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1Timothy 1:6-17

Thursday Evening Bible Study

January 11, 2018


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Target 3300 words   Video = 75 wpm

Video: The Bible Project – 1Timothy

The book of Acts ends with Paul being in Rome under house arrest.

We believe Paul was later released, and visited various places, including Ephesus.
Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to pastor the church.
This letter was written somewhere around AD 63, to guide Timothy to correct the problems in Ephesus.
Timothy would pastor the church for 30 years, and die a martyr in AD 97.

1:3-11 Correct Doctrine

Last week we saw Paul reminded Timothy of what Paul had instructed him when he put him in charge in Ephesus.

(1 Timothy 1:3–5 NKJV) —3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith. 5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,

The last verse is a reminder of Paul’s motives in his charge to Timothy, as well as what all true, godly teaching is all about.
(1 Timothy 1:5 NLT) The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.

:6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk,

:6 from which some, having strayed

having strayedastocheo (“not” + “to aim”) – to deviate from, miss (the mark); to have bad aim

Some of these bad teachers in Ephesus have stopped aiming at the right thing.

:6 have turned aside to idle talk

have turned asideektrepo – to turn or twist out; in a medical sense used of dislocated limbs; to turn off or aside

idle talkmataiologia – vain talking, empty talk

from mataios – devoid of force, truth, success, result; useless, of no purpose


What’s your point?

They say that if you aim at “nothing”, you’ll surely hit it.
Nobody was better at hitting a target than Robin Hood.
Video:  Robin Hood Prince of Thieves – Readying the Troops
Or …
Video:  Robin Hood Men In Tights – Robin Rescues Ahchoo
These bad teachers were not aiming at anything, and ended up talking about useless things.
When you are a “teacher”, you have to ask yourself, “What am I trying to say?”
Is there a point to your teaching?
I think as a teacher you also need to be asking, “What is the passage trying to say?”

Are you talking about what the passage is talking about?  Or are you just going to jump off and talk about what you want to talk about?

Just a reminder – Paul had told Timothy that the goal of his instruction was to produce “love”.

:7 desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.

:7 desiring to be teachers of the law

desiringthelo – to will, have in mind, intend; to be resolved or determined, to purpose; to desire, to wish

teachers of the lawnomodidaskalos – a teacher and interpreter of the law: among the Jews; of those who among Christians went about as champions and interpreters of the Mosaic law

Paul is specifically talking about the Law of Moses here, the first five books of the Bible.

These bad teachers were focusing their teaching in the church on the Law of Moses, perhaps coming up with goofy things based upon their interpretation of the genealogies (like Genesis 5, 10).

Paul had said in verse 4 that some of their teachings had to do with “endless genealogies”.
(1 Timothy 1:4 NKJV) —4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.

:7 understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm

understandingnoeo – to perceive with the mind, to understand, to have understanding; to think upon, heed, ponder, consider

they saylego – to say, to speak; affirm over, maintain; to teach

they affirm diabebaioomai – to affirm strongly, assert confidently

When these guys spoke, the spoke very strongly about their ideas.

But Paul says they don’t even know what they’re talking about.

I know that when I listen to some teachers, I don’t know what they’re talking about.  I’m not sure they know either.  But they’re confident.
Video:  Turbo Encabulator

The idea is that when these bad teachers spoke, they not only didn’t know what they were talking about, the spoke very strongly and confidently as if they did understand.


Confident vs. Correct

Sometimes we can confuse what we hear as “confidence” in a person’s presentation, with the truth.
What’s hard on our part is when that person is talking about something that we don’t know all that much about.
I find that sometimes I can get pretty confused by the nice young men who show up on my doorstep to talk to me about Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints (Mormons).
I remember once being confused about Ezekiel 37, when they read to me,

(Ezekiel 37:19 NKJV) say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.” ’

They went on to explain that the “stick of Joseph” had something to do with Joseph Smith, and I just gulped and didn’t know what to say.

It wasn’t until years later when I started to read through my Bible every year that I realized that what Ezekiel was talking about was the future unification of the northern and southern kingdoms.  The northern kingdom was called “Joseph” or “Ephraim”.

A person may be sincere, but they may be sincerely wrong.
A sister was sharing with me last week how they took her to the book of Revelation to prove that there are many “gods”, and each god has a “father”.

(Revelation 1:6 NKJV) and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

They were trying to tell her that Jesus had a “God” (the Heavenly Father), and that God Himself also had a “Father”.

Just this week I came across an article reminding me of what is known in Greek grammar as the “Granville Sharp” rule, which has to do with the use of definite article (like our word “the”).  When two words are side by side and connected by the word “and”, and only the first word has the “definite article”, then they are talking about the same person.

In other words, in Rev. 1:6, “God and Father” are not two separate people, but are describing the same person.

