Grace Baptist Church

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Introduction to Pastoral Epistles

Introduction to Pastoral Epistles

Mar 12, 2017

Passage: 1 Timothy 1:1-2

Preacher: Tom Ascol

Series: Life in the Household of God

Category: Sunday Morning

Keywords: church, gospel, grace, mercy, pastoral, peace


Pastor Tom Ascol begins a series on the Pastoral Letters to Timothy and Titus. In his introductory message, Pastor opens to 1 Timothy 1:1 – 2. Unlike other New Testament letters these three letters were written to individuals, part of Paul’s pastoral team. Both Timothy, in Ephesus, and Titus, in Crete, were shepherding and leading churches. Both churches had problems and Paul gave instructions as fresh and relevant today as it was then.

The overarching theme of this series is “Life in the Household of God.” This is so because God cares how we act in His household, the church. At different points throughout the letters Paul addresses the whole church, specific groups, or Timothy or Titus alone. Nonetheless, we do well to remember that each word in these letters comes from God and has inspired instruction pertinent to the life of believers. We are, as always, challenged to obedience. The Gospel, after all, has implications for how we live.

In today’s verses Paul lays a foundation for what is to come. He is an apostle, commissioned by God. Thus, Paul’s instructions are not arbitrary or optional. They come from an authorized apostle of Christ. The instruction comes, here, to Timothy, a “true child in the faith.” Timothy’s conversion, after a Christian upbringing by his mother and grandmother, was real and his manner of life, reflecting obedience and the reality of the indwelling Spirit, was evident to anyone who would see. This should encourage godly mothers. They have influence in a child’s life beyond what they recognize. Young believers should also be encouraged. Whether you have certain advantages, a godly mother, or not, an unconverted father, you can and should be useful in God’s kingdom.

Timothy had been used, faithfully serving with Paul (Philippians 2:19 – 22 and 1 Thessalonians 3:2). Paul chose him to set things right in Ephesus. Though Timothy may have shown a level of timidity, for which Paul sends some correction, he was trustworthy which was commendable. As is usual for Paul, he begins his letter to Timothy was a blessing. Paul explicitly mentions grace, God’s goodness poured out on those who deserve just the opposite, mercy, God’s special personal care for those in need, and peace, the well-being resulting from a right relationship with God. These gifts, Paul points out, come from “God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”  These gifts are secured through the completed work of Christ on our behalves.

God has given the church these three books to teach us how to live together. Living together with the brethren in peace and harmony brings glory and honor to the One who made peace and harmony possible to begin with. As we study these letters over the coming weeks and months we invite those who have yet to trust Christ to trust Him now and receive from him the grace, mercy, and peace promised to the children of God. Trust Him now, be saved for eternity, and study with us as to how we should live.