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True Child in the Faith Part 1

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1 Timothy 1:1–2 AV
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
As we begin what will no doubt be a multiple year study in the Pastoral Epistles (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus), I want you to notice a key phrase that is at the beginning of verse 2.
1 Timothy 1:2 NASB95
To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
“Timothy, true child in the faith...”
I want to talk to you about what it means to be a true child in the Faith.
Just as the supreme joy for any parent is to give birth to a physical child who is all that the parents heart could ever hope for and to see that child mature and grow and develop and become fully the person that you he or she would become; the supreme joy for a spiritual parent is to be able to say about someone that are a genuine child in the faith.
And for Paul to so designate Timothy sets Timothy aside in a very special way.
He was Paul’s very genuine reflection.
He was a true child of the Apostle in terms of his spiritual life.
He was all that any discipler could ever hope for, could ever pray for.
He was what Paul could have wished him to be in every sense.
He was the child of Paul’s ministry.
And it is to this marvelous man that this Epistle and the 2 Epistle are written.
This epistle itself deals with many great subjects, subjects which are needful for Timothy to know in his ministry to the church.
It deals with, for example, error in the church and how that error is to be confronted.
It deals with the proper pattern for church leadership.
The importance of sound Theology and the centrality of teaching is a major theme.
The call for godliness and holiness in living and ministry, the proper attitudes and of men and women in the Church.
How to deal with discipline in the church.
Hoe to confront issues in the church.
These are themes that are dealt with in 1 Timothy, also 2 Timothy and also in Titus.
Now, lets look at a little bit of the introduction itself.

I. The Format

It is a standard format.
Suppose I need to remind you that when the NT writers wrote their epistles they did not invent some new format, they used the existing Greco-Roman format for letters and that format you see here.
2 Timothy 1:1 AV
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
That is the author and his identification and then it is always followed by the recipient.
1 Timothy 1:2 AV
Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
So it is the standard format.
It is a very simple format and it never really varies in Paul’s letters.
It is first and foremost, and you need to keep this mind when you study the Scripture, it is the first and foremost from one man to another man.
While we look at it as a book in the Bible and its reaching far beyond its original destination in the life of Timothy, we must go bak to the realization that it began as a single man’s passionate call to another man in ministry that needed to be applied to the situation in existence.
And so we go back to that and that is how we understand what a nook in the Bible means.
If we try to interpret it only in a contemporary setting, we are at a loss to its significance.
So we go back and ask what was happening in the life of Paul, what was happening in the life of Timothy.
What was going on in the Church at Ephesus where Timothy was then working and what was it that caused this letter to be written the way that it was written?
And out of that we draw those things which are applicable to our own understanding.

II. The Father (vs. 1)

1 Timothy 1:1 AV
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

A. Paul’s Character (vs. 1a)

A familiar name to any student of the NT, Paul, a favorite name among Cilicians and Paul was from Tarsus a city Cilicia.
It means little or small and it may have been an indication that at his birth he was small and it may be an indication that even then when the letter was written he was small and a man not of particularly striking stature not of particularly marked appearance, for which he was criticized.
2 Corinthians 10:10 NASB95
For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is unimpressive and his speech contemptible.”
The Greek word that is used there for “presence” is the word “παρουσία” and it refers to him and it would be an indication of his weak and unimpressive rather sickly and small stature.
So he may have been small from the very beginning.
But his name Paul sort of loses that initial significance and he becomes to us a man of tremendous stature, a man of comprehensive capability, a man uniquely used by God in the history of redemption, a man who stands head and shoulders above all men.
No matter what he was physically, spiritually he is to us a giant and the very name Paul when you sat it sort of belongs in massive granite block letters.
And so it is Paul who also was name Saul.
And it was not uncommon for people in that particular culture to have both a Green name, Paul, and Jewish name, Saul, especially because he was a Jew.
His father was a Jew and though he was born in a Greek-Roman environment outside of the land of Israel, born in Tarsus, born in a city which was a part of the Roman Empire, he became when he was born a citizen of Rome by birth, born in a city which was a part of the Roman Empire, he became a citizen on Rome at birth, his father being a Roman citizen.
So it was natural for him to have a Jewish name because he was of the tribe of Benjamin and the most prominent person in the tribe of Benjamin was Saul, so he was given that name, but it was also Paul and that the name to identify him with the Greek-Roman culture into which he was born.
He was called Saul, by the way, in the book of Acts until the 13th and the 9th verse where he first begins to embark on his ministry to the Gentiles.
Then that time on, he is never call Saul again.
Now his background is very easy to identify, and I only want to do this briefly.
Philippians 3:5 NASB95
circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee;
In other words, he was fully Jewish not only in terms of his physiology, but also in terms of his commitment.
He was Zealous for Judaism.
As touching the law, he became a Pharisee.
His relationship to the law was not one of looseness of indifference, he was an avid legalistic Pharisee.
In terms of zeal for his Pharisaic Judaistic religion, he was so zealous that he persecuted the Church which he saw as a threat to Judaism.
In terms of the righteousness which is in the law he was outwardly blameless.
He conformed his life to the law in a Pharisaic interpretation, he was zealous for that to the point where he fought against and actually slaughtered those who were in his own mind a threat to Judaism.
We find this demonstrated in the 7th chapter of the book of Acts.
And you remember there the record of the stoning of Stephen.
Of course the Jews were angry at the message that he had preached and they were gnashing on him with their teeth and they began to stone him.
And in the process, verse 58, they cast him out of the city, stoned him and witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet.
Acts 7:58 NASB95
When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
Acts 7
Now, that is really our Paul’s, Saul at the time, introduction into the picture.
He was so zealous for the elimination of Christianity which he sees as a threat to existing Pharisaic Judaism.
Acts 8:1 NASB95
Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
He was not an innocent bystander, he was part of it.
And also at that time there was a great persecution against the Church which was at Jerusalem and they were all scattered abroad.
Acts 8:13 NASB95
Even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip, and as he observed signs and great miracles taking place, he was constantly amazed.
Acts 8:3 NASB95
But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison.
So here is Paul, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, a man commited to a Pharisaic interpretation of the law, a man so zealous of his judaism that he was slaughtering people who were not following properly in the path that he thought was the path of righteousness.
He was breathing out threatenings and slaughters against the church, the Scripture says, and making Havoc.
This man, as we find him later on in the book of Acts in chapter 9, was on his way to Damascus to carry out further persecution when he was stopped in his tracks, blinded by Christ Himself, saved, called to the ministry and baptized.
And then because of the work of the Father in his heart, Paul said these words:
Philippians 3:7–8 NASB95
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,
The word “rubbish” or “dung” there is the word “σκύβαλον” this is the lone usage of the word in the NT and literally speaks of things that are useless and undesirable that is subject to disposal.
This word can literally, and I think the AV nails it here, speak of excrement or dung, manure.
Paul took everything that at one time he considered to be the greatest part of him and then after Christ counted all of it as a pile of dung.
But notice verse 8 where Paul says “so that”; that is hina clause in Greek, a clause of purpose.
Paul says that I counted it all as dung the purpose of being able to gain Christ.
One of the key Doctrinal points that Paul learned very early is that you cannot have religion and Christ.
He said that he left those things so that he way have Christ.
The things that made Paul head and shoulders about everyone else, everything that made him something special, he counted as worthless to have Christ.
And may I just pause briefly to say this, that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Luke 14:33 NASB95
“So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
Matthew 10:37 NASB95
“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is the the Gospel of Abandonment on our parts on order to have Christ.
Matthew 6:24 NASB95
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
Institutes of the Christian Religion Chapter 11: Of Justification by Faith. Both Name and Reality Defined

You here see a comparison of contraries, and an intimation that every one who would obtain the righteousness of Christ must renounce his own.

