Flight or Fight?
Fight the good fight of the faith. 1 Timothy 6:12
Text: 1 Timothy 6:11-12
God's Word is always very timely! Following a week where many religious people supported or excused the violence which happened on January 6th at our nation's Capital, our text tells Timothy to flee from the love of money, pursue holiness, and fight the good fight of faith. How is this relevant to our current events?
FLEE THE LOVE OF MONEY
Love of money ultimately is about transferring our trust from God to material possessions. John Piper writes, "The love of money is virtually the same as faith in money — belief (trust, confidence, assurance) that money will meet your needs and make you happy."
Paul tells timid Timothy in verse 11 to "Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness." These qualities are the antithesis of physical force, power, self-reliance, and self-interest.
FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH
Following Jesus is a difficult struggle where we encounter many battles with the flesh, the world, and the Devil. We don't fight a fight of faith with human weapons. Paul explains this in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.
I read the following on Twitter, from a gentleman who claims to follow Jesus, as he was defending and justifying the violence at the capital.
"This country was built on the people rising up and fighting against a tyrant and a political system that was concerned with their own status and wealth.. at the expense of those they governed." He is just one of the thousands who feel this way. While there may be some historical truth to his statement, it's not the way of Jesus. Evil means are justified by no ends. The Scriptures tell us, “Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good” (Romans 12:9).
As Jesus followers, we do not fight our battles with human weapons. Our weapon is the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God! The Word of God refers to God's written Word, the incarnate Word (Jesus), and His spoken word. For us, this means that the best offense in spiritual warfare is the truth of the Bible, the gospel of Jesus, and what the Holy Spirit reveals to us through the illumination of His Word. God's Word is how we destroy arguments and lofty opinions raised against the knowledge of God.
Where are you placing your faith? Faith is a decision of the will to act on what the mind believes is true. If we are to "take every thought captive to obey Christ," then when the mind reads something in Scripture, and in our spirit, the Holy Spirit says, "Yes, that’s true," and we say, "Yes, that’s true," and then in our will we make a choice to step out in that truth, and fight the fight of faith to obey that truth. That step is faith. There is no power in faith itself. The power is found in the object of faith: Jesus Christ.