Most everything we buy comes with an owner’s manual, but if you’re like me, looking at those instructions is the last resort. We put it off as long as possible.
Well, the book of 1 Timothy is an instruction manual for the local church. We should read it often and heed it diligently.
It’s the first of three Pastoral Epistles, as we call them, written between 62 and 67 A.D.; and it’s addressed to Timothy, a young man we first meet in Acts 16, when he decided to join Paul in his travels.
The two become close, and Paul called him, “…my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Tim 1:2).
Years later Timothy was placed in charge of the work in the city of Ephesus. That’s when Paul wrote this letter, telling him:
- how to manage certain problems he faced in the ministry,
- how to confront false teachers,
- how to order the church’s worship,
- how to select leaders, and
- how to conduct himself in difficult situations.
The apostle tells us to stand up for the truth in public and to guard our own souls in private. He stressed the themes of doctrinal purity, worship, godliness, leadership, pastoral care, and contentment.
Church work isn’t for the faint of heart, and the ministry can often be discouraging. But it always helps to read the manual.
In 1 Timothy, the Lord tells us how to conduct ourselves in His house, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
God’s Church should be led with excellence by leaders who possess wisdom and integrity.
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses” (1 Tim 6:12).
We must conduct ourselves wisely in the house of God.
“Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” (1 Tim 4:15).