The Pastoral Epistles: 1 Timothy 6 (7)
Pray Psalm 140.1-3.
Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men;
Preserve me from violent men,
Who plan evil things in their hearts;
They continually gather together for war.
They sharpen their tongues like a serpent;
The poison of asps is under their lips.
Review 1 Timothy 6.
1. God and Jesus Christ are the ultimate focus of all Paul’s teaching in this chapter. How can you see that?
2. How does the church, as a Kingdom community, honor God in the world?
For Paul, making sure the churches functioned according to the divine order was extremely important (1 Cor. 14.40; Tit. 1.5; 1 Tim. 3.15). An ordered church – grounded in the Word, overseen and cared for by faithful shepherds, growing in love, ministering God’s grace to one another, and pursuing godliness and good works and a faithful confession in the world – brings honor to God and Jesus Christ. The purpose of good order in the churches is to further the rule of King Jesus into every area of life, to fill the world with Jesus (Eph. 4.8-10).
Paul spoke directly into the social and cultural realities of his day: slavery, economic disparity, poverty and need, immorality, misinformation and disinformation. The church is called to make a difference in these and all other areas of life, to display the power of the risen Christ in new relationships of love, new lifestyles of godliness, and bold confessions of hope.
And pastors such as Timothy are the key to this happening. The pastor must set the pace, point the way, and lead into the path of righteousness and witness. In the pastor, God has deposited a trust (v. 20) of vision, gifts, duties, and opportunities, the purpose of which is to help churches realize their full potential as signs and outposts of the Kingdom. Pastors need to guard that deposit, hold fast to the truth, confess Jesus boldly, and seek the grace of God in increasing measure.
Faithful pastors will work to bring their churches into the Lord’s order for His Body, so that the church may flourish, and the Lord will be honored.
1. Local churches are the Body of Christ in their community. How should they demonstrate that?
2. If it’s not wrong to be wealthy, why is the love of money a root of all evil?
3. What are some helpful ways of keeping the Lord Jesus in mind at all times, so that we do everything for His Kingdom and righteousness?
Just as brothers become strongly knit together when one helps another, so faith and godliness, coming from the same family, cohere together. A person who gives his attention to one of the two is strengthened by the other. Consequently, wishing Timothy to live godly to the end and to fight the battle in faith, St. Paul says, “Fight the good fight of faith, and lay hold on eternal life.” Athanasius (295-373), Festal Letters 9
I know, Lord, that I go into the world today as a member of Your Body, a citizen in Your Kingdom, and an ambassador of Your grace, so help me to…
Pray Psalm 140.1-13.
Thank God for His salvation, and ask Him to help you work out that salvation today in ways that will honor and glorify Him.
Sing Psalm 140.1-13.
Psalm 140.1-13 (Old Rockingham: O Lord Most High, with All My Heart)
From evil, violent men, I pray, deliver me, preserve me, Lord!
Their hearts they bend to evil ways, and serpent’s venom is their word.
Guard me, O Lord, from wicked hands, from violent men preserve my life!
They sow my path with wicked plans, with nets and snares and cords of strife.
You are my God, O God, my Lord! Give ear, show mercy to my pleas!
Salvation grant by Your strong Word; grant not their wicked, evil schemes.
As for the head of all my foes, let all their evil bring them down.
Let burning coals and endless woes on all their sland’rous words abound.
The Lord, I know, my cause shall take, and justice for me surely do.
The righteous will thanksgiving make, the upright e’er shall dwell with You.
T. M. Moore
The lessons in this week’s study of the Pastoral Epistles, and all the studies in this series, are available as a free download by clicking here.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).
For the Honor of God
- T.M. Moore
- September 1, 2019
Churches honor God when they honor His order. 1 Timothy 6
The Pastoral Epistles: 1 Timothy 6 (7)
T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.