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“Strong Faith in the Strong Salvation of Jesus” (1 Timothy 1:18-2:7)

First Baptist Church https://fbcbartow.org

Do you ever get sidetracked when you’re talking about something? You all know that happens to me often when I’m preaching. My wife and I often have a hard time finishing a conversation because we hear, “Mom, mom, mom, dad, dad, mom, dad, dad, mom.” We get sidetracked.

Well, Paul started giving instructions to Timothy in last week’s passage, but he got sidetracked and provided us with a beautiful picture of the power of the gospel to save sinners.

There’s nothing wrong with getting sidetracked as long as you can bring it back, right? Well, today, Paul brings it back to some of the instruction that he was giving Timothy.

Our sermon today is from 1 Timothy 1:18-2:7. This message is entitled “Strong Faith in the Strong Salvation of Jesus.”

Let’s read the passage and then go from there. Before we read it, let’s go to the Lord in prayer and ask for His blessings.


Ok, let’s read 1 Timothy 1:18-2:7.

18 Timothy, my son, I am giving you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies previously made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the good fight, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and have shipwrecked their faith. 20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered to Satan, so that they may be taught not to blaspheme.

2:1 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time.

7 For this I was appointed a herald, an apostle (I am telling the truth; I am not lying), and a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Ok, let’s learn what God might have for us in these verses. We find in this passage four spiritual actions that Paul is charging Timothy with doing, and leading others to do. These actions are certainly charges that we should accept as our own responsibility as well. So, let’s learn them and embrace them as our own.

First, . . .

‌I. We must fight for faithfulness.

Paul pointed out to Timothy that God had called him to this role of leading churches. In fact, although we don’t know details, we learn that it was even prophesied that Timothy would be called to this ministry.

Therefore, Paul tells Timothy in verse 18 to “fight the good fight.”

Timothy must not lose heart, he must not give up, and he not be distracted; he must not be overcome by fear, discouragement, or apathy.

Timothy must continue to fight for faithfulness.

Church, we, too, must fight for faithfulness.

You may get discouraged. You may get tired. You get distracted. You may become tempted. You may get hurt. You may be fearful.

Listen: fight the good fight! Fight to keep reading God’s Word. Fight to keep praying. Fight to keep sharing the message of Jesus. Fight to keep forgiving others. Fight to not gossip. Fight to not complain. Fight to not return to sin. Fight to have faith. Fight to trust God. Fight to keep a good conscience. Fight to be generous. Fight to be a part of the church. Fight to be a part of fellowship with other Christians. Fight to be a disciple. Fight the good fight!

When we fight the good fight, we can look forward to the moment when Jesus will say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant . . . Share your master’s joy.” (Matthew 25:23).

We hear about two people in verses 19 and 20 who did not fight the good fight. Hymenaeus and Alexander were two who did not have faith and a good conscience.

Paul says that he delivered them to Satan, probably indicating that he followed a pattern similar to Matthew 18. Matthew 18 teaches that if someone continually refuses to repent, you put them out of the church, indicating that they do not appear to be legitimate followers of Jesus, all the while praying that they repent and come back to Jesus and His church.

Church, let us resolve not to be like Hymenaeus and Alexander. Let us resolve not to give up any ground to evil or to sin. Let us fight the good fight.

We must fight for faithfulness.

Second, . . .

‌II. We must pray for people.

Pay attention to the very clear instruction of chapter 2, verse 1. Paul says, “I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone.”

That’s pretty clear, right? We are to pray for everyone!

Most experts believe that when Paul says petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings, he is simply giving examples of several different ways that we can pray for others.

It’s almost as if Paul is saying, “Pray for others as much as you can, in as many ways as you can.”

Paul then transitions to get specific for whom we can pray. Although he just said to pray for everyone, here he specifies that we are to pray for kings and those in authority.

Now, we don’t have kings in our country, but we certainly do have those in authority.

Do you pray for those in authority? What if you didn’t vote for them; do you still pray for them?

Paul gives the motivation that we are to pray for these authorities. He says, “ . . . so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”

I believe that Paul means at least two things when he says this.

