“I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Timothy 6: 13b -14
1 Timothy 6: 11-16 – Part 1
When we are given a task, direction or challenge by another person our response will often depend on the identity of that individual. If it is our boss or a loved one the challenge is likely to have more impact than if it were a stranger. If we were asked to do something by an individual we hold in high esteem how much more will our endeavor be. The two previous blogs focused on the virtue of godliness to which God calls His children. That section of the letter leads up to this climatic challenge for Timothy and indeed for all of us. Paul is laying down a direction, an edict if you will, that has come from the highest authority of all, a Royal one no less!
In the language of his writing there are two areas of power and authority that Paul directly confronts: one being the royalty of the day, the Roman Emperor; and the second being the philosophical beliefs of the day. The Greek word translated as ‘appearing’ in verse 14 is where we get our Christian understanding of the word Epiphany from. The hearers of that time would have understood that the word would have been used for Caesar who was worshipped as Divine. Paul uses it here for the Lord Jesus Christ. The philosophers of the day promoted a belief that all possessed an immortal soul for the ‘after-life,’ regardless of how they lived. Paul says very clearly that it is God alone who is immortal (vs. 16). The preceding words in this passage are the challenge we have before us (vs. 11-12) which we will unpack on Wednesday. Today we are looking at where the authority comes from for such a decree; why we should heed the direction.
The Scripture is basically telling us, LISTEN! This challenge comes from the ultimate authority. We may hear many voices of varying weight, authority and power but there is no greater authority than God Himself:
“…God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honour and might for ever. Amen.” (vs.15b-16)
When God Almighty speaks we should really listen and heed all He says. He will return in glory; are we ready for that day and ecstatic about meeting Him?
To Ponder: What words, beliefs and directions from authority hold sway in our lives? Are they directly or indirectly from God (do they conform to His truth)? What do you see of God in the descriptions of Him in this passage? Does this fill you with awe and motivate you to listen and obey?
Pray: Almighty and merciful God, through your well-beloved Son, Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, you have willed to make all things new. Grant that we hear, understand and respond to your Word and so be renewed by your Holy Spirit. Grant us ears to hear, a heart to receive and a will to obey; to your glory and praise. We ask in and through the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.
Praise: Immortal invisible God only wise
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c59R-Ry8q50
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B0-ll_T7f8
Incumbent at St Aidan's Anglican Church,