Home  Library  Donate

1Timothy 1:1-5

Thursday Evening Bible Study

January 4, 2018


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Target 3300 words   Video = 75 wpm

The Pastoral Epistles

The letters of 1Timothy, 2Timothy, and Titus are called the “Pastoral Epistles”.

This comes from the fact that they are written to Timothy and Titus, men who were the “pastors” of their local churches.

They not only contain exhortations to these specific men, but the instructions on “how to do church”.

Paul is aware that his time on earth is coming to a close, and he wants to make sure that he instructs these younger men on the best ways of leading their churches.

Background Dates

We believe the pastoral epistles were written around the years AD 63-66.

These will be the last three letters that Paul will write, with 2Timothy being Paul’s final letter.

The history recorded in the book of Acts ends around AD 60, with Paul being under house arrest in Rome.

Church tradition has it that Paul was soon afterwards released from arrest and allowed to travel. 

It was in AD 64 that Caesar Nero burned Rome and later blamed it on the Christians.

We can piece together some of the history of Paul’s later years based on some of the snippets he records in these last three letters.

(1 Timothy 1:3 NKJV) As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

In other words, Paul had been in Ephesus with Timothy, and when he left to go to Macedonia, he left Timothy there to run the work. 
It’s while Paul is in Macedonia (northern Greece – cities like Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea) that Paul writes this first letter to Timothy.

At some point, Paul travels to the island of Crete, where he leaves Titus in charge of the church (Tit. 1:5)

(Titus 1:5 NKJV) For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—

Paul would then travel to Nicopolis in Achaia (southern Greece) and wrote to Titus either from Nicopolis, or on his way to Nicopolis (Tit. 3:12)

(Titus 3:12 NKJV) When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, be diligent to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.
It’s somewhere around this time that Paul will write his first letter to Timothy and his letter to Titus.

At some point Paul traveled to Troas (ancient Troy), where he had left his coat (and asked Timothy to bring it)

(2 Timothy 4:13 NKJV) Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments.

Then at some point Paul was rearrested, sent to Rome, and imprisoned.

It’s from prison in Rome that Paul writes his second letter to Timothy. 
Paul would then be tried and beheaded, somewhere around AD 66.


Paul may have first met Timothy on his first missionary journey when Paul and Barnabas were travelling through the region of Galatia, establishing churches in cities like Derbe, Lystra, and Iconium.

Timothy may have been sixteen years old or so at that time.

The real connection took place on Paul’s second missionary trip, when Paul and Silas returned to the area of Galatia.

(Acts 16:1–5 NKJV) —1 Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek. 2 He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek. 4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered to them the decrees to keep, which were determined by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.

Timothy’s name means “honored of God”.
He was part Jew (from his mom) and part Gentile (from his dad).
At this point, Timothy is probably around 18 years old.
Though it would seem that Timothy was greatly influenced by the faith of his Jewish mother and grandmother (2Ti. 1:5), at this point in Timothy’s life he had not been circumcised as a Jew, but was uncircumcised.
Part of their ministry will be to go to the churches that have already been established, and give them the “decrees”, or the decision of the Jerusalem Church Council (Acts 15), which was to clarify that salvation is only by faith in Jesus, not in circumcision or keeping the law.
Paul has him circumcised so that he will be able to more effectively minister to the Jews they will encounter on their travels.
Paul’s ministry was predominantly to Gentiles, but he would always enter a city and first preach the gospel in the local synagogue to any Jews who would listen to him.
Even though salvation isn’t through circumcision or the keeping of the law, Paul didn’t want Timothy’s uncircumcision to close doors to Paul’s preaching to the Jews.

Timothy would travel with Paul and Silas into the area of Macedonia, where they would plant new churches in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea (Acts 17)

When Paul moved on to Athens, he sent Silas and Timothy back to the Macedonian churches to encourage them.

We read about some of this when we studied 1&2 Thessalonians, which were written after Timothy reported back on how things were going.

Timothy would join Paul in Corinth where a church was planted, and the apostles stayed for a year and a half to build up the church. (Acts 18)

On Paul’s third missionary journey, Timothy was there when Paul established the church in Ephesus. (Acts 19)

Paul would stay in Ephesus for three years.

At one point, Timothy was sent on a quick mission to Macedonia to once again check on the churches. (Acts 19:22)

(Acts 19:22 NKJV) So he sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, but he himself stayed in Asia for a time.

When Paul would leave Ephesus for Macedonia, look who is with him:

(Acts 20:4 NKJV) And Sopater of Berea accompanied him to Asia—also Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia.

When Paul wrote his letters to the Romans (from Corinth) and the Corinthians (from Ephesus), Timothy was with him.

(Romans 16:21 NKJV) Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my countrymen, greet you.

(2 Corinthians 1:1 NKJV) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth…

During one of his imprisonments in Rome (probably the first), Timothy was with Paul, as Paul wrote to the Philippians (1:1) and the Colossians (1:1):

(Philippians 1:1 NKJV) Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

(Colossians 1:1 NKJV) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

It was after this imprisonment that Paul was released, went to Ephesus, and left Timothy in charge of the church there.

