Good Morning Siblings!
Today’s readings are 1 Timothy 1-6
Hint: If you start reading and it doesn’t seem to match up with my notes, turn back a few pages because you’ve ended up in 2 Timothy instead of 1 Timothy, as I keep doing!
- Timothy’s Greek name is Timotheos, which means “honoring God”.
- 1 Timothy is a personal letter of encouragement in which Paul shares some of his opinions and ideas that will lead to the greatest hope for success for Timothy in his endeavors as a young leader among a fellowship of believers.
- It is helpful to keep in mind that this letter is written to a specific person, and that Paul viewed this person as his son in the faith. Therefore this advice is highly personalized to Timothy and the specific problems he was facing.
- Remember that Timothy had a Jewish mother and gentile Greek father. Paul, himself, circumcized Timothy and we addressed the reasoning in doing this back in the Acts 16 notes. That Timothy was young and would have certainly been viewed by some of the establishment at the time as having one foot in the gentile world, would have warranted special care in how he conducted himself in order to establish and maintain his authority. We will see Paul’s attention to that in his letters to Timothy.
1 Timothy 1:3-7 – It’s not about how Jewish one can be that makes one a child of YHWH. It is about whether your heart is sincerely after the Father. At the time, this was a point of great contention as gentiles were being welcomed into the faith. Many of those born as chosen people were jealous of this and tried to reject them. We’ve spoken at length on this so I’ll leave it there but obviously this is a deeper subject that requires a full reading of the word to understand the nuances and culture. Acts 10-11 being key to that understanding.
In 1 Timothy 1:8-11 “Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane…
This sentence goes on to describe many sins. I cannot possibly imagine us not seeing ourselves in these. We have to train ourselves, when we see a listing of sins and grievances against the Father, to instinctively look for what applies to us rather than what applies to others. From there, we take it to the Father and ask for His help in combating this sin so that we may grow more and more like our Messiah each day.
Remember, the Bible is meant to be used as a mirror in which to see ourselves, not a microscope to examine others with.
1 Timothy 1:8-9 This is another opportunity to consider the meanings of nomos vs anomos that we’ve discussed a few times lately. Paul is using these words again in our passages today and so we will discuss them, briefly, again since Paul is being repetitive as well.
Check it here: https://biblehub.com/interlinear/1_timothy/1-9.htm
Nomos means law and Anomos means lawless
Let’s dig deeper to really understand these words better.
Think about the words Moral and Amoral.
A moral person is a person who recognizes certain principles of morality and abides by these principles. An amoral person is a person who does not recognize these moral principles as binding or applicable to themselves.
It’s the same with nomos. Nomos means the law. So a nomos person is a person who abides by the law, in this case, YHWH’s law. An anomos (lawless) person is a person who does not recognize the law as binding or applicable to themselves.
Think about that a minute. Have you ever heard or perhaps even said “We aren’t under the law!” or “The law is for the Jews, not us.”
I’ve heard and said both of these statements before.
Now think about the meaning of:
Anomos = Lawless = The law does not apply to us.
Now let’s read my notes on 1 Timothy 1:8-11 above and see if we can connect the dots:
Quoting myself in my own notes here: “In 1 Timothy 1:8-11 I think we are quick to read the things being called out and immediately nod in relation to seeing them in others. But I cannot possibly imagine us not seeing ourselves in these.”
I see my past self in “…the lawless” -1 Timothy 1:9
In Paul’s words:
- So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Romans 7:12
- Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. Romans 3:31
And the words of our Messiah:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-19
Remember from our reading the other day that we found the misquoted words of the “law was nailed to the cross” to actually read that the debt for our breaking the law is what was nailed to the cross.
Col 2:14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
This verse helps bring a lot more into focus.
1 Timothy 2:12 This letter is Paul offering responses to questions and issues that Timothy was dealing with in a particular congregation. Unfortunately, we do not know those questions or issues, only Paul’s answers. These particular passages really seem to give us an obvious “only half” of the story. Notice this sentence begins with “I” as in Paul referencing himself. Not YHWH. Not Messiah. Remember that the Father appointed women as Judges, Prophets, and Apostles.
There are differing traditions and doctrines on this that have been passed down for generations and I have no desire or inclination to dispute those with anyone. Search Scriptures and come to what conclusion you will. I’ll just love ya and be grateful to read the Bible alongside you regardless.
1 TImothy 3:8 the Greek word used here is diakonos which simply means someone who is a servant or provides a service. It can be either a masculine or feminine term.
1 Timothy 4:3 Specific choice of words is important here. Just a note that this is referring to what YHWH deems food. Just as we consider green beans to be food but poison ivy not to be food; cows to be food but cats not to be food. So does YHWH deem some animals to be food and some not, etc. There is a common thought that we can pray over anything and make it clean and I think a great deal of that comes from the translations from this verse. That reasoning could then be applied to cannibalism, poisonous plants, etc.
As Paul says, test everything, hold tight to what is good. (1 Thess 5:21) Remember, Paul praised those who tested his teachings against Scripture (Acts 17:11) and at that time, Scripture consisted only of the OT. I believe we bring honor to Paul by doing so, by holding his words up to the straight edge of YHWH’s Word, rather than holding his word up as the straight edge and trying to meld YHWH’s word to fit as so many have tragically done.
YHWH’s Word is our straight edge to with all other writings, doctrine, and perceptions must line up, never the other way around.
As Paul said in 1 Timothy 6:3-4:
If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing.
He held himself to that standard and praised those who did the same.
1 Timothy 6 ends out this letter with an urging for Timothy to flee all manner of evil things and pursue all manner of righteousness things. And so should we. What a blessing that the Father makes this so clear for us!
I’m a bit lacking in the sleep department today so I won’t weary you with any further notes but look forward to hearing from you in the group comments.
And with that, we have completed another book. Rak Chazak!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!