The epistles to Timothy and Titus are commonly referred to as the Pastoral Epistles because they were written to pastors in regard to the work of the ministry. The emphasis in I Timothy and Titus is on the proper order, doctrine, and practice of the local church and in 2 Timothy it is on the apostasy of the professing church.
It is likely that the apostle Paul suffered two Roman imprisonments and that he wrote this letter during the interval in about 64-65 AD. Timothy was Paul’s “son in the faith” (1 Tim 1:2) in that he was saved and taught under his personal ministry. Timothy was a young and somewhat timid man, but Paul considered him to be a faithful and trustworthy fellowlabourer in the ministry (1 Cor 4:14-17; Phil 2:18-23). Timothy was the pastor of the church at Ephesus when Paul wrote to him (1 Tim 1:3; 2 Tim 1:15).
The theme of this epistle is stated in the heart of it (1 Tim 3:14-16). The “house of God” is not a physical building because it is the “church of the living God” and a church is a called-out assembly of people (Eph 2:22).
The church which is the Body of Christ (Eph 1:22-23) is made up of all believers in this present age that have been saved through believing the gospel of the grace of God. There is only one church which is the Body of Christ. The local church is a local manifestation of that Body in a community. It is an assembly of believers, who in fellowship together, carry out the work of the ministry.
The local churches Paul started had fellowship with one another, but were independent and autonomous congregations. The apostle Paul gave orders and instruction to churches (1 Cor 7:17; 2 Cor 11:28), but he did not exercise dominion over their faith (2 Cor 1:24). There are no apostles today, but everything we need to know about the local church is preserved for us in Paul’s epistles. The problem with most churches today is that they do not follow Paul as the spokesman to Body of Christ.
The church is to be the pillar and ground of the truth. The church should be all about spiritual edification, not carnal entertainment. It is about building believers in the faith, not about building buildings. Paul refers to “doctrine” 17 times in the Pastoral Epistles. He emphasizes the importance of sound doctrine and warns against false doctrine.
I. Introduction (1:1-2)
II. Pastoral Charge (1:3-20)
III. Priority of Prayer (2:1-7)
IV. Proper Order (2-3)
V. Purpose of the Letter (3:14-16)
VI. Preventing Apostasy (4)
VII. Practical Instructions (5-6)
VIII. Practical Admonitions (6:3-21)