Pastoral Epistles – Introducing The Great Missionary Named Paul

What we think of ourselves has an impact on what we do or don’t do. If we carry too high of an opinion, we will be overcome with pride and hinder our usefulness. If we carry too low of an opinion, then it is very likely that we will accomplish little in the work of God. As the Apostle Paul sets forth the introductory comments in his letter to Timothy, the Holy Ghost preserved some very useful information, a glimpse if you will, about what Paul thought of himself.

(1 Timothy 1:11 Timothy 1:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy 1 1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;  

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) “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;”  (KJV)

A Saved Man

The very first word in verse one is “Paul”. We learn a lot from this special name. For a moment, let us travel down the Damascus road in Acts chapter nine. Saul of Tarsus was a very zealous man who endeavored to serve God, and was of great pedigree (Philippians 3:4-7Philippians 3:4-7
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  

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). He was taught at the feet of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3Acts 22:3
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.  

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) the Word of God. Yet with all of this man’s knowledge and experience concerning the Jewish religion, he was lost and headed straight for Hell. Holding the coats of those who stoned the great man of the faith named, Stephen, we get a glimpse of how devoted this man was to what he believed.

While on his way to incarcerate Christians he was met by the Lord Jesus on the Damascus road. This is certainly a climatic event in the book of Acts for we find the salvation experience of a man who will probably be known as the world’s greatest missionary. From Acts 13:9Acts 13:9
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

9 Then Saul, filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,  

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we find that Saul is also referred to as Paul. In a way, you can see the old man – “Saul”, and the new man – “Paul”! At any rate, you discover that Paul was never the same man after the Damascus road experience.

Paul was a SAVED man! There is no doubt about this. Paul KNEW that he was SAVED! It was a reality in his life. Day in and day out, Paul lived his life in light of the fact that his name was written down in the Lamb’s book of life. Every preacher of the gospel must be saved. Not all are though! More than one time I have come across people who preached for a number of years that later got saved. What a shame it would be to go to Hell after preaching God’s Book!

A Sent Man

The next phrase in verse one is “an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour”. In this section I find a SENT man. The term “apostle” literally means “a sent one”. We find that Paul, under inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit, making it known that he was, indeed, an apostle of Jesus Christ. It is one thing to claim to be something. It is quite another thing to actually BE what you CLAIM to be. Paul WAS an Apostle.

The reality of his apostleship permeated every ounce of his being. You cannot read your New Testament without making this assertion. As John the Baptist before him, Paul too was sent from God to a sin cursed world! As both John and Paul, you and I, who are preachers of the gospel, must not forget that we are SENT from God for a specific purpose.

A Secure Man

As Paul ends his remark about the fact that God the Father commanded him to be an apostle, He mentions that Jesus Christ commanded him as well. In reference to Jesus, Paul states that He, Jesus Christ, is our hope. What assurance Paul must have felt as he penned this introductory statement to his young disciple named Timothy.

It is very important to not only KNOW of your security in Christ, but it is equally important to project this security in public. Uncertainty, anxiety, and lack of decisiveness is common in people who are not SECURE in their minds. As pastors develop and train their young “Timothy”, their confidence in this security is contagious and will be caught by these young men.

Hope in Jesus and the confidence that stems from it, is so strong that is anchors the soul through the fiercest of storms. Timothy is going to need this encouraging opening remark. Indeed, Jesus IS our hope as well!

Conclusion

As we conclude the thoughts from 1 Timothy1:1, it is important to reiterate that a pastor must be careful as to what he thinks about himself. The pastor’s mind is a huge battleground. Your opinion of yourself is everything! We must KNOWwe are saved men, sent men, and that we are secure men if we are to persevere in ministry. The apostle gives some wonderful truths as he begins his letter to young Timothy.

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Would you consider purchasing…

543369: The John Phillips New Testament Commentary, 19 Volumes The John Phillips New Testament Commentary, 19 Volumes

By Kregel Publications

Explore the entire New Testament in greater depth. This complete set of New Testament commentaries from the pen of expositor John Phillips will provide pastors, Sunday school teachers, and students of the Bible with doctrinally sound interpretation that emphasizes the practical application of Bible truth. Preachers especially will appreciate these commentaries as they provide a model and resource for sermons and lessons. Working from the familiar King James Version, Dr. Phillips not only provides helpful commentary on the text, but also includes detailed outlines and numerous illustrations and quotations. Anyone wanting to explore the meaning of God’s word in greater detail for personal spiritual growth or as a resource for preaching and teaching will welcome the guidance and insights of this respected series.

