A Vision for the Church
1 Timothy: A Vision for the Church
The Apostle Paul
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, (1 Timothy 1:1 ESV)
Although he first attempted to gain access to God through hard work and unrelenting determination, Paul's story is one of redemption. He devoted himself to God as a religious zealot. He was 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. (Philippians 3:5-6 ESV)
God radically intercepted and changed Saul’s life and story. While traveling from Jerusalem to Damascus, a glorious light caused him to fall face down. He heard the voice of Jesus, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4) Everything changed that day.
God sent a man named Ananias to Saul. 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; 19 and taking food, he was strengthened. For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. 20 And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” (Acts 9:17-20 ESV)
The transformative power of the gospel is astounding! God may desire to transform you.
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope. (v. 1)
To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. (1 Timothy 1:2 ESV)
Timothy likely heard and responded to Paul’s gospel message when he was on his first missionary journey.
Even though Timothy’s mother was Jewish and his father was Greek, his mother and grandmother taught him the Scriptures. When later hearing the gospel message, he surrendered to Christ Jesus.
God’s plan is for parents and grandparents to impact children with the gospel.
- Have genuine faith and live Spirit-filled.
- Read the Bible to your children.
- Have a biblical worldview.
- Be unyielding and uncompromising with the truths of the Bible.
- As words are redefined, truth vilified, and creation’s laws denied, we must have the fortitude to stand in biblical convictions.
Our children and grandchildren will not hold to half-truths. They certainly will not suffer hardship and persecutions for a watered-down version of words claimed to be God-breathed. We must not deny, discount, or discredit any word, statement, or principle of the Bible regardless of how far the world moves from it.
I cannot imagine anything more hurtful than denying people truth, especially truth that rescues them from darkness and affords them new life in Christ.
By the time Paul and Silas passed through Lystra on Paul’s second mission, Timothy had a good reputation as a disciple of Christ. Paul invited the young man to join them as they continued their mission for Christ and plant churches. Fifteen years later, when Paul wrote his first letter to Timothy, he considered the young pastor as his “true child in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2).
The opening blessings of Paul to Timothy: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. (1 Timothy 1:2)
- Grace – the fullness of God’s unmerited favor, love, and forgiveness given freely.
- Mercy – God frees us from sin and judgment.
- Peace – the result of God’s grace and mercy. (Peace with God, others, self, and creation)