Motives to Steadfastness
1 Timothy 6:13-16
I give you charge in the sight of God, who vivifies all things, and before Christ Jesus…

When earnest Christians realize that they are about to leave the world, they are concerned that those who will fill their places should be loyal to the principles they have tried to maintain. The "commandment" which the young evangelist was to keep must be taken, in its broadest sense, as referring to the great principles of righteousness and truth which Christ Jesus had embodied and maintained. Although of celestial origin, this commandment would not appear to men "without spot," if its representatives were men of blemished reputation. Two motives to such steadfastness are suggested in the Verses before us: the one being drawn from the example of Christ, the other from the greatness of God.

I. THE EXAMPLE OF CHRIST is suggested in the allusion made to —

1. His good confession before Pontius Pilate. It is well for us when we either suffer, or compel, all the incidents of life to lead our thoughts back to Christ. It was partly in order to make this possible that the details of His life and ministry are so fully given in the Gospels. Temptations, troubles, friendships, joys, conflicts, all that go to make up our experience, find counterparts in Him. He witnessed a good confession, though He knew the price of it would be agony, shame, and death! There was a difference, however, between the Lord's confession and Timothy's or ours. Timothy "confessed" the good confession, Christ Jesus "witnessed" the good confession. Christ "witnessed" because He was identified with the truth He confessed, and was the source of every such confession after. Timothy "confessed," for his confession was responsive and secondary, and found. its inspiration in that of his Lord.

2. Christ's achieved victory is another source of encouragement to His faithful followers. The Cross of Calvary was the immediate result of our Lord's good confession; but that was not its final result. God, who quickeneth all things, has raised Him from the dead, and amongst the glorified and redeemed He already appears as Prince and Saviour. The victory of Christ is the encouragement and inspiration of all who are engaged in the conflicts of truth with error, of holiness with sin. Notice how this description of the expected appearing of Christ leads to the noble doxology which celebrates —

II. THE GREATNESS AND GLORY OF GOD, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen." If He be for us, who can be against us? Timothy is fittingly reminded that —

1. God is eternal. All time is at His disposal.

2. God is the blessed and only Potentate. If you substitute for "blessed" its synonym in modern English, you get the beautiful truth, that ours is a happy God — full of joy in Himself, the source of joy to all His creatures.

3. "God quickeneth all things." He can so quicken us that out of sadness and difficulties and torpor He can raise us to newness of life.

4. God is incomprehensible — as yet to us — in Himself and in His doings; "dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto." It is a beautiful thought, that He is not hidden from us through absence of light, but through excess of light. Therefore, amid the gradual development of His purposes, we have only to witness a good confession, leaving all the results to Him.

5. God is Almighty, "the only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords," the King of those who reign, the Lord of those who rule. All authority is in His hands. Let us not lose sight of Him to whom in this passage the great apostle ascribes honour and power everlasting. We too often regard ourselves as the rulers of the world, and forget our absolute dependence; but, in relation to the blessed and only Potentate, we are far more insignificant than insects are in relation to us.

(A. Rowland, LL. B.)

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,

God Invisible
Top of Page
Top of Page