Encompassed within the ten short chapters of First and Second Timothy lies the best preacher's training course that has ever been taught. The apostle Paul, through inspiration, covers every conceivable topic and situation that a young preacher might face. It speaks not only to preachers, but also to all other Christians.
The scope of knowledge that Paul imparts to Timothy is almost mind-boggling in its completeness. Paul covers topics as far reaching as his own conversion from blasphemer and persecutor to faithful preacher of the Gospel, to charging Timothy to preach the word at all times with long-suffering because a time would come when people would no longer want to hear the pure gospel of Christ.
In verse 17 of 1 Timothy 1, Paul proves the kingship and eternality of God and shows that we must honor Him for these attributes. In Chapter 2 he shows the great importance of prayer. A preacher or Christian who does not or will not pray is one who will not have a close abiding relationship with his Father in Heaven. We must pray for ourselves, for our friends, for our families, for those in authority and even those who treat us unkindly. James 5:16 tells us that the "effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. We can paraphrase that in this way: Heaven goes into action when righteous men pray. Paul prepares this young preacher to deal with the appointment of Elders and Deacons and also to treat them with honor. Paul teaches about benevolence to widows and to others who are in need.
In Chapter 6 of 1 Timothy Paul deals with the problem of covetousness and not being content with what we have, always searching for more and more. He sums it up in Verse 6, " But godliness with contentment is great gain." And in Verse 10, "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." Money itself is not evil, but the love of it will cause one to let material things come between him and his service to God.
In 2 Timothy Paul stresses the importance of godly parents and grandparents, especially mothers and grandmothers. How many of those preaching today credit the influence of a faithful mother or grandmother for their preaching. Paul shares his suffering and afflictions with Timothy - not for sympathy or honor, but to let him know that the cause they were fighting for was greater than any hardship they would endure, and to let Timothy know that hardships make us stronger. As James tells us, "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience." (James 1:3). Paul also told Timothy that he would have to be a good soldier and endure the hardness that comes with that profession.
Paul warns against false teachers, perilous times, and how important it is to teach against these things. He knew that in order to be effective as a preacher of the Gospel that one would have to stand strong against evil and speak in such a way that those who hear will obey and be strong themselves.
Paul eloquently states in the last chapter of 2 Timothy that he has done all that was asked of him as a Christian and preacher of the Gospel and he is ready to achieve his ultimate goal of going home to be with the Lord. "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:6-8
In these two books of the New Testament, Paul shows his great love and affection for Timothy as his son in the gospel. His goal for Timothy was for him to be a great and effectual preacher, and he equips him to handle whatever he will face. Paul's charge to Timothy in chapter 4 of 2 Timothy should stand as an anthem to preachers for all time. These are the marching orders to all faithful gospel preachers. "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom. Preach the word; be instant in season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall heap to themselves teachers having itching ears." (2 Timothy 4:1-3.)
Preachers today still have this obligation to teach the truth with love, sincerity, zeal and knowledge. 16150 Saint Clair Ave., East Liverpool, OH 43920-9449.
Return to West Virginia Christian