1 Timothy 1 – Gospel Behavior (3)

C. Grace-inspired faithfulness (1:18-20):

The validation for Paul’s right to charge Timothy to “fight a good fight” of the faith was based on his own life. Paul revealed leadership in living the gospel, and thus, he enjoined on Timothy the same. In other words, Paul was saying to Timothy, “If I can do it, so can you.”

It was not that there were specific prophecies in the Old Testament that named Timothy as one who would be a courageous warrior for the gospel. Some New Testament prophet in the immediate historical context of these matters possibly affirmed that this previously young man from Lystra would be a great man of God when he left the security of his mother and grandmother. Since Timothy may have at this time in his ministry been discouraged because of the opposition that some brought against him, Paul wanted the young man to remember that there were many others who had invested a great deal of trust in him to preach the gospel to the world. Timothy needed to remember that he had been sent forth by the “laying on of the hands of the presbytery” (1 Tm 4:14). There may have been someone at the time who said that Timothy would do great things for God.

In order to fight the good fight, one must keep the “faith and a good conscience.” Paul had faithfully labored when he was an enemy to the faith, and steeped in religion (See Gl 1:13). He reminded Timothy that even as a persecutor, he conscientiously believed that he was doing the Lord’s will. But now as a disciple, he simply continued on with his faith and good conscience in preaching the gospel. He called on Timothy to do the same.

But some “shipwrecked their faith.” They did so by rejecting the principles of a good soldier for Christ about which Paul wrote in this context. In the text, Paul listed two individuals whom Timothy evidently knew from past association. Hymenaeus and Alexander were by Paul “delivered to Satan so that they might learn not to blaspheme.”

To blaspheme means that one assigns the work of God to be the work of Satan. On his first missionary journey there were those Jews who were “filled with envy. And contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed those things that were spoken by Paul” (At 13:45). These Jews were so set in their religion that they could not connect the dots from prophecy to fulfillment in reference to Jesus being the Messiah. And since they could not connect the dots from prophecy to fulfillment, they were set against Paul who did.

In the case of a Christ-sent apostle, we have in this context at least two people who were “delivered to Satan so that they might learn not to blaspheme.” We are not told if they were struck blind as was Bar-jesus (See At 13:9-11). They certainly did not drop dead as Ananias and Sapphira before the Christ-sent apostle Peter (At 5:1-11). But we could assume that some physical affliction came upon them so that they might be taught not to oppose the message of the gospel by assigning it to be a message from Satan.

We might conclude that this could be the same Hymenaeus that Paul mentioned in his second letter to Timothy. If so, then Hymenaeus did not learn his lesson. Paul mentioned that Hymanaeus’ word “spread like gangrene” (2 Tm 2:17). In the second letter Paul also instructed the young disciple Timothy to “avoid profane and empty babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness” (2 Tm 2:16). Hymanaeus and Alexander were two who generated conflict, and thus they were to be avoided.

[Next in series: April 2]

1 Timothy 1 – Gospel Behavior (2)

B. Grace-motivated gospel living (1:12-18):

Paul used his own life as an example of grace-motivated gospel living. Though he “was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and injurious,” God still “put him into His service.” Paul’s total transformation reminds us of the power of the gospel to change lives (See Cl 3:1-17).

Paul was “enabled” to transform because of the power of the gospel that worked in his life. God redirected his commitment as a persecutor of the gospel to being a promoter of the gospel. God simply changed the focus and use of his personality assets. His passion was redirected. His life exemplified what he wrote to some disciples in Rome, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rm 12:2).

The faithfulness of Paul (Saul) in his former life as a persecutor was not justified when he said, “I did it ignorantly in unbelief.” His behavior before his encounter with Jesus on the Damascus road only identified the type of person he was. Once he was convinced that the Jesus whom he persecuted was truly the incarnate Son of God who was sent to be the Messiah and Savior of the world, then the obsession of his life was changed. His transformation was a paradigm shift of thinking and behavior. “What things were gain to me,” he wrote, “those things I have counted loss for Christ” (Ph 3:7). Therefore, “the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant” in his life because he believed and obeyed the Lord Jesus in the Damascus vision. He once wrote,

“But by the grace of God I am what I am. And His grace toward me was not in vain, but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me” (1 Co 15:10).

