“In Me You May Have Peace”

By Curt Darling

Many efforts of mankind have an aim of bringing a lasting peace to this earth. Yet, in spite of all these efforts, there is still no true satisfaction or peace in the hearts of men. Nowhere in the universe can real and lasting peace be found but in God. He alone is the Author of such peace.

We may pretend – as was the case many years ago with the people who said, “Peace, peace! When there is no peace” (Jer. 6:14 nkjv). It was sin that destroyed peace and made us the enemies of God. It is sin also that makes men fight and kill each other, and commit all sorts of wrong deeds. So this vital question of sin must be settled before we can have real peace with God and peace among ourselves. We can pretend we are happy, but remember that “‘there is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked’” (Isa. 57:21).

You may have experienced a little temporary peace and happiness now and then, but only Christ, who is called in the Bible the “Prince of Peace” (9:6), can bring true peace within your own heart. He died on the cross for your sin. The prophet Isaiah said long ago, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; … He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (53:4-5).

You may have this peace by acknowledging your true condition as a sinner and accepting Christ as your Savior. It is not through any effort of man that peace is acquired. Rather, believe what God is saying to you in His Word, the Bible. Only then will you receive everlasting life, happiness and real peace. Jesus said, “These things have I spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace” (Jn. 16:33). We can tell you more.

A Few Thoughts On PROPHECY / Part Six

By Alfred Bouter

In this, our last section, we will consider links between several passages of Scripture. The Lord’s Olivet discourse details events that will take place after the rapture, which at that time was yet to be revealed. Christ’s speech can be roughly divided into three parts, paralleling the three sub-divisions of the prophetic portion of Revelation 6-16 (seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowls). These are to take place during the seven-year period termed the “70th Week,” after the rapture of the Church. Several links also exist with Daniel 9:24-27, as outlined in the following overview.

First Half Of The 70th Week
The first line of Daniel 9:27 – “then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week” (NKJV) – parallels “the beginning of sorrows” (“birth pains” in some translations, Mt. 24:4-14; Mk. 13:4-13; Lk. 21:8-19) and the seal judgments (Rev. 6).

Second Half Of The 70th Week
The middle of Daniel 9:27 – “but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate” – ties with the trumpet judgments (Rev. 7-9, with details in Rev. 11-13) during the abomination of desolation.1 Many details of this end time idolatry are found in Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14 and Revelation 13. Note that the predictions of Luke 21:20-24 mainly refer to the events that took place in the years 68-70 and 132-135 AD, although some details also apply to the future destruction of Jerusalem.

Described ConditionOlivet DiscourseRevelation 6
False prophets / messiahsMt. 24:5,11v.2
WarsMt. 24:6vv.2-4
International discordsMt. 24:7vv.3-4
FaminesMt. 24:7vv.5-8
PestilenceLk. 21:11v.8
Persecution / martyrdomMt. 24:9vv.9-11
EarthquakesMt. 24:7v.12
Cosmic phenomenaLk. 21:11vv.12-14

Conclusion Of The 70th Week
The end of Daniel 9:27 – “even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate” – correlates to the final birth pangs (Mt. 24:15-29), which are the bowl judgments (Rev. 16, with background details in Rev. 14-15, 17-19). Daniel 9:24-27 reveals the timetable for these events and shows some links between the first and second coming of the Messiah. These verses explain how the Messiah would be presented to His people 483 years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. Here is where a “gap” of unknown duration started (see Isa. 61:1-2; Lk. 4:19), between Christ’s first and second coming. Remember, the rapture precedes His second coming (see 1 Th. 4:14-18).

Sometime after the beginning of this “parenthesis,” or “in-between period,” the Messiah was executed (Dan. 9:26). His rejection and violent death resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple forty years later, as well as the Jews’ dispersion among the nations in 70 AD. The acceptance of a false, or counterfeit, messiah (Jn. 5:43) caused further trouble during 132-135 AD. Another destruction of Jerusalem and of a third temple that still must be built, where this future idolatry (abomination) will be centered, is yet to come (2 Th. 2:3-12).

It is important to understand that the rapture2 of the Church (1 Cor. 15:51-53; 1 Th. 4:16; Phil. 3:21) is not part of the prophetic events, but it is the prerequisite for those events to take place and the pouring out of God’s judgments (seals, trumpets and bowls). These things cannot take place as long as the true Church is on earth. The false church will continue after the rapture and be judged on earth at the end of those seven years (Rev. 17-18). About 1,000 years later, after the great white throne judgment, all unbelievers will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15).

