Topical Sermons

STRIVE

Intro.
1. Christianity is not for the faint-hearted - 1 Pet. 4:16 (Gal. 6:9).
2. Strive (AGONIZOMAI) - "to be a combatant in the public games; to contend, fight, strive earnestly" (Moulton, 6). (cf. 1 Cor. 9:25)
-Implies a struggle exists / a conflict is present & the intensi-ty one brings to that conflict (attended by difficulties & dangers).
3. Some of the things for which we must strive:

I. STRIVE TO ENTER BY THE NARROW DOOR - Lk. 13:23-24.
  A. Strenuous Zeal To Obtain Salvation - Jno. 10:9.
    1. Few will enter narrow door (Matt. 7:13-14).
    2. Human responsibility - Phil. 2:12-13.
    3. A call to dedicated action - cf. 1 Pet. 4:18 (cf. "convenience").
  B. Entrance Into The Kingdom Of God Requires Genuine:
    1. Self-denial - Lk. 9:23.
    2. Earnest endeavor - Lk. 16:16.
    3. Untiring energy - 1 Cor. 9:27.
    4. Utmost devotion - Matt. 13:44-46.

II. STRIVE ACCORDING TO THE WORKING OF GOD - Col. 1:29 ("to put forth every effort, in-volving toil," Vine, II:94).
  A. Christians Give Themselves To Doing The Work Of God - cf. Eph. 2:10. (Obedience)
    1. According to God's will - Phil. 2:12-13.
      a. Many walk & work, but not properly! (Phil. 3:18-19)
      b. God is at work when we do His work!
      c. Defined in scriptures - 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
    2. With all diligence - 2 Pet. 1:5 (Rom. 12:11).
  B. Because Of Our Hope - 1 Tim. 4:10.
    1. 4:7-8 - Godliness Eternal life.
    2. 4:11 - Command & teach these things.

III. STRIVE IN OUR PRAYERS - Col. 4:12-13 ("To wrestle earnestly in prayer" Ibid.).
  A. Examples Of Such Prayer:
    1. Jacob for a blessing - Gen. 32:24-29 - Israel: "Wrestler with God" (cf. Hosea 12:3-4).
    2. Jesus for relief - Lk. 22:42-44 (cf. Heb. 5:7).
    3. Abraham, Moses, David, prophets.....
  B. Earnest Prayer Will Receive Our Father's Answer.
    1. Lk. 11:5-10 - Shameless persistence & urgency will obtain response.
    2. Jas. 5:16 - Supplication of the righ-teous avails much.
      a. 5:17-18 - Elijah.
      b. cf. Jas. 4:1-3 - Not out if sinful plea-sures, lusts, covetousness.
    3. Heb. 4:16 - Be bold in prayer!

IV. FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH - 1 Tim. 6:12 ("To contend perseveringly against opposition & temptation" Ibid.).
  A. Against Satan - Eph. 6:10-18.
  B. Against Self - 1 Cor. 9:25-27 (Gal. 2:20).
  C. Against Error (For The Faith) - Jude 3-4; 2 Tim. 4:2-4.

Conclusion
1. 1 Tim. 6:12 - To lay hold on (seize) the life eter-nal!
2. 2 Tim. 4:7-8 - Fight (AGONIZOMAI) the good fight & receive crown of righteous-ness.