Glory And Honor
How to win in fighting the war.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright? This is your friend, Bob Cook. I’m glad to be back with you.
We’re looking at 1 Timothy, chapter 1. We’re just about finished with our consideration of that beautiful doxology that the apostle Paul gives us in verse 17 of, of 1 Timothy 1. “Now, unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” We talked about honor the last time we got together.
Let’s just stop for a moment on this word “glory.” Honor and glory. “Whoso offer praise glorify Me.” “They glorified God in Me,” said Paul. “If any man suffer as a Christian, let him glorify God on this behalf.” What are we talking about?
Well, there is a sense in which God is absolutely complete. You can’t add anything to God – He’s complete – and yet there is another sense in which God uses believers to add to His glory. I quoted that verse, “Whoso offer praise glorify Me,” said the Lord.
You want to glorify God? Praise Him, is one way to do it. Thank God for what He’s doing in other lives. “By the Lord Jesus” says the writer to the Hebrews, “by Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.”
And don’t forget to do good and to give, “for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” If you want to glorify God, do the things that please Him. Glory. Honor and glory. “Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.” “Given to me,” said Paul, “to fill up that which is left behind of the sufferings of Christ for His body’s sake, that is the church.”
There is this whole mystical concept of the fact that God uses believers and the church as a whole to add to the luster of His glory and His name. “That in the ages to come, He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness to us through Christ Jesus,” says Paul. The glory of God. “Whether therefore ye eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God,” says Paul in 1 Corinthians. Glorifying God.
Do you want to give some thought to that in your own life? Adding to the luster of God’s glory, by what you say, and by what you do. Interesting concept isn’t it?
Oh my, the glory of God. “The sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top the mountain,” as the children of Israel beheld Him. “A cloud covered the tent of the congregation. The glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. The priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord as Solomon’s Temple.” “The heavens declare the glory of the Lord.” “The Angel of the Lord came upon them” – this is the shepherds – “and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid.” “He, being full of the Holy Ghost” – this is Stephen – “looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.” And then, the personal awareness of God’s glory, 2 Corinthians 3: “We all, with open face beholding as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
To the only wise God be honor and glory. How is it done? Dear friend, it is done by the presence of the Lord. It is done by the Spirit of the Lord, and it is done in the life of the believer as you are changed by the Holy Spirit. As Paul says, “from glory to glory.” And in a marvelous miracle of God’s grace, you add to the luster of God’s shining glory to all eternity. Hallelujah for that!
Now, Paul says in verse 18, “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that by them thou might war a good warfare.” How does he do it? “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.” He says Exhibit A is Hymenaeus and, and Alexander. “I’ve turned them over,” he said, “to Satan, that they might learn not to blaspheme.”
Now, how do you “war good warfare”? You specialize in getting serious about the Word of God, the prophecies which went before, what God had spoken about Timothy and in a larger sense, the revealed Word of God; you start with that. “The sort of the Spirit,” says Paul, “which is the Word of God.” If you’re going to war against Satan, you have to have the right sword as well as the rest of the armor. See?
So, the prophecies “that thou by them mightest war a good warfare.” The Word of God. What God has said specifically to you and what God has said in the larger sense about you and about all of His work in His revealed Word, the sword of the Spirit.
What else? If you’re going to “war good warfare” he says, “holding faith.” Hanging onto faith. Holding faith. Why, why does he say you have to hold Him? Well the, the writer to the Hebrews says, “Therefore we must ought to give thee more earnestly to the things we have heard, lest at any time we should slip away from them.” “Let them slip,” it says in your King James, “drift away from them.” I think someone has paraphrased it.
Now, what’s the point there for you and for me? It is possible for you to be a believer and at the same time allow your faith to falter. You have problems, you have troubles, you have difficulties, you face opposition, you have a physical weakness or illness, and maybe a sorrow has come, and bereavement, and your heart is broken because of that, and the whole combination of it makes you say, “Well, I wonder if it’s all worthwhile.” Have you come to that place, some of you? I know you have.
Now he says, “Hold faith,” and it’s just a very simple, a participle, which means hanging on, having it in your hand, having it and hanging onto it and keeping on hanging onto it. It’s always too soon to quit, it’s always too soon to give up, and it’s always too soon to ask questions of doubt and wonder if it’s, if it’s really worthwhile.
Yes, it’s worthwhile. Yes, God is alive. Yes, He knows about me. Yes, He loves me. And yes, He has an eternal purpose concerning me and I’m just going to believe Him in spite of everything. That, my friend, is what he’s talking about here.
