1 Timothy 1

Introduction: The Charge Committed to Timothy
1 Timothy 1
1 Timothy 1. In this first chapter, Paul gives Timothy his apostolic charge. He warns the young man of those who would oppose him, and the character of the false teachers that were making inroads in Ephesus. The error took two forms: (1) bringing human wisdom into the things of God, and (2) bringing the saints under the law. This leads into a digression in the middle of the chapter, a parenthesis, which examines the error of the Judaizing teachers, and also the supremacy of grace demonstrated in the conversion of Paul. At the end of the chapter, Paul resumes the topic of the charge committed to Timothy, and addresses the character that Timothy must maintain. Paul also speaks of those who had made shipwreck of the faith, as a warning to Timothy.

Salutation (1:1-2)

¶ 1 Paul, apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the command of God our Saviour, and of Christ Jesus our hope, v.1 The Writer. In this epistle, Paul doesn’t include other brothers’ names in the greeting, as he often did when writing to an assembly (2 Cor. 1:1; Gal. 1:2; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:1). This letter is a personal letter to Timothy, of a pastoral nature. Paul identifies himself as an “apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the command of God our Saviour, and of Christ Jesus our hope”. In addition to being a personal epistle, it also serves as Timothy’s official commission from Paul, giving him apostolic authority to do what he was instructed. The instructions contained herein come with all the authority of a commandment from God. Notice that God is mentioned as “God our Savior”, not as “God our Father” as in other epistles. In fact, we find the same title found throughout this epistle (1 Tim. 2:3; 4:10), and also throughout Titus. When God is presented in this way, He assumes a character in relation to all mankind; as a God of mercy and grace, reaching out as a deliverer for all mankind. And as such, our behavior as associated with Him is important as a testimony to all mankind; “God our Saviour”.1 Paul’s apostleship is also connected with “Christ Jesus our hope”. This is an expression found uniquely here in our verse. “Christ Jesus” is the Lord’s title as a glorified and exalted man in heaven, and Himself as “our hope” brings before us that we look to Him for deliverance, not only past, but also for the present and the future. It takes in the hope of the Lord’s coming, but more the Person than the event itself. He, a Person, is our hope!
2 to Timotheus, my true child in faith: grace, mercy, peace, from God our Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. v.2 The Recipient. The letter is addressed to “Timotheus”, who is also called “Timothy” elsewhere. Paul refers to Timothy as his spiritual child; “my true child in faith”. It was a wonderful experience for Timothy to work and travel with the apostle Paul; “But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel” (Phil. 2:22). Paul prayed for three things for Timothy; “grace, mercy, and peace”. “Grace” is enabling and sustaining power to walk as God would have us here in this world. “Peace” refers to settled peace with God (Rom. 5:1), not only with regard to our standing, but also with regard to our circumstances. “Mercy” is God’s intervention and deliverance on the part of His people. Mercy is only added when an epistle is addressed to an individual, because the saints collectively are never looked at as an object of mercy, but of grace. These all are from “God” whom we know as “our Father”, and from “Christ Jesus” (the exalted man in glory) whom we know as “our Lord”.

The Charge (1:3-5)

