Summary: God has many directives for the church, and under the inspiration of the Spirit, Paul hits the ground running, implying what some of those directives are.

The Target

(I Timothy 1:1-5)

1. Men’s retreat/turkey shoot. Barri usually wins…

2. Bud Newell and his friend Tony often practice corn-hole tossing. They are very proficient at it, and Bud has won a number of championships; a matter of aim.

3. Hitting the target, good aim —important concepts in both life and church.

4. Sometimes we are aiming at the wrong target; sometimes right target, bad aim.

5. The Ephesian church suffered on both counts.

6. Messy situations. Some elders in the church had strayed off target and led the church into errors and tangents; Paul to remove and excommunicate them.

7. Although Timothy may not have been eager to remain on in Ephesus to straighten things out, this was his assignment. He seemed eager to leave.

8. I Timothy was an open letter, written to Timothy — but for everyone to read.

9. In it, he would give the standard for choosing the right kind of leaders, and he would put the emphasis on teaching the Bible and solid doctrine.

Main Idea: God has many directives for the church, and under the inspiration of the Spirit, Paul hits the ground running, implying what some of those directives are.

I. God Wants His Assembled People to Recognizes the APOSTLES’ Authority (1-3a)

A. Paul was an apostle by COMMAND, not preference (1)

1. Like Moses, Paul had not aspirations to become a church leader

2. Becoming an elder can be based on “desiring a good thing” but call to vocational ministry is different

B. Timothy was his TRUE son in faith (2a)

1. Unlike Alexander and Hymenaeus, presumably two former elders whom Paul ex-communicated

2. Paul was often surprised when leaders when bad; cannot always predict

C. The source of all blessings is GOD (2b)

1. Why does Paul add mercy to the list of God’s good gifts? Perhaps because Timothy was so burdened he felt he needed mercy…and to be merciful

2. We find out Timothy is having stomach trouble, probably from stress

3. This letter was party written to encourage a struggling Timothy

D. Paul HIMSELF commissioned Timothy, so the Ephesians had better follow him

E. The teachings of the apostles are only DEPENDABLY recorded in Scripture

F. The apostolic teaching is that ALL Scripture is profitable (2 Timothy 3:16)

II. God Wants His Assembled People to Be PARTICULAR About Doctrine, Thus Not Everything (3b)

A. We must be VIGILANT about doctrinal error

Matthew 24:11, “And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.”

Acts 20:26-31a, “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert…”

Jude 3-4, “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

• Most people, even those who are not fluent in Scripture, think they have enough sense to detect error — and they do not.

• The sword of the Spirit is the Word, and if you don’t know the Word, you are close to helpless; the church’s current culture of Biblical ignorance is setting us up for danger at a massive-scale

B. Solid doctrine does not CHANGE (is not “different”)

• Eternal hell and gay marriage have become quick-reference points precisely because of their clarity

C. We must be PROACTIVE about doctrinal teach (read I Tim. 3:15)

1. The best way to recognize false doctrine is to know solid doctrine

2. How they train counterfeiters

D. Not everything matters EQUALLY

—Many things Christians fight over do not matter

III. God Wants His Assembled People to MAJOR on Majors (4)

A. Not distracted by MYTHS or superstitions

— many “religious” people are actually superstitious —

— Many ancient traditions that are contrary to Scripture. For example, Early Gnostics, claiming to be Christians, “…believed that Adam actually had another wife before Eve. According to several Apocryphal books of the Bible, Lilith was created at the same time and from the same dust as Adam. She refused to be subservient to Adam, and eventual mated with an Archangel named Samiel, and was subsequently expelled from the Garden of Eden. Many early Jewish and Christian myths deal with Lilith, mostly dealing with the eventual offspring of her and Samiel. Many believe their offspring turned out to be the semi-human creatures of Greek myths, like the … Minotuar. Others believe they became vampires. “[source:]

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