The Good Fight of Faith

1 Timothy 6:3-5 ESV

“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.”

If we want to know what Jesus’ sound words were, we need to read the Scriptures for ourselves, and we need to read them in context, and we must not depend on other humans to tell us what they say. We must rely upon the Holy Spirit to teach us what they say. Then we will be able to test whatever teachings we hear against the teachings of Christ and of his New Testament apostles to see whether or not what we are hearing is the truth or a lie.

There are many different doctrines being taught today in the name of Jesus and in the name of truth, and although many of them may have a basis of truth to them, so many of them depart from the truth in all sorts of different directions. And this is because the Scriptures are being altered by human beings to suit their own purposes and lifestyles. So, if a Scripture does not fit with their desired lifestyle, then they just alter it to make it fit.

The ”different doctrine” which is permeating the gatherings of what is called “church” today is such an alteration of what the Scriptures really teach. For they are teaching that we can “believe” (not defined) in Jesus Christ, have our sins forgiven, and have heaven guaranteed us when we die, but that it doesn’t have to alter how we live. It doesn’t have to change who we are or what we do, for they teach all our sins are now under the blood.

But the Scriptures teach that true faith results in dying with Christ to sin and living to God and to his righteousness. They teach we must surrender our all to Jesus Christ, deny self, and daily die to sin and to self. And then we are to follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands (New Covenant). But many of these “different doctrines” are excluding the need to repent of our sins and to walk in obedience to the Lord, calling it “works salvation.”

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

1 Timothy 6:6-10 ESV

“But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”

It isn’t just those who desire to be rich who are falling into temptation and into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. Sin has no financial status. Rich and poor alike are subject to falling into sin and to wandering from the truth they know to pierce themselves with many pangs. Since the main gospel being taught today makes no demands for death to sin and walks of obedience to the Lord, many professing Christians are living in deliberate and habitual sin.

But yes, the more money you have perhaps the greater access you have to that world of evil, although I see even homeless people with smart phones, and even poor families have them, and the whole world of evil can be gotten to with a touch of a finger in the privacy of a corner of a crowded room these days on one of these small internet devices. And perhaps this is why pornography addiction among Christians, particularly Christian men, is skyrocketing – that, along with the teachings of the “cheap grace gospel.”

1 Timothy 6:11-12 (read through to v. 16) ESV

“But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

But we are not to be those who participate in such evil as this. We are to be those who keep our minds pure and who walk with integrity in honesty, moral purity, faithfulness and obedience to our Lord, by the grace of God and in his power and strength and wisdom. We are to be pursuers of righteousness, godliness, faith, love, etc. This is what we are to be going after, not after the things and the pleasures of this sinful world.

And we are to fight the good fight of faith, which means we are those who remain steadfast in faith and in commitment to purity and who make it our practice to walk in righteousness, not in sin. We do not give the devil a foothold in our lives. We do not play with sin. We resist the devil and we flee temptation to sin and we call on God and seek his counsel and direction, and we follow our Lord Jesus wherever he leads us. And we hold fast to Jesus no matter what Satan throws our way.

Awaken the Dawn

An Original Work / January 15, 2013
Based off Psalm 57 (NIV 1984)

O my God, have mercy on me!
In the Lord, my soul takes refuge.
In the shadow of Your wings, Lord,
I find shelter till the storms pass.
I cry out to my God Most High.
He fulfills His purpose for me.
He sent His Son to die for me,
So I could be saved.

I am in the midst of lions;
Men whose teeth are spears and arrows;
Whose tongues are sharp; words accusing.
They spread a net, my feet to catch.
They dug a pit, in hopes I’d fall.
O God, be exalted o’er all.
Let Your glory shine to all men,
So they may be saved.

Steadfast is my heart, O my God;
I will sing of all Your wonders.
Awake, my soul! Sing praise to God!
Early I will rise and praise Him!
I’ll praise God among the nations;
I will sing among the peoples.
God’s love reaches to the heavens,
So we may be saved.

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