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Life-Study of 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemonby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-87083-155-0
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 2 of 28 Section 1 of 3

LIFE-STUDY OF FIRST TIMOTHY

MESSAGE TWO

FAITH AND A GOOD CONSCIENCE NEEDED FOR THE KEEPING OF THE FAITH

Scripture Reading: 1 Tim. 1:18-20

In the foregoing message we saw from 1:1-17 that God’s dispensation is versus differing teachings. In this message we shall consider 1:18-20, verses which indicate that faith and a good conscience are needed for the keeping of the faith.

I. A CHARGE COMMITTED BY THE APOSTLE TO HIS CHILD TIMOTHY

In 1:18 Paul says, “This charge I commit to you, child Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that in them you might war the good warfare.” To what charge is Paul referring here? In answering this question we must observe the principle that in understanding a sentence, a phrase, or even a word of the Bible, we need to consider the context, not only of the paragraph in which the verse is found, but sometimes of the entire book or even of the whole Bible. With this principle as our basis, we need to consider Paul’s use of the word charge in verse 18 in the context of the chapter as a whole. The charge here covers the main points presented in the previous seventeen verses. On the positive side, the main point of these verses is God’s dispensation; on the negative side, it is the differing teachings. Hence, the charge given by the apostle to his spiritual son concerns the dispensation of God positively and the differing teachings negatively.

A. According to the Prophecies Previously Made concerning Timothy

In verse 18 Paul says that he committed the charge to Timothy “according to the prophecies previously made” concerning him. It may be that some prophetic intimations were made concerning Timothy when he was admitted into the ministry (Acts 16:1-3). Perhaps the elders in the church which recommended Timothy to Paul laid hands on him. At that time prophecies might have been spoken concerning him.

B. To War the Good Warfare

Speaking of these prophecies, Paul tells Timothy, “In them you might war the good warfare.” To war the good warfare is to war against the differing teachings of the dissenters and to carry out God’s dispensation (v. 4) according to the apostle’s ministry concerning the gospel of grace and eternal life for the glory of the blessed God (vv. 11-16).


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