PFOA : 1Timothy 6:11-16
1Timothy 6:11-16 (ESV)
"But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before[a] Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen."
Following from last week’s reflections on Ps 51, we recognise that primarily all sin is against God and deserves his judgement. The Gospel is God’s gracious plan to save sinners from this fate and our appropriate response is repentance and obedience.
Repentance means to turn away from where we were going and turn to a new direction – turning away from evil and turning towards godliness. Today’s passage talks about repentance and gives us the motivation to repent – to flee from sin and to pursue righteousness (v.11).
NT Wright translates this verse more graphically as “But you belong to God, so you must run away from all this. Instead, chase after justice, godliness, faith love patience and gentleness”.
Wright further illustrates this in his commentary. “Think of an animal you'd really be afraid of, whether it's an angry rhinoceros or a large spider. If you came round a corner and found yourself facing it, what would you want to do? Run away, of course. Well, [as a follower of Jesus] that's how you should feel about a [lifestyle of greed, lust, jealousy, injustice, or another sinful pattern]. Then think how you'd feel if you saw the person you loved best in the entire world, [whom] you hadn't seen for years, walking down the street. What would you do? Why, chase after [him or her], of course. That's how you should behave when you think of Jesus and the new life that he is offering you and the whole world”.
And this is because we want to be undefiled and blameless at “the royal appearing of our Lord King Jesus, which the blessed and only Sovereign One, the King of kings and Lord of lords, will reveal at its proper time” (v.15 Wright).
Supposed you are selected to be in the honour guard at the National Day parade that will be inspected by the President. You’ll make sure your uniform is well pressed, absolutely clean and without stain, the shoes polished and your weapon well oiled and ready.
One day we will stand before the Lord King Jesus. Our sins are forgiven; our names are on his chosen list. Do we not want to present our best before him? He is not impressed by our outward appearance, for he sees into our hearts. Do we not want to be undefiled, without reproach, and blameless before the presence of the King of kings and Lord of lords?
At the wedding feast of the Jesus the bridegroom, the church will be holy, righteous and without blemish as the bride of Christ. This means we do not just look to our own sanctification, our growth in likeness to Christ, but we pray for one another, helping, encouraging and even correcting each other to live holy, blameless lives, so that together as the church, as his bride, we are ready when our Lord King Jesus comes.
Dr Tony Chan