1 Timothy 6 Message 32
c. Be contending for the faith. 1 Timothy 6:12-16
We have been warned of the dangers of accumulating money as a method of setting ourselves above others through the possession of material goods, power, prestige, submitting to our pride and the love of money. Many fight for these things, not contending for the faith, but contending for foolish things that will all be left behind at death.
We are to fight for that good thing, faith. We see in these verses three things that will help us to walk in the way of the Lord.
The exhortation to contend for the faith.
The encouragement to lay hold on eternal life.
The example of the Saviour.
We begin with –
1). The Exhortation to contend for the faith
a). Contending Paul’s exhortation –
‘Fight the good fight’.
Paul also gave us understanding of the word through his use of it in –
1 Corinthians 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery (Fight) is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
Paul’s terminology uses a comparison of the wrestling contest in the official games. We picture the contestants facing one another, the unbeliever is looking for a weak spot in the believer’s life to seize and defeat him. We are to fight, we are to be contenders, and we are to trust the Lord, standing in His strength.
b). Courage to fight
Jude’s exhortation –
Jude 3-4 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
“It was needful…” To may believers are accepting false teachings. It is not ‘alright’! We should never lower God’s standards to satisfy man’s desires.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
We must know God’s Word and have the –
c). Conviction of what to fight for.
Life is full of fights –
(1). good ones, the fight for THE FAITH, holding forth the truth of God.
The Lord chose His fights – At times He stayed. At times He walked away –
Luke 13:31-33 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
The fight had to be a good fight, to the glory of God – “Fight the good fight of the faith, unashamed –
John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
To stand in the name of the Lord for His Word.
To stand in the power of the Lord wielding the Sword of the Spirit which is His Word.
There are good fight and there are –
(2). Meaningless fights: to fight for the things of this world which are so soon to be worthless to anyone
And there are –
(3). Foolish fights: to fight against God or to fight against His people which are to be rejected –
Fights that should never enter the mind or the heart – to fight against God. Even the Jewish rabbi, Gamaliel knew this –
Acts 5:34-39 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
We have the exhortation to fight the good fight of faith. We also have –
2). The Embracing of your eternal life.
“…lay hold onto eternal life….” It is yours, posses it, occupy it, own it, God has given it to you! Declare that it is yours.
2 Corinthians 5:17-20 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
Philippians 3:16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Remember your calling to salvation and remember your courage through salvation
We see the exhortation to fight.
We see the encouragement to lay hold on eternal life, and now we see –
3). The Example of the Saviour.
Never be ashamed. The Lord was never ashamed!
John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
John 10:30 I and my Father are one.
John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
How then do we fight the good fight of faith –
Ephesians 6:10-13 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
How then do we posses our eternal life –
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
2 Corinthians 10:16 To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s line of things made ready to our hand.
How then do we follow the example of our Saviour –
Hebrews 12:1-4 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, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
Will you fight the good fight?
Will you lay hold on eternal life?
Will you follow His steps?