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Summary of Paul's First Letter to Timothy

By H. A. "Buster" Dobbs

I.  Introduction.
    A.  Greeting (1:1).
          1.  Written by Paul (1:1).
              a.  Paul an apostle--one sent--of Jesus (1:1).
              b.  God commanded Paul's apostleship (1:1).
              c.  Jesus, our hope, also appointed Paul's apostleship (1:1).
          2.  Written to Timothy (1:2).
              a.  Paul's child in the faith (1:2).
              b.  Paul wishes favor, calm, and forgiveness from Jehovah
                  and Jesus for  Timothy (1:2).
    B.  Paul's purpose in leaving Timothy at Ephesus (1:3-4).
          1.  To charge certain men not to teach a different doctrine 
          2.  Not to listen to fables and extended pedigrees (1:4).
              a.  False teaching, fictions, and genealogies cause 
                   confusion (1:4).
              b.  Follow God's administration of affairs 
                   (dispensation)  in faith (1:4).
    C.   The true design of the law (1:5-11).
          1.  The end of the command - the purpose of all God has 
                commanded - his whole law - is:
              a.  Love out of a pure heart (1:5).
              b.  A good conscience (1:5).
              c.  Sincere faith (1:5).
          2.  Some have turned away from the law and its purpose 
              a.  They talk foolishness instead of teaching the law (1:6).
              b.  They set themselves up as teachers of the law, but do
                   not understand the meaning of what they say (1:7).
          3.  Lawful use of the law is good (1:8-9-10).
              a.  Law used lawfully (and it may be used unlawfully--for 
                   some purpose other than the reason for which it is given)
                   is good. Law is good, even necessary (1:8).
              b.  People who want to do right do not resent law (1:9).
              c.  Law is made for the lawless and unruly, the ungodly,  
                   sinners, the unholy and profane, for murderers of 
                   fathers and murderers of mothers, for  manslayers,
                   for fornicators, for abusers of themselves with men,
                   for menstealers, for liars, for false swearers, and if 
                   there be any other thing contrary to the sound 
                   (whole, healthy) doctrine (1:9-10).
          4.  To correct the ungodly and bring glory to God is the 
               purpose of the gospel (law) put in Paul's trust (1:11).
    D.  Paul's thanksgiving (1:12-17).
          1.  Paul was glad Jesus counted him trustworthy and had
               committed to his keeping the revelations of the New 
               Testament (1:12).
              a.  He was glad to serve Christ (1:12).
              b.  In his early life he had opposed Christ (1:13).
              c.  God's good gift of salvation abounded to Paul (1:14).
          2.  Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1:15-17).
              a.  Paul considered himself to have been the chief of 
                   sinners (1:15).
              b.  The unbounded nature of God's mercy was demonstrated
                    in forgiving this "chief" of sinners (1:16).
              c.  Paul's argument is: If he could be forgiven, then any sinner 
                   can be pardoned in the obedience of faith (1:17).
          3.  Paul praises God (Jehovah, Jesus, and the Comforter) as
               King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God (1:17).
    E.  Paul's charge to Timothy (1:18-20).
          1.  Timothy was Paul's child in the gospel (1:18).
          2.  Prophecies led Paul to Timothy (1:18).
              a.  The brethren at Lystra and Iconium had recommended
                   Timothy to Paul as a man of talent who would make a 
                   good preacher (Acts 16:1-2).
              b.  Paul, therefore, took Timothy with him (Acts 16:3).
          3.  Paul now urges Timothy to fulfill the prophecies of his 
               potential by warring the good warfare (1:18).
              a.  Holding to the faith (1:19).
              b.  Having a good conscience (1:19).
              c.  Some made shipwreck the faith--Timothy must avoid
                   such people (1:19).
              d.  Two examples of such false teachers were Hymenaeus 
                   and Alexander (1:19).
              e.  Paul turned them over to the devil that they might be 
                   taught not to speak against God and the gospel (1:19).
II.  Doctrinal Matters (2:1-3:16).
     A.  Concerning public worship (2:1-15).
           1.  Prayers to be made for all men (2:1-4).
               a.  This includes prayers for rulers (2:2).
               b.  It is proper to pray that Christians "may lead a tranquil 
                    and quiet life in all godliness and gravity" (2:2-3).
               c.  God desires the salvation of all people through a 
                    knowledge of the truth (there is no other way to be
                    saved, except by the truth) (John 8:32; 2:4).
           2.  There is one God and one mediator (2:5-6).
               a.  Jesus gave himself a ransom for all--Jews and Gentiles
               b.  It is now the proper season (right time) to preach God's
                    offer of universal salvation--the gospel (2:6).
               c.  Since Jesus died for all, we should pray for all - we are
                    to pray to the Father through the Son (2:6).
