Fathers That Are Faithful

Bible Book: 1 Timothy  6 : 11-12
Subject: Father; Father's Day; Men; Manhood; Man, Godly
Introduction

Can you possibly think of a greater designation which speaks of spiritual characteristics than to be called a “man of God”? Listen to the sweetness and strength of these words: “My Dad (Father) is a “man of God.”

An encouraging statement is found in these words, “God does not call the equipped, God equips the called.” The passage we are studying this morning uses words that are not difficult to grasp that help us to clearly see what the “man of God” looks like.

The Apostle Paul realized that lots of forces attempt to pull down our men, therefore, with passion and encouragement he paints the portrait of the “man of God.” One very helpful textual approach is that of contrasting the “man of God” with the one who has his affections, attention, and aim on the world only. This text concerns itself with the private and public life of our men. If these scriptural admonitions are embraced and obeyed, it would assure Timothy (the man of God) success in his life’s causes and ministries.

A great passage to launch this message on is II Timothy 3:16-17.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

I. NEGATIVELY: WHAT HE AVOIDS. 11

A. WHO.

“but you” – sharply contrasts Timothy with the false teachers of the preceding verses.

You can’t miss the intensity of Paul’s appeal. The “man of God” realizes there are certain things to be avoided at all cost.

THE TRILOGY OF MAN’S STRUGGLES

Pride - Ego “thorn in the flesh” 6:4

Greed - Money – Covetousness (Idolatry) 6:5, 17, 9-10

Lust - Sex 6:10,9 1 Cor 6:18

“O man of God” – one who believes on Him, belongs to Him. Behaves like Him. This title is indicative of a mature Christian. Only used here in the N.T.

B. WHAT.

“flee these things” – word from which we derive fugitive; present tense, emotionally flee. We should flee anything that hinders the progress or lowers the standard of the life we are to pursue.

In 6:5, “withdraw yourself” – we should turn our backs and run away from anything that is calculated to hinder the Christian experience.

NOTE: Paul carefully avoided any appearance of loving money. In his farewell address to the Ephesian elders he reminded them (there 3 years).

Acts 20:33-35, “I have coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

Why do men get in trouble? Not taking God’s Word/warnings seriously.

NOTE: 1 Tim 6:9-10, 17

QUESTION: If we flee, where do we run?

Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower;

The righteous run to it and are safe.”

II. POSITIVELY: WHAT HE ASSIMILATES. 11

Separation without positive growth becomes isolation. We must cultivate the virtues and graces of the Holy Spirit in our lives or else we will be known only for what we oppose rather than for what we propose.

“pursue” – follow after, keep on pursuing; make these things your life by pursuit; constantly strive. A.T. Robertson calls this, “vivid verb is present active imperative.” The believer cannot afford to not take temptation seriously.

The language pictures a man running away from something but at the same time moving toward something. 2 Timothy 2:22, “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” If he stops, what is behind him (sin) will catch him and attempt to pull him down. If you and I desire to be a “man of God,” these 6 characteristics listed help insure our effectiveness of reaching the goal. These words speak of character and conduct.

“man of God” is indeed a privileged title.

A. CHARACTER.

1. RIGHTEOUSNESS. EXTERNAL.

To do what is right in relation to God and man. Does not refer to Christ’s righteousness imparted at salvation, but holy living of our lives. It is the outward living of His inward life. A life marked by obedience to God and His Word.

2. GODLINESS. INTERNAL.

Right behavior flows out of right motives and attitudes.

This word can refer to reverence for God flowing out of a worshipping heart; God-likeness, imaging our Lord. It is the reverence of the man who never ceases to be aware that all life is lived in the presence of God. Charles Spurgeon refers to these truths as the “minister’s self-watch.” Speaks of the importance of our “watching over ourselves.”

Acts 20:28, “take heed to yourselves” or “be on guard for yourselves”

1 Timothy 4:16, “pay close attention to (himself).”

Puritan John Flavel, “It is easier to declaim against a thousand sins of others, than to mortify one sin in ourselves.”

John Owens, “A minister may fill his pews, his communion roll, the mouths of the public, but what that minister is on his knees in secret before God Almighty, that he is and no more.”

Charles Bridges wrote, “For if we should study the Bible more as Ministers than as Christians-more to find matter for the instruction of our people, than food for the nourishment of our own souls, we neglect then to place ourselves at the feet of our Divine Teacher, our communion with Him is cut off, and we become mere formalists in our sacred profession... We cannot live by feeding others; or heal ourselves by the mere employment of healing our people; and therefore by this course of official service, our familiarity with the awful realities of death and eternity may be rather like that of the grave-digger, the physician, and the soldier, than the man of God, viewing eternity with deep seriousness and concern and bringing to his people the profitable fruit of his contemplations. It has well been remarked-that ‘when once a man begins to view religion not as of personal, but merely of professional importance, he has an obstacle in his course, with which a private Christian is unacquainted.’ It is indeed difficult to determine, whether our familiar intercourse with the things of God is more our temptation or our advantage.”

B. CONDUCT.

1. FAITH.

A confident trust in God for everything. He trusts God to keep and fulfill His Word. It involves loyalty to the Lord and unwavering confidence in Him.

2. LOVE.

It is unrestricted and unrestrained, encompassing love for God, other believers, and non-believers.

Loving the Lord

Loving others

William Barclay refers to this love as the 4-facets of the priceless diamond of love.

Love for the Unknown

Love for the Unlovely

Love for the Unprofitable

Love for the Unfriendly

3. PATIENCE.

Perseverance, endurance, to remain under. Not a complacency that waits, but a courage that continues in hard places. It does not describe a passive, fatalistic resignation, but a victorious, triumphant, unswerving loyalty to the Lord in the midst of trials. It enables one to stick to the task, no matter what the cost.

4. GENTLENESS.

Kindness or meekness; humbleness of mind.

He sees the minimum of self

He sees the maximum of God

Although consumed with the greatest of causes, the “man of God” recognizes that in himself he makes no contribution to its success and is marked by considerate humility.

John Bunyan:

“He that is down needs fear no fall,

He that is low no pride;

He that is humble ever shall

Have God to be His guide.”

III. ACTIVITY: WHAT HE AGONIZES FOR. 12

Christian life is often referred to, or compared to, a contest. This passage describes a person straining and giving their best to win a prize or battle. It is a “good fight” – a battle worth waging. It is both a personal and corporate battle. I battle the world, flesh, and the devil in my heart, and I battle against lethargic believers and apathetic churches.

“fight” – agonizes; describes the concentration, discipline, conviction, and effort needed to win. Present middle imperative; I make a choice to fight.

“good” – noble cause, speaks of excellence.

A. THE OBJECT OF THE FIGHT.

“fight the good fight of faith” – a war for the advancement of the faith, the extension of His kingdom.

“Faith” – the body of Christian truth, the content of the Word of God.

Jude 3, “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”

B. THE SUBJECT OF THE FIGHT.

Who is to wage the war?

“to which you were called” – the effectual sovereign call of God to salvation. First aorist passive, God called in the past, the effect is still effective.

“have confessed a good confession” – to refer to his public confession of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” He confessed Christ at his baptism and at his ordination.

NOTE: I Tim 4:14, II Tim 1:6

C. THE SECRET OF THE FIGHT.

“lay hold on eternal life” – get a grip (middle voice)

Live now in light of the reality that what is eternal is all that matters.

Speaks of right perspective; right response since responding to His call. Now he no longer engages in the petty, meaningless battle of this world, but focuses on the eternal things. He is concerned with what will never pass away – God’s Word and the souls of people.