Working as an evangelist in the great
city of Ephesus, Timothy found himself in a very tough
writer puts it this way: “The second major section
(2:1–6:10) cannot be divorced from the purpose of Timothy’s
stay in Ephesus, which was, to stop false teachers.
These false teachers had wreaked havoc on the church
in many areas. ... The church was in disarray and needed
correction; it also needed new leadership, as seen in
chapter 3” (Wallace).
writer explains the situation with these words: “There are
good reasons to assume that these [false] teachers were
[some] local elders who had embraced some ideas that are
quite incompatible with the Gospel of grace (1:11-17):
First, unlike the other letters of Paul that deal with false
teachers ..., 1 Timothy gives no hint that these teachers
might be outsiders.
Paul has already excommunicated two of them, clearly
All in all, Paul has left Timothy with a very difficult
assignment” (Fee & Stuart).
would you like to have been in Timothy's place as a church
leader facing such opposition?
We'll return to that question in just a moment, but let's
get a little historical setting for this letter.
three missionary journeys took place from about 48-56 A.D.
56-60, Paul was slowly making his way through the Roman
courts, arriving ultimately at Rome.
two years, 61-62, Paul was held under house arrest in Rome
[as Acts 28 attests]” (Keathley III).
When Paul writes his letters to Ephesus, Philippi,
and Colosse, we find Timothy's greetings too, so he must
have linked back up with Paul in Rome (Nelson Study Bible).
the end of Paul's time in Rome, it can be surmised that Paul
From 62-67, Paul traveled more or less freely” (Keathley
traveled with him to Ephesus, where Paul left him while he
himself traveled on to Macedonia.
then writes this letter around 63 A. D. to encourage
good two word summary of the book is: “Be exemplary!” based
on Paul's admonition to be an example of the believer
Yes, how would you like to have been that soldier on the
front lines facing those false teachers who have already
done some damage and are out to tear up the congregation
the beginning of this letter, after reminding Timothy why he
was left in Ephesus, Paul then states in verse 18: “This
charge I commit to you, son Timothy...”
word for “charge” refers to a military command.
It is an order to be carried out; Timothy is under a
military obligation (McAuthur).
is calling Timothy to the awareness that he is engaged in a
war. And in so calling Timothy to that [challenge], he
calls the rest of us as well.
We are to understand that our calling is to fight a noble
war against the forces of Satan.
[Towards the close of this letter in 6:12], Paul also says,
'Fight the good fight of faith!'
So at the beginning and at the end of the letter,
he reminds Timothy that he is indeed in a war against the
forces of Satan” (McAuthur).
may not be facing the false teachers that Timothy faced, but
we also are very much involved in a spiritual battle against
Satan and his forces!
Right now, everyone in this audience is either in
Jesus' army or Satan's army.
Himself left no middle ground by saying on one occasion in
Matthew 12:30: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and
he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.”
you have never been immersed in Jesus' name for the
remission of your sins, you are living in Satan's camp and
you are against Jesus.
you may be living a good moral life, you may attend our
Bible classes, and you may be here in our assembly every
Sunday, but you are still in Satan's camp.
can I presume to make such a statement?
answer is found in Colossians 1:13 where the apostle Paul
affirms that God “has delivered us from the power of
darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His
love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the
forgiveness of sins.”
Did you catch the two actions in that verse?
you become a Christian, your sins are forgiven by Jesus'
blood, and God transfers you out of the camp of Satan and
puts you into the camp of Christ!
see, if you want to make that transfer, you must find where
forgiveness of sins can be found.
is seen clearly in Acts 22:16: “And now, why are you
and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the
name of the Lord!”
you are baptized, your sins are forgiven, and you became a
disciple in the Lord's army because the Lord also adds you
to His church (Acts 2:47)!
If you're not in the Lord's army today, don't delay!
Like Paul did, arise and be baptized, so your sins can be
washed away and you can become a solider in the Lord's army!
Now for those of you who are members, what kind of a soldier
think about this?
When you join the military, how much freedom do you
have to do as you please?
for furloughs, you are expected to be what?
are expected to be “on duty” aren't you?
oh, now there is that hard four letter word—duty.
not a word we like to talk about. We don't know [much]
about that today.
In Christianity, we know about freedom, about
spiritual success, about joy and peace, about
fulfillment. ... But we talk very little about duty.
that's part of what's been built into our culture, and it's
found its way into the church. We are an undisciplined
culture and an utterly self-indulgent culture.
And so what we have gained in the church is a lot of
people whose personal preoccupation is self-indulgence.
And whatever makes them feel good and whatever they
particularly want to do or don't want to do governs their
life. We know ... very little of duty. We are
not a duty bound people in our thinking” (McAuthur).
Let's just image that in 2010, our elders came up
with a contract that each of us would have to sign in
that contract, it would state that we are obligated to
attend all worship services here three times a week, to
attend one service at both our Gospel meetings, to read at
least 50% of the chapters designated for a given week on our
Bible reading schedule, to pray at least 5 minutes a day,
and to give at least $10 a week in the collection.
many of you would feel duty bound to fulfill what they are
asking you to do for the strengthening of your own spiritual
many members would be instantly disqualified in one month,
or even in one week?
You see, are you really being a dutiful soldier?
before you answer, there's something else that needs to be
pointed out here: that contract didn't say anything about
teaching, serving, forgiving, and blessing others, which
Jesus would also say are our obligations if we really want
to make it to heaven!
see, are you really being a dutiful soldier?
what advice did Paul give to Timothy to help him to be a
look quickly at eight ideas in this letter that Paul gives
about this good warfare!
First of all, let's remember our
this beautiful passage with me that Paul writes in 1:12-16:
“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me,
because He counted me faithful, putting me into the
ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a
persecutor, and an insolent [or violent] man; but I obtained
mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith
and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful
saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ came into
the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus
Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those
who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.”
says that He thanks Jesus.
Are you grateful to Jesus for what He has done for you?
was Paul thankful?
Paul deserved Christ's wrath, but he was given
Paul describes the Lord's grace to him literally as “superoverflowing”!
gets excited when he talks about Christ’s grace.
are we excited too when we think about how Christ's grace
has touched and transformed our lives?
the next phrase mean that Christ put His faith in Paul and
shared His love with Him?
Think about that—Christ has faith in you and wants to share
His love with you as well!
is a truth that will never change: Christ became a human so
that sinners could be saved!
Everyone here this morning can be saved, can be made
righteous in God's eyes!
if you don't believe that statement, Paul would say to you:
“Look, friend, I am ‘Exhibit A’ that Christ not only can
forgive a terrible past but also can give everyone the
future hope of eternal life!”
a gracious Commander Jesus is!
gave His all for you!
you give your all for Him, and let Him transform you today?
Next, Timothy, recall
Paul says that in this way in verse 18 again:
“This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the
prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them, you
may wage a good warfare.”
a paraphrase of Paul's words: “Timothy, some prophecies were
made about you in the past as to how effective a minister
you would be!
those prophecies, Timothy, and live up to them!”
What was your enlistment like?
there were no prophets there to say how your life would turn
there was someone who taught you the Gospel, there may have
been a preacher or an elder who also believed in you, and
there were certainly other members who were so thankful to
see that you finally decided to get into the battle!
forget that enlistment day!
Cherish it and renew the original commitment that you
made to the Commander to do His will and to fight wherever
He would lead you!
word “warfare” refers to all the campaigns and strategies
that must be used throughout the war.
When you enlisted, you did so for long hall!
a good warfare throughout the rest of your days!
Next, Paul tells Timothy to strengthen
what is said in verse 19: “having faith and good
conscience, which some have rejected, concerning the faith
have suffered shipwreck.”
is to keep his faith in THE faith.
is to stay with the sound, wholesome, and healthy teachings
of Christ and the apostles.
the Christian armor, the Sword of the Spirit, or God's Word,
is the only offensive weapon!
Timothy must use it well against the false teachers!
your faith in God's Word strong?
you looking to It for guidance in your life?
your faith by staying with Christ's teachings!
Next, Paul admonishes Timothy to
uphold a good conscience.
is interesting that Paul puts faith and conscience together
3 times in this letter (check out 1:5 and 3:9 too).
shows clearly that right teaching and right living must go
beliefs are half the battle, but the other half is living
them out in godliness (and this word is found 8 times in
teaching and pure living go together. There is an
inseparable link between truth and morality, between right
belief and right behavior” (McAuthur).
