A Daily Bible Study in 7-Day Sections with a Summary-Commentary, Discussion Questions, and Daily Application
1:1 From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, 1:2 to Timothy, my genuine child in the faith. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord!
Timothy’s Task in Ephesus
1:3 As I urged you when I was leaving for Macedonia, stay on in Ephesus to instruct certain people not to spread false teachings,
1:4 nor to occupy themselves with myths and interminable genealogies. Such things promote useless speculations rather than God’s redemptive plan that operates by faith.
1:5 But the aim of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.
1:6 Some have strayed from these and turned away to empty discussion.
1:7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not understand what they are saying or the things they insist on so confidently.
1:8 But we know that the law is good if someone uses it legitimately,
1:9 realizing that law is not intended for a righteous person, but for lawless and rebellious people, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers,
1:10 sexually immoral people, practicing homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, perjurers – in fact, for any who live contrary to sound teaching.
1:11 This accords with the glorious gospel of the blessed God that was entrusted to me.
1:12 I am grateful to the one who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me faithful in putting me into ministry,
1:13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I was treated with mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief,
1:14 and our Lord’s grace was abundant, bringing faith and love in Christ Jesus.
1:15 This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” – and I am the worst of them!
1:16 But here is why I was treated with mercy: so that in me as the worst, Christ Jesus could demonstrate his utmost patience, as an example for those who are going to believe in him for eternal life.
1:17 Now to the eternal king, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever! Amen.
1:18 I put this charge before you, Timothy my child, in keeping with the prophecies once spoken about you, in order that with such encouragement you may fight the good fight.
1:19 To do this you must hold firmly to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck in regard to the faith.
1:20 Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.
Lord, You had mercy on me to demonstrate Your patience, and to use my story to illustrate the redemptive power of Your Gospel. May I cling to You to persevere and tell Your story wherever I go.
Paul was writing to Timothy in Ephesus, whom he labeled as “... my genuine child in the faith”. He asked him to combat false teachings and “... useless speculations”.
He specifically addressed those who “... occupy themselves with myths and interminable genealogies. Such things promote useless speculations rather than God’s redemptive plan that operates by faith.”
[Note: The obsession with genealogy fed a desire of some to assert a right to speak with greater authority or to claim special standing before God (because they claimed to be related to a famous descendant), was distracting from the Gospel which taught salvation through grace by faith—without regard to any other variable.]
Paul amplified the importance of evaluating those who teach based on their character and knowledge “... the aim of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.”
He defined the failures of the opposition “Some have strayed from these and turned away to empty discussion. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not understand what they are saying or the things they insist on so confidently.”
Paul noted that the legitimate purpose of the law is to convict the unsaved, “... any who live contrary to sound teaching” of their sin.
He reminded them that he had, prior to salvation “... acted ignorantly in unbelief, and our Lord’s grace was abundant, bringing faith and love in Christ Jesus.” God’s purpose was to take “... the worst of them” [Paul] and through grace “... demonstrated His utmost patience”.
Paul reminded Timothy that he was called to ministry as a fulfillment of God’s prophesy to work through men to “... fight the good fight” by holding “... firmly to faith and a good conscience”.
He further noted “some have rejected”, failed in, (“... holding “... firmly to faith and a good conscience”) “... and so have suffered shipwreck in regard to the faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I handed over to Satan, to be taught not to blaspheme.”
[Note: Paul does not appear to be suggesting the loss of salvation but the loss of the Lord God’s blessings, including protection, and also fellowship. This may be seen in his use of “... taught not to blaspheme” since there would be no point in teaching a permanently-lost person.]
The contrast between Timothy bringing the true gospel with a right heart versus those who had “... strayed from the faith” and were promoting distracting and empty teachings.
What are some practical ways that one may earn a reputation like that of Timothy for “... a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.”?
Paul’s reminded that that the legitimate purpose of the law is to convict the unsaved, “... any who live contrary to sound teaching” of their sin.
What is an example of your prior-to-salvation life where you “... acted ignorantly in unbelief” but God’s grace washed that away once you received salvation from faith?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you someone who has drifted into the teaching of “... useless speculations rather than God’s redemptive plan that operates by faith ... not understand(ing) what they are saying or the things they insist on so confidently.” so that they do not “... suffer shipwreck in regard to the faith ...” and irk God to the point of being “... handed over to Satan, to be taught not to blaspheme.”
