“This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith…” 1 Timothy 1:18-19
We wage this good warfare by understanding:
1. The believer has received an entrusted life/message which is sacred and has eternal implications (1 Timothy 2:4, 1 Thessalonians 1:1, Titus 1:3).
A Charge to Keep I Have by Charles Wesley (1762)
A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify,
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky.
To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill;
Oh, may it all my pow'rs engage
To do my Master's will!
Arm me with watchful care
As in Thy sight to live,
And now Thy servant, Lord, prepare
A strict account to give!
2. There is warfare in Christian living.
3. The Warfare is Good/Praiseworthy/Useful/Beneficial.
“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7-8
“Expressive individualism holds that each person has a unique core of feeling and intuition that should unfold or be expressed if individuality is to be realized.” Robert Bellah, Habits of the Heart, pp. 333-334
“(The culture of authenticity is one where) each one of us has his/her own way of realizing his/her humanity, and that it is important to find and live out one’s own, as against surrendering the conformity with a model imposed upon us from outside by society or the previous generation, or religious or political authority.” Charles Taylor, A Secular Age, p.475
“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, ‘Be gone!’” Isaiah 30:21-22
4. We fight as we hold onto the prophecies (spoken promises from God by the gathered church leaders).
5. We continue in the good fight, the good warfare as we hold to faith (sound doctrine) and a good conscience.
Conscience gives you the ability to evaluate your own thoughts and desires, to discern what is right and wrong, and to distinguish between what is good and what is best.
A good conscience is powered by the Holy Spirit.
A good conscience has boundaries and affirmations set by the work of God. (Psalm 119:11)
A good conscience is cleansed by the blood of Christ. (Hebrews 9:14)
6. We live with the awareness that through disobedience and inattention, sin or sloth, we can make shipwreck of our faith.
1. Why is the warfare that the Christian participates in praiseworthy or beneficial?
2. Regarding expressive individualism, what does this statement mean? “The modern self assumes the authority of inner feelings and sees authenticity as defined by the ability to give social expression the same.” (Carl Trueman, Strange New World, p.22)
3. How did Jesus fight the devil (Matthew 4:1-11)?
4. What is the shield of faith accomplished and what is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6)?
5. What should be the response of those who hear the truth from God (see Isaiah 30:21-22)?