BL-49. Pastoral Epistles


Introduction to Pastoral Epistles

   I & II Timothy and Titus are known as Pastoral Epistles, since Timothy and Titus were the pastors of their respective churches.  These three epistles can be called “Leadership Epistles” since they deal with pastoral leadership. Apostle Paul wrote these three epistles to his co-workers; Timothy and Titus instructing them how they should lead the church as pastors. Every pastor and Christian worker must read and practice the principles taught in these Pastoral Epistles, so that he may be a successful Christian pastor or leader in the church.




AUTHOR: Early church tradition unanimously accepted that Paul wrote this epistle. However some scholars question the authorship of Paul by saying that the Pastoral Epistles include words that do not appear in Paul’s uncontested letters. We answer to these questions by saying that usage of different vocabulary does not point for another author. The change of vocabulary is due to the subject matter of the Pastoral Epistles that is so different from that of Paul’s other epistles. An educated man like Paul could use many vocabularies without restriction. The fact that Paul wrote these epistles to his close associates is also a matter of consideration. Hence we believe that Apostle Paul was the true author of all three pastoral epistles including I Timothy.


DATE: Paul visited Ephesus in A.D.63 and established church. Timothy later became the pastor of this church. In A.D.64, Paul probably wrote this epistle to give more instruction about pastor’s duty to Timothy.


PURPOSE: The epistle had two fold purposes. First was to instruct Timothy how to deal with doctrinal errors of false teachers and practical problems in the church at Ephesus. Second was to instruct concerning pastoral duties and the qualification and responsibilities of church leadership.


BACKGROUND: Timothy was a convert of Paul’s ministry at Lystra. Probably Timothy’s grandmother Lois and mother Eunice converted to Christianity from Jewish background (Act.16:1). But Timothy’s father was a gentile, probably a Greek. Timothy had been instructed in the Jewish religion from his childhood by his grandmother and mother. So he knew the scriptures from his childhood. When his mother converted, Timothy also converted to Christianity. During the second and third missionary journeys of Paul, Timothy accompanied him. The ministry experience with Paul prepared Timothy as a good Christian leader. So he was later appointed as the pastor of church at Ephesus. Mentioning political background, Nero was the emperor of Rome when Paul wrote this epistle.





  1. Salutation – 1:1-2.
  2. Serious threat of false Doctrine – 1:3-11.
  • Sincere testimony of Paul – 1:12-17.
  1. Solemn charge to Timothy – 1: 18 -20.
  2. Instruction concerning public prayer – 2:1-7.
  3. Instruction concerning public worship – 2: 8-15
  • Requirements/qualifications for a pastor – 3:1-7
  • Qualifications for a Deacon – 3:8-12
  1. Rewards for Good Service – 3:13
  2. Reasons for the letter – 3:14-16.
  3. The danger of apostate – 4:1-5.
  • The defense against apostate – 4:6-11.
  • The defeat of apostate – 4:12-16.
  • Responsibilities toward men and women – 5:1-2.
  1. Responsibilities toward widows – 5:3-16.
  • Responsibilities to elders/ Pastors -5:17-25.
  • Responsibilities to the masters – 6:1-2.
  • The proper perspective of false teachers – 6:3-5.
  • A proper priority concerning wealth – 6:6-10.
  1. A proper practice to be matured – 6:11-16.
  • A proper attitude of the wealthy – 6:17-19.
  • A proper precaution against apostasy – 6:20-21.




  1. Salutation – 1:1-2


Apostle Paul wrote this epistle by the commandment of God the Father and of Jesus Christ to Timothy. Paul led Timothy to salvation. So he called Timothy, my own son in faith. It was a general practice in the first century A.D that the writer of the letter used to identify himself and his addressee (receiver) at the very beginning words of letter along with greetings. Paul did not become an apostle by his own choice, but he had been chosen by God for this position and commanded to do it. Based on God’s command, and call, the church at Antioch anointed him as an apostle (Act. 9:15,16; 13:1-3). As Paul greeted Timothy, God is the only source of grace, mercy and peace that are manifested through Christ to men.


  1. Serious Threat of False Doctrine. 1:3-11


In this passage of scripture, Paul reminded Timothy about those who taught false doctrine. The false doctrine was taught by some Jews. Those Jews wrongly interpreted the Mosaic Law and made it another doctrine. They forgot the true meaning of Mosaic Law. So they made fables out of Mosaic Law. Such fables would not edify the believers and they are contrary to sound doctrine. Moreover, those Jews who taught false teaching opposed Timothy too! Paul encouraged Timothy to stop those who teach wrongly and to stand for the gospel (V: 5, 11). The law was given not for the believers of the gospel but for disobedient, ungodly, murderers, liars etc.


  • Sincere Testimony of Paul. (1:12-17)


Paul was a murderer and persecutor of Christians. So he was once a law breaker. Although he tried to keep law, he could not. The law did not bring any profit to him, because he was a sinner like those false teachers. But Jesus Christ through the gospel of grace saved Paul and put him in the ministry (12). Paul glorified God for his salvation and for putting him in ministry (17).   


  1. Solemn charge to Timothy (1:18-20)


Paul again commanded Timothy to fight a good fight for gospel, while keeping faith and good conscience. Timothy must do so, because he was called for ministry through a special prophecy. Those who did not have good conscience about gospel (faith) made a great harm to faith. Paul gave the name of two false teachers. (Hymenaus, Alexander)


  1. Instruction Concerning Public Prayer (2:1-7)


Apostle Paul was concerned that the believers at Ephesus must learn how to behave in the local church (3:15). Hence, his first instruction concerned public prayer. This public prayer has four kinds.

