Sunday School Material 2-25-18: The Good Fight of Faith

(I Timothy 6:11-21; 2/25/18)

Introduction: A key idea today’s Sunday School material is that Paul urges Timothy to stay focused on godly living and ministry. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to stay focused on godly living and ministry as well.

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Read I Timothy 6:11-16

I. Preparing for Battle. In our Sunday School material, Paul talks to Timothy about fighting a good fight. Timothy is to flee from the negative and purse the positive. He is to fight the good fight of faith. Timothy is reminded of his confession of believing in Christ and serving Him. God is to be glorified.

Applications –

- Continuing to give our best. Notice in vss. 11-12, 14 that Timothy is urged to flee negativity and pursue God’s will, until the Lord returns.

First, we should prayerfully determine the people, places, and things that led to sin in our lives and strive to avoid them.

Second, we should prayerfully determine what God is calling us to be and what He is calling us to do and then give our all to it. We know that God is calling us to love Him with all that we have and to love others, as we love ourselves.

Third, we are to stay faithful until the Lord comes back or we go to be with Him. We are to serve until death. Let’s work on giving God our best, as long as we have life in our bodies.

- Reasons for staying faithful. Notice in vss. 12-13, 15-16 that Timothy is to find strength to press forward in a several things. He is to find strength in the eternal life to which he was called, his confession, the many witness that he gave the confession in front of, Paul’s charge, and the hope of the Lord’s return.

In like manner, we should strive to be faithful in light of all that has been invested in us and who we have claimed that we are. We claim that we are Christians. The Holy Spirit has been invested in us. Many people have prayed for us and helped us along our journey. But most of all God deserves our very best. Let’s work on remember all that is urging us to stay faithful.

Read I Timothy 6:17-19

II. Enlisting Allies. In our Sunday School material, Timothy is to command the rich not to be arrogant. They are to be known for their hope in God, not their uncertain riches. They are to be known for their generosity, as a means of laying up treasure for themselves in the coming age.

Applications –

- Hoping in the right thing. Notice in vs. 17 that Timothy is to command the rich to put their hope in God, not in their uncertain riches.

First, the rich and the poor should put their hope in God. All other ground is sinking sand. Second, the rich should avoid putting their hope in their uncertain riches. Thieves can steal and circumstances can arise that take our riches.

Third, someone ought to be allowed to command us to do God’s will. Too many people are too independent and sensitive to be commanded to do anything. Thus, we have so little discipline and teamwork in our churches. Let’s work on putting our trust in God, not earthly riches.

- Rich Christians. Notice in vss. 18-19 that Timothy is to command the rich to be rich in good deeds for the sake of laying up treasure for the coming age. First, notice there is no sin in being rich. The sin is when you become rich in sinful ways and/or give riches an ungodly role in your life.

Second, the rich are called to be rich in good deeds. Sometimes the good deed is giving money. But there are also times when the good deed is teaching, training, and coaching others to become rich, instead of being dependent on the charitable giving of rich people.

It is better to help a church or non-profit develop revenue streams, instead of simply writing one or a few checks. Let’s work on learning how to be less dependent on charitable giving. Endowments, business enterprises, etc. are possibilities.

Read I Timothy 6:20-21

III. Eyeing the Prize. In our Sunday School material, Timothy is to guard the truth invested in him. He is to turn away from godless chatter. Some profess they have knowledge, but they have departed from the faith.

Applications –

- Living by sound doctrine. Notice in vss. 20-21 that Timothy is to guard what has been entrusted to him, especially considering those who have departed from the faith.

First, we can guard what has been entrusted to us – sound doctrine – by reviewing what we have learned, living in accord with what we have learned, being in relationship with likeminded people, and limiting or eliminating relationships with people who are living contrary to what we have learned.

Second, we should make sure that we don’t get tricked into departing or accidently depart from the faith. We cannot lose our salvation. But we can depart from living as disciples of Christ. This brings unnecessary stress into our lives, people miss out on blessings, and God is disappointed when this happens.

Let’s work on living by sound doctrine. At the core of sound Christian doctrine are the issues of making sure that we are saved and striving to love God and others, as we love ourselves.

Conclusion: Let’s work on staying focused on godly living and ministry. God has much for those who obey His will. 

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