1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
2 To Timothy my true son in the faith:
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Timothy Charged to Oppose False Teachers
3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.
8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
The Lord’s Grace to Paul
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The Charge to Timothy Renewed
18 Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, 19 holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith. 20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.
Sorry I didn’t post yesterday. Some glitch, couldn’t get on the site.
Once again, Paul is addressing the issue of false teaching. It seems by what he says that there are some teaching the law, rather than grace.
let me share a devotional by Pastor Ed, an online blogger. I thought this was great food for thought today.
vs. 15-1615 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.
This familiar axiom, “to save sinners,” emphasizes that Jesus Christ did not come to redeem those living under some illusion of their own righteousness, but self-aware sinners. As Jesus said when He was criticized for sharing a meal with sinners, it is the “sick” who need a physician (Luke 5:31). Being a sinner, recognizing that you are one, is the first qualification necessary for becoming a child of God.
There is a grave danger in taking the terms sin and sinner out of our vocabulary, a growing trend among many pastors in the church today who are deliberately leaving out these terms and ideas because they don’t want to offend anyone. Paul was not afraid of the term, because he realized that all men are guilty sinners. And when the apostle says, “of whom I am the worst” we take that to mean: “The worst sinner has already been saved, so you don’t have that excuse!” He was arguing that God saved a sinner such as him, so that he would be an encouragement, “a pattern to those who are going to believe,” that no one is so great a sinner they can’t be saved by Jesus Christ’s shed blood. Songwriter and former slave trader John Newton said it this way: “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound / That saved a wretch like me!”
There is an old story of a man who came upon Michelangelo chipping away with his hammer and chisel at a huge shapeless piece of rock. The man asked the sculptor what he was doing. “I am releasing the angel imprisoned in this marble,” he answered. Jesus Christ is the only one who can see and release the hidden hero in every man. A hero in the faith is an example to others, leading them to know the God that hero serves and follows. Paul was a hero to young Timothy and to many others in the 1st century, and he continues to be so almost 20 centuries later.
“LORD, please conform us today just a little bit more into Your image.