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1Timothy 1:18-20

Thursday Evening Bible Study

January 18, 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 in AD 60 with Paul being in Rome under house arrest.

We believe Paul was later released, and visited various places, including Ephesus.

While traveling, Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to pastor the church.

Timothy had spent many years with Paul and was like a spiritual “son” to Paul.

This letter was written somewhere around AD 63, to guide Timothy to correct the problems in Ephesus.

Timothy is in his mid-forties about now.

Timothy would pastor the church for 30 years, and die a martyr in AD 97.

(1 Timothy 1:18–20 NKJV) —18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

1:18-20 The Good Fight

:18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,

chargeparaggelia – announcement, a proclaiming or giving a message to; a charge, a command

commitparatithemi – to place beside or near or set before; to deposit; to intrust, commit to one’s charge

previously madeproago – to lead forward, lead forth; to go before; preceding, prior in time, previous; to proceed, go forward

propheciespropheteia – prophecy; a discourse emanating from divine inspiration and declaring the purposes of God, whether by reproving and admonishing the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things hidden; esp. by foretelling future events

:18 prophecies previously made concerning you

We don’t know when these prophecies were made, nor their content, but they helped set the course for Timothy’s life.

They might have been made when Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to pastor the church.

They might have been from an earlier time, perhaps even when Timothy received some of his spiritual gifts.

(2 Timothy 1:6 NKJV) Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.


God’s calling

It’s God’s calling on our lives that helps us fight the battles of life.
We’ve been reading in Genesis lately about Joseph.
Joseph had dreams from God in his youth about one day ruling over his family.
Yet initially it seemed like those dreams would never come true when his brothers sold him as a slave into Egypt.
Yet even when things got worse, Joseph kept trusting God.
I wonder what part those “dreams” played in helping Joseph stay on course in his life.
Yet one day Joseph found himself exalted in Egypt, saved the world from famine, and found himself ruling over his family.
I have had a sense of God’s calling on my life.
It coalesced when I was 18 at a weeklong Youth camp at Forest Home. The camp started on Sunday afternoon.
My longtime girlfriend broke up with me on Monday, and I was pretty shook up. I had to be around her for the entire week.
I found myself in a place where I was open to God speaking to me.
On Thursday night of that week an old retired pastor named Earl Riley was speaking about serving God, and though he was specifically talking about going to the mission field, as he spoke I felt like God was tugging at me to go into the full-time ministry.

I looked back at my life, at my gifts, at how God had been using me in High School, and it felt like it all came together, that being a pastor was what I was meant to be.

Though I would be a youth pastor, then eventually an assistant pastor, it wouldn’t be until 20 years later that I became a Sr. Pastor.
There were times when I wondered when it would ever happen.
Even after it happened, and we planted Calvary Fullerton in 1994, we went through some difficult times in the early years of the church, with a couple of church splits.

I remember talking with one of the pastors at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa about the difficulties, and he suggested that maybe I wasn’t meant to be a Sr. Pastor.

At first his comment made me feel like quitting, but the more I thought about it I just got mad. God had called me and I was not going to quit.

God wants to have a say in the direction of our lives.
I don’t think it has to come by someone laying their hands on us and prophesying over us.
I do think it’s a good idea to have a sense of your purpose in life though.
(Ephesians 2:10 NKJV) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
It doesn’t have to be about being called to full-time ministry.

Eric Liddell would eventually be a missionary to China, but before that, he ran in the Olympics.

Video: Chariots of Fire – God’s Pleasure – He who honors God

If you don’t know what God has called you to do, then ask Him.

(Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV) ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

God’s call on your life will help you when you face difficulties and attacks. It will keep you on track.

:18 wage the good warfare

wagestrateuomai – to make a military expedition, to lead soldiers to war or to battle, (spoken of a commander); to do military duty, be on active service, be a soldier; to fight

warfarestrateia – an expedition, campaign, military service, warfare; metaph. Paul likens his contest with the difficulties that oppose him in the discharge of his apostolic duties, as warfare



The Greek is literally, “that you may wage war, the good war”
There are some battles we have that are not “good” wars.

I think some of the marital “battles” people fight are not worth fighting, and I think the way we handle some of our conflicts only hurt things instead of help them.

Same with our kids.

Some fights at work are not “good” fights.

But there are some battles are worth fighting.
Video: Lord of the Rings – Legolas slays the Oliphaunt
Paul uses the same words to talk about the war of the mind:
(2 Corinthians 10:3–5 NKJV) —3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ

Sometimes we think that we have no control over our thoughts – that they just come and go as they please.

