In Timothy, Titus, Philemon, He's our Mediator and our Faithful Pastor
I and II Timothy
Paul's letter to Timothy is often referred to, by scholars, as the "pastoral" epistles, some even going so far as to say "evangelical" epistles, because these two book, First and Second Timothy discuss the work of an evangelist, giving encouragement to "fight the good fight" (I Timothy 1:18). Also, speaking from a scholarly viewpoint, it is thought, by some, that the books of Timothy go hand in hand in wondrous fashion with the book of Titus.
As Timothy had been Paul's understudy, traveling with Paul on various missions trips, Timothy had an opportunity to put his evangelical work to work. And always at the base of all of Timothy's evangelizing, Paul re-iterated time and time again for Timothy for Timothy to never be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Reading in 2 Timothy 1:8-18, we become convinced of the standard of such sound words and sound doctrine. Doctrines which will be felled upon with persecution from the hearers. Paul charges Timothy to maintain his stand in Jesus and to live a Godly life, that faith in Jesus will give wisdom and help when needed.
In 2 Timothy 4:5, Paul instructs Timothy to "keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry". Even today, those called into the service of the Lord as preachers/reachers/teachers are given these instructions. The Word of the Lord is the standard of all sound words and of sound doctrine.
1 Timothy 3:16-17--"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
Titus was an uncircumcised Gentile who Paul had earlier converted, and who, like Paul, represented the inhaled breath and delectable freedom of living through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Titus 1:2--"A faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time."
Titus has the dubious honor of reaching out to those of questionable reputation in Crete, speaking through the sound doctrine mentioned earlier in the books of Timothy. Titus was to hold tight to the truth and to Truth (Jesus). Paul admonished Titus not to convert the men and men through various gimmicks nor to be motivated by peer pressure. Titus was to use the same four equippings given to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, which, again, reads, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God my be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
We, even today, are required to guide an unbeliever to belief using Scripture and Holy Spirit as our guide. And, we, as believers, are never without our Blessed Hope, which is Jesus, the Christ, our Lord and our Savior.
God never changes, and He is always faithful to us, even when we lose our faith in Him. 2 Timothy 2:11-13--"If we died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him. If we disown Him, He will also disown us; if we are faithless, He will will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself."
God is our Past. God is our Present. God is our Future.
- Past. Titus 2:11--"For the grace of God that brings salvation has APPEARED to all men." (Capitalization added for emphasis by me.)
- Present. Titus 2:12--"It TEACHES us to say 'no' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and TO LIVE self-controlled, upright and godly lives IN THIS PRESENT AGE." (Capitalization added for emphasis by me.)
- Future. Titus 2:13--"WHILE WE WAIT for the Blessed Hop-THE GLORIOUS APPEARING OF our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." (Capitalization added for emphasis by me.)
All men can be saved if they will put their faith in Jesus, the Christ and His finished work. In so doing, in the putting of our faith in Jesus, the Christ and His finished work, we can more aptly maintain our present course of action. We know that God gave His grace and salvation to us, we have been justified. This means we have been freed from the guilt of our sin because Jesus paid the full penalty price that needed to be paid. In maintaining our faith, we walk in a process of sanctification, a process of being continually delivered, day by day, and made strong to without the attacks of the enemy.
The book of Philemon, with only a mere twenty five verses, is a very good study n the showing of and the affirmation of Christian ethics.
Philemon, one of Paul's earlier converts, is a wealthy well-to-do man, who owns his home as well as several slaves. Philemon is a generous man, to both his slaves and his community. One of Philemon's slaves, Onesimus, flees the safety of his master's home, allegedly stealing a noticeable amount of money in the process. Onesimus eventually finds himself in Paul's presence and company, learning much of Christian ethics from Paul.
Paul, with the agreement of Onesimus, sends Onesimus back to Philemon in order that Onesimus might right the wrongs he committed against Philemon. Paul even charges Philemon, in a letter to Philemon, to accept Onesimus' return, but not as a slave. No, Philemon should take Onesimus as Onesimus is, a new creation, a brother in the family of God. This also gives Onesimus the courage he needs to face his master and right the wrongs.
In such humble courage, we also today, can face our brothers and sisters in and with forgiveness. When one man, or woman, treats another man, or woman, as a brother, or sister, with such conviction of Christian ethical living, unity of Christian fellowship happens.
In nudging people, not being over bearing or dominant, we allow the power of Jesus to work through power evangelism. No man, woman, or child is a worthless cause, ever. No, indeed, they are not; instead, all men, women, and children have the potential to be powerful servants of the powerful Most High God. The Gospel can, and does, work power in any heart that is honest, no matter the background of said person.
This is the eternal message give by Paul and received by Philemon-that as a new Christian, his servant slave, Onesimus, and he now joyfully indulge in a new and better relationship, an eternal relationship with each other, and with Jesus. Jesus can provide such relationships even for us today as we strive to maintain relationships with one another.
"I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God!"
The book of Hebrews portrays Jesus as our great High Priest, the High Priest who presented the perfect sacrifice, Himself, to God for the salvation of the world. There is a vivid description of faith with a line-up of the great heroes of faith throughout the ages past.