Lesson 7

Crete

We moved into Titus, getting the background and reading the first chapter. Titus, like Timothy, was a young man, dearly loved by Paul and appointed to pastor the church in Crete. When Paul left Antioch for Jerusalem to discuss the gospel of grace (Acts 15:1f) with the leaders there, he took Titus (a Gentile) with him (Gal 2:1-3) as an example of one accepted by grace without circumcision.   The overriding theme of the epistle is:

To be God’s people in a pagan world, we who are saved

by God’s grace must engage in good deeds

under the authority of the local church.

Chapter 1 deals with the need for godly church leaders, especially their role in refuting false teachers. Chapter 2 stresses the importance of various groups in the church practicing good deeds in their daily lives as a result of salvation. Chapter 3 focuses on the church’s godly behavior in the world as a result of God’s grace. (Ligon Duncan)

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The Pastoral Letters, lesson 5

 

 

Remembering Ephesus | Lucy Dickens 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1 Timothy, chapter 5, Paul has two main themes. First, he instructs Timothy how widows are to be treated. John MacArthur gives us an understanding of the Greek word “widow”.

The English word widow describes a woman whose husband is dead. The Greek word chēra (“widow”) includes that meaning, but is not limited to it. It is an adjective used as a noun, and means “bereft,” “robbed,” “having suffered loss,” or “left alone.” The word does not speak of how a woman was left alone, it merely describes the situation. It is broad enough to encompass those who lost their husbands through death, desertion, divorce, or imprisonment. It could even encompass those cases where a polygamist came to Christ and sent away his extra wives (William Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1975], 105).3

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The Pastoral Letters, Lesson 4

As we continue in our study of 1 Timothy, we are constantly reminded of the great privilege of being part of a church family, especially a local church family. Paul shows us how God has provided for us, with leaders who are tested, who are required to be of good character, not perfect, but those who put service first. 

In chapter 4 Paul warns not to be surprised by false members and false teachers. There will be many who will profess belief, but will fall away, not because they lose their salvation, but because they were never believers in the first place. John explains this in his first letter.

 

1Jn 2:19  They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

In this chapter Paul is warning about a particular type of heresy which would forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods, something that is not consistent with scripture. He directs to Timothy and to all ministers: six things that have something to say to all of us. Continue reading “The Pastoral Letters, Lesson 4”

The Pastoral Letters, Lesson 3

This week we discussed officers in the church, requirements and qualities. We see that elders and deacons share very similar character traits. However, elders must be able to teach. Their roles are quite different. Elders shepherd the flock, deacons take care of mercy ministries. They are both required to be of good moral character, with a list of specifics in the scriptures. John Stott explains:

Looking back, it is clear that the qualifications for the presbyterate and the diaconate are very similar. There is a core of Christian qualities, which all Christian leaders should exhibit. Putting the two lists together, we note that there are five main areas to be investigated. In regard to himself the candidate must be self-controlled and mature, including the areas of drink, money, temper and tongue; in regard to his family, both faithful to his wife and able to discipline his children; in regard to his relationships, hospitable and gentle; in regard to outsiders, highly esteemed; and in regard to the faith, strong in his hold on its truth and gifted in teaching it. (Stott, John. The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus: Guard the Truth (The Bible Speaks Today Series) (Kindle Locations 1816-1820). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.)

Paul speaks of a  significant involvement of women helping the deacons of the church do their diaconal work of mercy ministry. Here is a wonderful article by Jen Wilken on Ligonier entitled Mothers in the Church,  discussing the role of women in ministry.