1 Timothy 1-2 (Ps 19) Lynne McCarthy 11/25/21
Observe Paul’s pastoral epistle to Timothy addresses a persistent problem of false teaching in the church at Ephesus. Idle speculation replacing true advancement of God’s Kingdom, Paul tasks him with correcting teachers and teaching. (1:3-4) Paul’s goal: love arising from pure, guiltless and unpretentious desire (5) -- for the Lord.
For the disobedient, Paul lists sins against each commandment of the Law in their order (8-10). He gives a ‘resume’ of his past life, thanking God for His grace and mercy. The once “foremost of sinners” is now His servant (13,16). The last verses bookend Paul’s charge to Timothy, assuring him that God will strengthen him in his calling to ‘fight the good fight’ (18). Lastly, Paul shares a sadness: two men have abandoned the faith.
Gospel-shaped living is the focus of chapter two. Prayer for all sorts of people, from governors down the ladder, results in quiet, Godly life (2:2; 1:5[LM1] ); in His desire to save all people.
Ephesian men have a problem: anger. They should lift their hands in prayer, not use them as fists. Women: over-the-top clothing and bling. They need worship sense, less fashion sense. Women not speaking in church or teaching men had a reason…
Interpret Sound teaching versus false teaching in the Ephesian church -- Timothy has a big job, but early childhood spiritual training and Paul’s mentoring fitted him for the task. It’s a slog for him to keep going with all the Stuff happening, but Paul encourages him: “Fight the good fight!” By prayer and perseverance, he does more than just stick out a tough job.
Excommunication was all Paul could do to stop Alexander and Hymenaeus from their unnamed malevolence. Satan’s domain, the godless world, was where he sent these men, to protect the church. They made their choice.
Touchy verses about women in chapter 2: In that culture, (and in some today), men and women sat in separate sections. In this church, women apparently interrupted sermons by shouting questions and comments to their husbands during the service; disconcerting for husbands and preachers!
Biblical headship for men in church and family life may raise eyebrows (or ire). Eve was the first to sin, but Adam lunged for that apple, too, with results we still suffer under. Women married for protection, arranged without romantic illusions, a business exchange. Children enlarged family lines (this is the only reference to ‘salvation’ in having children, and not a norm). Christian marriage and parenthood, though, are entirely different. (Eph. 5).
Apply Increasing anti-authority starting in the 60s turned the unique roles of men and women upside down. Not all women have children; salvation doesn’t depend on this, but nurturing blesses mothers called to this role. Singleness limits, but not in what Christ has done for all who follow and love Him -- the best ‘gender equality’ going. It’s a tough verse!
“Submit” = “respect” for all authority, despite social hubris. Respect and courtesy are rarities now but we work against the trafficking of present cultural norms. As the world becomes more rude, selfish, angry, immoral, unethical, and downright confused, this is our training ground, and even with our children must fight the good fight. Prayer. Prayer. It’s hard slogging sometimes. We have God, we have each other. We have qualities of respect and love through Jesus. It’s more than enough!
Ask Do we recognize the priorities of our spiritual leaders? Do we encourage, love, pray for them as they do us, or go negative when things don’t please us? How do we fight the good fight with them and not fight against them? What equipment do we need? (Eph 6 has a good list.)
Pray We praise You, Lord God, that You bless us with sound teaching and committed teachers. Thank You for the holy challenge of reading Your Word in its entirety this year by Your Holy Spirit. As we hear, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest what is true and good through Your appointed ministers, please fit us[LM2] to pass these on to others so they too may meet, love, and obey You. In Jesus’ name.
Song https://youtu.be/5fWcGe7wzd4- Michael Joncas
https://youtu.be/-TIgfoH_mzk Fernando Ortega
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.