Introduction to Timothy

Introduction to Timothy 1 Tim. 1 1-2 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO

First Timothy is an epistle written by Paul to Timothy.  Together with 2 Timothy and Titus, these epistles comprise a segment of Paul’s epistles known as the Pastoral Epistles.  They are written to give instruction to men Paul trained in the ministry.  We begin our study of this epistle by examining some details concerning Paul and Timothy.

Paul’s Apostleship

Paul was an apostle. He referred to himself as, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ.” He didn’t confer apostleship to himself and men did not give him the title of apostle.  He was an apostle by the commandment of God [Eph 4:11].  He was called, enabled and put into the ministry by God [1 Cor 1:1, 1 Tim 1:12].  He had the signs of an apostle [2 Cor 12:12; Rom 15:19; Acts 19:11-12].  Paul referred to himself as, “the least of the apostles,” and “as of one born out of due time,” [Acts 1:23; 1 Cor 15:8-9].  That’s because there were only the original 12 apostles [Matt 10:2], then Matthias, Judas’ replacement [Acts 1:15-26], and Barnabas, James’ replacement [Acts 12:1-2; Acts 14:14].  There weren’t any other apostles besides these and their work ends with the end of the Acts of the Apostles.  Therefore, there is no such thing as apostolic succession; the continuation of the work of the apostles through a series of bishops.  This is a lie concocted by men to confer to themselves authority that God never gave them.  It is prevalent in the Catholic Church and among Charismatics.  The charismatics use it to prove that they have the apostolic sign gifts and the Catholics use it to prove that they have the authority over the Christian church.  Both are wrong.

Notice how Paul refers to God in his greeting.  He is “God our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ.”  This wording is intentional to show you the deity of Jesus Christ [1 Tim 3:16; Is 43:11; Lk 1:47].  According to Paul, Jesus Christ is our hope because of his resurrection [1 Cor 15:19-20] and return [Titus 2:13].  All we do in the ministry should proceed from the Father and from Jesus.

Timothy’s Discipleship

Paul met Timothy on his second missionary journey as he entered Lystra and Derbe after confirming the churches in Syria and Cilicia [Acts 15:40 – Acts 16:1].  Timothy was the child of a Jewish mother and a Greek father.  Yet, because of his mother and grandmother’s influence, he grew up with the scriptures [2 Tim 1:5, 3:15], evidently being saved at a young age.  From his childhood we see the necessity for godly rearing in a Christian home, even if only one parent is zealous for the Lord.

Timothy, having a good report among the brethren, was chosen by Paul to travel with him and Silas.  Paul circumcised him for testimony’s sake because his mother was Jewish and everyone knew that his father was Greek [Acts 16:2-3].  Had he been a Gentile, Paul would not have circumcised him [Gal 2:3].

The relationship between Paul and Timothy was very close.  Paul was not married, and so he didn’t have any children of his own.  Yet, Timothy became like his own son.  He addressed him as, “my own son in the faith.”  See 1 Cor 4:17, 1 Tm 1:18, and 2 Tim 1:2.  Though Paul didn’t lead Timothy to the Lord, he discipled him through a continuous father son relationship.  Emphasize the need for discipleship and for a father son relationship with the man God gives you to train you (without sucking up to the man).

Timothy is mentioned in the greetings from Paul in 2 Cor 1:1, Phil 1:1, Col 1:1, 1 Thes 1:1, 2 Thes 1:1, and Phile 1, and he took dictation from Paul for the letter to the Hebrews [postscript].  Paul’s last letter was written to Timothy [2 Timothy postscript].  You can see through the Acts and through Paul’s epistles that Timothy and Paul did much work together.  And you find that Timothy had been imprisoned along with Paul [Heb 13:23].  Even today, you often bear the reproach of the person whom you follow

Notice Paul greets Timothy with grace, mercy, and peace.  These are not just a greeting.  These three provisions of the Lord are some of the greatest necessities in the ministry and in life.