Updated: Jul 4
This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare… (1 Timothy 1:18 NKJV)
“The Charge” from Paul is the main thrust of his letter, repeated about 10 times in the 2 letters.
1 Timothy 1:3-5 shows the subject of the charge:
As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:3-5 ESV)
The issue facing all the churches at this time was false doctrine leading people away from the truth of God and the heart of God.
Notice that the charge is described in verse 18 in terms of a battle. To wage the good warfare.
1 Timothy 6 puts it in terms of fighting the good fight.
It was imperative that Timothy take a stand for truth and to relay this to the church.
“The charge” continues into 2nd Timothy and noticeably it centres around the prominence of the Word of God in the Christians life.
One of the most remarkable statements in the Bible is given in these verses:
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV)
Don’t miss what this is saying. The scripture is our standard of truth. It is inspired and given by God, and it is good. It’s good for:
· Doctrine: What I should KNOW
· Reproof: What I should STOP
· Correction: What I should CHANGE
· Instruction in Righteousness: What I should DO
When we accept it as such we will be equipped for the battle.
What stands out is Paul’s concluding charge in the very next verse (Which is chapter 4).
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
(2 Timothy 4:1-2 NKJV)
Notice the priority Paul gives to the Word and its place within the church.
These verses are why we prioritise the Word of God in our services at Calvary.
Another noticeable aspect of the charge, is that it is a call to action. The false teachers were about head knowledge and idleness. Good doctrine however translates into proper biblical living.
Titus tells us we are not just to KNOW it. We are to LIVE it.
Titus 2:10 …that they may adorn the doctrine in all things.
Paul tells Timothy:
1 Timothy 6:11NKJV … pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.
This charge has not changed. Let’s seek to honour God by how we respond to His instruction for us. And don’t forget the famous quote from C.H. Spurgeon:
“Show Me A Bible Falling Apart I'll Show You Someone Who Isn't”