Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

Fight the Good Fight of Faith

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This bible study is part of a series on the book of 1st Timothy, in order to see the full series please check out our “epistle” page or alternatively please check out our page dedicated to the book of 1st Timothy for other studies in this book.

When I set this blog up my intention was to explore the epistles and do the occasional bible study based on what I had studied and learned, what you are reading below is notes I have made. I have to confess that this bible study is basic in its content and is not prepared by a pastor and I have to admit I have no theological training; my hope in prayer is that someone will be blessed by the notes below.

Let’s start in verse eleven of the sixth chapter of First Timothy.

Fight the Good Fight of Faith

1st Timothy 6:11 (ESV) But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

As stated in the last few articles, Timothy was commanded to be a man of God and as such he was to flee these (sinful) things. Timothy remember, is called to be “above reproach” (chapter 3) it is not good enough to simply not do these things, but he is called to flee these things. Depart, run as fast as he can away from those things and never return. If you want to see a bad example of how NOT to do these things then think of the example of Lot in the book of Genesis.

Lot had the greatest possible advantages to most when we speak of characters that had the opportunity to get it right then Lot had one of the best foundations you can imagine. He had Abram (Abraham) as a mentor, he was looked after by Abram and Abram gave him the pick of the land that was promised to him to dwell in.

Lot chose the part that looked the nicest and decided to pitch his tent near Sodom. Sodom was a desperately wicked place that God eventually had to destroy with fire but Lot chose to raise a family and his daughters there. Lot makes a few bad choices and at one point offers his daughters to the men of Sodom and his daughters follow in his example after the escape from Sodom by getting their father drunk and sleeping with him. Tragic stuff huh? The story of Lot can be read in full in Genesis 12, 13, 14 and 19.

Timothy was commanded to reject these former things, that the service of God was profitable materially as well as spiritually. Which brings me to a thought about motivation and it may be a good time to assess, if you are reading this in the ministry, are you in the ministry for financial gain? (Being paid to do so, it’s a job) or Are you in the ministry for spiritual reasons? (Calling, overwhelming desire to spread the truth of God’s word)

It can be a little bit of both, you may be blessed enough to get paid for what you are called to do! If that is the case then to God be the glory! You are blessed among men. If you are doing it for purely financial gain and not for the glory of God, you will not be fulfilled, you will begin to see mainly problems and ministry is tough enough if you are called, can you imagine if you are just trying to “muddle through”.

Paul gives a list of what Timothy has to pursue…

Righteousness – Be what God has called him to be, be an example
Godliness – Growing in God in order to minister to those around him
Faith – Personal development and individual confidence in Christ
Love – Genuine “Agape” love for those he seeks to win and minister to in Christ
Steadfastness – Being patient, being in contrast to the world around him
Gentleness – Should not be confused for weakness, leading his assembly gently and in a godly fashion, not argumentative, using all that is valuable to God and leading his people like a loving father leads his children.

This is an exhortation to all who wish to be in ministry, not just Timothy. When churches look at prospective candidates for positions in ministry they use these words of Paul (both in his letters to Timothy and Titus) to assess whether a man is the type of man they should invite to become a deacon, a bishop, an elder or an overseer. Speaking personally as a man who is not in leadership at any church, this is the type of man I would want in leadership at any church I attended.

V12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 

Like Timothy, we are called to a battle; some may say a heavenly war. This is our fight too that we have to “fight the good fight” we have to rail against the standards and values of a sinful world. We have to represent Christ and be “salt” and “light” as Jesus said…

Matthew 5:13 (ESV) “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Think about your own lives? Are you being salt and light? These are not just empty words; these are the words of Jesus Christ, the one who came to sacrifice himself for the sins of the world. We cannot afford to be lukewarm Christians as it is our job to infiltrate the world and be game changers in people’s lives. We win people by loving them and by sound doctrine.

As Paul says, we have the promise of eternal life when this is all done and dusted, we have such a short time on this earth and it is up to us through the free will that we have to make choices that are going to advance the kingdom of God and live the life that God has for us.

