Sep 30, 2018
Paul had been released from prison around A.D. 61 – 62 and was able to travel and continue his ministry. During this time, he assigned Timothy to pastor Ephesus.
The church and its spiritual health were under threat not only from outside persecution, but also from false teaching (1 Tim. 1: 3 – 4, 6 – 7; 1 Tim. 4:7, 14,15; 1 Tim. 6: 3 – 5).
Perhaps, Paul knew that he could be re-arrested and could be executed and thus, the great concern to strengthen the church even before anything happens to him.
This was one of three pastoral letters that Paul wrote prior to his execution or martyrdom.
Since Paul may have discerned that his time was short, he had to make sure that his disciple Timothy would ably pick up the baton to continue the work of the gospel and establish the church, even without Paul by his side (1 Tim. 1: 18, 19).
This was now time for Timothy to step up to the plate. The problem was that Timothy was beset with insecurities and fears and this had caused him to be tentative in performing his duties. (1 Tim. 4:12)
Based on the tone of Paul’s letter one would think that Timothy was very tentative or at least was pulling back a bit from ministry. His age had become a factor, since he was considered young to be a pastor. He was in his early thirties, but at that time, it was considered quite young relatively speaking.
While this was a letter specifically addressed to Timothy, it doesn’t mean that this was letter was not read or studied by the rest of the congregation. Obviously, all the instructions here which pertain to the church of Ephesus trickled down to them through Timothy.
Paul gives him fatherly instructions on what to do in the face of the circumstances he was facing and we see here Paul’s final pastoral instructions in three points and they are as follows:
TEXT: 1 Timothy 4: 12 – 16
ATTITUDE AND DECORUM – HOW TO BEHAVE? (v. 12)
a. Don’t let anyone BELITTLE you
b. Show yourself an example
DUTY – WHAT TO DO? (v. 13)
a. READ SCRIPTURE
b. EXHORT FROM SCRIPTURE
c. TEACH FROM SCRIPTURE
III. DETERMINATION – HOW TO CONTINUE? (vv. 14 – 16)
a. USE YOUR GIFT (v. 14)
b. DEVELOP YOUR GIFT (v.15)
c. MONITOR AND PERSEVERE IN YOUR LIFE AND TEACHING