When these two are exercised together on the battlefield,
they produce a Christ-like character that will win spiritual
to truth and practicing purity will keep your spiritual ship
from becoming shipwrecked!
Be a good sailor as well as a good solider by
upholding a good conscience!
Next, Paul tells Timothy to instruct and exhort his fellow
4:6, Paul states, “If you instruct the brethren in these
things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ,”
and in 5:1, Paul advises Timothy, “Do not rebuke an older
man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers,
older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with
we all know the teachings of Christ, then we need to be
recalling them and encouraging one another to obey them.
need to be able to give positive and accurate answers to
negative and false doctrines!
should exhort one another with pure motives and pure
thoughts as God's family.
want to protect our church family from wickedness and
laziness and make it spiritually stronger and more active.
and exhort your fellow soldiers!
Next, Paul encourages Timothy to focus
on his ultimate reward.
turn over to 6:12: “Fight the good fight, lay hold of
eternal life ...”
Acts 20:31, Luke tells us that the people ran together,
seized Paul, and dragged him out of the temple.
you seize something, you grab onto it, hold it tightly, and
don't let go.
the word we have in 1 Tim. 6:12 when Paul tell Timothy to
lay hold or seize eternal life.
In essence, Paul says for Timothy to grab hold of eternal
life, hold it tightly, and never let go!
Eternal life is our ultimate reward too.
Now Timothy was a Christian, but he had to keep that
ultimate reward ever before him as he fought the good fight
do the same!
seize upon heaven and eternal life with all the redeemed!
the battles get rough, let's hang on to that wonderful
ultimate reward that Christ will give to all the faithful!
Next, Paul encourages Timothy to live
up to his confession and his commandment.
12-14 say: “to which you were called and have confessed
the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I
urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things,
and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession
before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment
without spot, blameless until the Lord Jesus Christ's
essence, Paul says, “Timothy, you confessed Christ as your
Lord or Commander at your baptism before many other
live up to that confession!
when you must stand before Roman officials, just as Jesus
did, continue to make that good confession!
be traitor, Timothy!
Live up to your confession and your commandment or
Don't be a traitor, fellow Christian, let's live up to our
confession and commandment as well!
an atheist gave speech and then challenged anyone is the
audience to refute him.
young ladies stood up and began signing, “Stand up, stand up
the whole audience was standing and singing with them.
were living up to their confession and commandment!
Next, Paul commands
Timothy in 6:20: “O Timothy! Guard what was committed to
word 'trust' is a word for a deposit you put in a bank, it's
a valued deposit. Paul gave to Timothy a valued
deposit. What was it? It was a deposit of truth,
it was a deposit of truth which is more valuable than
anything. ... Paul got it from Jesus.
then took that trust that he had from Jesus of sound
doctrine, that gospel, that biblical truth and passed it on
to Timothy. And he says, 'Timothy, hang on to that and
don't let it be adulterated and don't let it be varied and
don't change it. ... Don't listen to all of those profane,
vain babblings and false science; keep that deposit which
committed to your trust'”(McAuthur)!
Wycliffe, of the 14th century, was driven into
virtual exile for his translation of the Bible into English.
knew that the church and state authorities would unite to
destroy his translation, so he wrote these words in the
flyleaf of his Bible:
Bible is translated and shall make possible a government of
the people, by the people, and for the people.”
you recall that 500 years later, President Lincoln
immortalized those words (Swindoll)?
What a powerful deposit or trust this Good Book
guard it and live by it!
Someone has said, “[Paul called
Timothy] as if he were a front line soldier called to a very
hot part of the battle to do something very essential for
the matter of victory for the whole army.
The false teachers are advocating an untrue doctrine and an
ungodly lifestyle. And so Timothy is called to deal
with this. And it's a difficult thing. He's not
dealing with someone down the line in terms of spiritual
responsibility, but with [those who were] leaders” (McAuthur).
Timothy's warfare was unique, and so it will be for you as
a dutiful soldier, you are called to do battle for the Lord
you haven't yet enlisted and entered into Christ's camp,
won't you give your life to this gracious Commander today?
you let God transfer you from Satan's camp into Christ's
you have enlisted, but have failed to live up to your duty,
won't you ask Christ to forgive you and get back into waging
a good warfare and fighting the good fight?
the battle or get back into the fight!