1 Timothy 6:11 (NIV) 11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
On verse 11: Paul tells Timothy: instead of being swept up by false teaching (v3-5) and a love of money (v9-10), flee from all that and instead chase righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness (v11). What can we learn from this? The quality of your life and the legacy you leave will be determined by what you chase. Chase money and false teaching, come up empty. Chase Jesus, come up full.
1 Timothy 6:12 (NIV) 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
On verse 12: Faith is not a crutch. Faith is a fight. It’s about fighting for what you believe in and what you know is important even when it’s hard and even when there’s opposition. That includes fighting for your time with God, fighting for the unity of your church, fighting to live out God’s vision for your life, and standing up for your beliefs as a Christian. God made you to be a fighter for Him.
By the way, what “good confession” did Timothy make “in the presence of many witnesses” (v12)? This is referring to Timothy’s baptism, when he publicly declared that he is a Christian and that he believes in Jesus. What can we learn from this? When you get baptized, it’s a beginning. It’s you saying, “I want to take hold of the life God has for me.” Now that you’ve been baptized, go take hold of that life which Christ died for you to have. It won’t just come to you. Chase it! Run for toward the vision God has for your life. As Paul will later say in verse 19, “take hold of the life that is truly life”.
1 Timothy 6:13-16 (NIV) 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time–God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
On verses 13-16: I love how Paul, in the middle of telling Timothy to keep these commands in the sight of God and His Son Jesus, suddenly bursts out with worship unto God. It’s almost like he lost his train of thought in the middle of verse 15 because he is so caught up in the beauty and excellence of who God is.
What can we learn from this? In the middle of the day, in the middle of a task, in the middle of a sentence, feel free to stop and give God worship. He’s worthy! There’s joy in His presence when we take the time to worship Him.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NIV) 17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
On verses 17-19: Here Paul tells Timothy to step into his role as a spiritual authority over the rich people in his church. He tells Timothy to command the rich people in his church not to put their hope in wealth or to be arrogant (v17), but to be hospitable, generous and rich in good deeds (v18). It’s a reminder that God blesses us with wealth not so that we can boast or worship money, but so that we can be a blessing to others.
Verse 19 is a reminder that when we use the wealth God has given us to advance God’s eternal purposes, we store up treasure for ourselves in heaven, an investment that we can never lose.
Finally, Paul’s words “so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life” (v19b) show us that the powerful life God made us to live is not something that just comes to you; you need to grab it, seize it, take hold of it. As Paul wrote in verse 12, “take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
1 Timothy 6:20-21 (NIV) 20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith. Grace be with you.
On verses 20-21: From these verses I learn a couple things:
1. When Paul tells Timothy, “guard what has been entrusted to your care” (v20), it’s a reminder that success is about guarding what God has given you. Do you cherish it, protect it, seek to understand it and use it? Or do you put it away somewhere to collect dust?
2. Want an easy two step way to wander from your faith as a Christian? First, involve yourself a lot in conversations that are “godless”; that is, conversations that do not glorify God or acknowledge Him in any way. Second, feed your mind less with God’s Word and more with the popular, anti-Christian messages that pervade mainstream media. Take these two steps and apostasy (i.e. leaving the faith) will eventually follow.
Lord Jesus, thank You for the life that You died for me to have — a life of being close to You, worshiping You, sharing You with others, and finding great joy and peace in You. May I fight for this life that is truly life, and not settle for anything less. Holy Spirit come and fill me today. Be glorified in me. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!
This brings our look at 1 Timothy to a close. What were the most important lessons you learned from this book? Let me know. Would love to hear from you.
Paul would write a second letter to Timothy (2 Timothy), and that’s the letter we’ll look at tomorrow!