First of all, I believe that Paul wants us to pray for those in authority so that there might be peace and prosperity in the land, so that all can live a quiet and tranquil life.

When there is chaos and calamity in our land, we do not have peace. So, we should pray that our authorities can lead us in peace.

However, I also believe that Paul means for us to honor and respect our authorities by praying for them.

Don’t forget, Paul said in Romans 13:1 “Let everyone submit to the governing authorities, since there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God.”

Paul said in Titus 3:1 “Remind them to submit to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work.”

Paul said in Romans 12:18 “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

So, this idea of us honoring authorities and others, by praying for them, and living at peace ourselves, is a command that Paul has submitted to his readers multiple times.

Look at verse 3. How does God feel when we pray for others? Paul says, “This is good, and it pleases God our Savior.” Well, that’s good enough for me.

Church, let’s seek to please God our Savior. Let’s pray for people.

Finally, . . .

‌III. We must speak for salvation.

Let’s finish out the passage. Let’s read 3-7.

3 This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time.

7 For this I was appointed a herald, an apostle (I am telling the truth; I am not lying), and a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Listen again to the salvation language in this passage:

Paul says in verse 3 that God is our Savior.

He says in verse 4 that God wants everyone to be saved.

He speaks of Jesus being our mediator in verse 5.

He speaks of Jesus being our ransom in verse 6.

Paul wants to make it very clear that God has provided salvation and that salvation is found in Jesus!

In fact, Paul says in verse 7 that he “was appointed a herald” to tell people about this message.

A herald is someone who seeks to get the attention of people in order to announce a special message (show picture).

Sometimes, at the Wednesday fellowship meal, I will get everyone’s attention and relay an important message. I’ll say, “Seconds!”

Paul wants to announce to everyone the message of salvation in Jesus. Paul is speaking for salvation.

Church, God’s Word constantly reminds us to speak the salvation message. We must also speak for salvation. We must be heralds for the gospel.

I was at a conference this week, and the security guard struck up a conversation with me (I think he thought I worked at the church where the conference was held). I was able to talk to him about baptism, but the most important question I asked him was, “Are you a follower of Jesus?”

The most important thing for anyone to hear is how they can know and follow Jesus!

The gospel must be proclaimed. We must tell people that Jesus really lived, He really died, He really was buried, He really rose to new life, He really ascended to Heaven, and He really is coming back one day.

Church, fight for faithfulness, pray for people, and speak for salvation.

Let this bottom line summarize Paul’s instruction to Timothy in this passage.

‌Bottom Line: The salvation of Jesus must be our focus.

Jesus saved us, and He wants to work through us to bring salvation to others.

That reality must be our focus. We must fight for that, we must pray for that, and we must speak for that.

Everything else in our lives and everything else in our church should take second place to the salvation offered through Jesus.

Challenge yourself this week in the following ways:

‌Weekly Challenge #1 – Commit to pray for people.

That’s fairly simple to do. Right something down on a slip of paper, and put it on your mirror or your refrigerator. Download an app to help you remember.

Pray for your friends, your family, your church, your pastors, your coworkers, your teachers, your neighbors, our city authorities, our county authorities, our state authorities, our national authorities, and authorities in other countries; Jesus even said to pray for our enemies.

Commit this week to pray for people.

‌Weekly Challenge #2 – Commit to fight for faithfulness.

Did you know that it’s not easy to live the life of a Christian? Do you know why that is? Because as we follow Jesus, we’re still looking backward toward what we’ve left behind.

Sometimes, when I’m trying to get my kids to really understand what I’m saying, I’ll tell them, “Look at me.” Then, they get distracted, and I’ll stop talking and say, “Look at me again.” I need them to focus on me because I love them, and what I want them to know is better than what is distracting them.

Listen, church: what Jesus has for you is so much better than the distractions of this world.

Fight for faithfulness. Fight to turn your eyes upon Jesus, and the things of this world will become less attractive and less distracting.

Don’t be distracted by sin, don’t be distracted by stuff, don’t be distracted by selfishness. Fight for faithfulness! Fight the good fight! Fight to be like Jesus!

(Gospel presentation)

(closing prayer)

Response Song – Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

(Announcements – Richard)

(Giving emphasis)


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