3 Even as I begged thee to remain in Ephesus, when I was going to Macedonia, that thou mightest enjoin some not to teach other doctrines, 4 nor to turn their minds to fables and interminable genealogies, which bring questionings rather than further God’s dispensation, which is in faith. vv.3-4 The Charge. There was evidently something at work in Ephesus that was concerning to Paul. Perhaps it is what we read of in Rev. 2:4; “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” This shows the connection between the heart and walking in the truth. The heart can be attracted to the truth, but it must be embraced by the conscience, or else it will eventually be replaced by something else. Things seemed to be going in a downward direction, and this proved to be true, because we read in the second epistle; “all they which are in Asia be turned away from me” (2 Tim. 1:15). Nevertheless, Timothy was still left there to be a help. And then, even at the end of the second epistle, Paul could say. “Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus” (2 Tim. 4:12). Even when things are trending downward, we should not give up, but instead do what we can. There were a number of things Paul charged Timothy to address.
First, the danger of false doctrine; “not to teach other doctrines”. There is a tremendous danger that false teachers would arise, as Paul warned them; “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:30). False doctrines tend to exalt man, and create divisions among brethren. These false doctrines took two characters primarily. The first character is that of bringing human wisdom or philosophy into the things of God (v.4). The second character was of bringing the saints onto the ground of the law (vv.6-7); i.e. a Judaizing principle. These same two errors are seen in the epistles to the Corinthians and Colossians. 
Having departed from the safe foundation of the Word of God, there was a danger that human wisdom would be brought into the assembly; “nor to turn their minds to fables and interminable genealogies, which bring questionings”. “Fables” are made up stories with a moral lesson, but the story itself is not true. This is what we have left when we turn away from the word of God. Christianity becomes a religion of morals arising from the human imagination, rather than from the Word of God. “Interminable genealogies” are unprofitable topics that have no real answer, but serve instead to occupy the mind, and waste time in useless debate. We find in Ezra 2 that there were some of the priests who could not prove their genealogy in the register, and they were put out from the priesthood “till there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim” (Ezra 2:63). The true answer as to the purity of their priestly lineage was not possible to discover, and will remain so until Christ comes; the Priest with Urim and Thummim. Likewise, there are subjects and questions that can be taken up simply for the purpose of debate and discussion, but there is no end to them. They are designed to throw doubt on the truth, and they only “bring questionings”; they never settle a matter in the soul. They never put the conscience in the presence of God, but they do give a person an exalted view of their own intellect. An example of this might be the young earth / old earth debate. It is possible that the “indeterminable genealogies” refers specifically to the futile attempts made by the Judaizing teachers to prove their roots, in contrast with Paul who could easily do this (Phil. 3) but would not boast in it. If so, a good application of “indeterminable genealogies” would be this: it is unhealthy to occupy the saints with one’s own record or perceived qualifications.
Paul then speaks in v.4 of what we should be doing instead; i.e. to “further God’s dispensation”. Our place in this world is to advance God’s agenda at the present time. Here we have the use of the word “dispensation”, which means “house-law”. Dispensations or administrations are the various ordered dealings of God with men on the earth at different times. The Children of Israel in the Old Testament were in a different dispensation than we are in today, etc. Read more… We need to be occupied with sound doctrine, and that which pertains to God’s present economy in the earth! If we lose our time, we could begin to apply the instructions given to Israel under the law to ourselves under grace (vv.6-17). The foundation of the present dispensation is that God is acting toward all men in grace, not on the ground of the law. That is the first thing Paul addresses in our chapter. But later in ch.3 he brings out to Timothy that the focus of the church ought to be the Person of Christ; “the mystery of godliness”. By being occupied with Christ, the Church thus fulfills its role as the house of God; the pillar and ground of the truth. Notice also that edifying is “in faith”; i.e. the attitude which results in edifying according to God’s purpose is the attitude of faith (2 Tim. 1:13).

But the end of what is enjoined is love out of a pure heart and a good conscience and unfeigned faith;
v.5 The goal of Timothy’s charge. The outcome of what Paul wanted Timothy to do would be “love”. We find in Gal. 5:6 that the motive for Christian ministry is love, and here we find that love is the outcome as well! Love is both the motive and the goal of sound ministry. As we already remarked, Ephesus would be rebuked for leaving their first love (Rev. 2:4), but if they followed what Timothy would lay before them, they would be restored. The love that God desires to see among His people is not the flaky and shallow love of the world. But love is qualified by three terms; “out of a pure heart” or good motives, “a good conscience” or right actions, and “unfeigned faith” or genuine trust in God. This shows us that sound doctrine is not an end in itself. Good doctrine results in good moral conduct; the end of the commandment. God is not only interested in right doctrine in His house, but right behavior.

The Law, Grace, and the Gospel (1:6-17)

A parenthesis. Paul next turns aside in sort of a parenthesis. Having spoken of the “end” or “goal” of the charge given to Timothy as “love out of a pure heart and a good conscience and unfeigned faith”, the issue of the false teachers in Ephesus is brought up. The false teachers were seeking to bring in a state of godliness among the saints through a wrong application of the law. Paul turns aside in a parenthesis to address first the wrong way (law) and then right way (grace) to achieve moral conduct that is suitable to the child of God.2 He shows that grace could work in such a one as himself, the chief of sinners, and make him an example for believers to follow. Later, Paul resumes the topic of the “charge” in v.18.

