1Timothy Chapter One
WITHOUT trying, we model our values. Parents
in particular demonstrate to their children what they consider important and
valuable. "Like father, like son" is not just a well-worn cliché; it's a truth
repeated in our homes. And experience proves that children often follow the
life-styles of their parents, repeating their successes and mistakes.
Timothy is a prime example of one who was influenced by godly relatives. His
mother Eunice and grandmother Lois were Jewish believers who helped shape his
life and promise his spiritual growth (2Timothy 1:5; 3:15). The first "second
generation" Christians mentioned in the New Testament, Timothy became Paul's
protégé and pastor of the church at Ephesus. As a young minister, Timothy faced
all sorts of pressures, conflicts, and challenges from the church and his
surrounding culture. To counsel and encourage Timothy, Paul sent this very
Paul wrote 1 Timothy in about A.D. 64, probably just prior to his final Roman
imprisonment. Because he had appealed to Caesar, Paul was sent as a prisoner to
Rome (see Acts 25-28). Most scholars believed that Paul was released in about
A.D. 62 (possibly because the "statute of limitations" had expired), and that
during the next few years he was able to travel. During this time, he wrote
1 Timothy and Titus. Soon, however, Emperor Nero began his campaign to eliminate
Christianity. It is believed that during this time Paul was imprisoned again and
eventually executed. During this second Roman imprisonment, Paul wrote 2 Timothy.
Titus and the two letters to Timothy comprise what are called the "Pastoral
Paul's first letter to Timothy affirms their relationship (1:2). Paul begins
his fatherly advice, warning Timothy about false teachers (1:3-11) and urging
him to hold on to his faith in Christ (1:12-20). Next, Paul considers public
worship, emphasizing the importance of prayer (2:1-7) and order in church
meetings (2:8-15). This leads to a discussion of the qualifications of church
leaders-overseers and deacons. Here Paul lists specific criteria for each office
Paul speaks again about false teaches, telling Timothy how to recognize them
and respond to them (4:1-16). Next, he gives practical advice on pastoral care
to the young and old (5:1, 2), widows (5:3-16), elders (5:17-25), and slaves
(6:1, 2). Paul concludes by exhorting Timothy to guard his motives (6:3-10),
stand firm in his faith (6:11, 12), to live above reproach (6:13-16), and to
minister faithfully (6:17-21).
First Timothy holds many lessons. If you are a church leader, take note of
Paul's relationship with this young disciple-his careful counsel and guidance.
Measure yourself against the qualifications that Paul gives for overseers and
deacons. If you are young in faith, follow the example of godly Christian
leaders like Timothy, who imitated Paul's life. If you are a parent, remind
yourself of the profound effect a Christian home can have on family members-a
faithful mother and grandmother led Timothy to Christ, and Timothy's ministry
helped change the world.
To give encouragement and instruct Timothy, a young leader
To Whom Written:
Timothy, young church leaders, and all believers everywhere
About A.D. 64, from Rome or Macedonia (possibly Philippi), probably just
prior to Paul's final imprisonment in Rome
Timothy was one of Paul's closest companions. Paul had sent Timothy to
the church at Ephesus to counter the false teaching that had arisen there (1Timothy 1:3, 4). Timothy probably served for a time as a leader in the church at
Ephesus. Paul hoped to visit Timothy (3:14, 15; 4:13), but in the meantime, he
wrote this letter to give Timothy practical advice about the ministry.
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an
example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity"
First Timothy is a personal letter and a handbook of church
administration and discipline.
The Blue Print
1) Instructions on right belief
2) Instructions for the church
3) Instructions for leaders
Paul advised Timothy on such practical topics as
qualifications for church leaders, public worship, confronting false teaching,
and how to treat various groups of people within the church. Right belief and
right behavior are critical for anyone who desires to lead or serve effectively
in the church. We should all believe rightly, participate in church activity,
and minister to one another lovingly.
Paul instructed Timothy to preserve the Christian faith by teaching
sound doctrine and modeling right living. Timothy had to oppose false teachers
who were leading church members away from belief in salvation by faith in Jesus
We must know the truth in order to defend it. We must cling to the
belief that Christ came to save us. We should stay away from those
who twist the words of the Bible for their own purposes.
Prayer in public worship must be done with a proper attitude toward God
and fellow believers.
Christian character must be evident in every aspect of worship. We must
rid ourselves of any anger, resentment, or offensive behavior that might disrupt
worship or damage church unity.
