Thinking Through Ministry: 1 Timothy 1:1-2 What Do I Believe About God? [Part 2]
Last updated: 06 Nov 2020 11:17
1 Timothy 1:1-2 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope
Paul, like the other twelve apostles, were commissioned and declared by Christ himself to be an Apostle.
Acts 9:10–16 (ESV) Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
In other words, Paul is going to preach my word and he will suffer for me.
While we do not have the authority to lead the first century Church of the thirteen Apostles, the commission, the power, and the call suffer for His name’s sake was given to even Christian just the same.
First, we know the commission and the power because of the finished work of Christ and His proclamation of His Great Commission (aforementioned Matthew 28:16–20; Mark 16:14–20; Luke 24:44–49; Acts 1:6–11 in Chapter 1). Second, we are to suffer because He suffered.
Matthew 16:21 (ESV) From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
Matthew 10:38 (ESV) And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 17:12 (ESV) But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.”
Luke 17:25 (ESV) But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
Luke 24:26–27 (ESV) Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Luke 24:45–47 (ESV) Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
Romans 8:14–17 (ESV) For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
John 15:18–19 (ESV) “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
We will suffer. What is our response?
Romans 8:18 (ESV) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
This life, while have vast eternal implications, is but a dew on the early morning grass on a hot summer’s day. This world is not forever. But our glory is forever because God is forever and we will dwell with him forever. Amen.
The world stands against Christ. In their futile thoughts, they seek to shrink and push back the kingdom of God (Romans 1:18-23). They are sorely mistaken because they have listen to the Father of lies. It is not that we have to worry about the world but the world will need to worry about Christ for His church will overcome the gates of hell (Matthew 16:18).
To Timothy, my true child in the faith
If this is our first reading of the letter to Timothy, we would not know a lot but this: Paul considers Timothy his own child because of their faith in Christ. If this is not our first time reading these epistles, we know that Paul will have commands for Timothy and the church where he serves for older men to younger men and older women to younger women, among other things.
But just in this small statement, we can extract so much:
- All believers are related to each other because we are the adopted children of God bought and paid for by the precious blood of Christ (Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 3:25-26)
- Without removing or outright dismissing our natural family, our spiritual family is more real and sometimes, will mean more to us than our natural families (Matthew 10:35)
This might sound strange but my relatives who do not love and know the Lord, I don’t have a lot in common with them–starting with that I don’t share spiritual things with them because they cannot know those things outside the special revelation of God alone. But I do not cut them out, dismiss them, or cut them out of my life but because of the Great Commission and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I am to contend with them, preach the gospel to them, give a defense for my faith, and most of all, if for nothing else, pray that God will save them all. Pray and don’t stop praying. Pray every single day of your life. For your mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, uncle, aunt, cousin, ex-wife, ex-husband, estranged spouses, co-worker, employer, employee, neighbor, or even that social media “friend”. Pray to God because salvation belongs to God alone for he is the mighty one who saves.