Summary: Paul issues three cautions of the Christian life
Text: 1 Tim 1:18-20, Title: Struggles, Shipwrecks, and Satan, Date/Place: WHBC, 2.11.18, AM
A. Opening illustration: Job’s life and struggles
B. Background to passage: Paul has dropped Timothy off at Ephesus to handle some problems with false teaching in the church there. Some were more serious than others, but the church needed health and focus. Again today, we will see an apostolic charge to Timothy of his mission before he gets to the specific topics in chapter two.
C. Main thought: This morning we will see how Paul issues three cautions of the Christian life
A. The Christian Life Has Weapons (v. 18)
1. The command given to Timothy here is nuanced in a different light that further enhances and illuminates the background and nature of former language. First, he mentions that the work he is to do was prophesied over him somewhere in the past, this was God’s calling on his life. But more central to this verse is the military language of warfare. You are not there to take in the scenery, eat Baklava, and find a wife. Satan is slithering into the church in order to steal, kill, and destroy. He is not taking a siesta, looking for a ball in the woods on the back nine, sticking his toes in the sand on the Mediterranean Sea, or playing checkers while an open door of false teaching. This war is for the souls of men/women, and for the bride of Christ.
3. Illustration: all of life is war. The peace, comfort, and luxury of life in America today are lying to us, lulling us into a spiritual nap, while hell hangs in the balance and heaven makes hell against evil. The realities of World War II are far closer to our actual reality. -Marshall Segal, complaints about dusk in the jacket while the bullets were flying, spiritual warfare in more deeply controlled and influenced demonic areas of Peru and New England
4. Just briefly, realize that the position that you are in now is God’s calling for you at this time. See it not as the only snag in life or a barrier that is keeping you from your real calling. The Cristian life has weapons because the Christian life is war, and our culture, our nature, and our own selves cause us to be dulled into spiritual lethargy and disengagement on the battlefield. We are generally uncomfortable talking about spiritual warfare in our lives, or we don’t recognize it. We don’t want to be that person/church that sees demons all around, but we shouldn’t be the person that walks through life under the subtle demonic influence without regard to its danger. Satan wants to undermine your faith with doubt, fear, anxieties. He works in our culture to influence you to value earthly things over heavenly things. He clouds our minds with controversy, some significant, some minute, but always distracting. He deceives and lies to us about our families and other relationships causing havoc and the breaking of friendships and marriages. He exploits the poor and weak and causes us to look the other way. He fuels hatred of ethnicities here and abroad. He fuels terrorism, immorality, human trafficking, pornography, addictions of all sorts. Possibly worst of all, he attempts to repress your desires for Christ so that your faith would be cold and lifeless. We fight him with the gospel, the Holy Spirit, prayer, and the word of God. Might do a whole sermon on that…