Summary: This is the 6th sermon in the 1 Timothy series, "Order".
Series: Order [#6]
ARE YOU AN EASY TARGET?
I can only speak for myself; but I have felt like I have had a target drawn on my back this week. It’s amazing to me how people who say they are Christians treat others. As I struggled through the week, I realized that I was making it way too easy for the enemy to hit me. Let me ask you this morning, “Are you an easy target”?
1 Timothy 4:1-6 (NIV)
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.”
Are you a…
1. Stationary target?
A target that is not moving is much easier to hit than a moving target. Paul had warned the Ephesian elders that false teachers would invade the church. Paul warned them, and it began happening. Following a false teacher is like drawing a huge bullseye on your back and standing still before the enemy. Remember that our enemy shoots fiery darts at us.
We need to know how to identify a false teacher. Paul gives us some descriptions of a false teacher in our text.
? Are energized by Satan.
This is the only place where demons are mentioned in the Pastoral Epistles. Satan is an imitator. The 1st test of any religious doctrine is what it says about Jesus Christ. Satan tries to use Christians in the church to accomplish his work.
? Lead people astray.
? Are hypocrites.
We must practice what we preach. Their conscience has been seared so that it becomes hard and without feeling. Their conscience has been deadened.
? Deny God’s Word.
Too often, man mixes his ideas and wishes into God’s Word. God’s Word can stand alone; it does not need our help. The emphasis in a Christian’s life should be on “the Word of God and prayer.”
1 Timothy 4:8 (NIV)
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
Are you a…
2. Moving target?
A moving target is harder to hit; but it is still possible to hit. There is nothing wrong with being healthy and being in good shape. It is important that we take care of ourselves. When you are physically worn out or sick, you are an easier target for the enemy. The thing about physical exercise is it is temporary. It only benefits you during this life. Godly exercise is profitable now and for eternity.
1 Timothy 4:9-16 (NIV)
“This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things. Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
Are you a…
3. Hittable target?
In Ephesians, we are told to put on the full armor of God and then we are to stand firm. If you do that, there is no way that the enemy can shoot you in the back. You can block those fiery arrows with the shield of faith.
Christians, in order to not be a hittable target, you have to be strengthened spiritually. How do you do that? Paul gives us some things that we must do to be strengthened spiritually.