Monday after the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:1-21 (NKJV)
1 Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. 2 And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather serve them because those who are benefited are believers and beloved. Teach and exhort these things. 3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.
6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, 15 which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.
17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
20 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge—21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Tim. 6:12).
St. Paul admonishes Timothy to “keep this commandment without spot, blameless…” The Church and her teachers are called to confess the whole truth in all its purity. Man’s heart and deeds are always tainted by the original sin that we inherited from Adam and Eve. But our confession can still be pure, because it is not a matter of our hearts or works; it is a matter of God’s Word.
False teachers will be obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, and they will claim that compromises can be allowed in one’s public confession because we are all imperfect. They ignore parts of God’s Word so they can justify their own interests that conflict with His clear teachings. The one who seeks, and clings to, a good confession is focused on that which comes from God, whereas the false teacher is often more focused on the sins of others in an effort to distract from his own.
Do not let false teachers confuse the issue. By the Holy Ghost and the faith He creates we are redeemed sinners who are made holy in Christ, but also are constantly called to repent of the impurity that comes from us. God’s Word calls us to confess His teaching without spot, blamelessly, because He Himself makes it possible.
We pray: Lord God, create in us a clean heart and strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit, so that we may give a good confession of Your truth for all to witness. In Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.