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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I & II Timothy

I Timothy is a pastoral epistle written to Timothy, a timid native of Lystra and Paul's spiritual son. Timothy's mother was a Christian Jewess and his father was Grecian. This epistle was written in AD 66 before Paul's martyrdom. Its purpose is to instruct Timothy as to how to deal with false teachers and uphold the truth of scripture. I Timothy 1:4 instructs, “Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies which minister questions, rather than Godly edifying, which is in faith so do.” Paul instructs Timothy to pray for those in authority in I Timothy 2:2, “For kings and for all that are in authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all Godliness and honesty.” Paul warns of the apostasy of seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, that in latter times will cause those who depart from truth to be, “Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their consciences seared with a hot iron”(I Timothy 4:2). Paul encourages Timothy, who was overwhelmed by the events taking place to, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses”(I Timothy 6:12). A healthy goal of Christianity is summarized in I Timothy 6:19, “Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

The book of II Timothy was also written by Paul to his spiritual son at the end of AD 66. Paul knew that his life was nearing an end, as he sent this fatherly letter of encouragement. Paul instructs Timothy in II Timothy 1:6 regarding his gift, “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.” He further encourages Timothy in II Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Christian warfare is addressed as Paul instructs Timothy, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ”(II Timothy 2:3). Paul's personal needs are addressed in I Timothy 4:13, “The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest bring with thee and the books, but especially the parchments.” This epistle was written in a very personal style as Paul reflected on his impending death.

The epistles, or letters, of Paul recorded in the New Testament are a treasure trove of instruction for our Christian walk. Even with the epic changes that the world has undergone since the writing of these letters by the Apostle Paul, man's heart and the truth of scripture remain unchanged. Reading the New Testament with an eye toward our own life situations will uncover much wisdom for living. I pray that you read the books of I & II Timothy and allow God to bless and edify you in the truth that they contain.


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