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1 Timothy

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Easy And Hard Choices

1 Timothy 5:11-15 

Widowhood in youth is hard to bear. Yet through wars, disease and famine it is still a common experience. Paul advised against the natural tendency to protect and provide for the young widow within the church. In one way it might be thought of as an easier life, just serving in the church. But, unless God gives specific guidance, a young woman should expect to marry again and raise a family in a home which is a beacon of Christ’s love and truth to the community.

Godly Lifestyle Choice

1 Timothy 5:16

The pressure on the Ephesian church to meet the needs of the elderly who had no family support was enormous. So, able bodied relatives needed to shoulder their share of the burden.

Responsible Support

1 Timothy 5:17-18

When Paul preached in, what is now, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece and Italy, there were many travelling sophists (philosophers who spoke well in public); they commanded a good income. By contrast, Paul and his apostolic team did not ask for money; instead they worked as tent menders in local markets (Acts 20:34 , 2 Corinthians 11:9 ).

Protect Leaders And The Truth

1 Timothy 5:19-20

The church has always been under attack. One of the most effective ways to weaken a church is to demolish its leadership. Therefore, the elders need protection. It is easy for accusations to be made, especially when the leader stands in the way of somebody’s personal agenda. Of course, no leader is perfect and serious sin must be addressed: but no accusation should be considered by the church unless the sin has been witnessed by two or three believers.

No Favourites

1 Timothy 5:21

Every culture has its ways of ‘getting round the system’. Favouritism is displayed in many ways: arranging jobs and housing, direct and indirect bribery and supporting things which are wrong for the sake of family or other honour. That was certainly true in 1st century Ephesus despite all the efforts of the Roman Empire to ensure fair and just systems of taxation and personal rights.

Wisdom Does Not Hurry

1 Timothy 5:22-25

In the New Testament, “laying on of hands” is the expression used for appointing people to spiritual office in the church and for mission. The “hands” were those of the apostles or existing elders which physically signified God’s anointing and empowering for service. It was an act of commissioning. As the church grew rapidly it was necessary to have more people share in the leadership, but Paul cautioned Timothy: do not be in a hurry.

Godliness In The Workplace

1 Timothy 6:1-2

Slavery was common in Ephesus. Generally speaking, slaves were considered to have no rights and their masters thought they could behave in any way they liked. Therefore slaves tended to grumble as their masters took advantage of them. So how should slave and master relate when either or both of them came to know Jesus and join the church? Paul gave some straightforward principles which are equally applicable to the 21st century workplace.

False Hearts Produce False Teaching

1 Timothy 6:3-5

False teaching is everywhere. It is easily produced and absorbed by ungodly hearts; it is easily available on the internet, TV and even in churches. You know that teaching is false if it does not agree with the teaching of Jesus and the apostles. Paul wanted Timothy to look out for false teachers and keep them away from God’s flock. He said that false hearts would exhibit false motives, which should be evident even before the person starts to teach.

Contentment Is Godly

1 Timothy 6:6-8

God is never restless or frustrated. On the other hand, sinful human beings are inclined either to strive for what they have not got or be dissatisfied with what they have. Paul says that is an ungodly way of living. True commitment to the Lord will lead to trusting Him in every area of life, and results in contentment. There is no need to be anxious or frustrated when God is in command.

The Trap Of Loving Money

1 Timothy 6:9-10

Many people believe that if they have more money, they will be happy and free from problems. That is a lie! The lust for money traps some people into a way of living which converts their dangerous desires into the destruction of their integrity, family, friends, career, reputation and even their lives. Money itself is not the root of all evil (as some have misquoted); but the love of money propels people into an infinite variety of wicked thoughts, words and actions in order to achieve their desire.