Summary: A man fo God is known by that which he flees from as well and by what he pursues after.
“11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
13 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;
14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:”
In the tradition of the Old Testament, “man of God” refers to someone who is sent by God to speak for Him.
Timothy is singled out in the NT by Paul the apostle as “a man of God” for two reasons:
1. Timothy was called of God to proclaim His Word
2. He was sent by Paul through the Holy Spirit to Ephesus, in a very difficult and challenging situation. Paul called Timothy ‘man of God’ to remind him of the awesome responsibility he bore to safeguard the truth against the false teachers in Ephesus, and also to encourage him with the reminder that he belonged to God, and therefore God was standing with him in his trials.
In 2 Tim. 3:16, 17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
In its broadest application, the “man of God” applies to every believer.
How does one recognize a “man of God” in these modern times? Or how do those who are called to ‘men of God’ live up to their calling”
The Apostle Paul highlights FOUR qualities that identify a real “man of God”. These qualities are to be the distinctive marks of every believer:
I. A MAN OF GOD IS KNOWN BY WHAT HE FLEES FROM v.11
A. Paul exhorts Timothy to “flee these things”.
B. The verb “flee” conveys the sense of running continually to escape a dangerous enemy. “These things” refers to what Paul had just been talking about in verse 9-10
1. The evils attached to the love of money. (foolish & harmful lusts)
a) Greed is the sin of false teachers who pretend to speak for God but whose true goal is personal gains.
(1) From Balaam (prophet sold to the highest bidder) to Judas (sold Jesus for 30 pcs. of silver) the characteristic of false teachers has always been greed.
(2) Greed has no place in the heart of a “man of God”.
A. Other things to flee from:
a) Sexual sins – 1 cor. 6:18 “Flee fornication, every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body”
b) Idolatry- 1 cor. 10: 14 ‘…flee from idolatry”
c) Youthful lusts- 2 Tim. 2:22 “flee youthful lusts” (everything that stimulates youthful lusts)
II. A MAN OF GOD IS KNOWN BY WHAT HE FOLLOWS AFTER.
A. While the man of God is continually running from evil, he must also be running toward Good. There is a sense in which, as long as we are in this body we can never stop running. If we stop running from what is evil, it will catch us. If we stop pursuing what is righteous, it will elude us. We will never be at the point where we have outdistanced what is wrong, nor will be ever have fully captured what is right. Our whole life consists of flight and pursuit.
B. We must pursue: v 11
1. Righteousness- doing right before God and man.
2. Godliness-having the spirit of holiness, reverence and piety of heart. It is living ones life in the conscious presence of the holiness of God. This consciousness comes from practicing the spiritual disciplines viz. devotion to the Word, prayer, self-denial, accountability, worship, etc.
3. Faith-confident trust in God for everything, complete loyalty to Him.
4. Love-agape love (includes everyone).
5. Patience- not passive resignation but rather a victorious, triumphant endurance. An unswerving loyalty to the Lord in the midst of trials.
6. Gentleness/meekness- the selfless attitude of one who, though consumed with a great cause, recognizes that he makes no contribution to its success.
III. A MAN OF GOD IS KNOWN BY WHAT HE FIGHTS FOR. V.12
A. “fight the good fight of faith”
B. A man of God must be a fighter! Ministry is war! War against the world, the flesh and the devil: against sin, heresy, and error. Against apathy and lethargy in the church.
C. The war never ceases nor abates.
D. It is a good fight. An excellent and noble fight.
IV. A MAN OF GOD IS KNOWN BY WHAT HE IS FAITHFUL TO v.13