1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
2 To Timothy my true son in the faith:
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Timothy Charged to Oppose False Teachers
3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.
8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
The Lord’s Grace to Paul
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The Charge to Timothy Renewed
18 Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, 19 holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith. 20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.
Counsel is given to teach true doctrine only—Christ came to save repentant sinners.
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;
2 Unto aTimothy, bmy cown son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they ateach no bother doctrine,
4 Neither give heed to afables and endless genealogies, which bminister cquestions, rather than godly dedifying which is in faith: so do.
5 Now the end of the acommandment is bcharity out of a cpure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
6 From which some having aswerved have bturned aside unto cvain jangling;
7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they aaffirm.
8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
9 Knowing this, that the alaw is not made for a brighteous man, but for the clawless and ddisobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
10 For awhoremongers, for bthem that cdefile themselves with mankind, for dmenstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound edoctrine;
11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my atrust.
12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath aenabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
13 Who was before a ablasphemer, and a bpersecutor, and cinjurious: but I obtained dmercy, because I did it eignorantly in unbelief.
14 And the agrace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
15 This is a faithful asaying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to bsave csinners; of whom I am chief.
16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained amercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all blongsuffering, for a cpattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
17 Now unto the aKing eternal, bimmortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the aprophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;
19 aHolding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made bshipwreck:
20 Of whom is aHymenæus and bAlexander; whom I have cdelivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
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Bible verses – NIV & NBV
|But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.||Maar jij, een dienaar van God, moet je hier verre van houden. Streef naar rechtvaardigheid, vroomheid, geloof, liefde, volharding en zachtmoedigheid.|
|For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.||Wij hebben niets in deze wereld meegebracht en kunnen er ook niets uit meenemen. Wij hebben voedsel en kleren, laten we daar tevreden mee zijn.|
|Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.||Wie rijk wil worden, staat bloot aan verleiding, raakt in een valstrik en valt ten prooi aan dwaze en schadelijke begeerten die een mens in het verderf storten en ten onder doen gaan.|
|Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.||Strijd de goede strijd van het geloof, win het eeuwige leven waartoe je geroepen bent en waarvan je in aanwezigheid van velen zo’n krachtig getuigenis hebt afgelegd.|
|Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.||Wie niet voor de eigen familie zorgt, zelfs niet voor huisgenoten, heeft het geloof verloochend en is slechter dan een ongelovige.|
|Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.||Sta niemand toe dat hij vanwege je jeugdige leeftijd op je neerkijkt, maar wees voor de gelovigen een voorbeeld in wat je zegt, in je levenswijze, in liefde, geloof en zuiverheid.|
|Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.||Draag de rijken van deze wereld op niet hoogmoedig te zijn en hun hoop niet in zoiets onzekers te stellen als rijkdom, maar op God, die ons rijkelijk van alles voorziet om ervan te genieten.|
|But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.||En juist over mij heeft Christus Jezus zich ontfermd; ik was de eerste aan wie hij zijn grote geduld toonde, zodat ik een voorbeeld werd voor allen die in hem geloven en het eeuwige leven zullen ontvangen.|
|For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.||Want er is maar één God, en maar één bemiddelaar tussen God en mensen, de mens Christus Jezus.|
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By yourself its incredibly difficult to grow spiritually. The need to be a mentor: you were meant to pass on that which the Lord has given you. No greater thrill than to connect with another person and invest in them, to risk, to give. The need to be mentored, the need to be a mentor. Which category are you? Maybe both, yet it is healthy to make a choice to evaluate where you are, which direction do you lean?
We are starting in on the book of 1 Timothy… Old man Paul connects with young man Timothy in a heartfelt way. What title does Paul give Timothy in the opening verses? (1 Tim. 1:(son). Paul is not literally his father. In all likelihood, Paul first met Timothy when he was a missionary traveling around the Mediteranean, and he went to Timothy’s small hometown of Lystra. Acts 14:3-21 tells the first time Paul and Barnabus went to Lystra. Maybe Paul even stayed in Timothy’s home, and Timothy would have been just a child. The impression that was made. When I was a child growing up in Sumas, times were different. Advent Christian missionaries were sent more regularly to all the churches. On many occasions, I was the one to give up my bed for the traveling guests. What an honor. Imagine if Paul was in Timothy’s home, and the impression which certainly was made on the mind of the Timothy of a most remarkable guest. Read the amazing story in Acts for yourself in which the locals hailed Paul and Barnabus as Zeus and Hermes, the Greek Gods. Later, when Paul returned to Lystra, Timothy’s life was forever changed. (read Acts 16:1-3). How old was Timothy? Best guess: late teens.
