Paul, An Apostle

1 Timothy 1:1-2

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,

2 To Timothy, a true son in the faith:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.

5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,

6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk,

7 desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.

  1. Introduction – Almost 9 years ago we began a journey here at Cross Connection. A journey though the New Testament with the Book of Acts as our guide.
    1. The Book of Acts is the history book of the early church. It covers a period of time from roughly AD 30, when Jesus ascended into heaven, until about AD 63. So it covers about 33 years of history.
      1. During those 33 years a lot of things happened.
        1. The church was birthed (Acts 2) during the Jewish feast of Pentecost (which happens at the end of May or early June each year).
        2. The church began to grow (Acts 2, 4, & 5).
        3. The church began to be persecuted (Acts 4, 5 & 8).
        4. The church began to be pushed out of Jerusalem and Judea, to non-Jewish Samaritans and Gentiles (Acts 8, 10 & 11).
        5. A major church persecutor, Saul of Tarsus, became an eyewitness of the Resurrected Jesus and converted to faith in Christ from Judaism, and became a church planting, apostolic, missionary pastor to non-Jewish Gentiles, called Paul the Apostle.
          1. Paul Journeyed from Israel and Syria on three separate journeys to spread the gospel and establish churches.
            1. The first journey was to a region of the world called Galatia (which is modern day Turkey) between 47-49 AD.
              1. During this journey, Paul and Barnabas planted churches in the Galatian cities of Lystra, Iconium, and Derbe.
            2. Paul’s second journey spanned from about 50 to 53 AD. Paul and Silas visited the churches previously planted in Galatia, there they picked up a couple of other companions named Luke and Timothy. And by God’s sovereign leading they bypassed the regions of Asia Minor (Southwest Turkey) and Bithynia (Northen Turkey, along the Black Sea), crossing the Agean Sea, moving into what was then called Macedonia, but today is Northern Greece.
              1. During this journey Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke were used of God to plant churches in Philippi, Berea, Thessalonica and Corinth.
            3. During Paul’s third journey, some time around AD 54-57, Paul, again with Silas, Timothy and others, made their way to Ephesus. Paul spent the next several years teaching and training more apostolic, missionary church planters to do the work of the ministry.
              1. During this journey God used Paul and his associates (disciples) to plant churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamon, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, Colossae and probably a number of others.
        6. All of this and more takes place during the 33 years of early church history recorded in Acts.
          1. But what’s not written in the Acts history book is all the other things that were written during that time. While the events of Acts were taking place a whole bunch of New Testament Books were being written.
            1. James — from Jerusalem circa. 46-49 AD
            2. Galatians – From Antioch, Syria, circa. 50 AD
            3. 1 Thessalonians – From Corinth, circa. 51 AD
            4. 2 Thessalonians – Likely from Corinth, Circa. 52 AD
            5. 1 & 2 Corinthians – From Ephesus and Philippi respectively, circa. 57 AD
            6. Romans – From Corinth, circa. 58 AD.
        7. The final chapters of Acts cover Paul’s final journey, at the end of his third missionary endeavor, back to Jerusalem.
        8. Then Acts records an uprising of Jewish zealots against Paul in Jerusalem. Paul’s arrest at Jerusalem and extradition to Rome for a judicial appeal to the highest (supreme if you will) court of the Roman Empire, which was before the Roman Emperor himself.
      2. All of this we covered and studied, including the books of James, Galatians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Corinthians and Romans between November 2008 and August 2014.
        1. So since August of 2014 we’ve been done with the Book of Acts. But since we’d already covered this huge timeline, I thought it would be great to continue right on through the timeline of the first century that the New Testament covers.
          1. So over the last 3 years we have studied
            1. Colossians – written by Paul from his Roman imprisonment, circa. 63 AD.
            2. Ephesians – written by Paul from his Roman imprisonment, circa. 63 AD.
            3. Philippians – written by Paul from his Roman imprisonment, circa. 63 AD.
            4. Philemon – written by Paul from his Roman imprisonment, circa. 63 AD.
            5. Jude – written by Jude, the half brother of Jesus, around 64-66 AD
            6. 1 Peter – written by the Apostle Peter, probably from Rome in about 64-66 AD
            7. 2 Peter – written by the Apostle Peter, probably from Rome in about 64-66 AD
            8. Hebrews – written by Timothy, from Italy, about 64 AD.
    2. We’ve been busy here at Cross Connection.
      1. If you’re new to the church in the last year or less, then—if you haven’t already noticed—one thing will become very clear. We have a high value on the Bible.
        1. Which means that when you come here each week, we’re going to open this Book and study through it. And since we’ve been on this journey since November of 2008, there’s no reason to stop. So over the next year plus we’ll be studying through the final books in our timeline.
          1. 1 Timothy — written by Paul from Rome in about 65 AD
          2. Titus – written by Paul from Rome in about 65 AD
          3. 2 Timothy – written by Paul from Rome in about 66 AD
          4. 1 John – written by the Apostle John, probably from the City of Ephesus about 81-90 AD.
          5. 2 & 3 John – written by the Apostle John, probably from the City of Ephesus about 90 AD.
      2. So, if you want to know where we’re going. That’s the plan until the return of Jesus.
    3. So this brings us right up to 1 Timothy.
  2. 1 Timothy 1:1 ~ Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,
    1. Paul
      1. As I mentioned a few minutes ago, The Book of Acts ends with the Apostle Paul under house arrest in Rome, awaiting a trial before Caesar.
        1. During that time it is likely that Timothy, the recipient of the letter we’re going to be studying through, was also in Italy. It is my opinion that Timothy was also imprisoned there for a time too.
          1. During Timothy’s imprisonment in Rome, I think he wrote the Book of Hebrews, which we just finished studying through.
            1. It’s my belief that the last 4 verses of Hebrews were written by the Apostle Paul, There we read…
              1. Hebrews 13:22-25 ~ And I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words.
                23 Know that our brother Timothy has been set free, with whom I shall see you if he comes shortly.

