THE PASTORAL EPISTLES are the books of the canonical New Testament: the First Epistle to Timothy (Timothy 1), the Second Epistle of Timothy (2 Timothy), and the Epistle to Titus.

Alternate nomenclatures have been proposed for the group of three letters: “Corpus Pastorale,” meant to highlight the intentional forgery of letters as a three-part corpus, and “Letters to Timothy and Titus,” meaning letters of the alphabet. Emphasis on personality

According to Author William Guthrie, “These three epistles have so much in common in style, doctrine and historical situation that they have always been treated as a single group.”

The Pastoral Epistles are of great interest, for none of the other letters in the New Testament give Such a vivid picture of the growing church. In them, we see the problems of a church which is a little island of Christianity in a sea of paganism, and in them, we see asTimothy nowhere else the first beginnings of the ministry of the church. Because they were written when the church was becoming an institution, they speak most directly to our situation and condition. Here we see Paul’s reaction to contemporary conditions.

The Pastorals can be described in three ways:

A. Personal Letters.

First and Second Timothy and Titus have always been regarded as forming a separate group of letters, different from the other letters of Paul. The most obvious difference is that they are written to persons, in contrast to all the other Pauline letters which are written to churches. As well Much of the counsel is personal. These letters contain practical advice as well as theological statements.

B. Ecclesiastical or Church-related Letters.

In I Tim. 3:15 the aim of these letters is set down. They are written to Timothy “…. that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the; living God.” These letters are written to set out the conduct which befits those who are in the household of God. These letters not only have a personal significance but they have also what one might call an ecclesiastical or church significance.

C. Pastoral Letters ‘

Bit by bit they came to acquire the name by which they are still known – the Pastoral Epistles. Thomas Aquinas said as long ago as 1274; “in the first letter he gives Timothy instruction concerning ecclesiastical order; in the second letter he deals with a pastoral care which should be so great that it will even accept martyrdom for the sake of the care of the flock.” But this title, Pastoral Epistles, really became affixed to these letters from 1726 in which year a great scholar, Paul Anton gave a series of famous lectures on them which he called, ‘Lectures on the Pastoral Epistles. These letters, or epistles, then deal with the care and the organization of the; church. They tell men how to behave in the household of God; they give instructions as to how: God’s house should be administered, as to what kind of people the leaders and pastors of the church should be, and as to how the threats which endangered the purity of the Christian faith should be dealt with. “At that epoch, the church needed to strengthen the authority of the ministry and to marshal its forces both institutional and intellectual against the moral threat of Gnosticism” (A. T. Hanson).

D. The Growing Church

The important thing about these letters is that they reveal as no other epistle a picture of the infant church. This is very significant. Regarding missions, the Pastoral Epistles speak more directly to the situation of the younger churches than the other Biblical letters.




A Personal Acknowledgment. (Chap. 1:1)

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,”

First Paul begins with a declaration of his own authority, he calls himself an apostle of Jesus Christ. ‘Apostolos’ means envoy, and ambassador, one who is sent out to represent his country and his king. Paul always regarded himself as the envoy and ambassador of Christ.

Second, he intensifies the thought of authority. He states that he is an apostle by the commandment of God. He never forgets that he is under orders. Paul then refers to God and to Jesus in an

interesting manner.

He says “God our Savior.” Sometimes people get the idea that by His death Jesus pacified the anger of GodGod. They think of an angry, vengeful God, in contrast to a gentle, loving Jesus, and somehow God’s wrath was turned into love by Jesus; But it was because God so loved the world that He sent Jesus into the world [John 3:16]. It is God who is our Savior. Back of the whole process, there is the love of God [Eph. 2:4-10].

Next, he says “Jesus Christ our hope.” The Psalmist long ago challenged himself “why are you cast down, O my soul?” The answer is “hope in God” [Ps. 43:5], Paul speaks of “the God of hope” [Rom. 15:13]. In Col. 1:27 he says: “Christ in you the hope of glory.” The Greek word for hope (ellipsis), conveys much more certainty in the Christian sense than the word hope does in secular usage. People found in Christ the hope of moral victory and self-conquest. Christ came, not only telling them what was right but giving them the power to do it.

Folks found in Christ the hope of victory over circumstances. Christianity came into the world in an age of terrible personal insecurity. It was Christ who in such times gave men the strength to live and the courage, if need be, to die. In Him, they found the hope of victory over death.

They also found the certainty that life was going somewhere. They found in Christ at one and the same time, strength for mortal things and, on top of that, an immortal hope. Christ our hope was and still should be the battle-cry of the church.

Timothy, my son. (1:2)

“To Timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus

Christ our Lord.”

The father-son terminology, to depict the master-disciple relationship, was. Widely used in those days. Paul called Timothy his “true son” – the word means genuine.

Timothy was one man Paul could trust. Paul seems to express love and affection when he speaks of Timothy. When he is sending him to Corinth, he writes “I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord” [I Cor. 4:17]. When sending him to Philippi, he writes “I have no man whose mind is in such harmony with mine… As a son with a father, he has served me in the gospel” [Phil. 2:20,22]. So this expression is more than traditional or formal with Paul.

It is genuine love.

“Grace, mercy, and peace.

Paul always began his letters with a blessing, but only in the letters to. Timothy and to Titus does the word mercy occur.

In the word “grace”, there are always three dominant ideas. –

A) In classical Greek, the word means outward grace, favor, or beauty. It is usually applied to persons. The English word charm is close in meaning.

B) In the New Testament, grace portrays the idea of divine generosity It is something that is totally unearned and undeserved.

C) Grace also shows the idea of universality. Again and again, Paul uses the word grace in connection with the reception of the Gentiles into the family of God. Grace seemed easier for them to receive than the Jews: “Grace is a comprehensive word, gathering up all that may be suppose to be expressed in the smile of a heavenly king looking down upon his people” (Barclay). Grace is also divine enablement -the desire and the power to do God’s will.

Normally, the second word of the Pauline greeting is “peace.” Peace was the normal Jewish word of greeting, and in Hebrew thought it expresses not simply the negative absence of trouble, but the most comprehensive form of well-being. Peace is everything that makes for a man’s highest good. It is the state of a man when he is walking in the love of God.

The word “mercy” is the new word in the apostolic blessing. When Paul prayed for mercy on Timothy, he is saying, to put it simply, “Timothy, may God be good to you.” Time and again in the Scripture, this word has the meaning of help in time of need. It is called God’s active intervention to help. It is the coming down of the Highest to help the helpless; God’s mercy is active to save.

“Even grace will not give peace to a man unless mercy accompanies it; for man needs pardon for the past no less than strength for the future” (J. H. Bernard). No doubt the struggles that Timothy was facing inspired Paul to add “mercy” (God’s active intervention) to his greeting. Paul was reminding him that God was the help of the helpless.


… Paul wastes no time getting to the heart of the matter. It is clear that when he wrote the Pastoral Epistles, there was some heresy that was endangering the church.

V. 3-4 “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia – remain in Ephesus; that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.”

In verses 3, 4 paul urges Timothy to remain in”Ephesus” for the purpose of combating Ephesian error. These seem to fall into two categories:

1. There were “fables” or myths. One of the characteristics of the ancient world was that the poets, and even the historians, loved to work out romantic and fictitious tales (foundations of families, origins of cities, etc.).

2. There were the “endless genealogies.” The ancient world had a passion for genealogies. We can see that even in the Old Testament there were chapters of names and in the New Testament the genealogies of Jesus with which Matthew and Luke begin their gospels. A man like Alexander the Great had a completely artificial pedigree constructed in which he traced his lineage back on the one side to Achilles and Andromache and on the other side to Perseus and Hercules. Paul says that these “cause disputes rather than Godly edification which is in faith” [v. 4]. ,

The words of Paul in verse 3; “charge (command) some that they teach no other doctrine” are a military term. These words remind Timothy that he himself is a man of authority. There is a debate as to whether the errors he is to confront are Greek in origin or Jewish teachers propagating the more speculative aspects of Judaism. The speculations of the Greeks would undoubtedly pose a problem for Timothy. At this time in history, there was developing a Greek line of thought which came to be known as Gnosticism.

The nature of Gnosticism.

1. Gnosticism was entirely speculative. It began with the problem of the origin of evil, of sin, and of suffering. Where did these things come from? If God is altogether good He could not have created them. How then did they get into the world? The Gnostic answer was that in the beginning creation was not created out of anything, that before time, began matter existed. They believed that this matter was essentially flawed and imperfect. If the matter was essentially evil and God essentially good, then God Himself could not have touched and molded and formed things out of this matter.

2. Because Gnosticism was highly speculative, it was intensely intellectually snobbish. It believed that all this intellectual speculation was quite beyond the mental grasp of ordinary simple people and this teaching was for an intellectual aristocracy, a chosen few – the elite of the church.

The Christian church should have nothing to do with a belief that is founded on intellectual speculation and which sets up arrogant and contemptuous aristocracies in the church. Some of the misconceptions Timothy had to combat had their roots in this Gnostic error.

Let us consider just a few of these speculative heresies.

1. If the matter is evil, then the body is evil and the body must be subjected and despised and held down. It forbade men to many, for the instincts of the body were entire to be suppressed.

The needs of the body must, as far as possible^ be eliminated. So the pastorals speak of those who forbid to marry and who command to abstain from meats [I Tim. 4:3],

2. However, this Gnosticism could issue precisely the opposite ethical belief. If the body is evil, then it does not matter what a man does with it.

The body is of no importance; alt that matters is the spirit. Therefore, a man can use his body in the most licentious and unbridled way and it makes no difference. So, the pastorals speak of those who lead away foolish women until they are laden with sin and are the victims of all kinds of lust [2 Tim. 3:6].

This Gnosticism had still another consequence – the Christians believed in the resurrection of the body, but the Gnostic held that there was no such thing as the resurrection of the body [2 Tim.2:18]. They believed that after death a man would be a kind of embodied spirit.

There is no doubt that the “Jewish fables” spoken of in Titus 1:4 were equally menacing to the

Apostle. As well, there was a prevalence of sorcery among the Jews at that time which constantly had to be guarded against.

V. 5 “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience and from sincere faith,”

“The commandment,” again a Greek military term, ‘par Angelia,’ is used, could possibly indicate the Mosaic Law, in which case the implication would. be that these false teachers had misconceived its true purpose. On the other hand, the Christian’s moral obligations maybe what he has in mind-In any case the goal of all exhortations is to produce love (charity) as a motive in the believers. This love was in all probability conspicuously lacking in these speculative reasoners, whose main purpose was their own intellectual satisfaction.

Paul makes a threefold comment as to the source of this love.

1. “A pure heart” is a fundamental requisite. The word heart stands for the totality of man’s moral affections and without purity there, the nobility of character is clearly impossible.

Jesus reserved a special promise for the pure in heart: “.. they shall see God” [Matt. 5:8], 2 Tim. 2:22 speaks of “those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” and Peter exhorts believers to “love one another fervently with a pure heart” [I Pet. 1:22].

2.”A good conscience.” The Greek word indicates self-judgment By the way of contrast,

Timothy is later reminded that apostatizes are those whose consciences are “seared or branded with a hot iron” [I Tim. 4:2]. A good conscience, on the other hand, has been purged or cleansed “from dead works” [Heb. 9:14]. It has been said that this phrase is an equivalent for justification by faith. Only the justified have a pure conscience.

3. “Sincere faith.” No doubt the false teachers professed faith but it was a pretense without a proper foundation. The main thing we are to understand from this is that the teaching of,

God’s Word is not meant to create endless discussion groups* but rather to create love which is the only acceptable motive for Christian service.

V. 6 “From which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk,”

There were obviously those who had neglected and missed these principles. They had “strayed”or “swerved” as the KJV puts it.

This reminds us of a car that loses control and leaves the road. So these have missed the mark being side-tracked to “idle talk.” “By losing their Christian bearings they drifted into a trackless waste, for life without this triad of virtues not only lacks love but produces no more than meaningless chatter” (Donald Guthrie).

V. 7. “Desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.”

Paul’s reference to the law indicates a Jewish origin or at least a Jewish influence in these heretics. They may well have been the Judaizers, who seemed to be ever-present, trying to bring young Christians into legalistic bondage. Certain “teachers of the law” tried to undermine and destroy Christ in His ministry [Luke 5:17]. Jesus constantly rebuked and corrected the Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees, who were supposed to be teachers of the Law, telling them that they were in error because they didn’t know the Scriptures or the power of God [ Matt. 12:27; Mark 12:27; Matt. 12:7]. Paul deals with a similar thought in Rom. 2:17-24.

There was one teacher of the law who did not oppose and attack the church. His name was Gamaliel and he warned the council to be careful lest they “be found to fight against God” [Acts 5:34-39].

These people had a faulty understanding relative to the pure gospel and though they strongly maintained certain dogmas and creeds which seemed to be in line, with Christian thought, Paul states clearly that their foundation of understanding was not proper. Some authors have merged Gnosticism with certain Judaistic doctrines showing both errors to be embodied in the same group of people.

THE USE OF THE LAW. (1:8-11)

Since the law is mentioned in verse 7, Paul decides to discuss its purpose.

V8 “But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully,”

This is a strange language. Is there an improper way to use the law? Yes! The Judaizers were guilty of this. We must make it clear that Paul did not speak evil of the law, rather he described it in terms like “good,” “just,” “holy,” but he did emphatically point out that “no one is justified by the law in the sight of God.” [Gal. 3; IIJ;-. Paul did not challenge the law of God but the error that one could be justified by works of the law. The fact is, men, are “justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law” and the main issue in the discussion seems to be circumcision [Rom. 2:25-29; 3:28].

V. 9 “knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person” Paul approaches the law here in its role as a restraint against evil-doing and as such it was not primarily the motivation for righteous living to God’s people.

They that are born of God have the laws of God written on their hearts. They abstain from wrong because of a new desire to please God. However, if there is ever a question even in the minds of God’s people as to what is right or wrong, God’s law-word still applies.

While it seems Paul is only applying the law to grosser sins, one must recognize the minor infractions are automatically included though unstated.

To the sinner, the law is undoubtedly a restraining influence but to the saint, it is normal to fulfill “the righteousness of the law” [Rom. 8:4].

“but for the Jawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,”

V. 10 “for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.”

In this instance, Paul is primarily concerned with the external influence of the law as a restraint

against evildoers. Hence, he does not deal with inner desires, etc., such as covetousness [Rom. 7:7].

Let us look at this terrible list a little closer:

1. THE LAWLESS – Those who know the laws of right and wrong and who break them deliberately and open-eyed, in order to satisfy their own ambitions and desires: Simply ignore the law.

2. THE INSUBORDINATE – undisciplined. They are the unruly and insubordinate; Those who refuse to accept and obey any authority. They are too proud to accept any discipline

or control.

3. THE UNGODLY – irreverent. The Greek word is a terrible word. It does not describe indifference or a slip or lapse into sin, but it describes positive and active resistance toward God, the spirit which deliberately and defiantly withholds from God that which is His right. It describes human nature in a battle array against God. The ungodly as opposed to the holy or saintly.

4. SINNERS – this is a word that describes the character. It describes a person who has no moral standards. One who opposes God and His Word.

5. THE UNGODLY – impious. This man is worse than a mere law-breaker. He is the one who violates the ultimate sanctity and the ultimate decency of life. i.e. marrying your sister or your mother, which were Egyptian and Persian customs. The Greeks used this word to describe such customs.

