Paul’s Pattern Of “Longsuffering” In Godliness

1Ti 1:15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief

1Ti 1:16  Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. 

1Ti 1:17  Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. 

1Ti 1:18  This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare

1Ti 1:19  Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 

Oftentimes, it is said that what Paul is teaching in 1st Timothy 1:16 is that the Apostle Paul is a “pattern” unto the lost of the world, “to save sinners,” and that they might “believe on Him to life everlasting.” And many teach that because Paul says, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief,” and then, “for this cause I obtained mercy;” that Paul is actually saying, ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and I’m the chief of sinners, and I am a pattern to the unsaved to life everlasting.’ But that is not what Paul is saying in the context of those verses at all. First of all, at the time Paul wrote 1st Timothy, he was not the ‘chief of sinners,’ nor was he when he persecuted the Church, he answered to; and was sent by the “chief Priests” to persecute the Church. Secondly, Paul is exhorting Timothy to “charge some that they teach no other doctrine.”

2Ti 1:4  Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; 

2Ti 1:5  When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. 

2Ti 1:6  Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 

Therefore, the Apostle Paul knew that Timothy would also face persecution for the ministry’s sake by charging some that they teach no other doctrine. And as Paul’s “own son in the faith,” Timothy had ‘followed’ Paul thus far, he also knew Paul’s sufferings, and persecutions that he faced. And what Paul was conveying over unto Timothy was, that as Timothy was to “war a good warfare” in the ministry, he too will be persecuted, and he too will need to understand the doctrine of “longsuffering.” This is what Paul taught as being “a pattern to them which should hereafter believe.” Longsuffering for the ministry’s sake is the pattern that Paul set forth unto Timothy, and Paul is also our “pattern” unto “all longsuffering” as well.  Now the question is, did Timothy “war a good warfare?” as we can see in the second epistle, Timothy had a “spirit of fear,” and Paul was “mindful” of his tears.

2Ti 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 

2Ti 1:8  Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 

2Ti 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 

Moreover, Timothy was experiencing suffering, but there was much more labor that needed to be accomplished by Timothy, if he was to “make full proof” of his ministry, he was to “endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” This “holy calling” that Paul is referring to, is the calling unto the ministry, and with this “calling” of the ministry comes the persecutions, and the “afflictions of the gospel” that Paul exhorted Timothy to be a “partaker of.” And being a soldier of Jesus Christ that “warreth,” there would also come the necessity to understand the doctrine of “longsuffering,” this is why the first 21 verses in 2nd Timothy chapter 2 is dedicated to “longsuffering” as a soldier, and faithful son.

2Ti 1:12  For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 

2Ti 1:13  Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 

2Ti 1:14  That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. 

2Ti 1:15  This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. 

2Ti 1:16  The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: 

Wherefore, Paul uses his faithfulness as a soldier of Jesus Christ as a pattern for Timothy, and as we see, there are countless times within 1st and 2nd Timothy that Paul bears witness to what he faced for the Lord’s sake. And Paul desired that Timothy would also “commit” the ministry of Paul unto other faithful men as a “pattern,” with Paul being our Apostle. And in Acts 9, the Lord said that He will show Paul how Many “great things he must suffer for” His name’s sake. This is what Paul teaches when he says, “that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” One of the “fruit of the Spirit” is longsuffering, the fruit of the Spirit is the ‘benefit of the Living Word of God’ that the Saints can operate upon when they allow His Word to work effectually within them, it will bring forth “fruit” in their sanctified lives.

2Ti 2:1  Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 

2Ti 2:2  And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also

2Ti 2:3  Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 

2Ti 2:4  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 

Finally, Timothy knew what Paul meant when he said that he was a pattern unto those who would also endure hardness and “all longsuffering” for the ministry’s sake. But Timothy balked at the afflictions that came with the ministry at the first, notice that Paul reminded him about ‘who he was’ as Paul’s “son,” and about the Spiritual “gift” of knowledge that he had within him that needed to be ‘stirred up.’ And as many as desire to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, they too must understand and fully appreciate Paul’s ministry and his longsuffering, and that he “fought the good fight of faith.” But this was accomplished by the Living Word of the Living God working effectually within him, and we too are given the effectual working word of God to operate upon as we face persecution for the ministry’s sake as well. And Paul has set forth the pattern for “all longsuffering” unto all  them that “will live godly,” they have been given by our Father the “fruit of the Spirit” to operate upon when they suffer for the ministry’s sake as well.

1Ti 1:15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief

1Ti 1:16  Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. 

Rod Jones

  1. Hi brother Rod. That was very interesting and was a facet i had not seen before! Thank you for sharing!
    In the richness of His grace … Bobbi

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