The Scriptorium

The Only Sovereign

Look to Christ, keep His commandments. 1 Timothy 6.13-16

The Pastoral Epistles: 1 Timothy 6 (5)

Pray Psalm 140.6, 7

I said to the LORD: “You are my God;
Hear the voice of my supplications, O Lord.
ODthe Lord, the strength of my salvation,
You have covered my head in the day of battle.

Read and meditate on 1 Timothy 6.13-16.


1. To what does Paul point Timothy in urging him to keep the commandment of the Lord?

2. How would you define each of the titles Paul uses in mentioning Jesus? 

These verses provide a synopsis of the greatness of God and His salvation, which serves as the framework and incentive for obeying His commandments.

Paul reminds Timothy that God is the one Who gives life to all things (v. 13). All things, therefore – including Timothy and you and I – owe their lives to God. And because of the work of Jesus, it is actually possible for us to live that we may know the pleasure and power of the Lord at work within us.

Paul uses the word confession here (v. 13) to sum-up the whole of Jesus’ life and ministry, and to remind us that we have a similar calling which we must fulfill. The NKJV adds the word this in italics before commandment (v. 14), which indicates that it’s not actually present in the Greek. The Greek reads only the commandment, and I take this as referring to the whole of God’s Law. We recall that keeping the Law lawfully was where Paul began his epistle (1 Tim. 1.8). It is fitting that he brings us back to that point here at the end. By looking to the return of our Lord Jesus, and keeping His greatness and glory before our minds, we will be more likely to continue spotless and blameless in all the commandments of the Lord, fighting the good fight each day.

Christ is the only Sovereign. Back of operation and maintenance of all things in the cosmos is the exalted Word of God, even our Lord Jesus Christ (Heb. 1.3). He is King of kings, hallelujah! He is Lord of lords, praise His Name! He possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, bow before Him with trembling and rejoicing! And we are seated with Him in the heavenly places (Eph. 2.6)! To Him belongs all honor and everlasting power, and it pleases Him to bring us into these with Him, that He might receive even more glory as we fight the good fight and keep up our good confession to the end.

Never lose sight of Whom you serve. The more clearly you see Him in all His glory and might, the more fervent and faithful you will be in obeying His commands.

1. Do you think most Christians think of Jesus in these exalted, glorious, and powerful terms? Explain.

2. The word confession derives from the Greek word for witness? Timothy was commended for his witness (v. 12) because it reflected the witness of Jesus (v. 13). What would Paul say about your witness?

3. Paul begins and ends this epistle with a reminder to keep the Law of God lawfully. Why was this so important to Paul? Why is it important for us?

When someone sees resplendent lords of rank, kings, leaders and all those who appear prominent in wealth, to them he speaks in fearful words. Their dynasties are advantaged by his fear. Yet “now, kings, understand; be instructed, all you who judge the earth; serve the Lord with fear and rejoice in him with trembling,”
because “he is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.” Wherever the mighty rules, God threatens with the fear of his kingdom. Yet wherever the worthless are humbled, God offers the medicine of his clemency. John Chrysostom (344-407),On Repentance and Alsmgiving 7.3.9

I will set You always before my mind, Lord Jesus, so that today I may…

Pray Psalm 140.1-5.

Praise God for all the ways His sovereignty and salvation bless your daily life. Seek His presence, promise, and power as you go out into the fight today.

Sing Psalm 140.1-5.
Psalm 140.1-5 (Old Rockingham: O Lord Most High, with All My Heart)
From evil, violent men, I pray, deliver me, preserve me, Lord!
Their hearts they bend to evil ways, and serpent’s venom is their word.

Guard me, O Lord, from wicked hands, from violent men preserve my life!
They sow my path with wicked plans, with nets and snares and cords of strife.

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore