Saturday, August 30, 2008

Nuggets From the Greek: Run the Fight!

Hebrews 12:1: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Timothy 4:7: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
1 Timothy 6:12: 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.
I noted with interest the other day, when the first two verses were both presented on the same Sunday (and having my Greek N.T. with me), that the boldprint words are in fact identical in the Greek!

Upon checking a couple lexicons, the noun (pronounced ag-one [long "o" sound]) is used only six times in the N.T.; the other three are translated conflict (Phil. 1:30; Col. 2:1) or contention (1 Thess. 2:2). The meaning of the word is rendered struggle, fight, opposition; it has a general meaning of a struggle or contest for a prize at the Greek games.

The verbs in 1 Tim. 6:12 and 2 Tim. 4:7 are each the "verb form" of this noun, and mean "to strive" or "to fight." The "run" in Heb. 12:2 also carries a connotation of competition.

What these words do not imply is that the Christian walk is, well, just a "walk." It is a struggle, with earthly and heavenly rewards and consequences. It is active, not passive; it requires initiative, and not mere reaction. Let us "run" this "race" and "fight" this "fight" in a way that would please the Lord!

No comments: