I am presently preaching through 1 Timothy on Sunday mornings at my church. My study has helped me to see the priority of the gospel in preaching and prayer. A brief look at 1 Timothy 1–2 draws out these emphases.
1 Timothy 1
In response to false teaching that de-emphasized the gospel (1:3–7), Paul brought the Ephesians’ attention back to the gospel time and again. The first words out of Paul’s pen spoke of the Father as our Savior and the Son as our Hope (1:1). Paul taught there was a certain way to use the Mosaic Law for to complement the gospel (1:11; cf. 1:3–11). In recounting God’s mercy to him, Paul emphasized Christ’s death for sinners (1 Tim 1:15), not just for himself, but for the sake of the Ephesians who had not been receiving this emphasis from the false teachers.
After this, Paul addressed a number of matters in the church for the sake of upholding the truth, which included the truth of the gospel (cf. 3:14–16).
1 Timothy 2
Paul commanded the Ephesians to pray (2:1–2), and in context, the content of the prayer seems to be more in focus than the command (cf. 2:3–7). This content involves the gospel, which is the gospel for all people. Paul desired prayers for all people to be saved because God desired their salvation (2:3–4), Christ died for their salvation (2:5–6), and Paul’s mission was to give the gospel for unbelievers to believe (2:7), which is the mission of the church at large (cf. Matt 28:18–20).
1 Timothy 1–2 shows the need to keep the gospel at the center of one’s preaching and to pray that the lost would believe the gospel. Paul ties the gospel to other areas of Christian living as well, and I will survey these areas from 1 Timothy 2–6 over the next couple of weeks.
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