Warriors: Training & Sanctification

1Timothy 4:7-8
The driver in 1Timothy 4 is this contrast and conflict between falling away from the faith (4:1) and ensuring the salvation of both Timothy and those who hear him (4:16). In between Paul gives the practical advice that Timothy and we need to avoid the former and grab hold of the latter. These are the areas where Timothy’s training lay, those practices and ideas where he needs to focus in order to continue to grow, and through his behavior, actually become an example to those who believe (4:12).

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Warriors: Training & Time

1Timothy 4:7-8
A true warrior can be distinguished from a false warrior in the passing of time. If, for example, I’m exercising and dieting for the purpose of looking fit for my daughter’s wedding, I’m beginning a routine with a short term “finish line”. But since that’s my goal, by the time the reception starts, I’m going to abandon that routine. On the other hand, if my life is one of being a good steward of this body, I live a life which includes daily exercise and eating healthy foods. That lifestyle can be observed over time – throughout my entire life. Clearly there’s a difference between setting a goal of looking fit and living a healthy life which naturally results in being fit.

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Warriors: Training & Worship

1Timothy 4:7-8
Paul tells Timothy that his goal needs to be godliness, which is profitable for all things because it holds promise for both the present life and for the life to come. Of course, the million-dollar question is just what does ‘godliness’ look like? Across the centuries, godliness or piety, has taken on many forms, both good and bad. What looks like godliness to one generation doesn’t to another. The godliness that Jesus exhibited as He walked this earth certainly didn’t look like ‘godliness’ to the Pharisees who observed Him. The behavior and attitudes of Paul as he traveled among the Gentiles didn’t look like godliness to the Jews or the early church. Catholics and Protestants praising God as they slaughtered each other in the wars of the 16th and 17th centuries certainly don’t look like ‘godliness’ to us today. There are ‘godly’ behaviors within the church today that can make me cringe and run screaming the other way. We can and do take and make ‘godliness’ what we want it to look like. If we want to have a clear goal and the hope of success in our training to godliness, the first step we must take is get some kind of idea of just what Father’s Definition of godliness is.

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Warriors: Attitude – Adventures in Brainwashing

Romans 8:31-39
I can read and comprehend every word that is recorded in Romans 8:31-39, but that doesn’t mean it brings me a winning attitude in every situation I face. But if the victory of the gospel does not manifest itself in my daily life, what is the point anyway? Why do I keep believing if nothing ever changes? The lies of defeat and failure creep into my brain so quickly, and I am tempted to become bitter. In order to acquire and maintain a truly Christian outlook on life, I find that I have to brainwash myself daily. This process helps me to maintain the proper mental focus needed to endure life’s challenges, and it helps me to walk through each day with a winning attitude.

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Warriors: Attitude & Swagger

Romans 8:31-39
In Romans 8 Paul asks four questions. Who can be against us? Who can bring a charge against us? Who can condemn us? Who can separate us from the love of God? There is an implied answer, “No one can”, at least not successfully. The evil one certainly tries. Sometimes those attempts can really affect us, can really get us down. But we need to keep the true answer in mind and allow it to affect how we live.

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Warriors: Attitude – Context

Romans 8:31-39
It is always dicey to jump into the middle of anything that Paul writes because it is so easy to ignore or fail to comprehend what has gone before. Our text for this week is a powerful text, full of truth that we really do need to get our minds around, but if we don’t at least take a look at the immediate context, let alone the overall context, we are going to miss the truth point that Paul is trying to get across to his audience.

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