- Sermon Notes
Paul’s Command to Fight
1 Timothy 6:11-21
All of us would say we sometimes hear a message and it seems to be speaking directly to us.
Paul is writing young Timothy giving him instruction, passionate at times, urging him to finish well.To fight in accomplishing this. His passion reflects both his conviction and the importance of the message.
We live in a world of upgrades – contentment rare; phones, tech gadgets, idols of all shapes and sizes…financial standing..
Our joy in the Lord should be our daily response to life and the temptations we face.
We all know plenty of folks who are never content.
He wants Timothy to have a Godly plan and stick to it.
Illus: We have all made plans or started projects – starting them is always easier than finishing them isn’t it?
Did you know in America:
•46% of people who start college don’t finish
•8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s goal.
•Think about how this mentality spills over into our spiritual lives.
God sends us His Word – He wants us to be wealthy spiritually, be blessed in worship, verse by verse to be filled and purpose to FINISH WELL.
•We need a spiritual plan – and the discipline to stick with it.
Listen to what Christian Author, Eugene Peterson, has to say in his book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction…
•For those of us who have been Christians for awhile you know names or faces of those who started well – – but now they are miles away.
•Or started well and stopped growing…
John 15:2, 4; Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
•Are you on track to finish well?
•Paul is talking to Timothy about finishing well.
•As you sit here, Paul is speaking directly to all of us.
•This is not just another cool story – Take this in, not about Paul, but a personal challenge NOT to be one of those distracted by the world because you are not abiding – but finish well.
In prior passages – conduct Paul does not like in Ephesus so leads into our passage telling Timothy to steer clear and flee these things, to press into the church in Ephesus…
I. Flee from Unrighteousness
•What is it you or I have going on that would be a threat to our relationship with the Lord?
•Take spiritual inventory and separate from it – Flee
•Anger & Selfishness
•Remember, fleeing saved Joseph
Matthew 2:13; Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”
•Not fleeing killed Samson
What do you need to get away from to assure an upward track of growth in the Lord?
A. Pursue Godliness
•Pursue & Follow implies effort – diligence – determination
•If you are going to grow spiritually it’s not going to just happen is it?
•What you put into your marriage reflects what you get out of it.
•What you put into your relationship with God reflects in your growth.
•Do you have a spiritual plan to grow and how you are going to get there?
2 Timothy 3:1-7; But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud…rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people…
Illus – Whether it was in my days at Nike or owning my own business…
•We all want to be spiritual people – but do you have a plan? Not today? It won’t happen…
•Paul is saying to Timothy – follow, pursue, fight for this thing!
B. Fight the good fight of the faith
•Fight for this – intensity (12)
•Illus – 1st century wrestling…
•Paul would have had a sense of urgency here in talking to Timothy about his spiritual life and that it is worth fighting for with all he has.
•What do you have spiritually that has a sense of urgency?
•What in our life are we willing to fight like this for?Marriage, Children, Grandchildren?
II. A Charge in God’s name
•I charge you (I command you) in the presence of God…(13)
•Does this sound like a suggestion?
•Paul has now told Timothy to flee and fight to live without reproach.
•Remember Paul is speaking to us today – For how long?Until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing!
•Has He come back yet? NO
•This week keep fleeing, following, fighting – have a grip on these things.
•And then he brings Pontius Pilate and Jesus into the discussion – Why?
John 18:33-38 – What is truth?
A. Honor the King of Kings
•Interesting how verse 15 spills into politics of the time; all these titles used were used for Caesar in Rome from one time or another.
•To take Caesar out of Rome would have been like taking Jesus out of the Church.
•Paul wants Timothy to forget all of that – not to be distracted – he and we are to concern ourselves with the Lord Jesus.
B. Spiritual wealth
As for the “rich”, not to be “haughty” or prideful.
I suspect we all know people who are successful and we hear, “well, it’s quite obvious why it happened – I mean look at me – look at what I have accomplished”…
•Does success ruin people?
•Back in verse 9 Paul notes the danger of those who desire to be rich wanting more and more…
•But in verse 17 he is talking about those who are rich – he is talking to all of us!Not Bill Gates or the guy from Amazon, Jeff Bezos.
•As Christians we are rich…
Ephesians 1:3; Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
Illus – Passport, travel, rich vs. poor…
Ephesians 1:7; In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.
•Paul is reminding us in his conversation with Timothy about the richness of God who provides us all that we need to enjoy Him.
•Paul does not say to Timothy to tell the congregation they are too rich or immoral because of what they have.
•He does not tell Timothy to tell the people to give all they have away; he is not telling us to give away our cars or houses or our possessions.
C. A Spirit of generosity and sharing
•Remember, the Lord has given you breath & life.
•Don’t see yourself as above anyone else – andgive credit to the Lord for all things.
•Paul tells us not to trust in riches for the future – eternity – only to trust in the living God.
•Not our 401K
•Not the improving economy
•Certainly not the contentious battles ongoing in Washington DC
•Timothy – don’t go there – flee, follow, fight for the Lord…
•We are called to have balance – ready to share.
•We can’t share everything and we are to use discretion in what we do share.
•Sometimes the Holy Spirit prompts us with a sense of conviction that we need to get behind something, that something is a worthy cause.
•We are to handle our prosperity properly and prepare for the future – not store away our treasures on earth – but prepare and store up our treasures in heaven. (19)
Matthew 6:19-20; “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
•Can’t you imagine Paul saying, “Timothy, you tell those people to be prepared to share. Lay down a strong foundation.”
In summary Paul was telling Timothy and all of us:
•Don’t be Prideful
•Don’t trust in your wealth
•Trust in God alone
•Enjoy the Lord in your life
•Do good for others
•Be ready and willing to bless others
When we are prepared as Timothy to Flee – Follow & Fight, we will come to that expected end & finish well.
It will be great to look back with the Lord’s help and God’s faithfulness and awake in His presence and hear those words from
Matthew 25:21; …well done my good and faithful servant…
What a God we serve – Amen
This week if you don’t have a plan, put one together to grow spiritually.
1 Timothy 6:11-21 NASB