1 Timothy 1:8-20
8 Now we know that r the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the s law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, 1 liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to t sound 2 doctrine, 11 in accordance with u the gospel of the glory of v the blessed God w with which I have been entrusted. Christ Jesus Came to Save Sinners 12 I thank him x who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, y appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, z persecutor, and insolent opponent. But a I received mercy b because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and c the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the d faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is e trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus f came into the world to save sinners, g of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To h the King of the ages, i immortal, j invisible, k the only God, l be honor and glory forever and ever. 1 Amen. 18 This charge m I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with n the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may o wage the good warfare, 19 p holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have q made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are r Hymenaeus and s Alexander, whom I t have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to u blaspheme.
1 Timothy 1:8-20
8 Οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι καλὸς ὁ νόμος, ἐάν τις αὐτῷ νομίμως χρῆται, 9 εἰδὼς τοῦτο, ὅτι δικαίῳ νόμος οὐ κεῖται, ἀνόμοις δὲ καὶ ἀνυποτάκτοις, ἀσεβέσιν καὶ ἁμαρτωλοῖς, ἀνοσίοις καὶ βεβήλοις, πατρολῴαις καὶ μητρολῴαις, ἀνδροφόνοις 10 πόρνοις ἀρσενοκοίταις ἀνδραποδισταῖς ψεύσταις ἐπιόρκοις, καὶ εἴ τι ἕτερον τῇ ὑγιαινούσῃ διδασκαλίᾳ ἀντίκειται 11 κατὰ τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς δόξης τοῦ μακαρίου θεοῦ, ὃ ἐπιστεύθην ἐγώ. 12 Χάριν ἔχω τῷ ἐνδυναμώσαντί με Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν, ὅτι πιστόν με ἡγήσατο θέμενος εἰς διακονίαν 13 τὸ πρότερον ὄντα βλάσφημον καὶ διώκτην καὶ ὑβριστήν, ἀλλʼ ἠλεήθην, ὅτι ἀγνοῶν ἐποίησα ἐν ἀπιστίᾳ• 14 ὑπερεπλεόνασεν δὲ ἡ χάρις τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν μετὰ πίστεως καὶ ἀγάπης τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ. 15 πιστὸς ὁ λόγος καὶ πάσης ἀποδοχῆς ἄξιος, ὅτι Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς ἦλθεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἁμαρτωλοὺς σῶσαι, ὧν πρῶτός εἰμι ἐγώ. 16 ἀλλὰ διὰ τοῦτο ἠλεήθην, ἵνα ἐν ἐμοὶ πρώτῳ ἐνδείξηται Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς τὴν ἅπασαν μακροθυμίαν πρὸς ὑποτύπωσιν τῶν μελλόντων πιστεύειν ἐπʼ αὐτῷ εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον. 17 Τῷ δὲ βασιλεῖ τῶν αἰώνων, ἀφθάρτῳ ἀοράτῳ μόνῳ θεῷ, τιμὴ καὶ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων, ἀμήν. 18 Ταύτην τὴν παραγγελίαν παρατίθεμαί σοι, τέκνον Τιμόθεε, κατὰ τὰς προαγούσας ἐπὶ σὲ προφητείας, ἵνα στρατεύῃ ἐν αὐταῖς τὴν καλὴν στρατείαν 19 ἔχων πίστιν καὶ ἀγαθὴν συνείδησιν, ἥν τινες ἀπωσάμενοι περὶ τὴν πίστιν ἐναυάγησαν, 20 ὧν ἐστιν Ὑμέναιος καὶ Ἀλέξανδρος, οὓς παρέδωκα τῷ σατανᾷ, ἵνα παιδευθῶσιν μὴ βλασφημεῖν.
