March 11, 2017
1 Timothy 1b
1 Timothy 1b
Shawn Bumpers / General
1 Timothy / Doctrine; Disfellowship; Defend; Law; Grace; Mercy; Love; Timothy; Paul
So, last week we didn’t get very far into the text … we got a lot accomplished, but we’ve got about 3/4 of the chapter to go.
We’ll try to get through the rest of the chapter today, and I think we’ve got the time to do it.
Last weekend we started the book of that we are in … 1 Timothy.
These letters were all written into particular circumstances going on in the churches.
We spent a lot of time last week digging into what was going on in the Roman Empire and Israel at the time the letters were written.
A huge fire had destroyed many of the districts, where, perhaps not so coincidentally, Nero wanted to build a huge palace and park.
Matthew 24:15–16 NKJV
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
Now, in Matthew 24, Jesus was speaking of a time in the future when during the Tribulation, the Antichrist will go back on his promises to Israel.
Nonetheless, Christians, sensing what was about to happen in Israel in 65 AD, were leaving … a Jewish Christian Diaspora or scattering out into the world.
As for what this has to do with the letter we are now studying, Paul knew that many of those Christians would end up in the Gentile churches.
We see this kind of thing still today when Pastors take a descriptive text in scripture and turn it into a prescriptive text.
Galatians 2:21 NKJV
I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
But we should be careful about allegorizing a biblical text so that it points to the law rather than to Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:5 NKJV
For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.
Paul says that the law is good if one uses it lawfully.
So, this morning in our text, among other things we will talk about the purpose of the law.
In fact, starting with verse 8, Paul explains the significance of the law to Timothy.
2 Corinthians 3:5–6 NKJV
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Jewish education was very different from our notions of teaching and learning.
The very basis of Judaism is to be found in the conception of holiness.
Leviticus 19:2 NKJV
“Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.
Leviticus 20:26 NKJV
And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.
The Hebrew concept of education was not “to impart knowledge” or to “prepare oneself intellectually.”
It was to produce holiness and to impart a distinctive lifestyle.
Paul had given Timothy a command in the first few verses of this chapter that he instruct others that they teach no other doctrine.
We need to carefully examine these letters to find out what is wrong with the kind of teaching and learning Paul was so concerned about.
1 Timothy 1:5 NKJV
Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,
Commitment to the truth (and God’s Word is truth) purifies the heart, cleanses the conscience, and produces un-hypocritical faith
The measure of effective teaching is not how much a person knows, but how well he or she lives.
The false teachers that Paul had a problem with did not understand the content or purpose of God’s Word.
By allegorizing the text, reading themselves in and leaving Christ out, they were leading believers out of the liberty of grace and into the bondage of legalism.
And if you don’t slay your giant, dream big dreams, tear down the walls of your Jericho, pick up your mantle … then you have failed God.
The flesh (our old nature) loves religious legalism.
Look back to the text … Paul listed 14 kinds of people who were condemned by the Law.
The New Testament presents similar lists in other places like Mark 7, Romans 1, and Galatians 5.
Galatians 3:22 NKJV
But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
The Law cannot save anyone; it can only reveal their need for a Saviour.
• The first purpose of the law is to be a mirror.
Galatians 3:24–25 NKJV
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
Romans 3:23 NKJV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 7:7 NKJV
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”
Romans 8:1–4 NKJV
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
The Law does not do this, nor was it intended to do this.
The Law was intended to expose our sin (Rom. 3:20), and it was designed to lead us to Jesus Christ.
In verse 8, the Greek word for lawfully is νομίμως Nomimōs (nohMEE-mohs) and it means lawfully or rightly and is translated also as, “legitimately, properly, and correctly.”
That original intent of the law was well put in the old hymn, “Rock of Ages” …
Not the labours of my hands can fulfill Thy laws demands,
Could my zeal no respite know; could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone.
Romans 3:27–28 NKJV
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.
It is the “wonderful Gospel” that saves lost sinners.
• A second purpose for the law is the restraint of evil.
Romans 10:4 NKJV
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
• The third purpose of the law is to reveal what is pleasing to God.
Paul has condemned the false teachers, but he didn’t want to give the impression that they were beyond hope.
He would later say that those who taught unbiblical doctrines were to be excluded … but he also remembered that he himself had been a blasphemer yet was converted.
Acts 9:1 NKJV
Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest
How could God Who is Holy ever save and forgive a self-righteous sinner like Paul?
Well, we have key words here … “mercy” and “grace.”
The love of God is not particular to any one person … for God loves the whole world (John 3:16).
John 3:16 NKJV
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Ephesians 2:4–9 NKJV
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Ignorance here is the Greek word ἀγνοέω Agnoeō which means “Not to know.”
So, is Paul saying that ignorance a legitimate excuse before God?
Luke 23:34 NKJV
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
And they divided His garments and cast lots.
God would have been justified to destroy them all right then and there.
It was not ignorance that saved them.
Nor did Christ’s prayer save them.
It was the combination of the two which postponed God’s judgment, giving them an opportunity to be saved.
Romans 8:37 NKJV
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Back to the text … in verse 15 … Paul makes it clear that this salvation is not for him only, but for all who receive Jesus Christ.
The grace of God turned the persecutor into a preacher, the blasphemer into a blessing, and the murderer into a minister and a missionary.
In fact, so dramatic was the change in Paul’s life that the Jerusalem church at first suspected that it was a trick!
But look at verse 16 … Paul not only became a minister; he also became an example.
So the question is, “How is Paul an example to lost sinners who believe on Christ?”
But Paul is a pattern to all lost sinners, for he was the prōtos (Greek) or primus (Latin) … the foremost of all sinners!
Zechariah 12:10 NKJV
“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
1 Corinthians 15:8 NKJV
Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
One more thing and we’ll move on.
The early church did not have printed Bibles as we have … and the letters which Paul and the other Apostles wrote were passed around to be read in all the churches.
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.
1 Timothy 3:1 NKJV
This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.
1 Timothy 4:8–9 NKJV
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. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance.
2 Timothy 2:11–13 NKJV
This is a faithful saying:
For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.
If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.
Titus 3:4–8 NKJV
But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
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.
Like in verse 3, again, Paul uses military language to enforce his statement.
Like a military commander, Paul reminded Timothy that God had chosen him for his ministry.
Apparently some New Testament prophets had been led by the Spirit to select Timothy for service.
The Christian life is not a playground; it is a battleground.
2 Timothy 2:3 NKJV
You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
There, Paul will also say that the soldier’s task is, no matter the circumstances, to “please him who has enlisted him as a soldier,” and not to please himself.
But Paul also reminded Timothy that God had chosen him and sent him.
BUT it is not enough to proclaim the faith with our lips; we practice the faith in our daily lives.
Professed Christians who “make shipwreck” of their faith do so by sinning against their consciences.
Apparently this was the case with Hymenaeus and Alexander.
2 Timothy 4:14 NKJV
Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works.
The fellowship of the local church gives a believer spiritual protection.
Timothy was surely greatly helped and encouraged when he read this first section of Paul’s letter.
God had called Timothy, equipped him, and put him into his place of ministry.
In closing, every church is in a constant battle against the forces of evil.
There are false prophets and false teachers and false doctrines trying to find their way into the church.