Epistles (Letters)

Epistles to Timothy & Titus

Gospel 9 – The Good News of Pastoral Epistles

Timothy- Theme: Christ is our teacher

German scholar Ferdinand Christian Baur- 1840, accepted only four letters bearing Paul’s name as genuine, which he called the Hauptebriefe as follows: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Galatians. With these findings by scholars of yesteryears and by the modern New Testaments, the Church, which is the Body of Christ, should not be troubled and should not cause confusion that might lead to doubtful minds about the infallibility of the Bible. Therefore, let not our hearts be troubled. If we believe in God, we should also believe in His word. If we want to be loved, we also need to give love.

All believers must come with a pure heart, clean hands, and good conscience to be filled with love. Thus,  love will deliver a genuine and unshakeable trust in him that delivers us from sin. Jesus said, “Peace, I leave with you. My Peace I give to you; not as the world gives, I give to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful. You heard how I told you, ‘I go away, and I come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced because I said, ‘I am going to my Father, for the Father is greater than I. Now I have told you before it happens so that you may believe when it happens.”— John 14:27-30 World English Bible.

No one is exempt from sinning, so no one has a pure heart because humans, to begin with, have a sinful nature. The sin of Adam is no longer the sin of humanity since the blood of Jesus Christ redeems us. Jesus is not coming back to save us again, and if we need cleansing of our ongoing disobedience, we need to be cleansed and purified by the power of the Word of God. We must make a U-turn to walk away from sin because our faith is so shallow that just a dot of temptations can measure it. Let our love be justified by faith and conscience testify that our souls would never abandon or ignore God’s love. 

The good news about the Epistle to Timothy is our responsibility, as recorded in 2:1-3. God is the Judge, and He is the law. The law was written out of love and respect; it guides us to be obedient and chastises us if we do something wrong. Law is not made for the righteous person. Still, for the lawless, “as knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for the sexually immoral, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine, 1 Timothy 1:9-10 (WEB).

Paul could have added more sins that humans can handle without exerting effort rather than doing a good thing. In Timothy 3, Paul listed the requirements for church overseers. It will guide the eligibility of those standing behind the pulpit if they preach and teach the word of God without blemish and if they are rightly dividing the word of truth. It also tells us that the attitude and character will show the maturity level of the person who leads the Church. If they do not follow any of these, you have the right to ask as a congregation member so everything is correct.

We are told to respect the elders worthy of double respect. We have to help those members of the household who are less fortunate. We must help the poor and widows without families. The congregation must reach out and give helping hands in the letter to Timothy. This passage revealed to us that the Scripture is God’s breath, a love letter to His children. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (WEB)— Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and instruction in righteousness, that each person who belongs to God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.  

There are many different parts, but there is only one body, and to unite the body, one must respect the diversity of gifts. Jesus entrusted to us the work of the ministry to equip the faithful and edify the Body of Christ, which we call the Church. The Body of Christ forms the ministry according to the gift received given to some individuals chosen to be apostles,  prophets,  evangelists,  pastors, and teachers. With one missing the ministry, the body is not a whole.— Ephesians 4:11 (emphasis added is mine)

Titus –Maintain good work.

The letter to Titus shows us the method for discipleship, the pattern of good work, and the enhancement of the doctrine of —Titus 2:11-14 (WEB). Titus was assigned to minister on the island of Crete, where the house church needed restoration due to the sins and corruption of the citizens.   Paul described the requirements and duties of the elders and bishops. Part of Titus’ job was to appoint godly elders and teachers and to oversee that the house church was in order and free of any distraction from Jewish doctrine, especially the doctrine of circumcision. First, Titus served as a pastor; later, he was elevated and consecrated as Bishop of Crete.   

Jesus is the grace sent by God, and whoever believes in him is already justified and will not perish (John 3:16), and the letter to Titus confirmed that justification by faith. In Titus 3: 4-7—”But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared’ ‘he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit ‘whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior’ ‘so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” God the Father is the SAVIOR, and He sent the Son, Jesus the Savior, on a mission. Jesus means God saves, God rescues.

We want to make it known that God’s love sent the Son with the message and the Father’s gift of salvation, and to make it work, Paul told Titus, as stated in 3:8— “This saying is faithful, and concerning these things, I desire that you affirm confidently so that those who have believed God may be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men;” Let us also be aware and not ignore the warning in Titus 3:9-11—”but shun foolish questionings, genealogies, strife, and disputes about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.’ ‘Avoid a factious man after a first and second warning’ ‘knowing that such a one is perverted and sins, being self-condemned.”

Love should always come first to maintain good work. Respect is part of love, and honor comes next, but without forgiveness, all work will go down the drain.

To keep our knowledge updated, the New Testament scholars agreed to these findings:

There are currently five Pauline Epistles known as pseudepigraphical: First and Second Timothy, Hebrews, Ephesians, and Titus.

The following seven Pauline Epistles are regarded as genuinely authored by Paul: Romans, First and Second Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, Philemon, and the First Thessalonians.

Ask the Holy Spirit within you regarding this update. Then, pray and meditate on it.

God is all in all.

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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