1 Timothy 1
The Charge (1:3-5)
5 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 sounds 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)
The Law and its Proper Use (vv.8-11)
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 is Able to Convert and Transform Sinners: as Paul is an Example (vv.12-17)
The Charge Continued (1:18-20)
- 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.
- Anstey, B. The First Epistle to Timothy: The Order of God’s House. Canada, 2011.
- 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…
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).