Adorn Yourself With Godliness: A Study of 1st Timothy and Titus

How could you be more beautiful than to adorn yourself with the very character of God so that your life displays the beliefs you claim to profess?! You can choose to “dress,” act, and be like Him — for Him!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness] Using This Study Guide

The Basic Study

This study guide consists of 19 lessons covering two of Paul’s letters—First Timothy and Titus. Most of the lessons are short. However, if you cannot do the entire lesson one week, please read the Bible passage(s) covered by the lesson.

Process of Bible Study: Each lesson includes core questions covering the passage narrative. These core questions will take you through the process of inductive Bible study—observation, interpretation, and application. The process is more easily understood in the context of answering these questions:

·         What does the passage say? (Observation: what’s actually there)

·         What does it mean? (Interpretation: the author’s intended meaning)

·         How does this apply to me today? (Application: making it personal) Questions identified as “Adorning Yourself” lead you to introspection and application of a specific truth to your life. You will be given opportunity to use creative means to express God’s faithfulness to you in your life’s journey.

Study Enhancements

To aid in proper interpretation and application of the study, five additional study aids are located where appropriate in the lesson:

·         Historical Insights

·         Scriptural Insights

·         From the Greek (definitions of Greek words)

·         Focus on the Meaning

·         Think About It (thoughtful reflection)

Overview of Paul’s Letters to Timothy & Titus

As a result of Paul’s missionary journeys and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ, local churches were formed. These believers met in homes or wherever they could gather to continue in the apostles’ teachings and to live out the Christian faith among one another as well as among the unbelieving world.

When Paul visited Ephesus after his release from Roman house arrest, he discovered that during his absence, the church was plagued with all kinds of spiritual problems. The city itself, with all of its corruption and idolatry was proving to be a spiritual battleground for the congregation of believers. Having faithfully done all he could to develop and teach the truths of the gospel throughout his ministry, Paul is concerned near the end of his life that his faithful disciples would entrust these truths to other faithful Christians who would in turn entrust them to still others, and on and on. Paul viewed this body of truth as a special stewardship from God, to be managed with great care. Since this truth leads to godliness by pointing believers to Jesus Christ, it was the most valuable of treasures. The local church leaders were not only to faithfully teach truth to their congregations but also to sternly resist all attempts to undermine, pollute, or attack the true gospel.

Paul left 2 of his trusted friends—Timothy in Ephesus and Titus on the island of Crete—to continue the work of teaching the truth and resisting error creeping into the young churches there. These letters we have in our Bible were written to encourage these young pastors, reminding them to teach and train others to be faithful to the true Gospel.

Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus are called “pastoral epistles” because for the most part they are Paul’s counsel to his assistants who served in the pastoral or shepherd-like function of those local churches, particularly in the regions of Ephesus and Crete.

Four major themes are woven throughout Paul’s instruction to Timothy and Titus, themes that address the issues facing local churches just like the one you are attending now—issues faced by the pastoral leaders as well as the members.

·         Theme #1: Teach and maintain truth and sound doctrine - guard against/avoid error

·         Theme #2: Importance of identifying leadership who will faithfully teach truth

·         Theme #3: Concern for the reputation of the church, “…so that God may not be dishonored”

·         Theme #4: Do good deeds demonstrating what you believe

Adorn Yourself with Godliness

“Adorn” (from Greek “kosmeo,” source for English “cosmetic”) — primarily to arrange, to put in order

Have you ever thought that as you were applying your make-up, you were actually putting your face in order?! Or, when you get ready for a big interview, you’re actually arranging yourself in such a way by what you wear and how you act to demonstrate that you are truly the right person for the job! And, of course, you want the best as you make arrangements for a special anniversary dinner with your husband—his favorite meal, as you are adorned with his favorite dress, hairstyle and perfume!

“Godliness” — to be devout, denotes piety (reverence) which, characterized by a Godward attitude, does that which is well-pleasing to Him … God-likeness

What could be a more beautiful, worthwhile goal than to aspire to adorn yourself with godliness…to put yourself in order with the very character of God…to arrange or live your life properly displaying the beliefs you claim to profess…to dress, act, and be like Him for Him!

Well, 1st Timothy and Titus are full of “fashion” facts so that, as simply stated in Titus 2:10, we can truly …

“…adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.” (NASB)

“…in every way make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.” (NIV)

“…make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way.” (NLT)

“…bring credit to (adorn, show the beauty of) the teaching of God our Savior in everything.” (NET)

That is our hope for each of you as you learn from God’s Word through Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus. Look in the mirror each morning and see who you really are, and then “dress” in such a way to let others see Jesus in you. In other words, learn to “wear Jesus comfortably.” After all, we are the Body of Christ! Let’s approach our world every morning as we do our mirrors … getting ready to present His Body to an ugly world, desperately in need of adornment.

Will you choose to adorn yourself with godliness?

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness] Who Were Timothy And Titus?

Timothy

Timothy was a teenager when he met Paul. His family lived in Lystra so he was a Galatian. His father was a Greek man; we know nothing of his faith. But, Timothy’s mom and grandmother were faithful Jewish women who taught the Old Testament scriptures to this boy they loved so much (Acts 16:1, 2 Timothy 1:15). As the women heard Paul preach, they believed in Jesus, and so did Timothy. Timothy may have seen Paul heal a lame man in his town. That would have been exciting! He may also have watched as an angry mob threw stones at Paul and left him for dead (Acts 14:8-20). Yet, he also knew Paul survived. When Paul came back to Lystra a couple of years later on his second journey, Paul invited Timothy to travel with him.

Timothy helped Paul to establish churches at Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea (Acts 16:1 – 17:14). When Paul left Berea to go to Athens he left Timothy and Silas behind, but later sent word for them to join him (Acts 17:13-15). Timothy was sent to Thessalonica to strengthen the faith of believers there (1 Thessalonians 3:1-2).

Timothy was a trustworthy friend who carried money collected by the Philippian church to care for Paul’s needs in Corinth. During the 3 years Paul was in Ephesus teaching them about the amazing power of God, Timothy was there, too. When Paul was imprisoned in Rome for two years, Timothy was right alongside him much of the time unselfishly taking care of Paul’s needs. By now, Timothy was a young man of about 30 who for at least 13 years had been learning how to teach about Jesus and serve God’s people well as he watched Paul do it. Paul thought of Timothy not only as a very faithful friend but also as his spiritual son.

After Paul’s release from prison in Rome, Timothy and Paul traveled to visit friends in the churches they had founded. When they got to Ephesus, Paul recognized some men in the church were teaching error about Jesus saying that Jesus could not have been a man and God at the same time. Paul wanted to go on to visit his friends in Macedonia, but he didn’t want to leave the Ephesian church in turmoil. So, he left Timothy to teach truth to the church there while Paul went on to Macedonia. As an “apostolic representative, Timothy had the authority to order worship (1 Timothy 2:1-15) and appoint elders and deacons (1 Timothy 3:1-3). Paul thought he’d get back to Ephesus soon, but that didn’t happen. He was concerned about what was going on in Ephesus, so he wrote Timothy the letter called 1st Timothy around AD 64 from Rome or Macedonia.

Six of Paul’s epistles include Timothy in the salutations. The most tender and moving of Paul’s letters was his last one to Timothy. He was a prisoner in a Roman dungeon when he wrote 2 Timothy, approximately AD 67. He knew he had a short time to live, so the letter is his spiritual last will and testament – his “dying wish” – to encourage Timothy and to request that Timothy join him during his final days of imprisonment (2 Timothy 1:4; 4:9, 21).

According to Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, which was written several centuries later (originally published in 1563), Timothy remained in Ephesus until AD 97. During a pagan celebration of a feast called “Catagogian,” Timothy severely reproved the people in the procession for their ridiculous idolatry. This antagonized the partygoers who beat him with clubs “in so dreadful a manner that he expired of the bruises two days later.”

Titus

During Paul’s first missionary journey, a young man named Titus heard Paul preach about Jesus. Titus was Greek—he had not grown up worshiping the God of the Bible. As he listened to Paul, Titus’ heart responded to the message, and he believed in Jesus. Paul brought him to Jerusalem (Galatians 2:1-4) to show the apostles and other Jewish believers how a Greek non-Jew could love God just as much as they did. Titus represented all the other non-Jewish people who became Christians and were completely accepted by God through their faith in Jesus Christ—like most of us!

Titus continued to travel with Paul on missionary journeys, helping in the work of sharing the gospel. During the 3 years Paul was in Ephesus teaching them about the amazing power of God (third journey), Titus was there. Then, Paul sent him to Corinth to alleviate tension there (2 Corinthians 7:6, 13-14) and to collect money for the poor (2 Corinthians 8:6, 16, 23). Paul thought of Titus not only as a very faithful friend but also as his spiritual son because he had led him to trust Christ.

After Paul was released from the Roman prison where he had been for two years, he and Titus traveled to the island of Crete. Paul and Titus taught the people, called Cretans, about their need for God and the good news about Jesus (Titus 1:4-5). Soon there were enough believers to start churches in several towns. Paul wanted to go visit the church in Corinth so he left Titus to continue teaching the new Christians and to appoint church leaders for each new church. Someone came to replace him in Crete so Titus met Paul in western Macedonia and continued his missionary work northward into what is now Albania (2 Timothy 4:10). The gospel was really spreading into Europe, wasn’t it!

Back in Crete, though, Titus was a busy man as he cared for all the new Cretan believers, especially because the people just didn’t know how to do what is good in God’s eyes. Paul knew Titus needed some encouragement and reminders of what was important to teach the people. Paul wrote to Titus soon after writing 1st Timothy, probably while Paul was in Macedonia, on his way to Nicopolis (Titus 3:12). Paul hoped to join Titus again, but there is no way of knowing whether that meeting ever took place. Tradition has it that Titus later returned to Crete and there served out the rest of his life.

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness] Introduction

Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus are called “pastoral epistles” because for the most part they are Paul’s counsel to his assistants who served in the pastoral or shepherd-like function of those local churches, particularly in the regions of Ephesus and Crete.

When Paul visited Ephesus after his release from Roman house arrest, he discovered that during his absence, the church was plagued with all kinds of spiritual problems. The city itself, with all of its corruption and idolatry was proving to be a spiritual battleground for the congregation of believers.

What James Stalker says in The Life of St. Paul applies to all of us,

“If it be remembered how vast was the change which most of the members had made in passing from the worship of the heathen temples to the pure and simple worship of Christianity, it will not excite surprise that their old life still clung to them or that they did not clearly distinguish which things needed to be changed and which might continue as they had been.”

