God has placed an incredible weight of responsibility onto the Christian leader's shoulders. The leader must not only faithfully nurture and direct the church but also pay careful attention to personal piety. A healthy church depends on healthy ministers whose ministry and personal life reflect equally the power of God.
Paul emphasizes the weight of this dual responsibility by closing the letter as he opened it, with a solemn charge to Timothy in the presence of God. The dangers of unfaithfulness, both to the leader and to the church, have been graphically spelled out in the interplay between descriptions of false teacher and faithful minister throughout the letter. Now, as the final contrast is made, the clarion call to faithful service resounds. The shape and tone of the text suggest that Paul may have adapted a formal ordination or baptismal charge for emphasis. But again, although the focus in this passage is on leaders, the instructions Paul gives apply to us all.
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
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