1stLetter to Timothy Survey:
Pr Edi Giudetti
As we consider our 1 Timothy Survey, this first letter of Paul the Apostle to Timothy, I would like you to consider the love and care God has for the Church, for the Gospel, for the truth. It is not only the preparation of the people that concerns the Lord, but the consistent love and direction of his people, that they may be able to withstand difficulties and affliction, grow in the love of the Lord, and most importantly share that love to all would hear.
Timothy is to be instructed in many of the basic governing principles of the Church.
These last four letters of Paul, prior to the book of Hebrews, are what is referred to as the “Pastoral Epistles”, they are Pastors letters essentially given to individuals. Not to be confused with Paul giving letters to Pastors.
The first nine letters given to churches where encouraged to be read among the entire congregation, not so the Pastoral letters, they were addressed to individuals for the care and protection of the Church.
Timothy is not a Pastor, at least not yet, but he is given the charge to seek out a pastor and to carry on the work of Paul, even on Paul’s behalf.
Many are the instructions given by Paul and this morning we will work to expound some of the more important instructive points as well as advice Paul provides the young Church leader.
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; 2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. 3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
Timothy, the young man who accompanied the Apostle Paul on several of his missionary journeys, now abides in the city of Ephesus in the south west coast of Asia minor, as Paul besought him. The entire letter of 1stTimothy is one of instruction, it is what I have here referred to as THE CHARGE.
3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
Probably the most common form of preaching and teaching today is delivered by men who’s desire is more to entertain and motivate than to teach. It is the sign of the times we are living in and Paul will speak to this shortly.
Timothy is to “Charge”, to burden, to impart a responsibility upon some that no other doctrine is taught by them but that which has been taught by the Apostles.
We should keep in our minds that as this letter was being written, the New Testament was being completed.
The full canon of the Bible, the complete standard of all doctrine, was not yet penned down in the form of a book. All was taught corporately through the Apostles themselves as they journeyed. Then, as they wrote, copies of their letters were passed from Church to church, and done so at a rapid rate.
The church that received the original epistle would make an exact copy and pass that copy on to the next church and so on. Some of these people may have been professional scribes, but some may also have been simple brethren who were lettered, who could both read and write. It does not take any great skill to perfectly copy, word for word, a letter. You and I could do it very easily today.
Understand that there was no desire by ANY of the faithful copiers to try to “Interpret” what was written, as is so common among modern translators today. The early believers believed the word of God to be so profound that they would not dare limit the value of the scriptures by presuming a “Sense” of the text.
But before the writings, it was important that those who have been instructed in the things of the Lord would remember and teach ONLY that in which they have been instructed.
4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
The danger then is what we evidence today, the telling of fables and stories, things that “minister questions” which eventually lead to doubt. Many began to grandstand their own value rather than the value of the scriptures.
Take a look;
5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
Many jangle on about stories and anecdotes, ‘feel good’ sermonettes that lack substance and depth to help the Church grow in wisdom and understanding. They desire to be “Teachers of the Law” but instead swerve and turn aside to vanity, i.e speech of no lasting benefit.
Midway through verse 10 Paul’s desire is that nothing is preached “…that is contrary to sound doctrine; 11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.”
Paul senses a personal responsibility for the Gospel he claims was committed to his trust!
Paul knows the eternal value of the Gospel, his heart desires that it be preached purely, because error will see those who God desires to have obtained salvation, led astray or even damned for not knowing that Gospel in truth.
12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
We recall that Paul was exactly that, he persecuted the people of God and the Church of God. The very first martyr recorded was slain at his feet with his permission. He was “a blasphemer, and a persecutor and injourious”. When Jesus accounted him on the Damascus Road in Acts chapter 9 he said “Saul, Saul why persecutes thou me”, All that Paul did to the disciples of Christ, it was accounted to being done to Jesus himself.
We recall the parable of Matthew 25 when Jesus compared all being done or not done for his disciples as being done or not done to him?
But Paul obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
And now he goes on to explain why he personally obtained such mercy;
15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting
Friends, if Paul was “the chief of sinners” and obtained mercy through the longsuffering of Christ, then there are none so bad as cannot be saved.
Paul is making it clear that if he could obtain mercy, anyone can!
Paul gives a brief exhortation as he deals with prayer for rulers for the sake of the Gospel and holy adornment of women by faith.
1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
You may sometimes wonder why it is that we pray every Sunday for our government, this is our precedent. We pray for them that we too may live peaceably in all godliness and honesty, but also that the Gospel itself would have a free course, for it is the Lord’s will that all would be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
AND this can come to pass for them but only through Jesus, and this only because Jesus is the mediator, the only mediator between God and man. (Not Mary, she is neither a mediator nor a mediatrix, only Christ mediates between God and man).
