The Good Fight: A Study of First Timothy

The following is an excerpt from a booklet that we have put together to encourage personal and group study of 1 Timothy. The booklet includes an introduction to the sermon series, “The Good Fight: A Study of 1 Timothy.” It also includes important topics, thought questions, verses to memorize, background for 1 Timothy, and a list of further resources for study. Print booklets will be available at our services or you can download a PDF version here.

An introduction to the series and the book

Some things are worth fighting for. We live in a day when biblical ideas are described as archaic and outdated, or maybe even bigoted. But the truth is that the Bible has always been out of step with ideas promoted in the cities where Christians lived. In fact, Jesus himself was often at odds with the influencers and ideologues in his day, so it makes sense that his followers would find themselves on similar turf.

In 1 Timothy, Paul is writing a letter of encouragement to a young pastor of a church in a growing, multicultural city. Paul’s letter is a battle field pep talk for Christians seeking to live out their faith. It’s full of strong language — command, strive, guard, fight, warfare, strength, entrust, train. Paul regularly speaks of the truth, the faith, the good doctrine, and the gospel as a solid and trustworthy body of knowledge that has been passed down containing the life-changing essential beliefs of Christians. He explains that the church was given pastors and leaders to guard the truth and to protect the lives of people in the church. Paul offers direction for how the church is supposed to function in order to help the way of Jesus advance in any generation.

The heart of his letter is clearly stated: “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5).

This is the good fight we are all called to enter.

Important Topics in 1 Timothy

1 Timothy, along with 2 Timothy and Titus, make up what we call the “Pastoral Epistles.” These three books, or letters, explain what the church is supposed to be and how it is supposed to function. Paul writes, “I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.”

In our study of 1 Timothy, we will deal with questions like:

  • What is the church?
  • What is a church supposed to be doing?
  • What is the role of a pastor?
  • What is an elder?
  • What is a deacon?
  • What is the difference between an elder and a deacon?
  • What is the role of women in the church?
  • How is the church supposed to relate to a lost world?
  • What dangers exist for the church?
  • Why is doctrine essential for everyday Christians?