Paul seems to think that we have the ability to exercise discipline when it comes to our thoughts.

James uses similar language to describe the internal struggle with our sin nature, our “lust”.
(James 4:1–2 NKJV) —1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
Peter also talks about our sin nature as a source of conflict:

(1 Peter 2:11 NKJV) Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,

Our sin nature, which affects all of our internal humanness – our mind, our will, our emotions – is a constant battle that we have to stay aware of and prepared for.

Sometimes our battle is with forces in the spiritual realm. Paul wrote to the Ephesians:
(Ephesians 6:10–13 NKJV) —10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

We need to be prepared to face spiritual attacks.

Jude writes that sometimes the “battle” is with those who want to pervert our faith by twisting the truth.
(Jude 3–4 NKJV) —3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
This battle for truth is part of Timothy’s battle as well, since Paul has already mentioned the bad teachers in Ephesus…

(1 Timothy 1:3 NKJV) As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

My point in all this is to point out that sometimes we focus on one of these conflicts, when there are many to be aware of.
In Paul’s very last letter, he would write,
(2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV) I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Paul uses different language here – but similar ideas:

fightagon – the assembly of the Greeks at their national games; generally, any struggle or contest; a battle

foughtagonizomai – to enter a contest: contend in the gymnastic games; to contend with adversaries, fight

:19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck,

:19 having faith and a good conscience

These are the two things Paul commends to Timothy in fighting his good fight.


How to fight

havingecho – to have, i.e. to hold; to have i.e. own, possess; to hold one’s self to a thing, to lay hold of a thing, to adhere or cling to.

The verb is a present participle, meaning continuous action.

The word “faith” is used twice in this verse, once without the definite article (“the”), and the other with the definite article.
When you add the word “the” to faith, it’s talking about the things that we believe in. It’s talking about correct doctrine.
But the first time (in our current phrase) is without “the”, and it refers to our trust in the Lord.
When we are facing these spiritual battles, we need to fight them in “faith”, from a place of trusting God for our help.
Hezekiah was one of the “good” kings.

(2 Kings 18:5–6 NKJV) —5 He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him. 6 For he held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses.

Hezekiah was the king of the southern kingdom when the Assyrian army was conquering the world.

He made physical preparations for an attack, including digging an amazing tunnel through solid rock to bring water into Jerusalem.

Yet when the Assyrians showed up on his doorstep, Hezekiah took it to God.

(2 Kings 19:14 NKJV) And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord.

Hezekiah prayed. He trusted. He counted on God helping him.

And God delivered. The Angel of the Lord wiped out 185,000 Assyrians in a single night.

good conscience
consciencesuneidesis – the soul as distinguishing between what is morally good and bad, prompting to do the former and shun the latter, commending one, condemning the other
One of our greatest weapons is being able to live with the choices we make because we’ve made our choices with a “good conscience”.
A good conscience comes from making choices that are morally good.

When you are faced with a conflict, and you have the opportunity to do something that’s morally wrong, you choose to do what’s right.

Sometimes we don’t know which choice is morally right. Then the question comes down to faith – are we doing what we “trust” is the right thing.
On the subject of whether or not to eat food that has been sacrificed to idols, Paul wrote,
(Romans 14:22–23 NKJV) —22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

If you have your doubts about something, you might not want to rush into it or else your conscience will “condemn” you.

:19 which some having rejected

rejectedapotheomai – to thrust away, push away, repel; shove away; repudiate, reject, refuse

The word “which” is singular and refers to the “good conscience”.

The people Paul is warning about those who have rejected the warnings of their own conscience.

Your conscience is like the rudder on a ship. When you “reject” the warnings of your conscience, your ship is out of control, and the result is…

:19 concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck

Here “faith” has the definite article – speaking about correct doctrine, the things we believe in.

Those who have rejected operating from a good conscience have strayed from healthy doctrine.

When it comes to correct doctrine, they have “suffered shipwreck”.

Paul uses the same word he used to describe his own literal shipwrecks.
Christians shouldn’t just be good soldiers, but good sailors as well, in navigating the oceans of life.
That requires having a good “rudder”, a “good conscience”.
Some people don’t have a good rudder. Paul warns about a future time when false teachers are…

(1 Timothy 4:2 NKJV) speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,

They will no longer care about right and wrong. They won’t feel conviction.

suffered shipwrecknauageo (“ship” + “break”) – to suffer shipwreck

Theological error is often rooted in moral failure.

