TODAY’S READING: I TIMOTHY 1-6
OVERVIEW: The proper use of the Law of God (chapter 1); the power of prayer and the place of women in the local church (chapter 2); the qualifications for church leaders (chapter 3); the contrast between false and faithful teachers (chapter 4); the responsibilities of the members of a local church (chapter 5); sound advice from God to servants, false teachers, the rich, and the educated(chapter 6).
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
The Book of I Timothy is the first of three New Testament Books referred to as “Pastoral Epistles” (the others being II Timothy and Titus). These Books are obviously called “Pastoral Epistles” because they are addressed to pastors of local churches, and have to do with conducting the affairs as undershepherds in Christ’s church. The instruction in these letters is very specific, and most certainly deals with situations pastors will encounter in carrying out their biblical office, but don’t let that cause you to think than these letters do not have incredibly practical ramifications for your life and ministry! These letters actually present the relationship God intends to exist between a disciple and discipler! Sure, Timothy had been given the responsibility of holding the office of pastor in the church at Ephesus, but he was also an individual member of the body of Christ. He is a real person, with real weaknesses, and real problems, and struggles just like all of us. G!
od placed these Books in His Bible not just for pastors, but to provide every believer practical instruction concerning being a follower (disciple) of Christ on both sides of discipleship.
As we move into I Timothy today, keep in mind that Timothy was the son of a father who was a Greek and a mother who was a Jew (Acts 16:1-3). His mother’s name was Eunice and his grandmother’s name was Lois (II Tim. 1:5). He resided in Lystra (Acts 16:1-2; 20:4), where he was raised in the knowledge of the scriptures (II Tim. 3:15).
Upon visiting Timothy’s hometown of Lystra on his second missionary journey, Paul was impressed with Timothy’s testimony in his local church, and felt impressed to invite him to join him and Silas as a part of their missionary team. Keep in mind that this invitation was extended to Timothy immediately following Paul’s conflict with Barnabus concerning the fact that Paul didn’t want John Mark to be included on his missionary team because he was too young, too scared, and because he needed to be discipled (Acts 15:36-41). Because God is sovereign, and because He obviously has a sense of humor, He turns right around and gives Paul a fearful young man who needs to be discipled to be a part of his missionary team! Just file into your head, that when we refuse to learn the lessons from the situations God has put into place, He will simply recreate similar circumstances until we learn them!
To catch the real heart of this letter, recognize that Paul most likely led Timothy to the Lord (I Tim. 1:2, 18; II Tim. 1:2, 2:1; I Cor. 4:17) when he and Barnabas came to Lystra on their first missionary journey (Acts 14:5-7). Timothy was Paul’s trusted companion, and he used him for some of the toughest assignments in the different churches (I Thess. 3:1-7; I Cor. 4:16-17). Paul goes on in scripture to describe Timothy as one with whom he was completely likeminded, and viewed serving with him as a father with his son (Phil. 2:19-22). Timothy struggled with the problem of fear (I Cor. 16:10; II Tim. 1:7), which probably led to his stomach problems, and other physical infirmities that Paul mentioned in chapter 5 and verse 23.
Paul wrote this letter because he felt the need to give young Timothy some encouragement to stay in the battle as a good soldier, warring a good warfare (1:18) in the midst of false teachers and backsliding believers in the church at Ephesus (1:3-4, 19-20). Paul had invested three solid years in this church at Ephesus (Acts 20:31), and had an intense love for them (Acts 20:37-38). Paul writes to Timothy to encourage him to stay at Ephesus, and fulfill his role, and responsibility as the church’s pastor, in spite of the difficulties he faced. Paul had warned the Ephesian elders that false teachers would both enter and arise out of the church, and now that it had happened, Paul felt confident that Timothy was the man for the job of shutting the mouths of the false teachers (1:3; 4:7; 6:17), and protecting the young flock of God in that church!
This letter was written from Laodicea (see AV 1611 postscript) and sent to Timothy in Ephesus between Paul’s two imprisonments in Rome. It is interesting to note that Paul desired Timothy to stay in Ephesus (a place that was “fully-purposed” to do God’s work – Rev. 2:1-2) rather than join him in Laodicea (where the Christians felt they had “rights” – Rev. 3:14-18). Paul knew where God’s work could most effectively be accomplished. We would do well in this age if we would just “stay in Ephesus,” as opposed to “living and loving Laodicea”.
Additional highlights from Paul’s first letter to young Timothy:
Four things Jesus Christ is to those who know Him: Our SAVIOUR, Our HOPE, Our FATHER, and Our LORD. (1:1-2)
The lawful use of God’s law is two-fold (1:8-10): 1) To reveal what sin is (Rom. 5:20, 7:7), and 2) to bring us to Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:21-24).
Paul’s life of longsuffering is the pattern for our lives (1:16. See also II Cor. 11:23-28)
Standing for truth will sometimes require naming of names of those who are disobedient and that teach false doctrine. (1:18-20)
As believers, prayer is the “first” thing we should do to maintain a close relationship with God. (2:1)
No mediator (“middle man”) other than CHRIST can bring us and/or our prayers to the Father. Not Mary. Not the saints. Not a priest. ONLY Christ! (2:5)
God was manifest (i.e. shown to us; revealed) in the flesh and it is WITHOUT CONTROVERSY (3:16; I Cor. 15:1-8; Acts 1:3). Bank on it!
Refuse to be intimidated by those who say you’re too young to be doing God’s work. Preach and teach God’s truth with authority! (4:11-12a)
The desire for more will end up fooling and hurting you. (6:5-9)
Avoid oppositions of “science” falsely so called (6:20 – Note: Evolution is a religion, not a science - see below):
* Christians believe – “In the beginning GOD...”
* Evolutionists believe – “In the beginning DIRT...”