6. PROFANE – polluted. It originally meant that which can be trodden upon as opposed to that which is undefiled. It then came to mean profane in opposition to sacred. So the man who profanes the sacred, soils the life which God has given him to live, I Heb 12:16 describes Esau as being profane.

7. MURDERERS OF FATHERS & MOTHERS – those who strike or even killed their parents. An extreme violation of the fifth commandment. Under both Biblical and Roman law, a son who struck his parents was liable to death. The word describes a son or daughter who is lost

to gratitude, respect, or even shame.

8. MANSLAYERS – murderers. Paul was no doubt thinking of the Ten Commandments and how breach after breach of them characterized the heathen world. Jesus widened the commandment “You shall not kill” so that it includes not only the act of murder but also unjustified anger against a brother.

9. FORNICATORS – whoremongers. It is difficult for us to realize the state of the ancient world in matters of sexual morality. It was riddled with unnatural vice. One of the extraordinary things was the actual connection of immorality and religion. The Temple of Aphrodite at Corinth has a thousand priestesses who were sacred prostitutes.

It has often been said that chastity was the one completely new virtue which Christianity bought into this world. The challenge today is for the church to once again become the dynamic for righteousness in society.

10. SODOMITES – them that defile themselves with mankind – homosexuals. At the time of this writing, Ephesus was filled with homosexuals. The law of God speaks strongly against this kind of lifestyle.

11. KIDNAPERS – men-stealers, slave-dealers, or slave kidnappers. Slavery was an integral part of the life of the ancient world. Aristotle declared that civilization was founded on slavery, that certain men and women were destined to be hewers of wood and drawers of water and only existed to perform the menial task of life for the convenience of the cultured classes. But even in the ancient world voices were raised against slavery.

Philo spoke of slave-dealers as those “who despoil men of their most precious possession, their freedom.” But this word probably refers more to kidnappers of slaves. Slaves were valuable property and frequently were kidnaped for ransom or resold. But there was more than economics involved here for under Moses kidnapping was a crime punishable by death [Ex. 21:16; Deut. 24:7].

12. LIARS AND PERJURERS – those who do not hesitate to lie and to twist the truth to gain dishonorable ends. They not only shame themselves but they dishonor God and His Word.

God said, “Buy the truth and do not sell it.” [Prov. 23:23], Jesus said He “came into the world to bear witness to the truth.” [John 18:37].

Then Paul adds, as if for good measure “and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.” While his list here is great, it is not totally complete, so this phrase fills in whatever might have been missed. It is also interesting that he uses “sound doctrine” as the standard by which all things are measured. The word translated “sound” literally means “health-giving.” Sound doctrine is the only moral antiseptic that can cleanse life. The Christian life properly lived in accord with God’s Word, is truly health-giving.

V. 11 “according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.”

This verse sums up what has been covered from verse 8 on. Paul makes it clear that he is not speaking from his own opinion, but according to the gospel. [See Rom. 1:1 “Gospel of God”]. The word “blessed” is applied to God in only one other place in Scripture and that is in chapter 6:15 of this same book. It describes God not as the object of blessing but rather as the One who has within Himself perfect bliss and is thus able to radiate His blessing and splendor to others, Paul had the gospel committed to his trust which he looked upon as stewardship [I Cor. 9:17; Gal 2:7].

Three things to keep in mind about the Word of God: ”

1. IT IS A GLORIOUS GOSPEL – it is the good news of forgiveness for past sins and the power to conquer sin in the days to come. The good news of God’s mercy, cleansing, and grace.

2. IT IS THE GOOD NEWS “FROM” GOD – it is “not a discovery” made by man, but it is “revealed” by God..

3. IT IS COMMUNICATED THROUGH MEN – God makes His offer through His messengers. Those who have received the good news cannot keep it to themselves, they must transmit, communicate and share it with others Who have not yet found it: GIVING GLORY TO GOD. (1:12-17)

In this passage, Paul breaks into a characteristic burst of praise. As he thinks of God’s mercy to him he is overcome with gratitude

V. 12 “And I thank Christ Jesus for our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry Paul first thanks to the Lord because He empowered him.

In Phil. 4:13 Paul says: ‘T can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (through the anointing,) a present and constant enablement.’

But in this verse, he speaks in the past tense. For here he is in a reflective, reminiscent mood. The important thing is that Jesus Christ never gives anyone a task to do without also giving him the power to do it. No man is good enough, strong enough, pure enough] or wise enough to be the servant of Christ on his own.

He then thanks Him because He trusted him. He counted him “trustworthy,” It was an amazing thing to Paul, that he, the arch-persecutor, has been chosen to be a missionary and apostle of Christ had not only forgiven him but trusted to do a job.

He finally thanked Him because he had appointed him. “Putting me into the ministry.” Paul’s attitude toward his ministry is shown in his use of the word -‘Diakonia which means servant, to describe his calling. He was appointed to serve. Paul never thought of himself in terms of honor, prestige, or great authority within the church. He was God’s servant.

Next, Paul considers his pre-Christian days.

V. 13 “although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief Just as surely as he reflects upon Christ’s enabling power he is reminded of his own unworthiness.

In the past, Paul was not content to blaspheme but he went on to persecute the church. The interesting thing about this is that Paul believed he was doing God’s will while abusing the saints

[I Cor. 15:9; Phil 3:4-6]. But God who is rich in mercy claimed him for His own [Rom. 11:30,31;;

I Cor. 7:25; 2 Cor. 4:1; Eph. 2:4]. Ignorance and unbelief led him to act in this violent and insolent

manner. Mercy, God’s mercy, rescued him;

V. 14 “And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are

in Christ Jesus.

As Donald Guthrie says: “Paul could never write for long without bringing in the grace of God.”

Grace is not some abstract concept but a dynamic force in the life of the believer. Grace is the desire and power to do God’s will. “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” [Rom.

5:20]. Apart from grace, faith and love would be inoperable. It is God’s love that moved Him to reach out to us. It is His grace that expresses this love to us. It is faith that makes it functional in

our life.

V. 15 “This is the faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”

The term “this is a faithful saying” appears nowhere else in the New Testament apart from the Pastorals. It seems that there were a number of maxims and forceful sayings circulating at the time of this statement.

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” is the essence of Christian truth. “It breathes the very soul of the gospel” (E. K. Simpson). The message of Christ was that “Those who well do not need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners,

to repentance” [Luke 5:31-32],

Paul referring to himself as the chief of sinners is a mark of sincere humility. The good Paul has achieved he credits to Christ Such is his understanding of the grace of God. He always views himself as undeserving, whether ranking himself as the least of the apostles p Cor. 15:9] or less than all saints [Eph. 3:8]. So this phrase fits his attitude perfectly.

V. 16 “However, for this reason, I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life;

The thought of mercy is taken up from verse 13, but here he adds specifics. Paul gives his own experience as an example of what God could do with others. If the Lord could be merciful to him then He could surely show His mercy to others. There is no doubt that Paul’s life is the pattern demonstrating the positive results of the gospel.

V. 17 “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who

alone is wise, be an honor; glory forever and ever. Amen.” This has been called a typical Pauline doxology. “The King of the ages” is the way the Greek puts it. This statement is found nowhere else in the New Testament, but it is used in Apocryphal and early liturgical writings. The word “immortal” is also translated as “incorruptible” [Rom. 1:23]. It is applied to God and that which is connected with Him. For example, we are to receive incorruptible bodies at the resurrection [I Cor, 15:52]. We have an inheritance incorruptible p Pet 1:4]. The incorruptible is that which is not affected by corruption and decay. “Invisible” finds a parallel in Colossians where Christ is called “the image of the invisible God.” No man has seen God but His presence is manifested in unmistakable ways. In Christ, He makes Himself known to men through the wisdom which He alone has. He is so beyond mankind in the wisdom that Paul says God’s foolishness is wiser than man [I Cor. 1:25]. This description is also used in Rom. 16:27.


Paul here picks up the thought that he dropped at verse 4.

V. 18 “This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to

the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,” When Paul uses the words “this charge” it is the strongest kind of language he could use. He uses* the same word used in verse 3, a military term, to indicate a command. It conveys a sense of urgent obligation. Barclay calls this “the summons which cannot be denied.” Ministry is not something to be taken lightly. It is an order from the great Commander-in-Chief, Jesus Christ Paul reminds Timothy of the prophecies that went over his life and Challenges him to war good warfare accordingly. This no doubt occurred when Timothy was ordained to the ministry by the laying on of hands [4:14]. More will be said on this later. From this we understand that life is a campaign, we are the soldiers and the Lord Jesus Christ is the commander-in-chief

V. 19 “having faith and a good conscience.

You cannot have a good conscience without faith, nor faith in its reality without a good conscience. There must be faith in your teaching and conscience in your actions:

“Faith.” There is “the shield of faith.” It is not merely the doctrine of faith, but the grace of faith. It is by this faith we overcome (a) the world [I John 5:4-5]; (b) the flesh [Gal. 5:24]; (c) the devil John 2:14]; (d) everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God [2 Cor.? 10:5); (e) death and the grave [I Cor. 15:54-55], A mere intellectual belief could not produce such results; for “the demons believe and tremble!” [Jas. 2:19 “A good conscience.” It is good because (a) it is sprinkled with the blood of Christ [Heb. 9:14] (b) it helps to keep the faith in purity [I Tim. 3:9]. Christians ought to seek the approval of their consciences in all things [Acts 24:16], It’s testimony should produce confidence [2 Cor. 1:12; I John 3:21]. Ministers ought always to commend themselves to the consciences of their people

[2 Cor. 4:2].

This combination of virtues is mentioned three times in this epistle [1:5; 3:9] showing the inseparable connection between faith and morals. In this respect, heretics are moral failures.

Uprightness in both principles and conduct is God’s standard for not only His leaders but all His people. Paul goes on to deliver a stern rebuke, “which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck.

To reject the voice of conscience is bound to affect the faith. This statement is made in connection with a conscience. “It is a strong expression, implying here the willful resistance to the voice of conscience” (Pulpit Commentary).

As E. F. Scott says: “More often than we know, a religious error has its roots in moral rather than intellectual causes.” On the other hand, faulty belief can also contribute to moral disaster. With

the word “shipwreck” the military metaphor gives way to a nautical one. When the cargo or ballast of a good conscience is tossed overboard, the ship becomes unmanageable^ and is easily


Now Paul names two people as examples of those going astray.

V. 20 “of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.”

The passage closes with a stern rebuke to two members who have injured the church, grieved Paul, and made shipwreck of their own lives. Hymenaeus is mentioned again in 2 Tim. 2:17 and

Alexander in 2 Tim. 4:14.

The phrase “delivered to Satan” is a strong disciplinary term. The same expression is used in I Cor. 5:5 with the additional phrase “for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” This man was involved in an immoral relationship with “his father’s wife [I Cor. 5:1] and the spiritual cover provided by the church was taken away by means of ex-communication. Death could have resulted here but it did not. The idea of judgment in the house of God, even to the point of physical consequences is fully supported by Scripture [I Pet. 4:17; Acts 5:1-11; 13:11; I Cor. 11:30]. In the case of Hymenaeus and Alexander, it was too, hopefully, to be remedial “that they may be disciplined (by punishment and learn) not to blaspheme” (AMP).


V. 1 “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men.”

The words “first of all” do not relate so much to time or order as to importance. It is not to be relegated to a secondary or fill-in place. “That supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men.” Jesus gave

His life for a ransom for all. The gospel includes the high and low, the emperor in his power and the slave in his helplessness, the philosopher in his wisdom, and the simple man in his ignorance.

There is no class distinction in the gospel. The Pastoral Epistles continually stress the universality of God’s love.

Four words are used to define prayer:

1.” Supplications” or requests. This is not exclusively a religious word – it can be used for requests made to man as well as God. Prayer begins with a sense of need. It is “prayer for particular benefits” (Berry).

2. “Prayers.” The main difference between this word and the first is, this word is never used for anything else but an approach to God. It is a general term for communion with the Almighty,

3. “Intercessions” or petitions. This word originally meant to meet a person. Then it went on to mean to hold an intimate conversation and finally came to mean to enter into a king’s presence and to submit a petition to him.

While supplication is concerned with personal needs, intercession is primarily taken up with the needs of others. It transcends personal concerns and reaches out to God on behalf of others. The Holy Spirit works with intercessors [Rom. 8:26-27]. ” The prominent thought in intercession is that of boldness and freedom in approach to God” (Berry). We have the right to bring our petitions to the King of kings. Nothing we ask is too great for Him.

4. “Giving of thanks.” Thanksgiving is an integral part of prayer. Too many of us pray in what William Barclay calls “an exercise of complaint when it should be an exercise in thanksgiving.” It is our divine right to bring our needs, desires, and requests to God, but it is our privilege to bring offerings of thanksgiving to Him continually.

Paul showed the Colossians that peace and thanksgiving are connected: “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which you were called in one body; and be thankful” [Col.3:15]. Also, he exhorted the Thessalonian believers to give thanks in all circumstances Thess. 5:18].

Next, Paul challenges the people to pray for those in authority. ?

V. 2 “for kings and all who are in –authority.

This passage definitely commands Christians to pray for kings, emperors, and all those in authority.

Historically, the Christian church never neglected to pray for their rulers.

This they did even in the times of bitterest persecution. The Christian’s attitude toward the State is very important. Our prayers can determine the kind of government. we have By prayer and social involvement, Christians can influence the course of their nation. This fact has often been forgotten and neglected for too long.

“that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” Answer No.5

The content of this prayer is not revealed. Rather, the purpose or results of such prayer is stated.

A life that is tranquil and undisturbed, which would be important to all of society and a life lived in godliness and reverence, is of great importance to Christians These conditions are interrelated-

Christians are called “the salt of the earth” [Matt. 5:13] and are to have a positive effect on society.

The external is most frequently influenced by the internal.

V. 3 “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.” [See 1:1; John 3:16)

V. 4 “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

This is an acknowledgment of the saving character of God. To save and rescue people IS part of His very nature. This is technically a very difficult verse. For it seems to run contrary to the election doctrine which Paul so strongly espouses. But when we consider this statement ill conjunction with John 3:16 we understand that God has a universal love that encompasses the world.

But the practical results of that love, which was expressed in the sending of Christ, are manifested only in those who believe. Are we to conclude from this that God cannot bring to pass {fit desire, that He is limited? There are too many other Scriptures that stress’-His omnipotence to accept that theory. God is all-powerful. Some would say it is no doubt His desire to save, but malt has to respond and open up to Him by faith or He cannot save them. In other words, redemption is a combination of God and man working together to bring about salvation.

But Scripture Gnarly states that “Salvation belongs to the Lord:” [Ps. 3:8], The state of the unregenerate man is, that of one who is “dead in trespasses and sins” [ Eph. 2:2]; [Also see Eph

2:5; and Col. 2:13].

On top of that, we read in Cor. 2:14, that “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually

discerned.” These and other verses which could be cited show the impossibility of an unregenerate man, considered dead by God, making a Spiritual decision to be saved, changing his life, and serving God. How can one who is dead respond? Rather, it is God who literally resurrects him out of his death by His sovereign power rejuvenates his spirit and regenerates him, then man can believe God’s Word. Apart from this, man cannot believe because he needs a new heart which is the Scriptural prerequisite to believing. In light of this, what does it mean that “God desires all men to be saved?” This statement is simply “stressing God’s universal compassion … and the magnanimity of the divine benevolence” (Guthrie).

