The Book of 1 Timothy
Introduction: 1 Timothy 1:1-2
“1) Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, 2) To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭1:1-2‬
The two Epistles to Timothy and one to Titus belong to a collection commonly referred to as the pastoral Epistles. They were written toward the end of Pauls life to young men he had personally trained and mentored into ministry. The date of 1 Timothy is believed to be around A.D. 63.
The story of Timothy starts in Acts 16:1-5. Paul recruited him as he passed through Lystra. His mother was Jewish, but his father was a Greek. He was already a strong believer having been instructed in the Scriptures by his believing mother and grandmother. (See Acts 16:1; 2 Timothy 1:5 & 2 Timothy 3:14-17)
Timothy is a prime example of the impact Christian parents should have on the lives of their children. They need to be intentional and proactive with Cristian living and Bible instruction. Faith in God often starts in the home during the formative years.
Timothy was well spoken of by the churches in his region. He may have come to know the Lord during Pauls first missionary journey. (See Acts 14) By this point Paul and Barnabas were ministering to both Jews and Greeks. It was here at Lystra that Paul was stoned and left for dead. While the believers were standing around him, he arose and entered the city and delivered a moving message about suffering, tribulation and the kingdom of God. (See Acts 14:19-23)
After the Jerusalem counsel, Paul returned to this region to strengthen the churches and recruited Timothy to join his ministry team in the absence of Mark and Barnabas. According to Philippians 2:19-23, Timothy became a selfless servant to Paul. He served Paul like a son serving his beloved father.
Paul poured his life into Timothy and mentored him into pastoral ministry. Paul often sent him to minister in his own absence to many churches while he himself was imprisoned at Rome. Though young, he became an influential itinerant pastor in the early churches the were under Pauls direction.
According to Hebrews 13:23, it appears that Timothy himself was imprisoned for a short period of time for the sake of the gospel. It can be argued that he became part of the second wave of Christian leaders in the early church to pick up the mantle as the early Apostles were being promoted to glory.
Paul devoted time in prison not only writing to churches, but also corresponding with young men whom God was raising up. Timothy and Titus are two examples of many that Paul invested in. (See Philippians 2:25-30 for an example of Epaphroditus and Acts 18:1-2 for Aguila and Priscilla)
Notice in 1 Timothy 1:2, Paul entrusted Timothy to “grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” As a disciple maker, Paul was an arrow maker. He prepared young men, women and churches for God’s quiver, but He understood that God was the One responsible to shoot them into the world for His glory. He prayed for them and did everything he could to encourage them, but he turned them over to God and His grace. (See his final farewell to the believers in Ephesus: Acts 20:24-38) Paul was conscious of his own limitations and mortality. He left people in the Sovereign grace of God.
The pastoral Epistles have been studied by literally millions of Christan leaders through the centuries. I look forward to a study of 1 and 2 Timothy over the next few months. I trust God will use this journey together to deeply impact your life.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global