                24 Greet all those who rule over you, and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you.

                25 Grace be with you all. Amen.

            2. So at the end of Hebrews Timothy was released from prison. And Paul was also released from his house arrest in Rome.
              1. Church tradition holds that after Paul’s release, he and Timothy journeyed back to visit the churches of Greece, Macedonia and Asia Minor.
              2. It was during that time that Paul left Timothy Ephesus to oversee (i.e. pastor) the church there. From there Paul returned west to Macedonia (probably Philippi, where Luke was pastoring).
                1. Most likely then, this letter from Paul to Timothy was written from Macedonia (Philippi) in about 65 AD.
                2. Paul’s hope, as well see in studying this letter, was to return back to Ephesus to see Timothy again. But history tells us that wouldn’t be the case.
                  1. After writing this letter Paul would end up back in prison in Rome and ultimately in about 66 AD would be beheaded for his faith in Christ.
      2. So what’s the point?
        1. Paul the Apostle, somewhere about 65 AD wrote a letter to his friend, co-laborer, and son in the faith, Timothy, who was then pastoring a church in the ancient city of Ephesus.
          1. And like so many of his letters he begins…
    2. Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ
      1. An apostle is simply a messenger. Literally it is “one sent with a message.” And Paul was an “apostle of Jesus Christ” … he was one sent by Jesus Christ with a message about Jesus Christ.
        1. The account of this “sending” event is recorded in Acts 9. There, and at that time, Paul was called Saul, and he wasn’t a follower of Jesus, he was hater and persecutor of followers of Jesus.
          1. Maybe you’re here today, and prior to this point you’ve not really been a fan of Jesus or His followers either. I want you to know that if there is anything that Paul’s life teaches us, it’s that…
          2. Point 1 — God calls us to a higher life.
            1. God has a higher and better purpose for you life than you ever could plan or imagine. Which is really good news. Because although there are a growing number of people in North America (the U.S. & Canada) and Western Europe who don’t believe in God, there are also growing ranks of those unbelievers who are finding evolutionary theory lacking, as it relates to some important philosophical questions.
              1. Illustration — A study out this last week in the United Kingdom found that “1 in 5 (20%) U.K. atheists and more than 1 in 3 (33%) Canadian atheists were not satisfied with evolutionary theory. Specifically, they agreed that “evolutionary processes cannot explain the existence of human consciousness.” “significant numbers of British people without religious beliefs and even atheists do not find that evolution provides a satisfactory explanation for the development of human consciousness and the origins of what can be called spiritual aspects of human nature.” ( And many atheists also find that evolutionary theory is lacking as it relates to developing or finding true meaning and purpose in life.
              2. But the Scriptures reveal that God calls and invites us unto a higher life. A life of greater purpose.
                1. The bigger question then is, have you heard and heeded (responded to) that call?
                2. God may not have an apostolic, pastoral or missionary call for your life—at least not in a vocational sense—but He definitely invites you to join Him for a greater purpose. A purpose that extends beyond just this life.
                3. Just what does that purpose look like? Well at least part of it is found in the next proposition.
    3. an apostle … by the commandment of God … and the Lord Jesus Christ
      1. Point 2 — God commands our witness to a lost world.
        1. This call and command is not necessarily a vocational call (i.e. a call to a career or occupation as a missionary or pastor), but it’s still the call of God. Paul was a church planting, apostolic missionary and pastor, but that wasn’t his job, not in an occupational sense. Paul was (vocationally) a tradesmen.
          1. The Book of Acts reveals that Paul was a leather worker, or a tentmaker. He had a (day) job. He provided for his needs by the work of his own hands. It wouldn’t surprise me if Timothy apprenticed as a tentmaker too.
          2. So whether you’re a school teacher, a police officer, a doctor, lawyer, postmen, marine, contractor, engineer, pilot, investment advisor, etc. … if you’re a Christian, then God has commanded our witness to a lost world.
            1. And we truly live in a broken, lost and hopeless world. Have you noticed?
              1. We’ve certainly seen some of the brokenness of this world the last couple of weeks in the news. Thankfully we’ve also had a chance to see some bright spots in the way that many have responded to the storms in Houston and Florida. But the world is as broken and lost and hopeless as ever. And if you’re a Christian, you have the answer for the broken and lost world.
                1. Do we really need to be commanded to share it? Apparently we do, because only about 52% of American Christians shared their faith with someone in the last 12 months. (
              2. We should share our faith because God has commanded we share with a lost world, and remember He is…
    4. God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,
      1. Point 3 — God desires humanity’s salvation and eternal hope.
        1. 1 Timothy 2:3-7 ~ For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
          4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth
          5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
          6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,
          7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

