ARE YOU SPIRITUALLY FIT?
1. There are many fitness & exercise experts to help you lose weight, get into shape & resolve to be a "healthier you."
2. Col. 2:20-23 - There are also spiritual experts who attempt to get you "spiritually fit" with their analyses, wisdom, doctrines & experiences, etc.
3. 1 Tim. 4:6-11 - Inspired instruction to the gospel preacher on how to nourish himself & the brethren in their spiritual lives.
4. Nutrition plus exercise will get & keep us spiritually fit!
a. The nutrition: "The words of the faith the good doctrine" that is instructed (4:6), faithful (4:9), commanded (as from God - 4:11), given careful attention (4:13), continued in with examination (4:16).
(1) Bread of life (Jesus) - Jno. 6:33-35, 45, 48-51, 57-58, 63, 68.
(2) Pure milk of the word - 1 Pet. 2:2.
(3) Meat of truth - Heb. 5:12-14.
b. The exercise: Refuse the irreverence of error (4:7); given to piety (4:7), labor & strive in hope (4:10), exemplary living (4:12), diligence (4:15), obedient continuance (4:16). [cf. Heb. 5:13-14; 1 Tim. 6:3-6.]
5. Three reasons why we must be spiritually fit.
I. MUST BE SPIRITUALLY FIT TO WALK BY FAITH - 2 Cor.
A. Faith Put In God, Not Man - Jer. 17:5-7.
1. That means we trust in God's word more that in the human heart - Jer. 17:9.
a. Heb. 11:7 - Noah trusted God's warning & obeyed His word.
b. 1 Jno. 5:3-4 - Obedience out of willing trust (saving faith) overcomes the world!
B. Examine Yourself - 2 Cor. 13:5.
1. Take a spiritual exam using "the faith" (gospel) as the baseline for your measurements!
a. Rom. 10:17 - If not from word, not true "faith."
b. Eph. 3:17 - Is Christ dwelling in your heart? ....Only if Christ's word is in your heart (Col. 3:16). [Through faith]
2. Acts 20:32 - Commend you to the word of His grace!
II. MUST BE SPIRITUALLY FIT TO RUN THE RACE AGAINST SIN
- Heb. 12:1-4.
A. We Must Have Spiritual Endurance - 1 Cor. 9:24-27.
1. Self-control to do right & avoid sin (9:25).
2. Clearly defined objective (9:26); 9:25 - Imperishable crown.
3. Durability to the end (9:27). Resistance (Heb.12:4) 2 Tim. 4:7.
B. Are We Ignoring God's Grace? NEVER! - (1 Cor. 15:10) Phil. 4:13; Rom. 16:20
III. MUST BE SPIRITUALLY FIT TO CONTEND FOR THE FAITH -
A. Some Do Not See The Urgency Of It. ("found it necessary" - NKJV)
1. Constrained (needful) - necessity, imposed...by circumstances.
2. Because of the danger of false teachers - v. 4 - Necessary!
B. Some Will Not Do It (although we are commanded to!).
"If I am afraid to speak the truth lest I lose affection, or lest the one concerned should say, "You do not understand", or because I fear to lose my reputation for kindness; if I put my own good name before the other's highest good, then I know nothing of Calvary love. If I am content to heal a hurt slightly, saying peace, peace, where there is no peace; if I forget the poignant worlds, "Let love be without dissimulation" and blunt the edge of truth, speaking not right things but smooth things, then I know nothing of Calvary love." (Amy Carmichael) [Gal. 1:10; Jer. 6:14; Rom. 12:9; Isa. 30:10]
1. "Violating autonomy
watchdogs!" (1 Cor. 4:17; 2 Tim. 4:2)
2. "Nobody has perfect knowledge Arrogant!" (Eph. 1:8-9; Col. 2:3; 1:28)
3. "Does no good only harm & divides!" (Acts 19:8-9 - error divides us from God!)
4. "Too negative!" (Matt. 15:12; Jno. 3:19-21)
C. Contending For The Faith Occurs In Several Ways:
1. Begin with study (2 Tim. 2:15).
2. Put on God's armor (centers upon truth, Eph. 6:10-18).
3. Pray always (Phil. 4:6-7).
4. Teach the truth to others (2 Tim. 2:2).
5. Suffer hardship that comes with the battle (2 Tim. 2:3).
6. Live God's word without hypocrisy (Gal. 2:11-14).
1. Nutrition & exercise are needed for any successful fitness program. Same true for your "spiritual fitness program."
2. Be careful to feed upon God's word and exercise your faith through trusting obedience in the face of every obstacle.
3. 2 Tim. 4:7-8 - Victory in Christ is promised & assured!