Today I am choosing to pray for th eone whom the Holy Spirit has identified and I will, in confidence, ask at least one other believer to add their prayers in-agreement with mine.
Prayer for All People
2:1 First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanks be offered on behalf of all people,
2:2 even for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
2:3 Such prayer for all is good and welcomed before God our Savior,
2:4 since he wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
2:5 For there is one God and one intermediary between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, himself human,
2:6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, revealing God’s purpose at his appointed time.
2:7 For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle – I am telling the truth; I am not lying – and a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
2:8 So I want the men to pray in every place, lifting up holy hands without anger or dispute.
Conduct of Women
2:9 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,
2:10 but with good deeds, as is proper for women who profess reverence for God.
2:11 A woman must learn quietly with all submissiveness.
2:12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man. She must remain quiet.
2:13 For Adam was formed first and then Eve.
2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman, because she was fully deceived, fell into transgression.
2:15 But she will be delivered through childbearing, if she continues in faith and love and holiness with self-control.
Lord, You ask us to pray for others – including leaders – because we want them to choose You and therefore be our brothers and sisters. May I be wise in my prayers to desire the blessing of salvation rather than the curse of trouble upon those who trouble me.
Paul addressed prayer “I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanks be offered on behalf of all people ... since he wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.”
He added “... even for kings and all who are in authority ... since he wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.”
And so “... that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”
Then “Such prayer for all is good and welcomed before God our Savior, since he wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
Paul then reviewed the unique work of Christ “For there is one intermediary between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself as a ransom for all, revealing God’s purpose at his appointed time.”
He reviewed his personal role and credibility “For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle—I am telling the truth; I am not lying—and a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”
Paul summarized his teaching on prayer “So I want the men to pray in every place, lifting up holy hands, without anger or dispute.”
[Note: There are two keys necessary to unlocking Paul’s context and intent. First, his use of “Likewise” could imply that he had addressed the matter of men’s conduct, and that text is missing—or that, he was referring to his instruction “... I want men to pray in every place, lifting up holy hands without anger or dispute”—his emphasis on “... without anger or dispute”, also a topic of self-control. Second, that he was using “So,” to link back to “... since he wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.”]
He then addressed the sensitive matter of women within the Christian fellowship “Likewise the women are to dress in suitable apparel, with modesty and self-control,”
Paul offered an example of simple versus excessive “adornment” and of drawing attention to oneself, specifically one’s appearance, versus intentional “... good deeds, as is proper for women who profess reverence for God”
[Note: Paul could have used the same phraseology for men, and given his use of “likewise”, essentially did so—“... without anger or dispute as is proper for men who profess reverence for God.”
It appears plausible to understand “... suitable apparel, with modesty and self-control” as layered on top of a common instruction to men and women. Or, “Likewise” could mean that he was now giving a discrete/separate instruction to the women about public interaction.
[Note: Paul (and Jesus) breached the existing cultural subjugation of women by allowing them to learn the Bible, to participate fully in commerce, and to serve in certain forms of leadership (to minor children and other women) within a fellowship.]
He encouraged the participation of women in learning about God, something not allowed by the traditional patriarchal and legalistic authorities (common to both Jewish and Gentile cultures) “A woman must learn ...” then he added “... quietly with all submissiveness.”
[Note: The implication here is of a local problem with women in the fellowship becoming argumentative. Paul elsewhere instructed the older men to teach the younger men and the older women the younger women, so clearly he did not intend to bar women from learning. One may observe elsewhere in the Word circumstances of cross-gender discipleship (e.g. Timothy was discipled by two female family members). Some have speculated that Paul’s phrase “... quietly with all submissiveness.” applied specifically to women when they were learning from men. (There is an inference in the text immediately-following that this is his possible intent.)]
Paul addressed the relationship of men and women in both Christian discipleship and in Christian life “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man. She must remain quiet.”
