An Introduction to the First Epistle of Paul to Timothy (1 Timothy 1; 1 Timothy 2)

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Scripture reading – 1 Timothy 1; 1 Timothy 2

A personal note: Of all Paul’s epistles, his first letter to Timothy is my favorite. As a young man, I found the apostle’s counsel to his “son in the faith” (1:2) to be invaluable as I framed my own ministry philosophy. Now that I am an elder minister, I reflect on Paul’s manner and rapport with Timothy, and desire the same with those who serve with me. This is a bonus devotional, and serves as an introduction to our study of Paul’s 1st epistle to Timothy.

We first met Timothy when he was a young believer, and was privileged to be a part of Paul’s missions’ team. He was, according to Acts 16:1, “the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek.” The implication was Timothy’s home was a spiritually divided home; his father apparently a Gentile unbeliever, and his mother a woman of Jewish lineage and a follower of Christ.

In spite of what might have been the divisive nature of his household, Timothy’s mother and grandmother were women of faith and had a profound influence on him. Paul wrote, “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned [sincere] faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also” (1:5).

Timothy’s passion for spiritual truth was inflamed from his childhood, and in his second letter to Timothy, Paul reminded the young pastor of his godly heritage. Paul wrote, “from a child [very young child] thou hast known [growing knowledge of] the holy scriptures [instructed in the Old Testament Scriptures], which are able to make thee wise [understanding] unto salvation through faith [assurance; belief] which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). Of course, Timothy became a devoted companion on Paul’s missionary journeys (Acts 16:3), a co-worker in the churches, and finally the pastor of the church in Ephesus (1:3a).

1 Timothy 1

Paul mentored many; however, his relationship with Timothy was especially rewarding to the old apostle. Considering himself that young preacher’s spiritual father, his affection for Timothy is evidenced throughout the letter in both affirmations and admonitions (1:2, 18; 4:6-16; 6:11-13, 20-21).

Paul had commissioned Timothy, and charged him to continue ministering in Ephesus after he departed by ship for Macedonia (1:3a). Paul’s letters seem to indicate a certain timidity on Timothy’s part, and in his absence, the apostle was mindful to encourage Timothy to be bold in his ministry (1:3b), and give no tolerance to false teachers and their heresies (1:4). I conclude this introduction, taking liberty to close with Paul’s charge to Timothy (1:5).

1 Timothy 1:5 – “Now the end of the commandment is charity [self-sacrificing love] out of a pure heart, and ofa good conscience, and of faith unfeigned [sincere faith; without hypocrisy].”

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Copyright © 2022 – Travis D. Smith

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