COMMANDS FOR THE MAN OF GOD (Timothy 15)
(READ 1 Timothy 6:6-21) Paul concludes his letter to his ‘son’ Timothy with 8 commands. These summarize what Paul has recently said about the temptation to greed and all that has gone before. He warned Timothy about false teachers who used their influence to gain money (6:5), now he reminds Timothy that Christ-likeness is greater than material gain (6:6-8). He warns Timothy of the danger of greed and the destruction it brings (6:9-10). Money isn’t sinful, but the love of money is (6:10). It’s important for us to remember that as well.
Paul’s first command is based on this truth: “But you, man of God, flee from all this” (6:11). Keep far from what the false teachers are doing and the greed that accompanies them. We, too, must flee the subtle temptation for money and possessions. We can easily see others who are greedy, but it is very hard to recognize in ourselves. Ask God to show you any greed in your heart.
Second, Paul tells Timothy what to seek to have instead: “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness” (6:11). Instead of going after what the false teachers seek, his goal should be righteousness (living a holy life), godliness (Christ-like maturity), faith (trust in action), love (unconditional love for all), endurance (perseverance, steadfastness) and gentleness (attitude of humility in how you treat others).
The third command is to keep moving ahead in perseverance, no matter what trials he faces: “fight the good fight of the faith” (6:12). Living for Jesus is a battle and we only have victory by using Gods weapons (Ephesians 6:0-18) and following Jesus (Joshua 1). Don’t expect God to make your life smooth and easy because you are serving Him. It gets harder so you learn to trust and follow Him.
Fourth, we are to stay faithful because that is the only way to win the battle. “Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (12). Timothy needs to remember his commitment to serve no matter what, and we must as well. Don’t look at your circumstances, look at Jesus and remember your promise to serve.
Fifth, Paul again commands Timothy (and us) to never give up but to persevere no matter what (6:13-16). “Keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (14). Instead of quitting, Timothy needs to keep moving ahead, no matter how hard it is.
In the sixth command, Paul reminds Timothy that he needs to correct the stubborn false teachers and bring order to the house-churches in Ephesus (6:17-19). He must correct the rich and powerful people who are prideful and greedy. These are the very people he is afraid of because they criticize and look down on him. They need to be taught that godly lives are more important than money and possessions. Material is temporary, spiritual is eternal.
Paul concludes his letter with 2 more commands. The seventh is “guard what has been entrusted to your care” (20). “Guard” is a word used of a soldier protecting precious treasure and “entrust” is a banking term for protecting an investment. Both refer to what Timothy then, and us today, need to do with the knowledge of the gospel that has been passed on to us. We must guard it as something very valuable and pass it on to others. It is a great privilege but also an awesome responsibility to have God’s Word entrusted to us.
The eighth and final command is to have nothing to do with all the false teaching going around which isn’t grounded in Scripture (6:20-21). Paul starts and ends with warnings against false teaching. Even a little error is too much. Even a little bit of rat poison in our drinking water is disastrous. The same is true with God’s Word.
Paul then closes with “Grace be with you all” (6:21). Timothy will need God’s grace to stay in Ephesus and correct the problems that have arisen from allowing the wrong people into positions of leadership and false teachings to be spread.
Paul would tell us the same thing: don’t give up or quit, persevere, don’t let the wrong people lead and don’t let false teaching enter your church. It sounds simple but is harder to accomplish. We, like Timothy, need God’s help to make this happen. May God bless you and be with you as you continue to faithfully serve Him!
What has God taught you from 1 Timothy? What are the main lessons He wants you to learn? Are there any changes you need to make in your life? Write them down so you don’t forget them.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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