Hold to Truth

All of us have past teaching of some sort, whether within our local churches or outside the church. Teaching that affects our understanding of “the pure and simple worship of Christ.” That is what we should all be seeking. Having faithfully done all he could to develop and teach the truths of the gospel throughout his ministry, Paul is concerned near the end of his life that his faithful disciples would entrust these truths to other faithful Christians who would in turn entrust them to still others, and on and on. Paul viewed this body of truth as a special stewardship from God, to be managed with great care. Since this truth leads to godliness by pointing believers to Jesus Christ, it was the most valuable of treasures. The local church leaders were not only to faithfully teach truth to their congregations but also to sternly resist all attempts to undermine, pollute, or attack the true gospel.

Paul wrote in Galatians 1:6-9 to the Galatians and to us:

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are following a different gospel—not that there really is another gospel, but there are some who are disturbing you and wanting to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we (or an angel from heaven) should preach a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be condemned to hell! As we have said before, and now I say again, if any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let him be condemned to hell!”

Paul knew even his humanity and his capability of falling into error if he took his eyes off of God. So, he instructed the people that if they heard him teaching another gospel than the gospel of Jesus Christ as it had already been taught to them, they should go back to TRUTH and not even listen to Paul! If the message you hear is contrary to the Gospel already presented, turn away from it. If your pastor or your favorite Internet, TV, or radio teacher starts teaching something contrary to the truth printed within the Word of God, flee from it—turn it off! In other words, don’t get so committed to a man, woman, group, or teacher that when you start hearing extra stuff, or even just “fluff,” that you remain committed to whatever that person says. Stop. Test everything with the Word of God. Read your Bibles. Know the Word of God so well that you can move away from untruth.

In View of the Finished Product

Seamstresses use patterns to create fashion pieces to adorn themselves—a dress, skirt, or blouse. Looking at a single pattern piece for a dress won’t teach you how to make the dress. Looking at the finished product, the picture of the dress, gives you an idea of how the pieces fit together, though. A seamstress has the finished product in mind as she follows the instructions to use all the pattern pieces to construct the dress as it was designed. This is similar to studying the Bible.

To understand how to live as God intended us to live, we need to spend time perfecting our knowledge of Him through His Word—not just pieces every now and then, but diligently familiarizing ourselves with all of it. We need to read through the Bible at least once, not expecting to understand it all, but we will begin to have a grand picture of God and His plan throughout the ages. Before starting a detailed study of a book of the Bible, we need to read the whole book to get a general feel for its message. Like a seamstress, we get a glimpse of the whole picture before putting together the pieces. When studying a specific passage in the Bible, we should read the whole chapter in which it is found to see the context of the passage.

All of these actions require diligent planning similar to the process of a seamstress making a dress. The pieces only make sense as they contribute to the whole dress. We should not be content to adorn ourselves with only one piece of the dress—a sleeve, cuff, or collar—and think we are wearing the completed dress.

Four major themes are woven throughout Paul’s instruction to Timothy and Titus, themes that address the issues facing local churches just like the one you are attending now—issues faced by the pastoral leaders as well as the members.

·         Theme #1: Teach and maintain truth and sound doctrine - guard against/avoid error

·         Theme #2: Importance of identifying leadership who will faithfully teach truth

·         Theme #3: Concern for the reputation of the church, “…so that God may not be dishonored”

·         Theme #4: Do good deeds demonstrating what you believe

These themes are like pattern pieces that when put together lead a believer to adorn herself with godliness.

Adorn Yourself with Godliness

The English word “adorn” translates the Greek word kosmeo from which we get our word “cosmetic.” It means, “to arrange, to put in order.” That’s what women do when we style our hair, put on makeup, and dress ourselves. Have you ever thought that as you were applying your make-up, you were actually putting your face in order?! Or, when you get ready for a big interview, you’re actually arranging yourself in such a way by what you wear and how you act to demonstrate that you are truly the right person for the job! And, if you are married, you want the best as you make arrangements for a special dinner with your husband—his favorite meal, as you are adorned with his favorite dress, hairstyle and perfume! Adorning yourself is a good thing.

What is godliness? Godliness is a reverence for God characterized by a Godward attitude, doing that which is well-pleasing to Him, and taking on His likeness—Godlikeness, not becoming God but presenting Him. Attributes of godliness are those same ones found in our Lord Jesus—humility, compassion, love, prayer, dependency on God the Father, and many more. What could be a more beautiful, worthwhile goal than to aspire to adorn yourself with godliness? To put yourself in order with the very character of God? To arrange or live your life properly displaying the beliefs you claim to profess? What could be more beautiful than to dress, act, and be like Him for Him!

Well, 1st Timothy and Titus are full of “fashion” facts so that, as simply stated in Titus 2:10, we can truly …

“…adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.” (NASB)

“…in every way make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.” (NIV)

“…make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way.” (NLT)

“…bring credit to (adorn, show the beauty of) the teaching of God our Savior in everything.” (NET)

Now, your reaction might be, “That sounds nice; I’ll sit back and watch others do it.” Or, you might think, “I can’t do that.” Be assured that God doesn’t ask us to do something without equipping us to do it.

Jesus promised those who follow Him,

“Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever –the Spirit of truth…But you know him, because he resides with you and will be in you. I will not abandon you as orphans, I will come to you." (John 14:16,18)

Paul continued this assurance of help in Philippians 1:6,

“…the One who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

And Peter confidently wrote in 2 Peter 1:3,

“His divine power has bestowed on us everything necessary for life and godliness through the rich knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and excellence.”

We have everything we need for godliness through the Spirit of God who lives inside every believer and is continually at work in us. What assurance! We CAN adorn ourselves with godliness because of Jesus’ Spirit in us. We CAN live a godly life because of His Spirit in us.

The word “responsibility” breaks down for the Christian as “my response to His ability.” The how-to has been given us, but most of us struggle with what does godliness look like? Paul writes to women in 1 Timothy 2:9-10:

“Likewise the women are to dress in suitable apparel, with modesty and self-control. Their adornment must not be with braided hair and gold or pearls or expensive clothing, but with good deeds, as is proper for women who profess reverence [godliness-NAS/worship-NIV] for God.”

We’ll get into a discussion of “suitable apparel” when we get to the lesson covering that passage. For now, why would our adornment be important? Because THEY are always watching. Who are they? Titus 2:7-8 says,

“…showing yourself to be an example of good works in every way. In your teaching show integrity, dignity, and a sound message that cannot be criticized, so that any opponent will be at a loss, because he has nothing evil to say about us.”

Those who oppose Christ and the Gospel (the “fashion police”) are always watching looking for an excuse not to believe. When we adorn ourselves with godliness, there is nothing for “them” to accuse. Then, the word of God, God’s message to the world that we profess, will not be dishonored or discredited (Titus 2:5).”

Don’t you wish every morning when you approached the mirror to get ready, that you could simply put on ONE THING, or do just ONE THING, that would get the job done? One thing that would present you to the world looking just the way you would like to look. But, we must go through the whole routine: the shower, the hair dryer, the curling iron, the hair spray, the foundation, the rouge, the eye shadow, the eye liner, the eye lash curler, the mascara. Then, we still have to get dressed with all that entails! Really! And we do this to feel presentable to our friends and family. They are not even the fashion police, the opponents!

Though there are several ways to reveal Christ, there is only one thing to put on: Christ! Hebrews 12:2 describes it this way: “keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus.” Is that whom you see when you are looking in the mirror in the morning? Focusing your eyes on Jesus at all times will get the job done!

Consider a pistachio in its shell. If you loved pistachios, would pleasure would it give you if you never let it out of its shell to enjoy the taste of its fruit? None! Well, Jesus lives in me, in you as a believer. What if I never let Him live in my world? What pleasure will I give to anyone around me, anyone He has put in my life, if I never let Him out to reveal His fruit? None! Remember this wonderful saying:

He gave His life for you, so He could give His life to you, so He could live His life through you!

Adorn yourself with godliness. Look in the mirror each morning and see who you really are, and then “dress” in such a way to let others see Jesus in you. This isn’t about “acting religious.” This is about “wearing Jesus comfortably!” We (all believers) are the Body of Christ. Paul wants to encourage us in his letters so that we will approach our world every morning as we do our mirrors—getting ready to present His Body to an ugly world, desperately in need of adornment!

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness Lesson 1] Introduction to Timothy and Titus

“…I am writing these instructions to you in case I am delayed, to let you know how people ought to conduct themselves in the household of God, because it is the church of the living God, the support and bulwark of the truth.” (1 Timothy 3:14-15 NIV)

Where do we begin? Have you ever heard the saying: “You can’t see the forest for the trees”? The best way to study books of the Bible is to begin with the “forest” – survey the whole – and then proceed to the “trees” – the individual parts. We are going to take the first lesson to acquaint ourselves with both letters.

In our survey, we can identify four major themes that are woven throughout both letters. Together, these will fashion a pattern for the rest of our study to help interpret each lesson in context with Paul’s general design. This lesson will take more time than the rest, as you will be reading through both letters. So, let’s begin…

Day One Study

Read 1 Timothy and Titus to get the feel and atmosphere of each letter and to gain Paul’s perspective on everything that he shares. Identify key words and phrases as well as anything of interest to you. Pay attention to the similarities between the two letters.

Day Two Study

Major Theme #1: Truth vs. Error

The first theme really breaks down into positive versus negative.

1. The POSITIVE: Read all of the verses in each set once or twice, looking for a common word or message, then summarize each set with a short phrase. What does Paul keep emphasizing?

·         1 Timothy 2:7; 4:6, 10-11, 13; 6:2 (end of verse only); Titus 2:1, 15—

·         1 Timothy 5:21; 6:20a (first part); Titus 1:9—

2. Read Romans 1:1-5a, 1 Timothy 1:11-12; 2:4-6; 6:3, 15-16; Titus 1:1-3. What specifically is the truth or sound doctrine?

3. Now, summarize your notes in the two questions above to come up with one common message.

4. The NEGATIVE: Read 1 Timothy 1:3-4, 10 (end of verse) and Titus 1:10-11, 13-16. What is true about those who teach error?

5. Read 1 Timothy 4:7a; 6:20b-21 and Titus 3:9-10. What are we supposed to do when we encounter error?

6. Read 1 Timothy 1:6-7; 4:1-3; 6:3-5; Titus 1:11. Where does error lead?

7. Once again, Paul emphasizes over and over a common message. In your own words, what is Paul teaching them to guard against and why?

