Paul-Timothy relationship a pattern for Gospel ministry, Mohler tells graduates - News - SBTS
Paul-Timothy Relationship. Rick Warren A. Follow up only requires an informal relationship. C. He trained them in the skills of ministry through the Bible. III. Timothy. Timothy was a teenager when he met Paul. His family lived in Lystra so he was a Galatian. His father was a Greek man; we know. Paul adopts Timothy as a son. What is remarkable is how different the two are, yet there is a connection. I was amazed this week, It started
Paul told Timothy to be devoted to reading Scripture, exhorting, and teaching, and to not neglect the gift that he had been given. Paul also counseled Timothy to keep a close watch on himself. These instructions remain pertinent to believers today. We, too, are called to "pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith.
Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses" 1 Timothy 6: It seems that Timothy had a chronic illness that required some attention 1 Timothy 5: Paul counseled him on a change of diet to aid the relief of his condition.
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul warned Timothy about the false teachers that he would encounter and tells him to continue in the things he has learned because he knows the character of those he learned them from, namely Paul himself and his mother and grandmother 2 Timothy 3: As parents, we are to prepare our children to distinguish truth from error. And as believers, we are to stand firm in the truth we have learned, not being surprised or swayed by opposition and false teachers.
Baptism in the New Testament is a rite of initiation. It does not save anyone, for it is a work of man. It is not the cause, but the result of salvation. Furthermore, this command is not addressed to the would-be convert; it is given to those who already are disciples, and indeed, men who are apostles. It speaks of the responsibility of the church toward new converts. It implies the proclamation of the gospel of salvation through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ for sinners.
It implies a genuine faith and conversion to Christ. But it also includes a public profession of faith and a public renouncement of the old way of life and an entrance into a new lifestyle. Baptism summarizes all that is involved in the initiation of a person into the Christian faith.
Conversion is the introduction of a person to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Teaching cultivates this relationship by assisting and encouraging the convert to know Him in a deeper and more intimate way. This process of getting to know Him is life-long cf. It involves the initiation and the instruction of every believer into an ever deepening relationship with Jesus Christ. It seeks to make every person a follower of Christ. The assumption of contemporary Christianity is that discipleship making disciples is the individual responsibility of every Christian.
To follow this assumption through to its logical conclusion we must end up by saying that every Christian is to go, to evangelize, and to instruct. To some extent, of course, this is true. But when seen in its full-blown implications, it means that I personally am responsible for the total life and spiritual growth of certain persons. I should be evangelizing and edifying a certain number of individuals if I am really spiritual and if I am really obedient to the Great Commission.Relationship of the Apostle Paul and Timothy
It is my contention that what we expect of ourselves, the eleven disciples themselves failed to do. It is now my task to defend this contention.
Look at the words of the noted church historian, Luke: Now this is an amazing thing. The very ones who received the command to go forth with the gospel stayed home in Jerusalem.
This certainly was not because it was the path of least resistance. They, as leaders in the Christian community, were the most likely targets for treatment similar to that of Stephen. Those who went forth to the Gentiles were not the eleven.
We know of no examples of the apostles attaching to themselves a select group of followers, to carry on their work. Their work seemed to concentrate on a ministry to the masses, as the account in Acts 6: The apostles did devote themselves to the proclamation of the gospel cf.
Peter and John, Acts and to the ministry of the word Acts 6: The bottom line is simply this: We rightly recognize that the Great Commission was not merely a command to the eleven apostles. It was a mandate to the church, of which they were the foundation Ephesians 2: More than this, it is not a command to every Christian to apply independently so much as it is for the church corporately.
Discipleship is the corporate responsibility of the church. Although every Christian should give testimony of his faith, some are given the gift, the special, spirit-given ability, to evangelize Ephesians 4: The church is the body of Christ 1 Corinthians What He began to do and to teach, the church is to continue Acts 1: No Christian individually and independently can fully represent or reflect the person of Christ.
Only the church can do this corporately. Each and every Christian is a valuable member of His body, and each has its unique function 1 Corinthians Then what should we do as individuals to carry out our part of this Great Commission?
At last, we have come to the heart of the matter. It all boils down to a matter of gifts and calling. It was their task to lay down the terms of salvation. It was their calling to lay down the foundation for the church Matthew They had a particular function and role to play in the carrying out of the Great Commission, but it was not their task alone.
They did not feel compelled to go, but to stay, for they were not called, as was Paul, to preach to the Gentiles. If you and I are to be responsible Christians and obedient to the Great Commission, we should look to our individual gifts and calling to determine what part we are to play in its outworking.
It is here that I find one of my haunting questions answered. Were the twelve or the eleven if you would disciples really more spiritual than the rest? There were no women among the eleven, and yet who were those last at His grave and first at the empty tomb?
What can we learn from the life of Timothy?
You see, we have made the eleven our pattern for discipleship. If we were really spiritual, we suppose, we, too, would leave our secular jobs and spend all our time preaching the gospel. Were the other disciples less spiritual for not following the lifestyle and ministries of the eleven? Are you less spiritual today because you have to work at a secular job? I find it very instructive to learn that those who constituted the first evangelistic thrust of the church were not full-time, ordained, theologically trained formallymissionaries.
If you are reluctant to take my word for it, read Acts 8: To be spiritual, to be obedient to the Great Commission, is not necessarily to quit your job, leave your loved ones, and become a full-time foreign missionary. Even the eleven do not meet this requirement fully. To carry out your part in the Great Commission is to employ your spiritual gift and follow your calling in conjunction with the other members of the body of Christ, His church. But What of Paul and Timothy?
And if what I have suggested does no more than stimulate your thinking and Bible study, I have accomplished my task. No conclusions on the matter of discipleship will hold water which do not take into account the relationship of Paul and Timothy. Let me begin by mentioning the only New Testament passage I am aware of which uses the term disciple with respect to Paul and other men: The only disciples which Paul could have had would have been his disciples as an unbelieving Rabbi.
Those would have been men faithful to Paul, who traveled with him on the road to Damascus cf. Now to Paul and Timothy, some fifteen years or so after his conversion. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek, and he was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium.
Paul had disagreed with Barnabas so strongly over taking Mark on a second missionary journey that the two had separated Acts Paul took Silas and began traveling through Syria and Cilicia.
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Paul invited him to join the group. Nothing here implies a relationship patterned precisely after that of Christ and His disciples. Timothy was invited to become a member of the team because he was proven faithful, not primarily to be taken along to be made useful. Here, again, we have come to the central issue.
That Paul is not speaking of discipleship is obvious. Our Lord spoke universally of discipleship—that is, it was for men of every nation Matthew But Paul spoke in a restricted sense.