If we understand Paul’s letter to Timothy as a ‘Handook on Church life’ then Timothy must have been glad to have this section written to him. As a young man, called to be the pastor of the Church at Ephesus, Timothy would need to know how he should manage and care for the other appointed elders he was to work with. Among the instructions that Paul gave were reminders of how elders were to be supported financially, disciplined carefully and appointed cautiously. Above all, Paul directed Timothy to manintain his own personal purity and holiness which is what his people, the flock, would most need. Holiness matters because the gospel matters and the witness of the church can be seriously impaired by a lack of it.
Because Paul loved the church he wrote to the younger pastor at Ephesus, Timothy, with many instructions on how Timothy should manage church life and various sub-groups within the church. According to 1 Timothy 5:1-16, Timothy was not only to preach the Word faithfully but show resepct and honour to all, treating older men as he would his father, younger men as his brothers, older women as he would his mother and younger women as sisters. There is an inter-generational aspect to the church that is special and unique. But Timothy was also to especially care for and help the widows in his congregation. With no pensions or other social security offered to them, their needs were great. The church is to be a place where people ‘be the church’ to each other. Our witness to the world only begins when we truly show the love of Christ to one another.
The verses of 1 Timothy 4:11-16 form some of Paul’s main instructions to Timothy as a younger pastor of the church at Ephesus, describing the kind of ministry Timothy was to exercise over his flock. It is very clear from what Paul wrote that of the many things Timothy was expected to do, the main calling upoon his time and energies was to be given to preaching and teaching the Word of God. This was not to be done in a vaccuum or with no reference to the needs of his people and was also something that Timothy would need to do to himself. He would need to ensure that his own faith, discipleship and service for the Lord were all an example for the rest of the flock to follow. These instructions of Paul’s are also applicable to all God’s people, whether they preach or not. All are called to model the gospel of Christ to a watching world.
Life FM is organising two screenings of the movie, ‘The Case for Christ’ at the Bendigo Cinemas in Queen Street on Sunday 18 June at 2pm and Wednesday 21 June at 7pm.
The movie is based on Lee Strobel’s best-selling book of the same name, telling the story of how an award-winning journalist and investigative reporter set out to debunk the claims of Christianity with unexpected results!
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online here or the Life Essentials Op Shop (near the Bendigo Town Hall). All proceeds raised will support Life FM.
1 Timothy 4:9-10 forms the third of Paul’s five ‘faithful sayings’ that are found in the Pastoral Epistles. These ‘faithful sayings’ were truths that Timothy, and other young pastors like him, could trust and depend on. This particular faithful saying deals with hope. On the one hand, by it, Paul gave Timothy hope, reminding him that the believer’s hope in this world is to be fixed on God and Him alone. Paul also spoke of hope for the world by reminding Timothy that the saving power of Jesus and the fruit that the gospel brings is not limited to Timothy’s area but includes the whole world. And then Paul also gave all believers hope by reminding Timothy that the Lord Jesus is especially the Saviour of ‘all who believe’. We love Him because He first loved us and God’s people, His Church, know Him because of what the Apostles taught and because of our experience of His grace.