Summary: In the spiritual realm, we are called to be God’s super heroes. We can only be super heroes on earth, because — when we are in heaven — we will not need these unique skills.
Called to Be Super-Heroes
(I Timothy 6:11-17, 20-21)
1. [This is a combination Norwegian and Chinese joke]
A young man walks through New York Chinatown and notices a shop with the name Hans Olaffsen's Laundry. He thought it seemed out of place but curiosity got the best of him and he walked into the shop. He sees an old Chinese man sitting in the corner.
He asked the old man, How in the world did this place get a name like Hans Olaffsen's Laundry?
The old man, who is the owner, replied, “That’s my name.”
The young man asked, “How did you get a name like Hans Olaffsen?
The old man answers, “Many years ago when I came to this country from Hong Kong, I was standing in line at Immigration. A man in front of me was a big blond Norwegian. The lady from Immigration asked him, What is your name? He say "Hans Olaffsen". Lady ask me, What is your name? I say Sam Ting.”
2. When fiction writers come up with explanations for how their super-heroes received their amazing powers, they have to be as creative as the author of the above joke. Superman comes from another planet where the pull of gravity is stronger, so he has super human strength. Then there are explanations for
Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider Man, the incredible Hulk, and my favorite, Dr. Who.
3. Superheroes are unusually strong, cared about protecting others, travelled in time, and apprehend criminals. The world was a safer, better place because of them.
Main Idea: In the spiritual realm, we are called to be God’s super heroes. We can only be super heroes on earth, because — when we are in heaven — we will not need these unique skills.
I. We Must PURSUE Virtue (11)
A. We must run from the distraction of RICHES
B. God wants us to monitor the condition of our HEARTS and outward DISPOSITION
1. Inwardly, we are asked to pursue holiness
2. Outwardly, we are to be gentle and loving toward others
3. Riding a bike: tricycle, training wheels, small bike, multi-speed
4. Some days I feel impatient/irritable; to overcome this, I must first be aware
C. Superheroes don’t just run to escape, they also RUN after something
1. You run away from danger to preserve yourself
2. You run toward virtue to make a difference
3. Some say enjoy God’s grace & he will fix you; others, believe Gospel more
4. Sounds spiritual, but we have responsibility; that is why we are commanded to put off the works of the flesh and put on holiness
Are you actively pursuing virtue, or rarely even think about the subject? Habits.
II. We Must FIGHT the Good Fight of Faith (12a)
The Greek word for fight agwnizomai was in transition; it was originally a battle term that became an athletic term. We get our word “agonize” from it.
A. Do you ever get battle WEARY? Good!
B. Our fights are within BOTH Kingdoms: Of Darkness and Of God
• Most of us are not prepared for internal sabotage
• Supposedly thousand of Americans show interest in joining ISIS
• We think of Satan outside the church building walls, but he works thru us
• Jesus said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan!”
Jesus threatens the Church at Pergamum in Revelation 2 :14-16, “But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.”
C. Our fight is against DEMONS, ideas, thoughts, and ATTITUDES
Ephesians 6;12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-6, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.”
• Superheroes fight physical villains; we fight more dastardly, nebulous ones
III. We Must Travel in Time and Space and Take Hold of Eternal Life NOW (12b)
A. The genuine believer ALREADY possesses eternal life