Flee, Follow, Fight

  1. INTRODUCTION:
    1. SCRIPTURE READING:
      I Tim. 6:6-16 = "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. [11] But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. [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. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen."
    2. THE ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH WE LIVE:
      1. The environment in which we live today is evil.
      2. Paul therefore, admonishes Christians to be alert and active, which he expresses with three words:
        1. Flee.
        2. Follow.
        3. Fight.
      3. Let's take a closer look at these three words.
  2. DISCUSSION:
    1 Tim 6:11-12 = "But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. [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."
    1. FLEE --
      1. The meaning:
        1. Webster defines Flee as meaning to turn away from danger or evil; to run away or escape from something.
        2. The Greek word for Flee is pheugo pronounced (fyoo'-go); Meaning to run away; The implication of which is to shun. It is translated escape or flee away.
      2. Sin is the most dangerous and deadly enemy we face and our surest safety is found in fleeing from it.
        1. We should flee from it as a child flees from a rattlesnake or a hungry lion.
        2. Paul warns Christians to flee from the love of money and its evils.
          1 Tim 6:9-11 = "But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; …"
          Comment: Paul presents the dangers of "the love of money" in three ways:
          1. A drowning man -- "Which drown men in destruction and perdition" [9]
          2. A tree -- "For the love of money is the root of all evil" [10] Examples: Temptations, lusts, unbelief, sorrow, destruction, perdition, Etc.
          3. A trapped animal -- "Pierced themselves through with many sorrows" [10] or [9] Fallen "into temptation and a snare".
      3. Why should we flee from sin:
        1. Because sin keeps us from the glory of God, and all of us sin.
          Rom 3:23 = "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
        2. Because the results of sin is death.
          Rom 6:23 = "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
      4. We flee from sin by repenting.
        1. The Lord said in Luke 13:3 = "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
        2. The Greek word for repent is metanoeo, pronounced (met-an-o-eh'-o); Meaning to think differently; Reconsider and change course or direction.
      5. The ultimate end of remain involved in sin is condemnation.
        Luke 13:3 = "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
    2. FOLLOW --
      1. The meaning:
        1. Webster defines follow as the means to go in pursuit of; To seek to gain or attain something; To obey, that is, to keep one's eyes or mind fixed upon the Lord and follow after Him.
        2. The Greek word for "Follow" is dioko, pronounced (dee-o'-ko); Meaning to pursue. Translated: Ensue, follow after, to pursue.
      2. We are to pursue the good things of life and this will require effort to attain them -- Paul writes:
        Rom 12:21 = "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
        I Tim 6:11 = "O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness."
        Consider: Let's take a closer look at the things that Paul says we are to follow:
        1. Righteousness -- This involves right dealings with our fellow man.
          Prov 14:34 = "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people."
          Matt. 6:33 = "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
          Rom 8:1-5 = "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit."
        2. Godliness -- This has to do with our relationship with God or being in the likeness of the Lord -- His example of godliness has the promise of life now and forever:
          1 Peter 2:21 = "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:"
          1 Tim 4:7-8 = "But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."
        3. Faith -- This is the source (or root) through which godliness and righteousness are developed.
          Heb 11:6 = "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
          1 Peter 1:9 = "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."
        4. Love -- This is manifest by our faith in doing good to our fellow man.
          Gal 5:6 = "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."
          Rom 13:10 = "Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."
        5. Patience -- This is that which enables us to face difficulties and obstacles, and suffer adversity in order to maintain loyalty to God.
          Heb 12:1-2 = "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
          James 1:2-4 = "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
        6. Meekness -- This removes our wrath and indignation against those who are injurious to us and takes away from us that which is our own.
          Prov. 24:19 = "Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked;"
          Titus 3:2 = "To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men."
    3. FIGHT --
      1. The meaning:
        1. Webster defines fight as to contend with someone; or To act in opposition to something.
        2. The Greek word for "Fight" is agonizomai, pronounced (ag-o-nid'-zom-ahee); Meaning to struggle, that is: In the literal sense to compete for a prize; Or in the figurative sense to contend with an adversary; in the general sense to complete that which we have set out to accomplish. Translated – Fight, labor fervently, or strive.
      2. Paul has said that there is a time to Flee sin and there is a time to fight sin.
        1. The Christian at times must become a runner and flee sin.
        2. Yet there are times when a Christian must become a fighter and denounce sin and wage battle against it.
      3. The enemy we fight is three-fold:
        1. The external -- This is the world --
          I John 2:15-16 = "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
          1 Tim 6:12 = "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, … "
          2 Tim 2:3-4 = "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."
        2. The internal -- This is the flesh --
          Rom. 7:21 = "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."
          1 Peter 2:11 = "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;"
        3. The infernal -- This is the devil --
          I Pet. 5:8 = "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"
          2 Cor 11:14 = "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."
      4. The enemy Christians face is strong and relentless doing whatever is possible to destroy our faithful following of Christ -- Therefore, we need to for warned and for armed
        1. We have been for warned -- I Pet. 5:8 = "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"
        2. We have been provided the proper arms for the battle -- Eph 6:13-18 = "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore,…"
          1. "…Having your loins girt about with truth, …" [14]
          2. "…Having on the breastplate of righteousness; …" [14]
          3. "Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;" [15]
          4. "…Taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." [16]
          5. "…Helmet of salvation, …" [17]
          6. "…The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:" [17]
          7. "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…" [18]
          8. "…and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;" [18]
  3. CONCLUSION:
    1. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE ADMONITION OF PAUL?
      1 Cor 10:13-14 = "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry."
      1. God will "make a way of escape", Paul wrote to the Corinthians.
      2. God has provided the means of our being able to bear temptations.
        1. That means may be to Flee as he told the Corinthians "flee from idolatry".
        2. That means may involve a closer following of the Lord and His Word. [See Luke 6:46]
        3. That means may be to stand and fight the sin.
    2. THE ULTIMATE OBJECTIVE IN THE USE OF THESE MEANS IS -- ETENRAL LIFE.
      1. Paul expressed it this way, 2 Tim 4:7-8 = "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
      2. Eternal life is placed within our reach, but not in our hand -- we must "lay hold" upon it.
        1 Tim 6:12 & 19 = "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. ….. [6:19] Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."
    3. HOW WELL ARE YOU LAYING HOLD ON ETERNAL LIFE?


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