These letters are concerned with two types of teaching. We shall see Paul come back to them from several different angles in these three letters. One type of teaching, which he warns against, goes round and round in circles, picking up interesting ideas and theories and playing with them endlessly.
This leads to confusion with no clear understanding or guidance. The other has a clear aim, cuts out anything that gets in the way of it and goes straight to the point.
The teaching of the gospel itself, and of the way of life which flows from it, must not be a muddled, rambling thing, going this way and that over all kinds of complex issues. It must go straight to the point and make it clearly, so that the young Christians who so badly need building up in their faith may learn the deep, rich, basic elements of Christian teaching. These are what make genuine Christianity stand out from the world around it, and they should not be hidden under a thick casing of complex and impenetrable ideas.
We are told clearly that the teaching in these letters does not aim at just conveying information, but a while way of life summed up in 1 Timothy 1:5-one of love-which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
Underneath these, we can detect two concerns which run through these letters. First, Paul is anxious that everyone who professed Christian faith should allow the gospel to transform the whole of their lives, so that the outward signs of the faith express a living reality that comes from the deepest parts of the personality. Second, he is also anxious that each Christian, and especially every teacher of the faith, should know how to build up the community in mutual love and support rather than, by the wrong sort of teaching and behavior, tearing it apart.”
- N. T. Wright (For Everyone Bible Study Guides; 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus; 2009)
>>>NOTES FROM PASTOR JOHN:
Welcome to our new study!
- John Guess
>>>STUDY QUESTIONS AND SCRIPTURE:
Read 1 Timothy 1, then consider the following questions:
*How does Paul sum up a whole way in 1 Timothy 1:5?
*The Jewish law is like a map which only marks danger...it only tells us where we should not go. How does the law contrast with the healthy teaching of the Gospel? Look at verses 8-11.
*Contrast Paul’s life before his conversion with his life afterwards. Verses 12-16.
*Why did Paul receive such mercy from God? Read verses 12-16.
*What difference does it make to us that a person like Paul receives such mercy?
*What is Paul’s command to Timothy in Verses 18-19?