Vs 3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness…
Vs 4 … He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels …
Vs 8 But godliness with contentment is great gain
Vs 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith …
Vs 11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith
Vs 20 O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” 21 for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.
Paul is warning Timothy (and me) of some significant dangers to the faith.
Both these dangers are rooted in wrong desires … or what Paul twice calls “craving”.
An “unhealthy craving for controversy” is rooted in “what is falsely called ‘knowledge’.”
And “all kinds of evil” are rooted in “the love of money”.
What are the consequences of these two wrong desires or craving?
It’s the tragedy that Paul separately calls “wandering from the faith” and “swerving from the faith”.
The risk is the loss of faith.
Paul’s great emphasis then to Timothy (and me) is then simple … “Fight the good fight of faith”.
How do I “fight the good fight of faith”?
It seems Paul gives some offensive postures and some defensive postures.
In the defensive mode, I must “flee” and “avoid” and “guard” certain things.
Flee the love of money. … Do I sense any lack in my life? … Am I content with God?
Avoid irreverent babble. … Do I engage in unhealthy controversy? … Am I content with God?
Guard the deposit of faith. … Do I seek some special “knowledge”? … Am I content with God?
In the offensive mode, I must “pursue” certain things.
I must pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.
If my days are filled with truly doing this, then I wouldn’t have TIME to engage in “irreverent babble” and “love of money”!
Something else stands out about living life from the postures of fighting for faith and the consequences of not fighting for faith:
Intentional vs. Unintentional
The INTENTIONAL life of fighting for the faith is one of “fleeing” and “guarding” and “pursuing”.
The UNIINTENTIONAL life of losing your faith in one of “swerving” and “wandering”.
So, where am I living with Intention? Am I pursuing what’s “Godly” and guarding what’s “entrusted to me”?
Where am I living without Intention? Am I swerving and wandering into what’s “unhealthy” and “irreverent”?