Sunday, May 6, 2012

Spiritual Warfare

Temple Baptist Church - 5-6-2012

1 Timothy 1-18-20


A. The Apostle Paul left Timothy in Ephesus, a city of great spiritual and moral decadence, in order to make sure that the church remained doctrinally and morally pure. (Verse 3) The believers at Ephesus were “born in the fire” so to speak as Ephesus was noted for the great Temple of Diana, the goddess of the Ephesians. They were persecuted greatly for their faith in Christ Jesus. In Acts 19, the religious fervor of idolatrous Ephesians was made evident when—for the space of two hours—thousands chanted “Great is Diana of the Ephesians.”

B. His charge to Timothy was a doctrinal one as false teachers continually attacked the doctrines of the faith in the 1st century A.D. Paul was getting up in years at this time and committed to young Timothy a trust. One of the most important aspects of the pastorate is that of maintaining sound doctrine. It is a constant battle because our spiritual surroundings. In those days, people who were saved did not have a choice of the different denominations, isms and schisms of our day. Turn the radio or TV on and hear just about anything and everything spiritually. Instead of marking and avoiding them, many of God’s people watch and listen to them.

Matthew 7:15-20 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (16) Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (17) Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. (18) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (19) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (False prophets produce fruit that is carnal, worldly, and unholy! Look at the churches of the Bible Belt and take note of the changes made over the past 50 years.)

C. We cannot control the religion that surrounds us but we can hold our ground at home and church. We are not only to seek and walk in the “Old Path” wherein is the good way but we are to war for them. Our fight is not against flesh and blood, though Satan uses people, but against satanic attacks upon all that we believe.

D. By interpretation, the charge is to Timothy but by application it I to us who are “alive and remain” unto the coming of the Lord. When our Lord returns, will He find faith?

E. Let us look at our verses for tonight in light of the application made to today’s church.
1. The Charge (a declaration or mandate)- Verse 18 – We speak much of the Old Paths which our spiritual fathers have taught us. In 2 Timothy 3:13-17, Paul said, But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (14) But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; (15) And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” The “mandate” is the Word of Faith which we preach. As Abraham dug and named the wells in Canaan’s land, later Isaac dug the same wells that the Philistines had stopped up and called them by the same names that Abraham used. We are still “digging where our daddies dug!”
2. The Commitment (to deposit as a trust for protection) – Verse 18 – In these verses, Paul writes to Timothy and commits the safekeeping of doctrine to him; my pastors committed the safekeeping of doctrine to me and God called me to do the same; I now commit its safekeeping to you! You must continue to allow the Word of God to have “free course” from this pulpit in order for God’s men to be able to effectively preach!
3. The Criteria (canon –standards or principles) – Verse 18 – 1 Timothy, an epistle that is pastoral in nature, teaches a young pastor how to oversee and run the house of the Lord. This is done by “rightly dividing” the word of truth. This blessed old KJB that I hold in my hand is the embodiment of truth. Pilate asked the question, “What is truth?” when Truth stood before him. As Christ Jesus was the Truth, this bible that I hold in my hand tonight is Truth. As He was pure, this blessed old book is pure and contains the doctrines of our faith that we hold dear.
4. The Conflict (military service in conflict) – Verse 18 – The Word of God was attacked at its inception into this world and has remained under attack for the past 6,000 years. It is a planned attack by a wicked angel named Lucifer and it is a manned attack by those who follow his leadership. Anyone and everyone who either changes or makes a disparaging remark about the Word of God and those who uphold it is being used by Satan.
5. The Confidence (moral conviction of religious truth) – Verse 19
The Word of God has always been right; the Word of God is still right; and the Word of God will always be right
6. The Conscience (spiritual consciousness) – Verse 19 - If we let this charge slip then our children’s children will never know the reality of faithfulness to the bible and the holiness that follows.
7. The Consequence (shipwreck) – Verse 20 - The local churches are in bad shape spiritually because they lie in ruins doctrinally. The families are in bad shape morally because they lie in ruins spiritually. The nation is in bad shape economically and morally because they lie in biblical darkness.

No comments: