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Theme: The faith of the church
Paul's emphasis here will not be a doctrinal statement of the Christian church, but a warning against false teachers in the local church. He will stress that the Gospel of the grace of God is central in doctrine and concerns the Person of Christ.
Analysis of the Chapter.
This chapter comprises the following subjects:
- The salutation to Timothy, Paul introduces himself and his authority (verses1-2)
- The reason why Paul left Timothy at Ephesus, (verses 3-4), that being that he might correct the false doctrines of some of the false teachers there, in regard to the true use of the law. They gave undue importance to some things in the laws of Moses; they did not understand the true nature and design of his laws; and they mingled in their instructions much that was mere fable.
- The true use and design of the law (verses 5-11), which was to produce love, not vain jangling. The law was not made to shackle the conscience by vain and troublesome strictness and ceremonies . . . it was to restrain and bind the wicked. Paul instructs Timothy to teach them that love, out of a pure heart and a good conscience, was the basic principle of religion, and that the "law" was primarily designed to restrain and control the wicked, and that the Gospel brought to light and enforced this important truth.
- The mention of the Gospel in this way, leads Paul to express his thanks to God that he had been entrusted with this message of salvation (verses 12-17), because once he had the same views as others, but he had obtained mercy, and he was permitted to announce that glorious Gospel which had shed such light on the law of God, and which had revealed a plan of salvation that was worthy of universal acceptation.
- This solemn duty of preaching the Gospel, Paul now commits to Timothy (verses 18-20). He says that he had been called to the work in accordance with the prophecies which had been uttered of him in anticipation of his future usefulness in the church, and in the hope that he would not, like some others, make a shipwreck of his faith.
Introduction (1 Tim.1:1-2)
The introduction to 1 Timothy is unlike any other in Paul's epistles. They are not all the same, for the introductions to the Pastoral Letters are a little different.
1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; (KJV)
Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ . . . (Rom.1:1; 2 Cor.1:1; Gal.1:1; Eph.1:1; Col.1:1; 2 Tim.1:1; Tit.1:1).
By the commandment of God . . . (Acts 9:1-16; Rom.16:26; 1 Cor.1:1).
God our Saviour . . . the Father (1 Tim.2:3. 4:10; Lk.1:47; 2 Tim.1:9; Tit.1:3. 2:10; 3:4; Jude 1:25). It was a Jewish expression in devotion, drawn from the Old Testament (Ps.106:21).
And Lord Jesus Christ . . . the apostle Paul had received his commission directly from Jesus (Gal.1:11-12).
Which is our hope . . . Jesus Christ is the basis of our hope of all things (Col.1:27; Tit.1:2; 2:13).
Ten Things Christians Hope for:
- Hope of salvation (Rom.8:20-25; 15:4,13; 1 Thes.5:8; 2 Thes.2:16; 1 Pet.1)
- Hope of pardon (Ps.103:12; Isa.43:25; Mic.7:18-19; Heb.8:12; 10:17; Jam.5:15; 1 Jn.1:9)
- Hope of righteousness (Rom.4:6; 5:19,21; 1 Cor.1:30; Gal.5:5).
- Hope of His calling (Eph.1:18; 4:4).
- Hope of our eternal inheritance (Jn.14:2-4; Col.1:5; Eph.1:11-18; Heb.9:15; 1 Pet.1:4-5).
- Hope of God's glory (Rom.5:1-5; Col.1:27).
- Hope of our resurrection (Acts 23:6; 24:15; 1 Thes.4:13; Tit.2:13; 1 Jn.3:3).
- Hope of eternal life (1 Cor.15:19; Ep.2:12; Col.1:23; Tit.1:2; 3:7; Heb.3:6; 6:11,18.19; 7:19; 1 Pet.1:3-13).
- Hope God’s children are safe in Heaven (2 Cor.5:6,8; 1 Thes.2:19).
- Hope of a reward (Mat.5:12; 10:41-42; 16:27; Lk.6:35; 1 Cor.3:8,14; Col.3:24; Heb.10:35; Rev.22:12).
1 Timothy 1:2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)
Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith . . . Timothy was converted to the Christian faith by Paul, and was regarded by him with the affection of a father (1 Cor.4:15). Paul had no children of his own, and he adopted Timothy as a son, and treated him as such. He felt the same way about Titus (Tit.1:4).
Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord . . . grace is the favor and approval of God. Mercy springs from that grace, pardoning, purifying and supporting. Peace is the result of this revealed mercy, peace of conscience and peace with God, which produces internal happiness, quietness and assurance. Grace, mercy, and peace: (1 Tim.1:2; 2 Tim.1:2; Tit.1:4; 2 Jn.1:3)
Although First Timothy is intimate and personal, it also has to do with the affairs of the local church, the body of believers as it manifests itself in the community. God our Father . . . God is Paul's Father, He is Timothy's Father, and He is your Father if you have received Christ. He is my Father because I have received Christ and have been brought into the family of God. What a privilege that is! (1 Jn.3:1-2). Jesus Christ our Lord . . . anything that is done in the local church needs to be done in the Name of Jesus Christ and at His command. He is the Head of the church; He is the Lord. The Lord Jesus said: Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (KJV)
He could say the same thing to many today. He warned that there are going to be many on Judgment Day who will say similar words as above. IF we do not love Him; IF we do not know Him as Saviour and Lord; IF we do not do things in His Name; IF we do not seek His will in things in our lives, He will NOT know us on Judgment day. I don’t know about you, but I do NOT want to hear “I never knew you.” This is a serious warning to us all!
Warning against Unsound Doctrine (1 Tim. 1:3-10)
This Letter deals with the doctrine and the conduct of the local church. What you believe must be right before your conduct can be right. It is almost impossible to think wrong and do right.
1 Timothy 1:3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, (KJV)
As I besought thee still to abide at Ephesus . . . it is clear from this that Paul and Timothy had been working together at Ephesus, and it seems that Paul had been forced to leave before he had completed what he had planned to do there.
When I went into Macedonia . . . having been driven away by the excitement caused by Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen (Acts 20:1).
That thou mightest charge some . . . charge here seems to mean more than is commonly implied by the word as used by us. If it had been a single direction or command, it might have been given by Paul himself before he left, but it seems rather to refer to that continuous instruction which would convince these various false teachers and lead them to teach only the true doctrine.
It seems that they may have embraced various forms of error.
That they teach no other doctrine . . . no other doctrine than that taught by the apostles. We may learn here why Timothy was left at Ephesus.
- It was for a temporary purpose, and not as a permanent arrangement. It was to correct certain errors prevailing there which Paul would have been able himself soon to correct if he had been suffered to remain. Paul expected to return to him again soon, and then they would proceed together with their work (1 Tim. 3:15; 4:13).
- It was not that he might be the "bishop" of Ephesus. There is no evidence that he was ordained there at all.
Doctrine refers to the teaching of the church. After the Day of Pentecost it is recorded that "they continued in the apostles' doctrine" (Acts 2:42). This was one of four things which described that church:
- The apostles' doctrine;
- Prayers; and
- The breaking of bread, or the Lord's Supper.
These are the four "characteristics" of the visible church. A church is not a true church of Christ if its doctrine is not the apostles' doctrine. If the TRUE doctrine is not there, it is not a church. The doctrine must be the TRUTH of the apostles.
1 Timothy 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. (KJV)
Neither give heed to fables . . . fables probably means the Jewish fables, and commandments of men (Mat.14:9), mentioned in Titus 1:14, meaning all vain and idol stories.
And endless genealogies . . . this also refers to Jewish teaching. The Hebrews kept careful ancestral records, the Jews attached great importance to them, and insisted on their being carefully preserved. This could also refer to the false teaching that the church is just a continuation of Judaism, that it is just one genealogy following another and not a matter of God dealing with man in different dispensations. Such teaching leads to great confusion as to the positions of Israel and the church in God's program.
Which minister questions, rather than godly edifying . . . endless genealogies questions allow for troublesome and angry debates. It was often difficult to settle or understand them. They became complicated and confusing. Nothing is more difficult than to unravel an extensive genealogical table, giving rise still further to questions about rank and precedence. Anything that does not tend to build men up in godliness, should not be taught.
Which is in faith . . . Paul tells us this godly edifying cannot be done except in faith, preaching the doctrine of the Gospel, accepting and embracing that which is the doctrine of faith. Paul tells Timothy that NO type of false teaching can build a person up in the faith. I think we can see today in the liberal churches the fruit of the many years of unbelief. It produces heartless individuals who simply lack faith. They have utterly rejected the Word of God, and the results we see in their churches are absurd, opposing God’s Word.
The Right Use and Purpose of the Law
1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: (KJV)
Now the end of the commandment is charity . . . in order that Timothy might fulfil the plan of his appointment, it was necessary that he should have a correct view of the law. Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (KJV) . . . The false teachers, to whom Paul refers, insisted on its responsibility and importance. Paul states that its nature and use was not correctly understood by them, and so it was very important for Timothy to teach correct views of the purpose for which the Law was given. The word "commandment" here, some have understood to be the Gospel, while others think it was the particular command which Paul gives to Timothy; but it seems to me, to refer to all that God had commanded . . . His whole law. Since the error of these teachers arose from improper views of the nature and design of law, Paul says that that design should be understood. It was not to produce distinctions and angry contentions (1 Cor.14:33), and was not to shackle the minds of Christians with tiny and burdensome adherences, it was to produce love. Charity: (1 Cor.13).
Out of a pure heart . . .love to God and man must come from a clean, holy and sincere heart.
And of a good conscience . . . a conscience free from guilt. There can be NO true and sincere love to God where the conscience is constantly violated, or where a man knows that he is continually doing wrong, constantly disobeying God. If a man wants to have the proof of love to God, he must keep a good conscience. Any and all pretended love, where a person knows that he is living in sin, is absolute hypocrisy.
And of faith unfeigned . . . which must all be rooted in and attended with a SINCERE faith.
True confidence in God seems to be intended specifically of faith in the Lord Jesus, but it also means that all true love to God, must be based on FAITH in Him. How can anyone love God IF they have no confidence (trust) in Him? Commandment, LOVE: (Mat.22:36-40; Rom.13:8,10; 1 Cor.13; 22 Tim.2:22).
1 Timothy 1:6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; (KJV)
From which some having swerved . . . from which commandment, some having swerved means, to miss the mark, to err, to wander from, not aiming at (1 Tim.6:21; 2 Tim.2:18). It does not mean that they had ever had that from which they are said to have swerved . . . for it does not make sense that a man who misses a mark had ever hit it to start with . . . but merely that they failed in the things referred to: a pure heart, a good conscience and unfeigned faith.
Have turned aside unto vain jangling . . . vain talk, empty stories, discourses not making sense. The word here used does not mean contention or strife, but that kind of discourse which is not founded in good sense. They were discourses on their pretended distinctions in the law; on their traditions and ceremonies; on their useless genealogies, and on the fabulous statements which they had added to the Law of Moses. All discourses of fables, unprofitable, idle questions, that do not edify is no better than foolish talking. Vain jangling means empty chatter, pretty words, flowery language. There are pastors who will butter you up and pat you on the back, but it does nothing for your soul! In today’s world, there are many of these in the pulpits! BEWARE!!! Get away from the FAST! You could end up in Hell if you stay!
1 Timothy 1:7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. (KJV)
Desiring to be teachers of the law . . . to have the credit and reputation of being well versed in the Law of Moses, and qualified to explain it to others. This was a high honor among the Jews, and these teachers laid claim to the same distinction.
Understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm . . . they do not understand the true nature and plan of that law which they try to explain to others. This was true of the Jewish teachers, and equally so of those in the church at Ephesus, who tried to explain it. They appear to have explained the law on the principles which commonly prevailed among the Jews, and so their instructions were very likely to corrupt the faith of the Gospel. They made statements of what they knew nothing about, and although they made confident statements, they often related to things about which they had no knowledge. Paul making it clear, there are those who teach error, and they do it with assurance. They reject the Word of God and really do not understand what they are talking about.
1 Timothy 1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; (KJV)
But we know that the law is good . . . not that I speak against the law of God, I know that it is holy, and spiritual, and just and good (Rom.7:12,14; Acts 21:21-26). The Law IS good, but NOT for justification, just for conviction, to convince men of sin, and as a schoolmaster to lead men unto Christ (Gal.3:24-25), and to direct us in our path with God. Its precepts are plain to the sincere and purified mind, BUT the Law cannot save you.
If a man use it lawfully . . . the law has a basic goodness in its nature, so it is good to men when it is used for the end to which God gave it, BUT . . . NO person can ever fulfill it (Gal.3:10). Only Jesus did that (Mat.5:17).
