Summary: This is a message on being thankful for what God has done in our church in the past 3 years, but a challenge to win the lost for Christ.
DON’T SHIPWRECK YOUR FAITH
1 Timothy 1:18-20; Dorn Ridge May 05, 2013
Audio Link to sermon: http://chirb.it/fvHc15
1.) I have titled this morning’s message: “Don’t Ship-wreck your faith.”
2.) Paul was writing to a young minister some advice for ministering to the Church at Ephesus.
3.) The task would not be an easy one.
A.) Timothy would require a faith in Christ strong enough to float his life and ministry.
B.) If he did not have that kind of faith, he would himself be in danger of becoming a spiritual ship-wreck.
4.) Today, we have those same two directions that our life can go in.
A.) either our faith will float us, or we will become spiritual ship-wrecks.
I. PAUL GIVES WISDOM TO KEEP OUR FAITH AFLOAT.
1.) There had been prophecies made about Timothy 1Tim. 1:18a.
A.) The early church had prophets within it.
aa.) Certainly this is a gift that was present in the early church, yet one which is no longer present in the church today.
b.) The Apostle Paul predicted that the gift of prophecy as well as the other spiritual gifts during the infancy of the church would come to an end.
aba.) 1 Cor. 13:8-10
B.) The prophecy included a spiritual gift.
ba.) The gift was received when the body of elders laid their hands on Timothy.
bb.) Today, we do not know what Timothy had received as a spiritual gift.
bba.) Scripture does not reveal that to us.
bbb.) Whatever it was, it was to be a gift to help him in his ministry forJesus Christ.
bc.) Whatever the prophecy about Timothy, it was something that he had the choice to follow, but in following would help him in his spiritual walk with Jesus Christ.
bd.) Paul encourages him in this as it was something that if he exercised it would help him to keep his faith in
2.) Fight the good fight.
-- 1 Tim. 1:18b.
A.) Paul uses this term twice in his epistles to Timothy
aa.) One of the things with Paul was that he loved sports.
ab.) I think right now as the playoffs in Hockey are going on that if Paul was here, he would have his own team picked out, and would be cheering for which team was going to win that game, and also the
ac.) Paul often uses the imagery of a sporting event to speak of our relationship with Christ.
aca.) Here as Paul is challenging Timothy to keep his faith in Christ afloat, he encourages him to have a good fight.
acb.) I picture the scene of a wrestling or boxing match, and the coaching before the actual match.
acb-1.) At that time, the referee, or some game official announces the moves that are legal, and those which you are not allowed to be used.
acb-2.) This is what Paul was doing. He was telling Timothy to keep the fight to the Church.
C.) Another challenge for Timothy and the early church was Nero.
ca.) Nero was the emperor of Rome, and and some would even argue that he was a bit on the crazy side.
cb.) To understand some of the background of this text, this epistle was written sometime around AD 63-65.
cc.) On July 18, A.D.64 the City of Rome caught fire.
cd.)According to the ancient historian Tacitus, over the next few days the fire burned and reduced to ashes over 70% of the city of Rome.
ce.) When the fire was out, only 4 of 14 districts in Rome were untouched by the fire, and over half of the population were left on the streets without a home.
D.) In the days and weeks after the fire, there were many questions as to why the fire had happened, and how it had started.
E.) Some had even said that Nero himself was the originator of the fire, though this could not be substantiated.
ea.) One of the things that made people think that Nero had set the fires, was that after the fires had burnt out, he had claimed some of the burnt land for his own purposes.
eb.) So to take the eyes, and blame off of himself, Nero begin accusing the Christians of setting the fires in the city of Rome.
eba.) Nero would refer to the Church’s teachings on the fire of hell that would one day destroy this world, as evidence to blame the Christians for the fires.
ec.) To further his point, Nero began a very ruthless and intense persecution of the church.
eca.) Christians were regularly tied to a pole, and dipped in hot pitch and set on fire as human torches to light the games.
ecb.) Other Christians would be thrown in mass into the amphitheatre to be ravaged and eaten by lions that had intentionally been starved for days at a time.