Paul adopts Timothy as a son. What is remarkable is how different the two are, yet there is a connection. I was amazed this week, It started 3-4 weeks ago, I was introduced to a young man, middle school. He was polite and wanted to get out of there as fast as possible. Then I happened to run into him a few weeks later and remembered his name and forced answers out of him. Then last week, I was at a public event. Lots of people. The same young man came out of his way to find me, greeted me, chattered for five minutes about what was going on in his life, and then excused himself and went on his way. What happened? I paid a little bit of attention and something connected. I now know his plans for the next year, a bit of his likes and dislikes, what he admires in life and gets him excited, and maybe nothing else will happen, but we connected even if for only a brief time.
Some people have a need to be mentored, others need to mentor. to grow in my faith, I need others so that I can check in on them. I need somebody that I innately know will not abandon me when I fail. I like this definition of what it means to be a mentor to somebody else, from the world of art and artists, but a larger application: More than mere teachers, mentors are often emancipators, freeing artists from poor technique, clouded vision and personal uncertainty. More than mere teachers, mentors are often emancipators, freeing young Christians, freeing struggling people, freeing searching people from poor judgments, bad choices, clouded futures, personal uncertainty, to gain a rich vision of life in Christ, wholeness, health, joy, peace.
Some of you need to be mentors, like Paul, to invest yourself, to be available, to give people freedom, to give another affirmation, to love them no matter what, to give permission. Without mentors, Christianity is reduced to a good idea, a theory. Mentors bring the richness of experience. To believe in others. Esther gave me this quotation from the world of art: We live to discover beauty, all else is a form of waiting. To believe that about others qualifies to be a mentor. Paul saw the beauty of Timothy. Not else is much more satisfying when somebody says to me, “thank you for believing in me.”
One of the joys of being the pastor of SACC is meeting people that have a connection with our church. Kids that grew up here, moved away, temporary home, and over and over I hear about how meaningful some of the wonderful saints of past and present. Let’s look at what qualifies one to need mentoring, the character of Timothy.
Then take a look at what qualifies one to be a mentor, the example of Paul.
Timothy…most people identify with Timothy. Young, if he was in the late teens when he first ventured forth with Paul, he is perhaps about mid thirties when 1 Tim is penned, but still a young man. John Stott describes Timothy this way: “He was very far from being a stain glassed saint. A halo would not have fitted comfortably on his head. No, the evidence is plain that he was a real human being like us, with all the infirmity and vulnerability which that entails.”
Later in this book, 1 Tim. 4:12, Paul says to Timothy to not let anyone look down on him because of his youth. A few years later, when 2 Tim is written, Paul says “flee the evil desires of youth” (1 Tim. 2:22). Timothy felt immature and inexperienced and was weighted down by the responsibilities place upon him.
Timothy was shy. He need affirmation. When I was a young pastor wannabee back in 1983, I had two mentors that year, Pastor George Teshera and Pastor Frank Jewett. The book they had me read that year: 1 Timothy. I could see myself. When I was growing up in this church, just a baby, my mother tells the story of me being in the nursery, and I’d just sit in the corner, and the ladies would come in and say, “what’s wrong with him, is he sick?” “No, just quiet.” Timothy was reserved. If Paul and Barnabas was around in the book of Acts, Timothy was not the decision maker. He went along while others decided. When Paul sent Timothy to the Corinthians, he instructed them, “Put him at ease.” In 2 Timothy 1:7, Paul says the Lord has not given us a spirit of timidity, evidently the mentor urging the young Timothy to be more bold.
Young, reserved, and sickly. Paul refers to a stomach problem, even prescribing for Timothy “Don’t drink only water. You ought to drink a little wine for the sake of your stomach, because you are sick so often.” Young, reserved, sickly. Put that on a resume and send it into a church to be the pastor. What qualifies you to be a pastor? I have no experience, I don’t like talking in front of people, I get really nervous if I have to make any decisions, and I’m sick a lot.
