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1 Timothy 1

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Verse 1



AUTHOR: Paul - 1 Timothy 1:1

Paul was originally Saul in the book of Acts. It is of interest that Roman families that were Jews had the practice of giving their children both a Jewish and a Gentile name at birth. It may be that Saul was his Jewish name, and then after his conversion/going to the Gentiles with the Gospel, he went by his Roman or Gentile name Paul.


1 Timothy 1:2 " Unto Timothy, [my] own son in the faith"

1 Timothy 1:18 "This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, "

1 Timothy 6:20 "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust,"

The Bible tells us that Timothy’s mother and grandmother were a part of his life. "When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also." 2 Timothy 1:5

I am quite disappointed in my own similarities to Timothy in the spiritual realm. Neither my mother nor my grandmother did any more for me spiritually than to take me to church. Neither spoke to me of my souls need, neither spoke to me of the Savior - both assumed that the church had done its work and taught me what I needed to know.

Paul mentions that he had laid hands on Timothy (2 Timothy 1:6). This may indicate a setting apart as we see in Acts 13:1 ff when it speaks of the setting apart of the first missionaries. It was not an inspection of the man’s credentials, but a recognition of the Spirit’s work in their life as well as their call to the ministry.

Paul also indicates that Timothy was relatively young, for in 1 Timothy 4:12 he mentions, "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." Quite a grocery list for so young a man to live up to!

PLACE OF WRITING: Paul wrote this letter from somewhere. Now, with the brilliant remarks out of the way! We don’t know for sure where it was written except that it was probably from the Macedonian or Grecian area.

I have never read any authors that said they knew for positive where the book was written. Many suggest the normal Macedonia or Greece thought, but none have proof either way.

It was very interesting the other night I was waiting for Faith to get off work and couldn’t get anything on the radio except one of the evangelical preachers. I was so pleased that I had tuned in because he related just exactly when and were the book was written. He stated boldly as fact that Paul had been in prison in Rome, released and he went to Spain. After Spain he was heading back and was again arrested and imprisoned where he wrote first and second Timothy. No basis, no facts other than what he said. So I guess you can agree with him or most commentators.

TIME OF WRITING: 63 A. D. Most feel after Paul was imprisoned and released from Rome, he went to Ephesus and then left Timothy there, while he himself went to Macedonia.

OCCASION OF WRITING: To encourage and instruct Timothy in the task of setting the church at Ephesus straight.

Timothy was Paul’s representative and was trying to work out problems.

Now, this should be a great encouragement for the pastor today. Paul put three years into the church at Ephesus and had worked hard at training these folks, yet he leaves Timothy to straighten out problems!

If the apostle Paul couldn’t plant a church, educate the church and leave it without problems, how in the world should any pastor think he can right all that is wrong in a couple years?

Paul had dealt with some of the people it would seem from what is mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:19-20. "19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme."

Timothy was to care for the rest of the problems. Jeremiah, when God called him told him that the people wouldn’t listen. Go preach even though they won’t listen. Now, we see Paul telling Timothy to take care of the problems. Paul gets to travel and Timothy works through the headaches! It would seem that management has its benefits.

Ministry isn’t always just fun. There were times when I was teaching that I would think if I didn’t have to go to faculty meetings and help with all that junk, teaching would be great. I suspect that pastors now and then think "Man this job would be great if it weren’t for the people!"

PURPOSE OF WRITING: A personal letter primarily to help Timothy to know what to do. Paul instructs Timothy in the area of attitudes toward work, then instructs him to drive out false teachers, and encourages him to select proper and worthy leaders.

THEME: Strong church government is put forth in the book while the gospel and faithful ministry are also main thoughts within the letter.

PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED: False Doctrine. The people and their acceptance of Timothy 1 Timothy 4:12. What a problem to have! They didn’t like it because he was too young!

KEY VERSE: 1 Timothy 3:15 "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar ground of the truth."

Take time to read the first chapter before we get into the text.

Let’s begin with verse one.

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;


Paul wrote the book.

Paul is an apostle.

He is an apostle of Christ.

He is an apostle by commandment of God.


The plan for the ages was set before the foundation of the World. The commandment was delivered on the road to Damascus. The account of Saul’s conversion is found in Acts 9:1-10 and his commission is found in Acts 26:13-16.

Acts 26:16-18 "But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; 17 Delivering thee from the people, and [from] the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 18 To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."

The term "commandment" is used of army commands that are given and are to be obeyed - no choice!

The natural application of this thought is that men that enter into the ministry should do so for the express purpose of following their Lord’s direction, and not view their labor as an occupation or career. Status, place in life, financial gain and position should be completely foreign to the minister’s mind. God may give these things to the man of God but they should be of little value to him. He is a minister of the Lord and at His disposal.

1 Timothy 1:12 mentions that Paul was placed into the ministry. That should be the thought. 2 Timothy 1:11 tells us that Paul considered himself "placed" in the positions that he held.

Let me just mention a little theology at this point. This commandment is issued by two people - God the Father and God the Son. This is a good proof text for the trinity. It shows two persons of the Godhead in equal positions. It would also be indicative of the Deity of Christ. Paul, by his construction, shows his belief that Christ was God. One further observation is the complete agreement of the Father and the Son.

"God our Savior", the originator of our salvation! This is God the Father that set into place the plan of the ages that allowed for the fall and set salvation for man in case the fall occurred. "Jesus Christ" the accomplisher of our salvation. It was through His work on the cross that man might see eternity with God.

Christ is our "hope". The term hope is a word that is in contrast to another Greek word that is translated hope. This term is the Greek word "elpis" which means to anticipate. The other term is the Greek word "elpizo" which means to expect. Do you notice the difference?

We might illustrate this by saying the term Paul is using here is like a poor man saying I hope I become a millionaire. While the other term would apply to the rich kid whose loving father is a millionaire. I hope I become a millionaire. He has the expectation of doing so.

Christ is the hope that we anticipate. Our anticipation of life should be fully centered on Christ and not on the things of this life or world! It is a hope promised, so we anticipate it, but we don’t expect it because we deserve it or have a right to it.

Verses 1-11



What is legalism? If I don’t go to movies, am I a legalist? If my wife doesn’t use makeup, is she a legalist? If I don’t shop on Sunday, am I a legalist?

Let us first define legalism. It is not someone that is very conservative in his lifestyle that you disagree with. It is not someone that you call legalist because you don’t like the things he believes and stands for.

A legalist is someone that wants to place himself or others under the law or any system of rules whereby you can gain righteousness. It is living a certain way to prosper yourself spiritually before God.

Legalism has been a problem for the church at times.

Acts 15:1, "And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved."

This is scriptural legalism.

The council met in Jerusalem in the following section of Acts and determined that circumcision and the law were not a part of salvation.

Let’s look at the law.

1. The law was never given to the Gentiles.

Romans 2:14, "For the Gentiles, which have not the law. . . ."

The Old Testament specifies that the law was for the Jewish people.

The Law required the Sabbath or the 7th day to be kept as a day of rest, while the New Testament tells us that the saints worshiped together on the 1st day. As a little sidelight - how do you relate to the terms Christian Sabbath? Sabbath is Saturday and nothing else. It isn’t Sunday.

2. The Law was given to the Jews.

Romans 9:4, "Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;"

The Old Testament also shows that the law was for the Israelites.

3. The Law was used until the seed was come.

Galatians 3:19, "Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator."

The law is finished until the Millennium when it will be re-instituted to some extent. The Gospels tell us that the veil of the temple between the holy place and the holy of holies was rent as Christ died.

The law has no legal aspect over the church age believer. We have free access to God through prayer!

The moral aspect of the law is still our guide and principle however.

Romans 8:4, "That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

The right and wrong of the law, as in murder etc. is still our guide but the ceremonial aspect of the law is not to be fulfilled. Example: Circumcision, sacrifice.

4. The law is a schoolmaster in the church age.

Galatians 3:24-25, "Wherefore the law was our school master to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."

"But after that faith [salvation] is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster."

Romans 9:31-32 mentions that even some of the Jews failed the law in that they sought to fulfill it by works and not by accepting God by faith.

Galatians 6:15 tells us that it isn’t circumcision but it is the new creation that is needed. In short it isn’t works, but tis rebirth!

5. The law was not to save people.

It pointed to Christ.

Galatians 3:19, "Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator."

It allows the lost to know that they are sinners.

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."

6. The law was made for sinners.

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."

Anyone trying to follow the law for the seeking of righteousness is bound by the law that they cannot keep. They are lost to hell.

Verse 2

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.

What a greeting! How do we greet one another today? "Ya havin a good one?" "Hey, how’s it goin?" Grace Mercy and peace is Paul’s greeting!

Maybe we should think about how we greet one another. Paul wanted Timothy to know the grace of God, he wanted Timothy to know the mercy of God, he wanted Timothy to know the peace of God as he goes into this situation with the church at Ephesus.

Again we see God the Father and Jesus Christ placed on the same level and accomplishing the same things.

Timothy is named as the one receiving the letter from Paul.

Paul mentions, "my own son in the faith". The term "own" indicates something lawfully begotten, true, or genuine. Most commentators suggest based on this definition that Timothy was Paul’s "own" spiritual offspring. "in the faith" is the qualifier that is used to prove their point.

Some might suggest that 2 Timothy 1:5 indicates that Timothy came from a Christian family - that he was saved before he met Paul. "When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also."

2 Timothy 3:14-15 also mentions that Timothy had been taught from a child. I suspect that mom and grand-mom raised him on the Word, but that they were not Christians until Paul arrived in Ephesus.

It is probable that Paul led all three to the Lord. We have no indication of when the three became believers, only that they were and that they had great faith. Remember that Paul planted the church at Ephesus and had ministered there for three years - he had great knowledge of Timothy and his family. This verse does not disprove the possibility of Timothy being Paul’s spiritual son.

There seems to be a special bond between Paul and Timothy that is something that I have observed many times in real life. The spiritual father/mother and son/daughter are usually very close. We had a friend in Denver that had a spiritual daughter that drove half way across the US to see them for a few days.

The chances are good that Timothy was saved on Paul’s first missionary journey because on the second journey Timothy is already saved. (Acts 16:1-3 mentions that Paul circumcised Timothy).

It is also noteworthy in Acts 16 that Paul had been discipling Timothy as well. Paul took Timothy with him on some of his journeys.

Discipleship is of great importance after salvation. The concept is similar to giving natural birth to a baby and leaving the infant to fend for itself in the world. Today when a mother abandons a newborn the world is horrified - even in our callous society. Impossible! When you assist in the spiritual birth of a believer, it should be your first priority to assure their discipleship. Either do it yourself, or assure that they are founded in a good local church where they will receive the training they need.

Items from God and Christ: Grace, Mercy, Peace.

These seem to be items that Paul was hoping that God would give to Timothy. Paul would know that these see their source in God, and may have been praying for the trio for Timothy.

When is the last time that you asked God to give someone else grace, mercy and peace?

When we pray for missionaries, these are certainly some items that they could use. We should ask God to give these things not only to the missionaries but also to our pastors, teachers and fellow believers. We all need to have more grace in our dealings with others. We all need more mercy in our dealings with others. We all need more peace in our dealings with others.

I see also in those three words the Gospel. God in His Grace showed us mercy that we did not desire and that grace and mercy were translated into peace for us in the form of salvation.

The phrase "our Lord" bears some consideration as well. Just how do you view Christ? Is He Lord of your life? Is He Lord of every area of your life?

He is Lord - fact. He bought and paid for you - you belong to Him! You must, however in your walk make Him Lord of your life and allow Him to have that position in your life. Hiebert in his commentary on this verse mentions, "If you do not crown Him Lord of all, You do not really crown Him Lord at all." (P 26)

He is Lord of your life

He is Lord of your mind

He is Lord of your body

He is Lord of your soul

He is Lord of your work

He is Lord of your pocket book

He is Lord of your home

He is Lord of your family

He is Lord in EVERY AREA OF YOUR LIFE. He is Lord of every large area of life and He is Lord of every small area of life.

One final application of His Lordship might well be in the area of our local churches. We give lip service to the thought of Christ being the Head of the church, but do we really go to Him in prayer for the leading that He can give?

Do we go to Him in prayer for the wisdom to make decisions for the church?

Do we go to Him in prayer to make those financial decisions for the church? The building programs? The missionaries we support? The pastors we support? The evangelistic efforts we make?

Do we go to Him in prayer to plead for His work in the lives of our church children and youth and adults?

Might we commit ourselves to making Him Lord of our churches as well as of our lives?

Our prayer as individuals must be something that flows out of a truly committed heart. It ought to be a definition of our spirit, our attitude toward God, what is inside us. An unknown author put it this way:

I cannot say "our" if I live only for myself.

I cannot say "Father" if I do not endeavor each day to act like His child.

I cannot say "who art in heaven" if I am laying up no treasure there.

I cannot say "hallowed be Thy name" if I am not striving for holiness.

I cannot say "Thy kingdom come" if I am not doing all in my power to hasten that wonderful event.

I cannot say "Thy will be done" if I am disobedient to His Word.

I cannot say "in earth as it is in heaven" if I’ll not serve Him here and now.

I cannot say "give us this day our daily bread" if I am dishonest or seeking things by subterfuge.

I cannot say "forgive us our debts" if I harbor a grudge against anyone.

I cannot say "lead us not into temptation" if I deliberately place myself in its path.