Paul gives specific instructions concerning the qualifications for
church leaders so that the church might honor God and operate smoothly.
Church leaders must be wholly committed to Christ. If you are a new or
young Christian, don't be anxious to become a leader in the church. Seek to
develop your Christian character first. Be sure to seek God, not your own
It takes discipline to be a leader in the church. Timothy, like all
pastors, had to guard his motives, minister faithfully, and live above reproach.
Any pastor must keep morally and spiritually fit.
To stay in good spiritual shape, you must discipline yourself to study
God's Word and obey it. Put your spiritual abilities to work!
The church has a responsibility to care for the needs of all its
members, especially the sick, the poor, and the widowed. Caring must go beyond
Caring for the family of believers demonstrates our Christlike attitude
and exhibits genuine love to nonbelievers.
No person, apart from Jesus himself, shaped
the history of Christianity like the apostle Paul. Even before he was a
believer, his actions were significant. His frenzied persecution of Christians
following Stephen's death got the church started in obeying Christ's final
command to take the gospel worldwide. Paul's personal encounter with Jesus
changed his life. He never lost his fierce intensity, but from then on it was
channeled for the gospel.
Paul was very religious. His training under Gamaliel was the finest
available. His intentions and efforts were sincere. He was a good Pharisee, who
knew the Bible and sincerely believed that this Christian movement was dangerous
to Judaism. Thus Paul hasted the Christian faith and persecuted Christians
Paul got permission to travel to Damascus to capture Christians and bring
them back to Jerusalem. But God stopped him in his hurried tracks on the
Damascus road. Paul personally met Jesus Christ, and his life was never again
Until Paul's conversion, little had been done about carrying the gospel to
non-Jews. Philip had preached in Samaria and to an Ethiopian man; Cornelius, a
Gentile, was converted under Peter, and in Antioch in Syria, some Greeks had
joined the believers. When Barnabas was sent from Jerusalem to check on this
situation, he went to Tarsus to find Paul and bring him to Antioch, and together
they worked among the believers there. They were then sent on a missionary
journey, the first of three Paul would take, that would carry the gospel across
the Roman empire.
The thorny issue of whether Gentile believers had to obey Jewish laws before
they could become Christians caused many problems in the early church. Paul
worked hard to convince the Jews that Gentiles were acceptable to God, but he
spent even more time convincing the Gentiles that they were acceptable to God.
The lives Paul touched were changed and challenged by meeting Christ through
God did not waste any part of Paul-his background, his training, his
citizenship, his mind, or even his weaknesses. Are you willing to let God do the
same for you? You will never know all he can do with you until you allow him to
have all that you are!
Paul's Strengths and Accomplishments
1) Transformed by God from a persecutor of
Christians to a preacher for Christ
2) Preached for Christ throughout the Roman empire on three missionary journeys
3) Wrote letters to various churches, which became part of the New Testament
4) Was never afraid to face an issue head-on and deal with it
5) Was sensitive to God's leading and, despite his strong personality, always
did as God directed
6) Is often called the apostle to the Gentiles
Paul's Weaknesses and Mistakes
1) Witnessed and approved of Stephen's stoning
2) Set out to destroy Christianity by persecuting Christians
Lessons from Paul's Life
1) The Good News is that forgiveness and eternal
life are a gift of God's grace received through faith in Christ and available to
2) Obedience results from a relationship with God, but obedience will never
create or earn that relationship
3) Real freedom doesn't come until we no longer have to prove our freedom
4) God does not waste our time-he will use our past and present so we may serve
him with our future
Paul's Vital Statistics
1) Where: Born in Tarsus, but became a world
traveler for Christ
2) Occupation: Trained as a Pharisee, learned the tent making trade, served as a
3) Contemporaries: Gamaliel, Stephen, the apostles, Luke, Barnabas, Timothy
"For to me, to live is Christ and to die gain. If
I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what
shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and
be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I
remain in the body" (Philippians 1:21-24).
Paul's story is told in Acts 7:58-28:31 and
through his New Testament letters.
Painful lessons are usually doorways to
new opportunities. Even the apostle Paul had much to learn. Shortly after
his disappointing experience with John Mark, Paul recruited another eager
young man, Timothy, to be his assistant. Paul's intense personality may have
been to much for John Mark to handle. It could easily have created the same
problem for Timothy. But Paul seems to have learned a lesson in patience
from his old friend Barnabas. As a result, Timothy became a "son" to Paul.
