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Flee, Follow, Fight: The Charge to God's Soldier (1 Timothy 6:11-21)

Flee, Follow, Fight: The Charge to God's Soldier (1 Timothy 6:11-21) 1 Timothy 6:11–21 - 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. 17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. 20 O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— 21 which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. Grace be with you. What does today’s passage say? In today's passage, Paul instructs Timothy to reject worldly aims and lifestyles, instead pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness (v. 11). He charges Timothy to fight for faith with steadfast obedience until Christ returns, as God will honor such perseverance (vv. 12-14). After warning against loving money, Paul urges those with wealth to be generous and rich in good works instead. Earthly wealth cannot satisfy and won't last, but investing generously in eternal things like ministry will reap reward beyond this life (vv. 17-19). Finally, Paul tells Timothy to guard truth he’s been entrusted and steer clear of godless chatter and arguments that only breed controversy and discord rather than God's redemptive plan (vv. 20-21). How can I apply 1 Timothy 6:11-21 to my life? God’s Word lights a clear path through confusing times. Paul wrote to Timothy, charging him to live and lead differently than the surrounding culture. Though seasons change, human nature doesn’t. We still wrestle with questions of identity, meaning, purpose, and priorities just as they did. Technology progresses, but temptations to chase possessions, power, and prominence remain. In what we run after and invest in, we reveal allegiance. These verses unpack biblical antidotes to drifting from loyal devotion to Christ amid a drifting culture. They remind us that we participate in a spiritual battle between temporary and eternal, wrestling against forces vying for our affection. Godly training grounds us to see past the smoke and mirrors of false teachers to real substance. Here are basic principles from this passage we should apply to our lives:

  1. Run from What Harms Your Faith and Pursue Righteousness Instead (vv. 11): Paul charges Timothy to "flee" from that which undermines righteousness while "pursuing" spiritual virtues. We must reject harm, while tenaciously seeking Christ. Stay vigilant to attitudes and influences that endanger obedience. As culture shifts more sharply from godly values, even subtle messages can weaken resolve. Just avoiding sin is inadequate if it leaves a void - you need to run toward righteousness with greater intensity by engaging Scripture, serving others, praying fervently and proclaiming Christ. Be proactive in your pursuit through spiritual disciplines, boldly countering dangerous tides with passion for Jesus and His Kingdom. Fellowship, accountability and studying truth reinforce your pursuit. Let the Holy Spirit prompt conviction when drift creeps in. Then run from compromise with zeal to follow hard after Jesus (Psalm 119:9-11, Hebrews 12:1-3, 2 Timothy 2:22).

Food for thought: What relationships or practices sabotage your obedience? What can you proactively “pursue” to stir spiritual zeal?

  1. Fight the Good Fight of Faith with Eternal Focus (vv. 12-14): Paul charges Timothy to "fight the good fight of faith" and "keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ." Our spiritual battle is against distraction, discouragement, and erosion of trust in Christ. So, we must stay vigilant, not losing perspective or wavering in obedience. Keeping our focus upward enables perseverance. When opposition or fatigue threaten to deter you, resist the urge to operate from an earthly perspective focused on immediate results. Instead, lift your eyes to the eternal horizon where the promised reward awaits. Remember you fight alongside almighty God who cannot fail; He will honor faithfulness forever. So, stand confident on His promises, not your own strength or numbers. Let eternal reward motivate perseverance more than visible impact. Our Commander who already secured ultimate victory leads us forward from glory to glory as we align with His unstoppable purposes (Hebrews 10:32-39, Romans 8:31-39, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

Food for thought: Are you fighting in your own strength and earthly perspective? What eternal realities, if properly grasped, could renew courage and perseverance right now?

  1. Invest in Eternal Reward, not Temporary Riches (vv. 17-19): After instructing Timothy to warn those who are rich not to put hope in wealth, but in God who provides everything we need, Paul charges him to teach generosity – “to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.” Earthly wealth is deceitful in promising security and happiness it cannot deliver. And it is fleeting - kept only temporarily before turning to dust. But radical generosity initiates ripple effects that reach through eternity as more people receive and respond to the Gospel. Since possessions on earth cannot be taken beyond this life, generously invest them into ministries and churches that help people experience Jesus’ love and redemption. Fund Gospel work, support missions, meet practical needs. Where you put resources reveals what you truly trust so spend less on comforts and give more to expand God's Kingdom. Store up Heaven’s reward rather than more fleeting possessions (Matthew 6:19-21, Galatians 6:7-10, Luke 12:33-34).

Food for thought: In what ways do resources and possessions grip you tightly rather than holding them with open hands? What shifts in spending and giving might reveal deeper trust in God’s faithful provision?

  1. Protect Your Faith from Harmful Chatter (vv. 20-21): After telling Timothy to guard what God entrusted him, Paul warns about "empty babblings" and arguments that sound wise but actually mislead. Worldly voices question truth; we must tune them out. Though disguised as enlightenment, downplaying sin, and absolutes, they chip away at convictions believers cherish. We should not just ignore ideas attacking faith but, instead, we should redirect conversations to uplift Christ. When someone attacks core Christian beliefs, rather than responding harshly in return, we can acknowledge that all people have a deep longing for meaning, freedom and truth. While their arguments may be misguided or hostile, we can still turn the conversation to explain how knowing Jesus deeply satisfies that search for truth and purpose in life. We redirect from an argument to uplifting the real freedom found in Christ showing how God’s unconditional love unlocks purpose and wholeness. Ongoing spiritual nourishment strengthens us when deceit sounds convincing (2 Timothy 2:14, 16, 23-26; Titus 3:9-11; 1 Peter 3:15-16).

Food for thought: Do subtle doubts ever weaken your trust in Gospel truths? What can reinforce certainty in confusing times? How can you redirect empty chatter to spotlight Jesus’ hope? This passage anchors us in Kingdom priorities amidst drifting tides. It charges us to run from mindsets and practices eroding obedient trust in Christ and, instead, encourages us to tenaciously pursue spiritual depth and virtue. We must fight for faith’s integrity with perspective reaching beyond the temporal to stand confident in God’s unstoppable purpose. Biblical generosity freely spends earthly resources to reap eternal dividends. Staying vigilant protects conviction when surrounding voices peddle lies masked as enlightenment. May our lives and lips proclaim Him with courage, consistency, and compassion. Prayer Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that You would scrutinize my heart and realign my investments, conversations and habits to better reflect Yours. Reveal any areas of compromise or complacency that grieve Your Spirit. Give me discernment to recognize voices competing for my allegiance and wisdom to redirect wandering hearts to You. Make me tenacious in pursuit of Christlike virtue yet humble enough to flee temptation without delay. Use me to spark awakening among complacent faith. Set my mind on things above, not temporary earthly trophies. Help me hold resources with open hands, freely spending to reap eternal rewards. I ask for courage, compassion and conviction to consistently fight for truth and live out Your priorities as the cultural current shifts. I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.

1 Timothy 6:12 – “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.” With His Blessings, Pastor Corby

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