In this section, Paul is warning believers against unsound doctrine, for mystery religions and idolatry abounded in Ephesus where young Timothy was. Paul has also warned against the false teaching that wanted to make the Old Testament merely a folklore. Paul now warns against legalists, those who taught that the law is a means of salvation and a means of sanctification after salvation.
The Law served a purpose, but God did NOT give it as a means of salvation. The Law condemns us; it reveals that we are sinners in desperate need of a Saviour. Under the Law the best man in the world is totally condemned, but under the Gospel the worst man can be justified if he will believe in Jesus!
The sinner cannot be saved by good works for he is unable to perform any good works on his own. "So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God" (Rom.8:8). The idea that you can please God, absolutely contradicts the Word of God. It is impossible to please Him, because you CANNOT meet His standard.
Good works cannot produce salvation, BUT salvation can produce good works. We are not saved BY good works, we are saved to DO good works (Eph.2:8-10).
The Law reveals the will of God. It is morally excellent. It is good for moral conduct but not for obtaining salvation. It cannot save a sinner, but it can correct him or reveal that he is a sinner. That is the purpose of the Law.
1 Timothy 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, (KJV)
Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man . . . I think Paul means that any one, who had right views of the law, would see that the Law was for the unrighteous.
For the lawless . . . to bind and restrain them, those who have no law, and those who are transgressors, the wicked. It is rendered transgressors in (Mk.15:28; Lk.22:37), and wicked in (Acts 2:23; 2 Thes.2:8).
And disobedient . . . those who are lawless, rebellious, stubborn. Disobedient means those who are under no authority, where it is translated not put under; that is, under Christ (Heb.2:8). It is rendered unruly in (Tit.1:6,10).
For the ungodly . . . the ungodly are those who do not worship or honor God (Rom.4:5; 5:6; 1 Pet. 4:18; 2 Pet.2:5; 3:7; Jude 1:4,15). The Law is against any and all who do not worship or honor God.
And for sinners . . . includes sins of all kinds.
For unholy . . . those who fail in their duty to God, those who are ungodly. Ungodly: (Rom.4:5; 5:6; 1 Pet.4:18; 2 Pet.2:5-6; 3:7; Jude 1:4,15,18)
And profane . . . I think this may mean those who are irreverent, or who are scoffers. A man who treats Jesus with contempt, mockery or scorn, would be in agreement with the meaning of the word. Profane: (1 Tim.4:7; 6:20; Heb.12:15)
For murderers of fathers . . . this was expressly forbidden by the Law of Moses, and was a crime punishable by death (Ex.21:15). There is no sin which man will not commit if he is not restrained, and there is in fact no conceivable form of crime of which he has not been guilty.
Murderers of mothers . . . a still more atrocious and monstrous crime, if possible, than the murder of a father. There is nothing worse than to murder your mother, and yet it has been committed.
For manslayers . . . (Num.35:6,12). This word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means a homicide, a murderer. Manslayers means those who kill men, whether maliciously or passionately. The crime is expressly forbidden by the law (Ex.20:13; Deut.5:17).
The law was not meant to give believers a list of commands for every occasion but to show unbelievers their sin and bring them to God. See what Paul taught about our relationship to law. (Rom.5:20-21; 13:9-10; Gal.3:24-29).
1 Timothy 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; (KJV)
For whoremongers . . . (Lev.19:9; 20:5; Eph.5:5; Heb.13:4). A whoremonger is someone who consorts with whores; a whoremaster. I think the following Passages go right along with what is being said above and here.
Rev. 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (KJV)
Rev.22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (KJV)
For them that defile themselves with mankind . . . Sodomites. Homosexuality abounded in ancient times. It was forbidden and was punishable with death (Lev.20:13). Homosexuality: (Lev.18:22-24; 20:13-16; Rom.1:24-32; 1 Cor.6:9-11; 1 Tim.1:8-11).
For menstealers . . . this means one who steals another person for the purpose of making him a slave. A kidnapper. This is the common way in which men are made slaves. Some, indeed, are taken in war and sold as slaves, but the mass of those who have been reduced to servitude have become slaves by being kidnapped. Children are stolen from their parents, or wives from their husbands, or husbands from their wives, or parents from their children, or whole families are stolen together. None become slaves voluntarily, and so the process of making slaves makes this a theft of the worst kind. What theft is like that of stealing a man's children, or his wife, or his father or mother! The guilt of manstealing is experienced essentially by those who purchase those who have been stolen, just as the purchaser of a stolen horse, knowing it to be so, but still participates in the crime. This crime was expressly forbidden by the law of God, and was made punishable with death (Ex.21:16; Deut.24:7). Menstealers: (Gen.37:27; 40:15; Ex.21:16; Deut.24:7; Rev.18:13).
For liars . . . (Lev.6:2-4; 19:11; Jn.8:44; Rev.21:8,27; 22:15).
For perjured persons . . . those who swear falsely (Lev.19:12; 6:3; Ex.20:7).
And if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine . . . anything that opposes the Truth of the Gospel is false doctrine, and falsehoods are spoken by false teachers! "Any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine." Paul adds this, just in case he has left out something. It covers any and all sin he may have omitted in his list.
Some people seem to think that if homosexuality is legitimized as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, it will not be a sin. WRONG! In God’s Eyes it IS a sin! God does NOT change (Mal.3:6), and God CANNOT lie! (Tit.1:2; Heb.6:18; 1 Jn.5:20; Rev.15:3). Even some ‘professing’ Christians say people have a right to choose their sexual preference. But my friend, I teach the Bible, for well over 40 years now . . . and the entire Bible (both in the Old and New Testaments) calls homosexual behavior SIN! (Lev.18:22; Rom.1:18-32; 1 Cor.6:9-11). We must be careful, however, to condemn only the practice and not the people, because these people who live this lifestyle CAN be forgiven, and their lives CAN be transformed, IF they so desire. They can have life in Heaven instead of Hell . . . IF they admit they are sinners and repent of their sin. (1 Jn.1:8-9). 1 John 1:7-9 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (KJV)
Personal Testimony of Paul (1 Tim. 1:11-17)
1 Timothy 1:11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. (KJV)
According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust . . . Paul could have said: The Gospel of glory of the blessed God, was committed to my trust. He identifies the sound doctrine of which he spoke; that it is contained in the Gospel, the perfect rule of righteousness, which he calls the glorious gospel of the blessed God, for it is a doctrine revealed from Heaven, where the harmony and command of the Divine attributes, wisdom, power, mercy and justice, do clearly shine to the glory of God (2 Cor.4:6; Eph.1:6,12). Paul gives the title blessed to God, and in so doing means His superior goodness. The apostle adds, which was committed to my trust, to set it apart from the false doctrine (damnable heresies 2 Pet.2:1) which heretics published under the name of the Gospel.
1 Timothy 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; (KJV)
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord . . . the mention of the Gospel, above, and of the fact that it was committed to him, leads the apostle to express his gratitude to Jesus, Who had called him to preach it. The Lord Jesus had called Paul when he was a blasphemer and a persecutor (Acts 9). He had empowered him to leave his career of persecution and blasphemy, and to consecrate himself to the defense and the spreading of the Gospel.
Who hath enabled me . . . who has given me ability or strength to serve Him. The apostle traced back to the Lord Jesus the fact that he was in the ministry at all, and that all the ability he had to perform the duties of that holy office was attributed to Jesus (Jn.15:5; 1 Cor.15:10).
For that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry . . . this is the same as saying that Jesus had confidence in Paul. It means that there was something in Paul's character, and in his endearing attachment to the Saviour, on which reliance and trust could be placed, or that there was something which gave assurance that Paul would be faithful.
Paul emphasizes the Lordship of Christ. The idea of ministry is greatly misunderstood in our day. ALL believers are in the ministry; not one of us is out of the ministry if he is a TRUE child of God. Paul is grateful to God that He has put him into His service as a missionary. Every believer has some kind of service to do for the Lord. Are you obedient?
1 Timothy 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. (KJV)
Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious . . . Paul uses this dreadful word and says that he was a blasphemer. Paul had blasphemed the Lord Jesus, and Paul had hated Him. I think it is very possible that Paul was present at the Crucifixion and mocked the Lord Jesus along with so many other Jews (Mat.27:41-43). Paul says that he had been a blasphemer, a persecutor and that he had injured the church.
