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Wednesday, May 29th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
1 Timothy 1

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

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Verses 1-2

The Salutation 1 Timothy 1:1-2 is called the salutation and is found in all thirteen of Paul’s New Testament epistles and is used as an introduction to his letters. Paul wrote his salutations as a signature of authenticity (2 Thessalonians 3:17) just like we place our signature today at the end of a document. He may have written entire epistles as indicated in Philemon 1:19. However, there are indications in six of his epistles that Paul used an amanuensis to write most of his letters (see Romans 16:22, 1 Corinthians 16:21, Galatians 6:11, Colossians 4:18, 2 Thessalonians 3:17, Philemon 1:19).

2 Thessalonians 3:17, “The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.”

1 Timothy 1:1-2 contains the salutation to this Pastoral Epistle. As with the other Pauline epistles, it makes reference to the underlying theme of this epistle, which is Paul’s charge to Timothy to set the church of Ephesus in hope of saving himself and those who hear him (1 Timothy 4:16). Thus, Paul opens this epistle with a reference to God our Saviour and Jesus Christ our hope.

Reflections on the Theme of the Epistle We immediately see the theme of the Pastoral Epistles reflected within the opening salutation of 1 Timothy. The foundational theme of these epistles emphasizes the phase of our spiritual journey described as our divine “calling,” which is accomplished by the office of the Holy Spirit, whose ministry in man’s redemption is the sanctification of the believer. Having been saved by faith in Jesus Christ in the Gospels, and indoctrinated in the Church Epistles, we now are in a position to be entrusted with divine gifts and called by God into an office of divine service that will one day bring us eternal rewards in Heaven. Thus, in these opening verses Paul refers to his apostleship in Christ Jesus being brought about by the commandment of God our Saviour, which refers to his personal divine calling. This apostleship is also commissioned by our hope in Jesus Christ, since the basis of entering into this office and sacrificing our own desires in order to fulfill the will of God is the hope of our eternal rewards in Heaven (1 Timothy 1:1). This theme is also found in Paul’s charge to Timothy to set in order the church of Ephesus in hope of saving himself and those who hear him (1 Timothy 4:16). Thus, Paul opens this epistle with a reference to God our Saviour and Jesus Christ our hope.

1 Timothy 4:16, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”

Perhaps the greatest testimony of Paul’s apostleship to the Gentiles is the young man Timothy, converted under Paul’s ministry, and now walking in the footsteps of his father in the faith, which is emphasized in the second verse (1 Timothy 1:2). His conversion, Christian character and sacrificial service bore witness to the power of the Gospel at work through Paul’s ministry.

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;

1 Timothy 1:1 “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ” Comments - To those churches and individuals in which Paul displayed his apostleship over them in order to give correction and doctrine, he introduces himself as “an apostle of Jesus Christ” ( Rom 1:1 , 1 Corinthians 1:1, 2 Corinthians 1:1, Galatians 1:1, Ephesians 1:1, Colossians 1:1, 1 Timothy 1:1, 2 Timothy 1:1 and Titus 1:1). To the Philippians Paul describes himself as a “servant.” This is because within the context of this epistle Paul will give examples of himself (Philippians 1:12-20), of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:1-11), of Timothy (Philippians 2:19-24) and of Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-30) as servants who laid aside their own wills and in order that to fulfill the will of those in authority over them. For this is the message and theme of Paul’s epistle to the Philippians. To Philemon Paul declares himself as a “prisoner of Jesus Christ,” because his message to Philemon was about a slave, or prisoner, who was serving Philemon. In his two letters to the church of Thessalonica Paul defers the use of a title in order to equate himself as co-workers with Silas and Timothy. He will refer to his apostleship in 1 Thessalonians 2:6, but he will be mindful to use it in the plural form as a co-worker with Silas and Timothy. This is because he emphasizes their need to labour together until Jesus returns.

1 Timothy 1:1 “by the commandment of God our Saviour” - Comments - In this epistle, Paul uses himself as an example to Timothy in what he is about to write. Paul is going to command, or charge, him in certain areas of the ministry. In his other epistles, Paul uses a similar way to introduce his theme. For example, in Ephesians and Colossians, he introduces himself as an apostle “by the will of God” because he is about to discuss the will and plan of God for the Church. In Galatians, Paul introduces himself as an apostle that was called entirely by God and not by man. This is because he will use his divine authority from this calling to deal with a situation within this church. Thus, in his letter to Timothy, Paul first shows himself as an example of one who yielded to the commandments of His Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 1:11-12).

1 Timothy 1:11-12, “According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;”

Paul will then rely upon words of prophecy as “commandments of God our Saviour” that Timothy received in the past in order to encourage him to fulfill his calling (1 Timothy 1:18; 1 Timothy 4:14, 2 Timothy 4:1).

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;”

1 Timothy 4:14, “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.”

2 Timothy 4:1, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;”

Paul will then give charges to young Timothy according to the prophecies that he had already received (1 Timothy 1:18; 1 Timothy 5:21; 1 Timothy 6:13).

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;”

1 Timothy 5:21, “ I charge thee before God , and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.”

1 Timothy 6:13, “ I give thee charge in the sight of God , who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;”

Paul did not give Timothy these charges out of random opportunity. Paul knew what these prophecies said. He was, therefore, charging Timothy by the Spirit of God to fulfill his ministry and calling (1 Timothy 4:14).

1 Timothy 4:14, “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.”

As a result, young Timothy is given the divine authority to charge the church in certain matters (1 Timothy 1:0; 1 Timothy 3:0; 1 Timothy 5:7; 1 Timothy 6:17).

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,”

1 Timothy 5:7, “And these things give in charge , that they may be blameless.”

1 Timothy 6:17, “ Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;”

Thus, we see an order of divine authority being handed down from the Lord Jesus Christ to Paul to Timothy to the church at Ephesus.

1 Timothy 1:1 Comments - In the opening verse of 1 Timothy 1:1, Paul refers to his calling as an apostle to the Gentiles. Paul emphasizes his personal calling as an apostle, which came by the commandment of God. This commandment to Paul was to preach the Gospel of salvation and hope to the Gentiles who were in Christ Jesus. Anyone who has been long in the ministry knows how the experience of this calling serves as an anchor of the soul for a long, laborious journey in Christian service. Thus, Paul sums up his calling to preach the Gospel in this opening verse to young Timothy.

Paul will refer to God as “our Saviour” here in the opening verse and two other times in this Epistle (1 Timothy 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:10). The reason for this particular emphasis is because the goal of the Gospel is to bring men into a saving knowledge of God. He will refer to Jesus Christ as “our hope” in this same verse. He will later refer to Jesus as the one mediator between God and men, and as the one who gave Himself as a ransom for all (1 Timothy 2:5-6). It is God the Father who planned our salvation and Jesus Christ who presented it to man and daily mediates for us in order to maintain our position of justification with the Father. Thus, Paul is declaring the Gospel in this opening verse as the heart of message that is to make up the sound doctrine which Timothy is to establish in the church.

1 Timothy 2:3, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;”

1 Timothy 4:10, “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.”

1 Timothy 2:5-6, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

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.