            Supplication    –          Asking God to supply our head

            Prayer              –           denoting devotion to God.

            Intercession     –           pleading for self or others.

            Thanks             –           thanking God in prayer (Phi.1:4-6)


There are three reasons for praying for all including kings, whether good or bad. First, prayer for rulers, especially for their salvation, would enable Christians to live a quiet and peaceable life. If the rulers find Christ as their saviour, Christians can live peacefully. Second the purpose of public prayer for all men corresponds with God’s desire that all men be saved. Moreover, Christian must pray for all because there is only one mediator for all. The mediator is the Lord Jesus Christ. All can be saved only by him and through him (Act 4:12)         


  1. Instruction concerning Public Worship (2:8-15)


Paul through the Holy Spirit gave instructions how men and women must behave in the worship. Men, not only in the church but in all places must lead the prayers (2:8). “Lifting up holy hands” expresses the idea of holy life of a Christian leader who leads the prayer or worship (Ps.66:18). Man must lead the worship because man was created first (2:13).


Women must adorn themselves with good character rather than outward appearance or ornamentation. Christian women were not to dress in an ostentatious or showy way (I Pet.3:3). Women should be known for their good works rather than their costly clothes. Women are to exercise no authority over men in Public Worship. Women may teach to other women (Tit.2:3-5). Women must be submissive to their own husbands, not because men are superior but for three reasons: First, man (Adam) was created first; second, Eve was first deceived by Satan; third, woman (Eve-wife) was created for man (Adam-husband) as a helpmate. (I Cor.11:3,8,9)


There are many views concerning the statement “she shall be saved in childbearing”. (2:15). we have given five views which are better than others.


First View:     Childbearing speaks of her role as a wife and mother. If she accepts this God-given responsibility and resists the temptation to do the work given to her husband, she does well. However, she must also continue in faith, love and sanctification with sobriety” to be saved. Faith in Christ for salvation and the accompanying graces of salvation must be as evident in her life as in her husband’s life. His life will be on display more in public than hers, while her life will be on display at house.


Second View: “In the childbearing” speaks of Christ’s birth through a woman. Although the article is not translated in the King James Version (English Bible) it is in the Greek text. Those who take this view believe woman, as well as man will be saved through the birth of one particular child. Jesus Christ, as promised in Gen.3:15. However, her salvation must be appropriated by faith in Christ and accompanied by faith, love, and holiness with sobriety in the Christian life.


Third View:   Some believe, according to the context, “She” refers to “Eve”. Her “deliverance” would come through the pain of child birth. (Gen.3:15,16)


Fourth View: The Greek word (sozo) translated “Saved” here has various meanings. The primary meaning is “preserve from natural dangers”. Other meanings are protection from enemy, or war, healing from sickness, etc. Woman shall be protected (saved) in childbearing.


Fifth View:     According this view woman shall be remaining as the only wife of a husband. In those days, It was very common, man married second wife for having child if the first wife did not bear child. By the second marriage of her husband, she would lose the position of being the co-ruler (wife/mother) of the family with husband. But she shall be saved in childbearing from losing the position in the family (Ex: Hannah- I Sam.1-2)


Note:   Man and woman are equal in the sight of God in all respect. However, God guides the women in church not to interfere in the affairs and responsibility of men (2:11,12)            


  • Qualifications for a Pastor (3:1-7)


Paul dealt with the pastor’s office in this passage. Here the pastor is called a “Bishop”. This simply means the pastor is an overseer of the church, an administrator, to see that it functions properly as guided in the scripture and it is protected. Although the pastoral office carries with it many responsibilities and sacrifices, it is a good and desirable office. However, the desire for the office must be for God’s glory not for self-glory. If God places one into that kind of ministry, he should accept it joyfully. With this encouragement, Paul listed the qualifications of a pastor (Bishop).


These qualifications can be listed in four categories, as following


  1. Qualification concerning character (2-3)
    • Blameless
    • The husband of one-wife (Not Divorced)
    • Vigilant (alert and watchful)
    • Sober (sound mind – not mentally weak/poor)
    • Having good behaviour (well organized)
    • Providing hospitality (welcoming others)
    • Apt to teach (Able to teach others)
    • Not given to wine (Not a drunkard)
    • No Striker (not fighting physically)
    • Not greedy (no lust after worldly wealth)
    • Patient (not quarrelsome)
    • Not a Brawler (not fighting in public)
    • Not covetous (not love for money or popularity)


Note:   “Apt to teach” refers that a pastor must be well versed with the scripture by learning it again and again


  1. Qualification concerning his conduct at home(4-5)
  • Managing own house/ family well.


  • Providing and protecting the family
  • Guiding the children in godliness and obedience.


  • Qualification concerning his Christian life (6)


  • Not a new convert (pastor must not be a new convert, but must have spiritual maturity. The two important reasons why a new convert should not be appointed as pastor are: first, elevating to the position of a pastor might cause a new convert to be filled with pride; second, Being filled with pride might cause him to fall into the same condemnation which Satan face when he became proud.


  1. Qualification concerning his conduct in public (3:7)


  • Good testimony before the public of his community. Even unbelievers must bear good report about him. The reasons for having such testimony are: First, he would not bring reproach upon the church; second, he will not be trapped by Satan.


  • Qualification for a Deacon (3:8-12)


After giving the qualifications to be a pastor, Paul discusses the qualifications of a deacon. The deacons were charged primarily with the temporal and financial responsibilities, within the local church (Act 6). Deacon’s qualifications are similar to those of the pastor.


