When we first hear this word there may be different mental pictures develop within our mind. Paul uses this word with Timothy a number of times. There are different Greek words Paul uses that are translated “charge” in our New Testament but they have basically the same meaning. The meaning is “command.” Now go back to our pictures developed in our minds, with this meaning. A man might think of the command to charge an enemy. A woman might think of a plastic card with items to purchase. It is still a command! With this command in mind let us consider what Paul by inspiration tells Timothy.
1 Timothy 1:18 states, “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare.” The command is to fight as a good solider. In the second letter Paul informs Timothy more about this by telling him, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good solider of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:3-4). Consider that there was a basis for Paul’s command to Timothy. It was by the prophecies which went before him. There is a standard to live up too. Second, there will be hardness as a soldier, therefore endure this hardness. Thirdly, Timothy is not to get too involved with what is going on in this world. We would do well to heed this command as well today. Our standard is the Bible. It is what we are to live by each and every day of our lives. It is to guide us when we deal with others. It is our guide when we deal with money matters. It is our guide when dressing and talking. The Bible is our guide. Then we must understand that things will go bad for a Christian. The devil is walking about “seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He will do what he can to disrupt our lives so that we will serve him and not God. Know this and expect it, then it will be no surprise. Then living every day can pull our attention away from our goal of heaven. Do not let the world and its allurements pull our attention away from Jesus (Colossians 3:1-2; Hebrews 12:2).
The second charge that Paul gives Timothy is, “I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Timothy 6:13-14). Paul even tells Timothy that this charge is a command. The command is to be kept without any dirt getting in the way and without any one being able to tell him any errors in his life. The commands are those stated in verses 11 through 12 of chapter 6 of 1 Timothy. They are: flee, follow and fight. He was to flee the love of money. Timothy is told what to follow: righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness. Then Paul commands to fight the good fight of faith which goes along with the first charge we noticed. Keeping this command or charge is difficult. It is not impossible but it would be difficult. People can point out all the sins that a person does with not any problems and with ease, but to live a life that is “unrebukeable” is just plain difficult.
Timothy is commanded to let the rich know that they are not to be “high minded, trust in their uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.” We all are rich in this world’s goods. We are truly blessed in this great country to have all these material goods. You might look at others in this country and say that you do not have what others have, but yet, we all have more than most of the world. This charge would apply to us. We are not to get our heads up so high that we might drown if it rains. All the material things will be burned up in the end (2 Peter 3). We can and ought to trust in God for He is eternal.
The next charge Paul gives Timothy is found in the second letter, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:1-4). The witnesses to this charge or command are God and Jesus. They were there when this charge was given and they will hold Timothy responsible for not abiding by this command. What was Timothy commanded to do? He was charged with preaching The Word. This was God’s Word. He was not to preach what he thought about a subject but what God said about a subject. He was to fill his sermons with the Word of God. There are not many sermons recorded in our Bibles; most of the sermons are recorded in the book of Acts. Read any one of them and then see how many times the Old Testament is quoted. This would be preaching The Word and not any man’s opinion. When we fill our sermons with opinions we are no longer preaching as God would have us preach but we are just giving a talk. If anyone is going to preach, it needs to be filled with God’s Word. An example if found in Peter’s sermon in Acts 2; it begins in verse 14. Notice that he quotes first Joel 2. Next he refers to Hosea 13:14 then several Psalms (16:8; 16:10; 110:1). He quotes 2 Samuel 7:12 the covenant that God made with David. Thus beginning in verse 14 and ending in verse 36 and there are ten passages quoted or referred to. That would be an example of “preaching the Word.” This may be what is wrong with the church today. We are not hearing enough of the Lord and more about what the preacher thinks. The sermon ought and must be filled with God’s Word, anything else is.