Skip Heitzig’s “flyover” Bible study of The New Testament Day 18

1 and 2 Timothy: Fighting the Good Fight

Along with Titus, 1 and 2 Timothy are Pastoral Epistles, written by Paul to the young pastor Timothy, his protégé and son in the faith. These letters give the first detailed descriptions of how the church and its leadership operated in the New Testament.

Paul clearly laid out 1 Timothy’s theme in chapter 3: “I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (v. 15). Timothy, like every minister, was to guard truth like a sacred trust, fighting for it, warning and exhorting with it, and teaching it.

Second Timothy was the last letter Paul ever wrote; it’s believed he was executed soon afterwards. So Paul addressed Timothy’s present calling and pastoral character, then moved on to practical concerns about false doctrine and teachers, finally charging Timothy to “preach the word!” (2 Timothy 4:2).

Among the last words of Paul were these: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). That’s how I want to finish; how about you?

Think It Through

Read 1 Timothy 1:3, 10; 4:1, 6, 13, 16; 5:17; 6:1, 3; 2 Timothy 3:10, 16; 4:3. What is doctrine? Are you committed to it? Why or why not?

What does Paul command young people to do in these two letters (see 1 Timothy 4:12; 2 Timothy 2:22)?

Read 1 Timothy 6:6-10. Why strive for “godliness with contentment”?

Paul wrote 2 Timothy 3:1-5 a mere thirty years or so after Jesus’ resurrection. What does this passage tell you about man’s nature? How are you to respond?

Listen and Learn

The apostle Paul wrote 1 and 2 Timothy to his spiritual “son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2). In this brief study, Skip points out some instructions from Paul on how the church should operate.
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Land and Explore

If you’re interested in taking a more detailed look at 1 and 2 Timothy, start with this free series from Pastor Skip on  1 Timothy.

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A Word of Encouragement

Paul used the word doctrine a lot in 1 and 2 Timothy. It simply means solid, healthy teaching from the Bible, and it’s of utmost importance to the church today. The more you are exposed to doctrine, the more you’ll get to know God and grow in the knowledge of His will.


Heavenly Father, Paul the apostle left us with quite the legacy of a man who ran the race well. I pray that by Your Spirit and Your grace, You would continue to perform the good work You began in me until the day of Christ. I commit myself to Your Word—to standing and fighting for the truth, as Timothy did.

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