1 Timothy 1: 1-20, salutation, warning about false teachers
VV 1-2, 1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope, 2 To Timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
Paul called was an apostle authorized by God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Greek for apostle is “apostolos”, which means ambassador or emissary. Greek for commandment is “epitage”, which means authority. Paul was an ambassador of Christ, our Savior, and hope, by the authority of God. Paul wrote this epistle to Timothy, his protege, and spiritual son in the faith. He pronounced to Timothy a blessing of grace, mercy, and peace from God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord.
VV 3-4, 3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.
When Paul was in Macedonia, he encouraged Timothy to stay back in Ephesus because false teachers had infiltrated the Ephesian church with false doctrines, myths, and disputable genealogies.
VV 5-7, 5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, 6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.
Paul encouraged Timothy to love with a pure heart, good conscience, and sincere faith. Paul warned Timothy about legalistic teachers who were ignorant of the law.
VV 8-11, 8 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, 9 knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.
The law is good but people are carnal and could not keep the law. The law was not made for the righteous but for sinners, murderers, sexual perverts, kidnappers, liars, etc. The law points to people that they are sinners who need a Saviour. The law is a mirror that reflects and reveals sin. The law is a schoolmaster to point people to Christ.
VV 12-14, 12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
Greek for insolent is “hubrizo”, which means violent. Paul thank the Lord for His superabundant love, mercy, and grace to appoint him as an apostle even though he was once a blasphemer, a persecutor of Christians, and a violent man.
VV 15-17, 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason, I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Christ came to earth to save sinners by grace and through faith. Paul called himself the chief of sinners. Greek for long-suffering is “makrothumia”, which means patience, Christ is a God of love, grace, mercy, and patience. In doxology, Paul proclaimed Christ as the eternal King, who is immortal, invisible, wise, honorable, and glorious.
VV 18-20, 18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.
Greek for charge is “paragello”, which means a military order. Paul ordered Timothy to fight the good fight against false teachers with faith and a good conscience. Paul singled out two false teachers and blasphemers by name, Hymenaeus and Alexander.
Paul’s instructions to Timothy also apply to us. We are encouraged to love with a pure heart, good conscience, and sincere faith. We are to discern and reject false doctrines and false teachers by having a good basic knowledge of scripture. We shall know the truth by studying scripture diligently and the truth shall set us free from deception. Christ came to earth to save sinners by grace through faith in Him.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the timeless truth of Your Word that transcends time, culture, geography, race, and history. We pray for Your Word to be deeply imprinted into our hearts. We pray for divine enablement for understanding and application, in Jesus’ name, Amen.