Jesus has made us kings and priests to God, who is also Jesus’ Father.  The same person.

:8 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully,

goodkalos – beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable; good, excellent in its nature and characteristics, and therefore well adapted to its ends; praiseworthy, noble; morally good, noble; honorable, conferring honor

lawnomos – anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, a law, a command

lawfullynomimos – lawfully, agreeable to the law, properly

use itchraomai – to receive a loan; borrow; to take for one’s use, to use; to make use of a thing

:8 the law is good

Paul was often misunderstood by people, and Paul doesn’t want people to think that he’s opposed to the Law of Moses, or that he thinks there is something wrong about the Law of Moses.

Paul was often misunderstood by people, or his words were twisted.  We see an example in the book of Romans:

(Romans 3:8 NKJV) And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.
Even today there are people who will twist things in the Scriptures to make it sound as if we should all go out and sin so that we can experience more “grace”.
That’s just wrong.

When Paul went to Jerusalem for Pentecost, one of the reasons a riot broke out was because some of the Jews from Asia (likely Ephesus) misunderstood and twisted things:

(Acts 21:27–29 NKJV) —27 Now when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, 28 crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” 29 (For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)
Paul hadn’t done what he was accused of, but had been misunderstood.

Jesus’ position on the Law of Moses was also misunderstood, yet He said,

(Matthew 5:17–18 NKJV) –17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Some people will take the whole “Old Testament vs. New Testament” thing so far as to say that since we are no longer “under the Law”, that they won’t even read the Old Testament.

The problem is that you will hamper your understanding of the New Testament because the New Testament is built upon the foundation of the Old Testament.

:9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners

ungodlyasebes – destitute of reverential awe towards God, condemning God, impious

sinnershamartolos – devoted to sin, a sinner

:9 but for the lawless and insubordinate

righteousdikaios – righteous, observing divine laws; in a wide sense, upright, righteous, virtuous, keeping the commands of God; innocent, faultless, guiltless

madekeimai – to lie; metaph.  to be (by God’s intent) set, i.e. destined, appointed; of laws, to be made, laid down

lawlessanomos – destitute of (the Mosaic) law; departing from the law, a violator of the law, lawless, wicked

insubordinate anupotaktos – not made subject, unsubjected; that cannot be subjected to control, disobedient, unruly, refractory.  We might say “unsubmissive”.


The Law’s purpose

Sitting on the side of the highway waiting to catch speeding drivers, a State police officer sees a car puttering along at 22 MPH. He thinks to himself, “This driver is just as dangerous as a speeder!” So he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over. Approaching the car, he notices that there are five old ladies-two in the front seat and three in the back-wide-eyed and white as ghosts. The driver, obviously confused, says to him, “Officer, I don’t understand, I was doing exactly the speed limit! What seems to be the problem?” “Ma’am,” the officer replies, “you weren’t speeding, but you should know that driving slower than the speed limit can also be a danger to other drivers.” “Slower than the speed limit? No sir, I was doing the speed limit exactly 22 miles an hour!” the old woman says a bit proudly. The officer, trying to contain a chuckle explains to her that “22” was the highway number, not the speed limit. A bit embarrassed, the woman grinned and thanked the officer for pointing out her error. “But before I let you go, ma’am, I have to ask, is everyone in this car okay? These women seem awfully shaken and they haven’t muttered a single peep this whole time,” the officer asks. “Oh, they’ll be all right in a minute officer. We just got off Highway 119.”

We may not like particular traffic laws when we get pulled over for a ticket, but the laws are there for a purpose.

The value of God’s Law is in its “purpose”.
Its purpose is not to save people.

You aren’t saved because you “keep” the Law.  That’s impossible to do.

The Law’s purpose is to expose sin.
It’s whole goal is to show mankind that we are fallen and in need of a savior.
Without the Law, we would have no need for Jesus.
Paul will state in a few verses:

(1 Timothy 1:15 NKJV) This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

If people claim they are not “sinners”, then we have a tool to show them the truth.

The Law shows us how far short we fall.

We are all sinners.

James wrote,

(James 2:10 NKJV) For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

Jesus would say,

(Matthew 5:20 NKJV) For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

The Pharisees based their righteousness upon following every minute detail of the Law.

Jesus said you had to do better than that.

Then Jesus would teach on the true spirit of the Law.

It wasn’t just putting a knife in someone that counted as “murder”, but even hating someone was “murder”.

It wasn’t just having sex with someone not your spouse that counted as “adultery”, but even lusting in your heart was counted “adultery”.

He said,

(Matthew 5:48 NKJV) Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

When dealing with the false legalism that the Galatians were struggling with, Paul wrote,

(Galatians 3:24 NKJV) Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

The Law shows us our sin.  That shows us we need a Savior, Jesus.

