1 Timothy Theme, Chapter Titles, Argument

Tod Kennedy, November 2014


Instruction about ministry and conduct in the church to Timothy, overseers, deacons, and the church

Chapter Titles

  1. Paul’s philosophy of ministry
  2. Pray for leaders; godly women
  3. Overseers, deacons, and conduct in the church
  4. Departure from the faith; train for godliness
  5. Respectfully challenge; widows; elders
  6. Slaves and masters, godliness, money


Chapter 1, Paul’s philosophy of ministry

Paul gives his biblical philosophy for ministry as it applies to Timothy in Ephesus and the problems there (1 Timothy 1:1-5). The problems stemmed from the failed on-site leadership (1 Timothy 1:6-11). Paul then gives his own brief biographical sketch that emphasizes God’s grace, strength, mercy, and appointment to the ministry (1 Timothy 1:12-17). He concludes by instructing Timothy to faithfully carry out his ministry and specifically fight the good fight, keep his faith and a good conscience (1 Timothy 1:18-20).

Chapter 2, Pray for others; godly women

Paul, in chapter 2, instructs Timothy about two topics that he will need to teach the believers at Ephesus. First, that the men pray and give God thanks in the church assembly (2:1-8), and why prayer is important. Paul says this prayer is important so that believers can live in a way that furthers the message of salvation through Christ Jesus, the mediator between God and mankind (1 Timothy 2:3-7). The second topic is how women are to act in the church assembly and the home. If men are the leaders and teachers in church what do the women do? Paul writes that women are to adorn themselves with godliness, quietly receive instruction, and fulfill the role of wife and mother (1 Timothy 2:9-15).

Chapter 3, Overseers, deacons, and conduct in the church

Paul continues his instruction to the leaders in the church by describing the character of overseers (1 Timothy 3:1-7, episkopos) and deacons and their wives (1 Timothy 3:8-13, diakonos). Paul writes so that Timothy will know how the church leaders and their wives are to conduct themselves in the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth (1 Timothy 3:14-16).

Chapter 4, Departure from the faith; train for godliness

Even though believers are part of the church which has the truth, as time goes on some will depart from the faith by promoting false doctrines (1 Timothy 4:1-5). Timothy is to teach the believers sound doctrine, warn against worldly fables, and promote godliness (1 Timothy 4:6-11). Paul then encourages Timothy to be an example himself. Furthermore, Timothy should attend to reading, exhortation, and teaching the Scripture,and while doing this minister with his spiritual gift and continue on in his own Christian life (1 Timothy 4:12-16).

Chapter 5, Respectfully challenge; widows; elders

Paul now instructs Timothy about how to treat people in the church. First, correct older men, younger men, older women, and younger women according to their age and honor due them (1 Timothy 5:1-2). Then, what about widows? Children and grandchildren have the first responsibility to the widows. Godly widows 60 years and older who are alone may be supported by the church. Younger widows should marry or be supported by a related woman believer (1 Timothy 5:3-16). The church elders who do a good job of leading the church deserve to be paid well, especially those who work hard at teaching the Scripture (1 Timothy 5:17-18). And, be careful about  any accusations made against elders, and do not appoint men to the ministry who are not ready (1 Timothy 5:19-25).

Chapter 6, Slaves and masters, godliness, money

Slavery was part of the Roman world. Believing slaves had a responsibility and a testimony to their unbelieving and believing masters (1 Timothy 6:1-2). Paul then warns against those who reject sound teaching from Jesus and also his own teaching that bring about godliness (1 Timothy 6:3-5). Paul continues by saying that godliness yields greater gain than money, the love of which brings much evil (1 Timothy 6:6-10). Paul then reminds Timothy to stay away from greed, and instead fight the fight of faith, hold to eternal life, and keep the commandment until the Lord Jesus Christ comes back at the time God the Father chooses (1 Timothy 6:11-16). Paul continues with more instructions about money. It is not to be the hope in life, but simply supplied by God to some for enjoyment and good works (1 Timothy 6:17-19). Paul concludes by leaving Timothy with two challenges: guard what God has entrusted to him, and to stay out of useless arguments (1 Timothy 6:20-21).