The qualifications are listed as following


  1. Deacon’s Personal Qualifications (3:8)


  • Not double-tongued = sincere
  • Not given to much wine = Not a drunkard
  • Not greedy = not a lover of money / wealth


  1. Deacon’s Spiritual Qualifications (3:9-10)


  • Holding the mystery of faith – (A deacon must hold the truth of scripture by knowing and practicing them with a pure conscience (a pure life) A man who does not know the word of God (Bible) and practice it, should not be a deacon).
  • First be proved (his conduct and character must be tested and observed over a period of time and if he is found blameless (un accused) he may be appointed to serve.)


  • Deacon’s Domestic Qualifications (3:11-12)


         “Women mentioned here could be a reference to deacon’s wife or to deaconesses. They are designated only as “women” not as “wives” as the KJV translates. They were probably deaconesses in the early church as found in Rom.16:1 (Phebe was a servant, or literally a deaconess).

  • Not slanderers (women should not speak gossip)
  • Sober (Sound mind)
  • Faithful in all things (faithful in home, church and public)
  • Husband of one wife (not a polygamist)
  • Ruling the house well (proper administration of house). The deacons or deaconesses must be appointed, If they have these qualification.


  1. Rewards for Good Service (3:13)


         A reward is promised to the deacons who use their offices well (v.13) .Some scholars feel that the original text does not limit the reward to deacons, but also extends it to the bishops. Hence, it applies to bishops, deacons and deaconesses.



  1. Reasons for the letter (3: 14-16)


         Paul was delayed in Ephesus. So he wrote to Timothy to instruct him how to carry out his responsibilities in the local church. Paul refers the church (believers not the building) as the house of God. The Church is the pillar and ground of truth in order to stand and support the truth by its faithful witness before the world.


         “Mystery of Godliness” speaks of truth, which is revealed in Jesus Christ. This truth produces godliness in those who believe on Jesus Christ.


The mystery of truth revealed in Christ has six fold manifestations as in the text.

  1. God was manifest in the flesh = speaks of the incarnation of Christ (Jn. 1:1, 14,18) Hence, Jesus Christ is God.
  2. Justified in the spirit = speaks of his resurrection when his claims to deity were justified or vindicated. (Mt. 3:16-17, 17:5)
  • Seen of angels = During his earthly life and ministry angels ministered him (Lk.2:8-14; Mt.4:11, Lk.22:43; Mt.28:2-7; Act.1:10-11)
  1. Preached into the Gentiles (Mt. 28:18-20; Act.1:8, Gal.1:16)
  2. Believed on in the world (Roman10:17)
  3. Received up into glory = (His ascension – Act1:9-11. This was the climax of the mission that he did for men) while Paul wrote the purpose of writing the epistle, he praised God by saying that Christ is the mystery of godliness.


  1. The Danger of Apostate (4:1-5)


The Apostates (false teachers) were dangerous. There were false teachers in those days too! However, their number would be great at later times; Paul listed some characters of false teachers. They were described as those who had departed from true faith to follow the doctrines conceived by Satan and his evil spirits. The faith here refers to the faith on Jesus Christ as in the Bible (1.6; Jn5:39; I Cor.15:3,4). But the false teachers give importance to speaking to evil spirits and to listening to evil spirits instead of listening to God’s word. The characteristics of false teachings as well as false teachers are as following:

  • Departing from faith (Perverting the truth of Bible)
  • Listening to evil spirits (not listening the word of God)
  • Listening the doctrine of demons (false practices)
  • Speaking lies
  • Hypocrisy (know the right but denying)
  • Forbidding to marry (dishonoring married life)
  • Abstaining from food (false life style and worship system)

Believers can have food with thanksgiving to God because everything is created for men by God. (Gen.1:31)  


  • The Defense against Apostate (4:6-11)


Paul instructs how a pastor must identify and guard himself and his church against apostate. Paul gives the strategy of defense against apostate as following


  1. Instruct the brethren (teach to the church about truth against false teaching – a good teacher is a good pastor)
  2. Nourish in the words of faith (Right teaching of the Bible)
  • Reject fables (There were or are many false stories either of tradition or of myths. We have to reject if it is not faithful to the scripture)
  1. Exercise godliness (As we reject fables, we must exercise for godliness. The Greek word “gymnaze” means “exercise”. “Exercise” (gymnaze) is the word from which “gymnasium” is derived. “Exercise” speaks of the training of physical athletes. Likewise, spiritual leaders need “exercise” to train their spiritual abilities. Bodily exercise is profitable, but only for a little while – only for this life. Spiritual exercise (godliness) is profitable in this life, as well as in the life next. In this life godliness is profitable as a powerful weapon against the apostates. In the next life, godliness will be rewarded by God.


We must strive/ labor for godliness because we trust in the saviour of all men (9,10).


“Saviour of all men, especially to those that believe” – Christ saves all men on a temporal basis in this life through many acts of mercy and kindness (providing food, health etc), but He saves believers on an eternal basis when they put their faith in his death and resurrection to take away the penalty of their sins. This is one interpretation. Another says Christ is the potential saviour of all men. But the actual saviour of only those that believe.


After giving the strategy of defense against apostates, Paul instructed Timothy “To command and teach” to others.


“Command and teach” are imperatives in the present tense. Hence teaching against the apostates (false teachers/ teachings) must go on continually.       


  • The Defeat of Apostate (4:12-16)


In this passage of scripture, Paul encourages, young Timothy, how to exercise godliness in daily life as a pastor. Practical tips for godliness given to Timothy are useful to all Christians, even today. The practical tips are as following:


  1. Timothy’s Conduct (4:12)


  • An Example (Role model to others to follow)
  • In word(Proper verbal communication develops inter-personal relationship)
  • In Conduct (manner/ style of daily life)
  • In love (love without partiality)
  • In spirit (enthusiasm / sincere effort in all)
  • In faith (being faithful by having faith in God)
  • In purity (attitudes)

These characters mould him as good Christian.