Those who truly love the law, love the gospel Introduction : Context; false teachers who want to be teachers of the law Paul shows the correct use of the law, and how it fits with the gospel And he overflows with love and gratitude to Jesus what's the purpose of the law? what's so amazing about the gospel? why is it necessary to fight as a Christian leader? 1. God's law exposes sin 1.8-11 false teachers were teachers of the law ( 1.7 ), so Paul then shows the right use of the law. He is not against the law! Wants its correct application. Same as Jesus, sermon on the mount etc. It's not, 'the false teachers were teaching the law, therefore the law is bad (or a waste of time at best). Examples of that mindset today. So Paul links to 1.8. All about correct usage; cf 4.3-4 - marriage and creation are good, but must be used correctly. v9 the law is not for the righteous (cf I have not come for the righteous, but for sinners). He's not saying that, made righteous by faith, the law has no place (cf his explicit quotations later from the law). We need his law because we are law-breakers! It appears that their incorrect use of the law was that it was being used to gain knowledge that was speculative ( 6.20 , 1.4 ) and unapplied to their lives, hence meaningless talk ( 1.6 ). Correct use is to convict the sinner of sinfulness and need for salvation, and for the believer to be built up in how to love God and love neighbour. Three uses: convict, restrain, show us how to live/love in a way pleasing to God [cf Paul's prayer for the Colossians etc]. Thus no conflict between OT and NT, since there's an ongoing purpose of the law. And even the bits which were ceremonial are ongoing, since they pointed to a greater covering. The law, rightly applied, makes repentance specific and shines into the accepted sins of the age. Cf slave trade, homosexuality, lying. The point is, the law is not to be taught merely for head knowledge (cf Ezra learned and did and taught). Must connect to evangelism and edification. cf his quotation about the unmuzzled ox as a specific example later on. v8ff sequence of the ten commandments. Paul referring to all ten commandments here. Some sins have weightier consequences humanly, but all condemn us as sinful before God. false teachers had focused on knowledge rather than conviction of sin [nb hallmark of false teaching, less and less repentance. Illustration of hardening] v10-11 sins which contravene the law, also contravene the sound doctrine of the gospel. So the moral code is the same. v11 God's law equates to healthy doctrine, which conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God ( 1.11 ). ie 'no contradiction between the behaviour expected in OT and NT.' [intelligentsia vs diligentsia - important principle for us. Road not rod.] 2. Jesus' mercy saves sinners 1.12-17 v12-17 Paul's biography: all about mercy. His life defined by mercy. E mphatic language about his pre-conversion life as a sinner, and then of God's abundant/overflowing grace etc. John Bunyan quotes this; grace abounding to the chief of sinners How Paul came to be entrusted with the gospel reveals his authority to correct false teachers, and shows what they instead should have as their main focus - the grace of Jesus Christ. Jesus' initiative, not Paul's knowledge or achievement. Our gospel celebrates Jesus' achievement, not man's! Maybe the legalism and asceticism ( 1.7 , 4.3 ) resulted in an inward-looking church, rather than a grace-delighting church that is propelled outwards. So his autobiography celebrates Jesus' patience and grace and mercy. The fruit of the false teachers' ministry is argument, friction, and sterile thinking. The fruit of our true gospel ministry is multiplying thankfulness, praise to God the King 1.17 . 'Any version of evangelicalism which leads to arguments and controversy must be suspect when set alongside genuine evangelicalism which delights in Christ, the cross, overflowing grace and issues in praise to God.' Paul's delight in the gospel after so many years and such experience of teaching it should be a real challenge and example to us. The secret of resilience. 'Any versions of Christianity which fail to excite us about the cross of Christ and which do not lead our hearts inexorably towards worship of God must be suspect.' Law and gospel all consistent, like diagnosis and then cure. 3. God's church needs protecting 1.18-20 v18 this charge again - cf v3 and v5. Faith and good conscience again. It's good warfare since it is for the right ends, done the right way, for the right reasons. The gospel being defended and kept pure and shown to be glorious. v19-20 examples of those who swerved away and rejected the charge. Handed over to Satan, ie excommunicated and put back out into the realm of Satan? fight the good fight, repeated again at the end 6.20. Important. Though God is sovereign, shepherds/teachers are his appointed means Timothy must fight. Must not ignore the problem (classic male response). In the right manner, love and gentleness 6.11-12. Hold on to faith and good conscience. He must not lose the gospel personally in the process - this is a massive deal. Watch yourself. Secondary disease can set in. Dead firefighters etc. Cut the culprits loose. Keep the church safe, and bring the wayward ones to their senses. Exercise of church discipline. Handing over to satan, so hard to do now. Since people just pre-emptively leave and go up the road and cause the same problems there. in my experience, several people with questionable theology have said things like, 'I'm straight down the line on doctrine', or 'this is all about the gospel!', 'of course the gospel's the most important thing'. [Dom Joly sketch of burglar - it doesn't matter what you say, it matters what you do!] [explain why false-gospel discipline is not at all a relational matter; not a matter of, give it time, let wounds heal, clear the air] Shipwreck: a vivid and terrible image. You can't just fudge it or sweep it under the carpet! Not easy, not popular to confront false teaching - and all the relational complication in a church - but you have God's command and endorsement and pleasure in doing so. v19 faith and good conscience again. cf Luke 8.15 parable of sower. As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience. Luke 8:15 ESV Calvin, 'bad conscience the mother of all heresies'. Become so insensitive to the feedback of others, so stubborn to correction. Like driving through a red light again and again until you don't feel anything wrong about it. Stubborn disobedience, unrepented of and unconfessed, hardens you and damages your conscience. And, by the way, you lose joy. Conclusion In summary, at every step 1.8-20 Paul has the false teachers in mind directly or indirectly. They haven't used God's law properly in their teaching 1.8-11, and as self-appointed teachers (cf 1.12-14) they haven't focused on the very centre of the Christian faith - the cross of Jesus and his overflowing grace (1.15-16), so their outcome is friction rather than praise (1.17). So Timothy must take action. Rejecting Jesus leads to personal disaster. So for the sake of everyone, Timothy must act. If you really love the law, then you would really love Jesus, since he is the fulfilment of the law, the giver of the law, the authoritative interpreter of the law, and the one in whom the law is a dear friend to us without condemnation or curse.