Monday, August 11, 2008

The fight of faith is a marathon (pardon the mixed metaphor)

But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.

1 Timothy 6:11 (ESV)

Here Paul sums up in a nutshell his message to Timothy. As I read the preceding section, Paul has four main things in mind from which Timothy must flee.

- False teaching/doctrine (6:3)

- Pride/conceit (6:4)

- Love of controversy/divisiveness (6:4, 6:5)

- Desire to be rich/love of money (6:9, 6:10)

Conversely, what he is to pursue is nothing less than a Spirit-led life (Gal. 5:16-26) and the "wisdom from above" (James 3:17-18). Exactly the things not evident in the false teachers that provoked this letter. Paul could have asked them the same question he asked of the foolish Galatians. "You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?"

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