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1 Timothy

May 18, 2009

Background

I. Introduction I Timothy 1:1-3

II. Timothy’s Overall Responsibility I Timothy 1:5-20

  1. Timothy’s Assignment                          I Tim. 1:5-7
  2. Timothy’s Tools                                      I Tim. 1:8-20
    1. The Law                                                                I Tim. 1:8-11
    2. Paul’s Testimony and Christ’s Plan of Redemption I Tim. 1:12-17
    3. Timothy’s Gifts                                                  I Tim. 1:18-20

III. Timothy’s Specific Responsibility I Timothy 2:1-6:10

  1. Develop Responsible Leadership                        I Tim. 2:1-3:16
    1. Through Prayer                                                          I Tim. 2:1-8
    2. Through Organizational Discipline                     I Tim. 2:9-15
    3. Through Qualified Leaders                                     I Tim. 3:1-16
  2. Develop a Responsible Ministry                            I Tim. 4:1-5:2
    1. Recognize the Enemy                                                I Tim. 4:1-5
    2. Be a Responsible Minister                                        I Tim. 4:6-5:2
  3. Develop Responsible Stewardship                          I Tim. 5:3-6:10
    1. To the Needy                                                                 I Tim.5:3-16
    2. For the Leadership                                                      I Tim. 5:17-24
    3. Within the Church                                                        I Tim. 6:1-10

IV. Let’s Summarize I Timothy 6:11-21

Background:

The theme I’ve chosen for this book is Christian Responsibility. Paul is writing
a letter to Timothy outlining what he expects Timothy to accomplish during his
tenure at Ephesus. This is the same information Paul has given Timothy verbally
before departing for Macedonia. Many times we wonder what God wants us to do.
He gives us instructions and we need clarification because we either forget
or get sidetracked. Likewise, God has given us written instruction. It is His
Holy Scripture, the Bible. So I have approached this letter thinking it was
beneficial for Timothy and also beneficial to each of us as Christians. We may
not be a pastor but we are all ministers and we are all responsible to make
sure that His ministry goes forward without stumbling or bumbling. To that end,
let us take these instructions to Timothy as personal instructions to us, applying
them to our lives.

This is a letter of instruction and encouragement [directional in nature] to
a young pastor ministering in a pagan city with a purpose of correcting and
maturing young Christians in the faith. Paul, his mentor, has gone on. Timothy
is alone without first hand apostolic knowledge and authority. He has the Scripture,
the Holy Spirit, this letter, and his personal faith in Christ. But that is
enough.


Introduction                                                                                           I Tim. 1:1-2

Here we learn that Paul’s vocation, as an Apostle, is a command of God. Likewise
we have a responsibility to assure ourselves that our vocation is one authorized
by God too. This concept is foundational to being content with our lives.

Another concept here is that God is actually our Savior because He provided
His only Son Jesus Christ as our hope. He, God the Father, is responsible for
the plan of our salvation. But we also understand from these verses that they,
the Father and the Son, are One.

Timothy is Paul’s chosen son; faith-joined. Actually, Paul has trained Timothy
and treated him as a son. He was able to leave home and accompany Paul on his
second and third missionary journeys. So in many ways, Timothy is like a son;
special, someone Paul can confide in and can rely on. We have a picture: Paul
is the father, Timothy is the son, God the Father is the god-father type/grandfather,
and Jesus Christ is the boss. Jesus Christ is our means to the Father. They
grant us grace which leads to mercy which leads to peace

Timothy’s Overall Responsibility                                                   I Tim. 1:3-20

Timothy’s Assignment                              I Tim. 1:3-7

Paul outlines Timothy’s job description in simple terms. He is to:

  1. Expose false doctrine
  2. Turn their focus away from myths and genealogies
  3. Unify them in God’s work of faith and
  4. Turn them into a loving community having a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.

