• Today we begin a series on 1 Timothy I’m calling, ‘Being a gospel Household’. This great book tells us so many things about how for you to live as a Christian and how for us to be a church. Key verses for this book and series are 3:14-15:

… I am writing these instructions so that … you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household … the church of the living God …

  • 1 Timothy is a letter from the Apostle Paul to his ‘protégé’ (1:2), Timothy, who was overseeing the church in Ephesus (SE Turkey, today). Actually, there could well have been numerous ‘house-churches’ in Ephesus. The book is an ‘Open Letter’: while it’s addressed to Timothy, it’s written for the instruction and benefit of every Christian in Ephesus; it’s for all of us. [Please have a Bible open to 1 Timothy so you can read the verses referred to]
  • Like in many churches (then and now), there were BIG PROBLEMS: it seems that numerous church leaders had ‘gone bad’; they were teaching errors (1:3-4, 6-7; 4:1-2; 6:3-4, 20), which were having terrible effects (1:4-6, 19; 4:1, 3; 5:13,15; 6:4-5, 9-10, 21).
  • Dodgy church leaders were to be exhorted, instructed and even rebuked (1:3; 4:11; 5:1a, 20). However, ALL the Christians were to be taught the truth and to live it out, individually and as a church (or churches). The focus of 1 Timothy is not just that we should pray for leaders (2:1-2) or a few possibly controversial verses about men and women (2:8-15) or an often misquoted verse about money (6:10).
  • 1 Timothy is focused on, and your life and our church life should be focused on God’s wonderful, gracious salvation via Jesus (e.g. 1:1-2, 14-16; 2:3-7; 3:16; 4:10). Some of these verses are what you should be memorising and saying again and again.
  • Thus, you (as opportunities etc. arise) and us as a church should be speaking and sharing the gospel with ‘outsiders’ (an implication of: 1:15-16; 2:1-15; 3:15- 16; 4:8-10.
  • Through believing in the gospel and living in line with it, there are wonderful results— both now: 1:1-2, 5, 18b-19a; 2:2b; all the wonderful behaviour mentioned in 3:1-13; 5:1-3, 10; 6:1-2, 6-8, 11, 18; and for eternity: 1:16; 4:8; 6:12- 14, 19.
  • And all of this leads us to both now and for eternity to praise and glorify God (1:17; 6:15-16; the ‘beginning’ and the ‘end’ of the letter; how to ‘start’ and ‘finish’ reading then living out 1 Timothy.)
  • So, 1 Timothy: reject false teaching, embrace the gospel in word and life, share the gospel, have godly leaders— that’s how to be a ’gospel Household