Sermon – September 15, 2019
Today we come to the end of 1 Timothy. The letter has been, at times, broad and sweeping, covering issues from how the church ought to respond to authorities, gender roles, its organization, supporting the poorest of them, good and right doctrine, and the paying of pastors. Yet, the central focus of all of this has been the pursuit of godliness in the lives of the people of God. The church, in all her functions and usefulness, is the means on the earth that God has provided to help his people rightly pursue godliness in an ungodly age. This morning we have a summary of the journey God’s church is continually on, and what we must be aware of along the way.
1. Be aware of your direction
Paul begins by urging Timothy to flee the errors of doctrine and the love of money he just referenced in 6:2-10. Such errors, as he said, are filled with pangs, piercings, ruin, and destruction. We would all instinctively know what to do when confronted by a bear in the wild: we would turn and run, as fast as possible, in the opposite direction. Why do we not do this with our sin? Might it be because we know the danger of a bear, but don’t truly believe in the dangers of our sin? Friends, let us beware the direction that we are going in: flee from your sin.
2. Be aware of your destination
We are not just to run from sin, aimlessly. We are to pursue godliness, righteousness, love. Paul urges Timothy not only to run after these characteristics, but also to fight the good fight, to take hold of eternal life. Such life is given by God, and also confessed by Jesus. The confessing of eternal life is not, however, just a statement that you believe in it, but that you believe in Jesus himself, our life eternal. Jesus therefore is what we live in, and the very example that we have for how to live. He is our destination, and the road to get there. He is no less than all in all. And one day, in God’s good timing, he will be revealed to us fully. Until that day, friend, labor to know Jesus well, for he is the goal and end of all our hopes.
3. Be aware of your detours
Finally, Paul warns the rich to not be haughty, as though their money earned them any station before God, and to not entrust themselves to the uncertainty of riches. Money is indeed good, but it is ultimately unstable to rely on. God, on the other hand, is utterly reliable, and Rock upon which we can build stable lives. Trust him, friend, and use your money to do good to all, making for yourself treasure in heaven, that will be yours forever.