It has been stated that the Pastoral Epistles contain poor literary structure and are only useful for the immediate recipients. It can be clearly shown that the Pastoral Epistles are filled with purpose and are essential in leading churches to order the household of God.
Each Pastoral Epistle is controlled by the extended metaphor of the household. More particularly God’s Household (1 Timothy 3:15).The concept of this household theology is not a new one; it has been upon from a more or less degree from the first. It is derived from the concept of the ancient oikos. This metaphor is the theological key that envisions a divinely organized pattern of life within the church.
It is evident that the household of God is not confined to Crete or Ephesus. For it is stated, by Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:2, “with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:”. It is certain that he was addressing not only the Corinthian church; but also all other churches in every place. Is not “all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ” speaking of the households of God.
It is obvious that Paul has dispatched Titus to Crete and Timothy with definite instructions. They do have specific tasks in their respective cities. For Titus it is, “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you”— (Tt 1:5) For Timothy it was, “remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine” (1 Ti 1:3). However it appears from the text that there are other purposes for writing the Pastoral Letters, as well.
All of these secondary purposes are charged with “Household” language. In 1st Timothy it is the unit endings that charge Timothy to “Guard the deposit which has been entrusted to him.” Timothy and Titus are considered as the “despot of the oikos” or keeper of the home. In Titus, Paul speaks to the theological basis for correct behavior within the household (2:11-15)
In regard to 2nd Timothy there is certainly more of a personal feeling; however, there is much practical instruction within for all young ministers in every age. There is warning of “perilous times”, even the inference of trusted fellow servants leaving his side. Although the ad hoc element was to summons Timothy to Rome; the broader element is to remind the man of God to “Guard the Valuable Deposit!” These instructions are based on the life and ministry, which serve as an example, of the man of God who is soon departing.
If Paul were to die before Timothy arrives in Rome, this 2nd letter to Timothy would be a reminder of a life well served in the witness and ministry of Jesus Christ. Maybe most importantly, it would reflect on a “deposit” held in faithful trust till the end.
The Pastorals are a glowing reminder, to the minister in any stage of life, that he is entrusted with the gospel deposit from Christ and is responsible to be a faithful steward until which time his Master returns.
Craig Layton is pursuing a BA in Christian Studies with a Great Commission Minor. He is a conference speaker and Revivalist who speaks to issues from Christian Worldview issues to how to prepare for genuine revival within a body of believers. He is senior pastor of Leary Baptist Church in Leary Georgia; which is presently experiencing a protracted season of true God sent revival.. Married for 6 years to his wife Kimberly, they have two children and two grandchildren. You can follow Craig on Twitter at twitter.com/Pastor_COLayton. And on Facebook at facebook.com/craig.layton72