Here are 5 Key Connections from recent Christian articles around the web, including one on what Hagar's life can teach us today, and another on the surprising places of discipleship. Three Glimpses of God's Love Seen in Hagar's Life (Colin Smith, Unlocking the Bible) Living in the tension of a...
In a previous article, I wrote that without Christ you were a lost and helpless and hopeless sinner. But now in Christ you are a new creation. God’s Spirit lives in you!
You are God’s man, God’s woman. Be who you are.
In this article, I want to give you three distinguishing marks of every man and woman of God. These were God’s words through Paul to Timothy, and so they apply to us today.
Three Distinguishing Marks of Every Man and Woman of God
1. You have made a confession.
Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:11-12)
Paul is pointing to a specific time, remembered by many people, when Timothy confessed faith in Jesus Christ. It seems most likely that this would have been his baptism.
Since the day of Pentecost, Christian believers have confessed faith in Jesus through baptism, which is a sign and seal of our union with Christ. Scripture says:
If you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
From the earliest times people made this confession at baptism: “Jesus is Lord.” Timothy had made this confession, and a large crowd of people had heard it.
A Christian is a person who has reached a conclusion about Jesus Christ. Christians are in process about many things. We are in the process over holiness, repentance, spiritual growth, overcoming temptation, and prayer.
But we are not in process over who Jesus is. We stand with Peter when he said to Jesus, “You are the Christ” (Matthew 16:16). We stand with Thomas when he bowed before Jesus and said, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). And, we stand with the whole church in every place and every age, confessing that “Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:11).
If you are God’s man or God’s woman, you don’t start each day wondering who you are, why you are here, or who you belong to. You are Christ’s, united with him in his death and resurrection. You have made a confession.
Have you made this confession? If you have, remember who you are: God’s man, God’s woman.
2. You have embraced a calling.
In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus… I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame… (1 Timothy 6:13-14)
The command that Paul is referring to seems to be in verses 11 and 12: “There is character to pursue, a battle to fight, and a life to gain… But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”
a. Character to pursue
John Stott says that: “Endurance is patience in difficult circumstances. Gentleness is patience with difficult people.” 
b. A battle to fight
Fight the good fight of the faith (1 TImothy 6:12).
The world will always reject Christ, and those who proclaim that “Christ is Lord” will always be in conflict with the unbelieving world.
c. A life to gain
Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses… (1 Timothy 6:12)
Notice the language—pursue, fight, take hold. The Christian life will be a struggle. Calvin says that:
Self indulgence springs from [the Christian’s] desire to serve Christ… as if it were a mere leisure activity. Christ calls [his servants]… to wage a war.
Where do you find the energy for this struggle? Sometimes it is hard to keep going—too many disappointments, too many unanswered prayers, too many failures. You feel run down and you get weary in the struggle.
How do you find the strength to sustain the rigors and the demands of this Christian life? When Paul gives Timothy this charge, he says “in the sight of God, who gives life to everything” (v13).
God will give you the energy you need for this. He gives you life. He sustains your life. And, he will give you strength for each day. Pursue your calling in the sight of the God who gives life. He will quicken you by His Spirit. As your days are, so shall your strength be.
3. You anticipate Christ’s coming.
Keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ… (1 Timothy 6:14)
One day we are going to see Jesus Christ. He will appear. God will bring that day about “in his own time” (1 Timothy 6:15, NIV). The day will come when your faith will be turned to sight. This is an amazing promise.
Then Paul reminds us that “God… lives in unapproachable light” (1 Timothy 6:16). God is not hidden in unapproachable darkness, but in unapproachable light. We are not alienated from God because He is obscured in darkness, but because he is inaccessible in light.
Our problem is not that we can’t find God. It is that we couldn’t come near him if we did! All through the Bible, we find that man at his best is unable to stand in the presence of God:
When Isaiah, the holiest man of his time, saw God’s glory fill the temple, he cried “Woe to me… I am ruined” (Isaiah 6:5). When John the Apostle saw the glory of the risen Christ, he “fell at his feet as though dead…” (Revelation 1:17).
If the best of men in the Old and New Testaments are on their faces in the presence of God, how do you think it will be for us when the Son of God comes in his glory and all his holy angels with him?
Thomas Blinney explains how we can abide in Christ’s presence when he comes:
There is a way for man to rise
To that sublime abode:
An offering and a sacrifice,
A Holy Spirit’s energies,
An Advocate with God:
He points to:
- An offering: The Son of God loved us and gave Himself for us
- A sacrifice: Christ bore our sins in His body on the tree
- The Holy Spirit: uniting us with Christ through the bond of faith
- The risen Christ: advocating for us in the presence of the Father
Who We Are
This is the life that we share together in the church: We share the same confession of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. We share the same calling to pursue a holy life, to fight the good fight of faith, and to lay hold of the eternal life to which we have been called. We live in the same anticipation of Christ’s appearing and our entry into the glory of His presence
Whatever you are facing in your life right now, here’s what you need to know. You are God’s man, God’s woman, bought by the precious blood of Christ, called to the blessing of life under the rule of God: The King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who alone is immortal, who lives in unapproachable light, to whom be glory and might forever. Amen.