1st & 2nd Timothy — Lesson 6
The Doctrine Of God In 1st and 2nd Timothy
1. We have reviewed what Paul teaches in 1st and 2nd Timothy related to:
1. The inspiration of scripture.
2. Sound Doctrine, its definition and existence.
3. The necessity of maintaining sound doctrine.
4. How is sound doctrine determined and maintained.
5. How sound doctrine enables us to grow spiritually.
6. How the church is to deal with false teachers, i.e., those who do not maintain sound doctrine.
7. Encouragement to provide strength to maintain sound doctrine.
2. But why should we be concerned about sound doctrine at all?
1. Why should we not follow our own thoughts and cater to our own preferences?
2. After all, isn’t man the captain of his soul?
3. Who is God that we should be mindful of him?
3. Paul answers that question in 1st and 2nd Timothy with beautiful descriptions of who God is, what God is, and what he has done for us in Jesus Christ. (A lesson on the doctrine of Christ in 1st and 2nd Timothy will follow.)
1. 1 Tim. 1:17 – He is eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, due honor and glory for ever and ever.
1. 1 Tim. 6:16 – to Him be honor and eternal dominion.
1. King – sovereign ruler of all things. (Natural order, historical process, his kingdom.)
2. Eternal – literally, the king of the ages.
1. He has no beginning or end.
2. He is beyond the fluctuations of time.
1. Beyond the ravages of decay and death (Rom. 1:22,23).
2. 1 Tim. 6:16 – alone possesses immortality. We are immortal in the sense that we survive life, but only God has life in himself.
1. Known only by self-revelation.
2. He is beyond the limits of every horizon.
1. 1 Tim. 6:16.
2. John 1:18.
3. Ps. 19:1.
4. Isa. 6:3.
5. Col. 1:15.
3. Dwells in unapproachable light, unseen and unseeable.
1. He is inaccessible, beyond the reach of sinful people.
2. Darkness in any shape or form cannot enter his presence, much less overcome him.
4. Can see:
1. Glory – Ex. 24:9ff; Isa. 6:1ff; Ezk. 1:28.
2. Back, not face – Ex. 33:18ff.
3. Theophany – Gen. 16:7ff.(Hagar); 18:1ff(Abraham); 32:24ff(Jacob).
4. Son – John 1:18; 14:6-9; Col. 1:15.
1. Wise – Rom. 16:27.
2. Paul affirms the uniqueness of His being – no rivals. (Isa. 45:18.)
6. 1 Tim. 6:16 – Worthy of praise.
2. He is the creator. 1 Tim. 4:3-4.
1. Applied to marriage and food.
2. How can any man despise, let alone forbid, what God created?
3. He is one. 1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:6; cf. 1 Tim. 1:17; 6:15; Rom. 3:29,30.
1. If polytheism (Greek – pantheon of many gods; Hindus – millions of deities; battle for human loyalty or share out humanity among them), no one could claim a monopoly of the world’s worship until he defeated all rivals in a celestial battle.
2. Shema – Dt. 6:4-5; basis for demanding people’s wholehearted undivided love.
3. Exclusive faith leads to inclusive mission (great commission).
4. Isa. 45:5-7; cf. 44:6-8; 45:14.
5. Contrary to modern rejection of exclusive religion, if there are many there is no need for evangelism.
6. Hence, the jealousy of God, resentment of rivals. Ex. 20:5.
7. Will not share his worship. Isa. 42:18; cf. 48:11.
8. Hence his invitation to the nations to believe in Him. Isa. 45:22-25.
4. 1 Tim. 4:10 – He is living.
1. Conversion – turn from idols to serve the living God. 1 Thess. 1:9; Acts 14:15.
2. Where does the living God live? Josh. 3:10; cf. Dt. 6:15; Ex. 25:8; 29:45-46; Lev. 26:12; cf. Ps. 114:2; Ezk. 37:27-28; 2 Cor. 6:16.
3. Consciousness that the living God lives among us should profoundly affect our community life. 2 Cor. 6:17-18; Eph. 2:19-22.
4. The absence of the article in the Greek stresses its nature or character – the church by its very nature belongs to the living God. Eph. 1:14; cf. Titus 2:14; 1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 5:9.
5. How, then, should we act? Cf. 1 Sam. 17:26; Ps. 42:2; Ps. 84:2-4; Jer. 10:10.
5. 2 Tim. 1:12 – He is able. Lit., he is powerful enough.
1. Hebrews 7:25
2. Ephesians 3:20
2. What does all of this mean in-so-far as our relationship to God is concerned?
1. God is our savior. 1 Tim. 1:1; 2:3; 4:10.
1. 1 Tim. 1:1 – Paul’s apostleship begins in the saving activity of God and ends in Christ Jesus our hope.
2. 1 Tim. 2:3 – God is the source of salvation and planned it from eternity. 2 Thess.2:13. 1 Tim. 2:5 – God and Jesus are bracketed together as the single source of divine blessing.
3. How does this comport with what we often hear about the “God of the Old Testament”? 2 Sam. 22:3; Ps. 106:21-22.
4. As our Savior he is the source of grace, mercy, and peace. (1 Tim. 1:2)
1. Grace – kindness to the undeserving.
2. Mercy – pity on the wretched who cannot save themselves.
3. Peace – reconciliation of those previously alienated from him and from one another. Eph. 2:11-16.
5. 1 Tim. 1:4 – God our Savior administers his salvation by faith.
1. This is a reference to God’s saving plan.
2. Heresy strikes a blow at the gospel and its God.
6. 1 Tim. 1:11 – The source of faith is the “glorious gospel” of the “blessed God.”
1. Paul mentions moral law and concludes that whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine; sound doctrine is that which conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God that had been entrusted to him.
2. Gospel is the source of moral standards.
3. God is the source of the Gospel.
4. Therefore, God is the source of moral standards.
7. 2 Tim. 3:16 – He is the Source and guarantee of scripture.
1. All scripture is inspired by God.
2. He is the source.
3. Only he can change it.
4. It originated in God’s mind and was communicated to man.
5. God and scripture are used almost interchangeably.
1. Gal. 3:8, 22.
2. Rom. 9:17.
3. 1 Tim. 6:13 – As the living God, He gives life to all things.
1. He created it and will preserve it until his purposes are accomplished.
2. God is in charge of all life, including Timothy’s (and ours).
1. Created all things.
2. Sustains all things.
3. He can raise the dead.
3. He is the source of life and immortality. 2 Tim. 1:10.
1. If we trace salvation back to its source, we must look beyond time to eternity (before the world began, “before eternal times.”
2. Our salvation is firmly grounded upon God’s work in time in Jesus Christ.
3. Abolished death – gave life. 1 Cor. 15:54.
4. Brought life and immortality.
1. Synonymous terms.
2. Life – new life available in this world; immortality, its prolongation.
4. The church belongs to him. 1 Tim. 3:5; 3:15 – the church of the (living) God.
1. He is the one to fear – not the actions or reactions of men.
2. God is concerned with the purity of the church. 1 Tim. 1:8-11.
5. God is the One by whom we must be approved. 2 Tim. 2:15.
1. Favorably passing careful scrutiny and thereby being counted worthy.
2. John 12:42-43.
3. 2 Cor. 10:18.
4. Gal. 1:10.
5. 1 Thess. 2:3-4.
6. Heb. 11:1-2, 39.
7. Jas. 1:12.
8. Matt. 25:21.
9. Rom. 16:10.
6. God is the basis of our hope – “fixed our hope on the living God.”
1. 1 Tim. 4:10.
2. 1 Tim. 5:5.
3. 1 Tim. 6:17.
1. God is the One to whom we belong – we, like Timothy, must be a “man of God.” 2 Tim. 3:17.
1. The phrase has limited use in scripture.
1. Moses – Dt. 33:1; Josh. 14:6; 1 Ch. 23:14; title of Ps. 90.
2. Samuel – 1 Sam. 9:6.
3. David – Ne. 12:24, 36.
4. Shemaiah – 1 Ki. 12:22.
5. Elijah – 1 Ki. 17:18; 2 Ki. 1:9.
6. Elisha – 2 Ki. 4:7.
7. Igdaliah the Rechabite – Je. 35:4.
8. 3 anonymous prophets – 1 Sa. 2:27; 1 Ki. 13:1ff; 2 Ch. 25:7ff.
9. 2 Tim. 3:17.
2. Deliberately contrasted with false teachers who are more men of the world than men of God.
3. He is to be:
1. Radically different.
2. Stand firmly against their ungodliness.
2. God will bring about judgment at the right time. 1 Tim. 6:14-16.
1. Judgment is the culmination of history and the vindication of Christ.
2. Our confidence in God’s perfect timing and our consequent willingness to leave things in his hands arise from the kind of God that he is.
3. Is it any wonder that Paul breaks out in doxology – praise to God.
1. Blessed God – happy, content, fulfilled.
2. Sovereign – Isa. 40:25-31; Isa. 46:11.
1. Come from word group with basic meaning of “power.”
2. God’s power is inherent in himself, not delegated.
3. His will is never frustrated; his purpose is never thwarted.
3. King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Dt. 10:17; Ps. 136:2-3.
1. Nebuchadnezzar – Ezk. 26:7; Dn. 2:37.
2. No human rule can challenge his authority.
3. He supplies us with all things to enjoy. 1 Tim. 6:17.
1. Je. 9:23-24.
2. God is a generous creator who wants us to enjoy the good gifts of creation, both physically and spiritually.
God's Plan of Salvation
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)