Now back home, spending some time trying to overcome the amount of school I have to do. My final week of undergrad classes… wow. This previous week was great. Ligon Duncan has me thinking about who I’ll see when I cross the finish line. If I’ll cross the finish line. And this is healthy… spiritually. Far from the dead spirituality that many claim that certain theological traditions produce, I find these preachers to be robustly well-rounded. The Gospel has demands on our lives that God graciously provides the resources and power to complete in us and through us. Superlatives can’t do that justice.
Just pondering… Paul seems to use the same allusion in 4:7 that he does in 2:3-7. Paul tells Timothy to fight, run, and keep, and then seems to say that Paul has been the example of this, and has now completed it. This is entrusting… being willing to fight for the Gospel, run the race of the Gospel, and to keep the Gospel. The one hiccup with this connection may be the third metaphor… connecting farming in 2:7 with tereo in 4:7 may be a stretch. At very least the mindset is in 2:3-7 is the same as the mindset in 4:7. The soldier abstains from civilian life so he can fight and please the one who enlisted him. The runner obeys the rules so he can run the course and obtain the prize. And the farmer works hard so he can preserve and keep the crop and reap a harvest. This three-fold connection isn’t as full as I’d like it to be… but I can’t help but ponder those three pictures.
Fighting for the sake of the Gospel, running for the sake of the Gospel, guarding for the sake of the Gospel.