JohnSWilson3 Blog

“…a stewardship of God in faith…”
May 4, 2014, 1:58 pm
Filed under: R - First Letter to Timothy

After his greeting to his son in the faith Timothy, Paul gets right to the point, in ever the style of Paul. There are many different books and tests one can take to determine your personality. Paul’s was definitely dominant in his personality, but in Christ, His Spirit works through our personalities, enabling us to express the uniqueness of Christ in each of us, this however does not happen except through much struggle in life experiences with Him. Timothy is getting such a life experience in dealing with certain persons in the ecclesia of Ephesus.

Before leaving to go to Macedonia Paul had urged Timothy into some face-to-face dealings with “certain persons” who were causing the body to focus on things not of Christ wherever they gathered. (1) The body is ever in danger of falling back to this and for certain persons, male or female, to have this focus must be nipped in the bud. Paul’s letter seems to be a recounting of what he had already asked Timothy to do. One would venture to think that perhaps Paul didn’t have faith in Timothy to do what he asked because of having to write this letter, but to encourage someone to follow through in love is not a lack of faith it is to cheer one on in this fallen world where life is fraught with many discouragements and if possible, to steal, kill, and destroy the life of Christ in His body. We must encourage one another on. How we treat one another in the body of Christ is of profound importance. Because we are in this body of flesh we are learning to have Christ, by His Spirit, live from within our spirits through our lives. This gets pretty messy. This is the reason for so many of our New Testament letters that encourage us how to live by Christ together.

Throughout every letter that Paul wrote he made an emphasis to learn to live by Christ’s life together. His letters describe the process involved, the difficult change that occurs as the body “puts off” the flesh and “puts on” Christ Jesus. The difficulty is that we have an enemy who is adamant about not seeing Christ manifested in His body and we have this “flesh” who wants to keep His Spirit from living through us. This is the spiritual warfare of living with Christ as Head over our gatherings so that all may participate in His life together and in the world. But what a glorious thing to see His ekklesia, every member living by His life together, to the fullness of Christ! And the ekklesia is not called to “do” this once or a few times and everything is all right, while at the moment it may seem like that. While I do not necessarily adhere to Aristotle’s philosophy he is known to have stated: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” (2) If we see excellence as fullness we can see a spiritual application. Fullness doesn’t come from a one-time “act” but by growing in experiencing Him daily, a habit of living together by Christ’s life through the ups and downs of life. We are called to press further in love and faith, and subsequently the conflict can and often increases. And as we experience His life together because of our love and faith we recognize that it is His love and His faith, being “the Lord of us” that is in reality sustaining us.

Timothy is to “charge” certain persons not to “teach differently nor pay attention to tales and to genealogies unending.” The word “charge” means to hand an announcement from one to another. (3) Timothy is to give or hand over to certain men and women an announcement from Paul. And it begins with “not.” I have to say this doesn’t sound very positive. Who likes to hear the word “not” as someone begins to speak to you? Well, the Lord could do the same as He did through Peter at the start of the new ecclesia in Jerusalem, killing off a couple folks who decided to lie to the body! But here there is patience. Here there is warning. May we heed the warnings of Christ through His people! Only the flesh gets uptight with warnings, only the flesh gets defensive. God’s dealings with us through one another does just this, shows the ugliness of our flesh so we can learn to put it off through the loving encouragement of one another. How I have learned this to be true!

God’s eternal purpose, His stewardship, is to live, to work through a body, His ecclesia as she lives by faith together. If one teaches “differently” than this or causes the body “to pay attention to myths and to genealogies unending” the result is confusion. (4) These teachings seem to be a convergence of Gentile and Jewish teachings. Gentiles tended to focus on myths while Jews tended to focus on genealogies. Of course both topics could be found in each culture. Myths are never precise or accurate and have many versions and embellishments based on who tells the story. But woe to the one who denies the myth of the story teller! Myths are in reality opinions and opinions are a dime a dozen, but for many they are facts, such as what we also find in the sciences. If one contradicts the others myth, opinion, “hypothesis” who claims them as fact, problems occur within the relationships. Myths in reality are based in and lead to fear, fear of the unknown with all of its pathologies, and based in superstitions. Having done work in genealogy I know that it can get tiresome and be fraught with many questionings that lead down many rabbit trails. Rabbit trails based on some unreliable document that leads to another unreliable document. Often the purpose of genealogies is to find some long dead person who had some form of notoriety or fame by which to boast ones ego. In the end these are of little account, neither has nor increase truth, they accomplish nothing of Christ (5). The times spent in these subtle endeavors have caused many to spend time in pursuit of nothing and lost time that could have been in increasing our life in Christ together. None of these bring truth, life or love which are only found in Christ. Let us follow Christ together and allow His work through the body be accomplished.

(1) The Greek word “tisin” means “certain ones” or “certain persons” either male or female. Alfred Marshall, The Interlinear KJV-NIV Parallel New Testament in Greek and English, 1975, The Zondervan Corporation, 613.


(3) Alfred Marshall, The Interlinear KJV-NIV Parallel New Testament in Greek and English, 1975, The Zondervan Corporation, 613. W.E. Vine, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 96. The word “parangeiles” means “to transmit a message along from one to another.”

(4) Alfred Marshall, The Interlinear KJV-NIV Parallel New Testament in Greek and English, 1975, The Zondervan Corporation, 613. W.E. Vine, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 502-503. The best manuscripts use the Greek word “ekzetesis” which means “a questioning” while some manuscripts use the term “zetesis” which means “a seeking, search.” I am of the opinion that when so called “teachers” begin to express something other than Christ what begins to happen are questionings. Christ wants to be expressed through our spirits, but questionings on things other than Christ hide His life within.

(5) From Strong’s concordance the Greek word means to not finish or unfinished or not accomplish or unaccomplished.