Instructions For Victory

Bible Book: 1 Corinthians 
Subject: Victory; Christian Living

Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe has a saying that I have found helpful for many years. It goes something like this: “We aren’t fighting for victory; we’re fighting from victory.”1 “But,” you may ask, “if we are fighting from victory rather than fighting for victory, why is the title of your message, ‘Instructions For Victory?’” The answer to that question is simply that while the child of God, due to his or her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, possesses positional victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil, the practical application of that victory may not be present in daily living. Sad but true is the fact that many saints are living in spiritual defeat on a regular basis. But as the Apostle Paul pointed out in our texts, spiritual victory is the positional possession of every Christian.

While numerous other biblical factors could perhaps be expounded and elaborated upon, with reference to this topic, I want to focus on three principles that, if practiced, will pave the way for spiritual victory in the life of the saints of God. All of this of course precludes the fact that we must rely wholly on God’s daily wisdom and power as we face life’s challenges, and engage the spiritual enemies of Christ-likeness.

If we are to be victorious in the Christian life, we must learn to…

I. Flee

A. We Must Flee Wrong Doctrine

1 Timothy 6:3-5, “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”

Obviously, in the verses above, Paul was not criticizing legitimate teachers of the Scriptures, but those who taught false doctrines contrary to the clear teachings of God’s Word, and quibbled over scripture for their personal gain. The NLT is helpful here

1 Timothy 6:3-5, “Some people may contradict our teaching, but these are the wholesome teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. These teachings promote a godly life. 4 Anyone who teaches something different is arrogant and lacks understanding. Such a person has an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words. This stirs up arguments ending in jealousy, division, slander, and evil suspicions. 5 These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy.”2

Watch out for false doctrine. Just because Dr. Knothead, on the History Channel, claims there was no miracle involved in the parting of the Red Sea, allowing the children of Israel to walk through, doesn’t mean he’s telling the truth. Tozer had this to say about such things:

We have gotten accustomed to the blurred puffs of gray fog that pass for doctrine in churches and expect nothing better. From some previously unimpeachable sources are now coming vague statements consisting of a milky admixture of Scripture, science, and human sentiment that is true to none of its ingredients because each one works to cancel the others out. Little by little Christians these days are being brainwashed. One evidence is that increasing numbers of them are becoming ashamed to be found unequivocally on the side of truth. They say they believe, but their beliefs have been so diluted as to be impossible of clear definition. Moral power has always accompanied definite beliefs. Great saints have always been dogmatic. We need a return to a gentle dogmatism that smiles while it stands stubborn and firm on the Word of God that lives and abides forever.

B. Flee Worldly Discontent

1 Timothy 6:6-11a, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 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. 10 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. 11a But thou, O man of God, flee these things…”

The word “contentment” of verse six carries the following idea:

…an inward self-sufficiency, as opposed to the lack or the desire of outward things. It was a favorite Stoic word, expressing the doctrine of that sect that a man should be sufficient unto himself for all things…

Paul was saying that true godliness produces self-sufficiency. If the Christian walks in harmony with the Lord, the love of things will not rule their life, and will in fact, find their fellowship with God to be true gain. Paul concluded that wealth and things should not monopolize the Christian’s life, since they are only temporary (v.7). Therefore, we should learn to be satisfied with what God chooses to give us (v.8).

The word “will,” as used in verse nine, speaks of a desire to be rich that is not merely a passing emotional thing, but the result of a consuming reasoning process, accompanied by plans to get rich. It is an earnest seeking after riches that Paul speaks of here.

Paul showed that a consuming desire for wealth carries the potential for causing one to, “…fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts…” (v. 9a), which can lead to, “ruin and destruction.”5 It isn’t the betterment of one’s self that Paul condemns, but the love of money that controls a person’s life. This is not just a rich man’s sin. People of all financial dispositions can be guilty of the love of money.

