Key Verses and Themes in the Pastoral Epistles

Bible Commentary / Produced by TOW Project
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1 Tim. 1:3–5 I urge you, as I did when I was on my way to Macedonia, to remain in Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach any different doctrine, and not to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies that promote speculations rather than the divine training that is known by faith. But the aim of such instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith.

Belief affects behavior or doctrine affects practice.

1 Tim. 1:3–4 As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God [Gk. oikonomia theou] which is by faith. (New American Standard, updated version)

1 Tim. 3:5 . . . If someone does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?

1 Tim. 3:14–15 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that, if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.

God’s way of ordering reality, as seen in households and in churches, should somehow be reflected in business organizations as well.

1 Tim. 2:1–2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.

1 Tim. 2:8–9 I desire, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument; also that the women should dress themselves modestly and decently . . .

Christians should pray for the peace and order of their church, their society, and their workplace.

1 Tim. 3:2–3 Now a bishop must be above reproach, married only once, temperate, sensible, respectable, hospitable, an apt teacher, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and not a lover of money.

1 Tim. 3:10 And let them first be tested; then, if they prove themselves blameless, let them serve as deacons.

Titus 1:7–8 For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or addicted to wine or violent or greedy for gain; but he must be hospitable, a lover of goodness, prudent, upright, devout, and self-controlled.

Leadership that pleases God is characterized by moral integrity and trustworthiness.

1 Tim. 4:4–5 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer.

Creation is good and our engagement with it can be sanctified by God’s word and prayer.

1 Tim. 4:7–8 . . . Train yourself in godliness, for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

Training in godliness is of an essential component of professional development.

1 Tim. 5:1–2 Do not speak harshly to an older man, but speak to him as to a father, to younger men as brothers, to older women as mothers, to younger women as sisters — with absolute purity.

1 Tim. 6:2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful to them on the ground that they are members of the church; rather they must serve them all the more, since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved.

Christians should treat their business colleagues with the respect and care that they would show to their family members or to their church.

1 Tim. 6:6–8 Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.

1 Tim. 6:17–19 As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.

Christians should be content with God’s provisions and not love money. The righteous rich should be generous and seek heavenly reward.

2 Tim. 1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.

2 Tim. 2:2 . . . What you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well.

A godly legacy is passed on from generation to generation.

2 Tim. 2:22–25 Shun youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness.

Christians should strive for maturity and Christlikeness in their workplace.

2 Tim. 3:1 You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come.

2 Tim. 3:12 Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

Christians should expect difficulty sometimes in the workplace.

Titus 2:9–12 Tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to talk back, not to pilfer, but to show complete and perfect fidelity, so that in everything they may be an ornament to the doctrine of God our Savior. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

Titus 3:14 And let people learn to devote themselves to good works in order to meet urgent needs, so that they may not be unproductive.

Jesus has purified us so that we may be devoted to good works. These good works adorn the principles of God and manifest the productivity with which he created the world.