Paul’s personal transformation became a model for the rest of us. All that God did for the world through His beloved Son is the motivational power by which we can transform our own lives. This is the transforming power of the gospel (Rm 1:16). Paul wrote, “For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace that is reaching many people may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God” (2 Co 4:15). The grace of God that worked so profoundly in the life of Paul caused him to abound in the work of the Lord. This begs the question: If there is no service for Jesus in our lives, then do we really understand the grace of God that was revealed through the only begotten Son of God?

In order to understand, we must, as Paul, confess “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.” This is the incarnational invasion of God into the world into the flesh of man (See Jn 1:1,2,14). Unless we have this mind of Christ in us, we cannot begin to fully understand the sacrifice that the Son of God made for us (See Ph 2:5-8). Incarnational living as a disciple of Jesus is often terrifying to those who are in the bondage of this world.

The more we begin to understand the incarnational sacrifice of Jesus, the more we understand what true discipleship is all about. However, those who do not seek to understand this living according to the gospel of the incarnation will often establish a legal religiosity by which they can measure themselves according to law. They will often brush aside spiritual growth that is motivated by grace in order to measure with one another their own performance of law. They are as some in Corinth who were “comparing themselves among themselves” (2 Co 10:12). They are as Paul confessed of himself when he was in the bondage of “comparative religion.” He said of himself, “I advanced in Judaism above many of my contemporaries” (Gl 1:14). When we are under grace, there is no “spiritual” competition. There is no “advancing” above one another, for we are all one man in Christ (See Gl 3:26-29).

Here is how some play this game with God: One will legally show up at an assembly of the saints, call for the “opening prayer,” and then legally proceed through a ceremony of “acts of worship.” Once the legal performances of the assembly are over, a “closing prayer” is ritualistically performed, and the “worshiper” has convinced himself that he is right with God. He has satisfied his laws for assembly, and thus he can go on his way having convinced himself that he has performed the law of assembly. But worst of all, he goes away with very little appreciation for the grace of God that can transform his life.

We have discovered that many people are satisfied with religion that conforms to their desires because they are afraid of what it means to live incarnationally after the “closing prayer.”

When Paul wrote to the Christians throughout the province of Achaia, he exhorted them, “Be imitators of me even as I also am of Christ” (1 Co 11:1). The readers of this statement had surely been previously informed of Paul’s former life as a persecutor. Therefore, when they saw that he “obtained mercy” from God, though he was a persecutor of the church, they realized that regardless of how far away from God one might feel he is, grace can extend further.

We must never believe that we have lived so far away from God that His grace cannot find us. If grace could reach and change Paul who specifically persecuted that which he later promoted, then it can reach deep into our hearts and motive transformation. We too can “obtain mercy.” Jesus did this in the life of Paul in order that He “might show forth all longsuffering for an example to those who should hereafter believe on Him to eternal life.”

After Paul had explained these things to Timothy, a doxology was in order: “Now to the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

[Next in series: March 31]

1 Timothy 1 – Gospel Behavior (1)

No greater instructions on discipleship could have come from one who was personally called and sent forth (apostle) “by the commandment of God our Savior and Lord Christ Jesus,” than these admonitions of the apostle Paul. Timothy was a true “son in the faith” in that he was the result of Paul’s preaching the gospel to a young man and his mother and grandmother in Lystra.

To such a longtime friend and fellow servant, the aged apostle directed the instructions of this letter as to a faithful disciple. “Grace, mercy and peace from God” are the introductory clues that we have that these instructions were coming from One who is more than the man Paul who wrote the letter. The Holy Spirit is guiding the hand of Paul to inscribe these jewels of instruction that lead all of us into being better disciples for Jesus. Grace, mercy and peace define our relationship with God who made all such things possible through the cross of His beloved Son.

