Holding onto the truth
1 Tim. 3:14-16 Paul says he hopes to visit Timothy in Ephesus soon. In the meantime, Timothy should hold on to the truth about Jesus Christ – who appeared in human form, was upheld by the Holy Spirit and was taken up in glory.
1 Tim. 4:1-5 Paul warns Timothy again about those who spread false doctrines – those who say it is wrong to marry or to eat certain foods. Paul says all foods may be eaten –after a prayer of thanks to God.
1 Tim. 4:6-12 He urges Timothy to be a good servant of Christ Jesus and to keep away from foolish beliefs that are worthless. Physical exercise is good, but keeping spiritually fit is even better because it prepares you for the present and the future life. “Do not let anyone treat you as if you are unimportant because you are young. Instead, be an example to the believers with your words, your actions, your love, your faith, and your pure life” (1 Timothy 4:12).
1 Tim. 4:13-16 Before he visits Ephesus again, Paul asks Timothy to spend the time reading the scriptures in public, preaching and teaching. He asks him not to neglect the spiritual gift “which was given to you through prophesy when the group of elders laid their hands on you” (1 Timothy 4:14).
Hadrian's Temple, Ephesus
Respect for older believers
1 Tim. 5:1-8 Paul advises Timothy to show respect to older believers and especially to widows without any family. Children and grandchildren should look after older members of their family. Anyone who doesn’t “is worse than someone who does not believe in God” (1 Timothy 5:8).
1 Tim. 5:9-16 Widows over sixty years old and without any family should receive financial support from the believers; but younger widows should re-marry.
1 Tim. 5:17-22 Church leaders who work hard at teaching and preaching should be duly honoured, as “a worker should be given his pay” (1 Timothy 5:18) (see Luke 10:7). Accusations against church leaders should only be heard if there are two or more witnesses.
1 Tim. 5:23-25 Paul advises Timothy to take a little wine mixed with water “to help your stomach and your frequent sicknesses” (1 Timothy 5:23).
1 Tim. 6:1-2 Paul advises slaves to respect their masters. Those with Christian masters should serve them as brothers in Christ.
A warning about the love of money
1 Tim. 6:3-10 Paul criticises those who twist the teachings of Jesus and “think that serving God is a way to get rich” (1 Timothy 6:5). He agrees that religion does make a person ‘rich’ – if they are satisfied with what they have.
But those who want material riches fall into temptation and are dragged down to ruin. Paul observes that “The love of money causes all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).
1 Tim. 6:11-19 Paul finishes his letter with some personal instructions. He encourages Timothy to “Fight the good fight of faith, grabbing hold of the life that continues for ever” (1 Timothy 6:12).
He reminds Timothy how he professed his faith firmly in front of many witnesses – just as Jesus Christ testified to the truth before Pontius Pilate (see John 18:37). He urges Timothy to carry out his commission “until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again” (1 Timothy 6:14).
1 Tim. 6:20-21 Paul warns Timothy to avoid godless chatter and foolish arguments that some regard as ‘knowledge’. He ends with a benediction: “Grace be with you” (1 Timothy 6:21).
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