But it must be said—and let the apostle say it with all authority—that the secret beneath this severe discipline, the secret to severing all else as rubbish, is to savor Christ as gain

In order to attain this knowledge of Christ, it was necessary for Paul to declare spiritual bankruptcy. All the things he formerly had counted as assets—his ethnic heritage, his educational background, his ecclesiastical pedigree, his ethical standards—all these things had to be written off as liabilities (Phil. 3:4–7). Furthermore, compared to the superlative joy of knowing Christ, Paul calculated that his religious achievements added up to nothing more than a filthy pile of refuse

So, we see Paul’s Character.

B. Paul’s Calling (vs. 1b)

The text goes to say:
1 Timothy 1:1 AV
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;
He is an Apostle.
“ἀπόστολος” in the Greek and means someone who fulfills the role of being a special messenger.
He was an envoy or ambassador, someone who goes on a mission bearing the credentials of the one who sent him.
Just as Paul opens up many of his letter, he reminds Timothy of his call and his message; that he is the special messenger Jesus Christ.
In the more restricted and common usage of the word “apostle” refers to an “apostle of Jesus Christ”.
This would include the original twelve (with the deletion of Judas and the addition of Matthias after Judas’ defection) and Paul.
An important distinction must be made is relation to the Apostle and the apostle of the Church.
Ephphroditus (Phil 3:25), Andronicus and Junius () and James the Lord’s brother () all go by the same Greek word that is used for Paul here, ἀπόστολος, but they are what would be call in , “messengers of the churches”.
Paul, was a distinct ἀπόστολος; in that, he was personally commissioned by Christ Himself.
He was personally chosen by Him and learned the Gospel from Him, not other men.
The apostles were witnesses of His words, deeds and especially His resurrection.
I told a couple of you that asked last week about the qualifications of being an Apostle and why we do not have Apostles today.
One of the qualifications of being an Apostle is that they had to witness the resurrected Christ, and I want to give you a verse to prove that.
In the book of Acts Chapter 1, when the early Church is replacing Judas as an Apostle (and they ultimately chose Matthias) they said this as a qualification:
Acts 1:21–22 NASB95
“Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us— beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.”
Paul qualified on that count since he met the risen Christ on the way to Damascus and on three other occasions (; ; ).
This really goes back to Paul’s authority who, though he was not questioned by Timothy, was certainly questioned by the Church in Corinth and could have been questioned by the Church of Ephesus.
Paul tells Timothy that my character is that I have left all to follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul tell Timothy that my calling is that I am an Apostle; I am one that has been taught by Christ, witnessed Christ and carry a special message from Christ.

C. His Credentials (vs. 1c)

1 Timothy 1:1 AV
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;
The Apostle makes it clear to Timothy that he had a direct charge from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ to carry out this Gospel ministry.
This more fully stresses Paul’s Apostolic authority.
This charge was not only to the Churches in which Paul ministered but also the mandate included his charge to Timothy in these two letters, which put on Timothy and the Church a heavy burden to obey its injunctions.
“Command” is “ἐπιταγή” and speaks about an authoritative directive or command.
This word is used in the NT and in non-Biblical Greek to speak about a divine command.
Paul received a non-negotiable command for this ministry.
That laid on Paul a tremendous responsibility to fulfill and a tremendous responsibility for Timothy and the Church to obey because since this minstry is by the direct order from the Father, then obedience is also non-negotiable.
Listen, when the man of God gets in the pulpit and preaches a messages that is true to the Word, he does so by direct Divine order and obedience is non-negotiable for us as well.
We are under orders from the Sovereign Lord of the universe to obey.
Paul could have also chosen this strong term (as opposed to thelema- will) because of the false teachers in Ephesus, who likely questioned his authority.
God our Savior is a title that appears only in the Pastoral Epistles, though it has roots in the OT.
Psalm 18:46 NASB95
The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock; And exalted be the God of my salvation,
Psalm 25:5 NASB95
Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day.
Micah 7:7 NASB95
But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.
The liberal notion that the God of the OT is a wrathful, vengeful God whom the gentile, loving Christ placated is both false and blasphemous.
God the Father’s plan for salvation was carried our by Jesus Christ, who is our hope.
We have hope for the future because of what Christ has done in the past and is doing in the present.
There were no doubt some error in the Ephesian assembly trying to rob believer of salvation’s hope.
Paul responds by stressing both aspects of Christ’s work as he writes to Timothy, so Timothy can confront such attacks.
So the Format of the Letter is just like every other format in the Greco-Roman world.
The Father of the Letter, Paul to Timothy, shares his Character, His Calling and His Credentials.

