Father and son

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The first and second epistle of Paul to Timothy

Raymond Golsworthy

“Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith.” (1 Timothy 1:2)
“Son Timothy.” (1 Timothy 1:18)
“To Timothy, my dearly beloved son.” (2 Timothy 1:2)
“Thou therefore, my son.” (2 Timothy 2:1)
“A wise son maketh a glad father.” (Proverbs 10:1)
“Hear … the instruction of a father.” (Proverbs 4:1)
“The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice.” (Proverbs 23:24)

It is generally agreed that 1 and 2 Timothy are the last preserved writings of Paul, and thus his final legacy to the church and the churches of all time. We should therefore approach these chapters with a particular awe, and with a deep desire to learn thoroughly what is being taught, and to obey implicitly what is being enjoined.

Here is a loving message from a spiritual father to his beloved son in the faith, and each chapter throbs with deep paternal concern. It is both a privilege and an honour to listen-in on such communications.

We suggest too, that behind what is here written, those of us who have been brought into God’s family through the gospel, should be able to hear the voice of our great heavenly Father calling to us as His beloved sons. (Rom. 8:16; Gal. 3:26; Gal.4:6; etc.) O that all of us might hear that voice!

As we have pondered these chapters, we have been asking ourselves what was Paul’s particular burden for young Timothy; to what end, explicitly, were these exhortations directed? It has come to us that Paul wanted Timothy to be marked by what we might call ‘dedication in times of declension,’ or ‘faithfulness amidst failure’. Paul points out that dark days were about to descend on God’s people (1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:1) and he was concerned that his ‘son’ might be one who would shine out clearly in that descending darkness, and thus be an example (1 Tim. 4:12) to those around him. This, most certainly, is God’s wish for us, His children, in the days in which we live. (See Phil. 2:15 RV; Math. 5:14; etc.). We pray that these simple studies may help us further toward that most desirable end.

Our procedure will be to supply a simple outline of the contents of each chapter, and then follow up with a key comment on what we feel is the main message of that chapter. May we all hear our heavenly Father’s voice, and may each of us shine out for Him in that particular place where His sovereignty has set us.

1 Timothy 1
1 Timothy 2
1 Timothy 3
1 Timothy 4
1 Timothy 5
1 Timothy 6

2 Timothy 1
2 Timothy 2
2 Timothy 3
2 Timothy 4