          1. God desires all humanity to be saved. He knows that there is only one way to God. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
            1. If you’re a skeptic of the Christian faith today—first, I’m so grateful that you’re here—then this is the kind of teaching that makes you cringe. One of the top reasons for opposition to Christianity in the west today are the exclusivity claims of Christ in the Gospels.
            2. In fact, it caused quite an uproar a few months ago (June 7, 2017) at a Senate Budget Committee hearing when Senator Bernie Sanders questioned Russell Vought, President Trump’s nominee to be Deputy Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Because of Vought’s orthodox Christian views on the centrality of Christ in Salvation Sanders concluded, “I would simply say, Mr. Chairman, that this nominee is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about.” (
              1. The centrality of Jesus Christ in Salvation is the view of every orthodox Christian, but it’s certainly not politically or culturally correct among a growing number of Americans in the 21st century.
                1. As striking as this may be to you, we need to remember that Paul and Timothy lived in a world just like this. The 21st century western world is not all that dissimilar to the 1st century Roman world in which this letter was written.
            3. Illustration — But here’s the thing. If the exclusivity of Christ is a stumbling block for you, I simply want to say… If you had a terminal illness. If you had cancer, and I knew a man in Vanuatu who had the proven cure for cancer, would you really be angry if I said, “Listen, I have the proven cure for your cancer, but you can only have it if you take this one flight out of LAX tomorrow. It’s the only flight in or out of Vanuatu.” Would it be arrogant and narrow of me to say that it’s the only flight, or would it rather be loving of me to make you aware of the one and only flight?
    5. Paul continues…
  3. 1 Timothy 1:2 ~ To Timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
    1. Timothy, a true son in the faith
      1. All of Paul’s New Testament letters (Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus & Philemon) were written to individuals or groups. This is no different. This was written to, perhaps, the closest person to Paul of anyone in his life.
        1. Paul met Timothy during his 2nd missionary journey, in the City of Lystra of Galatia.
        2. Timothy was likely in his late teens when Paul met him. And Timothy came along with Rabbi Paul as a disciple.
        3. His mother and grandmother were Jewish, but his father was Greek.
        4. Between the time Timothy had joined Paul, and this point, 15 years had passed. For 15 years Timothy had been an apprentice in ministry, co-laboring alongside of the Apostle Paul.
        5. He was likely in his early thirties at this point and he’d traveled the world with Paul.
        6. Though—so far as we know—Paul had no biological children of his own, Paul considered those who came to faith through His Gospel work, his spiritual sons and daughters.
          1. And among those sons and daughters, Timothy was one of the firstborn (if you will). He was near and dear to Paul. Paul loved Timothy and saw him as his true son in the faith. And as such Paul extends a blessing—as he often did—in his greeting.
    2. Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
      1. All of Paul’s letters begin with a similar blessing. But his letters to Timothy and Titus (i.e. his last 3 letters), were ever so slightly different.
        1. Same…
          1. Romans 1:7 ~ Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
          2. 1 Corinthians 1:3 ~ Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
          3. 2 Corinthians 1:2 ~ Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
          4. Galatians 1:3 ~ Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ,
          5. Ephesians 1:2 ~ Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
          6. Philippians 1:2 ~ Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
          7. Colossians 1:2 ~ Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
          8. 1 Thessalonians 1:1 ~ Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
          9. 2 Thessalonians 1:2 ~ Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
          10. Philemon 1:3 ~ Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
