Summary: Here in our text, the Christian life is likened to a battle. Every believer must war a good warfare. How can we do this? The apostle Paul lays out a strategy for us.
Winning The Spiritual Battle (Part 3)
1. Many preachers today make a living off of telling people what they want to hear. They tell people that it is God’s will that they be prosperous, healthy, wealthy, and basically have a problem-free life.
2. This sounds very appealing, and people are drawn to this type of teaching. The problem with it is very simple. It is not scripturally accurate! It is false doctrine. It also gives people false hopes, and when problems do come (and they will), it devastates them.
3. Here is the reality: the Christian life is likened to a battle, not a Bahamas cruise. Here in our text, Paul reinforces this truth to young Timothy. 1:18
4. There are twelve “charges” in this book, and this is one of them. A “charge” is a mandate or a command. Notice that Paul charges Timothy to war a good warfare. It sounds to me like Timothy is in a battle. It reminds me of an old gospel song.
6. So many believers fail to recognize this truth for this dispensation. They read verses that deal with Israel’s kingdom on earth and come away with the “God wants to bless me” mentality.
• Our blessings today are spiritual blessing in heavenly places. Life on earth is called “the sufferings of this present time.” We are guaranteed suffering, persecution, and affliction while on this sin-cursed earth.
• Satan is called “the prince of this world,” and we are on his turf right now. We are living in the middle of his evil world system.
7. If believers fail to understand this, when the afflictions and heartaches of life come, they are unprepared to handle them. Believers then question God, they question the Bible, and they question the preacher who preached the health and wealth message. They become deflated and discouraged - casualties of war.
8. The word “warfare” comes from a Greek word from which we get our English word “strategy.” We are soldiers for Christ, and we have an adversary ñ Satan (Ephesians 6:10-11). Therefore, we had better have an effective strategy.
9. Every believer must war a good warfare. How can we do this? The apostle Paul lays out a strategy for us.
First, we must exercise complete allegiance to our leader. vs. 17-18
Second, we must obey instructions from our Commander. vs. 15
Third, we must follow the correct pattern. vs. 16
1. My father served in the Air Force in the Korean War. Many of you also have military backgrounds. When you were in boot camp, you learned quickly that your superiors wanted things done a certain way, and that is the way they told you to do them!
• There was a pattern that you were to follow when it came to making your bed, shining your boots, cleaning your gun, wearing your uniform, etc.
• What if you decided that you had a better way? If you followed your own pattern in how to do these things, what would be the result? Let’s keep violence and blood out of this sermon!
• While I was never in the military, Bible College in the 1980s was as close as you could get. It was a spiritual boot camp. In a similar way, you were instructed in the pattern to follow, and you had better follow it!
2. Did you know that our Commander, Jesus Christ, has given us a pattern to follow after today? vs. 16
3. Who is the pattern for the body of Christ today? This is a great question, and a crucial question if we are to understand our place in the plan of God.
• Is Moses (and the law) our pattern?
• Are the twelve apostles our pattern?
• Is Peter our pattern?
• Is Christ's earthly ministry our pattern to follow?
4. God saved Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. Saul was the enemy of those who believed in Jesus Christ. Why was God merciful to Saul? Why did He show forth such abundant grace towards him and save him on that road?
5. The Bible is clear. It was for the purpose of making Paul a pattern to all those who would be saved by grace after him. vs. 16
6. It has often been taught that the twelve apostles represent the church, just as the twelve patriarchs represented Israel in the Old Testament. This conclusion is without Scriptural foundation.
• Matthew 19:28 makes it very clear that the twelve apostles represent the nation of Israel.
• In the regeneration (Christ's earthly kingdom), Christ will sit upon a literal throne and will rule this earth after His Second Coming. Matthew 25:31