Paul’s Letter to Timothy

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

1st Timothy 1:1-2

In Acts chapter 16, Paul is on his second preaching trip around 51 A.D.. He goes back through an area that he visited on his first trip – Derbe and Lystra. Here, he reunites with a young man named Timothy, who is deeply devoted to the Lord. Timothy was perhaps converted under Paul’s preaching on his first journey through the area. Paul decides to take Timothy with him for the rest of this journey. We also find that Timothy is with Paul many more times after this trip including most of his third preaching trip, his capture at Jerusalem, trial, and imprisonment at Rome.

Paul writes this letter to Timothy around 63-66 A.D. So, Timothy has known Paul for at least 15 years and has had extensive ministerial experiences with him.. If Timothy has known Paul that long, don’t you think he knew that Paul was an Apostle? Of course, he did. So why does Paul mention his titled position in this letter to Timothy?

Paul mentions his title of Apostle to give credibility to Timothy’s ministry at Ephesus Church.

Whenever someone is teaching another person or a group of people, the teacher must have credibility to be trusted. This opening of the letter is for those who will be hearing the teaching and preaching of Timothy. Timothy will no doubt be teaching things to which some people will object. This letter gives him the authority, and responsibility, to teach on those matters anyway. Not because Timothy made up the doctrine or practice but because God commanded Paul to be an Apostle. And since, Timothy will be teaching the same doctrine and practice as Paul, his teaching holds the same weight as Paul’s.

Biblical teaching is God’s word, not man’s.

We also have this letter preserved for us so that ministers of the gospel in the succeeded centuries, including our own, could speak with authority and not men’s words. If a man of God is preaching according to the word of God, it is not his opinion that he is expressing. It is God’s word. Therefore, if we don’t like it, we don’t need to have “roast preacher” for dinner. We need to repent of our personal opinions. We need to realize we have a problem with God’s word and we need to change our minds not the word of God.

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