Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Timothy Studies|
Ch. 1 & 2
General Introduction to this form of Bible Study
Before you start reading the Notes, may we recommend the following:
1. You pause and pray and ask for God's help for the Bible to come alive to you.
2. You have your Bible open infront of you and read the passage through completely first.
3. You work your way through the questions looking for answers in your Bible.
4. Then and only then, read through the commentary.
The primary objectives of these studies are a) to get you to read the Bible and b) to take in what you have read. At the end of each page of studies (normally a chapter) there will be a 'Recap' to remind you of what you have read. At the end of every 'set' (see the front Contents page) there will also be a 'Summary' and a 'Conclusions' that cover the pages in that set.
INTRODUCTION to Paul's Letter to Timothy
The author of these letters is the apostle Paul and the recipient is Timothy, one of the apostolic team who worked with Paul. At the time of writing the first letter, Timothy is overseeing the church at Ephesus , and Paul's location is uncertain (possibly Rome ). At the time of writing the second letter, Timothy may still be at Ephesus (but that is not certain) and Paul is almost certainly in Rome .
The purpose of each letter is quite clear and quite different. In the first letter, Paul is clearly free and making plans to travel, and writes to help Timothy in his oversight of the church at Ephesus , and it covers a number of subjects pertinent to the life of the local church.
In the second letter the whole tone changes and, with Paul in prison facing likely death, his main aim seems to be to establish Timothy once and for all in his ministry, in such a way that he will not be put off by opposition or even persecution.
C. Specific Problems:
As an overseer of the church, Timothy is encouraged again and again to fulfil the ministry God has given him, preaching, teaching and evangelising. There are clear difficulties in Ephesus with those who have wandered from sound teaching, and part of the direction given by Paul is to counter that.
Other matters covered by Paul include encouragement to pray, the role of women in the church, appointing elders and deacons, and caring for elderly widows in the congregation, as well as a host of minor directions given in the course of the two letters.
Part 1 : “Law grace and prayers”
In this first Part covering the first two chapters we will see Paul diving straight in to encourage Timothy to deal with the problems of false teachers there in Ephesus . Flowing out of this he writes about the right use of the law, and the wonder of grace. He continues to speak about praying for others and how he would hope women should be behaving in church. There is much here to help us in the life of our church today. Watch for these things.
Chapter: 1 Tim 1
Passage: 1 Tim 1:1,2
A. Find Out:
1. What is Paul? v.1a
2. Why is he one? v.1b
3. How does he describe God? v.1c
4. How does he describe Jesus? v.1d
5. How does he describe Timothy? v.2a
6. What 3 things does he want for Timothy? v.2b
As Paul writes, his opening words of greeting hold a glimmer of what he will share in the letter. Everything in these opening words, is designed to subtly create confidence in Timothy.
First is his description of who he is: an apostle by God's decree. Quite subtly, Paul is reminding Timothy that we are what we are because of God's calling, not because we thought it was a good idea. That establishes confidence in His purpose or calling of us.
Second, Paul speaks of God as Saviour, a reminder that God not only called us but redeemed us, establishing a confidence for a daily relating to God.
Third, Paul describes Jesus as our hope. Jesus died and was raised again; the impossible happened to him and the impossible has happened to us. Resurrection life is what energises us (see Romans 8:11 ), establishing confidence by the power within us.
Finally Paul encourages Timothy with a reminder of their relationship and assurance about what happened. Paul can verify Timothy's testimony. That establishes confidence to be a minister of Christ. Calling, salvation, power and ministry are all assured.
Chapter: 1 Tim 1
Passage: 1 Tim 1:3-7
A. Find Out:
1. What was Timothy to do in Ephesus ? v.3,4a
2. What were these men creating v.4b
3. What did Paul want for them instead? v.5
4. What had happened to some? v.6
5. What had they wanted? v.7a
6. But with what end? v.7b
Paul had left Timothy in Ephesus when he went over to Macedonia and there he wanted Timothy to confront a certain problem.
First observe the EXPRESSION of the problem: there was false teaching going on. Some had become caught up in false doctrines and myths, and were more concerned about genealogies than about truth.
Second, observe the FRUITS of the problem: controversy and almost certainly division. When teachers stray from the truth it will stir up upset and that in turn will divide people.
