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Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
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SCRIPTURE: 1 Timothy 6:11-21
KEY VERSE: Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12)
· 1 Timothy chapter 6 continues the Apostle Paul’s instruction to Timothy concerning ministering to the various kinds of believers in the church.
The atmosphere is military, for Paul used words that belong to the army: (1) “Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12); (2) “I give thee charge” (1 Timothy 6:13), which is the same military term used in 1 Timothy 1:3. (3) “Charge them that are rich” (1 Timothy 6:17).
· The Apostle Paul said,
“O Timothy, keep (i.e., guard) that which is committed to thy trust” (1 Timothy 6:20).
In other words, you might say Paul was the general, giving Timothy ORDERS FROM THE LORD, the Commander in Chief.
· Paul instructed Timothy how to minister to the people in the church, and also how to keep his own life in the will of God.
I. THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH. (1 Timothy 6:11-16)
A. We are to PURSUE.
(1 Timothy 6:11) But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
INSIGHT: These are the virtues that a godly man or woman should pursue.
1. Pursue “righteousness.” This means “personal integrity.”
2. Pursue “godliness.” This means “practical piety.” The first has to do with character; the second, with conduct.
3. Pursue “faith.” This might better be translated “faithfulness.” It has well been said that the greatest ability is dependability.
4. Pursue “love.” This is the agape love that sacrifices for the sake of others. It seeks to give, not to gain.
INSIGHT: Love gives many things: help, money, food, shelter, advice, comfort, understanding, and more. Besides being an action verb, love is also a noun, a thing. When we give love, it is manifested as a selfless, sacrificial gift intended to bless and make better the experience of the beloved.
5. Pursue “patience.” This carries the idea of “endurance,” sticking to it when the going is tough. It is not a complacency that waits, but a courage that continues in hard places.
6. Pursue “meekness.” This is NOT weakness, but instead is “power under control.” Courageous endurance without meekness could make a person a tyrant. Perhaps “gentleness” expresses the meaning best.
B. We are to FIGHT.
(1 Timothy 6:12) Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
“Fight the good fight of faith.” This fight may be outward or inward, physical or spiritual.
“Lay hold on eternal life.” Let me ask you a question: If you were arrested for being a Christian and were brought into court, would there be enough evidence to convict you? This is what Paul is talking about. “Lay hold on eternal life”—make it clear by your life that you are a child of God.
C. We are to KEEP.
(1 Timothy 6:13-14) I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The phrase, “Keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable” means to keep the commandments Paul had given him without stain and reproach. My friends, if we are following Jesus Christ, we will act like a child of God.
D. We are to REALIZE.
(1 Timothy 6:15-16) Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
When Jesus Christ comes back to reign upon the earth people will realize that Jesus Christ is the blessed and only Potentate. His appearance will manifest who is the true King. At the time Paul wrote to Timothy, Jesus Christ was the rejected One, and He still is. But a day is coming when it will be clearly shown that He is the King over all those who reign and He is the Lord over all those who rule as lords. Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords!
II. A GOOD FOUNDATION. (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
A. Do not let your riches go to your head!
(1 Timothy 6:17a) Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded…
Here Paul deals with those who are already rich. Timothy should command the rich not to be arrogant. This is a temptation to the wealthy. They are apt to look down on those who do not have a great deal of money as being uncouth, uncultured, and not very clever. This, of course, is not necessarily true.
Great riches are NOT a sign of God’s blessing in the NT, as they were in the OT. Whereas wealth was a token of divine favor under the law, the great blessing of the new dispensation is affliction.
B. Do not put your trust in riches.
(1 Timothy 6:17b) …nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.
The rich should not trust in, literally, “the uncertainty of riches.” Money has a way of sprouting wings and flying away. Whereas great resources give the appearance of providing security, the fact is that the only sure thing in this world is the word of God.
INSIGHT: You cannot count on riches being there tomorrow. Many wealthy families have lost everything because of bad investments, ill health, wars, and other things. In the state of Washington, many wealthy people owned beautiful mountain cabins around the foot of Mt. St. Helen's. Now they are covered with twenty feet of volcanic ashes. When this big volcano let go, material possessions disappeared overnight.