1 Timothy 1:2 “Unto Timothy” Comments: Biography of Timothy (1) Scriptural Testimony - Young Timothy was the son of a mixed marriage, one that was forbidden in the Jewish community, but nevertheless took place rather frequently. His mother was a Jewish named Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5), and his father a Greek, perhaps a proselyte (Acts 16:1), and therefore not circumcised as a child (Acts 16:3). The absence of his father’s name may imply that he died when Timothy was a child. He was a native, perhaps of Derbe, but more likely that of the nearby town of Lystra (Acts 16:1). Paul will remind him in later years of how he was brought up with the Scriptures under the tender care of his devout mother Eunice and grandmother Lois (2 Timothy 1:5). On his first missionary journey Paul meets this young man and wins him to the Lord (Acts 16:1). Paul would first depart this region of Asia Minor and return to Antioch to end his first missionary journey. But during Paul’s second journey he returned to this region in A.D. 51 or 52 and met this young disciple. He was impressed enough that he decided to have Timothy join his small group of coworkers, being ordained into the ministry with the laying on of hands and prophecy (1 Timothy 1:18; 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6). He must have seen a number of things special about this young man. He would have heard the good report about his character from other believers. He would have seen his youthful zeal for Christ. He must have considered his mixed nationality, bring brought up in the Scriptures as a Jew, yet, being familiar with the Greek culture. Perhaps the prophecies spoken over him confirmed his calling. All of these must have caught Paul’s close attention. This new bond of friendship would never be broken, as Timothy laboured with Paul for well over a decade, perhaps fifteen to twenty years. Before setting off with Timothy Paul would have him circumcised, an indication that his father was a Gentile (Acts 16:3); for such uncircumcision would have hindered Timothy’s ministry in the Jewish synagogues where they so often preached the Gospel. They began by delivering the decrees which had been ordained earlier at the Jerusalem council to the churches of Phrygia and Galatia. Timothy then accompanied Paul and Silas into Macedonia in obedience to a heavenly vision, where they made their way to Philippi and Thessalonica and on to Berea. Timothy seems to have stayed in Thessalonica while Paul and Silas departed for Berea (Acts 17:10) and later joined them there (Acts 17:15). Paul would send these two coworkers back into Macedonia while in Athens (Acts 18:1; Act 18:5 , 1 Thessalonians 3:2; 1 Thessalonians 3:6), and he would not meet them again until he was in Corinth, where he spent the next eighteen months. Thus, Timothy became valuable as they traveled from city to city, being assigned to take messages to those churches planted by Paul, using Timothy to move back and forth between the churches that they had planted, perhaps choosing him because he was so familiar with both the Jewish and Greek cultures. We know that he was with Paul on his third missionary journey where much work was done in Ephesus and its surrounding regions (Acts 19:22). During that time he was sent into Macedonia (1 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Corinthians 16:10), and later he was with Paul when he wrote his second epistle to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 1:1). We find him with Paul the following winter at Corinth when he wrote his epistle to the Romans (Romans 16:21). He then was sent with a group of Paul’s companions to spearhead Paul’s trip to Troas towards the end of this third journey (Acts 20:3-5). Timothy reappears with Paul during his first Roman imprisonment (Philippians 1:1, Colossians 1:1, Philemon 1:1), and at some point during this two-year period he was sent by Paul from Rome to Philippi (Philippians 2:19). After Paul’s release, we know from the Pastoral Epistles that Timothy accompanied Paul to Ephesus, where he stayed to set the church in order. We do not know whether Timothy ever returned to Rome upon Paul’s bidding ( 2Ti 4:11 ; 2 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 4:21). Timothy was gifted in the office of an evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5), and would serve as one of Paul’s closest companions, being placed over Paul’s most important work, which was setting in order the church of Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3). Perhaps the last comments we find about Timothy are found in Hebrews 13:23 where the author, believed to be Paul, tells his recipients that Timothy had been imprisoned, but was now set free. This probably took place during the Church’s first major persecution at the hand of Nero, the Roman Emperor.

Hebrews 13:23, “Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.”

(2) Extra-biblical Testimony - We do have some references to Timothy outside of the Scriptures with the early Church fathers that provide us with biographical information. Ignatius (A.D. 35-107), bishop of Antioch, tells us that he never married. [78] J. J. van Oosterzee says Origin (A.D. 185-254) claims that Paul and Timothy were relatives. [79] Eusebius (A.D. 260-340), the early Church historian, tells us that Timothy served as the first bishop of Ephesus. [80] The Apostolic Constitutions (late 4 th c.) tells us that Timothy was the bishop of Ephesus. [81] John Chrysostom (A.D. 347-407) says in a sermon that all of Asia had been entrusted to him, which suggests that his ecclesiastical authority was much wider than Ephesus. [82] Scholars tell us that Nicephorus (A.D. 758-829), historian and patriarch of Constantinople, records the tradition that Timothy was beaten to death during the reign of Emperor Domitian (A.D. 81-96) by an angry Ephesian mob because of his protests against the worship of the goddess Artemis. [83] Oosterzee notes the claim by Cesare Baronius (1538-1607) that this event took place under Trajan (A.D.109). [84] Timothy would most certainly have died before John the apostle moved to this region to oversee the churches of Asia Minor during the last half of the first century.

[78] Ignatius writes, “May I have pleasure in your purity, as that of Elijah, or as of Joshua the son of Nun, as of Melchizedek, or as of Elisha, as of Jeremiah, or as of John the Baptist, as of the beloved disciple, as of Timothy, as of Titus, as of Evodius, as of Clement, who departed this life in [perfect] chastity,” ( The Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians 4).

[79] J. J. van Oosterzee, The Two Epistles of Paul to Timothy, trans. E. A. Washburn and E. Harwood, in Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, ed. Philip Schaff (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1868), 9.

[80] Eusebius writes, “Timothy, so it is recorded, was the first to receive the episcopate of the parish in Ephesus, Titus of the churches in Crete.” ( Ecclesiastical History 3.4.6).

[81] The Apostolic Constitutions says, “Now concerning those bishops which have been ordained in our lifetime, we let you know that they are these…Of Ephesus, Timotheus, ordained by Paul…These are the bishops who are entrusted by us with the parishes in the Lord; whose doctrine keep ye always in mind, and observe our words. And may the Lord be with you now, and to endless ages, as Himself said to us when He was about to be taken up to His own God and Father. For says He, ‘Lo, I am with you all the days, until the end of the world. Amen.’” ( Apostolic Constitutions 7.46)

[82] John Chrysostom writes, “And it is manifest from hence that the Church, and even the whole people of Asia, had been now intrusted to Timothy, which is the reason why he discourses with him concerning elders.” ( Homily 15.19 on 1 Timothy) See John Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. 13 , Chrysostom: Homilies on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, ed. Phillip Schaff (electronic edition), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004).

[83] Alfred Plummer, The Pastoral Epistles, in The Expositor’s Bible, eds. William R. Nicoll and Oscar L. Joseph (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1891), 26; Alfred Barry, The Epistles to the Colossians, Thessalonians, and Timothy, in The New Testament Commentary, ed. Charles J. Ellicott (London: Cassell and Company, n.d.), 185-186.

[84] J. J. van Oosterzee, The Two Epistles of Paul to Timothy, trans. E. A. Washburn and E. Harwood, in Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, editor Philip Schaff (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1868), 10.

1 Timothy 1:2 “my own son in the faith” Comments - Any pastor knows the loyalty of a “son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2) referring to a person who was brought into the kingdom of God under his ministry and raised up in that ministry. This bond is stronger than that of a hired associate pastor or church member who has joined the church after their conversion experience. The bond between Paul and Timothy was stronger than that of Paul and Barnabas or Paul and Silas or even Paul and Luke; for Timothy was brought into the kingdom of God directly under Paul or under Paul’s ministry. Both had several things in common. Both had Gentile fathers and Jewish mothers. Both traveled together and suffered for the kingdom of God. For these reasons, there was no one that bonded closer to Paul during his life and ministry than did Timothy.

Paul calls him “my own son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2), and “ my dearly beloved son” (1 Corinthians 4:17, 2 Timothy 1:2). Paul also tells the Corinthians that he is “faithful in the Lord” and able to bring them into remembrance of his ways (1 Corinthians 4:17); for few people understood Paul as did Timothy, who laboured beside him for years. Paul tells the Philippians a few years later that as a son with a father Timothy had served with Paul in the Gospel (Philippians 2:22). It was in the closing days of his life that Paul summoned Timothy by his side to share his most intimate needs (2 Tim).

1 Corinthians 4:17, “For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.”

Philippians 2:22, “But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.”

Timothy’s role as Paul’s son in the faith places him under spiritual authority and in subjection to the charges that Paul is about to give him. Thus, Paul addresses him in this manner, so that his charge will be spoken in love to this young minister, but with a tone of seriousness. The phrase “my own son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2) may also reveal Paul’s intent to hand over the reins of his ministry to Timothy upon his death.

1 Timothy 1:2 “Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord” Comments (The Pauline Greeting) - Scholars discuss the meaning of Paul’s epistolary greetings from two different angles, either an historical approach or a theological approach.

(1) The Historical Approach The historical approach evaluates the history behind the use of the words “grace” and “peace” in traditional greetings, with this duet of words limited in antiquity to New Testament literature. J. Vernon McGee says the word “grace” in Paul’s greetings was a formal greeting used in Greek letters of his day, while the word “peace” was the customary Jewish greeting. [85] More specifically, John Grassmick says the Greek word χαίρειν was a common greeting in classical Greek epistles (note this use in Acts 15:23; Acts 23:26, James 1:1), so that χάρις was a “word play” Paul used in conjunction with the Hebrew greeting “peace.” [86] Thus, Paul would be respectfully addressing both Greeks and Jews in the early Church. However, Paul uses these same two words in his epistles to Timothy, Titus and Philemon, which weakens the idea that Paul intended to make such a distinction between two ethnic groups when using “grace” and “peace.” Perhaps this greeting became customary for Paul and lost its distinctive elements.

