The letter of First Timothy isn’t a letter to a church, but to Timothy who is overseeing the church in Ephesus. The apostle Paul had experienced tremendous revival and salvations in Ephesus; he spoke of it while there and said, “a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries” (1 Corinthians 16:9). God did unusual miracles there (See Acts 19:11), and multitudes came out of the occult, and millions of dollars worth of occultic material was burned (See Acts 19:19). Paul preached and discipled in Ephesus for three years, and the gospel was spread and heard by all Asia (in present day Turkey) (See Acts 19:10 & 20:31). Although it was once a region covered in darkness and deception, “the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed” (Acts 19:20).
Paul’s main concern as he writes Timothy is the false teachings that are creeping in. Paul had warned all the Ephesian elders previously saying, “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:29-30). Notice that Paul implies that people speak these “perverse” (twisted) things for the purpose of drawing people after themselves. They may be deceived leaders, but the real motive driving them is to have people follow them.
Now, Paul starts his letter to Timothy urging him to, “remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:3) Sure, Timothy would teach and do the work of an evangelist, but his number one priority in that season was to stop false doctrine.
Paul ends the letter by saying in 1 Timothy 6:20-21, “O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge— by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.” It’s sad that some start in the faith, but by speaking lies they stray.
Read through the Bible with us in 2012! The reading plan can be downloaded below; we are reading in chronological order. Check back often to read the blog posts on the Bible readings and discuss things in the "comments" section.
2012 Bible Plan