Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles

The Pastoral Epistles
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Is it right to think of a workplace as a family? No and yes. Membership in a workplace is conditional on fulfilling a role adequately. Unlike family members, employees who no longer meet the approval of management are subject to dismissal. Cultivating Young Talent Click to watch. Yet in certain senses, a workplace can be like a family, if that term is used to describe the respect, commitment, open communication, and care that family members should show toward one another. Mentoring, for example, is an extremely valuable service that experienced workers can offer to newer colleagues.

It resembles the investment that parents make in their children. Certainly we should never engage in abuse or exploitation of others at work, because we imagine we owe them less respect or care than we do to family or church members. Rather, we should strive to love all our neighbors, including those in the workplace, as our family and as ourselves. The last section of 1 Timothy is packed with powerful exhortations and warnings for rich Christians.

In reading and applying these passages, however, we must avoid two common mistakes. The folly of this thinking is threefold:. In other words, godliness is a means of gain as long as that gain is understood as life and blessings in the presence of God and not only more money now. There are many reasons why someone could want more money; some of them could be bad but others could be good. Colorado Springs: Multnomah, , The letter of 2 Timothy, like 1 Timothy, is addressed from the Apostle Paul to his younger co-worker and is perhaps the last written letter we have from Paul.

Unlike 1 Timothy, however, 2 Timothy appears to be more of a personal letter in which Paul encourages Timothy and gives him a solemn charge to remain faithful even after Paul has departed. The very fact that 2 Timothy has been preserved and included in the Christian canon of Scripture indicates, however, that this personal letter has significance beyond its original, particular context.

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One of the striking features of 2 Timothy is the theme of generational faithfulness. Toward the beginning of the letter Paul reminds Timothy of the faith that lived in his grandmother, his mother, and then in Timothy himself 2 Tim. Paul too, as a member of an older generation, is a model for Timothy to follow.

This theme challenges Christian workers to consider what kind of legacy they want to leave behind at their places of employment and in their industry. The first step toward leaving a positive legacy is to do your job faithfully and to the best of your ability. A Christian worker should be humble enough to learn from others and compassionate enough to teach patiently.

Yet in the end, Christian workers must ask themselves whether they left a legacy of redemption in words and deeds. The corporate form was created so that organizations could outlive the individuals who comprise them, without the need to reform the entity at each transition. This does not mean that corporations should never merge, disband, or otherwise go out of existence. Then its existence may need to end. But even so, its leaders have a responsibility for the legacy the corporation will leave in society after it is dissolved. For example, a number of companies expose their retirees to the risk of poverty because they have not adequately funded their pension liabilities.

Municipal and state governments are even more prone to this failing. Organizations have a duty—from both a biblical and a civic perspective—to ask whether their operations are shifting liabilities to future generations. Likewise, 2 Timothy suggests organizations must operate in an environmentally and socially sustainable way.

To depend for success on unsustainable resource extraction or environmental pollution is a violation of the generational principle. But perhaps they would have more reliable access to environmental and social capital if they did more to create sustainable systems on their own initiative. This is a good reminder for Christian workers that not all talk at the water cooler is profitable, even if it is not downright evil.

Unhelpful conversations can spread like gangrene 2 Tim. One thinks of similar warnings in James cf. James —12 about the destructive potential of words.

Three words of gossip may destroy three thousand words of praise and piety. Humility and strictly avoiding judgmentalism are the surest ways to avoid stupid and senseless controversies. This may remind us that employees bring their personal difficulties with them to work. Paul, writing a letter to Timothy, becomes a support network for him.

Top 5 Commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles

There is no doubt that some of this material could apply indirectly to work. However, we will examine just one more paragraph in the letter—2 Timothy —9. The first verse gives the main point of the paragraph. What the description that follows makes clear, however, is that Timothy is living in these last days already cf.

Christians need to be prepared for the hardship and suffering associated with these last days. If we experience few of these things, we have cause for rejoicing, but we should not allow our present benevolent working conditions to lull us to sleep.

Biblical Forgeries: The Pastoral Epistles

The days may be coming when being faithful to Christ at work results in more than strange looks and jokes behind our backs. If we do, we know that God will stand by us and give us strength 2 Tim. For Titus —9, see 1 Timothy —13 above. For Titus —10, see 1 Timothy — above. Like Timothy, Titus needed to combat false teaching, install proper leadership, and ensure that the people were devoted to good works Titus , This vision certainly applies to Christian workers—they should be devoted to good works at their place of employment.

Good works, of course, means work done in such a way as to please God, more than self or anyone else. Good works carry out the purposes of God seen in his creation of the world. They make the world a better place. Yet for Christians to have this godly passion for good works, we must understand what makes these good works possible and why we are doing them. The letter to Titus addresses both of these issues. The grace that God grants in salvation results in a godly though imperfect life of obedience and good works. Second, this section in Titus reminds us of the purposes of good works.

This hearkens back to the mandate to till the ground and make it fruitful Gen. Good works serve God and people, but they are not done primarily to earn favor from God and people. Paul is not talking about giving speeches, passing out tracts, or telling people about Jesus.

The Pastoral Epistles: A Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles

In workplace terms, we could say he means something such as helping new co-workers come up to speed on the job, more so than inviting them to join a Bible study. Right doctrine leads to good works, and good works make the truth of God attractive to others. Throughout the letter Paul gives practical instructions for doing good works. Most of them can be applied to the workplace. We take our cue on this from the letter itself. First Epistle to Timothy p. Initial Greeting —4 pp. Combat the Heretics —7 pp.

The Gospel Entrusted to Paul —12 pp. Exhortation Regarding Heretics —20 pp.

Bible Study Helps: The Pastoral Epistles

Because the letters share some common themes, we will combine our discussion of related passages among the letters. Biblical Studies. Still, it receives high recommendations and will prove valuable, especially for the teacher or preacher. Related Products h. My focus is on newer commentaries at least in part because most of the classics are now freely or cheaply available and I am offering approximately 5 recommendations for each book of the Bible, alternating between the Old Testament and the New.

On Prayers for All Men —7 pp. On Prayer by Men and Women —a pp.

Conduct of Bishops b—7 pp. On Conduct of Deacons —13 pp. Word Concerning the Church —16 pp. Concerning the False Teaching —5 pp. Instructions for Timothy —10 pp.

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Timothy as Example — pp. On Widows —16 pp. On Presbyters —20 pp. Exhortation to Timothy —25 pp. On Slaves , 2a p. Warning Against False Doctrine b—5 p. Warning Against Avarice —10 pp. The Battle of Faith —16 pp. Rules for the Wealthy —19 p. Second Epistle to Timothy pp.

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Notify me of new posts by email. Leave this field empty. Dec 14, Lastly, George Knight says this about their main purposes: Two broad concerns characterise all three letters: 1 Paul warns Timothy and Titus about a false teaching and exhorts them to stand against it; 2 Paul gives instructions to the Christians of Ephesus and Crete, through Timothy and Titus, concerning their conduct and church life.

Towner Timothy and Titus expository commentaries Hughes, R. Marissa Sorensen Dec 15, at pm. Thank you, Bill for all the info…especially the outlines. They are a big help. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.