Summary: Father's Day: It’s important to consider masculinity, because how we act as a man is the example that we’re going to pass on to our children. This passage looks at the advice that Paul gave young Timothy on how to “be a man of God.”
This Father’s Day, we’re going to look at being a man. Masculinity is under attack in America. Just do an Internet search on “masculinity” and see how many times the term “toxic masculinity” pops up; but masculinity can be a good thing when understood properly and when taught to boys and teenagers.
So what exactly is masculinity? What does it mean to be a man? Does it mean bullying people and picking fights? Does it mean talking tough, driving a jacked up truck, and knowing how to shoot a gun? Does it mean having your way with women and demeaning them? It’s important to think about masculinity, because how we act as a man – and as a Father – is the example that we’re going to be passing on to our children. If we set a bad example, then our son could become a jerk; and our daughter could wind up marrying a jerk, as she wants to be with someone like her daddy.
In our passage today, we’re going look at the advice that Paul gave to young Timothy on how to “be a man of God.” I must note that a man of God – how he lives and what he stands for – is so much different than what the world envisions as being a man. So, let’s get started by looking at our main passage of Scripture; and I want to invite you to stand in honor of the reading of God’s Word.
The True Man of God (vv. 6-12, 20-21)
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 . . . 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.
Back in 1 Timothy 4:16, Paul addressed the matter of false teachers, and he gave counsel to young Timothy, saying, “take heed to yourself,” which means to “watch your life,” according to the New International Version. While caring for the needs of his people, Timothy needed to care for himself as well. In verses 6-10, Paul warned Timothy that there were some around him who were teaching false doctrine, telling people what they wanted to hear, so they would be more likely to give money to their corrupt ministries. They “strayed from the faith in their greediness,” as Paul said (v. 10); and because of bad motives, they shared bad information.
False teachers were men of the world, but according to 1 Timothy 6:11, Timothy was a “man of God.” This special designation, “man of God,” was also given to Moses (Deuteronomy 33:1), Samuel (1 Samuel 9:6), Elijah (1 Kings 17:18), and King David (Nehemiah 12:24); so, Timothy was in good company. In this passage, Paul provides four admonitions to Timothy that, if obeyed, would assure him of success in his ministry and a continued testimony as a “man of God” – four admonitions that can help each of us in becoming the men and leaders (and even the fathers) that God desires.
Flee False Teachers (v. 11a)
The first admonition that Paul gave the true man of God is to “Flee.” In verse 11, he said, “But you, O man of God, flee these things.” “There are times when running away is a mark of cowardice. ‘Should such a man as I flee?’ asked Nehemiah (Nehemiah 6:11). But there are other times when fleeing is a mark of wisdom and a means of spiritual victory.”(1) For example, “Joseph fled when he was tempted by his master’s wife (Genesis 39:12), and David fled when King Saul tried to kill him (1 Samuel 19:10).”(2)
“The [Greek] word ‘flee’ that Paul used here did not refer to literal running, but to Timothy separating himself from the sins of the false teachers”(3) – to separate himself from those whom he called “men of corrupt minds” in 1 Timothy 6:5. From such a person you, as a man of God, should flee. In 1 Corinthians 15:33, Paul said, “Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits,” and in 2 Corinthians chapter six, the apostle said, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? . . . Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord” (2 Corinthians 6:14, 17).