          11. Always in these 10 the words are identical.
            1. Grace is always before peace, for you cannot have peace from or with God apart from His grace.
            2. Always these come from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
          12. But 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus are different… And each in the same way…
        2. Grace, mercy, and peace
          1. To Timothy and Titus, Paul adds mercy. There are speculations and opinions as to why. But I’m not going to go down the rabbit holes of speculation.
          2. I will however say this. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want or need grace, mercy and peace. You don’t even have to be one who believes that there is a God to want grace, mercy and peace.
            1. Here’s the good news. Because of Jesus, grace, mercy and peace are available.
            2. Point 4 — God’s favor is unmerited, His compassion undeserved and His peace unending.
          3. Grace
            1. There’s a big push by sociologists in our day to help our culture become more and more of a true “meritocracy.”
              1. IllustrationIn his first State of the Union after his 2012 reelection, President Obama pushed hard for an egalitarian agenda and argued for policies to help restore a meritocratic America. He said in his speech, “It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country—the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.”
              2. This is the mindset of our day. We should each be able to get ahead by our own hard work and on our own merits. And I think that most of us in this culture jive with this mindset. The problem is, do we really want to relate to God on the basis of our own merit? If so, we’re all in HUGE trouble.
                1. Every one of us should be eternally grateful that God doesn’t deal with us on the basis of our merits. He grants his favor upon us by grace.
                  1. Some of you here are still trying to get ahead with God by the merit of your good works.
                  2. Isaiah 64:6 ~ But we are all like an unclean thing,
                    And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
                    We all fade as a leaf,
                    And our iniquities, like the wind,
                    Have taken us away.
                  3. If you want to work on the merit system with God, then Paul’s word to the Romans becomes very applicable.
                  4. Romans 6:23a ~ For the wages of sin is death…
                2. Christianity isn’t the cub scouts. It’s not about earning merit badges with God.
                3. God has freely extended His grace to us … His unmerited favor.
                  1. Romans 6:23 ~ For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
                  2. Ephesians 2:8-9 ~ For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
                    9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
          4. Mercy
            1. In addition to His unmerited favor, God has freely bestowed upon us undeserved compassion … mercy.
              1. God, out of the vast riches of His mercy (Ephesians 2:4) has graciously given us (apart from our deserving) His compassionate kindness and clemency.
                1. Titus 3:4-7 ~ But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
                  5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us
                  , through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
                  6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
                  7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
          5. Peace
            1. God’s gracious mercy, freely and richly poured out upon us, has made it possible for us to have peace.
              1. By God’s grace and mercy we are no longer a enmity with Him. Hostility is gone.
              2. By His grace and mercy we have the rest of total wholeness in Christ, both now and forever.
          6. Is there anyone that would not want the tranquility of unmerited favor, undeserved compassion and unending peace?
            1. What then is it’s source?
        3. from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
          1. This is the part at which people stumble…
            1. Point 5 — God’s favor, compassion and peace are only for those who know Him as Savior and Lord.