1. Some feel the trumpet judgments precede the manifestation of the abomination.
2. This spectacular event will include the believers of the Old Testament. They will be in heaven with the Church, seen as part of the 24 elders and later as guests at the wedding of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9).


By Leslie M. Grant

“Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name.” —Malachi 3:16 NKJV

Malachi, meaning “my messenger,” shows us the miserably self-complacent, or self-satisfied, condition of the Jews who had returned from the captivity in Babylon. Their energy had soon deteriorated into a state of callous indifference to the claims of God – a state of self-pleasing. In a deeply pleading word, God reproved their gross contempt for Him, expressed in various ways. Yet with brazen defiance they replied as though they were entirely without blame! Hence, this was God’s last word to Israel until 400 years later when He sent John the Baptist. Israel, refusing to listen to God, would be left to reap the bitter results of their scornfully arrogant choice.

Yet how precious it is that there were still those who in heart “feared the LORD,” though evidently only a small portion of the remnant that had returned to Judah. They are given no distinctive name, for it is the LORD’s name that was precious to them. These individuals spoke often one to another of the things of God, and this was a delight to His heart. He assures us it was not forgotten, but written in a “book of remembrance.”

How fitting that this last book of the Old Testament shows Jehovah concerned with not only actions, but the thoughts and motives of hearts as well. These faithful ones were promised the rising of the “Sun of Righteousness” (4:2), which speaks of Christ yet to come in power and great glory.


• I enjoyed the November 2016 magazine, but I noticed a mistake. One article says gold threads were in the gate to the courtyard of the tabernacle. However, there was no gold visible outside of the tabernacle. Specifically regarding the gate, a good reference is Exodus 38:18. – USA

• Thanks for sending the Grace & Truth regularly. The articles on the “Man of God” in the June 2016 issue were challenging and edifying to me. – India

• I had issues with my wife of four years, family not working, business doing zero, bored with same life, so I called it quits with everything. I wrote to my pastor that sometimes I feel God does not remember me. Two days later, God began addressing me through your magazine. He used your articles “Yet I Will Not Forget You” (Mar. ’16), “Twelve Steps To Better Family Communication” (May ’13) and “What Is A Shepherd” (Dec. ’13 – Apr. ‘14) to save my ugly situation. May God reward those who make the magazine available to me without cost. – Nigeria

• We appreciate your monthly magazine, Grace & Truth, and get much spiritual edification by it. The article “Christianity And Culture” (Feb. ‘16) seems suited for our German magazine “Folge mir nach” for young believers. We ask kindly for your permission to publish it. – Germany

QUESTION: In what ways does God chasten His children? How can His child realize God is chastening him?

Answered by Eugene P. Vedder, Jr.

ANSWER: God is almighty and all-wise, while at the same time He is an all-loving Father to His children – those who have received His Son, Jesus Christ, as Savior and Lord. Since God is God we cannot in any way restrict Him as to how He may chasten His children. But let’s reflect for a moment on how the Bible uses terms like chastening, children and sons.

Hebrews 12 tells us how God as Father chastens us as His sons. Interestingly, while we who have believed are both His children and His sons, this chapter speaks of Christians as sons. In the First Epistle of John all believers are called “children,” viewed as having been born into God’s family. “Little children” indicates growth and differentiates, or distinguishes, them from young men and fathers. When Scripture calls believers “sons” it views them as those who have a measure of maturity and responsibility. In those instances where the Bible speaks of God “chastening,” it is speaking of training and disciplining. This may, if need be, involve punishing, but punishing is not the primary object of chastening.

A father chastens his own children and not children who belong to others. In this sense chastening begins early in life. A baby needs to be loved, fed and cared for with kindness in many ways, but we do not usually speak of chastening babies or very small children. As the child grows, chastening, child training or education becomes an important part of its life, and a wise parent carefully chooses the ways he or she trains up his or her child (see Prov. 22:6). We chasten as “seem[s] best” to us, which is during a relatively short period of time (Heb. 12:10 NKJV). Our Father chastens us, His sons, “for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness” (v.11). This chastening is really education meant for our good, and it does not have to be painful or unpleasant.

