Warfare: 1 Timothy 1:18-20
1 Timothy - Lasting Instruction: Warfare - 1 Timothy 1:18-20 Pastor John Weathersby Sunday January 6, 2019 Last week, we saw that the secret of Paul was a Constant Gratitude for the salvation God extended to him. Moreover, we learned that Paul himself was to be an example of the great depth of God’s love and Jesus’ ability to save - even when we resist, I’m thankful for that - I’ll take glory kicking and screaming over separation in comfort. Paul was the chief sinner, resister, blasphemer - yet, God in His great grace and love, saved him. He can do the same with us. This week, we see that Paul charges Timothy to engage in a warfare - and we learn more about the context of pastoral warfare and finish with a challenge to be aware of those battle grounds around us today. 1 Timothy 1:18–20 (ESV) 18 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, “This Charge I entrust to you”, Paul says to Timothy. Paul himself was similarly trusted with a deposit: 1 Timothy 1:11 (ESV) 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. Paul is passing wisdom down to Timothy, his child in the faith. This book of 1 Timothy is recorded for us too, for all the church for all time until the Lord should come back. We too then are entrusted with the deposit that God has passed on to us, through this book. We’re to deliver it to future generations without error, and specifically Pastors are to fight for this truth, for these truths. Minds sharp, aware of the issues of the day, of false teaching - and ready to engage and fight, this is the Pastor’s call. Timothy had been prophecies about. Prophecy is God’s word forth telling the future. I say, forthtelling and note foretelling. Because God is not predicting the future, He says what will be and that distinction is important. We have an entire category that allows us to understand God’s total sovereignty over all things called miracles. It’s is a miracle when God violates the laws of created order to impact a change. God prophecies what will happen by forthtelling it. If you doubt that, read Genesis 1:1 again and ask yourself, do I believe it? Genesis 1:1 (ESV) The Creation of the World 1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. If you can believe Genesis 1:1, nothing else should be difficult. God, the creator of the universe and the laws of all things forthtold that Timothy would be involved in His establishment of Jesus’ church - and Paul wants Timothy to understand the depth of his duty, and his call to wage war. Paul makes a deposit in Timothy, according to what God planned that Timothy has a duty to. By that, By the deposit Timothy is to… Wage Warfare. Warfare against what? 1 Timothy 1:3–4 (ESV) Warning Against False Teachers 3 As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. Timothy’s charge is to be a pastor in Ephesus, and with that comes warfare against anything that would take from the Church’s right understanding of God. There were people who would detract from God’s truth because of this, Timothy is entrusted with a deposit of truth and its protection is a matter of warfare. The deposit given to Timothy is the pastor’s deposit, one that’s duty requires, warfare. There is a warfare between good and evil, between God and Satan - we know God wins, God forthtold it, and so we dutifully participate on the winning side, following after the pattern given to us by God and celebrate him in the context of His Church. 1 Timothy 1:19–20 (ESV) 18 holding faith and a good conscience. Timothy is to hold to the faith in a good conscience. How does one do that? John Macarthur says of the conscience in light of Romans 2:14-15: “It produces feelings of wellbeing, peace, contentment, and calm when behavior is good. When behavior is evil, it activates guilt shame remorse fear, doubt, in security, and despair. Its purpose is to warn the person of the fact that he is sinning” Romans 2:14-15 (ESV) 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them To embrace conscience takes humility, training and tuning. You have to learn to react to it, in humility. To feel it and know, it’s God’s protection for you. I feel pain when I slam my hand with a hammer - I don't treat the pain and keep the behavior going, if I do, I’ll break my fingers - the pain tells me to investigate. Do I need to pay better attention, perhaps take a break and rest - conscience is the similar. Timothy was to strike the balance between right behavior and right understanding of doctrine. That duty is passed down through the church, because pastors are to lead Jesus’ own church in purity. Why, so that people would come to God in saving grace and see His truth. Paul continues to Timothy: By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith. Our faith is the hope of things not yet seen. By rejecting the clean conscience - people have wrecked their faith, they’ve clouded their understanding of purity of doctrine and distanced themselves from truth. Perhaps your conscience has snapped you to an issue that shows you’re out of alignment with God? We can tend to forget the importance of this life, the significance of this life, is alignment with God and trajectory towards Him. Timothy is told it’s also leaving behind a Church that shows right ways - do you feel that we’re doing that for future generations? Are we leaving behind a Church that knows God and His word and will lead down right paths? How about Paul in: 2 Corinthians 12:7–10 (ESV) 7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Paul saw an element left in his life BY GOD to keep him needful - are you needful? Is there enough humility in us to a) realize we’re needful and b) respond to the conscience and be willing to correct ourselves or be corrected? We forget how significant this life is. We think the significance is our job - but the significance is our duty to God, our growth in Christ, and our understanding of God’s holiness. 1 Timothy 1:19–20 (ESV) 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. By rejecting the holding of the faith and a good conscience some have made a shipwreck of their faith. Seeing that 1 Timothy is largely to Timothy about leading the Church and specifically in Ephesus which was a crazy mix of ideas and bad theology, Paul here deals with a specific issues. Remember there are people who are professing to be teachers of God’s law 1 Timothy 1:7 but had no truth. They're removed from the Church - perhaps they’re leaders perhaps members, but they’re professing bad theology and living lives not in accordance with holiness and likely uncorrectable, not repentant, not seeking after God - and so, their extradition from the Church isn’t a quick jump, it’s part of a long painful process and pains the members - it’s not joyful, it’s following after Matthew 18 and designed to bring about repentance and growth. 1 Timothy 1:7 (ESV) 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions. Matthew 18 (ESV) Timothy is to engage in warfare, in stratia, to battle against false teaching - to apply military like tactics and strategy, to out flank it to understand its weaknesses and attack to conquer and render weak. Today - we’ll participate in an ordination of John Nicholas - this too is his charge. To be sharp, to engage in warfare because there is a real enemy of souls who would love nothing more than weak churches designed to make people feel good and have no connection to a holy God, pastors MUST engage in warfare against that, that is the duty - fight the good fight, Timothy. And later, we’ll get to hear Paul’s heart for the church in 1 Corinthians: 2 Corinthians 13:11 (ESV) Final Greetings 11 Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. This is the aim of warfare, of doctrinal purity, of clean conscience and warfare waged - restoration, rejoice, and agreeance. I’ll take glory kicking and screaming over separation in comfort - and so I’m thankful for the pastors that have come before me who have fought a good fight, who’ve fought for purity of doctrine and done battle with false teachers; I’m thankful that the hound of heaven made the path clean to me through faithful men. As home groups, meet and discuss: Timothy is called to Warfare against bad doctrine and false teachers. 1. Outside of 1 Timothy 1:18-20 where does the Bible speak of the conscience? 2. What is warfare happening in the Church by pastors over doctrine today? Locally Nationally Internationally Pray Pray through the following questions: 1. Do I have the humility to respond to conscience 2. Am I willing to be corrected where my understanding of truth doesn’t align with the Bible 3. Am I faithfully committed to believing and passing down to future generations truth determined from God’s word in scripture I’ll take glory kicking and screaming over separation in comfort!