Paul is now going to give a sample list of the kinds of people the law was made for.

Before we look at Paul’s list, I’d like to remind you of the essence of the Law, the Ten Commandments.

(Exodus 20:3–17 NKJV) —3 “You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. 7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. 8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
The first “table” of the Law (written on the first stone tablet) all had to do with man’s relationship with God –
1. No other gods.
2. No carved images.
3. Don’t take God’s name in vain.
4. Honor God on the Sabbath.
The second stone tablet, all having to do with man’s relationship with man.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. 13 “You shall not murder. 14 “You shall not commit adultery. 15 “You shall not steal. 16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
5. Honor parents
6. Don’t murder
7. Don’t commit adultery
8. Don’t steal
9. Don’t lie
10. Don’t covet

Jesus said the entire Law could be summed up with:

1) Love God (first table).
2) Love others (second table).

Now look at the loose list of things Paul pulls together and see if you see anything connecting to the Ten Commandments:

:9 …for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

:10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,

:9 for the unholy and profane

unholyanosios – unholy, impious, wicked

profanebebelos – accessible, lawful to be trodden; profane; unhallowed, common, public place; of men, ungodly

This seems to be a summary of the entire first table of the Law – the laws regarding man’s relationship towards God.

The Law is meant for those who aren’t right with God.

:9 murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers,

murderers of fatherspatraloas – a patricide

murderers of mothersmetraloas – matricide, the murderer of a mother

This sounds like breaking the “honor your father and mother”.

:9 for manslayers

manslayersandrophonos – a murderer

This sounds like the “Don’t commit murder” law.

:10 for fornicators, for sodomites

Fornication is sex outside of marriage.

fornicatorspornos –a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse

sodomitesarsenokoites (“man” + “intercourse”) – one who lies with a male as with a female, homosexual

This sounds like not committing adultery – the sexual laws.

:10 for kidnappers

kidnappersandrapodistes – a slave-dealer, kidnapper, man-stealer

Kidnapping isn’t specifically in the Ten Commandments, but it’s certainly dealt with later in the Law.

Yet this does seem to violate “thou shalt not steal”

:10 for liars, for perjurers

liarspseustes – a liar; one who breaks faith; a false and faithless man

perjurersepiorkos – a false swearer, a perjurer

This is “bearing false witness”.

:10 any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine

soundhugiaino – to be sound, to be well, to be in good health; metaph.  of Christians whose opinions are free from any mixture of error; of one who keeps the graces and is strong

contraryantikeimai – to be set over against, opposite to; to oppose, be adverse to, withstand

Coveting isn’t mentioned specifically, but this sounds like a catch all for everything else.

This is who the Law was intended to for – to show man his sinfulness and his need for a Savior.

This is why God gave us the Law, to show us our sin.

:11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.

committed to my trustpisteuo – to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in; to entrust a thing to one, i.e. his fidelity; to be intrusted with a thing

:11 the glorious gospel of the blessed God

gospeleuaggelion (“good” + “message”) – good tidings

Paul told the Corinthians what that “gospel” was that was entrusted to him.

(1 Corinthians 15:3 NKJV) For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
Good news isn’t good unless there’s bad news too.
The Law gives us the bad news, that we are all sinners.
The Gospel gives us the good news that Jesus died for sinners.  He died to take our place.  He died to pay for our sins.

You can have your sins forgiven and be right with God if you will turn to Jesus.

1:12-17 Grace for Sinners

:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry,

has enabledendunamoo – to be strong, endue with strength, strengthen

countedhegeomai – to lead; to consider, deem, account, think

puttingtithemi – to set, put, place

ministrydiakonia – service, ministering, esp. of those who execute the commands of others

:12 He counted me faithful

faithfulpistos – trusty, faithful; of persons who show themselves faithful in the transaction of business, worthy of trust; that can be relied on

God didn’t put Paul into ministry because Paul had already “proved” himself, because Paul had been a very bad man.

God saw that Paul was worthy of God’s trust.

God knew that Paul would be trustworthy.

:13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

:13 a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man

This is a sample of who Paul was.

Blasphemy would be Paul’s attitude toward Jesus before he believed.  Paul hated Jesus and the church.
Persecutor – Paul even had people put to death for following Jesus.
“Insolent” means that Paul was a prideful man.

blasphemerblasphemos – speaking evil, slanderous, reproachful, railing, abusive

persecutordioktes – persecutor

insolenthubristes – an insolent man; one who, uplifted with pride, either heaps insulting language upon others or does them some shameful act of wrong

obtained mercyeleeo – to have mercy on; to help one afflicted or seeking aid; to help the afflicted, to bring help to the wretched; to experience mercy

ignorantlyagnoeo – to be ignorant, not to know; not to understand, unknown; to err or sin through mistake, to be wrong

unbeliefapistia – unfaithfulness, faithless; want of faith, unbelief

:13 I did it ignorantly in unbelief

When Paul persecuted the church, he didn’t realize who Jesus was or the fact that he was actually fighting against God.

:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

:14 the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant

was exceeding abundanthuperpleonazo – to be exceedingly abundant; to overflow; to possess in excess

As horrible as Paul’s sins were, God’s grace and forgiveness was even greater.

:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

acceptanceapodoche – reception, admission, acceptance, approbation

:15 This is a faithful saying


Learn these things

Paul will use this or similar phrasing five times in these Pastoral Epistles.

He’s saying he wants Timothy and the church to learn these things.

(1 Timothy 1:15 NKJV) This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
Jesus came for us sinners.
(1 Timothy 3:1 NKJV) This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.
It’s not a bad thing to sense a call to being a pastor.
(1 Timothy 4:8–9 NKJV) —8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance.
Exercising your body has some benefit, but exercising your spiritual life is way more important.
(Titus 3:8 NKJV) This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
Believers ought to be known for their good works, and not just “believing”.
(2 Timothy 2:11–13 NKJV) —11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. 12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. 13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
We’ll talk more about this when we get there, but this is thought to be the text of an ancient “hymn” the church would sing.

These were sayings that were to be taught the early church.

The early church didn’t have the luxury of having Bibles, much of what they were taught was through word of mouth.

:15 Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners

This is the faithful saying that should be repeated in all the churches.

Let’s repeat this phrase…
Jesus came to save sinners.
This is the gospel.  This is why Jesus came.

:15 of whom I am chief.


Peeling the Onion

Some preach the gospel with an emphasis that YOU are all sinners.
Paul didn’t have any problem putting himself in the place of the sinner that Jesus had saved.
Notice that he doesn’t say, “I was chief”, but “I AM chief”.
Paul uses a present tense.
We are all still sinners.
Sometimes as Christians we try to pretend to be something we’re not.  We pretend to be better than we really are.
Video:  John Crist – Every Guy at Home Depot
Paul was not embarrassed to say that he was a sinner.  Even the “chief” of sinners.
When you first become a Christian, you are aware of a couple of sins in your life that you need to turn from.

Sometimes it’s a hard battle to get free from some of those “big ones”.

Yet even after you find freedom from those particular sins, you will find that there is another layer of sin in your life waiting for you to deal with.

Maybe your first sins were things like adultery, or drugs.

When you deal with those things, you found there are other things, like greed – living to get more “stuff” in this world.

Then there’s another deeper level, where you start realizing that you’ve still got lust in your heart.

You want things that don’t belong to you.

Or perhaps it’s anger.

Or pride.

Our sin nature is like an onion.
You peel off one layer, and you find there’s another layer under the surface.  And another layer, and another, and another.
We won’t be finished dealing with our sin nature until we are with Jesus.

:16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.

I obtained mercyeleeo – to have mercy on; to help one afflicted or seeking aid; to help the afflicted, to bring help to the wretched; to experience mercy

showendeiknumi – to point out; to show, demonstrate, prove, whether by arguments or by acts; to manifest, display, put forth

longsufferingmakrothumia – patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance; patience, forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs

a patternhupotuposis – an outline, sketch, brief and summary exposition; an example, pattern; to show by the example of my conversation that the same grace which I had obtained would not be wanting also to those who should hereafter believe

(1 Timothy 1:16 NLT) But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.

In other words, if God could save and then use someone like Paul, then God can do the same for you and me.

:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

immortalaphthartos – uncorrupted, not liable to corruption or decay, imperishable; immortal

eternalaion – forever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity

unseenaoratos – unseen, or that which can not be seen, e.g. invisible

alonemonos – alone (without a companion), forsaken, destitute of help, alone, only, merely

wisesophos – wise; forming the best plans and using the best means for their execution

:17 the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise

God is the “eternal King”, the King of eternity.  He is always King.

He is “immortal”, or “incorruptible”.  He doesn’t perish, grow old, or decay.

He is “invisible” or “unseen”.  Though you can’t see Him, He is there.

“God who alone is wise” might be better rendered, “the only God”, or the “One God”, with “wise” being a separate characteristic.

It reminds me of the great “Shema”, the declaration of Israel:
(Deuteronomy 6:4 NKJV) “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!
Jesus said to the Pharisees,
(John 5:44 NKJV) How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?

He is “one” God who manifests Himself in three persons.

And lastly, He is “wise”

:17 be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

This is called a “doxology”, a word of praise and glory toward God.

How do you express praise God?

With simple words like Praise God?  Hallelujah?
Try going deeper like Paul and think about who God is when you praise Him.