Thursday, September 25, 2014

01 Lessons for Leaders - 1 Timothy 1:1-11


Welcome to the 2014-2015 Tulsa Bible Church men’s Bible study.  This year we are focusing on three New Testament books written to men who were leaders in the Church.  Paul gave instructions to two of his fellow pastors who were on his ministry team leading churches in Ephesus and Crete.  He gave them (and us) principles for how they should conduct their ministries and instructions on the nature and conduct of churches.  As we dive into these rich New Testament letters we are going to learn some important lessons for leaders that relate to our personal walk with the Lord, our ministry principles, and guidelines for the churches we attend and serve in.

One of my hopes for this study is that we will move away from only imitating the style and tactics of leaders we admire toward a dynamic reengagement with the spiritual leadership principles that Paul envisioned for Timothy and Titus. 


A unique feature of this Bible study is that the Word document has hyperlinks to Bible study tools and cross references in the questions.  Download the “electronic” version of the lessons from the web site or request one from your Bible study leader or Pastor Martin at

The word study questions include the Greek word that usually has a link to the BlueLetterBible Greek dictionary.  This resource includes pronunciation of the Greek word, definitions, a link to Vine’s Dictionary, concordance, and a few other features. 

When there are cross references, they are usually linked to the NKJV in the Bible. Usually you will notice that extra verses before and after the verse are there to help you with the context.  There is an option for you to switch to another version.

Occasionally there are other links to other helpful information.  All these links are not intended to change the way we study a passage, but to give us quicker access to helpful resources. 


I have tried to design this study for both the serious student and participants with less time to devote.  The links will give you a quick connection to more advanced information that you can review quickly or study in detail. 

1. It is important for us to have a good grasp on the significance of the Bible we are studying.  Most weeks will feature an affirmation and denial from the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.  Please take a few minutes to think about each article’s affirmation and denial and read at least the bold portion of the commentary by R.C. Sproul.

2. If you want to give this study more serious attention, here are some additional resources

Offline, The Pastoral Epistles by Homer Kent is a solid pastoral commentary that is complete enough to be very useful (297 pages).  The Word Biblical Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles by William D. Mounce is not too difficult to read and helpful with a more detailed discussion of issues in the texts of these books (600+ pages).

 Online, Thomas Constable’s Expository Notes on 1 Timothy, Titus, and 2 Timothy are available in PDF format and audio lectures or as part of The NET Bible ™ Learning EnvironmentDr. Bob Utley’s Free Bible Commentary is also helpful and easy to use as a reference for specific verses.

Lesson Breakdown

1.       1 Timothy 1.1-11 -              “Right Doctrine & Right Heart”                Bible Study:  Prayer & Inductive questions

2.       1 Timothy 1.12-20              Paul’s Testimony and Charge to Timothy                   1 Authority

3.       1 Timothy 2:1-8                   Prayer in the Church                                                      2. Scripture and tradition

4.       1 Timothy 2:8-14                 Women in the Church                               10 Reasons to Believe in a Historical Adam

5.       1 Timothy 3:1-16                 Qualifications for Leaders                                             3. Revelation             

6.       1 Timothy 4:1-11                 Apostasy and Godliness                                                 4. Human Language

7.       1 Timothy 4:6-16                 The Servant of Christ                                                     5. Progressive Revelation        

8.       1 Timothy 5:1-16                 Honoring Widows                                                          6. Verbal Plenary Inspiration  

9.       1 Timothy 5:17-24              Honoring Elders                                                              7. Inspiration

10.    1 Timothy 6:1-10                 Masters and Money                                                        8. Human Authors  

11.    1 Timothy 6:11-21              The Good Confession                                                        9. Inerrancy

12.    Titus 1:1-16                           The Elder and False Teachers                                      10. The Autographs

13.    Titus 2:1-15                           What the Grace of God Teaches                                  11. Infallibility

14.    Titus 3:1-15                           A Faithful Saying                                                            12. Inerrancy of the Whole

15.    2 Timothy 1:1-18                 Courage for the Gospel                                                  13. Truth

16.    2 Timothy 2:1-13                 Strong in Grace                                                               14. Consistency

17.    2 Timothy 2:14-26              A Servant of the Lord                                                     15. Accommodation

18.    2 Timothy 3:1-9                   Perilous Times                                                               16. Church History

19.    2 Timothy 3:10-17              The Man of God and the Word of God                       17. Witness of the Spirit

20.    2 Timothy 4:1-8                   A Charge and a Champion                                          18. Interpretation

21.    2 Timothy 4:9-22                 End Notes                                                                       19 Health of the Church

Lesson 1                                  “Right Doctrine; Right Heart”                    1 Timothy 1:1-11

ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text questions like who, what, where, when, why, & how?”)

CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.)

WS: Word Study (Understanding definition, theological meaning, and usages in other passages.)

The WORD: What does the Bible say?

Context:  Read all six chapters in 1 Timothy if you have time.  What is the theme or “melodic line” for 1 Timothy (especially notice 3:14-16; 6:11-12)?  Read 1 Timothy 1:1-11 again in a more literal or more dynamic translation than you usually use.

1.     ID/CR  (1:1-11)  What key elements of this salutation are common to the salutations in 2 Timothy and Titus?  How would you describe Paul’s audience? Are they believers or unbelievers? Are they spiritually mature or immature? What issues are they facing?

2.     ID:  (1:3-4)  What does Paul want to stop?  Do these verses suggest any reasons why?

3.     ID: (1:5)  What is the goal of “the command?”  What is its threefold source? What do those things suggest about the nature of this love?  (Mathew 22:35-40)

4.     ID/WS:  (1:6)  What is the opposite of “idle talk” (mataiologia)?

5.     ID:  (1:8-9)  Who is the law designed for?  Compare the fourteen sinners mentioned in a couple other translations.  Use the BlueLetterBible or another tool to study two or three of the words further.   (Galatians 3:19-4:31)

6.     ID: (2:11)  What observations can be made about the Gospel from verse eleven?  (Make use of the "Six Honest Serving-Men" from the article “Ask Questions.”)

The WALK: What should I do?

1.     Do you have any “true sons in the faith?”

2.     What kinds of teachings rise to the level of “other doctrine?” 

3.     What are some principles that we can use to evaluate whether a discussion is fruitless?  How/why do people get caught up in fruitless discussions that distract from the essentials?

4.     What is the correct use of the law?  Have you seen it misused?  Have you see in used well?

5.     What did you think about the quote, “Study without prayer is atheism, and prayer without study is presumption?”  What role does prayer have in your personal Bible study and reading? 

Going Beyond: Thinking theologically, what areas of theology are touched on in this passage?

The Bible (Bibliology)     
 God (Theology Proper)    
 The Father (Paterology)   
 The Lord Jesus Christ (Christology)

The Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)    
 Man (Anthropology)   
 Salvation (Soteriology)   
 The Church (Ecclesiology)
 Angels & Satan (Angelology)     
Future Things (eschatology)

Begin with and maintain an attitude of prayer. Go to the Author of the Book before you go to the Book. And think about this.  How many books have you ever read where you had the benefit of the author's presence to help you discern his original intent?!

The Bible is not men's truth but God's special revelation of Truth. We must always begin by conversing with the Author, beseeching Him to open the eyes of our heart to see, understand (put together the pieces so to speak) and illuminate His "love letter" to us. The psalmist recognizing his dependence on God prayed...

Skip Heitzig, commenting on Psalm 119:18 as it relates to inductive Bible study, suggests that we might consider beginning our study with a prayer something like this...

Lord, I submit myself to You as Your servant (Romans 12:1). I pray that You would speak to me personally as I now open Your Word. Sharpen my powers of observation and open my eyes to what the text is saying.  Give me wisdom and insight as I seek to interpret what the text means.  And help me to apply Your truth to the specific areas in my life that need Your touch.  Gently convict me of any issues I'm neglecting or trying to hide.  Lord, I give You complete permission to search my heart to see if there is anything in me that is contrary to Your will (Psalm 139:23-24).  Challenge me with Your holiness and comfort me with Your promises, in Jesus' name. Amen.

 “Study without prayer is atheism, and prayer without study is presumption.”

As you begin your inductive adventure through the Bible, may you have a determined effort to stick close to the Author with an attitude of prayer. 

We interpret the Bible properly when we learn to ask the right questions of the text.  The problem is that many people do not know what the right questions are, or they are too lazy to learn. God feeds the birds, but He doesn't throw the food into their nests.  Learning to ask the right questions and carefully observe the text takes discipline, diligence and practice, because most of us have never been trained in the "Sherlock Holmes" approach.  Please persevere for the reward you will experience in personal discovery and understanding of the Word of God will far outweigh the cost!

Kay Arthur reminds us of the importance an interrogative mindset, writing that, "every part of the entire process of inductive Bible study is based on asking who, what, when, where, why, and how kinds of questions. This is how vital the 5 W's and an H are!"

Although he was not referring to Inductive Bible Study when Rudyard Kipling wrote the poem "Six Honest Serving-Men", the principle is applicable...

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.

Most students of Scripture do not see the "gold nuggets" of truth in passages and paragraphs, because they do not know what to look for. We learn what to look for by asking the right questions. Questions bring details to our attention.                                                                                                                                                           

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