The Book of 1 Timothy Bible Study Chapter 6 Part 2

Our last reading in 1 Timothy is 1 Timothy 6:11-21

We are called to be used by G-d. When we become believers, we are no longer living our own lives but, the Scripture says, our lives are hidden in Messiah (Col 3:3). Paul’s epistle to Timothy teaches us how to have the right perspective. When we have G-d’s perspective on things, we can carry out His will. Paul instructed Timothy (who led a congregation/s), to instruct others about how to walk/behave in a way that was worthy of their call. 

v11: O man of G-d: Paul was instructing Timothy, but this epistle has relevance for all believers – male and female. 

  • Flee: We need to be walking with discernment. When things are in front of us, we need to make a decision. If those things are Kingdom things, then we should pursue them. If they are not Kingdom things, then we should flee from them (temptation etc). 
  • These things: The love of money, contentions, poor doctrine, etc. All these things belong to the desires of the world, rather than to the Kingdom of G-d. 
  • Righteousness: It is only through the commandments of G-d that we can understand what righteousness (or unrighteousness) is. The commandments are not instruments of salvation, they are not a tool for making us righteous, but they still define what righteousness and unrighteousness are.
  • Patience: Perseverance. Enduring. Overcoming the things of this world. 
  • Gentleness: Meekness. Gentleness means to give a place for G-d to bring about the results, not trying to work out for ourselves what the results are. We need to be faithful to G-d in a quiet, controlled way – not calling attention to ourselves. 

v12: Fight the good fight: Gentleness, as we read in the verse above, does not mean that we have to be pacifists. Fighting or contending is a military term. There are some battles that we as believers have been called to fight. 

  • Eternal life: We need to see eternal life in two ways:

1. There is the full expression of eternal life which is a Kingdom expression (this is what we as believers experience once we die and leave this world). 

2. What Paul is speaking of here is the foretaste of eternal life that we can start to experience right now while we are alive in this world. Right now, in this world, we can begin to live in light of Kingdom truth. Right now, we can take hold of an eternal life perspective. 

  • To which you were also called: This is part of our call – to demonstrate Kingdom truth. Contending for our faith means demonstrating the laws, principles and truths of G-d now…in this world. 
  • Witnesses: The Greek word used here is a word for ‘martyrs’ – those who have gone before us and who have been put to death because of their commitment to G-d. We need to be people who are willing to lay down our lives for the sake of Kingdom truth. 

v13: I urge (charge) you: This is a command. 

  • Gives (makes) life: This is written in the present tense and is referring to something that G-d is doing right now. When we are taking hold of Kingdom truth, displaying and demonstrating it in our lives, G-d responds by ‘making life’ (i.e. Making our lives into what they are called to be, giving us direction and insight). When G-d ‘makes life’ it means that He is giving us discernment. 
  • (Literally: Testified before Pontius Pilate a good testimony): When Yeshua was before Pontius Pilate, He did not compromise by panicking or begging for His life. Yeshua knew that Kingdom life was much greater than life on this planet. When Yeshua was before Pilate, He spoke in a way that Pilate did not understand. Pilate did not understand truth. He was completely invested and committed to the ways of this world. When we are committed to this world, Kingdom truth becomes distorted or blurred in our minds. We are unable to perceive it. However, when we are committed to Kingdom truth, we are given clarity as to what is going on in this world. 

v14: This commandment: The commandment of being conformed to the character of the Kingdom. The Kingdom is a Kingdom of righteousness (Matt 6:33). We need to flee that which is ungodly and we need to pursue righteousness, G-dliness, faith, love, patience and gentleness. 

  • Blameless: Without reproach.
  • Our L-rd Messiah Yeshua’s appearing: This is speaking of our Blessed Hope – the Rapture. 

v15: He will manifest in His own time: Yeshua is coming to bring this world to its conclusion. 

  • Potentate: Monarch or ruler
  • King of kings and L-rd of L-rds: Yeshua is King over those who are serving in this world as kings. He is L-rd over those who are L-rding over others in this world. 

v16: Note: It is difficult to ascertain if this verse is speaking about Yeshua or about G-d the Father. The verses preceding this one speak of Yeshua, but the verse immediately after this one (i.e. 1 Timothy 6:17) speaks of the G-d who provides. G-d our Provider is usually referring to G-d the Father.  