It appears that the Ephesian church has trouble staying true to the gospel
message of faith in Christ. Paul’s earlier letter to them emphasized the work
of Christ, the goal of unity, and how to live Christ-like. It’s interesting
to look at the overall attention given to the Ephesians. They had great teachers
of the likes of Priscilla and Acquila, Apollos, Paul was there twice [once for
3 plus years], Timothy, later the apostle John evidently was overseeing them
after Paul was executed [see Revelation], and perhaps Onesimus. They had the
best that Christendom had to offer and yet they strayed easily.

So just what are the issues concerning myths and genealogies? Myths were probably
stories promoting other ideas of God not witnessed by the Apostles and, therefore,
not trustworthy. The Apostles were charged with the responsibility to keep the
message pure until the inspired Word of God was completed. Genealogies focus
on man’s path and who man is rather than on God’s path and who He is. This is
an early form of humanism and takes attention away from the need of repentance
and rebirth. Ones faith becomes attached to your earthly heritage and not to
your heavenly heritage.

Paul wants the Ephesians to remain true to the faith which is love for Christ
founded on a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. A pure heart
comes through repentance for sin and obedience to Christ. A good conscience
is established by knowing right from wrong. A sincere faith gives one confidence
and assurance concerning the future, a future with Christ resurrected unto eternal
life.

Your words and actions are meaningless, non-productive, and promote controversies
resulting in sects and false doctrine if you are not focused on Christ and don’t
have a love for Him [i.e. a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith].

Some wanted to be teachers having power and prestige but were unwilling to
study, listen, and apply themselves to the Truth. They wanted to be handed the
job and not have to work for it through study and peer respect [living the Truth].
They had no answers when questions arose; a shallow head knowledge with no heart
knowledge. They were easily led astray.

Actions speak louder than words. These people just wanted to talk and teach.
They were all show and no maturity. How loud do we speak when we don’t say a
word? Are people willing to listen to us because our life of obedience to God
attracts respect? Timothy’s job is to get the Ephesian church stabilized and
on the road to maturity

Timothy’s Tools                                     I Tim. 1:8-20

I’ve looked at this next section as tools that Timothy has in order to accomplish
his assignment. Those tools are the Law, Paul’s testimony coupled with Christ’s
plan of redemption, and Timothy’s ability/gifts.

The Law                                                     I Tim. 1:8-11

The Law is good. It is for sinners. It is sound doctrine. It is good because
it is God’s benchmark. The Law is for us because all have sinned. It is sound
because it reveals our need for Christ. It is not for use as the Pharisees used
it [for their gain] but for knowing God’s Truth. The Law as used here could
mean the Old Testament scriptures and not just the 10 Commandments. However,
I believe it refers to the whole law, the Torah or Pentateuch. The Law foreshadows
Christ as the Lamb of God and our High Priest.

Paul’s Testimony and Christ’s Plan of Salvation                    I Tim. 1:12-17

Perhaps this section would be better titled God’s mercy and grace. Those are
tools of God available for us to use in His service. Paul starts out by thanking
God for strength [endurance, health] and for His confidence in Paul [faithful,
worthy]. He is even thankful for his opportunity to serve God. Then he reminds
Timothy how unworthy he is but God’s mercy was greater. Paul reminds us of Christ’s riches that are his just as he reminded the Ephesians in his earlier letter.
He is telling Timothy “Don’t forget what I was and what I have become through
Christ” and “Don’t forget what I have written the Ephesians”. These are tools you can use to mature the Ephesians and to keep them from going off on tangents.

Paul acknowledges the abundance he has been given by God; abundant mercy,
abundant grace, abundant faith, and abundant love. These are gifts that all
believers receive from God. Recognizing, accepting, acknowledging, and comprehending these gifts enables us to have The Abundant Life. We will be abundant in:

  • joy, thanksgiving, and praise
  • hope and vision
  • patience and peace
  • freedom from sin and death
  • victory and/or defeat
  • gentleness and self-control
  • purpose and meaning
  • good positive relationship
  • knowing God’s will
  • ministry and service
  • truth; without error
  • the Holy Spirit
  • confidence and self esteem
  • kindness and goodness

God saves sinners through Christ. If He can save Paul, He can save you. God’s
mercy is available to all. Paul is a living testimony of God’s redemptive power,
grace, mercy, and love. And God is patient in making His mercy available. His
will is that all will place their faith in Him, receive Him as Lord and Savior,
and desire to fellowship with Him forever. Christ saves sinners; Christ saved
Paul; Christ wants to save us. Praise God.