When you start fudging in your life on issues of what’s right and what’s wrong, you will start fudging on what the Scriptures say about the truth.

:20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

:20 of whom are Hymenaeus …

Paul now mentions two of the men that have been causing trouble in Ephesus.

HymenaeusHumenaios – “belonging to marriage”

This fellow is also mentioned in 2Timothy:

(2 Timothy 2:14–18 NKJV) —14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.
Hymenaeus had been teaching that Jesus had already come back (the resurrection is past).
His teaching would result in “more ungodliness”.

Notice again the link between moral failings and doctrinal failings.

:20 … and Alexander

AlexanderAlexandros – “man defender”.

The name Alexander is a common one, so the following is simply a possibility, though they are both connected to Ephesus.

At the end of the three years when Paul had started the church in Ephesus, there was a riot.

The idol-makers’ union wasn’t happy that so many people were becoming Christians and getting rid of their idols.

The crowd gathered in the amphitheater in Ephesus, and someone stepped up to apparently defend Paul.

(Acts 19:33–34 NKJV) —33 And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander motioned with his hand, and wanted to make his defense to the people. 34 But when they found out that he was a Jew, all with one voice cried out for about two hours, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!”

If this is the same Alexander as Paul is writing to Timothy about, then he was someone who has a good history with the church in Ephesus, but later caused much harm to the church.

In Paul’s final letter, he mentions Alexander:

(2 Timothy 4:14 NKJV) Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works.

:20 whom I delivered to Satan

delivered toparadidomi – to give into the hands (of another); to give over into (one’s) power or use



Jesus told His disciples:
(Matthew 18:15–18 NKJV) —15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. 18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
It seems to have two simultaneous aspects to it.
In the spiritual realm, Paul is saying that he has turned these fellows into the hands of Satan.

Some have suggested that this “binding” and “loosing” comes into play here.

That sounds kind of scary to me.
Paul is putting these men into the hands of Satan. They can expect great spiritual attack without any defense.
There is spiritual protection when we are connected to one another in church.
Removing someone from the church exposes them to the spiritual nuclear bombs of Satan.
In the earthly realm, churches call this “excommunication”.
Paul is cutting these men off from the fellowship of the church.
We have an example of this with the Corinthians.
(1 Corinthians 5:1–5 NKJV) —1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

:19 that they may learn not to blaspheme

may learn paideuo – to train children; to be instructed or taught or learn; to chastise; of a father punishing his son

Sometimes kids need a little discipline to grow up.

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to blasphemeblasphemeo – to speak reproachfully, rail at, revile, calumniate, blaspheme; to be evil spoken of, reviled, railed at


The goal is maturity

Not punishment.
Sometimes we just have a lot to learn in life, and we won’t learn unless things are a little difficult.

A new prisoner is placed in his cell. Before long it is time for "lights out" and the cellblock becomes dark and nearly silent.

Eventually a voice from the darkness cries out: “Twenty-two!” and everyone breaks out into raucous laughter. A while later another voice calls out “Forty-one!” and again the entire cellblock hoots and roars.

The new prisoner asks the guy in the next cell: “What’s going on?”

The guy says: “We’ve been here so long, we all know each other’s jokes. So we assigned numbers to them, and when we want to tell a joke we just use the number.”

The new prisoner decides to give it a try. He calls out: “Eighteen!”

No response whatsoever ... not even a snicker.

The guy in the next cell says: “Some people just don’t know how to tell a joke.”

The goal for Hymenaeus and Alexander was that they would learn a lesson and turn from their bad doctrine.
When Paul excommunicated the fellow in Corinth, the goal was that “his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus”.
For the guy in Corinth, it seems that it actually worked. Paul followed up in his second letter:
(2 Corinthians 2:5–8 NLT) —5 I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of you more than he hurt me. 6 Most of you opposed him, and that was punishment enough. 7 Now, however, it is time to forgive and comfort him. Otherwise he may be overcome by discouragement. 8 So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him.
Paul wrote to the Galatians,
(Galatians 6:1 NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

Our goal should always be to see bad doctrine corrected, and ungodly lives straightened out.

We start out with confronting in gentleness, and if that doesn’t work, there is an eventual cutting off from fellowship.

But even that can change when the person turns around.