I Timothy 1

Witnesses of Christ must not only be charged to preach the true Gospel doctrine but charged to preach no other doctrine, for it needs no improvement, and to add the letter of the law to the doctrines of grace is an impossible mixture, leading to unprofitable jangling. Those answer the end of the law who have a good conscience toward Christ and faith unfeigned.

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

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,

4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

5 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;

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, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

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;

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

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.

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.

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

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

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;

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.

1 Timothy 1:1-11 – ​A Charge against “Vain Jangling.”

   The relation of Paul to Timothy is an example of one of those beautiful friendships between an older and a younger man, in which each is the complement of the other (1 Corinthians 4:17; Philippians 2:22). Timothy was a lad of 15 when converted at Lystra, and was probably about 35 years of age when this Epistle was addressed to him. He was enthusiastic and devoted but at times showed signs of timidity, and the Apostle watched over him with tender interest.
   In this chapter the young minister is warned against the Gnostic heresy, i.e., the heresy of the knowing-ones, who pretended to give revelations about the angels and their ministry, and to bridge the gulf between man and God by a whole series of mysterious imaginary beings. Their teaching led from spiritual pride to sensuality, for they accounted the body as inherently evil. All this was contrary to sound doctrine. That word sound, or wholesome, is peculiar to the Pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy 6:33; 2 Timothy 1:13; 4:3; Titus 1:9; 2:1). It suggests a certain test of the various teachers who cross our paths. The question always is, Do these words of theirs promote the health of the soul, and above all, charity out of a pure heart and a good conscience? (Meyer)

1 Timothy 1:5 – In the Cathedral of St. Mark, in Venice – a marvelous building, lustrous with an Oriental splendor far beyond description – there are pillars said to have been brought from Solomon’s Temple; these are of alabaster, a substance firm and durable as granite, and yet transparent, so that the light glows through them. Behold an emblem of what all true pillars of the Church should be – firm in their faith, and transparent in their character; men of simple mould, ignorant of tortuous and deceptive ways, and yet men of strong will, not readily to be led aside or bent from their uprightness. (Spurgeon)

I Timothy 1:12-20 – An Example of Christ’s Long-Suffering

   The Apostle breaks off into expressions of heartfelt thanks to God for the abounding grace which had overcome his former obstinacy and blindness. Only his ignorance could palliate his outrage and insult toward Christ, who was now the beloved object of his entire surrender. He had been a blasphemer against God, Acts 26:9-11; a persecutor towards his fellow-men, Galatians 1:13; injurious, insolent,  full of overweening pride. He felt that he had been the chief of sinners, because he had sinned against more knowledge and opportunity than others. It is only when we see God, that we know ourselves and repent in dust and ashes. The Apostle, however, comforted himself in this at least, that through coming time the most hopeless and abandoned sinners would take heart as they considered his case. He was a sample of mercy, a specimen of what Christ could do, an outline sketch to be filled in. Faith rests on Christ as foundation. Peter and John conceive of union with him, to which all else is preliminary. War the good warfare, that against sin. When men thrust away faith and a good conscience, they stab their pilot and make shipwreck. See II Timothy 2:17-18; 4:14-15. – Through the Bible Day by Day

I Timothy 1:15—Sinners; of whom I am chief.

​   If the elephant can go safely over the swaying bridge, the horse and mule can; and the apostle seems to glory that in the very beginning of the progress of the Gospel through the world it had laid hold of and converted himself, because if he had been saved, any one might be. As men have been brought under conviction, in successive ages, it has been a profound consolation to learn that the chief of sinners has been in heaven for eighteen hundred years. In him first Jesus Christ showed forth “all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe” (v. 16).
   Without doubt Paul never forgot the excess of his hatred and persecutions towards the infant Church. But probably he alludes here also to the deepening consciousness of unworthiness and sinfulness which accompanies all progress towards the knowledge and love of God. This phase of experience may be accounted for thus. The true saint of God, though certain of forgiveness, reviews his past sins in the light of that purity of which he is ever obtaining truer perceptions, and thus recognizes shades of evil in them which a slighter knowledge of God had failed to reveal. He also feels himself a greater sinner than others, because he supposes that God cannot have treated another with the same forbearance and mercy as have been extended to himself; and the greater the love the more heinous the transgression. And in addition, as subtler forms of temptation are suggested to him, and to every one, he knows that there are kindred susceptibilities within him, even though they are abhorred and resisted. It is beneath the pressure of such thoughts that he recognizes his uttermost indebtedness to the grace of God. (Meyer)