Saturday, February 2, 2008

Instructions For A Young Preacher #23

1 Tim. 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

Some preachers, even after obtaining a good profession before many witnesses, have fallen down to the temptations of the world. This is always a sad thing. Sadly, part of being a preacher is having to watch as fellow preachers fall, and sometimes they never get back up. The Bible is clear as to what should be done in this case. The Bible says in Gal. 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. It will take a person who is spiritually strong to restore such a preacher as this.

The instruction here is to fight the good fight of faith. This intimates that the work of a preacher is a warfare. Paul gives instruction in other places of scripture how we should fight this fight. Notice 1 Cor 9:7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? . . . . First, a preacher must fight this battle at the charge of God himself rather than having his own ministry. I have known of men who were set on building their own ministries, and sometimes one could tell that it was his ministry and not necessarily God's ministry.

Paul also tells the Corinthians what the weapons for the battle are. See 2 Cor. 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;). These weapons are not carnal; they are not made of wood and steel. We do not handle them in our hands, wear them on our body, or shoot them from guns. Our weapons are much more powerful than this. These weapons are listed in Ephesians chapter 6. It is an armor, which we all must wear. Eph. 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Our loins (waist) are to be girt about with truth; we are to have on the breastplate of righteousness, have our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, and take the shield of faith. With this shield of faith we will be able to quench ALL the fiery darts of the wicked one. On the head is the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit is to be carried everywhere, which is the word of God.

Then, with all of this equipment, we are to pray always and watch with all perseverance. In this way we can fight the good fight of faith. Faith is the main thing, but we also need these other weapons, which are all spiritual. Sometimes we use our own weapons rather than the Lord's, and that is when we get discouraged.

The second part of this instruction is to "lay hold on eternal life." This means that we are to always have our goal, our sights, our desires on eternal life, for that is where our inheritance is, an inheritance which we have already. 1 Pet. 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

If we set our sights upon eternal life and realize the worth of it, then we will keep our eyes on it and continue to walk toward it. With our eyes on eternity, we will be less likely to find ourselves cast by the wayside and more likely to be useful in the Kingdom of God. The fight goes on, and preachers are to lead the charge, witnessing, studying, praying, preaching, and loving people. In this God is honored, and the people we meet will have great benefit from our witness. God has made the charge, now let us go forward!

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