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Sunday, March 10 2013
1 Timothy: Godliness With Contentment
Timothy, from the Greek name pronounced Timotheus (his name is recorded both ways in the King James Version), was a young man who grew from a disciple (a word that simply means student) of the apostle Paul to, in Paul's own words, a "man of God" (1 Timothy 6:11 KJV).
Timothy's mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois, were believers (2 Timothy 1:5), while his father was not. Timothy was a natural associate of Paul, in that his mother was a Jew, while his father was a "Gentile." Paul, a Jew, was sent to preach the Gospel to the entire world, "Jews and Greeks" (at that time, "Greek" was also used as a generic term for Gentile, even though it simply means a nation of people; see the Fact Finder question below).
"16:1 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: 16:2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. 16:3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews [see Circumcision] which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek. 16:4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. 16:5 And so were the churches [see Can You See The Church? and The Church In The End Time] established in the faith, and increased in number daily." (Acts 16:1-5 KJV)
As recorded in Luke's second epistle (see the study list below), Timothy quickly became a devout and loyal servant, not of Paul, but of the Messiah - while learning and working with Paul.
"17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea [see The Berean Lesson]: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 17:12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
Timothy also shared the dangers of preaching the Truth in a world that as-yet detests the Truth. As Paul was driven from one place to the next, Timothy's travels with Paul, or carrying communications of, or to Paul, also increased.
"18:1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; 18:2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. 18:3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath [see When Is The LORD's Day? and Why Observe The True Sabbath?], and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
Timothy became a more prominent servant (at least, as far as is recorded) than others who shared the risks, such as Silas and Erastus.
"19:17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 19:18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds. 19:19 Many of them also which used curious arts [see Sorcery] brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 19:20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
Paul's personal epistles to Timothy are somewhat different than to the various church congregations because Timothy was himself serving them, as Paul was; the letters therefore have the tone and content of an inner memo (Paul may some day be surprised that his letters have had millions of readers).
"1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ [see The Kingdom Of The LORD God], which is our hope;
Over and over, Paul warned Timothy of the dangers of the religionists - "unholy and profane" men who seek only to build themselves a "church."
"1:3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 1:6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 1:7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm [see Is Your Religion Your Religion?].
With his combined background of "Jew and Greek," Timothy not only understood, but experienced the genuine "worldwide" reality of humanity (see also The Worldwide Church of God).
"2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers [see How To Pray], intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity." (1 Timothy 2:1-7 KJV)
Like practically everything else, the purpose and meaning of "bishop" and "deacon" have been pirated. Paul's description of them is much different than what has been made of them.
"3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre [see What Does The Bible Say About Lucre?]; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Notice how Paul spoke of the two of them with "therefore we both labour." The epistle wasn't to a church; it was to a fellow worker who served the churches, the people.
"4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ [see What Do Leaders Do?], nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
From all that is written about him, Timothy was a righteous young man. Paul didn't write to Timothy to tell him to stop doing something, but rather to never start being corrupt.
"6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness [see The Messiah's Warning About Christian Charlatans]: from such withdraw thyself.
At the end of the epistle, Paul made it very clear that he wasn't writing to a student any more - he was writing to a man of God.
"6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 6:13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; 6:14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 6:15 Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen." (1 Timothy 6:11-16 KJV)
Studies For The Book Of 1 Timothy
Fact Finder: What does "Gentile" actually mean? What did the Messiah say and teach about "Gentiles"?
This Day In History, March 10
241 BC: The Roman fleet sank 50 Carthaginian ships during the Battle of Aegusa, bringing the First Punic War to an end (see also The Cleopatra Connection).
298: Roman Emperor Maximian concluded his campaign in North Africa against the Berbers and made a triumphal entry into Carthage.
49 B.C. Julius Caesar "crossed the Rubicon," a small river that separated Cisalpine Gaul from Italy. Caesar's crossing violated a law of the Roman Senate (the Lex Cornelia Majestatis) that stated that a general was not permitted to lead a military force out of the province in which it has been assigned. The action triggered a 3-year civil war that ended with Julius Caesar becoming the ruler of the Roman Republic as it was metastasizing into the Roman empire (see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
418: Jews were banned from holding public office in the Roman Empire.
1528: Balthasar Hubmaier, a prominent Austrian Anabaptist (see Anabaptists), was burned at the stake as a heretic in Vienna.
1629: King Charles I of England dissolved Parliament, thereby beginning the eleven-year period known as the Personal Rule.
1656: The Virginia Colony extended voting rights to all free (i.e. white) men regardless of their religion.
1831: The French Foreign Legion was established by King Louis-Philippe to support his war in Algeria.
1848: The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo ended the U.S. war with Mexico.
1922: Mahatma Gandhi was arrested by the British governors of India; he was justifiably convicted of sedition ("an illegal action inciting resistance to lawful authority and tending to cause the disruption or overthrow of the government") and sentenced to 6 years in prison.
1927: Prussia (an area of Germany, not to be confused with Russia) lifted its Nazi ban; Adolf Hitler was then allowed to speak in public (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1945: During the Second World War, 300 U.S. B-29 bombers (with conventional bombs; the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki came a few months later, on August 6 and August 9) bombed Japan's capital in what became known in the U.S. as "the Great Tokyo Air Raid." The resulting firestorm killed 100,000 civilians (the atomic bombings of the other two civilian targets killed or horribly burned another 250,000 men, women and children).
1952: The government of Cuba was overthrown by Fulgencio Batista, who ruled as a Mafia and CIA-backed puppet dictator until 1959 when he was overthrown by the communists led by Fidel Castro. The people of Cuba traded one dictator (one controlled by the western "democratic" nations) for another (one sponsored by the eastern communist nations).
1969: James Earl Ray pleaded guilty to the murder of U.S. civil rights activist Martin Luther King and was sentenced to 99 years in prison.
1973: The governor of Bermuda, Sir Richard Sharples, was assassinated on the grounds of Government House.
1985: Soviet leader Konstantin Chernenko died after only 13 months in office.
1995: The European Union responded belligerently to Canada's seizure of the Spanish fishing ship Estai and its crew in international waters the day before, demanding its release and calling for economic and military retaliatory measures. Prior to its arrest, the Spanish ship was observed violating Canadian law within Canadian waters. Also, a Canadian Navy submarine later recovered the net that the Spanish ship cut while being pursued and found it to have an illegal small-mesh liner that was "vacuuming the ocean" of fish of all sizes, thereby exterminating future fish stocks. The seizure of the Spanish ship and its crew led to weeks of political tension and an escalating high-seas warship standoff between Canada and the rising-superpower European Union (which forced Britain to chose between its European Union membership and "the Canadians that have always been there for us during two world wars" - to which the British government chose Canada; as well, during the crisis hundreds of British fishing boats flew Canadian flags while working off the coast of Europe).