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1 Timothy

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Concentrate On Doing The Truth

1 Timothy 4:7-8

Thinking and discussing is good - if people are focussed on what is true and are discussing how best to do it.  But after that, we need to move from the debate to the action.  1st century Ephesus was a major trading hub and also a centre of intellectual excellence.  As in every large Roman city, a large amphitheatre attracted thousands to watch drama and hear speakers talk about the latest philosophical ideas (Acts 17:16-21).  But when the Apostle Paul taught there for two years, he explained that Jesus is the only Way into a relationship with the One God (John 14:6).   Christians were call

Striving That The Gospel Will Be Accepted

1 Timothy 4:9-10

The Apostle Paul has just said that it was important to work hard at putting God’s Word into practice until the life of Jesus becomes our natural lifestyle.  Likening such spiritual disciplines to the physical rigour of working out in the gymnasium (all large Greek/Roman cities had at least one gym), Paul said that daily practice in obeying God’s Word was a necessity for all believers (1 Timothy 4:6-8).

Teaching By Lip And Life

1 Timothy 4:11-12

The gospel has never been ‘just an interesting idea’ for people who like that sort of thing, or a suggestion to be considered along with others.  The gospel contains a command to repent: Paul said, “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.’" (Acts 17:30-31).  Timothy was not called to be a popular community leader but a strong prophetic voice.

Keep God's Word Central

1 Timothy 4:13-14

Philosophers present human ideas with their own passion; but preachers should bring God’s Word in the power of the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 1:5).  Church leadership brings many pressures and Paul was concerned that Timothy should not drift into being a social coordinator or even concentrate on humanitarian aid to the poor.  His primary task was to bring God’s Word to the believers, and anyone who would listen, and apply it to their lives.   His first responsibility was to read the Bible publically and then explain how Jesus has always been at the centre of Scripture, and should be at the cen

Keep Watching And Learning

1 Timothy 4:15-16

Timothy had a special gift to teach God’s Word (1 Timothy 4:14).  However, he could not sit back and just let God use his mouth; he had to work at being a faithful disciple (disciple means ‘learner’) of Jesus as well.  Despite all the Lord’s work within him, Timothy would also have to work at being the person God wanted him to be (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3).  The Christian life is not a game to be played at leisure; and ministry is not for amusement, status, financial gain or power.  Walking with Jesus Christ is an everyday business of keeping close to Him and ensuring that we live and teach in

Honourable Behaviour

1 Timothy 5:1-2

Being in God’s family, with one Heavenly Father, means that we are all brothers and sisters.  When we believed the gospel and welcomed Jesus, God sent His Spirit into our hearts to assure us that we are His children (Galatians 4:6-7).  We are all equal in the sight of God.  Rich and poor are equally loved and valued by God; as are men and women, old and young, able bodied or disabled (Galatians 3:26-28).  Therefore we should treat each other in ways which honour Father God.  It is astonishing that Jesus, the Son of God, should consider those who have been adopted into God’s family as His br

Responsible And Caring Relationships

1 Timothy 5:3-4

Our old sinful nature is more selfish than we think.  But in the family of God we follow Jesus who unselfishly gave His own life to save us, when we could not help ourselves (Romans 5:6-8).  If He did that for us, then how much should we do for others, especially those who cannot help themselves?  

Responsible Old Age

1 Timothy 5:5-6

Growing old graciously takes a lifetime of practise!  Usually, increasing age displays more of our real character.  We will lose some of the social tricks which cover up our weaknesses and will increasingly reveal what we are really like.  The potential load of social care to widows in Ephesus was huge.  The attraction of a loving church to women who had been left impoverished through bereavement or desertion was obvious; but Paul instructed Timothy to focus on those widows who had nobody to help them (1 Timothy 5:3), and who had already practically demonstrated their faith in Jesus.

Accountable Relationships

1 Timothy 5:7-8

Relationships are not commodities.  We do not ‘have’ them; we live ‘in’ them.  They are formed by what we believe deep in our hearts, and we make choices about who we relate with and how we engage together.  Some relationships are with family members – God put us in families and how we interact with them matters to Him.  He also cares about single people and is glad to place them into family groups (Psalm 68:6).  

Focussed Ministry

1 Timothy 5:9-10 

In 1stC Ephesus, as in many places in the world today, the scale of human need was overwhelming.  Many people might flock to receive benefits from the church but had no interest in submitting themselves to Jesus.  The church had to prioritise.  Paul’s instruction to Timothy was inspired by the Holy Spirit.  Widows who had trusted God should be honoured, but only if they met certain criteria: then they could be included on a list of women who received food and other help from the church.