But I obtained mercy . . . when Paul speaks of his salvation he says he was saved by the grace of God. It was God’s mercy that put him into the ministry.
Because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. . . . the ignorance and unbelief of Paul were not excuses for what he did that they would completely free him from blame, nor did he regard them as such, for what he did was with a violent and wicked spirit. What is said here, therefore, agrees with what the Saviour said in his prayer for his murderers: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." It is no doubt true that persons who sin ignorantly, and who regard themselves as right in what they do, are much more likely to obtain mercy than those who plan ahead to do wrong.
I have never really figured out why the Lord has used me in our tiny ministry of giving out the Word of God to inmates. I was a nobody! An uneducated nobody! But God by His mercy, put me into His service, His ministry, back in 1996.
When I look back on my life as a child, I can clearly see how He actually reached down and literally saved my life, more than once. It had to be God’s mercy there too. Since God knows all things, He knew one day, far off in the future, that chubby little kid would finally come to her senses, and open the door of her heart to Jesus (Rev.3:20). I too, like Paul was a great sinner, and I too, like Paul, was saved by the grace of God. Thank You Jesus!
1 Timothy 1:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. (KJV)
And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus . . . Paul was saved by the grace of God, who brought him to the awesome place of faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. Faith and love are the things that will be made clear in the life of a believer.
Paul's boldness in Christ can be scary. We may feel that our faith in God and our love for Christ and for others will always be inadequate. We will at times experience failure. But we can stay confident that Christ will help our faith and love grow as our relationship with Jesus deepens. Paul's prayer for the Philippians applies to us also: Phil. 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (KJV)
1 Timothy 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. (KJV)
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation . . . the great plan of the Gospel, is a saying that is in itself true, and it is where God has declared His Truth.
That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners . . . this is a very important verse of Scripture because it confirms that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." He did NOT come to be the greatest teacher the world has ever known, although He certainly was that. He did NOT come to set a moral example for us, but He certainly did do that. He came into the world to save sinners.
When you give your testimony do NOT tell people how wonderful YOU are or what all YOU have done. Tell them you were a sinner and that Christ Jesus saved you. Tell them how wonderful Jesus is! That is what is important.
Of whom I am chief . . . When Paul says he was the chief of sinners, he is not exaggerating. He is speaking the Truth. He was the chief of sinners; he blasphemed the Lord Jesus. Paul says, "I've been saved." The Lord Jesus came to save sinners, and if you say, "I don't think Christ can save me, you do not know what I have done," you are wrong. Paul is the chief of sinners, and the chief of sinners has been saved. So you will be able to be saved IF you want to be saved! Your choice! All you need do is believe God (1 Jn.5:10-13), and accept what Jesus did on the cross for you. He will do the rest. He is faithful . . . Paul says, "This is a faithful saying." And worthy of all acceptation . . . and worthy to be with all thankfulness received, believed, and accepted.
That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners . . . Jesus was sent by the Father, in the fulness of time (Eph.1:10; Gal.4:4), was incarnate, lived and died in the world; not only to give sinners an example of a better life, nor only to make God accessible to men, that they might be saved; BUT to purchase salvation for sinners, satisfying Divine justice, and making available all the grace needed to bring them to salvation, so that He can carry the lost sheep home in His Arms (Isa.40:11), even though they had been great wanderers.
Of whom I am chief . . . Paul was as great a sinner as any other, he was the chief of sinners. But, Paul, although converted, he still had his former sin of persecution right before his eyes. Persecutors are some of the worst sinners. When Paul says he was the chief of sinners, he was not exaggerating. He was speaking the truth. He was the chief of sinners. But, read on . . .
1 Timothy 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. (KJV)
Howbeit, for this cause I obtained mercy . . . even though Paul was so great a sinner, and even the chief of sinners, he had obtained mercy. Paul needed mercy in order to become a minister, to be a missionary. We ALL need mercy!
That in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering . . . Paul was a pattern to them which would come after him, they too could believe on Him (Jesus) to life everlasting.
For a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting . . . Paul was not only a preacher of the Gospel, but also an example of the Gospel. People can feel so guilt ridden by their past that they think God could never forgive and accept them. But they must consider Paul's past. He had mocked the teachings of Jesus and had hunted down and murdered God's people, before coming to faith in Christ himself (Acts 9:1-9). God forgave Paul and used him in a mightily way for His Kingdom. It makes NO difference how shameful your past was, God can also can forgive and use you. Very few of us will be used as Paul was, but we can serve our Lord and Master!