8. Read 1 Timothy 1:11-12 carefully. Why is Paul so concerned about his message and his teaching?

9. Certainly you can agree that if Paul made this many comments on the same subject, it should be taken seriously and seen as a pattern woven throughout each letter. What could happen to the local church…therefore you…therefore the world…if we do not seriously and energetically apply Paul’s emphatic message to Timothy, Titus and the church?

10. Adorning Yourself: What specific actions can you or do you take in your daily life to ensure that you don’t wander away from God’s truth or sound doctrine?

Day Three Study

Major Theme #2: Identification of Leadership

11. Theme #2 works hand-in-hand with Theme #1. Read 1 Timothy 1:7; 4:12 and Titus 1:15. Why would Paul give so much instruction to Timothy and Titus about the selection of church leadership?

The next two themes summarize Paul’s interest for Christians to live lives that properly adorn or display the doctrine or belief they claim to profess.

Major Theme #3: Concern for the Reputation of the Church

12. Read 1 Timothy 3:15. Who does “the church” represent, and what is its purpose?

13. Read Titus 2:5b, 8-10. Why is Paul so concerned about the church being “above reproach”, having a “good conscience”?

Major Theme #4: “Do Good Deeds Demonstrating What You Believe”

14. Read 1 Timothy 5:10; 6:18 and Titus 1:8. What are some examples of good deeds?

15. Read 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 4:10; Titus 2:11-14. What should be our motivation for doing good deeds?

16. Read 1 Timothy 6:6, 18-19 and Matthew 6:20. What is the long-term result of doing good deeds?

17. Read 1 Timothy 2:2; 3:16; 4:7-8; 6:3-6; and Titus 1:1. Did you notice how many times the word “godliness” or “godly” appears? In Titus 1:1, what are the key accessories that can help you adorn yourself with godliness?

18. Adorning Yourself: Compare 1 Timothy 1:5 with Titus 1:16. Which “fashion statement” are you pursuing and modeling?

Think About It: “The church, which is invisible, made up of all believers who are in the body of Christ, manifests itself down here upon the earth in local assemblies, in the local churches. Now, just to put a steeple on a building and a bell in the steeple and a pulpit down front and a choir in the loft singing the doxology doesn’t mean it is a local church in the New Testament sense of the word. There must be certain identifying features…In all three epistles Paul is dealing with two things: the creed of the church and the conduct of the church. For the church within, the worship must be right. For the church outside, good works must be manifested. Worship is inside; works are outside. That’s the way the church is to manifest itself.” (J. Vernon McGee, Thru-the-Bible Commentary Series)

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness Lesson 2] Teaching with Pure Motives

1 Timothy 1:1-7

Background

Timothy, the recipient of this letter, was a pastor in Ephesus, a harbor city on the west coast of the province of Asia. Ephesus was an important cultural, commercial and religious center. The most prominent feature of Ephesus was its Temple to Artemis or the goddess Diana, a fertility goddess. This temple became one the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. A key livelihood was that of the silversmiths who fashioned silver shrines and images of Diana to sell to the tourist-worshipers. Paul was so successful in his ministry (Acts 19:20) that it threatened their livelihood. Paul wrote this letter several years after his three years spent there. [See also “Who Were Timothy and Titus?” in the Overview.]

Day One Study

1. Read 1Timothy 1:1-7 and 4:1-2. What information is revealed about Timothy?

2. To learn more about Timothy, read the following passages. What do we know about Timothy? What type of person was he? How did Paul regard Timothy?

·         Acts 16:1-3—

·         1 Corinthians 4:17—

·         1 Corinthians 16:10-11—

·         Philippians 2:19-24—

·         1 Thessalonians 3:2—

·         1 Timothy 4:12—

·         Hebrews 13:23—

3. Read 1 Timothy 1:3-6 and 4:1-2. What appears to be the problem plaguing the church in Ephesus?

Historical Insight: What did Paul mean by “myths and endless genealogies (1:4)?” We don’t know exactly what the false teachers in Ephesus were teaching. If they were Jews, they may have devised a complex mythology based on Old Testament genealogies. On the other hand, they may have been forerunners of the groups that became popular in the second century A. D. We call those groups Gnostics from the Greek word gnosis, “knowledge.” Each Gnostic group claimed that one could be saved from futility only by knowing some secret knowledge which that group alone possessed. This secret knowledge they claimed centered around a complex genealogy, beginning with the true “Absolute,” who fathered a secondary deity, who fathered a tertiary deity or deities, and so on.

4. What do the verses in the previous question tell us about the nature and consequences of false teaching?

5. In contrast to false teaching, what is the goal of true teaching (v. 5), and from where does it come?

6. Using a dictionary/Bible dictionary, define these phrases:

·         “pure heart”—

·         “good conscience”—

·         “sincere faith”—

7. Adorning Yourself: How can you live out the goal of love in a society characterized by false and empty teaching?

Day Two Study

8. In 1 Timothy 1:4-5, Paul outlines 2 ways of determining whether a teaching is valid and true. Read the following summary:

Paul paints a double contrast between speculation and faith in God's revelation and between controversy and love for one another. Here are two practical tests for us to apply to all teaching. The first is the test of faith: does it come from God, being in agreement with apostolic doctrine (so that it may be received by faith), or is it the product of fertile human imagination? The second is the test of love: does it promote unity in the body of Christ?...Faith means that we receive it from God; love means that it builds up the church. The ultimate criteria by which to judge any teaching are whether it promotes the glory of God and the good of the church. (John Stott, Fighting the Good Fight)

Does this summary help you understand verses 4-5 in discerning whether a certain teaching might be truth or error? Why or why not?

9. In verse 6, how does someone "stray” (“wander away”-NIV) from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith?

10. What do you suppose Paul means by the phrase "empty discussion" (NET) or "meaningless talk" (NIV)?

11. Adorning Yourself: Pay attention to your conversation this week. How much of your conversation would you describe as "fruitless" or "meaningless?" How much is edifying or uplifting?

Think About It: “By entertaining of strange persons, men sometimes entertain angels unawares; but by entertaining of strange doctrines, many have entertained devils unaware.” (John Flavel)

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness Lesson 3] Confusing Legalism With Godliness

1 Timothy 1:7-11

Background

One of the problems affecting the church in Ephesus was legalism or asceticism. These are characterized by a denial of good things. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines asceticism as “practicing strict self-denial as a measure of personal and especially spiritual discipline.” Webster’s dictionary defines legalism as “strict, often too strict and literal, adherence to law.” Chuck Swindoll says that “legalism invariably denies the principle of GRACE and exalts the PRIDE of man.”

Day One Study

1. Read 1 Timothy 1:7-11 and 4:3-5. Who is Paul describing? What does he tell us about them?

Scriptural Insight: The Law (1 Timothy 1:7-8) refers to the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, written by Moses, also called the Pentateuch.

2. Read Romans 1:21-22 and Titus 1:10-11. What do these passages add to what you learn from 1 Timothy 1:7?

3. Read 1 Timothy 1:8-11. In contrast to false teaching, Paul affirmed the right use of the law. What is it? (See also Galatians 3:19, 24, Romans 7:4-8; 12; 8:1-4)

Think About It: “The law is like a mirror – it can show you that there is a problem, but it can’t provide a solution.” (Tim Stevenson, sermon July 18, 1999)

4. For whom is the Law intended, according to verses 1 Timothy 1:9-10?

5. Read Exodus 20:3-17. Compare Paul’s list of examples in 1 Timothy 1:9-10 to the Ten Commandments just read in Exodus. Why do you think this parallel is significant?             

6. Adorning Yourself: What is the proper use of the law for us today? How might we use it improperly? Is it still important (valid)? Why or why not?

Day Two Study

The word doctrine is a key word of the Pastoral Epistles. Twenty-three of its fifty occurrences in the New Testament are found in Paul’s writings, and of these twenty-three, seventeen are in the Pastoral Epistles. The word means “teaching.”

7. What does Paul mean by “sound teaching” (“sound doctrine”-NIV) in verse 10? See also 1 Timothy 6:3, Titus 1:9 and 2:1. Why is it so important to maintain sound doctrine and refute false teachings?

8. What is the connection between sound doctrine and godly living? Does one lead to the other? Why?

Think About It: “Moral collapse follows upon spiritual collapse.” (C. S. Lewis)

9. Adorning Yourself: What steps do you take to make sure your life is based on sound doctrine? In what ways does the teaching you have received encourage you towards godly living? What part does the will play in choosing to practice what you have learned?

10. What does Paul mean by “the glorious gospel of the blessed God”? (1 Timothy 1:11) Describe this “glorious gospel” in your own words.

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness Lesson 4] Amazing Grace

1 Timothy 1:12-17

Day One Study

1. For background information, read about Paul’s conversion in Acts 7:54–8:3; 9:1-31; 22:3-5; 22:19-20; 26:9-11 and Galatians 1:13-14. What information is given about Paul’s life before he met the risen Christ? How was his life changed?

2. Read 1 Timothy 1:12-17. Discuss what Paul says about himself in verses 13 and 15?

3. For what did Paul thank God? Why?

4. Define mercy. See also Psalm 103:13-14, Ephesians 2:4-7 and Romans 5:8.

5. What does this reveal about God’s character? How does this encourage you?

6. How did God show Paul grace?

Focus on the Meaning: What is grace? Grace is that which God does for mankind through His Son, which mankind cannot earn, does not deserve, and will never merit. It is God’s unmerited favor in spite of the response of humanity. It is summed up in the name, person, and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Chuck Swindoll)

7. Adorning Yourself: How does He show it to us today? How can we show it to others?

8. What “trustworthy saying” does Paul cite in 1 Timothy 1:15? Why does it deserve “full acceptance”?

Focus on the Meaning: “Trustworthy saying” in Greek is Pistos ho logos, literally, “faithful the word.” The phrase is found only in the Pastoral Epistles. See also 1 Timothy 3:1, 2 Timothy 2:11,and Titus 3:8. It is used to describe statements that ought to be regarded as fully reliable – a nonnegotiable truth.

9. How was Paul an example of Christ’s unlimited patience?

10. Adorning Yourself: How have you experienced Christ’s patience? Where would we be if God were not patient, merciful and gracious to us? Read 2 Peter 3:9. Thank God for His unlimited patience this week! Ask God for His strength to be more patient with others.