  1. Timothy’s Commission (4:13)


While maintaining good conduct, Timothy is commissioned to be careful in the following three areas.


  • Reading – (Reading scripture in public in church)
  • Exhortation – (Preaching and encouraging the people to act upon the reading) (Acts13:15)
  • Doctrine (Teaching systematically the God’s will/plan for men; formal instruction in the word of God)


Hence every pastor and Christian leader/teacher must read, exhort and teach doctrine to church.


  • Timothy’s Calling (4:14)


“The gift” – A gift of grace given by the Lord for some special work (Eph.4:11; I Pet.4:10). Evidently Timothy had neglected to develop and to use this gift, probably his pastoral gift. He was commanded not to neglect his gift. From this it can be learned that a gift from God is not automatically useful, if it is neglected. The recipient must exert his will and effort to use it in the church for God’s glory and for other’s benefit.


  • “Given thee by prophecy” – A prophetic utterance was perhaps given to encourage him (Act.16:1-3; I Tim.1:18) However, all are not called for pastoral ministry by prophecy. (Ex- Titus)
  • “Laying on of hands” – other pastors /elders identified with him by laying their hands on him. After prophetic utterance about Timothy’s calling, the elders (Pastors) recognized him as the pastor of the church at Ephesus. The higher calling by God must encourage us to practice godliness in our life.


  1. Timothy’s motivation (4:15-16)


Timothy’s motivation must be on the following areas.


  • Meditate – Godly principles given in the word of God for pastors
  • Give yourself – Complete dedication of life for God’s call and godliness.
  • Take heed – be careful about your self discipline and your doctrine.
  • Continue – persevering in faith and in godliness.


Paul has clearly defined, how one must practice godliness in his life: by conduct, by carrying on his commission faithfully, by obeying to the call of God and by continuing in doctrinal principles (Phil.2:12 – Workout = show out salvation) The godliness if practiced as given in the Bible not only would defeat the apostates but also would save others to whom one ministers (4:16)


  • Responsibilities Toward Men and Women (5:1-2)


Timothy was between 30-40 years of age. So Paul guided him how to treat others in the church. He should treat elders, here old men, like fathers. However if they do anything wrongly, Timothy as a pastor admonish them gently, not harshly. Much the same way, elder women must be treated like mothers.


Young men and women must be treated as brothers and sisters. They must also be exhorted well.


  1. Responsibilities toward widows (5:3-16)


Paul instructed Timothy as well as the church, how to treat widow in the church. In those days, the death ratio was high due to famine, wars, lack of medical treatment so there were many widows in the church as well as in the society. The society often neglected the widows. But God has special concern for them. So the Holy Spirit guided Paul to instruct Timothy and church about widows. Paul divided the widows of the church in three categories as following.


  1. Widows with their children (5:4,16): The children or grandchildren can take care of them. By helping and supporting the widows of their families, the children really honour their parents. (Ex. 20:12). Moreover the church will not have much financial burden when the children look after their parents, especially of widows.


  1. Aged Widows (5:3,5,7-10): Paul has well defined how a widow must be selected to be supported financially by the church. The eligible widow must be determined as following:


  • Living alone (none cares her)
  • Trusting in God (She must be a believer)
  • Continuing in prayer (faithful prayer life)
  • Not less than 60 years of age.
  • Wife of one man (Not divorced and remarried – Not polyandrist)
  • Good report of works (helping others)
  • Brought up children (brought children in faith)
  • Lodged the strangers (Probably hospitable to wandering preachers)
  • Washed the saint’s feet (hospitable to believers)
  • Relieved the afflicted (help to the poor or sick)


Those women who have these qualification (eligibility) but nobody in her family take care her must be considered for the financial help.(V:10b) 


  • Widows exempted from help (5:6,11-15)


  • Living for pleasure (self-indulgent and wasteful)
  • Widow who is younger (less than 60-cfv:9)

Younger widows should not be added in the help-list of church.


  • They may grow Wanton
  • They may re-marry unbelievers (against Christian faith)
  • They may go away from faith.
  • They may become idle (lazy)
  • They may do gossips


If young widows do the above things, the name of Christ and testimony of church might be spoiled in the society. So Paul instructed the church not to help young widows but to allow them to re-marry and re-establish the family


Note: Some younger widows left their faith, but remarried the unbelievers (v:11,12). Hence young widows should not be helped financially from the church. By re-marrying an unbeliever, such widows turn toward Satan.


Notes on re-marriage: The bible encourages the re-marriage of younger widows. However they must re-marry a believer and develop a Christian home. (v.14)

The word of God / Bible is the only book which has well defined about widows. It guides the church about how it must deal with widows in the church. The church has greater role in helping the widows. However such help must be guided by the principles given here in God’s word.


  • Responsibilities to Elders/Pastors (5:17-25)


The elder here refers to the pastors, teachers and even evangelists. If they are good and faithful and do well (v:17), they should be honored doubly. “Double honor” – probably refers to added respect and extra remuneration. “Especially they who labour” refers to those who give themselves totally to their work of preaching and teaching. Paul quoted an Old Testament example of ox (Deut.25:4) and a saying of Jesus Christ (Mt.10:10) to substantiate his teaching concerning “double honour”


Note: The full time workers (Pastor/ Elder/ Bishop/ Evangelist) must be given proper salary from the church since they labor in the word (preaching) and doctrine (teaching) The term “labor” probably refers to those who work full-time in the ministry, by devoting their whole time, work, and life. However the salary of part-time workers may be decided by the church based on the time they give for the church ministry.


