1 Timothy 1

1 Timothy 1


Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

To Timothy, my true child in the faith:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Warning Against False Teachers

As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.

Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

Christ Jesus Came to Save Sinners

I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.


1 Timothy 1 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

The Same Old False Doctrine

Paul comes out swinging against false teachers. We find out in 2 Timothy that they were teaching a Gospel contrary to the early apostles. Specifically, they were teaching that the resurrection of believers had already occurred, meaning, believers could experience all the benefits of a spiritually resurrected life. Today, we might call this doctrine the prosperity gospel, which promises a believer health, wealth, and material blessings.

Their insight came from their so-called secret wisdom. Their teaching didn’t produce fruit, but rather, controversy. Their conclusions produced useless chatter that caused division within the body.  Paul was concerned with genuine faith, not fancy interpretations of the Word.

His advice to Timothy: confront them!

Moral Validation

“I don’t lie, steal, curse, smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. I’m a pretty good person.” Ever heard that before?

In the book of Romans, Paul argues that the law is good, but its purpose is to reveal the depravity of man. Here in Timothy, Paul expands on that teaching by enhancing its purpose. The standard of the law far exceeds our abilities. Therefore, the law wasn’t given in order to validate the conduct of “good people,” but rather, to convict and expose the conduct of sinners – of which Paul classifies himself as the worst.

It must be remembered, of course, that laws are made, not for good people, but for lawbreakers and criminals, for the godless and sinful, for those who are not religious or spiritual, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the immoral, for sexual perverts, for kidnappers, for those who lie and give false testimony or who do anything else contrary to sound doctrine. 11 That teaching is found in the gospel that was entrusted to me to announce, the Good News from the glorious and blessed God.

1 Timothy 1:9-11 GNB

Bring It Back To Jesus

Paul had a unique ability to gracefully challenge his critics while always bringing the discussion back to what really mattered. The most effective way to communicate the foundational principles of Jesus Christ was through Paul’s personal testimony. He would go back to it time and time again in order to persuade his readers to place their faith in Jesus like he did.

He contrasts the arrogance of the false teachers with the raw reality of his own experiences. Though he was chief among sinners, Christ extended grace to him. His thankfulness shines in the second half of this chapter.

As I read 1 Timothy, I am left wondering if our churches are more focused on new discoveries, new enlightenment and new revelations instead of the basic testimony of God’s grace and mercy. Paul makes it clear he is saved and sustained by Christ alone. He has dedicated his entire existence to this simple truth.

“For all the vigor of his polemic, St. Paul does not content himself with the denunciation of error, but finds the best defense against its insidious approaches in a closer adherence to the love of God and faith in Christ.”

F.F. Bruce

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