C. Do remember that God is the source of all riches and blessings.
(1 Timothy 6:18 19) That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
1. Do good: use your money in a way that (1) helps people and (2) honors God.
2. Do be ready to give willingly of what you possess.
3. In so doing you will lay up treasures in heaven.
INSIGHT: Therefore, the rich are exhorted to trust in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. One of the great snares of riches is that it is difficult to have them without trusting in them. Yet this is really a form of idolatry. It is a denial of the truth that God is the One who gives us richly all things to enjoy. This latter statement does not condone luxurious living, but simply states that God is the Source of true enjoyment, and material things cannot produce this.
III. A GOOD TESTIMONY. (1 Timothy 6:20-21)
(1 Timothy 6:20–21) O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.
A. God had committed this truth to the Apostle Paul and Paul has committed it to Timothy.
It was Timothy’s responsibility to guard the deposit and then pass it along to others who would, in turn, continue to pass it on (2 Timothy 2:2). This is God’s way of protecting the truth and spreading it around the world. Christians are stewards of the doctrines of the faith, and God expects us to be faithful in sharing His Good News.
INSIGHT: “Science falsely so called” should be translated the falsely named knowledge. Paul is speaking of the Gnostic heresy of his day, but this can certainly be applied to all human philosophies.
B. Paul’s letter was written to counteract false teaching.
In Paul’s day: (1) The Gnostics claimed to have “special spiritual knowledge” from visions and other experiences. (2) They also claimed to find “hidden truths” in the Old Testament Scriptures, especially the genealogies. (3) They considered “matter” to be evil. (4) They also taught that a series of “emanations” (i.e. “releases” or “productions”) connected God with man. Jesus Christ, they said, was only the greatest of these emanations.
INSIGHT: The Gnostics actually had a doctrine that was a strange mixture of Christianity, Oriental mysticism, Greek philosophy, and Jewish legalism. Like many of the Eastern cults we see today, it offered “something for everybody.”
Paul summarized all that they taught in one devastating phrase: “profane and vain babblings (1 Timothy 6:20).” Phillips translates it “the godless mixture of contradictory notions.”
C. Why should Timothy avoid these teachings?
(1 Timothy 6:21) Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.
Timothy was to avoid these teachings because some who got involved in them “have erred concerning the faith” (1 Timothy 6:21). The same is true TODAY!
INSIGHT: (1) WRONG MOTIVES (for example, a desire for money) will cause a person to wander from the faith (1 Timothy 6:10).
(2) WRONG TEACHINGS will cause a person to wander from the faith (1 Timothy 6:20–21). These lies work their way into a person’s mind and heart gradually, and before he realizes it, he is wandering off the path of truth.
By David C. McCasland
it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. -- 1 Corinthians 4:2
· Much of our attention and praise is directed toward highly visible and successful people.
But occasionally we read about an ordinary, obscure person being honored for many years of faithful service. It may be a school custodian, a cafeteria worker, a handyman, or a clerk in a store who has served others in a dependable and unselfish way.
· That kind of reliability often goes unnoticed, but I believe it’s a powerful picture of how we are to live.
Although consistency may not be flashy, days add up to a life of great significance to God. Paul wrote, “It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2).
If we live faithfully for Christ, God has promised to reward us at His appointed time. When the Lord comes, He “will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts.
· Then each one’s praise will come from God” (1 Corinthians 4:5).
When we long for success, God says, “I will reward you.”
When we ache for recognition, God says, “I see you.”
When we are ready to quit, God says, “I will help you.”
· Whether our service is public or private, our responsibility is the same – TO BE FAITHFUL.
In all the
little things of life,
Yourself, Lord, may I see;
In little and in great alike,
Help me to faithful be! -- Anonymous
-- Adapted from David C. McCasland, Our Daily Breas, April 14, 2004
CONCLUSION: Consider the cost of riches today. Realize that "Godliness with contentment is great gain". There is a principle worth living out in our lives. This is a very practical passage of Scripture that we must apply. For all that we have will one day be left behind, but FAITHFUL BELIEVERS will be REWARDED by Jesus Christ when He returns!
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “God doesn't ask us to be successful but to be faithful.”
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REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook ( www.sermonnotebook.org ), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.
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