It has been said that the word “desires” ‘thelo’ represents the general purpose of God as distinct from a single volition. It speaks of God’s consistent mercy toward all, without distinction of race, color, condition, or status. This statement is made to counteract exclusiveness, either Jewish [Rom. 3:29-30] or the later Gnostic tendency to shut others out because of their esoteric or mysterious attitude. Salvation is a blanket term,

It means more than “soul salvation” but it includes God’s activity in the physical as well as the spiritual realm. The verb “to save,” the Greek word ‘Sozo,’ is understood to mean “preserve” or -‘protect”

by some. With this in mind, E. K. Simpson says: “The ordination of prayer for rulers accords with the divine will that all men should be preserved from lawless misrule,”.

So what is dealt with here is not salvation (regeneration) but the preservation of a good and orderly society. This is directly related to the involvement of Christians, especially that of bringing prayer pressure to bear upon civil leaders and the calling forth of kingdom authority, as God’s warrior-priests, to be manifested in our communities.

“Your kingdom comes,” in the Lord’s prayer, is a cry for an orderly society where Christians can live “in all Godliness and reverence.” This is the best atmosphere in which the Gospel can be preached. In such a society, the effects of Godliness can be seen by the heathen and if we are, in fact, being “salt” they will be interested in the superiority of our lifestyle. But if we fail in our duty and do not “salt” society, then we will no doubt be subjected to being “trampled underfoot,”

So the prayer for city leaders and a quiet lifestyle is not just selfish, but it is to furnish an atmosphere in which the Gospel can be preached with freedom. It is by the preaching of the Gospel that men are brought “to the knowledge of the truth.” Satan is a liar and his agenda is ”to lie.”

The emptiness of a lifestyle based on such an unstable foundation will show up when it is compared to kingdom living as it should be. This is a great challenge to God’s people. We must not settle for spiritual mediocrity. Rather God wants us to be leaders and not followers, “the head and not the tail.” Though God is sovereign and all-powerful, He seems to limit His activity, relative to society, to the active involvement of His people.

V. 5-6 “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for. all, to be testified in due time.”

These verses constitute a creedal statement according to certain writers. The fact that there is “one God” as opposed to the many gods of the heathen, is stated again in Eph. 4:5; Gal. 3:20, and Rom. 3:30.

It gives great consolation to realize that the greatest power in the universe is good and that He loves the world. It is emancipation and liberation to the human spirit to make such a discovery, which is not really a discovery but a revelation-

The Man, Christ Jesus, bridged the unbridgeable gap between a just and holy God and erring man. It was by man’s (Adam’s) sin that separation from God came about. So by the obedience of “the Man Christ Jesus,” a reunion with the Almighty was made possible. He is the only “Mediator between God and men.” [See Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24].

Thousands of years ago Job complained that there was no mediator to stand between him and God, one “who may lay his hand on us both” [Job 9:32-33]. But now all that is changed, “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” p John 2:1]. It is as if Job’s pitiful plea has been answered. The Lord Jesus Christ said: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” [Mark 10:45]. God Accepted His life as a redemption-price on our behalf and thus restored us to a place of acceptance. As to Him being “a ransom for many,” His sacrifice is “sufficient” for all, but “efficient” for the elect. John the Baptist cried out: “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the World!” [John 1:29]. This is simply another reference to the universality of God’s provision. Jesus is the Saviour of the world in that His death on the cross satisfied the justice of God so that He didn’t destroy the world. Eternal life, however, is given to the elect. Paul said in Galatians: “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son.” [Gal. 4:4]. So the sacrifice of Christ testified to the fulfillment of God’s promise in God’s good time, or appointed time.

Next, the apostle refers to his own calling in God.

V. 7 “for which 1 was appointed a preacher and an apostle- I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying – a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth”.

Before we look at Paul’s threefold description, let us consider the strong parenthetical affirmation of what he is saying, “I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying.” Some feel it is strange that he finds it necessary to try to convince Timothy of his sincerity. But these were not only personal letters, they were church letters to be read publically so Paul reaffirms his special calling to the Gentiles. This type of statement is not uncommon for Paul [Rom. 9:1; II Cor. 11:31; Gal. 1:20].

Paul first refers to himself as a “preacher.” The word used means to herald, one who proclaims a message that is not his own. For example, a King’s herald.

Next, he calls himself “an apostle.” This is a word with a very broad application. In this setting he is no doubt using it in connection with his pioneering ministry among the Gentiles, hence the next designation, “a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”

Paul was distinctly the apostle to the Gentiles. The; “preacher” proclaims the Gospel. The “apostle” establishes the churches. It is a foundational ministry. The “teacher” gives an explanation and provides understanding. The phrase “in faith” implies acceptance, the term “in truth” means understanding.

V. 8 “I desire therefore that the| men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;”

In verse 8, Paul returns to the theme of prayer started in verse 1. He describes the place of prayer, “everywhere”, the position of prayer: “lifting up holy hands,” and the attitude of prayer: “without wrath and doubting.”

To stretch out holy hands, hands dedicated to the service of God, hands that do not touch the

unclean, is to:

1. acknowledge our utter dependence on Him.

2. express our love and gratitude to Him.

To sincerely pray, one must have no anger in his heart. Jesus stresses the fact that we cannot hope to receive forgiveness from God as long as we harbor bitterness and enmity toward our fellow man. “But if you bring your gift to the altar… be reconciled to your brother;..” [Matt 5:23,24]. “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

[Matt. 6:15]. To be forgiven we must be forgiving.

To effectively pray, one must be free from doubt in his mind. This word can mean reasoning as well as doubt. It may also mean skeptical questionings or criticisms, [Phil 2:14]. The apostle obviously wants them to come to prayer, implicitly relying on the promises of God and the sacrifice and mediation of Jesus Christ. Bitterness, quarrels, angry arguments, and debates are a hindrance to prayer.

Moffatt renders this last phrase: “free from anger and dissension.” Such negative attitudes hinder productive prayer as much as unclean hands. . ‘



There is a difference of opinion as to whether Paul is here dealing with women’s behavior in the meetings or their behavior in general. The Pulpit Commentary states: “the apostle continues his directions in relation to public prayer.” There is a similar list in I Pet. 3:1-6 which is not restricted to public meetings but rather to lifestyle.

William Barclay states that “this passage is written against a double background.”

1. A Jewish background:

in Jewish eyes, women officially had a very low position. In Jewish law a woman was not a person, she was a thing. They had no part in synagogue service. In the Jewish morning prayer, a man thanked God that God had not made him a Gentile, a slave, or a woman. It would be hard for them to receive a woman in authority.

2. The Greek background:

The Greek background made things doubly difficult. The respectable Greek woman lived a very confined life. She was never on the street alone, never went to public assemblies, much less spoke at them. She did not even appear at meals. The fact is that if a Greek Christian woman took an active and speaking and teaching part in the work of the church, the church would have inevitably gained a reputation of being the resort of loose and immoral women; Yet, in spite of this, God has used women effectively throughout the ages. We will mention just a few. Priscilla along with her husband Aquila was much used to God. It is interesting that in four of the six times this couple is mentioned, Priscilla is named before her husband. Normally the husband’s name would come first. Aquila is recognized as the head of his house in Acts 18:2

“a certain Jew named Aquila,” with his wife Priscilla.” But in Acts 18:26, when they are inviting the eloquent, though poorly-instructed Apollos to their home, it is Priscilla whose discernment and concern seem to be foremost, notice: “when Priscilla and Aquila heard him they took him aside and explained the way of God more accurately.” Compare 2 Tim. 4:19: “Greet

Prisca and Aquila” a personal salutation. But where the assembly is concerned, as in I Cor. 16:19,

Aquila, as head of the house, is named first. As well there were others such as Eudia and Syntyche, women who labored in the gospel [, Phil. 4:2-3].

3. Phillip had four daughters who prophesied [Acts 21:9]:

The older women were to teach the younger [Tit. 2:3]. Paul held Lois and Eunice in high esteem [II Tim. 1:5]. So the issue here is not a put-down of women and the wonderful contribution they have made^ but a call to Spiritual order and balance.

V. 9 “in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,”

This verse is definitely connected with verse 8 and is included in the same set of guidelines for public prayer. The main thought seems to be that one is not to be given to excessive showiness which is calculated to attract undue attention to self. Our attitude in gatherings, prayer meetings services, etc., is to focus on God. “The word translated ‘apparel,’ probably refers to demeanor as well as attire” (Guthrie); It has been said that a woman’s dress is the mirror of her mind.

Outward “modesty” is more in keeping with the prayerful attitude than extreme exhibition or

display. A balance must be found in each generation. “Modest” literally means orderly or neat and it is this spirit the writer is seeking rather than a dogmatic set of rules reasoning with regards to dress and style.

“Propriety and moderation” are correctly rendered “modesty and self-control.” These words describe one who is serious about the things of God, as opposed to a frivolous or light person. To have braided hair, decorated with jewels was a common practice among Jewish women; But the apostle puts the emphasis on inner virtues rather than attracting attention to externals.

V. 10 “but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.”

These are obviously high standards, which apply to Christian women “professing godliness” and not to the unsaved. A Christian woman’s adornment does not lie in her clothes but in the loving service she gives. [See Rom. 2:7; Col. 1:10].

12. “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.” There is a similar command in I Cor. 14:35, where Paul adds: “And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home;” It has been said that this was to counteract the practice of women talking during the service as if they were trying to receive insight concerning what was being taught. Paul says: ask at home.” Don’t interrupt the meeting; km Paul goes on here to put a very definite restriction on the public activities of women. The phrase “to teach or to have authority over a man” is one statement, for the position of a teacher supposes that one has authority, at least in the subject matter they are presenting.

Again we state that Paul is dealing with public activities for he was a good friend of Priscilla who was used of God to even minister to Apollos in her own home. And yet as we have already pointed out, in the church she was in submission to her husband. The “man” referred to here is thought to be the “husband.” There seems to be an association of women teaching in the church with lording it over their husbands. So in the public meetings, the

women were to refrain from laying down the law to men. We must add that this in no way suggests that women have no part in the decision-making with their husbands relative to family matters. What he is dealing with is leadership function in the church where authoritative instruction and oversight is concerned.

Next, Paul gives his reason for this restriction.

V. 13-14 “For Adam was formed first, then Eve.

Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived fell into transgression.” As we have already seen, both Jewish and Greek culture placed women in a somewhat inferior role So the culture modern-day church would have. Adam was created first which implies leadership.

Eve sinned first which shows a greater aptitude toward being led astray. This is the historic position that the church has held until recently. There have always been important roles played by women but it is only in modern times that women pastors, etc., came to the fore.

One of the heresies of that day was that Eve was “seduced” by the serpent, making the original sin a sexual sin. But Paul certainly did not agree with that idea for the states in Romans 5; 19 that

disobedience was the original sin and the greater responsibility seems to be laid on Adam. Paul says it was “by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.” Though Eve sinned first through deception, Adam was not deceived and it seems he knowingly disobeyed God. Eve is not even mentioned when sin is attributed to Adam. This shows that the headship issue did not come as a result of the fall, but was in effect from the beginning. Eve stepped out from under her covering and was deceived by the serpent. Adam, however, was still held accountable, for God lays the responsibility for original sin directly on him.

V. 15 “Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.”

This is a strange-sounding verse. It obviously can not mean that a woman’s salvation depends upon having children. Where would unmarried women fit into God’s program? Moffatt translates this

verse “woman will get safely through childbirth.” The word “saved” is also translated as “preserved.”

So the idea is that God promises His care and help to Godly women during the ordeal of childbirth.

As the verse continues, Paul switches from the singular “she” to the plural “they.” The question is who are they? Some feel it is a reference to all Christian women. Others believe that because

“childbearing” is mentioned, this is a reference to the husband and wife together. This seems reasonable, for the list of virtues mentioned here are to be exercised by all, both men and women, and not only by the women.



V. 1-7 “This is faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-

minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach: not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man

does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover, he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he falls into reproach and the snare of the devil.

This passage begins with one of the most neglected qualifications for oversight namely “desire.” Though a man exemplifies all the other qualities which are essential for leadership and yet does not express or show the desire to be involved with the responsibility and work-load of eldership, he is not to be pressed into the position. Paul clearly states that with the position goes work. Thank God it is good to work.

From verses 1 to 7, Paul lays out the qualification of overseers or elders. The deacons will be dealt with next. The government of the early church was simple. In the introduction of ms letter to the saints at Philippi, Paul writes: To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons” [Phil. 1:1].

Here we see the three categories making up a total local church;


a) These would also be called overseers, pastors, shepherds or elders.-

b) They would be responsible for governmental oversight of the church.


a) Deacons were elected to serve the church. The word deacon means “servant.”

b) They worked with the elders, primarily in the physical affairs of the church.


a) The believers make up the congregation.

b) Believers should obviously know the elders who …are over you … .” [I Thess. 5:12] in the church. There should be a personal relationship between the elders and the believers and because of the growth and size of the New Testament churches, not all believers would have the same personal relationship with every elder in the local church.


1. Elder or presbyter ‘Presbuteros’ The man:

2. Bishop or overseer ‘Episkopos The office.

3. Shepherd or pastor ‘Poimen’ The work.


1. Acts 20:17 Paul calls the elders together. In verse 28, he says to the elders, “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers

(or bishops), to shepherd (feed/pastor) the church of God.

Thus, the elders were bishops or overseers whose responsibility was to shepherd or pastor the flock.

2. Titus 1:5 – Paul instructs Titus to appoint elders and in verse 7, Paul describes the qualifications of an elder and uses the word “bishop.” Thus, Paul uses elder ‘Presbuteros’ and bishop ‘Episkopos’ interchangeably to refer to the same,

3. I Pet. 5:1-2, – Peter writes, “The elders who are among you, I exhort, I who am a fellow elder (or co-elder). . . Shepherd the flock of God . . . serving as overseers,.. .” (be its bishop).

The above Scriptures prove that the elders were also bishops (overseers) responsible to shepherd

(pastor) the flock (congregation);



Elders were to be “apt to teach.” The Greek word is ‘Didactic,’ which means he must be capable of instructing, or qualified for the office of teaching people about the things of God. He must be able to communicate to his fellow-men the knowledge of the truth. The necessity of this qualification should be obvious.

No one should be allowed to be part of a church eldership who is not qualified to impart instruction to others on the doctrines and duties of Christianity. On top of that, no one should feel that he ought to continue in this ministry, who does not have the diligence, the self-denial, and the love of study enough to lead him constantly to endeavor to increase in knowledge, that he may be qualified to teach others.

1. Teaching is not necessarily “pulpit preaching” but could include personal counseling from the Word and teaching in a small group setting.

2. I Tim. 5:17 Elders are to rule and “… labor in the Word and doctrine (Teach).”

3. Heb. 13:7 Elders are “.. . those who rule over you and have spoken to you the Word of God. (Teach).

4. I Thess. 5:12 -“. . . recognize those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord (rule) and admonish you” (Teach).

5. I Tim. 3:2 “Teach”.. .verse 5 “rule.

There are four Greek words that are used in conjunction with leading and feeding God’s people.

1. poimaino’ – “to shepherd” and also translated “to feed”, “to rule” and “to tend.”

Authority is based on the ability to feed. A father must put food on the table or lose his authority.

a) In Matt. 2:6, the word is translated rule when to refers to Christ as the “…Ruler, who will shepherd My people Israel.”

b) John21:16: .. .”Tend My sheep.” (Greek vs. 15-feed; vs. 16 – shepherd; vs. 17

c) Acts 20:28 -“… shepherd the church of God…” (RSV – feed; NIV – be shepherds; NAS and AMP – to shepherd) the church (that is, tend and feed and guide the church.)

d) I Peter 5:2 – “Shepherd the flock of God. The Amplified translates the word as to “tend, nurture, guard, guide and fold.” Thus “to shepherd” includes both feeding (teaching) and ruling.