The church should not accept any accusation against a pastor without two or three witnesses (Deut.19:15; Num.35:30). When a pastor is properly accused and found guilty, he should be rebuked before “others”. Timothy was to guard himself against showing partiality toward any individual. All were to be treated fairly and justly (v:20,21)


Note: “Rebuke in the presence of all (v:20a). Some believe that an accused pastor must be rebuked in front all congregation /church. Some other scholars believe the accused pastors must be rebuked in the presence of other pastors or elders but not before the church. They say this because the immediate context deals with pastors not with the whole congregation of church. So the accused (pastor/elder) must be rebuked in the presence of other pastors.


Ordination of Pastors (v:22): “Laying hands” refers to ordaining a pastor. Other pastors (seniors) identified themselves with the one being ordained by laying their hands on him. “Laying hands” is an approval here. Approval of a man for the pastorate was serious and should be done very carefully. If Timothy (or any pastor) carelessly and hastily took part in an ordination of a man who later became unworthy, Timothy would have identified himself with that man’s sin. Timothy was reminded to keep his own life pure – by not approving man hastily. Before ordination, they must be examined about their life. Their sins must be examined before ordination (v:24). Good works can be known easily but sins will not be known unless examined (v:25). Hence examine well, before ordaining a man as pastor/ elder/bishop or as deacon.


Use of little wine (v:23): Timothy probably had stomach ulcer due to fasting. Paul advised him not to neglect health. Paul was advising Timothy that wine could be used for medicinal purposes. There is no way of knowing it this wine contained any alcohol, because the word could refer to pure grape juice. Recent research has shown that pure grape juice is even more effective in combating some sickness than alcoholic wine. Further, alcoholic wine in those days was quite weak, being diluted with much water. This command does not command social drinking; hence, it is purely a medical advice of Paul to Timothy.


  • Responsibilities to the masters (6:1-2)


A slave (worker) being a Christian must honor and respect his master. This was important so that God’s name and Christian teaching would not be blamed. A slave (worker/ employee) was not to despise his Christian master (employer) because he was a brother in Christ. Instead he was to serve him in an even greater way because he had a common bond of faith with him. The benefit from his labors went to a fellow believer, a beloved brother. (Like wise the masters must treat their slaves well – Eph.6:5-9, Philemon)


  • The Proper Perspective of false Teachers (6:3-5)


False teachers teach that which is contrary to wholesome words. “Wholesome word” refers to the true doctrine which Honors Jesus Christ and which produces godliness in believers. But false doctrine will dishonor Jesus Christ and will deny true godliness.


Paul gives the basic characters of false teachers (v:4): They are proud, perverted in their teaching, puffed up with their empty knowledge. They argue and dispute over words. Their teaching produces unhealthy fruits like Envy, strife, railings and evil suspicions. They think godliness is gain (v:5). They calculate their life, ministry and whatever they do in terms of money. Timothy was advised to withdraw from such false teachers.


  • A Proper Priority Concerning Wealth (6:6-10)


True godliness is always accompanied with contentment. The word contentment means satisfaction with one’s situation. We must be content with what we have. Paul himself was the best example for contentment (Phil.4:11). Living a godly life that is satisfied with God’s provision is great spiritual gain. This person can live above his circumstances, for spiritual gain, not material gain. The spiritual gain is the top priority of a godly person. Everything that we have has come from God and we can not take anything with us when we die. (v:7; Job.1:21; Lk.12:20; Col.3:2) Hence, we should be content with the way God supplies our basic needs (Ps.37:25; Pro.10:3; Mt.6:31-33; Phil.4:19)


If a person or believer is not content, but desires to be rich, he often falls into temptation (Jame.1:14,15). As a result he/she falls spiritually. Such persons fall “into many foolish and hurtful lusts”. Their desire to be rich will lead them into senseless sins which will hurt them, rather than bring them satisfaction – i.e, dishonesty in business, bribery, corruption in work gambling, smuggling, etc.

They will drown one day in their sins. Because “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (v:10).


  1. A Proper Practice to be Matured (6:11-16)


Paul encouraged Timothy to flee these things, which refer to “Love of Money”. While fleeing from love of money, Paul exhorted Timothy on three aspects as following


  1. Follow (Pursue) – v:11


  • Righteousness = Right living
  • Godliness = Reverence for God
  • Faith = 2 Cor. 5:7
  • Love = Jn. 13:34
  • Patience = Perseverance in trials
  • Gentleness = Meekness


  1. Fight the good fight of faith – v:12
  • Hold on eternal life (v:12)


Timothy was already saved, so Paul asked him to live for eternal values (v: 19). These three must be practiced constantly in Christian life to be matured. Paul showed him the perfect example that was Jesus Christ. He was blameless even before Pilate.    (Jn. 18:33-38; 19:8-11) Likewise, one must be blameless before public, if there is any trial. Moreover, one must be blameless till Jesus Christ comes (13-16).


  • A Proper Attitude of the wealthy (6:17-19)


Paul tells Timothy to command the rich, not to be haughty (Proud) and not to trust in riches (Pro.23:4-5) However they can use their riches to do good work by giving and sharing. By doing good works, they store good blessing which they might enjoy at eternal life.


  • A Proper Precaution Against Apostasy (6:20-21)


Timothy was to carefully guard the gospel (what was committed to your trust). While guarding the truth, Timothy was to avoid the empty babblings of the false teachers and the knowledge / Philosophy which was man-centered and in opposition to the gospel of Jesus Christ. In modern day context, “What is falsely called knowledge” could refer to either evolution theory or any teaching that is contrary to the gospel. By professing such false knowledge, some have left their faith. So Paul advised and encouraged Timothy to follow in faith. At the end, Paul blessed him “Grace be with you.” With God’s grace, Timothy could over come all false teachers, teachings. Amen!     




