Summary: The Study Of First and Second Timothy and Titus

The Study Of First and Second Timothy and Titus

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

The three brief letters of First and Second Timothy and Titus were written by the apostle Paul to two preachers, Timothy and Titus. These three epistles are often called "The Pastoral Epistles." This is a result of misunderstanding who a pastor is according to New Testament teaching. Many people have the mistaken idea that a preacher is a pastor. They confuse the roles of preachers (evangelists) with that of pastors (elders). The Bible, however, makes a clear distinction between evangelists and pastors. They do not refer to the same work in the church (Ephesians 4:11).

Since the letters of Timothy and Titus were written to evangelists rather than pastors, it is more accurate to call them "The Evangelistic Epistles." Even though First Timothy and Titus do contain the qualifications of elders (pastors), the letters were specifically written to preachers rather than to elders.

These three short letters are filled with practical information about the organization and work of the local church. They provide a pattern for organizing the church and carrying on its work and worship.

First Timothy

Paul established the church in Ephesus on his third missionary journey (Acts 19). He remained in Ephesus for three years preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 20:31). After Paul left Ephesus, he continued to have contact with the saints. In Acts 20, we read of his speech to the elders of the church. He warned them of the coming of false teachers who would draw away disciples after their teaching (Acts 20:28-32). Paul’s prophecy soon came true. It was necessary for him to leave Timothy at Ephesus to "charge some that they teach no other doctrine" (1 Timothy 1:3).

Two verses in First Timothy sum up what the epistle is about: "These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:14,15).

Chapter one of First Timothy speaks of the importance of teaching correct doctrine.

Chapter two deals with the place of women in the church. Men and women are equal in salvation (Galatians 3:28).

Chapter three deals with the qualifications of elders and deacons. It is God’s plan that each congregation be led by men called elders, or bishops (overseers), or pastors (shepherds). However, one must be qualified before he can serve in this important work. Deacons are special servants of the church. They serve under the elders of the church in works assigned to them. They too must be qualified.

Chapter four deals with the work and qualifications of ministers (preachers). It begins with a warning of false teachers who would lead the church astray. It is the responsibility of preachers to instruct congregations in the truth so they will not be led astray. Chapter five deals with the responsibility of the church to care for widows who have no relatives to support them. Chapter six closes with practical admonitions. Paul especially warns about the danger of desiring to be rich (1 Timothy 6:6-10). Those who are rich must not trust in their wealth, but use it to help those in need.

Second Timothy

Paul’s second letter to Timothy was his last New Testament letter. He wrote it while he was in prison in Rome the second time. Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome is recorded in Acts. Because he saw he would not receive justice, he had appealed to Caesar (Acts 25:9-12). He was taken to Rome and kept under house arrest for two years (Acts 28:30, 31). During this time, Paul wrote the "Prison Epistles." According to historical records, he was released and went to Spain (Romans 15:22-24). He returned to work among churches he had established on earlier missionary journeys when he was again arrested, taken to Rome, and condemned to die. It is clear from Second Timothy that Paul expected to die very soon (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

Timothy was Paul’s "son in the faith." He longed to see him again before he died. He wanted Timothy to bring books and a cloak to him. He especially wanted to strengthen Timothy to carry on with the Lord’s work. He reminded him of the good example of his faithful mother and grandmother in chapter one. In chapter two, he compared the work of preachers to soldiers, athletes and farmers to show discipline and endurance are needed. In chapter three, he warned Timothy of the coming of persecution. He admonished him to remain faithful to the Scriptures which would equip him for every good work. In chapter four, Paul solemnly charged Timothy to preach the Word of God.

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