"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY" The Christian's Jihad (6:12) INTRODUCTION 1. A well-known term in the religion of Islam is jihad; sometimes translated "holy war", it literally means "struggle"... a. On a personal level - inner struggle against evil within oneself b. On a social level - struggle for decency and goodness c. On a military level - struggle on the battlefield, if and when necessary 2. Christians are followers of the Prince of Peace... a. The kingdom is spiritual, and not expanded through carnal means - cf. Jn 18:36 b. Our Savior taught us: "...for all who take the sword will perish by the sword." - Mt 26:52 3. This is not to say we do not have a true struggle, our own jihad... a. We are to "fight (lit., struggle) the good fight of faith" - 1 Ti 6:12 b. We are to "lay hold (lit., seize) on eternal life" - 1Ti 6:12 [Thus we are to battle and conquer. What is involved in "The Christian's Jihad"...?] I. WE MUST FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH A. FIGHTING FOR THE FAITH... 1. We must contend for the faith a. That is, the doctrine in which we believe - Jude 3-4 cf. Ph 1:27 b. A doctrine that has been delivered once for all
- cf. Ga 1: 8-9; 2Pe 1:3 c. For false teachers have come - cf. 2Pe 2:1-3 2. We must fight with the proper weapons a. Not carnal weapons, but mighty in God nonetheless - 2Co 10: 3-4 b. With gentleness, patience, humility, correcting those in the wrong - 2Ti 2:24-26 -- With the meekness and gentleness of Christ, we are to "cast down arguments" and bring "every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" - 2Co 10:1-5 B. FIGHTING FOR OUR FAITH... 1. We must contend for our faith a. That is, our personal trust and conviction - e.g., 1Ti 4:12 b. That which we must pursue in our spiritual development - 1Ti 6:11; cf. 1Pe 2:11 c. For it is possible to develop an evil heart of unbelief - He 3:12 2. Weapons to use in this struggle a. Frequent exhortation - He 3:13; cf. He 10:24-25 b. The Word of God - Ro 10:17; Jn 20:30-31 -- We must put on the whole armor of God in our struggle - Ep 6: 10-17 [What is the ultimate goal of "The Christian's Jihad"? In the words of our text...] II. WE MUST LAY HOLD OF ETERNAL LIFE A. LAYING HOLD OF THE FUTURE HOPE... 1. Paul likely has reference to that which is yet to be realized a. That which is promised by God - Tit 1:2 b. That which is our inheritance - Tit 3:7 c. That which will be received at the Judgment - Mt 25:46 2. To lay hold (seize) this hope, there are things we must do a. Be set free from sin, become slaves to God, produce holiness - Ro 6:22-23 b. Do good, be willing to share - 1Ti 6:17-19 -- Are we patiently doing good, seeking glory, honor and immortality? - cf. Ro 2:7 B. LAYING HOLD OF THE PRESENT POSSESSION... 1. John uses the phrase "eternal life" as a blessing enjoyed in this life a. God has given us eternal life, it is life in His Son - 1Jn 5:11-12 b. John writes that we might know we have this life - 1Jn 5:13 c. This life involves a knowledge of the Father and the Son - Jn 17:2-3; 1Jn 5:20 2. To lay hold (seize) this abundant life (Jn 10:10), there are things we must do a. Walk in the light - 1Jn 1:5-7 b. Keep the commandments of the Lord - 1Jn 2:3-6 c. Love the brethren - 1Jn 3:14-15 d. Abide in the doctrine of Christ, that you might enjoy fellowship with both the Father and the Son- 2Jn 9 -- Are we sacrificing self for Christ's sake, that we might enjoy blessings in this life and the one to come? - cf. Mk 10:28-30 CONCLUSION 1. Note what Paul wrote about his "struggle" as he came to the end of his life... - 2Ti 4:7 a. "I have fought the good fight" b. "I have kept the faith" 2. Note also what he looked forward to receiving on the Judgment Day - 2Ti 4:8 a. The crown of righteousness b. Given to him by the Lord, the righteous Judge If we desire to receive the same, then let us heed his admonition given to Timothy: "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." - 1Ti 6:12 Have you made the good confession (Ro 10:9-10)? Have you been clothed with Christ in baptism (Ga 3:27)? Are you engaged in "The Christian's Jihad"...?