The Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time

1 Timothy 6:13-16

I Charge You

Paul continues to encourage and exhort young Timothy to holy living and the pursuit of righteousness and godliness.  The Apostle says, “I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Jesus Christ, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession….”  Paul just reminded Timothy of the “good confession” he had made before many witnesses in the preceding verse.  This reminds us that the Christian faith is a heartfelt confession made with the full agreement and understanding of one’s mind and conscience.  The Christian faith cannot be lived in hiding.  All of the virtues of kindness, gentleness, goodness, generosity, humility, and so many others cannot be lived in a vacuum; they must be practiced for the sake of others, and in the full knowledge that that good confession may one day lead to martyrdom.

Paul then picks up where he left off, “I charge you…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….”  What exactly is “the commandment” which Timothy is to keep “unstained and free from reproach?”  In the context of the passage, it would seem to refer to fleeing the love of money and using godliness as a means of gain.  This makes sense as Paul returns to the topic of wealth in the next few lines.  But I think that Paul also means, well, everything he has spoken about in this letter which he summed up so eloquently in 1:5: “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith,” that we should shun senseless babble for babble’s sake and pursue purity of mind and holiness of body, as he wrote to the church at Colossae, “Seek the things that are above, where Christ is” (3:1). 

Paul closes this passage with a word of praise and exultation to the Father who will send the Son at the proper time.  He is the blessed and only Sovereign, and so called “King of kings and Lord of lords,” a title the Father is happy to share with the Son (Revelation 19:16).  Only He truly rules heaven and earth, regardless what men and demons think.  He alone has immortality—the only One who cannot die.  Ours is a conditional immortality; that is, as created beings our souls are immortal because He wills them so.  And He is the One who “dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see.”  Indeed, when Moses begged to see His glory, God told him, “Man shall not see me and live” (Exodus 33:20).  But one day, having been fully sanctified, we shall see His face (Revelation 22:4).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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