Day Two Study

11. What can we learn about the character of God from the “doxology” Paul writes in verse 17?

Focus on the Meaning: Amen—The word comes from a Hebrew root meaning, “to be firm, steady, trustworthy.” It is used in the Old Testament by a congregation or an individual to accept both the validity of an oath and its consequences (see Numbers 5:22, Deuteronomy 27:15-16, Jeremiah 11:5) as well as a response to a benediction. By the time of the New Testament, the word was regularly used at the close of prayers and doxologies to agree with the ideas and sentiments that had just been expressed.

12. What does the doxology tell you about Paul’s relationship with God?

13. Read 1 Timothy 1:18-20. What is the “good fight” Paul urged Timothy to fight (see also 1 Timothy 6:12)?

14. What part do faith and a good conscience play in engaging in this battle?

15. Paul noted that some believers had shipwrecked their faith. Why would Christians do this?

16. Paul had handed Hymenaeus and Alexander over to Satan, removing them from the church fellowship. Hymenaeus’ error is described in 2 Timothy 2:17-18. Why would Paul do something like this? (See also 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15.)

17. Adorning Yourself: For the sake of the rest of the members, a local church body cannot support error-filled teaching. How do you determine whether you are drawn to teaching that is true to the gospel or could be filled with errors? What are some of the “red flags” that you look for or listen for in someone’s teaching?

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness Lesson 5] Put on Prayer

1 Timothy 2:1-7

Day One Study

1. Read 1 Timothy 2:1-7. In this section of his letter, Paul uses four words for prayer:

·         qdeesis (deh’-ay-sis) — a request for a specific need; supplication – may be addressed to God or man

·         proseuche (pros-you-khay’) — prayer in the ordinary sense, either private (devotions) or public (temple worship) – always refers to communication to God

·         entcuxis (ent’-yook-sis) —a petition to a superior with boldness and freedom of approach

·         eucharistia (yoo-khar-is-tee’-ah) —thanksgiving in gratitude

Compare and contrast these four words. What is the significance of having four different words?

2. Paul urged that prayers be offered for all people, for kings, and all those in authority. Who would be the equivalent of these people in our country today?

Historical Insight: Paul’s instruction to pray for kings and all those in authority was remarkable since at that time no Christian ruler existed anywhere in the world. The reigning emperor was Nero, whose vanity, cruelty and hostility to the Christian faith were widely known. The persecution of the church, spasmodic at first, was soon to become systematic, and Christians were understandably apprehensive. Yet they had recourse to prayer. Indeed, prayer for pagan countries and their leaders already had a precedent in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 29:7; Ezekiel 6:10). (John Stott, Fighting the Good Fight)

3. What do Proverbs 21:1, Psalm 33:10-11, and Romans 13:1 say about authority?

4. Why are we to pray for our leaders?

5. Why might praying for political leaders give us peaceful (tranquil), quiet lives?

Focus on the Meaning: Both 1 Timothy 2:2 and 2 Thessalonians 3:12 use a form of the Greek word hesuchia (hay-soo-khee’-ah). In 1 Timothy 2:2, hesuchia is translated “tranquil,” “peaceable,” or “peaceful”. In 2 Thessalonians 3:12, the phrase including hesuchia is translated “to work in a quiet fashion,” “that with quietness they work,” or “to settle down”.

6. Why is this type of life desirable for believers?

7. Adorning Yourself: Make a list of the people in your life who fit the descriptions in 1 Timothy 2:1-2: government leaders; those in authority at work, church, and other organizations that affect you and your family; everyone in your life (family, friends, neighbors, etc.). Spend some time this week praying for those on your list. Share with your small group how this prayer time has impacted you. How might your life be changed if you prayed for these people on a regular basis?

Day Two Study

8. What does God desire for all men?

9. What truth does He desire all men to come to know?

10. Consider the words “mediator” and “ransom.” Using a concordance or dictionary to define:

·         Mediator—

·         Ransom—

11. Answer the following questions and find Bible verses to support your answers.

·         Why do we need a mediator and a ransom?

·         How did Jesus serve as our mediator?

·         How did Jesus serve as a ransom for all?

Think About It: It is because there is one God and one mediator that all people must be included in the church’s prayers and proclamation. God’s desire and Christ’s death concern all people; therefore the church’s duty concerns all people too, reaching out to them both in earnest prayer and in urgent witness. (John Stott, Fighting the Good Fight)

12. Adorning Yourself: How does it impact you to know that Jesus is our mediator? That He gave Himself as a ransom for all? Feel free to use any creative means to describe how you feel about this.

13. Verse 7 tells us Paul was appointed a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles. What is the significance of this? Read Acts 10:44-45, Acts 13:44-47, Acts 18:5-6, and Romans 1:16 for more information.

14. Adorning Yourself: Read Genesis 12:1-3 and Galatians 3:13-14. Paul’s ministry to Gentiles helped to fulfill God’s covenant to Abraham. If you are a Gentile Christian, thank God for His invitation to you to share in the covenant.

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness Lesson 6] How to Dress for Worship

1 Timothy 2:8-10

Day One Study

1. Read 1 Timothy 2:8-10. Look up the word “holy” in a dictionary or concordance. What do you think it means to pray with “holy hands”?

Scriptural Insight: In New Testament culture, a common prayer posture was to stand with hands lifted up (Luke 24:50), possibly symbolizing the purity of life necessary for proper fellowship with God. Other prayer postures mentioned in the Bible are bowing, kneeling, and lying prostrate (face down).

2. Paul states in verse 8 that men are to pray without wrath and dissension. The Greek word dialogismos (dee-al-og-is-mos’), translated “dissension,” “disputing,” or “doubting,” means a deliberating or questioning of (possibly arguing about) what is true. Look back at the definition of hesuchios in last week’s lesson. How does dialogismos contrast with hesuchios?

3. Read Matthew 5:23-24, Matthew 6:12 and I Peter 3:7. How will our relationship with others impact our prayer and worship?

4. Adorning Yourself: Has there been a time that you had to settle unresolved issues with someone before worshipping or praying? Is there a relationship in your life that needs resolving now?

5. What is the significance of the word “likewise” (“I also want”-NIV) in verse 9? To whom is Paul comparing the women? In what setting?

6. Define the various words Paul used in verse 9 to describe how women ARE to dress.

7. How could a woman choosing to dress with modesty and propriety enhance the corporate worship experience of Christ for everyone, especially for the men also participating in worship of Christ?

8. What should NOT be the focus of a woman’s adornment?

9. Is there anything inherently wrong with braided hair? Wearing jewelry? Dressing nicely? What do “gold, pearls, and expensive clothes” represent?

10. Why do you think Paul is addressing this? Use a Bible dictionary or commentary for additional information on the culture of the time.

11. Adorning Yourself: Have these things ever caused a problem for you in worship? Explain.

Day Two Study

12. In verse 10, how does Paul instruct women to adorn themselves?

Think About It: To adorn yourself with godliness means that I adorn:

• my face with God’s joy,

• my lips with God’s truth,

• my heart with God’s grace,

• my body with God’s Holy Spirit,

• my feet in God’s righteousness,

and to use God’s Word as my dresser drawers. (Cathy Pack, Joy Bible Study participant, 2000)

13. What do you think that means?

14. Read 1 Peter 3:2-4. How does this passage compare with 1 Timothy 2:9-10?

15. Adorning Yourself: Think about a woman you have known who is “adorned with good works.” How would you describe her?

16. Adorning Yourself: What part do you have in leading a tranquil life, attractive to the nonbeliever so the gospel may be spread? How can you adorn yourself with good works?

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness Lesson 7] Put on Submission

1 Timothy 2:11-15

Day One Study

1. Read 1 Timothy 2:11-15. According to verse 11 what does Paul tell Timothy to “let a woman” do?

2. What does Paul say is not allowed?

Scriptural Insight: What does “remain quiet” mean? The Greek word hesuchia, used in verse 2, is also used in verses 11-12. In verse 11 it refers to how a woman is to receive instruction, usually translated “in quietness,” or “in silence,” or “quietly.” In verse 12, it refers to her role concerning teaching and is translated “quiet,” “silent,” or “in silence.” Review our discussion of hesuchia in a previous lesson. How this word is used elsewhere in the New Testament adds additional insight. In Acts 22:2, hesuchia carries the idea of having an attitude of tranquility and, therefore, being willing to listen. This concept of “being willing to listen in order to learn truth with a heart to obey” is seen in The Message translation: “I don't let women take over and tell the men what to do. They should study to be quiet and obedient along with everyone else.” See also 2 Thessalonians 3:12 where it is translated in the New Living Translation as “settle down.” The opposite would be “always engaged in controversy and provoking negative responses.”

3. Whereas pagan women were rarely educated, all women, both Jew and Gentile, once they became Christians were carefully and freely instructed in the scriptures and became significant in the spread of the gospel and establishment of local churches. Read the following passages and discuss the roles we see women in the early church taking.

·         Acts 16:14-15; 40—

·         Acts 18:18, 26—

·         Romans 16:1—

·         1 Corinthians 16:19—

Historical Insight: A New Way to Worship—What is the proper way to worship God? For those who had grown up in the religious climate of Ephesus before the gospel, Christian worship called for altogether different behavior than they were used to practicing. So Paul offered guidelines for worship to the men and women in the Ephesian church (1 Timothy 2:8-15)…the gospel bore great fruit there and the community of believers grew rapidly. Yet some of the new converts brought their old way of life into the church and began teaching other doctrines (1 Timothy 1:3-7). When it came to worship, many were used to wild rites and festivals. Ephesian women were particularly unacquainted with public behavior, having been excluded for the most part from public gatherings, except pagan rituals.

So Paul described the correct way of worship. Men, who were apparently given to anger and doubts, needed to stop wrangling and start praying (v. 8). Likewise, women needed to focus on godliness and good works rather than clothing, jewelry, and hairstyles (vv. 9-10). And because some were apparently disruptive, they needed to practice restraint (v. 11)—not necessarily complete silence, but “quiet” (as the word is translated in 2 Thess. 3:12), since they likely participated in the prayers and other expressive parts of worship gatherings (compare 1 Cor. 11:5; Eph. 5:19). (The Word in Life Study Bible, pp. 734-735)

Day Two Study

4. The second part of 1 Timothy 2:11 addresses a woman’s attitude, using the words “all submissiveness” or “entire submission.” Look up the definition of “submission” in either a Bible dictionary or a regular dictionary. Write it out here.

5. Do you think the Bible’s view of submission is like the world’s view of submission? Why or why not?

6. Reread 1 Timothy 2:12-14. Read Genesis 2:18-25, 1 Corinthians 11:3, and Ephesians 5:21-33. What authority structures has God established?

