Timothy was a young pastor being mentored by the Apostle Paul. Half the books of what we call the New Testament were letters written by Paul, many of them to specific churches (Ephesus, Corinth, Galatia, etc.) but some to individuals, such as Timothy, Titus and Philemon. 1 and 2 Timothy could almost be thought of as early “minister manuals” but there are also instructions for selecting deacons, supporting widows, and to all believers to practice godliness.
1 Timothy is a mere six chapters. Here is a link to 1 Timothy 1 at ESV Bible. If you click “listen” a disembodied voice will even read it to you. At the end of chp 1 simply click “1 Timothy 2” to go on. Bible Gateway has many different English versions. (I would rather folks read any version of the Bible than not read at all.) Below are some of my favorite passages, but I highly recommend the entire book, which can be read in a matter of minutes. *emphasis in bold are my own
- The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:15-17 ESV)
- First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus… (1 Timothy 2:1-5 ESV)
- For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer. (1 Timothy 4:4-5 ESV)
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:
He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory. (1 Timothy 3:16 ESV)
- Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV)
- The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden. (1 Timothy 5:24-25 ESV)
- But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. (1 Timothy 6:6-8 ESV)
- I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:13-16 ESV)
Again, these are simply my favorite passages. 1 Timothy is an excellent resource for pastors, teachers, deacons (any leader in the church) and for all believers. There are many sermons that could be preached and lessons to be taught from this text.
I hope tomorrow to share from 2 Timothy.
UPDATE: Reading 2 Timothy