Tuesday, March 31, 2009

True Fitness

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Paul advises Timothy, in verses 7-11, to spend more time and energy on spiritual fitness than physical fitness.

Do you take this advice, dear Reader?

As I consider the number of minutes I spend on each objective, I am guilty of misplaced priority.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Timothy's Curriculum

Paul suggests that Timothy base his teaching upon the content of verses 1-5.

Who picks your curriculum, dear Reader? How do you decide what to study and learn?

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Message from the Spirit

In verses 1-5, Paul warns Timothy against arbitrary rules of conduct.

Marriage should not be forbidden, and strict food rules are unbiblical.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Outline of 1 Timothy 4

  1. Teach only what the Spirit teaches you
  2. Spiritual health is even more important than physical health
  3. Timothy, remember and apply your special spiritual gift
  4. Reminder: teach the truth of the Spirit
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Friday, March 27, 2009

Follow the Leader

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There is no such thing as a leader in isolation.

Someone is always above the person who appears to be in charge.

In fact, when Jesus was on earth, he made it clear that he was simply fulfilling his father's business.
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Thursday, March 26, 2009


A 6th century mosaic of :en:Jesus at Church Sa...Image via Wikipedia

  1. came to earth
  2. was fully human
  3. pleased God
  4. was seen by angels
  5. preached to the nations
  6. had people put their faith in him
  7. returned to heaven
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why Write?

Paul would rather visit Timothy in person, but he may be delayed.

Writing is another way to share truth about the Christian life.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Qualifications of a Deacon

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  1. Man of dignity
  2. Not double-tongued
  3. Not a lush
  4. Not fond of sordid gain
  5. Holds to faith with clear conscience
  6. Tested
  7. Beyond reproach
  8. Monogamous
  9. Effective manager of children
  10. Effective manager of home life
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Monday, March 23, 2009

Qualifications of an Overseer (Elder)

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Worthy goal
  1. Above reproach
  2. Monogamous
  3. Temperate
  4. Prudent
  5. Respectable
  6. Hospitable
  7. Able to teach
  8. Not a lush
  9. Gentle
  10. Peaceable
  11. Not in love with money
  12. Manages household well
  13. Children are well-behaved
    1. Leadership starts in the home, not the church
  14. Experienced Christian
    1. Not conceited
    2. Avoid devil's condemnation
  15. Good secular reputation
    1. Not fall into reproach
    2. Avoid the snare of the devil
Based upon the NASV

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Elders and Deacons

Augusta, Georgia, United States.Image via Wikipedia

Paul writes that people who desire to take leadership in the church have an admirable goal.

This reminds me of a conversation I had once with a friend. We discussed volunteering, and I asked why anyone would ever subject themselves to school board service. It's stressful and unpaid.

He replied that his brother had been a school board president, and that the goal was to help the schools improve and provide a top-notch education.

I imagine that this should be the motivation of church elders and deacons, too.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Outline of 1 Timothy 3

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How to Be a Church Leader
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Friday, March 20, 2009


Paul the Apostle, Russian icon from first quar...Image via Wikipedia

There's the key!

Paul writes "I" in verses 9 and 12.

This is Paul's personal approach, not a universal principal.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

1 Corinthians 14:39

In this verse, Paul explicitly forbids the Corinthian church to forbid speaking in tongues.

However, in today's culture, very conservative churches forbid speaking in tongues.

Why do we take the message that women should keep silent in churches more seriously than Paul's teaching on tongues?

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

1 Peter 3

In 1 Peter 3, we find another extended passage which appears very similar to 1 Timothy 2.

One safe theme is that our actions should influence behavior without words.

I'm not a strong enough leader to influence others without words.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Controversial Passage: vv. 9-15

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Verses 9-15 are incredibly challenging.

Here are a couple of blog posts related to these verses:

Women in the Church- 1 Timothy 2:8-15, part 3 adopts the complementarian rather than the egalitarian interpretation.