Chastening normally begins with a word: “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother” (Prov. 1:8). Sometimes even a look will convey the message. God speaks to us through His Word, the Bible. If we listen to what He tells us the result will be pleasant and good. God in His grace may speak one, two or three times (Job 33:14,29) – and sometimes even more! He speaks through His Word, and His Spirit may bring things to our remembrance – often to our conscience. Oh, that we might listen and learn. “The Lord turned and looked at Peter, then Peter remembered the word of the Lord … So Peter went out and wept bitterly” (Lk. 22:61-62).

If a word or look is not sufficient, our heavenly Father may apply stronger measures. In my own case as a boy the next thing would be my father applying the rod, often saying, “He that will not listen must feel.” God has many ways to apply the rod. Doubtless this is what our questioner is asking about.

There will be consequences for wrongs; sometimes they may be physical. When David sinned by numbering the people (2 Sam. 24; 1 Chr. 21), God allowed him to choose from three options. He may not give us a choice, but if He does it is wise to leave the decision to Him.

In 1 Corinthians 11:29-32 we see that the consequence of sin may be sickness or even premature death, sometimes happening to someone else. An accident, injury or overdose – there are many ways by which we are reminded that the wages of sin is death. The sick person in James 5:14-16 seems to have realized that his illness was the result of some sin in his life that needed to be confessed. Not every illness is necessarily our Father’s chastisement, but it is good to be sensitive to what God may be saying to us – not only in unusual situations, but in every situation we encounter in life.

How can we realize that God is chastening us? This is not an easy question to answer. The Lord Jesus sets before us an example in Matthew 11. He keenly felt His rejection in Galilean cities where He had labored much and sadly had to speak of the judgment that awaited them. Yet “at that time Jesus answered and said, ‘I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight’” (vv.25-26). In 2 Samuel 16:5-13 David, when fleeing from his son Absalom, was being pelted by Shimei with stones, dust and wicked curses. But he would not let Abishai kill Shimei. “Let him alone, and let him curse,” he said, “for so the LORD has ordered him.”

It is well for us also to accept all things from the hands of God our Father and ask Him to show us what He would have us confess or learn from them. “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). The closer we walk to the Lord, the more readily we will understand what our Father is seeking to accomplish in us and for us by His chastening. He wants to guide us with His eye but, sad to say, He must often resort to bit and bridle instead (Ps. 32:8-9).

How good to be reminded that the fact that God chastens us is a proof that He loves us and He considers us His sons. Let’s not despise His chastening nor be discouraged by it. Rather, let’s endure it and submit to His training of us through it.

The Father’s Love

By Jacob Redekop

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life.” —1 John 1:1 NKJV

The apostle John was so amazed at the thought of the Father’s love being so great that he stopped to consider it carefully. Like him, our senses are involved when we seriously examine something; and we find the writer mention first the ears – the hearing, second the eyes – the seeing, and then the hands – the touch. After meditating on the One who perfectly displayed love, John, as we should too, concluded that truly this Man is unique!

In this opening verse of 1 John, the apostle began with that “which we have heard.” The disciples actually heard a Man speaking and realized this was no ordinary Man. They listened intently and then passed on to us what they had heard. The multitude marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth (Lk. 4:22). “They were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority” (v.32). On another occasion the officers said, “No man ever spoke like this Man!” (Jn. 7:46). To the disciples Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life” (6:63). That is to say, His words produced a spiritual and life-giving effect in those who heard. This can be said of no one else.

The apostle then continued to speak of that “which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon.” The thought is to look upon and contemplate. Rather than just a casual glance, it means to take time and reflect on the One on whom our eyes are fixed – Jesus. In Luke 5 we see the Man who can forgive sins, and the large crowd witnessing this reasoned, “Who can forgive sins but God alone.” The multitude that heard Jesus speak and saw what He did were amazed, saying, “We have seen strange things today!” (v.26).

The Samaritan woman, after her encounter with Jesus at the well of Sychar, went to the men of her city and said, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (Jn. 4:29). Jesus was more than a Jew and more than a prophet; He was indeed the Christ, the Son of the living God. He opened her heart and revealed the Father, who is seeking worshipers to worship in spirit and truth.

Is this not a voice for us today? We who are wonderfully privileged to focus our eyes – our spiritual vision – upon Jesus, read these words:

  • “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels … crowned with glory and honor” (Heb. 2:9), and
  • “But we all, looking on the glory of the Lord, with unveiled face, are transformed according to the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18 JND).

We know who He is, Son of God and Son of Man – the One who loves us and came down from heaven to save us and reveal the Father’s love.

