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.
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?
Related Topics: Curriculum