The Solemn Charge Pressed Anew Upon Timothy
1 Timothy 6:13-16
I give you charge in the sight of God, who vivifies all things, and before Christ Jesus…

As he nears the end of the Epistle, the apostle, with a deeper solemnity of tone, repeats the charge he has given to his young disciple.

I. THE NATURE AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CHARGE. "I charge thee... that thou keep the commandment without spot and without reproach."

1. The commandment is the Christian doctrine in its aspect as a rule of life and discipline.

2. It was to be kept with all purity and faithfulness - "without spot and without reproach" so that it should be unstained by no error of life, or suffer from no reproach of unfaithfulness. He must preach the pure gospel sincerely, and his life must be so circumspect that his ministry should not be blamed by the Church here or by Christ hereafter.

II. THE SOLEMN APPEAL BY WHICH THE CHARGE IS SUSTAINED. "I give thee charge in the sight of God, who keepeth all things alive, and Christ Jesus, who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate." The apostle, having referred to Timothy's earlier confession before many witnesses, reminds him of the more tremendous presence of God himself, and of Christ Jesus.

1. God is represented here as Preserver, in allusion to the dangers of Timothy in the midst of Ephesian enemies.

2. Christ Jesus is referred to as an Example of unshaken courage and fidelity to truth in the presence of death.

III. THE CHARGE IS TO BE KEPT WITHOUT SPOT OR REPROACH TILL CHRIST'S SECOND COMING. "Until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ." He was to be "faithful unto death," yea, even unto the second advent.

1. It is according to apostolic usage to represent the end of Christian work as well as Christian expectation as terminating, not upon death, but upon the second advent. The complete redemption will then be fully realized.

2. It is not to be inferred from these words that the apostle expected the Lord's coming in his own lifetime. The second Thessalonian Epistle, written many years before, dispels such an impression. The words in ver. 15, "in his own times," imply a long succession of cycles or changes.

3. The second advent is to be brought about by God himself. "Which in his own times he shall manifest, who is the blessed and only Potentate, King of kings, and Lord of lords." This picture of the Divine Majesty was designed to encourage Timothy, who might hereafter be summoned to appear before the little kings of earth, by the thought of the immeasurable glory of the Potentate before whose throne all men must stand in the final judgment.

(1) He who is possessed of exhaustless powers and perfections is essentially immortal - "who only hath immortality" - because he is the Source of it in all who partake of it; for out of him all is death.

(2) He has his dwelling in the glory of light ineffable - "dwelling in light unapproachable, whom no man ever saw or can see."

(a) God is light (1 John 1:5). He covereth himself with light as with a garment (Psalm 104:4); and he is the Fountain of light.

(b) God is invisible. This is true, though "the pure in heart shall see God" (Matthew 5:8), and though it be that without holiness "no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14). God is invisible

(α) to the eye of sense,

(β) but he will be visible to the believer in the clear intellectual vision of the supernatural state.

4. All praise and honor are to be ascribed to God, "to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen." The doxology is the natural ending of such a solemn charge. - T.C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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;

WEB: I command you before God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate testified the good confession,

The Invisible God
Top of Page
Top of Page