Fight the Good Fight of Faith
Adult 1 Sunday School Class 1 Timothy 6:11-21 February 25, 2018
Theme: We are surrounded by all kinds of advice. What is the best advice to follow? Paul charged Timothy to embrace certain attitudes and actions and avoid others in order to strengthen his faith.
Understanding and Interpreting the Scripture (responses are in bold print)
Please explain the meaning or significance of the following verses
* 1 Timothy 6:11, “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” In the first 10 verses (1 Tim 6:1-10) in which Paul instructs Timothy to flee from perversions and all things ungodly and embrace those things that are righteous in the sight of God. Maintain the faith despite those things which are tempting and difficult to avoid. He also tells Timothy to reject the “affection of silver” from which many false prophets fall prey. In short, the love of money is the root of all evil. Men of God are known by what they flee from, follow, fight for, and is faithful to. Righteousness is to do what is right, in relationship to both God and man. Godliness is one’s reverence for God and could be translated at “God-likeness”.
*v.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.” Paul admonishes Timothy “to fight the good fight of Faith and “lay hold to eternal life. It means to hold fast to your faith in face of opposition and persecution and that you should live up to what you professed at baptism in front of your fellow Christians. Paul is now calling him to account for his beliefs. Fighting the good fight also means addressing the fight of spiritual warfare against the evil one of darkness of whom all men of God must be ready to defend against. We are to live and to minister with a heavenly and eternal perspective “whereunto we are also called.”
*v. 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.” Paul reminds Timothy of Jesus’ confession before Pontius Pilate when he proclaimed that he was the true king and the Messiah, while knowing that it would mean His life. He strongly affirmed and committed Himself to God who has the power to raise the dead.
*v. 14 and 15, “That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15. Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.” Paul commands Timothy to remain faithful and to preach the Gospel without any changes or omission until Christ returns. Paul instructs him to teach the Gospel until he dies, or Christ returns, that ought to be enough motivation for teachers to teach. “…In his time” refers to Christ’s return for which no one knew the hour nor the day, which was an indication that Jesus wanted them to teach “until”. The phrase “King of kings and Lord of lords” indicated Christ’s deity and that He was a Potentate, “sovereign ruler”. These were very radical words in the Roman Empire which could have been understood as treason.
*v. 16, “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” Here Paul is comparing Jesus with God, because we all know that Jesus is God. The words that Paul uses: immortality, dwelling in the light, …no man has seen, nor can see, and honour and power everlasting.” Here Paul concludes Christ’s attributes including sound doctrine and the fundamentals of the faith, again indicating that Jesus is God.
*v. 17 and 18, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, not trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy, 18. That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate.” Paul tells Timothy not to seek after riches, nor does he tell Timothy to have the rich discard their wealth. They should be responsible for what they have while being good stewards of what they have and share with others; while not being highminded or conceited. Do not trust uncertain riches (i.e. things which are temporary), but in the living God (i.e. which is everlasting and provides for us our needs). Rich people tend to trust in their wealth, but God provides much more security than their earthly investments.
*v. 19, 20, and 21, “Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 20. O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21. Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen”. Paul tells Timothy that he as well as all ministers are the keepers of the doctrinal faith of the Gospels, against all false prophets who would seek to lead people to err in their faith. “Storing up…a good foundation” refers to the rich of this world should worry less about investing their riches on earth as opposed to investing them for eternal dividends.