1st Timothy and Titus Bible Study
Adorn Yourself with Godliness: A Study of 1 Timothy and Titus
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The apostle Paul identifies himself as the author of 1 Timothy and Titus. Paul left 2 of his trusted friends—Timothy in Ephesus and Titus on the island of Crete—to continue the work of teaching the truth and resisting error creeping into the young churches there. These letters we have in our Bible were written to encourage the young pastors, reminding them to teach and train others to be faithful to the true Gospel. Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus are called “pastoral epistles” because for the most part they are Paul’s counsel to his assistants who served in the pastoral or shepherd-like function of those local churches, particularly in the regions of Ephesus and Crete.
Timothy was born and reared in Lystra (central Turkey). His mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, were devout Jews who became believers in Christ. Timothy first heard Paul preach the gospel on Paul’s first visit to Lystra and trusted in Christ. When Paul came back to Lystra, Timothy joined Paul on the rest of his second missionary journey. During that time, Timothy helped to establish churches at Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea. Six of Paul’s epistles to churches include Timothy in the salutations meaning Timothy was with him when Paul wrote the letters. After Paul’s release from prison (around 62 AD), Timothy and Paul traveled to Ephesus where Timothy was left to care for the church. Paul wrote 1 Timothy around 64 A.D. from Rome or Macedonia. Paul wrote 2 Timothy (~ 67 AD) while Timothy was still in Ephesus.
Titus was a Greek who listened to Paul’s preaching and believed in Jesus. Paul brought him to Jerusalem (Galatians 2:1-4) to show the apostles and other Jewish believers how a Greek non-Jew could love God just as much as they did. Titus traveled with Paul on missionary journeys, helping in the work of sharing the gospel. During the 3 years Paul was teaching in Ephesus, Titus was there. Then, Paul sent him to Corinth to alleviate tension at that church (2 Corinthians 7:6-16) and to collect money for the poor (2 Corinthians 8:6-23). Paul thought of Titus not only as a very faithful friend but also as his spiritual son because he had led him to trust Christ. After Paul was released from the Roman prison where he had been for two years, he and Titus traveled to the island of Crete. Paul left Titus on Crete to continue teaching the new Christians and to appoint church leaders for each new church. Paul wrote to Titus soon after writing 1 Timothy.
Godliness is a reverence for God characterized by living a life that reflects His character. It is a life that is well-pleasing to Him. It also means to take on His likeness as we present Him to the world around us. Attributes of godliness are those same ones found in our Lord Jesus Christ—humility, compassion, love, prayer, dependency on God the Father, and many more.
The English word “adorn” translates the Greek word kosmeo from which we get our word “cosmetic.” It means, “to arrange, to put in order.” Whenever you are applying your make-up, you are actually putting your face in order. When you get ready for a job interview, you’re arranging yourself in such a way by what you wear and how you act to demonstrate that you are truly the right person for the job! What could be a more beautiful, worthwhile goal than to aspire to adorn yourself with godliness, to put yourself in order with the very character of God—to arrange or live your life properly displaying the beliefs you claim to profess? Christians should strive to “dress,” act, and be like Him for Him!
Your adornment is important because those who oppose Christ and the Gospel (the “fashion police”) are always watching, looking for an excuse not to believe. When you adorn ourselves with godliness, there is nothing for “them” to accuse. Then, the word of God, God’s message to the world that you profess, will not be dishonored or discredited (Titus 2:5).
The Adorn Yourself with Godliness Bible Study looks closely at two of Paul’s letters: 1st Timothy and Titus. You will learn that you have everything you need for godliness through the Spirit of God who lives inside you and is continually at work in you. You can never be more beautiful than to adorn yourself with the very character of God so that your life displays the beliefs you claim to profess. Approach your world every morning as you do your mirror—getting ready to present His Body to an ugly world, desperately in need of adornment. You can choose to “dress,” act, and be like Him—for Him. That’s adorning yourself with godliness.
The best way to study the Bible uses the inductive process. First, carefully observe the text. What does it actually say? Then, interpret the text. What was the author’s intended meaning for the audience that would read or hear it, including us today? And finally, apply what you learn. How do you live this out in your life? This is the best way to study the Bible. Look at what is there. Learn what it means and teaches you. Then, live it out in your life. All “Joyful Walk Bible Studies” use the inductive process.
We recommend working through the book of Colossians. It includes a lot of wonderful information about Jesus Christ that you should know. It also shows you what God does for you whenever you choose to put your faith in His Son. Colossians shows you how to approach many practical areas of life living God’s way rather than the world’s way. And, it helps you build godly relationships with those around you. Start with our “Healthy Living Bible Study” of Colossians. If you want an overview of all of Paul’s letters to get a good perspective of what they teach, work through the short and easy study “Grace Overflowing” before studying Colossians. Ask the Lord to show you where to start.