I cannot say "deliver us from evil" if I do not put on the whole armor of God.

I cannot say "Thine is the kingdom" if I do not give the King the loyalty due Him from a faithful subject.

I cannot attribute to Him "the power" if I fear what men may do.

I cannot ascribe to Him "the glory" if I’m seeking honor only for myself, and I cannot say "forever" if the horizon of my life is bounded completely by time.

If we assure the above to be true, then we should start considering our church with a similar detailed inspection. When we have done this Christ will have Headship and be able to lead us as a church and as individuals.

Verse 3


We now shift gears from the glories of Christ and His Fathers salvation, to those that might teach other than the truth.

A couple years ago there was a theology board on the internet that had some real contenders for the faith. Just what faith some of them were contending for was the difficult question. There were radical charismatics, there were moderate charismatics, there were reformers, there were baptismal regenerationists (even thought they denied that title), there were good logical minds, there were nonsensical minds, there was a man that thought he was the Beast of the book of Revelation and there was Dennis Clough. He was one of the sane voices on the board. I would love to give a big hello to Dennis if he happens to read this someday - Hi Dennis, and a big thank you for the following!

At one point when the false doctrine was flying way too thick, Dennis posted the following:

To Quasi Theologians:

"I don’t study, it gets in my way, Nevertheless, I’ve still got plenty to say.

"Peter and Paul were oh, so wrong, It’s a good thing for you I came along.

"I am sent by me to edit His Word, to define good news you thought you heard.

"So it’s not by grace after all, It’s not enough on Him to call, on your boot straps you must haul!

"It’s true that Jesus came to die for sin, but in my system, the cross doesn’t fit in.

"We must save ourselves by our works, People who only believe are really jerks!

"I know my message is really true, Cause I made it up, with scissors and glue.

"It came to me in the middle of the night, my toes tingled and my head felt light.

"It makes me feel good to be able to bless, To take confusion and add to the mess.

"I don’t care about truth or context, as long as I take some into the vortex!

"Please don’t bother me with Scripture, Of such things, MY doctrine is pure.

"So come and go with me, I know not where, But be sure, there won’t be any Christians there!

"Dedicated to all who deviate from the "faith once delivered to the saints"! Dennis Clough"

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,

This verse is the basis for some thinking the book was written from Macedonia.

Paul had given Timothy authority to begin setting things in order in the church at Ephesus.

To the point of teaching of false doctrine: Paul states, "charge some that they teach no other doctrine. . . ." Charge according to Vine is "strictly used of commands received from a superior and transmitted to others."

This passage, it would seem to me, gives the church leadership the right, indeed, the obligation to see to it that there is no doctrine other than correct doctrine taught in the church.

That my friend, is a tall order. How can church leaders fulfill this responsibility?

It will require knowing the teachers. Don’t ever allow anyone to teach your people without knowing some of their background. This includes fill in pastors, this includes Sunday school teachers, this includes missionaries, and this includes all that would teach doctrine in the church over which you have leadership.

Know those that you invite in among the sheep. I have seen missionaries from questionable missions invited in only because they grew up in the church. That is not the criterion to determine speakers on.

It will require not allowing some to teach. If you don’t have the proper information to make a decision - don’t allow it! If you have to say no to aunt Tillie’s favorite nephew, the missionary then so be it. Don’t allow it.

It will require correcting those that are in error. If you find that someone in your church is teaching false doctrine, then action must be taken. It will be embarrassing and it will be hard but it must be done. They must be corrected or removed.

It will require some serious prayer time before getting into the situations that you will get into. Pray for wisdom concerning what is going on. Be sure that you are correct in your facts. Be sure that all is correct and that God is in the lead before you move.

It will require knowing your Sunday school curriculum and checking it from time to time. The Sunday school publishers are in constant flux. What was a good company ten years ago may be very poor in their curriculum today. Many of the Sunday school publishers are now owned by secular companies. One of the fundamental publishers changed its name to widen its customer base, then was purchased by another publisher which in turn was purchased by another publisher - from fundamental and denominational to evangelical and nondenominational in about fifteen years.

Review your materials every year or so, ask your teachers to evaluate every year or so - be sure the materials are still sound.

It will require knowing your entire church and its programs. What is being taught to your children, what is being taught to your youth, what is being taught to your adults?

As I talk about this, I am not talking about the differences of opinion about minor doctrines, but major variances from the major doctrines of the church. We can have differences of opinion on where I Timothy was written, but not about whether I Timothy is a part of the Bible. We can have differences of opinion on how we approach the book of Revelation, but as to the identification of the Lamb we should be in accord.

Church leadership is not a fun office that gives us a good concept of ourselves. It is work. It is responsibility. It is accountability to the Lord for how we did. It is thankless at times. It is NEEDED!

I personally think when Paul speaks of men that "desire" the office of bishop in 3:1; he means they know up front what they are getting into and still want to fulfill the office. We will take a longer look at this when we get to chapter three.

It is of interest that the church where Timothy is ministering is one that Paul had planted. Indeed, Paul stayed three years in this church seeing to its teaching personally. It went down hill! What can we learn from this?

Don’t condemn a man that plants a church for how it turns out in a few years. The former pastors may be at fault or they may not be at fault. God will sort out all the details when the time comes.

Realize that most Christian organizations and institutions head downhill soon after they are started. Not that they need to, but many do.

Most of the schools that I have attended were in the process of decline while I was attending. Some are way down the road and others are doing very well. One is in the extremes of Evangelicalism and on a cash only basis with suppliers due to their very poor stewardship.

It is also of interest to notice that Paul knew that this would happen. He mentions it in Acts 20:29-31, "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."

Notice that Paul not only warns of trouble entering in, (speaks to being careful in the area of accepting church members) but also mentions men from within the church will arise "speaking perverse things." He knew the world and he knew human nature.

Notice "after my departing" It is indicated that only after he leaves will they come in and rise up. Is it possible they knew Paul could not be fooled? Is it possible they knew Paul was not one to argue doctrine with? Is it possible they knew Paul was a force to be reckoned with?

Note his last comment - "I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears." It would seem that warnings were keeping the false out and from rising up - CONSIDER THAT CAREFULLY!

And so what are you going to tell that person the next time they say doctrine isn’t important? Paul thought it was very important and if we want a strong church we had better pay attention to it as well.

Keeping a church or organization straight is a full time job. It takes constant watching for possible down hill trends and problems. A serious problem can creep in, seemingly overnight if watch is not kept.

I’m sure this is one of the frustrations of pastors as they leave a ministry. They can assume fairly safely that trouble will come with either the new pastor or from within the assembly sooner or later.

A very sound pastor left a medium sized church in Nebraska. Within a year the new pastor and part of the board were at odds with the rest of the board and ultimately the church split with the pastor taking the majority of the people with him to begin another church in the same town of about three thousand people.

A pastor that sees this happen after a number of years of struggle, sweat, commitment, heartache and tears must really hurt!

"When I went" literally means "while departing.” This was the last admonition that Paul left with Timothy. AND NOW HE IS REPEATING it in his letter - sounds to me that this is kind of important!

Question: WHAT IS FALSE DOCTRINE? Might I suggest anything that contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture?

Paul mentions the same thought in his second letter to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15-16, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase [or grow] unto more ungodliness." The Word is the key! Notice the word "more" - the profane and vain babllings are ungodly - if you don’t shun them there will be MORE ungodliness.

Verse 4

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].

Give heed has the idea of occupy yourself with. Don’t sit down and occupy yourself on any long-term basis on these things. I recall many times in Bible College when as freshmen we know it alls would talk and argue and discuss at great lengths the intricacies of the Word - many times it was about useless questions, though it did keep us out of trouble.

Don’t occupy yourself with:

fables = myths, something without historical foundations. You might consider UFO’s in the class, or you might consider some of the creation myths that are in circulation today in this class. Indeed, anything besides a six 24-hour period creation is in this category. Arguing the fine points of other theories is not worth your time and effort.

endless genealogies = some feel that some Judaizers were laying stress on the genealogies of the Old Testament or possibly their own genealogies. They may have been quibbling over their personal roots.

I can imagine in a couple of generations the problem that might have been had by the church if Paul hadn’t taken the Corinthians to task for their division over Paul and Apollos. Can’t you just picture it in 450 A.D. - the elders of the church at Ephesus - some claiming that they are descended from Apollos, while another would be bragging of being in direct line to Paul himself, thus seeking power over the church? The First church of Apollos and the First church of Paul could well have resulted in many cities.

These things cause questions rather than promote edification of the saints. The thought would seem to be that anything that causes questions should be set aside unless the questions are answerable from Scripture. If the questions aren’t answerable, then it would be best to set those topics aside and replace them with things that will cause edification of the saints.

There are some Christian books on the market which are totally outside the scope of Scripture, trying to prove God through science. I am not sure this is wrong, but at this point the Word is adequate for the bringing of the lost to the Lord, and I am not sure spending millions on books that try to prove things outside of Scripture is a wise use of the Lord’s money. Had God wanted to prove His existence scientifically the Bible would contain I & II Science.

"so do" is not really a part of the text. The King James is one of the few translations that show it and being in italics it is indicated that it is not there. It is implied in the command.

Apply these thoughts to your Sunday school materials. Do they lead to good scriptural principles or do they lead to long discussions about what a text may or may not mean?

We attended a Bible study one time that had about fifteen in attendance. We read a verse and discussed what it meant. About ten different interpretations were presented. The leader finally closed the session with "Well there certainly are a lot of possible interpretations of the passage and I am sure one of them is the right one."

An example would be faith healing. We could discuss it for hours, but the moment we brought Scripture in we would limit our discussion very quickly.

We should have a major problem with much of what is on the airwaves today. People are listening to everything under the sun and to everyone that can get a channel. Much of what is out there is not edifying the local assemblies.

It is taking financial support from the local assembly.

It is taking people from the local assembly. (some stop going to church)

It is taking doctrinal soundness from the local assembly.

It is teaching false doctrine in many cases.

As believers listen to the false, sooner or later they will begin to incorporate some of the information into their thinking and soon it will be in the local assembly.

By the way, what did Paul just say about that? Church leaders should stop it. Many listen and watch this trash because pastors have not been warning their sheep of the wolves! There are good programs on television, but there is also a ton of bad ones. GAIN DISCERNMENT FOLKS. If you know you are watching someone that is off doctrinally now and then, why bother listening to him at all.

While we are talking about listening, I might mention a woman that was very worried about her husband. (From Baptist Publications adult quarterly/Keeping the Faith published years ago.) "A distraught woman said to her physician, ’I am really afraid, doctor that my husband has some terrible mental affliction. Sometimes I talk to him for hours and then discover that he hasn’t heard a single word I have said. ’That is no affliction,’ was the reply, ’that’s a divine gift.’"


I must admit that I am not really for the radio and TV ministers - even, the good ones. At times they lay out what I would class as misleading if not false doctrine. Once that information is unleashed over the air there is nothing that they can do about it. Someone may have tuned in for only one program and picked up something that he shouldn’t have. The listener assuming the preacher was good might practice false doctrine unknowingly.

I would like to read a quote from an adult Sunday school manual from Scripture Press (April-June 1969; Adult Living; p 3) I think this line of thought has weakened the church in recent years.

"There is another caution in this chapter. Some first-century Christians spent hours talking about the Old Testament genealogies, making up fictitious histories about each name. In the Dark Ages, theologians argued endlessly about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. And today there are people who delight in endless - and pointless - speculation on predestination and free will; immersion and sprinkling; the pre, mid, and post-tribulation rapture; and many other “fine points.”

I personally think that there is much that could be taught on some of these subjects that would clarify the discussions. The problem is that many people that are doing the discussing have never studied the topics that they seem to be experts on.

A man on the internet made several ridiculous unfounded, undocumented statements against dispensationalism. It was obvious that he had never read of dispensations. He stated that dispensationalists believed in two ways of salvation - one for the Old Testament and one for the New Testament. Totally unfounded!

I tend to think that to relegate these topics to the idea of endless - and pointless - speculation is other doctrine. There is much that we can know from the scripture on the topics and we should not relegate these doctrines to the back burner just because some people seem to get stuck on them and cause problems with them. It seems to me this material was relegating good doctrine to the area of false doctrine.

Doctrine is very important. Otherwise, Christ and the apostles wouldn’t have given so much of it to us to live our lives by!

Study these topics, find your own ideas, and discuss with others to find if you have missed something and don’t let it hinder your spiritual life. Don’t, as Paul says, dwell on these things - study them - learn of them and move on to other doctrine.

The modern application of the genealogies might be seen in those that claim that they are in part of an apostolic succession. The Roman church holds that all Popes have come from Peter in direct line. Others hold to a succession back to John the Baptist and state that if you haven’t been baptized by a man that was baptized by a man that was baptized and so goes the succession back to John the Baptist, then you aren’t really baptized and that you need to be baptized by one of their men.

Verse 5

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:

Now I don’t know all that this verse is saying, but it certainly sounds important and probably kind of hard! As some would say - that is deeeeeeep stuff!

The NASB mentions "But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith."

What commandment is in view? I would think in relation to the context that it is probably the instructions concerning false teachers.

Some suggest that the commandment is the command to love - they set forth Galatians 5:14 "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Romans 13:8-10 also supports this thought.

Others suggest that this is speaking of the Law of the Old Testament. However, verse seven seems to say that the Old testament law is what some of the false teachers are teaching.

