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Dig-In Resources: week of Sep. 15-21

1 Timothy 2:1-7

Some of the study material says that this letter was written to the Hebrews. That’s a typo- it was written to the church in Ephesus. In case you weren’t able to hear the sermon, here’s a brief introduction to the context (taken from my Sermon Starter for the Center for Excellence in Preaching):

Concerned about the divisions, the dissension from doctrine, and the deplorable way their inner congregational conflict looked to nonbelievers, Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to try to make things better in the church. Back in chapter 1 verse 3, Paul reminded Timothy what he charged Timothy to do when he left: “instruct certain people not to teach any different doctrine, and not to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies that promote speculation rather than divine training that is known by faith. But the aim of such instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith.” In other words, Paul charged Timothy to correct the congregational members in a way that people experienced the actual transformation of the Holy Spirit because without such Spirit-filled correction, the changes would not last. The main goal wasn’t to get the toppled power structure upright again, but for the faith to be real. This week’s lectionary section brings us to the first explicit instructions Paul gave to the young leader who had the seemingly impossible task of helping the church in Ephesus pull itself out from under the influence of the bad teachers and back on the Jesus way.

Here are some things to help you with the study. 

Adult Bible Study Curriculum

In the RESPONDING section:

1. You’re encouraged to write a difficult prayer. In the Apprentice Series, we do a few of these sorts of exercises that you might find useful to the process.

a. A simple way to pray for a competitor, an enemy, or someone you struggle to pray for, is to simply ask God to bless him or her and the work that he or she does. As you hold him or her up before God, pray for as many good things to happen as you can think of. (p 136 in The Good and Beautiful Life)

b. If your group is up for it, you can lead them through the attached file “John 8.1-11 Guided Prayer” from the Apprentice Series session on “Learning to Live without Judging Others.” It helps you to pray for someone you want to see change.

2. The attached file “915 Prayers Sheet” provides three prayers that you can use from our tradition. (Our hymn book only has short prayers in it.) But perhaps a member of your group comes from another Christian denomination and has their prayerbook to use!


Conversations Curriculum

The opening idea is to listen to Michael W. Smith’s “Lord’s Prayer