The following sermon was prepared by Ps Lucas Stoltz. Click here: 1 Timothy 6:11-14, to download or stream the audio sermon, or click here: 1 Timothy 6:11-14, for the video version. Alternatively, you can read the notes below, or follow along as you watch or listen.
1 Timothy 6:11-14, Four Features of a Godly Man:
- Ps Johann & aunt Ria, we’ve had the privilege of having you serve our church for 5 years. Yet, the testimonies are endless about your love for the Lord and His people. Even testimonies of folks who briefly met you. Many people will never know your silent suffering, or the countless things you have given up with the ministry. But many people do know of your love through your ongoing sacrifices.
- I personally want to thank you Ps Johann, for being a spiritual father to me. For taking me alongside yourself and seeing me as an equal in the ministry even though you’ve been in ministry 4 times as long as I have. Your insightful wisdom and experience has been such a great joy to witness!
- And as a couple, Suretha and I look up to you as parents and we’re thankful for you taking us under your wings! Now considering your examples of faithful servants, this is the text I thought should encourage you and us to remain faithful wherever we are as believers! But let’s firstly look at how the text defines a man of God.
1. The Man of God:
- Text – v11
- Explanation – Paul describes Timothy as a man of God. But exactly what does this phrase mean? My African brothers use it as term to describe “God’s man.” That is to say, a man who belongs personally to God. A man whom God in the truest and highest sense owns or possesses.
- This is not a man who belongs to the world, or to the culture, or even to the church. This is not a man who belongs to the denomination or the association or those who ordained him. This is God’s man. This is the man who personally belongs to God. So this brings us to the four features: firstly,
2. He Flees From Greed:
- Text – v11a
- Explanation – The man of God is known or marked by what he flees from. The question is, what things is the man of God to flee from? Go down to verses 9 and 10. So flee from what? From the love of money and all the attendant corruptions that come with it.
- Now here’s the deal, whether this has ever been a desire or not, Paul lists it for a purpose. There are people in the ministry for money. There are people who realize you can make a lot of money through religion.
- Illustration – However, a faithful teacher will not be a taker, a faithful man of God will be a giver. He will be marked by eagerness and willingness to give. It doesn’t mean he’s not to be supported. Paul makes a case for that in 1 Corinthians 9. He has a right to be supported. So says verse 14, “The Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.”
- Application – But he says, “I’ve used none of these things. I leave it with the Lord. I don’t advance my own cause. I’m not in this for the money.” That has been pastor Johann’s character throughout his ministry. In fact, the Odendaal gave to this ministry financial. They used their own to ensure that this ministry would not be hindered.
- Bridge – That is the Odendaal testimony of CBC Mokopane. This is how they have laboured behind the curtain for you! Ps Johann has never put a price on ministry. And that’s the first feature of a man of God, as a man of God is known by what he flees from, and what he flees from is the love of money. But a man of God is also known by what he pursues…
3. He Pursues Godliness:
- Text – v11b
- Explanation – This next portion means to continue pursuing, to always be running away from and running toward. That’s the Christian life, it is an effort to run from evil and to pursue good. That’s a command for every believer, but particularly those in leadership.
- Listen to 1 Peter 3:10, “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. ”
- Illustration – Furthermore, Proverbs 15:9 tells us that “The Lord loves him that pursues righteousness.” Not success, not the size of the church, not fame, not popularity, and not possessions. So a man of God pursues “righteousness.” This refers to doing what is right. And pursuing what glorifies God, and what God commands.
- Application – Next, the man of God pursues Godliness. Godliness looks on the inside at the reverence and holiness and devotion of your heart to the Lord. True godliness is also marked by contentment. You brought nothing into the world.
- You’re not going to take anything out either. The man of God also pursues faith, which means “confident trust in God for everything.” It is to live under God’s sovereignty and to entrust yourself to God. No frustration, just trusting God. But accompanied by this is the pursuit of love.
- Conclusion – He is a man who loves God and he is a man who loves others. That is the highest voluntary love which is unrestricted, and unrestrained toward God and toward man. Now there’s not enough time to get into it all, so let’s jump to the final two; steadfastness and gentleness.
- Steadfastness is the “endurance” because a faithful man of God is in for the long haul. So despite facing hard times, injustice, and pain, while battling grief, he endures because of the grace of Christ upon him. And going hand in hand with this endurance is his gentleness. Because even though life is hard, he never becomes bitter or angry, because it’s never about him.
- Bridge – So what do we learn about a man of God? He’s known by what he flees from, what he pursues. Ps Johann and Ria have been pursing such Godliness, but like theirs, our race is not over and this pursuit must continue. Therefore, the godly person is also known by what we fight for.
4. He Fights for the Faith:
- Text – v12
- Explanation – A godly man is a fighter – he’s a soldier. He fights against worldliness, the flesh, Satan, and sin, and the corruptions of the gospel. Now Jude 3 says we “must contend earnestly for the faith.” So we’ve got to fight for the faith. 1 Corinthians 16:12-13 says, “Act like men. Be strong. Be courageous.”
- Ps Johann has taught many men this truth and as you heard, men took this truth to heart because he was the example of this truth. He is fighting for “the faith.”
- Illustration – So what drives that eagerness to keep fighting? Paul tells Timothy to take hold of the eternal life to which you were called about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
- So there was a day when Timothy made a profession of faith in Christ, and it was before many witnesses. And then there was a moment when he was called into ministry before elders who laid hands on him.
- Application – So Paul reminds him to keep a grip on the eternal life to which he was called. This means our focus is on the things that are above. So when there were political struggles of politics, human difficulties, individual & church related trials, Ps Johann kept fighting!
- Conclusion – How do we know that? Because here he is still fighting! Therefore friends, the man of God rises above the perishing things and fights for what is eternal. It is to fight for the truth and the souls of men and women. Because the man of God fights for heaven’s causes.
- Bridge – It is battle and we shouldn’t grow tired of it. Because the victory is already secured in Christ, He will save whom He will save. Let us as the godly continue fighting the good fight. Which brings us to the final feature today…
5. He is Faithful to God:
- Text – v13-14
- Explanation – The man of God is marked by his faithfulness before God. He is faithful to God, His mission, and he will keep the truth without stain and without blemish. And by the way, Paul says “till the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Application – How long do you do this? How long are we supposed to be faithful? Until Jesus comes. And when is that? Paul says “at the proper time He will appear.” So until Christ appears, even if the cost is high remain faithful for God is watching. Now that’s not a negative note. As if God is watching waiting so that He can get to you. God is watching because His eyes are on the righteous, so remain faithful!
- Christ went before Pilate, and Pilate said to Him, “They accuse You of being a King. Are You a King?” If Jesus says, “Yes, I’m a King,” what does it cost Him? His life.
- Conclusion – That was courageous and fearless, right? So Jesus Christ is a living example of remaining faithful. Therefore Paul tells Timothy to stand for the truth and hold it and preserve it in in the sight of the God!
- So Ps Johann and Ria, and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, don’t waver. Let us flee from evil, let us pursue Godliness, and let us fight for the faith being faithful every step of the way. Not because we can, but because His grace for us, allow us to. We trust that the Lord will enable you in Lydenburg, and we’ll be praying for you each day as we strive together!