Flee, Follow, and Fight

Flee, Follow, and Fight
January 7, 2024
Passage: 1 Timothy 6:11-12
Service Type:

This morning, if you'd open your Bibles to 1 Timothy 6:11-12. 

" But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 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."

Now Paul writes these words of encouragement to his protege, or his son in the faith, Timothy. Timothy was likely still a teenager when Paul first met him on his second missionary journey. He became an important part of Paul's work all across Asia Minor and Greece. He even accompanied Paul during his imprisonment in Rome.

Timothy, Paul calls him a man of God. You know, you think about the New Testament, that term is applied twice to Timothy and not applied anywhere else, in those exact words in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, the man of God was used frequently and generally referring to the prophets. 

  • Moses was a man of God
  • Elijah
  •  Elisha
  •  all the prophets were called a man of God

And so it's an important distinction here. Notice that first word there, "but", that implies that this is opposed to something else and we'll get to those in a moment, as opposed to what he said before. He says you man of God flee these things and follow after these other things. And so, we get the idea of flee and follow and into the next verse fight the good fight of faith. So flee, follow, and fight. 

Now, Timothy was a man of God. How did he become this way? You know, one doesn't just become a godly person without some effort. It started in his home.

  •  2 Timothy 1:5

We see that he was brought up with this. He had a godly example in his mother and his grandmother. They taught him, and Paul loved him like a son. 

  • 1 Timothy 1:2, 18 
  • 2 Timothy 1:2 

He thought of Timothy as a son, maybe he baptized him, maybe not, I don't know. But, he considered him his son in the faith, he was one that Paul put trust in. He was one to whom Paul had imparted spiritual gifts.

  •  2 Timothy 1:6 
  • Philippians 2:19-22

We see he had this mindset, that Paul had, that he put the needs of the brethren above his own. And that mindset, more importantly, is the mind of Christ. 

  • Philippians 2:1-5

We see that Timothy, as a man of God, had the mindset of Christ. He had the mind of Christ. To be a man of God, to be a person of God, we've got to adopt that mindset. And so, Timothy here is a man of God. 

He says, "But thou, O man of God." Now what must a man or woman of God do? 

Three Imperatives: Flee, Follow, Fight

  • 1 Timothy 6:11-12

Flee These Things

The first one, again, as we said before, is to "flee these things." And that Greek word for flee, the word translated as, "flee" is my favorite word, which is fuego, which is interesting.

It occurred to me today that that's the same word in Spanish that means fire. What happens when someone yells fuego in Spanish, run away? There's a fire get away from it. So here the idea is to flee. To flee away, to seek safety by flight. Metaphorically to flee or to shun or avoid by flight something abhorrent, especially vices. 

  • Genesis 39:7-13

That's the idea here. We've got to get away from these things. And the word here is in the present tense, it's in the active voice, and it's in the imperative mood. This is a command that Paul is giving Timothy. He's commanding him. Right here, right now, and into the future, continue to do these things. Flee from this. So it's a present and continuous command for Timothy to follow and for each and every one of us to follow, continually flee from these things. 

Now, what things? 

Flee Doctrinal Error

  • 1 Timothy 6:3
  • 2 Timothy 2:22, 26
  • 1 Corinthians 10:14

Flee Disputes and Arguments

  • 1 Timothy 6:4-5
  • 2 Timothy 2:14-16, 23

Flee Desire For Wealth

  • 1 Timothy 6:6-8
  • Philippians 4:11-13
  • 1 Timothy 6:9, 10

Follow After

Follow After Righteousness 

  • Philippians 3:7-14

Follow After Godliness

  • 1 Timothy 4:7-8

Follow After Faith

  • Romans 10:17
  • 1 Timothy 6:12
  • Hebrews 3:12-15

Follow After Love

  • Matthew 22:36-40; 5:44
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 3:12

Follow After Patience

  • Hebrews 12:1-4

Follow After Meekness

  • 2 Timothy 2:24-25
    • (Fruit of the Spirit) Galatians 5:22-23

Fight For The Faith 

Contend for the Faith

  •  Jude 3-4
  • Galatians 1:8-9

Our Weapons 

  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
  • 2 Timothy 2:24-26

Fighting for Our Faith

Contend for our Faith

  • 1 Timothy 4:12; 6:11
  • 1 Peter 2:11
  • Hebrews 3:12

Our Weapons 

  • Hebrews 3:13 
  • Romans 10:17 
  • John 20:30-31
  • Ephesians 6:10-17

And so we must fight for the faith, fight for the faith, and fight for our own personal faith. He says, in doing so, you will lay hold on eternal life. 

You know, to seize this hope, there are things that we must do.

We must be set free from sin, become slaves to God, and produce holiness.

  • Romans 6:22-23

We're to lay hold, he says, on eternal life. To not let go, to grab it with all of your strength and with all of your might, and not let go. It's like the man that's falling off a cliff and he's holding on to that root of that tree. And that's all that's keeping him up and he's holding with all of his might, with all of his power. Lay hold of that eternal life and don't let it go. 

How do we do that? How do we fight for the faith? How do we lay hold on eternal life? How do we achieve eternal life? 

  • 1 Timothy 6:12

He laid hold on eternal life by making that good confession, by confessing his belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

Now, we're told also, in other places in the New Testament, that we must not only believe and repent but that we must confess His name. We must be baptized for the remission of sins. That's how we achieve eternal life. That's how we can be assured of Heaven. If we do those things and if we remain faithful to God.

As Jesus said, "Be thou faithful to death and I will give thee a crown of life." (Revelation 2:10). We urge you today, if you're not a Christian, to take up the fight. To take up the fight, the fight for faith. Become a child of God by obedience to the Word of God, being baptized for the remission of your sins. 

If you're a child of God who's turned back into the world, we urge you to repent and to come back. Today, if we can help you at all to come to the faith, and obey Christ, we ask you to contact us. 

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