A Good Confession.
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Tim. 6:12)
God led the Apostle Paul to write these words, to his pastoral apprentice Timothy somewhere between 62 and 64 AD. And these words aren’t some fairy tale. Timothy’s history matters to the greater story of the Gospel. He was a Believer just like you or I.
For example, Timothy had a real mother and father just like us.
According to Acts 16, “Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. 2 The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey…” (Acts 16:1-3a)
Timothy the Disciple
Acts 16 states that Timothy was a disciple. But not just any disciple; Timothy was a disciple that made an impact on the other Believers in Lystra and Iconium.
The people of that area spoke well of him to Paul. And in that moment, for whatever reason, God led Paul to make a decision that would change Timothy’s future here on earth. Timothy’s was called to ministry; to join Paul on his missionary journeys.
However, before Timothy was ever called into ministry, he experienced a far greater and eternal call.
Timothy’s Call to Life
Scripture doesn’t tell us exactly when, but before Paul ever showed up to meet Timothy and his parents, Timothy had already begun a new life.
At some point, prior to Acts 16, Timothy had heard the good news of the Gospel. Timothy had heard the Easter story, and in that moment, Timothy was convicted of his sin and realized his need for a Saviour.
In that moment, Timothy was called to a new life in, through and for Jesus Christ.
In verse 12 of chapter 6, as Paul ends the entire first letter to Timothy, he doesn’t point Timothy to his call to ministry. No, instead Pal travels further back into Timothy’s history to his eternal call to Jesus Christ:
“Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called…” (6:12)
Timothy’s Good Confession
As a pastor, I’ve felt a connection to Timothy, but this is a place where every Follower of Jesus can connect with him.
Again, this is no fairy tale; these are real events. Timothy entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ the same way you or I have or hopefully will do by the end of this post.
Timothy made a “…good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (6:12)
But maybe you’re thinking, “Wait a second Jeremy. Timothy made a confession in front of witnesses? Shouldn’t our confession be made to God?” Well, the answer is yes and no.
The English word confession in this passage doesn’t completely work here, because in 2016 English, we see the word confession predominantly as admittance of guilt.
The original word is “homologia” (hom-ol-og-ee’-ah), which carries with it a meaning of agreement, profession and confession. (BibleHub.com, Strong’s 3671)
This verse could be then translated as a “…good profession in the presence of many witnesses.“
Paul’s pointing back to a time in history when Timothy not only confessed his sin and his need for a Saviour. But also, made a public profession before many witnesses.