This idea of a battle talks about conscription as well as volunteering (much like an Army in wartime) Timothy was both as we see here…

1) Conscripted  – “you were called”
2) Volunteered – “you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses”

There are times that we are moved (conscripted) by God to do things that we would never have imagined and there are times that we volunteer to be in his service. God knows your heart, knows your weaknesses and does not make mistakes, if he has called you to something then he will equip you, you have to volunteer yourself to be faithful. To surrender yourself to him and carry out what he needs you to do.

V13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Paul reminds Timothy who gives him life, the creator and one who gives life to all things, the very breath he draws is God’s, that Timothy’s very life is fragile compared to the big God that he serves. To me also and perhaps I am a little biased but I feel that Paul was moved by the Spirit of God to reaffirm God as the creator.

If we do not see a creator that we are accountable to or a reason behind living a good Godly life then we will fail to see what we were saved out of. By the same token if we fail to see a Savior or a need to be saved then why would we need the cross? Paul continues his thought by saying…

V13b and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Christ Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, the architect of such a difficult commission, as was revealed in Matthew 28…

Matthew 28:19 (ESV) Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

And Timothy was creating disciples and no mistake, by following Paul’s instructions to live the life he lived, loving his brothers before himself, effective church discipline, giving straight doctrine and being above reproach, he was being an example to both old and young, taking in both the Jew and the Greek and instructing them in the faith of Christ. What a glorious commission and a beautiful life!

Jesus gave testimony to Pilate of who he was, so much so that Pilate could not find any fault in him and ended up crucifying Jesus to avoid a riot. Jesus gave testimony on the following:

1) That he was the King of the Jews – Matthew 27:11
2) Surrender of his life, not defending the lies said about him – Matthew 27:14
3) That Pilate had no power apart from what God gave him – John 19:11

Paul uses Jesus as the perfect example as who to follow and who to hold up as the perfect blueprint. Timothy was commended to “fight the good fight” and he was to fight it until the time which Timothy said in the next part…

V14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,

This battle was not just for a day, week or year, Timothy was truly called to this for life, he was called to bloom where he is planted until the LORD uprooted him. If he was there until he went into glory then so be it, if he was there for the next five minutes then so be it. Whatever the LORD willed for his life and keep the commandment unstained and keep it free from reproach.

Everybody ought to know, who Jesus is!

V15 which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

Paul advises that the LORD will return, that it will be and only be “at the proper time” Paul did not know and was not going to say that he knew, all he knew was that it would happen and until that time we had to fight the good fight!

Paul also describes Jesus as the following..(Please bear in mind that there really are no words to describe Jesus and even our greatest praise would not do him justice)

Sovereign – The co-creator of the world, triune with a big God who has all glory honor and power, it would be impossible to put Christ’s sovereignty into words that would honor him enough.

King of kings and Lord of lords – There has never been a king like him, a lord who has ruled greater than he. He will be the ruler with 100% approval rating and no one will rule after him. He will fulfil that he is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.Who alone has immortality – Unlike the comic book heroes, this is fact he will rule forever.

Who dwells in unapproachable light – Fulfilling the “light of the world” prophecy, with a light that is so majestic no man could touch it.

To him be honor and eternal dominion – This is how long this worship service lasts! FOREVER! The glory of Christ and we will give honor to the king who rules in true justice, true exaltation and in glory!

Paul makes sure that Timothy knows who it is he is serving, by the same context if we have a correct understanding of the messiah we have and the God we serve and the holy deity that is Jesus.

Makes you think when you are making requests of God through Jesus, we sometimes put God in a box and try to compartmentalize God in order to fit our understanding. Also we are guilty when we try to “fix things for God”. It takes true faith to let go and allow God to work on something. This is how big our messiah is. He could solve our issues in a heartbeat, but we may be going through something for a lesson sake, we have to trust in God’s perfect plan.

The next study will be the last one in 1st Timothy (LORD willing) and I pray that these studies are a blessing, please check out our “Epistles” page for more studies in 1st Timothy.

Thank you again for finding this article and I pray these bible studies are a blessing. Please feel free to comment, like or share as the LORD leads you to.
TGBTG
TTE

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