Saturday, September 11, 2010

Introduction to First Timothy

I wonder if the Lord were to place a help wanted ad in the newspaper what it might say?

“Help wanted. Men and women needed to build my church. Warning many times you will be misunderstood (even by those you work with), this job may cost you your home, ambitions or even your life.”

In spite of this description many men and women have answered the call, turned in their application and gladly given their lives to Christ. Timothy was one such person.

Timothy is an interesting Bible character. He was brought up in a mixed home, his father was Greek and his mother was a Jew. Timothy’s home life was a good one filled with good examples; Paul mentions the godly example of his mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5). Timothy was saved under the ministry of Paul and became a great help to him on his missionary journeys.

In spite of all Timothy’s good points he had his problems as well. Timothy was easily discouraged, we see Paul having to encourage him in this letter. Timothy had physical problems as well. This young man is a wonderful example of how we all have our good and bad points, but if we turn our lives over to God he will uses us for his glory. Never let the devil convince you that God is unwilling to use you because of some past failure, or a physical aliment. If you have been saved then God has a work for you to do.

When Paul begins to write this epistle he introduces us to a new kind of epistle commonly referred to as the “Pastoral Epistles.” These epistles are unique in that they speak of the church in a very practical manner. In First Timothy, Second Timothy and Titus the church is not referred to in a spiritual way as it is in other epistles. Paul speaks of the church is practical way by discussing problems a church faces, qualifications Christian leaders should conform to and he even deals with the way a church uses its recourses to help those in need.

Paul’s main focus in these letters is to make sure that the church is right in all areas of its ministry. Today much is said about the inside of the church namely the worship done in a church. “Should people raise their hands? Shout? Sit quietly?” Just as important, the church must be correct on the outside. The church must be an example to the world. Our witness and work are just as important as our worship. We can have a wonderful time of worship on Sunday, but if we do not witness and work on Monday then we are the kind of church God wants us to be.

We will discuss these issues further in future blogs. I hope you will follow along with me as we explore the epistles of First and Second Timothy. I believe the Lord will bless us as we learn together.

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