           3.  Paul was appointed to preach the gospel to all, but 
                especially to the Gentiles (2:7-8).
               a.  Paul desired that men everywhere pray, and be holy
               b.  All men should be free from unjust anger and 
                    unnecessary disputing (2:8).
           4.  Duties of women (2:9-15).
               a.  Women are to dress in a way that is harmonious
                    with their Christian conduct--orderly, of good 
                    behavior (2:9).
               b.  Godly women are given to good works (2:10).
               c.  Women must not be domineering and bossy, but
                     live in quiet subjection--causing no disturbance (2:11).
               d.  A woman is forbidden to teach in a position of 
                    authority over a man (2:12).
               e.  One reason women are to hold themselves in an 
                    attitude of respectful submission toward men is the
                    order of creation--the man first and then the 
                    woman (2:12).
               f.  A second reason for woman's cautious bearing is 
                   because Eve was beguiled and fell into transgression
                   --Adam was not beguiled (2:13).
               g.  The penalty imposed for Eve's disobedience was 
                   bearing children in pain, and her husband would 
                    rule over her (Gen. 3:16).
     B.  Qualifications and duties of church officers (3:1-16).
           1.  Qualifications of a bishop (elder) (3:1-7).
               a.  It is good for a man to desire and prepare himself to
                    serve as an elder (3:1).
               b.  Elders must be without reproach (3:2).
               c.  The husband of one wife (3:2).
               d.  Temperate (3:2).
               e.  Sober-minded (level headed) (3:2).
               f.  Orderly--knows how to behave in society (3:2).
               g.  Given to hospitality (3:2).
               h.  Apt to teach--able and inclined to teach (3:2).
               g.  No brawler, no striker; but gentle, not contentious 
               h.  No lover of money--not greedy or covetous (3:3).
               i.  Ruling well his own house, having his children in 
                   subjection (3:4-5).
               j.  Not a beginner in Christian service (3:6).
               k.  Must be respected in his home community (3:7).
           2.  Qualifications of a deacon--one who serves under an 
                 elder  (3:8-10).
               a.  Deacons must be grave (3:8)
               b.  Not given to much wine (3:8)
               c.  Not  greedy for money (3:8)
               d.  Must hold to the truth of the gospel (3:9).
               e.  Must prove themselves in service to Jesus (3:10).
               f.  Must not deserve blame (3:10).
           3.  Qualifications of an officer's wife (3:11).
               a.  Must be grave (3:11).
               b.  Not slanderers--control the tongue (3:11).
               c.  Temperate (3:11).
               d.  Faithful in all things (3:11).
           4.  More on qualifications of deacons (3:12-13)
               a.  Deacons are to be husbands of one wife, ruling their
                    children and their own houses well (3:12).
                b.  Deacons hold an honorable and important position in
                    the church (3:13).
     C.  The importance of the gospel and religion (3:14-16).
           1.  Paul reminded Timothy of the greatness of the gospel 
               a.  Men in the church, which is the body of Jesus, must 
                    behave--guard your manner of life and character (3:15).
               b.  The church is to maintain teaching and practice; the 
                    church is the firm, steadfast support, bulwark, stay of the
                    truth (3:15).
           2.  The church is to behave itself properly, teaching and 
                defending the gospel, because Jesus died to save 
                 sinners (3:16).
           3.   Jesus was:
               a.  Manifested in the flesh (3:16).
               b.  Justified in the spirit (3:16).
               c.  Seen of angels--after his resurrection was seen by 
                    his apostles who were his messengers, or angels (3:16).
               d.  Preached among the nations (3:16).
               e.  Believed on in the world (3:16).
               f.  Received into glory (3:16).
III.  Closing Admonitions and Commands (4:1 to 6:19).
      A.  The great apostasy (4:1-6).
          1.  The Holy Spirit said plainly that a falling away would 
              come (4:1).
              a.  Those leading the apostasy would listen to seducing
                  spirits (4:1).
              b.  They would follow the doctrines of demons (4:2).
          2.  Hypocrites with seared consciences would direct the
              departure (4:2).
              a.  They would command not to marry (4:3).
              b.  They would demand to abstain from meats (4:3).
          3.  The Christian system has no dietary laws (4:4-5).
      B.  Timothy was to warn the church about these things (4:6-7)
          1.  Warnings about apostasy and false teachers would 
              make Timothy a faithful preacher (4:6).
              a.  He would be continuing in the healthful teaching--
                  sound doctrine (4:6).
              b.  Timothy was to reject story-telling and profane 
                  (unhallowed) things (4:7).
              c.  Timothy was to train himself in the love of God (4:7).
              d.  Physical exercise helps a little, but loving God--
                  which includes doing his will absolutely--profits in all
                  things, in this life and forever (4:8)
              e.  This is true and worthy (4:9).
              f.  Because godliness exceeds physical exercise, we set 
                  our hope on God (4:10).
              g.  Command and teach the brothers these things (4:11).