[Note: This is culturally-controversial in modern times, and some have speculated that it may have been an accommodation to cultural norms of his time; however, Paul did not seem to avoid challenging local traditions where they violated the teachings of Christ and the text following does not appear to support that view. “She must remain quiet.” does appear to modify a woman’s relationship to a man in authority, especially in circumstances where a matter of Biblical teaching and Biblical authority were involved. Elsewhere, Paul narrowed a similar phrase to public gatherings and to married women interacting with their husband in public.]
He provided the reason for his submission of a woman to a man in matters of learning and teaching, “For Adam was formed first and then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman, because she was fully deceived, fell into transgression.”
[Note: This is even more culturally-controversial in the modern cultural than is his teaching about silence and submission. Paul appears to not only denote a hierarchy based on the ancient order of Creation (of Adam and Eve) but also one based on the circumstances of the Fall; Eve chose to accept the accusation of Satan against God and to directly disobey the Lord God by eating of the forbidden fruit—thus already breaching the law and triggering the consequences—at least upon herself. Eve then multiplied her violation by recruiting Adam to repeat her rebellion. (There is no evidence in the Biblical text that Adam was directly confronted by the serpent. See the Genesis Study of Chapter 3.)]
Paul concluded “But she will be delivered through childbearing, if she continues in faith and love and holiness with self-control.”
[Note: As the NET translator’s notes observe this has historically been a difficult phrase to interpret. If one begins at the end “... if she continues in faith and love and holiness with self-control.” one gets a good sense of the parallel with Paul’s instructions to the men. Looking at the first half “... delivered through childbearing” may have been Paul’s cryptic link back to vs 2:4 “... since he wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.”, the same motive as for the men—. So one might read this text as follows “If the woman continues in faith and love and holiness with self-control, because the Lord God wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth, she (a euphemism for fallen humankind) will be delivered through childbearing – the birth of Jesus to Mary.”
Prayer for leaders and the conduct of Christian men and women is emphasized “... since he wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.”
Do you (or your fellowship) take Paul’s teaching “So I want the men to pray in every place, lifting up holy hands, without anger or dispute.” to also apply to women since he says “*Likewise* the women are to dress in suitable apparel, with modesty and self-control” or as two separate instructions to two separate genders?
The unique work of Christ “For there is one intermediary between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself as a ransom for all, revealing God’s purpose at his appointed time.” informed Paul’s instructions to men and women to be intentionally holy in everything that they did “... since he (God) wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.”
When have you observed an example of women freed from the yoke of learning-oppression, perhaps heard during a report from foreign missionaries? What blessings that flowed into and through those women once they were allowed to study the Word of God?
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you a place in your life where you are failing to pray for leaders with a right heart.
Today I will recognize “... since he wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.” I must select at least one leader for whose salvation I will pray. I will recruit at least one other to join me in that prayer.
Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons
3:1 This saying is trustworthy: “If someone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a good work.”
3:2 The overseer then must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher, 3:3 not a drunkard, not violent, but gentle, not contentious, free from the love of money.
3:4 He must manage his own household well and keep his children in control without losing his dignity.
3:5 But if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for the church of God?
3:6 He must not be a recent convert or he may become arrogant and fall into the punishment that the devil will exact.
3:7 And he must be well thought of by those outside the faith, so that he may not fall into disgrace and be caught by the devil’s trap.
3:8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not two-faced, not given to excessive drinking, not greedy for gain,
3:9 holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
3:10 And these also must be tested first and then let them serve as deacons if they are found blameless.
3:11 Likewise also their wives must be dignified, not slanderous, temperate, faithful in every respect.
3:12 Deacons must be husbands of one wife and good managers of their children and their own households.
3:13 For those who have served well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and great boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
Conduct in God’s Church
3:14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you
3:15 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.
3:16 And we all agree, our religion contains amazing revelation: He was revealed in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among Gentiles, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
Lord, You desire “overseers” to serve as the spiritual leaders of fellowships of believers and “deacons” to support them, and members to respect them. May I serve when called and follow when led.
Paul presented the qualifications for “Overseers” and “Deacons” and reminded Christians of the reason for the Lord God’s expectations of them “in the household of God.”
He honored ones desire to serve an an “Overseer”, an apparent higher rank than that of Deacon as Paul chooses to add the phrase “... care for the church of God”, whereas he did not in his description of a Deacon.
