by Harley Howard

This content is part of a series.

I Timothy Chapter One (2 of 7)
Series: The Epistle of I Timothy
Harley Howard

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

There is a great tendency on the part of many believers to read over these greetings without digging out the spiritual truths that are found in them. I have read Bible expositors that say that this type of greeting was not uncommon in ancient times and that there is nothing unusual about it. However, I see a tremendous amount of spiritual significance in this verse, and I think that the truths in verses one and two, in light of the situation in the Ephesian church, are essential to the proper understanding and interpretation of this letter. Clearly, Timothy wanted to leave this church because the responsibility was great and the opposition was fierce. But Paul was determined to remind his son in the faith that he was under orders from God, as Paul was himself; that opposition was no excuse to bail out of the pastorate. Opposition, both to God and His perfect plan for the church, is to be expected from within and without. To this, there can be no question.

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ": The word apostle means "a sent one; one sent on a mission from a higher authority." In this case Paul was commissioned directly by the living, resurrected Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 9). Paul stated that he was an apostle "by the commandment of God our Saviour." This word commandment means "by the appointment of someone." There were many who questioned the apostolic authority and ministry that Paul claimed to have had, but Paul stated without any doubt whatsoever that he was a called apostle by the appointment of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In very strong language in Galatians 1:1, Paul said that he was an apostle, "not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead." He began his letter by defending his apostolic ...

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