2. ‘Proistemi’ – “to preside over” “be at the head of or “to stand before”, (by implication) “to practice.”

a) I Thess. 5-.12 -“… recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you.” NAS puts it “have charge over you.” AMP “your leaders who are over you in the Lord, and those who warn and kindly reprove you and exhort you.”

b) Rom. 12:8 – “… he who leads with diligence …” KJV “ruleth.” RSV “gives aid.” NIV “leadership.” NAS “leads.” AMP. “gives aid and superintends.”

c) I Tim. 3:4,5 – the word “rule” is used to suggesting the relationship between the elders ruling in the church and a father ruling in the Home.

d) I Tim. 5:17- “Let the elders that rule well be considered worthy of double honor (honorarium), especially they who labor in the Word and doctrine,”

3.’Hegeomap – “to lead” as a shepherd leads his sheep or a general leads his army. To

command, judge or be chief.

a) Heb. 13:7 – “Remember those who rule (lead) over you…”

b) Heb. 13:17 – “Obey those who rule (lead) over you and be submissive

c) Heb, 13:24 – “Greet all those who rule (lead) over you.

d) This word, “rule” which applies to the elders governing the church is the same word used of Jesus in Matthew 2:6.

4. Bosko’ – “to pasture, to fodder, to graze,”: is primarily used of a herdsman, “to nourish,” the function being to provide food.

a) John 21:15 and 21:17 “feed.” RSV, NIV, AMP. “feed” NAS “tend.”

b) Matt. 8:30, 33. The word is used in feeding swine Verses 2-7 deal with qualifications for eldership, which we will divide into three categories; spiritual, moral, and domestic. Also, we will limit the list of qualifications to those contained in the^ 6&4- $k43-book of I Timothy.


This has to do not only with the gift deposited in the vessel but with the quality of the relationship between the individual and God: When a man’s ways please the Lord, this is also observable to others.

1. An elder must be able to teach, able to communicate God’s word in an intelligent manner [I Tim. 3:2].

2. An elder cannot be a novice or young convert, character is developed not inherited. He must be around long enough to prove he is consistent. [I Tim; 3:6].

3. An elder must be of a good report even outside the church. Our reputation before the world affects our testimony.


this has to do with character^ God looks beneath the surface Personality, into our basic motivations and values.

1. The elder is to be blameless, not sinless, but of character that is beyond criticism 1Tim.3:2.]

2. The elder must be temperate, living a life of self-control. Not yielding to every-desire [I Tim. 3:2.]

3. The elder is to be sober, having control over sensual desires [I Tim: 3:2,]

4. An elder must demonstrate good behavior consistently, one who is orderly and modest in conduct [I Tim. 3:3].

5. An elder must not be given (addicted) to wine P Tim, 3:3]. Not a drunkard” (Moff). “Not a hard drinker” (Wey).

6. An elder is not to be a striker [I Tim. 3:3]. “Not violent.” (RSV) He is not to be a pugnacious, contentious person.

7. An elder is not to be greedy after money. He is not a mercenary in his service. Money is not his major motivation.

Tim. 3:3].

8. An elder is not to be a brawler. He does not live with k chip on his shoulder. Not trigger-happy in relationships. [I Tim. 3:3].

9. An elder is not covetous. Not grasping” (Knox). He is not a hireling. Free from the love of money. He knows values beyond the value of money [I Tim. 3:3],


This focuses on the family life of the spiritual leader. What a man does in his own house determines how he will behave in God’s house. How he cares for his wife and children will be how he cares for God’s sheep.

1. The elder must be the husband of one wife. His affections must be directed only to his own wife. A man who can divide his natural affections might be prone to divide his spiritual affections [I Tim. 3:2].

2. An elder must be hospitable. “Opening his house freely to guests” (BAS). A real shepherd has the smell of sheep on him.

3. An elder must rule his own house well. He is to preside over his family with care and propriety. He must have his own children in subjection. The family is the primary training ground for eldership. If he can make it work there his chances for being successful in the larger family, the church, are better. [I Tim. 3:4].

There are other qualities that will be dealt with in the letter to Titus.


In the early church, the function of the deacons was primarily in the sphere of practical service. No nation has ever had such teaching on responsibility for the poor as the Jews. The Christian church inherited this charitable organization. It was the duty of the deacons to carry it out in practice.

Many of the qualifications of the deacons are the same as for the eiders. They are to be men of honorable character. It is evident that those who perform the office of a deacon well can look for promotion.

V. 8 “Likewise deacons must be reverent, “serious” (TCNT), “men of high principle” (NEB), “dignified” (RHM). This is not an office to be taken lightly, but seriously and respectfully:

not double-tongued, “not shifty and double talkers” (AMP.) Jesus said, “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’, ‘No’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” [Matt. 5:37.] The responsibility of the task of the deacons would demand that he be straightforward and honest. not given too much wine, not greedy for money,’

5 These two cautions were dealt with in the section concerning elders. The personal contact that deacons had with the people necessitated this reminder, for temptation was never far away.

V. 9 “holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.”

Paul does not use the word “mystery” in the sense of the “mysterious”, rather it is that which was formerly hidden but is now revealed. “The faith” is simply the Gospel or the revealed body of Christian truth. A “pure conscience” shows us that orthodoxy without personal holiness is not

worth a lot.

V. 10 “But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.

The appointment of deacons demands careful scrutiny. How they are to be proved is not revealed. “And these, too, must undergo probation.” (WHY). Although this probation idea is rejected by some teachers, the thought of testing is the proper idea.

Next, in a parenthetical verse, Paul leaves the deacons and turns to the women.

V. 11 “Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.

Many authors and translators render-the word “wives” as “women.” It is a word that can be used either way. Still, others, believe it should be “deaconesses.” A logical question that some have put forth is, why should there be qualifications given for deacon’s wives when there were none for the elders’ wives?

Also, the fact that all domestic duties are overlooked would indicate that he is not speaking in terms of wives, whose primary function was that of homemaker but of lady church workers. He carefully lays out qualifications that are very similar to those given for the deacons. So these are women who served the church in some official capacity. It seems that there was an order of deaconesses in the early church. In that society, women were comparatively secluded from the company of men so their specific needs would be met by Godly women who were appointed to this ministry. Hence, the high standard of qualifications. Phoebe of Cenchrea is called “a ministering servant” (CON), or “a deaconess” (WMS). The same word translated ^ * ‘ ”* “deacon” in verse 8 is used in Rom. 16:1 cS It is believed by some that Euodias and Syntyche [Phil. 4:2], and Dorcas [Acts 9:36 – 41 ] were ministering servants belonging to that order. Christianity emancipated women, but there were dangers. She who was liberated might misuse her new-found freedom, and respectable society would be shocked, so we have Paul’s caution. The first injunction is exactly like that of the deacon, “be reverent,” which means “serious” or “dignified.” An irresponsible woman could not be entrusted with such an important task.

“Not slanderers.” “Not gossips” (GSPD).

She should not be quick to accuse or to insinuate things that are not absolutely true.

“Temperate” means sober-minded and self-controlled. “Faithful in all things” thoroughly trustworthy in every area of life, behavior, and responsibility.

Next, Paul resumes with the qualifications of deacons.

V. 12 “Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.”

“Domestic orderliness and parental control are as necessary for a deacon as in an overseer and the requirements stated are in this respect identical with the previous list” (Guthrie). The exercise of -sound judgment in one’s home would indicate an aptitude for reliable service in the church:

V. 13 “For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing.”

Faithfulness in service will give them honor and influence in the esteem of the Christian community as well as in the sight of God. God is faithful to reward His servants who obey and serve Him. great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.-“Boldness” is also translated as “confidence” (NAS), and it is as we fulfill our calling and do our duty that we gain confidence and boldness to believe God for more. A deacon who has proved himself in godliness and faithfulness will be one of the greatest demonstrations of the faith, for the practical expression of his ministry will cause men to know that the kingdom of God is not only concerned with heavenly things but with every day needs that life brings.


V. 14 “These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly.” Though Paul hoped to visit Timothy at Ephesus he realizes that he might experience a delay.

V. 15 “but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God.”

The basic reason the Pastoral Epistles were written was to tell men how to behave within the church. There are those who cannot see the reason for this instruction to Timothy who obviously was very close to Paul. But as has been already pointed out, these were church letters, as well as personal letters. So whether Timothy needed these instructions or not, others who would read them did.

” which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” The house of God is not a building but the church of the living God. A living temple made up of living stones or people. Paul uses four terms to show the four main functions of the church:

1.The household of God. First and foremost the church must be a family otherwise it is hot a true church. The love of God can only exist where brotherly love exists.

2. The church or assembly of God. A company of people who have been called out. Those who have responded to the call.

3. The pillar of truth. In Ephesus, the word “pillar” would have special significance. The Temple of Diana was one of the seven wonders of the world. It had 127 pillars, each sixty feet high and they were all made of marble and some were overlaid with gold and studded with jewels. Each one was the gift of a king. So as the pillar of truth, the church is to uphold, display and demonstrate the truth in such a way that all may see it.

4. The ground of the truth. The foundation or buttress is the support of the building. In a world that endeavors to eliminate truth, the church supports it against all who would seek to destroy it. It is a sorry state when men cannot find truth in the church. We must guard against ever allowing God’s Word to be replaced by tradition or any of man’s ideas. And next Paul expresses what has been called a creed or an ancient Christian hymn.


V. 16 “And without controversy . . .” “Confessedly” (RHM), “by common confession”


What he is about to say is acknowledged as great or challenging to human comprehension.

“Great is the mystery of godliness.” This is the subject matter that is commonly thought to be so profound.

In verse 9 we found the phrase “mystery of the faith” but here it is “the mystery of godliness.” This is the only place this phrase is used. The word “mystery” implies knowledge withheld. In Biblical terms, it does not have the connotation of mysterious as in English, rather, it is “that which, being outside the range of unassisted apprehension, can be made known only by divine revelation” (Vine).

“God was manifested in the flesh.”

The mystery of the incarnation is the answer to and foundation of all other mysteries in the gospel.

It is the doctrine of the faith that was corrupted. As far as saving faith is concerned, Jesus is “the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith” [Heb. 12:2].

“giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” Here the curtain is drawn back and we are shown the real source of error and misconduct. It is not just a question of those who ignore the truth, but there is an active opposition and a substitution of that which is false.

“Deceiving” describes their nature and motive, “doctrines” show that they have a system of beliefs. Just as the servant of God is anointed and empowered by God, so false teachers are pawns of wicked Spirits.

V. 2 “Speaking lies in hypocrisy.

An assumed mask of holiness which they did not really possess, was to supposedly bring credibility to their lies. These demonic doctrines are propagated “by means of the hypocrisy of liars” (NAS). A hypocrite originally was a play-actor who played various parts by using different masks. When anyone is not forthright and honest, they are more likely to fall prey to the wiles of the devil.

“having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.”

Just as a bad bum will destroy the nerves and feelings so a continuous yielding to sin and disobedience will destroy the ability to discern between right and wrong.

Paul refers to such as “being past feeling” [Eph. 4:19].

V. 3 “forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.”

In every generation, there are those who try to have a higher standard than God, but they are an insult to Him. The two main targets of these heretics were marriage and diet.

1. The Prohibition of Marriage. This was an ascetic tendency already manifested in the east especially among the Essenes of Palestine, a Jewish sect remarkable for their strictness and abstinence and other religious sects. This also was a typical Gnostic viewpoint. They insisted that a man must abstain from marriage, for the instincts of the body are evil, and must be entirely suppressed. It became an ever-recurring heresy in the church. It developed in the Latin and Greek churches into the celibacy of the clergy and the religious orders. This heresy took the form of an exaggerated admiration of virginity and contempt for married life among some of the ancient church fathers.

2. The Forbidding of Certain Foods. The main restriction was probably that of eating meat. Although, the heretics of Ephesus insisted that men must as far as possible abstain from all food for food is material and is evil. Food ministers to the body and the body are material and therefore evil. The Word of God requires moderation, but the extreme self-denial demanded by certain religious sects is heresy.

“Those who believe and know the truth” understand that. “Every moving thing that lives shall be for food for you” [Gen. 9:3]. But all God’s gifts have to be used in a certain way; They must be received with gratitude. To thank God for our food is more than a ritual. It actually blesses and sanctifies the food.

V. 4 “For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;”

Again He shows that there is no restriction as to types of food if it is received with thanksgiving. This causes us to remember that even the food we eat is a gift from our loving heavenly Father.

V. 5 “for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”

The Word of God reveals our liberty as far as eating is concerned and the prayer of thanksgiving and blessing ensures His sanctifying power. The very fact that we thank God for a thing makes it sacred. Nothing remains unclean that has been sincerely offered to God.


This passage is filled with practical instruction,

V. 6 “If you instruct the brethren in these things. You will be a good minister of Jesus Christ.

We see here what constitutes a good minister. It is not based on many of the things that determine a minister’s value today. But it is directly related to the propagating of sound doctrine, which is the only positive answer to the wrong doctrine. The word translated “instruct does not mean to issue orders, it means rather a counsel, to point out, or to suggest. The guidance that is given in love and gentleness will usually be more effective than tyrannical instructions which are laid down by force

“nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed;”

Here Timothy is told he must feed on the Word of God.

No one can be giving out without taking in. He who would teach must be himself continually learning. In order for one to educate others in sound doctrine, he must be constantly dwelling on the

laboring in the Word [I Tim. 5:17]. Timothy is commended for having followed sound doctrine to this point.

V. 7 “But reject profane and old wives’ fables

Timothy is told to avoid profitless tales like the stories old women tell to children. In God’s eyes, some of the side issues Christians get caught up in are on that level.

“and exercise yourself toward godliness.”

Godliness is a Godward attitude within and a life that endeavors to be well-pleasing to Him. The nature of the language implies that the pursuit of Godliness requires the strenuous application of all our faculties, spirit, mind, and body.

V. 8 “For bodily exercise profits a little.” Or “for a little” (Con). There is no doubt that it is profitable to exercise and take care of one’s body especially in this life.

“But godliness is profitable for all things.” Or “in all directions” (Moff); “Its range is immeasurably greater for it embraces not only this life but the life to come? (Guthrie).

“having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” Christians have the best of both worlds. We do not have to wait till heaven to enjoy the benefits of Godliness.

The gymnastic training that occupied many in that culture was only temporarily profitable, but spiritual training yields eternal results. There are so many references to God’s blessing upon His people here on earth that we could not include them all.

They are promised:

1. Long life [I Kings 3:14; Ps. 91.16; Prov. 3:l,2;9:ll;Eph. 6;3].



2. His presence [Ezek. 48:35; Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5].

3. He is power [Is. 42:13; Mark 16:17-18; Acts 1;8].

4. His provision [Gen. 22:14; Josh. 1:8; Ps. 35:27; 112:1 – 3; Phil. 4:19].

5. His healing [Ex. 15:26; Matt. 8:17; Mark 16:18; 3 John 2].


The list could go on and on. It is wonderful to know that His great and precious promises apply to this life and on top of that we get to spend eternity with Him. So the blessings are for time and eternity.

V. 9 “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance.”

This verse confirms 1 Tim. 4:8, and introduces 1 Tim. 4:10, which is joined to v.9 by “for.” (See also 2 Tim. 2:11). Here Paul adds substance and solemnity to what has been said by giving it a proverbial status.

