Hello, all you lovely people! I hope everyone has had a wonderful week, and hope this week brings you even more joy! I just got finished with 1 and 2 Timothy, and I'm AMAZED that this has been sitting here all along and I've never truly looked into the letters. So, I thought it would be wonderful to go through them together. Here we go!
The following passage is the first chapter of 1 Timothy (NIV):
"1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
2 To Timothy my true son in the faith:
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Timothy Charged to Oppose False Teachers
3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith.5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.
8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
The Lord’s Grace to Paul
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The Charge to Timothy Renewed
18 Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well,19 holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith. 20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme."
Now that you've read, or probably skimmed, this passage entirely, we are going to go through it step by step. ;)
As many may know or not know, this is a letter to Timothy from Paul while Paul is in his last days in prison. Paul sent these letters to counsel and encourage Timothy in the truth and grace. The first section that he teaches Timothy is against false teaching. In verses 3-4, he tells him to stay in Ephesus and help stop the false teaching. What is false teaching? Anything that is contrary to God's word i.e. "it's ok to interpret the Bible to what we need today." Yikes! How many times do you see that today, because I see that a lot! The Bible was written by God perfectly, with God knowing that it would be in existence today, tomorrow, and forever. Why would He create a book of Life that wouldn't be appropriate for all of time? Paul then continues to say the goal of the command is love, which shows the readers that part of loving one another is telling the true Word, and teaching the sincere faith and doctrine. If you love someone, you wouldn't want them to go astray, right? Also, if you love God, you wouldn't want to leave other people wandering in false teachings away from the glorious One you love.
Continuing in this first section of the passage, Paul talks about who the law was made for: the rebellious, the unclean, the rebels, etc. The ones who usually you may not want to be associated with but guess what! That's you before you turn to God, so yes, it was written for you. We are unperfect people, and when we find God (yay), we still need guidance on how to help others or to get closer with God. Check out the rest of that list:
"the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
Wow, so basically, God wrote this law, this brilliant book, to save these people. If he has called you and you have come to Christ, this book is not for you to hide with yourself or get caught up in false teaching at a false church that doesn't welcome these people to be taught, it's for those people--aka for all people to come learn and grow and repent. The reason he states this is because it is so important to not conform to false teaching. Check out the following verses that say the same:
2 Peter 3:14-18
I could go on, but God is very clear about not worshipping false idols, and not teaching or listening to false prophets. If you feel unsure about what you are listening to at church, or if you are uncertain about anything like this, pray about it, and read this book. I promise you won't be discouraged when you do.
As we continue in this chapter, we see Paul talk about how awesome God's mercy and grace is. Just as a reminder, Paul is writing this within a prison cell that's probably worse than what you're picturing, about to be executed. He still knows that God has blessed him because Heaven awaits. What strength and joy! Paul used to be Saul, who executed and tortured followers of Jesus (See the book of Acts for his transformation, it's crazy), and now has written all of these letters and taught many people about the truth of Christ. That's called glory to God. That's called repentance and turning a 180* on sin.
" Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst." - verse 15
Remember who the law is for? Keep reading, it gets so good.
"But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life." - verse 16
God had mercy on him so that Jesus could use him as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners.
That's what this is all about--that's why false teaching is so important to get rid of, and so important to keep reading this wonderful Word of God to learn and grow and embrace. It's so wonderful and incredible.
He closes with encouraging Timothy (us) to "cling to [the] faith," to not reject or be violating their conscience, and to fight the good fight of God. We all can use this within our daily life, literally daily, because everyday on this earth can be a battle, right? But you aren't alone, and you can have the best encouragement in truth right here in the Word. 1 Timothy, yall, it's great.
Next will be on chapter 2 so stay tuned and subscribe!! Also, check out Elevated Faith, an awesome Christian online shop of wonderfully made apparel and items, by using this link. And finally, check out my latest prayer request forum here! I want to pray for you! Much love.