1 Timothy 1:1-20 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Comments for Study 1

1 Timothy 1:1-20
Memory Verse: 5

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I. Greetings (1:1-2)

>1. Who is the sender of this letter?

* 1 Timothy 1:1 "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,"

* "Paul" -Paul is a Greek name. His name changed from Saul at the beginning of his first missionary journey. (Acts 13:1, 13)

* The following is a time line of the later years of Paul's life:
    1) Paul was arrested in Jerusalem (57 A.D., Acts 21:33)
    2) Paul is transferred to Rome to stand at trial before Caesar (59-60 A.D., Acts 25:10-28:16)
    3) Paul awaits for trial in Rome under house arrest. Acts is penned by Luke who was with Paul. (60-61 A.D. Acts 28:17 to end)
    4) Paul underwent his first Roman imprisonment during which he wrote the letters to the Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, and Philippians. (61-62 A.D.)
    5) Paul was released from prison. (between 62 and 64 A.D.)
    6) Nero burns Rome and blames the Christians. A great persecution begins. (64 A.D.)
    7) Paul's fourth missionary journey where he covers a great deal of territory including Crete. He writes 1 Timothy and Titus from Macedonia. (64-67 A.D.)
    8) Paul was arrested and tried by Nero again. He writes 2 Timothy. (66-67 A.D.)
    9) Paul was beheaded in Rome. (68 A.D.)
    10) Nero dies and the persecution against Christians subsides. (68 A.D.)

* Paul has been freed from a house arrest in Rome. He had been found not guilty. Shortly after this, he wrote Timothy, who was a young pastor in Ephesus (2,3).

The congregation in Ephesus contained people who were teaching things that sounded religious but were merely false doctrines and meaningless talk (3,6).

God's work is faith (4). Jesus was always impressed when people responded to him in faith. He was only disappointed when people did not have faith. So God's work in me is faith.

Teaching, learning, and expressing faith are connected to and an extension of love (5). Love comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith (5). If I have faith in God, I will love God and others. If I love God I will express faith in him and his ways.

No matter what troubles and pleasantries happen today I can confront them with faith and love. Myth and genealogy cannot help me practice faith and love.

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>How does he identify himself?

* "an apostle of Christ Jesus" -Apostle means sent. Jesus chose twelve to be his apostles during his earthly ministry. When Judas betrayed Jesus another was chosen to take his place. Then Jesus called Paul, the fourteenth apostle. (Acts 9:1-30) Apostles are the only ones that display all the gifts of the Holy Spirit in order to support the mission that God has given them.

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>Why has he been appointed this?

* "by the command of God our Savior"

* "and of Christ Jesus our hope"

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>How and why is Jesus our hope? (John 8:12, 11:25-26, 14:6-7)

* John 8:12 "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

* John 11:25-26 "Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

* John 14:6-7 "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."

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>2. Who is the recipient, how is he identified, and how did he hear the gospel? (2, 4:12a; Acts 16:1-3, 5; Phil. 2:19)

* 1 Timothy 1:2 "To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord."

* 1 Timothy 4:12a "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young"

* Acts 16:1-3, 5 "He came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek. The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek... So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers."

* Philippians 2:19 "I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you."

* Philippians 2:20-24 "I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon."

* "Timothy" -Timothy was similar to Paul. Paul was also half Jew by his mother. Perhaps Paul saw in Timothy a younger version of himself. Timothy would be Paul's companion, scribe, and aid for a long time.

Timothy was from Derbe and Lystra located in the Roman province Cilicia, the same region Paul was from.

Timothy's mother was a Jew. His father a Greek and perhaps not influential in his life, thus making Timothy timid in nature meaning he lacked confidence in his ability to carry out the mission given him. He was well spoke of and underwent circumcision for ministry purposes even though he knew he didn't need to. He went with Paul on mission journeys. Paul considered him a son of faith. He was gifted for ministry though young and thus some considered him inexperienced. He took interest in other's welfare. He became the pastor (Latin for shepherd) for the congregation in Ephesus. He stood up against false doctrine being taught there, having the gift of discernment. He remained loyal to Paul, and the gospel he preached to the end of Paul's life. He was sincere, easily discouraged, sentimental, powerful, emotional, and leadership quality.

