TEXT: 1 TIMOTHY 6: 11-16
READING: EPHESIANS 6: 10-24
SUBJ: Paul's encouragement to Timothy that well applies to all believers and that especially directs us into "the patient waiting for Christ" our Lord with due consideration of His glorious person.
AIM: That we might truly be encouraged and go on to "fight the good fight of faith."
INTR: It is interesting to note that the things that were troubling to the early Christians continue to be the same today and to further note that the underlying causes remain the same.
1. Both epistles to Timothy contain references to practices to be avoided even as we would note in the early verses of this chapter and to be prepared for the opposition from the world.
2. We would here be made aware that certain pursuits fortify and equip the believer as we are "pilgrims through a barren land." They are not given us as a formula for success; they are things that direct us into a deepening relationship with the Lord which profits greatly.
3. It is certain that Paul addressed these things to Timothy as a minister of the Gospel, but he brings these things to a personal level and thus it applies to all.
THESIS: The encouragements here point to the faith and to the strengthening of it with a precious anticipation of His appearing.
I. Words of encouragement (vv. 11-12)
1. The phrase "man of God" was used in the O. T. regarding some of the prophets but refers to those who belong to God:
1) Not only as a preacher, rather as one of a "peculiar people" zealous of good works.
2) A term of distinction referring to things gone before in this chapter (danger of riches etc.)
2. The first word of exhortation here is to flee things detrimental.
1) In the sense of being fearful of being entangled or overcome.
2) In recognition of rendering service to another master.
3. Another strong word is given here as well - follow. Again, a strong word meaning to pursue or persecute with a view to capturing the things that are here listed:
1) Righteousness - Not for the purpose of being justified; rather that the things we believe be honored as Christ is to be seen in us.
2) Godliness - Living in His presence with full devotion to the Gospel scheme of things.
3) Faith - Not only that which is believed, but also the pursuit of it with the moral conviction that full surrender must be unto Christ alone.
4) Love - Agape put into practice after the example of Christ.
5) Patience - Compare the "patient waiting for Christ" as being joyous and hopeful endurance.
6) Meekness - Knowing of our own debt we would engage with humility and gentleness.
4. Fight the good fight of faith had been exemplified in the life of Paul. The reminder elsewhere is that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal - they are spiritual and so is the fight. Paul before Agrippa testified that "He was not disobedient to the heavenly vision."
5. And "Lay hold."
1) From Strong - to seize for help, injury, attainment, or any other goal in keeping with eternal life.
2) The thought of getting hold and not let go for any reason.
6. There are many witnesses, and they will detect any inconsistency.
II. A charge for the duration (vv. 13-14)
1. Paul would remind Timothy and us that we are always in the presence and in the sight of God and Christ, the faithful witness in all things - Paul as he wrote is and Timothy as he read it.
2. The thought of keeping is not a matter of obedience as it is a matter of possessing; obedience follows as a matter of the value we place on these things.
3. This commandment (referring to the things above) embodies the whole of the Law either as Ten Commandments or two.
4. Grace is given and we are directed to live in this world but above the world - that is we are not to in any ways contaminate the Gospel or give occasion to the world or any other to find occasion against it.
5. Until He appears - with this in view all the other things concerning this life are put into perspective; we owe all to Him.
III. A confirmed outcome (vv. 15-16)
1. It will be in His time - "We see Jesus" and we will see all the world bow before Him.
1) Looking to things as they are we may become discouraged but
2) Looking to and hasting His appearing we are filled with hope.
2. The exclusive claim to the rule of all - the only Potentate, King of kings, and Lord of lords!
3. A precious doxology:
1) Who only has immortality - His eternal being and thus is able to give to His own.
2) Who dwells in light (judgment, justice, truth) unapproachable and
3) Whom no man has or can see,
4) To Whom be honor and power (dominion) forever.