5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
How many mediators are their? ONE
Who is that Mediator? THE MAN CHRIST JESUS
And it is only through him because it was ONLY him who gave himself as a ransom;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time
This is why we preach, this is why you preach the Gospel to all people wherever you are and to whom ever you can, even tearfully. You should be burdened for the lost, broken for the lost, tearful for the lost. As we grow in Christ we too become more willing to sacrifice our comforts and even our very lives for the hope of others.
There is only one way and one hope that God has made, one cure for the disease and consequence of sin and it had to come by a ransom, for the justice of God CANNOT permit sin to go unpunished.
God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, and he was given as a ransom for your sin. But it is appropriated only when it is accepted! You must believe Jesus died specifically for you, and that through his stripes you are healed. You must believe it by faith.
9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
The Apostle Peter also confirms this and he condemns many of the efforts of the women, even in those days, who spend more time on their outward appearance than the inward.
3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
Dear ladies there is only one persons sight in which you are to appear beautiful, and that is the Lord, he is the one that does not look on the outward appearance, but upon the heart. If you would care for your inward appearance more than you do your outward appearance, your beauty will shine like the stars of heaven.
Please be sure to retain that priority.
These next passages are those heavily controversial ones that find offence in many women to the point at which today it is ignored by most.
11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
Clearly I can’t dig it all out for you this message, for it is a sermon all on its own. But please if I might summarize a thought.
Men are commanded to lead and govern and rule and teach. They are expected to put their very lives on the line for wife and family and faith. They have a responsibility to bring up their children before God, to be their instructor and teacher, and they will give an account for it.
BUT MOST MEN DON’T WANT THIS RESPONSIBILITY and have determined to offload it, even to their wives if they would take it.
Women are charged to keep the home, to bless their children and families with love and nurture and care, a work of infinite value as they prepare the next generation especially in their love, devotion and trust in the Lord. They are instructed to obey and honor their husbands, the very ones who are charged to be her protector and carer, willing even to die for his bride as Christ did for the Church.
BUT MOST WOMEN DON’T WANT THIS RESPONSIBILITY either, but have determined to take that which was ordained to men.
What we see is the natural way of sin in both men and women and it was so spoken about from Genesis chapter 3. Men were ordained to govern, and women cursed to desire the government! (Genesis 3:16) Neither party naturally desire to obey.
Our text is plain, though much more could be expounded about it.
1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.2 A bishop then must be ——
a graduate from a denominational Bible college. A bachelors degree is preferable but an associate diploma will qualify him, so long as it is endorsed by the government of the country. If he has authored a book or two and is popular among young people, that would be a certainty for any church. Nevertheless, his ability to teach is not a prerequisite as long as he is willing to endure the long hoursand late night telephone calls.
Children can be an unnecessary hinderance so a single or just married man is preferable.
No need to test if he has a heart for the Lord and a burden for the Gospel, no need to try him for patience or pride, no need to concern yourself about his choice of beverage or his reputation outside the Church, his degree rubber stamps his qualification.
The Bible Colleges will do the work of Timothy for the Churches!
You might well laugh but, though this is not the official way Churches select their pastors, having a degree from a Bible college to the negation of everything else seems to qualify a man for a pastor in most Churches today. Yet, you would be truly hard pressed to find anything in Paul’s writings in that same regard. In fact, I would challenge the very notion that Bible colleges are Biblically based.
Truly I have come to believe Churches have offloaded their responsibility to “Preach the Gospel and make disciples of men and given it to another institution the scriptures DO NOT ANYWHERE ENDORSE!
Lets take a look at what the Bible says qualifies a man for that office; From verse 2
2 A bishop then must beblameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
If that is the man in your pulpit, you have a Biblically qualified Pastor.
More can certainly be said on the topic, but nothing would negate that which is written here.
The passage goes on to speak of the Deacon, the second and last office that can be open in a Church.
8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
Just as the pastors are judged predominantly through the open character of their Children, so too the Deacons are judged by the open Character of their wives. Take a look;
11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Paul tells Timothy in the 6thverse of chapter 4
6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
Essentially this is what 1stTimothy is about, it tells and speaks to the work and purpose of a minister of the Gospel of Christ, not just to preach the Gospel but also to warn.
- He speaks about “wives fables” in the seventh verse.
- He compares the profitability of Godliness compared to bodily exercise in the 8th,
- He encourages Timothy to both command and teach that trusting in the Living God is worth all labor and the suffering of reproach and to be an example to others in spite of his youth from 9 to 12
But it is the first verse that I want to draw your attention to;
1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
The “Spirit” speaks in advance, of a time in which some shall depart from the faith. This departure is in the “Latter times” the impression is toward the end of the Church age, the last of the last days.
They will give heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines (Teachings) of devils. Its interesting how so many in the Church who will not read the word of God will willingly attend to that which is not of God, “Seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils”.
Just turn on your television sets, spend enough time listening to the music of the culture, watching the programs and movies of the culture, and you are certainly giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.
NO, NOT all is evil, we used to compare a glass of pure water laced with arsenic when speaking of modern cultures entertainments, would you drink it?
