1 Timothy 6:11–21 (NKJV)
11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, 15 which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.1 Timothy 6:11-16
After a discussion of the dangers of lustful thoughts and actions, specifically fueled by the love of money, Paul warns his spiritual son Timothy to flee any pursuit of riches and wealth and, instead, pursue the things of God, including “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.” Paul next utters the words quoted in myriad sermons, “fight the good fight of faith…” which will lead to eternal life and a good confession among witnesses. In light of the great example of Christ Jesus, who stood and “witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate,” Paul instructs Timothy to keep the commandment of God through Paul in a blameless, unspotted fashion until the coming of Christ. Christ will come, in His time, and will reign as the only King of kings, and Lord of lords. Jesus Christ has immortality alone. His light is unapproachable, beyond the ability of man to comprehend or even look upon. To Him every Christian should and must give honor and surrender power on this earth!
17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.1 Timothy 6:17-19
After Paul’s specific instructions to Timothy on living rightly and shunning the evil of chasing wealth, he then moves to a message which Timothy must preach, commanding the rich to not allow money or riches to make them prideful. Even the rich must find a way to be holy and trust in God in spite of their great wealth. The living God gives all things, and does so liberally. Let the rich show their wealth in their good works, their generosity, their sharing of what God has blessed them with. If they share and give God glory, they will store up a good foundation in heaven, showing themselves worthy–if they have surrendered their lives to Christ and been redeemed–of riches in glory and eternal life.
20 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge—21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.1 Timothy 6:20-21
Grace be with you. Amen.
The summary thoughts of Paul for this letter give Timothy a final call to action. Paul begins the statement with emphasis, calling Timothy’s name with stress. The warning is for Timothy to guard all that has been entrusted to him, and to (again) avoid false doctrines. Paul’s characterization of these doctrines as profane and idle babblings is a sign of his utter disdain for anything that speaks opposed to the great and true gospel which Christ gave the church. These false doctrines lead wanton believers into error, even drawing them away from the true faith. Paul finishes the letter with a brief greeting and blessing, offering grace to Timothy as he serves God and leads the church is Ephesus. This entire letter gives us a call to action today. Deny false doctrine, cling to the word of God, treat one another fairly and compassionately, and be content with your station in life, following God only and not wealth. These thoughts will help us live the life of Christ today just as much as it helped Timothy in his life in the first century. Flee evil, shun false doctrine, do good and fight the good fight of faith!
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