A. Legal teachers of law (1:3-11):

Our first indication of a true disciple is that he or she is one on the move in reference to fulfilling the great commission to preach the gospel to the world (See Mk 16:15). As the traveling companion of Paul, Timothy was left in Asia because there was a great need for continued teaching among the new disciples. He was left with the special responsibility to “charge some that they teach no other doctrine.”

We assume correctly that there were some among the early disciples who were behaving as those about whom the apostle John wrote many years later: “Whoever goes ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God” (2 Jn 9). In fact, John was direct in reference to those who were not willing to abide within the confines of the truth of the gospel: “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching [that Jesus is come in the flesh – vs 7], do not receive him into your house and do not give him greeting” (2 Jn 10).

The reason for the admonition is obvious: “For he who gives him greeting participates in his evil deeds” (2 Jn 11). John, and those to whom he wrote, were facing several false teachers who denied the very foundation upon which the gospel of the crucifixion was based. They denied the
incarnation of the Son of God (2 Jn 7). It seems that Timothy may have been facing the opposition of those who were either denying or questioning the truth of the gospel.

Paul’s instructions to the young teacher Timothy was that he teach that which would result in one remaining in the fellowship of the body of Christ. Therefore, there is “truth” that one must believe in order to remain in fellowship with gospel-obedient disciples. In reference to John’s admonitions, this was the truth of the gospel. John explained:

“That which we have seen and heard we declare to you so that you also may have fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 Jn 1:3).

This is not simply something that one believes in reference to a code of doctrine. When speaking of the truth of the gospel, the disciples’ common fellowship with one another is totally based on the gospel of Jesus’ incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, coronation and consummation of all things when He comes again. There is no fellowship in Christ unless those in fellowship agree upon these truths of the gospel.

In the historical context of the problems that Timothy faced, some were giving “heed to fables and endless genealogies that cause disputes.” When disputes over matters of opinion exist between disciples, then they are distracted from “God’s work that is in faith.” Disputes disrupt the organic function of the body of Christ. In the religious culture of Ephesus, we are sure that there were endless fables among the idolatrous Ephesians about which speculation could be generated. At least in Crete where Paul left Titus a few years later there were those Jewish converts who were “giving heed to Jewish fables” (Ti 1:14).

We live in such a world today where speculators are willing to prognosticate with end-of-time fables and “blood moons” that supposedly signal the end of times. All such fables result in endless debates, and thus are to be avoided by those who would be disciples of Jesus. Meaningless discussions about such things reveal that one is more of a disciple of those promoting such fantasies than they are of Jesus.

Though we are not cursed today so much with the “endless genealogies” that seem to have been a favorite topic for Jewish discussions, the apostle’s point is clear. Any discussions, and particularly debates, that arise over matters of opinion should be shunned. What was to be corrected was not the settlement of a particular issue through debate, but that the participants in such discussions should be admonished not to participate in the debates in the first place. Those who are disciples of Jesus must know their Bibles well enough to separate matters of healthy teaching from matters of opinion. In our healthy study of Bible truths we discover in the religious world those fables and fantasies that are not worth discussion. These are matters that each disciple must avoid.

If there are those who persist in their endless debates over meaningless subjects, then they have not only given up their right to the fellowship of the disciples, but they have also violated the very bond by which the brotherhood of the disciples is held together. “The purpose of the commandment is love out of a pure heart.” And if this exhortation were not sufficient, the apostle added that we must maintain “a good conscience and a sincere faith.”

Jesus’ initial instructions in reference to discipleship could not have been made more clear: “By this will all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35). The “commandment” was reinforced by the apostle John’s exhortation: “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 Jn 4:8). When in the heat of debate over fables and endless genealogies, it is easy to determine where there is a lack of love. In fact, if there is “heat” in the discussion, then it is revealed that someone is challenged in the area of love. Love never allows “heat” to develop in the discussions of those who are identified as disciples by their love for one another.

When there are those who “have turned aside to meaningless discussion,” then we know that there are those who have “swerved.” They have gone beyond that which is the foundation of our faith. Those who have swerved are “obsessed with controversy and disputes about words” (1 Tm 6:4). And as Paul will urge all disciples in the last chapter of this epistle, a loving disciple must avoid “profane and vain babblings and opposing arguments of what is falsely called knowledge” (1 Tm 6:20). Controversies concerning those things that are not salvational are simply “meaningless.” They should be avoided. This subject is so important in reference to the brotherhood of disciples that Paul will pick up the subject again in the final chapter.

