Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus give us instructions and qualifications for the ministry. A very large number of today’s ministers have been inappropriately ordained contrary to the scripturally required qualifications, which is a main cause of the doctrinal drifting and accelerating apostasy of the past decades.
Every converted person has been called to become priests of our God, making this a very important subject. The books of Timothy and Titus teach us what WE ALL must do and how we must ALL live; to qualify as Kings and Priests and enter into the resurrection to eternal life.
See the articles in “The Priesthood and Ministry” category for much more.
The beginning of First Timothy has to do with the marriage relationship between a man and a women as an allegory of the relationship that Jesus Christ wants with his called out bride, and then leads into the qualifications for the ministry.
Paul identifies himself as an apostle which I am sure Timothy already knew.
1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; 1:2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
At the very beginning of this Epistle Paul reminds Timothy and all elders throughout the ages, that their principle duty to teach all people to zealously live by every Word of God and to set an example of doing so.
1:3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge [command] some [the elders and teachers] that they teach no other doctrine [than the whole Word of God], 1:4 Neither give heed to fables [false teachings] and endless genealogies, which minister questions [contentions], rather than godly edifying [building up in godliness, which is the whole Word of God] which is in faith: so do.
1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity [Godly love, which is the keeping of every Word of God in enthusiastic zeal.] out of a pure heart [Genuine godliness is the works of faith, and not the pretense of mere lip service like we see in today’s Ekklesia.], and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
Then as today, many desire to be teachers and leaders without proper qualifications, not really understanding the sound doctrine of the whole Word of God. They think that they are teaching the truth, not realizing that they are in gross error from the scriptures.
1:6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling [Many having turned aside from the whole Word of God to empty words of false traditions and their own imaginations.]; 1:7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
Paul declares that the law of God is GOOD, but must be used lawfully; that is, the law must be kept in the manner that we are commanded to keep it. For example calling the Sabbath and High Days HOLY, which is the law is good; and then not keeping them according to God’s instructions regarding HOW to keep them is unlawful.
1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
The righteous man has the law written on his heart and mind, according to the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31. Yes, we need to study to fully learn and live by the Word of God, and the truth of the Word of God is revealed through patient diligent study and following the lead of the Holy Spirit of truth.
The law has no penalty and contains no threat to those who keep it, while the law is a threat to all those who break it.
If we stop at a stop light there is no fear of a ticket, but if we run a red light, then a penalty enters in. So it is with God’s Word; if we love and keep God’s Word there is no fear but rather the promise of eternal life; and if we break God’s Word and law, there is a penalty attached, which is eternal death.
1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for [The law was made and exists to restrain wickedness.] the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane [Anyone who compromise with, or turns aside from any zeal to learn and to live by every Word of God in profane.], for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind [homosexuals], for menstealers, for liars [Liars include false teachers, and those who use and twist a small part of a larger truth to deceive about the larger truth.], for perjured [perjuring] persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine [God’s Word condemns anything which is contrary to the sound doctrine of the whole Word of God.]; 1:11 According to the glorious gospel of [The true Gospel is the whole Word of God and not just some part of the scriptures.] the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
Now the concept of God the Father’s call to sincere repentance is brought in, as Paul explains that he a sinner who was called by God, to come to God the Father through Jesus Christ.
1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
No man understands or believes God until he is called out of sin by God the Father and called to espousal with the Son, then his mind is opened to the wonders of God.
God’s calling to godliness is by the Grace of God!
Grace is not permission to continue in sin; Grace is a calling out from and deliverance from bondage to sin!
1:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
Paul tells us that God extended the Grace [Mercy] of God to him despite his wickedness, as an example that every sinner no matter how wicked, may also obtain mercy in their proper time through God’s calling.
1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained [received] mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Paul then makes the point that he had put two persons out of the assembly because of unrepented blasphemy, proving that no willful sin is to be tolerated in our assemblies.
He commands Timothy and all future elders, leaders and teachers to have faith coupled with the works of faith, and to live in good conscience keeping the whole Word of God.
1:18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 1:19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 1:20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.