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The Commissioning of a Knight
Modeled after the Apostle Paul’s Letters to Timothy
By the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, to the Young Knight, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. The goal of these commands is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
This instruction is given to you so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith, they have been handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme. I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being a Knight, he desires a noble task. Now the Knight must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect, for if anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?
One that assumes the title of a Knight must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. Rather, Knights are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.
Have nothing to do with godless myths; rather, train yourself to be godly. Forphysical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.Young Knights, do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. Do not rebuke older men harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.
I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism. Do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden.
About riches and wealth, godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
Be sure to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. Do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, but be ready to suffer for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer.Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
Here is a trustworthy saying:If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him.If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful,for he cannot disown himself. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Look to the example of older Christian men, who exhibit good teaching, way of life, purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, and sufferings. But remember, in sufferings, the Lord will rescue youfrom all of them. Also remember that everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. You must fight the good fight; you must finish the race; you must keep the faith.
There awaits for you a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to you on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. Until then, the Lord will stand at your side and give you strength, so that the Gospel will be proclaimed through your life. The Lord will rescue you from every evil attack and will bring you safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever.
Finally, you, Knight of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 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. 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 until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.