Outline of 1 Timothy

We hope this outline of 1 Timothy assists you in your study of God’s holy Word — His personal letter to you.

1 Timothy is the first of four personal letters we have that Paul wrote to individuals (2 to Timothy, 1 to Titus, and 1 to Philemon). The first three have long been known as the Pastoral Epistles. They all were written towards the end of Paul’s life.

Timothy was born the son of a Jewish mother and a Gentile father (Acts 16:1). He lived in Lystra which was in the region of Galatia. Paul visited the city on his first missionary journey (Acts 14:8-20). Apparently, at this time, both Timothy’s mother and grandmother became followers of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 1:5). When Paul returned to Lystra at the beginning of his second missionary journey, Timothy, though a young man, had distinguished himself as a good servant to the church (Acts 16:2). Because he was Jewish but uncircumcised, Paul had him circumcised, a contrast to Titus who was Gentile and whom Paul refused to have circumcised (Galatians. 2:3).

Timothy then went with Paul on his second missionary journey. He was there when Paul first went to Europe. He was there when Paul was thrown into prison at Philippi. He travelled with Paul to Thessalonica and then to Berea. He remained for a while at Berea while Paul went to Athens. He joined Paul and then travelled back to Thessalonica to make contact with the new believers. He then travelled back to Paul who was in Corinth (Acts 18:5). Thereafter, on the third missionary journey, Timothy joined Paul in Ephesus. While at Ephesus, Paul sent Timothy back to Macedonia (the area of Thessalonica and Berea and Philippi) (Acts 19:22) and perhaps on to Corinth (1 Corinthians 16:10). It appears that Timothy returned to Ephesus because 1 Timothy 1:3 states that Paul urged Timothy to remain in Ephesus when Paul went to Macedonia. Nevertheless, Timothy was with Paul when Paul went to Macedonia (2 Corinthians 1:1) and he accompanied Paul back to Asia (Acts 20:4). He also was with Paul in Rome when he wrote Philippians (Philippians 1:1) and Colossians (Colossians 1:1). We find Timothy in Ephesus in this book and apparently in 2 Timothy (2 Timothy 1:16-18; 4:19). At some time, Timothy was imprisoned but then set free (Hebrews 13:23). We know little of Timothy’s later life. Eusebius mentions Timothy as “having first received the episcopate at Ephesus.”

The letter of 1 Timothy is really a letter of encouragement and exhortation from an older pastor to a younger one, from a spiritual father to a spiritual son. The letter deals much with the themes of holding to the faith and opposing heresy. It also addresses the great themes of Christ and holy living. It emphasizes relationships within the church and the need for sound instruction. Each chapter is rich and full. There are 28 references to Christ.

  • Chapter 1 has the great benediction of the great King (1:17)
  • Chapter 2 has the great desire and Mediation of Christ (2:4)
  • Chapter 3 has the great hymn of Christ (3:16)
  • Chapter 4 has the great work of Christ (4:10)
  • Chapter 5 has the great judgment of men (5:24-25)
  • Chapter 6 has the great revealing of Christ (6:15-16)

Each Deals With Major Controversies

  • Chapter 1 — the Role of the Law (1:6-11)
  • Chapter 2 — the Role of Men and Women (2:8-15)
  • Chapter 3 — Qualifications for office (3:1-13)
  • Chapter 4 — Asceticism (4:1-8)
  • Chapter 5 — Widows and Sinning Rulers (5:3-20)
  • Chapter 6 — Prosperity Teaching (6:3-10)

It is a letter of lists, both the bad and the good (1:9-10; 1:17; 2:1; 3:2-6; 3:8-9; 4:1-3; 4:12; 6:4-5; 6:11; 6:15-16).

Date: 62 A.D. (?) (from 58 to 62)

I. Introduction 1:1-2

II. Warning About False Teaching 1:3-20

  1. Wrong Use of Law (It is for love from a pure heart and good conscience and wholesome faith) 1:3-11
  2. Paul is the Pattern Christ has given 1:12-17
  3. Hold onto faith and a good conscience 1:18-20

III. Conduct for the Church 2-3

  1. God desires prayer 2:1-7
  2. Role of Men and Women in church 2:8-15
  3. Qualifications for a Bishop 3:1-7
  4. Qualifications for a Deacon 3:8-13
  5. Reason for writing 3:14-15
  6. Hymn of Praise 3:16

IV. Role of Timothy 4

  1. Apostasy will come, watch out 4:1-5
  2. Instruct in truth, reject fables 4:6-10
  3. Be an example 4:11-16
    1. In word
    2. In conduct
    3. In love
    4. In spirit
    5. In faith
    6. In purity
    7. Don’t neglect the gift
    8. Meditate on these things
    9. Give yourself entirely to them
    10. Watch out
    11. Continue in them

V. Relationships in the Church 5-6:2

  1. With older men 5:1
  2. With younger men 5:1
  3. With older women 5:2
  4. With younger women 5:2
  5. With widows 5:3-16
  6. With elders 5:17-20
  7. With novices 5:21-22
  8. With yourself 5:22-25
  9. With masters and servants 6:1-2

VI. Covetousness and Godliness 6:3-19

  1. Godliness has its own value, it is not a means to wealth 6:3-10
  2. Be spotless 6:11-16
  3. Let riches be used for eternity 6:17-19

VII. Final Plea 6:20-21

Key Idea: There is much to distract, hold to what you have been taught

Key Passage: 4:16

Key Lesson: Watch Out for Your Life

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