Timothy probably became a Christian after Paul's first missionary visit
to Lystra (Acts 16:1-5). Timothy already had solid Jewish training in the
Scriptures from his mother and grandmother. By Paul's second visit, Timothy
had grown into a respected disciple of Jesus. He did not hesitate to join
Paul and Silas on their journey. His willingness to be circumcised as an
adult is clearly a mark of his commitment. (Timothy's mixed Greek/Jewish
background could have created problems on their missionary journeys, because
many of their audience would be made up of Jews who were concerned about the
strict keeping of this tradition. Timothy's submission to the rite of
circumcision helped to avoid that potential problem.)
Beyond the tensions created by his mixed racial background, Timothy
seemed to struggle with a naturally timid character and a sensitivity to his
youthfulness. Unfortunately, many who share Timothy's character traits are
quickly written off as too great a risk to deserve much responsibility. By
God's grace, Paul saw great potential in Timothy. Paul demonstrated his
confidence in Timothy by entrusting him with important responsibilities.
Paul sent Timothy as his personal representative to Corinth during a
particularly tense time (1Corinthians 4:14-17). Although Timothy was
apparently ineffective in that difficult mission, Paul did not give up on
him. Timothy continued to travel with Paul.
Our last pictures of Timothy come from the most personal letters in the
New Testament: 1st and 2nd Timothy. The aging apostle Paul was near the end
of his life, but his burning desire to continue his mission had not dimmed.
Paul was writing to one of his closest friends-they had traveled, suffered,
cried, and laughed together. They shared the intense joy of seeing people
respond to the Good News and the agonies of seeing the gospel rejected and
distorted. Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to oversee the young church there
(1Timothy 1:3, 4). He wrote to encourage Timothy and give him needed
direction. These letters have provided comfort and help to countless other
"Timothy's" through the years. When you face a challenge that seems beyond
your abilities, read 1st and 2nd Timothy, and remember that others have
shared your experience.
Timothy's Strengths and
1) Became a believer after Paul's first
missionary journey and joined him for his other two journeys
2) Was a respected Christian in his hometown
3) Was Paul's special representative on several occasions
4) Received two personal letters from Paul
5) Probably knew Paul better than any other person, becoming like a son to
Timothy's Weaknesses and Mistakes
1) Struggled with a timid and reserved nature
2) Allowed others to look down on his youthfulness
3) Was apparently unable to correct some of the problems in the church at
Corinth when Paul sent him there
Lessons from Timothy's Life
1) Youthfulness should not be an excuse for
2) Our inadequacies and inabilities should not keep us from being available
Timothy's Vital Statistics
1) Where: Lystra
2) Occupations: Missionary, pastor
3) Relatives: Mother: Eunice. Grandmother: Lois. Greek father
4) Contemporaries: Paul, Silas, Luke, Mark, Peter, Barnabas
"I have no one else like him [Timothy], who
takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own
interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know that Timothy has proved
himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work
of the gospel" (Philippians 2:20-22).
Timothy's story is told in Acts, starting in
chapter 16. He is also mentioned in Romans 16:21; 1Corinthians 4:17;
1Corinthians 16:10, 11; 2Corinthians 1:1, 19; Philippians 1:1; Philippians
2:19-23; Colossians 1:1; 1Thessalonians 1:1-10; 1Thessalonians 2:3, 4;
1Thessalonians 3:2-6; 1st and 2nd Timothy; Philemon 1; Hebrews 13:23.
(1) Instructions on right belief
1) How was Paul made an apostle of Christ
Jesus, who did Paul write this letter to, and what did Paul call Timothy?
Paul calls himself an apostle, meaning
one who is sent. Paul was sent by Jesus Christ to bring the message of
salvation to the Gentiles (Acts 9:1-20).
How was Paul an apostle "by the command of God?" In Acts 13:1, 2, the Holy
Spirit through the prophets, said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul [Paul]
for the work to which I have called them." From Romans 16:25, 26 and Titus 1:3
it is obvious that Paul regarded his commission as directly from God.
Cross-reference: Acts 13:2; (1) In the
church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called
Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the
tetrarch) and Saul. (2) While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the
Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I
have called them."
This was the beginning of Paul's first
missionary journey. The church was involved in sending Paul and Barnabas, but it
was God's plan. Why did Paul and Barnabas go where they did? (1) The Holy Spirit
led them. (2) They followed the communication routes of the Roman empire-this
made travel easier. (3) They visited key population and culture centers to reach
as many people as possible. (4) They went to cities with synagogues, speaking
first to the Jews in hopes that they would see Jesus as the Messiah and help
spread the Good News to everyone.
