1 Timothy - Introduction and 1:1-2 - Christ Jesus our Hope
1 Timothy is one of the Apostle Paul’s thirteen letters that he wrote in the New Testament. It is categorized as an “epistle,” which means “letter.” 1 Timothy is commonly grouped with two other epistles (2 Timothy and Titus) that are called the “Pastoral Epistles because they give a lot of direction on pastoring. There is some debate to whether Timothy and Titus were actually pastors/elders in local churches. It seems that they both, like Paul, were church planters (a.k.a. Sent out-ones, missionaries, or lower “a” apostles). Thus, from time to time I will refer to the grouping of 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus as the “Church Planter Epistles.”
Who is Paul? The Apostle Paul was a Jewish scholar, formerly known as Saul, who was a persecutor and murderer of Christians in the AD 40’s and 50’s. He was converted to Christianity through an interaction with Jesus after Jesus had resurrected from the dead (see Acts 9 and Galatians 1:11-24). After his conversion, the Apostle Paul traveled on at least three missionary journeys and planted many churches. Along his travels he would pick up companions that would join him on his journeys and co-labor with him. These journeys are seen in the Book of Acts. It is on one of these journeys that the Apostle Paul met Timothy and brought Timothy along with him on his missionary journeys.
Who is Timothy?
His name in Greek means “honored by God or honoring God.”
Timothy was from the Derbe/Lystra area. This is in modern day Turkey, near the lower-center of Turkey and about 19 miles from Iconium (modern day Konya). It is a semi-mountainous area.
Acts 14:1–23 (ESV): 14 Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. 3 So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. 4 But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles. 5 When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, 6 they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, 7 and there they continued to preach the gospel. 8 Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. 11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” 18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them. 19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Acts 16:1–5 (ESV): 16 Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. 2 He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.
His mother was a Jew and father was a Greek. He was probably was a teenager when he first joined Paul in his journey. His mother and grandmother were Christians and had taught him God’s Word (the Old Testament) since he had been a young child. They probably came to the Christian faith on Paul’s first missionary journey.
Timothy was sent by Paul to Corinth and Thessalonica for important tasks. Paul entrusted important ministries to Timothy, including overseeing the church at Ephesus. Paul viewed Timothy as his “true son in the faith.” Timothy is mentioned as co-author in six other New Testament letters. In Philippians Paul says:
Philippians 2:19–24 (ESV): 19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.
Timothy suffered persecution with Paul and was imprisoned at least once with Paul. Timothy apparently had some form of stomach sickness that was possibly chronic. According to church history tradition, Timothy died after being beaten for opposing pagan festivals in Ephesus. Most believe he died around 97 AD.
There is a work in the 5th century called the Acts of Timothy. Timothy did not write this. This work is classified as the Apocrypha and should not be viewed as Scripture.
Paul’s letter of 1 Timothy was most likely written in AD 62-64.
One of the main reasons for Paul’s letter is stated in chapter 3.
1 Timothy 3:14–15 (ESV): 14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, 15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.
1 Timothy tells us how the church is to be set-up and function, and it displays the wisdom and majesty of God. When we neglect such an important work, we cover or hide the wisdom and glory of God.
Another main reason for Paul’s letter it so exhort Timothy to guard true doctrine and hold to the true faith.
1 Timothy 1:1–2 (ESV): 1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
2 To Timothy, my true child in the faith:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
• Christ Jesus our hope. Hope is when we have positive beliefs or expectations about a person or situation. We count on that person or situation to function in the way we have envisioned in our minds.
• Timothy was Paul’s true child in the faith. We see a picture of true discipleship. There is an intimacy between Paul and Timothy. Paul would lead and instruct Timothy in the faith like a father does to his son. Who do you have a relationship like this with? Either as Paul or as Timothy?
• Mercy - Timothy needed mercy to navigate the challenging situation he was in. A young man at an important church going up against many false teachers. Mercy is God’s help to those in need. Sympathy and concern are a part of the definition. We have been shown mercy and should show it to others.
This sermon and/or the entire sermon series were influenced and impacted by the following commentaries, Bibles, books, teachings and sermons. I am so very grateful for the insight and ministries of those involved with each. Likewise, I am thankful for the insights and input from those who attend the sermon preparation time at FBCCK.
NIV Compact Bible Commentary - John Sailhammer
The Message of the New Testament - 1 Timothy - Mark Dever
The Letters to Timothy and Titus - The Pillar New Testament Commentary - Robert Yarbrough
The Pastoral Epistles - Tyndale New Testament Commentary - Donald Guthrie
1&2 Timothy and Titus - Preaching the Word Commentary - Bryan Chapell and R. Kent Hughes
1 Timothy - Reformed Expository Commentary - Philip Ryken
ESV Study Bible
HCSB Study Bible
John McArthur Study Bible
Topics for the Prayer Time
*Those who have yet to believe in Jesus
*The unreached peoples of the earth
*Missionaries around the world and for more to go
*The spiritual growth of other believers and churches
*That you would have more spiritual gifts
*That Christians would remain faithful under persecution
*Those who are sick
*Those who have lost loved ones
*Our nation, leaders, military, and civil servants
*Pray for the health and salvation of the unborn babies in our church
*Pray against the evils of abortion and human trafficking
*Pray for the University of Florida international students
*Pray God would bless our efforts to in evangelism and discipleship
*Pray God would bless our community
*Pray God would bless the churches of those visiting us