1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (KJV)
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen . . . Paul sounds out with this tremendous doxology. Who is "the King eternal"? He is the Lord Jesus Christ. And who is the Lord Jesus? He is "the only wise God." Don't tell me that Paul did not teach that the Lord Jesus was God. Paul considered Him to be God manifest in the flesh, and here he gives this wonderful testimony to that. Immortal . . .
Jesus is the living God, and the living Redeemer; and although He died as Man, He will die no more, but ever lives to make intercession for His people, and to reign over them, and protect them. Invisible . . . who was so in his divine nature, until He was manifest in the flesh; and now in His human nature He is invisible, taken out of the sight of men, and will not be seen with bodily eyes by men on Earth. He is the only wise God . . . and He is the only God. Christ is crowned with honor and glory, and He is worthy of it; and it should be that all men honor the Son, as they do the Father. He is the brightness of His glory, and equal to Him (Jn.10:30). Jesus IS God: http://www.hisservants.org/is_jesus_god_h_s.htm
Charge to Timothy (1 Tim. 1:18-20)
1 Timothy 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; (KJV)
This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy . . . the term son, here applied to Timothy, whom he elsewhere calls our brother (2 Cor.1:1), is not a term of natural relation, but of spiritual relation, and of affectionate friendship and endearment. The charge mentioned here probably means that before mentioned verses 3-4, to tell the false teachers to teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fable.
According to the prophecies which went before on thee . . . I think the prophecies Paul is talking about is his previous words of Paul to Timothy (verses 3-4). Prophecies are not only words of the prophets in the OT, but also words of anyone bringing the Truth of the Word of God to people.
That thou by them mightest war a good warfare . . . Paul is telling Timothy, I am giving you this instruction to keep with the prophecies (instructions) made to you earlier, so that by following them you may continue to fight the good fight for the Lord. Paul wants Timothy to remember his instructions when he came up against opposition, that he not get discouraged, but preach and hold fast the faith, against all false teachers.
Although his letter to Timothy is very practical and has to do with the local church and Timothy's responsibilities in it, it also reveals something of the wonderful personal relationship that must have existed between the apostle Paul and Timothy. This is Paul's personal charge to Timothy as a young man in the ministry. Son Timothy . . . he was Paul's spiritual son; Paul had led him to Christ. According to the prophecies which went before on thee . . . Paul had actual spiritual discernment, and clearly God had directed him to take this young man along with him and allow him to have the position which he held in the early church. That thou by them mightest war a good warfare . . . as a Christian, Timothy had a real enemy. He was involved in a spiritual warfare. Paul wanted him to fight a good fight and NOT make a shipwreck of the faith as others were doing.
Spiritual warfare refers to the Christian’s conflict with the world, the flesh, the devil and his demons, especially in their enticement to sin (Jn.15:18-19; Gal.5:16-17; Eph.6:10-12; 1 Tim.6:12). The God-given provision for victory over these spiritual enemies has been accomplished through Christ’s sacrificial death and glorious resurrection (Jn.12:31-33; 16:33; Heb.2:14). We must never forget that Christians MUST use the divine resources available to them, to experience victory in the spiritual warfare with powerful and wicked forces (Eph.6:10-18; 2 Cor.10:3-4).
1 Timothy 1:19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: (KJV)
Holding faith, and a good conscience . . . by faith is meant, not the grace of faith, but the doctrine of faith, which it is often used in this Letter (1 Tim.3:9; 4:1; 5:8). The holding of it does not intend a mere profession of it, and retaining it without wavering (Heb.10:23), which is to be done by ALL believers; by a holding of it in the ministry of the word. The opposite of holding faith would be hiding, dropping or forsaking it (1 Tim.1:5; 3:9). We must hold it fast, without wavering (Heb.10:23), in opposition to departing from it or showing any cowardice about it.
Which some having put away . . . meaning a good conscience; which does not suppose that they once had one, since that they cannot put away something which they never had. The Jews, who blasphemed and contradicted, and never received the Word of God, are said to put it (faith) away from them (Acts 13:46). It means to refuse or reject anything with contempt and hatred. Some people have a hatred for a good conscience among men (1Tim.1:5; Heb.13:18; 1 Pet. 3:16,21).
