THE LETTER OF FIRST TIMOTHY. With Luke and Timothy, Paul visited Ephesus and discovered his prophecy about the “wolves” had been fulfilled. He dealt with the leaders of the trouble, but anticipated further trouble. He left Timothy in charge as his apostolic representative and went to Macedonia. From there he wrote the letter known as First Timothy to encourage and authorize his son in the faith to proceed with the difficult task entrusted to him. Timothy was not to allow his youth to intimidate him. Besides personal advice, Paul gives instructions on ecclesiastical matters.
First Timothy: Conduct in God’s Church
Writer: Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus.
Addressee: To Timothy my true son in the faith; that is his “spiritual son.” Timothy was the natural son of a Greek father and Jewish mother (Acts 16:1-3).
Date and Place Written: Summer of A.D. 66 from Macedonia. Paul was acquitted by the Emperor and released at Rome. With Luke and Timothy, Paul visited Ephesus and discovered his prophecy about the “wolves” had been fulfilled (Acts 20:29-30).
Occasion and Purpose: Paul had dealt with the leaders of the trouble (1 Timothy 1:19-20), but, anticipating further trouble (6:3-5), he left Timothy in charge as his apostolic representative and went to Macedonia (1:3). Paul wrote to give Timothy encouragement and authorization to proceed with the difficult task entrusted to him (4:15-16). Timothy was not to allow his youth to intimidate him (4:11-13). Besides personal advice, he gave instructions on Ecclesiastical matters (1:18).
Key Verses: 1 Timothy 4:16; 3:14-15
Key Phrases: Christ Jesus (12 times)
Key Words: God (26 times); Faith/ful (20); Teach/er/es/ing (14); Charge/Command (9); Godliness (6); Church (5); Doctrine/s (4); Conscience/s (4); Preached/ing (3)
A. Thematic Themes:
1. Apostasy: Shipwrecked Faith (1 Timothy 1:6; 1:19-20; 4:1-3; 5:15; 6:9-10; 6:21)
2. Faithfulness: Perseverance unto Salvation (1:12; 1:19; 2:15; 3:13; 4:8, 16; 6:11-12, 18-19)
The thematic theme of the letter deals with apostasy and faithfulness: avoid shipwrecking faith by persevering unto salvation.
B. Primary Themes:
Pure Gospel (1)
Worthy Worship (2-3)
Faithful Ministry (4-6)
C. Subordinate Themes:
1. Christ Jesus the Lord —> His Deity, 1 Timothy 1:17
2. Christ’s Mediatorial Role, 2:5
3. Christ’s Incarnation, Successful Ministry, Resurrection, Ascension, 3:16
4. Christ’s Suffering and Death, 6:13
5. Christ’s Return, 6:14
6. Christ’s Millennial Reign, 6:15
7. The nature, scope and effect of prayer in the work of the Church, 2:1-4
8. The function of women in the Church, 2:8-15
9. The qualifications of elders and deacons, 3:1-13
10. The doctrinal summary of the work of Christ, 3:16
11. The support of worthy widows, 5:3-16
12. The Christian and material wealth, 6:6-10, 17-19
Characteristics: More than a personal letter to Timothy; it is “pastoral” in nature and concerned with the practical application of sound doctrine to outward conduct. Opening and Closing Doxologies (1 Timothy 1:17; 6:15-16).
A. THE CHURCH AND ITS MESSAGE (1)
1. Teaching Sound Doctrine, 1:1-11
2. Preaching a Glorious Gospel, 1:12-17
3. Defending the Faith, 1:18-20
B. THE CHURCH AND ITS MEMBERS (2-3)
1. Praying Men, 2:1-8
2. Modest Women, 2:9-15
3. Dedicated Officers, 3:1-13
C. THE CHURCH AND ITS MINISTERS (4)
1. A Good Minister, 4:1-6
2. A Godly Minister, 4:7-12
3. A Growing Minister, 4:13-16
D. THE CHURCH AND ITS MINISTRY (5-6)
1. To Older Saints, 5:1-2
2. To Widows, 5:3-16
3. To Church Leaders, 5:17-25
4. To Slaves, 6:1-2
5. To Troublemakers, 6:3-5
6. To the Rich, 6:6-19
7. To the Educated, 6:20-21
More than a personal letter to Timothy; this first letter is “pastoral” in nature and concerned with the practical application of sound doctrine to outward conduct. Yet, like Titus on Crete, Timothy is not the pastor of the church since it was under the leadership of its own elders.