An Overseer may be thought of as the one selected to be the leader of the Deacons or perhaps as the shepherd (pastor) of a fellowship, serving both as the Overseer of the Deacons and as Overseer of the discernment of God’s message and specific local ministry for God’s local “Church” (fellowship of believers).
[Note: The Bible elsewhere describes an “Elder” as a spiritual leader and a “Deacon” as one who cares for other matters in the fellowship. It is unclear if the intent is for the roles to be merged in a small fellowship and divided in a larger fellowship; this was the circumstance when the Lord God led Jethro to encourage Moses to delegate (Exodus 18), and later the Apostles to delegate in Acts 6:1-7. Acts 20:28 also shares some common text together with the term “Overseers”.]
“... above reproach” [Living intentionally to honor God, though not perfectly so.]
“... the husband of one wife” [See discussion below.]
“... temperate” [Abusing no substance, including food intake, elsewhere labeled “gluttony”.]
“... self-controlled” [Not impetuous nor prone to surges of erratic behavior or speech.]
“... respectable” [Respectful of social mores, responsible, mature, ethical, moral.]
“... hospitable” [Friendly, welcoming, sociable, generous.]
“... an able teacher” [Communicates well, explains well, models and encourages learning.]
“... not a drunkard” [No substance abuse.]
“... not violent” [Improperly so with his family or others. Does not mean a pacifist, nor non-discipline of a disobedient or disrespectful child.]
“... but gentle” [Considerate of others, listening, encouraging, many more “hugs” than “hits”.]
“... not contentious” [Not always needing own way, not seeking arguments, not a critical spirit.]
“... free from the love of money” [A good steward but not fearful of need, covetous of wealth.]
“He must manage his own household well and keep his children in control without losing his dignity.” [Without hysteria, neglect, or tyranny, all of which would cause him to lose “his dignity”.]
“He must not be a recent convert ...” [Paul warns that rushing a new believer into the role of an Overseer may set him up to fail to the point of immature blasphemy leading to the chastisement of God. The NET translator’s notes direct one to 1 Tim. 1:20 for clarification.]
“He must be well thought of by those outside the faith, so that he may not fall into disgrace and be caught by the devil’s trap.” [His testimony and witness should be consistent.]
Paul’s qualifications for Overseer included one controversial (in modern times), though unnecessarily considered controversial, element “... the husband of one wife”. The text only requires this if a candidate is married that he not be polygamous. (This was, apparently, a significant concern in certain regions at the time.)
[Note: Nothing in the text requires that one be married nor that one never have been divorced, any more than it requires that he never have been widowed or poor (the extreme of “free of the love of money”) or that he abstain totally from any form of alcohol (the extreme form of “not a drunkard”). Trustworthy scholarship requires that one apply a standard equally to all of the text and not selectively due to a preconceived extra-Biblical template, imposing the preferences and/or traditions of man upon the sovereign text of God.]
The qualifications for the office of Deacon are similar to that of an Overseer. The apparent intent of Paul is to contrast the role of Deacon to that of an Overseer as he chose “... care for the church of God” to set them apart.
Paul concluded with a reminder that the Lord God’s expectations of Christians “... in the household of God” was because “... it is the church of the living God, the support and bulwark of the truth.”
And finally, a summary of the creed of the Christian Church (every believer) “And we all agree, our religion contains amazing revelation. He was revealed in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among Gentiles, believed on in the world, taken up on glory.”
Do you see evidence of Paul’s checklist for Overseers and Deacons in those under whose authority you sit? If not you need to prayerfully consider relocating to where your leaders meet the Biblical mandate.
What are some practical ways to evaluate potential Overseers and Deacons, however your fellowship may denote the roles (e.g. bishop, shepherd, pastor, minister, elder, deacon)?
The Lord God’s expectations of Christians “... in the household of God” is because “... it is the church of the living God, the support and bulwark of the truth.”
When have you observed a process that has resulted in the selection of fully qualified Overseers and Deacons versus one where the Biblical requirements were either not enforced or were somehow distorted? Compare and contrast the consequences.
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you if the Lord God is calling you to some form of leadership, and if so, to apply Paul’s checklist to your walk with Christ.
Today I will remember that grace applies, that repentance and forgiveness remove condemnation and exclusion, and that the Lord God never expects perfection of us in this world.
