James Nisbet Commentary - 1 Timothy 1:18 - 1:18

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James Nisbet Commentary - 1 Timothy 1:18 - 1:18

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:


‘War a good warfare.’


Every true man is a soldier. His path is one of conflict. As Napoleon carried the nations of Europe at the point of the sword, so the Christian soldier must conquer the kingdom. In order to do this he must be a good soldier; and we shall notice some few things which are involved in this.

I. He chooses his profession.—All true soldiers are volunteers. Pressed men do not as a rule make good soldiers; they seldom wear or fight well, and when men are forced into a religious profession from such low motives as slavish fear, or dread of God, they never bring much honour to Christ, and frequently turn back to the world, its praise and pleasures.

II. He exercises implicit faith in his Captain.—This is the life-giving root of his character and service.

III. He exercises himself

(a) In faith.

(b) Meditation.

(c) Prayer.

(d) In the use of his weapons.

IV. He obeys orders.—His religion or soldiership commences and continues in obeying, and his obedience is prompt, minute, and implicit; he obeys, asking no questions, and at all risks.

V. He is true to his Captain.

VI. He endures hardness.

VII. He fights to the last.


(1) ‘It is said of a soldier of the French Guard who had been shot, that when the surgeon was cutting down, searching for the bullet, he said, “An inch lower and you will find the Emperor.” Whether this be fact or not, Christ has the supreme love of every soldier; the language of his heart is, “Whom have I in heaven but Thee, and there is none upon the earth that I desire beside Thee?” ’

(2) ‘During the last war between France and Germany, it is reported that on one of the battlefields whole rows of men were found shot down, lying on their faces with their fingers on the trigger. So it is with all good soldiers of the Cross. They fight with and for Christ, even unto death, and finally all such shall receive the crown of life.’