Exhortations

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 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. 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 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 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.

1 Timothy 6:11-16

Paul exhorts Timothy to excellent service, telling him to flee from “these things”. Of course, he is referring to the discussion concerning false teachers and the love of money that came just before these verses, and I would suggest that this admonition is one that each one of us should take to heart.

Rather than becoming involved with the evils swirling around false teachers, we are to pursue better things; “righteousness, “godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” This is a typical Pauline message, as we know, one that comes so frequently in his writings that perhaps we take it for granted and let it slip into the background: “Yes, yes of course we’re supposed to do that…”

But then do we pursue those things  do we really fight the good fight?

“Take hold of eternal life” is another imperative for Timothy that applies to us today. By this expression, Paul is saying Timothy should grasp the life he lives now for Christ, as it leads to eternity from this point forward. This isn’t simply something that comes along in the sweet by and by, it is a reality for us today; it is our very existence as His servant. The “good confession” made in the “sight of many witnesses” refers to Timothy’s confession of Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

In verse 13, Paul gives Timothy a solemn command “in the sight of God…” which is similar to our “as God is my witness.” Timothy is to keep the command to hold firmly to eternal life, the life of a servant of Jesus who pursues godliness and eschews wickedness of all kinds; Timothy must be blameless in this… as are we “until the appearing” of Jesus. Obviously Paul means both until death or the return of Christ, which will (both) happen in God’s good time.

He wraps up his exhortation with what can almost be described as a doxology as he describes the glory, majesty and power of Almighty God. In this way, Paul adds great emphasis to what has just been written.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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