A frequent speaker at churches, conferences, and workshops across North America, John Phillips served as assistant director of the Moody Correspondence School as well as director of the Emmaus Correspondence School, one of the world’s largest Bible correspondence ministries. He also taught in the Moody Evening School and on the Moody Broadcasting radio network. He and his wife, Betty, live in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Originally posted 2011-01-20 00:01:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Pastoral Epistles – The Model Preacher Boy

A pastor friend of mine was quoted as saying, “We are a product of our teachers!” I wholeheartedly believe that he who teaches and instructs us has a huge impact on the person we become and how we perform ministry. No matter the venue you place this principle into, this precept bears out.

Since the first century, the model of “Paul’s and Timothy’s” has been examined, written about, and mimicked the world over. Indeed it has become a New Testament church standard for church leaders to emulate. Let us examine verse two of 1 Timothy and seek to get a better understanding of this paradigm.

(1 Timothy 1:21 Timothy 1:2
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.  

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) “Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (KJV)

A Birthed Man

The name “Timothy” literally means “dear to God” according to Strong’s Concordance. Timothy was certainly dear to God as every child of God is. From the next phrase in verse two we see that the Apostle Paul, evidently, led him to Christ personally. We will look at that phrase again, but at this point we see that Timothy was a child of God based upon Paul’s remark about him being “my own son in the faith”.

There is an unmistakable fact about physical birth and spiritual birth that we need to articulate. Offspring will look like its progenitors! We can say, “AMEN!” right there. Timothy looked something like his physical mother and father. After all, he was their child. When it comes to the matter of being born into God’s family, we are going to resemble our Heavenly Father by our new nature.

Timothy, as one will see as they study his life, was a godly young man. He was used in many ways to help God’s people and to be an extension of the aging Apostle Paul. Indeed, he had birthmarks of being a follower of Christ, and so we should as well.

A Broadened Man

The second phrase in verse two, “my own son in the faith” is not only an endearing term Paul used to open his letter, but a window into the kind of relationship Paul and Timothy had. It would seem that Paul personally led him to Christ and then proceeded to disciple him. Can you imagine what this must have been like? To have a great Christian man like Paul to take great amounts of time to teach you God’s Word and how to practically apply it’s precepts to your life. WOW!

This Biblical example of “father/son” discipleship, spiritually speaking, demands considerable thought. So many people attempt to lead people to Christ in our day. This is great, but the soul-winner is somewhat responsible to help disciple and train the new convert.

Another point of application can be made to the pastors, evangelists and missionaries of our day. Yes, we need to train the new converts in the ways of the Lord Jesus, but we should also be on the lookout for young preachers and leaders in our congregations. The best training a man can get for the ministry is one on one with their pastor! So it was with Timothy.

A Blessed Man

The last half of verse two is really special. The Apostle Paul invokes a blessing from our Heavenly Father for young Timothy. He asked for three things. (1) Grace: getting what we do not deserve. “God’s unmerited favor” (2) Mercy: not getting what we do deserve. “Judgment and Hell” (3) Peace: tranquility of soul. “True prosperity” Each of these are needed by every follower of Christ. To my knowledge, though Paul frequently invoked grace and mercy upon his readers, peace was only mentioned in reference to the ministers Timothy and Titus.

Timothy was blessed for many reasons and so are we. Of the many frequently overlooked points of the Christian life is that we have experienced and continue to experience grace, mercy and God’s peace. You cannot buy either of them with money, and they are solely gifts from God! Oh, how BLESSED we are!

Conclusion

We are a product of those we learn from. As my grandma always says, “You learn something new every day!” Oh, how great the weight of responsibility which lays upon our shoulders as parents, mentors, soul-winners, and godly leaders. We are instructing people in ways we do not realize. When it comes to those who are training the next generation of preachers and spiritual leaders in our churches, we must be sure that we who train are of great maturity as Paul was. We need “Timothy’s” to rise to the occasion not “Demas'” who quit!

