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Like it or not we are in warfare

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 An Indian attended services one Sunday A.M.. The sermon, being without real spiritual food had been very loud in spots. The Indian, being a good Christian was not impressed. When asked how he had liked the sermon he said, High Wind, Big Thunder, No Rain! (Source Unknown). … More

Warfare

It is sometimes helpful to pick out certain verses of a biblical passage which summarize in concise terms what the passage is all about. The phrase that, perhaps, best summarizes this entire letter is “Wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience” (vv. 18-19). The fundamental nature of Christianity is that it is a warfare in which we are all involved; and there is no exit until the end. The moment you began your Christian life, by faith in Jesus Christ, you entered a lifelong battle. And this struggle is not intended to be easy. Paul knew he was in a battle, and he tells Timothy that he too is going to be in a battle. He goes on to say that he turned Hymenaeus and Alexander over to the power of Satan, so they will learn not to oppose God (v. 20).

 

The battle Paul is talking about is to be a loving person who has concern and compassion for people in times of harassment, when others are giving way to expressions of hate,  violence and bigotry. The warfare is to live your life for a purpose, not merely to spend it on yourself. What makes it tough is that we are opposed by three resourceful and utterly ruthless enemies called, the world, the flesh, and the devil. People are not the enemy. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood,” (Ephesians 6:12a KJV). People are not the problem. All people are victims, according to the Word of God, victims like ourselves. They need compassion and understanding, not condemnation and ostracism. Our part is to be Christ-like, loving, forgiving, understanding, and pure in the midst of life’s pressures. This is what Paul is referring to when he encourages Timothy to, “Wage the good warfare.” The central thing, of course, is, “How do you wage the good warfare?” Paul says it requires two things: “holding faith, and a good conscience.”

Application

I am called by Christ, called to live the Christian life in a godless world. This is not something to take lightly, something to do on weekends, like adding a low-calorie dessert to life to make it more agreeable. I am a soldier in a battle, a fierce war against sin, called by Christ himself to “wage a good warfare, to hold fast to the faith, and to hold to a good conscience.”

I Timothy 1:18-20 (English Standard Version)

This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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