1 Timothy Chapter 6 Continued
1 Timothy 6:11 “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”
“These things”: Love of money and all that goes with it (verses 6-10), along with the other proud obsessions of false teachers (verses 3-5).
“O man of God”: 2 Timothy 3:17 This is a term used in the New Testament only for Timothy; as a technical term. It is used about 70 times in the Old Testament, always to refer to a man who officially spoke for God (see note on Deuteronomy 33:1).
This (along with 1:2; 2:1), indicates that the letter is primarily directed to Timothy, exhorting him to be faithful and strong in light of persecution and difficulty, and particularly with Paul’s death near. The man of God is known by what he:
(1) Flees from (verse 11);
(2) Follows after (verse 11);
(3) Fights for (verse 12); and
(4) Is faithful to (verses 13-14).
The key to his success in all these endeavours is the perfection produced in him by the Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
“Righteousness, godliness”: “Righteousness” means to do what is right, in relation to both God and man, and it emphasizes outward behaviour. “Godliness” (see note on 2:2), refers to one’s reverence for God, and could be translated “God-likeness.”
“Flee these things” means shun a love for money (verse 10), and the striving for material wealth (verse 9), with all its resulting woes. “Follow after” means pursue. “Righteousness” is practical correctness, conforming to God’s will in one’s thinking and acting.
“Godliness” is proper reverence for, and obedience to God. “Faith” is a trust in God that grows stronger. “Love” is a maturing affection for God and man. “Patience” is perseverance or steadfastness in life and service. “Meekness” is gentleness.
Paul is stressing to Timothy here, the importance of teaching the people to seek godly things and not things pleasing unto the flesh. We must remember along with this, that all of these people professed Christianity. “O man of God” lets us know that those who are God’s live a different life, with different goals than that of the men of the world.
The godly do not follow after riches, they follow after righteousness. Those, who are seeking wealth, have no time for other things. Not only are we not to seek riches, but we are to flee from the lust of riches. These things (in verse 11 above), that are mentioned, are opposite of lust for riches. These are things that come from a humble heart stayed upon God.
To be “righteous” means we are in right standing with God. “Godliness” means that we have patterned our life after His life. Faith is the ingredient that pleases God. To have faith and trust in God means that we are satisfied with the position He has placed us in.
Love causes us to give, not to take from our fellowman. Patience comes as a gift from God. Most men in a hurry to get rich have no patience. You can easily see why this would be important to mention the godly. Meekness and the personality of the proud are the opposites, as well.
1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”
“Fight the good fight of faith”: The Greek word for “fight” gives us the English word “agonize,” and was used in both military and athletic endeavours to describe the concentration, discipline, and extreme effort needed to win.
The “good fight of faith” is the spiritual conflict with Satan’s kingdom of darkness in which all men of God are necessarily involved (see notes on 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 2 Timothy 4:2). The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare.
“Lay hold on eternal life”: Paul is here admonishing Timothy to “get a grip” on the reality of the matters associated with eternal life so that he would live and minister with a heavenly and eternal perspective (Philippians 3:20; Colossians 3:2). Laying hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possesses spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.
“Thou are also called”: Refers to God’s effectual, sovereign call of Timothy to salvation (see note on Romans 1:7).
“Good profession”: Timothy’s public confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, which likely occurred at his baptism and again when he was ordained to the ministry (4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6).
Every minister I have ever known must go back and look at this statement that Paul made to Timothy. Sometimes, the fight becomes so difficult, that in the natural we want to stop. The advice was good for Timothy, and it is good for us as well.
We cannot give up the fight, because the way is hard. When you receive your salvation, hang on to it, do not let it slip away.
Romans 8:35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” “As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,” “Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Paul reminds Timothy that it is for his own benefit to hang on to eternal life, and it is also to the benefit of those who knew of Timothy’s love of God, as well.
1 Timothy 6:13 “I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and [before] Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;”
“Charge … God … Christ Jesus” (5:21; see note on 2 Timothy 4:1).
“Who before Pontius Pilate”: Knowing that such a confession would cost Him His life, Jesus nevertheless confessed that He was truly the King and Messiah (John 18:33-37). He rarely evaded danger (John 7:1); He boldly and trustfully committed Himself to God who raises the dead (Colossians 2:12).
A “charge” is a command. “Quickeneth” contains the idea of giving life to. Since God gives life to all things, He can also enable Timothy to “fight the good fight” (verse 12).
