It really is that simple! We must not overcomplicate the desires of God when it comes to those who are in a right relationship with Him. Will you allow Paul to make four simple points that really sum up what those who belong to God will do. You can read it simply from your copy of God’s word in 1 Timothy 6:11-12. Oh yes, so much more could be said, but when the man of God is contrasted with the one teaching error and preaching out of personal greed – this is the summation of what we must do.
Flee – You who belong to God must continually flee or avoid anything that contrasts the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 6:3). Please find yourself studying what Paul has to say in the first 10 verses of this chapter and you will find specifically what those who belong to God must avoid. The admonition is not given in this context or others to those who are lost, but to the saved – those who belong to God. See 1 Corinthians 6:14 – Flee sexual immorality; 1 Corinthians 10:14 – Flee idolatry; 2 Timothy 2:22 – Flee youthful passions. Even after obeying the gospel, Christians must continue to flee from sin. This is what those who belong to God must do.
Follow After – What does Paul say to do after fleeing? He then says to follow after (pursue) those things which one who belongs to God should be eager to do. Things like:
- Righteousness – seek eagerly to be right with God. This specific word also carries the weight of being right in our behavior toward other men. In a world with much evil at every turn, God’s people are not spewing hate, but are seeking eagerly to be show Jesus to the world in our behavior.
- Godliness – Pursue a loving respect for God that causes you to be more like God.
- Faith – Follow after trust leading to obedience in God that comes through the study of His word (Romans 10:17). It is this faith that supports us and guides us through our lives.
- Love – Follow after the sacrificing of self to do what is right and best for those around you. Pursue this love that is not an emotion, but a function of the will within each of us to always be obedient to God.
- Patience – The one who belongs to God will persevere or endure the various trials of life in a God-honoring manner. This will show that this one is unswerving in his deliberate purpose and loyalty to God.
- Gentleness – It might not be the first reaction for those in the world, but for the one who belongs to God, it is something that we must be eager to do – to show gentleness. This must be our attitude as we strive to teach and guide others to the Lord.
Fight – Is it not interesting that in order to go to heaven we must fight our way there? Paul tells this to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:12. We must be those who will fight the good fight of faith. We are not in a battle of flesh and blood, but we are fighting against the spiritual hosts of wickedness (Ephesians 6:12). God’s people will be those who stand opposed to anything that opposes God and His word.
Fasten Onto Eternal Life – What is the child of God to do? Make it your greatest goal, your only desire – get to heaven and take as many others with you as possible! How is Timothy described in 1 Timothy 6:11? He is called, “man of God.” It wasn’t that he deserved or earned the right to be one who belonged to God, but in his obedience to the Lord, he had the ability to have a grasp on eternal life. The word translated, “lay hold” or “take hold” is used in other places in the New Testament to describe one who is arrested or seized (Acts 21:30,33). You can picture one being arrested or seized and the strong grasp others would have in not wanting the one seized to get away. Let us make it our goal to seize eternal life, be so fastened to Jesus as one of God’s children, that nothing could make us let go!
Yes, it really does come down to four simple concepts. Let us strive as God’s people to do those things that our loving God would have us to do!