Background and Authorship: In the book of Acts (Acts.28:16), Paul’s first Roman imprisonment is mentioned. Probably after two years, Paul was released from prison. So he did one more missionary journey as far as Spain. During the persecution period, done by Emperor Nero in 64A.D, Paul was again arrested probably in Troas (4:13) and imprisoned in Rome. This was Paul’s second Roman imprisonment. During first Roman imprisonment, Paul was in his own hired house (Acts.28:30) and was allowed to receive visitors. But in this second Roman imprisonment, he was confined in a dungeon and only a few friends could see him with much difficulty. In the first imprisonment, he expected a release but in the second Roman imprisonment he was expecting his death (4:6-8) When Paul wrote this epistle, Luke was with him at Rome. (4:11)


Date of Epistle: Possibly 66/67 A.D.


Purpose: In the first letter, Paul made Timothy to be aware of false teachers. However in this second epistle Paul’s immediate purpose was to express his affection and concern for Timothy. Moreover Paul’s central purpose of writing this epistle was the welfare of the church and safeguarding the gospel. Paul expressed to Timothy his concern that his young-coworker would carefully and faithfully transmit the gospel of Christ after Paul’s death. (2 Tim.2:2). Paul asked Timothy to be faithful in the face of hardships, desertions and error.


OUTLINE (IInd Timothy)


  1. Paul’s Salutation and Thanksgiving (1:1-5)
  2. Practice the gift of God (1:6-12)
  • Protect the Gospel of God (1:13-18)
  1. Preach God’s word (2:1-13)
  2. Preserve God’s word (2:14-26)
  3. Perceive the Apostasy (3:1-9)
  • Profit of following the word of God (3:10-17)
  • Proclaim the word of God (4:1-5)
  1. Paul’s Life of faith (4:6-8)
  2. Paul’s Desire (4:9-16)
  3. Paul’s confession of Lord’s faithfulness (4:17-18)
  • Paul’s final greeting (4:19-22)


Study Notes (IInd Timothy)


  1. Paul’s Salutation and Thanksgiving (1:1-5)


         Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ. He became the apostle by the will of God. He did not make or declare himself as the apostle. He became the apostle as Jesus declared and as church ordained (Act. 9:15,16; 13:1-4; Gal.1:1). Through Paul’s ministry many including Timothy became believers. Timothy ministered with Paul as a faithful co-worker. So Paul affectionately called him, a beloved son. Timothy’s grandmother (Lois) and mother (Eunice) were from Jewish community, but his father was a Greek. However, Timothy was well nourished in faith through his mother and grandmother. The example of Timothy’s mother as well as his grandmother shows how mothers have the responsibilities of teaching their children in faith and the Bible (Deut. 6:6-7). They probably accepted Jesus Christ at Paul’s first missionary Journey (Act.14). So Timothy was really ready to become a co-worker with Paul on his second missionary journey. (Act.16:1-3)


  1. Practice the gift of God (1:6-12)


         Paul encouraged Timothy “to stir up the gift” of God (v:6). Every believer has a spiritual gift (I Cor.12:11). We do not know “What specific gift Timothy had.” However, it appears from scripture he had at least the following gifts.


  • Pastoral Leadership (I Tim.6:11,12 – Man of God; I Tim.3:1-7,15)
  • Evangelist (2 Tim. 4:5)
  • Teacher (2 Tim. 2:2,15)
  • Preacher (2 Tim. 4:2)


So Paul reminded him to use the gifts in the church. Moreover Paul encouraged Timothy “be not ashamed” of testifying for the Lord (v:8). Paul was too not ashamed of gospel (Rom.1:16) God had appointed Paul to be a preacher, an apostle and a teacher of gospel to the gentiles. Although Paul suffered of his calling, he was not ashamed. He was a positive example for Timothy to follow. Moreover Paul was confident that Jesus is able to keep him until that day (Day of his coming). Paul’s confidence is also an example to Timothy as well as all who believe on Jesus Christ.  


  • Protect the Gospel of God (1:13-18)


Paul further encouraged Timothy “to hold fast the form of sound words”. The word “form” in this phrase refers to “system of faith regarding Christ”. Faith in Christ is regarded “Sound words” (Healthy words). While holdfast the faith in Christ, Timothy was asked “Keep the good thing”. (Guard the good thing). Good thing here refers to the Gospel. Timothy was charged to keep the gospel because many, especially Phygellus and Hermogenes had turned away from the gospel and from Paul. However, Paul showed to Timothy the good example of Onesiphorus who helped Paul courageously in prison too.


Note: The Bible does not say much about Phygellus and Hermogenes. However it appears from the text portion, that they were probably co-workers with Paul. They had left Paul without helping him during his imprisonment. It is not clear they had turned away from faith too. Certainly Paul was painful for their turning away. The church today needs courageous workers like Onesiphorus and Timothy not persons like Phygellus and Hermogeneus.


  1. Preach God’s word (2:1-13)


Paul in the first two verses (1,2) presented the blue-print of strategy that is necessary for teaching the God’s word.


First Strategy: “Be Strong” – Every Christian worker must be strong in the grace in Christ. Grace is the only means of inner spiritual strength, given by God directly to everyone who trusts Him. Are we strong in the grace of Jesus?


Second Strategy: “Commit these”. A Christian must commit what he has learned. The word commit has the idea of “communicating carefully” what he knows. Hence a Christian worker must know God’s word thoroughly in order to communicate properly to others. Sincere and systematic study was given to Timothy by Paul (you have heard from me). Hence a Christian worker must study God’s word from the Godly leaders. Have we learnt God’s word systematically and thoroughly?