If our leader (Jesus Christ), witnessed a good confession before the world, we can do no less. Christians must be Christ-like. Paul encourages Timothy to not be overcome by the opposition. He reminds him that the world was opposed to Christ Jesus.
Timothy is young and needs this word of encouragement. Paul is explaining how truthful this statement is when he says, in the sight of God, and before Jesus Christ.
1 Timothy 6:14 “That thou keep [this] commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:”
“This commandment”: The entire revealed Word of God, which Paul charged Timothy to preach (2 Timothy 4:2). Paul also repeatedly encouraged Timothy to guard it (verse 20; 1:18-19; 4:6, 16; 2 Timothy 13-14; 2:15-18).
This refers to the charge (in verse 13), which embraces the injunctions of (verses 11-12). Thus, “this commandment” is the charge to pursue godliness (verse 11), and to fulfil one’s ministry (verse 12). “Without spot, unrebukable” means Timothy is to be meticulous in his obedience of (verses 11-13), that is, without fault and failure in compliance.
“Appearing”: When the Lord returns to earth in glory (2 Timothy 4:1, 8; Titus 2:13), to judge and to establish His kingdom (Matt.hew24:27, 29-30; 25:31). Because Christ’s return is imminent, that ought to be motivation enough for the man of God to remain faithful to his calling until he dies or the Lord returns (Acts 1:8-11; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Revelation 22:12).
Christianity is not something we put on and take off at our convenience. It is a daily walk. Paul is saying, stay in that narrow path of righteousness that leads to eternal life. This just means that he must never turn back into the world.
Jesus will appear unto those who are looking for Him. We must live every day as if today was the day of His coming. Stay faithful until Jesus takes us home.
1 Timothy 6:15 “Which in his times he shall shew, [who is] the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;”
“In his times”: The time, known only to Him, that God established in eternity past for Christ to return (Mark 13:32; Acts 1:7).
“Potentate”: This word comes from a Greek word group that basically means “power.” God is sovereign and omnipotently rules everything everywhere.
“King of kings, and Lord of lords”: A title used of Christ (Revelation 17:14; 19:16) is here used of God the Father. Paul probably used this title for God to confront the cult of emperor worship, intending to communicate that only God is sovereign and worthy of worship.
We may read the first part of the verse, “Which [Jesus’ appearing of 6:14], He will make visible at the proper time.” A “Potentate” is a sovereign ruler.
When Jesus returns to this earth, it will not be as Savior. His name will be King of kings, and Lord of lords. The lords and kings of this earth must step aside because the true King will be here. At the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue confess.
Philippians 2:10-11 “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;” “And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
He is not King of the few, but King of all.
1 Timothy 6:16 “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom [be] honour and power everlasting. Amen.”
“Whom no man hath seen, nor can see”: God in spirit is invisible (1:17; Job 23:8-9; John 1:18; 5:37; Colossians 1:15), and therefore, unapproachable in the sense that sinful man has never seen nor can he ever see His full glory (Exodus 33:20; Isa 6:1-5).
Jesus is not a light, He is the Light. He is the source of all Light. It is His Light that gives all things the power to be. The things we call light here upon the earth, such as the sun and the moon, are not creative Light. They are only fixtures that we see Light in. He is the everlasting One. He is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.
Immortality means unending existence. He is the great I AM. No man can see this with his natural body, or he would be totally consumed.
Hebrews 12:29 “For our God [is] a consuming fire.”
Jesus, and the Father, and the Spirit are somehow all of this. If we could ever get to the point that we understand all there is to know about God. Currently, we cannot fully understand. We can just know some things, and that is enough. He is Power. He is Everlasting God. Amen, “so be it”.
Verses 17-18: Paul charges wealthy believers
(1) Not to be proud and look down on those who are not rich,
(2) To confide in God rather than in unstable riches,
(3) “To be rich in good works” by generously sharing their surplus of financial resources with the needy. To be “ready to distribute” is to be generous in sharing. To be “willing to communicate” is to be liberal in giving.
In (17-19), Paul counsels Timothy what to teach those who are rich in material possessions, those who have more than the mere essentials of food, clothing, and shelter. Paul does not condemn such people, nor command them to get rid of their wealth. He does call them to be good stewards of their God-given resources (Deuteronomy 8:18; 1 Samuel 2:7; 1 Chronicles 29:12).