V. 10 “For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.”

Finally, we see in this passage the basis of the whole matter. Its goal is God [Rom. 11:36]. Christians see God at the journey’s end. The greatness of the goal makes the labor and the struggle worthwhile. The Greek word translated “trust” is stronger than mere trust, it implies a continuous state of hope. “For it is for this we labor and strive because we have fixed our hope on the living God”(NAS).

Hope is a very essential part of living. “Hope deferred (delayed) makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life” [Prov. 13:12]. All Christian activity moves toward what has been called “the blessed hope” [Titus 2:13]. There is a two-fold application of the Saviorship of God.

When it refers to Him as “the Savior of all men” the word is used “in the sense of preserver since He

gives to all life and breath and all things” (Vine) God is the Sustainer and Preserver of all life [John 1:9; Acts 17:25]. On the other hand, He is the giver of eternal life to “those who believe.”

Also, we mention again that the “universality” of God’s Saviorship. as opposed to the restricted Jewish view, is to be included here.


V. II “These things command and teach.”

Here Timothy is urged to communicate the Word of God with authority. He was to give orders as well as instruct people in the Word [II Tim. 4:2].

V. 12 “Let no one despise your youth.”

One of the difficulties that Timothy would have to overcome was the fact that he was young, and the church historically preferred its office-bearers to be men of maturity. We should not get the idea that Timothy was merely a teen-ager or necessarily in his early twenties for the word translated “youth”, may indicate any age up to 40 years. [See I Cor. 16:11).

“but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith; in purity^”*? Paul recommends to Timothy that the best way to silence criticism is by wholesome conduct. He next states six areas of life in which Timothy is to be an example. It is interesting that three of these are external and three are internal.

He was to be an example in:

1. “Word.” His preaching ministry is to reflect submission to the Word of God. The servant of God is not to espouse his own ideas or the doctrines and philosophies of men. His lifestyle is also to be conformed to God’s Word.

2. “Conduct.” In the church, my family, and society, he is to maintain a deportment befitting his high calling. Though young in years, Timothy is not to act irresponsibly which is a youthful trait, rather he is to conduct himself in a godly, sincere manner.

3. “Love.” Love is the only acceptable motivation in the kingdom of God. Paul exhorts the Colossian believers to “put on love” [Col. 3:14]. He says that it is more important than all the other wonderful qualities listed in Col. 3:12-13. This is very significant to Timothy, for as a young minister he needs to understand that “Knowledge puffs up (makes arrogant) but love edifies (builds up)” [I Cor. 8:1].

4. “Spirit.” Most other translations omit the word spirit here. However; we must recognize that “the kingdom of God is… in the Holy Spirit” [Rom 14:17]. it is not sufficient to be externally correct, we must be right in spirit

5. “Faith.” The Bible says “without faith, it is impossible to please Him (God)” [Heb. 11:6]. AH achievements in the kingdom of God are accomplished by faith. ; There is the grace of faith [Eph. 2:8], the profession of faith [Rom. 10:8 – 10], the doctrine of faith [I Tim. 4:1;

6. “Purity.” Both moral purity and doctrinal purity are to be in the life of the servant of God.

Nothing gives greater power than purity in motive and conduct. Character is more

important than intellect in God’s kingdom. ;

God’s servants ought to have a standard of honor, honesty, self-control, chastity, discipline, and consideration that is far above the standards of the world.

Having thoroughly dealt with the needs of the character Paul now turns his attention to the functional

part of the ministry.

V. 13 “Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.”

When he uses the term “till I come” he is not suggesting that these things are to continue only as long as he is absent. Three things are to occupy Timothy’s attention:

1. “Reading.” This is generally regarded as the public reading of the Scriptures, a practice carried over from the synagogue [Luke 4:16; Acts 13:27: 15:21; 2 Cor. 3.T5]. People in general, could not read in those days so readers were appointed to read publically. The careful attention that was to be given to reading no doubt included text selection as well as the sincere reading of the Word. The public reading of Scripture is not as commonly done in the modern church as it was in the older church. It is something we must get back to for “faith comes by hearing… the Word of God” [Rom. 10:17].

2. “Exhortation.” The idea of inspirational preaching is to be understood here. The Greek word ‘paraklesis’ is very closely aligned to the word ‘parakletos’ which is one of the names for the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. So Timothy is told to stimulate and stir God’s people by anointed preaching. This word is also translated as “consolation,” “comfort,” “urgency,” in various passages. This is no doubt the next logical step after reading the Word. For the Word of God challenges us to action. Christianity is not only the truth, but it is truth in action or applied truth. It has been said that the duty of God’s minister is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.

3. “Doctrine.” Teaching or instruction in the faith is what is meant here. Exhortation and encouragement are good but in order for an individual or a church body to experience long-range blessings, they must be taught the Word of God systematically. The basis of our belief and life-style is the Bible. Shallow preaching and a lack of teaching stunt the development of God’s people and make them dependent on programs, organizations, gimmicks or traditions, instead of on their relationship with the Lord. The church ultimately does not come together to hear the opinions of preachers but to hear the Word of God.

V. 14 “Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership (Presbytery),”

The ministry of the early church was not accomplished by man-made committees or offices but by gifted men anointed by the Holy Spirit.

Three things should be noticed in the verse:

1. Human responsibility. “Do not neglect.” The idea is not to disregard, make light of or be careless of the gift of God. To be called and gifted by God is a great responsibility as well as a privilege.

2. Divine Enablement. “The gift that is in you.” This gift ‘charisma’ is a special grace, ‘charis,’ of the Holy Spirit given to those who are called to any of the leadership offices. This is clearly seen in various passages of Scripture. Paul says: “Having then gifted differing according to the grace that is given to us” [Rom. 12:6].

Here we see the gift and grace working together. There are other words translated as “gift,” but the principle is the same. Paul says: “I became a minister according to the gift ‘dorea’ of the grace ‘chads’ of God” [Eph. 3:7]. In Ephesians chapter 4:7 he declares that “to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift ‘dorea’.” So we see that even when a different word for gift is used that it is nonetheless a gift of grace. Paul said: “by the grace of God I am what I am [I Cor. 15:10]. He is not speaking of his salvation in this verse, but is rather referring to his apostleship. Finally Peter exhorts each of us that has “received a gift ‘charisma’ to minister to (use it in service) to one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” [I Pet. 4:10]. –

3. Human Agency. “Which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.” This has been called the Spiritual equipment received at the time of ordination. The ministry of the laying on of hands is a very powerful ministry that has been neglected for generations. This was the ministry that released the apostle Paul to his great missionary work [Acts 13:1-4]. Paul himself functioned in this ministry [2 Tim. 1:6],

[Also see Rom. 1:11; Heb. 6:2]. This is an ancient ministry with historical roots [Gen. 27:27 -29,39-40; 48:14-20; 49.T-2S; Deut. 34:9].

But the laying on of hands is more than a traditional ordinance when it is accompanied by the prophecy which requires a current living relationship with God. The word of the prophet brings revelation and direction and the act of the laying on of hands confirms the call and sets the person in a positive body relationship regarding their calling. As well as confirming God’s will to the individual being ministered to it also reveals to the local church body what the will of God is for this person. Their prayers and co-operation then help him as he wages a “good warfare,” according to the prophecies that went over him

(1 Tim. 1-18). The prophetic revelation that is brought forth in a genuine presbytery meeting furnishes a foundation upon which one can make war which simply means to fully serve the Lord.

V. 15 “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.

The word translated “meditate” does not suggest a simple consideration but a diligent cultivating of these things. Adam Clarke’s Commentary says: “Revolve them frequently in thy mind; consider deeply their nature and importance; get them deeply fastened in thy heart, and let all thy conduct flow from this inward feeling and conviction. Let the nature, reasons, and motives of thy ministry, be ever in the view of thy heart and conscience.

“Give yourself entirely to them.” Timothy is challenged to “be absorbed in” these things (NAS.) The key to his success will be the power of concentration. He must find his whole life’s

purpose in the things he teaches. Otherwise, he may dissipate his energies on many things which are not central to the vision and purpose of God. It is easy to get busy and to let the central things go. Concentration on God’s call is the prime duty of the Christian leader.

“That your progress may be evident to all” The minister is a man under public observation.

As Donald Guthrie puts it: “Timothy is to ensure that what most impresses other people is his true Christian development and not some lesser thing such as brilliance of exposition or attractiveness of personality.

It is the people’s right to expect to see growth and advancement in their leadership. If leadership

stagnates, the church will also stagnate.

V. 16 “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

It is interesting that he is instructed to pay close attention to himself as well as his doctrine; True ministry is an outgrowth of our life. An overestimation of one’s gift without due regard to lifestyle can cause irreparable problems. As to teaching, one of the great dangers of the Christian leader is a closed mind. He can neglect his studying and allow his thoughts to run in well-worn grooves. He never gets outside the orbit of a limited number of favorite ideas and cliches. But God wants us to

be adventurous in our thinking and in our vision. We must let Him stretch us that we might be on the cutting edge of what he is doing.

The results of Timothy’s faithful application of these principles will be two-fold:

1. The object of preaching and teaching is to see people come to a saving knowledge of Christ and to experience the life-changing power of His salvation.

2. The Word says that he would save himself. Obviously, this does not mean that by preaching the Word one can save himself from sin, as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and others believe. The thought is more correctly understood in terms of working out his own salvation [Phil 2:12]. There is a strong challenge put forth in Hebrews relative to neglecting His great salvation [Heb. 2:1 – 4], and in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he states: “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” [I Cor. 9:27].

So carefulness as to attitude and activity are to be exercised in Timothy’s life revealing and

reinforcing the evidence of God’s great salvation. They will thus save themselves from unnecessary problems, hurts, and false doctrines.


V. 1-2 “Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger as sisters, with all purity.”

After pointing out some personal things,, the apostle goes on to give a series of directions designed to help Timothy in his dealings with the various groups of people in the church. These books are rightly named the Pastoral Epistles for in them we find practical instruction that is of no consequence apart from the local church community. The Christian leader does not make much sense apart from the local church. That is why the really important and lasting work of the church is never done by itinerant ministries, but by the local, pastoral ministry of the church

V. 1 “Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father”

The aged are to be treated with special consideration and respect. Cicero, the Roman Philosopher, stated: “It is the duty of a young man to show deference to his elders and to attach himself to the best and most approved of them, so as to receive the benefit of their counsel and influence. The inexperience of youth requires the practical wisdom of age to strengthen and direct it.

In the event that an older man may need correction, it is to be administered with humility and tenderness. Do not strike out at or speak harshly to an older man. Rather he is to be appealed to,

pleaded with, or addressed as a father. The Scriptures are filled with references concerning respect for the aged.

As one would approach his natural father with normal paternal respect, so the minister, particularly the young minister, should with a similar attitude approach the old men of his congregation;

“younger men as brothers,”

While he is afforded greater liberty in his approach to the younger men, he is still challenged to display a familial spirit. The church is the family of God and though we have different callings and positions we are all brothers.

V. 2 “older women as mothers.”

In Romans 16:13 Paul says: “Greet Rufus … and his mother and mine;’ There is no doubt this is the spirit and attitude Paul is encouraging in Timothy. The mother of Rufus was not Paul’s fleshly mother but had undoubtedly been a “mother in Israel” to him.

“younger women as sisters, with all purity.”

To the opposite sex, our relationships must always be with purity. The Arabs have a phrase for a chivalrous man – they call him “a brother of girls.” The Bible encourages a fellowship of mind and heart among Christian men and women that is free from lust:


It is interesting that more space is devoted to widows than any other group. It has been suggested that this is because they are causing more trouble than any other group. [See Acts 6:1].

V. 3 “Honor widows who are really widows.”

Special consideration is to be given to elderly ladies who are really widows. What does it mean to be really a widow? If one’s husband dies does not that make her a widow? He goes on to explain who is not “a widow indeed:”

V. 4 “But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God.

Though this woman has obviously lost her husband she is not totally alone in desolation, which seems to be part of the criteria for real widowhood. A great part of the work of the church was to

help the needy. However, the church did not assume responsibility for older people whose children were able to support them. He goes on to describe one who is really a widow.

V. 5 Now she who is really a widow (a widow indeedJCJVX and left alone”

The first characteristic given here is that of being alone in the world with no other means of support

She is genuinely destitute.

“trusts in God.”

This indicates that she is a Christian who has her hope in theLord.

“and continues in supplications and prayers night and day.”

She is a woman of constant prayer. This reminds us of Anna who served God with fasting and prayers night and day” [Luke 2:37].

V. 6 “But she who lives in pleasure (self-indulgence) is dead while she lives:”

While this statement obviously covered those who were tempted to live a sensual, selfish, pleasure Seeking life, it also took into consideration something else. ? “It was not uncommon for destitute widows with no other means of support to resort to prostitution in order to survive. In any case, this type of life was not really living as God intended it. The church was to be there for people in their need but there were conditions to be met.

Once again in the familiar style used in the Pastorals, Paul challenges Timothy to be a man of authority.

V. 7 “And these things command, (insist upon) that they may be blameless.”

He was to reinforce both the responsibility of the widow’s family to look after her [v. 4]. and the widow’s own responsibility to live a holy, prayerful life [v. 5].

V. 8 “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever:

It would be unthinkable that a member of the Christian church would neglect to meet the needs of his family. Even the heathen provide for their own families. Here we have a case of a verbal acknowledgment of the faith but a practical denial. This man “has contradicted the teaching of the faith” (Knox). Christianity elevates the standards of any society influences and therefore a man negligent in so fundamental a thing as taking care of his family would be considered to be less caring than the heathen. Those who have neglected their families supposedly to serve God have brought reproach rather than glory to God.

Next, Paul lays out certain restrictions concerning the widows who were to receive support from the church. It seems he was not only concerned with the needy, but also with the worthy,

V. 9 “Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number.”

Why does a widow have to be sixty years old to receive help? Or is there something else being said here? What does “taken into the number” mean? It goes without saying that the poor of any age received help from the church. The Amplified Bible put it: “Let no one is put on the role of widows (who are to receive church support) who is under sixty years of age.

There is a strong indication that the church had an official register of widows; an order of elderly women who were set apart for special duties in the life and work of the church, such as prayer, and loving help for those in trouble. It seems that this was more than just volunteer work, but an actual order that was joined requiring vows and total commitment to the service of the church. For destitute widows, this would not only provide support but status in the Christian community. These two things a woman usually received from her husband.

There were other qualifications to be fulfilled in order to be accepted in this special group.

“and not unless she has been the wife of one man.” This simply means that she was a faithful and true wife while her husband was alive. The implication is that she has not been divorced and remarried.

V. 10 “well reported in good works:”

A reputation for doing good. He goes on to list five aspects of good works:

1. “if she had brought up children.

Two things might be considered here.

A) Bringing up her own family in the way of the Lord if she had a family.

B) Giving a home to orphaned and abandoned children which were one of the important ministries of the church.

2. “if she has lodged strangers.”

Obviously, he must have referred to a time when she was better off when her husband was still alive. In the early church, it was very important to be hospitable to strangers. Inns in the ancient world were notoriously dirty, expensive, and immoral, so those who opened their home were offering a very valuable service.

3. “if she has washed the saints’ feet.”

It was the job of slaves to wash the feet of the visitors. This would no doubt be done in conjunction with showing hospitality. As the weary travelers came to her house, the first act to make them comfortable was to wash the dust off their feet. This shows a servant’s heart, that she was willing to accept the humblest task in the service of Christ

4. “if she had relieved the afflicted.”