Timothy’s Ministry in the Later Times
4:1 Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will desert the faith and occupy themselves with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings,
4:2 influenced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared.
4:3 They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
4:4 For every creation of God is good and no food is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.
4:5 For it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer.
4:6 By pointing out such things to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, having nourished yourself on the words of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.
4:7 But reject those myths fit only for the godless and gullible, and train yourself for godliness.
4:8 For “physical exercise has some value, but godliness is valuable in every way. It holds promise for the present life and for the life to come.”
4:9 This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. 4:10 In fact this is why we work hard and struggle, because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of believers.
4:11 Command and teach these things.
4:12 Let no one look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in your speech, conduct, love, faithfulness, and purity.
4:13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.
4:14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift you have, given to you and confirmed by prophetic words when the elders laid hands on you.
4:15 Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that everyone will see your progress.
4:16 Be conscientious about how you live and what you teach. Persevere in this, because by doing so you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.
Lord, You have warned us that some will lose sight of grace and drift into legalism and the idolatry of preference and tradition. May I be alert to such distortions and bold in challenging them.
Paul delivered a warning from the Holy Spirit of troubles to come, “liars” will lead people to “desert the faith and occupy themselves with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings”
Additional elements of their false teachings:
“They will prohibit marriage ...”
“They will ... require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.”
He then defined the freedom of the believer through grace and truth “... every creation of God is good and no food is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. For it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer.”
Paul mentored Timothy to lead “By pointing out these things to the brothers and sisters ...”
“... reject those myths fit only for the godless and gullible”
“... train yourself for godliness”
“Command and teach these things.”
“Let no one look down on you because you are young …”
[Young in age, yet an early-in-life “elder” due to Paul’s mentoring.]
“... set an example for the believers in your speech, conduct, love, faithfulness, and purity.”
“... give attention to the public reading of scripture”
“... give attention ... to exhortation”
“... give attention ... to teaching”
“Do not neglect the spiritual gift you have” [To exhort and teach and model right-living.]
Paul amplified the modeling-purpose of Timothy’s ministry “Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that everyone will see your progress.”
[Note: Leaders are required by the Lord God to demonstrate their own spiritual growth as a model for those whom have been entrusted to them. No leader “has arrived”, no leader should pretend to be without the need to learn and to grow, and no leader should be fearful about acknowledging areas needing improvement; thereafter, demonstrating progress toward maturity. A leader who fails to model their own “progress” is acting out of fear and/or arrogance and is not in obedience to God.]
He concluded “Persevere in this, because by doing so you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.”
[Note: Timothy would be speaking to the saved, so their salvation was not at risk, so what they would be saved from is chastisement from the Lord God if they drifted into the influence of the false teachers.]
The constant threat of the enemy using deceit to lead people astray, especially through those who misrepresent themselves as men and women of God.
What are some ways that you, and your fellowship, may better defend itself against the fads and falsehoods of careless and false teachers.
Timothy was expected to walk confidently, yet transparently, teaching fearlessly the truth of God while modeling God’s continuing work in his own life.
A practical example of a leader whom you have observed who lived as Paul instructed Timothy. Did you observe a positive impact upon those who followed this leader?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal a place in your walk as a Biblical-Christian where you have drifted into fads or falsehoods which are not consistent with the pure truth of the Lord God and to also reveal to you any place where you are modeling or teaching things (perhaps entertainment or lifestyle-choices) that are not clearly Biblical, or have been pretending to be perfect rather than transparently allowing others to see God’s maturing work in you—as an encouragement to them.
Today I will ask a fellow believer to pray in agreement, and to hold me accountable, as I move toward a more intentionally-Biblical and mature walk with Christ in these areas.
Instructions about Specific Groups
5:1 Do not address an older man harshly but appeal to him as a father. Speak to younger men as brothers,
5:2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters – with complete purity.
5:3 Honor widows who are truly in need.
5:4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they should first learn to fulfill their duty toward their own household and so repay their parents what is owed them. For this is what pleases God.
5:5 But the widow who is truly in need, and completely on her own, has set her hope on God and continues in her pleas and prayers night and day.
5:6 But the one who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.
5:7 Reinforce these commands, so that they will be beyond reproach.