7. Read 1 Peter 3:1-7. “Quiet” means “tranquility arising from within,” What are some of the benefits of having a “quiet” spirit with regards to a woman’s relationship with her husband?

8. Adorning Yourself: Is submission to God a problem area for you? Submission to what God’s word says? Submission to authority in general?

Historical Insight: (Most) women in the first century had no legal rights and very little public influence. How could they influence their unbelieving husbands to believe in God? Peter explained that in spite of such disadvantages, wives could still have a profound impact on their husbands. They could speak loudly for Christ—not through words, but through their behavior and their Christ-like character.…Human logic might suggest that a wife point out her husband’s weaknesses or verbalize spiritual principles for him to follow. But Peter sidesteps the flaws of these approaches, which tend to put men on the defensive. Instead, Peter recommends that wives disarm their disbelieving husbands and make them more receptive to the gospel by being gentle and quiet. (Adapted from The Quest Study Bible)

9. Adorning Yourself:

·         The first half of 1 Timothy 2:11 says women must “learn.” Do you consider yourself a learner, or a teachable person? Why or why not?

·         Have you ever asked anyone (who knows you well) if they thought you were teachable or not? If so, what did they say? If not, take some time this week to ask someone close to you this question.

10. Read 1 Timothy 2:15. Scholars are unsure of the meaning of verse 15 and consider it one of the most difficult New Testament verses to interpret. The Greek word translated “saved” can also be translated “healed”, “preserved”, or “deliverance from danger”. The danger doesn’t always mean physical danger but could be spiritual danger, something mentioned in both letters. False teaching, old wives tales, opposition to submission, and weak women being laden with guilt are among these spiritual dangers.

Here are several possible interpretations most commonly found to try and understand 1 Timothy 2:15:

·         Women will be kept physically safe through the process of childbirth. (This can’t be true because many Christian women have died in childbirth!)

·         Women will receive spiritual salvation through the birth of Jesus Christ the Savior. (This is not a plausible explanation because we are saved through His death and resurrection, not His birth!)

·         Women will be preserved from being deceived (as Eve was) and will be saved in honor and reputation through accepting the divinely ordained role of a helper to her husband and the bearer of children—embracing being a woman rather than striving to be like and compete with men. (This seems to be the most plausible explanation!)

Whatever Paul meant by the first part of this verse, the interpretation of it is further clouded by the phrase at the end: “if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety”. It could just mean this, “Do what you are designed to do as a woman but grow as a Christian!”

Since NO ONE REALLY KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT Paul is trying to communicate, we will just leave this with the possible interpretations above.

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness Lesson 8] Criteria for Church Leaders, “Elders”

1 Timothy 3:1-7

“Paul’s concern for an effective local church ministry is next seen in his counsel about church officers. The unbelieving world judges the worth of a local church by what it sees on the outside. The conduct and ministry of local church leaders and laity alike are under scrutiny daily, often without their being aware of it. Paul considered it extremely important to have highly qualified men in the positions of leadership; hence this chapter on the qualifications of bishops and deacons.” (Irving L. Jensen, 1&2 Timothy and Titus, A Self-study Guide)

Day One Study

1. Some people learn their working skills on the job; others learn their skills at school. Where did you receive the training you needed for your current job or role? What characteristics make a desirable worker?

2. Read 1 Timothy 3:1-7. This section begins with the second “trustworthy saying” in the Pastoral Epistles. [Note: we covered the first one in the lesson “Amazing Grace”.] What is the focus of Paul’s trustworthy saying this time?

3. How does Paul describe the work, or task, of an overseer in 3:1? Why do you think he describes it this way?

4. How is personal desire connected with the office of overseer? Why would this personal desire be important?

From the Greek: The term overseer (episkopos), sometimes translated “bishop,” is only one of several words used in the New Testament to describe church leaders. “Elders” (presbyteroi) is by far the most common. Other terms such as “rulers” (proistamenoi, Romans 12:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:12), “leaders” (hegoumenois, Hebrews 13:17) and “pastors” (poimenas, Ephesians 4:11; Acts. 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2) are also used. Though each of these terms may describe a different facet of leadership, they all seem to be used interchangeably in the New Testament to designate the same office. This office is different from that of deacons. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 736)

5. In 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Paul lists 15 qualifications for an overseer. In the space below, list these qualifications, considering whether each is a character quality or ability. Note why each is important for leaders.

Qualification

Character or Ability

Importance

 

 

 

6. Conclusion: Do these qualifications focus primarily on character qualities or abilities? Does this surprise you? Explain.

Day Two Study

7. Read Titus 1:6-9. Paul again lists the qualifications of an overseer, or elder. How are these qualifications similar to those you listed in the previous question? How are they different?

8. How do Biblical qualifications for leadership compare to what you know the world in general considers as qualifications for leadership?

9. Regarding 1 Timothy 3:6-7, what are the dangers facing a recent or new convert if he is given a leadership role in the church?

10. Why is a good reputation with outsiders essential for an overseer? Who is waiting to trap him if he does not possess such a reputation?

11. Adorning Yourself: Think about the leadership roles you currently have in the many areas of your life (family, community, church etc.), and think about the list of leadership qualifications we just studied. Which qualification(s) do you want to cultivate or deepen in your life? What specific steps will you take to do so? Pray that God will work in your life to help you develop the leadership qualifications you desire.

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness Lesson 9] Criteria for Church Leaders, “Deacons”

1 Timothy 3:8-13

Day One Study

1. Read 1 Timothy 3:8-13. Like overseers/elders, which we studied last lesson, Paul states that deacons must also possess leadership qualifications. In the space below, list the qualifications Paul discusses in verses 8-10 & 12. (We’ll address vs. 11 separately.)

Scriptural Insight: The Greek word translated “women” or “wives” in vs. 11 refers to any woman—whether married, single, or widowed. It is a term of respect. The same Greek word for “deacon,” diakonos, is used of Phoebe in Romans 16:1, translated as servant (NET, KJV, NASB, NIV) or “deaconess” (JB, RSV). This could be referring to female deacons, not a separate office of deaconess. It is unlikely to be the wives of deacons since the wives of elders, a more influential office, are not addressed, either in Timothy or Titus. Early Church writings have numerous allusions to women serving the church, some teaching other women due to the strict separation of the sexes or others as widows alluded to later in 1 Timothy 5.

2. Verse 11 lists several character qualities that Paul says these women should possess. List them and determine why they are important.

Character Quality

Importance

3. Using any references available to you, define the term “deacon”.

4. What is the role of a deacon? How is it different from the role of an overseer? (See Acts 6:1-6 for the prototype of what later became the “office” of deacon in the church.)

5. Referring to the chart about “elders” from the previous lesson, are there any differences between the leadership qualifications for elders and for deacons? If so, what are they?

6. Concerning both elders (vs. 4-5) and deacons (vs. 12), managing one’s family well is listed as a qualification for leadership for both offices. Why is this so important?

7.              Adorning Yourself:

·         If you are married: How can your marriage and family life most help and strengthen you or your husband to lead in the church?

·         If you are single: How can your management of your own household help to prepare you for leadership in your church?

Think About It: The family is a training class and proving ground for leaders in the church. We can determine much about an individual’s fitness to lead in church by finding out how he or she behaves at home. How we behave at home tells others much about our character and conduct. Our spouse, children, and relatives can provide feedback and encouragement to improve our character and conduct. Home is a proving ground because we must demonstrate the skills for leading the church by effectively leading our own families. Because the church is God’s family, those who set their hearts on leadership should start at home. Those who are heavily involved in the church should never neglect their family responsibilities. (Life Application Study Bible)

8. Describe the reward for serving well as a deacon (v. 13).

Historical Insight: In Greek society the deacon was one who gave lowly service, an act that was not considered dignified in a culture that valued ruling instead. But Jesus reversed this evaluation. “For who is greater,” he asked, “the one who is at the table or the one who serves” (Luke 22:27). And “even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45). It was from this teaching and example of Jesus that the general calling of all his followers to humble service derived. (John Stott, Fighting the Good Fight)

Day Two Study

9. Read 1 Timothy 3:14-15. How did Paul describe the church?

10. What does each word picture convey about it? How has this contributed to your understanding of the body of Christ?

11. In 1 Timothy 3:16, Paul described Christ with a series of affirmations. What do they teach about Him, and how do these statements build on one another?

12. Adorning Yourself: Compare Paul’s qualification lists with your church’s qualifications for leaders. Do they match? If not, how can you encourage the leadership to consider making changes?

13. Adorning Yourself: In what ways are you a leader at church right now? How would you like to be leading in five or ten years? Are there areas in your life that need attention in order to help you realize your goal?

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness Lesson 10] Exercise Daily in Your Walk With Jesus

1 Timothy 4:1-10

Day One Study

1. Read 1 Timothy 4:1-10. According to the beginning of 1 Timothy 4:6, what was Timothy (and what are we) supposed to do with the truths that Paul wrote here?

2. According to verse 6, what will we be if we do this?

3. Comparing the lives of those described in 1 Timothy 4:6 with the lives of those described in 1 Timothy 4:1-3, write out at least two differences between them (i.e. who/what they follow etc.).

4. According to 1 Timothy 4:7, what are we to avoid? What are we to pursue?

Focus on the Meaning: Paul introduces an athletic image with the words “train yourself” or “discipline yourself”. The verb here is gymnaze, from which comes the English “gymnasium.” Paul often used athletic analogies to drive home the need for spiritual discipline. “Training” or “bodily discipline” is gymnasia, “exercise”, used only here in the New Testament. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary New Testament by Walvoord and Zuck)

Keep in perspective that Paul is encouraging Timothy to pursue spiritual discipline or training both for himself and encourage it in others in order to avoid the dangers shown in 1 Timothy 4:1-5.

5. In 1 Timothy 4:8 how does Paul compare physical training with godliness?

6. Adorning Yourself:

·         Which is easier for you personally, to pursue physical training or to pursue spiritual training? Why?

·         If you neglect spiritual disciplines or physical disciplines is it obvious in your life? Which do you think shows up more clearly? Why or how?

Day Two Study

7. For another example of Paul’s use of athletic analogies, read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. How does Paul compare or fit together the spiritual and the physical areas of our lives in this passage?

8. Physical and spiritual development both require discipline. From where does the strength for this come? See 2 Timothy 1:7.

9. How does Galatians 5:22-23 fit into all of this?

10. Adorning Yourself: Do you ever think in terms of whether you are a “good servant” (as verse 6 described)? Think personally now. Are you nourishing yourself on the words of the faith OR do you find yourself sporadically eating the good food of God’s Word with lots of junk food of the world in between?

