The Apostle Paul wrote three epistles (letters) to Timothy. The purpose of the epistles to Timothy was to guide him in fulfilling the responsibilities and duties of a church leader. As a result, these three epistles have been in constant use throughout the world as a reference for all church pastors ever since.
The most basic, yet profound lesson which may be drawn from the three Epistles to Timothy is that the church must have a devoted and well trained ministry which is highly concentrated on its job. To achieve this, all ministers of the Church must be in constant contact with God. There are two ways to achieve this:
Through constant reading of the Bible.
The following specific verses bring home this message:
First Timothy 2:1“First of all, then, I exhort that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men…”
First Timothy 2:8“Therefore, I desire that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.…”
First Timothy 4:6“Having suggested these things to the brothers, you shall be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the Words of Faith and by the good doctrine which you have followed.“
First Timothy 4:12-16“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example of the believers, in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Until I come, attend to reading, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift in you, which was given you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the body of elders. Meditate on these things; be in these things in order that your improvement may appear to all. Hold on to yourself and to the doctrine; continue in them, for doing this you shall both save yourself and those who hear you.”
As First Timothy 4:6 above says, for a Pastor or Church leader be able to provide nourishment for his flock, he first must be nourished himself. For he cannot pass on that which he does not have! Words of Faith and good doctrine and the basis of Christian ministry and all ministers of Christ must have them in abundance, so they may teach them and live them. Living them out is just as important as teaching them, otherwise one becomes a hypocrite and denigrates the good of one’s teachings.
In studying and teaching and living according to Words of Faith and good doctrine, the Pastor is also required to insist his congregation does the same, and adhered to the same standards.
In the First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy, we find the following nine commandments clearly laid down for Timothy in chapter 4. These nine commands apply to all subsequent Christian ministry workers, and to us:
|Give attendance to reading||v13||“Until I come, attend to reading, to exhortation, to teaching.”|
|Give attendance to exhortation|
|Give attendance to doctrine|
|Do not neglect your spiritual gift||v14||“Do not neglect the gift in you, which was given you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the body of elders.”|
|Meditate on these things||v15||“Meditate on these things; be in these things in order that your improvement may appear to all.”|
|Give self wholly to them|
|Take heed of yourself||v16||“Hold on to yourself and to the doctrine; continue in them, for doing this you shall both save yourself and those who hear you.”|
|Take heed of your doctrine|
|Continue in your doctrine|