The Household (Pt. 12)

On the second visit by Paul to Derbe, Lystra & Iconium, the Apostle saw the pure faith of Timothy, and since from a child he had known the sacred Scriptures of the Old Testament (2 Tim 3:15), and also seeing his Christian character, he wanted Timothy to “accompany him” (Acts 16:1-3). Timothy accepted Paul’s desire, and as preparation to his work in being an evangelist, both to Jew and Gentile, two things were done. In order to promote unity between Gentile Christians (Hellenistic) & Jewish Christians (Hebrews), who would otherwise have caused trouble, which would have weakened Timothy’s position and his work as a gospel preacher. Paul took Timothy and circumcised him and had him “ordained”. Paul wanted this done, on account of the fact that Timothy’s mother was a Jewess. It was therefore quite a different case from that of Titus, where Paul refused to allow circumcision to be performed (Acts 15:2 & Galatians 2:1-8)–Titus being, unlike Timothy, a Gentile by birth. The other act which was performed for Timothy’s benefit, before he set out with Paul, was that he was prayed over and had hands laid upon him by the Eldership from Derbe, Lystra & Iconium. Showing the importance which Paul assigned to this act of ordination, he refers to it in a letter to Timothy written many years afterward: “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery” (1 Tim 4:14). In this ordination Paul himself took part, for he writes, “I put thee in remembrance, that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee through the laying on of my hands” (2 Tim 1:6). This passage should be viewed in the light of 1 Tim 4:14. It was very likely prophetic voices (through prophecy; compare 1 Tim 1:18, `according to the prophecies which went before in regard to thee’) which suggested the choice of Timothy as assistant of Paul and Silvanus (Silas), and his appointment to this work with prayer and the laying on of hands (compare Acts 13:2 ff) The churches in the neighborhood of Timothy’s home, according to Acts 14:23, had been furnished with an Eldership soon after their founding, which God used.

Both Timothy & Titus were given priorities by the Apostle Paul to find brothers who were qualified to become Elders and Deacons. This points us to the circle of leadership we should be trying to cultivate, teach and pray that it grows from our youth in the congregation. Titus 1:5 & 1st Timothy 6:20 “Guard” what has been entrusted to you! Encourage the youth to preserve what they are taught and the tasks they are appointed to.

From all of Paul’s friends, it is only Timothy & Titus whom he refers to as his own spiritual “sons” (1st Timothy 1:2 & Titus 1:4) and this continues with the congregation as a whole in the context of God’s fatherhood of children with sisters as “daughters” in 2nd Corinthians 6:18. Therefore we know it is not a matter of who physically baptizes a new child of God. But who is it that invests personal time working & teaching the new child of God? They have the right to speak and refer to them as their spiritual children, having the personal touch which God’s Spirit uses to help them be raised to produce the fruit of the Spirit. Why? Because there is only One Father and Teacher in reality, Matthew 23:8-10. Christians with a Jewish heritage, seem to have the same right as Gentile Christians, to refer to Abraham as a spiritual father, Acts 7:2 & Romans 4:12 & James 2:21-25.

So what do we learn from Timothy & Titus to better instill virtues that will help the family be better friends in our congregation? People need to be treated differently, because we have different needs, but that doesn’t mean any single individual is any less important, or less loved, or less valued than the next person even if we are treated differently. We should try to honor one another moreso, than our-self, Romans 12:10, excelling in respecting each other.

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