Monday, January 25, 2021

Waging The Worthy War 1 Timothy #1 Counted Faithful - 1 Tim 1:3-20

Waging The Worthy War 1 Timothy #1
Counted Faithful

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 Text 1Timothy 1:3-20

Key verse 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.


We starting a short series on the Book of 1 Timothy and in the first chapter of Paul’s letter to his son in the faith, the theme is faithfulness. I want to introduce that theme with this challenge.

Almost as Good as your Dog.

Consider this...If you can start the day without caffeine, If you can get going without coffee or pills, If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches & pains, If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles, If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it, If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time, If you can overlook it when those you love take it out on you, when though no fault of your own, something goes wrong, If you can take criticism and blame without resentment, If you can ignore a friends limited education and never correct him/her, If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend, If you can face the world without lies and deceit, If you can conquer tension without medical help, If you can relax without liquor, If you can sleep without the aid of drugs, If you can honestly say that deep in your heart you have no prejudice against creed, color, religion, or politics, Then, my friend, You are will be ALMOST as good as your dog.

Now with that great example to inspire us, let’s go to 1 Timothy 1 as Paul inspires and charges Timothy to be “Counted Faithful.”

Date. The first letter to Timothy and the letter to Titus were written during the period of travel and missionary work between Paul's two Roman imprisonments, somewhere between A.D. 61 and 63.

Here is the probable order of Paul’s epistles.

1 Thessalonians 49-53 AD
2 Thessalonians
Galatians             56 AD

1 Corinthians   
2 Corinthians   
Romans   58 AD

Philemon   62 AD Prison Epistles

1 Timothy 64 AD Pastoral Epistles
2 Timothy 66 AD Paul’s Final Epistle before his execution in 66 or 67 AD in Rome

Purpose of the Book: Paul gives the charge to Timothy and Titus and with them all the churches they were overseeing and all the churches that have sprung from those earliest plants including our today.


1 Timothy 1:1-2

1  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; 2  Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.


Faithful in Truth  - 1 Timothy 1: 3-11

As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

Charge For The Truth

The Orders of the Charge vs 3

Charge means "to give strict orders from a superior officer."  The word is also translated commandment or command in other places, Paul used this word eight times in his two letters to Timothy (1 Tim. 1:3, 5, 18; 4:11; 5:7; 6:13, 17; 2 Tim. 4:1). It was not an accident that he chose this word. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul was telling Timothy, “Yes, you the pastor of the church but you are also a soldier of the Lord, under orders from your captain and King.”

Timothy was charged and was himself to charge those in the church he was pastoring with these 2 specific actions.

Teach No Other Doctrine that the truth that Paul had taught to Timothy, the truth that Paul had received from his own time with the Lord and through the study of God’s Word.

Do Not Heed Fables (myths) and genealogies. There was a tendency among the new Christians to get caught up in peripheral things that led away from the true purpose of their calling and salvation.

The Goal of the Charge

Paul then told Timothy here is the end, the goal of the charge, in vs. 5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.

Paul clearly cuts through the unnecessary, unprofitable and unfruitful by products of the fables and genealogies and poits to the ultimate goal of a Christian soldier.

The goal of the Christian soldier is to have three true things. First is charity, agape love our of a true heart. Second is a good conscience and third is genuine faith. A true heart, a true mind and a true faith.

The Truth of the Law

Paul tells Timothy that he must deal with those on the churches who have turned from the true purpose of the Christian life, turned from love, good lives and true faith to “vain jangling.” (Do you need the Greek on that? I didn’t think so.” I did look at some other translations on this word. There was vain discussion, discourse, fruitless discussion. But none of those really hit the spot quite like vain jangling. Like somebody rattling and shaking their car keys, its just a worthless, irritating noise. Yeah I like the word jangling.)

Paul says the point at which these vain janglers trip into their vain jangling is at the point of the law. He says they want to be teacher of the law but they don’t understand what they say or where they make their claims. And what Paul tells to Timothy about the law needs to be emphasized even more today because we still have a lot of vain janglers in our pulpits and pews.

And here is the point about the Law that tripped up those in Paul’s day and is still tripping up people in this day. It is right here in vss 8-9 8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, 1 Timothy 1:8-9

To make sure his point is clear Paul list the people that the Law was created by God to deal with. Paul lists fourteen kinds of people that the law must deal with, “the lawless the disobedient, the ungodly, sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for homosexuals, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine. 1 Timothy 1:9-10

Paul says this is the law being used lawfully and that is how it works according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God. The law convicts, condemns, and kills but the glorious Gospel saves, sanctifies and sends to glory. You can’t understand why the Gospel is good news until the law shows you how bad the news for you is. The law and the Gospel are intricately tied together but they must never be mixed or else both will lose their purpose and power.

