Monday, 25 January 2010

1 Timothy 1:1-11

Hebrews 13:17:
Obey your leaders and submit to their authority.
They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a JOY, not a BURDEN, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Leaders need to take good care of people,
People need to take good care of leaders,
SO that the church (this church) can be healthy and can be a good place.

It’s a deep sense of responsibility that sets in,
people who aren’t obeying the council they are given,
people whose lives are coming undone.
Relationships that are frayed, Families that aren’t receiving spiritual nourishment or encouragement.

Paul who experienced many hardships says in the New Testament that what keeps him up at night is the health of the church.

This is the reality of church life,
Church is NOT all joy,
And it’s NOT all burden either.
BUT if it is a healthy church,
there should be more joy than burden.
Both are always present in some measure in the life of the church.

The church in Ephesus has given Paul much joy,
BUT there are some people who have risen up from within the church and from outside,
who have become a great burden.

Paul can’t be there to deal with them so he has young Timothy on the job,
to straighten things out and sort out the mess.

Points to Ponder

Scripture to Read
I Timothy 1:1-11

Summary of the Texts
God has a mission for His Church, namely the Gospel of Jesus Christ (see 1Corinthians 15:1-11 if you are uncertain about what the Gospel is).

However, Satan often sends false teachers and divisive
people who want to detract from the mission of the Gospel to argue about stupid and foolish things. These people are prone to gather a crowd (and thereby divide a church because they are relationally connected to people in the church), and they speak with confidence and authority even though they are in error.
Such people must not be tolerated for even a minute in the church, but rather must be commanded by the church leaders to cease promoting heresy and causing division.

Questions for Personal Study
• What does 1:4 say false teachers and their pet doctrines cause in the Church?
• What things does Paul list in 1:5 for testing your motives when you speak to other people about difficult issues?
• According to 1:6-7, why are false teachers often so
• According to 1:8-11, how can we use the Old Testament law rightly? For further insight see Romans 3:19-31; Galatians 3:19-25, I John 3:4, and Matthew 5:17-18.

Questions for Group Discussion
• What experiences have you had with false teachers and theologically divisive people who like to argue too much?
• How can you be praying for and helping to promote sound doctrine at DBC?
• What is the difference between Christians who disagree on a secondary theological matter and a false teacher who is in error on a primary theological matter?
• What does Paul mean that “…the law is good if one uses it properly”? How is the Old Testament law often used improperly?

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Intro to 1st Timothy

Respondents [to a survey], who had experienced a mentoring relationship at some point in their careers, whether formal or informal,
were asked to name
the single greatest benefit of the relationship.

In response,
37 percent said
that a mentor provides insight into a particular field or industry.

32 percent said that the mentor
serves as a confidant or advisor, and

16 percent said
the mentor provides encouragement and boosts morale.
That boost in morale can go a long way toward creating a more productive, loyal workforce.

-The Benefits of Mentor Programs May 14, 2003 - Emily Hollis.

Behind the letter to Timothy, we see a relationship between a more senior man (Paul) and his younger partner in the faith (Timothy).
Acts 14 & 16 are important to us as we see a relationship develope into something more valuable than gold.
We see in Acts how Paul came to know young Timothy. Paul was probably instrumental in timothy's convertion story. As Timothy witnessed Paul's devotion to the Gospel facing a stoning for it's sake, we read many followed at this time. Timothy was probably one of those.

When Paul returned to that area we see that the church had already begun to notice the Godly character of this passionate young man.
There is clearly a message here for any young (or not so young) person wanting and willing to serve their lord for the sake of the Gospel, have a good reputation, which is acheived by being strong, honourable, humble and obedient to scripture.
How many of us at this point in our lives can have said of us,
what Timothy's church said of him?
(Acts 16:1-3)

When Timothy is leading from the front, Paul write to him encouraging (mentoring) him to stay strong and to continue to be faithful.

It would be good for us to bare this in mind as we read this letter, Paul is writing this from a heart that so wants to encourage a man and church to continue in their partnership in making Jesus known.

Points to Ponder

Summary of the Texts
Acts 14:8-20 & Acts 16:1-5
In these texts we meet Timothy and see how his life intersected with Paul. We also get Paul’s own description of his relationship with Timothy, which will help us understand the personal nature of the letters that Paul wrote to him.
This is important because, if we neglect to know the author and recipient of 1 and 2 Timothy, it is likely that we will misunderstand the motivation and meaning of what is written.

Questions for Group Discussion
• God used Paul to bring Timothy to faith.
Who did God use to bring you to faith?
Who are you presently trying to bring to faith in Jesus?
• How were you convicted by Paul’s zeal for evangelism in Lystra?
• Why were Paul and Timothy so close,
and what can we learn from this about how to build spiritual friendships?
• Do you have any experiences in which Christians have become so dear to you that they become a second kind of family in addition to your blood relatives?
Who are some of these people?
• Have you ever had a relationship with someone older or younger than you, in which you were either like Paul or Titus—in a relationship of encouragement?
What did you learn from it?