5:8 But if someone does not provide for his own, especially his own family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
5:9 No widow should be put on the list unless she is at least sixty years old, was the wife of one husband,
5:10 and has a reputation for good works: as one who has raised children, practiced hospitality, washed the feet of the saints, helped those in distress – as one who has exhibited all kinds of good works.
5:11 But do not accept younger widows on the list, because their passions may lead them away from Christ and they will desire to marry,
5:12 and so incur judgment for breaking their former pledge.
5:13 And besides that, going around from house to house they learn to be lazy, and they are not only lazy, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things they should not.
5:14 So I want younger women to marry, raise children, and manage a household, in order to give the adversary no opportunity to vilify us.
5:15 For some have already wandered away to follow Satan.
5:16 If a believing woman has widows in her family, let her help them. The church should not be burdened, so that it may help the widows who are truly in need.
5:17 Elders who provide effective leadership must be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard in speaking and teaching.
5:18 For the scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and, “The worker deserves his pay.”
5:19 Do not accept an accusation against an elder unless it can be confirmed by two or three witnesses.
5:20 Those guilty of sin must be rebuked before all, as a warning to the rest.
5:21 Before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, I solemnly charge you to carry out these commands without prejudice or favoritism of any kind.
5:22 Do not lay hands on anyone hastily and so identify with the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.
5:23 (Stop drinking just water, but use a little wine for your digestion and your frequent illnesses.)
5:24 The sins of some people are obvious, going before them into judgment, but for others, they show up later.
5:25 Similarly good works are also obvious, and the ones that are not cannot remain hidden.
Lord, You set-apart leaders and hold them accountable to a higher-standard as they speak with authority into the family of Your children. May I be careful to honor You and Your Word.
Paul continued his mentoring of Timothy as a leader.
“Do not address an older man harshly but appeal to him as a father ...”
“Speak to younger men as brothers ...”
“Speak to ... older women as mothers ...”
“Speak to ... younger women as sisters—with complete purity.”
“Honor widows truly in need ...”
“... children and grandchildren ... repay parents” [Care for parents rather than dumping them on others.}
“... the one (widow) who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.” [Not deserving support.]
“... if someone (a believer) does not provide for his own (a believing and God-honoring parent or fellow believing widow in genuine need) ... he has denied the faith (is in rebellion, not lost to salvation) and is worse than an unbeliever.” [An unbeliever doesn’t know any better, a believer does.]
“No widow should be put on the list unless she is at least sixty years old [A presumption of her capacity to remarry or to earn a living somehow.], was the wife of one husband, [If she was polygamous she was both in rebellion against God and still has at least one husband to support her.] and has a reputation for good works;
“... who has raised children
“... who has ... practiced hospitality”
“... who has ... washed the feet of the saints”
“... who has ... helped those in distress”
such that they are
“... one who has exhibited all kinds of good works.”
“But do not accept younger widows on the list ...”
[Note: Paul wanted to avoid younger widows living off of the fellowship, based on a pledge to devote the rest of their lives to service, only to respond to the flesh and break that pledge by remarrying. He instead encouraged them to remarry]
Paul also reminds a believing woman of her responsibility to “... widows in her family” so that she does not misunderstand the responsibility to be only that of the men or others in the fellowship.
He continued “Elders who provide effective leadership ...” [The title “Elder” is imprecise as it may refer either to a Deacon or an Overseer, as described earlier in Paul’s first letter to Timothy; however, the term elsewhere tends to refer to one who is more of a spiritual leader than a helper and given the text immediately following appears to emphasize specifically preachers and teachers, but not exclusively so.]
“... must be counted worthy of double honor [respect and financial compensation], especially those who work hard in speaking and teaching.” Paul cited Deut. 25:4 as his authority.
“Do not accept an accusation against an elder unless it can be confirmed by two or three witnesses. Those guilty of sin must be rebuked before all, as a warning to the rest.” [Paul elsewhere outlined the process for bringing and evaluating charges against a brother.]
“... carry out these commands without prejudice or favoritism of any kind.”
“Do not lay hands on anyone hastily ...” [To avoid an apparent problem he had observed among other leaders-of-leaders choosing poor leaders.]
