Timothy 1:18-19 (NKJV)
18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck.”
Intro: Today is another special day for the equipping of the saints and giving marching orders to go forth! Last week the first service of the New Year we ordained Bobby Culpepper as a Deacon, this week Ocean View Baptist Church will License Curt Erskine who will be given the charge just like Timothy to go and “fight the good fight.”
Martin Luther once said “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” We successfully fight the noble war by living in obedience to Scripture. Then we can sing in triumph,
- And tho this world, with devils filled. Should threaten to undo us, We will not fear, for God hath willed. His truth to triumph through us: The Prince of Darkness grim, We tremble not for him; His rage we can endure, For lo, his doom is sure; One little word shall fell him.
Application: The Responsibility comes to life through Christ!
To take up the Scripture and fight the spiritual war effectively, Timothy needed to understand his responsibility beyond himself and within himself.
1. The Responsibility Beyond Himself: vs. 18
“This charge I commit (I entrust) to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare.”
Timothy was not in the battle alone. He was commissioned by Paul, and his call to the ministry was confirmed by revelation from God concerning him. His service as a soldier for Christ was set in the context of the authority and affirmation of the church. He was responsible and accountable to the church and the Head of the church for his role in the battle, and such will Curt be accountable to Ocean View.
To carry out his responsibility to the Lord and the church, Timothy had first a command to obey. Command is a term that we often hear in reference to the military. This Command comes as an order. In the book of Matthew we are given a mandate, and order to “Go!” make disciples of all the nations” This isn’t up to debate, it is an order, a mandate to be carried out obediently.
“I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality.” 1 Timothy 5:21
By the way this also means you are accountable to God! Truly your responsibility goes beyond yourself. Timothy had a duty to God in the church: “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:1-2
We talk much of freedom, success, joy, and peace, but little of duty. Yet we are duty-bound to obey the Commander and fulfill our ministries. Those things are not optional. “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” “But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
We are here today to witness the charge of Curt’s decision guided by God to accept the challenge to minister for Christ, but wait! Every servant of the Lord is duty-bound to carry out a ministry. Praise God for the examples of: Isaiah (here am I), Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Jonah, don’t forget Jonah: “Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me."
The word of the Lord continues to come to men and woman today, and we are blessed to witness this. Curt you have been given a charge, but also you have been entrusted with a commission to fulfill. Entrust refers to committing something of value to another. It is used, for example, to speak of putting a deposit in a bank. Paul had given Timothy a valuable deposit, God’s truth, which was the “treasure” he was to guard diligently. Paul himself had been entrusted with that deposit: “According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.” 1 Timothy 1:11
That same deposit of truth has been handed down through the centuries to us. We must preserve it and hand it down intact to the next generation.
Prophecies had been made concerning Timothy in connection with him having received his spiritual gift. The prophecies, then, were those that specifically and supernaturally called Timothy into the ministry. Pastors and elders are no longer called to the ministry in such a dramatic fashion. The call to ministry rises from inside through desire, rather than outside from revelation. That desire is then to be confirmed by the church. The church, by observing a man’s life and service, can confirm whether he gives evidence of being called by God to the ministry. That confirmation by the church should keep us going when the battle is fierce. Having been commissioned by God through divine revelation, or, as now, by the confirmation of God’s people, a leader can’t quit. The call of God in his life should encourage Timothy and all other preachers to fight the good fight.
The Responsibility Beyond Himself: vs. 18
2. The Responsibility Within Himself: vs. 19a
“Having faith and a good conscience.”
Paul links faith and a good conscience repeatedly in this letter. The faith is a reference to the Christian faith, the gospel, the Word of God. Keeping the faith means holding fast to that revealed truth. Timothy’s first responsibility to the Lord was to remain loyal to the objective body of revealed Scripture.
This responsibility within you must keep you focused on Christ, don’t turn from the faith. Do not waver, stay devoted to the Word of God, guard it, nourish it, preach it!
A good conscience is the result of a pure life. Timothy was to maintain a blameless conscience. Conscience is a God-given device in every human mind that reacts to that person’s behavior. It either accuses or excuses: “They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.” Romans 2:15 (NLT)
A good conscience produces feelings of well-being, peace, contentment, and calm when behavior is good. When behavior is evil, it activates guilt, shame, remorse, fear, doubt, insecurity, and despair. Its purpose is to warn the person of the fact that their sinning. What a blessing to have such a warning device: “For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.” 2 Corinthians 1:12
To all of us, your responsibility should continue to be for holiness. Holiness produces purity. Doctrinal purity must be accompanied by purity of life. There is an inseparable link between truth and morality, between right belief and right behavior. Sound doctrine and godly living are the twin towers guarding the purity of the church: “Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things; for as you do this you will insure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”
By remembering his responsibility beyond himself to the Lord and to the church to keep himself pure, Timothy would be able to fight the spiritual battle he faced. He would serve valiantly as a “good soldier of Christ Jesus.”
“Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” 1 Timothy 4:13-16
Conclusion: Curt Erskine Jesus put you in the ministry, Jesus saved you and Jesus is to be praised. Don’t forget the foundation of your faith, it is beyond you and never forget what is within.
The charge to Curt: “That you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:6
The charge to the church: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9
NEVER NEGLECT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!
Let us together Strive for excellence, Average Ain't Good
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
In : Sermon
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