Judaizing Teachers (vv.6-7)

6 which things some having missed, have turned aside to vain discourse, 7 desiring to be law-teachers, not understanding either what they say or concerning what they so strenuously affirm. vv.6-7 Unlearned Judaizers. The false teachers in Ephesus had “missed” the sound doctrine of Christianity, and instead had turned aside into “vain discourse” or a futile line of teaching. This line of teaching was characterized by mixing law and grace. They desired to be “law-teachers”, but did not really understand the purpose of the law; “not understanding either what they say or concerning what they so strenuously affirm”. They were using the law for the wrong purpose! Paul explains the proper application of the law in vv.8-11. It is possible to teach things wrong things using the word of God, and even strenuously push them on the saints, without really understanding the true purpose of those scriptures.
Judaizing teachers are mentioned in many of the Epistles: they had made inroads among the Corinthians (2 Cor. 11:22), the Philippians (Phil. 3:2), the Colossians (Col. 2:18), the Cretans (Tit. 1:10), but nowhere with as much success as among the Galatian assemblies. The tendency towards natural religion has been the bane of Christianity. They were those of whom Paul wrote, "desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm" (1 Tim. 1:7). They were of Jewish ethnicity but had come under the umbrella of Christianity. They found some benefit to being among Christians. Their primary motive was to gain a following and thereby to profit financially. They claimed to be closely connected to the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, but they could not prove their genealogy as Paul could (Phil. 3). Paul was raised up as a suited vessel to deal with the Judaizers, because he himself had been one!

The Law and Its Proper Use (vv.8-11)

8 Now we know that the law is good if any one uses it lawfully, 9 knowing this, that law has not its application to a righteous person, but to the lawless and insubordinate, to the impious and sinful, to the unholy and profane, to smiters of fathers and smiters of mothers; to murderers, 10 fornicators, sodomites, kidnappers, liars, perjurers; and if any other thing is opposed to sound teaching, 11 according to the glad tidings of the glory of the blessed God, with which “I” have been entrusted. vv.8-11 The Law. There is of course a lawful or proper use of the law, but this implies that we understand why the law was given. The law was given “for the sake of transgressions” (Gal. 3:19), to make “sin exceedingly sinful” (Rom 7:12-13), for “by law is knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20); i.e. the law was given to cause man to see his utter shortcoming of God’s moral standards. The law was never intended to make man more holy. When the law is taken up that way, it becomes a yoke and a burden on believers, and has the opposite effect as intended. It is plainly stated here what the law’s proper application is; “law has not its application to a righteous person, but to the lawless and insubordinate, etc.” This was something the Judaizing teachers were ignorant of. The law speaks to those who are still in Adam, but it has nothing to say to those who are in Christ Jesus, although “the righteous requirement of the law” is “fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to flesh but according to Spirit” (Rom. 8:4). Nevertheless, the law still has its application, and it is often used in the gospel to establish the guilt of sinners, and the need of salvation. Various categories of sinners are given, to whom the law has its lawful application. It begins very general, with self-will; “the lawless and insubordinate” and proceeds to more personal characters, “the impious and sinful”, then to more religious evil, “the unholy and profane”, then to sins against the family, “smiters of fathers and smiters of mothers”, then to various forms of gross moral evil, “murderers, fornicators, sodomites, kidnappers, liars, perjurers”. It is interesting that western civilization still considers some of these types of individuals evil, such as “kidnappers” and “murderers”, but has reversed public opinion on others, such as “fornicators” and “sodomites”. However, the latter two are listed between the former two, showing that they cannot be segregated. Homosexuality has not ceased to be wrong simply because we live in New Testament times. The law still has its application to sinners; i.e. it condemns them. It is interesting that he adds, “if any other thing is opposed to sound teaching, according to the glad tidings of the glory of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted”. This shows that “sound teaching” isn’t merely theoretical doctrine, but also can be very practical! Practical teaching, which is linked to “the glad tidings of the glory of the blessed God”, covers upright moral behavior; therefore anything opposed to it is wrong. It is interesting that here those who oppose sound Christian teaching are classed with the sinners to whom the law applies! God’s moral ways never change, and what was immoral in the Old Testament is immoral in the New.3 But for all the law says, it cannot save sinners, nor does it give the sinner the power to change. But “what the law could not do” (Rom. 8:3), grace was able to do!
The Gospel of the Glory. In v.11 Paul had noted that “the gospel of the glory of God” had been entrusted to him.

