Pastor Paul writes an outline for the administration of the first churches. His young protégé Timothy was entrusted with the responsibility to properly supervise the church in Ephesus. Paul had personally discipled Timothy and he calls him “my son whom I love, who is faithful to the Lord.” Timothy had seen Paul operating in God’s full authority, healing the sick and preaching the good news. Timothy also saw Paul stoned and left for dead. By God’s amazing grace, Paul did not die, but he returned to continue spreading the good news. Paul’s work in Ephesus was in full blossom and now he writes to pass the baton to Timothy.
Paul was urging Timothy to stay in Ephesus so that he could command certain men NOT to teach false doctrines. “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.” (1 Tim 5) Some teachers were teaching from an impure heart, and sincere faith.
Paul outlined instructions for worship and intercessory prayer. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as ransom for all men.” (1 Tim 2:5)
Paul lays out instruction for choosing overseers and Deacons in chapter 3. Those selected for leadership within the church must manage their own families well. Leaders must not be recent converts, or the Deacon may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. All Deacons must have a good reputation within the community and be men worthy of respect. All applicants must be tested and approved, before they can serve the Body of Christ.
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” ( 1 Tim 6:17)
In the second letter we are encouraged to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. We are not to be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or to be apologetic of being a servant of God. All young pastors and missionaries were to flee from the evil desires of youth in order to keep their focus on pursuing righteousness, faith, love and peace. Christians are to seek counsel from those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. We are warned to not to have anything to do with the foolish and stupid arguments that go on and on, because arguments produce quarrels. (2:22)
Paul warns that in the final days people will be lovers of themselves. They will hoard their money and boast proudly of all that they have accomplished. Their ingratitude towards the sacrifices made by their parents will be a sign of their disrespect. Without control of their tongues, they are quick to slander those who do not think as they do. The generation in the last days will reflect the brutality of the world. They will be conceited and lovers of their own pleasures. They will worm their way into homes and gain control over the weak. They will be proud of all their diligent studies, but they will be blind to the truth and unwilling to surrender fully to the Lord.
Today the prideful worms of slander have entered the minds of people throughout the earth via the internet, TV and social media. Paul warns; “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, and discharge all the duties of your ministry.” (2 Tim 4:3)
Continue believing and in faith remember; “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim 3:16)
Copyright © 2019 by Barbara Alley Hoyle.
All rights reserved.
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“It is finished.” 4/20/19