Who are the afflicted? Whoever they were, she assisted them in their distress. This could involve visitation of the needy to offer assistance, comforting the bereaved, or helping those in trouble and in prison. In the days of persecution, it was very important to visit and to help Christians who were suffering for their faith. Without this help, many would die of neglect •

or malnutrition,

5. “if she has diligently followed every good work.”

Finally, from this statement, he says that she is one who does “not grow weary while doing good (is well-doing)” [Gal. 6:9]. So the widows who were taken into this important group had to be serious, caring saints who could help and minister to others.

V. 11 “But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry,”

The marginal rendering is “refused to enroll.” This does not mean that younger widows were refused help when it was needed, rather it is some Godly wisdom to be applied relative to the widows who should be enlisted in this “order of presbytery widows” who under the sanction of the church took care of the sick and instructed younger women.

It seems that these widows realized that their days of being married were over and so apparently took a vow of celibacy, is committed totally to the Lord and the church. A younger widow under the initial grief of her loss might feel that it was God’s will to remain a widow all her life, and so volunteer to take a vow to dedicate her life totally to the services of the church. There are many scriptural references to vows and the importance of keeping them. Num. 30:2-15 and Eccl. 5:4-6

are just two passages we should consider. God considers vows to be binding.

Growing “wanton against Christ” does not necessarily mean looseness or immorality^ rather it simply means that she may, after a period of time, regret her vow of commitment especially if the opportunity for marriage presented itself

V. 12 “having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith.”

Condemnation is a strong translation of the word ‘krima’ which has a broad meaning. In I Cor. 6:7 this word is used to describe lawsuits against one another. The best word is probably “Judgment” She would be judged for her actions. Obviously, he is not dealing with ultimate condemnation, but the censure and disapproval that would come as a result of her casting off the sacred vow or pledge of service in order to marry. I do not believe the “first faith” mentioned here is saving faith, but rather her faith-commitment to the order of ministering widows. So if she broke her vows and wished to marry again, it would be to some like breaking a marriage vow, she would have been better never to have taken the vow. Unless a woman in this circumstance had the right character and: attitude there were other temptations she would face.

V. 13 “And besides they learn to be idle.” or “being idle they learn.”

It is when life is busy and productive that it is meaningful: While the idle have lots of time and often much to say it is not the best learning situation for we teach a little by what we say, more by

what we do, most by what we are.

The “abundance of idleness” was part of the iniquity of Sodom [Ezek. 16:49] and Scripture is clear about where they ended up.

“wandering about from house to house.” These widows would be expected to visit people in the course of their ministry. Here we see a good thing gone bad. The ministry of visitation became a restless roaming from house to house with less than Godly results.

“and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.”

Idleness by itself could be passive, but it has been called ‘the devil’s workshop’ for a good, reason.

When one is not involved in something positive and productive, it is easy to slip into the snare of the enemy. To pass the time, they discuss that which is not really any of their business, usually the faults and problems of others. We must remember that in order to fulfill one’s commitment to ministry, they must be able to keep the things they hear and know in confidence. But here, as one thing leads to another, even that which is private and related to ministry is discussed. It has been said that anything that is not part of a problem or part of the answer to the problem is gossip. So the apostle concludes that it is better for younger widows not to make these vows but to live a normal life and

even remarry if the opportunity was there.

V. 14 “Therefore, I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”

This advice is given in direct connection with what has been said, as the word “therefore” shows.

This bit of common sense is no doubt given to show that there is not necessarily any moral superiority attached to the unmarried state. Rather than becoming idle gossipers, these women

should devote themselves to the perfectly normal task of marrying, raising children, and managing households. While this would be a source of blessing and fulfillment to the woman herself, Paul also has another reason for these recommendations.

“Give no opportunity (occasion) to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” This wholesome, active lifestyle would rob the enemy of any occasion to criticize the church. The word “opportunity” is a military term for “a base of operations.” The enemy is ever lurking about seeking an occasion against the church, but they were not to give him a foothold or a starting point to launch his attack. He goes on to point out that there were already spiritual casualties.

V. 15 “For some have already turned aside after Satan.”

This is generally understood to be some widows who had played into the enemy’s hands. This reminds us of chapters 2:14-15, where Paul deals with the women being deceived by the devil. Some believe this turning aside means that they have been attracted to false teachers. Others suggest that they had given themselves to immoral practices even to the extent of becoming prostitutes. Any or all of the above circumstances may have existed. At any rate, whatever the act, they had given occasion for “the accuser of the brethren” to launch his attack.

V. 16 “If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows.

The thought discussed in verse 4 is taken up again here. The believing relatives of a destitute widow

are responsible to take care of her whether they are children, grandchildren, or even a female relative if she has the means. This may be a sister, an aunt, a niece, or a daughter-in-law. The nearest relative was to relieve the suffering of widows who were not eligible for enrollment, so the church might be

free to help those who were really widows.


These verses basically deal with two things:

A. The proper recompensing of elders who rule well.

B. The disciplining of those who sin.

V. 17 “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the Word and doctrine.”

The ministry of the elders or overseers, as well as their qualifications, has been dealt with quite extensively in chapter

3:1-7. Now, he considers the responsibility of the body towards its leaders:

If they have served the church well, they are to be adequately taken care of: The thought of “double honor” is interesting. Most authors feel it relates to the paying of elders “who labor in the

Word and doctrine.” Those who give full time to the ministry. are to be “considered as; deserving twice the salary they get” (WMS)

Every elder must be “able to teach” [3:2] but there are those “who work hard at their preaching and; teaching” (NAS). The Pulpit Commentary says: “they were to be liberally provided for by the church, as a special mode of showing respect to their office.”

The honor they are to receive is twofold:

A. The recognition of and respect for their office and ministry.

B. Sufficient income to take care of their families without undue stress.

Paul uses an Old Testament quote to reinforce his concept;

V. 18 “For the Scripture says,’ You should not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain

This is a direct quote from Deuteronomy 25:4. Next, he quotes the Lord Jesus to provide a double” witness.

“and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” [See Luke 10:7].

Having dealt with the honor of elders, Paul now goes on to show how the disciplining of elders was

to be brought about.

V. 19 “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses:

” Moses clearly stated in the law that no man should be condemned on the evidence of a single witness. At a trial, he said the matter would be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses [Deut. 17:6; 19:15]. This ancient wisdom was especially significant with regard to leaders, although it essentially applied to all. As William Barclay puts it: “The early church authorities did not hesitate to apply discipline. A man who had been disciplined might seek to get back at an elder by maliciously charging him with some irregularity or sin.” If such an accusation came to him,?: Timothy was not to proceed with disciplinary action unless the facts were clear and supported by two or three reliable witnesses. It was and is of utmost importance to protect the innocent from false accusations. This does not suggest that a ministering elder is beyond all question.

V. 20 “Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all that the rest also may fear.

” In this context, it is no doubt those elders who persist in sin, are to be publically rebuked. “The reference must be to presbyters, not to any church member, the ■topic in this passage is the disciplining of presbyters” (A. T. Hanson).

His is not dealing with one who has slipped and sinned through weakness or ignorance, in such cases one can be quietly and privately restored [Gal. 6:1].

But in this instance, he is dealing with leadership, which is a very public and visible function, on the one hand, and a seeming continuance or persistence in sin. The public rebuke accomplished several results. It sobered and corrected the offender and hopefully, brought about a work of repentance

in him, and it made others take care that they not get caught up in the same kind of situation.

On top of this, judgment was not only executed but it was also seen to be done. It shows the people that there are not two sets of rules, one for the ordinary folks and another for those in authority.

The phrase “in the presence of all” has caused controversy. Some feel that because the passage is dealing primarily with elders, it means in the presence of all the elders. “It is with the clergy, not all of the church members, that the author is concerned here”(A. T. Hanson).

On the other hand, the transgression may have been very public, causing scandal and therefore would have to be dealt with publicly. In that case, the “all” would be the whole assembly, showing that God’s judgment is impartial. The disciplining of church members is never easy and it is more complicated when the erring one is a leader. The first stages of discipline should start among his close associates or peers and progress even to public ex-communication if need be [Matt, 18:15-20],

Next, Paul solemnly calls upon Timothy, with God as his witness, to faithfully carry out these


V. 21 “I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels.”

It seems that Paul anticipates reluctance in Timothy to confront these issues. As a younger man, he would no doubt be timid about disciplining certain strong leaders. Paul himself experienced this first hand in his altercation with Peter [Gal. 2:11]. The Greek word translated “charge” here appears 15 times in the New Testament Twelve times it is rendered “testify” in various tenses and three times “charge.” So Paul is testifying earnestly before heaven that Timothy is to take heed and obey these orders.

“that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality.”

This advice was not only useful to Timothy but is of utmost importance to Christian leaders today.

There is no place in God’s kingdom for a prejudiced attitude. Certain gifted people have been restricted from a fruitful activity because of discrimination for one reason or another. Timothy is

challenged to avoid the trap of prejudging things before all the facts are in. He is also warned against favoring one person or view above another unfairly, which is the meaning of “partiality.”

The Greek implies an inclination or a leaning toward one party or idea over another based on a less than Scriptural premise.

“It means literally the “inclination” of the scales to one side or the other, and hence a “bias” of the mind to one party or the other. The balance of justice in the hands of Timothy was to be equal” (Pulpit Commentary).

V.22 “Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.”

Historically this has been applied in two ways:

1) To the receiving back into fellowship one who was formerly excommunicated.

2) To the ordination of ministers.

With regards to the restoration idea, it is said that when an erring one repented and requested reinstatement, he was brought before the people, the leaders laid brands on him with prayer and

received him back into fellowship. If this is the case, then the leadership would have to be careful that the person being reinstated had sincerely changed his lifestyle.

There is however an objection to this interpretation as there is no evidence that this practice was used till much later in history when the bishop actually laid hands on the penitent sinner and

reinstated him.

It seems that the ordination thought is more than likely the correct application: With this in mind, we can see the importance of exercising caution when laying hands on those who want to be used by God.

As the Pulpit Commentary puts it: “A bishop who, on the spur of the moment, with improper haste should ordain one who afterward required reproof as sinning [v. 20], would have a partnership in the man’s sin, and in the evil consequences that flowed from it. Undue haste in laying hands on people [4:4; 2 Tim. 1:6] has caused havoc more often than we like to admit. The world is ever ready to attack and criticize the church, so extreme care must be taken in the appointment of leaders.

The prophetic ministry is a living reality and brings life and blessing to individuals arid the corporate1.

body. However, much shipwreck has come about by indiscriminately laying hands-on and;

prophesying over unprepared candidates. As well there are those who endeavor to operate in this ministry who do not have the proper gift or maturity to do so. As a result, problems follow;

When people sin through disappointment or cause havoc because of misunderstanding as a result of the misapplication of presbytery ministry, the prophets are not exempt from blame’

J. H. Bernard sums it up well: “Do not put yourself in a position where you may be held responsible.

for another man’s sins.”

“Keep yourself pure.” While this admonition applies to a maintaining of good character and conduct, the context it is given in undoubtedly relates it to the laying on of hands. The best way to keep pure from other people’s sins is to be very careful and selective about who you lay your hands on.

V. 23 “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.”

This is an unusual piece of advice considering his statement in chapter 3:3 where he says the elder is not to be “given to wine.” Yet he is advising Timothy, an elder, to drink wine in moderate amounts, because it supposedly will help his stomach which was probably the source of his; illnesses. There are endless explanations for this verse. Before we consider some of them it should

be pointed out that this verse cannot be used as a license to indulge in excessive drinking. Paul clearly states that it is “a little wine” that is to be used.

There are many who feel that it is grape juice and not wine that is being prescribed; If that is the case, why the restriction? What harm can grape juice do? Others acknowledge that it was wine but that it was mixed with water to purify the water. The drinking of wine as a mealtime beverage was and is common in Mediterranean countries.

The issue was never whether one should or should not drink wine, but rather the problem of abuse or lack of moderation [Eph. 5:18; I Cor. 6:10; Gal 5:21]. The obvious exception is when one is “weak in faith” [Rom. 14:1] is offended by its use. At such a time, Paul says “it is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak” [Rom. 14:18].

It has also been suggested that Timothy had a natural tendency towards the ascetic lifestyle that was propagated by certain groups both Jewish and Greek. Because of this, he may have interpreted Paul’s injunction “keep yourself pure” [v. 22] too rigidly. Hence, the practical advice. Paul is not bringing forth a great principle here.

He is simply showing that there is no particular virtue in asceticism that could do the body more harm than good. The issue, as has been said, is not wine or its use but Paul’s deep interest and loving concern for Timothy’s well-being. William Barclay says it so well: “Amidst the affairs of the church and the problems of administration, Paul finds time to slip in a little bit of loving advice to Timothy about his health.”

V. 24 “Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some

men follow later.” Some men’s sins are open and obvious requiring no special discernment to notice. These are

obvious sinners whose sins are clearly leading to their own judgment. It would seem that the judgment, as well as the sin, is open. While the judgment seat of God is the ultimate judgment, there is a judgment to be exercised in the house of God [I Pet. 4:17], It is a simpler thing to discipline one who is blatantly erring than one who seems all right but has undisclosed sins. There are those who, behind a front that is unimpeachable, live a life that does not measure up to God’s Word. “In the most decorous life, there may be secret sins” (Pulpit Commentary).

As this statement is made in the context of church government, Paul is no doubt concerned that Timothy not be overburdened with the complexities of his office. In essence, he is saying that no one really escapes. If they are not caught now, they will be later. They still must stand before God’s throne. As William Barclay says: “There is no escape from the ultimate confrontation with God who sees and knows everything.”

V. 25 “Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden.”

There are those who seem to be obviously good and their deeds are noticed and appreciated with praise and congratulations. There are others who seem to be taken for granted; they are apparently not appreciated no matter how much they serve. We do not understand why things like this are allowed to happen, but in the final analysis, it is God we serve. God is no man’s debtor. There is no good deed that will go unrewarded when it is done unto the Lord [Eph. 6:S]:

Though men may overlook our good works and seem to be unappreciative of them they will not “be

hidden” longer than the judgment. All earthly judgment leads to the throne of God where the divine equalization of the unjust judgments of the earth will be displayed. So those who have been

undetected in their sins as well as those who have labored, unappreciated, will both be rewarded at the judgment seat of God. Everyone who has ever lived will stand before God’s throne [Rom. 14:1Q; 2Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:11-13].

There is another thought to be considered here; that is, to have your sins precede you to judgment by self-judgment. Paul said an interesting thing in I Cor. 11:31, “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.” Understanding that “all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account” [Heb. 13], the wise individual keeps his accounts current. Unconfessed sin tends to have a cumulative quality about it. If not repented of and dealt with, one sin builds on the other and one day we wonder why God seems so far away. The healthy prayer life will include times of confession and repentance, thus the slate is kept clean and the enemy will have

no foot-hold to bring condemnation.


V. 1 “Let as many bond-servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed.”

Slavery was a part of society in that day. In the fellowship of the church, slaves were accepted on an equal footing with their masters, although in the world they were looked upon as socially

inferior. The early church seems to have had no real position against slavery. They certainly did not advocate the violent overthrow of slavery. It is estimated that there were something like 60,000,000 slaves in the Roman Empire. For the church to have encouraged slaves to revolt against their masters would have caused civil war and mass murder and would have totally discredited the church.

They seemed to have worked on the premise that neither man nor the world nor society can be reformed by force or by legislation. Men are changed within by the power of the Gospel and changed men change society.