God is God. He can not be dethroned. Neither His agenda nor His purpose can
be changed. What he has done for Paul, Timothy, and me [Owen] He wants to do
for each of us. He is worthy of our allegiance and worship.

Timothy’s Gifts                             I Tim. 1:18-20

Timothy evidently has some very special gifts that are obvious to those who
know him. They are not defined for us but we do know they will help him with
his ministry in Ephesus. His gifts will enable him to withstand temptations;
keep the faith and know right from wrong. It is my opinion that Timothy is a
good student of Scripture; he knows what he believes and why; he is an excellent
teacher and preacher [not an evangelist]; he is humble and meek; he is personable;
and he is patient. Paul is leaving him in Ephesus because he is the best person
for the job. Paul needs someone in Ephesus who can lead people into maturity,
who won’t fold under pressure, and who won’t compromise the gospel. If you were
looking for a pastor, Timothy would be a unanimous choice.

Timothy’s Specific Responsibility                                             I Tim. 2:1-6:20

Develop Responsible Leadership                                I Tim. 2:1-3:16

Through Prayer                                                                 I Tim. 2:1-8

PRAY! PRAY! PRAY! Pray for all people. Pray for your church, your pastor,
Christians, friends, unbelievers, enemy’s, neighbors, everyone. It is one of
the “good works” that every believer can and must do. Kings [leaders
in government] and “those in authority” are singled out for special
emphasis so that the church in Ephesus and we as Christians can live in peace,
without conflict, so as to practice “godliness” and “holiness” openly and without fear. We are to show support and encouragement to our leaders in education, city government, state and national government through prayer whether we agree with them or not. It is easy to pray for those with whom we agree, for those who believe but it is very difficult to pray for those who do not agree with us. And when we do pray for those with whom we do not agree, do we pray that God will change their mind?…….. or change their heart?

There are some very important and critical issues which require us to pray
today and every day. Today they are creation vs. evolution, pro-life or pro-abortion,
homosexual rights and marriage, freedom of religion and not freedom from religion,
free speech or censured speech , spanking and child abuse, legalization of drugs,
immigration policy, terrorism etc.,etc. When it comes to the social and moral
issues, are we as Christians drawing the battle lines or pointing them out?
Are we picking a fight or pointing out error? Are we looking for credit to be
given to a person and/or and organization or are we willing to give the credit
to God? These are key questions to ask when we need to disagree with our leaders.

Our actions in prayer, politics and every-day life must be in tune with God’s
will that “all men might be saved”. Actions of prayer, of good-will,
and of encouragement are to be on a higher plane [God’s plane] to point others
to Christ. We are to be in the world but not of the world. When we look for
examples of God’s love, do we think of the Church as the people of God or the
Salvation Army? When we look for examples of a Godly lifestyle, do we think
of the Church as the people of God or do we think of the Amish? I am not saying
that they are right and we are wrong. I’m only pointing out that we as the Church
[and the Amish and the Salvation Army are a part of the Church] have a long
way to go in being a noticeable witness of God’s love and grace to our neighbors.
Standing up for Christ and truth does not mean we should ignore or fight. We
are to be meek, humble, bold, loving, compassionate, and in prayer.

Prayer unifies Christians in thought, word, and deed. Through prayer we seek
and learn God’s will. Through prayer we have the opportunity to live in peace
and harmony with God. Through prayer we can be God’s instruments and servants
promoting peace……..but not soldiers promoting conflict. We have “just
right” to speak out on “just causes” today, but we are to use
the language of a meek and humble servant of God and not the language of war.
Which is a greater blessing to others, propagating a cause or prophesying on
behalf of Christ? Lift up holy hands and PRAY! PRAY! PRAY!

