We conclude our study of Timothy. This is Paul reminding Timothy about the significance of the Christian life. Paul has warned of the seduction of riches, but is it wrong to be blessed by the Lord? How do we manage the wealth that God has given to us? What is the concern that Timothy is to ultimately have regarding his ministry?
Paul has exhorted Timothy and the church to live a peaceful and quiet life before the Lord in this letter to Timothy. This would seem to imply that we do not fight, but seek peace at all costs. However, Paul exhorts Timothy now to fight. How can Timothy seek peace and fight at the same time? What is the point of this fighting? Or is this fight something else and we are just imposing our view on the fighting?
This life can overwhelm us at times. If we are honest, many of the things which overwhelm us are self inflicted. We want the perfect job, house, marriage, or whatever it might be for us. The reality is that we can quickly become a dog chasing its own tail while believing our own tale. So, where do we find peace right now? Where do we find a happy place where we can retreat? How can we have a true peace right now even in a fallen world?
As we walk through this world as human beings there is no doubt that we are tempted to live our lives to please man. This is a real and honest temptation that we face, but why is that so wrong? Why do we live our lives before the face of God? Why is it so essential to live our lives before the face of God as His redeemed people?
Paul continues with the reminder of what it means to care for the widows. There are the young widows who might need assistance and there are the older widows who need assistance. How is the church supposed to know who receives the assistance and who does not? What is a way of doing this that honors the Lord?
The Apostle Paul lays out how the church is to function as a family. First, there is the reminder that Paul has for Timothy that we view the members of the church as family members. However, this has implications for how we widows who are part of the church. How are we to treat widows? Do all widows receive the same amount of funds from the church? Is there a provision for widows not to receive any funds? How do we know who is to receive and who is not as we are all one family?
Timothy is facing a challenging time in the Ephesian church. People are bringing in teaching that is not pure or teaching that is not correct. So, what is the solution to this? What is Timothy to do in this whole process? How is Timothy to right this ship?
If we are redeemed and united to Christ then how can we discipline ourselves? It sounds as if Paul is saying that on the one level salvation is by grace, but now it is up to you to complete the work that has been started. Is that what Paul is saying? Is this how we go through life with this confidence that the Lord gives us enough grace to make it? Or is Paul telling us something different that we need to heed?
Paul tells us that Godliness is a mystery in 1 Timothy 3:16. Saying that Godliness is a mysteryis a pretty profound statement because Paul is encouraging Timothy to stand against agitators in Ephesus. How can such a statement encourage Timothy? How can such a statement help Timothy refute the false teaching that is entering the church? So, what happens if we lose sight of Christ being our life blood and nourishing us in our redemption? What happens if we fail to see that Godliness is a mystery?
The apostle Paul has exhorted the church to use the law of God in a lawful manner. How do we know if we are using the law of God lawfully? How do we grow in our Christian life if Paul himself states that Godliness is a mystery? If it is a mystery how do we know if we are growing?