Third, observe the CAUSE of the problem: some men had made it their ambition to be teachers but had not been equipped for it, neither by natural knowledge nor by the Holy Spirit.
Fourth, observe the ANSWER to the problem: to restore love to the church that flows out of purity of heart, a clear, guilt free conscience and a sincere or whole hearted faith. False teaching comes from a wrong heart. Restore one and you can restore the other.
This was a very real problem that Timothy had to deal with in Ephesus , and it needed Paul's encouraging words to keep on dealing with it. A problem like this is not dealt with quickly and needs long term working at to fully deal with it.
Chapter: 1 Tim 1
Passage: 1 Tim 1:8-14
A. Find Out:
1. When is the law good? v.8
2. Who is it made for? v.9,10
3. Why does Paul thank the Lord? v.12
4. What had he once been? v.13
5. Why was he shown mercy? v.13
6. What 3 things had been poured out to him? v.14
Remember above we saw how Paul was encouraging Timothy to deal with those men in Ephesus who were teaching false doctrines. They had obviously been over-emphasising the law and so Paul now comments that the law is good in its right place. The place or purpose of the law is to show up sinners and reveal their need of the Gospel. These people are condemned by the law and are shown their need of the mercy and grace of God that comes through Jesus Christ.
After all, says Paul, I know what I'm talking about, for I was once against God and against His people, but God saved me. Paul had acted in the way he had out of ignorance and unbelief, but God never-the-less showed His mercy by forgiving and redeeming him.
So, says Paul, God poured out His grace, His faith and His love, into my life, so I have been where these men are but I have been transformed by God. These three things need to be imparted to us by God for us to be Christians: a) grace, which is His power, His Holy Spirit in us, b) then faith, that ability to believe and respond and c) finally love, that wonderful expression of God's goodness towards us that creates a growing response to Him in us.
Chapter: 1 Tim 1
Passage: 1 Tim 1:15-20
A. Find Out:
1. How does Paul describe himself? v.15
2. Why was he shown mercy? v.16
3. How does he describe God? v.17
4. Why was God instructing Timothy? v.18
5. How was Timothy to do it? v.19a
6. What had happened to others? v.19b, 20
As Paul continues to use himself as an illustration of the wonderful grace of God, he reminds Timothy of a saying of the church, that Christ came to save sinners. We may take that little statement casually but it is the heart of the Gospel, that the prime purpose for Christ coming from heaven was to save sinners - and we are all sinners! Indeed, Paul places himself at the top of the list of sinners (and note the present tense), constantly being aware of his need for a saviour. But note also that he doesn't revel in his fallenness, but instead glorifies God for the wonderful way He had worked, and continued to work, in Paul's life.
For a moment Paul soars up in mighty praise to God who has no ending, who is indestructible, unseen, the only God who deserves praise and worship. Finally he encourages Timothy to persevere in the ministry that God called him to through personal prophecy. Keep going for it, says Paul, ensuring that you move in faith, responding to God's leading, keeping your conscience free from guilt, knowing you are keeping yourself from wrong. Others had failed and had lost God's protection, so that they might realise their foolishness
Chapter: 1 Tim 2
Passage: 1 Tim 2:1-8
A. Find Out:
1. How many sorts of prayer are mentioned? v.1
2. For whom and why are we to pray? v.2
3. What is God's objective? v.3,4
4. How is that expressed? v.5,6
5. What is Paul's threefold ministry? v.7
6. So what does he now want? v.8
Paul still has the Gospel on his mind. He spoke about it in the first chapter and it is still in the background of his thinking, but it comes through prayer.
First note HOW we pray: first petitions or simple requests, then prayer or sharing with greater understanding, then intercession or deeply sharing the heart of God and standing in the gap before God for others, and finally thanksgiving , the culmination of praying when we see or have the certainty of answered prayer.
Second, note WHO we may pray for: leaders in the world, people in authority, the people who we perhaps so often write off as too hard. Why?
Well third, see WHAT we pray for: that they might be saved and may lead us in godly wisdom to establish peace and holiness in society. That is quite clear from v.4 onwards. The end result of our praying, Paul insists, is that people get saved, for that is God's desire and intention. That is at the heart of Paul's ministry, for he is a proclaimer of the Gospel, a builder of church congregations and a teacher of the saints. Such is to be the heart of our praying.
