Faithlife Sermons

Our Weapons Are Not Carnal

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings

Opening Scripture

1 Timothy 2:1–7 NKJV
1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, 7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

We have a leadership issue

It is evident that we have a leadership problem in America. When I say that folk will immediately think of the President of the United States. But our leadership issue goes much further than that. This issue runs throughout our earthly government leadership structure and includes local, city, and state leadership. Let’s face it, Minneapolis, for example, had issues long before George Floyd was murdered. Now they are looking to make radical changes to how they run the city. And the issue runs across political parties. There was enough control over the years across political parties to implement changes needed to ensure fair treatment of all people. The fact that people have to protest in order to get leadership to do what is right tells us that leadership is an issue. The problem with bad leadership is that when changes happen with the same leadership in place leading the same way they did before, you have the same problem. Simply because leadership responds with new programs and changes to how their cities operate doesn’t mean that there will be any lasting change. Leadership must change.
Paul in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 is urging that supplication, prayer, intersessions, and giving thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority. This is so that we can live quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness (holiness) and reverence (dignity/respect). A typical understanding of 1 Tim 2:1-2 is that we pray for leadership so that they can do right by shaping society in a way that allows us to live peaceable in godliness and reverence. What the Holy Spirit revealed to me last night is that we pray so that we can be free to live this way. Meaning, because of our prayers there is a greater reliance on God and a release worry, anxiety, frustration, giving opportunity for the Holy Spirit to provide comfort. And we al able to do this because we know that He has the power and the authority to effect change and will keep and protect us until such time that He decides to eradicate sin and oppression. And we rest in that, allowing us to live peaceably in all holiness and reverence. This revelation is more in line with what Paul was saying given the dynamics of that day, given that the Christians of that day had no power to change the laws of the land as we do today.
This is not to say that we do not play a part in earthly government but we understand that we are not in control and must be careful not to jump ahead of God to try to make things happen in our own strength outside of his timing and leadership.

Imagine the rich unfeignedly imploring God’s blessing upon the poor—and where could be found room for the exercise of injustice and oppression? Imagine the poor praying for the rich—and where would be found room for the exercise of envy, of violence, of revenge, and of robbery? Imagine the rich praying for the rich—and where would be room for the display of rivalry, contention, and selfish ambition? Imagine the poor praying for the poor—how much kindness and mutual affection would be immediately drawn out into active operation! Imagine those in authority imploring God for a blessing on every measure they undertake, and upon all their national policy—and where would be any scope for individual and selfish aggrandizement? where would be any disunion of the interests of the ruler and the ruled?

Our weapons are not carnal

2 Corinthians 10:1–6 NKJV
1 Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. 2 But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
Now Paul writes this letter to the Church of Corinth, about 6-7 years prior to his letter to Timothy and we see this common theme. That the power and will of God far exceeds our ability or desire to do anything good in this earth. And he makes it clear that when war is best won in the spirit, because what we experience in the earth is a result of what’s happening in the spirit. In about 64 AD, 7-8 years after Pauls letter to the Church of Corinth and 1-2 years after his letter to Timothy, Christian, already under persecution, are blamed for the great fire of Rome and this was Nero’s punishment for those that were caught: “And in their deaths they were also made the subjects of sport; for they were covered with the hides of wild beasts and worried to death by dogs, or nailed to crosses, or set fire to, and, when day declined, burned to serve for nocturnal lights. Nero offered his own gardens for that spectacle..” Easton, M. G. (1893). In Easton’s Bible dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers.”
This is the persecution that Christians had to endure during the life and ministry of Pauls and even after. And all that Christian had was prayer because, again, they had no power to overthrow the rulers of that day or effect change in the law that they were subject to. And although Paul’s words to Timothy and the Church of Corinth were written years before this incident, Paul would have said the same thing…Pray and fight in the spirit.

First things first

Paul made something very clear in his opening letter to Timothy in 1Timothy 1:1. He made it clear that his call was a commandment of God. Sound similar to Jesus said in John 12:49–50.
When I was an airplane pilot in training I experienced something that many pilots in training experience. When we plot our course our intent is to fly that course, making any necessary adjustments along the way with the intent to get to our destination. When flying under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) we regularly scan our surroundings not just to see the scenery but to be aware of our surroundings. When looking left there can be a tendency to steer left by mistake, taking you off track. This also happens to people when driving cars. This is what can happen in your life when things happen. You look too long and shift your focus causing you to alter your course. We must keep our eyes on the prize and fight the good fight of faith. Our top priority is to make disciples, that’s our commission from Christ. Everything else is secondary. While we should fight for justice and peace by participating in actions that, that fight should not replace our commission to make disciples. Justice for all means nothing if they have no hope in Christ. Living a great life here means nothing if eternity is to be spent separated from God.


In closing it is imperative that we:
Fill your life with prayer, praying for all men and receiving instruction from heaven.
Only do and say what God leads you to do and say, and do it with love. Anything else is eternally fruitless. Only the things that we do for Christ shall last.
Be unapologetic in your calling and commission. Never feel obligated to live up to the demands of others.
Related Media
Related Sermons