The church set apart Barnabas and Saul to the work God had for them. To
set apart means to dedicate for a special purpose. We should dedicate our
pastors, missionaries, and Christian workers for their tasks. We can also
dedicate ourselves to use our time, money, and talents for God's work. Ask God
what he wants you to be set apart for him.
This letter was written to Timothy
in A.D. 64 or 65, after Paul's first imprisonment in Rome (Acts 28:16-31).
Apparently Paul had been out of prison for several years, and during that time
he had visited many churches in Asia and Macedonia. When he and Timothy returned
to Ephesus, they found widespread false teaching in the church. Paul had warned
the Ephesian elders to be on guard against the false teachers who inevitably
would come after he had left (Acts 20:17-31). Paul sent Timothy to lead the
Ephesian church while he moved on to Macedonia. From there Paul wrote this
letter of encouragement and instruction to help Timothy deal with the difficult
situation in the Ephesian church. Later, Paul was arrested again and brought
back to a Roman prison.
Warning Against False Teachers of the Law
2) Why did Paul urge Timothy to stay in
Ephesus, what do these false doctrines promote, and how is God's work done?
The church at Ephesus may have been
plagued by the same heresy that was threatening the church at Colosse-the
teaching that to be acceptable to God, a person had to discover certain hidden
knowledge and had to worship angels (Colossians 2:8, 18).
Cross-reference: Colossian 2:8; See to it
that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which
depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on
Paul writes against any
philosophy of life based only on human ideas and experiences. Paul himself was a
gifted philosopher, so he is not condemning philosophy. He is condemning
teaching that credits humanity, not Christ, with being the answer to life's
problems. That approach becomes a false religion. There are many man-made
approaches to life's problems that totally disregard God. To resist heresy you
must use your mind, keep your eyes on Christ, and study God's Word.
Cross-reference: Colossians 2:18; Do not
let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify
you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen,
and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions.
The false teachers were proud of
their humility! This false humility brought attention and praise to themselves
rather than to God. True humility means seeing ourselves as we really are from
God's perspective, and acting according. People today practice false humility
when they talk negatively about themselves so that others will think they are
spiritual. False humility is self-centered; true humility is God-centered.
Thinking that it would aid in their
salvation, some Ephesians constructed mythical stories based on Old Testament
history or genealogies. The false teachers were motivated by their own interests
rather than Christ's. They embroiled the church in endless and irrelevant
questions and controversies, taking precious time away from the study of the
truth. Today we could also enter into worthless and irrelevant discussions, but
such dispute quickly crowd out the life-changing message of Christ. Stay away
from religious speculation and pointless theological arguments. Such exercise
may seem harmless at first, but they have a way of sidetracking us from the
central message of the gospel-the person and work of Jesus Christ. And they
expend time we should use to share the gospel with others. You should avoid
anything that keeps you from doing God's work.
There are many leaders and authorities today who demand allegiance, some of
whom would even have us turn from Christ to follow them. When they seem to know
the Bible, their influence can be dangerously subtle. How can you recognize
false teaching? (1) It promotes controversies instead of helping people come to
Jesus (1:4). (2) It is often initiated by those whose motivation is to make a
name for themselves (1:7). (3) It will be contrary to the true teaching of the
Scriptures (1:6, 7; 4:1-3). To protect yourself from the deception of false
teachers, you should learn what the Bible teaches and remain steadfast in your
faith in Christ alone.
3) What did Paul say the goal of this command
is, what have some who have wondered away from these commands, turned to, what
do they want to be, and what did Paul say they did not know?
The false teachers were motivated by a spirit
of curiosity and a desire to gain power and prestige. By contrast,
genuine Christian teachers are motivated by sincere faith and a desire to do
what is right. It may be exciting to impress people with our great knowledge,
but high status based on falsehood is ultimately empty.
Arguing about details of the Bible can send us off on interesting but
irrelevant tangents and cause us to miss the intent of God' message. The false
teachers at Ephesus constructed vast speculative systems and then argued about
the minor details of their wholly imaginary ideas. We should allow nothing to
distract us from the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ, the main point of
Scripture. We should know what the Bible says, apply it to our lives daily, and
teach it to others. When we do this, we will be able to evaluate all teachings
in light of the central truth about Jesus. Don't focus on the minute details of
the Bible to the exclusion of the main point God is teaching you.