Paul noted that not all sins are immediately obvious but that good works are, therefore Timothy was to be patient in calling people into leadership—giving time for hidden sin to show itself while good works added to their good report.
Paul set boundaries for the care of widows—most critical that they be elderly, they be believers, they not have other means of support, and that they have a history of serving others.
How is an “elder”, spiritual leader, defined within your fellowship and how does an “elder” receive the “double honor” due him—as described by Paul?
Paul mentored Timothy using directives and explanations, and he insisted that Timothy avoid “prejudice or favoritism of any kind.”
When have you observed an example of either the care of widows, or one of cautious-patience in the calling of leaders, and how that worked-out—well or poorly—in your fellowship?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you someone in leadership at your fellowship with whom he wants you to compare and contrast the instructions of Paul with the policies and practices of your fellowship.
Today I will discuss this chapter with the one whom the Holy Spirit has identified. It may be an ‘official’ elder or one who has retired from active leadership or perhaps the spouse of an elder. If we discover differences we will prayerfully discern if there is a need for change. If I cannot meet with a person in leadership I will do the comparison myself and pray that the leadership will respond appropriately to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to bring policy and/or practice into line with the Word of God.
6:1 Those who are under the yoke as slaves must regard their own masters as deserving of full respect. This will prevent the name of God and Christian teaching from being discredited.
6:2 But those who have believing masters must not show them less respect because they are brothers. Instead they are to serve all the more, because those who benefit from their service are believers and dearly loved.
Summary of Timothy’s Duties
Teach them and exhort them about these things.
6:3 If someone spreads false teachings and does not agree with sound words (that is, those of our Lord Jesus Christ) and with the teaching that accords with godliness,
6:4 he is conceited and understands nothing, but has an unhealthy interest in controversies and verbal disputes. This gives rise to envy, dissension, slanders, evil suspicions,
6:5 and constant bickering by people corrupted in their minds and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a way of making a profit.
6:6 Now godliness combined with contentment brings great profit.
6:7 For we have brought nothing into this world and so we cannot take a single thing out either.
6:8 But if we have food and shelter, we will be satisfied with that.
6:9 Those who long to be rich, however, stumble into temptation and a trap and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evils. Some people in reaching for it have strayed from the faith and stabbed themselves with many pains.
Lord, You provide all that we need to be contented wherever we are, and You show us how to be godly as well. May I not be envious of others and thereby discontent, nor drawn into their worldly ways and thereby less-godly.
Paul reminded those who are slaves (or bondservants) to an unbeliever must interact with their human “master” with full respect, so that their testimony as Christians will not be compromised.
[Note: This may be extrapolated to an employee-boss relationship where the boss is an unbeliever. Also, if one cannot serve ones boss with respect, either due to an unacceptably (spiritually) vexing work environment or demands by their boss that they violate the ethical standards of the Lord God then one must leave, rather than remain and be disrespectful.]
He instructed those with believing “masters” to serve even more respectfully because they are both children of a loving God.
[Note: Again, this may be extrapolated to the employee-boss relationship. Also, if a believing boss does not conduct himself/herself in a Biblically appropriate manner, and they are un-teachable—the believing employee may need to change jobs rather to remain where respect is difficult or impossible.]
Paul reviewed Timothy’s duty to “teach them and exhort them about these things”:
“... someone who spreads false teachings ... corrupted in their minds ... suppose that godliness is a way of making a profit ...
“Those who long to be rich, however, stumble into a trap and many senseless and harmful desires ... For the love of money is a root of many evils ...”
[NET Translator’s Notes: This latter phrase is sometimes rendered “For the love of money is the root of all evils.” but that hyperbole lends itself to all manner of misunderstanding, so the superior rendering has been provided.]
Paul’s emphasis in Timothy’s teaching presents a consistent message for slave, non-slave, rich and poor man alike—if you are a Christian then live like one. Treat others with honor and respect, no matter their station in life.
What are some practical ways to apply Paul’s teaching in the workplace, especially where the circumstances are sometimes challenging?
The linkage between “... someone who spreads false teachings” and Paul’s description that they are “... corrupted in their minds” implies spiritual deception – or worse.