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Would you consider purchasing…

543369: The John Phillips New Testament Commentary, 19 Volumes The John Phillips New Testament Commentary, 19 Volumes

By Kregel Publications

Explore the entire New Testament in greater depth. This complete set of New Testament commentaries from the pen of expositor John Phillips will provide pastors, Sunday school teachers, and students of the Bible with doctrinally sound interpretation that emphasizes the practical application of Bible truth. Preachers especially will appreciate these commentaries as they provide a model and resource for sermons and lessons. Working from the familiar King James Version, Dr. Phillips not only provides helpful commentary on the text, but also includes detailed outlines and numerous illustrations and quotations. Anyone wanting to explore the meaning of God’s word in greater detail for personal spiritual growth or as a resource for preaching and teaching will welcome the guidance and insights of this respected series.

A frequent speaker at churches, conferences, and workshops across North America, John Phillips served as assistant director of the Moody Correspondence School as well as director of the Emmaus Correspondence School, one of the world’s largest Bible correspondence ministries. He also taught in the Moody Evening School and on the Moody Broadcasting radio network. He and his wife, Betty, live in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Originally posted 2011-03-02 00:01:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Pastoral Epistles – A Job To Do!

A true to definition pastor is a hard working man even though jokes are told which intimate that pastors are lazy and don’t do anything but crave fried chicken. God’s men do, in fact, labor day and night for the cause of Christ. The Apostle Paul lived by this example and we should seek to follow his lead.

(1 Timothy 1:3-41 Timothy 1:3-4
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.  

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) “As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.”  (KJV)

The Job Of Obedience

The Apostle Paul reminds young Timothy of a prior conversation, via correspondence or in personal dialogue, about where he was to serve the Lord in his absence. Paul was to move on to the region of Macedonia while Timothy was to take care of things in Ephesus. It is clear that Paul felt as though his young preacher boy was able to lead this congregation.

Three distinct issues come to mind as we ponder 1 Timothy 1:31 Timothy 1:3
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,  

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. First, we see the will of God. It was, evidently, God’s perfect will for Paul to go into Macedonia, while Timothy remained or was sent to Ephesus. Timothy was definitely obedient to God’s will for his life! We should also be careful in this matter. Are you in God’s will?

Secondly, we see the issue of following instructions. Timothy followed the instructions that were given to him. Not many people want to be obedient in following instructions anymore. King Saul, if you remember, disregarded specific instructions given to him by Samuel. As a result of Saul intruding into the office of the priest, he crossed a line with God that cost him dearly. Timothy sets an example for us as he obeyed Paul and performed his duty in Ephesus. Do you obey the instructions you are given by your spiritual authorities?

Lastly, we see the issue of delegation of responsibility. Paul, feeling sure it was God’s will and that he was capable of handling the task, asked Timothy to abide still in Ephesus. We shall look at the specifics in a moment, but it suffices to mention now that Paul knew how to delegate. Leaders have to learn how and when to do this. A ministry can be crippled and limited if church leadership does not learn to delegate responsibility. Do you delegate responsibility?

The Job Of Soundness

Steel, when it is produced right, will “ring true” when hammered upon. Likewise, Christians should be devoid of error when they are beat upon with the trials and temptations of life. Timothy was commissioned with the responsibility of insuring that sound doctrine would be taught and propagated. He also was to be sure that unprofitable teachings would be avoided and only edifying doctrine would be majored upon.

It is the job of every pastor to do the same thing Timothy was asked to do. A church is usually as sound as it’s pastor is. If the pastor is not established in the faith and the leadership he develops along the way is not anchored in sound doctrine, then that church will not withstand the tests that come their way. Soundness in preaching, teaching, and even in casual conversation is a must for any man of God. Are you endeavoring to maintain a pathway of sound doctrine in your church?

If you are creating more questions for people than providing answers, according to the Scriptures, then you are likely missing the point of preaching and teaching God’s Word. Our verses (1 Timothy1:3-4) emphasize the importance of sound doctrine, the ignoring of unprofitable teachings and fables, and the godly edifying of believers. Failure in this will be extremely detrimental to the longevity of a local congregation. By some estimates, this letter to Timothy was some ten years after the church of Ephesus was started. Whether ten years or ten months, the job of soundness is vital role as a pastor. Can you fill this job description?

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Originally posted 2012-02-06 00:01:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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