11. Read 1 Timothy 4:9-10. Verse 9 contains the third “trustworthy" statement (in Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus). What is it?

12. Where does Paul say his hope is placed according to verse 10?

13. Compare this view to the view common in the world around us.

14. What is meant by “our hope”?

15. Read 1 Timothy 4:10 again. How can God be the savior of all men since all men are not saved? See Matthew 5:45 and John 3:16 for help.

16. Adorning Yourself: Paul described his walk in verse 10 as laboring and striving to pursue godliness. The word strive is translated from a Greek word meaning “I agonize” which is an athletic term.

·         On a scale of 1 (1 being “cool and dry”) to 10 (10 being “hot and glowing”), how would you grade your effort?

·         Share the practical steps you take to pursue spiritual training, or if you haven’t yet done this, think through ways that you can start training now.

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness Lesson 11] A Good Minister of Christ

1 Timothy 4:11-5:2

Day One Study

1. Read 1 Timothy 4:6-5:2 (4:6-10 is review from last lesson). 1 Timothy 4:11 says “command/prescribe and teach these things.” To which things does Paul refer?

2. Do you think this instruction is directed mostly just to pastors and teachers who read this passage, or does it apply to each of us? Why or why not?

3. Adorning Yourself: Do you share with others what you’ve learned—for instance, in this last week did you tell anyone else about something you had learned about God? Why or why not?

4. Read verse 12 again. This is a question on which we could spend many hours. It is instruction not just for the young but also for all ages. From this verse list 5 areas in which we can show ourselves examples as Christians.

Read the following verses to get a taste of what God’s Word has to say about the areas listed in the previous question. Summarize what you learn.

5. Speech:

·         Ephesians 4:25—

·         Colossians 3:8—

·         Colossians 4:6—

·         James 1:19—

·         Summary:

6. Conduct:

·         Philippians 1:27—

·         Colossians 4:5—

·         Hebrews 13:18—

·         Summary:

7. Love:

·         1 Corinthians 13:4-8—

·         1 Peter 4:8—

·         1 John 2:15—

·         Summary:

8. Faith:

·         Hebrews 11:1—

·         Romans 4:20-21—

·         James 1:3—

·         Summary:

9. Purity: The word for “purity” here comes from the Greek word hagneia meaning “moral cleanness”. In the Bible, it is only used here and in 1 Timothy 5:2. Using a dictionary, write a definition for moral cleanness. (Hint: Look up “moral” and “cleanness” separately, then put them together in your own definition.)

Day Two Study

10. Adorning Yourself:

·         Were you raised by parents who were good examples of people who believed in God? (Think in terms of the same 5 areas.) Explain.

·         How do you think this affects your life today?

11. Adorning Yourself: What are some of the best ways you’ve found to be a good example in these 5 areas? These can be examples from your own life or your observation of them in someone else’s life. (Write out 1 or 2 ways for each area.)

a.              Speech—

b.              Conduct—

c.              Love—

d.              Faith—

e.              Moral Purity—

12. Read 1 Timothy 4:13-16. These verses are full of instruction for the active Christian. Make note of the action in each verse and to whom the action is directed toward.

Action

To whom action is directed

·         Verse 13—

·         Verse 14—                           

·         Verse 15—                           

·         Verse 16—                            

13. In 1 Timothy 4:15, Paul gives a reason for giving great energy to the spiritual disciplines listed above. What is his reason?

14. How could you define progress in your own Christian walk?

Think About It: Paul’s desire for Timothy was for Timothy “…to demonstrate his maturity by living such a godly life that he would become a pattern for other Christians in every area of his life.” (The Bible knowledge Commentary New Testament by Walvoord and Zuck)

15. Adorning Yourself:

·         Looking back on your list from question 11, in which area(s) do you feel you are the strongest (best) example? The weakest example?

·         Choose one area you’d like to change or improve. Share this with your group so that they can pray alongside you. Pray for God’s spirit of discipline and power to show through in your life in such a way that if others patterned their lives after you (and it is most likely that at those closest to us—our family members, children, closest friends, etc—will be influenced by us) that their lives, too, will look more like Jesus is in them.

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness Lesson 12] Rendering Respect in Our Relationships

1 Timothy 5:3-8

In Irving L. Jensen’s 1&2 Timothy and Titus, A Self-study Guide, Jensen begins his study of 1 Timothy chapter 5 with the following comments, “ One of the values of Scripture is that it has an answer to every human problem, of whatever kind, era, dimension or significance. It is true that not all church problems of A.D. 62 are the identical problems of the church two thousand years later. But even in such instances timeless principles can be derived from the Bible account and applied to any succeeding generation.”

Day One Study

1. Read 1 Timothy 5:1-2. Here we find more instruction to Timothy (and us). This time the topic is how to deal with those around us (of all ages) when the need for correction arises. How is Timothy told to respond to the following?

·         An older man—

·         Younger men—

·         Older women—

·         Younger women—

2. How do these instructions differ from one another, and why do you think they are different?

3. Adorning Yourself: Think of the different people that you interact with (or have interacted with in the past) from each of these age groups, then write down one or two of the things you most appreciate about people in each of these stages of life. Share some of these with your group.

The next passage takes on a subject that is given more verses than any other topic thus far in the letter. To get the whole context of Paul’s instruction on widows, read 1 Timothy 5:3-16. We will deal with only vs. 1-8 in this lesson and study the rest in the next lesson.

4.              Referring to verses 1 Timothy 5:3-4, what does Paul say about a widow who has children or grandchildren?

5. Do you think our present culture agrees with this reasoning? Why or why not?

6. Adorning Yourself: Have you personally ever had to deal with this issue in your own family? If not, have you given this area of responsibility much thought before? Explain.

7. Compare the widow described in 1 Timothy 5:5 with the widow described in 5:6.

8. In verse 5, when Paul talks about the widow who “puts her hope in God”, what does that mean? How do you put your hope in God?

Day Two Study

9. God’s special concern for widows has been apparent throughout Scripture. Look up the following verses to get a bit of a picture of this: Exodus 22:22-24, Deuteronomy 10:18; 24:19-21, Zechariah 7:10, Luke 7:11-15, and James 1:27. What do these verses tell us about God’s view of widows and their needs?

10. According to 1 Timothy 5:7, what is the reason Paul gives for following these guidelines for caring for widows?

11. What does Paul say about a Christian who “does not provide for his own”?

12. In what sense might a believer be considered “worse than an unbeliever?” Also read Matthew 5:46-47 to help you answer this.

13. Why do you think doing “good deeds” or “good works” appears to be held in high regard by Paul (verse 10)? See also 1 Timothy 6:18-19 and Titus 2:11-14.

14. Adorning Yourself: What good deeds do you especially appreciate being done for you? What good deeds do you find yourself most often doing, especially those which might benefit the people in your church?

15. Are there any new areas that you might like to give your time to serving or helping sometime? Read Galatians 6:9-10.

16. Adorning Yourself: Today’s believer has many worthwhile activities in which to get involved, yet doing them all can take away from “providing for your family” (1 Timothy 5:8). How do you discern between those activities in which you will participate and the ones to which you say “no” or “later?”

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness Lesson 13] Widows in Ministry, Widows in Misery

1 Timothy 5:9-16

Historical Insight: As early as Acts 6, the church had established a charitable outreach to widows. Now 30 years later the ministry to widows, of whom there were no doubt many, showed signs of being a major burden to the congregation. Paul was therefore eager in this passage to identify those who did not truly need help in order to leave enough for those who did.

Scripture has much to say about widows and honors them in a way that most cultures do not. Too often a married woman is defined only in relation to her husband. Then if he dies, she loses not only her spouse but her social significance as well. In Scripture, however, widows, orphans and aliens (people without husband, parents or home) are valued for who they are in themselves, and are said to deserve special honor, protection and care. Throughout the Bible justice and love are demanded for them. God is described as “a father to the fatherless” and a “defender of widows” (Psalm 68:5); and it is written of him that “he defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow” (Deuteronomy 10:18). Because this is the kind of God he is, his people are to be the same. (Adapted from The Bible Knowledge Commentary New Testament, pg. 742 and Fighting the Good Fight by John Stott)

Day One Study

1. Read 1 Timothy 5:3-16. From verses 5 and 9-10, list the qualifications for a widow to be put “on the list” to qualify for assistance from the church. [For further commentary on this “list,” see the information box on the next page.] Use the following categories (some qualifications may be listed in more than one area.)

Personal

Home

Church

Community

 

 

 

 

2. What is important about each of these qualifications?

Scriptural Insight: The pledge Paul referred to (1 Timothy 5:12) was probably a formal commitment, taken on joining the list of widows, wherein the woman vowed to serve Christ entirely without thought of marriage. In this way she would devote herself without distraction to the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:34-35). (The Bible Knowledge Commentary New Testament, pg. 743)

3. Read Luke 2:36-38 for an example of a godly widow in scripture. How old was she? What does this passage say she was continuing to do regularly?

4. Read Isaiah 46:4. What does this verse tell us about God and our relationship to Him as we continue to grow older?

5. Adorning Yourself: What do you picture yourself doing at age 60, 70, 80 or more? If you haven’t given this area much thought, do so, and share with your group.

6. Referring back to 1 Timothy 5:11-13, discuss the reasons Paul gives for not putting younger widows on the list.

7. How does this list compare with the list from question 1?

8. Do you think that either “opportunities for ministry” or “opportunities for misery” are limited to any certain age group? Or, marital status? Or, even to any certain gender? Explain your answer.

Day Two Study

9. What are the temptations faced by a married woman when she no longer has a husband, either through death or divorce? How can she best respond?

10. Adorning Yourself: How do you deal with a friend, coworker, neighbor (or your own self) who tends to direct conversation toward gossip or “things not proper to mention” (verse 13)?

11. How do you determine what is proper to talk about and what isn’t? Share any scripture which helps you in this area, or look up Proverbs 20:19 or James 3:5-10 for some help.

12. Read 1 Timothy 5:14-16. Paul has just gotten through listing some of the danger zones young widows face, now on the side of worthy investments of time, what does Paul say he wants younger widows to do, according to 1 Timothy 5:14?

13. What evidence do we have that Paul wasn’t just sounding a false alarm or even being overly critical of younger widows? (Refer back to 1 Timothy 5:15 if needed.)

14. These options for women were the common experience for a younger woman of Paul’s culture. What other good options might be available to a young widow in today’s culture?