I think that the thought of it being the instructions or love fit best, and I would opt for the specific context - instructions to deal with the false teachers.

Question: Do Christians practice verse five? Do we show love to one another as we are in the business of edification?

The idea of love has some very perverted results in some quarters of Christianity. I was in a session a number of years ago and the speaker was telling of an old man in Denver, CO that called himself Isaiah and dressed in a white robe. The man wondered the streets preaching a bit of everything. The speaker mentioned that one Sunday he was driving the Sunday school bus and he was tempted to run over Isaiah. He figured that when the police found "FORD” stamped in Isaiah’s chest they would know what had happened. I trust that you do not find this attitude to be that of Christian love. Isaiah needed the Lord and quite possibly some mental treatment, not the disgust of God’s people.

Love should come from the three sources mentioned:

Love out of a PURE HEART

Question: What does this mean? Matthew 5:8 mentions, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." This may relate to the motivation of the heart. We should act toward others with true spiritual, Christ like motivations. This is going to require spirit controlled people not self-controlled people. A holy heart - no unconfessed sin.

Two verses will give some further understanding to the term pure heart.

Psalms 24:3-5 "Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart ; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation."

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:"

All of these verses show a pure heart to be one that is regenerated by the Holy Spirit.

Only as we have a pure heart, can we ever love another properly. Without the pure heart we will love through clouded eyes - eyes clouded by material concerns, by personality concerns etc.

Barnes probably sums it up when he says "The commandment was not designed to secure merely the outward expressions of love, but that which had its seat in the heart."

Scofield has a side reference to Ephesians 6:24 where Paul ends his book to the Ephesians with this comment and blessing. "Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen."


This is going to take a person whose life is without sin. There is no way that a person with sin in their life can really have a good conscience.

This phrase goes to the motivations, as well as the truth of character of the individual. Things are to be done with a clear conscience - free of guilty feelings - nothing but the total truth in motivation and character.

I don’t want to get high brow on you but I ran across a quote that fits quite well here. Now, mind you I ran across it in my illustration database, not in the original writer’s book - I don’t want you to be mistaken on that!

"As two assassins stealthily crept into the sleeping Duke of Clarnence’s bedchamber one is suddenly stricken with pangs of conscience. "A man cannot steal, but it accuseth him; he cannot swear but it checks him; he cannot lie with his neighbor’s wife, but that it detects him. It is a blushing shamefast spirit that mutinies in a man’s bosom; it fills one full of obstacles; it made me once restore a purse of gold that I found; it beggared any man that keeps it; it is turned out of all towns and cities for a dangerous thing; and every man that means to live well endeavors to trust to himself and to live without it. . . . it is even now at my elbow, persuading me not to kill the duke." William Shakespeare, King Richard III act 1, scene 4.

A good conscience will bring you to do right!

The book of Acts mentions Paul’s labor in this area as follows when he was appearing before Felix. "And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and [toward] men" Acts 24:16

Love out of a FAITH UNFEIGNED or as the NASB puts it a “sincere faith.”

Sincere faith can come only from salvation. Any faith that we might have without salvation is going to be polluted with the sin nature!

It probably indicates also that the person is committed to Christ in their life in all areas of life as well.

A Sunday School teacher saw one of her little boys drawing furiously with a set of crayons. "What are you doing, Johnny?" she asked.

"I’m drawing a picture of God," said Johnny.

"But Johnny," said the teacher, "nobody knows what God looks like."

Replied Johnny: "Well, they will by the time I’m through with THIS!"

That is sincere faith - faith that they know what is going to be!

Now, the import of the phrase relates to how we are to love. Imagine if you will, trying to love someone, without a sinless heart, a clear conscience and true faith in God. Any of the three lacking would make it very difficult to love, and impossible to love adequately.

When we confront the false teachers, we must be on this kind of footing! When we confront the lost, we also must be on this kind of footing! Anything less and we will most likely falter.

These should be our personal goals as well as our CHURCH GOALS! These are things that come naturally from the love of Christ that should flow through us.

"A rich Dutch merchant was seeking to buy a diamond of a certain kind to add to his collection. A famous dealer in New York found such a stone and called him to come and see it.

"The merchant flew immediately to New York, where the seller had assigned his best diamond expert to close the transaction. After hearing the assistant describe in perfect technical detail the diamond’s worth and beauty, the Dutchman decided not to buy it. Before he left, however, the owner of the store stepped forward and asked, "Do you mind if I show you that stone once more?" The customer agreed.

"The store owner didn’t repeat one thing that the salesman had said. He simply took the stone in his hand, stared at it, and described the beauty of the stone in a way that revealed why this stone stood out from all the others he had seen in his life. The customer bought it immediately.

"Tucking his new purchase into his breast pocket, the customer commented to the owner, "Sir, I wonder why you were able to sell me this stone when your salesman could not?"

"The owner replied, "That salesman is the best in the business. He knows more about diamonds than anyone, including myself, and I pay him a large salary for his knowledge and expertise. But I would gladly pay him twice as much if I could put into him something I have which he lacks. You see, he knows diamonds, but I love them."

"God is not interested in how much we know but in how much we love. When we truly love Jesus, we love others as well, and that is how the good news of the Gospel is spread." Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice.

We can know all about God, but not love Him - As we love Him we will love each other and be better equipped to do His work in and out of the church.

With this kind of love we can confront those that are in error. With this kind of love we have the best opportunity to bring them back into truth or release them from our midst. With this kind of love we can reach the lost.

In case you missed it in 1999 in October the six billionth baby was born. The report also mentioned that there are one billion young people of child bearing years. Thus, we will have another billion or two within years.

Point? Missionaries are on the drastic decrease while population is on the increase. I personally believe that the decrease in missionaries is directly tied to the lack of good solid teaching of doctrine in our churches over the past years. We have been losing the vision of a lost world out there. We have no vision, because we really don’t have God’s view of the lost!

Maybe in coming days as we start requiring of our preachers sound doctrine and love coming forth from the believers we well see the missionary effort revived.

Verse 6


Years ago we met a young couple in Bible college. They were helping a small AMF Sunday school that was kind of playing with becoming a church. They asked us to assist in the little work so we dove right in. I taught the Adult Sunday school for a time and we traded off doing a short "teaching time" in the effort to move into a church service.

The young man had a real knack for preaching the word with a real life application. We then assisted with them in another work where he was preaching every Sunday. He was one of the best preachers I have had the privilege to sit under. He always applied the Word to where we were living.

He began studies at a seminary that had a real over emphasis on academics. As his education progressed his preaching became more involved in detail and academic matters. At the end before, moving away, he was one of the poorest preachers I have ever been under. He was teaching a particular method of study and everyone in the church including his wife disagreed with what he was doing.

He was in my view at that point in his life turned from the mark of being a great preacher to one that was a vain jangler.

A. W. Tozer puts our text into our own context in his subtle toe stomping way.

"We have gotten accustomed to the blurred puffs of gray fog that pass for doctrine in churches and expect nothing better. From some previously unimpeachable sources are now coming vague statements consisting of a milky admixture of Scripture, science, and human sentiment that is true to none of its ingredients because each one works to cancel the others out. Little by little Christians these days are being brainwashed. Evidence indicates that an increasing numbers of them are becoming ashamed to be found unequivocally on the side of truth. They say they believe, but their beliefs have been so diluted as to be impossible of clear definition. Moral power has always accompanied definite beliefs. Great saints have always been dogmatic. We need a return to a gentle dogmatism that smiles while it stands stubborn and firm on the Word of God that lives and abides forever."

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

Does it seem to you that because they left the love and other items in verse five, which should have been there, that they have turned to vain jangling? It seems that is the easiest way to view it. The NASB follows this thought as well.

Vain jangling has the thought of vain talking or empty talk. One writer mentions this as one that utters empty senseless things. I don’t know for sure where that line is between senseless and sensible. I assume there is a little bit of perspective in this. What one views as sensible may be seen by others as senseless. What is empty and senseless to a husband certainly isn’t empty and senseless to their wife - and the women all said - AMEN!

Job knew well what vain words or empty words were. He mentions in Job 16:1 "Then Job answered and said, 2 I have heard many such things: miserable comforters [are] ye all. 3 Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest?"

Another example of vain jangling might well be the outworking of an improper spiritual life. It seems to me that a loose living Christian’s testimony can be capable of becoming vain jangling? If a person looks at a Christian that is preaching one thing and living another it will appear to them as vain jangling - jibberish!

I would like to consider some examples of what I would call vain jangling.

In ages past there have been many questions to consider. One such follows this line of thinking. God is all-powerful, and God can do anything that he wants to do. So, can he create a rock so big that He can’t pick it up?

The question has some valid information to deliver; however, after a point it would be vain jangling to continue the discussion on the subject.

Some suggest that the discussion method of teaching is "pooled ignorance.” If discussion is not used correctly, this method of teaching often declines to vain talking. Yes, there are times when I would agree. However, the discussion method of teaching need not be this way if used properly.

There is one question that usually pops up in this discussion. How many angels can stand on the head of a pin? Well, this discussion can go on for quite awhile, however since they are spirit beings, it would seem logical that all of them could stand on the head of one physical pin.

Another application might lead us to question just what our fellowship is these days. Is it fellowship or empty talk? I spoke in a little Baptist church in Chugwater, WY (a little town you have to see if you have time!) and mentioned several times in the message that most fellowship was news, weather and sports. After the service a rancher’s wife came to me and said, "I agree with you in principle, but in Chugwater it isn’t news, weather and sports, it is fences, weather and bulls!”

We don’t talk of God, we don’t talk of what God is doing in our lives - we talk about empty things - things that do not bring edification.

As we set forth a pure heart, good conscience and a sincere faith, the result will be some powerful teaching, preaching and living of the Word of God. Take some time to consider how Christians live their lives. How do we live our lives?

Barnes mentions about these teachers, "they failed of the things referred to, and had turned to vain talk. The word "which" in the plural, refers not to the law [or commandment in the King James], but to the things enumerated - a pure heart, a good conscience, and unfeigned faith."

I trust that you have gotten to know some of the great missionaries of the past. Men like Carey, Hudson Taylor, etc. These men knew of the pure heart, of good conscience and sincere faith! To read their life story is to know of their great love for their God and their great desire to serve Him.

Those they witnessed to and ministered to, also knew of the impact of these men on their lives. We need some Careys and Taylors in the church today in a big way.

Paul goes on to state bluntly that not only did they swerve from what was right and that they are empty talkers - now he says:

Verse 7

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

This is a real slap in the face for the people that Paul is talking about!

a. They desire to teach

b. they don’t understand what they say

c. they don’t understand what they affirm to others as truth.

That is a problem to want to teach and not be able to understand and comprehend the subject at hand.

Might I illustrate this?

A teacher I heard once found his foot in his mouth in a big way. He mentioned that his father changed the oil in his tractor every so many miles. Now, being a city slicker myself I thought he had a good illustration, however if you know anything at all about tractors, which the teacher did not, you know that you change oil and maintain tractors according to hours the unit has run not miles traveled. The teacher didn’t understand the principles of tractor care, nor did he understand that which he was holding up as truth.

Another illustration:

I could stand before you and read Einstein’s theory of relativity but I certainly would not understand it. I might even tell you emphatically that it was true, yet I cannot teach it, because I don’t understand it.

Some of our politicians are right here aren’t they. They have all the answers and they tell you all about it, but they don’t understand the problems at all.

When working in TV repair in Denver I had a little sign over my bench. "If you think you comprehend this confusion you just don’t understand the situation."

The term translated desiring according to Vine is "to will, to wish, implying volition and purpose, frequently a determination, is most usually rendered to will." This person has not only left what is right, and turned to empty talking, but he desires to teach as well. He has determined that he is going to teach as opposed to God calling and gifting him to teach. There is a bit of a difference.

The term translated "teachers of the law" is one Greek word - it is the term "nomodidaskalos {nom-od-id-as’-kal-os}" It is made up of two terms, nomo which has the thought of law and didaskalos which is often translated master in reference to the Lord Jesus in the Gospels. It is also translated teacher and doctor as in a doctor of law - a law teacher.

It would seem obvious these people that have been classed as empty talkers - those that have turned from the mark are teachers of the law. I trust you have a healthy grasp of Paul’s view of these teachers.

The terms “affirm” is often translated “affirm strongly” - something felt strongly to be truth but is not - not unlike Saul himself before he was saved. He strongly affirmed his belief in the law and the way of the Jewish leaders of his day. I wonder if this is why he reacted so strongly to these men - he knew just how wrong they were and how misguided their sincerity was. He also knew how destructive their teaching could be.

Let’s take a moment to look at Paul’s earlier life. In Acts 8:1 we have a context of Stephen preaching and being stoned to death. Luke records "And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles." Saul was part of that persecution!

Most agree that the persecution brought the furtherance of the Gospel - Saul was spreading the Gospel before He was saved!

Again in Acts 9:1 we see further how Saul was treating the Christians. "And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem."

Paul was part of that great persecution. He was out and about with the authority given him by the Jewish leadership to round up Christians - those heretics with all the false doctrine!

He, a teacher and believer in the law, was persecuting Christians - those that taught of Christ, the Messiah come.

In I Timothys we see this come full circle - Paul, the leadership, of the church now telling his delegates to root out those that would teach the law.

I would like to look briefly at a couple of Scriptural passages that speak to this subject of empty talking.

Nested in a long list of sins is Ephesians 5:6 "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience."