Third Strategy: “Commit these to faithful men” Timothy must find out the faithful men and must teach and train them in God’s word. Many might come for ministry with false motives. It was the duty of Timothy to identify faithful and able man for ministry, So that the gospel would be communicated from generation to generation. Do we identify faithful and able men for ministry? After giving the strategy for teaching and preaching the gospel, Paul pointed three examples that every Christian worker is to learn and to develop.


The Staunchness of a soldier (3-4):  The soldier must be ready to suffer and to die as a good soldier for the cause of Christ (endure hardness). Further more, he must not occupy himself with worldly pursuits. But he gives himself completely to the duties assigned to him by Christ and by so doing, please him as his commander.


The Strictness of an Athlete (2:5):   The athlete, himself must strictly train as an athlete to compete according to the rules laid down by sports committee. Likewise a Christian worker must work according to the rules of the Bible laid down by Christ or else he will be disqualified and not be rewarded (crowned).


The Steadfastness of a farmer (2:6-13): A farmer must work hard and not give up until he has received the fruit of his labours. The good minister of Christ receives the first fruit of his labours on earth when a soul accepts Christ but he will receive the harvest of his labours when he is rewarded in glory. There are two examples given to remind him to keep steadfastness: Jesus Christ (v:8) and the apostle Paul (9-10). A faithful saying is given to encourage him, but also to warn him, so that he will remain steadfast until he is rewarded (v: 11-13).


  1. Preserve God’s word (2:14-26)


Paul advised not to strife over words (v:14), but to rightly divide God’s word. The term “rightly divide” refers to determining the right meaning of God’s word. The precondition for rightly dividing God’s word is studying God’s word.” Studying God’s word thoroughly will only help us to determine the right meaning of God’s word. But the false teachers like Hymenaeus and Philetus said that the resurrection was already past (v: 18). Through their false teaching, they over threw the faith of some people by saying Jesus did not bodily rise from the dead. They taught falsely about resurrection because their interpretation of scripture was wrong. So Paul asked Timothy to preserve the facts concerning the resurrection because the resurrection of Christ was witnessed by many eyewitnesses. (II Cor.15:3-6). Paul not only asked Timothy to preserve God’s word but also advised him to preserve himself pure from sin (flee youthful lusts -22) and from disputes over foolish questions of false teachers (v: 23). However, the task of the servant of the Lord is to bring them back to soberness so they can escape the snare of Satan.


  1. Perceive the Apostasy (3:1-9)


Note: The last days began with the birth of Christ (Heb. 1:1-3). Hence the period between the first advent (birth) of Christ and the second coming of Christ is considered the last days. (I Jn 2:18; Heb.1:2; Jude.18; James. 5:3)


The false teaching and teachers are many in the last days. Their number will increase as the second coming approaches near. Paul has listed the characters of the false teachers in these verses (2-7). They behave and imitate like godly people but deny the power of God (v:5). Such false teachers could not overcome their sins by the help of God’s power (v:7). So they cheat and abuse women financially and sexually (v:6). Such false teachers may learn always but will never know the truth of God’s word (v:7). They pervert the scripture. The believers must turn away from such people (5b). Paul also compared the false teachers with two false teachers from Old Testament – Jannes and Jambres. The Egyptian magicians were these two who opposed Moses; when Moses met Pharoah at his court. (Ex.7:11-22; 9:11) When Moses did miracles by God’s power, these Egyptian magicians also did miracles; But finally they were defeated (Ex. 9:11). So also the false teachers will be defeated (v:9).


  • Profit of following the word of God (3:10-17)


Paul asked Timothy to follow his own example in doctrine, faith and life of suffering (vv:10-12; 2Cor. 1:9,10; 11:23-33). Suffering is a part of Christian life as Christ suffered (v:12; Ju.16:33). But the false teachers may not be willing to suffer, because they cheat others. However the life of false teachers is evil (v:13).


After giving his own example Paul encouraged Timothy to continue in faith based on the Holy Scripture, because scripture gives power to overcome sin and suffering (3:16-17). Timothy had at least learnt scripture from two sources- first source was his home: mother and grandmother (v: 15; 1:5). The second source was Paul, the apostle v: 10,14; 2 Tim2:2) Both Paul and Timothy’s mother as well as grandmother taught the scripture to Timothy; because the scripture is given by the Holy Spirit (v:16). If any one reads and practices the scripture, it brings a great profit for him. He can become a man of God (v: 16,17). If we know scripture very well, the Holy Spirit will use us more powerfully in ministry.


  • Proclaim the word of God (4:1-5)


Paul solemnly charged Timothy to proclaim the truth because many turned away from truth by following false teachers. He asked Timothy “to preach the word” (v:2). Because God’s word is powerful to convince, rebuke, exhort the hearers. Preaching God’s word involves evangelizing too (v:5).


  1. Paul’s Life of faith (4:6-8)


Paul’s life of faith involved fighting evils, running to the end and keeping the faith. He said this as he was facing trial and death (6,7). His faith not only helped him to live a successful life in the past, but also looked forward the crown in the future (v:8).


Note: “At that day” refers to the Day of Judgment seat of Christ. In the Grecian games, an impartial judge assigned prizes to those contestants who had won fairly. So here, the picture is of Christ who will without favoritism award the prizes to those deserving them. (Rom.2:2,6,11,16; I Cor. 3:11ff; 2 Cor.5:10).


  1. Paul’s Desire (4:9-16)


Those who were with Paul had left him. Some left for good purpose (Titus, Tychicus for ministry) but some left by forsaking faith (Demas for the love of world and money). So Paul desired for the fellowship of Timothy and Mark. Luke as doctor was with Paul to help Paul at his old age.


