1 Timothy 1 is the first chapter in a book written by Paul and addressed to Timothy who Paul has mentored in the faith.
The book contains affirmations and instructions to Timothy so he can fight false teachings that people in the church were starting to teach. One of the themes Paul states in 1 Timothy 1 is to not let people look down on him because he is young.
In fact, Timothy knew more about the Kingdom of God than most of the Christians of his day. He traveled with Paul, and some of that knowledge had to rub off.
In addition to that, a meaningful theme for 1 Timothy 1 is combating false teachers, and there’s a big correlation to false teaching today. Most people want power, and to be looked upon with high esteem.
1 Timothy 1: Greetings from Paul
1 This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, appointed by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus, who gives us hope.
2 I am writing to Timothy, my true son in the faith.
May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace.1 Timothy 1:1-2
1 Timothy 1: Paul Sends His Greetings To Timothy
The first two verses in this book are often ignored, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard a sermon about them. However, I love the end of the first sentence.
…appointed by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus, who gives us hope.
He is the one who gives us hope. Jesus is hope.
Hope and Love are two things that Jesus brought to us when he came. When he died on the Cross he did it for love, and when he rose from the tomb he gave us hope.
Death and sin were defeated, and we could place our hope in him. For he loved us enough to die, so we could eventually live with him. This was why Jesus came, and why he needed to die.
1 Timothy 1: Paul Sends A Warning About False Teachers
3 When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth. 4 Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don’t help people live a life of faith in God.
5 The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. 6 But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions.
7 They want to be known as teachers of the law of Moses, but they don’t know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently.
8 We know that the law is good when used correctly. 9 For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders.
10 The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching 11 that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.1 Timothy 1:3-10
What is The Meaning of 1 Timothy 1?
I love 1 Timothy 1:4 because it’s a reminder to avoid pointless discussion. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people arguing about the stupidest things in Christianity. I hate stupid and pointless discussions.
Let’s just love God and win souls, is it too much to ask for?
Did you know when Constantinople fell to the Ottomans? There is a rumor that the clergy wasn’t helping with the fight. Instead, they were arguing amongst themselves.
The argument was petty and stupid, here it’s a thousand years later and it makes me mad. But their argument was about a fly falling into holy water. Did it purify the fly? Or did it dirty the holy water?
WHAT DOES THAT MATTER?
It doesn’t, and today we face the same issue in churches across America, maybe even the world. We are worried about our ministries, how the church looks, and our placement in the community.
But that doesn’t matter in the long run, especially when we’re talking about the salvation of people. It’s great to give someone bread so they fill their stomach today.
But what about the bread of life, so they don’t burn in hell?
1 Timothy 1: Paul’s Gratitude for God’s Mercy
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, 13 even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief.
14 Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus.
15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.
17 All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.1 Timothy 1:12-17
1 Timothy 1 God’s Mercy Is Amazing!
1 Timothy 1:15 has the best saying, and it’s something we should all keep in mind. I’m the worst of the sinners, and Jesus came for me.
This puts our minds and hearts into perspective, we aren’t above anybody else. in fact, we are the least of anybody. God has given us mercy and grace. We need to accept it and understand we aren’t in control anymore.
How does the saying go? I am dead, but Jesus is now living in me?
I can only see a fraction of God, and I want more. Yet sometimes I wish that I could show people the God I know, and the God I see. I wish they would open themselves up to the love that Jesus has for each and every one of us.
We all have pride, fear, and worry. Yet some of us hold onto the pain and refuse to grab the hand of the one who loves us.
Remember: Jesus came to save us, and nobody else is coming.
1 Timothy 1: The Responsibility That Is Placed On Timothy
18 Timothy, my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they help you fight well in the Lord’s battles. 19 Cling to your faith in Christ and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.
20 Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples. I threw them out and handed them over to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme God.1 Timothy 1:18-20
Timothy Accepts His Responsibility Like We All Should
The last few verses in this chapter are very telling.
Who were Hymenaeus and Alexander? Were there more? But verse 19 states that we should cling to our faith in Christ and keep our conscience clear.
When we do things and our conscience isn’t clear, that’s a good sign that we need to repent. The Bible doesn’t cover everything but the Holy Spirit knows and sees everything.
He knows our intentions, and even the strongest of Christians have failures.
The trick is that we need not embrace them when we fall down. Instead, we need to get up brush the dirt from our eyes and keep going.
The difference between success and failure is the desire to get back up. That advice works well in the business world and also in the spiritual as well.
If you fall and stay down, you didn’t fail, you fell and stayed down. You were taken out of the game willingly because you gave up the fight.
For me…. that’s unacceptable.
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