The Apostle Paul writes to Timothy who was left in Ephesus to pastor and shepherd the flock. His letters, First and Second Timothy gives the reader some warnings, instructions, and reminders. No doubt the Church of Jesus Christ has come on some hard times recently. The average church in America is approximately 80 in number. COVID has also
had some devastating effects on the Church, with some members choosing not to return.
We get a close-up view of what the Early Apostolic Church looked like from the writings of 1st and 2nd Timothy. Do our churches today resemble the early Church at all?
Here are some Warnings, Instructions, and Reminders given to young Timothy and us today:
• First, the great Apostle Paul who planted the Church in Ephesus and labored there approximately two years had some very specific warnings for Timothy. Even as Paul was departing from Miletus, he sent for the Elders of the Church in Ephesus and gave this warning – “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to the flock in which the Holy Spirit has made you Overseers to care for the Church of God…I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock and from among your own selves will arise men speaking ‘twisted things’, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:28-30)
The Apostle Paul warned Timothy often of the dangers of false teachers infiltrating the Church of God. (See I Timothy 1:3-4, 20 and 2 Timothy 4:14-15)
False teachers with their teachings were evident then as they are now (see Matthew 7:15-20). Therefore, we must be vigilant in Christ’s Church, especially Pastors and Elders.
• Secondly, Paul gave instructions for the Church of Christ. This gives us some framework for what the Church then and now should be concerned with.
1. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” (I Timothy 1:15) This is one of Paul’s trustworthy statements.
“God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved.” (I Timothy 2:4) The Church should be praying for the lost to be saved.
The Church is called to be His witness to a lost world (Acts 1:8).
2. The Church should be praying privately and corporately. Are we? (See I Timothy 2:1, 8; Matthew 6:5-15)
3. The Church should be a “pillar and foundation of the Truth.” (I Timothy 3;15)
Pilate asked, “What is truth?” Does the Church know?
4. The Church should be a place that teaches and exemplifies godliness, character, and integrity. Christlikeness “in speech, conduct, love, faith, purity” – “practice these things” (I Timothy 4:12, 15)
Is the Church practicing these things?
5. The Church is to have order and structure through godly leadership. (I Timothy 3:1-13)
These qualified servants are to teach, equip, and serve the community of believers. “For our God is a God of order and peace.” (I Timothy 5:1-22)
• Thirdly, Paul gave reminders – Timothy was to remember his calling and his good confession before the Church (I Timothy 1:18-19)
Timothy, remember to “share in suffering as a good soldier.” (I Timothy 2:3)
Remember Jesus Christ risen form the dead.
Remind the people of these things and to charge them not to quarrel about words which do no good, but only ruins the hearers.” (I Timothy 4:2-3)
If this was the case back in their day (64-65 A.D.). How much more should we be careful of what goes on in Christ’s Church in 2022?
Let’s not reinvent the Church but instead learn from the early Church.
Living Before the Face of God