The Place of God's Presence: A Biblical Theology of 1 Timothy
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Paul’s first letter to Timothy is a personal, yet theologically robust, letter which reminds the church of her identity and responsibility. The connection between identity and responsibility is the theme which ties the seemingly disparate sections of this letter together. In the heart of the epistle (1 Tim 3:14-16) Paul uses a metaphor, “house of God,” to identify the church as the place of God’s presence. In 1 Timothy 1, Paul reminds his young coworker that since he is the steward of God’s house, he must utilize the truth of the gospel in a battle against the false teachers. In the second chapter, the apostle teaches the church about the priority and propriety of prayer. In 1 Timothy 3, Paul concludes a discussion about proper roles for men and women in the context of church leadership. The fourth chapter calls Timothy to train himself for godliness, and the fifth reveals what such godliness will look like in practice. In the letter’s final chapter, Paul indicts the false teachers concerning their love of money before encouraging Timothy to recognize the true value of wealth. The reality that the church is the place of God’s presence lies behind each of Paul’s exhortations.