Vain words can lead to gross sinful lifestyles. Thus, they should be shunned. Paul says "Let no man deceive you" Vain words are aimed at deception - mark that down in your memory banks! VAIN WORDS ARE AIMED AT DECEPTION.

The term translated vain here means empty or by application "devoid of truth" according to Thayer.

Phillips mentions in his commentary on Ephesians: "’Let no man deceive you,’ says the Holy Spirit. Those whose teaching undermines God’s absolutes in the realm of personal morality are speaking vain words."

2 Timothy 2:16 also speaks to the thought of vain words resulting in ungodliness.

Another form of the word translated vain jangling is used of vain talkers in Titus 1:10 "For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake."

Paul is telling Titus that these must be stopped. This is just further indication of how important it is to stop the vain or empty talking and empty talkers in the church. They are misleading the sheep from what is true and nourishing.

We also see in that passage that if you don’t stop them they will subvert entire houses or families. It also mentions that their motivation may well be money!

So, what application might we find in this negative portion of Timothy?

1. It is positive in the aspect that we are to clear out this type of teacher so that we can get on with the work of the Lord!

I don’t know if you have ever had a time in your life when you are exposed to ungodly or negative influence for a long period of time. Many have told me of times like this and the usual result was that they became negative, and the bad influence was very bad for their spiritual life.

If there are false teachers in a church it is bound to have a negative result on the membership, not only in the doctrinal area, but just in the general life of the church.

2. If we want to be sure we aren’t jangling vainly, then we must be sure that we have the following:

a. We love correctly, having a pure heart, good conscience and a sincere faith.

b. We desire to teach correct doctrine.

c. We need to understand that which we teach, BEFORE WE TEACH IT!

d. We need to affirm only that which is truth.

In one of the courses I taught at Frontier I taught a series of principles that I found in an old book. The book has been updated a couple times by modern authors, but they did a Readers Digest version of it. Any way there was a man that wrote of the Seven Laws of Teaching. I always added an additional law. I always encouraged my students to never teach a principle that they had not already incorporated into their personal lives.

I think this would take care of some of the problems we have been talking about. If we are putting something into our own lives, we will be a little more careful to be sure it is truth.

3. I really don’t want to pick on the politicians, but I think if anyone with a reasonable mind would read this passage and then listen to some of the things these people say you will know why there is so much noise coming out of Washington these days.

4. If you hear anyone talking about the Old Testament Law be careful that they are not asking you to start following that Law as part of gaining or keeping your salvation. The Law has absolutely nothing to do with your salvation or keeping your salvation. Salvation is through the shed blood of Christ alone and nothing added.

5. Now, I couldn’t leave such a prime opportunity to speak of the radio and television ministers! Well, I think I will not say any more. We covered that previously!

Well maybe just one illustration: A couple years ago I saw a woman on television that had written a book on getting rid of your husband. At one point in the discussion she mentioned that God helped her write this book and that she just prayed that God would help women to get rid of that man in their bad marriage. That is of interest to me. A God that HATES DIVORCE helping a woman write a book on how to divorce a husband. HUMMMMMMMM!

This woman had the strong desire to teach other women. She had written a book on the subject. She did not really understand the truth of marriage or of God, and she set forth her error with full affirmation - A TRUE VAIN JANGLER I would think.

6. Another positive in this passage that we have not mentioned is that there are some that have swerved from correct teaching. They are in the minority, which should encourage us. Those of us that are in the majority must however be on the lookout for those that have or are in the process of leaving correct doctrine.

7. There is another thought that we have not covered. As you read the context, you will note that those swerving seem to be turning from the items listed in verse five - a pure heart, a clear conscience and a sincere faith. ("Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and [of] a good conscience, and [of] faith unfeigned: 6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;")

Might it be a good piece of application to encourage one another when we see someone that has in the past been strong in these three areas, but seems to be slipping in one or more of the areas? Say someone has always had a strong faith that God will take care of them, but has begun to worry about how they are going to make it in coming months.

To know when someone doesn’t have a pure heart or clear conscience is not easy, but I think you will see hints from their actions and activities of life. Maybe an encouraging word to consider these areas in they’re quite time with the Lord would help them to see your concern for them.

These passages are aimed at people that are really doing some false teaching. I have mentioned that these are in a minority but there is a reality that the run of the mill Christian can easily enter into these practices in small ways.

I received an email from a man that works among the military on a base in the east. He mentioned to me that he had prayed his way around the base for seven days. I am assuming that someone had told him to do as the Israelites did around Jericho.

Now praying isn’t wrong. Praying as you walk around the area where you want God to work is not wrong. However, God gave a promise to Joshua and the Israelites about Jericho and it had nothing to do with a military base and a missionary in the United States.

Since he gave me the impression that he was looking for something special to happen because he had done this I am confident that someone told him that God would bless his effort. Well God always blesses prayer and walking is good for the heart, but it does not follow that when you walk around a spot praying that God is going to do a miracle there.

We need to be very careful how we teach the Word and how we apply His word to our lives.


Verse 8


When we were in Wyoming, we lived about 50 miles north of Cheyenne and about 40 miles from any other town. The roads between were long and very empty. Many were the times when we would be plugging along at the speed limit and we would be passed by cars, pickups, and jeeps traveling at 80-90 miles per hour.

Naturally there were never any state patrolmen around when this happened - well almost never. One night we were headed to town and a pickup zipped past us and we had our usual conversation about there not being any police in the area. As we topped the next hill, we saw this same vehicle pulled over with a state trooper writing him a ticket. As we traveled on down the road, I noticed that the pickup pulled back onto the road and the trooper did a U-turn and headed back south.

You guessed it as soon as the officer was out of sight the guy went ripping around us as before. One of us commented that it would be neat if there was another officer near Torrington that would catch him again - the other mentioned that there was no way that could happen.

Just outside Torrington there is huge curve with a railroad track crossing in the middle. There was the pickup with another officer doing business with the driver!

You see the law is good when it is applied (in America it isn’t applied anywhere enough) but our laws are good!

Paul knows this was true of God’s law as well.

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

Paul says to Timothy - we know or we perceive the law is good, if a man use it lawfully.

The statement is open ended in that the phrase "if a man use it lawfully" is what is called a third class condition - maybe he will and maybe he won’t. Clearly the pickup driver did not know how to use the law.

Clearly the law can be used properly as it was in the Old Testament to bring the Israelites to God, or it can be misused as it was at Ephesus. The false teachers were not using the law well - they were using it improperly and they were holding their teaching up as truth, when they didn’t really know what they were talking about. In truth they were using the law for a purpose never intended.

The first item is that the "law is good,” and naturally it must be good for it came from God! It is only good however if it is used properly.

It seems a tad dumb for Paul to tell Timothy that the law is good since indeed, it came from God in the first place. Most feel this statement was for Paul’s detractors more than for Timothy or even the Christian reader of the ages. He didn’t want to get nailed to the wall by someone that was looking for a chance to point a finger at him.

Paul does not elaborate on the phrase "if a man use it lawfully" so we should probably relate this to the context - the thought of NOT teaching the law without understanding it - as has been the case of the false teachers.

The question is this, what law are we talking about?

The Mosaic Law? Probably. There is little question of this among commentators, but there are some that believe that it speaks of the ceremonial law - the sacrifices etc., while others hold that it speaks of the moral law - the "thou shalt nots." The later seems to be the wiser choice since that is the immediate context that we are about to see.

Let’s read verses 1 Timothy 1:6-9

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

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

8 But we know that the law [is] good, if a man use it lawfully;

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,

The men wanted to teach the law in verse seven. It is indicated to me that they wanted to teach the law to the believers at Ephesus and put the people under the law and its many rules.

Paul is telling Timothy that they don’t understand the law if that is what they are trying to do. MacArthur puts it this way: "It is bad enough to be ignorant, but they were dogmatic about their ignorance." (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary I Timothy; p 21; Moody Press, Chicago; 1995)

The law is for two things. One is just as the text states. It is for the unrighteous. It is used to judge them before God. The second use of the law was to bring the lost to God. It is a schoolmaster to draw us to the gospel. As we realize that we can’t fulfill the law and we realize how sinful we are, then we turn to the free gift of the gospel with a real understanding that salvation is not in keeping or doing, but in accepting.

To illustrate this thought we might just look to our own speed limit laws. I normally drive the speed limit. I seldom speed. I never am stopped for speeding - the speed limits weren’t set for me. They were set for the group of people that drive pickups too fast in Wyoming - they drive with the pedal to the metal. They are the ones that have the law applied to them.

It is not that I am exempt from the speed limit - all I have to do is speed and it will certainly be for me!

Ray Stedman quotes the following from a magazine article (no foot noting was given) "Laws, rules and regulations define social morality. They are often very little help in the growth of personal morality. The reason for this is not hard to understand. A law may prevent me from robbing my neighbor, but no law can prevent me from coveting his possessions and thinking of new and devious ways of making them mine. A law can discourage me, if not prevent me, from abandoning my wife and children, but it cannot stop me from making them miserable. A law can inhibit me from knifing an enemy, but it can do nothing if I merely hate him and make him feel my hate. The law, in short, can regulate my behavior, within certain limits. It cannot cleanse my mind, nor purify my heart, nor neutralize the poison of my worst intentions." What the law couldn’t do the Gospel can!

The law is good, but it is limited in what it can do!

I would like to show you from the Old Testament just how good the law is. Turn to Exodus 34:1 "And the Lord said to Moses, "Cut two tablets of stone like the first [ones], and I will write on [these] tablets the words that were on the first tablets which you broke"

God thought they were so good He took time to rewrite them when Moses broke the first tablets! Just envision you are Moses for a moment and savor that moment when the Lord said that to him.

Verse 9

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,

Verse 10

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;

The list breaks down into two categories.









murderers of fathers and mothers,


whoremongers (this is term porno/fornicator according to Young’s concordance)

them that defile themselves with mankind (homosexuals)

menstealers (kidnapers - in Paul’s day it was for slavery)


perjured persons

if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine

We want to take a look at these terms. They, are for the most part, kind of self-explanatory, but we might find some deeper understanding of them. If you have time to study on your own relate these to the ten commandments.


LAWLESS: Lawless is the opposite of the term used of law in these verses - without law or a transgressor.

2 Thessalonians 2:8 mentions this word: "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:"

The term Wicked is our term. This is speaking of Antichrist and his demise. The term is a little more descriptive now isn’t it?

The same term is also used of the actions of the Sodomites in 2 Peter 2:7-8. They were lawless and wicked.

DISOBEDIENT: This term is used In Titus and is translated “unruly.”

UNGODLY: Thayer says of this term "destitute of reverential awe towards God, condemning God, impious. . . . " Jude uses the term when he mentions Christ coming to judge the ungodly. Judges 1:15 "To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."

Simply it relates to those that do not worship God. They have no desire to know Him, nor to serve Him.

SINNERS: This term covers all sorts of sins - it is the normal word translated “sin” in the New Testament. Missing the mark set is the idea.

UNHOLY: Unholy or ungodly is the thought. 2 Timothy 3:2 is the only other occurrence of the word. It is translated “unholy” there also, and is in a long list of not very nice things.

PROFANE: Hebrews 12:16 mentions "Lest there [be] any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright."

This is the same term translated “profane.” The term comes from a root which relates to the foot - "something common" according to Thayer. The attempt to make God common might give the proper thought.

Barnes says "A man who treats religion with contempt, mockery, or scorn, would correspond with the meaning of the word."


When Paul lists murderers he distinguishes between types.

MURDERERS OF FATHERS: This Greek word actually is used of patricide or killing of ones father while murderers of mothers is a different Greek word for matricide or the killing of your mother. Then he uses another term for murder which is translated manslayers.

It is of interest that Paul uses three words here that are never used elsewhere in the New Testament. I suspect they may have been words known specifically by the Ephesians and possibly not widely used in other areas of the world at the time.

The murder of a father or mother was forbidden in the law. Exodus 21:15 "And he that striketh his father, or his mother, shall certainly be put to death."

Barnes mentions concerning killing your father "It is said to have been a crime which the Roman law did not contemplate as possible, and hence that there was no enactment against it. It is indeed, a crime of the highest order;"


Barnes mentions of “murdering your mother”: "A still more atrocious and monstrous crime, if possible, than the former. We can conceive nothing superior to this in atrocity, and yet it has been committed. Nero caused his mother to be murdered, and the annals of crime disclose the names of not a few who have imbrued their own hands in the blood of those who bare them." Nero was mentioned - he fell in love with a young woman that talked him into killing mom and divorcing his wife so she could be queen.

Gill mentions something that might be of interest to us in relation to the murder of fathers and mothers. "According to the Pompeian (city in Italy - Pompey) law, one guilty of parricide was to be sewed up in a sack with a dog, a cock, a viper, and an ape, and cast into the sea, or into a river."

MANSLAYERS: This would be the regular murder, which is forbidden in Exodus 20:13 "Thou shalt not kill"

WHOREMONGERS: This term is basically a male prostitute. (this is the term pornos/fornicator according to Young’s concordance) Thayer suggests "a man who prostitutes his body to another’s lust for hire"

THEM THAT DEFILE THEMSELVES WITH MANKIND (HOMOSEXUALS): Paul seems to lay it right out there in detail so they won’t misunderstand him. Thayer suggests that this means "one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual" "It is translated abusers of themselves with mankind" in 1 Corinthians 6:9

This also was forbidden in the Old Testament. Leviticus 20:13 "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them."

