Grace the essence of God is the second principle seen within the epistle of 1 Timothy. Paul is mentioned in many of the epistles, chief of sinners and most wretched of them all but by the grace of God was counted righteous and faithful to minister the truth of the gospel to the gentiles. The epistle gives instruction and warning in many things, but all these things are given in grace (1:14-17). Apart from the grace of God we cannot hope to attain the qualifications of a bishop, pray in intercession for others, rebuke and reprove those that are in sin or withhold evil communication. All things written in this epistle are accessed and empowered in grace from God. Just as Paul received in 2 Cor 12:9 “my grace is sufficient for thee. . . ” Timothy and we as believers must operate in the grace of God as it was faithfully committed to us in love. The instruction and warning within the epistle must all be done through Christ’s power and His wisdom as we will neglect the gift apart from it( 4:14). Grace must be operational within our lives as we minister unto others and hold the truth. We are charged to teach the word full of truth and grace as Christ, the living word was made flesh in (John 1:14) and was full of both. An imbalance of these, although they are one unit, leaves others in a system of works and ultimately in a doctrine of devil’s proclaiming that the grace of God is not sufficient to enable you in ministry and an abundant life. In the weakness we are made strong by the grace of God, and by the grace of God we can fight the good fight of faith and lay hold onto eternal life in 6:12. By the enabling power of God’s grace we find the principle of faithfulness and faith a little less daunting as a task before us in ministry.
The principle of Faithfulness is within the core of the epistle as Paul faithfully writes a letter to Timothy to encourage and edify him in the faith. In the epistle we are charged to be faithful ministers to the widows, faithful wives, faithful to the word of truth, and faithful to the good doctrine. Enabled by grace, established in truth and sound doctrine, and full of faith what can we not do before man in the ministry of the gospel? We find the faithful saying that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, we are charged to keep this saying in faith. This saying is the basis of our commission from Christ that Paul, Peter, John, and Timothy all lived by faithfully to their deaths. A charge to faithfully seek and save the lost as it is God’s desire that all come to the knowledge of the truth in chapter 2. We serve the most faithful God who in the past sought out Israel from countless offences of idolatry and hedonism. That same God faithfully seeks us out and speaks to us through His word. In the epistle we are charged to meditate of the word and give ourselves wholly to it in faith. We are also charged to faithfully pray for those in trials and offer intercession as Christ is our mediator and help in time of need. We are charged to be faithful soldiers, fighting the good warfare, and the fight of faith. As we walk with Christ, what an amazing honor it would be to be counted faithful as a good and faithful servant. Faithful as a minister of the word presented blameless before God. Faithful as a submitted man under the leadership and authority God places us under and faithful as a brother to the women and widows within the church holding the relationships in purity. We need to keep what has been committed in faith as a disciple and disciplined hearer of God’s word.
Discipleship is a key to growth and maturity for us in our walk with Christ. Without discipleship we find ourselves as the novice mentioned in chapter 3, who in matters of faith cannot discern what is right or wrong. In 2 Peter 3:18 we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, this is done through discipleship. The principle of discipleship is seen in many if not all of Paul’s epistles and was clearly evident in Jesus’s ministry to the Disciples. The need for discipleship exists because there is a need for humility and submission in each believer. If one is always independent from the body and is not submitted to any kind of authority, they find themselves consumed in pride and become unteachable. To be a disciple, we need to be teachable. Timothy was clearly teachable and had a good report among the brethren in Acts, with this we see an amazing capacity to receive the instructions from Paul and an ability to be meek in serving others under and over him. If we are not teachable, we cannot hope to receive the things of God as He will only speak to the meek and humble. God resist the proud, and I believe many in the growing knowledge become puffed up instead of being humbled. With this pride we see apostasy in the church as many go their own way away from sound truth. The rising number of false teachers and doctrines of devils is rooted in unteachable, undiscipled believers and unbelievers. That is why we see such a charge to keep what has been committed and reprove the brethren in humility as there is an ever growing need for strong doctrinal teaching. To live as a believer without discipleship is almost a guarantee of carnality in the future as we are blind without the light of the word and the filter of doctrine. This is why strong doctrinal teaching is the most pressing need in the church and a strong relationship with grace is needed. How can we adequately teach doctrine apart from grace? Apart from grace we are simply putting law on people and commandments that are too far above our capacities to attain. Grace enables us in discipleship. Discipleship is the teaching of doctrine in grace to grow and cultivate believers. Without Jesus’s discipleship to the disciples they would have never received Him on Pentecost and most likely would not have understood His teachings as they would have still had a carnal mind void of truth. Discipleship is the reason I am here in Bible college and it continues to mature me and guide me towards truth. Just as the eunuch with Phillip needed a teacher, each and every believer needs a teacher to rightly divide the word of truth for them and direct them in receiving truth from God’s spirit. With all this mentorship through a pastor teacher a believer will find the ability to stand in truth and stand in warfare that is against them.
