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The New Testament | The Letters of Paul

1 Timothy

Things to know

Where does the book begin?

Timothy was Paul’s young friend. Paul called him a true son.

Places to go

Paul warned about false teachers
1 Timothy 1:3-7


Jesus came to save sinners*
1 Timothy 1:12-17


Choose good leaders
1 Timothy 3:1-7


Paul wrote a song about Jesus
1 Timothy 3:16


Take care of what God gave you
1 Timothy 6:20-21

Where does the book end?

Paul told Timothy to remember his words and be a good example.

People to know


The Story of 1 Timothy

Paul wrote this letter to his friend Timothy. Timothy was a young man. He had helped Paul tell people about Jesus. Now he was going to do some difficult work. So Paul wrote this letter to help him.

Paul wrote two more letters like this one. He wrote one more to Timothy. And one to a young man named Titus. In these letters, Paul helped these young men know how to lead the churches where God had put them. Timothy was a leader in the church* at Ephesus.

Paul said many things in this letter about how to do good work for God. Teach the things that are true. Live in a way that shows people that the truth is good. Paul used his own life as an example. Once he believed wrong things and acted in bad ways. But God showed him the right way and changed his way of life. [1]

Paul also warned Timothy about many things. Some of the people taught things about God that were not true. Some men would live in ways that did not honour God. So Paul told him what to do and what to say to these false teachers. These men taught bad things and did not live good lives. They were proud, but they had nothing to say. [2]

Paul wanted the church* to be wise in the ways they worshiped*. He said that they must pray at all times. They must not quarrel. [3] They should live humble lives and do good. Both the men and the women were important. They all must listen and learn in the right ways. The men must care for their families and be wise in the way they led them. [4]

Timothy must be careful to teach only what is true. And he must choose good men to lead the church*. So Paul gave Timothy a list of things to look for in a leader.

‘He must be free from blame. He must be faithful* to his wife. In anything he does, he must not go too far. He must control himself. He must welcome people into his home. He must be able to teach. He must not get drunk. He must not be controlling. He must be gentle. He must not be a person who likes to argue. He must not love money.’ [5]

They must be men who lived in a way that showed that they followed Jesus. These kind of men could lead the church* well.

Timothy must tell the church* to honour these new leaders. God wanted these men to take care of the church*. And this could be a very hard job. Not all of the people would stay in the church*. Some would leave and follow false teachers. Some would believe lies. But Timothy and the men he chose must be careful of how they lived and what they said. They must be examples of how to live and what to believe. Paul wrote this letter to help them do that. [6]


[1] 1 Timothy 1:16

[2] 1 Timothy 1:6

[3] 1 Timothy 2:10

[4] 1 Timothy 2:13

[5] 1 Timothy 3:2-3

[6] 1 Timothy 4:12-16

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