The Cloak – It is a thick overcoat. It was at Troas and he wanted Timothy to bring it to him. Winter was approaching, and he needed it to bear cold at his old age.


The books – Scrolls that were made of Papyrus. They were distinguished from the parchments.

The parchments – It is a better quality roll; made from animal skins which might have been Paul’s Old Testament scrolls.




  1. Paul’s confession of Lord’s faithfulness (4:17-18)


The Lord helped and delivered Paul from many evils and dangers in the past (2 Cor.1:9,10). Paul thankfully confessed them and probably looked for such a deliverance again from prison. (v: 6; 1:8,16,17).


  • Paul’s final greeting (4:19-22)


Paul greeted his friends by naming a few, and invited Timothy to come to him as early as possible.


Trophimus was an Ephesian who had traveled with Paul on his third missionary journey (Acts.20:4) Why did Paul not heal him? Perhaps the healing power the apostles had was being removed by God as were the other apostolic powers (I Cor.13:8-12).






Background and Authorship:          After his release from the first imprisonment in Rome, Paul did ministry in Crete along with Titus. This ministry in Crete was not recorded in the book of Acts. So it might have happened a period after the first imprisonment recorded in Acts 28. Hence, some scholars suggest, the ministry in Crete was the fourth missionary journey although it was not recorded in Acts. This ministry took place for very short time probably between 63-64 AD. So Paul could not train enough leaders at Crete. However, He left Titus at Crete to train and appoint leaders in church (1:5). Paul wrote this epistle to Titus in order to instruct him how to appoint pastors/ leaders to the churches in Crete. He wrote this epistle probably around A.D.64.


Titus was a Greek. He probably became a believer of Christ through Paul’s ministry. Paul trained him as a good minister of God as Timothy was trained. Titus was also a trusted companion of Paul (Gal.2:1-3).


Purpose: Paul gave Titus a difficult task of appointing pastors in the churches at the cities in Crete; Later Paul wrote this epistle to Titus in order to guide him concerning the duties of Pastor. (1:5).




  • Greetings to Titus. 1:1-5
  1. Qualifications for Pastors. 1:6-9
  • Warning about the false Teachers. 1:10-16
  • Good works portrayed in the believers. 2:1-10
  • Good works produced by the gospel. 2:11-15
  • Good work practiced before the world. 3:1-15




  1. Greetings to Titus. 1:1-5


Paul calls himself a bond servant of God by being an apostle of Jesus Christ. God’s elect here refers to all true believers in the church. God who can not lie promised the eternal life before time began, however that eternal life manifested now is available through our saviour by accepting the gospel (Acts.4:12). Accepting Gospel brings grace, mercy, and peace from God to believers. With this greeting Paul writes to Titus.


  1. Qualifications for Pastors. 1:6-9


The qualifications of a pastor are given in I Tim.3:1-7. However some additional qualifications are given in Titus (1:6-9), along with those which are given in Timothy (3:1-7). Those additional qualifications are as following


  • Pastor must be a faithful steward
  • Not self-willed (Not arrogant – 2 Pet.2:10)
  • Not soon angry (Not quick tempered)
  • Not given to filthy lucre (not desirous of un just gains)
  • Lover of good men (love to do good and having fellowship with good).
  • Just (fair)
  • Holy (separated from unethical things)
  • Temperate (self-control)
  • Pastor must know the word of God (I Tim.4:16)


Note:   A church should appoint one as a pastor who has all these qualifications mentioned in these Pastoral Epistles. (I Tim. 3:1-7; Tit.1:6-9)


Note:   Bishop (overseer) is the same pastoral office as it refers to an “elder” The term Bishop/ Pastor refers to his responsibility and the other (elder) emphasized his maturity.     


  • Warning about the false Teachers. 1:10-16


As Paul wrote Timothy to warn about false teachers, he warned Titus too. He listed the characteristics of false teachers; generally false teachers are gluttons, cheaters and liars.


Note:   Prophet (1:12) here mentioned is not a prophet of God but a Cretan poet. The name of poet was Epimenides, lived in 6th century B.C.


  1. Good works portrayed in the believers. 2:1-10


         Paul advised Titus to speak sound doctrine. Sound doctrine involves holy life of believers too. In order to develop good character and holiness, Titus must guide believers. Older women must have and develop their characters and then they should teach young women to love their husband and children, in addition to their well behaviour. (2:2-5). Young men are advised to be sober-minded. Not only teaching others, Titus must himself be an example to others (2:7,8). Paul also guided how the servants must obey to their masters (2:9-10)


  1. Good works produced by the gospel. 2:11-15


Good work of a believer is the product of salvation. Good works of a believer is one of the proofs of salvation. Believers must do good works because we have a hope of his coming. (2:13).


Note:   Good works will not help anyone to attain salvation. (Is 64:6). However, they follow salvation. Salvation is a gift of God (Eph.2:8-10; Tit. 3:5).


  1. Good work practiced before the world. 3:1-15

         Believers must obey to civil rulers (Rom.13:1-3; I Pet.2:13-17). As well, they must do good works too, because we are saved by His mercy (3:4-8). Believers must avoid foolish disputes and they must reject divisive men (false teachers) after giving two admonitions (v:10). After giving these advises, Paul ends his letter with Christian greetings.




  • Write the background of I Timothy.
  • Write the five views about I Tim.2:15.
  • Discuss about the qualification of Pastor from the epistles to Timothy and Titus.
  • What are the defenses against Apostate?
  • Discuss the profit of following the word of God.
  • Write the background of Titus.


Note:   Students are asked to write the answers for these questions and send the answer sheets to The Director, CALS. Please do mention your name and Register Number in your answer sheets.