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Three Aspects of the Christian Life. 1 Timothy 6:11-16

23/06/2015

Three Aspects of the Christian Life

 Sanctification, Perseverance, Witness!

 Text1 Timothy 6:11-16 Compare with 2 Timothy 2: Not just Timothy, but every believer in Jesus should be characterised by his progress, his warfare and his witness.  In this passage of final exhortations to Timothy we see:-

1.  The Christian is On the Move! 11But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

The Christian life is never static.  It makes progress. Notice the direction of travel in a godly life.

  1. The Christian must run FROM.  Timothy (and the Christian), must be different from the average ‘man on the street.’  But YOU!’  A Christian must stand out from the crowd, – IN EVERY RESPECT, IN EVERY ASPECT OF LIFE.
    1. Timothy is a Man of God! It’s a significant title, for it was used to refer to the heroes of Israel, such as Moses, in Deut 33:1, David in Neh 12:24 and Samuel in 1 Samuel 9:6. The name, MAN OF GOD would remind Timothy of the important task that he was required to complete and the history of those who had also been given a task by God, and faithfully carried out that task.. Hebrews 12:1 
    2. A Man of God will exercise discernment.  Paul has warned about false teachers.  If you go to church on Sunday, and your pastor doesn’t preach the Scriptures, – RUN!  Flee from that place and find a church that preaches the true Gospel
  2. The Christian must run TOWARD.  Not only must Timothy ‘run from’ but he must ‘follow after’. Following after something requires a whole lot of commitment, especially, as in this case, when what we are pursuing is entirely contrary to the human nature and condition!  Paul lists six qualities of the Christian who is closely following Christ.  They seem to be in three sets of couplets:
    1. Righteousness & Godliness!  (δικαιοσυνην ευσεβειαν)  Righteous before men.
    2. Faith & Love! (πιστιν αγαπην)  Simple trust in God, and a sincere love for Him.
    3. Patience & Meekness! (υπομονην πραοτητα) Positive steadfastness, that hangs on, whatever the circumstances of life, –

These are to be our goals in this life as they were to be Timothy’s. Galatians 5:22  

How will we obtain these Godly qualities of life?  By repenting, turning away from falsehood and the love of material possessions, the things of this world, and by following after Jesus.

2. The Christian is In a Battle!

12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called,  c/w 2 Timothy 4:7 See:-

  1. The nature of the battle.
    1. It is a GOOD fight!  How many ‘fights’ do we have in church that are NOT good?   James 4:1  We should be directing our energies to the good, worthy fight against our enemy.
    2. It is a struggle! The Christian life is a FIGHT, – not a spectator sport.
    3. It is the fight of faith!  The very faith itself is under attack.
  2. The outcome of the battle.  Timothy already HAS eternal life, but he must never lose sight of it.

3. The Christian is In the Witness Box!

Again, Paul intends this to be an encouragement to Timothy, to stir him up to service.  Timothy’s Christian service is being enacted before a Judge and jury.  A divine judge, and an earthly jury.  See that:-

  1. Timothy’s confession is being witnessed.  By earthly witnesses.  and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.  before God.  I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, It is God who gives life, and he knows who is truly his, and he sees beyond our external profession of religion and sees the truth of our hearts, but especially before Jesus. and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession Here Paul uses Jesus as our example.  Look at how he stood before Pilate, and still witnessed a good confession.  Let’s explore that a little.
    1. The Jews could bring no meaningful, truthful charges against Jesus and being unable to convict his of anything under the Law, they delivered him up to Pilate, to be tried under Roman law.  Matthew 27:1-2,  
    2. Pilate interrogated him, and put before him the accusations of the Jews. Matthew 27:11. Jesus refused to answer the accusations of the Jews, but to Pilate’s question he gave assent to what Pilate had said, even at the cost of his life.    Matthew 27:24  Neither of those legal authorities is higher than God’s authority, so…Jesus was delivered up by God the Father! Romans 8:31  
    3. The death of Christ was effected at the hands of sinful men, but it it was planned purposed and ultimately executed by God himself. This was God’s plan, and in his confession before Pilate, Jesus was enacting that plan.  Timothy must remember that!  Jesus went to the cross for him, and did not turn back, even before Pilate, and Timothy must so confess Christ before all men.
  2. Timothy’s confession is verified by obedience. 14That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable We keep this commandment, – irreproachable and without blame.  So is Timothy to be perfect?  Not at all! Like all of us, he is to use the law lawfully, to keep the commandments, a demand to remember the Law, to strive for it as a response to Christ’s love.
  3. Timothy’s confession is to be consistentuntil the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. This obedient profession of faith in Christ is not something we turn on or off, but something that lasts throughout the ages, until Jesus comes or calls.

Implicit in this charge to Timothy is that this commandment is not just for Timothy, or for the early church but for the whole of the church, right throughout these last days, until Jesus comes.  What Paul wrote to Timothy he writes for us too, and for every Christian, in every age of the church.

© Bob McEvoy

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