Those who are obsessed with their opinions often desire “to be teachers of the law.” Because of their obsession with their opinions, they assert that what they believe should be bound on others. They are thus self-centered, thinking that their opinions are correct, and thus, must be taught as “doctrine” for others to believe. The problem is that they know so little about the word of God that they understand “neither what they say, nor what they affirm.”

Those who promote meaningless fables and genealogies will invariably find themselves in the company of some theological contradictions. The best way to refute a false doctrine is to go immediately to the context of scriptures from which the false doctrine is supposedly proved. If the doctrine is truly false, then the “proof text” will reveal that someone has twisted the Scriptures to their own destruction. They will have done that about which Peter wrote concerning those who do not know their Bibles. They “are untaught and unstable,” and thus “distort [the word of God] to their own destruction, as they do also the other Scriptures” (2 Pt 3:16).

Paul identified the problem. It seems that the “untaught” and “unstable” who do not know the truth will seek to bind where God has not bound. “We know that the law is good,” he wrote, “if a man uses it lawfully.” This would be a very difficult statement to understand if we approach law from a legal point of view. Law is meant to restrict, to control, to guide. But in reference to living the gospel of grace, living by law is a contradiction if law in and of itself is meant to be the only means by which one would seek to save himself through perfect law-keeping. In another context Paul explained, “Do we then make void law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish law” (Rm 3:31).

In the world of social order, law is meant for “the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, of murderers.” But when we apply law to those who restrict their lives through their obedience to the gospel, then law hinders spiritual growth if we use it to grow closer to God. One is hindered from going beyond the requirements of law if he seeks to allow God “to do exceedingly abundantly above all that” He desires to do in our lives (Ep 3:20).

Law establishes limitations, but grace motivates one beyond limitations. “According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God” one obeys law, but does not restrict his or her spiritual growth to a supposed perfection in law-keeping. Law promotes growth in the knowledge of law, but grace promotes spiritual growth in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (See 2 Pt 3:18). When one marks his growth through law, he is measuring his spirituality by his performance of law.

An example is in order at this point. Under the Sinai law tithing regulated, if not restricted, the giving of the individual. The ten percent tithe was the norm by which one would judge himself righteous according to law. If one performed the tithe, then he could consider himself righteous according to law. But the law of tithing passed away when the new covenant displaced the old covenant of which tithing was commanded as law.

Christians, therefore, in their new covenant with God, are no longer under the limitations of the ten percent. They are free from law to give as much as they want. In reference to giving, the principle now is, “Let each one give according as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion [by law], for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Co 9:7). This principle is followed by a statement that explains the result of gospel-giving according to grace: “God is able to make all grace abound toward you so that you, always having all sufficiency in everything, may abound to every good work” (2 Co 9:8).

When we are motivated by our appreciation of the grace of God, then we “abound to every good work.” We are not confined to ten percent in our giving. The more we walk in gratitude of the grace of God, the more we give. The result is cheerful giving, not giving that we are compelled to do according to law. When we are compelled by law, we often give grudgingly. But when we are motivated by grace, we cannot give enough (See 1 Co 15:10).

[Next in series: March 29]

Gospel Preacher – Intro (2)

When Paul asked that Timothy go with him and Silas on the remainder of the second mission journey, Timothy knew the hardships that he would have to endure. From what happen to Paul on his first visit to Lystra two years before, Timothy knew that struggle was in the future if he signed on with Paul.

On his first missionary journey, Paul and Barnabas went to Lystra. On that occasion Paul healed a crippled man who had not been able to walk from the day of his birth (At 14:8). The people of Lystra were overwhelmed. They cried out, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men” (At 14:11). They subsequently called Barnabas, Zeus, and Paul, Hermes (At 14:12). But then some antagonistic Jews showed up from Antioch and Iconium. These persuaded the residents in Lystra to stone Paul, which thing they did, dragging “him out of the city, supposing him to be dead” (At 14:19). Now notice what Luke recorded in the following historical statement: “As the disciples stood around him [Paul], he rose up and came into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe” (At 14:20).