Chapter: 1 Tim 1
Passage: 1 Tim 2:9-15
A. Find Out:
1. How didn't Paul want women to dress? v.9
2. How and why did he want women to dress? v.10
3. What did he say a woman's attitude should be? v.11
4. What did he say he didn't allow? v.12
5. On what did he base this? v.13,14
6. How was a woman to work out her salvation? v.15
Paul's teaching on male-female roles is quite clear and in a day when his teaching is unpopular in many quarters, we need to remember that ALL Scripture is inspired and profitable for teaching (remember, 2 Timothy 3:16 ).
Paul's first point is that women may have a natural tendency to be more concerned with dress and appearance. A glance at most women's magazines will confirm this and there is nothing wrong with that, but when it comes to being women of God, Paul says he would rather want to see godly women clothed with godly deeds. The apostle Peter completely agrees with Paul in this (see 1 Peter 3:3,4).
Next Paul speaks about general attitude and general roles of women, saying that a woman should submit to the authority of men (see also Ephesians 5:22 -24). In this the apostle Peter again completely agrees (see 1 Peter 3:1). This is not a Pauline bias. The reason Paul gives for this is that men were made first and was given authority over the earth, and woman was added as a helper (see Genesis 2:7,15,18). The role is to be seen as no way inferior to man's but complementary to his. Both are equally important.
SPECIAL NOTE : Male & Female Roles
In many quarters today there is a tragic rejection of God's word because it is misunderstood and flows contrary to current “world” views (which are also ungodly!). For this reason the following additional comments have been added.
The MALE role is to lead. Throughout the Scriptures that is true and if God wanted it otherwise He could have provided for it that quite easily. Leaders were men, not because it was culturally so but because God decreed it, and called them to lead.
Where men refuse the leadership, God blesses and uses the women in that role. Deborah in Judges 4 was clearly gifted by God with prophecy and wisdom, but when it came to leading she knew that it was second best.
The FEMALE role is to complement the male and make up for his inadequacies (see Genesis 2:18) but she is not to take the lead (which is equated with carrying the responsibility before God). This is in no way to prevent women serving God in “ministry” (which simply means serving).
The gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12) are given as generously to women as to men and that to be used! They key is always the state of the heart. If there is a heart to serve in humility (and that applies to men as well!), then the blessing of God will be on that. Such service however, will in no way be “over” men who are to be encouraged to take their God-given responsibility of “carrying the can” for what happens in the life of the church. Real responsibility in spiritual matters is not something to be grabbed at, but something that is accepted with awe when it is placed on you by God.
The question for women is not “Why can't I do what men do?” but “How can I serve in humility and encourage these men to be the men God wants them to be?” Our failure often has not been so much in the role of women, though it has been stunted and limited in many churches, but in the role of men, who have not taken the full responsibility that God wants for them, giving up their rights to self to do the will of God, just as Christ did (see Ephesians 5:25-27)
RECAP: "Law, Grace & Prayers" 1 Timothy 1 & 2
In these first two chapters we have seen Paul :
Teaching in the church is a ministry gift from God. As such it is open to counterfeit which can appear in many forms. Today many still teach the Law, demanding we focus on it, failing to see that its main use is to show our need for grace. Paul put himself forward as an example of one who needed and received the grace of God.
We need to be praying for those in authority that they may come to know the Lord and thus pave the way for others to respond to the Gospel. This ultimately is what all ministry is about. While the men in the congregation take the lead in this, the women are to follow, retaining their God-ordained role.
1. We are the workmanship of God with the Spirit working within
2. We need God's equipping to enable us to serve Him.
3. The law shows me my need of God's mercy and grace.
4. The life of prayer is a developing and growing one.
5. Male and female have different God-given roles.
Thank God for His grace, that He has made you what you are. Ask Him to continue working in you.
PART 2 : "Elders, Deacons & Teaching"
In the next two chapters we will see one of those fairly rare passages on the leadership of the local church, followed by an exhortation to Timothy to watch out for wrong teaching, and ensure right teaching is maintained there in the local church.