While on this subject we mentioned in our past studies of those that hold out falsehood as truth - the vain jangling - the vain talkers - the empty words - there are churches today that teach that homosexuality is okay and that it is as normal as can be. This list as well as the I Corinthians list would suggest they speak with empty words.

A man that fits one of these sins (homosexual) and certainly is misleading if not deceptive about his lifestyle before writing the book - and he is invited into a fundamental church to participate in the service. I trust that you see the error of this action in light of the context we have before us in I Timothy.

MENSTEALERS: Menstealers is actually speaking of those that steal men to put them into slavery. This is in a list of not very nice sinners. To be quite honest I was not aware of this side to the Scriptures as they related to slavery. It is of note that the epistles have a lot to say of how a believing slave is to act toward an owner indicating that slavery was kind of neutral - that if you are a slave - live like a Christian. The master is also encouraged in certain manners toward his slaves, yet here we see that the ENSLAVER was a sinner of great magnitude. That might be a topic for further study when someone has time.

Again, as several times before, the law forbids this activity - no great surprise - God dislikes sin against Himself and His creation. Exodus 21:16 "And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death"

LIARS: John 8:44 mentions that Satan is a liar. This is the same term used here - someone that is "a liar, one who breaks faith, or a false and faithless man" according to Thayer. ("Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it") See Leviticus 6:2-4 also.

PERJURED PERSONS: We don’t think too much about perjury in our society - even the president does it with little punishment. God calls it a biggie sin. Isn’t that what one of the ten commandments is all about? Thou shalt not bear false witness. Exodus 20:16 Paul puts it in the same list with a murderer! We in America should do no less. See Exodus 20:7 also.

This was a major no-no in the culture. The Greeks in their mythology placed perjury on the same level with killing your parent!

"IF THERE BE ANY OTHER THING THAT IS CONTRARY TO SOUND DOCTRINE:" And if you think of anything else that is against sound doctrine stick it in this list too!

The term translated “sound” is the word we gain our word "hygiene" from. Soundness is something that is wholesome and good for us.

The idea seems clear that Paul didn’t want to leave anyone out in his listing. "any other thing" covers about everything that the list doesn’t cover.

Verse eleven connects back up with the first part of the sentence, "But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;" ... "According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God. . . ."

All of the sins are kind of a parenthesis to the main message that Paul is putting forth.

Verse 11

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

I want to list the last part of verse ten and first of eleven in several translations.

ASV "and if there be any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine; 11 according to the gospel"

KJV "and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; 11 According to the glorious gospel"

DARBY "and if any other thing is opposed to sound teaching, 11 according to the glad tiding"

NIV "and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the glorious gospel"

NKJV "any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 according to the glorious gospel"

YOUNG "and if there be any other thing that to sound doctrine is adverse, 11 according to the good news"

Now, just what can we glean from that section of Scripture? Have you ever heard anyone say something along the lines that we don’t have to worry about doctrine - just concentrate on the Gospel? I have, and this verse says they are incorrect. You can’t have the gospel without doctrine!

Just for fun - what are some doctrines involved in the Gospel.

Deity or Christ

Virgin Birth

Humanity of Christ

Eternality of God



Sinfulness of man

The fall




Or maybe we should take the easier route and list the doctrines that don’t relate to the Gospel!

"which was committed to my trust" is literally "with which I have been entrusted." as Darby translates it.

This entrusting is not something special that was given to Paul, but it is a general entrusting to every believer. We are all entrusted with a job.

In 2 Corinthians 5:20 it tells us we are ambassadors: "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God." Verse 19 mentions that we are entrusted with the word of reconciliation! "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."

Now the application to that truth is simply witnessing in any manner we can, as well as helping others do the same around the world. Teachers and preachers have a special work over and above this work and that is to train all believers to do this same work.


Not only are we commanded to witness, but we have been trusted by God to share in that ministry.

We want to be clear that these sinners are not forbidden from heaven in this text - only that they are sinners and they are examples of those that the law was given for. They will not enjoy heaven unless they see themselves in this list and accept Christ.

The obvious thrust is that we have the privilege to share our faith in Jesus Christ with these people and assist them to understand the sinfulness of their lives, and the free gift of the Lord that is offered to them.

"Many years ago in St. Louis, a lawyer visited a Christian to transact some business. Before the two parted, his client said to him, "I’ve often wanted to ask you a question, but I’ve been afraid to do so."

"What do you want to know?" asked the lawyer.

"The man replied, "I’ve wondered why you’re not a Christian."

"The man hung his head. "I know enough about the Bible to realize that it says no drunkard can enter the kingdom of God; and you know my weakness!"

"You’re avoiding my question," continued the believer.

"Well, truthfully, I can’t recall anyone every explaining how to become a Christian."

"Picking up a Bible, the client read some passages showing that all are under condemnation, but that Christ came to save the lost by dying on the cross for their sins. "By receiving Him as your substitute and redeemer," he said, "you can be forgiven. If you’re willing to receive Jesus, let’s pray together."

"The lawyer agreed, and where it was his turn he exclaimed, "O Jesus, I am a slave to drink. One of Your servants has shown me how to be saved. O God, forgive my sins and help me overcome the power of this terrible habit in my life." Right there he was converted. That lawyer was C.I. Scofield, who later edited the reference Bible that bears his name."

May we be so open to share the Word with the lost we come in contact with - it is our duty and our honor to do so.

Verse 12


In the 1800’s a Scottish pastor resigned from his church. When asked why he had resigned he explained that he had only let one little boy to the Lord in the past year. He had however lead John Moffat to the Lord and Moffat was used of the Lord to open up South Africa to the Gospel.

In the early 1800’s there was a chief in South Africa named Afrikaner. He was chief of the Hottentot tribe, a vicious hardened group of warriors. Afrikaner was known throughout the country and the governor of Cape Town had fixed a hefty price on his head - dead or alive.

Also in the early 1800’s there was a young Scottish man by the name of Moffat which God lead into the ministry. One thing led to another and Moffat was led of the Lord to go preach the gospel to the Hottentot tribe in South Africa.

God used Moffat to speak of the Gospel to Afrikaner and Afrikaner became the first convert in the Hottentot tribe.

Moffat needed to go to Cape Town on business and he decided to take Afrikaner with him - so Africkaner dressed as an attendant Afrikaner and Moffet made their trip.

As they made their way through the Dutch farmland Moffat found that he was supposed to have been killed by Afrikaner - or so went the story that had been passed around. One man even told Moffat that he had seen Moffat’s bones.

Moffat told one farmer that the Afrikaner he knew was a good man. The farmer did not believe Moffat and said that he would like to see this terror of a man before he himself died. Moffat told the farmer that his attendant was indeed the man Afrikaner. The farmer exclaimed: "O God, what a miracle of Thy power! What cannot Thy grace accomplish!"

I trust this account of what God can do will set the stage for Paul’s continuing comments to us from I Timothy.

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; 13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did [it] ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

Here is an outline for your possible use.


A. Paul the Enabled

B. Paul the Faithful


A. Paul Realized Who He was Without Christ

B. Paul Realized What Christ did For Him


1 Timothy 1:12-14

I don’t know the inner thoughts of Paul’s mind when he went into this portion of his letter but I have to wonder. I wonder if he wasn’t sticking this in as one final emphasis to what he has been saying about the false teachers. They are teaching you of the law when they don’t understand what the law is for. He then laid out what the law was for - the sinner! He now shifts to illustrate how wrong the Jewish concept of the law was and how he found mercy before the Lord and then describes that mercy unto salvation and ministry in his own life. What a perfect illustration of what he is saying - the law can’t bring about salvation, only grace through faith in Christ can do that!

Paul himself was out there putting the law up to all comers while persecuting the saints. He was totally serious and committed to serving the law that he misunderstood. He then shares how fantastic the gospel is in changing a life.

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;

The thought of his being entrusted with the Gospel seems to move Paul to show how thankful he was for Christ’s work in his life.

I would like to go back and just read through that time in Paul’s life - a time of great turmoil I am sure.

Acts 9:1-20

" And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: [it is] hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought [him] into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. 10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I [am here], Lord. 11 And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for [one] called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting [his] hand on him, that he might receive his sight. 13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. 17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, [even] Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. 19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. 20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God"

Paul takes time out to thank the Lord for His


counting him faithful

putting him into the ministry

Any other feeling on the part of a missionary, minister or layperson that ministers within the church is out of line. Every Sunday School teacher, every minister of any kind must be thankful for the enablement God gives them, and realize that it is God that counts them faithful, not themselves. They must also realize that it is God that placed them into the ministry. Any other and they are totally misplaced.

It is God that enables us (Acts 1:8), and it is He that will judge our life, and it certainly should be God that places us into our ministries, no matter what those ministries might be.

The term ministry is closely related to the term for deacon. It is the doing for others in the church. It means "service." Barclay relates an account that illustrates the selfless service the term implies. "[The Greek Writer] Plutarch tells us that when a Spartan won a victory in the games, his reward was that he might stand beside his king in battle. A Spartan wrestler at the Olympic games was offered a very considerable bribe to abandon the struggle; but he refused. Finally, after a terrific effort, he won his victory. Someone said to him: "Well, Spartan, what have you got out of this costly victory you have won?" He answered: "I have won the privilege of standing in front of my king in battle." From William Barclay’s THE LETTERS TO TIMOTHY, TITUS, AND PHILEMON; Philadelphia; Westminster; 1975; pp 42-43.

The Olympics have changed a little haven’t they!

It is reported that a pastor stated once that the only time that God blessed him was when one of his church people moved away or died.

I have a friend that is in a church of about seventy people. He tells me of the blessings and he tells me of the surprises, and he tells me of the problems. The problems are usually people. In fact he vocalized the above recently - his comment was prompted by the fact that there were a couple of families that were working behind the scenes to cause friction and ultimately have him removed from his pastorate.

He was realistic in knowing that the Lord was in control, and that it was Satan that was moving in his church rather than the Lord, but he still must cope with this background each time he steps into the pulpit or speaks to one of his folks.

If you are looking for your situation/ministry to generate feelings of thankfulness to the Lord, then you are in error and you will most likely not find a time when you are thankful.

Paul was thanking Christ for placing him in the ministry, not the people that he was ministering to. The people may get bad at times, but it is Christ we serve not people. This is a very important distinction.

Paul was not bragging that he was in the ministry, he was only sharing his joy in the fact of it.

There are times when I look in the mirror in the morning and wonder who that is. I am still a hood from Lexington, NE in my mind and I marvel at the fact that the God of the universe allows me to stand before His people to teach and preach. I, to this day do not comprehend what God has done in my life and through my life.

I’d like to just make a comment about the enablement that Paul mentions. We all need the Lord’s enablement in all that we do. Our own talents and abilities won’t be enough to do the job that the Lord asks us to do.

We need His empowerment to do it all.

We need the gifts that He has given to us to use in the church.

Without both of the above, we will be functioning at a level far below that which He wishes for us.

Don’t be a minister unless you are called and placed by God. Do be a minister if He calls and attempts to place you.

The phrase "counted me" pictures the fact that Christ had faith in Paul’s ability to carry out the ministry that He had given him. The phrase is used of a king that sent an ambassador to a far country that had confidence in the one sent that he would carry out the desires of the sender.

Verse 13

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.

Lenski points out that these terms seem to build on one another - Paul is stacking up a real case against himself - not only was he a blasphemer, but on top of that he was a persecutor and if those two aren’t enough he was also injurious!

Thayer says of injurious "one who, uplifted with pride, either heaps insulting language upon others or does them some shameful act of wrong"

When Paul is speaking of his having been a persecutor, he means just that.

Acts 26:10-11, "Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.

"And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities."

In 1 Corinthians 15:9-10 we are given more information. "For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which [was bestowed] upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."

MacArthur suggests injurious might be translated “violent aggressor.” He paints a very ugly picture of Paul before He met the Lord.

"Paul had shattered the Decalogue [ten commandments], smashing its commandments on the rock of his own pride. As a blasphemer, Paul violated the first half of the Ten Commandments, which speak of man’s relationship to God. As a persecutor and a violent aggressor, he violated the second half, which speak of man’s relationship to man. Paul was a relentless, driven ferocious persecutor of the church. Acts 8:3; Acts 9:1 relate the havoc he created, even entering houses to arrest believers. Not only did he approve of Stephen’s death (Acts 8:1), but many others as well (Acts 26:10). A violent aggressor is a person with no normal concern for human kindness." From THE MACARTHUR NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY I TIMOTHY; John MacArthur; Moody Press; Chicago; 1995; p 29.

We should note that there is nothing that the Lord can’t forgive in salvation. Even the persecution and testifying unto death of the saints.

This is not to say however that the long-term consequences of a life of sin before you are saved won’t continue.

The drug addict or alcoholic that is saved and delivered from his addiction may suffer physical shortcomings the rest of their life.

The murderer on death row does not receive a pardon and release because he becomes a Christian.

Recently there was a woman on death row that had become a Christian and there was a great outcry for her. People wanted the government to suspend her death penalty. My question was on what basis? Kindness - yes, but the government does not need to be kind. Grace - yes, but the government does not need to be gracious. Indeed, IF they had been kind and gracious to this woman, they would have needed to be kind and gracious to every other person on death row.

Since we have no indication that Paul struggled inwardly with what he had done, I assume that in his salvation he found release from any guilt about his persecution of Christians. We can be free of pre-salvation guilt! We needn’t dwell on those things - just thank God they are gone, yet we may have lasting consequences.