Through Organizational Discipline                   I Tim. 2:9-15

This passage is difficult for many in today’s culture because its’ wording
tends to want to limit women. I think it’s message is much broader in scope
and that is why I’ve chosen the term “organizational discipline”.
This passage talks about the role of women but the important concept is “role”
and not women. Today we keep thinking that submission means a person does not
have a voice and that leaders do not need to listen. Nothing could be further
from the truth. Good servants submit [and we are all servants] and good leaders
listen. Even leaders are accountable to someone. But organization is important
to provide order, prevent chaos, and to move forward. So let us look at this
passage with this as background.

The focus here is on women because, let’s face it, they attract attention.
They attract the attention of men. But Paul is saying deeds are more important
than dress. How we dress identifies us with the world in which we live. Fancy
clothes can detract from our good deeds. What we wear can detract from worship.
If your work is really valid you’ll under-dress for the cameras. You will not
attract attention by what you do wear or by what you do not wear. You will want
the focus to be on worship and good works; not on yourself.

Women are to be submissive to man as man is submissive to God. Again, submission
is necessary for order and harmony. One who practices submission [man or woman]
has a powerful role of influence. Submissive people bring up issues and ideas
but they are to be discussed in the background, openly, such that they don’t
affect others if they happen to be controversial and/or emotional. Issues that
become public should be rid of emotion and objective in nature to promote rational
decisions. Churches do a poor job of this because they have large meetings to
air issues instead of committees charged with seeking input prior to the large
meeting.

Paul is also reminding men that they have a responsibility to take a leadership
role in teaching God’s Word. They are to preach by word and by deed the gospel
of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Finally, Paul seems to remind women not to underestimate the very important
role of Motherhood. They are to have faith in God and in their role. They are
to love God and love their role. They are to have the holiness of God and do
what’s right and best. They are to have propriety; dignity, honesty, integrity,
possessiveness toward their role; ownership of their God-given role/work. It
is true worship. There is not a job on earth that is more important to God and
to society than Motherhood. Let’s not forget it.

Through Qualified Leaders                                        I Tim. 3:1-16

This is a very straightforward passage laying out the criteria for selecting
leaders and deacons to serve the local church. It also introduces the concept
that ones’ conduct gives evidence for ones’ “godliness”. Seventeen
criteria are listed for those who desire to be an overseer/leader and eight
criteria are listed for those who are to be considered for the office of deacon.
The characteristics listed are essentially the same, unless you want to split
hairs, but the emphasis is different. Note the difference in emphasis as follows:

Overseer/Leader Deacon
Witness to the community Witness to the congregation
Evangelizing Maturing
Work of “Justification” Work of “Sanctification”

But their purposes are the same, that of “Glorifying” God through
preaching/teaching/living the gospel of Jesus Christ. Each one of us has the
same purpose too. The only difference is that some are specifically chosen to fulfill a leadership role in the community and/or in the church.

Paul makes the point that ones’ home is a mini-church. How you manage your
household is a good indication of how you will perform if given the opportunity
to help run the church. Ones’ management style can make friends or enemies,
bring strife or peace, generate love or hate, facilitate truth or error, be
progressive or obstructive, bring encouragement or discouragement etc. How one
conducts himself/herself is very important.

Church leaders represent the Church and God to the world. Yes, we as individuals
do too. But when we want to understand how a nation thinks, we look to their
chosen leaders. So when someone [government, organization etc.] wants to know
what the Church thinks, they too look to the Churches chosen leaders. They are
our representatives; Gods special representatives. Therefore, we must seek God’s
will, employ sound criteria, and make wise choices.

