Suggested Reading: 1 Timothy 1-2
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Key Verse: 1 Timothy 1:15
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
The first and second letters to Timothy and Titus are the last letters Paul wrote. He was in the dungeon now, not the rented house where he served time earlier under house arrest. No doubt he expected his execution any day. These are the only letters addressed specifically to individuals. History proves that all human development for good or evil can be traced to the decisions of one person.
Our key verse is the most concise statement of the mission of Jesus on earth! Yes, He did come to earth to teach and to set the highest moral example as to how we should live our lives, but first and foremost His number one reason for becoming human was to save sinners! Until we trust Jesus for our salvation, we can’t even begin to follow in His steps. If Jesus had only come to show us how to live, we would have been frustrated and doomed, wallowing in our own constant failure! In spite of Paul’s great success as the Apostle to the Gentiles, and having won many to Christ, he never lost sight of his desperate need for the Saviour.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
O Holy God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I confess with Paul that I am the chiefest of sinners, and that You, Lord Jesus, came into the world to save me and all sinners who will believe on and in You (not just about You). As Paul wrote, Lord God, “For this reason I obtained mercy…” (1:16a). “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honour and glory forever and ever! Amen!!!” (1:17).
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I can’t let this reading go by without reference to Paul’s words concerning women in ministry. I’ve mentioned before about Mrs. Willows from Winnipeg, whose ministry had a profound impact on my life. She was a powerful preacher/teacher. In the light of this fact, how do I understand Paul writing that women are “to be in silence” (2:12)? The golden rule of Bible interpretation is “Let the Bible interpret the Bible.” Because of Paul’s experience in Corinth with the husband and wife team of Priscilla and Aquilla, both of whom were teachers of God’s Word, we must draw the conclusion that Paul was dealing through Timothy with a circumstance culturally specific to Ephesus. In the worship of Diana, in her great temple in Ephesus, the leadership was provided by women priestesses. Also, there is the Orthodox Jewish approach to women in the Temple and in the synagogues that we should consider. In traditional Judaism women were forbidden from public ministry. Timothy had to balance these factors. Therefore, I conclude that these were not instructions for the whole Church, but specifically for the one person to whom Paul was writing, Timothy, and just for this specific congregation. In Acts 21:8 & 9 we find the four daughters of Philip were prophetesses.
My granddaughter, Sarah Stowell, has her theological degree and she has some very strong opinions on women in ministry (click here for one of Sarah’s blog postings on this topic).
Yours for ministry, public and private, by all God’s children,