Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Mining the Scriptures: 1 Timothy 1:3-4

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The charge given by Paul to Timothy in our text is a simple one. “teach no other doctrine.” The charge was not given to Timothy, as Paul trusted his protégé. However, there was a danger that some other Christians (in Ephesus) might stray from true doctrine, and teach error. The Greek term literally means to “teach otherwise”, and obviously refers to doctrines that differ from those taught by the apostles.

Further, Timothy was to admonish against “fables and endless genealogies.” These have references to the fictions and traditions of men, that have no bearing or benefit to the Christian. They are simply a source of division. It has been stated that men could all “speak the same thing” (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:10), if only they would limit their speech to those things found in God’s word.

The purpose of spiritual instruction is edification. Such edification can be found exclusively in the word of God. Paul’s admonition is as needed (and as often violated) today as it was in his time.

Mining the Scriptures: 1 Timothy 1:1-2

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The apostle Paul identifies the individual to whom he writes this epistle, Timothy, as his “true son in the faith” (2). Timothy probably first heard the gospel preached by Paul during his first visit to Lystra (Acts 14). The first record of their acquaintance is mentioned in Acts 16:1-2. There is no direct indication in scripture that Paul was the one who shared the gospel with the young man, his mother and grandmother, but it is very probable. Timothy’s mother and grandmother were wonderful spiritual influences for him (cf. 2 Timothy 1:5).

Timothy was a companion and fellow worker with Paul in his ministry. He traveled with him on both his second and third preaching tours. He visited Paul while in prison, as recorded in Philippians 1:1, and was himself imprisoned for his faith, as indicated in Hebrews 13:23. He was a faithful evangelist, and Paul was his mentor. It is not surprising that Paul would call him his “true son in the faith.”

Paul’s salutation was typical of his epistles. It is notable that he repeats here his claim that his apostleship is by the “commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope” (2), rather than a usurpation of authority.

Mining the Scriptures: 1 Timothy 2:5-7

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In verse 7, Paul states again a common claim, that his appointment as a preacher and apostle was from God. Paul was not a usurper, God had chosen him to be a vessel to the Gentiles, to teach them His precious gospel (cf. Acts 9:15-16).

Verses 5 and 6 reveal an important fact about Jesus Christ. He alone is the Mediator between God and man. This mediation is a function of His person, and His redemptive work. Jesus is here affirmed to be a man — “the Man Christ Jesus.” He is also the One through which redemption comes, “who gave Himself a ransom for all.”

When Jesus came to earth as a man, he was tempted as we are, (cf. Hebrews 4:15), “yet without sin.” In His death, payment is made for our sin, and reconciliation with God is possible. It is because of this that the Hebrew writer wrote, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (4:16).

Why do we pray, “In Jesus name”? Because it is through Jesus we have access to the Father! He is our Mediator.

Mining The Scriptures: 1 Timothy 3:1-7

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1 Timothy 3:1-7

Paul’s list of qualifications outlines for us the type of men God wants to serve as overseers among His people.

The picture drawn is of men who are experienced, righteous, wise, knowledgeable, able and proven. They have shown by their domestic lives an ability to guide and nurture the souls of those in their care. They exhibit a self-discipline and demeanor that assures an even handed treatment of important issues that may trouble brethren. They have a familiarity with God’s word that allows them to defend the truth against those who would lead the flock astray.

These guidelines are divinely ordained. As such, they are not mere suggestions. In other words, those who do not meet the qualifications should not be appointed to serve. We do not know better than God, and do not have the right to make an “executive” decision and appoint a man who we “believe” would serve well despite his lack of qualifications. God is the “executive” and has the final say in who should serve in this important work.

As Paul wrote, “A bishop then must be…” (vs. 2).

Mining The Scriptures: 1 Timothy 2:1-4

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1 Timothy 2:1-4

Paul here exhorts Christians to pray for “all men, for kings and all who are in authority.”

The broad scope of such prayer clearly indicates the extent of the Christian’s charity. His desire is to be for the welfare of all men. As such, we are told even to “love [our] enemies” (Matthew 5:44).

The prayers are to include “supplications” (requests on behalf of another), and “intercessions” (an intervention for his benefit), as well as the giving of thanks. These are not imprecatory prayers (to invoke evil upon our enemies); rather they are petitions on their behalf and are intended to do them good.

Note also the benefit accrued to the Christian who prays, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”
God desires that all men be saved, including both those in authority, and those who would benefit from their righteous rule.