Church tradition holds that in the year AD 97, while still the pastor at Ephesus, the 80 year old Timothy tried to stop a procession to honor the goddess Diana by preaching the gospel.

The angry mob beat him, dragged him through the streets, and stoned him to death.

1:1-2 Greeting

:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,

commandmentepitage – an injunction, mandate, command

:2 To Timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

TimothyTimotheos – “honoring God”

:2 a true son in the faith

truegnesios – legitimately born, not spurious; true, genuine, sincere

Timothy had Paul’s spiritual “DNA” in him.  He wasn’t “illegitimate”.  He was a “true” son.

sonteknon – offspring; in the NT, pupils or disciples are called children of their teachers, because the latter by their instruction nourish the minds of their pupils and mold their characters

Timothy was like a spiritual “son” to Paul. Paul told the Macedonian church of Philippi…

(Philippians 2:19–22 NKJV) —19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. 20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. 22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel.


Time spent with

Some of Jesus’ last words before ascending into heaven were:
(Matthew 28:19–20 NKJV) —19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

We call this the “Great Commission”, something that every Christian ought to take seriously.

We usually think of the Great Commission being about reaching lost people with the gospel, but it’s actually way more than that.

Jesus didn’t say to “evangelize” the world, but to “make disciples”.

Though discipleship involves teaching and learning, there’s another important ingredient that we see not only in Jesus and His disciples, but in Paul and Timothy.
It’s about spending time with people.
Let someone else into your life so they can observe your walk with Jesus up close.
Timothy served “with” Paul.
Over the years I’ve had several “discipleship” groups – guys I’ve met with on a regular basis, guys I’ve shared life with.
One of the ones that’s been with me the longest is Caleb Beller.
Another is Daniel Grant.  Greg Bird.  David Cathers.
These are some of the men who are my true “sons” in the faith.
Who has your spiritual “DNA”?  Are you purposely spending time with others to share Jesus and life together?

1:3-11 Correct Doctrine

:3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

urgedparakaleo – to call to one’s side, call for, summon; to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc.; to admonish, exhort

remainprosmeno – to remain with, to continue with one; to hold fast to: the grace of God received in the Gospel; to remain still, tarry, stay

:3 remain in Ephesus

As we’ve seen, when Paul was released from his first imprisonment in Rome, he went to Ephesus, and then left Timothy there to be the pastor over the church.

:3 charge some … teach no other doctrine

chargeparaggello – to transmit a message along from one to another, to declare, announce; to command

teach no other doctrineheterodidaskaleo – to teach other or different doctrine; deviating from the truth

Before Paul’s arrest, he had passed near Ephesus on his way to Jerusalem, and had this warning for the elders of the church:

(Acts 20:28–30 NKJV) —28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
It seems that now several years later, this was beginning to take place.
Some teachers had risen in the Ephesian church who were teaching “other” doctrines, which we’ll get hints at in the next verses.

:4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.

give heed toprosecho – to bring to, bring near; to bring a ship to land, and simply to touch at, put in; to turn the mind to, attend to be attentive; to attend to one’s self, i.e. to give heed to one’s self; to apply one’s self to, attach one’s self to, hold or cleave to a person or a thing; to be given or addicted to; to devote thought and effort to

:4 fables and endless genealogies

fablesmuthos (“myth”) – a narrative, story; a fiction, a fable; an invention, a falsehood

genealogiesgenealogia – a genealogy, a record of descent or lineage

endlessaperantos – that can not be passed through, boundless, endless

Some of the goofy teaching happening in Ephesus was about certain “myths”, or going into great detail in genealogies.

We don’t have the specifics as to what these things were, though some have suggested that early forms of “gnosticism” were beginning to form.
“Gnosticism” was an early heresy that twisted the truth about Jesus and made salvation based upon whether you knew the “secret” knowledge that could be passed on to you for a price.

:4 disputes rather than godly edification

disputeszetesis – a seeking; enquiry; a questioning, debate; a subject of questioning or debate, matter of controversy

causeparecho – to reach forth, offer; to be the authors of, or to cause one to have

edificationoikonomia – the management of a household or of household affairs; specifically, the management, oversight, administration, of other’s property

I think things like this go on today.

Some people want to try and argue over minute things that really don’t matter in the bigger picture.
Some people are continually looking for some new thing to latch on to, and then make a big deal out of it.
For example – do you remember when Dan Brown’s book “The DaVinci Code” came out?  He based this fictional book on myths that Jesus was married and had kids.  Much of the book was rooted in this “gnosticism”, which most people don’t realize was soundly refuted 2,000 years ago. Yet people latched on to it as if it was true.
I’m afraid that sometimes our discussions on the End Times can get a bit close to this as well.

There seem to be some of us Bible teachers who are looking for some new “sign” that Jesus is coming back, when the truth is, He IS coming back!

:4 which is in faith

Some people in their many “disputes” want to make salvation to be something quite complicated.