In 1 John 1:1 we then read about what “our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life” (KJV). After His resurrection the Lord Jesus said to His disciples, “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see” (Lk. 24:39). The word “handle” means to feel or touch, and the meaning is the same in this passage as in our text.

In Luke 5 we see Jesus in a city where a man full of leprosy saw Him and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus responded, putting out His hand and touching him while saying, “I am willing; be cleansed,” and immediately the leprosy left him (vv.12-13 NKJV). In Luke 8:43-48 we find a woman with a flow of blood for twelve years who came and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment. When Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”, the woman came forward, trembling, and declared that immediately upon touching Him she was healed. Jesus’ answer to her is remarkably beautiful: “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

We have traced a little of the life of the Lord Jesus and found that He was available to all that were in distress. He was able and willing to reach out to all with acts of kindness and words of comfort, showing forth the Father’s love. May all who read this find comfort and strength by looking off unto Jesus, the author and finisher of faith.

The World’s Nice Guys And God’s Good Guys

By Alan H. Crosby

A Nice Guy And Eternal Life
The rich young ruler (Mt. 19:16-22; Mk. 10:17-22; Lk. 18:18-24) was a nice guy, but he did not have eternal life. He came to Jesus asking, “What good deed must I do to have eternal life”? (Mt. 19:16 ESV). This man seemingly had kept all God’s commandments from his youth (Lk. 18:21) – he was indeed a nice guy! Feeling that he may be lacking something he asked, “What do I still lack?” (Mt. 19:20). He did not love his neighbor as himself, and he was not a follower of Jesus, the Son of God. His lacks were revealed when our Lord answered his question, saying, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor … and come, follow Me, and he went away sorrowful” (vv.21-22).

This example shows us that keeping the law is not the way to obtain salvation, nor is it by being a nice guy. Eternal life is not the result of what we do, instead “it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). Eternal life is given to whosoever believes in the Lord Jesus Christ (Jn. 3:16), and believing in Him means becoming His follower!

There are nice guys today who want nothing to do with God. They think they are so good that they have no need of a savior. There are also those who seem to be nice guys because they will seek to do whatever they think will be pleasing to others, but they will not hesitate to severely harm anyone who opposes them.

We Are To Be Good Guys
Believers are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God proposed beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). These good works will be the “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22), whom we acquire with the new birth. Persons characterized by the fruit of the Spirit may be called “God’s good guys” as contrasted with the world’s nice guys.

God’s good guys will:

  • Display love – “brotherly affection” (Rom. 12:10),
  • “Count it … joy when they meet trials of various kinds” (Jas. 1:3),
  • Live, as far as it depends on them, “peaceably with all” (Rom. 12:18),
  • Be “kind to everyone … patiently enduring evil” (2 Tim. 2:24),
  • Correct their “opponents with gentleness” (v.25), and
  • Be known for their “self-control” under provocation (Mt. 5:39).

The perfect example for us to follow is that of our Lord Jesus Christ, who alone can say, “I always do the things that are pleasing to Him [God the Father]” (Jn. 8:29).

Why Then Was Our Lord Hated?
He was not a nice guy from the world’s viewpoint. Why not? Because He would always do what pleased the Father rather than what pleased those around Him. Consider some examples:

  • He allowed the destruction of a herd of about 2,000 pigs, a valuable property on which people depended for their living. Certainly they did not think that destroying these pigs was nice at all, and the people “begged Him to leave their region” (Mt. 8:34).
  • Peter, a disciple, began to rebuke the Lord, who just said about Himself that He would suffer many things from the elders, chief priests and scribes, and be killed (16:22). The Father was pleased for our Lord to deal with Peter’s rash comment by saying, “Get thee behind me Satan! You are a hindrance to me” (v.23). Surely, Peter’s initial thought in this instance was that our Lord was not being very nice.
  • Similarly, the businessmen who “sold and bought in the temple” did not consider Him to be a nice guy when He overturned their tables and seats (21:12). God wanted what they were doing to be clearly condemned because, as our Lord said, they had made what God had intended to be a “house of prayer” into a “den of robbers” (vv.12-13).
  • In the presence of crowds of people, our Lord said that the scribes and Pharisees did not practice what they preached (23:1-3). Even worse, He likened them to poisonous “serpents,” a “brood of vipers” (v.33). God did not want His people to be deceived by their outward appearance of righteousness when those presenting it were “full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (v.28).

