1 Timothy – Fighting Fit

As we grow older, flab sets in. It is the same with the church. Paul tells Timothy to maintain spiritual discipline within himself and the church and be “fighting fit”.



  • Introduction
  • Spiritual Fitness: Cleared Conscience
  • Spiritual Flab: Smeared Conscience
  • Shipwrecked Faith: Seared Conscience
  • Discussion
  • FAQ on women’s role

Theme Verse

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 


  • 1, 2 Timothy and Titus are pastoral epistles
  • Paul uses the tone of a father instructing son
  • Timothy was a young pastor of Ephesian Church and other churches.


  • Church in Ephesus was falling into wrong doctrines including a form of gnosticism [2]
  • Influential people promoting pagan practices and ideologies
  • Paul urges Timothy to maintain spiritual discipline within the church.
  • In order to do that he had to be “Fighting fit”

The site of the ancient Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world [3]

Spiritual Fitness - Cleared Conscience


  • To save sinners


  • Fight the battle well


  • Hold on to faith
  • Hold on to good conscience

Fitness regime

  • Connect with God
  • Conduct with others
  • Care of self

Spiritual Fitness - Cleared Conscience


Single goal: to save sinners.

1 Timothy 1:15 …Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

Means/ Approach

Fight the good fight

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.


1 Timothy 1:18 Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, 19 holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith

Ref: Full armour of God Eph 6:10-18

Connect with God - Pray

1 Timothy 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all peoplefor kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Connect with others

1 Timothy 3

2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach

8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain.

9 They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.

Care of Self :Self Confidence

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example . 

Care of Self – Sustenance

1 Timothy 4:7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Care of Self : Sharpen Skill

1 Timothy 4:13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching14 Do not neglect your gift

Role of Women

1 Timothy 2:9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. (Refer FAQ at end of presentation)

Role of Women

Paul’s instructions: general and context specific.

Attire: Inner beauty.

Authority: Under authority of husband/ father/ pastor

Teaching: First century doctrines formulated by few spirit filled men.

(Refer FAQ at end of presentation)

Spiritual Flab -Smeared Conscience

Goal: Material gain, money

Means/ Approach: Fruitless discussion

Defenses: Weak, vulnerable

Spiritual Flab-Smeared Conscience (Cont’d..)

Weak, misdirected

  • Inconsequential  with respect to God

  • Impulsive with respect to others

  • Indulging with respect to self

1 Timothy4:8 … for bodily discipline is only of little profit


Material gain, money

1 Timothy 6:5 .. who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.

10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil. Ch 6

Means/ Approach

1 Timothy 6:For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion


Weak, misdirected

1 Timothy4:8 … for bodily discipline is only of little profit

Spiritual Flab – Smeared Conscience Fitness Regime


1 Timothy 3:3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money ..

5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.

Spiritual Flab – Smeared Conscience Fitness Regime


1 Timothy 5

6 but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives.

11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry 12 and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. 13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. ch 5:6,11-13

Shipwrecked Faith - Seared Conscience

Permanently damaged conscience.

1 Timothy 4:by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods.

For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 1 Timothy 6:7

Result of rejecting Conscience

1 Timothy 1:19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.

FAQs on Women’s role


1 Timothy 2:Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments,10 but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. 11 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.

Q 1 – Women and Jewellery

Is Paul against women wearing Jewellery?

It is interesting that those who take “not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments” literally and don’t wear jewellery, appear to skip the “braiding of the hair” bit. Paul’s reference is with respect to:

  • Spending huge amounts of time and money on expensive and elaborate clothing or hairdo.
  • It also has to do with focusing and highlighting the “inner self” and “attitude” over the “looks”.

Q2 – Women and Teaching

Is Paul instructing that women can never teach at any time?

  • The phrase “I do not permit women to teach” in present tense (appears to be for context in 1st century). Contrast with the earlier instruction to men “I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.” addressed to all men at all time.
  • Today, we do not see all men “lifting hands” during prayer. It is an expression to encourage them to pray rather than fight.
  • In the 1st century context of the Ephesian church, false teachers encouraged women to defy gender norms, be egalitarian, rebel, assume authority in the church, etc. There were women doing this and spreading wrong doctrines. Again first century teaching involved formulation of Christian doctrines which only select apostles who were men were to do – unlike 21st century when we propagate those doctrines.

