A helpful and timely message from Dr. Kevin Carson Apr 26, 2020 | Christian Living, Coronavirus COVID-19
In today’s reading of 1 Timothy 6:11-16, I was impressed with the significance of the energy we are to use toward godliness. Here’s the text and then I’ll explain how it impacted my thinking today.
11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, 15 which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.
After he discusses contentment in the verses immediately prior to these, he then pushes us to expend some effort. Let me highlight his ideas.
FLEE AND PURSUE
Initially, he points out that the person desiring to honor God (the man of God) must flee – which is active – and pursue – which is active.
If someone were after you and you were running away from that predator for your life, we would both call that “fleeing” and would use much energy to do it. Running away from a threat is not passive. This is active. It would involve sweat, time, and much energy.
If we were pursuing someone in order to catch that person, it would take what? Both time, energy, and possibly some sweat as well. That term also implies action.
We flee those things that do not honor the Lord (1 Tim 6:3-5) and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Big idea again: this is active, not passive.
FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH
Essentially he refers here to a spiritual battle that each one of us are in. As followers of Christ, we are to participate in the good fight of faith and to lay hold of eternal life. Again, let’s make this very simple.
The fight is real. Faith is not passive nor easy as well. Paul refers to it as the battle between the flesh and the Spirit in Galatians 5. This is the same battle he refers to here too. It is a battle. We must engage in it. This refers to an active battle that will force us to use our energy, time, and attention. We fight through our own lusts to pursue godliness.
Further, he includes laying hold of eternal life. Does he mean we earn our salvation or eternal life? Absolutely not. He refers to living consistent with your life in Christ which ultimately looks like eternal life. This is similar to Philippians where Paul says to work out our own salvation. Essentially – you are saved and have eternal life – so now go live like it!
Again, both laying hold and fighting the good fight imply action.
In fact, he takes it one more step. He says, “Keep this command without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing.”
WHAT MOTIVATES US?
We are motivated by looking into the wonderful nature and work of our Savior. Look how he uses multiple verses to draw our attention toward our Savior. He encourages us with eternity. Jesus’ soon return initiates it. He alone is immortal, dwelling in unapproachable light, to whom belongs all honor and everlasting power.
Why are we willing to put in all this effort? Because of Jesus Christ! He is worth it.
Does contentment, growth, and victory come without effort? Absolutely not. We have work to do.
Therefore, let’s do our part. May God help you and me both to wisely use our energy, time, and effort for the goal of honoring our wonderful Savior because He is worth it!
KevinCarson.com | Wisdom for Life in Christ Together © 2020 KEVINCARSON.COM
Thank you, Kevin, for these wise reminders.
Soli Deo Gloria