Nobody using worldly standards would want to be treated as these were in our examples. Rather, nearly everyone wants be thought of as being one of God’s good guys even if they are not.

Being God’s Good Guy Brings Hatred
Do you think that being like our Lord Jesus will cause you to be liked? Far from it! He was hated – and his haters sought to kill Him (Jn. 7:11). If we live a godly life, doing God’s will, our Lord tells us that we will be hated just as He was: “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you!” (Jn. 15:20). Yet, “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

There Is A Choice
There are two options: I can be “seeking the approval of men or of God” (Gal. 1:10). The apostle Paul made his choice and said, “If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

What about you? Do you desire to please men as one of the world’s nice guys or do you want to be a servant of Christ as one of God’s truly good guys? Which do you choose?

Paul’s Charge To Timothy

By David Anderson

“But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue • righteousness • godliness • faith • love • patience • gentleness.” —1 Timothy 6:11 NKJV

As Timothy’s spiritual father, Paul wrote two letters to encourage him to persevere in the faith and the work that God had assigned to him. In these letters, Paul made many “charges” to Timothy. But in 1 Timothy 6:11 Paul used, for the first time, the emphatic Greek pronoun for “you.” 1 This meant it was very important for Timothy2 to give careful attention to what Paul was writing, and by extension it becomes important to anyone who would aspire to be a man or woman of God.

The Lord had used Paul to establish the testimony at Ephesus, the place where the apostle’s missionary work reached its climax (Acts 19:10,20). The apostle had tearfully warned the Ephesian church elders about false shepherds who would lead the believers astray after he departed (20:28-31). Hence he left Timothy there to continue the work (1 Tim. 1:3; Acts 20:20,27). In his first letter Paul explained to Timothy how he should confront these false teachers by teaching and demonstrating the truth through proper, godly conduct in the church (3:14-16).

As he ended his letter, Paul became more direct in his exhortations to Timothy: not “you ought” (3:15) but “you must” (6:11), followed by “I urge you” (v.13) and ending with the personal appeal “O Timothy” (v.20). Continuous personal application to godliness was the only way Timothy would succeed in the hostile situation developing at Ephesus. “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (4:16 ESV).

By using “follow” (KJV) in 1 Timothy 6:11 instead of “pursue” (NKJV), Paul’s charge condensed into two main issues: “flee these things” and “follow after” other things.

1. Flee!
“But you, O man of God, flee3 these things.”

I remember a preacher speaking about Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. He said, “There are situations in life where you must run away! That day, Joseph found himself in one of those situations and he fled.” Paul’s instruction to Timothy was like that. You and I are not to confront “these things,” we are to run away as far as possible from them.

In the immediate context “these things” are greed and covetousness with all their attendant evils, of which the love of money is a prime example. Covetousness is idolatry (Col. 3:5), meaning it replaces God’s supreme place in a believer’s life. The Lord Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Lk. 16:13 ESV). King Money reigns supreme in our world. People are not content with their wages or what they have. They want more money to get more possessions and extend their leisure pursuits. Hence gambling and lotteries are very popular. By contrast, Paul advised Timothy of the great gain in godliness with contentment (1 Tim. 6:6-8).

In the wider context of 1 Timothy 6, “these things” include false teachings, which are contrary to the spiritually healthy teachings of the Lord and His apostles (v.3). These “different doctrines” have the potential to lead believers away from the practice of godliness. They:

  • Manifest themselves in rules and regulations which starve believers of the true liberty they have in Christ (4:1-7),
  • Are fundamentally evil in origin, and
  • Suggest there is financial gain by practicing their kind of godliness (6:5).

Other things Timothy had to flee from were the conceit and the associated evils of self-centered teachers (v.4), the corruption and impurity they bring (v.5), a discontented spirit (vv.6-8) and foolish and harmful lusts (v.9).

In the context of the letter as a whole, “these things” include all of the deceiving and misleading teachings with their accompanying bad practices that the church at Ephesus was being exposed to by the “some.” 4 Therefore, “these things” can be defined as any teaching or practice which does not have the pure motive of promoting the stewardship from God that is by faith (1:4). Spiritually healthy teaching always has the objective of producing love that “issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1:5). At first, Timothy had to confront the false teachers and use his God-given authority to charge them not to teach other doctrines (1:3). If they did not heed his injunctions, then he had to “flee” from them. He had to have nothing to do with them; and he was to reject (4:7), refuse (5:11), withdraw from (6:5), avoid (6:20; 2 Tim. 2:16) and purge, or cleanse, himself from (2:21) these teachers. But all the while he was to continue teaching in the things he had learned from Paul (3:14).