You want a fight against the adversary, the devil? You want to “war a good warfare”? Start with the Word, the written Word as applied by the Holy Spirit of God, who indwells the believer. And then he says, “Hang onto faith.” Believe God, no matter what. It’s what I call the “Hallelujah Anyway” syndrome. Hallelujah anyway! No matter what, I’m going to believe God.
I suppose the best illustration of that is found in Daniel, isn’t it, where you have these three Hebrew young men who, when the command was given to bow down before that golden image…
Hey, that was a big one, wasn’t it? Do you know how tall that was? I’ll turn back to Daniel just to refresh my own memory, but I think it was something like 90 feet high. That’s an awful lot a gold, isn’t it? Nebuchadnezzar set up this big image and he said, “The height was three score cubits.” That’s 60, 60 – 3 score is 60 – and a cubit was about 18 inches wasn’t it, so that was about 90 feet high. Boy, oh boy, that was a big one.
So he set up there and then he gave this command. He said, “Now everybody gather around, and when you hear the symphony orchestra begin to play, you bow down to the image. Anybody that doesn’t do that, I’m going to throw them into the furnace.”
Well, everybody did because they didn’t like the idea of being thrown in the furnace… That’s apt to be fatal. Everybody, that is, except these three Hebrew young men, and so they were promptly dragged before the King, who was almost apoplectic with rage. Somebody had dared to disobey his edict. He said, “I’ll give you one more chance. When you hear the symphony orchestra start to play, you bow down. That’d be fine, but if you don’t, I’m going to throw you that same hour into the burning fiery furnace.”
“Well,” they said, “we’re not worried, oh King, about this whole matter. Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace. He’s able to deliver us.” That’s Daniel 3:17. I’m looking at it right now. “And He will deliver us out of thy hand, oh King. But if not, be it known, oh King, we will not serve thy gods to worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”
That’s what we’re talking about: faith no matter what. I’m going to be true to God, no matter what. I refuse to bow down to evil, no matter what. I refuse to compromise with the world, no matter what. I belong to God, and I’m going to trust Him. That’s what he’s talking about here, “holding faith.” Now, put that to work today, will you?
Every one of us, during any given day, faces difficult times and problems and things that would cause us maybe to doubt or wonder, and some of you live in an atmosphere where you’re just, you’re just besieged by problems. Some of the dear ones who listen to this very broadcast are just covered with problems, and you’re, you don’t know which way to turn and, and any amount of my talking with you or somebody else’s well-intentioned lecture doesn’t change the circumstances, does it?
You say to yourself bitterly, “Yeah, how little they know of what I’m going through. They tell me to trust the Lord.” Yes, well, we do trust. You know why? Because it works. Trust your blessed Lord. Don’t falter. “Oh, my brother do not falter,” said the poet. “Can’t you fully trust your Lord?” He said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee, so we may boldly say the Lord is my helper.”
That’s, that’s what it means – holy faith. Hang on, don’t give up. God is still on the throne. He didn’t go off the throne this morning, you know. God is still on the throne. Hallelujah! Trust Him. He’ll see you through.
Now, what’s the other side about this matter? “Warring a good warfare.” He said, “Holding faith and hang onto a good conscience.”
You see, a guilty conscience is a deterrent – as any psychologist knows – to learning. It’s also a deterrent to productivity on the job, and a guilty conscience cuts off the effectiveness of your witness for the Lord. Your words may be ever so correct, but if you’re guilty before Him, you’re holding some unconfessed sin before Him, then He just, He just, He doesn’t bless you, in the, in the same way.
A good conscience. “Herein do I exercise myself,” said Paul, “to have always a conscience void of offense toward God and toward men.” He said, “I work at it. I want a clean conscience.” How do you get a clean conscience? He said, “How much more shall the blood of Christ purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living and true God?”
What you do is, the moment you’re aware of getting out of line and of disobeying God in any way, you confess that. If we confess our sins, He’s faithful and just to forgive us our sins. The minute you’re aware of being out of line, confess it and put it by faith and of the blood of Jesus and go out. That’s the way to keep a clean conscience.
So it’s the Word, it’s faith, and it’s a clean conscience that makes it possible for you and for me to win in the war against evil.
Dear Father today, we just turn our lives over to Thee. Oh, may we be winners in the war against evil because we’re trusting Your Word, exercising faith, and keeping our consciences clean through the blood of Jesus. God bless the dear ones, each one I pray, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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