ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 246


position of leadership. But Paul tells him, “Don’t let anyone think less
of you because you are young.” Paul clearly believes that Timothy can
help restore peace and order to that troubled community.
As we prepare to read 1 Timothy, we should remind ourselves that the
letters of the New Testament were written to specific churches and situations. They are meant first and foremost to address the needs of their
original audiences. Our responsibility as good readers is to discover
what these writings meant in their original context and then consider
their enduring message for us today.
The church in Ephesus was troubled by disorder. In addition to the
leadership challenges caused by the false teachers, they struggled with
disruptive worship, how to care for widows, and divisions between
wealthy and poor members. Paul refers to the church as “the household of God” and gives Timothy clear instructions on how to appoint
and organize leaders in the community, which would have a positive
impact on other issues as well.
All of Paul’s instructions are closely tied to the nature of the Good
News and its saving message. Paul is confident that the wayward believers can be restored. Indeed, as he summarizes, “‘Christ Jesus came
into the world to save sinners’—and I am the worst of them all.” In
closing, he reminds Timothy of his own responsibility as a teacher of
the truth.
Paul urges Timothy to make sure the believers are constantly immersed in the Scriptures: “Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.”
The more the believers find their lives taken up into the great story of
God and the salvation found in Jesus, the better they will pursue their
own roles in that narrative of restoration and life.

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