Summary: PENTECOST 19(C) - Believers fight the good fight of the faith when they flee discontentment and pursue righteousness, godliness...
FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF THE FAITH
1 Timothy 6:6-16 - October 19, 2003
6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
11But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15which God will bring about in his own time--God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
+ + + + + + + + + + + + +
Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:
All of us would agree today that when we look at life, we would intend to call it a struggle. There are all kinds of struggles in this life--struggles that we face with the weather, struggles that we face with health, struggles that we face with one another--and the list goes on and on, doesn’t it? Yet, this morning the Lord reminds us that our life is even more than a struggle, isn’t it? The life that we live on this earth is a battle. As believers in the world who know the difference between right and wrong, we face daily battles. Believers battle against Satan’s snares. Believers battle against the world’s wickedness. Believers battle against our own flesh’s failings. Life IS more than a struggle, it is a battle!
So it is that as Paul wrote to Timothy, he gave Timothy the advice as he intends for every believer this morning to fight the good fight of faith. The Lord through Paul tells us how we can do that. In our second lesson(JAMES 4:7-12) we heard these words from James. He says: "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded"(JAMES 4:7,8). He says to keep our minds and focus on track as we fight the good fight of the faith. He says to come near to God and God will come near to you. So this morning once again we draw near to God. We ask Him to focus our thoughts that we might submit to God, resist the devil and the devil would flee from us. So it is that with these words in the middle of our text we have our theme: Fight the Good Fight of Faith. He gives us two directions to do that:
I. Believers flee discontentment.
II. Believers pursue righteousness, godliness, ...
I. Believers flee discontentment
Remember that Paul wrote these words as he was gone on another of his missionary journeys to encourage Timothy, who now was left alone in the big metropolis of Ephesus. It was like any big metropolis full of sin, evil and wickedness. Some of that wickedness was worldliness. So it was that Timothy would face those who would be caught up in the things and the ways of the world. That is, the worldly things that society considers more important and valuable than even one’s own soul.
So we start in our text, verse 6, which are familiar words: 6But godliness with contentment is great gain. Paul says to combine godliness and contentment and that person would find great gain. They would find satisfaction in life. He goes on to tell them why: 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. Paul probably thought of Job when he was afflicted and sorely attempted by Satan. Job realized, "Naked I came into this world; naked I will leave it." He says we come into this world with nothing, and certainly we can take nothing with us. So what does that mean as Paul has these gems of Scripture written down for our edification? Our text continues but, if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Paul reminded Timothy that there would be disappointments and discouragements. There would be those who oppose the Gospel. But he could find contentment in the fact that he had food and clothing. He had more than he started with in this world when he was born.