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1. Greetings 1 - 2.
1Ti 1:1 From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hop
Paul confirms that he is the author of this letter by putting his name at the beginning of it. He further adds that he writes with the authority of an apostle (ambassador, a representative) of Christ. His appointment to this position was not given him by men but by the direct command of God. He gives the name Saviour to God as the author of salvation, and Jesus Christ as Lord to whom He has given all power and authority (Math. 28: 18) who is the foundation of our hope.
1Ti 1:2 to Timothy, my genuine child in the faith. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord!
The letter is written to Timothy whom Paul refers to as his "son in the faith" because he had been the means of leading him to accept Christ as his Saviour and had an affection for him as a father (1 Cor. 4: 15, 17). Timothy also served with Paul in his ministry as a devoted and dutiful son. He gives him a threefold greeting, Grace -- usually summed up as "the unmerited favour of God". Thayer define it as "the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues". Mercy -- is an addition that Paul only uses in the pastoral letters (1 & 2 Timothy, Titus), it is the compassion shown by God to those who have a need. Peace -- peace with God, the peace of God. Although it is Paul who speaks these words to Timothy the source of them is God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. No Other Doctrine 3 - 7.
1Ti 1:3 As I urged you when I was leaving for Macedonia, stay on in Ephesus to instruct certain people not to spread false teachings,
Paul and Timothy had been labouring together at Ephesus until the time of the uproar when he left to go to Macedonia (Acts 20:1). On leaving Paul had urged Timothy to remain behind in order to warn and reprove those who were teaching false doctrine to cease and teach the truth as preached by the apostles.
1Ti 1:4 nor to occupy themselves with myths and interminable genealogies. Such things promote useless speculations rather than God's redemptive plan that operates by faith.
These people should stop paying attention to fictional tales and superstitions and wasting time in tracing their ancestry as far back as they could. All this succeeded in doing was promoting useless speculations and arguments rather than excepting by faith godly teaching that will edify.
1Ti 1:5 But the aim of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.
The aim of the charge to cultivate the love that comes from a heart purified by faith in Christ and a conscience free of guilt and a sincere faith.
1Ti 1:6 Some have strayed from these and turned away to empty discussion.
Some have missed the mark and deviated from the truth and instead have been taken over by empty words.
1Ti 1:7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not understand what they are saying or the things they insist on so confidently.
They want to become well versed in the law given to Moses and to have a reputation of being experts in it. In fact they do not understand the true nature or meaning of the law that they so confidently expound to others.
3. The Law is for the Lawless 8 - 11.
1Ti 1:8 But we know that the law is good if someone uses it legitimately,
Paul, whom was indeed an expert in the law (Acts 22:3) recognized that the Law was good if it is used as it should be.
1Ti 1:9 realizing that law is not intended for a righteous person, but for lawless and rebellious people, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers,
The Law is not made for the righteous (upright and just) but for the lawless, unruly, irreverent, sinners, irreligious, blasphemers and murderers.
1Ti 1:10-11 sexually immoral people, practicing homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, perjurers -- in fact, for any who live contrary to sound teaching. This accords with the glorious gospel of the blessed God that was entrusted to me.
He continues the list with prostitutes, sodomites, kidnappers (those who steal people to make them slaves), liars, perjurers (false witnesses). The list could go on but Paul ends by saying anything that is contrary to wholesome doctrine. All the teaching that has been given by Christ and made known by the glorious gospel of God which Paul had been entrusted to preach. To put it a concise way: the Law was given for sinners and to identify sin (Rom. 7:7). It was our instructor to bring us to Christ (Gal. 3:24). The law therefore is not for those who have been made righteous in Christ, who are saved (Rom. 6:14 and Rom. 10:4) but for sinners.
4. The Grace of God 12 -17.
1Ti 1:12 I am grateful to the one who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me faithful in putting me into ministry,
The mention of the "glorious gospel" causes Paul to reflect on the graciousness of God towards him. He thanked the Lord Jesus Christ for considering him worthy to be entrusted with the ministry and for giving him the continual strength to fulfill it.
1Ti 1:13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I was treated with mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief,
So that he could show the unlimited extent of God's grace to him Paul recalls what he used to be before accepting Jesus Christ as his Saviour. He was a blasphemer, this did not mean that he railed against God for in writing to the Philippian church he said "concerning the law, a Pharisee..... concerning the righteousness that is in the law, blameless" (Phil. 3:6). The meaning is that he had reviled the name of Christ, and opposed him and his cause -- not believing that he was the Messiah; and in so opposing he had really been guilty of blasphemy. He had persecuted the church and was an insolent person but in His Divine Grace God had compassion on him because he did not know that he was doing these things against God.
1Ti 1:14 and our Lord's grace was abundant, bringing faith and love in Christ Jesus.
The grace of the Lord super abounded to Paul imparting to him the faith to receive Jesus Christ as his Saviour and filling him with His love and a love for Him and His people.
1Ti 1:15 This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" -- and I am the worst of them!
The Word that says "Jesus Christ came in to the world to save sinners" is trustful and worthy to be embraced and believed. Paul was a living testimony to this as he considered himself to be the foremost of sinners and yet God's grace was sufficient to save his soul.
1Ti 1:16 But here is why I was treated with mercy: so that in me as the worst, Christ Jesus could demonstrate his utmost patience, as an example for those who are going to believe in him for eternal life.
For this reason Paul received mercy to demonstrate the patience Jesus Christ has as an example for all sinners so that others will realize that they to can have eternal life by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:9).
1Ti 1:17 Now to the eternal king, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever! Amen.
This hymn of praise is a burst of gratitude from Paul for God' grace to him. He is the King of eternal ages, the One who never dies, the One who has never been seen (John 1:18), the only One who is wise. Glory and honour be to Him throughout the eternal ages.
5. Fight the Good Fight 18 - 20.
1Ti 1:18 I put this charge before you, Timothy my child, in keeping with the prophecies once spoken about you, in order that with such encouragement you may fight the good fight.
The important job of faithfully imparting and upholding the truths that Paul has made known he commits to Timothy. He has the assurance that Timothy will fulfill this task because of prophecies that had been given concerning his future ministry for Christ. These would inspire and help him to wage a good war in the proclamation of the gospel in all truth and to uphold sound doctrine.
1Ti 1:19 To do this you must hold firmly to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck in regard to the faith.
He exhorts Timothy to hold steadfastly to the faith and to keep a good conscience in all things in living his life for Christ. Not like some who had hardened their conscience to the things of Christ and turned away from the faith. Like a ship and has been wrecked so they have destroyed their faith. "Faith is the vessel in which they had professedly embarked, of which "good conscience" is the anchor" (JFB).
1Ti 1:20 Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.
He names two here who fitted this bill although there were most probably others he could say the same about. These particular two he had given over to the life of apostasy that they had chosen. That as they had yielded their lives over to Satan and he made havoc with their lives as he willed they may learn not to blaspheme.
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