Paul was writing against those who were engaging in philosophical
speculation based on the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament,
written by Moses).
The false teachers wanted to become famous as teachers of God's law, but
they didn't even understand the law's purpose. The law was not meant to give
believers a list of commands for every occasion, but to show unbelievers their
sin and bring them to God.
4) In which way did Paul say the law is good,
and who is the law made for?
"Perverts" may refer to homosexuals.
There are those who attempt to legitimize homosexuality as an accepted
alternative life-style. Even some Christians say people have a right to choose
their sexual preference. But the Bible specifically calls homosexual behavior
sin (Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:18-32; 1Corinthians 6:9-11).
Cross-reference: Leviticus 18:22; " 'Do
not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." '
Several abominations of wicked
actions, are listed here: (1) having sexual relations with close relatives, (2)
committing adultery, (3) offering children as sacrifices, (4) having homosexual
relations, and (5) having sexual relations with animals. These practices were
common in pagan religions and cultures, and it is easy to see why God dealt
harshly with those who began to follow them. Such practices lead to disease,
deformity, and death. They disrupt family life and society and reveal a low
regard for the value of oneself and of others. Society today takes some of these
practices lightly, even trying to make them acceptable. But they are still sins
in God's eyes. If you consider them acceptable, you are not judging by God's
Cross-reference: Romans 1:18-32; (18) The
wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and
wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (19) since what
may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
(20) For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal
power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has
been made, so that men are without excuse.
(21) For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave
thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were
darkened. (22) Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools (23) and
exchanged the glory of the immoral God for images made to look like moral man
and birds and animals and reptiles.
(24) Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to
sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. (25) They
exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things
rather than the Creator-who is forever praised. Amen.
(26) Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lust. Even their women
exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. (27) In the same way the men
also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one
another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves
the due penalty for their perversion. (28) Furthermore, since they did not think
it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved
mind, to do what ought not to be done. (29) They have become filled with every
kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder,
strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, (30) slanderers, God-haters,
insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey
their parents; (31) they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. (32)
Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve
death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those
who practice them.
Paul clearly portrays the inevitable
downward spiral into sin. First, people reject God; next, they make up their own
ideas of what a god should be and do; then they fall into sin-sexual sin, greed,
hatred, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossip. Finally, they know to hate
God and encourage others to do so. God does not cause this steady progression
toward evil. Rather, when people reject him, he allows them to live as they
choose. God gives them over or permits them to experience the natural
consequences of their sin. Once caught in the downward spiral, no one can pull
himself or herself out. Sinners must trust Christ alone to put them on the path
These people chose to reject God, and God allowed them to do it. God does
not usually stop us from making choices that are against his will. He lets us
declare our supposed independence from him, even though he knows that in time we
will become slaves to our own rebellious choices-we will lose our freedom not to
sin. Does life without God look like freedom to you? Look more closely. There is
no worse slavery than slavery to sin.
People tend to believe lies that reinforce their own selfish, personal
beliefs. Today, more than ever, we need to be careful about the impute we allow
to form our beliefs. With TV, music, movies, and the rest of the media often
presenting sinful life-styles and unwholesome values, we find ourselves
constantly bombarded by attitudes and beliefs that are totally opposed to the
Bible. Be sure about what you allow to form your opinions. The Bible is the only
standard of truth. Evaluate all other opinions in light of its teachings.
God's plan for natural sexual relationships is his ideal for his creation.
Unfortunately, sin distorts the natural use of God's gifts. Sin often means not
only denying God, but also denying the way we are made. When people say that any
sex act is acceptable as long as nobody gets hurt, they are fooling themselves.
In the long run (and often in the short run), sin hurts people-individuals,
families, whole societies. How sad it is that people who worship the things God
made instead of the Creator so often distort and destroy the very things they
claim to value.
We must be careful, however, to
condemn only the practice, and not the people. Those who commit homosexual acts
are not to be feared, ridiculed, or hated. They can be forgiven and their lives
can be transformed. The church should be a haven of forgiveness and healing for
repentant homosexuals without compromising its stance against homosexual
The Lord's Grace to Paul
5) For what reason did Paul thank Christ
Jesus, what did Paul use to be, why was Paul shown mercy, and what was poured
out on Paul abundantly?