Paul then addresses the mystery of “godliness” by looking at Jesus
Christ [vs. 16]. He humbled Himself and came to earth in the flesh as God Incarnate.
He was anointed with and by the Holy Spirit. Angels not only saw Him but ministered
to Him. He preached that “the Kingdom of God is near”. His message
was mainly to the Jews but gentile Rome, who had conquered the known world,
knew the message too. Many believed His message of redemption and then He was
‘Glorified”, returned to heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father.
In much the same way we are to humble ourselves before Him, recognize Him as
God Incarnate, receive the Holy Spirit, realize that angels watch over and protect
us, tell others of His payment for our sin that many would believe and put their
faith and trust in Him, and then await to reside in heaven with Him. Today we
as Christians are to be a living witness of the Incarnate God, Jesus Christ.

In summary then, Godly leaders are necessary to a Godly Church which is necessary
for carrying on the work of an Incarnate God.

Develop a Responsible Ministry                              I Tim. 4:1-5:2

Recognize the Enemy                                                    I Tim. 4:1-5

False doctrines will creep into the church body and people will abandon the
true faith. These doctrines will be in the form of legalistic views; adding
to the Word of God. In verse 1 Paul tells Timothy to remember that such will
happen. In verse 5 Paul tells Timothy to discern what is correct through the
Word and through prayer. False doctrine can only be counteracted by knowing
sound doctrine. The underlying truth in this scripture is that all of what God
created is good. He said so in Genesis 1-2. We are to be thankful for all He
has given us but are also to be careful and responsible in its use such that
the freedom we have is a testimony of His grace [Rom. 14]. We are not to isolate
ourselves with rules but engage the world with His love and grace.

These so called “believers” [actually false teachers/irresponsible
ministers] abandon the faith instead of defend the faith; they follow deceiving
spirits instead of apostolic teaching; their salvation is from works and regulations
instead of faith in Christ; they are hypocritical, shifty, without conscience
instead of having integrity and godliness. For them, truth is relative. You
see, our hearts don’t’ need a checklist [regulations] to measure growth and
commitment. We just need a person [Christ] and a purpose [“follow me”].

God takes the unclean food and makes it holy; consecrated through His Word
and through prayer for His glory. He does the same for us; for He created both
food and man and has the power to consecrate both.

Finally, being thankful to our Father God is a welcome trait. The more we are
thankful, the more consecrated we become, the more obedient we become, the more graceful we become, the more faithful we become, the more loving we become, the more trusting we become, the more steadfast we become, and the more thankful we become. I call this the “ring of loyalty”. It starts with being
thankful to God for all that He has done for us in Christ Jesus.

Be a Responsible Minister                                         I Tim. 4:6-5:2

There are several themes that are included in this portion of scripture and
some very definite instructions/guidance given to Timothy.

First, grace is the cornerstone to good preaching. In so many words Paul is
saying “stick to the basics, avoid the fluff, and point to Christ”.
Keep it simple and keep it pure.

Second he talks about the importance of training so one can endure. Training
in Godliness gives one endurance now and for eternity. Godliness is promoting
the gospel message with a servant attitude in love for Him. It involves what
we do and how we live. God defines Godliness, not man. Godliness defined by
man will look like works. Godliness defined by God will look like God in speech,
life, love, faith, and purity.

More specifically, Paul defines a responsible minister as follows:

  1. He will recognize, resist, and confront doctrinal error. [4:6]
    He discerns.
  2. He continually and consistently trains to be Godly. [4:7-8]
    He has a continuing education plan.
  3. He rests his hope on the living God, Jesus Christ. [4:10]
    He is focused.
  4. He has confidence in and of the Truth. [4:11-12]
    He is anchored.
  5. He practices what he preaches in speech, life, love, faith, and purity. [4:12]
    He is consistent and trustworthy.
  6. He reads the Word publicly. [4:13]
    He is a standard bearer.
  7. He uses his talents and gifts. [4:13-14]
    He works hard and effectively.
  8. He perseveres regardless of circumstances. [4:13-14]
    He is faithful.
  9. He grows spiritually. [4:15]
    He matures.
  10. He promotes the gospel and prevents backsliding. [4:16]
    He influences and builds the body of Christ.
  11. He treats all people with proper respect. [5:1-2]
    He, in turn, is respected by all.

