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A Very Special Letter

02/09/2014  A Very Special Letter:  An Introduction to 1 Timothy

ephesusPaul wrote a letter. Of all the writing to churches that Paul did, First and Second Timothy and Titus are different. They are letters to individuals. Although they were not written to us they still have very valuable instruction and insight for churches today. Paul wrote a letter to his young apprentice Timothy as he sought to lead a baby church in the toxic and cultic city of Ephesus.

Ephesus was a major port city in the Roman world and hub of syncretism, worshipping many gods under the Olympian pantheon. The greatest “god” in Ephesus was Artemis, the goddess of the hunt and twin of Apollo. Her temple was one to the seven wonders of the ancient world. As Timothy walked the streets of Ephesus and sought to lead a young Christian church, there we can be certain the “gods” of the day were in the forefront of the minds of the people in that metropolis.

   One of the most crucial themes in First Timothy is that of right teaching or doctrine. We all hold many doctrines or sets of beliefs in our hearts and minds that help us to define our reality. The big question that Paul places in Timothy’s ear is to make sure the doctrines that govern the church are founded and in line with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

   Paul has instructed Timothy as they lived and served the Lord together. 10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 2 Timothy 3:10 –11 (NIV84).

   Paul writes Timothy a letter to encourage him to stand strong and lead the local assembly in Ephesus. 14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:14 –15 (NIV84)

   As we begin this new series, Living in God's House - Guarding and Guiding the Home Front, First Timothy will be food for our souls as we seek to know Him who is the Savior of mankind. In the midst of the Christ-less culture of Ephesus and in our culture today, the church is the pillar and foundation of the Truth. As we live, love and serve one another the truth of God becomes more and more apparent in our immediate worlds in which we live. 

   May the Holy Spirit of God illuminate His presence and principles in our hearts and minds, that the world will see that there is One Truth that God has given, Jesus Christ. Your pastors are very excited to rekindle a fresh fire for right living in Gods House and being the pillar and foundation of the truth that He calls us to.  

 

 

 

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