The gospel is called "the gospel of the glory" because it takes in not only the sacrificial death of Christ, but also His being raised and seated at the Father's right hand in heaven! The gospel itself is not glorious, but the Person presented in the gospel is glorious. The full Christian gospel not only presents a humbled Man on the earth, but a glorified Man in heaven! Elsewhere we read of "the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24). These are the two aspects of “the gospel of God” which Paul preached. The gospel of the grace presents God coming down to meet man’s need, and the gospel of the glory presents Christ being raised from the dead and exalted at God's right hand. All of the apostles preached the gospel of  the grace of God, but the gospel of the glory was entrusted especially to Paul (1 Tim. 1:11), and most likely it is the gospel in this aspect that he elsewhere refers to as "my gospel" (Rom. 2:16; 16:25; 2 Tim. 2:8; 2 Cor. 4:3).

Grace Can Convert and Transform Sinners: As Paul Is an Example (vv.12-17)

12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me power, that he has counted me faithful, appointing to ministry him 13 who before was a blasphemer and persecutor, and an insolent overbearing man: but mercy was shewn me because I did it ignorantly, in unbelief. 14 But the grace of our Lord surpassingly over-abounded with faith and love, which is in Christ Jesus. vv.12-14 Grace reaching the chief of sinners. Law-keeping produces pride, but grace produces thankfulness; “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord”. The Lord had reached down to Saul of Tarsus, and picked him up in grace, saved him, transformed him, empowered him, and appointed him to service. This very one “before was a blasphemer and persecutor, and an insolent overbearing man”, referring to his character and conduct before conversion. “Blasphemy” is to speak evil of, insult the character of, or use injurious language against someone, usually a Divine Person (Luke 22:64-65; 1 Tim. 6:1; Rev. 16:9). Saul blasphemed the name of Christ by denying that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. He even compelled others to blaspheme (Acts 26:11). He persecuted the saints (Acts 9:2), but he was really persecuting the Lord, because the saints are His body (Acts 9:4). Paul also reflected that he was “an insolent overbearing man”, showing that there was a rudeness, a lack of respect, and an arrogance in his demeanor. Amazing humility, that Paul would be able to acknowledge what he had been before mercy and grace reached him. Paul never forgot what he was, and never made light of it.4 The first thing Paul needed was mercy; to spare him from the governmental consequences of his own sins. Ordinarily, Paul’s past history would disqualify him from any kind of public service; “but mercy was shewn me because I did it ignorantly, in unbelief” (compare Heb. 10:26). But God does not stop with mercy. Mercy does not give us what we do deserve (i.e. judgment), but grace gives us what we do not deserve (i.e. blessing). Mercy is a negative thing, and grace a positive thing, although both are equally undeserved by us. But it is grace that comes into view here in the conversion and transformation of the apostle Paul. Under Judaism, he was an insolent and overbearing man, but under grace he because something totally different; “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Rom. 5:20). And so, “the grace of our Lord surpassingly over-abounded”, and Paul was converted and transformed. Unbelief was exchanged for “faith”, hatred was exchanged for “love”, and all of this “in Christ Jesus”.