III. The Follower (vs. 2)

1 Timothy 1:2 AV
Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
“Timothy” which is “Τιμόθεος” in the Greek means, “one who honors God”.
Timothy was from Lystra which was a town in south central Asia Minor (or modern day Turkey)
Lystra is about 274 miles east of Ephesus where he is now pastoring, so Timothy is a good distance from home considering how they had to travel then.
In Timothy’s mother is identified as a woman names Eunice and his grandmother is identified as a woman named Lois, both of them devout Christian women.
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul credits these two women with teaching Timothy Biblical truth.
Unfortunately, all we know for sure about Timothy’s father is that he was a Greek, according to , and was probably an unbeliever.
Timothy grew up knowing the sacred Scripture, but did not grow up in a strict Jewish home because his home was not characterized by a strict observance to the law.
According to the book of Acts, before Paul would take Timothy with him on his second missionary journey, he had him circumcised because of the Jews.
Acts 16:3 NASB95
Paul wanted this man to go with him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
The Jewish law was to be circumcised on the eighth day, but Timothy was circumcised in his older teen years, so his home was not in strict observance of the law.
And Paul could not present Timothy as a full Jew without having him circumcised.
But notice what Paul says about Timothy.

A. Paul’s Commentary about Timothy (vs. 2a)

1 Timothy 1:2 AV
Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
Literally what Paul is calling Timothy here is his “γνησίῳ τέκνῳ ἐν πίστει” my true child in the Faith.
This is Paul’s way of saying that Timothy’s faith was genuine.
Paul calling Timothy his “child” instead of his “son” speaks of Paul giving birth to Timothy spiritually.
It is interesting to realize that even though Timothy’s mother and grandmother were godly women and taught Timothy much, it was not until her meant Paul that he was converted.
Which even further concludes for us that Timothy was not raised in a home that was being led by a spiritually minded father, who was probably unconverted.
The phrase “True Child in the Faith” gives us insight into Timothy’s character and he sets up for as an example of what a true child in the faith is like.

1. Converting Faith

It is obviously impossible to be a true child in the faith without experiencing divine salvation in Jesus Christ. Paul testifies throughout the epistle to the genuineness of Timothy’s conversion. In 1:1–2, he suggests through the use of the plural pronouns that Timothy has the same God and the same Christ as he does (cf. 4:10). In 6:11, Paul calls him “you man of God,” then exhorts him to “fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (6:12). Timothy was not only called to eternal life by God, but also publicly professed his faith in Christ. Unmistakable affirmation of Timothy’s salvation comes in 2 Timothy 1:5, where Paul speaks of his “sincere faith.”

γνησίῳ τέκνῳ ἐν πίστει

2. Compliant Faith

The NT teaches repeatedly that the hallmark of a true believer is a life-pattern of obedience.
John 14:15 NASB95
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
John 8:31 NASB95
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;
Ephesians 2:10 NASB95
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Good works are not the ground of salvation, but the evidence of it.

As Martin Luther put it, “Good works do not make a good man, but a good man does good works”

The pattern of Timothy’s life was obedience.
When Paul returned to Lystra on his second missionary journey he found that Timothy:
Acts 16:2 NASB95
and he was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium.
Now, Iconium is approximately 22 miles north of Lystra, not a long distance but in the first century that is quite a reputation to be known as a godly man 22 miles away.
Not only did Timothy have a Converting Faith and a Compliant Faith, but:

3. Caring Faith

A true child in the faith is a servant.