As stated earlier, this is a message for Timothy and it is a message for each
one of us who call ourselves Christian. We are all called to be His ministers
regardless of our position or our vocation. What a witness for Christ the Church
would be in the world today if we individuals could consistently focus our energy
on these eleven attributes in all that we say and do. They are worth memorizing
and putting into practice.

Develop Responsible Stewardship                       I Tim. 5:3-6:20

To the Needy                                                                        I Tim. 5:2-16

Because of the culture of Paul’s day, this portion of scripture focuses on
the plight of widows. However, the principles outlined here can be applied to
a general category called “the needy”. These principles are excellent
and our churches and governments would do well if they put these into practice
and used them as guidelines regarding who they help when.

Honoring our parents involves caring for them. This is especially true for
widow and those with limited earning power and savings. This concept is repeated
throughout this text.

A needy widow practices real dependence on God. Those who squander their gifts
for selfish pleasure are left without compassion. Widows must practice good
stewardship and be thankful. Be willing to give the gifts you receive to others
who may even have a greater need.

Widows, to receive help from the church, must have exercised their faith through
good works [evidence]. They understand and practice Godly stewardship, showing
themselves faithful to their calling and to the gospel. One is helped/served
because they helped/served others.

Be careful of young widows because they are likely to be more interested in
themselves than in others. Don’t honor those who come to church looking for
a handout and are not faithful to the gospel. They will run as soon as they
marry, if not before.

In other words, practice “welfare” at the lowest and smallest possible
level. Mandate it for the real needy and elderly.

Now let me try and put these words into some distinct principles.

  1. Define those in real need. [vs.3]
    1. Require families to support their own needy members. [vs.4, 8, 16]
    2. Refuse those with selfish interests. [vs.6]
    3. Eliminate those who desire to marry. [vs. 11-14]
    4. Help those who’s only hope is God. [vs.5]
  2. Concentrate on those who are over 60 years of age. [vs.9]
  3. Verify they have a history of being faithful to their spouse [no adulterers].
    [vs.9]
  4. Verify they have a history of serving others. [vs.10]
  5. Establish that they want to continue to serve others and are not just looking
    for a handout. [vs.6, 10]

You may think that these principles are too strict. But consider that the
Lord’s command for us is to love Him with all our heart, soul, strength and
mind and to love our neighbors as ourselves. The Church is the body of Christ
on earth. We are His witnesses. We are to be about His work, His ministry. Therefore
the requirement of serving others is valid. By serving others, we serve Him.
By loving others, we show that we love Him. It is our witness to those who do
not know Christ as Lord and Savior. So it is natural that those the church would
help, the needy, would want to continue their work of helping others. It is
their worship.

For the Leadership                                               I Tim. 5:17-24

What is said in this portion of scripture is in support of the Church’s leadership
but in one sense all of us have a leadership in some ministry. The principles,
therefore, really apply to all of us.

Leaders/elders deserve special recognition because they have a dual responsibility,
that of supporting their personal family and also supporting the family of believers.
Leaders are also envied so be careful to investigate fully and require at least
two or three witnesses when accusations are made against them. Take accusations
seriously but make sure of the facts before proceeding with discipline. Do not
practice favoritism within the body of leaders or within the body of Christ.
Treating people with equality gives honor, dignity, and respect to all and promotes
unity in the body and in Christ.

We are not to be hasty or overanxious in choosing our leaders/elders. Take
time to observe their gifts and their fruit. The fruit [good works] must be
of good quality. It is a witness for and to Christ. One rotten apple can spoil
the whole crate, making the witness of the local church ineffective. Leaders
must be inspected, tested, verified, respected, and steadfast in their faith.

As pastor [leader], your health is important too. Your work is important.
Therefore, it is important to keep yourself healthy so His work can continue
in the most efficient manner. Sickness happens but don’t be the cause of it
because of neglect.