What is an example of a challenging workplace and how you handled a difficult relationship with a saved or unsaved boss? If you have been blessed to serve a good saved boss how was that experience unique?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you where you are doing well or poorly at His assignment to treat others with honor and respect no matter their station in life.
Today, where I discover that I fall short, I will ask the Holy Spirit to guide and chastise me until I get right with Him.
6:11 But you, as a person dedicated to God, keep away from all that. Instead pursue righteousness, godliness, faithfulness, love, endurance, and gentleness.
6:12 Compete well for the faith and lay hold of that eternal life you were called for and made your good confession for in the presence of many witnesses.
6:13 I charge you before God who gives life to all things and Christ Jesus who made his good confession before Pontius Pilate,
6:14 to obey this command without fault or failure until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ
6:15 – whose appearing the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, will reveal at the right time.
6:16 He alone possesses immortality and lives in unapproachable light, whom no human has ever seen or is able to see. To him be honor and eternal power! Amen.
6:17 Command those who are rich in this world’s goods not to be haughty or to set their hope on riches, which are uncertain, but on God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment.
6:18 Tell them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous givers, sharing with others.
6:19 In this way they will save up a treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the future and so lay hold of what is truly life.
6:20 O Timothy, protect what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the profane chatter and absurdities of so-called “knowledge.”
6:21 By professing it, some have strayed from the faith. Grace be with you all.
Lord, You informed Pontius Pilate, Your disciples and apostles, and all of the world Who You Are and why You came. May I be as faithful as Timothy to share Your Gospel and to live according to the faith You have affirmed in me through Your indwelling Holy Spirit.
Key elements of Paul’s reference to “Christ Jesus who made his good confession before Pontius Pilate” may be found in Matthew 27 and John 18. Pilate was a functionally-secular leader trapped between Jesus and the religious leaders. The spiritual warfare was so profound that Pilate’s wife “... suffered greatly as the result of a dream” and sent him a note warning him that Jesus was innocent.
The specific text to which Paul referred was “18:36 Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my servants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish authorities. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” 18:37 Then Pilate said, “So you are a king!” Jesus replied, “You say that I am a king. For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world – to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” 18:38 Pilate asked, “What is truth?”“
Paul returned to the positive for Timothy:
“Instead, pursue righteousness ...”
“... and gentleness”
“Compete well for the faith ...”
“Command those who are rich in this world’s goods to not be haughty or to set their hope on riches, which are uncertain but on God ... to be rich in good deeds ... In this way they will save up a treasure for themselves as a firm foundation and so lay hold of what is truly life.”
Paul concluded his first letter to Timothy with a plea for continued faithfulness and a prayer “Grace be with you all.”
If you are a Christian then live like one. “Instead, pursue righteousness ... godliness ... faithfulness ... love ... endurance ... and gentleness”. “Compete well for the faith ...”
Would it help you, or members of your fellowship, to remain strong in Christ if they were reminded now and then of the testimony of Jesus before Pilate (in John 18), since Paul thought it would help Timothy?
Timothy was young and surrounded by immature, selfish, and vain people – typical of fallen humankind – yet was challenged to live and to teach righteousness.
When have you observed a 'Timothy'? A young person sold-out to the Lord yet challenged all-about to sell-out?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you where you are doing well or poorly at His assignment to “.. pursue righteousness ... godliness ... faithfulness ... love ... endurance ... and gentleness …” and to ... “Compete well for the faith ...”.
Today, where I discover that I fall short, I will ask the Holy Spirit to guide and chastise me until I get right with Him.
All Bible text is from the NET unless otherwise indicated—http://bible.org
Note 1: These Studies often rely upon the guidance of the NET Translators from their associated notes. Careful attention has been given to cite that source where it has been quoted directly or closely paraphrased. Feedback is encouraged where credit has not been sufficiently assigned.
Note 2: When NET text is quoted in commentary and discussion all pronouns referring to God are capitalized, though they are lower-case in the original NET text.
Commentary text is from David M. Colburn, D.Min. unless otherwise noted.
Copyright © 2012 by David M. Colburn. This is a BibleSeven Study – The series, “1 Timothy” – prepared by David M. Colburn and edited for bible.org in March of 2012. This text may be used for non-profit educational purposes only, with credit; all other usage requires prior written consent of the author.