Becoming the Person that God Desires
1 Timothy 6:11-16
Introduction: Do you consider yourself a man or woman of God? Perhaps you have thought that only a preacher of missionary or some super hero Christian could be considered a man or woman of God. In the Old Testament the description “man of God” was said of people such as Moses, Samuel, Elijah, and David. In the New Testament the phrase is used by Paul when he writes to Timothy and is encouraging him to do and be the right thing.
In Paul’s writings to Timothy he often gives him instructions in a similar way that a commanding officer would give orders to a subordinate. In our text this morning Paul gives Timothy one of his closing pleas to be faithful and carry out the ministry in the very difficult place that he has been placed. In his orders he gives Timothy three steps to take as a man of God. If we are going to become the person that God desires of us, the same three steps need to be followed.
a. Sometimes the man or woman of God must flee.
b. You will remember that Joseph came to the place where he had to flee from Potiphar’s wife because of her immoral advances toward him. Joseph physically had to run to get away from the temptation that would have caused him to sin against his master and his God. He needed to put some distance between himself and the temptation. Sometimes we might need to do the same thing!
c. The kind of fleeing that is spoken of here is not necessarily physical but it does mean to rapidly remove from oneself the situation at hand, at least in your thinking. When that is not enough, run from it physically too!
d. What is the man of God to remove himself from? The false teachers and their greed. The love of money.
e. That subject has been addressed several times in the letter. It was mentioned in the qualifications of pastors and deacons. It was the motivation behind many of the false teachers. It may have even been a problem that Timothy struggled with personally.
f. Paul tells Timothy as a man of God to stay away from such desires because it has ruined many a man.
a. Timothy was to do more than just run away from something. He was also to pursue something else.
b. God is not just against doing the wrong things, He is for doing the right things. He wants the man of God to eagerly desire these things, to actively go after them.
c. Six things that the man of God must follow after.
i. Righteousness – Speaks of character and personal integrity
ii. Godliness – Speaks of his conduct, that actions are consistent with those of the heavenly Father.
iii. Faith – That he is faithful and dependable
iv. Love – Agape, love that sacrifices. It is a love that looks to give, not get!
v. Perseverance – Sticking to it when the going gets rough
vi. Gentleness – meekness not being wimpy in the face of opposition but standing firm with kindness.
a. To be a fighter might seem like a strange step for a man of God!
b. The word “fight” is the word ag·o·nid·zom·ahee and it is where we get our word agonize. It means to contend with adversaries and to strive to obtain.
c. It is not talking about church business meetings!
d. There are many struggles along the way as we seek to live a life of faith.
i. Our sin nature
ii. The world which is anti-God
iii. Satan our adversary
e. How to be encouraged as we strive to do our best to fight the good fight.
i. Take hold of eternal life that is ours.
ii. Realize that we are not alone and the family of God is with us.
iii. Remember the example of Jesus and His stand for righteousness and the Father’s purpose before Pontius Pilate and others. The enemies did not scare or deter Him in any way. When the going gets tough remember Jesus!
f. Paul charges Timothy to stay focused and remain spotlessly faithful because of what lies ahead:
i. Jesus Christ is coming again
ii. He will come at just the right time
iii. He is described as: The Only Sovereign or Potentate, The King of Kings, The Lord of Lords.
iv. He is unlike any of the false gods whose statues littered Ephesus.
v. He is the only who possesses immortality of Himself. Only God is not subject to death as a essential and inherent part of His being.
vi. He alone exists in unapproachable light.
vii. He alone is invisible and man is unable to view His glory and survive. Jesus Christ laid aside or veiled this glory so He could live among men without their dying!
g. When Paul thinks about who God is he gets so excited and says to Him be honor and eternal dominion forever! In the Roman culture people we forced to pledge their allegiance and worship to Caesar. Paul is encouraging Timothy to give honor to whom honor was due, to the only real God!
Conclusion: If these are the steps to being a man or woman of God, how many have you taken? Which one are you standing? How are you doing with fleeing the things that we should stay away from? How are we doing with pursuing the righteousness that we are to be following after? Have you joined into the good fight of the faith taking hold of the fact that you have eternal life waiting for you? Hopefully, we are all walking up the steps and looking forward to that day when we will me the Lord and hear Him say, Well done, soldier, you were a great fighter!
1 Timothy 6:11-16 (NASB95)
11 But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.
12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and 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 testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate,
14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,
16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.