1 Timothy


The date of the writing of the first epistle to Timothy is uncertain. It could be either 64 or 66 A.D. Paul had written this first epistle from Macedonia to Timothy who was in Ephesus. There are three basic themes in 1 Timothy and they are: 1) Church discipline; 2) Church order; and 3) soundness of faith in following Christ. Paul also wrote this epistle to give credence to the credentials of Timothy as pastor of the church in Ephesus. Paul considered Timothy his own true son in the faith. (1 Tim. 1:2) Timothy had a true Christian upbringing through a Christian home. (2 Tim. 1:5) The name Timothy or Timotheus means honored of God, worshipping God, or valued of God. Ephesus was a port city located in Ionia on the Mediterranean Sea. Ephesus was also the center of the worship of the false goddess “Diana” or sometimes called “Artemis.” Acts 19 gives the story of the struggle Paul had there with those who were adherents to this false religion. As in all my commentaries when I make a statement like “Paul says” or “Timothy says” it is not taking away from Scripture as the inspired word of God. The entire Bible was given by God through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I use the name of the writer just for brevity and continuity in discourses.
1 Tim 1:1 (KJB)
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;
Apostle - One who is sent
Paul begins this epistle with a formal introduction of who he is and his authority for writing such an epistle. First Paul states that he is an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ and it was by the commandment of God that Paul was chosen as an apostle. He did not choose to be an apostle of Christ because when he was struck down on the road to Damascus, he was on the way to imprison and kill Christians. This command was in harmony with the Lord Jesus Christ who was part of the command that Paul become and apostle. Paul finishes this verse by stating that Jesus is our hope. What is the hope that Jesus brings to the believers? He brings the hope of the resurrection, hope of eternal life, hope of victory over sin in this life, hope of victory over our own failures, hope of strengths in our weaknesses, and the source of all true hope in this world.
1 Tim 1:2 (KJB)
Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
Paul speaks so highly of Timothy and knows his Christian testimony and upbringing and calls him his own son in the faith. Two things may be in view as Paul used this term, First, Timothy may have been saved under Paul’s ministry, and secondly, that Timothy was of such a high Christian reputation that Paul adopted him as his son in the faith. I would probably go with the second one because Timothy had a Christian upbringing in a Christian home, so he was in contact with the true gospel since he was a child. (2 Tim 1:5 KJV) When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. (2 Tim 3:15 KJV) And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Grace is the bestowing of something completely undeserved such as salvation and stemming from that grace is the peace that passes all understanding.
Paul also speaks of God’s mercy upon Timothy. That would be the daily mercy or compassions needed for each day in the life of the believer. Every day we Christians sin and we need the mercy of God when these things happen, whether they are intentional or unintentional.
Peace in the middle of turmoil.   Peace in the middle of tragedy.
The word peace comes from the Greek word “eirene” which means a cessation of hostilities. When a person becomes saved the war between them and God is over. (Rom 5:1 KJV) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: There was a theological discipline called “Irenic Theology” which attempted to bring harmony among Christianity and thus do away with all the factions. This theological thought was the forerunner of today’s neo-evangelical and ecumenical movement.
Our Father - One cannot have the Father unless they have the Son - 1 John 2:23; 1 John 5:12 - Notice the term "our Father." This term is speaking of the limited Fatherhood of all the believers He has chosen for salvation and is not speaking of the universal fatherhood of God in either creation or salvation.
1 Tim 1:3 (KJB)
As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
Besought - Called for, encouraged, or urged
Mightest charge - Command, instruct, or give orders
Teach other doctrine - Teaching a different (heretical) doctrine
Since Ephesus was the center of Diana worship, which is the forerunner of Mary worship in the Roman Catholic Institution, there may have been some who came to the church and was bringing these occult teachings or were trying to merge the teaching of this cult with the teachings of true Christianity. This is why Paul had strongly urged Timothy to remain in Ephesus because there seemed to have been a few teachers who were teaching a false gospel, maybe trying to fuse the true gospel with the cult of Diana. Paul wanted Timothy to command these teachers to case and desist their false teachings. They were to teach only what the Scriptures taught and what the true apostles taught. This same situation is happening today with the “emerging church movement” which attempts to combine occultic mysticism with the true gospel with the goal of removing the true gospel altogether. Men such as Jack Van Impe, Billy Graham, Richard Land, Chuck Colson, James Dobson and others had or have desired a return to Roman Catholicism for Christians. It is trying to bring true Christians under the modern cult of Diana, now known as Mary. It is these which should receive no support from the true Christian community.
1 Tim 1:4 (KJB)
Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
Give heed - Be attentive, follow, or be devoted to
Fables - Myths
Endless - Without limits or immeasurable
Edifying - Stewardship, management, or administration
Not only was Timothy to command these teachers to stop teaching false doctrine, Paul had also placed in that command to stop giving any credence to fables. These fables were myths and when you have a created religion like that of the cult of Diana, then many myths will surround it because if it doesn’t, then it loses its appeal to the people. Paul is saying pay no attention to these myths just as we today, should not pay attention to false gospels. Then there must have been Jews in that church who required to know what the genealogies were of those who were leaders or teaching. These genealogies would go on indefinitely and consume the time which could be better spent teaching the true gospel. If your father was a killer but you are a born again Christian with the ability to teach, God does not look at your qualifications through your father’s actions. God is the one who empowered you with the spiritual gift to teach and what your father did, does not even factor in. Genealogies and family histories just engender more questions without answers. Paul wants them to engage themselves in the teaching of the gospel which is the proper stewardship of time. Genealogies are great time wasters and consume the time which can be used to edify the church.
Paul had also gave the same type of command to Titus concerning Jewish fables. (Titus 1:14 KJV) Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. When the truth of God comes into a person and they become saved, they are not to turn aside from the truth and embrace any type of teaching which could contaminate our understanding of free grace. The Judaizers had come to Crete and desired to bring these people under the law, so they would create scenarios in hopes that they would succumb to their teachings. In Mark 7, the Lord Jesus Christ condemned the Pharisees for turning the Word of God into traditions that were commandments of men. (Mark 7:13 KJV) Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. This is the fables which Paul wanted the Cretan Christians to reject. These Judaizers wanted to turn free grace into slavish law keeping. Their whole teaching system would have turned the Christians from the truth and this is why they needed a stern rebuke because obviously some were paying attention to these teachings.
1 Tim 1:5 (KJB)
Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
End - Goal, completion, or purpose
Unfeigned - Not insincere, no hypocrisy, or genuine
Paul was not giving the commandment to Timothy to try and lord it over these people but as usual, Paul had a heart for the Ephesians and in this case he gives a three-fold reason for the commandment to reject fables and for the false teachers to be stopped. When the true gospel is preached, it creates a pure heart and that heart is undivided as it is set upon the things of the Lord. A pure heart has motives which are unmixed and totally pure. The second result of true and pure gospel preaching is that the conscience is cleansed which produces a person with integrity. A conscience that is mixed with false gospels will result in a double minded person who will engage in situation ethics. Whatever is right at the time it is needed will be used, even if it is sin such as lying. Then Paul states the third result is that a person will have a true faith and not one which is hypocritical. The preaching of the true Gospel results in a person who has genuine faith which does not yield any hypocritical actions that cause others to say they have a fake religion and do not live up to what they teach. Paul places all these three biblical results under his love for these people because he wanted to see them grow in their faith and be a strong church and testimony.