Summary: Relying on God's Spritual weapons will enable us to stay faithful in warfare.
1 Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, 2 and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, 3 that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. 4 For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know. 5 For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain. 6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always have good remembrance of us, greatly desiring to see us, as we also to see you— 7 therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith. 8 For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord. 9 For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, 10 night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith? 11 Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. 12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.
Dr. Frank Page once stated, “The Christian life is not a playground…it is a battleground.” Have you had some bombs going off in your direction lately?
Lost your job
Crushing Financial Problems
Fighting in the Home
Struggling with an addictive habit
Can’t break out of depression
Spiritual warfare is going on continually and every follower of the Lord Jesus Christ should desire to be found faithful to our Commander and Chief Shepherd. How can we do that?
First, being found faithful in spiritual warfare involves…
I. Preparing like a Privileged Soldier in God’s Army
A student prepares for his exams.
A lawyer will prepare for his bar exams.
An athlete will prepare for his sporting contest.
A follower of the Lord Jesus Christ must prepare diligently for spiritual warfare.
Three statements concerning spiritual preparation:
A. Preparation begins with our family identity
Look at verses 1-3, “Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, and sent Timothy, our brother…”
Let’s be reminded that we who belong to the Lord Jesus, belong to one another as “brothers” and “sisters” in Christ. We are a family of faith.
The hymn says, “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God – washed in the fountain and cleansed by His blood!”
God’s presence and power rests upon people who are rightly related to Himself and to one another.
Psalm 133:1 states, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
Preparing like a soldier begins by understanding you are not in this fight alone, but others are going to be there in the trenches with you.
B. Preparation is activated through servant ministry
Not only was Timothy a dear brother, but also a “minister of God.”
Timothy was willing to get off the bench and get into the game spiritually.
He was not willing to let the rest of his fellow soldiers serve in God’s army and himself not report for duty.
Every single one of us in the body of Christ is a minister unto God.
Just as soldiers need solid participation and teamwork to accomplish their military goals, so the body of Christ needs every member ministering to the glory of God if God’s will is to be accomplished.
1 Peter 4:10 states , “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
C. Preparation labors in the gospel of Christ
Verse 2 points out that Timothy was a brother, minister of God, and “fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ…”
An interesting survey might be to ask everyone who comes to church what the most important thing in this church.
Answers may vary – worship style, nursery, methods of reaching out, etc.
More important than anything in the church is the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Without the cross of Calvary, without the shedding of Jesus’ precious blood, without the resurrection, we are lost and in our sins.