"But I obtained mercy, because I did ignorantly in unbelief."

Some have suggested from this verse that the sinner that is never saved because he never heard the Gospel will have a lesser judgment due to the fact that he did it in ignorance.

What do you think? Can we prove this either way? It would seem to me that the Law is set and that breaking the law will bring a set judgment. Paul knew the law well, and he was not speaking of ignorance of the law. I would guess he was speaking of doing it not knowing that it was against Christ. This may relate to Christ’s discussion with him on the road to Damascus. This may have been when Paul realized what he was doing.

Actually the sinner is judged based on the fact that he rejected and refused God. The level of torment may be indicated in this verse, in that the person that does something with full knowledge of error may well be held more accountable than the person that had no concept of the wrong. (Matthew 11:20 ff)

Revelation 20:12 in the last part mentions that the lost will be judged, "out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." According to their works would indicate levels of punishment.

They will all be separated from God and will be in torment, however there may be less and more torment according to works.

Paul’s comment seems to be in the context of his being in the ministry. I believe that he is saying that mercy was extended in the area of a ministry in that he had sinned in ignorance or it may better be put - "sinned ignorantly." The implication being that had he been sinning in knowledge, that he would have been unworthy and unfit to be in the ministry.

The import of his having done it in ignorance is of great comfort to many. Many of us did many things when lost that we know we should pay the piper for, but this passage shows that the pre-salvation things are gone (not that the consequences are gone). You might look into Numbers 15:22-31 for further info on this.

Christ in John 16:1-3 predicted the actions of the persecutors, Paul being one of them. " These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. 2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. 3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me."

We could also relate this prophecy of the Lord to the violence that has been seen by Christians through the ages to this prophecy of the Lord. It also relates directly to the martyrdom of many in the book of Revelation. All those that would persecute Christ or His people do it in total ignorance. Is this not what Christ said of his own crucifiers - "forgive them; for they know not what they do"?

Is this not a great tool in witnessing? If we understand this and wrap our minds around the concept, we will be less worried about how others react to us - it isn’t personal - it’s aimed at Christ through their ignorance of Him!

Verse 14

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

His sinfulness in the former life, seems to intensify his knowledge of the grace that Christ extended to him. I have seen this in many people’s lives. Those that are raised in Christian homes seldom realize the abundance of grace that God showed to each one of us. Those that were saved out of lives of sin often realize just how far down God had to reach to draw them up.

ASV "and the grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus"

The grace extended to Paul was wrapped in faith and love when Paul opened his heart to the Lord. God’s love was shed upon him as He accepted the Lord and His work. I would suggest that faith refers to Christ’s trust in Paul to handle the ministry given to him.

I like the way Paul put it in Romans 5:20 b "But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:" No matter how terrible Paul was or even if he had been twice as bad - grace would have been able to cover it!

This verse seems to speak to the thought of Paul’s view of his being saved by the Lord. The Lord extended grace and love to him when he was the likes of what he was.

I marvel many times that He choose me to do His work, any of His work much less preaching and teaching. He can take someone that thumbs their nose at Him and turn them into a usable vessel.

By way of application in relation to Paul’s comment that Christ counted him faithful to be in the ministry might I suggest something?

I believe that pastors and teachers have a stronger accountability to the Lord. God has counted them faithful and faithful they should be. Many there are of the high profile pastors that have fallen - fallen because of moral problems.

In relation to this I’d like to cause us to think about something that is currently going around. It has been reported that the church of Satan is praying that Satan will bring down Christian pastors and that is happening across the nation. I’ve seen believers that are accepting this as truth.

What do you think? Are you getting worried about going into the ministry? Are these truth to these Satan worshiping folks - are they behind pastors falling today?

1. Satan is limited in many ways, thus how can prayers to him move him to do more? 2. He is in a conflict with God. He is going all out! He can do no more, even if some pray he will? 3. He knows pastors are the place to hit and he has been doing if for generations. He isn’t hitting them harder because someone is praying to him.

The Satan worshiper may be praying for this, but I don’t think their prayers are effective, for Satan has his hands completely filled - he can do no more.

The statistics however show more and more pastors are falling into trouble (1990’s) I assume the reports are true, thus I must ask why? 1. Pastors are less spiritual than they used to be. 2. Pastors are allowing themselves into situations they should never be in. 3. Pastors are more prone to go with the world rather than with God. 4. I would assume possibly also that the schools are not preparing our men properly before they go out into the ministry. 5. The creed-o of the Baby Boomer generation is "ME" and satisfying me! Many pastors are boomers - enough said.

I think that a pastor that was an influence in our lives represents one that was found faithful by the Lord. The Lord saw fit to call them into the ministry and that they remained faithful throughout a long ministry.

When God led us off to Bible college, our first pastor in Denver was a man that had planted the church that he was in. When we arrived and started attending, he took me under his wing immediately. He would talk to me from time to time and when we were on visitation, he would take time to explain why he was visiting each person, and after the visit he would explain why he did what he did so that I could learn from his experience and wisdom.

The sad part of the story was that he resigned and moved away shortly after we arrived. We lost track of him and did not hear from or about him for many years.

While at Frontier School of the Bible, he was invited to teach our week long Bible conference. We were able to talk to him, and as he preached it was obvious that he had not changed a bit. He was the same humble man of God that had impressed me so much when we were both a lot younger.

In whatever ministry God has called you into, or might call you into in the future remember that it is God that enables, and that it is God that counts you faithful to accomplish that ministry.

I would like to present a portion of Barnes comment relating to the term ministry which we defined as servant. I would like for you to consider two items as you comprehend his comments. First I would like you to compare this definition of a minister to the modern day "minister" and also compare this definition to your own life as a servant of the Lord.

"It is indeed a work of toil, and of self-denial, and demanding many sacrifices of personal ease and comfort. It requires a man to give up his splendid prospects of worldly distinction, and of wealth and ease. It is often identified with want, and poverty, and neglect, and persecution. But it is an office so honorable, so excellent, so noble, and ennobling; it is attended with so many precious comforts here, and is so useful to the world, and it has such promises of blessedness and happiness in the world to come, that no matter what a man is required to give up in order to become a minister of the gospel, he should be thankful to Christ for putting him into the office. A minister, when he comes to die, feels that the highest favour which Heaven has conferred on him has been in turning his feet away from the paths of ambition, and the pursuits of ease or gain, and leading him to that holy work to which he has been enabled to consecrate his life." From BARNES NOTES; Albert Barnes; Baker Book House; Grand Rapids; 1949; p 120

Verse 15


Among the many things happening for the new millennium is one that recently caught my interest. It is the year of Jubilee. The Roman Catholic Church is going all out for one of their traditional holy events - the year of Jubilee. The Pope has declared 2000 as the year of pilgrimage.

We know of the year of Jubilee in the Old Testament. The Roman Church also celebrates a year of Jubilee. They feel that it began prior to Boniface VIII but his celebration in 1300 is the first officially recorded. Boniface set it to be a celebration every one hundred years, but due to the fact that many would die with never a chance to see a celebration it was decided that every thirty-three years would be good. Finally it was settled at every twenty-five years.

It is my understanding that there are four doors one in each of four basilicas. The Pope opens the door of St. Peter’s while other delegates open the other three doors at the same time.

The doors have been walled up with brick and mortar for the past twenty-five years. Prior to the ceremony of the opening masons loosen the mortar so that the doors are easily broken down. The Pope on Christmas Eve will strike the door three times with a silver hammer. The third stroke brings the door down.

The bricks, mortar and scraps are quickly gathered by guests as holy relics. Then the Pope walks through. The symbolism supposedly is that Adam and Eve were barred from the garden, and this breaking of the door symbolizes restoration and forgiveness of all past sin.

On the Christmas Eve following, the doors are again walled back up.

There are websites committed to this event. There are travel agencies offering special packages to Rome. There are special events planned all over the world. They have planned events in major cities and are calling it the "Biggest party in the world" and have set up a website for the party and its advertising.

A quote concerning the party is of interest. ""All the world sing praise" is a people’s event with a special emphasis on children whose purpose is to assist the Christian celebration of the Millennium. It can be celebrated in a variety of ways; the idea is however that we try to do something together across the World at the same time to celebrate Jesus birthday worthily. . . . "

Note "to celebrate Jesus Birthday worthily. . . . " This BIGGEST PARTY IN THE WORLD is going to be on January 1, 2000 - thought they set it up to be the 25th of December at one time.

This December 24, the Pope will declare the beginning of the Year of Jubilee, and four special Holy Doors will be opened in Rome with the most important being in St. Peter’s Basilica. People from all over the world an expected 30 million or more will make a pilgrimage to Rome during 2000 seeking forgiveness of all past sins by walking through the doorways, which are opened only during Jubilee years. Many will travel thousands of miles, sacrificing time and money, in an effort to obtain eternal life. For these seekers, Rome is the place to be in 2000.

The Jubilee occurs every 25 years, but the dawn of a new millennium is bringing much more attention to this particular Year of Jubilee and will bring a greater number of pilgrims.

So much trouble to travel so far! These folks will spend millions to seek salvation, while Paul only had to go to Damascus, indeed, these celebrants only have to go to their knees before God to find their free salvation - their salvation which requires no travel, which requires no doors to open, which requires no Pope to set a year of jubilee.

And we Christian’s of the born again type ought not be too smug looking down our noses at the Roman pilgrimage - many in our following are suggesting these days that we can’t really understand God fully till we have walked where Jesus walked. Many ads make this trip sound like a pilgrimage - indeed, they use the term in ads - they talk as if there is spiritual gain to be received by a trip to the Holy Land.

1 Timothy 1:15-17 "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. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. 17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, [be] honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen."

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.

Paul says what I am about to say is a faithful saying and it is worthy of acceptance. HUMMMM! Do you think he is contrasting this statement with the teaching of the other guys we’ve been talking about - you remember - the guys that hold forth falsehood as truth - Paul says THIS IS VALID - THIS HAS VALUE ENOUGH TO ACCEPT! As opposed to some other teaching I know of.

This guy isn’t nice in his bluntness to the false teachers! Does that give you any ideas in how you should be? On the internet boards when someone stands boldly for the truth of Scripture there is always someone that will reprimand them for being unloving, yet Paul was blunt and to the point as we ought to be in our confrontation of those that put forth falsehood as truth.

George Whitefield in a message entitled The Method of Grace said the following of preachers. "As god can send a nation or people no greater blessing than to give them faithful, sincere, and upright ministers, so the greatest curse that God can possibly send upon a people in this world is to give them over to blind, unregenerate, carnal, lukewarm, and unskillful guides." He continues "As it was formerly, so it is now; there are many that corrupt the Word of God and deal deceitfully with it."

Even in Whitefield’s day he could see that there was falsehood being set forth as truth and so it is today. The believer MUST be on their guard constantly.

Kent mentions "The formula, "faithful is the word," occurs five times in the New Testament, all of them in the Pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 4:9; 2 Timothy 2:11; Titus 3:8). A similar expression, "these words are faithful and true," occurs twice (Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:6). Apparently during the latter half of the first century, this formula was quite generally used to emphasize important truths. Here the reference almost certainly is to the statement of Jesus, uttered on several occasions (Matthew 9:13; Luke 19:10). Such truths as these probably were often repeated in the Christian assemblies, and were thus well known." THE PASTORAL EPISTLES; Homer A. Kent, Jr., Th.D.; Moody Press; Chicago; 1958; p 92. (Matthew 9:13 "But go ye and learn what [that] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Luke 19:10 "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.")

"Acceptation" according to the dictionary means "the generally understood meaning of a word" © 1995 Zane Publishing, Inc. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary © 1994 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Paul says these things I’m relating are worth acceptance - as is - nothing added.

I have read that this phrase actually stands alone in the original construction of the passage. This would draw complete attention to the coming statements.

The term world has a wide meaning. It can mean the earth proper, or it can mean the universe. Either way it is true in this case, but it might bring a slightly different perspective to your mind. Christ came into the world - as in contrast FROM HEAVEN. We all know this to be true, but have you considered that Christ left the solid comforts of heavens glory to accomplish His work among men?

He gave up a throne in glory for the hardships of living. He went from not needing sleep to having to get up in the morning, from needing nothing to needing everything, from being totally free to being dependent on others.

The term Paul chose to call himself in this text is of interest. It does have the idea of chief, but there is another shade of meaning that is significant within the context. Not only can this word be translated chief, but normally it is translated first. Thayer mentions "first in time or place . . . in any succession of things or persons ... first in rank"

The context pictures Paul as the first - the example of all to come. Now, we know that there were others that were saved prior to Paul, but the Holy Spirit via Paul sets Paul as the prime example of all to come.

Paul uses the sequence "Christ Jesus" - he uses this sequence twenty five times in the Pastoral Epistles compared to eight usages as Jesus Christ.

He came into the world - a simple statement which has deep ramifications. He came into - He came from somewhere - PRE-EXISTENCE IS THE ONLY POSSIBLE CONCLUSION! There is also the thought that He came for a specific purpose and that He came of His own accord.

Christ came into the world to save sinners. The question always seems to come up, just how many of the sinners did He come to save. Did He just come to save the elect sinners, or did he come to save ALL sinners?

Indulge me for a moment while I consider the concept of unlimited atonement.

