Lord, help me to fight the good fight of faith.
Read 1 TIMOTHY 6:11–16
Final Charge to Timothy
11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 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. 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.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you if there’s something from which you need to flee (11). If there is, ask God what you’re to put in its place.
So concerned is Paul about the dangers of the situation in which he has placed Timothy that he adds a fourth and solemn warning: actively stand against those teaching differently. Timothy has to discard all this diseased teaching (a better translation, suggesting its corrupting influence) with its controversies and accompanying greed of which he has just been warned (3–10). He is to embrace wholeheartedly the course of life which cultivates Christian character. He must live the example he is called to set, being upright in his dealings with the Ephesians and reverent in his walk with God (11).
Paul compares Timothy’s struggle to an athletic contest (12), challenging him to grasp the eternal prize that is his through Christ and which he initially claimed when making his “good confession” (12). Issued at his baptism, this is probably a renunciation of the lordship of Caesar (which might explain the reference to Jesus making a similar “good confession” before Pilate, 13). This eternal perspective reminds Timothy of what is at stake and how much this struggle matters, both to him and to the Ephesians. Paul underscores the eternal perspective by invoking God as a witness to the charge he is giving Timothy. He calls Timothy “man of God” (11), recalling the use of this term in the Old Testament, to highlight his significance in God’s plan. It is not just Paul asking this but also the God who gives life to everything (13), who is King of kings and Lord of lords (15).
This charge could be so overwhelming as to become disabling, but Paul wants Timothy to be in no doubt: his struggles matter to God. The God who gives life to everything is continually with him, empowering him to succeed.
Paul challenges Timothy to remember his “good confession.” What public promises have you made to God? Where might you need to renew your commitment to them?
Lord, I believe that, like Timothy, I am always in the light of Your countenance and that Your will is for me to succeed.
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