Young Timothy was in that group of disciples who looked on the body of Paul as if he were dead. Many years after the incident, Paul wrote to Timothy, “But you have fully known my … persecutions, afflictions, which came to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—what persecutions I endured” (2 Tm 3:10,11). Timothy undoubtedly stood there in the crowd of the brethren looking on what they assumed was the dead body of Paul. And then Paul moved a little, stood up, brushed off the dust, and then had a good night’s sleep. With all the bruises from the stoning, he and Barnabas then walked about fifty kilometers over to Derbe. We might assume that Timothy witnessed a direct resurrection from the dead, for they all assumed that Paul was dead on that occasion.

It was not that Timothy did not have an example of persecution that would result from following Jesus as a disciple. He had the example of the former persecution of Paul, but he also had the example of what it meant to be a determined gospel preacher. If a stoned disciple could get up the next day to continue on his mission to another city, then certainly he could at least walk several times back and forth between Lystra and Iconium. He too could live the committed life. For some reason, he was a greatly motivated young man. Paul could see this in him when he arrived on his second visit to Lystra, and thus Paul wanted him to go with him.

For some reason on this second journey Paul had already rejected a young man named John Mark because he formerly did not go with him to the work on the first mission (At 15:38). John Mark turned back when he saw the snow-covered mountains of Pamphylia. Timothy, on the other hand, worked alone in his mission to go back and forth between Lystra and Iconium. One young man was initially a follower, but turned back. The other was an initiator who set out on his own.

There certainly was not that much difference in age between Mark and Timothy. But on the second mission journey, Paul did not want to have Mark with him (At 15:38). On the other hand, Paul desired that Timothy come on a journey where he was going alone with Silas into difficult territory where the gospel had not yet been preached. Paul simply judged Mark not ready, whereas he judged Timothy ready because he had proved himself.

If we take about a twenty-year leap into the future from the time Paul began his second mission trip, things had changed in the life of both Mark and Timothy. It is interesting to note that when Paul was in prison in Rome in A.D. 60,61, Mark had finally caught up with Paul. By this time in his spiritual growth, Mark was able to stand by Paul in a Roman prison. But this was over twenty years after the beginning of the second journey when Paul had rejected the company of Mark. Timothy, on the other hand, was able to stand with Paul after he had been a disciple for only two years. Though Mark about twenty years before immediately went with his cousin Barnabas on to familiar territory in Cyprus on the second mission journey of Barnabas, Timothy was willing as a young disciple to head out into the unknown after only two years of following Jesus on his own.

Discipleship is developed in individuals with different time lines. However, regardless of the time, both Mark and Timothy ended up at the same place in reference to being profitable servants for the Lord.

We have in our New Testaments two Spirit-inspired letters written to Timothy and none written to Mark. However, we must give Mark credit, for the Holy Spirit took his hand and inscribed the book of Mark, whereas the Spirit never used Timothy to write an inspired document of the New Testament. What we have is a document written directly to us by Mark, but two documents written for us by Paul to Timothy.

And then consider also that both 1 & 2 Timothy were written to Timothy who seemed to be discouraged at the time of writing. In the letter of 2 Timothy Paul had to charge Timothy to preach the word of the gospel (2 Tm 4:1-4). In the same letter, Mark was evidently close enough to Timothy that Timothy could fetch him and bring him to Rome where Paul was located in prison. Paul instructed Timothy, “Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is profitable to me for the ministry” (2 Tm 4:11).

By the end of Paul’s life, both Timothy and Mark were profitable to Paul in the ministry of preaching the gospel to the world. Mark had a temporary diversion in his early discipleship, and Timothy had his own discouragements that led to his temporary cessation of preaching the gospel. Nevertheless, both grew in their ministry as profitable disciples. In the end, both assumed their responsibility to preach the word of the gospel.

