It’s once again time to pen down some thoughts about some things I was reading and observing in the scripture. I try to start every piece off by letting you know that this blog is simply an observation of the Word of God and under no circumstances are you obligated to have my viewpoint. Just give this a read, pray about the thoughts, search the scriptures and let the Holy Spirit bring you to the truth that He desires you to see.
1st Timothy is an extremely interesting book to study. Coming up there were a ton of passages where I had heard scriptures that were quoted and sermons preached out of this book. A few “popular” scriptures that come to mind are the following:
- Preach the Word in Season and out of Season
- Women adorning themselves in modesty
- the section in 2 Tim. 3 that speaks on the last days and men being lovers of themselves
- the passage concerning elders being worthy of double honor
- the passages on the qualifications of a Bishop, Deacons, and Elders
- and a few others.
What has become a startling illumination to me as we studied this passage this week in family Bible study, is that it finally dawned on me that this was a letter to one single person: a young ministry leader who was going to lead a seemingly highly influenced church in Ephesus. I mean I’ve heard the term Pastoral Epistle, but never really studied from the viewpoint that the initial letter was addressed to ONE PASTOR. I have had the experience of many ministers and leaders explaining this book in the idea that all of it applied to everyone and not even once considered the context of the book.
Paul was writing to Timothy at what is considered the end of his life; an Apostle (major) of the Lord Jesus Christ to an essential Pastor/Shepherd of the church at Ephesus…that was ALSO of the Lord Jesus Christ; different jobs, the same source of power; one common goal. On the surface this doesn’t mean much, but if you take into account that Paul issued as many as 100 imperative (commands) to Timothy (and Titus), the congregation, and specific groups of people within the congregation, you will note that his letter in a complete observation is instructing Timothy on how to run a fellowship and how to deal with what is considered difficult and false converts within that fellowship. Paul addresses men who desire to be bishops, elders, and deacons. Paul addresses how women should conduct themselves. Paul addressed the care and concern for older and younger widows. Paul addresses men whom have walked away from the faith and will walk away from the faith. He addresses what types of people Timothy should avoid at all costs. Paul addresses what conversation is fruitful and what isn’t. There are a host of other topics Paul instructs Timothy on, but we must always keep in mind that while we read the letter and try to put ourselves in certain groups, this letter was ALWAYS written to ONE MAN:
Why is that important? It’s important to note for one reason and one reason only: If the head of any fellowship is not in order and operating at the highest level of integrity, ESPECIALLY in today’s concept of fellowship, assembly and church (visible), there is a high probability that LEADER will partially be held responsible for the climate, growth and forward movement of that ministry. This does not suggest that everything in a fellowship is based on one individual but it is to say the Shepherd and Servant Leader of any fellowship or assembly will be instrumental in the development of the sheep of THAT fold. The book is a Pastor’s manual on how a church should be run and until last week, I never even paid attention to that viewpoint.