Thursday, September 16, 2010

First Timothy Chapter One

Paul begins this book like he does so many others, by emphatically stating his apostolic authority. It is interesting that Paul says that he was an apostle because of the “command” of God. Paul told us in the epistle of Ephesians that he was an apostle by the “will” of God but now he does not the word “will” but rather the word “command”. I wonder if Paul (Saul) felt unworthy to be an apostle at first. He mentions several times in his writings that he did many terrible things to the cause of Christ, going as far as to call himself the “chief of sinners.” Paul did not walk with Christ as the other disciples did, he never saw a miracle, never heard a sermon.

Obviously there came a point where God told Paul he was going to be an apostle. So many of us are guilty of doubting that God can use us for His work. We feel unworthy because of things in our past, lack of education or poor upbringing. If you have been saved God has a work for you to do. It is your work, find out what it is and get busy.

One reason it’s so important to be busy working, is because many false teachers have brought false doctrine into the church (verses 4-10).  It has been said that a lie makes it around the world and back while the truth is lacing up its shoes. This can be said about false doctrine. While those of us with the truth sit around debating on doing something, false doctrine pulls people away from the truth day by day.

According to verse 5 and 6 true doctrine will produce love, faith and a good conscience while false doctrine produces “vain jangling” which means empty chatter or meaningless talk. (Just a tip, keep your eye on someone who tries to flatter others all the time.)

Next we have a personal testimony from Paul. Paul is thankful that God has placed him into the ministry, had mercy on him, and saved him by His grace. Then in verse 15 Paul tells us something very profound, but very simple, and that is that the reason Christ came into the world was to save sinners. Christ did not come into the world to work miracles, although He did. He did not come to feed the hungry, although He did. He did not come into the world to be a great teacher, although He was. The reason Christ came into the world was to save sinners.

Lastly Paul charges Timothy to fight a good warfare. So many have turned astray and Paul did not want Timothy to become a casualty. The Christian life is not an easy one. There is constant danger of falling. Every day we are faced with temptations, problems and wicked people. There is constant danger of shipwreck. Because of this we must be determined like Martin Luther was when he said, “Here I stand; I can do no other, so help me God.”

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