“What happened was that as the centuries went on, Christianity so permeated civilization that in the-

end the slaves were freed voluntarily” (William Barclay). Paul here was obviously dealing with Christian slaves. He would have no influence or authority over non-Christian slaves: Christian

slaves had special problems. If their master was not a Christian^ they might develop contempt for him. A feeling of spiritual superiority could create an impossible situation.

If a slave who professed faith in Christ was to get careless, slack, disobedient, and insolent, he would supply the world ammunition to criticize the church. The Christian should be a better workman than others. If, on the other hand, their master was a Christian, certain favors might be expected and they might use their church relationship as an excuse for laziness or inefficiency. In any case, a wrong attitude would reflect on God and His church, which is the source of doctrine and the place

where they were taught.

V. 2 “And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are;


No one would appreciate being a slave and keeping a good attitude would no doubt be very difficult. However, in the case of a Christian slave who has a Christian master, he is to honor him for the sake of the Gospel. He is a brother in Christ even though he may be the master. It has been said spiritual equality does not remove civil distinctions. We all have our station and calling in life. Everyone answers to someone.

“but rather serve them because those who are benefitted are believers and beloved.” There is a controversy over this verse especially with regard to whom it benefits. If a slave has a benevolent Christian master, he should give him better service because of his love and not try to take advantage of him, for he has benefitted from his master’s kindness. On the other hand, a true understanding of divine sovereignty could lead the Christian slave to conclude: “I am bound to servitude, but I am thankful that my sendee is benefitting a believer and not a heathen.” Christians are exhorted to serve one another through love [Gal. 5:13] and though the circumstance is extreme, the opportunity to fulfill this command could be experienced in the life of a slave.

“Teach and exhort these things.” The Christian is to do a good day’s work, submit to discipline and earn his pay just like anyone else. In fact, he should be more dependable and a better worker than others.


The early church was continuously inundated with wandering prophets and teachers. The Greeks had a fascination with oratory. There were so-called wise men who were called “sophists” whose business was to demonstrate public speaking and to teach men to argue cleverly. Great competitions were often staged between these orators (which attracted large crowds).

They were the ancient equivalent to a modern movie star. While they enjoyed notoriety, they were quite lacking in true virtue. For example, their speeches were totally unreal. They would undertake to argue any question whether or not it was important or necessary. Their one drive was for applause. Competition between them was often a bitter cutthroat affair. Their criterion was numbers. Among the Greeks, if a man was an orator, his fortune was secure. It was against this background that the church was growing up and it is little wonder that this type of teacher often invaded the church.

Hence, we have Paul’s warning:

V. 3-5 “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words,

even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words; from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wrangling of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.”

The fact that correct doctrine is “according to godliness” shows how far these arrogant, striving characters have strayed, for their attitude was anything but Godly. Their whole approach produces

“envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, and useless wranglings.

In verse 5 he reveals that these are “men of corrupt mind” and are “destitute of the truth”. As such, they produce constant friction and contention in the church. These men, whose minds are warped and whose reasoning powers have become atrophied, miss the fundamental motivation of Christianity. They “suppose that godliness is a means of gain.” These false teachers commercialize the Gospel. They are out for profit They look at their teaching and preaching, not as a calling, but as a career. They are in the business, not to serve others, but to advance themselves. Thus we have Paul’s admonition: “from such withdraw yourself.”


Because money was so important to the false teachers, Paul shows some of the dangers of covetousness and lays down some guidelines that are of great value even to this day.

V. 6 “Now godliness with contentment is great gain.

In verse 5, Paul showed the fallacy of godliness as a means of gain. Here he shows that godliness itself is great gain when accompanied by contentment Godliness is true riches because ft is God-likeness, and is a treasure that material wealth cannot purchase. Godliness is riches mat relates to who and what we are, which is far more important than what we have. “Many a millionaire, after choking his soul with gold-dust, has died from melancholia” (E. K. Simpson). Godliness profits not only in “the life that now is” but also in “that which is to come” [4:8].

The word the apostle uses for contentment means entire and complete self-sufficiency, a frame of mind that is completely independent of all outward and external things. From this we learn that contentment never comes from possessions, rather it comes from an inward attitude of life.

Epicurius, the Greek philosopher, said when someone asked him for the secret of happiness and contentment, “Add not to man’s possessions but take away from his desires.” The true servant of God never judges one’s worth by his possessions. Jesus said that true treasures are in the heart not the purse [Matt. 12:35]. Contentment is escaping servitude to things.

The next verse gives us the reason for this sentiment.

V. 7 “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out-This echoes the heart rending cry of Job: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there” [Job 1:21].

Job resigned himself to this unalterable principle in the face of great: personal tragedy and loss. It is good to remember this periodically to help keep our perspective right. The wise man not only plans for his future in this life but for the fact of his departure. : People are the only thing you can take with you to heaven. It does not matter whether we are born: into a rich or a poor family, we make our entrance naked. We bring nothing but ourselves. And it does not matter how much material wealth, power, or prestige we have accumulated, when we depart, we go naked. Material possessions are irrelevant at our entrance into and our exit from the world/ As Solomon said: “As he came from his mother’s womb, naked shall he return, to go as he came; and he shall take nothing from his labor which he may carry away in his hand” [Ecc. 5:15]. “The final nakedness of death demonstrates and underlines the initial nakedness of birth” (C. K. Barrett).

V. 8 “And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content Here we have a basic definition of Christian contentment.

The Lord- Jesus give us the proper attitude when He says: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (food, drink, clothing) shall be added to you” [Matt. 6:33]. Paul said a similar thing to the Philippian Christians: “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:” [Phil. 4:11)

To be self-sufficient in the true sense of the word and not dependent on circumstances, is to be dependant on God. We are not “under the circumstances.” As Paul says: “I can do all things ”through Christ who strengthens me” [Phil. 4:13]. Our relationship to and our confidence in God should not be influenced at all by the things we go through or the things we think we need. Jesus’ said: “one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” [Luke 12:15].

V. 9 “But those who desire to be rich fail into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition”

The acquisition of possessions is, in itself, not bad. Riches have no moral character. God blessed His servant Abraham and he became very rich [Gen. 13:2]. A rich man named Joseph of Arimathea became a disciple of Jesus and buried Christ in his own tomb [Matt. 27:57-60]. There are others who could be named. It is not money that is the problem but our attitude toward it. When we become too preoccupied with finances it distorts our thinking. If we are not careful, a subtle shift in values and priorities can overtake us and we are apt to find ourselves in the temptation Paul has, just referred to.

The desire for wealth is founded on an illusion. It’s founded first on the desire for security and secondly on the desire for comfort and luxury. But wealth cannot buy security; It cannot buy health

or love, nor can it preserve from sorrow or death. The security which is founded on material things is doomed to failure and collapse.

Money itself is not bad or good for that matter. Simply, an abundance of it is a great responsibility,

and as such is dangerous. With money, one can simply serve his own desires, or he can be a blessing

to others. It is interesting that as well as “temptation” he uses the word “snare”, which means a trap or noose. This shows the potential for entrapment that unrestrained pursuit of riches can bring about.

The desire for money tends to make men selfish. It fosters the spirit of competition. It fixes one’s thoughts upon himself and others become merely the means or the obstacles in the path to his own enrichment.

It has been said: “The desire for money tends to be a thirst which is insatiable.” A Roman proverb says that wealth is like seawater, the more a man drinks, the more he wants to drink. The strange thing about wealth is that there never seems to come a time when one says, that is enough. A very wealthy man was asked, “how much money does it take to make someone happy?” He answered, “just a little bit more.”

This excessive desire (lust) is both foolish and harmful in that it drowns men in an ocean of “destruction and perdition.” A term that suggests irretrievable loss. The irony is that this is all

inclusive judgment, “destruction” describing the physical effects, and “perdition” the spiritual.

V. 10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

The King James Version says: “The root of all evil” which suggests that it is the only source of evil.

It is obvious that there are other sources of evil such as carnality, unbelief, covetousness? gossip, etc.

and all of these destroy rather than build. However, the context is dealing with money and verse 9 certainly shows that the root of their problem was “the love of money.” Evidently, greed had caused some to even stray from the faith (the body of Christian truth).

The love of money may easily lead one into the wrong ways of getting money. One may so drive his body that he ruins his health. His desire often can cause great damage to others and he sometimes realizes too late the damage that has been done to others.

The Bible is the textbook on the art and science of living. It constantly sets a standard that challenges our motives and practices. The word “pierced” is literally “to put on a spit” (Vine), and in this setting, it means to be tortured within. Moffat puts it like this: “And have found themselves pierced with many a pang of remorse.” The strange thing is that the desire for wealth seems to end in worry and anxiety. The more one has, the more he has to lose and the tendency is for him to be haunted by the risk of losing it. A careless attitude toward materialism can cause us to find ourselves on the spit of God’s dealings with the flames of grief and sorrow licking at us.


V. 11 “But you, Oman of God, flee. these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, patience, gentleness.

Three things become evident in this verse.

1. The title by which Timothy is addressed, “man of God.” This is one of the great titles of the Old Testament. It is a title given to the prophets and servants of God. For example, Moses [Deut 33:1; I Chron. 23:14], God’s messenger to Eli [I Sam. 2:17], Samuel [I Sam 9:6], Shemaiah0Kings 12:22] and David {Neh. 12:24,36] are all referred to as “the man of God.” So this title both honors and challenges Timothy. “The very fact that Timothy was addressed as “man of God” would make him square his shoulders as one-who had received his commission from the king” (Barclay);’

2. He is told to flee from certain things. Obviously, this refers to the love of money and all of its negative ramifications. The man of God should be occupied with nobler goals than the mere accumulation of material assets. These have their place no doubt.

To seek to be independent, to pay one’s debts, to provide a home and an opportunity for one’s family, to provide for the future is. our Christian duty, but to evaluate everything in of money is very


In counter distinction to this warning, he is encouraged to follow certain characteristics.

These noble qualities are set forth in an orderly fashion and not heaped upon him haphazardly.

Teachers in Biblical times and especially Paul were constantly making such lists. This no doubt helped the folks being taught to memorize these virtues as access to books and writings was not

always available. Instruction, for the most part, had to be carried in the student’s head Paul gives us “the think list” in Phil. 4:8. Peter also uses this technique when he encourages believers to “add” virtues to their faith [2 Pet. 1:5-7].

Notice the order:

1. “Righteousness.” Scripture is clear in showing that righteousness is freely put to our credit by God. Yet, here Timothy is encouraged to pursue it. By this, we understand that it is not the righteousness of Christ as such that he is to pursue, but rather it is a righteous lifestyle that is meant here! General conformity to the law of God with regard to both God and man. This word has been defined as “giving both to men and to God their due.

2. “Godliness.” “Worth ship or reverence paid to worth, whether in God or man” (Vincent’s Word Studies). “Godliness denotes that piety which, characterized by a God-ward attitude, does that which is well-pleasing to Him” (Vine). Phillips translates it as “devotion to God.” Berry’s Lexicon and New Testament Synonyms tells us that the corresponding adjective from which this word comes includes fulfilling one obligation to man as well as God, in „ the higher sense it also has the connotation of worshipping God aright.

This depicts the reverence of one who never forgets that his life is lived in the presence of God and whose value system concentrates on things of eternal worth.

3. “Faith.” The Bible states that “without faith, it is impossible to please Him (God)” [Heb.

11:6]. Everything we receive from God we receive by faith. Faith is the only currency recognizes; It is a “firm persuasion, a conviction based upon hearing and resting upon the character of the one who is speaking” (Vincents Word Studies); “This word is always used of God in the New Testament” (Vine). This Greek word, Pistis,’ is used for, trust, trustworthiness faithfulness, belief, assurance, and fidelity. It is the virtue of one who acknowledges God’s revelation, surrenders personally to Him, and conducts himself as inspired by such surrender. One who is loyal to God through all the changes of life, even unto death. So Timothy is encouraged to pursue faith.

4. “Love” (Agape). Moffatt translates this word “Christian love” [2 Pet. ,1:71, I think this distinction is necessary because its usage in Scripture is definitely different from the worldly concept of love. It is important to notice that love is connected here with faith for it supplies the necessary motivation. Faith is to work “through love” [Gal. 5:6]. The word ‘agape’ was born again as it were and became “the characteristic word of Christianity” (Vine). William Barclay, an expert on word meanings, says it “indicates unconquerable benevolence and invincible goodwill.” This word not only describes God’s love for man but reveals that highest level of care and conduct we are to have one for another. Phillip’s translation of I Cor. 13:4 says “love looks for a way of being constructive.” As love finds a resting place in our hearts we will be builders not those who tear down,

5. “Patience.” The word is a combination of two Greek words ‘Hupo’ meaning under, and; ‘Meno’ to abide, so it is literally “an abiding under.” There are many applications of this word. Thayer says that it is “steadfastness, constancy, and endurance. In the New; Testament, the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings.” –

It has been called a “cheerful or hopeful endurance,” as well as “patient continuance”

(STR), a patient waiting for (LEX). It is a bearing up under. “Patience is too passive a word,” says Barclay. He renders it “endurance,” as do many others. Here are just a few other

translations: “steadfastness” (Moff), “perseverance” (NAS), “fortitude” (NEB) So we see it is not a fatalistic hanging on, but there is always a forward and upward look about it,

The word always has “a background of courage” (Barclay). This patience or perseverance is the courageous acceptance of everything that life can hand us and to transmute even the

worst “stumbling stone” into a “stepping stone.” The revelation of our long-range destiny enables us to persevere through temporary trials and setbacks.

We are designed to overcome. Time is on our side. The kingdom of God will ultimately overcome all other kingdoms [Dan. 2:34,35,44; Rev. 11:15]. Nevertheless, Christ is still “waiting till His enemies are made His footstool” [Heb. 10:13], so as He waits, we are to patiently persevere knowing that in the end, we win.

6. “Gentleness.” This word is really untranslatable according to William Barclay. The King James Version translators chose the word “meekness” to convey its meaning. Meekness means “softness of temper; mildness; gentleness; forbearance under injuries and provocation” (Webster, 1828).

The attitude expressed by this word is one of resignation and submission to the will of God.

The problem and limitation of the English word “meek” are that it also came to mean a “lacking of spirit or backbone” (Funk and Wagnalls) which has no bearing on what God is saying to Timothy. “It is the attitude of mind and behavior which, arising from humility, disposes one to receive with gentleness and meekness whatever may come to him from others or from God” (G. R. Berry). Moffatt translates this word “modesty.” While gentleness and humility are goals for the man of God, he is not to be a doormat, to be walked on. He must wage the battle of righteousness and wherever possible be a champion for others who are weak and opposed.

V, 12 “Fight the good fight of faith.”

Christianity is not a passive, weak faith but rather aggressive warfare against evil. This word “fight” is taken from the athletic contests of the day, although some feel that a military meaning is also present. Whether this is true or not, the games themselves were often violent, requiring strength, courage, and endurance. The fight Timothy was in was no game. It had been likened to the gladiatorial contests which were cruel and bloody affairs, but Timothy’s battle was spiritual in

A His enemies were spiritual.

A. The world, the flesh, and the devil.

B. Principalities and powers [Eph. 6:11-12],

C. False teachers.

Paul said “the gift of God is eternal life” [Rom. 6:23]. We must not think for a moment that this statement suggests that eternal life is a reward for faithful service or warfare. It is God’s free gift

to us. When we speak of ‘Eternal Life,’ we usually think in terms of quantity rather than quality; as though it was an endless stretch of time. But in actuality, eternity is totally separate from time.

