In our study, we look at Paul's letter to the pastor of the local church in Ephesus. It is an instructional letter that was written to his dear friend that had traveled with him and was now a pastor. This chapter is a reminder to keep purity in the faith.
"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope." NIV translation
Paul opens with a unique introduction as he usually introduces himself as an apostle by the will of God but here he says by the "command of God". This is much stronger as it lets us know that Paul didn't have much to do with the decision of God other than accepting it and doing what he was told. Just as Paul did not play a part in the decision, the same is true today for those that are called into full time ministry. If you can do anything else, then you are not called (commanded by God) to that ministry. There are many today who are "in the ministry" because of a career decision and not a "command of God". Paul had a career (tentmaker) but it was not his calling.
"To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord." NIV translation
Paul addresses the letter to Timothy and lets us see their relationship as he calls him "my true son in the faith". This speaks about the fact that he came to salvation and was raised in the faith through the ministry of Paul. Because of that, Paul felt a responsibility to watch over and nurture him in his walk with the Lord even as he became the pastor of this local church. The greeting begins with grace and, as we shall see, this first chapter is a reminder of the fact that salvation (mercy & peace with God) only comes through His grace.
"As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work - which is by faith." NIV translation
Paul reminds us here of the events that led to him leaving Ephesus and leaving Timothy in charge of the local body of believers. We see this in Acts chapter 19 where there was a riot because of the effectiveness of the preaching of the gospel. We see here that Paul left Timothy there to combat the false teachings of the Judaiziers. He reminds Timothy (and us as well) that all these traditions do not promote unity in the faith but instead promote controversy and division which is contrary to the work of God.