Flee wickedness. Pursue righteousness. Fight the Good Fight. Take Hold of Eternal Life.
These are the commands that Paul gives Timothy as he finishes his letter to his true son in the faith. They are good for us today too. Scripture calls us to run from sin and race towards Christ. But how? What will motivate us, strengthen us, and enable us to finish our race?
On Sunday I answered these questions from what Paul said to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:11–16. Consistent with Paul’s words of encouragement, the apostle never said “just do it.” He always gave Christ-centered motivations and God-directed visions to help the followers of Christ run their race with perseverance. Sunday’s sermon focuses on the same thing, encouraging us to read this glorious passage “backwards” in order to let the glory of God strengthen our godliness.
You can listen to the sermon online. Response questions and additional resources can be found below.
- When Paul addresses Timothy as ‘O Man of God,’ is this a title that continues today? How should we best apply Paul’s words to Timothy to ourselves today?
- In Thomas Chalmers’ book “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection,” he argues that one cannot simply reject sinful desires, but that one must have new affections to change. How do you see this in verse 11? What about in your own life?
- Flee, pursue, fight, take hold… how do these instructions inform us about the nature of the Christian life?
- In what ways do you “flee” and “pursue”? What does it look like for you to “fight” and “take hold”? How have you seen this play out in your own life?
- Why does Paul use the Father and Son as witnesses of his charge to Timothy?
- How might these descriptions of them (giving life, making the good confession before Pilate) encourage Timothy?
- How does one keep the commandment unstained/free from reproach? How ought keeping the end-in-view (the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ) help?
- How ought we to respond to the doxology of verses 15–16?
- Spiritual Desire: The Key to Cultivating Spiritual Disciplines
- Ten Truths About the Hidden God Who Reveals Himself
- Immutability and Impassibility: Essential Truths in an Uncertain World
Soli Deo Gloria, ds