The Pastoral Epistles are three letters written by the apostle Paul. The Pastoral Epistles are 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus. All three are letters from an old man at the close of his ministry who is concerned for his successors in the pastorate. As such, the letters concern the things that would be crucial for the young pastors to understand—church organization and discipline, including such matters as the appointment of elders and deacons, the opposition of rebellious members or false teachers, and the maintenance of doctrinal purity.

Titus was written by Paul to encourage Titus, his brother in the faith, whom he had left in Crete to lead the church Paul had established there on one of his missionary journeys (Titus 1:5). Paul wrote 1 Timothy to Timothy to encourage him in his responsibility for overseeing the work of the Ephesian church and possibly the other churches in the province of Asia (1 Timothy 1:3). His second letter to Timothy was written in approximately AD 67, shortly before the apostle Paul was put to death. Imprisoned in Rome, Paul felt lonely and abandoned and recognized that his earthly life was likely coming to an end soon. The book of 2 Timothy is essentially Paul’s “last words.” Paul looked past his own circumstances to express concern for the churches and specifically for Timothy. Paul wanted to use this last opportunity to encourage Timothy, and all other believers, to persevere in faith (2 Timothy 3:14) and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 4:2).

As instructional letters to younger pastors, Paul’s Pastoral Epistles are invaluable today. These letters are full of the heartfelt warnings and instructions that characterize Paul’s ministry, revealing his pastor’s heart for the care for the churches he founded. Whether he is speaking of church organization (1 Timothy 3:1–13Titus 1:1–16), addressing the role of women in ministry (1 Timothy 2:12), revealing Christ as the mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), encouraging believers to persevere in the faith (2 Timothy 2:14) and to remain firm in sound doctrine (2 Timothy 1:1–213–14), verifying the inspiration of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16), or warning against false and apostate teachers (2 Timothy 3:1–17), the Pastoral Epistles are the “how-to” manual for pastors in all places and for all time.

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Course Image First Timothy

The book of I Timothy is a letter by the Apostle Paul to Timothy, Paul’s true son in the faith (vs. 2). Paul entrusted Timothy with leading the church in Ephesus. He strongly reminds him of his objective which is to squelch the false teachings by those who teach the law, promoting controversy instead of faith. He then instructs Timothy with practical advice on how to lead this assembly. He ends by encouraging him to continue to fight the good fight and to guard carefully what has been entrusted to him.

Course Image Second Timothy

The book of 2 Timothy is a personal letter from Paul to Timothy. The book opens with Paul reflecting on Timothy’s sincere faith. He had learned it from His mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois and Paul rejoices that this very same faith was evident in Timothy as well. Paul writes this letter to encourage Timothy to be strong in grace, steadfast in what he had been taught as well as giving a warning about the coming days of apostasy or godlessness. Paul closes with a charge for Timothy to be prepared to preach the Word in season and out.

Course Image Titus

The book of Titus was written by the Apostle Paul to Titus, his true son in the faith. He writes to give instruction and encouragement to Titus who had been left in charge on the island of Crete. Paul’s main objective is to encourage Titus and give instruction about goodly living.