Jesus died for our sins.

We are saved by faith in His death for us.

That’s it.

Jesus said,

(John 3:16 NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

:5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,

:5 the purpose of the commandment is love

purposetelos – end; the end to which all things relate, the aim, purpose

commandmentparaggelia – announcement, a proclaiming or giving a message to; a charge, a command

What “commandment” is Paul talking about?
Could Paul be talking about the Law of Moses?  No.

Paul will be talking about God’s commandments, God’s “Law”. (see vs. 7-11), yet in the Greek, the word translated “law” is different than this word.  There the word is nomos.

Paul is talking about his “charge” (v.3) to Timothy to stop these bad teachers from abusing the church in Ephesus.

The word Paul uses in vs. 3 (“that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine”) is based on the same root word as “commandment” here.

Paul is saying that the goal or “purpose” of his command to Timothy to stop these bad teachers, was to produce “love”.

loveagape – brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence


What’s your goal?

There are lots of reasons for people to be doing ministry.
Your definition of “success” depends on how you define your goals.
Some people want lots of people to follow them.
Some want to make sure their people know lots of facts.

They measure the success of their church by whether their people can excel at Bible Trivia.

Some people want attention.  They want to be the center of attention.
Some people want to be able to exercise control over others.
Some people are always measuring others to show their imperfections, and of course they usually come out looking pretty good in the process…

Video:  Mary Poppins – Practically Perfect

Paul’s goal was all about his audience, to produce “love” (agape) in people.
(1 Timothy 1:5 NLT) The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.
Jesus said that love was pretty high on His priorities for His disciples:
(John 13:34–35 NKJV) —34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Paul gave the Corinthians a great sketch of what this “love” looked like:
(1 Corinthians 13:1–7 NLT) —1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

If we want to be successful in our ministries and our relationships, this is what we ought to be aiming at – both in how we love others, as well as what we want to see coming out of others’ lives.

The writer to the Hebrews said,
(Hebrews 10:24 NKJV) And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,

But wait!  There’s more!

Paul tells us where this “love” comes from.

:5 from a pure heart


Clean Love

purekatharos – clean, pure; free from every admixture of what is false, sincere, genuine; blameless, innocent; unstained with the guilt of anything
heartkardia – the heart
Not all “love” comes from a clean, pure heart.
In Greek, the opposite of “pure” (katharos) is “unclean” (akatharos).
Here’s a taste of what uncleanness is like – see the other words used in parallel with it:

(Ephesians 5:3–5 NKJV) —3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

There are going to be people in your life who will claim to “love” you, but whose lives will be characterized by these kinds of things.

Paul will tell Timothy about the importance of being “cleansed” (similar word) from these things:

(2 Timothy 2:20–22 NKJV) —20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Learning to have our hearts cleansed, and staying clean is important in being “useful” to our Master.

Because we are sinners and we will continue to have a sin nature until be are with Jesus, there is always a bit of “impurity” in our hearts.
But the issue is to what extent?
If the water you are drinking is making you sick, you ought to check the source of the water.
If you’re drinking from a river, head upstream to see where the water is coming from.
Is there a dead animal upstream polluting things?
David wrote,
(Psalm 139:23–24 NKJV) —23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.

:5 from a good conscience

consciencesuneidesis – the soul as distinguishing between what is morally good and bad, prompting to do the former and shun the latter

goodagathos – of good constitution or nature; good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy; excellent, distinguished; upright, honorable



Just like the “pure heart”, a good conscience is a source of true agape.
It’s pretty hard to tell the difference between the heart and the conscience
I think the issue is motives.
Why am I doing things that seem to look and sound like “love”?
Am I wanting something from the other person, or am I wanting to serve them?
Just like the “heart”, I’m not sure our “conscience” is ever going to be completely “good” until Jesus comes back.
If I am holding back in doing good for someone because I am examining every single motive I might have, I might not ever do anything for anyone.
Yet sometimes I’m doing things because 90% of my motives are wrong, while sometimes I’m doing things because 90% are right.

:5 and from sincere faith


Being Real

sincereanupokritos – unfeigned, undisguised, sincere
This is based on the word for “hypocrite”, the Greek word used for an “actor”, one who plays a part, one who hides behind a mask.

This is the opposite of an hypocrite.

faithpistis – faith; conviction of the truth of anything
This isn’t the person who simply “says” they believe, but someone who actually does believe in God.
There are plenty of people in this world who simply play at being a Christian.
I think one of the great tests of whether or not our faith is genuine comes when we go through difficult times.

A fake faith will just crumble and give up when times get rough.

A genuine faith might struggle, but will continue to cling to Jesus.

(2 Corinthians 4:16–18 NLT) —16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Real faith produces real love.

Are you wanting to grow in your relationships with others?

Look at the streams that are combining to form the River of Love.
The Jordan River has four tributaries that flow into it north of the Sea of Galilee.
When you visit Israel, you see two of those tributaries – the Banias and Dan.
If the Dan were polluted, the whole river would be polluted.
Real love comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.