1 Timothy 1:1-2

In 1 Timothy 1:1-2 Paul begins by emphasizing his credentials (being an apostle) and his authority (command of God). “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope.” He did this both as a personal encouragement to Timothy and so the letter could be used as a letter of reference before the Ephesian Christians. It appears that Paul wrote this letter to Timothy after he was released from Roman prison as described in the last part of the Book of Acts. Paul apparently returned to Ephesus and found that it had become a center of false teaching, which he had predicted earlier.

White wrote “The use of this official title is an indication that the Pastoral Epistles were not merely private letters, but were intended to be read to the Churches committed to the charge of Timothy.” Paul was equipping Timothy with some tools to use in trying to rein in the false teachers and encourage him in a very difficult task ahead. White further wrote “Here it is to be noted that the command proceeds equally from God and Christ Jesus. This language could hardly have been used if St. Paul conceived of Christ Jesus as a creature.” Paul is sharing authority with Timothy so they would not discount his efforts to return to the truth.

To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” The Book of Acts tells us that Timothy came from Lystra, a city in the province of Galatia. He was the son of a Greek father and a Jewish mother named Eunice. His mother and grandmother taught him the Scriptures from the time of Timothy’s youth. Paul probably led Timothy and his mother to faith in Jesus on Paul’s first missionary journey. And by referring to him as his child in the faith, it also expressed Paul’s confidence in Timothy’s integrity and faithfulness to the truth.

Paul uses a familiar greeting (grace and peace) in his letters to congregations. Here, he also applied it to Timothy as an individual. God grants His grace, mercy, and peace not only to churches, but also to the individuals who make up the churches. We all need God’s grace, mercy and peace. But here Paul added mercy to the mix. Paul knew Timothy was in for some difficult days and would need God’s mercy as well.. Trapp wrote “Not only grace and peace, as to others. When we pray for ministers, we must be more than ordinarily earnest for them with God. These three are joined together only in the Epistles of Timothy and Titus.”

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