We can surmise from the ways Paul writes of and to Timothy that there was no one more important to him in terms of his ministry. Of Timothy, Paul wrote, “I have no one like him,” and, “how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel” (Philippians 2:19-24). Timothy is mentioned by name in three of the four letters that Paul wrote while under house arrest in Rome (Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon). After being released from that imprisonment Paul continued his ministry among churches he had already established to the east of Rome. Journeying west he may have gone as far as Spain. Along the way Paul visited the church at Ephesus where he left Timothy to correct false teaching and to ensure that the church was provided with effective leadership. It was sometime during that period that Paul wrote what has come to be known as First Timothy.
Along with 2 Timothy and Titus, 1 Timothy makes up what are commonly referred to as the Pastoral Epistles. One of things which makes the Pastoral Epistles so helpful is that the issues addressed within them are still so relevant for the church today. And as this particular passage demonstrates (1 Timothy 1:12-17) the Pastoral Epistles remind us that the gospel of Jesus Christ continues to be the church’s central message and the matter of first importance. Above all things the church is to be herald of the fact “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (vs. 15).