Warrren Wiersbe said this, “The Law is not Gospel, but the Gospel is not lawless”  
Bible Exposition Commentary - Be Faithful (1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon).

The Charge To Us

Timothy’s charge is our charge. As he was a Soldier of the Lord so also are we and our marching order are the same,

Teach No Other Doctrine. You need to know the truth as it is given to us from the hand of God, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the confirmation of the Word. Anything else and especially anyone else is false and dangerous.

Don’t Get Sidetracked with Fables or Meaningless Details. Keep the main thing the main thing do it as you share God’s word, teach, preach or live. The main thing is not numerology, genealogies, or the latest religious goofyology. The main thing is the truth of the Gospel.

Understand the Law. One of the most dangerous sidetracks Christians can get detoured to is the misuse of the law. We don’t live our Christian life by the law, we live our life by the a true love, a true mind and a true faith. The Christian soldier isn’t under the direction of the law, else all they can do is condemn. The Christian soldier is under the direction of God’s grace, seen in the power of the Savior love. Let the law do what only it can do, but let grace do what only grace can do. Don’t mix the two or you’ll never be the soldier God has called. Romans 11:6  And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

And most important know that everything should be according to the Glorious Gospel of God. Everything we do is subordinate to the Glorious Gospel of God, everything.

Illustration: What Must We Do?

In John 6:27 The crowd, the mob came seeking Jesus because He had fed them the day before and Jesus has some words for them.

27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. 28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. John 6:27-29

When they asked Jesus, “What must we do to work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (John 6:29) Of all the things that Jesus could have said would be “the works” of God, he chose only one. Believe on me.

Transition: Paul continues in his charge to Timothy in vs.12 after charging him to be faithful In the Gospel, he then speaks to Timothy about faithfulness in ministry.

 Faithful in the Ministry  - 1 Timothy 1:12-17

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;  Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.  Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Charge For Service

Paul gives Timothy an example of faithfulness in the ministry using himself as the example. This would come naturally to Paul’s mind because he never forgot nor diminished his experience that day on the Damascus Road when he saw the light of Jesus Christ.

His words to Timothy as he recall what Jesus has done are filled with awe, reverence and thanksgiving.

He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; I was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and I hurt people: but I obtained mercy. The grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. He tells Timothy pay attention to this amazing truth, This is a faithful saying, and everyone should believe it, Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 1 Timothy 1:12-15

Can’t you still hear after 2 thousand years the wonder of Paul saying, Isn’t God’s Grace amazing? He saved a wretch like me!”

In 1 Corinthians 15:10  Paul says that Grace was the reason for everything he did, He just could never get over it. “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

Paul would suffer beatings, imprisonment, stonings and shipwrecks and much more, all for the cause of Christ because he could never forget or get accept as ordinary the love, mercy and grace of God.

He is so enraptured at this point in his letter that Paul in vs 17  breaks into and writes a song, a hymn of praise, a doxology, that captures his joy and wonder at being saved and called to serve Jesus Christ.

Paul’s Doxology of Praise - 1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Faithful Following

Why do we remain faithful in our service to the Lord? Why are some of you still here, still giving, still praying, still sharing after 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 even 60 or more years? Isn’t it for the same reason that Paul gave in his testimony?

Paul would always be faithful and he knew that Timothy would be faithful in their service to God because grace was overwhelmingly amazing and it would overwhelm every obstacle and every sorrow so that as we leave this world we like Paul will be singing praises to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, Honor and glory for ever. Amen!

I can't walk away. I can’t quit though there are times I wish I could have, but I can’t. I just can’t. Not when I consider what I would have been if not for God’s grace. When I think about my what my sin would have done to me, if God had not gotten a hold of me.

When I think of all He has blessed me with in this life as part of His love and mercy.  I see LeeOra, who did not marry a preacher, but God have grace, (lots of grace, over and over and over grace) I think of my children who could have walked away from the restrains and frustrations of being a pastor’s kids. I think of the churches I’ve pastored, the people who have become like family. I think of this wonderful church and how God at this late stage in a 40 year ministry has blessed me with all of you. I’m overwhelmed by these earthly blessings and I haven’t even begun to experience the heavenly ones yet to come.  I don’t deserve anything from God’s hand, yet he bestows blessing on top of blessing.

When I’m tired and wore out, when I grow disappointed in people or the ministry, I think of God’s grace and mercy and like Paul, I just can’t get over it.  I can’t quit because I’m still in awe of the glorious Gospel of God and the amazing grace I’ve found.

Remember David’s words of awe about God’s caring for him in Psalms 8 1 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. …3  When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4  What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5  For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. … 9  O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

Illustration:  Livingstone thinks it no sacrifice.

