, every Christian is able to recognize, and overcome, the dangers that lie hidden in the snares of worldly temptations, that are placed before us by Satan. These Christian attributes will also allow us to recognize the false doctrines of covetous preachers that pervert God's will, which is preserved for us in the New Testament gospel of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. The apostle Peter, by inspiration, gives us a similar list of Christian characteristics around which we should pattern our lives (See 2 Pet. 1:5-7). They include faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity (See 2 Pet. 1:5-7). In like fashion, Paul admonished Titus and all Christians everywhere to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, ... live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, ...looking for that blessed hope of eternal salvation through Christ Jesus (See Titus 2:11-14).
Being armed with these godly characteristics, and having them engrained in our everyday lives, Christians will be prepared to fight the good fight of faith. The weapons we use in our battle against the wiles of Satan are not carnal, but are mighty offensive and defensive spiritual weapons that are obtained through God - weapons that allow us to break down, and overcome, all of Satan's strong holds that exist in envious desires of worldliness (See 2 Cor. 10:3-6). To the church of Christ in Ephesus, Paul lists the various articles of thearmor of God, by which a Christian is able to stand against the wiles of the devil, and overcome his wickedness, which attacks our souls (See Eph. 6:10-17).
Human beings created in God's image, are free moral agents. That is, God has given all men and women the ability to choose their own pathway of life, and serve whom ever, and what ever, they desire. They can choose to live a live of worldliness or one of godliness. The word of God assures each man and woman, that they must face a continuous struggle, between what is right in the His sight, and what is wrong. Life here on earth is a constant battle between the various desires that war within us. Do we desire the immediate pleasures offered by Satan in this world, or do we desire the promised reward of a blissful and eternal life in heaven? The lesson text infers that we can surrender to Satan, and the carnal nature of the world, or we can go to battle to overcome his influences, by fighting the good fight of faith. Successfully doing so, Paul assures us that, as followers of Christ, we will be able to lay hold on eternal life. The choice is ours.
Paul told Timothy that he was called to fight the good fight of faith, that he may receive, or lay hold on eternal life. And by inference, this is the call extended to all mankind, both Jews and Gentiles (Rom. 9:24). God has called all nations to come unto His kingdom and glory (1 Thess. 2:12) - His eternal glory, which is available only through, or by Christ Jesus (1 Pet. 5:10). No doubt, Timothy made that good profession that all must make before submitting to baptism, for the remission of all sins. And that confession is, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. It is the same confession made by the Ethiopian eunuch before being baptized (Acts 8:37-38). It is also the same profession that all must make before becoming a Christian through faith, repentance, and baptism.
God calls all to flee from the worldly snares of Satan, fight the good fight of faith, (and) lay hold on eternal life. Paul charges Timothy, and all of us today, to keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ (Vss. 13-14 following).