[85] J. Vernon McGee, The Epistle to the Romans, in Thru the Bible With J. Vernon McGee (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub., 1998), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), comments on Romans 1:1.

[86] John D. Grassmick, “Epistolary Genre,” in Interpreting the New Testament Text, eds. Darrell L. Bock and Buist M. Fanning (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 2006), 232.

(2) The Theological Approach - Another view is proposed by James Denny, who explains the relationship of these two words as a cause and effect. He says that grace is God’s unmerited favor upon mankind, and the peace is the result of receiving His grace and forgiveness of sins. [87] In a similar statement, Charles Simeon says the phrase “‘grace and peace’ comprehended all the blessings of the Gospel.” [88]

[87] James Denney, The Epistles to the Thessalonians, in The Expositor’s Bible, eds. William R. Nicoll and Oscar L. Joseph (New York: Hodder and Stoughton, n.d.), 15-16.

[88] Charles Simeon, 2 Peter, in Horae Homileticae, vol. 20: James to Jude (London: Holdsworth and Ball, 1833), 285.

Comments (The Pauline Blessing) - In a similar way that the early apostles were instructed by Jesus to let their peace come upon the home of their host (Matthew 10:13), so did Paul the apostle open every one of his thirteen New Testament epistles with a blessing of God’s peace and grace upon his readers. Matthew 10:13 shows that you can bless a house by speaking God's peace upon it.

Matthew 10:13, “And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.”

This practice of speaking blessings upon God’s children may have its roots in the priestly blessing of Numbers 6:22-27, where God instructed Moses to have the priests speak a blessing upon the children of Israel. We see in Ruth 2:4 that this blessing became a part of the Jewish culture when greeting people. Boaz blessed his workers in the field and his reapers replied with a blessing.

Ruth 2:4, “And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee.”

We also see this practiced by the king in 2 Samuel 15:20 where David says, “mercy and truth be with thee.”

2 Samuel 15:20, “Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee.”

Thus, this word of blessing was a part of the Hebrew and Jewish culture. This provides us the background as to why Paul was speaking a blessing upon Timothy, especially that God would grant him more of His grace and abiding peace that he would have otherwise not known. In faith, we too, can receive this same blessing into our lives. Paul actually pronounces and invokes a blessing of divine grace and peace upon his readers with these words, “Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.” I do not believe this blessing is unconditional, but rather conditional. In other words, it is based upon the response of his hearers. The more they obey these divine truths laid forth in this epistle, the more God’s grace and peace is multiplied in their lives. We recall how the children of Israel entered the Promised Land, with six tribes standing upon Mount Gerizim to bless the people and six tribes upon Mount Ebal to curse the disobedient (Deuteronomy 27:11-26). Thus, the blessings and curses of Deuteronomy 28:1-68 were placed upon the land. All who obeyed the Law received these blessings, and all who disobeyed received this list of curses. In the same way Paul invokes a blessing into the body of Christ for all who will hearken unto the divine truths of this epistle. We see this obligation of the recipients in the Beck translation of 2 Peter 1:2, “As you know God and our Lord Jesus, may you enjoy more and more of His love and peace.

Comments (Paul’s Use of the Word ‘Mercy’ in His Greeting) - Regarding the word “mercy” in Pauline greetings, it is interesting to note that this word is only used by Paul in his introductions to the Pastoral Epistles ( 1Ti 1:2 ; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4), while the word is lacking in the introductions to his other epistles (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:2; Philemon 1:3). One suggestion as to why Paul blessed these leaders with mercy and not the congregations is because this is one quality that every pastor must exhibit in order to work with people. We find in Romans 12:6-8 that mercy is a gift. Thus, Paul may have been blessing Timothy and Titus with mercy so that they would have it to minister to others.

Verses 1-20

Introduction Paul greets Timothy with an opening salutation (1 Timothy 1:1-2) and then gives him some introductory remarks about his divine commission, which is to set in order the church in Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3-20).

The passage of Scripture in 1 Timothy 1:1-20 serves as an introduction for the rest of this Epistle in that everything else that Paul tells young Timothy is based upon the initial charge and instructions laid down in this introduction. In this passage Paul explains to Timothy why he is writing to him and, therefore, sets the theme and gives us the background for the rest of the epistle in which Paul gives Timothy more specific charges in his oversight over the church at Ephesus. Paul explains that there were those who were confidently teaching false doctrines in this church and were missing the whole point of teaching Church doctrine, which was to bring mankind to redemption and guide them into walking in love in their newly found Christian life. Thus, we are given the background of how false teachers were threatening to deteriorate the sound doctrine that Paul had worked so hard to establish in the church of Ephesus and now understand the occasion for writing to Timothy.

After opening the Epistle with his customary salutation (1 Timothy 1:1-2) Paul gives Timothy his initial commission of establishing sound doctrine in the Church, which he will expound upon and develop during the rest of this Epistle (1 Timothy 1:3-7). He then explains the true purpose of the Law, which does not contradict, but rather supports the proclamation of the Gospel, with which Paul was entrusted (1 Timothy 1:8-11). He then gives Timothy an example from his own calling and ministry as one who has been converted by and maintained sound doctrine (1 Timothy 1:12-17). He then charges Timothy to stand and fight to establish this doctrine in the Church and gives him an example from his ministry (1 Timothy 1:18-20).

In this passage of Scripture Paul will give much attention to the dangers of veering off of the path of sound doctrine. Thus, Paul warns Timothy how some have turned aside to “vain jangling” (1 Timothy 1:6-7) and later reminds him of two men who have taken that course of failure (1 Timothy 1:19-20). The reason such individuals fall away is because they refuse to follow the straight course that Paul and Timothy have established in the churches. This refusal to follow is because of rebellion and pride. Such rebellion has split churches and done great harm throughout the centuries. This is the reason why the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ today is divided into so many denominations around the world. Paul refers to this evil work in Galatians 1:19 as strife, seditions and heresies” when he lists the works of the flesh. So, this was the very thing that Paul was having young Timothy confront and deal with before it became rooted in the church and before some deviated people took control of the congregation.

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

1. Salutation 1 Timothy 1:1-2

2. Paul’s Commission to Timothy 1 Timothy 1:3-20

Verses 3-4

The Commission In 1 Timothy 1:3-4 Paul gives Timothy his initial charge to remain in Ephesus in order to establish the believers in the doctrines of Jesus Christ.

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,

1 Timothy 1:3 Word Study on “to abide” The Greek verb “to abide” ( προσμεῖναι ) is the infinitive of command. Paul is charging Timothy to “abide longer,” that is, to stay for a little while longer.

1 Timothy 1:3 Comments - Man needs leadership and organization or chaos will result. A congregation as well as an individual needs a direction and vision to focus on so as not to go astray. Titus is instructed by Paul in a similar way that he instructs Timothy by telling both to set the church in order (1 Timothy 1:3, Titus 1:5).

Titus 1:5, “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:”

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.

1 Timothy 1:4 “Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies” Word Study on “give heed” Strong says the Greek word “give heed” “ prosecho ” ( προσέχω ) (G4337) means, “ (figuratively) to hold (the mind) towards, i.e. pay attention to, be cautious about, apply oneself to, adhere to.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 24 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as “ beware 7, give heed to 5, take heed to 3, give heed unto 1, take heed 1, take heed unto 1, take heed whereunto + 3739 1, misc 5.”

Comments on “neither give heed to” - In the Greek text, the phrase in 1 Timothy 1:4 that reads “neither give heed” can be translated as a result clause, “so that they not give heed to (or, pay attention to).” In other words, when a believer is not correctly taught the Word of God, it results in him following a different path that is not building him up in the faith. Paul will point out in 1 Timothy 1:19-20 a number of people that Timothy is familiar with who have departed from the faith because of giving heed to vain teachings. Paul is trying to protect these young believers from being led astray. We do the same thing with our precious children. We control their environment and do not allow them to get exposed to unclean influences. This is what Paul is endeavoring to have Timothy do with the believers so that they will be able to grow up with proper teaching. God created a child to be shaped and molded by his environment. It is a parent’s job to manage this environment so that the children will grow up as strong Christians.

Comments on “fables and endless genealogies” - The churches of Asia Minor were largely Gentile churches with a mixture of Jewish converts. Both cultures had their superstitions and fables.