1 Timothy 6:17 ‘Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;”
“Highminded”: “To have an exalted opinion of oneself.” Those who have an abundance are constantly tempted to look down on others and act superior. Riches and pride often go together, and the wealthier a person is, the more he is tempted to be proud (Proverbs 18:23; 28:11; James 2:1-4).
“Uncertain riches … giveth us richly”: Those who have much tend to trust in their wealth (Proverbs 23:4-5). But God provides far more security than any earthly investment can ever give (Ecclesiastes 5:8-20; Matthew 6:19-21).
Considering (verse 16), how could they be high-minded? This world and all its riches shall pass away. Riches, life, and many other things in this life are uncertain. They are here today and gone tomorrow.
2 Peter 3:10-11 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which, the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” “[Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,”
We see from all of this, how silly it would be to place your faith in something so temporary. The only truly lasting thing, that we can put our trust in, is God. God allows some of us to use a lot of material things on this earth. They are not ours, they are His. We should act accordingly.
1 Timothy 6:18 “That they do good, that they are rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;”
“Ready to distribute”: The Greek word means “liberal,” or “bountiful.” Those believers who have money must use it in meeting the needs of others, unselfishly and generously (see notes on Acts 4:32-37; 2 Corinthians 8:1-4).
Seeing that these things are just here for us to manage for the Lord, they should be used for good. Possibly, Paul placed this in this letter to Timothy, because the Jews really thought themselves to be better than other people. He is telling Timothy; teach them that these earthly treasures really do belong to God. Teach them to use the treasures the way Jesus would use them if He were here.
Willing to communicate means not thinking themselves too good to talk to someone they think to be their underling. They must use what God has entrusted to them in a manner pleasing unto God.
1 Timothy 6:19 “Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
“Laying up in-store … a good foundation”: “Storing up” can be translated “amassing a treasure,” while “foundation” can refer to a fund. The idea is that the rich in this world should not be concerned with receiving a return on their earthly investment. Those who make eternal investments will be content to receive their dividends in heaven (see notes on Luke 16:1-13).
“Lay hold on eternal life” (see note on verse 12).
When wealthy believers generously share (verse 18), they secure an assurance (“laying up in store for themselves a good foundation”). that in the future (“against the time to come”), they will indeed enter heaven (“lay hold on eternal life”).
Salvation is not purchased by the giving of money, but generosity demonstrates the reality of one’s faith. Since the believer trusts God and not money, he gives. This giving shows where his heart is and that he views his wealth considering eternity.
This laying up in store for themselves has to do with storing our treasures in heaven.
Matthew 6:19-20 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:” “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:”
We remember back to the last lesson, we discovered that God and money could not both be our God. If money is our god, we will wind up in hell. If God is our God, we are not in love with the money.
Verses 20-21: The church’s main responsibility is to guard and proclaim the truths of Scripture, so Paul here instructs Timothy on how to guard and protect the Word of God.
1 Timothy 6:20 “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane [and] vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so-called:”
“That which is committed to thy trust”: This translates one Greek word, which means “deposit.” The deposit Timothy was to guard is the truth, the divine revelation that God committed to his care. Every Christian, especially if he is in ministry, has that sacred trust to guard the revelation of God (1 Corinthians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
“Oppositions of science falsely so-called”: False doctrine, anything claiming to be the truth that is, in fact, a lie. False teachers typically claim to have superior knowledge (as in Gnosticism). They claim to know the transcendent secrets, but actually are ignorant and infantile in their understanding (see notes on Colossians 2:8).
“That which is committed to” Timothy’s “trust” is a knowledge of the truth imparted by Paul. He is to “keep” or guard it. To ensure this, Timothy must turn away from “vain babblings” [empty talk devoid of truth], “and oppositions” (heretical arguments used to oppose the truth).
So many people try to prove the Bible technically with scientific books. The Bible is the Word of God. It does not have to be proved. It is the standard that we should judge all else by. Faith is not fact. If you could prove something, it would take no faith to believe it.
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Vain babblings are false doctrines that are brought for consideration. Paul tells Timothy, keep the Truth that you already have. You cannot improve the Truth.
1 Timothy 6:21 “Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace [be] with thee. Amen.”
Those who “erred” went astray from the truth.
It appears that some had listened to the vain babblings, and believed them. This would be a terrible error on anyone’s part. Paul prays that the unmerited favour of God (grace), will be Timothy’s.
“Grace be with thee”: All believers require the grace of God to preserve the truth and pass it on to the next generation.