Chp 1 – Sin and the Law
Chps 1 +2 – Saviour and Salvation (1:13-16; 2:3-6)
Chp 3 – Sanctuary (3:16)
Chp 4 – 6 – Service
Secret and sacred service of the sanctuary includes:
- Spirit (4:1)
- Prayer (4:5)
- Word of God (4:6, 11ff)
After Paul's standard introduction:
he progresses quickly into the:
body of the epistle and the
burden of his heart
Pastoral epistles – a phrase coined by D N Berdot (1703) and Paul Anton (1726)
Much in the epistle pertaining to the care of the saints and the administration of the church!
Everyone has something to:
Everyone is contributing to the local church here!
- Timothy (chp 1)
- Overseers and deacons (chp 3)
- Widows (chp 4)
- Women (chp 2 +4)
- Teachers (chp 4)
Timothy not a pastor!
To see this epistle as a mandate for one man ministry is to completely miss the point of this epistle!
Everyone has something to give and everyone has something to gain!
Timothy is an apostolic ambassador / legate
He is present temporarily to deal with the problems at Ephesus and then he will leave (2 Tim 4:9) and he will not be replaced per se.
No one man ministry at Ephesus (Acts 20:17,28)
'Paul an Apostle' (v1)
- His Calling
- His Commission
- His conviction
From his experience on the Damascus road, all contributed to the
Clarity of His call and ministry
A clear call produces consistency and stamina in service
Paul remained true to that calling (Acts 9:15-16)
'to bear my name before the gentiles'
There were easier tasks perhaps:
stay with the Jews
stay with the Jerusalem church
move amongst those already evangelised
Here is the clarity of Paul's call
This re-echoed all of his life in the:
conviction of ministry
consistency of service
Sometimes we hear of a call and then within a short time it appears laid to the side and off at a tangent.
Which gave to His mission:
We considered the experience that Paul had of Christ
'Christ Jesus' (v1 & v2)
This is the order in the UBS and newer critical NT texts.
We noted the significance of the order:
first the dignity and authority and sovereignty and then the humility and humanity
unlike other apostles, Paul's first experience of Christ was in resurrection power and dignity, not the meek and lowly Jesus of Nazareth!
Paul's personal experience of Jesus Christ is the air freshener in the fridge of cold Theology / mechanical church going.
The solution to our problems is not more of the same!
On the road to Damascus Paul asks a question:
'who are you Lord?'
'κύριος' – Lord – Jehovah in the Septuagint and synagogue
The Lord answers : 'I AM Jesus'
'I AM' would be enough – that was as far as Moses got but Paul had one more word; one more word that would transform:
Saul of Tarsus
'I AM Jesus'
- The whole of European history for 2000 years
- The history of the church
- The salvation of the world
Hung on 3 words
I am Jesus
The OT h/o redemption hung on:
'I AM' – Moses and the Exodus
The NT h/o redemption hangs on:
'I AM Jesus'
Like all of God's servants, the fulcrum of service turned on his experience of Christ, the commission of Paul by God!
The call of God brought Abraham out of Ur and made of him a great nation – God called him out
The commission of God would send Moses back into Egypt!
The voice of God in the temple would commission Samuel for a life of service.
The angel of the Lord would commission Gideon; 'go in this thy strength'
Call of Christ to Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John drew them from their fishing to following Christ. This commissioned them as disciples and fishers of men. This was a watershed experience in their life and service.
The call and commission of God.
could Abraham ever have become a great nation?
Could Moses ever have delivered the nation out of bondage?
David ever have been king?
Samuel ever have led and guided the nation?
Gideon ever have judged the people?
Great things are achieved when God calls His servants
Without such a call; 'unless the Lord build the house they labour in vain who build it.'
'God our Saviour'
5 X this precise phrase is used in the pastoral epistles
8 X in total this or a similar phrase appears in the pastoral epistles
1 Tim 1:1; 2:3; 4:10; Titus 1:3,4; 2:10; 2:13; 3:4
Paul never uses it outwith the pastoral epistles
Paul does not use the phrase elsewhere
Luke 1:47; Jude 1:25
The gospel is primarily good news
Not the gospel that condemns men
It is sin that condemns men (John 3:17)
The gospel of Jesus Christ saves men and women
Illust: sinking ship and the life boat, the coming of the life boat is not the means of loss or perishing! The fact of the sinking ship and the drowning souls is the reason for the perishing! The life boat is the means of salvation! Clearly the rejection of the life boat would seal the fate of perishing soul! A soul is perishing because of sin, not primarily because they have had opportunity to make their mind up as to the merits of getting in the life boat!
Note the significance of Timothy's presence at:
Philippi (Acts 16)
Corinth (Acts 18:5)
Ephesus (Acts 19:22)
He is very much in the background of events
We do not need to be prominent in circumstances for circumstances to be prominent and significant in our life.
Events take on a significance way beyond our prominence in them!
Henry Tandey, private in the Yorkshire Regiment, awarded the Victoria Cross in WW1, the most decorated private of WW1, fought in Ypres, wounded at the Somme and Paschendale,
On 28th September 1918 in Marcoing in France, a German soldier stumbled dazed into his sites, unable to defend himself, Henry Tandey showed mercy and pity and let him go.
As a consequence of the man he spared recognising his picture in a newspaper article many years later, a painting of Tandey hung in the Berghof.
The man he spared was Adolf Hitler
Don't confuse prominence with significance.
Timothy may not have had a prominent part to play at Corinth, Ephesus and Philippi, but the part he played was very significant, these events were very significant for Him.
But what I do know; when problems arose at:
Philippi – Timothy was sent (Phil 2:19)
Corinth – Timothy was sent (1 Co 4:17)
Epesus – Timothy was sent (1 + 2 Timothy)
Prepared in the background for greatness, as was:
Joseph in the prison cell
Joshua to replace Moses
David in the pasture, the shepherd who would become sovereign
Elisha to replace Elijah
Timothy was sent to deal with problems at Ephesus (1:4ff)
If you want to destroy a church, this is how to do it!
Poison the water supply!
Poison the teaching!
Despite the warning wolves had come in – wolves in 'sheep's clothing' ? (Matt 7:15) – the garb of the prophet! Looked the part!
'fables' : 3454: muthos: myths - the fabulous
'genealogies' – they take you far removed from where you originally started! Off at a tangent – the far fetched.
Possibly a form of gnosticism
Certainly a strong Jewish influence:
'teachers of the law' (1:7)
food laws (4:4)
'Jannes, Jambres and Moses' (2 Tim3:8)
Titus 1:14 'Jewish fables'
The influence of Jewish teachers, re-echoes of the: Midrash, Haggadic Midrash – the Jewish commentary on the law of Moses.
A paricular way of interpretig scripture
Maybe not a million miles from som of the things you might hear
Fanciful biblical interpretations, ideas that arose not from the pages of Bible but from the imagination of the reader / writer.
'wonderful things in the Bible I see...'
God divided the Red Sea for Moses because Abraham divided the wood on Mt Moriah
Sarah died of shock after hearing that Isaac had been sacrificed on Mt Moriah
A family tree for Bilhah
Principles of interpretation:
literal reading of the text unless compelling reasons not to take it literally
wider context in the book
context of the Bible as a whole
The scriptures do not mean whatever I say they mean
Outline preaching notes from our series of Bible teaching messages in 1 Timothy chapter 1, available for free audio download or to listen online,
Yours by God's grace in Christ
Dr J Stewart Gillespie