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Battle Ready: Be Trained and Be Strong

Becoming Who We Aim To Be  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  50:07
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Life isn't a playground but a battleground. In order for us to live up to our high calling as Christ's church, we must be diligent and devoted to be trained in God's truth from His word in order to be strong in ministry.

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Pray: Heavenly Father, because of the great and holy God that you are, we know that what you have for your people is a high calling. Remind us today from your word of who we are and what you have for us... of how we can abide in Christ and live by your Spirit to have the devotion and discipline we need to grow in you and be strong in your calling for us. We love you because of the great love with which you have loved us, and because through Jesus we have come to know you for you are. Amen.
Review: A series on the purpose and direction of the local church - Becoming Who We Aim To Be
BELIEVE in Christ: John 3:16
John 3:16 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
We do not get saved and then depart from the Gospel. We maintain focus that our purpose is to know God through Jesus Christ and to make him known - We Are His. Him We Proclaim. (1 Pet. 2:9 & Col. 1:28)
BELONG to His body: Hebrews 10:24-25
Hebrews 10:24–25 ESV
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Connecting relationally for accountability to apply God’s truth personally and collectively
Sharing pain and joy with one another (belonging) - don’t go through it alone... or celebrate it alone - TOGETHER
Today: Be trained in truth to be strong in ministry. WHY?

Life isn’t a playground but a battleground.

In order for us to live up to our high calling as Christ's church, we have to stop being lazy and stop seeking amusement as an aim for our lives. We must be diligent and devoted to be trained in God's truth from His word in order to be strong in ministry.
(This may be a paradigm shift for some of us.) - Literally a battle for life and death—reconciliation to God or eternal separation from God—remaining enemies of God in this life or being made his children. And once we belong to him, it’s still no walk in the park:
1 Timothy 6:12 ESV
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
War within - Flesh versus the Spirit - Romans 8
Battle against unseen enemies outside of us - Eph. 6:10-12
Ephesians 6:10–12 ESV
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
2 Timothy 3:12–13 ESV
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
How do we endure? How do we not become deceived by falsehood, or cower before opposition, and so on?
Well first we stay tied to WHO we believe. And we do it TOGETHER. And… we invest ourselves in being trained in truth to be strong in ministry.
BE TRAINED in truth: Becoming equipped for ministry and trained for leadership
BE STRONG in ministry: To Go and Be - lights and leaders in our homes, churches, communities, and to the unreached everywhere

Be Trained in Truth

Why truth and what truth?
John 18:37b ESV
Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
John 17:17 ESV
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
Jesus wants to invade every area of your life, which means you need to let his word shine on and speak into every area of your life.
Hebrews 4:12 ESV
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Training takes devotion and discipline.
- Training isn’t easy or painless. It’s takes hard work and can be uncomfortable (but in a good way, knowing that there is a higher aim for which we are training).
1 Corinthians 9:25–27 ESV
Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
Here’s the big problem with some of us in our laziness and lack of discipline:
We want God to do it our way and make it easy on us. We don’t want to make any effort to pursue God, and we just expect God to “motivate” us. If knowing what’s right and looking toward an end goal isn’t enough to motivate, I don’t know what can be. We will always quit and never be trained in righteousness.
Don’t blame God for your laziness.
Be trained in truth to...

Be Strong in Ministry

Why do we need to be strong in ministry?
James 1:22–25 ESV
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
What is the goal of said ministry?
Our goal is to be strong in ministry as described in Col. 1:28-29
Colossians 1:28–29 ESV
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
BE TRAINED in truth: Becoming equipped for ministry and trained for leadership
BE STRONG in ministry: To Go and Be - lights and leaders in our homes, churches, communities, and to the unreached everywhere
HOW?
Last week we said, first, TOGETHER - Review Easy 135 of One-anothering [slides]
What kind of training do we need? How do we ensure we are strong in ministry?

Areas to Aim for Growth

conviction, character, compassion, and competence

Conviction

2 Timothy 1:13–14 ESV
Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
2 Timothy 3:14–17 ESV
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
(and what comes after is the problem of not listening to sound teaching, going after what itching ears want)

Character

1 Timothy 4:6–10 ESV
If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
Small Groups: Christ-centered, Bible-saturated application and accountability

Compassion

Definition: “deep emotional response to human need that always results in action”
2 Timothy 4:6–7 ESV
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Corinthians 5:17–21 ESV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 2:14 ESV
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.

Competence

Practical ministry
2 Corinthians 3:4–5 ESV
Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,
examples in 2 Tim. 2 - soldier, athlete, farmer
2 Timothy 2:15 ESV
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
[Conclusion and Application]

Battle Ready Church

2 Timothy 4:6–7 ESV
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
What are we fighting for?
Nothing less than the glory of God.
Is it worth it?
Deep-seated joy in God doesn’t come from pretending there is no battle; fulfillment in the Christian life comes in the process of becoming equipped in God’s truth and engaging in the war by his strength.
Are you Battle Ready?
What changes need to be made in your life to rectify your priorities and to invest hard work in training and helping others train to be strong in doing ministry together?
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