Thursday, February 28, 2013

T.R.U.E love that waits and succeeds - P1

1 Timothy 6:11 But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.

A God-centered church in need of a man of God
The Apostle Paul is writing to a young pastor at the church of Ephesus by the name of Timothy.  The Ephesian church was a great church that was founded by Paul in Acts 19-20.  For 2 1/2 years Paul ministered at Ephesus, with his time ending in a riot of the citizens wanting to kill him.  With the fledgling congregation attempting to minister the Gospel in such a hostile environment, their greatest need was stable leadership.  With that background, it was within a span of a few years that Paul's young protege, Timothy, came on the scene and was installed as the new Pastor of what was a growing church at Ephesus.  As Paul wrote 1 Timothy, his aim was to urge Timothy to be a man of God and lead this flock to be a God-centered church. (1 Timothy 6:11)

What is a T.R.U.E man of God?
In 1 Timothy 6:11 Paul refers to Timothy with a title that we only find in one other place in the New Testament - the title "man of God".Even though this title is used only twice in the New Testament, its background and usage in the Old Testament is quite extensive.  In over 70 places we find the Old Testament refer to people like Moses (Deuteronomy 33:1), Elijah (2 Kings 1:9); Elisha (2 Kings 8:4); King David (2 Chronicles 8:14) and various other prophets as men of God.  To be called a "man of God" is no light title, and for Timothy and ultimately every Christian to be called a "man (woman) of God" means that certain qualities are in mind. 

We could certainly do a character study on those Old Testament passages that speak of Moses, David and others as being "men of God", however I want to use 1 Timothy 6:6-16 as our key text - since Paul undoubtedly had at least one of those 70 plus other passages coursing through his mind as he wrote under Divine inspiration to young Timothy.  For today's blog, we will just list the key qualities of a true man/woman of God by utilizing the acrostic T.R.U.E as we see in 1 Timothy 6:6-16.  A t.r.u.e man/woman of God is defined by the following four characteristics...

Trusting in the Lord.   1 Timothy 6:6-11a

Running Faith's Race.  1 Timothy 6:11b-12

Understand God's Word.  1 Timothy 6:13-14a

Endures until Jesus comes.  1 Timothy 6:14b-16

When you think about men of God like Moses, David or Elijah, they each had all four of those qualities.  Moses and David both appear in the famous faith chapter of Hebrews 11 exhibiting every single one of those qualities.  In James 5 we see reference to Elijah, who being called by the title "man of God" at least 8 times in the Old Testament, evidence all four traits as well.2  Truly men like them and Christians today are called to be t.r.u.e men/women of God. 

Conclusion and upcoming blogs
This little study on what it means to be a true man/woman of God will be used for the next couple of days to encourage young and old Christians alike to aim for moral and spiritual purity.  Only a t.r.u.e man/ woman of God will see the necessity and have what it takes to heed such a call of God on their lives.  As we go into this coming weekend, our church and many congregations nation-wide will be participating in a biblical emphasis that will encourage young people to pledge themselves to abstinence until marriage.  This emphasis, called "True Love Waits", will be explained in more detail over the next couple of blogs. Our main idea will be that true love that waits and is faithful succeeds when you and I are t.r.u.e men / women of God. Until then, Lord bless.

End Notes:_____________________

1. The only other place we find this title "man of God" used in the New Testament is in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. "

2. Elijah evidenced trusting in God (James 5:17) running faith's race by praying repeatedly to God (James 5:18). By using men like Elijah as an example, James emphasizes the need to keep people accountable who turn from the truth - thus telling us that Elijah and those like him operate in the understanding of God's Word (James 5:19-20). Then of course since Elijah did endure to the end describes his overall life as a true man of God as we see in his life story recorded in 1 Kings 17 - 2 Kings 2.