2. Follow!
“But thou, O man of God … follow3 righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” — 1 Timothy 6:11 KJV

Paul knew Timothy was a “man of God” who followed in his spiritual father’s footsteps and was already exhibiting these six practical things. But Timothy had to keep doing so. We too must make them our aim in discipleship. The six things divide into three groups:

  • Righteousness and godliness, which are God-ward,
  • Faith and love, which are inward, and
  • Patience and meekness, which are outward.

Righteousness is living in a right way before God and according to what He requires. It is the character of being right in His sight. An example would be using riches in a correct way (vv.17-19). Righteousness is part of godliness – an attitude of always seeking to live in ways pleasing to God – and applies to the whole manner of a believer’s life. It is having a sense or awareness of God and what is due to Him in all that one thinks and does. Lifestyle must be consistent with one’s profession of faith in God. First Timothy 1:5 shows the elements necessary for the pursuit of godliness:

  • A pure heart – my mind and will, or motives, must be tuned to God’s will.
  • A good conscience – I must be sensitive so there will be nothing in my life which God would disapprove.
  • A sincere faith – there must be nothing hypocritical, or fake, about my faith. I cannot fool God. I must not disguise anything toward others. I must be a genuine Christian.

Faith is belief in God and trust in His Word. To pursue faith means I believe that everything in the Scriptures is God breathed (2 Tim. 3:16). I accept they are inerrant – without a single mistake. Therefore if there is any conflict between the philosophies, or “science,” of men and the Scriptures, I believe God not men. I know that God cannot lie and Scripture is all-sufficient for all aspects of belief and practice.

Love is the other inward power of godliness. To pursue love is to be taken over by the love that God has deluged, or poured, into my heart (Rom. 5:5). This love must also be seen in my life. Paul describes how it acts in 1 Corinthians 13. Jointly, faith and love are the salient, or prominent, features which must dominate a believer’s life (1 Th. 3:6, 5:8; 1 Tim. 1:14, 2:15; 2 Tim. 1:13; Rev. 2:19).

Patience means endurance. Thus, to pursue patience is to keep going despite the trials and circumstances of life – whatever their character. Gentleness means to exhibit a meek disposition, and it is especially necessary when opposing false teachers and distracters (2 Tim. 2:24-25).

3. Fight!
“Fight3 the good fight of the faith.” —1 Timothy 6:12 ESV

Paul’s charge to Timothy continues in verse 12 with another command requiring continuous action. The apostle had warned him about those who would:

  • Depart from the faith (4:1),
  • Deny the faith by their lifestyle (5:8),
  • Stray or wander away from the faith (6:10),
  • Swerve and err from the faith (6:21), or
  • Be disqualified (“reprobate” in KJV), having corrupt minds (2 Tim. 3:8).

He also advised that the Christian warfare would continue to intensify and worsen, so Timothy must not cease to fight against them (2 Tim. 3:13-14, 4:1-5). Hence Timothy was to follow all of these commandments from Paul until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 6:13-14). Timothy had to keep the faith by laying hold of eternal life (v.12) and by guarding the deposit of truth entrusted to him (v.20, also consider 2 Tim. 1:13-14). The fight also involved withstanding the irreverent babble and contradictions of all falsely called “know-alls” (vv.20-21).

Finally, To All Men And Women Of God
These charges made to Timothy challenge all the people of God who read Paul’s letters. Like Timothy we must continue to stand and live for God and His truth. “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 2:1).

1. Other usages of the emphatic pronoun in Paul’s letters to Timothy are found in 2 Timothy 1:18, 2:1,3, 3:10,14, 4:5,15. See The English-Greek Testament by Thomas Newberry.
2. Compare “if anyone” (vv.3-5) and “But those … some” (vv.9-10) with “But you, O man of God” (v.11).
3. Literal translations would read: 1) “keep on fleeing,” 2) “keep on following” and 3) “keep on fighting.” See also 2 Timothy 2:22.
4. In 1 Tim. 1:3,6,19, 4:1, 5:15,24, 6:10,21; 2 Tim. 2:18.