Paul described the conversion of the Thessalonians in these words, “you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God” (1 Thess. 1:9). The Christian life is to be lived as a stewardship of service to the sovereign lordship of Jesus Christ. The disciples left everything to follow and serve Jesus. True salvation is marked by a servant’s heart.

Humble service characterized Timothy’s life. At Paul’s urging, he willingly remained in the difficult post at Ephesus (1:3). Although in his late teens or early twenties at the time, he endured circumcision to better serve with Paul (Acts 16:3). As already noted, he served Paul for many years, through difficult circumstances. No wonder, then, that Paul called him “my fellow worker” (Rom. 16:21). There is no higher praise.

Paul’s True child in the Faith had a Converting Faith, a Compliant Faith, a Caring Faith:

4. Communicating Faith

A true child in the faith adheres to sound doctrine and communicates it.
Timothy was a student and a teacher of sound doctrine.
1 Timothy 4:6 NASB95
In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.
1 Timothy 4:11 NASB95
Prescribe and teach these things.
Paul was confident that Timothy was doctrinally sound.
A true believers is concerned about Doctrine.
When one is not concerned with Doctrine but is concerned with only love and getting along, there is great reason to question the veracity of that persons conversion.
Just like in our day, in Timothy’s day Ephesus was filled with false teachers.

Some had turned aside from the truth to fruitless discussion (1:6). They presumed to be teachers of the law, though they did not understand it (1:7). Paul disciplined two of them, Hymenaeus and Alexander (1:20). Paul describes the false teaching at Ephesus as “worldly fables fit only for old women” (4:7), “disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions” (6:4). Its perpetrators were conceited and understood nothing (6:4).

The true child in the faith must be concerned with Doctrine.
Timothy as the true child in the faith had a Converted Faith, a Complaint Faith, a Caring Faith, and a Communicating Faith:

5. Courageous Faith

Those who make an impact for the cause of Christ must have the courage of their convictions. Any dead fish can float downstream; it takes a live one to fight the current. Strong conviction comes from spiritual maturity and knowledge of the Word, and is an essential element in any effective ministry.

Timothy was to be a fighter.
1 Timothy 1:3 NASB95
As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines,
1 Timothy 1:18 NASB95
This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight,
1 Timothy 6:20 NASB95
O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”—

Many in the Ephesian congregation lacked the convictions of their pastor. They were compromisers. Such men were not qualified to be elders (3:2), or deacons (3:10), since they were not above reproach. Some of the younger widows were in danger of reneging on their commitment to Christ (5:11–12). Still others in the congregation had compromised with money and “pierced themselves with many a pang” (6:10).

In contrast, Timothy maintained his convictions, even when that cost him his life. According to tradition, he was martyred in Ephesus some thirty years later for opposing the worship of the goddess Diana. He “[held] fast the beginning of [his] assurance firm until the end” (Heb. 3:14).

That is Paul’s Commentary about Timothy.

B. Paul’s Craving for Timothy (vs. 2b)

1 Timothy 1:2 NASB95
To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Grace and peace is the familiar Pauline greeting, appearing in all of his epistles. Only here and in 2 Tim. 1:2 does he add mercy. Timothy would need all three in dealing with the situation at Ephesus. Grace refers to God’s undeserved favor, love, and forgiveness that frees sinners from the consequences of sin. Mercy frees us not from the consequences of sin, but from the misery that accompanies it. Peace is the result of grace and mercy. It refers not only to harmony with God but also to tranquillity of soul. Grace, mercy, and peace are needed throughout the Christian life, not merely at salvation.

Paul says that this Grace, Mercy and Peace are from both God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ this stressing Christ’s deity and equality with the Father.
His emphasis on that is because the heresy of the rejection of Christ seemed to have been rampant in Ephesus.
That is the opening two verses: The Format, The Father (His Character, His Calling and His Credentials), and then the Follower, Timothy who has a Converted Faith, a Compliant Faith, a Caring Faith, a Communicating Faith and a Courageous Faith.
Next time ww will get into the heart of how to behave yourself in house of God by right Doctrine and teaching.
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