Read 1 Timothy 1:1-2
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
2To Timothy my true son in the faith:
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)
For the next so many weeks (haven’t mapped it out yet), we will be looking at Paul’s first letter to Timothy. This is one of four letters written by Paul to individuals rather than communities. Two are to Timothy, one is to Titus and one is to Philemon. The two to Timothy and the one to Titus have been grouped in to a category by scholars and are referred to as the Pastoral Letters.
The early church first simply looked at these letters as personal letters by Paul to individuals. But as they read them and studied them, they found that there was more to them than just a personal note. They saw that these letters talked about ecclesiastical order in the church. They talked about how a person should conduct oneself in the church. And so, we get a glimpse in to the early order of the church and the people in the church. See, we must remember that this early church that Paul writes about is just one step away from being a group of unbelievers. At the time of these letters, these are not second and third generation churches, but are filled with people who recently accepted Christ as their Savior.
We see that this is an early letter of Paul’s because Paul transitioned over time from calling himself an apostle to calling himself a servant of God to finally calling himself a slave of God. Everything Paul did, he did for God. He felt called by God to work for God. The Greek word for apostle was “aspostolos”. It comes from a verb meaning to be sent out. In the Greek culture is was a word used for an envoy or ambassador of a ruler or king. This is who Paul saw himself as and truly, the way every Christian should see themselves as, an ambassador of Christ.
We see that Paul then follows with two titles for God and Christ. He calls God our Savior. This was not the typical title given to God in the Old Testament, but it does go back to how God was seen by several writers in the Old Testament. But the name is the very essence of how God acted. Jesus told Nicodemus that God so loved the world, that he sent his Son. It was out of great love that God became a savior to the predicament we found ourselves in with sin.
And then we see that Paul calls Jesus our hope. This was probably the most common name for Christ in the early church writings. Christ is our hope over the circumstances we find ourselves in. He is the hope over death. Christ is in all ways our hope.
And in this short introduction, we see the love and affection Paul has for Timothy. He calls him a true son. Paul loved Timothy as a son and had high hopes for him. We all need someone in our live who believes in us. And we need to have someone in our live that we believe and invest in.
What does it mean to you that Christ is our Savior and our Hope? What does it mean to be an ambassador for Christ? Do you have a Paul in your life? Do you have a Timothy in your Life?
I pray that we will learn from this walk through 1 Timothy together.
Questions and Comment?
Blessings and Peace