Reading 1 Timothy 2:9-15 in Its Literary Context proposes that "[r]eading 1 Timothy 2:9-15 within its literary context indicates that Paul is not addressing women here simply because they are women," and consequently that it is not necessary to adopt either the complementary or egalitarian position on this passage.

What I find most difficult as I struggle with these verses is that the egalitarian position appears to be much younger than the complementarian position. This point is made repeatedly by the complementarians.

However, this does not make it necessarily the correct interpretation.

For example, the egalitarian position with respect to race is younger than the complementarian position. This has important implications!

Are there any Christians willing to adopt a complementarian position on race? Or is this perspective outdated?

My claim is that it is outdated.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009


In verses 1-8, Paul tells Timothy that he wants to see as many people as possible praying for as many people as possible, because God wants as many people as possible "to be saved."

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Outline of 1 Timothy 2

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  1. Prayer
  2. Women
Key Verse: I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing (8).
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Friday, March 13, 2009

Fight the Good Fight

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Living the Christian life is not all about functionalism. Sociology's conflict theories have value in helping a Christian interpret the world's events, too.

Paul reminds Timothy to "fight the good fight" against Hymenaeus and Alexander.

I wonder what it means to hand these two men over to Satan?
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Thursday, March 12, 2009

1 Timothy 1:15-17

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It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.

Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (NASB)

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Damaged Goods

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In verses 12-14, Paul thanks Jesus for the privilege of service, despite his terrible past.

Ignorance was forgiven.

In what ways am I ignorant?

I don't want to stay there. It is easier to escape once I understand that even Paul's ignorance was covered over by grace.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Big "If"

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We know that the Law is good, if it is used in the right way (NIV).

This implies that God's Law can be used in the wrong way, that it can cause great damage.

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Monday, March 9, 2009


What's my motivation when I teach?

In verse 5, Paul reminds Timothy that his motivation should be:

  1. love
  2. pure heart
  3. good conscience
  4. sincere faith 
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Sunday, March 8, 2009

What Not to Teach

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In verses 3-4, Paul emphasizes Timothy's charge to emphasize what shouldn't be taught.

This is surprising. I'd have expected Paul to lead with a statement of what Timothy should be teaching.

There is great value in restraining wrong thinking. At times, it can be more urgent than implementing right thinking.

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Outline of 1 Timothy 1

  1. Greetings
  2. The Law
    1. False Teachers
    2. Its Purpose
  3. Paul's Gratefulness
    1. God Is Paul's Source
    2. Jesus Is Paul's King
  4. Instructions
    1. Timothy's Prophetic Ministry
    2. Warning Against False Teachers

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009


The Light of God HimselfImage by KLuwak via Flickr

Paul makes it clear, in 4:13-16, that faithful service to God includes hard work and an act of volition, not simply of faith.
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Wednesday, March 4, 2009


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Paul encourages Timothy's leadership in 4:12. Godliness is more important to effective service than age.

Do I hold myself back because of my age? Would I be more effective (at school, at church, and at home) if I actively sought a mentor?

Bill Hybels, in his book Axiom, suggests that people ask for mentoring which is tied to a specific area of need and growth. He also suggests seeking multiple mentors for multiple areas of growth. This allows the person seeking mentoring to ask for advice catered to each mentor's strengths, and avoids the trouble caused when one person is completely dependent upon another.

Related links:

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Where in the world is Timothy?

MP at the Celsus Library in Ephesus, Turkey 2003Image by libraryman via Flickr

In 1:3, we learn that Timothy is serving in Ephesus.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

So You Want To Be a Pastor?

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This epistle is written as a primer and encouragement to Timothy, a young pastor and friend to Paul.

Here's a brief outline:

  1. Be careful of false teachings
  2. I, Paul, am a positive model
  3. Pray lots
  4. Paul's thoughts on women
  5. Elders and deacons
  6. Living like a pastor
  7. Caring for widows
  8. Concluding advice
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