An Introduction to Paul, Timothy and You
I Timothy 1:1-2, 12-14
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
2 To Timothy my true son in the faith:
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
- Who is Paul?
- His former life
v.13 Once a blasphemer. What is that? How was it manifested in Paul’s life? How could Paul be both ignorant and so malevolent? He was following others.
Paul says about his “spiritual pedigree” in Philippians 3:
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
Acts 7: 57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.
Acts 8: On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him.3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.
- Paul believes in Jesus as his Lord
Acts 9: Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
- Paul’s calling and ministry
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
Paul’s awareness of his zealous blindness. He is killing Jesus’ beloved bride. Paul’s conversion: He is struck blind so that he might start from the proper place. He really was spiritually blind, now his is also appropriately physically blind.
Paul’s conversion is unique in its strange strength. How could He say “no?”
Paul’s blindness is removed as a part of his Apostolic calling. This secondary calling is noted by Paul at times in his writings. And Paul is attacked because of the unique timing of his calling relative to the other Apostles.
I Cor 15: 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
- Timothy is Paul’s Student
- My true son in the faith
2 To Timothy my true son in the faith:
Spiritual fatherhood means what? Watch over and help to mature.
On Paul’s second missionary journey:
Acts 16: 1Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. 2 The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey,
Acts 17: 13 But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, some of them went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up. 14 The believers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea. 15 Those who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.
Acts 18:5 5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah.
Paul’s third missionary journey:
Acts 19: 21 After all this had happened, Paul decided[d] to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must visit Rome also.” 22 He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.
Acts 20: Because some Jews had plotted against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia. 4 He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. 5 These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. 6 But we sailed from Philippi after the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days.
A good ministry relationship summary:
Phil 2: 19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24 And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.
Philippi was in Macedonia!
- What should we expect from the letter?
Instruction from Paul to Timothy about how to act in an ever more mature manner in the faith and spiritual partnership.
We are reading someone else’s mail, there will be information that relates specifically to their context that may be hard to apply. (Passages about slavery or men’s and women’s issues.)
Issues that relate to church order and officers.
Issues that relate to widows and welfare.
III. Paul as Our Spiritual Father
Paul has a unique apostleship
- Paul is the Apostle to the Gentiles
2: 7 7 And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.
Issues in the early church because Paul and Barnabas have already gone out!!
Acts 13: 1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
Acts 15: 19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”
22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers.
- Paul is the earliest author of the NT
I Cor 15: The earliest testimony!
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
Paul wrote 13 letters. He was writing Scripture!!
II Peter 3: 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
I Thes 2: 13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.
- Grace, mercy and peace to you
2 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
God desires for you to know His grace. His grace will come to you as a result of your faith. Your faith will always be expressed in actively submitting to God’s direction for your life! God will give you what you do not deserve: life.
God desire to give you mercy. He will not treat you as your sins deserve. Paul knows God’s mercy. Paul knows God’s grace. Paul was fighting against Jesus with all his energy. Paul calls himself: v. 15 of chapter one: 15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.
Paul knows God’s peace. The greatest persecutor becomes the greatest apostle. The greatest advocate and author. He knows God’s peace. Paul knows the love of God that surpasses knowledge. Paul knows that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we can ask or imagine. And Paul did not know the extent of His historical influence. Paul attached himself wholeheartedly to the purposes of God in the world and his life gained unimaginable impact!
The same should be true of Timothy. The same should be true of us!