"Lay Hold... Lay Aside... Lay Up" Part 1
Lay Hold on Eternal Life
“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 Timothy 6:12)
The advice the Apostle Paul gives young Timothy is simple yet profound: Fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on eternal life. Living for God and walking by faith is not a “walk in the park”. God’s Word is replete with references of the believer’s victory.
The word “victory” implies that there is something to which we are to get victory over….there is an opponent, an adversary, a spiritual enemy that relentlessly opposes every Christian. There is a real enemy, there is a real battle (Ephesians 6:10-13) and there is a very real outcome. Paul said, “FIGHT”….the good fight of faith. Don’t play, don’t run, don’t sleep, slumber or be slothful… FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH.
Paul continued his counsel to Timothy by urging him to “lay hold on eternal life”. “Lay hold” means to grasp… to firmly grasp something. That is the way it is with our relationship with the Lord - we must, by faith, grasp and embrace Jesus and all that He did on Calvary’s cross to provide salvation and forgiveness of sins. When a person lays hold of something that means they have it… they possess it. As a Christian, we lay hold on eternal life… we own it, we possess our salvation… we possess our eternal life! What a treasure! No deed, bank account or stock compares to the unchanging value of our salvation. How valuable is it? Jesus said, “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul”. Salvation: lay hold of it, own it, guard it, treasure it, love it, don’t ever leave it or let it go.
There are three kinds of people in this world. First, there are those who currently, right now, have laid hold of and possess salvation. They have accepted Christ as Savior and day-by-day have a relationship with God. Salvation is very real and precious and their relationship with God extends beyond sanctuaries, services and sacraments. Secondly, there are those who at one time laid hold of salvation, they have known God and walked with God in the past, but somewhere, somehow, and at some time they let go of God and no longer have a day-to-day relationship with the Lord. Some would say it’s the preacher’s fault, the deacon’s fault, the church’s fault—the bottom line is, a decision was made to let go of God. How tragic. If that’s you…please know there is a way back… don’t live one day longer away from God. Thirdly, there are those who have never laid hold of eternal life… they have never known God or walked with God. 2 Corinthians 6:2 says that “today is the day of salvation”. Jesus said in Revelation 3:20, “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man will hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and sup (fellowship) with him and he with me”. Saying “yes” to God changes everything.
Regardless of faults, failures, frailties or fears you can, by faith, Lay Hold on Eternal Life.