"How is a young Christian to live in today’s world?” This is actually not a new question. Many of the same challenges, temptations, opportunities and threats that we face today had their roots and were already spreading their influence back in the first century of Church history. In that context, one of the greatest teachers the Church has ever known – the apostle Paul – picked up his pen to write to a young man to provide a comprehensive answer to this very question.
Paul was nearing the end of his service. Timothy was a young man faced with the challenge of carrying on in service for God amidst many challenges and hindrances. Paul writes to Timothy to instruct him on how a person ought to conduct himself in the house of God (3:15). In providing this teaching, Paul covers a broad, diverse range of subjects within the letter that we know as First Timothy. The teaching ranges from
- salvation (1:15) to submission (2:11-12)
- conscience (1:5, 1:19, 3:9, 4:2) to contentment (6:6)
- prayer (2:1-2, 2:8) to purity (5:22)
- modesty (2:9) to materialism (6:5-10)
- fighting (6:12) to fleeing & following (6:11)
- greed (6:9-10) to Godliness (2:2, 3:15, 4:7-8, 6:3, 6:5, 6:6, 6:11)
Your may feel that this is a very comprehensive range of topics – and that’s just the point! – if a young Christian is going to survive in today’s world, he or she will need the Scriptures applied to every area of his or her life – it’s not that there is a tiny little “spiritual” compartment away over in one corner of my life where Scriptural teaching is relevant, and then a broad swath of my existence where I’m basically free to steer my own course. That may be how many believers actually live, but it’s not how we ought to live. Scriptural teaching applies to the entirety of my life – touching every corner and affecting every interest, ambition, pursuit and activity. It is equally concerned with the way I behave at school as it is with the way I function in the assembly meetings. Its instructions affect what I do and where I go on Friday night just as much as on Sunday mornings.
Our purpose this weekend will be to take a fresh look at Paul’s first letter to Timothy to examine the teachings that the great apostle felt were essential for Timothy to grasp in order to survive and thrive as a young man serving God. It is our prayer that all who attend the weekend’s meetings will take these teachings to themselves, and recognize that these same lessons are absolutely imperative for all of us to learn if we are to be the men and women that God would have us be in this dark, wicked, diabolically-energized age.
We will take up the letter one chapter at a time, and try to focus on the key lessons to learn from each chapter. We encourage you to attend the meetings if you can, and take up the challenge originally given to young Timothy (6:12) to “fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life!”