1 Timothy 1
by Philip Layton
Paul encourages Timothy to oppose false teachers
- If Timothy is being given authority to ‘command certain people not to teach false doctrines’ (v 3), does this mean that there was false teaching actually within the Church?
- Is it possible for there to be teachers of false doctrines in the Church today? If so, are we to ignore it or confront it?
- Is there any act mentioned in this list (vv 9-11) which you would not consider to be a sin? If so, why?
- Paul claims that he is a sinner saved through Christ (vv 15-17). If he is the ‘worst’ and yet can be saved, what does this tell us about the other sins mentioned in verses 9-11?
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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
Paul multiplied his ministry by sending representatives to shepherd various churches. The ‘pastoral epistles’ are letters to individuals, rather than to churches; letters to encourage and counsel Paul’s helpers in the faith.
Timothy was one of these beneficiaries. Paul had established the church in Ephesus, then eventually sent young Timothy to pastor the church – a church in need of qualified leaders; a church in need of spiritual renewal.
Paul challenges Timothy to stand firm in the faith; to hold fast to the truth of God. He was writing as Timothy’s mentor but, because of their close relationship, he writes as from father to son – a letter to help his ‘son’ stay strong in the Lord.
The church itself was going through difficulties. Things are no different today. Sometimes there are elements of humanism creeping into our churches, an emphasis on human efforts rather than the miracles and workings of Almighty God. Sometimes it might have to do with legalism; rules and restrictions. Or maybe there are elements of apathy or complacency.
God wants us to have churches that are spiritually healthy and God-focused. Churches that are vibrant and filled with joy – yet never wavering in the fundamental truths of the gospel. Author Brian McLaren says: ‘I would rather that we earn a reputation for joyful sanity and serenity, good clean fun, a quiet confidence in God that makes us smile at the future, and a childlike mirth for each new day that the Lord makes.’
Paul encouraged steadfastness for young Timothy. From father to son. From one who trusted God completely to one who was newer in the faith.
When we work together, miracles happen!
Let us pray for our own corps officers or church pastors. Then for ourselves, and our church congregations everywhere.
Beverly IvanyTags: 1 Timothy