15 Faithful is the word, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom “I” am the first [‘proto’]. v.15 The Faithful Word. Paul then repeats a saying that had become popular among believers, and he commends it heartily! The truth of the gospel is summarized splendidly in these few words; “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. This saying is the heart of the gospel, and it is “worthy of all acceptation”. But it was also extremely personal to the apostle Paul. He speaks of “sinners”, referring to the kinds of sinners in vv.9-10. The law can only condemn such. But Christ Jesus saves them! Then Paul adds, “of whom I am chief [the first]. He classed himself, not only among sinners, but as the chief, leader, or prototype of sinners. It wasn’t that Paul had actually committed the most sins – more that Stalin, Mao, Hitler, etc. – but rather that Paul had led the charge against Christ, and in a certain sense represented sinners in general. We get an indication of this in Acts 7:58 at the stoning of Stephen; “and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul”. Saul was not content to reject Christ, or even to have Christians in Jerusalem persecuted; he carried the hatred abroad to other cities! Saul of Tarsus was the chief, figurehead we might say, of the opposition to Christ. But Christ saved him, and in v.16 we find that Paul became the figurehead of something else!
16 But for this reason mercy was shewn me, that in me, the first [‘proto’], Jesus Christ might display the whole long-suffering, for a delineation of those about to believe on him to life eternal. v.16 Paul the Prototype of Grace. No matter how great the hatred and enmity of man, the grace and love of God was greater! There was another, higher reason for Paul’s salvation, and it was a reason that went far beyond his own personal blessing. It is difficult to grasp the meaning of these verses unless we see that “chief” in v.15 and “me first” in v.16 are really the same Greek word ‘proto’ from which we get our English word ‘prototype’. God intended the life of the apostle Paul to be a “pattern” for those who would later believe and receive eternal life. In a sense Paul is a picture of the Jews in general: guilty of persecuting the Lord, presently enemies for the gospel’s sake, but eventually shown mercy because they knew not what they did, long-suffered with by God, who will save them in the end. How many sinners have learned of Saul of Tarsus, and thought, “If he can be saved, so can I!” God’s long-suffering overcame the most insolent and overbearing of Christ’s enemies, and it was thus magnified in the conversion of Paul. Paul’s ministry was thus founded on the revelation of grace, but also it was carried out by one who had experienced God’s grace deeply way in his own personal life.
17 Now to the King of the ages, the incorruptible, invisible, only God, honour and glory to the ages of ages. Amen. v.17 Doxology. These considerations concerning the grace and wisdom of God overwhelmingly worked to produced a state in the inspired apostle that flowed out in a chorus of praise and adoration. This doxology, or sudden burst of praise, reflects on the sovereignty of God. As “King of the ages”, God is superior to all times and circumstances. As “the incorruptible”, God is superior to evil; His essential character can never be corrupted. As “invisible”, God is transcendent; beyond or above the range of normal or merely physical human experience (Col. 1:15). As “only God”, He stands apart from all other objects of human worship; the one true God. To Him be “honour and glory” not just for time, but for eternity; “to the ages of ages”. Paul concludes the doxology with “Amen“, a fitting Christian response to the affirmation of God’s glory and wisdom!