Good deeds and bad deeds are never hidden. Some just show up faster than others.
You are always an open book to others. What is contained in the chapter of our
lives that people are reading now? Are they reading about our good fruit; love,
compassion, encouragement, faith, hope, etc? Or are they reading about bad fruit;
envy, strife, selfishness, greed, pride, etc? Is our fruit green, ripe, or rotten?
It is important that we grow, mature, persevere, and preserve in our faith.

Within the Church                                        I Tim. 6:1-10

Here we see Paul beginning to hurry to finish this letter. He also begins
to focus repeatedly on two specific concerns, false teaching and money. His
statements become more like staccato, short and to the point. These commands
or instructions are for all church members, believers. He mentions four subjects;
ones attitude toward your employer [slave/master], ones attitude toward the
scripture, ones attitude toward life, and ones attitude toward money. We begin
to sense the importance of our personal witness being consistent with the church’s
witness/teaching. Unity and consistency is important for maximum effectiveness
on behalf of Christ. This is the ultimate in Christian stewardship.

Our attitude toward our employer is a witness of our belief in Christ, positive
or negative. We are to show respect and be grateful. Are we expressing unhappiness
or gratitude in the workplace? Gratitude points to God. If our employer/boss
is a believer, we are to be even more respectful [honor] because we are commanded
to be loving and hospitable to our brothers in Christ. We have a common purpose,
that of serving Christ to the best of our ability.

False teaching, that which is contrary to the teaching of Jesus, quickly leads
to quarrels and friction. It can not be tolerated because it affects the unity
of the body with Christ. Instead of trust we have distrust; instead of love
we have hate, instead of unity we have conflict and schism, instead of peace
we have war, instead of a strong witness we have a weak witness. Conflict among
the people means the Church loses it’s attractiveness for their mission of prophesying
the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. There is a test given here too. It is
the fact that false teachers are usually doing it for financial gain.

Contentment is an important attribute and also a powerful witness of Christ
Jesus to the world. We are to be content with what we have. Money has a tendency
to refocus one’s life and become the center of all our energy. Our focus must
be on sharing the gospel. Ask yourself what your priorities in life are……sharing
and caring or getting and going?

Let’s Summarize                                                                           I Timothy 6:11-21

Paul closes with four specific themes in summarizing Timothy’s responsibility.
They are to pursue fruit, persevere to the end, preach for placing ones hope
in God and for good works, and to protect his faith and the faith of the Ephesian
church.

Evidently the Ephesian church and the Ephesian community was one of wealth.
It was a significant cultural, commercial and religious center in its day. So
Paul is exhorting Timothy to avoid the trappings of money and pursue [focus]
on righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. He is to
fight for the faith. In other words eliminate false teachings as they occur.
He is to continue being a strong witness and confess Christ among the people.
God gives life and with that life comes power and boldness to be a witness for
Him until the end.

Our witness on behalf of Christ should contain the following points:

  1. He will come again.
  2. He is Lord and King.
  3. He is immortal and eternal.
  4. He lives with God and is God.
  5. He is to be honored, glorified, and worshipped.

Our hope is to be in God and not in money. “We can not serve two masters.”
Our hope is to be in the Certain One and not in uncertainty. We are to enjoy
all God gives us, to be content. We are to do good deeds and share with others.
Treasure in heaven is based on our willingness to share on earth. The more we
give away on earth, the more we will have in heaven. This is an investment plan
that requires one to give instead of save.

Finally Paul encourages Timothy to guard [protect] his faith and the faith
of the Ephesian church. He is to refuse and refute intellectual approaches which
ignore God. Education is important and good but that which ignores God leads
to foolishness instead of wisdom. This is a very important application for today
in that most sciences will teach evolution as fact, ignoring God. Put your faith
and hope in God, not man; in Christ, not intellect. By doing so, we will persevere
to the end and enter into eternal fellowship with God, our Creator. Glory be
to God!

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