Mark Hart

How to Read 1st & 2nd Timothy

The letters of St. Paul to Timothy are unique among the apostle's writings. Timothy was stationed in the Church at Ephesus in order to help it recover from the damage of some false teachers who had been deceiving God's people (1 Timothy 1:3-7; 6:3-5).

In a very loving way, the Apostle encourages Timothy to remain ÌÄåøÌâåÂÌâÌÉrm in the truth (1 Timothy 4:6-7; 6:20). Sound doctrine is important. St. Paul is adamant about the fact that God's people must be taught nothing less than the fullness of truth (2 Timothy 1:13-14; 4:2-3). As a spiritual mentor, St. Paul encourages Timothy to continue preaching the Gospel message of Jesus Christ long after the Apostle has passed on to the next life (2 Timothy 4:6-8). Following Christ is not an easy task, but the Apostle urges Timothy to take courage and strength from his example of faithfulness (2 Timothy 3:10-14).

St. Paul instructs his young friend to 'guard' the truth of the Gospel (2 Timothy 1:14). The truth of God is sacred. It is not to be modiÌÄåøÌâåÂÌâÌÉed or adjusted to ÌÄåøÌâåÂÌâÌÉt the trivial preferences of mere humans (2 Timothy 4:3-5).

Here are some of the key themes and verses we discover in this letter:

  • The one God and Mediator: 'There is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus who gave himself as a ransom for all (1 Timothy 2:5-6).'
  • The Church is a pillar of truth: 'The church of the living God, [is] the pillar and bulwark of the truth (1 Timothy 2:15).'
  • God doesn't make junk: 'For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving (1 Timothy 4:4).'
  • Christians should care for one another: 'If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8).'
  • Fight for the truth and holiness: 'Aim at righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good ÌÄåøÌâåÂÌâÌÉght of the faith (1 Timothy 6:11).'
  • ConÌÄåøÌâåÂÌâÌÉdence in Christ: 'I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me (2 Timothy 1:12).'
  • Scripture is sacred and inspired by God Himself: 'All scripture is inspired by God and proÌÄåøÌâåÂÌâÌÉtable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).'

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Mark Hart

About the Author

My childhood plan was to be a jedi. My teenage plan was to be on Saturday Night Live. God's plan was to have me in ministry. God won - and I'm glad He did.