15. Verse 16 serves as a summary. Rewrite this verse using your own words.

16. Adorning Yourself: What general principles do the verses here teach you about offering care and help to people in need (especially to widows, or our own families, and in our own churches)?

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness Lesson 14] Protecting the Churchs Reputation

1 Timothy 5:17-6:5

Day One Study

1.              Read 1 Timothy 5:17-20. What is the church’s responsibility toward elders who rule well?

Scriptural Insight: The Greek word for “honor” is the same word used in 1 Timothy 5:3, where it refers to respect and material support. The meaning of “double honor” is not certain but could refer to “pay”, especially for those who labored in preaching and teaching. Other passages where the word means “pay” include Matthew 27:6, Acts 4:34, Acts 7:16, and 1 Corinthians 6:20.” (Life Application Bible Study Guide, pg. 107 & The Bible Knowledge Commentary New Testament, page 744)

2. According to 5:19, how should a church handle accusations against an elder?

3. Reading further, why do you think Paul would instruct the elders to be treated in this public way (if the sinful behavior continues)? What purpose would this serve to “the rest” of the members of the church, according to verse 20?

4. What effect would this procedure have on the spread of gossip?

5. What do you think happens when this isn’t handled correctly? How is the church as a whole viewed when this happens?

6. Read 1 Timothy 5:21.

·         What “solemn” charge does Paul give to Timothy here?

·         What is the spirit, or attitude that Timothy is to have?

7. Who does Paul say is in his presence as he gives this charge? Why do you think he mentions this?

8. In what sense, or in what way, do you think these beings were in Paul’s presence?

9. Favoritism or partiality is often denounced in scripture. Look up Leviticus 19:15, Romans 2:11, and James 2:1-13. What do these verses say about this subject?

10. Adorning Yourself: Do you tend to act (or has someone else acted toward you) with favoritism toward your children? In your church? In public? At work? How can you think and act more fairly in this area, knowing God’s view of favoritism?

Day Two Study

11. Read 1 Timothy 5:22, 24-25. (Verse 23 is a side note from Paul to Timothy.) Why do you think Timothy should not lay hands upon anyone, or ordain anyone as an elder, too hastily?

12. What do verses 24 and 25 say about a person’s sins and good deeds… in particular, will they remain hidden from other people? What would you say is the “bottom line”, in your own words, of these verses?

Historical Insight: In the Roman culture of Paul’s day, slavery was a deeply rooted institution. Slavery was economic rather than racially motivated. People usually became slaves as a result of war or poverty. A great social and legal gulf separated masters and slaves. Paul’s word choice, under the yoke, captures the essence of slavery—most slaves were treated no better than cattle, than mere property. But when a master and his slave became Christians, they became spiritual equals, brothers (and sisters) in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28). Equality in the church but inviolable separation at home obviously made for interesting interpersonal relations in and out of the church. (Life Application Bible Study Guide, pg. 114)

13. Read 1 Timothy 6:1-2.

·         What general principle does Paul lay out for slaves?

·         Why do you think he includes this?

14. How do you think Paul’s counsel for the master/slave relationship might be applied to an employer/employee relationship today?

15. Read 1 Timothy 6:3-5. From verse 4, list the three characteristics of a person who is a false teacher.

16. From verses 4 and 5, which behaviors arise out of false teaching?

17. When these behaviors are occurring in the church, how might they affect an outsider or a visitor’s view of the church? How do they affect the internal effectiveness of the work of the people of the church?

18. Adorning Yourself: What do you think your own part is, or could be, in helping maintain or protect the reputation of your church?

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness Lesson 15] Money Matters

1 Timothy 6:6-10; 17-19

“There are approximately 500 verses on prayer (in the Bible), fewer than 500 on faith, but more that 2,350 verses on how to handle money. Moreover, Jesus Christ said more about money than any other subject.” (Crown Ministries Small Group Financial Study, pg. 9)

Day One Study

1. Read 1 Timothy 6:3-10. What does Paul say is truly “great gain,” according to 1 Timothy 6:6?

Scriptural Insight: Notice the irony in 1 Timothy 6:5 as Paul points out that these men who think that godliness is a means to financial gain are actually “robbed” or “deprived” of the truth themselves. The atmosphere surrounding those same men is described as being one of constant bickering or friction.

2. What is “contentment?” (Feel free to use a dictionary for help.)

3. Read 1 Timothy 6:6-8 again. Have you ever known anyone who was truly content (or came close to being content) with only the provisions listed in 6:8? Why do you think this is so rarely found in today’s culture?

4. Adorning Yourself: Has there ever been a time in your life when you were more content than you are now? Explain.

5. In 1 Timothy 6:7 Paul gives one reason for his statement in 6:6. What is this reason?

6. Read Philippians 4:11-13. What does Paul say about the issue of contentment here?

7. Adorning Yourself: Do you find yourself resentful of others and what they have, or discouraged by what you don’t have? Read the statement below (Life Application Bible Study Guide, pg. 122-123) and consider whether you want to be content and have done these things.

“To have contentment in Christ requires four decisions about events and possessions in our life. 1) Focus on what God has already allowed us to have. 2) Disregard what we do not have. 3) Refuse to covet what others may have. 4) Give thanks to God for each and all of His gifts.”

Day Two Study

8. Read 1 Timothy 6:9. To whom is this warning directed?

9. What dangers are listed here?

10. What is often the result of ignoring this warning in today’s world?

11. Read 1 Timothy 6:10.

·         What is a “root of all sorts of evil”?

·         According to the same verse, what two things often happen to people who eagerly seek after wealth?

·         Of the two, which do you think is worse? Why?

·         Which do you think people fear most? Why do you think so?

Focus on the Meaning: Paul warns strongly against “the love of money” (v. 10). He does not say that money itself is evil (nor does any other Scripture). Neither does he say that money is the fundamental root of evil, or that money lies at the root of every evil. Rather, the love of money (something inside people, not money itself) can be a root (but not the only root) of all kinds of evil but not of all evil. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary New Testament, p. 740)

12. Read the following verses in which God’s Word addresses the relationships of money and our hearts. Take time to think carefully about each verse then write a summary of what you’ve learned.

·         1 Chronicles 29:11,12—

·         Matthew 6:19-21; 24—

·         2 Corinthians 9:6-11—

Summary—

13. Read 1 Timothy 6:17-19. These verses give us an attitude adjustment and plan of action concerning money matters.

·         Who specifically are these instructions directed toward?

·         What are they not to do?

·         But instead, according to God’s plan, what specifically are we to do, and why are we to do these things?

14. According to 1 Timothy 6:17, why is putting our hope in God the only way to “richly” enjoy life?

15. Adorning Yourself: Make a list of a few things God has richly given you to enjoy.

16. Adorning Yourself: What kind of treasure do you think you’ve been storing up? What do you most want to accomplish with the money God has entrusted you with as you live out your life on earth?

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness Lesson 16] The Final Charge

1 Timothy 6:11-21

Day One Study

1. Read 1 Timothy 6:9-11. Verse 11 begins with the phrase, “But flee from these things…” From which things are we to flee?

2. The next instruction concerns what we are to pursue, or what to run toward. Fill out the following chart to explore further what we are to pursue.

Pursue these things

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Why this is important to pursue

3. Read 1 Timothy 6:11 again. Of all the titles Paul could have chosen to refer to young Timothy, why do you suppose he picked “man of God”? How might this have been a special encouragement to Timothy?

4. Adorning Yourself: Do you have a special way to spiritually encourage those around you in their identity in Christ? Explain.

5. Read 1 Timothy 6:12-16. There are basically two instructions given here. What is the first instruction?

6. Notice how the “fight” is described. What kind of fight is it?

7. When you think of the Christian life as a “fight”, what comes to mind?

8. With what kind of weapons do we have to fight? Read Hebrews 4:12 and write it out in your own words here.

9. Adorning Yourself: Do you think about your life as a “fight of faith”? Why or why not?

Day Two Study

10. Read 1 Timothy 6:12 again, what does Paul tell Timothy to “take hold of”?

Scriptural Insight: Paul “charges” Timothy in verses 13-14 to “obey this command without fault or failure” (NET) or “without spot or blame” (NIV). “The command” refers to the entire body of sound teaching Paul had been describing throughout the letter. "I charge you" (parangello, the original Greek word) is also translated “instruct, command, prescribe, teach and give these instructions.”

11. What do you think Paul means by this, especially, how might we do this as well?

12. To do a quick review of Paul’s personal charges to Timothy throughout this letter, read 1 Timothy 1:3; 4:11; 5:7, and 5:21. What is the “charge” here?

13. Reread 1 Timothy 6:11-16. Review the following list giving “A Portrait of God” from the passage (Life Application Bible Study Guide, p. 135). Choose 3 of the descriptions of God that mean the most to you and describe why in the space below.

Name USED — What the name Means

·         Blessed and Only Sovereign, Most High— Control and power are God’s alone.

·         King of kings— No king has more power or authority (first used of Babylonian and Persian emperors).

·         Lord of lords— God alone possesses absolute superiority over all powers, human & divine.

·         Immortal— God alone has inherent immortality; ours comes from Him.

·         Unapproachable light—God’s glory is blinding.

·         Unseen (Invisible)— God is so holy that no one can see Him and live.

·         Worthy of honor— God is to be honored for who He is and what He has done.

·         Eternal Dominion—God’s power continues from eternity to eternity; it has no end.

Description of God — What it means to me personally                                         

14. Read 1 Timothy 6:20-21. Paul can’t seem to resist a final reminder. What is it?

15. What is the last sentence of this letter to Timothy? Look back at the introduction in 1 Timothy 1:1-2. What do you think “Grace be with you” actually means?

16. Adorning Yourself: Looking back to your answers to question 13, take a few minutes to pray and thank God for who He is and for all that He has done for you.

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness Lesson 17] False Teachers Are Known by Their Deeds

Titus 1:1-16

Background

Titus was a convert, friend and helper of Paul’s. He was Greek, the son of Gentile parents. Unlike Timothy, Titus was not circumcised (Galatians 2:3). Yet, like Timothy, Titus was sent by Paul to minister to specific churches. First, he went to the church at Corinth (2 Corinthians 7:6-16). Then, he was sent to Dalmatia (a region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea), which was another difficult area (2 Timothy 4:10). Finally, he went to pastor the church on Crete. We know very little of Titus from the Bible. According to ancient tradition, Titus returned to Crete in his old age, died and was buried there at the age of 94. [See also “Who Were Timothy and Titus?” in the Overview.]

