1 Timothy: Life Together on Mission

Life Together on Mission (Introduction Message)

1 Timothy 3:14-16

1 Timothy 1:1-2

1 Timothy 1:18-19

1 Timothy is inspired. It is Scripture. 1 Timothy is written to a young pastor as instruction on shepherding the people at Ephesus (possibly a network of churches in Ephesus not one gathering, but one body in multiple locations).

However, 1 Timothy is also written to the churches because Paul tells young Timothy in 6:2, “…teach and urge these things.” The intent is that the instruction to the pastors was to be instruction to the people as well.

By knowing the instructions the church at Ephesus could continue in the fight for the Gospel together as they were shepherded by their pastors. Timothy was to raise up other pastors and train them and they were to function together for the mission Jesus had given them.

Side note: in church history, as the church settles into establishing itself in peace and trumpeting their individual rights in comfort the church looses its grip on the global mission (The Kingdom Strikes Back). Part of the pastoral, elder and overseer function of the pastorate is to avoid or crush that kind of mission crippling comfort and division over petty and inferior things so as to guard the truth (1 Timothy 3:15c) of the Gospel in its full splendor not a focus on one of its facets.

Paul closes out 1 Timothy 3:14-16 speaking about the mystery of godliness. Paul is writing to the church he planted and oversaw and taught about the “mystery” of the Gospel. This theme is thick in Ephesus, so it’s no wonder Paul brings it up here.

This is important. Listen to Paul’s words from Ephesians 3:8-11:

“To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,”

(Paul indicates that this mysterious work of the Gospel is revealed in the coming together of 3 pairs of relationships: 1. Heaven and earth 1:9,10 2. Jew and Gentile 2:11-3:6 3. Husband and wife 5:31, 32; The gospel mysteriously repairs these relationships and brings them together in the church!)

“1 Timothy is a letter on order in the church and how it ought to live so as to reveal that ‘mystery’.”[1]

As we stay on mission and lead the church to stay on mission using God’s ordering of things there is a supernatural nature to the church, nations can come together as one body and one family, and the home can be healed and lives made whole.

There is revelation of the Gospel so that as we go and tell there is power in our telling and supernatural strength in our striving and tangible graces in our living.

So, lets begin our journey in life together on mission!

1. The church has been given a mission and it is the vision statement of Jesus’ church

A. Matthew 28:16-20

2. Our head, Jesus, and our mission demand there be a standard of behavior for the church on mission

“…if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave…”

A. 1 Timothy 3:15a

1. Not a law to be adhered to for salvation

2. Instructions to be followed to accomplish the mission and to love each other

a. These instructions are intentionally applicable within every culture making

the church “plantable” in all nations.

1. No instructions on buildings

2. No instructions on content of worship services

3. Lots of “what” and not much if any “how”

3. The church on mission is the household of God

“…how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God…”

The idea of the church being the “household” of God is that the church is the specific family over which Jesus rules as King!

A. 1 Timothy 3:15b

1. We are the family of God, each adopted children of the King of the universe, brothers

and sisters

4. The church is a pillar and buttress of the truth

A. 1 Timothy 3:15c

“Paul is not here laying more stress on the church than on the truth…the church’s job is to bear witness to the truth as well as combating the false teachers,”[2]

5. Jesus, Senior Shepherd (pastor), is among his churches and he is here now

(church = gospel telling, expanding, guarding; baptizing; lords supper administering; all nations seeking gathering)

A. Revelation 1:9-20

1. This makes the gathering of the church essential

2. This makes the gathering of the church supernatural

3. This makes the role of preaching primary

4. This makes the gathering of the church a unique and special place of corporate worship


[1] Kent Hughes and Bryan Chapell, 1&2 Timothy and Titus, Crossway, Wheaton, p. 19

[2] D. A. Carson et al., eds., New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), 1299.

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