Fables - Paul’s warning against fables in 1 Timothy 1:4 may refer to the Greek and Roman myths that pervaded this culture. However, the common view is to interpret this statement to mean Jewish fables. Paul will later refer to “old wives’ fables” (1 Timothy 4:7) and also to “Jewish fables” (Titus 1:14). Chrysostom says, “By fables he does not mean the Law; far from it; but inventions and forgeries, and counterfeit doctrines. For, it seems, the Jews wasted their whole discourse on these unprofitable points. They numbered up their fathers and grandfathers, that they might have the reputation of historical knowledge and research.” ( Homilies on the First Epistle of St. Paul to Timothy, Homily 1). [89] Thus, we can interpret these fables to be those about which the Jewish Talmud abounds.

[89] John Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. 13, Chrysostom: Homilies on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, ed. Phillip Schaff (electronic edition), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), comments on 1 Timothy 1:4.

Endless Genealogies - In addition, Paul’s warnings against endless genealogies seems to refer to the Jewish culture, which placed great importance upon their individual ancestral records. We see the important of such genealogies in the book of Ezra when the Jews returned from Babylonian Captivity. Ezra and the other Jewish leaders used these genealogies to establish the order and duties of each Jewish tribe. But such an approach does not work in the New Testament Church.

Illustration - One day while looking in a bookstore for books to purchase as gifts for my young niece and nephew, the Lord quickened two verses to me. He quickened this verse and Proverbs 22:6. So I knew these make-believe stories and fairy tales and fruitless readings were against God’s will for me to purchase.

Also, the word “fables” not only involves reading materials, but made-up stories on television and verbal communication, etc. God does not want us to fill our minds with these nor to train up our children with these vain ideas.

Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

1 Timothy 1:4 “which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do” Word Study on “edifying” Strong says the Greek word “edifying” ( οίκονομία ) (G3622) means, “administration (of a household or estate), an economy.” BDAG says it means, “training.” Thayer says it means, “the (knowledge of the) dispensation of the things by which God has provided for and prepared salvation, which salvation must be embraced by faith.” While a number of English translations translate this word as “edification,” ( KJV, RSV, YLT), most of them understand it to refer to the fulfillment of divine service that every believer has been entrusted with.

ASV, “neither to give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questionings, rather than a dispensation of God which is in faith; so do I now.”

NAB, “or to concern themselves with myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the plan of God that is to be received by faith.”

NASB, “nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.”

NCV, “Tell them not to spend their time on stories that are not true and on long lists of names in family histories. These things only bring arguments; they do not help God’s work , which is done in faith.”

NIV, “nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work --which is by faith.”

NLT, “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.”

Rotherham, “Not to be teaching otherwise, nor yet to be giving heed to stories and endless genealogies, the which, bring, arguings, rather than that stewardship of God which is with faith;”

RSV, “nor to give heed to fables, and endless genealogies, which occasion disputes rather than godly edification , which is through faith.”

YLT, “nor to give heed to fables and endless genealogies, that cause questions rather than the building up of God that is in faith.”

Comments - The phrase “minister questions” stands in contrast to godly edifying in the Christian faith. A questioning mind is a mind filled with doubt. Thus, Paul is contrasting doubt with faith. If a minister is teaching and preaching the doctrine of the Bible, then the church members will be built up in the faith in this process. God’s doctrine brings this edification about in a believer’s life. Note:

Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Comments - God's plan is that every man should learn to walk by faith, to live a life of godliness (Ephesians 4:12-13).

Ephesians 4:12-13, “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:”

1 Timothy 1:4 Comments - In 1 Timothy 1:4 Timothy is instructed to teach the church leaders not to “pay attention” to fables and endless genealogies. When a teacher focuses his mind upon a particular subject it naturally comes out in his teaching. So, when someone focuses his attention upon vain information, his words and teaching follow this vanity. This is the very thing that Paul will say in 1 Timothy 1:6 of this passage of Scripture, “From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” Thus, if they “give heed to fables and endless genealogies,” they inevitably become teachers of other things.

Verses 3-11

Paul’s Initial Charge - In 1 Timothy 1:3-11 Paul explains to Timothy why he left him in Ephesus when he traveled to Macedonia. He left this young man behind to set this church in order by establishing sound doctrine. For Timothy to be able to establish sound doctrine he was going to have to prevent other doctrines from being taught in the church (1 Timothy 1:3-4). Paul then explains that the goal of church doctrine was to bring the believers into a walk of love (1 Timothy 1:5); for sound doctrine was necessary for divine training towards walking in perfect love. Unfortunately, some teachers had strayed from this goal and their teachings were causing confusion and doubt among the congregation, being filled with useless knowledge that caused questions, rather than edifying the believer (1 Timothy 1:6-7). Paul then takes a moment to the original purpose and intent of the Law (1 Timothy 1:8-11), which was to discipline the ungodly.

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

a) The Commission 1 Timothy 1:3-4

b) The Goal of the Commandment 1 Timothy 1:5-7

c) The Purpose of the Law 1 Timothy 1:8-11

Paul the Apostle Commissioned to Establish the Doctrine of the New Testament Church - In the first nine Pauline epistles, which I call the Church Epistles, the Apostle lays down the doctrines of the New Testament Church. He was given this unique calling, as no other apostle added to or took away from this doctrine in the General Epistles. Paul’s church doctrine builds upon the foundational doctrines laid down by our Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospels. Thus, when Paul tells Timothy to “charge some that they teach no other doctrine ” (1 Timothy 1:3), he was referring to the doctrines laid down by Jesus Christ and built upon by himself in the nine Church Epistles. He wrote the three Pastoral Epistles last, so the Church Epistles had already been laid down. So, Paul was very specific about which doctrine he was referring to. This is one reason why the Pastoral Epistles naturally follow the Church Epistles. Paul deposited this doctrine into the Church when we wrote the Church Epistles, but he defines and establishes the doctrines of the New Testament Church within the Pastoral Epistles.

These false teachers were using the same Old Testament Scriptures that Paul and Timothy taught from, but with a different objective, having strayed from the goal of edifying the believers in faith. Therefore, Timothy was going to have to be strong enough to confront certain problem individuals. Paul ends this Epistle with a similar statement to his opening charge:

1 Timothy 6:20-21, “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.”

We find that just as Jesus commissioned His disciples when sending them out by twos and when He gives them the Great Commission at the end of the Synoptic Gospels, so does Paul commission Timothy. It is this divine commission to set the church in order that will ensure the preservation of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul and Timothy and others had spent three years in Ephesus establishing this church. Just as the city of Ephesus influenced the region around it, so did the church influence its neighbouring churches. Thus, the Ephesian church was an important church and Paul saw the need to get it well established. So, he took his most faithful co-worker and set him over this task.

In 1 Timothy 1:3-11, Paul contrasts the importance of indoctrination into God’s Word with the tragedy of being indoctrinated into false teachings. God created every human being to be molded and shaped by the process of indoctrination so that every human being is indoctrinated into something, whether it is correct or incorrect. The Muslim and Hindu religions are examples of false indoctrination. The nations who embrace these doctrines become dysfunctional; but thank God, we have been given a free will to choose what to believe.

The establishment of this church in Ephesus involved the establishment of its doctrine. Paul delivered the doctrine of the Church in his nine Church Epistles (Rom thru 2 Thess). In the Pastoral Epistles Paul is establishing the order of the Church so that these doctrines can be preserved and passed down through the generations. As these doctrinal principles are handed down, each church has the freedom to adapt these teachings to their particular culture and society. However, each church must be built upon these doctrines without compromise. Each pastor has to deal with a diverse culture of people. Now he can build rules and guidelines to deal with a variety of social and moral issues. Each church can be unique and focus upon a particular need in society. Some churches will emphasize evangelism. Others will emphasize expository preaching, or children’s ministry or youth, or street ministry, or government and community issues, but they all must be built upon the unchanging doctrines of the New Testament church laid down in Paul’s nine Church Epistles.

If any other teachings are embraced, the church will become dysfunctional and lose its calling an anointing. For the goal of each church is love (1 Timothy 1:5). This goal can only be reached by godly edifying in the faith of the one doctrine of the Church (1 Timothy 1:4). This edification will develop a congregation of people that have a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith (1 Timothy 1:5). Other doctrines will lead them astray (1 Timothy 1:6) and bring them into deception while only having the appearance of a church (1 Timothy 1:7).

These false teachers were using the same Scriptures that Paul and Timothy taught from, but with a different objective in mind. These ill-motivated people had diverted from the purpose of the Law (1 Timothy 1:6) and were causing questions and sowing doubts among the congregation, rather than providing godly edifying that produces faith in God (1 Timothy 1:4).

