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-An Apostle Representative-
Timothy was Paul's spiritual son, testifying that the Apostle Paul had been God's instrument to lead him to his belief in Christ, including his mother and grandmother, on the Apostle's first missionary journey through Asia Minor (Turkey). The year being 49 A.D. Timothy became a Christian missionary, and intimate friend, trusted disciple and co-worker of The Apostle Paul.
Timothy was born a native of Lystra, in the ancient district of Lycaonia near Konya (Turkey), his name means, "honouring God." When Timothy was a child, his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois, taught him the Scriptures of the Old Testament, so he knew the prophecies of Christ quite well. His mother was a Jewess, but his father was a Greek, and Timothy had not been circumcised.
When Paul returned to Lystra on his second journey, Timothy was a growing disciple who was well-respected by the believers. Timothy accompanied Paul and his party on their next missionary journey, he was very aware of the hardships of being a missionary. Because they would be ministering to many Jews, Paul had Timothy circumcised so that his Greek ancestry on his father's side would not be a liability in working amongst the Jewish settlements.
Timothy's character was good-natured, loyal, faithful and dependable, despite his shyness. His youthfulness however, did not help his timidity. He was not a natural leader, but willing and obedient. He was ordained by the elders of his local church, Paul himself taking part in the laying of hands for the receiving of spiritual gifts, when a prophecy was spoken over Timothy.
Timothy not only accompanied Paul but also was sent on many crucial missions on behalf of the Apostle. When Paul was unable to go to Corinth, he sent Timothy to represent him and Christ's teachings. Later Timothy was sent to Philippi.
Timothy and Paul wrote how they suffered great hardships that were life threatening in the province of Asia, far beyond their ability to endure and despaired for their lives. The also agreed that this happened to teach them that as chosen servants of Christ, they had to rely upon God in situations and not themselves. God delivered them from deadly peril and gave them much hope which continued throughout the rest of their lives.
As a travelling company of disciples representing The Lord Jesus Christ, they had conducted themselves to the friendship of others with clear consciences, holiness and sincerity.
Timothy also shared in the evangelization of Europe with Paul and continually travelled with him but eventually stayed at Ephesus to deal with the problems there as a young pastor. Self-appointed experts were causing harm with unprofitable teaching and Timothy stopped them wasting time and confusing others. Timothy was not an apostle himself, although he was given instructions about overseers, he was an apostolic representative, delegated to carry out special work.
Timothy, although a young man, ranked high in Paul's esteem, had over the years, gained the Apostle's complete trust. Through a swarm of controversies, into prison, on the road, wherever Paul went Timothy loyally followed. He supposedly had frequent ailments but always willing to go on dangerous and difficult journeys. Despite a weak stomach and timid disposition, Timothy had proved himself, even though young, was able to be a leader by living an exemplary life and by bringing order to the church.
It was his youth which made Timothy not enthusiastic about taking on the difficult job of heading the congregation at Ephesus, the members needed order and a more defined structure for they were loose and informal. To muddle the scene further, certain members of the church had embraced false doctrines. He took on such matters as worship procedures, the control of unruly women, leadership standards, and policies regarding widows, slaves, and rich people.
Timothy did care for the church at Ephesus which developed him as a pastor, to refute false teachings and to supervise the affairs of the growing Ephesian church, including the appointment of qualified church leaders. A major problem in the Ephesian church was a heresy that combined decadent Judaism and false hermitlike living. Year A.D. 62/63.
Ephesus was an important commercial trade centre, it was the most substantial city in western Asia Minor (Turkey). It was a pagan city dedicated to the Roman goddess, Diana, but the Christian community did flourish for many years into the next centuries.
Timothy was instructed in the following doctrines of Christianity, Warning against False Teachers, Methods of Dealing with False Teaching, The Nature of the Heresy, The Purpose of the Law, Instructions concerning the Administration of the Church, Prayer in public, Public Worship, Women in public worship, Qualifications for Church Officers, Overseers, Deacons, Methods of Dealing with Different Groups in the Church, The Older and Younger church members, Widows, Elders, Employees, and the Love of Money.
As assistant to Paul, his official representative, Timothy was entrusted with several important missions to churches that Paul had founded. When Paul was imprisoned he wrote two letters to Timothy, and challenged him to remain true to his calling. During this time of persecution under Nero, Timothy was to guard the gospel, to persevere in it, to keep on preaching it and, if necessary, to suffer for it. At some point in his life, Timothy was imprisoned for the sake of the gospel but he was released.
Timothy lived in a historical situation of the first century, with the sifting of many problems and doctrines in the early church, underpaid staff members, there was a generation gap, integrity was not a caring issue, abuse of human aid, and the love of money. All the doctrines are still needed for the problems which still persist today. A pastor's job description hasn't changed, or grown easier over the centuries.
Priscilla and Aquilla had returned to Ephesus from Rome, they had originally been the Jewish couple who helped establish the church at Ephesus, and was not doubt a great help to Timothy.
During Paul's first imprisonment in Rome, Timothy visited him and was sent with a message to Philippi. When Paul was imprisoned the second time, and probably not long before his death, he wrote summoning his beloved disciple to come to him as quickly as possible.
Paul revealed many times his deep reliance on Timothy's loyal friendship. At times he lectured Timothy with the fond affirmation of a grateful father. Throughout their lives, the bonds of deep friendship are evident.
Timothy inherited the task of representing Christ on
earth and to stress the importance of relying on Scripture and of living
a life of discipline. No-one had any more compassion and commitment than
Timothy and Paul are the co-authors of six Books of the New Testament.
Far from being timid, Timothy was bold in stanng for The Truths of Christ. According to tradition he became bishop of Ephesus and was martyred there when he objected to a immoral pagan festival.
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