People can feel so guilt-ridden by their past
that they think God could never forgive and accept them. But consider Paul's
past. He had scoffed at the teachings of Jesus ("a blasphemer") and hunted down
and murder God's people ("a persecutor and a violent man") before coming to
faith in Christ (Acts 9:1-9). God forgave Paul and used Paul mightily for his
kingdom. No matter how shameful your past, God also can forgive and use you.
We may feel that our faith in God and our love for Christ and for others is
inadequate. But we can be confident that Christ will help our faith and love
grow as our relationship with him deepens.
6) What did Paul say is a trustworthy saying
that deserves full acceptance, what did Paul say he is, for that very reason
(Paul being the worst sinner), why was Paul shown mercy?
"Here is a trustworthy saying" is literally
"faithful the word;" this formula is found only in the Pastoral Letters (see
3:1; 4:9; 2Timothy 2:11; Titus 3:8). Here and in 4:9 we find the added words:
"that deserves full acceptance." This repeated formula is always attached to a
maxim relating to either doctrine or practice, on which full reliance can be
laced. The saying here is "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners."
This is the good news, the heart of the Gospel.
Paul claims that of all sinners he was "the worst"-lit., "first" or "chief."
He felt this way because he had persecuted Christ's followers so vigorously. As
far as morality was concerned, young Saul had been a strict Pharisee, living a
life that was blameless before the law (Philippians 3:5-6). Yet in his case as
chief sinner, Christ's "unlimited patience" had been displayed as an example to
all who would believe in Jesus and thus receive eternal life. Paul's life was a
powerful demonstration of what divine grace can do. (Taken from The NIV Bible
Commentary, Zondervan Publishers).
7) Who did Paul give honor and glory to, for
what reason did Paul give Timothy these instructions, what has some who have
rejected these instructions done, and who did Paul hand over to Satan?
This verse is a typical doxology given by
Paul as a natural, emotional response to these reflections about the mercy of
God. Paul was so moved by God's love that he was able to praise God
Paul highly valued the gift of prophecy (1Corinthians 14:1). Through
prophecy important messages of warning and encouragement came to the church.
Just as pastors are ordained and set apart for ministry in church today. Timothy
had been set apart for ministry when elders laid their hands on him (see 4:14).
Apparently at this ceremony, several believers had prophesied about Timothy's
gift and strengths. These words from the Lord must have encouraged Timothy
throughout his ministry.
How can you hold on to a good conscience? Treasure your faith in Christ more
than anything else and do what you know is right. Each time you deliberately
ignore your conscience, you are hardening your heart. Over a period of time your
capacity to tell right from wrong will diminish. As you walk with God, he will
speak to you through your conscience, letting you know the difference between
right and wrong. Be sure to act on those inner tugs so that you do what is
right-then your conscience will remain clear.
We don't know who Alexander was-he may have been an associate of Hymenaeus.
Hymenaeus's error is explained in 2Timothy 2:17, 18. He weakened people's faith
by teaching that the resurrection had already occurred. Paul says that he handed Hymenaeus over to Satan, meaning that Paul had removed him from the fellowship
of the church. Paul did this so that Hymenaeus would see his error and repent.
The ultimate purpose of this punishment was correction. The church today is too
often lax in disciplining Christians who deliberately sin. Deliberate
disobedience should be responded to quickly and sternly to prevent the entire
congregation from being affected. But discipline must be done in a way that
tries to bring the offender back to Christ and into the loving embrace of the
church. The definition of discipline includes these words: strengthening,
purifying, training, correcting, perfecting. Condemnation, suspicion,
withholding of forgiveness, or permanent exile should not be a part of church
Answers Timothy Chapter One
1) by the command of God our Savior and of Christ
Jesus our hope...Timothy...my true son in the faith
2) so that he may command certain men not to teach false doctrine any longer,
nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies...controversies rather
than God's work...by faith
3) love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere
faith...meaningless talk...teachers of the law...what they are talking about or
what they so confidently affirm
4) if one uses it properly...lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the
unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for
murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and
perjurers-and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms
to the glorious gospel of the blessed God
5) that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service...a blasphemer
and a persecutor and a violent man...because I acted in ignorance and
unbelief...the grace of our Lord, along with the faith and love that are in
6) Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners...the worst...so that in me,
the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an
example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life
7) the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God...so that by following
them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good
conscience...shipwrecked their faith...Hymenaeus and Alexander
Taken from The NIV Life Application Study Bible,