Since Ephesians was a leading church in Asia Minor, it had the potential to influence all churches. Once the church in Ephesus was set in order, the other churches would naturally follow its structure, creeds and conduct. The order that Paul established in his first epistle to young Timothy was crucial to these sister churches. The church of Ephesus later became the “mother church” of Asia Minor. It was here that John the apostle abode as the last living apostle of the Lamb and oversaw the other churches during the latter part of the first century. This took place because Timothy had followed Paul’s instructions on church order.

Verses 3-20

Paul’s Commission to Timothy - In order to establish and organize the church in Ephesus there has to be sound leadership. Thus, the appointment and development of godly leadership was Paul’s primary charge in this Epistle to young Timothy; for without Timothy’s presence in Ephesus, strong-willed individuals would rise up and take positions of leadership. For example, within any society or group of people, it is natural for leadership to arise. In the case of the Church, there would be those who “desired to be teachers of the law” (1 Timothy 1:7), whether they were qualified or not. Such selfish desires stand in contrast to those who “desire the office of a bishop” from a pure heart. In other words, there will be those who want to be leaders, but are not qualified. Thus, it was Timothy’s job to put down such self-appointment, and to scope out godly leadership. In this passage of Scripture Paul gives Timothy his initial charge (1 Timothy 1:3-4), explains the goal of the commandment (1 Timothy 1:5-7), points out the purpose of the Gospel amidst conflicting error (1 Timothy 1:8-11), testifies to Timothy how God also entrusting him with the care of the Gospel (1 Timothy 1:12-17), and commissions Timothy with the custodianship of the Gospel (1 Timothy 1:18-20). Within these last two verses Paul gives Timothy an example of how to deal with adversaries.

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

1. Paul’s Initial Charge 1 Timothy 1:3-11

2. Paul as an Example of a Genuine Minister 1 Timothy 1:12-17

3. Paul Commissions Timothy 1 Timothy 1:18-20

Verses 5-7

The Goal of the Commandment In 1 Timothy 1:5-7 Paul reminds Timothy of the original purpose and intent of the Mosaic Law, which is to instruct people to love God with all of one’s heart and to love his neighbor as himself. Jesus quoted the Shema, the heart of the Law found in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, which summed up the Law of Moses as man’s requirement to walk in love towards God and others (Mark 12:29-31).

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:

1 Timothy 1:5 “Now the end of the commandment is charity” Comments - Jesus taught that love was at the heart of God’s commandments. He made many references to the requirement of loving God and our neighbours.

Matthew 22:36-40, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Mark 12:29-31, “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

John 13:34, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

John 15:10-13, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

John 15:17, “These things I command you, that ye love one another.”

Paul mentions this love walk often in his epistles.

Romans 13:8, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”

Galatians 5:6, “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”

Ephesians 4:16, “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love .”

Ephesians 5:2, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”

1 Thessalonians 4:9, “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.”

Paul says that faith expresses itself by love.

Galatians 5:6, “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love .”

The General Epistles also teach the commandment of love.

Hebrews 13:1, “Let brotherly love continue.”

James 2:8, “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:”

1 John 3:11, “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.”

1 John 3:23, “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.”

1 John 4:21, “And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”

2 John 1:5-6, “And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.”

1 Timothy 1:5 “out of a pure heart” Comments - God's Word in us makes us clean:

Psalms 19:8, “The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes .”

Psalms 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

John 15:3, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”

John 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

Pure means “innocent”:

Acts 18:6, “And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean : from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.”

Acts 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.”

In Luke 11:37-54, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for serving the law in hypocrisy and not out of a pure heart, in contrast to:

James 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Illustration - A heart without sin is bright and radiant in a person.

Song of Solomon 6:10, “Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun , and terrible as an army with banners?” The NIV says “bright at the sun.”

Scripture References - Also note verses on a pure heart:

Psalms 24:4, “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart ; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”

Psalms 73:1, “Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart .”

Psalms 73:13, “Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. “

Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart : for they shall see God.”

Romans 14:20, “For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure ; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.” The word “pure” here means “fit for use for God’s purposes”.

2 Timothy 2:22, “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart .”

Titus 1:15, “ Unto the pure all things are pure : but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”


A. The God kind of Love with a pure heat is two-fold:

1. Omission Putting sin out of one’s life:

1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments : and his commandments are not grievous.”

James 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world .”

2. Commission Doing things out of a pure heart:

1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments : and his commandments are not grievous.”

James 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction , and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

B. How to receive a pure heart: By giving heed to God's Word

Psalms 51:6, “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts : and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.”

Psalms 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

John 15:3, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”

John 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

C. By nature:

1 Samuel 16:7, “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”

Psalms 51:5, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Acts 15:9, “And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith .”

1 Peter 1:22, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently :”

1 Peter 3:15, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

A pure heart is two-fold (John 13:10):

1. At salvation, all of our sins are washed away.

2. As a life of sanctification, we daily become more Christ-like and less like the old carnal man.

John 13:10, “Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.”

1 Timothy 1:5 “and of a good conscience” Comments - Our conscience is the voice of our heart. It is the renewing of our minds by the Word of God that allows us to make the decisions that our conscience tells us are good, and to avoid defiling our conscience with decisions that violate our conscience. Study:

1 Timothy 3:9, “Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience .”

2 Timothy 1:3, “I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience , that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;”

Hebrews 10:22, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience , and our bodies washed with pure water.”

1 Peter 3:16, “ Having a good conscience ; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.”

1 Timothy 1:5 Comments - 1 Timothy 1:5 tells us that the evidence of the love walk is manifested by having pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. A “pure heart” refers to our spirit man, while a “good conscience” refers to our mental, or soulish, man, while our “sincere faith” refers to the actions of our physical body. Our hearts are either pure or evil. Our conscience is the voice of man’s spirit, and was created to discern between good and bad and tell our minds what choices to make. Our actions reflect the sincerity of our faith in that they can be either genuine or false. In addition, it is the Word of God and only the Word that is able to purify our hearts, to renew our minds so that we have the discretion to walk with a good conscience, and to judge our actions whether they are from sincere motives or false. A love walk for a believer can be seen when an individual serves the Lord and not gives place to fleshly passions and attempts to please man. We may call this lifestyle of “a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” the three-fold aspects of the love walk. The epistle of 1 Timothy is structured after this key verse:

A Pure Heart: Corporate & Personal Prayer 1 Timothy 2:1-15

A Good Conscience: Appointing & Training Church Leaders 1 Timothy 3:1 to 1 Timothy 4:16

A Sincere Faith: the Roles of the Congregation 1 Timothy 5:1 to 1 Timothy 6:19

1 Timothy 1:6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;

1 Timothy 1:6 Comments - The idea of “swerving” means that a Christian has “missed the mark,” or “left the way,” or “lost one’s way.” The objective of being indoctrinated with the Word of God is love (1 Timothy 1:5). This message is also taught in the epistle of 1 John. But because such men have not been indoctrinated in sound doctrine they have erred into “myths and endless genealogies” (1 Timothy 1:4) and gone astray in the Christian faith. Thus, their words are not doctrinally sound, but “foolish words.” Such foolish words and teachings are out of order in the Church. Having been indoctrinated into false doctrine, they eventually become confident in what they believe.

Illustration - For example, in April 1996 the Lord gave me a dream in which He said that there were two steps in the Christian life; there is conversion and discipleship. Once both steps are completed, it is difficult to re-convert someone out of an erroneous teaching and discipleship plan. He reminded me of how people in cults will do fanatical things, such as committing suicide with their leader. This is because such people have been through both conversion and discipleship. Then He quickened the words to me the phrase, “And many disciples followed their conversion.” Jesus had many who believed in Him (converts), but He had few disciples. This was the error that Paul was attempting to avoid in the Church. He wanted the Gentiles both converted and discipled in the Christian faith.

1 Timothy 1:7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

1 Timothy 1:7 “Desiring to be teachers of the Law” Word Study on “teachers of the law” Strong says the Greek word “teachers of the law” “nomodidaskalos” ( νομοδιδα ́ σκαλος ) (G3547) means, “an expounder of the (Jewish) law, i.e. a Rabbi.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 3 times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “doctor of the law 2, teacher of the law 1.”

The other two places where this word is used are:

Luke 5:17, “And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.”

Acts 5:34, “Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law , had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;”

Comments - In Luke 5:17 this word is equivalent to “scribes” as this word is substituted for “doctors of the law” within this same passage of Scripture.