Some of you need a mentor. I’m sure not saying you have to be exactly like Timothy, rather, the example of Timothy shows that everyone qualifies. Timothy was all those things, but evidently he also connected with Paul, he desired to learn, he was willing. Are you ready to take those next steps of maturity in your Christian walk? Pray, look, watch, ask, search…. We’re not going to start some sort of formal mentoring program, but we are small enough that we can be available, listen to each other… From the world of art, here is what a beginning artist said of a master artist: “I would love to peek over your shoulder, taking notes, watching intently, like a little mouse, just to learn.” Find Christians whom you admire and respect, and see if you can take a peek over their shoulder. I love large churches, the large church can do wonderful things, but, in my opinion, one area stands out for what a small church does so well. In large churches people typically are divided by groups, ages, categories. In a small church, it is easier to connect across generations. Let’s look at Paul, Paul has a very personal statement in the scripture I read at the beginning. What he says about himself in 1 Timothy 1:12-17. It’s a remarkable statement as Paul relives his own conversion in between two statements of praise.
Some of you NEED to be a mentor. This is the next step of your own spiritual maturity, invest yourself in others, only it is NOT you that is being poured into others, it is Christ Jesus that you are passing on, helping others to find the same freedom in Christ you so much appreciate and believe. Think of 1 Timothy 1:12-17 as a sandwich. The two slices of bread are found in 1 Timothy 1:12: READ. And then 1 Timothy 1:17 READ. To be the most effective mentor you must give all the credit to God for who you are, his mercy, his gift to you, to be amazed by Christ in you. Mentors are humble, have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, they understand the true nature of their own sin, and the slices of the bread, and incredible attitude of thanksgiving.
How does Paul see himself? What he used to be is found in 13: A blasphemer, or as another translation puts it, “I used to scoff at the name of Christ.” a violent man. a persecutor. The full story is in Acts how Paul once hunted down Christians and literally murdered them. Your story is different, odds are not as dramatic, but the same story of sin and alienation from God.
Paul goes on to describe himself as the recipient of mercy. V. 13 he says, but God had mercy on me. I.e. I did not deserve, I deserved punishment for my sins, but I was ignorant, I was not a believer in the true God. Again in verse 14. Again in v. 16, the idea of mercy is so important of him, he repeats the Lord’s great mercy, describing how patient God was with him. When we lose patience, God never gives up on us.
To qualify as a mentor, be amazed by God’s mercy in your life. That’s what you want to pass on to others. To understand the incredible nature of God’s grace in your own life. Paul does not promote himself to Timothy, he promotes the transforming power of Jesus Christ, who is forever to be praised. Amen.
Finally, Paul describes himself as the worst of sinners in v. 15. How’s that for a qualification. The temptation for many of you when I suggest you be a mentor is to say to yourself, I have nothing to offer, I am not good enough. Are you kidding. Paul says not only does he have nothing to offer, but he is a horrible sinful man. What qualifies Paul to be a mentor is not Paul, but it is the power of the gospel of God in him. He underscores the truth of the gospel: A true saying. A trustworthy saying. Christ came into the world to save sinners. It is a universal offer for all. Salvation is for sinners. And Paul says, this salvation has transformed my life. The salvation is personal. What qualifies you to be a mentor: confidence in the personal salvation of Jesus Christ who has transformed your life and set you free. Those are the mentors we want. And our church is richly blessed with so many wonderful folks who know the Lord Jesus Christ. You have a great opportunity to make a difference, to help others, to share your own life with others, walk beside them, to be a mentor. We may be tempted to think Paul is exaggerating when he says I am the chief sinner, but he means it, and in my humble opinion, as you come to know Christ with more depth, you also come to understand your own nature.
Isn’t God amazing. Some of you need to have mentors. Some of you need to be mentors. What great opportunities on both sides. Paul was a mentor to Timothy, they connected. Pray for a relationship, be available, be looking, be open. Timothy was young, reserved and shy, so whatever your problems are, don’t tell me you don’t qualify. Paul was incredibly thankful, knew his own character with a shady background, embraced the mercy of God, was overwhelmed by the gift of salvation – change the details and that describes a lot of you.