A Devotional Journey
led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
Timothy, living in Ephesus, had been expecting Paul to return during his last missionary journey.
When Paul realized he would be unable to do so, he wrote his protege and encouraged him to continue faithfully in his calling, to stand up to the false teaching which was a continuing threat to the believing community, and to lead in a way that would bring his flock closer to Christ – especially through their choice of leaders.
It is thought that Timothy may have been a convert through Paul’s ministry in Lystra
as the latter calls him, “my true son in the faith.”
Having traveled extensively with Paul from the time of his second missionary journey, possibly all the way to Jerusalem, Timothy is listed as a contributor to six of Paul’s New Testament letters (2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1, 2 Thessalonians and Philemon). He understood both the joys and perils of ministry and according to Hebrews 13:23 was himself imprisoned and subsequently released – whether more than once is unknown.
Timothy was neither an apostle nor an overseer
since he is not designated as the one, and is given instructions to pass on to the other. He may have been the pastor of the Ephesian church, or simply Paul’s representative with correspondingly significant status.
Chapter one begins with greetings and immediately moves to a warning against false teachers.
Christians are to live in the moral uprightness of what the law prescribes without becoming legalistic at the expense of love. The entire subject reminds Paul of God’s great grace revealed in Jesus Christ and the debt he (and, by extension, every other Christian) owes.
Chapter two includes various teachings regarding our relationship with God:
on prayer, thanksgiving, dress, and the place of men and women in God’s design.
Chapter three is a discussion of the qualifications and characteristics expected of church leaders.
Both the required character of an overseer
(or elder) and a deacon
are described at length with the explanation that while Paul would like to be present to discuss such matters in person, he may be further delayed and therefore it is important to convey the information in writing.
As you read the qualities expected of church leaders, which does not apply to you?
We read such lists and are impressed with the standards God sets for those who serve in responsible positions
in the church; yet are we not all in positions of responsibility as Christians? In fact, the only thing that would not necessarily apply to every Christian is the ability to teach
which elders must have.
The idea that there is somehow a higher standard for Christian leaders
is a deceptive fiction. The standard for all Christians is high. The truth is that there is a greater turmoil created by the misconduct or faulty character of leaders because they are more visible, but there is nothing more a leader can do to be righteous than any other Christian should do: we place our trust in Christ as seek to follow Him faithfully. Today ask yourself: am I faithfully following Jesus Christ? See if there is anything in Timothy’s list you need to work on!