Regardless of where one finds himself or herself in his or her ministry, he or she can at the end of the day be as Mark and Timothy. It is all about spiritual growth and not staying where one is in the present. And in reference to Timothy, it is not about using one’s childhood in a mixed religious family, or culturally diverse mother and father, as an excuse for not growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pt 3:18). Discipleship is not about being content with where one is in his or her responsibility to preach the gospel to the world. It is about growing into being a profitable servant for Jesus.

[Next in series: March 27]

Gospel Preacher – Intro (1)

On his second missionary journey, Paul came to the cities Derbe and Lystra that were about fifty kilometers from one another (At 16:1). This was his second mission trip to these two cities, plus the city of Iconium to the north of Lystra. He visited these three cities with Barnabas on his first mission journey out of Antioch of Syria (At 13:1-3).

While on this second mission to the three cities about two years after the first trip, he encountered a young disciple in the city of Lystra by the name of Timothy. We are not told how long Timothy had been a disciple, though we assume that from the influence of his mother he was a disciple for at least two years, assuming that his mother became a believer during the first mission trip. She was “a certain Jewish woman who believed” (At 16:1).

Timothy’s father, however, was a Greek. When Luke recorded this historical information concerning Timothy, he did not state that the father was a believer, as was the mother. We thus assume that the father was not a believer, for he had some influence over the household because Timothy was not circumcised. Therefore, Timothy grew up in a religiously divided family, assuming that the father carried on after the heritage of Greek mythology. Nevertheless, though Timothy was young, his mother and grandmother did a good work by influencing him to believe in Jesus as the fulfillment of all Old Testament prophecies concerning Jesus as the Messiah. Contrary to the religious influence of his father, Timothy’s mother taught the young man the religious heritage of Israel.

On his mother’s side of the genealogy, Timothy was a Jew. His grandmother, Lois, and mother, Eunice, had handed down to Timothy a “genuine faith” from his Jewish heritage and knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures (2 Tm 1:5). Paul wrote that “from a child you [Timothy] have known the Holy Scriptures” (2 Tm 3:15). There is no historical evidence of a synagogue existing in the city of Lystra, and thus, we assume that both Lois and Eunice, as Jews, carried on with their teaching of the Scriptures in the home concerning the prophecies and fulfillment of Jesus as the Messiah.

Since Timothy’s father was a Gentile, and his mother a Jew, he grew up in a culturally mixed family. When one grows up in such a family, the child usually has to make a decision as to which culture he or she belongs. In this situation, Timothy would eventually during his childhood have to determine whether he was a Greek after the influence of his father, or a Jew after the influence and teaching of his mother’s religious heritage. It seems that Timothy made this decision before the arrival of Paul on his second visit, for he was already an active disciple. From the time of the first visit of Paul two years before, until Timothy encountered Paul on the second visit, Timothy had grown to be a very active believer in the area of Lystra and Iconium.

Nevertheless, there was still some Gentile influence of his father that had to be overcome before Timothy could join in the ministry with Paul. So Paul “took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those regions, for they all knew that his father was a Greek” (At 16:3). It is not recorded in the New Testament, nor is there any archaeology evidence, that there was a synagogue of the Jews in either Derbe or Lystra. Nevertheless, there were certainly many Jews living in the area. The Gentile father was known in the region, and for this reason, and in order for Timothy to be accepted among the Jews to whom Paul was going to preach, Timothy had to conform to the religious rite of circumcision, though the Sinai law with circumcision, had been nailed to the cross (Cl 2:14).

What is interesting concerning the commitment of Timothy before the arrival of Paul was the great reputation Timothy had with the church that existed in Lystra and Iconium. Timothy “was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium” (At 16:2). Iconium is about twenty-five kilometers north of Lystra, Timothy’s home town. Timothy was known by the church in both of these cities, and thus we must assume that he made the journey between the two cities on a regular basis. His faith and dedication as a young disciple had moved him to go beyond Lystra in order to reach out to those in Iconium. When Paul was made aware of this faith and dedication, he “wanted to have him go with him” (At 16:3). We must note, therefore, that Timothy had already proved his commitment to evangelistic work long before Paul showed up.

[Next in series, March 25.]