Comments - The reason that Paul uses the phrase “teachers of the Law” in 1 Timothy 1:7 was not to attack Judaizers, but rather, because the Old Testament Scriptures was the only “Bible” the New Testament Church had in the beginning. It was commonly referred to as “the Law” by the Jews. Thus, a teacher of the Law in the context of this passage simply refers to those individuals who wanted to appoint themselves as instructors over the congregation. However, within the context of this epistle, its definition should be broadened to means, “custodians of the doctrines of the Church of the Living God, whose job is to hand them down to other faithful men.” This custodianship becomes the charge that Paul hands over to Timothy in which he is to protect the pure doctrine deliver it to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others.

There were also Jewish emissaries who visited local synagogues in the Roman Empire and taught out of the Law. We can imagine that Paul must have encountered such “teachers of the Law” in many of the synagogues of the Jewish Diaspora. They could have been sent from Jerusalem to these foreign synagogues to be teachers of the Law for the local Jews. Such “teachers” would have been the Jews that would have been most likely to contend with him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 1:7 Comments - Within the context of the Pastoral Epistles, we find evidences of Jewish heresies in phrases such as “endless genealogies” (1 Timothy 1:4), “desiring to be teacher of the law” (1 Timothy 1:7), “there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision” (Titus 1:10), “Jewish fables, and commandments of men” (Titus 1:14) and “foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law” (Titus 3:9). There are references to Greek philosophy and Gnosticism in phrases such as “forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats” (1 Timothy 4:3) and “avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called” (1 Timothy 6:20). Paul the apostle was determined to combat these enemies of the Cross and decided to keep Timothy at Ephesus to set it in order, both in doctrine and in practice.

In the Gospels Jesus was often call by this title of teacher, which is actually the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew/Aramaic term “rabbi.” Since Paul is warning Timothy about these Jewish teachings, it was a term, or office, that he clearly understood would fit the Jewish community. We see it used again in Hebrews 5:12 and James 3:1 within the context of Jewish recipients to these two General Epistles.

Hebrews 5:12, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.”

James 3:1, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.”

1 Timothy 1:7 Comments - Man’s nature has not changed. Many people today want to teach God’s Word, but many of them are not aiming for the goal, which is love. Some have self-centered motives, which disqualifies them from becoming leaders in a local congregation. Such selfish desires stand in contrast to those who “desire the office of a bishop” from a pure heart (1 Timothy 3:1).

Verses 8-11

The Purpose of the Law In 1 Timothy 1:8-11 Paul takes a moment to divert his focus upon the Law in order to explain its purpose. He feels the need to quickly clarify the fact that the Law has a good use (1 Timothy 1:8), even though it has been misused in the Church, and he was certainly not meaning in the previous verses that it should be discarded by the Church because of abuse. He must explain that the Law was made to expose man’s sinful nature (1 Timothy 1:9-10). Therefore, his Gospel is in accordance with the Law and not contrary to it (1 Timothy 1:11); for it brings hope and redemption to mankind, delivering them from their sinful depravity. Paul makes a similar statement in Romans 3:20 in defining the role of the Law in the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by saying that “by the Law is the knowledge of sin”. In other words, the Law reveals man’s sinful nature because no Israelite was every able to keep it to the letter. He tells us in Galatians 3:24 that the Law served as our schoolmaster in order to bring us to Christ. This means that it reveals the sinful nature of mankind and showed him his need for redemption.

Romans 3:20 “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

Galatians 3:24, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

Now, if someone teaches the Law, it should not be taught so as to cause fruitless discussions and questions, but the Law should be taught in order to instruct the disobedient and wicked in the ways of righteousness. Therefore, in this passage of Scripture in 1 Timothy 1:8-11 Paul lists the manifold vices of such people who reject the law. He appears to be listing the sins of the heart, then sins of the body followed by sins of the mind.

1. Sins of the heart “the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane.”

2. Sins of the body “murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers.”

3. Sins of the mind “for liars, for perjured persons.”

The Meaning of the Word “Law” When Paul uses the word “law” in 1 Timothy 1:8-11 he may not be using the word entirely in the narrow sense to refer strictly to the Mosaic Law. He certainly has to mean the Jewish Old Testament because this was the only Scriptures that the early Church upheld until the writing of the New Testament books, but we should allow the word “law” to carry a broader application to include not only the Mosaic Law, but “civil law and order,” or “governmental rule over a society” as well, since he is establishing order in a largely Gentile church. Thus, Paul is saying that just as God has established law and order over societies (1 Timothy 1:8-10), so does God establish law and order over His Church. It is sound doctrine that is the basis for this Church order (1 Timothy 1:10). Sound doctrine establishes order in the Church in the same way that civil law establishes order in a society. It was Paul who was given the divine commission to write this sound doctrine contained within the Church Epistles as he fulfilled his commission to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentile nations.

1 Timothy 1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;

1 Timothy 1:8 Comments - Jesus said that the weightier matters of the law were judgment, mercy, and faith (Matthew 23:23).

Matthew 23:23, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”

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,

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;

1 Timothy 1:10 “and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine” Comments - If we refer to the base line sentence of 1 Timothy 1:9-10, we must read, “The law is made for….any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.”

1 Timothy 1:9-10 Comments - Paul Lists Vices that Pertain to Lawlessness - The vices that Paul lists in 1 Timothy 1:9-10 show us that these ancient societies suffered from the same deviant behaviour that our societies suffer from today. These vices are progressive. In other words, lawless progresses into rebelliousness (disobedience); godlessness, which is leading God out of one’s life, progresses into sinfulness; a lack of holiness progresses into that which is profane and vile; those who would murder and do harm to their parents progresses into a life of murdering others; fornication (called whoremongers, who are those practicing sexual lewdness) progresses into homosexuality, and this progresses in modern societies into sex slavery and human trafficking; and acts of lying progresses into perjury, which means lying under oath or bearing false witness. These vices show that sin is progressively wicked, leading men deeper and deeper into depravity. In 1 Timothy 1:13 Paul will refer to a period in his past life when he progressed from a blasphemer, to a persecutor of the church, to a violent person. He never intended on become violent by nature, for the Law of Moses, which Paul adhered to, condemned it. However, sin will blind us and take us down a course to become something that we never intended on becoming.

The question must be asked as to why Paul made such an extensive list of vises found in society. Perhaps the reason was because Paul wanted Timothy to be able to boldly declare the sins in his community, so that the congregation would have a clear concept of a godly lifestyle, turning from their evil ways in genuine repentance, and striving to walk in love with one another, which is the goal of the commandment, as mentioned in the opening verses of this epistle. Thus, a part of teaching sound doctrine involves declaring the sins of a society.

1 Timothy 1:11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

1 Timothy 1:11 Comments - The Gospel is in accord with the law, and not in opposition to it. The letter of the Law kills, but the Spirit of God gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6).

2 Corinthians 3:6, “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”

In Isaiah 53:6, we see the letter killing in the phrase, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.” We see the Gospel of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus in the phrase, “and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Thus, all have sinned and gone astray from the letter of the Law, but God laid this iniquity upon Jesus at Calvary in order to give us life through His grace.

Verses 12-17

Paul as an Example of a Genuine Minister: Paul Explains His Calling in Light of the Goal of the Law and the Gospel In the first chapter of 1 Timothy Paul builds his case for the charge that he is handing over to young Timothy, which is to set the church in Ephesus in order. After having explained the goal of the commandments (1 Timothy 1:3-7) and the purpose of the Law (1 Timothy 1:8-11), Paul reminds young Timothy of his own divine calling and charge from the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 1:12-17), which was to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles (1 Timothy 1:11). He will use himself as an example of someone faithful to his divine commission. He will explain to Timothy his divine calling in the light of the goal of the Law and of the Gospel, which is to redeem mankind from sin. This is why he will call God by the name “our Saviour, who wishes all men to be saved” (1 Timothy 1:1; 1 Timothy 2:3-4). After having listed at length the characteristics of depraved humanity (1 Timothy 1:8-11), Paul sees how much grace and mercy was bestowed upon him as he reflects back upon his past life before Christ. He gives God thanks and ends these comments on his calling by giving praise and glory to God for saving him and calling him into the ministry (1 Timothy 1:17). Thus, Paul reflects upon his own calling in 1 Timothy 1:12-17 in order to give himself as an example to Timothy in order to encourage him to remain faith, and to help him see the seriousness of such a calling. These statements of humility and dependence upon the grace of God serve as an example for young Timothy, who is about to take on the greatest challenge of his ministerial career. He must keep himself humble as well, and walk in love towards those he oversees. In the midst of Paul’s charge to Timothy (1 Timothy 1:3-20), Paul is setting before Timothy the love walk, referred to in 1 Timothy 1:5.