But today, it’s more like a glass of pure arsenic laced with water, and we still drink it.
Be sure to understand most are ignorant that this is exactly what they are taking heed of, seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.
The very foundation of deception is ignorance, people who are deceived don’t know they are deceived when they are deceived. If they knew they were deceived, they would not be deceived.
Beloved, it is when we do not have the truth, the doctrines of God, in our hearts and minds, that we have nothing to compare lies to! When this happens, we give ascent to the lies we have been told and even our own conscience becomes somewhat seared;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
Forbidding to marry is a “Doctrine of devils” did you notice that!
The first official organization that forbad marriage is the Roman Catholic Church against their Pastors. Beloved, this is why from 4:13 Paul compounds his exhortation to Timothy with regard to doctrine and Godliness, read with me.
13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 15Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
When attendance is given to reading and exhortation and doctrine, not only will it slow the time of departure, but if all were to attend to these things, it would have put it off completely.
Its due to what he tells Timothy in his next letter. Lets turn there and have an advance peak;
3 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; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
As a result of the unwillingness of the Church to endure sound doctrine, they shall be turned to that which Paul has warned him about in this first epistle, fables (Tales, stories, allegories, myths and legends).
The choice is yours, your pastor should be the warning sign that says “WRONG WAY, GO BACK”. You choose to risk the collision.
Chapter five Paul deals with a number of observances respecting the treatment of the elders within the Church, widows and their respective care.
Paul even deals with men who will not provide for their homes, take a look at 5:8
8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
It is interesting to note that providing for those of your own house is synonymous with being a Christian. “Worse that an infidel” is the charge against a man who will not work for a living to sustain his house.
Well there is no better picture of this than the great atheist Karl Marx who simply WOULD NOT WORK. His wife had to provide all she could for the children and even when they were sick, Marx would leave the home to sustain himself but not his family. Of his seven Children only three lived to become adults. He borrowed continually from his associate Fredrick Engle’s, but Karl Marx died in abject poverty in England in 1883 as a stateless person, a subject of no country.
If this is the way of life of the man who is the Champion of Socialism and Communism, don’t expect the theory to provide any prosperity. The old saying goes, “Capitalism is prosperity for some, Communism is misery for all”
Karl Marx was an Infidel in the true sense of the word, those Christian men who will not provide for their homes are worse.
Paul writes in regard to the remuneration of the pastors;
17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 18For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
Again a good deal could be said about it but in the least it gives you an understanding of how vital the word of God is for each of us. We need it ministered to us, we need to be fed by it, led by it, guided by it, encouraged in it, it is the word of God that brings the comfort needed, the answers to prayer and the salvation of the soul.
The purpose of the Letter is for the benefit of the entire Church, especially related to how Gods Church is ordered.
19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. 20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. 21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. 22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure. 23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities. 24 Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. 25 Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.
THE TRUSTFUL SERVICE
Chapter six has numerous teachings within that will truly benefit, but without time to expound it, lets read and see how the Lord leads for things bring out.
1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. [this refers to the relationship between employees and their employers] 2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. 3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
“Gain is godliness” You may be surprised by how many hold rich members of their congregations in such high esteem. Some even believing that, as God that has blessed them, so must they be in his favor!
But notice that Paul refers to those who believe such things as men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth.
No, Gain is not Godliness;
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it isn certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
How wonderful it is to be content with so little, “having food and raiment let us therewith be content”
Paul does not leave out the rich in the negative or the positive;
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Notice that Money is NOT the root of all evil, but “The love of money is the root of all evil”
This is the great snare which drive us into many foolish and hurtful lusts, it’s this love of money through which men are “pierced with many sorrows”.
Money is the great tempter, it always has been. The love of it destroys men’s lives, it’s like a fire that can never say enough and it directs every thought. The poor are ensnared by it even more than the rich. The pursuit of it is not dissipated when received, but accelerated. It is a drug of addiction.
In the love of money, is the complete destruction of the man. Covetousness is all consuming.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
The fight is not for the wealth offered here and now that will vanish away, where moth and rust corrupts, where thieves break through and steal. The fight is for the reward that shall never perish that awaits in our eternal home.
The positive charges of Paul speaking of those who are rich in this world, in verse 17
17Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.
The Charge given to Timothy takes hold of many issues and matters, it also informs us on those things to come, what we can expect with regard to the faith of some. It tells of the vanity of people minds and thoughts, how we live and the choices we make.
It tells of priorities we should have and how we need to judge.
The qualities of the office and the nature of those who should fill them.
The care of widows is dealt with in detail in chapter 5 which we did not deal with.
But one of the most important I found was Paul’s witness of himself as The Chief of Sinners, a title he admits to and one he truly holds as valuable to those who think themselves too bad to be saved.
Ultimately, the letter to Timothy is a condensed witness of the love and care God has for the Church.
I submit it to your study.