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Read Introduction to 1 Timothy

 

2 To Timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Timothy is Paul’s primary audience for First Timothy, but God also intended it to be read aloud to congregations. He joined Paul on the apostle’s second missionary journey. Paul eventually appointed him the pastor of the Ephesian church.

Paul and Timothy are a study in contrasts:

Paul was well-educated, but Timothy was not.

Paul was a Pharisee and “Hebrew of Hebrews” (Php 3:5), but Timothy was 1/2 Jew, 1/2 Gentile. His father was a Gentile (Acts 16:1). His Jewish background, but his Christian mother and grandmother raised him.

Paul was old (Phile 9), but Timothy was young (1 Tim 4:12).

Although they had very different backgrounds, these men were one in spirituality, mission, and credibility (Php 2:20-22).

To Timothy,

Timothy traveled with Paul on his second and third missionary enterprises. He was half-Jewish and half-Gentile. His father was Greek (Acts 16:1-3), but his mother, Eunice, was Jewish (2 Tim 1:5), who taught him the Scriptures from his youth (2 Tim 3:15).

a true (genuine] son in the faith:

Paul viewed Timothy as trustworthy as a “true son in the faith” (1 Co 4:17; Php 2:22; Tit 1:4). The apostle discipled him during the missionary journeys. He became a “true son,” a legitimate believer, and possessed genuine faith (1 Tim 6:11; 2 Tim 1:5). Timothy was a true believer in contrast to fakers. He was not an illegitimate Christian but someone who was a genuine believer.

“The faith” is the first of 19 usages of faith in First Timothy. There is no definite article before the term, as in English. The sphere of Paul’s and Timothy’s relationship was their faith. They were like father and son.

Grace,

The phrase “grace, mercy, and peace” is the formal greeting to the book. It is also the fuel that believers burn daily, without which we cannot operate efficiently as believers.

The only other place where Paul uses this triple greeting is in 2 Timothy 1:2. His usual greeting was “grace and peace.”

“Grace” is what God gives or provides. He saved us by grace and sustains us by grace. Grace is a laden theme of the apostle in his epistles (2 Co 9:8; 12:9; He 4:16; Jas 4:6; 1 Pe 5:10).

mercy,

Paul added “mercy” to the introduction of the pastoral epistles, which he had not included in his previous epistles. “Mercy” is God’s provision for the spiritually needy (He 4:16). “Mercy” carries the idea of compassion toward someone who does not deserve it. The need for mercy is the misery that results from sin. We must admit our sins and recognize how we violated God to receive mercy. A person who receives God’s mercy does not get what he deserves. We must acknowledge our sins and recognize how we violated God to receive mercy.

God delights in mercy (Mic 7:18), and His mercies are “great” (2 Sa 24:14). God’s mercy “endures forever” (26 times in Ps 136). They are new every morning (Lam 3:22-23). Every deliverance from difficulty is a manifestation of God’s mercy.

The only book besides 1 and 2 Timothy where “mercy” occurs in the introduction is 2 John 3.

and peace

Peace is a state of mind that results from God’s grace and mercy. There is a harmony of soul that comes from God. Peace means that which is bound together when disjointed; there is no sense of well-being (Isa 26:3: Jn 14:27). Peace binds together those who are separated. Peace is the stability God gives the believer.

from God our Father

Grace, mercy, and peach come from a dual source. The Father and the Son are the source of grace, mercy, and peace.

and Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jesus is co-equal with the Father. The command comes equally from the Father and Christ the Lord. As in verse one, Paul links God the Father with the Lord Jesus Christ.

PRINCIPLE:

God’s grace, mercy, and peace help the believer endure life.

APPLICATION:

We can endure difficulty in ministry because of God’s mercy (2 Co 4:1). God is rich in mercy (Eph 2:4). It is His mercy that enables us to walk in fellowship with Him (1 Jn 1:9). God’s mercy follows us all the days of our lives (Ps 23:6). He has plenty of it (Ps 103:8). As the God of grace, He will sustain us daily (1 Pe 5:10). His grace is sufficient for us (2 Co 12:9. God gives His very own peace (Php 4:6-7). Why allow ourselves to fret and be filled with anxiety if God has things in His control? He is sovereign over everything in our lives.

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