Paul ended his opening statement in 1 Timothy 1:3-7 to Timothy by saying, “Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” This must have reminded Paul of his zeal as a Pharisee while persecuting the Church of Jesus Christ. So, after taking a short digression to explain the purpose of the Law in 1 Timothy 1:8-11, he mentions his divine calling (1 Timothy 1:12), then reflects upon his former lifestyle as a persecutor of the Church (1 Timothy 1:13) and God’s abundant grace to save him (1 Timothy 1:14). He understood that he was the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), and that God saved him as an example to display His abundance mercy towards mankind (1 Timothy 1:16). However, Paul does not show a proud heart that is lifted up and despiteful sinful man. Rather, he speaks in humility. Having listed the sins of mankind in verses 9-10 he then places himself under the same grace and merry of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. After reflecting how God saved him by his grace Paul then reflects upon his divine visitations in God’s holy presence (2 Corinthians 12:1) and attempts to declare God’s unspeakable glory in human terms (1 Timothy 1:17).

2 Corinthians 12:1, “It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.”

What do we have that has not been graciously given to us by God; nothing that we have deserved?

1 Corinthians 4:7, “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?”

It is possible that Paul pauses here in 1 Timothy 1:17 to give praise and glory and honor to God because he is reflecting back upon a divine visitation or visit to Heaven where Jesus Christ spoke to him about his calling to the Gentiles. It is very possible that the words Paul speaks in 1 Timothy 1:12-16 are words that Jesus Christ spoke to him during one of these divine encounters when the Gospel was entrusted to him (1 Timothy 1:11). This diversion of thought is needed to reconfirm Paul’s divine authority in his commission to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles to young Timothy; for Paul is about to commission Timothy in the same way that he was commissioned by God.

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;

1 Timothy 1:12 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord” - Word Study on “I thank Jesus Christ our Lord” The Greek construction ( χάριν ἔχω τῷ Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ ) or ( χάρις τῷ θεῷ ) [90] or some variation of this phrase is found no less than thirteen times in the Greek New Testament (Luke 17:9, Romans 6:17; Romans 7:25, 1 Corinthians 10:30; 1Co 15:57 , 2 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 8:16; 2 Corinthians 9:15, Colossians 3:16, 1 Timothy 1:12, 2 Timothy 1:3, Philemon 1:7 [t.r.], Hebrews 12:28). It is properly translated in a variety of ways; “I am grateful to God,” or “I thank God,” “Let’s give thanks,” or “with thanks to the Lord.”

[90] Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, The Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition (with Morphology) (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1993, 2006), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), 1 Timothy 1:12.

1 Timothy 1:12 Comments - Trust is not easily given out to someone, even by God Himself. For example, note how careful Jesus was in trusting others during His earthly ministry in John 2:23-25, “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.”

Jesus did not trust in man because He knew what was in man. It was at least 14 years from Paul's conversion on Damascus Road before he received his calling into the mission field in Acts 13:0. It was 15 years from the time I answered the call to the mission field as a young Seminary student until leaving for Africa in July 1997.

Here in 1 Timothy 1:12 we see how God only calls people into the ministry who have first proven themselves to be faithful. Just as a boss looks for faithful employees when giving raises and promotions, God is looking for those who are faithful. God will not promote the unfaithful into positions of leadership. Faithfulness comes before the calling. Paul was faithful before being called into the mission field in Acts 13:0 (Galatians 1:15).

Galatians 1:15,”But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me my his grace.”

God will not call someone into a ministry until He sees that they are faithful. This is why in John 2:24-25 Jesus did not entrust himself with any man, because He had not seen someone faithful, i.e., not one had been given a chance to qualify yet early in His ministry.

Illustration: When I interview a job applicant, I look for someone with a history of commitment, not just skills. If someone has a poor work history, i.e., short job length, I would not hire the person, because I knew that he would quit in adverse situations. God is looking for faithful people. Then He will entrust them with the ministry. Note:

2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him....”

God is always faithful on His part:

1 Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful , who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

2 Timothy 2:13, “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful : he cannot deny himself.”

Hebrews 3:5, “And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;”

See also the faithfulness of David, Samuel and Joseph, whom God promoted to great positions of leadership because God knew that he could trust them.

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.

1 Timothy 1:13 “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious” Comments - The vices listed in 1 Timothy 1:9-10 show that sin is progressively wicked, leading men deeper and deeper into depravity. In 1 Timothy 1:13 Paul will refer to a period in his past life when he progressed from a blasphemer, to a persecutor of the church, to a violent person. He never intended on become violent by nature, for the Law of Moses, which Paul adhered to, condemned it. However, sin will blind us and take us down a course to become something that we never intended on becoming.

1 Timothy 1:13 “but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.” Comments - 1 Timothy 1:13 shows God’s great mercy and love in forgiving us of our sins, no matter how wicked we have been in the past. A preacher once said that every sinner has a future and every saint has a past.

1 Timothy 1:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

1 Timothy 1:14 Comments - Perhaps one way to understand 1 Timothy 1:14 is to say that God’s grace is poured forth in our lives in increasing measure as we respond to Him by faith in His Word and by walking in love towards others. As we grow into this walk of maturity in Christ, His grace is poured forth more and more, being manifested in a greater and greater anointing for Christian service.

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.

1 Timothy 1:15 “This is a faithful saying” Comments - Paul will use the same phrase ( πιστο ̀ ς ο ̔ λο ́ γος ) on five occasions within the Pastoral Epistles in the phrases “This is a faithful saying,” or “This is a true saying.” (1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 4:9, 2 Timothy 2:11, Titus 3:8).

1 Timothy 1:15 “of whom I am chief” - Comments - In 1 Timothy 1:15 Paul does not say that he “was” the chief sinner, because it is in the present tense. Rather, he considers himself at the time of writing this epistle to Timothy as the chief of sinners. How could this be? An answer is found in Rick Joyner's book The Final Quest. In this prophetic book, Paul said in his vision that he had been given so much understanding by the end of his life, and that he had fallen so short of walking in this great amount of revelation, that Paul felt that he was the chief of sinners. He felt that he was a sinner in the fact that he was falling short of what he could have been in Christ, more so in his later Christian life than in his early Christian life. Then he gives Scriptures to support this progressive view towards himself in the sight of God. [91]

[91] Rick Joyner, The Final Quest (Charlotte, North Carolina: Morning Star Publications, 1977), 132-3.

2 Corinthians 11:5, “For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.”

2 Corinthians 12:11, “I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.”

1 Corinthians 15:9, “For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”

Ephesians 3:8, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;”

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.”

Therefore, Paul considered himself the chief of sinners at the end of his life because he was walking in less of the tremendous amount of divine revelation that he had been given compared to other saints who were walking in the little revelation that they had been given.

We see Paul giving rebukes and charges in his early epistle (Galatians) compared to a request in love in his later letter (Philemon).

Galatians 2:11, “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.”

Galatians 3:1, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?”

Philemon 1:9, “Yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.”

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.

1 Timothy 1:16 “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy” - Comments - The reason Paul obtained mercy is explained in the rest of this verse. The general idea is stated in verse 15, “Jesus came to save sinners,” and in verse 13, “because I did it ignorantly is unbelief.”

1 Timothy 1:16 “that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering” Comments - Paul knew that his conversion and salvation would be a testimony to generations of believers to come as this church age was being ushered in. He was the first trophy of redemption that took a violent sinner and transformed him into a saint, proving God’s willingness to forgive any sins.

1 Timothy 1:16 “for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting” Comments - We can now say that if Jesus Christ could forgive Paul, then certainly He could forgive us and saves us.

1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:17 Comments - In 1 Timothy 1:17 Paul the apostle pauses to give God praise as the King eternal, immortal, invisible and the only wise god who is to be honoured and glorified forever. It is very possible that he is reflecting upon the revelation of God he received during one of his divine heavenly visitations. Paul must have seen God in the fullness of His glory and understood the depths of sin that he himself had been redeemed from by the blood of Jesus Christ. These outbursts of praise that occur at times within the Pauline epistles practically quote the words of angelic songs that many people who have also visited heaven have heard and testify to. Angels and saints at God’s throne worship the Lord using such phrases as Paul uses here in this verse.

