Sunday, October 29, 2017

Paul's Epistles – I Timothy – Part 1: Introduction

Paul's Epistles – I Timothy – Part 1:
Pastor Bruce A. Shields

This letter from Paul to Timothy will be the next “epistle” examine.

Timothy was the son of a Greek father and Jewish mother.

He was converted as the age of fifteen, during Paul’s ministry at Lystra (Acts 14, I timothy 1:2)

Seven years later he had so advanced in grace that he was “well reported,” and became Paul’s companion (Acts 16), and there then began one of those beautiful friendships between an older and younger man, which are beneficial to both. (Philippians 2:22).

Immediately on his release from his first imprisonment before he visited Spain (Romans 15:24; Philemon 22), Paul more than likely visited Macedonia, Ephesus, etc. Not being able to stay long at Ephesus, he left Timothy to take charge of the work.

This parting was a tough trial to Timothy (I Timothy 1:3; II Timothy 1:4).

To encourage and instruct Timothy (who was sensitive and timid, and not strong (II Timothy 5:23 frequently upset stomach because of nerves), Paul wrote and forwarded this letter from Corinth.

“Introduction of I Timothy”

Timothy 1:1-2
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
The overall message of this epistle to the church is;
We are designed to accomplish” - I Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

The purpose of this letter is admirably given in I Timothy 3:15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.”

The entirety of the epistles contents are designed to enable the young worker to rise to the height of I Timothy 4:12Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

“Young” can be viewed from different perspectives.

Chronologically young in age, or, young in time as a follower of Christ, or young as in experience in a certain situation.

All of these are remedied with the Truth of God’s eternal and infinitely superior Word, which will answer all situations correctly regardless of the bearer’s Age (your age has no bearing on the Truth of God’s Word), or how long you have been a Christian (because your Spiritual Maturity has nothing to do with time, rather submission to the Lord), nor does it pertain to your experience, because God’s Word is formed from His Eternal Knowledge and Understanding of all things, not ours.

I Timothy is broke into four major parts

a. Speaks of practical godliness
                                                                 i. Obtainable goals to be practiced

                                                              ii. Without the “practice” of teachings, they are simply “meaningless talk”

b. The Law and its abuse
                                                                 i. Explaining that teachers of the Law have no clue what they are talking about

                                                              ii. Paul explains the Law is not for the righteous, but the lawbreakers and rebels who will be judged by it

c. Personal Testimony
                                                                 i. Paul then explains how he was a blasphemer, persecutor and a violent man

                                                              ii. However, he was shown mercy because he acted in ignorance and unbelief

                                                           iii. I Timothy 1:15Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.”

d. A solemn charge
                                                                 i. Paul tells Timothy exactly what he is to do

a. What to pray for
                                                                 i.  that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people”

                                                              ii.  for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

                                                           iii. I Timothy 2:3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

b. How to pray
                                                                 i. I Timothy 2:8I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.”

                                                              ii. I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and respectability,

                                                           iii. adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes
1. Modest dress covers private parts

2. decency does not provoke or tempt

3. respectably shows reverence for the house of God and assembly of believers

4. ELABORATE hairstyles, gold, pearls, those were used in Paul’s time by prostitutes, harlots, attract or get men’s attention, this should not be your goal in the house of God

5. The same for expensive clothing...not everyone who enters the house of God has money, dressing overly elaborately or in excessively expensive clothes was seen as bragging, or causing others to feel inferior.

6. Regardless of wealth, we are all equal, and no one person is above another, no matter his financial status.

                                                            iv. but women, adorn yourselves with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
1. Good Deeds (examined and explained by Paul in Hebrews) are the naturally occurring fruit of salvation and the Spirit of God

2. THESE (Good Deeds) are what make follower truly adorned, and the result of truly worshipping God.

                                                               v. Paul also explains that women are not permitted to be pastors or assume authority over a man.
1. This has to do with the fall, and part of the punishment for Eve “leading” Adam away from God’s Word

2. Adam received his punishment for listening to Eve over God in Genesis 3:17-19Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

3. Women’s punishment was Genesis 3:16 God said to the woman, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.
                                                            vi. Because man listened to woman over God, the ground (earth) is cursed, man will have to work, struggle, toil, his entire life to live and take care of his family, until he dies, and women will have pain giving birth, and the man will be the head of the family.

1. Paul gives deeper explanation in other epistles about man and woman are still equal, but man is spiritually the head, and will be held responsible for everything that takes place.

2. Just as he was held spiritually responsible for Eve’s sin, all through scripture it is referred to the SIN of one man.
a. Adam’s sin being listening to his wife over God

                                                         vii. This does not stop women from ministry, we read of many who worked in the ministry in the New Testament.
1. Luke 1:16-55 Mary was a Prophetess

2. Martha opened her home for study group

3. Tabitha was known for doing good works helping the poor and a renowned philanthropist in the name of the Lord, she is the only woman in the Bible to have the feminine form of the word “disciple”

4.  Romans 16:1-2 Paul greets Phoebe, a deacon in the church

5. Priscilla opened her home with her husband who was a teacher and preacher

                                                      viii. We see a great list of women in the New Testament, with many ministering qualities, none of which are pastor or elder over men.

c. God’s pleasure, desire, provision and condition

a. The scope of the ministry

b. Adornment of women
c. Qualifications necessary for Pastors/Elders
                                                                 i. Irreproachable
                                                              ii. Family life
                                                           iii. Personal life
                                                            iv. Public life
                                                               v. Spiritual belief

a. To warn others
b. To exercise oneself
c. How to treat others
d. Duty of servants

CONCLUSION – The epistle of i timothy

Instructions, and encouragement to a young pastor

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