"What and Who Is Important"

Preached by on October 4, 2015
— From the series,

As we close out our study of 1 Timothy, we take a look at the final words of this letter. It is a calling by Paul for Timothy to remain focused on what and who is important.

SOUND QUALITY IS POOR.  WE ARE WORKING TO FIX THIS FOR FUTURE SERMONS.

Who and What is Important?

(1 Tim. 6:11-16)

  Intro: A.  One of my favorite promises of Jesus is found in John 10.  Jesus says, “I came that they (his sheep) may have life and have it abundantly.”  I love the idea of an abundant life.  Earlier in the Gospel of John, Jesus meets a woman of Samaria in the heat of the sun by a well.  There he offers her “living water that will spring up to eternal life.” B.  There is so much greatness that is offered to us as Christians.  We often don’t hold on to those promises and instead allow the world to drag us down, seek to defeat us and keep us in the bondage of sin.  But Jesus came to rescue me from all of that.  Jesus came so that I may have an abundant life, a life that springs up to eternal life. C.  Do you have that type of life?  Do you live a life that is filled with the joy of the Lord, a peace that surpasses understanding, contentment in times of trial and love that makes your relationships deep?  I want you to know you can have all of that.  It is yours as God’s gift in this life. D.  But there are conditions in order to take hold of that gift.  God is not just zapping people with happy pills and fixing every problem that comes our way because of our own sinful actions.  The Bible gives us the “how to” answer to live the abundant life.  As we close out this letter from Paul to Timothy we are going to see Paul’s answer as to what Timothy needs to do to possess the greatest life we can possess.   I.  Flee A.  Do you want to have this abundant life?  Then you need to know what and who is important? B.  Our text opened with these words, “But as for you, O man of God, FLEE these things.”  Paul had just told Timothy about how some people search for gain and use religion as a means for financial wealth.  Paul wrote that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil and the some people have wandered away due to the drive to have more. C.  So this closing begins with this warning.  FLEE.  There times when you need to run away from evil.  Paul calls Timothy one of greatest descriptive names given:  Man of God.  What sets you apart from the rest of the world?  What makes you different?  The answer is that you are men and women of God.  The difference is that you know the truth.  Listen to 1 John 2:15-17. D.  Flee from the sin that so easily entangles.  But running away is only step one of the abundant life.  You need to know what to follow.  Keep reading in our text.   II.  Follow A.  Verse 11b.  These five qualities help to define what a man or woman of God pursues or follows.  It is great to run away from evil, but we need to fill our lives with something.  Getting rid of evil and not filling up with godliness will leave you empty and vulnerable.  One person said, “Separation without positive growth becomes isolation.”  Follow, pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, live, steadfastness, gentleness.  When you put those attributes on and shed the greed of this life you will experience the well spring of living water. B.  When you look at this list of things to follow, to pursue, to take up does it remind you of another list?  Paul would tell the churches in Galatia that the works of the flesh are evident, but so also is the fruit of the Spirit.  When a person follows Christ they exude the very spirit of Christ.  They produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  What you pursuing in your walk?  What you following? What are you fighting?   III. Fight A.  Here is the third step we need to take.  “Fight the good fight of faith.”  The idea here is to keep on fighting to the end.  To never give up.  Near the end of Paul’s life he wrote a second letter to Timothy.  In that letter he said (2 Tim. 4:6-8).  Paul “fought the good fight.” B.  There is something I need to remember.  You are not my enemy.  My enemy is not flesh and blood.  That might be the avenue my enemy uses, but my enemy is not people.  My enemy is sin, evil and the powers of Satan.  I have to fight the good fight.  To never let my faith end. C.  I will admit that it is not always easy to be a Christian.  But this abundant life calls me to action.  I want to possess the great and precious promises of God.  I want to build my house upon the rock of Christ.  But I am called to fight against sin in order to take hold of that for which Christ has taken hold of me.  Flee, follow, fight, but there is one more teaching I want to draw from this passage.  All of these things I have mentioned are what’s important, but the what is based upon the who.   IV.  Be Faithful to Jesus A.  I will share this story next Sunday morning when hopefully we have some friends here with us in worship.  But Paul refers back to Jesus standing in Pilate’s hall.  There he was asked if he was a king.  Jesus told Pilate his kingdom was not of this world.  Jesus claimed kingship.  He would be crucified with the words above his head “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”  They didn’t understand kingship. B.  Listen again to our text.  Verses 13-16.  Who is important?  Jesus.  Who is King of kings and Lord of lords?  Jesus.  Who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light?  Jesus. C.  To him be honor and eternal domination!  Amen!  The abundant life, the living water, the peace that surpasses understanding all come from Jesus.  I flee evil, I follow righteousness, and fight the good and I will be faithful to Jesus – my lord and my God.   Conclusion: A.  It is reported that people who called themselves Christians were targeted in that Oregon community college shooting.  Would I die for my faith?  Would I take my stand if I thought it would cost my life?  Would I be faithful to Jesus? B.  I say that I would, but I have never been put in that situation.  There have been countless men and women who have and did die.  They understood to fleeing evil, following good, fighting the good fight.  They understood it because they knew who was important – Jesus. C.  When you become a Christian, the Bible teaches that we die to self in order to be born again as a child of God.  Are you willing to die in order that you might live?  When you can answer that question with a “yes” then you will know what and who is important in order to have an abundant life.