C. Flee Wicked Desires

2 Timothy 2:22a “Flee also youthful lusts…”

Christians are not to be ruled and controlled by their desires or passions. Whether it is lustful passions, anger, bitterness, or jealousy, God has promised us that, “…sin shall not have dominion over you…” (Rom.6: 14a). The only way a Christian’s desires will begin to rule their life is if they allow them to reign over them. Again, Paul said, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof” (Rom.6: 12).

Rather than being ruled by our wicked desires and passions, we are to submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit’s control, for we are commanded to, “…be filled with the Spirit” (Eph.5: 18b).

Getting all one desires isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, as this story suggests:

One day a boy’s mother decided she would make hot buttered biscuits as long as her son could eat them. He loved biscuits and always complained that he never got enough. He ate and ate and ate. She kept pulling them out of the stove. Finally she looked around and saw him sitting there looking sort of green. “What’s wrong, son, don’t you want some more biscuits?” He answered sickishly, “No ma’am, I don’t even want the ones I’ve got.” You may get what you want, but you may not want what you’ve got after you’ve gotten it! Make sure your desires are in line with God’s will.6

II. Follow

1 Timothy 6:11b “…follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” The word “follow” means, “to seek eagerly, earnestly endeavor to acquire.”7

Paul then list some things that Timothy was to eagerly seek:

Righteousness - This refers to, “personal integrity.”8 This has to do with one’s personal character, including moral values and basic uprightness of life. This does away with situational ethics.

Godliness - This refers to, “practical piety.”9 The Christian ought to conduct himself in such a way so as to conform to the character of God (Rom.12: 2; Eph.4: 11-13).

Faith - The word translated “faith” actually means, “faithfulness.”10 This idea is mentioned in 1 Cor.4: 2, where we are told that stewards are required to be faithful.

Love - This is the Greek word AGAPE, which refers to the type of love that God is, which is a self- sacrificial kind of love.

Patience- This word basically means, “‘endurance,’ sticking to it when the going is tough.”11

Meekness - This word refers to, “power under control…Perhaps ‘gentleness’ expresses the meaning best.”12

III. Fight

1 Timothy 6:12, “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.”

The fight to which Paul refers is a boxing match that was a part of the Greek games. “The gloves of the Greek boxer were fur lined on the inside, but made on the outside of ox hide with lead and iron sewed into it.”13 But this was not just any boxing match. The fate of the losing boxer was to have his eyes gouged out.

This fight is said to be, “…the good fight of faith” (v. 12a). The word “faith” refers to, “…the faith, that body of truth deposited with the church (see 6:20).”14 The basic idea here is that we should fight the good fight of the Christian life, by practicing the truths found in God’s Word. We fight this good fight with the promise and prospect of eternal life as our reward.

A. Fight Trusting God’s Omnipotence

Ephesians 6:10, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

B. Fight Clothed In God’s Outfit

Ephesians 6:11, 13-17, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 13 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. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”

C. Fight God’s Opponent

Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

D. Fight - Keeping The Equipment Well Oiled

Ephesians 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”


  1. Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe.
  2. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. All rights reserved. pg. 1399.
  3. A.W. Tozer.
  4. Vincent Word Studies, as found in e-Sword software.
  5. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. All rights reserved. pg. 1399.
  6. Dr. J Mike Minnix, Editor,
  7. Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies From the Greek New Testament, The Pastoral Epistles, copyright © 1952 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49502; pg. 96.
  8. Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Faithful, copyright © 1981 by SP Publications, Inc., All rights reserved. Published by Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois; pg. 87.
  9. Ibid, pg. 87.
  10. Ibid, pg. 87.
  11. Ibid, pg. 87.
  12. Ibid, pg.87.
  13. Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies In The Greek New Testament, published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan; The Pastoral Epistles In The Greek New Testament, pg. 97.
  14. Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Faithful, copyright © 1981 by SP Publications, Inc., All rights reserved. Published by Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois; pg.