After Paul had shared with Timothy something of the nature of the task he had sent him to complete in Ephesus and something of his testimony about the grace of God, in 1 Timothy 1:18-20, Paul sought to reinforce something of the importance of the task that Timothy had before him. To prove faithful, Timothy would need to faithfully disharge his own commission which Paul had given him and the prophecies that had been made concerning him. Timothy would also need to hang on to faith and keeping a good conscience, as well as avoiding the mistakes of others like Hymenaeus and Alexander who had made a ‘shipwreck’ of their faith. The Titanic was laid low by icebergs that were unseen. Timothy should watch out for them both large and small, as must God’s people in every generation. There are many ‘icebergs’ of many kinds that will seek to trip up even the most wary.
After the Apostle Paul had given the young pastor, Timothy, a brief summary of his conversion and how it did not come about through law but because of grace, Paul added a brief summary of the gospel message he proclaimed in 1 Timothy 1:15-17. In these verses are the first of 5 ‘trustworthy sayings’ that are found in Paul’s letters to Timothy and to Titus. In this trustworthy saying, Paul outlined the ‘gospel in miniature’ by saying, ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst’. These verses add to the weight of Paul’s own testimony, that his salvation was all of grace, freely given to the most undeserving of his time. The result of it all is the grand doxology of verse 17. When grace changes the human heart, the result will be praise to the One who saves completely all those who come to Him (Jesus).
It was hot…too hot…but we had a great time handing out free ‘scotch biscuits’ and leaflets about how the Presbyterian Church found it’s way to Bendigo…and how people can get in contact with us today plus some good news from God! We also had opportunity for people to complete a quiz on Scotland’s geography, culture and religious history! Phew! Exhausting! But all worth it! Thanks team for a great effort!
After the Apostle Paul had urged the young pastor, Timothy, to stay in Ephesus and straighten out the church there that was being led astray by false teaching, in 1 Timothy 1:12-14, Paul referred to himself as ‘Exhibit A’ in relation to those who were using the Law of God the wrong way. Paul had once considered himself righteous by his own (mis)understanding of what the Law taught. As a result he became a violent persecutor and hater of Christians. However, after he met the risen Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus in Acts 9, Paul was transformed. Grace was given to him by God. Not only did he come to know the forgiveness of his sins but he also knew of the calling of God upon his life to serve the One who had hated and persecuted. Paul’s testimony was all of grace and stands to remind us that God forgives and receives even the ‘worst’ of sinners.
When the Apostle Paul wrote letters he did so for good reasons and his first letter to Timothy is no exception to that rule. Timothy had been sent by Paul to pastor and teach the believers at Ephesus in the first century AD. The church had been torn apart by an influx of false teachers who were leading many astray from the truth of the gospel, so Paul sent Timothy there to bring it back onto the straight and narrow. As this is a personal letter from Paul to Timothy, it would be easy for us to set it aside as irrelevant to modern needs, but nothing much has changed since those days. The need remains for sound teaching that will bring a church back to health, and this sound teaching must and will show itself in the fruit and the grace of love. God’s people are to be a people who love the truth while also known by their love.