12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time —God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
1 Timothy 6:12-16
Why do you do what you do? What motivates you? What do you live for? Who do you live for? My answer to these questions might sound like a cynical view of humanity, but I think the real answer for all mankind is simply, ‘me’! People are completely self-absorbed, barely able to lift their eyes from themselves- ‘what is in my best interest’, ‘how can I be happy’, ‘how can I get people to recognise me’ etc.
We are motivated to make decisions and live life in such a way that we are the centre of our lives… and I dare say this probably is even true for most Christians! That isn’t to imply that we are not to enjoy life or be fulfilled, our lives are designed by God to be purposeful, fruitful and satisfied, but that is not, nor can it ever be found in ourselves, but only in God.
In his final charge to Timothy, Paul makes it resoundingly clear that as a follower of Jesus, Timothy is to remember his confession of faith he made at his baptism, ‘made [his] good confession in the presence of many witnesses’ (verse 12) by declaring Jesus is King, he lives for God, His glory, His name & His renown, and that Timothy is to continue on in his life and ministry clear on who his life is really lived before and what it is lived for until he dies or Jesus returns!
It is unmistakable to Paul, life is lived ‘in the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus’ (verse 13), Notice I didn’t say, ‘life is meant to be lived’, but ‘life IS lived’!
He is the Lord of Lords, he is the Ruler, and he’s the King of Kings, he is sovereign. All your life is seen by him, it is known by him, it comes from him, and it is under his sovereign hand. Your money, time, energy, family, doctrine, ministry, work ethic, sex etc. all belongs to who? The Lord. Paul’s point to Timothy is, ‘Timothy, you need to know and remember that your life is not about you’. It’s just not.
It is not enough to have made the ‘good confession’ at one time, and then live ‘me’ centered there after, no, we are to continue live life before an audience of one, ‘without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ’, faithful in all that we do just as Jesus was as he declared he was King before Pilate, ‘Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession’.
Even when Paul wrote this, many believers still thought Jesus really was going to return imminently. I wonder if today we often forget he is going to gloriously return at all? He is! Paul is certain about the event happening, ‘keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ’, although uncertain about the time, but he knew that is all in God’s hands anyway, ‘which God will bring about in his own time’.
For those who love the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 13 says ‘one day you shall see him face to face’! One day your eyes will see the Lord. They’ll see the Lord Jesus Christ face to face. He’ll look you in the eye! You will behold the beauty of God ‘who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see’.
Paul’s doxology in verses 15 & 16 is an early Christian hymn the believers sung, about the greatness of God, His presence and immortality is not just a nice way to finish, but he said it to Timothy, so that Timothy might realise that the false teachers by comparison are really not so big. It is a great way to finish a letter- take your eyes off of yourself & your situation, instead, put them on God!
Do you live with an awareness that God watches over your life. How does this change how you live, decisions you make, your attitude and preferences etc.?
The presence of God and the faithfulness of Christ are to be two huge encouragements to us today to live lives of faithfulness!
- Why not read out Paul’s doxology (hymn) aloud and use it as a starting place to worship God:
‘God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.’
- Ask God to fill you afresh with the Spirit to help you live life in a way that honours Him in all your life
- Thank God for His faithful shepherding of you all the days of your life