      C.  Commands about Timothy's personal conduct (4:12-16 to 5:2).
          1.  Let no man despise his youth (4:12).
              a.  Be an example to all (4:12).
              b.  Pay attention to what you say and do (4:12).
          2.  Study, learn, exhort and teach (4:13).
          3.  Do not ignore your appointment (4:14-15).
              a.  The elders appointed you to preach at Ephesus (4:14).
              b.  Your preaching appointment fulfilled what your fellow 
                   citizens said about  you (Acts 16:2).
              c.  Give yourself entirely to right doing (4:15).
          4.  Your teaching of the truth will save you and others (4:16).
          5.  Proper method and attitude in warning (5:1-2).
      D.  About widows (5:3-8).
          1.  Value and respect widows who are without family (5:3).
          2.  The family is to take care of their own widows (5:4).
          3.  The widow who has no family and is in poverty, and looks
              to God and prays always, is to be supported by the  
              church (5:5).
              a.  The widow who seeks earthly pleasure is dead even 
                  though she is alive (5:6).
              b.  Require this of the saints--it is right (5:7).
          4.  The believer who does not take care of his own family is
              worse than an infidel (5:8).
          5.  Enrollment as a widow (5:9-10).
              a.  The widow who is put on the payroll must be 60 years 
                  old and was the wife of one man (5:9).
              b.  If she is well reported of for good works (5:10).
              c.  If she hath brought up children (5:10).
              d.  If she hath used hospitality to strangers (5:10).
              e.  If she hath washed the saints' feet (5:10).
              f.  If she hath relieved the afflicted, if she hath 
                  diligently followed every good work (5:10).
          6.  Younger widows (5:11-13).
              a.  Are to be fed and housed and cared for, but not put 
                  on the payroll of the church (5:11).
              b.  Younger widows may marry again, and be idle, and 
                  gossip (5:12-13).
              c.  Younger widows are to marry, bear children, rule 
                  their household, give no reason for criticism (5:14).
              d.  Some have already turned to Satan (5:15).
          7.  Those who can should take care of their own widows 
              that the church not be imposed upon; the church needs
              to relieve widows who have no other means of support
      E.  Supporting officers in the church (5:17-18).
          1.  Elders are to be honored, and those who also preach 
              should have double honor--be paid; the laborer is 
              worthy of his hire (5:17-18).
          2.  Do not receive an accusation against an elder (5:19).
              a.  Except at the word of two or three witnesses (5:19; 
                  Matt. 18:15-20).
              b.  Elders who sin are to be publicly rebuked (5:19-20).
      F  Look to your personal conduct (5:21).
          1.  Do not be prejudiced or partial (5:21).
          2.  Do not appoint men to office quickly, but look to their
              qualifications (5:22).
              a.  Do not become involved in other men's sins (5:22).
              b.  Be pure (5:22).
          3.  Timothy to guard his health (5:23).
          4.  Concerning sin (5:24-25).
              a.  Some sins are open and evident and other sins are 
                  hidden and secret (5:24).
              b.  Some good works are advertised and other good works
                  are concealed (5:25).
      G.  Instructions to servants (slaves) (6:1-2).
          1.  Servants must behave in a way that does not cause the truth
              to be spoken against (6:1).
          2.  Believing masters must be honored (6:2).
      H.  Sundry admonitions.
          1.  False teachers are to be condemned (6:3-19).
          2.  The advantages of piety and a contented mind (6:6-8).
          3.  The danger of a desire to be rich--the love of money is 
              the root of kinds of evil (6:9-10).
          4.  The man of God will run away from these things (6:11-12).
              a.  He will follow after "righteousness, godliness, faith,
                  love, patience,  meekness" (6:11).
              b.  He will fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on 
                  eternal life (6:12).
              c.  Remember the good confession made in the sight 
                  of many witnesses (6:12).
          5.  Timothy to be faithful and true to God and his word 
          6.  The greatness and majesty of God (6:15-16).
          7.  Duty of those who are rich (6:17-19).
      I.  Paul's closing charge to Timothy (6:20-21).
          1.  Guard the gospel which is committed to your care and 
              keeping (6:20).
              a.  Do not listen to profane babbling (6:20).
              b.  False knowledge is dangerous and destructive (6:20).
          2.  Some have erred concerning the faith (6:21).
              a.  Do not make the same mistake (6:21).
              b.  The favor of God be with you (6:21).

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