"To Timothy, a true son in the faith..."
Text: 1 Timothy 1:2
THE SPIRITUAL FAMILY
One of the most precious of concepts taught by the Lord Jesus Christ was that of the spiritual family. On one occasion the biological family of Jesus came to see Him. They wanted Him to return home with them. Jesus made this famous reply.
“But He answered them, saying,
‘Who is My mother, or My brothers?’
And He looked around in a circle at those who
sat about Him, and said,
‘Here are My mother, and My brothers!
For whoever does the will of God is My brother
and My sister and mother.'”
APPLYING THIS SPIRITUAL TRUTH
The apostle took this spiritual truth literally. Publicly, the apostle named a number of people as his spiritual sons.
“Timothy, a true son in the faith…”
1 Timothy 1:2
“Titus, a true son in our common faith”
“My son, Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains.”
PAUL AS A SPIRITUAL FATHER
The apostle Paul had a wonderful fatherly heart. This is clearly displayed in the way he wrote to the churches he founded.
1. Paternal relationship with the Thessalonians
“As you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children”
1 Thessalonians 2:11
2. Paternal relationship with the Corinthians
“I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you.
For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers;
for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”
1 Corinthians 4:14-15
THE PRACTICE OF THIS CONCEPT
The apostle Paul was not the only one who applied and practised this spiritual truth literally. The apostle Peter did the same thing.
“Silvanus, our faithful brother…”
1 Peter 5:12
“Mark, my son.”
1 Peter 5:13
It takes spiritual maturity to practise this spiritual concept in real life. Paul and Peter had great spiritual children! It takes a lot to become good and faithful spiritual children. The spiritual sons of these two great apostles became outstanding servants of God following the footsteps of their spiritual fathers!