Daily reading

Today’s reading is: 1 Tim. 1-3


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First Timothy Chapter One

  1. Paul introduces the letter to Timothy with the stated purpose for his appointment to the church in Ephesus (1st Tim. 1:3-5,18-20).
    1. Although still youthful (1st Tim. 4:12), Timothy is gifted, trained, & equipped to pastor and train other Pastors (v.3; 3:1-7; 5:17-22).
    2. The Pastor must keep the local church’s focus on the true issues, and avoid strange doctrines (vv.3-4).
    3. The Pastor must stay faithful to the stewardship that he has been entrusted with, speaking the Truth in love (vv.4-5; Eph. 4:15).
    4. The Pastor must keep faith and a good conscience personally, in order to fight the good fight on behalf of the flock (vv.18-20).
  2. Some men in Ephesus were losing sight of the Gospel of grace by striving to become teachers of the Law (1st Tim. 1:6-11).
  3. Paul was thankful to the Lord Jesus Christ for the grace of God and the service to which no one takes for themselves (1st Tim. 1:12-17 cf. Heb. 5:4).
    1. The Lord provided Paul with the strength, grace, mercy, faith and love in order to be found faithful and placed in service (vv.12-14).
    2. Jesus Christ selected the greatest sinner in the history of the world to stand as the greatest demonstration of Divine patience (vv.15-16).
    3. The work which only God can do produces the praise and glory that only God is entitled to (v.17).

First Timothy Chapter Two

  1. The first priority for any local church is to have a body of men dedicated to intercessory prayer (1st Tim. 2:1-8).
    1. Entreaties, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings on behalf of all men (v.1).
    2. Particular intercession for political leaders and temporal freedoms (v.2).
    3. Burdens for evangelism opportunities (v.4).
    4. Prayer leadership for Church unity (v.8).
  2. The second priority for any local church is for the women of the assembly to exhibit godliness (1st Tim. 2:9-15).
    1. Inner beauty & spiritual garments taking priority over physical beauty & garments (vv.9-10).
    2. Women are designed in the Church for serving, rather than speaking (vv.11-12 cf. 1st Pet. 4:11).
    3. It is the function of men & women in the local church to portray Christ and the Church, and not to reenact Adam & Eve and the consequences for Adam’s failure to exercise spiritual leadership (vv.13-15).

P= The order of the man and woman in creation is given as the basis for the organization of men and women within the local church.  Just as in the orderly design of a Godly marriage, the issue is not a woman’s ability compared to a man’s, or a woman’s equality with a man.  The issue is an illustration of the orderliness that God the Father was pleased to design within the local church.

First Timothy Chapter Three

  1. The men who teach and exercise authority within the local church are appointed to the office of overseer (1st Tim. 3:1-7).
    1. The term ἐπίσκοπος episkopos overseer is interrelated with the term πρεσβύτερος presbuteros elder when Acts 20:17,28 & Tit. 1:5,7 are compared.  Additional interrelated terms include the προιστανόμενος proistanomenos ruler (1st Thess. 5:12) and the ἡγούμενος hēgoumenos leader (Heb. 13:17).
    2. The primary responsibility of the overseer/elder is to shepherd (pastor) the flock (Acts 20:28; 1st Pet. 5:1,2).
      1. Overseer is a term of office, not a gift (Phil. 1:1; 1st Tim. 3:1).
      2. Elder is a term of maturity status, not a gift (1st Tim. 5:17-22; 1st Pet. 5:1-5).
      3. Pastor-Teacher & Evangelist are spiritual gifts (Eph. 4:12) that are naturally placed within the office of overseer when the maturity status qualifications for elder/overseer are manifest.
    3. The qualifications of an overseer spell out the requirements for his fruitful ministry, and not the qualifications for a spiritual gift which is given by the Sovereignty and grace of God (Rom. 11:29).
      1. A dozen self-explanatory qualifications are given (vv.2,3).
      2. Three additional qualifications are given, with corresponding explanations (vv.4-7).
  2. Assisting the overseer(s)/elder(s) in the local church are the deacons (1st Tim. 3:8-13; Phil. 1:1).
    1. Qualifications for Deacons are similar to those of Overseers in terms of their spiritual walk (1st Tim. 3:8-10,12,13).
    2. Additional characteristics for Deaconesses are incorporated within the overall passage concerning Deacons (1st Tim. 3:11).
      1. Deaconesses do not violate the prohibition against teaching or exercising authority over men (1st Tim. 2:12).  Biblically, Deacons have delegated responsibility, but it is the Elder/Overseers that have the delegated authority within the local church.
      2. One Deaconess is referred to by name—Phoebe (Rom. 16:1).

        The office of deaconess became a regular feature of church organization as early as the first part of the second century.  In 112AD, Pliny the Younger, governor of Bithynia, wrote a letter to the emperor Trajan of Rome, indicating that in his investigation of Christians he had tortured two Christian maidens who were called deaconesses.*
  1. Paul explains that all of the ecclesiastic polity of 1st Timothy has been written so that Timothy would know how the Church was supposed to function (1st Tim. 3:14-16).
    1. There is appropriate (& inappropriate) conduct within the household of God.
    2. The Church is the pillar and support of the Truth.  Any other activity that a local church participates in other than that is without Biblical sanction. It may be acceptable under the Law of Liberty, but it cannot replace our stated purpose.
    3. The Church’s common confession is the Mystery of Godliness—the Lord Jesus Christ.  We have no other confession, and no other celebration, but to profess the glory of our Lord.

* Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, © 1995 Nashville: Thomas Nelson.