Q2 – Women and Teaching (Cont’d)

  • Women are clearly instructed to teach in other passages. (2 Tim 5:24, Colossians 3:16).
  • In general, Paul warns of the vulnerability of women  who have to validate their doctrines with the bible and  appropriate spiritual authorities (pastor,/husband/ father) before teaching.
  • Last but not least the woman writing this FAQ is writing under the authority of her husband and pastor who  are in agreement with women teaching in churches. [1]

Q3 – Women Speaking

Was Paul telling women never to speak in churches and meetings?

  • The word (hesuchia) can mean “silence,” in an absolute sense, or “quietness,” in the sense of “peacableness” (similar word, hesuchion, is used in 1 Timothy 2:2: “… that we may live peaceful and quiet lives …”). It does not imply that women should not open their mouths at all but refers to the attitude.
  • In Jewish culture, women were always silent observers in the back of the synagogue. Paul encouraged them to respect their culture.
  • Submission also does not necessarily refer to all women submitting to all men – but specifically those those in authority over them – their husband, boss, pastor etc.


Q3 – Women Speaking

  • “Teach or have authority over men”..The teaching refers to authoritative teaching over (or dominating) men – which Paul has clearly commanded against…in the context of formulating prime doctrines, the home, her husband, in the context of the church – the pastor.
  • Godly women in the 21st century may preach in the church under the authority of their father/ husband and the pastor/senior pastor/ bishop. Propagating doctrines already formulated by men of the spirit in the Bible. [1]




3.Image by Adam Carr

Related Posts

Philemon The Avatar

One of the shortest letters, it remains one of the most powerful. From a deeper understanding it provides rich understanding on the development of a great leader. Introduction Paul’s Role: Perception of hidden value Priming into visible value Paying his debts and...

Titus Double Grip

How do we balance the powerful secular influences constantly battering our minds, with our spiritual calling? Paul encourages Titus, a partner to get a good grip on himself and the message. Timeline of the New Testament Snapshot Objectives Introduction Salutation...

11 Timothy – Fearless Faithfulness

What is probably Paul’s last letter as he anticipates martyrdom, cold and deserted (except for faithful few) he is still victorious. He passes the torch on to faithful leaders.2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the...

11 Thessalonians – Confident Hope

What are the signs of end times? While the wicked seem to be choking all the goodness in the world, the majestic coming of Christ and victory over the most powerful evil forces is described.May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his...

1 Thessalonians – Cascading Hope

The beauty of the gospel is that it cascades with viral effect; particularly when the message lives through the lives of the teachers. Paul’s message and model to the Thessalonians spreads through them to believers in Macedonia, Achaia and other places despite severe...

Colossians – Complete Maturity in Christ

God similarly wants us to develop from spiritual babes into complete maturity. Right doctrines, strong foundations, good leadership are key facets of maturity.Colossians 1:28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may...

Philippians The Mind of Christ

Paul encourages the Philippians and guides us to “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus”. A mind that is humble, harmonious, joyful, peaceful, etc.  Snapshot Introduction The Mind of Christ Humble Focussed Harmonious Joyful Peaceful Discussion Introduction Paul wrote...

Ephesians – Pushing Limits

God is pushing limits in order to bless us and empowering us to push limits to maximize on receiving the blessings. The Ephesians had to maintain fruitful lives in the midst of persecution. Introduction Glorious Destiny Perfect Harmony Boundless Capacity Stand...

Galations – No longer I

We hear it, we know it, we sing it, we say it. But do we really live it? The moment we bury our old nature, it pops up again. Paul gives us checkpoints to remind us what drives our new life.I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ...

2 Corinthians – Jars of Clay

Paul shares his struggles with his physical ailments and victories through God’s overcoming grace. He also contrasts his weaknesses with the transcendent power of Christ within.2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing...

I Corinthians – Heaven’s Gold

People fight for it. Live for it. Die for it. The quest for gold never ceases. Yet how many enjoy it? For how long? Paul introduces how to invest and remain invested in eternal treasures. Introduction Investors Detractors Destroyers Man’s Responsibility God’s...

Romans Life Transformation Journey

Paul, in this letter lays the foundation of key theological concepts for the emerging global church.He answers questions such as why believe, predestination, suffering, discipline, grace, etc.Snapshot   Summary Slaves to sin Saved by grace Sacrifice for...