The Charge Continued (1:18-20)

18 This charge, my child Timotheus, I commit to thee, according to the prophecies as to thee preceding, in order that thou mightest war by them the good warfare, 19 maintaining faith and a good conscience; which last some, having put away, have made shipwreck as to faith; vv.18-19 The Good Warfare. Paul now returns to the subject of the charge committed to Timothy, which he had mentioned in v.3 and v.5. Just as in Antioch, when the Holy Spirit – no doubt through the instrumentality of a prophet – said “separate unto me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them” (Acts 13:2), so Timothy had “prophecies” that preceded his being formally given this charge by the apostle Paul. Later we find that, in addition to the prophecies, the elderhood had laid hands on Timothy, showing their fellowship with his ministry (1 Tim. 4:14). The “by them” might be a little confusing. The prophecies weren’t some kind of magic armor used by Timothy in his warfare. These prophecies would be an encouragement to Timothy in the conflict, realizing that the Spirit of God had chosen him for the work.
Timothy’s task is presented by Paul in terms of “a good warfare”. We find in Ephesians 6 that Satan and his servants are active to oppose the work of God, and the Christian’s armor is presented there. It is a warfare because there will be great opposition for those who seek to further God’s dispensation. The character of warfare is a little different in Ephesians and 1 Timothy, and the difference can be seen typically in the Old Testament books of Joshua and Judges. In Joshua the battle was to possess and hold the land, but in Judges God was raising up individual judges to deliver the people of Israel from the Canaanites. Timothy’s warfare was much like the warfare in Judges. Generally, this warfare is the continual struggle to live for God’s glory in an evil world. The armor is not mentioned here by name, but we do have two important things also seen in the shield of faith and the breastplate of righteousness. Timothy was to maintain “faith and a good conscience”, which means he was to keep his confidence in God, and also maintain practical righteousness. We maintain a good conscience through self-judgment, followed by confession. If we slip into sin and don’t confess it, we must live with a bad conscience, but it will eventually become hardened. Failure to judge sin leads us down a dark road. The tendency is for us to pervert our doctrine to accommodate our walk, and this leads to complete disaster and defeat; i.e. “shipwreck as to faith”. What follows in ch.2 is priesthood, and we can readily see a connection between priesthood can a good conscience. If we sin, we are to confess it to the Lord (1 John 2:1), and He is faithful to forgive us. By continually coming before the Lord, and keeping short accounts with Him, we can maintain a good conscience.
20 of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered to Satan, that they may be taught by discipline not to blaspheme. v.20 Hymenaeus and Alexander. Paul gives an example of two men who did not keep a good conscience, and as a result eventually “made shipwreck as to faith”. The two men were Hymenaeus and Alexander, at least one of whom is also mentioned in the second epistle. These two men had been “delivered unto Satan” by the apostle, “that they may be taught by discipline not to blaspheme”. We might compare this with 1 Corinthians 5:5, where delivering to Satan is mentioned again, and Paul says “with my spirit”. We gather from the two passages that delivering unto Satan is an apostolic function, which we cannot do today. It may involve physical, mental, and spiritual anguish. These two men, Hymenaeus and Alexander, were delivered to Satan for blasphemy, but in 1 Corinthians 5 it was for fornication. Deliverance unto Satan results in “the destruction of the flesh”, and it was a form of apostolic “discipline”. Satan is a destructive agent, and given permission he will rip and tear everything God has made to shreds (e.g. Luke 8:33; Mark 9:18). God restrains Satan, but on occasion allows him to destroy things as part of God’s government. We see an example of the destruction of the flesh in Job, as a mechanism of chastening. Job eventually repented in dust and ashes, and the chastening was lifted. This shows how God can use Satan, in all his destructive energy, for the blessing of God’s people when chastening is needed. Just as a man builds a fire, or contains it in an engine to produce work, so God in His government uses Satan as a tool to work out His will. It isn’t “a sin unto death” (1 John 5:16). A “sin unto death” results in death regardless of repentance. But a person once delivered unto Satan could find relief from the physical pain by repenting. We do not have apostles today, and so we cannot deliver unto Satan. But we do have the presence of the Lord in the midst of those gathered to His Name, and we do have authority to put out wicked persons from our midst. Hymenaeus is mentioned in the second epistle along Philetus (2 Tim. 2:17), and there we find he was still engaged with teaching evil doctrine. Alexander may be the same “Alexander the coppersmith” as found in 2 Tim. 4:14-15, who had done Paul “much evil” and “greatly withstood” Paul’s teaching, and against whom Timothy was to be “on guard”. These two individuals stood as a warning to Timothy of what can happen if we do not maintain faith and a good conscience.
  1. God assumes here, in a peculiar way, the character of a Saviour-God with regard to the world: a principle of great importance in all that concerns our conversation in the world and our intercourse with men. We represent in our religious character a God of love. This was not the case in Judaism. He was indeed the same God; but there He took the character of a Lawgiver. All were indeed to come to His temple according to the declaration of the prophets, and His temple was open to them; but He did not characterise Himself as a Saviour-God for all. In Titus we find the same expression. – Darby, J.N. Synopsis of the Books of the Bible.
  2. Anstey, B. The First Epistle to Timothy: The Order of God’s House. Canada, 2011.
  3. In fact, nine out of the ten commandments are brought into the New Testament and used in connection with Christian living. Each time a commandment is brought in, it is used for the moral import of the command, but the Christian is never put under the commandments as a law. The one commandment that is NOT brought into the New Testament for Christian living is the one ceremonial commandment (the Sabbath), because it does not have a moral application in Christianity. Read more…
  4. Paul's sense of his own sin did not lessen with time. There can be a tendency to think higher of ourselves as time passes in light of past wrongs. Not Paul. Writing in A.D. 54 he referred to himself as "not fit to be called apostle" (1 Cor. 15:9), in A.D. 64 as "less than the least of all saints" (Eph. 3:8), and in A.D. 65 as "the chief of sinners" (1 Tim. 1:15). His humility only grew as time went on! Interestingly, his sense of the light of God's glory which shone about him on the Damascus road also increased each time the story is told (Acts 9:3; 22:6; 26:13).