Proper Leadership and Conduct in the Household of God – This is Paul’s basic manual for how to properly govern and conduct the ministry of the local church. It must be noted that Timothy was there as an apostolic representative not a pastor as such; the elders (pastors, bishops) were always a plural group of men in the church.
Spiritual leaders (elders and deacons) must be recognized according to the proper biblical criteria. False teaching must be actively confronted and refuted. Corporate prayer must be utilized as a fundamental tool. The proper roles of men and women must be observed. Those groups deserving of special respect and financial support must be treated appropriately. There must be an overall spirit of contentment with a corresponding focus on eternity.
To combat false teaching and to fight the good fight of faith, the ministry of the local church must be:
• Fortified with prayer
• Structured around Godly leadership
• Above reproach in showing honor to deserving special groups
• Focused on eternity
1 Timothy 3:15 “I write so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.”
I. (1:3-20) Charge to combat false teaching and to fight the good fight of faith.
II. (2:1-15) Corporate prayer is the primary weapon for the local church to impact the world (thru the God-ordained preaching of the truth)
III. (3:1-4:16) The ministry of the local church must be structured around Godly leadership by men of proven character
IV. (5:1-6:2a) The ministry of the local church must be above reproach in showing honor to deserving special groups
V. (6:2b-21a) The ministry of the local church must be focused on eternity rather than distracted by the futile speculations and materialistic spirit of the false teachers
WHY STUDY THIS BOOK?
• To learn how to properly administer the church of God
• To learn how to deal with false teachers and heresy and promote orthodox doctrine
• To learn how to recognize the appropriate leaders in the local church
• To learn how to properly care for widows and other special groups with particular needs
• To elevate corporate prayer to its deserving role
• To promote the proper role of both men and women in the assembly
David Malick: In view of the corrupting influence of the false teachers Paul exhorts Timothy to fulfill his designated ministry to the church at Ephesus by correcting false teachers, protecting the church from their influence, appealing to those who are in sin, and pursuing godliness with an attitude of contentment rather than with a desire for personal gain.
Daniel Wallace: But there is a twofold reason for his concern here (with church order):
(1) In all three letters, Paul is writing to an apostolic delegate-in effect, an intermediary between himself and the leadership of the church. Thus what he normally communicated in person as to church order (as he evidently must have in light of such casual references as Phil 1:1; 1 Thess 5:12, etc.), he now must put in writing.
(2) In each one of the letters there are extenuating circumstances which would bring about an emphasis on church order and creedalism: (a) in 1 Timothy, the church had been infected by heretical and immoral leaders; hence, moral qualifications especially needed to be established; (b) in Titus, the church was newly planted; hence, some guidelines for selecting leaders needed to be given; (c) in 2 Timothy, Paul’s death is imminent; hence, an emphasis on a fixed tradition was in order.
Ray Stedman: The central task of leadership in any church is to see that the teaching is in line with the apostolic revelation, the word about Jesus — which Paul summarizes in these terms in Verse 11 of this first chapter, “the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.” That is the body of teaching to which a church should give itself.
Geoff Thomas: This letter is a kaleidoscope of teaching, exhortation, instruction in New Testament godliness with warnings and encouragements. It speaks to individuals, to groups within the congregation, and to the whole church. It does not have the same structure as the letters to the Romans and Ephesians where first of all the mighty work of God’s salvation is expounded at length to be followed by its ethical implications for our daily living. Paul stands before Timothy and he rapidly brings out one piece of treasure after another. So we will find that one sermon will deal with the grace of God being poured out abundantly (I Tim.1:14), and soon afterwards we are having to think of the behavior of women in the church (I Tim2:9-15), and then what goes to make up the qualifications of deacons and elders (I Tim.3:1-13), but that very third chapter concludes with a great text concerning the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ. So though we are dealing with a single New Testament letter the range of themes it opens up in quick succession is enormous. It will not allow us to become bored though we are concentrating on these six chapters.
The contents of the letter are broadly as follows: the first chapter is an exhortation to Timothy to withstand false doctrine and advance the gospel. The second chapter deals with public worship and the place of women in a Christian congregation. The third chapter outlines the qualifications for elders and deacons. The fourth chapter speaks of apostasy, false asceticism and the discipline to be manifest in a worthy preacher. The fifth speaks of our responsibilities to such needy people in the congregation as widows. The final chapter is an indictment of materialism, and Paul’s last great charges and exhortations to Timothy.
Homer A Kent Jr.: The Epistles of Paul to Timothy and Titus have gripped the interest and imagination of the writer for many years. Not only is the content rich in doctrinal and practical discussion, so pertinent to the Christian life, but the historical, geographical, and personal notices make the letters colorful and intensely human. Furthermore, these epistles are the only part of the New Testament which deals with church problems from an administrative rather than a theological viewpoint.