Our life in Christ, as it relates to eternity, is the result of our relationship with Him. We can do nothing

to affect it. There is, however, a certain quality of living that we are definitely able to influence relative to this life. Christ has not only promised His people that they would live forever, but He includes in the package the promise of “abundant living” which many are not experiencing. It is this aspect of eternal life that Timothy is told to lay hold on to. Many of God’s dear people live below their privilege in Him. His salvation is so great and all-inclusive, it provides not only the assurance of heaven but also provides blessings to be experienced and enjoyed here on earth,

“and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

This is believed by some to have occurred at the time he formally embraced the Gospel [Rom. 10:9-10]. It no doubts could be applied to the confession of faith Timothy had made when he was baptized in water. In the early church baptism was a public confession of faith and a witness that Jesus Christ was both Savior and Lord. The. earliest of all Christian confessions was the simple creed “Jesus Christ is Lord” [Rom. 10:9; Phil. 2:11].

So Timothy is reminded of the fact that he has made a commitment, that he is first and foremost one who has pledged himself to Jesus Christ. It has also been suggested that this verse could refer to Timothy’s ordination. He would have obviously made a statement of faith on that occasion.’

V. 13 “I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate,”

The object of the charge being delivered in the sight of God and Christ is obviously to strengthen the words that follow. He speaks in terms of God as the source of all things: “who gives life to all things.” It is characteristic of Paul to invoke God as witness [Rom. 1:9; 2 Cor. 1:23; Phil. 1:8; I Thess. 2:5,10]. Though it is more the style of John to speak in terms of Christ as a witness [John 18:37; Rev. 1:5], Paul refers to Jesus the man “who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate.” There is no doubt that Jesus’ life and ministry were a good witness, but the fact that Pilate is brought into the picture singles out the incident he has in mind. At his trial, Pilate asked Him: “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “It is as you say.” There is no hint of denial here. Jesus testified that He was a king.

This thought is reinforced by verse 6 of chapter 2 where it tells us that the man Christ “gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” Testified [2:6] and witnessed [6:13] are essentially the same word being derived from the Greek word ‘martus’ (martyr) which means witness. Jesus is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” [Rev. 13:8]. His sacrifice on Calvary “testified” to the fulfillment of God’s promise in the appointed time.

V. 14 “that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless.” What is this “commandment” He speaks of?

Some feel that it is the commission given Him either at His baptism or His ordination. But practically speaking, there is no reason to look beyond verses 11 and;12 for the answer. There are sufficient seriousness and urgency in these verses to warrant the term commandment.

“Without spot” means unblemished. It is the same basic word used in Eph. 5:27 where the church is described as “not having spot or wrinkle.” James also uses this word as one of the characteristics of “pure and undefiled religion.” He says such should keep themselves “unspotted from the world.” [James 1:27.] In the light of the events that are to transpire on the “day of the Lord,” Peter exhorts the saints to “be found by Him in peace, without spot or blameless” [2 Pet ‘3:14]. [See I Pet. 1:19].

Blameless means are irreproachable or unreputable. It in no way implies sinlessness, rather a character that is beyond criticism [3:2; 5:7]. So Timothy is to walk in the word carefully with purity allowing it to govern and discipline his life. So we must all be careful in our obedience “that S the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed” [6:1]. This is reminiscent of chapter 4:16 where Timothy is told: “take heed to yourself and to the doctrine.” As we have already pointed out true ministry is an outgrowth of our life so it is vital that we practice what we preach.

“until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing.

This appearing ‘epiphaneis’ is no doubt the second coming of Jesus Christ at which time all accounts will finally be settled. This word has been applied to Christ’s first coming [2 Tim. 1:10],

but it usually refers to His second advent. The idea of judgment and being blameless at the coming of the Lord is common to Paul [I Thess. 3:13; 5:23; I Cor. 1:8; Phil. 2:15, 16; 2 Tim. 4:1, 8].

“Timothy is reminded that life and work must necessarily be made fit for Christ to see. The Christian is not working to satisfy men, but to satisfy Christ The question is not, is it good enough

to pass the judgment of men, but will it win Christ’s approval?” (Barclay).

V. 15 “which He will manifest in His own time.” This statement is thought by some to be a rebuke to those who believed the second coming was imminent or who tried to calculate when it will be. It will be in “His own time,” not ours. It seems throughout history when trials and tribulations overtake the church; the hope of the second coming comes alive. We live in a time when a study of last things is based more on the signs of the times

than a Biblical study of the meaning of words. The same phrase is rendered “in due time” in chapter 2:6.

Titus 1:3 and I Pet. 3:6 and “in due season” in Gal. 6:9. The idea put forth is that things are not out of God’s control, He will bring forth the end when His purpose has been fully served and not before.

[See Acts 1:6 – 8; Matt. 24:14]. Next, in a typical manner, Paul launches into a magnificent doxology or hymn of praise and adoration.

“He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.”

Whether this is a spontaneous song from the heart of the apostle or a borrowed Christian hymn, does not matter. Its use in this setting is spontaneous and inspired by the Holy Spirit. Here he beautifully sets forth the separateness or “otherness” of God. It is interesting that he refers to Him as “blessed.

This exact Greek word occurs 50 times in the New Testament and only twice is it used of God, here and in chapter 1:11. The word essentially means happy. Our God is not a sour, dour God, He has all the elements of happiness or blessedness within Himself and consequently, He bestows the experience of it on others. That is why this word is used so often:

He is next called the “only Potentate.” This word is translated as “sovereign- (Moffatt); -‘Ruler”

(Beck); “controller” (Phillips).

The glory of all human potentates or rulers fades into insignificance in the presence of Him who sits on the throne of the universe. In comparison, they are no rulers, He is the only true sovereign with independent, absolute, and unlimited power. He is the self-existent One relying on nothing, sustaining

all things.

“King of kings and Lord of lords.” There are no higher titles in the world than these and yet any and all who are called by these titles on earth are but His servants, He is the divine disposer of all representatives of power, angelic as well as human.

[See Rev. 17:14; 19:16].

V. 16 “who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honour and everlasting power. Amen.” “Who alone has immortality,”

He not only possesses immortality but He is ”the only source of immortality” (Phil.). It is He in Whom deathlessness essentially exists [John 5:26]. “Dwelling in unapproachable light, Whom no man has seen or can see,” He is transcendent, inaccessible; invisible in the radiance of His splendour and the unveiled brightness of His glory. So great is His glory that “the man of sin.. .the lawless one” will be destroyed “with the brightness of His coming” [2 Thess. 2:3-8]. “It is a beautiful thought, that He is not hidden from us through the absence of light, but through excess of light” (Gray & Adams Bible Commentary).

The Psalmist said: “O Lord my God You… cover yourself with light as with a garment” [Ps. 104:l-2]. [Also see John l:18; IJohn 1:5].

“To Whom be honour and everlasting power. Amen.” An appropriate ascription of homage and adoration. “This whole passage is a magnificent embodiment of the attributes of the living God, supreme blessedness and almighty power, universal dominion and unchangeable being, inscrutable majesty, radiant holiness and glory inaccessible and unapproachable by His creatures, save through the mediation of His only begotten son” (Pulpit Commentary).


The preceding passage was apparently parenthetical for he now picks up the theme of money again.

V, 17 “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.”

It is interesting that he is instructed to “command” the rich. It is never easy to express authority toward wealthy men. They are used to giving orders and not taking them. But this principle is so important that a mere suggestion will not suffice. He says command them. In his previous comments regarding money, he addressed “those who desire to be rich’s here he deals with “those who are rich.” This bit of instruction would have been totally irrelevant if there were no well-off people in the church.

Sometimes we think of the early church as being composed entirely of poor people and slaves, but the early church obviously had some wealthy members. As we have said riches in itself is not evil, but it brings with them great responsibility. For though they have attained affluence “in this present age,” they are still creatures of eternity and the laws of a higher kingdom must govern their lives. Paul has much to say about “this present age” [See Rom. 12:2; I cor. 1:20; 2:6; 3:18; Gal. 1;4]: This Greek phrase refers to the spirit of the age as much as a particular period of time in world history.

The rich are warned to avoid two things:

1. They are “not to be haughty” or as the KJV puts it “high-minded”.

Anyone who has accumulated wealth could be tempted to be somewhat lofty in their thinking. This word is used in only one other place, Rom, 11:20.

  1. 1. They must not “trust in uncertain riches.” The problem with material security is its uncertainty.

It is like building one’s house on the sand [Matt. 7:24 -27]. The `value of money is in its use. It can purchase many things. It is to be used, not trusted. It is a good servant but a cruel master.

Next, Paul moves from the negative to the positive. To abstain from something that is wrong is not enough. We must reverse the trend and replace it with that which is right and good. While they are not to trust in the uncertainty of riches, they are to trust “in the living God.” This statement would include a relationship with God as well as the knowledge of His word. ” Who gives us richly all things to enjoy.” We find in God’s provision a more sure guarantee of not being in need than in the clutching, struggling attitude portrayed by the world’s system. God the eternal, the all-sufficient One, richly ministers to the needs of His people. God is not miserly toward His people. His generosity is shown in many and various ways. As the apostle James says:

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” [James 1:17].

See Ps. 104:24 – 28; 145:15-16].

It is wrong for us to assume that God does not wish us to enjoy anything in this life. Our focus should definitely not be materialistic, and yet this verse positively refutes the ascetic approach we saw earlier.

V. 18 “Let them do good, that they are rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share.

In verse 18, he lists four pieces of evidence of a trusting attitude:

1. GENEROSITY – “Let them do good.” Be generous, beneficent, or show kindness. They were to seek to promote the well-being of others.

2. GOOD DEEDS – “That they are rich in good works.” Because they were rich in this world’s goods, they had a greater opportunity to “exhibit a wealth of good actions” (TCNT). We are told in Col. 1:10 to be “fruitful in every good work.” Because we are saved by grace does not mean that we are exempt from good works. We do not do good work to be saved, but because we are saved we do good works. [See Eph. 2:10; Titus 3:14].

3. GIVING – “Ready to give.” Giving is a vital part of true faith for “it is more blessed to give than to receive” [Acts 20:33]. Paul told the Corinthians that “God loves a cheerful giver” [2 Cor. 9.7]. Selfishness and greed have no part in the new creature or God’s kingdom. The standard has been set by God Himself [John 3:16] [See Luke 6:38; U Cor. 8:5,12; 9:7].

4. SHARING – “Willing to share.” It is interesting that the word translated “share” is from the same root as ‘koinonia’ which means fellowship or communion} While there is considerable talk about fellowship and relationship, there is no reality to it unless we truly share ourselves and what we possess.

The apostle then shows the result of such a trusting, benevolent attitude.

V. 19 “storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come.”

What they share with God’s work and the needy, they will never lose [Luke 6:38; Matt. 6:20]; They must understand that the greatest investments are unselfish investments. Everyone likes a solid investment; the phrase “good foundation” implies security. Most people do not view the Bible as an authority on economics, but its principles are far superior to all the schemes that man has invented. It teaches us to prosper here, and everything we do furnishes a foundation for heaven:

“that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

A similar phrase as that used in verse 12. As has already been stated, it is the quality of life he is dealing with rather than the assurance of salvation. It has been said that the Greek text should be rendered as “life which is life indeed” (RV). It basically shows the contrast between the quality of life in the kingdom “with life propped up by so uncertain a support as riches” (Guthrie)


V. 20 “O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust.” With affection and as a gesture of earnest appeal Paul speaks his name, Timothy. This is the third time in this book he mentions his name. First in the salutation [1:2], secondly, when committing the charge to him that he war good warfare according to the prophecies that went over him [1:18]. He uses his name quite officially in the previous verses but here it seems to issue out of the love and concern of his heart. Timothy means either “dear to God” or “he who honours God.” So the very mention of his name would be a challenge to live up to its meaning.

Timothy is commanded to “guard the deposit” (Ber) that God had entrusted to him. This was the word for money deposited with a banker. But the treasure committed to Timothy’s trust was far more important than money. It was the deposit of a gift of God in his life and a divine commission to proclaim the Word of God. While gifts and ministries are given by God according to His sovereign purpose, we are responsible to use and developing our ministries and gifts [2 Tim. 4:5; Col. 4:17; 2 Cor. 6:3-10].

“avoiding the profane and vain babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge.” Or “oppositions of science falsely so-called” (KJV); This particular warning appears several times in Timothy [1:4; 4:7; 2’Tim. 2:16, 35] as well as in Titus [3:19] and Colossians [2:8]. There is a great lesson here for all of us, especially for ministers.

Every minister is a trustee. We are to keep or preserve the word of God as a divine deposit from God. False teachers then, as now, claimed insight into special knowledge. Probably the greatest

contradiction with the most far-reaching effects is the theory of Evolution. While it is not directly alluded to in Scripture, its roots are solidly planted in any of the ancient heresies that dethrone God and replace Him with a lie.

V. 21 “by professing it, some have strayed concerning the faith.”

This statement shows two things:: 1. He was dealing with a current problem. Some have suggested that the heresy addressed in the Pastorals developed much later than the time of Paul, but the deviant doctrine has been around almost from the beginning.

2. Some had already been deceived by it. According to this verse, some believers had embraced and professed this false knowledge and strayed thereby. They had literally departed from the Faith (God’s established truth) by adhering to this false science.

As has been stated earlier, this letter was written against a background of Greek as well as Hebrew culture. The Jewish Rabbis would argue endlessly about hair-splitting points of the law; The Greeks were even worse. One of their schools of Philosophy held that “in the ease of everything in the realm of human thought, you could by logical argument arrive at precisely opposite conclusions” (Barclay). It is not hard to see the crippling uncertainty that would result from such reasoning. Timothy’s trust was different. He was not to use Scripture to argue by, but to live by. Genuine knowledge (truth) will never contradict the Word of God. Scientific facts will only serve to prove God’s Word.

As Matthew Henry has said: “That science which opposes the truth of the gospel is falsely so-called. Those who are for advancing reason above faith are in danger of leaving the faith.” This has certainly proven to be the case in our generation. True science does not contradict the Bible, it only proves the word of God to be true.

“Grace be with you”

The phrase “with you” is in the plural showing that he is writing to the church as well as to Timothy personally. “Grace is an earnest, yea, a beginning of glory; for, wherever God gives grace, he will give glory.” Amen is the final “so be it for all that has been previously said.



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  1. Christ is indeed our hope and no matter any situation in life as the Psalmist cried out, we must entrust our hope to God. Even peter advised in 1Peter 1:21, “that your faith and hope might be in God”. Thessalonians also requested in 1Th 1:3 “Remembering without ceasing our work of faith, labor of love, and patience of HOPE in our Lord Jesus Christ…” It is evident, they that put their hope in Christ acquire victory in their adversity.
    I am also impressed with the 3 categories of the Pastorals and the Ecclesiastical or Church-related Letters’ explanation is very clear and brief. I still have to understand more about the Pastoral letters. Wow, excellent work is done on the law. Men are “justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law”. Do you think if Christianity was still based by the law just like the Muslims for example, sinful nature would have reduced or increased? Especially when they know the punishment is immediate even on earth?

  2. Thanks, Akon for this great comment. I really appreciate it. I think your question needs a little paraphrasing. why? because Christianity has never been under the law. in Judaism, we were under the law till we meet Jesus and became Christians and living by grace.
    but then, sinful nature would have increased like it in every other religion under the law today. thanks so much, Akon.

  3. As a lover of the Bible and as a Christian as well, I found it so much fun going through your article because it was very enlightening and also very educative as well. I learnt so much about pastorals and so many more. I would share this with my family so they get to see this amazing article . Thank you so much for sharing this masterpiece


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