|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:6-8 The blood of the martyrs, though not a sacrifice of atonement, yet was a sacrifice of acknowledgment to the grace of God and his truth. Death to a good man, is his release from the imprisonment of this world, and his departure to the enjoyments of another world. As a Christian, and a minister, Paul had kept the faith, kept the doctrines of the gospel. What comfort will it afford, to be able to speak in this manner toward the end of our days! The crown of believers is a crown of righteousness, purchased by the righteousness of Christ. Believers have it not at present, yet it is sure, for it is laid up for them. The believer, amidst poverty, pain, sickness, and the agonies of death, may rejoice; but if the duties of a man's place and station are neglected, his evidence of interest in Christ will be darkened, and uncertainty and distress may be expected to cloud and harass his last hours.
Verse 7. - The for a, A.V.; the for my, A.V. I have fought the good fight; as 1 Timothy 6:12 (τὸν ἀγῶνα τὸν καλόν), meaning that, however honourable the contests of the games were deemed, the Christian contest was far more honourable than them all. The word "fight" does not adequately express by agora, which embraces all kinds of contests - chariot race, foot race, wrestling, etc. "I have played out the honourable game" would give the sense, though inelegantly. The course (τὸν δρόμον); Acts 13:25; Acts 20:24. The runner in the race had a definite δρόμος, or course to run, marked out for him. St. Paul's life was that course, and he knew that he had run it out. I have kept the faith. St. Paul here quits metaphor and explains the foregoing figures. Through his long eventful course, in spite of all difficulties, conflicts, dangers, and temptations, he had kept the faith of Jesus Christ committed to him, inviolable, unadulterated, whole, and complete. He had not shrunk from confessing it when death stared him in the face; he had not corrupted it to meet the views of Jews or Gentiles; with courage and resolution and perseverance he had kept it to the end. Oh! let Timothy do the same.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I have fought a good fight,.... The fight of faith; the same as in 1 Timothy 6:10; see Gill on 1 Timothy 6:10,
I have finished my course, or race; the race of life set before him, his course of years; his days were extinct, the grave was ready for him, and he for that; his last sands were dropping, and he was just going the way of all flesh; or else he means the course of his ministry, which he desired to finish with joy, and was now finishing; Acts 13:25 he was now got to the end of his line, to Rome, where he was to be a martyr for Christ, Acts 23:11 so that he now concluded his work was done, and his warfare accomplished:
I have kept the faith; by which he means, not so much the grace of faith, that was kept by Christ, the object, author, and finisher of it, and through his effectual grace and powerful intercession; but rather the profession of faith, which he had held fast without wavering; and chiefly the doctrine of faith, which was committed to his trust, which he had kept pure and incorrupt against all opposition; unless his faithfulness and integrity in the ministerial work should be thought rather to be intended; and which sense is favoured by the Syriac and Ethiopic versions, which render it, "I have kept my faith"; or have been faithful to my trust, as a good steward of the mysteries of God; not concealing and keeping back any thing that was profitable, but declaring the whole counsel of God; and now what remained for him was the crown of righteousness; and this he says for the comfort and encouragement and imitation of Timothy and others. The phrase seems to be Jewish; it is said (y) by the Jews, that he that does not keep the feast of unleavened bread, is as he who does not , "keep the faith of the holy blessed God".
(y) Zohar in Exod. fol. 51. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. "I have striven the good strife"; the Greek is not restricted to a fight, but includes any competitive contest, for example, that of the racecourse (1Ti 6:12 [Alford]; 1Co 9:24, &c.; Heb 12:1, 2).
kept the faith—the Christian faith committed to me as a believer and an apostle (compare 2Ti 1:14; Re 2:10; 3:10).
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