Day One Study

To refresh your memory, read the letter to Titus.

1. Read Titus 1:1-4. Paul often introduced a letter with comments relevant to the letter’s message. Which words or ideas are included in this introduction that you may have also noticed in the whole letter to Titus? In other words, why do you think Paul is writing this letter?

2. Verse 1 speaks of the “truth that leads to godliness” (or “truth which is according to godliness”). Read the following passages and summarize what Jesus says is “truth.”

·         John 8:31-32—

·         John 14:6—

·         John 17:1-8—

·         John 17:17—

Summary:

3. According to John 14:16-18 and John 16:13-14, how does the believer continue to discern truth?

4. Read Titus 1:5. For what two purposes did Paul send Titus to Crete?

5. Review the qualifications of elders in Titus 1:6-9. In verses 6 & 7, what character trait did Paul use twice? Why do you think he emphasized this point?

Historical Insight: The Cretan character was proverbial in the ancient world. In Greek, to “Cretanize” meant to lie. The prophet Paul mentioned in verse 12 was Epimenides, a Cretan philosopher of the sixth century BC. Most educated men of Paul’s day had to study Epimenides. (Titus Lifechange Series Bible Study)

6. Read Titus 1:10-16 & 3:9-11. In contrast to the characteristics of an elder (given in verses 6-9), how does Paul describe the false teachers in Crete?

7. What kind of influence do false teachers have?

8. How did Paul want Titus to deal with these false teachers? Be sure to look at both passages from question 6. What is the goal of treating them in this manner?

9. Adorning Yourself: What can you do to avoid unprofitable discussions or “empty talk” and ensure healthy ones?

Day Two Study

10. “To the pure, all things are pure” (verse 15) is a statement that could easily be abused…either to excuse sin, or to judge/condemn others. Summarize these similar instructions given by Paul:

·         Romans 6:15—

·         Romans 14:1-3; 22—

·         1 Corinthians 6:12-13—

·         1 Corinthians 10:23-24—

11. In light of the previous passages, what do you think Paul means by, “To the pure, all things are pure”?

12. Compare what Paul says about false teachers to what Jesus says about the Pharisees in Mark 7:5-13 and Luke 11:42-44. How are the false teachers and Pharisees alike? How are they different?

13. According to Titus 1:16, how can a person who claims to know God actually be denying God?

14. Adorning Yourself: Reflect on verse 16 this week. Do your daily actions deny or reflect a relationship with God? Ask God to show you how you can better live a life that reflects your faith.

Think About It: Titus is a short epistle, but it contains such a quintessence of Christian doctrine, and is composed in such a masterly manner, that it contains all that is needful for Christian knowledge and life. (Martin Luther)

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness Lesson 18] Adorn Yourself with Good Deeds

Titus 2:1-10

Scriptural Insight: We human beings seem to be imitative by nature. We need models; they give us direction, challenge and inspiration. Paul did not hesitate to offer himself, as an apostle, for the churches to imitate. “Follow my example,” he wrote, “as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). And Paul expected both Timothy and Titus to provide a model, which the churches could follow. (John Stott)

Day One Study

1. Read Titus 2:1-8. In the last lesson, we studied Titus 1:10-16 where Titus was given instruction to refute false teachers. Now Paul uses an emphatic “you” in Titus 2:1.

·         To what is Paul now directing Titus’s attention?

·         Why is this important? (See also Titus 1:9.)

2. Verses 2-8 describe the qualities each member of the household of God should have. List the qualities each group should possess and explain the importance of each.

Older men (verse 2)

·         Character Quality/ Behavior—

·         Importance—             

Older women (verse 3)—

·         Character Quality/ Behavior—

·         Importance—             

Younger women (verses 4-5)—

·         Character Quality/ Behavior—

·         Importance—             

Younger men (verse 6)—

·         Character Quality/ Behavior—

·         Importance—             

3. Obviously God has outlined a specific plan for older women to specifically encourage and train younger women in the church. What would be the advantage of this kind of encouraging relationship?

4. Why would younger women need to be encouraged in the specifics mentioned in Titus 2:4-5?

5. The word “self-controlled” is used 3 times in Titus 2:2-6, and again in vs. 12. The original Greek word means primarily “of sound mind, sane, in one’s senses, sensible.” Its secondary meaning is “curbing one’s desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate.” In other words, the word refers first of all to correct thinking then to behavior resulting from correct thinking. Read Romans 12:2-3. In the pursuit of godliness, why is right thinking so important?

6. What usually happens when you try to behave right or force correct behavior without “renewing the mind” with truth which leads to right thinking? See Titus 1:15-16 and 2 Timothy 3:6-7.

7. Adorning Yourself: In Titus 2:4, the older women are given the responsibility of training the younger women to be sensible, sane and sober-minded. This involves the cultivation of sound judgment and prudence.

·         If you are an older woman, how can you practice this is your life right now? What else can you give to a relationship with a younger woman?

·         If you are a younger woman, in what areas do you need this kind of training? What else can you give to a relationship with an older woman?

Day Two Study

8. In Titus 2:7-8, Paul tells Titus to be a good example and do good as well. Why is the example of a leader or teacher so important to the local church and to the community?

9. Read what the Bible has to say about setting a good example in the following verses.

·         2 Thessalonians 3:7-9—

·         1 Timothy 4:12—

·         James 5:10—

·         1 Peter 2:21—

Summary:

10. Adorning Yourself: Think of people who have had the greatest effect on your life. In what ways did they influence you for good?

11. Adorning Yourself: “Because I told you” worked as an incentive to do something when we were young children who accepted everything our parents told us. But as we grew into teenagers it was no longer a sufficient reason for changing our actions. We wanted to know why and needed greater incentive.

·         What motivates you to change your behavior? Why?

·         Read Colossians 3:22-24. What should be our motivation to do our best? Share some verses with your group that help to motivate you.

Think About It: Three times in these verses about the Christian behavior of different groups, Paul highlighted his concern about the effect of the Christian witness on the non-Christian world. In two of them he referred to Christian doctrine, which is salvation doctrine. So either we give no evidence of salvation, in which case the gospel is tarnished, or we give good evidence of salvation by living a manifestly saved life, in which the gospel shines. Our lives can bring either adornment or discredit to the gospel. (John Stott)

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness Lesson 19] Living in Response to God’s Grace

Titus 2:11-3:15

Day One Study

Read Titus 2:11-3:15.

God’s grace redeems us!

Much of this section of Titus has been covered in other lessons. This lesson will only cover new material. Paul repeatedly affirms the importance of God’s grace. In Titus 2:11-14, he discusses the three ministries of grace. We will look at each of these in depth in the following questions.

1. This is what grace has done for us in the past. (Titus 2:11 & 14a) What is the definition of redeem/redemption? Use a dictionary or Bible dictionary to help.

·         Redeem—

·         Redemption—

2. Read the following passages to see what the Bible says about redemption:

·         Romans 3:24—

·         Ephesians 1:7—

·         Colossians 1:13-14—

3. What is our condition (Titus 3:3) apart from God?

4. According to Ephesians 2:1-9, what does God do for us?

Scriptural Insight: In Ephesians 2, Paul gave a condensed but comprehensive account of salvation. Verses 4-7 are a single long sentence, which he may have taken from an early Christian creed. The whole sentence hinges on the main verb “he saved us” (verse 5). It is perhaps the fullest statement of salvation in the New Testament. (John Stott)

Day Two Study

Read Titus 2:11-3:15.

God’s grace reforms us!

5. This is what grace does for us in the present. How does God’s grace reform us according to Titus 2:12 & 14b?

6. Titus 3:1-2 illustrates behaviors generally exhibited by one who understands God’s grace. What seven qualities does Paul describe?

7. Read Ephesians 4:23 and Galatians 5:22-23; 25. According to these verses, what role does the Holy Spirit play in renewing and equipping believers?

8. Read the following verses to see in what other ways we can live in response to God’s grace working in us.

·         Ephesians 2:10—

·         Ephesians 4:1-3; 5:1-2—

·         Colossians 3:1-4—

9. In Titus 3:14 Paul says that we are to be a people who learn to engage in good works. Look up the definition of engage and write out what it means.

10. Read Titus 2:14; 3:1, 8, 14. We have been reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit, says Paul (Titus 3:5). Why should this status motivate us to “devote ourselves to doing what is good” (3:8)?

Focus on the Meaning: “Regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit in salvation whereby He gives a new life and nature to the believing sinner at the moment of salvation. The new birth (John 3:1-16) is the beginning of this new nature that becomes a part of the believing sinner the instant he or she receives Christ.” (Charles Swindoll)

11. Read Matthew 5:43-48 and 6:1-4. What did Jesus say about doing good?

12. Adorning Yourself: So if salvation is based on our faith and God’s grace and mercy, why would Paul exhort us to be devoted to or engage in good deeds?”

13. Adorning Yourself: Think of one person you know who is living a life reformed by God’s grace. What evidence of God’s reforming power working through His Spirit do you see in that person’s life?

Day Three Study

Read Titus 2:11-3:15.

God’s grace rewards us!

14. What is “the blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) from which all aims and priorities should flow? (Review 1 Timothy 1:1, and see also 1 John 3:1-3.)

16. What does it mean to you in Titus 3:7 when Paul says that we are heirs? Does this give you hope? Why?

17. Adorning Yourself: What does your life look like when you are truly living a life in response to God’s grace? What can you do to live your life even more richly in this way?

Think About It: In the human setting, heirs don’t inherit until the owner of the estate dies (though they may enjoy many benefits in the meantime). But in the spiritual realm the opposite occurs: We do not fully inherit until we have died; yet in this life we can experience many joys and benefits of being heirs of God. Our experience now is only a foretaste of what God has guaranteed to us in the future. (Life Application Bible Commentary)

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[Adorn Yourself With Godliness] Bibliography

1. Crown Ministries Small Group Financial Study

2. Irving L. Jensen, 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, A Self-Study Guide

3. J. Vernon McGee, Thru-the-Bible Commentary Series

4. John Foxe, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

5. John Stott, Fighting the Good Fight

6. Life Application Bible Study Guide, 1 & 2 Timothy & Titus

7. Quotes from Martin Luther, Chuck Swindoll, John Flavell, Tim Stevenson, and C. S. Lewis

8. Ray Stedman, Peninsula Bible Church Sermon Notes

9. The Bible Knowledge Commentary (New Testament), Walvoord and Zuck

10.The Quest Study Bible

11.Titus Lifechange Series Bible Study

12. Vines Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words

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