A Charge Of Paul To Timothy

By Milton Jamieson

“But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after • righteousness • godliness • faith • love • patience • meekness.” —1 Timothy 6:11 KJV

The Charges Given To Timothy
The charge here is not one of indictment, allegation, accusation or blame. Rather it is one of commitment, as if a superior military officer gave an order to a soldier to keep watch over a person, thing or place. He or she would be under obligation to guard it with his life.

There are many other charges that the apostle gave to Timothy, and in some cases these were given so he could charge others also. I just make mention of some of them:

  • “As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine” (1:3).
  • “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare” (v.18).
  • “And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless” (5:7).
  • “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality” (v.21).
  • “I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession” (6:13).
  • “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (v.17).
  • “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:1).

The Men Of God
The charge of 1 Timothy 6:11 was given to the only man in the New Testament who was called a “man of God.” In Scripture there are seven named men of God. Each of these men were marked by one or more of the six things mentioned in our verse, though doubtless there were other good features in their lives. We may remind ourselves that the man of God comes on the scene when there is a challenge to the honor and rights of God, at a time of departure and decline.

Consider these men of God and the virtue of Christ which showed most brightly in each of them:

  • Moses. “And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death” (Dt. 33:1). One of the features of Christ that radiated ever so brightly in Moses was meekness, the meekness of Jesus Christ.
  • Samuel. “And he said unto him, Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honourable man; all that he saith cometh surely to pass: now let us go thither; peradventure he can shew us our way that we should go” (1 Sam. 9:6). Samuel is known as an honorable and dignified man of God, setting forth the dignity of Christ.
  • Shemaiah. “But the word of God came unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying, Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from Me. They hearkened therefore to the word of the Lord, and returned to depart, according to the word of the Lord” (1 Ki. 12:22-24). Shemaiah, the man of God, was clearly a man of peace, setting forth the peace of Jesus Christ.
  • Elijah. “And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight.” (2 Ki. 1:13). Elijah displayed the righteousness and justice of God.
  • Elisha. “And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually” (4:9). Elisha as man of God presented the grace and holiness of Jesus Christ.
  • David. “And he appointed, according to the order of David his father, the courses of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their charges, to praise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required: the porters also by their courses at every gate: for so had David the man of God commanded” (2 Chr. 8:14). David as man of God showed the love and forgiveness of God.
  • Timothy. “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness” (1 Tim. 6:11). “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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Timothy as man of God gave testimony to the faithfulness of Christ.

Like The Men Of God
Having been made right with God through faith and on the basis of the blood of Jesus Christ, we ought to pursue a life of righteousness for His glory. Godliness is next, bringing in God in all that we say or do. God’s will must be prominent, seeking His will, His honor and His glory. Faith is third, by which we please God and do exploits for Him. After faith is love. Love is the grace, mercy and compassion of Christ in action. Next is patience, expressing the endurance of Christ even in suffering and various kinds of adversity. Finally, meekness is the gentleness and mildness of Christ on display.

Like the men of God we ought to be filled with and display all the moral fullness of Him. B

These excellent things are the expression of eternal life – which itself is the portion of those who believe on the Son of God. The life is ours, as is made so abundantly plain by the apostle John. Yet we are exhorted to lay hold of it, for it is a dependent life – Christ being its Source and Object. We lay hold of it in laying hold by faith in Him and of all those things which find their center in Him.

The men of the world lay hold of earthly gain, or of as much of it as they can compress into their fists. We are called to eternal life; and we lay hold of that life by going after all those things of which, from a practical standpoint, it consists. —F. B. Hole (adapted)

Magazine June 2017


Emphasis: For The Lords Joy Or … ? -Paul Alberts
Worship: What Is True Christian Liberty? -Timothy P. Hadley
Feature: An Urgent And Personal Appeal -Alfred Bouter
Feature: A Charge Of Paul To Timothy -Milton Jamieson
Feature: Pauls Charge To Timothy -David Anderson
Issues: The Worlds Nice Guys And Gods Good Guys -Alan H. Crosby
Uplook: The Fathers Love -Jacob Redekop
YouAsked: In what ways does God chasten His children? -Eugene P. Vedder, Jr.
Response: Responses
Serving: The Mercy Of God -Timothy P. Hadley
Discover: Discover Questions -Alan Groth
Overview: Malachi -Leslie M. Grant
Series: A Few Thoughts On Prophecy -Alfred Bouter
GoodNews: In Me You May Have Peace. -Curt Darling
Full Magazine PDF: Magazine PDF