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The Good Fight of Faith

11 But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness.


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11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things By calling him man of God he adds weight to the exhortation. If it be thought proper to limit to the preceding verse the injunction which he gives to follow righteousness, piety, faith, patience, this is an instruction which he gives, by contrast, for correcting avarice, by informing him what kind of riches he ought to desire, namely, spiritual riches. Yet this injunction may also be extended to other clauses, that Timothy, withdrawing himself from all vanity, may avoid that (περιεπγίαν) vain curiosity which he condemned a little before; for he who is earnestly employed about necessary employments will easily abstain from those which are superfluous. He names, by way of example, some kinds of virtues, under which we may suppose others to be included. Consequently, every person who shall be devoted to the pursuit of “righteousness,” and who shall aim at “piety, faith, charity,” and shall follow patience and gentleness, cannot but abhor avarice and its fruits. 125125     “And thus we see that not without reason does Paul add this word piety, which means religion and the fear of God, and that he connects it with faith, saying that, when we have put our confidence in God, and when we expect from him the means of our support, we must also attend to this, not to live in this world as if it were our end, and not to fix our heart upon it, but to look upwards to the heavenly kingdom. Having said this, he next leads us onwards to the love of our fellow-men and to meekness, as we are also bound to walk in all good friendship with our neighbors; otherwise we shall not shew that we have the righteousness which he has mentioned. And thus let us see that, by all these words, he means nothing more than to confirm the exhortation which he had given, to follow righteousness and sincerity. And how shall we follow it? First, by placing our confidence in God; secondly, by raising our thoughts to the heavenly kingdom; and thirdly, by living in good friendship with each other.” — Fr. Ser.




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