John 3:16 Loved the world - whosoever. There seems to be no restrictions in this passage. (1 John 2:2)

Some suggest that some reject His salvation, so He couldn’t have died for them. On the contrary, He died for every single one. If a person rejects Christ then they reject the salvation that has already been provided for them.

Christ paid all costs for all mankind’s redemption! Man rejects or accepts what Christ did. This is termed in theology UNLIMITED ATONEMENT. Did Christ atone for only the elect, or did Christ atone for all mankind? Others hold that He atoned only for the elect.

This leads to the ARMENIAN Vs CALVINISM debate. The Armenians held that Christ atoned for all, while the Calvinists believed that Christ atoned for only the elect.

Where you land on this discussion well may depend on your understanding of Christ’s work on the cross and salvation itself. Is it total provision for the sin of the world or is it not?

Remember, just because you believe in an unlimited atonement it doesn’t make you an Armenian. It just means you can’t be a five-point Calvinist.

Paul mentions that he was the chief sinner. He knew what he was before Christ. Many in our own day realize well who and what they were before Christ. Others don’t really realize what they were. They have not really come to terms with what they were and now what they are.

This most likely comes from some of the easy believism that is being preached today. It is essential to believe in Who Christ was, and to believe in what He did, but it is also necessary for the person to understand who they are and why what Christ did is important.

An Independent Baptist pastor on an internet board I visit has come to the realization that he must get the people lost before he can lead them to the Lord. He has begun to use the law to show them that they are sinners. I tried to help him understand that you can show them from the New Testament that they are sinners, but he insists that you must use the law - HUMMMMMM! Well, anyway the point is that when the person realizes they are lost and on their way to hell then you can begin to talk to them of the gift of God.

I would like to read a comment from someone on this thought.

Hiebert mentions "The fact is that it is always the characteristic of a true saint to feel himself a real sinner. The air in a room seems to be clear, but when it is penetrated by the sunlight it is seen to be full of dust and other impurities; and so as men draw nearer to God, and are penetrated by the light of God (1 John 1:5 - "God is light. . . . "), they see more clearly their own infirmities, and begin to feel for sin something of the hatred which God feels for it." (First Timothy; D. Edmond Hiebert; Moody Press; Chicago; 1957; p 43.)

John Owen said once, "’He that hath slight thoughts of sin never had great thoughts of God.’" (First Timothy; D. Edmond Hiebert; Moody Press; Chicago; 1957; p 7)

Reread and stop for a moment and think about that one.

Verse 16

1 Timothy 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

"For this cause I obtained mercy" has some serious ramifications! For this cause only! Paul had nothing of worth that God would save him for. Paul could do nothing in his future of worth that God would save him for. Paul could teach noone in his future of worth that God would save him for. He was saved to show forth the glory of God - plain and simple - I might add this goes for each and every one of us. We had nor have anything to offer Him that would move Him to save us!

The term "first" is the same word translated "chief" in verse 1 Timothy 1:15. Again drawing attention to Paul as the first or the example.

This verse seems to back my thoughts on verse thirteen. Paul seems to have been an example to those that come to the Lord - of the long-suffering and mercy of God in saving all types of sinners.

One of the quotes I read mentioned the fact that we should give serious consideration to the sinfulness of our old life.

David Brainard was a person that was very introspective and always viewed himself as the lowest of low before God. If you read much of his writing, you will find that he knew what he was!

I think that God included these thoughts in the Word for us to realize that no matter how bad our pre-salvation life was, that if He could forgive and use Paul in the ministry, that he can use anyone in the ministry.

No matter how low you were in your life before, the Lord can use you in His work.

There are hundreds of testimonies of people that were saved out of the dregs of society and the Lord picked them up, washed them up, polished them up and put them into His service.

One such man was a drunk tending bar many years ago. He had been confronted with the Gospel and one night he dropped to his knees behind the bar and asked God to forgive him of his sin and accepted the Lord. God sent him off to Bible college and he served God as a pastor for many years. He also raised three children. One became a pastor, one a pastor’s wife and the other a professional.

This is the hope of all that are saved. WE CAN BE ACCEPTABLE TO HIM, EVEN UNTO SERVING HIM!

Christ choose Paul to be His prime spokesman. He selected this one that illustrates the depth of what man could be so that - may I say - no one has an excuse not to be saved.

Indeed, when someone spoke to lost Stanley Derickson I stated, He can’t save me - I’ve done wrong and the answer was - He can save anyone. This passage illustrates that truth for us.

There is another application to this verse which Wiersbe mentions. "But there is a special application of this to today’s people of Israel, Paul’s countrymen, for whom he had a special burden . . . The people of Israel, like unconverted Saul of Tarsus, are religious, self-righteous, blind to their own Law and its message of the Messiah, and unwilling to believe. One day, Israel shall see Jesus Christ even as Paul saw Him; and the nation shall be saved." THE BIBLE EXPOSITION COMMENTARY; Warren Wiersbe; Victor Books; Wheaton; 1989; P 213.

The term translated “pattern” is used in classical Greek of a model that is brought before an artist to be drawn or painted. It has the idea of an outline or drawing.

Paul is a pattern of all Christ wants to do in mankind. This was His purpose in coming into the world, this was His desire in coming into the world, and this was his only reason in coming into the world.

I wonder even more if Paul wasn’t something really special in God’s plan. Christ Himself appeared to him. Why? What is the significance of this? Christ appeared to no one else in this way.

I personally see in these verses Paul revealing that Christ had special plans and special reasons for His treatment of Paul. Remember the three years of personal attention to Paul.

Paul wasn’t just blessed, but he was special in some way. He was first among many others to come. His specialness was in God’s plan, not what or who he was as a human being!

Christ didn’t tell Paul of his being a pattern in the record of Acts thus it must have been face to face at a later time - put yourself in Paul’s place when Christ revealed this truth to him.

It is clear that Christ is central - he provided - He showed mercy - for HIS purpose. Christ was not responding to what he saw in Paul, but He was responding to His plan.

Paul was to be an example looking back to his sin and he should be an example in his post-salvation life. Let’s think of his example for a few moments. What type of man was Paul? What did he have to go through?





near drowning

walked all over Asia Minor and the near east

served in the harshest of circumstances

served without pay

served where ever and whenever he could




How do you measure up to his example?

He was transformed from the chief persecutor of Christ to the chief spokesman for Christ. Just give me an example that shows more of a change than that!

As I have observed life and the testimonies of believers, it is often the man that was saved out of the terrible life that is most active in the Lord’s work. Several of the more forceful evangelists of recent centuries have been men that knew of the sin that they preached against.

It often is the believer that is raised in a Christian environment that is weak in preaching against the sin of the world.

One might wonder about Paul’s denigration of himself. Just how can we help Paul improve his self image. He is so down on himself. We really must make him feel better about himself! His self worth is so lacking. His self esteem is so poor. NOT! He has a true understanding of who he is and who Christ is and what the results of that merger was. Paul is improved only by the blood of Christ.

While preparing this study I had to wonder, are "chief" and "first" relating to more than example - is this a picture of the gospel going to the gentiles before Cornelius? Most feel that Cornelius was the first indication in Acts that the Gospel would be going to the gentiles. Paul was a Roman citizen as well as a Jew. Actually being a Jew and a Roman, he was a picture of the bridge between the two - Judaism and Christianity/gentiles, as well as an example of the Gospel going to the nations.

The verse also mentions that Christ was using Paul to show forth the long-suffering of God toward those that have not yet come to Him. The term long-suffering is also translated patience at times.

It is used in 1 Peter 3:20 "Which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water"

God waited quite some time to destroy the ungodly - He waited 80 to 100 years! He truly is long-suffering! (Genesis 5:32; Genesis 6:10 cf. Genesis 7:11)

By the way, have you heard of the newest discovery concerning Noah. The man that discovered the Titanic has also discovered proof of the flood - in the words of the news media at least. He has discovered proof that the Black Sea at one time was a lake and that there was a breaking of a natural dam which inundated this lake area with saltwater from the Mediterranean Sea, thus proving that Noah did build an ark.

The problem with that is that it would be a local flood and not a universal flood. There also is no indication that the flood that this man has proven is the flood of the Bible. There could well be proof that this lake did exist and that it was a disaster, but there is no proof at all that this was the flood that the Bible speaks of. The media just never ceases!

Verse 17

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

What a declaration concerning our God!

King = OVER ALL - even the Orion’s nebula that the Hubbell telescope has viewed recently.

Eternal = Always has been - always will be.

Immortal = He can’t die no matter what the liberals say!

Invisible = Remember this one when you are considering sin.

ONLY wise God = ALL other gods are dead and offer NO wisdom!

Deserving of our honor and glory forever. Give you a hint of what we will be doing in heaven?

The term translated glory is the term we gain the word Doxology from.

MacArthur puts it this way. "Having begun the passage with thanksgiving, Paul now closes it with a doxology. Eternal literally means "of the ages." It refers to the two ages in Jewish thought, the present age, and the age to come. God had no beginning and will have no end. He exists outside of time, though He acts in it. He is immortal, imperishable, and incorruptible. He will never know death, decay, or loss of strength. Because God is invisible, He can be known only by His self-revelation. That he is the only God is a fundamental truth of Scripture...." THE MACARTHUR NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY I TIMOTHY; John MacArthur; Moody Press; Chicago; 1995; P 33.

Amen is a transliteration of the Hebrew word meaning truth. Lenski mentions of the term, "It is always emphatic and should be read so; it is a confessional affirmation that completely justifies what precedes and compels the reader to see and to recognize the fact." THE INTERPRETATION F ST. PAUL’S EPISTLES TO THE COLOSSIANS, TO THE THESSALONIANS, TO TIMOTHY, TO TITUS AND TO PHILEMON; Augsburg Publishing House; Minneapolis; 1937; P 528.

There are some indications that the end of verse 1 Timothy 1:17 might be a better chapter break. It ends with Amen and then the next verse is the challenge to Timothy and 1 Timothy 1:2:1 begins "I exhort therefore. . . . " indicating that it is directly linked to the challenge of 1 Timothy 1:18 and following.

To recap I would like to quote White as listed in Kent’s book "In the experiences of personal religion each individual man is alone with God. He sees nought but the Holy One and his own sinful self.... And the more familiar a man becomes with the meeting of God face to face the less likely is he to be deceived as to the gulf which parts him, limited, finiet, defective, from the Infinite and Perfect." THE PASTORAL EPISTLES; Homer A. Kent, Jr., Th.D.; Moody Press; Chicago; 1958; p 93

Paul knew his own sinfulness when He faced Christ on the Road to Damascus! He also knew that he was to be an example for all to come after him.

There should be no doubt to the fact that there is no sinner that we ever will meet that is too sinful to find mercy before our God. As we visit with and witness to folks we meet, we can be assured that there is mercy for them, if they will but turn to the Lord that offers it.

There is also a real application for us as parents and grandparents. We as Christians ought to be examples to those in our families. We need to realize that our lives before them are an example of the saving grace of the Lord.

"A man was walking through the deep snow when he heard the voice of his oldest son saying: "I’ll step in Father’s tracks." He was trying to do it, and two younger brothers were at the same thing. The father went to the house of prayer to seek God that evening, thinking, "If I lead my sons thus, I’ll make tracks for heaven.""

May we remind ourselves of how sinful we once were, and then remind ourselves of that great step downward that Christ took on our behalf to become man to die for our sin.

May we also be reminded that this is the only truth that we can share with the many lost folks around us as we walk through our weekly life.

Verse 18


Many years ago, in the years of yore, a young man and his bride flew to the beautiful land of Hawaii where they were to live for a time while the man worked for a small television repair shop in a little community called Waiane on the west side of Oahu.

There in that garden spot of the world they took up residence in the home of the woman’s brother - wife and four children. One evening talk turned to spiritual things and the young man’s interest was stirred. Shortly after the two couples started attending a small Baptist church in a neighboring town. The pastor of the church was just leaving for the summer to return to the mainland on furlough.

To take the pastors place there was a young Junior from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his new wife had come for the summer to minister to the little church.

Through the summer the young man listened with great interest to the young pastor - he not only listened to the message but wondered of the messenger. He wondered if he might one day be a messenger as well.

The summer passed very quickly and the young seminarian and his wife left Hawaii to return to Dallas to finish his final year of training.

The young man that had wondered about being a messenger was indeed called to prepare for the ministry. Off to Bible college went he and his wife and young daughter.

In his second year of college there was a new president installed at his college. The new president had taught at Dallas Seminary. The young man decided to see if the president had known this seminarian that had so impacted his life.

The president certainly did know the young seminarian but was very quiet and saddened to report to the young man that the seminarian had completely rejected the teaching he had received at the Seminary and had enrolled in the most liberal seminary in the country.

The president did not go into great detail, but related that the seminarian had turned his back on the truth of the Word and was rejecting all sound doctrine. There had been several of the professors at Dallas that had worked with the man to see if they could help him understand, but he rejected all comers.

The young man ran across other Dallas people from time to time over the years and he would ask of the seminarian and all reports were very sad as to the outcome of that life that had started so eagerly to serve God, but that had turned to serve man’s philosophy.

The passage before us is one of great encouragement, while also it is one of great discouragement. It relates to a good minister, while it also relates to bad ministers.


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;

I think one of the obvious items of interest here is the great encouragement this statement must have been for Timothy. Paul must have held Timothy in high regard and he must have wanted him to succeed!

