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.
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).