“People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of the great debt owing to our God, which we can never repay? Is that a sacrifice which brings its own reward of healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter?

 “Away with such a word, such a view, and such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering or danger now and then, with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause and cause the spirit to waver and sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall hereafter be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice. Of this we ought not to talk when we remember the great sacrifice which He made who left His Father’s throne on high to give Himself for us.”

Transition: After charging Timothy by word and example to be faithful in the Truth and faithful in the Ministry, Paul give the next charge in this trinity of Faithfulness. Timothy be faithful in the War.


Faithful in Warfare - 1 Timothy 1:17-20

18  This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19  Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20  Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Charge For War

Paul gets very personal and very emphatic, “this charger I commit to you, my son, Timothy. It is the charge that will define all of Paul’s letter to Timothy and Paul emphasizes it by reminding Timothy of the prophecies and expectations that have been spoken about him. Paul says by these things, war a good warfare. Later in his second letter paul will say of himself, “I have fought a good fight.” Here he is laying that charge to Timothy, “My son in the faith, fight the good fight, wage the worthy war.”

And Paul tells his son in the faith, that waging that worthy war must be done by holding faith and a good conscience. The repeats the charge that Paul began the letter with and it also looks forward to that final letter of Paul that would also be written to Timothy. At the end of his life and looking forward only to death and heaven as his reward Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4:7  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing

The war that Timothy was fighting as a soldier of The Lord was worthy of his service and because it was a worthy cause it must be fought in a worthy manner by keeping the fait and a good conscience. This is how Paul began and it would be how Paul and Timothy would end. Holding on to the truth, the doctrine of THE faith of Jesus Christ and holding on to their own conscience in following that faith. They knew the truth and they followed the truth, the learned the truth and they lived the truth. They held on to the faith and to their conscience.               

 Our Final Charge

And we come to our final charge, not just in the sense of our message but in the sense of the ultimate command of being a Christian and a soldier in God’s Army. Wage a worthy war, don’t be like others, like Hymenaeus and Alexander, who had put away faith and were shipwrecked in their conscience. Our charge, our command is to hold the faith, the truth, the doctrine of Jesus Christ and the Gospel like an anchor for our souls and then set our course to live our lives with a clear conscience that we talked the talked and walked the walk, that we knew the truth and that we lived the truth. This is our charge as it was Timothy’s as it is every child of God who has heard that glorious Gospel of Grace. Make this commitment with Paul, Timothy and all those who have gone before us. Fight the Good fight, wage the worthy war until the Lord calls us home. Be faithful and serve with a good conscience as a true and faithful soldier of God.


Conclusion: "I Am A Soldier"


I am a soldier.

I am a soldier in the army of my God;

The Lord Jesus Christ is my commanding Officer. The Holy Bible is my code of conduct. Faith, prayer and the Word are my weapons of warfare. I have been taught by the Holy Spirit, trained by experience, tried by adversity and tested by fire.

I am a volunteer in this army, and I have enlisted for eternity.

I will either retire from this army at the rapture or die in this army; but I will not get out, sell out, be talked out or pushed out. I am faithful, reliable and dependable.

If my God needs me, I am there. If He needs me in Sunday School to teach children, work with youth, help with adults or just sit and learn. He can use me, because I am there.

If He needs me in church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday, revival or special services, I am there. I am there to preach, teach, sing, play, pray, work or worship. God can use me because I am there.

I am a Soldier. I am not a baby. I do not need to be pampered, petted, primed up, pumped up, picked up or pepped up. I am a Soldier. no one has to call me, remind me, write me, visit me, entice me or lure me.

I am a Soldier. I am not a wimp. I am in place saluting my King, obeying His orders, praising His name and serving in His Kingdom. No one has to send me flowers, gifts, food, cards, candy or give me handouts.

I am a soldier. I do not need to be cuddled, cradled, cared for or catered to. I am a Soldier, and I am committed. I cannot have my feelings hurt badly enough to turn me around. I cannot be discouraged enough to turn me aside. I cannot lose enough to cause me to quit.

I am a Soldier, I am committed, and I will win.My God will supply all my needs. I am more than a conqueror; I will always triumph. I can do all things through Christ.

 Devils cannot defeat me. People cannot disillusion me. Weather cannot weary me. Sickness cannot stop me. Battles cannot beat me. Money cannot buy me. Governments cannot silence me, and Hell cannot handle me.

 I am a soldier. I am committed. Even death cannot destroy me. When my commander calls me from this battlefield, He will promote me and then bring me back to rule this world with Him.

 I am a Soldier in the army of my God, and I am marching, claiming victory. I will not give up. I will not turn around. I am a soldier marching Heaven bound.

 I Am A Soldier. Will you serve with me?

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