Concerning faith have made shipwreck . . . when a person shipwrecks their faith, they suffer loss because of it, for they fall from the Truths of the Gospel. Error does NOT go along with a holy life. The Truths of the Gospel have a tremendous influence on men's lives, in that holiness is stabilized by the soundness of their faith, and when the love of some lust (1 Jn.2:16), betrays men into erroneous (wrong) judgments and opinions, it can cause a shipwreck of their faith. BEWARE!!!
How can we keep our conscience clear? Treasure your faith in Christ more than anything else and do what you know is right. Each and every time you deliberately ignore your conscience, you are hardening your heart. It will not be long before your ability to tell right from wrong will lessen. As you walk with God, He will speak to you through your conscience, letting you know the difference between right and wrong. Be sure to act on those inner tugs of your heartstrings so that you do what is right, then your conscience will remain clear.
Twenty Facts about Faith
1. Faith can be shipwrecked (1Tim. 1:19).
2. Faith can be put away or thrown away (1Tim. 1:19)
3. Faith can be turned away from (Acts 13:8)
4. Faith can be made void (Rom. 4:14)
5. Faith can be in vain (1Cor. 15:17)
6. Faith can be held on to or let go (1Tim. 1:19)
7. Faith can be departed from (1Tim. 4:1)
8. Faith can be denied (1Tim. 5:8; Rev. 2:13)
9. Faith can be cast off (1Tim. 5:12)
10. Faith can be erred from (1Tim. 6:10,21)
11. Faith can be overthrown (2Tim. 2:18)
12. Faith can be abandoned (2Tim. 3:8)
13. Faith can be kept or lost (2Tim. 4:7)
14. Faith can be found missing (Mk. 4:40; Lk. 8:25)
15. Faith can be adequate or fail (Lk. 22:32)
16. Faith can be made without effect (Rom. 3:3)
17. Faith can be dead (Jas. 2:17,20,26)
18. Faith can be obeyed or disobeyed (Acts 6:7)
19. Faith can be built up or destroyed (Jude 1:20)
20. Faith can be continued in or discontinued in (Acts 14:22; Col. 1:23; Heb. 10:39)
1 Timothy 1:20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. (KJV)
Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander. . . Hymenaeus is mentioned in (2 Tim.2:17-18), because of the shipwreck of his faith. He erred in the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, whereby the faith of some believers was overthrown. This was joined with the putting away of a good conscience, he seemed to have before, when his profane and vain babblings (1 Tim.6:20; 2 Tim.2:16), increased to more ungodliness. Alexander the coppersmith, who did the apostle much evil (2 Tim.4:14), may be the same man who was in Ephesus when the apostle was there (Acts 19:33-34). He might be now with Hymenaeus, with whom he might agree in his wrong opinions, and therefore are especially mentioned, Ephesus being the place where Timothy now was.
Whom I have delivered to Satan . . . we see the same phrase in 1 Cor.5:5. Hymenaeus and Alexander had failed, they were apostates, and it seems that Paul exercised a ministry which I think ONLY an apostle could exercise in those primitive times of the church. An apostle was those men personally hand chosen by Christ Jesus. A disciple is a learner and follower of Christ Jesus. There are NO apostles in today’s churches. There are only disciples today.
Paul says, I have delivered [them] unto Satan. This is NOT something we could put under the name of religious discipline or excommunication today. It is Paul exercising what was his privilege and position as an apostle. He hands Hymenaeus and Alexander over to Satan.
This is an authority, a power, that the apostles had which NO one has today. We have no right to deliver any one over to Satan, but the apostles did. Peter exercised this authority also. I am certain that if we could talk to Ananias and Sapphira, that they would tell us about Peter’s authority as an apostle (Acts 5:1-11).
That they may learn not to blaspheme . . . that they being chastised, corrected or disciplined, might not blaspheme, as they had done before; either by words, contradicting, reviling and mocking the doctrine of the resurrection; or by their improper and indecent lives and speech, supposing there was no Truth in that doctrine; whereby they not only blasphemed the Christian religion themselves, but caused it to be evil spoken of by others.
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