Ray Stedman mentions of such a time in his life: "I will never forget an incident in my own ministry when I was a young man. I was still a student at Dallas Seminary, but was spending my summers in Pasadena. I worked one summer as a youth minister in a church there, when Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, the President and founder of Dallas Seminary, a great man of God, a great man of faith, came into town. He was gracious enough to spend an afternoon with my wife and me.

"I took Dr. Chafer to the church where I was working and showed him around the very impressive, beautiful building. The congregation at this time did not have a pastor, though they were seeking one, so Dr. Chafer said to me, "Do you think you might end up here in this church?" I said, "I don’t know. Who knows what God will do? I don’t have any particular plans for that." "I don’t know either," he said, "but it would be a good place for you because I believe God is going to give you a great ministry."" (From a message on I Timothy by Ray Stedman)

There were times in my college days that I would have really appreciated some encouragement from someone like that. The struggles were great and there seemed to be absolutely no encouragement for us from outside.

The prophecies that are mentioned are not the Old Testament type prophecy that we might think of. The Old Testament prophet was not only one that could reveal future things which God had revealed to them, but they also held an office similar to the priest, though their responsibilities and ministries were much different - they were both officially spokesmen between God and man.

This Old Testament prophet is not what we have in the New Testament. The New Testament prophet was not an official office but one of the gifts of the Spirit, which was used for giving of revelation to the early church.

If you will recall in the book of Acts there were some prophets mentioned. These were similar to the Old Testament prophet in that there was a portion of revelation related to them, however they weren’t the Official prophet or office of the Old times.

Let us take a look at these for a few moments. Acts 21:10-11 "And as we tarried [there] many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. 11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver [him] into the hands of the Gentiles."

Acts 21:8 mentions Philip and his four daughters that were involved in prophecy.

1 Corinthians 14:29 ff mentions the proper actions of the prophet in the assembly. This was when there was still revelation being given by the Spirit to the early church.

These terms all imply the revelation via the Holy Spirit for the growing church.

There is also a thought of prophecy today that is the type of prophecy that is based on facts and observation and knowledge of human nature. It isn’t a foretelling, but a reasoned out educated estimate of what the future might hold.

By looking at a man and knowing the man you can predict to a point what he is capable of and then by looking at his surroundings and direction you might also give some idea as to what he might be able to accomplish in life. Any prophecy in our time should, in my opinion, be understood in this light.

I would assume that the prophecies which Paul mentions here were of the New Testament kind. I would also assume that they may have been given at the time when Timothy was set apart to the ministry. This is mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:6 "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands." Also 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."

There seems to be a special gifting and foretelling in Timothy’s case.

MacArthur contrasts the call of Timothy, through prophecy, to the call of ministers today via the inner working of the Spirit. I think it is of interest.

"Paul’s command to Timothy was not his own, but was confirmed by God through the ministry of some prophets.

"Pastors and elders are no longer called to the ministry in such a dramatic fashion. As we will see in 1 Timothy 3:1, the call to ministry rises from inside through desire, rather than outside from revelation. That desire is then to be confirmed by the church. The church, by observing a man’s life and service, can confirm whether he gives evidence of being called by God to the ministry." THE MACARTHUR NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY I TIMOTHY; John MacArthur; Moody Press; Chicago; 1995; P 43

Not only did Paul realize Timothy’s call, but he also understood Timothy’s situation. Paul saw and knew that Timothy was in a war! He was encouraging him in this warfare.

We too are in warfare, though we seldom see it or acknowledge it in the United States today. The Devil is really not pushing believers here for we are already sidetracked, and of no immediate threat to his work.

We are in a war to control our lives.

We are in a war to control the forces of evil.

We are in a war to bring the church back to what it ought to be.

Anytime we confess sin we are gaining control of our lives for the lord.

Anytime we speak of the word and proclaim it we are taking a little control for the Lord.

This war is spiritual: 2 Corinthians 10:4, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;"

This war is invisible: Ephesians 6:12, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

The spiritual warfare is very real and is in every facet of our life. I used to teach a spiritual warfare class that was keyed to missionaries. It was a semester long and I had plenty of material to cover the 32, 50-minute classes.

You will find also that this is a very neglected field of Christian authors. When I was setting up the class on warfare, I found that there were no books available on the subject from conservative authors. Recently I have seen a couple on the market, but I don’t know who or what the authors are like.

It also seems that within these prophecies were some comments that would show that God was going to see to it that Timothy would be victorious in his warfare for the Lord.

It would be of interest to know how he faired in the warfare that followed at Ephesus and the rest of his life - we know that it was good!

Warfare is not an uncommon idea in Paul’s writings. He uses the concept in Ephesians 6:10-17; 1 Corinthians 9:7 2 Corinthians 10:4. He even speaks of our armor - he seriously sees the work of the minister and of believers to be warfare.

We move now from encouragement and victory to discouragement and defeat in the lives of others.


Verse 19

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

Might we say that if we do not have faith and a good conscience that we are leaving ourselves open for shipwreck?

When I was in the Navy the crew of our ship was confronted with shipwreck. We went through the eye of typhoon Nancy. We were battered by 65-foot seas and winds well more than one hundred miles an hour. There was tremendous damage to the ship. Landing craft were torn from their mounts - 3/4 inch steel cables were snapped like string. A huge winch secured by one-inch bolts was ripped from its mounting and was sliding around the deck causing its own damage. Antennas that were sealed at the factory and mounted on the top of the masts were full of salt water when we finally went in for repairs.

Most of us feared that the ship would capsize and sink. I was hanging onto a radar repeater with my legs spread as wide as I could and I still lost my footing on a couple of the worst rolls. There were several times in the night that if we had tipped one more degree, we would have capsized. The thought of shipwreck was very definite and was not very pleasant. Many of us really doubted that we were going to make it through the night.

A few months after the typhoon we sailed into a harbor in Formosa and as we entered the harbor we saw two Merchant ships that had been forced onto the coast by the storm. Neither was in any shape to ever sail again.

Usually when a ship is wrecked they are never used again.

Those of us in the Northwest in 1999 know well of shipwrecks and their usefulness. The New Karrisa was one big pain in the neck and totally worthless the moment she ran aground. This was a large cargo ship that arrived off the coast of Oregon in a storm. The crew anchored off the coast, but something happened and she ran aground. They invested millions in getting the hulk removed from the coast.

This thought of worthlessness is often true of believers that become sidetracked, though not necessarily! There is always a possibility of restoration.

Faith and a good conscience. The faith I think that we can understand, but do we really understand the importance of a "good conscience?”

What are some of the problems of an unclear conscience?

a. Guilt feelings.

b. Inferiority complex or at least feelings of.

c. Unworthy feeling.

d. Depression which often leads to unclear thinking.

If the above are in place or even a few of them, just how comfortable is a person when the Word is discussed or preached? Normally people are uncomfortable plus. The usual result of these comes in lack of attendance to the things of the Lord, be they devotional life, walk, services or whatever.

Holding faith! It is to be an integrated part of our life. Faith may be "the faith" or “belief” since the context is false teaching etc. however the primary thought to me would be faith in living and more specifically faith for salvation.

HOLDING FAITH AND A GOOD CONSCIENCE is the key to this passage. Timothy was one that was accomplishing this in a proper manner but on the other hand Hymenaeus and Alexander were not.

Here we are nearly into the year 2000 and we are still talking about these two men that Paul named as having been shipwrecked in the faith. What a claim to fame!

It seems to me that these putting aside faith, may well be the false teachers Paul has been talking about all the way through the letter. They have put away faith as a means of salvation and taken the law as a means to salvation. This is the only reason that I can think of that putting away faith would be classified in verse twenty as "blaspheme."


Verse 20

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

Hymenaeus is seen in 2 Timothy 2:17-18 also: "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."

Notice that faith is again mentioned. The doubt caused by this man caused a lack of faith. His false teaching affected others and so it is in life. That is why we avoid, get rid of, eliminate false doctrine from our lives.

The seminarian that I introduced you to in the opening had read a book that had shaken his faith in the Word. That shake resulted in a total breakdown of his faith, thus his dive into the liberal education.

Isn’t this where the person with an unclear conscience ends up quite often? Such a person has no faith in the Word or in the believers around them. They often seek the vain jangling of the false teachers.

Alexander is a common name so we don’t know who he is or what his problem was. Many believe he is the same one mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:14 "Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: 15 Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words. " I assume his error was the same as Hymenaeus.

You notice that Paul took these men into his office and dealt very delicately with them so as not to hurt their feelings. He requested that they sugar coat their teaching so that they could continue to teach, but not offend the more conservative folks in the church.

NO! He turned them over to the Devil.

Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 5:1-7 for a moment to see a similar incident in Paul’s life.

1. It is reported commonly [that there is] fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.

2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, [concerning] him that hath so done this deed,

4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

We know from II Cor. that this man was brought back into the fellowship of the church. He was restored through the church discipline process that the Word of God holds forth.

This seems to speak of apostolic authority, but I firmly believe that church discipline would be a direct application of what Paul did.

It is sad that in our day more churches do not practice church discipline.

While in Wyoming my manager at work was having problems in his marriage - his wife was "having trouble finding herself" as so many young women do. She wanted a divorce. He came to me wanting advice. I told him that I would go to the church board - a very conservative church - and ask them to intervene. He followed that advice and came back a week later to tell me that they would do nothing.

I was blown away that a sound church would not follow Biblical principles - blatantly say no we won’t do this - I asked why and he informed me that both his family and her family were all members of the church and the board did not want to take sides and upset the woman’s family.

The woman went on and got a divorce and the church board put forth a letter to the congregation stating that there was nothing wrong with the couple breaking up, but that they would no longer be able to work with the youth - now if there is nothing wrong, why wouldn’t they be allowed to work with the youth.

This is typical of churches and their dealing with problems and with choosing to not use Biblical principles in the affairs of the church (pun intended).

It is of import, that blaspheme is one of the items for which church discipline is necessary. Morals as in the context of I Corinthians is another and division as well. Basically any outward sin which is detracting from the testimony of the Lord should be considered for discipline.

"That they may learn not to blaspheme" is the clear indication that the turning over to Satan was not a forever item, nor a for life item. It was for educational purposes. You didn’t know the Devil was a teacher did you? Not one I’d care to sit under!

Paul was desirous of seeing these two men come back to their proper place in the fellowship.

There is one item of business that we haven’t covered as yet. What was the charge that Paul committed to Timothy? At first I thought it was the holding faith and good conscience, but then I thought more specifically it might be holding to faith as the only means of salvation - this would result in a good conscience. Lenski suggests that Paul is repeating his charge to Timothy to remove false teachers. This might be more consistent with the thought of waring a good warfare. I suspect Lenski is correct.

As we end chapter one of I Timothy I would like to draw some application.

1. Timothy was told to get the false doctrine and false teachers out of the church.

How dare we do any less in our own day?

We aren’t talking about the little disagreements of interpretation on minor passages. These are not uncommon and should be something that we allow one another to have.

We knew a dear old lady that had some quirks in her thinking. One day at the dinner table she and her grandson’s were having a discussion about whether the wine of the miracle where Christ made wine from water was fermented wine or just juice. She was very emphatic that she didn’t think that it was fermented - that it was only grape juice. The grandsons were trying to gently tell her that it was most likely fermented wine.

She all of a sudden turned to me, the poor innocent bystander that had not been in the conversation, and said, "Stan, do you think the Lord turned that water into fermented wine?" Before I had opportunity to answer she must have sensed my coming answer and said, "Well! Your Lord might but MINE wouldn’t!" That was the end of the discussion.

I know good men on both sides and all get along well together. They realize this isn’t a serious problem. If it is, we are going to really have to talk to the believers in Irian Jaya that use soda crackers and orange juice for the Lord’s table. They can’t get grape juice.

However, if you have someone that begins to teach against the normal sound doctrines, you had better deal with them very quickly.

2. Timothy was told to be a good soldier. We are all soldiers of one sort or another.

Some of us are AWOL or absent with out leave.

Some of us are POW’s or prisoners of war. Tied up in the Devil’s camp.

Some of us are on permanent furlough.

Some of us are just to chicken to show our swords to the enemy.

We sing about being soldiers of the cross and that we should be marching onward, but are we really that type of soldiers?

3. One and two above are directly related!

A correctly doctrined soldier is usually a good soldier, however at times they are so doctrined that they forget to soldier at times.

4. We as believers should be as Paul, in that we are believers and servants of the Lord only by His grace and mercy which He decided to shed upon us at His own good pleasure, and not our superior qualities and talents.

I saw a suggestion in some Gospel Light Sunday school material years ago that suggested the student think of a person that they had known that was very influential in their life and describe them briefly. The point - do you see the following items in their lives?

"pure heart"

"good conscience"

"sincere faith"

"knowledge of sin"

"servant heart"

These are traits we ought to be seeking to instill in our own lives.

Ray Stedman rightly said: "The question this leaves us with is: "What are we doing?" We are called by Christ, called to live a Christian life in a godless world. This is not something to take lightly, something to do on weekends, a low-calorie dessert to add to life to make it more agreeable. We are soldiers in a battle, a fierce war against sin, called by Christ himself to "wage a good warfare, to hold fast to the faith, to hold to a good conscience." God’s image in the eyes of others is at stake. We are to live redemptively in the midst of a fallen world."

Consider your life up to this point in time - is it really a war zone or are you on permanent R & R (Rest and Relaxation leave)?

Bibliographical Information
Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 1". "Derickson's Notes on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/sdn/1-timothy-1.html.
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