Immortality: G-d is immortal. The definition of immortal is this: Living forever, never dying or decaying. 

1. Living forever: Messiah, being G-d, is immortal. He has always existed (lived forever in the past, is still living today and will live forever into the future). There was never a time when He did not exist (John 1:1-3). 

2. Never dying: Yeshua did not grasp at having equality with G-d the Father (Phil 2:6-8) but He humbled Himself and took on human flesh. As a man (the incarnate Son of G-d) He never sinned and so was never worthy of death (Roms 6:23). However, He tasted death by dying for our sins (Phil 2:8, Heb 2:9). This in no way negated His immortality. Though His physical body died, His Spirit was very much alive – 1 Peter 3:18-19. 

3. (Never) decaying: Acts 2:31

  • No man has seen or can see: In our natural state (in our flesh) we are unable to approach G-d. Yeshua, even now, is seated at the right hand of G-d the Father – the One who dwells in unapproachable light. 

v17: Note: We are called to have a Kingdom mindset. That mindset is in opposition to the things of this world. 

  • This present age: This age, that we are living in now, is not eternal. It is going to fade away. 
  • Haughty: Thinking of themselves more highly than they ought to. 
  • Trust: Hope. Riches fade away. Trust in them is misplaced. 
  • Richly: G-d gives generously and abundantly.
  • To enjoy: G-d is not a kill joy. He loves His people to be full of joy. 

v18: Let them do good (works): This is a commandment. 

Note: G-d abundantly gives us things for our enjoyment, but not only for our enjoyment. He wants us to abundantly share the things that He has given to us with others. 

v19: The time to come: The future. 

  • That they may lay hold on eternal life: Paul is talking to people who already have eternal life (through salvation). Good works, sharing with others etc does not give us eternal life. But when we do good works, share with others, etc, we take hold of the things that have eternal life attached to them, they have eternal value. These things carry rewards, promises and blessing which do not end when we die, but they follow us into the eternal Kingdom. 

Note: Although all believers will be in G-d’s Kingdom, we will not all experience the same experience there. When Yeshua spoke of the Kingdom, He used the words ‘least’ and ‘greatest’ (Matt 11:11, Mark 10:42-43). 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 tells us that what we do in this life can be classified into different categories – gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or straw. Only what we have done in this life that survives, when refined by fire, will have eternal value and reward. Some people will have great eternal reward. 

Everything that does not hold up in the refining process, i.e. everything that we do now, in this present age, that has no eternal value, will be burnt up and we will suffer eternal loss. Although we will be saved, and we will spend eternity with G-d, those who suffer loss will do so with minimal eternal reward. 

Wise believers want to have an abundance in the Kingdom of G-d (in eternity). This abundance will be used eternally in appreciation and thanksgiving to Messiah (Rev 4:9-10).  
Eternal life: 
The modern translations do not say ‘eternal life’ (Kingdom life) but replace the words with ‘that which is truly life.”

v20: Guard: Keep. Look after. 

  • What was committed to your trust: Referring to all that was given to Timothy – his call, his giftedness, G-d’s provision, all the insight that Paul had modelled before him and written down for him etc
  • Avoiding the profane and vain babblings: Paul instructed Timothy to not waste his time with profitless babbling. If the Scripture doesn’t address an issue (eg: who the two witnesses in Revelation 11 are etc) there is no sense endlessly talking about this issue in an attempt to reach a conclusion. In our example: The Scripture does not reveal who these witnesses are. If G-d did not think it was proper to tell us who they are then we need not know. 
  • Contradictions (Opposing arguments): Arguments which are against Scripture. 

v21: Strayed: They have turned aside, turned away. Vain babbling, false knowledge, taking issue with things not rooted in Scripture has caused these people to turn away from the faith. We either turn towards vanity or we turn toward faith. If we turn to faith, it means that we turn away from idle babblings and false knowledge. If we turn away from faith, we embrace these things (idle babblings etc). 

Note: Paul’s first epistle to Timothy lays a strong foundation for those who walk in faith, who are rich in goods deeds and who have a testimony that is pleasing to G-d. 

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