Verses 18-20

Paul Gives Timothy an Example of Spiritual Warfare In 1 Timothy 1:18-20 Paul gives young Timothy the charge to be strong and fight the spiritual warfare that was necessary to set the church of Ephesus in order. He then gives Timothy an example of how to context for the faith by mentioning two men well known to both of them, Hymenaeus and Alexander, who were false teachers. Paul warred spiritual warfare with them by turning them over to Satan for the destruction of their flesh. Within the context of this epistle, in which Paul combats Jewish teachings that miss the mark of godly edifying, these two men could have been Jews who opposed the work in Ephesus rather than Christians who fell away from their faith in Christ. It is also possible that Paul is referring to two former Christians who had strayed from the faith and fallen into error, but many believe Paul was referring to Alexander the Jew who is mentioned in Acts 19:33-34, who stood up to publicly oppose Paul’s work in Ephesus.

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;

1 Timothy 1:18 “This charge I commit unto thee” Comments - In 1 Timothy 1:18 Paul refers back to the initial charge mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:3. In this opening statement he charged Timothy to command other church leaders to teach no doctrine other than God's Word. Paul first asked young Timothy to abide in Ephesus while he passed through Macedonia. But then Paul turns his request into a command in this first chapter by basing it upon his own divine commission to place sound doctrine in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 1:18 “son Timothy” Comments - In 1 Timothy 1:18 Paul uses the word “son,” or “child,” in addressing Timothy in order to express his love for him, while charging him with his commission. To speak such commandments within the context of love makes it easier for Timothy to embrace.

1 Timothy 1:18 “according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare” - Comments - The Lord spoke to Timothy thru these prophecies concerning the ministry that he was to perform prior to the charge that Paul now gives him. This charge serves to confirm these prophecies and of his own divine calling. (Keep in mind that Timothy did not have a dramatic conversion experience as did Paul, so it is easier to doubt one’s calling during the long journey of divine service.) Timothy can now by faith believe and press on in this calling, knowing that God Himself has called Timothy and will strengthen him. Anyone one who performs a great task for the Lord must have a calling; this is because it is this anchor of a man's faith that will take him through the storms.

Once those prophecies were given, and Timothy stepped out in faith, he had to fight the doubt and unbelief that Satan brings to take us off course. Kenneth Hagin refers to 1 Timothy 1:18 by emphasizing the warfare that he had to endure when he first stepped out into the field ministry. It seemed that he had to do more spiritual warfare in the first five months of field ministry than in the last fifteen years in the pastorate. However, because he knew the will of the Lord, he was able to stand these assaults of oppression and opposition from the enemy. [92]

[92] Kenneth Hagin, Following God’s Plan For Your Life (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c1993, 1994), 95-6.

1 Timothy 1:18 Comments In 1 Timothy 1:18 the Greek literally reads, “This charge I lay along side you.” That is, these words will follow along side of Timothy on this new phase of his ministerial journey. Paul reminds him of the prophecies that went ahead of him, so that Paul’s charge hedges him in on either side. One aspect of Timothy’s warfare was his daily decision to follow the course of ministry presented to him. He had to decide whether or not to face adversity or to back down quietly and give in to Satan. He had the witness of prophecies in front of him to guide him, the witness of Paul’s charge along side of him to prevent him straying to the left or right, and he had the witness of Paul’s testimony as his rear guard, an event of the past that tells him he can make it through the same journey.

Creflo Dollar said that as a young minister he thanked God for the times in his ministry when the Lord sent a man of God to speak a word into his life. [93] Those words became a powerful source of strength to keep him steady during troubled times. These prophecies that were spoken over Timothy served to do the same for him during difficult times. In fact, we know that he will later be imprisoned and released. Scholars believe that this took place when Nero began his first persecution of the Church, which resulted in the deaths of Peter and Paul.

[93] Creflo Dollar, Changing Your World (College Park, Georgia: Creflo Dollar Ministries), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

1 Timothy 1:19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:

1 Timothy 1:19 “Holding faith, and a good conscience” - Comments - Timothy must not only hold to sound doctrine and teach others to do the same; he must live the life also in front of them. He decisions were to be guided by the faith instilled in his heart from a child, and by his conscience, which God created to be the voice of man’s spirit. Timothy’s conscience would guide him along this journey if he would learn to follow it. In other words, the Holy Spirit would lead him as Timothy learned to be lead by a clean conscience. Our conscience leads by giving us a peace in our spirit about a decision or by giving us a check, or hesitancy, in our spirit. We are led by the Holy Spirit, who dwells in our spirit when we make decision in which we have an inner peace about making, while a decision that leaves us with a hesitancy is one that contradicts the will and purpose of the Holy Spirit. Timothy had the Holy Spirit on the inside. He had the witness of the prophetic future in front to guide him, the present witness of Paul’s charge along side of him to prevent him straying to the left or right, and he had the witness of Paul’s testimony as his rear guard, an event of the past that tells him he can make it through the same journey. He was equipped in every way possible by the Lord in order to make sound decisions in his ministry.

1 Timothy 1:19 “which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck” Word Study on “having put away” Strong says the Greek word “having put away” “apotheomai” ( απωθε ́ ω ) (G683) means, “to push off,” and figuratively, “to reject,” and it comes from two Greek words ( απο ́ ) (575), meaning “from,” and the middle voice of ω ̓ θε ́ ω , or ω ̓ ́ θω , which means, “to shove.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 6 times in the New Testament being translated in the KJV as, “cast away 2, thrust away 1, put from 1, thrust from 1, put away 1.”

Comments In other words, some have erred from the faith. Having given Timothy his personal testimony of fulfilling God’s purpose and plan in the ministry, and having given him a divine charge, and reminded him of earlier prophecies that confirmed this charge, Paul now reminds Timothy of several individuals who have rejected these same witnesses and have become lost as far as God’s purpose and plan for their lives in concerned.

Note Paul’s reference in 2 Timothy 2:17-18 to two individuals who not only became shipwrecked, but caused others to do the same.

2 Timothy 2:17-18, “And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.”

Paul the apostle had sailed on a number of ships during his missionary journeys. During these trips, he observed how the ship and its crew functioned. There were many “rules of the sea” that the captain of a ship had to follow. He was required to follow certain shipping routes at sea. His men were required to follow procedures in sailing. It was important how the cargo was stored and how the sails were folded and how the ropes were tied. The maintenance of the ship was important in determining its ability to sail. The captain even needed to understand weather patterns. Anyone of these oversights could jeopardize the safety of a journey. A ship or boat sailing in a channel had to follow buoys and other markings. If the boat goes outsides of the markers, it will hit the sand and become shipwreck.

In a similar way, a person can ignore the rules the God has established on this journey in life. He can go off of the course that God has ordained for him and do his own thing. In figurative terms, he can sail his own ship, but eventually this ship will wreck.

1 Timothy 1:19 Comments - The word “having put away” in 1 Timothy 1:19 refers to the method by which someone has walked away from something he previously possesses. It stands in opposition to the word “holding” faith and a good conscience. It is only by rejecting and shoving aside the faith that dwells within one’s heart and the voice of the conscience, which is the voice of one’s heart, telling him to do right and instead choosing to follow the desires of the flesh. After a while, someone finds himself in a position that he never intended to be in. Just as a ship cannot help itself off of the rocks, neither can he overcome his problems that are now insurmountable.

1 Timothy 1:20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

1 Timothy 1:20 Comments Paul gives Timothy two examples of men who have rejected the witnesses of God’s plan for their lives and abandoned faith in Christ. Although these two men may be Jews, Paul understood that God’s plan of redemption had been initially delivered to the Jews, and that many of them had rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the Messiah.

Paul will again refer to Hymenaeus and Alexander in 2 Timothy 2:17-18; 2 Timothy 4:14-15. Hymenaeus appears to have been a heretical teacher in Ephesus and a chief opponent of Paul. He is first associated with Alexander the coppersmith (1 Timothy 1:20) and then Philetus (2 Timothy 2:17).

2 Timothy 2:17-18, “And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.”

2 Timothy 4:14-15, “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.”

Regarding Alexander the coppersmith, we do have a person by this name mentioned in Acts 19:33, who was a Jew and apparently a leader of the Jewish community in Ephesus. He is mentioned in Acts because he was chosen by the Jews in Ephesus to speak to the crowd and appease their anger, but to no avail. Such a description of a well-spoken Jewish leader in Ephesus fits the description of a possible opponent of Paul’s evangelist work in this city.

Acts 19:33-34, “And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people. But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.”

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 1". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/1-timothy-1.html. 2013.
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