Spiritual warfare is a reality few care to face in the modern world of Christianity. In the face of warfare many do not fight the good fight of faith, or even use the spiritual weapons in defense of their lives. The epistle of 1 Timothy is an epistle of warfare. Timothy was facing a growing attack on the church as apostasy was moving in, as immodest, sensual spirits were moving over the women, and as a spirit of independence from God was moving over the leadership. All the instruction within the epistle points to a war going on within and around Timothy. This same battle is persisting today in us and around us. Keep what has been committed, that is the charge and that is the stand we stand with in the warfare. I look at ephesians 6 and I see that there are many forces and powers rallied against us a as believer and we need the divine covering of Christ to be able to stand. There is a charge in the epistle of 2 Timothy to endure hardness as a good soldier and in 1 Timothy to fight the good warfare. There is a reality that we can fight the wrong way, with the wrong weapons (2 Cor 10:4). We fight with the spiritual and we keep things spiritual unto spiritual in 1 Cor 2. So if we fight a fight in the flesh we will be a casualty of war as we are running into a battle without armor and a weapon. The fiery darts will overcome us, the wiles of the devil will deceive us, and the principalities, powers, and spiritual wickedness will overcome our flesh as they are spiritual beings with superior spiritual power over our flesh. We must fight a good warfare, methodical, thought out, and fully spiritual in Christ. Otherwise we stray from the faith and are made shipwrecks. There are too many shipwrecks in the ocean of apathy, we need to vigilant in (1 Tim 3:3, 1 Peter 5:8), we need to be spiritual ( 1 Cor 2) testing the spirits (1 John 4:1). There are many false prophets and false doctrines and we will be ensnared in them if we are not aware and walking circumspectly (Eph 5:15) with God in His Holy Spirit. Spiritual warfare is real, there are real people destroyed, real lives affected, and real consequences. Too many have made shipwreck, too many are wounded in battle, and too many are falling day by day to the prince of the air. We need to keep what has been committed, because this is war. It is a conflict that is not our own, therefore we need to fight it through Christ alone. We do not put on the armor, Christ is wearing the armor and in his body there is safety. We cannot forsake the assembly as it is our multitude of counsel, it is our light and shield, it is the fully armored and equipped Body of Christ. I have seen and have experienced too many defeats, I cannot do this alone and neither can you do this alone. We need to hold faith and a good conscience (1:19) and be fitly joined into the body (Eph 4:16) of Christ where our covering, our weapons, and our strategy for warfare is found.
Keep what has been committed, what a charge and what a request. We have been given the oracles of God and epistles of great Truth, we have such a privilege and honor to live with Christ and his indwelling Spirit. We have been given so much and with that so much is required (Luke 12:48). The good news is that we do not do it alone, we have been fully equipped in the Spirit and the body of Christ prepared unto every good work (2 Tim 2:21). We are vessel of honor and Disciples of Christ, it is time we keep what has been committed. Keep the 5 key principles and teachings, keep the glorious gospel, and keep enduring unto the end of the race knowing we will receive great reward in Christ. It has been an amazing two semsters and I pray that you will pray for 6 more, so that I finish the course before me. I don’t want to be a shipwreck in the ocean of apathy, I desire and want to be where God places me, faithfully serving others and full of grace and joy. I know there is no life outside of Christ, but the battle as I stated is real and the need for intercession is dire. I want to keep what has been committed and want the class as a whole to keep what has been committed. Life is so fragile and the walk with Christ can seem so narrow, but there is great liberty and freedom in it as we pass through the tight spots in life we find a vast field white ready for the harvest and a call to join Christ in the gathering. Keep what has been committed let no man despise thy youth. For in your heart there is an eternal fire I see, burning with love and great truth. Be Transformed to His way Today buy the pearl of great price, and keep the amazing things of God close to your heart as they keep you in His fulfilling life.