Summary: Three elements a Christian should have to survive against the Devil.
This is Paul’s last epistle to the Christians. He is in prison and about to be beheaded for his stand for the faith in Christ.
verse 6 show us Paul’s attitude
He says "i am now ready to be offered" The greek word for "offered" speaks of being poured out as a drink offering to God. Since Paul knows what his fate is, he is speaking on behalf of his beheading. The blood will be poured out for his stand for the faith
Paul goes on to say "and the time of my departure is at hand" The greek word for "departure" speaks of releasing of the chains. Going from this physical world to the spiritual world. releasing of the chains that hold him here.
In verse 7 we see the first element Paul gives to us as Christians to have.
He says "I have fought a good fight"
This is not saying he is proudful for his fight. This is said with joy. We know this from the previous verse.
I. The first element given is STRENGTH.
We must have strength to survive.
Now how do we gain strength?
In the physical sense how do we?
We must have education.
You have to know how to excercise, what do excercise, and what to eat.
We must eat properly
The right foods give us the right protein and vitamins we need.
We must excercise our bodies
Now spiritually speaking we bring these together thourgh the Word of God.
A. II Timothy 3:16, tells us the Scripture educates us in how to be saved and how to live our lives once we are saved.
B. Next have Matthew 4:4. Jesus tells us that man will not live by bread alone, but by every word that procides out of the mouth of God.
Speaking of eating properly, we must digest the Word of God. We must read and study the Word of God.
C. Then we have James 2:24, shows us that as a saved person we should be doing the work of God.
Speaking of us to excercise our belief. If we say we love God then we better love our enemies.
This is how we develop our STRENGTH
The next phrase Paul says is
"I have finished my course"
II. Paul gives us the next element a Christian should have which is STAMINA.
Keep on keeping on. Never giving up. Paul was scorned, was stoned, and he never looked back. He kept moving forward.
"I have kept the faith"
III. Paul gives us the final element a Christian needs and that is STEADFASTNESS
Paul never compromised his beliefs. Today the world tells us we need to tolerate homosexuality. We do not bend our beliefs. God said it is wrong and that is it. The Judaizers wanted Paul to say a person needed to become Jewish in order to become a Christian and he did not bend his belief and said no. They offered him to keep his life if he would stop preaching and he said no. Stayed faithful to God and His Word.
This brings us to why.
And it is found in verse 8
"there is laid up for mea crown of righteousness, which the Lord will give me at that day" Paul’s desire was to hear Jesus say "Well done, thy good and faithful servant" Will Jesus say that to you?
Do you have the STRENGTH to get by? Do you have the STAMINA to last the course? Do you have the STEADFASTNESS to never bend your belief?