Timothy was a third generation Christian. His grandmother and mother were probably converted on Paul's first missionary journey. Timothy would have been a young lad then. Timothy joined Paul for the first time on Paul's second missionary journey.

Timothy had joined Paul on his second missionary journey. He had stayed several times in Philippi while Paul was in neighboring towns especially on Paul's third missionary trip.

Timothy was with Paul when he was arrested in Jerusalem. Timothy was not arrested. He followed the arrested Paul to Rome and was probably the scribe for some of Paul dictated letters while in prison.

* Below is a outline tracing the locations and eveths during Paul's third missionary trip. Timothy was with him most of the trip:
    1) Early 50 A.D. Paul and Silas left Antioch going through Tarsus to the churches in Galatia where Timothy joins them. (15:36-16:10)
    2) The same year crossing the Aegean Sea arriving at Philippi. (16:11-40)
    3) They flee Philippi after considerable time there and went to Thessalonica were they spend considerable time. (17:1-9)
    4) Paul and Silas flee from Thessalonica to Berea. Since Timothy is not mentioned, it is possible that he stayed in Thessalonica or Philippi and then rejoined Paul in Silas in Berea.
    5) Paul fled to Athens from Berea persecution, leaving Silas and Timothy in Berea. (14) Paul asked Silas and Timothy to join him in Athens. (15, and 1 Thess. 3:1-2)
    6) Timothy rejoined Paul at Athens and was sent back to Thessalonica. (1 Thess. 3:1-5) Since Silas is not mentioned, it has been conjectured that he went back to Philippi when Timothy went to Thessalonica.
    7) Paul moved on the Corinth. (18:1) Silas and Timothy came to Paul in Corinth. (18:5, and 1 Thess. 3:6)
    8) Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians and sent it to the church. About six months later in late 51 or early 52 A.D. Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians. These are the first two letters that we have that Paul wrote.
    9) Most believe that Paul wrote Galatians while in Corinth or perhaps when he arrived back at Antioch at the end of this mission trip in late 52 A.D.

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>Where can we obtain grace, mercy, and peace?

* "from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord"

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>Why list these, why that order, and what does this personally mean to you?

* "grace"

* "mercy"

* "peace"

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II. The Goal is Love (1:3-11)

>3. Where was Paul and where was Timothy? (3a)

* 1 Timothy 1:3 "As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus"

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>What was Timothy directed to do while there? (3b-4a)

* 1 Timothy 1:3b-4a "so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies."

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>What is God's work in us and how was the false teachers hindering it? (4b)

* 1 Timothy 1:4b "These promote controversies rather than God's work--which is by faith."

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>What is the goal of this direction? (5)

* 1 Timothy 1:5 "The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith."

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>4. What does the fact that "some have wandered away" mean?

* 1 Timothy 1:6 "Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk."

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>What do they do now?

* "turned to meaningless talk"

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>According to verse 7 what do they mean to be?

* 1 Timothy 1:7 "They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm."

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>why are they not?

* "they do not know what they are talking about"

* "or what they so confidently affirm"

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>What can we learn about the important of proper Bible teaching training? (John 15:5-8; and 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 13:20-21)

* John 15:5-8 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

* 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

* Hebrews 13:20-21 "May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

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>5. Is it possible to use a good thing improperly and so bring the opposite effect it was originally intended? (8)

* 1 Timothy 1:8 "We know that the law is good if one uses it properly."

* A strong natural impulse we humans have is to resist God's Spirit who leads us to all things good. By resisting God's good and pleasing ways we make decisions that become poor, destructive and lead to death. The more we resist God's Spirit the harder our hearts become and the worse our lives become. Is there any hope for a heart that is naturally resistant to God's Spirit? Yes.

God gave the law to a heart that has resisted God so long that it does not know how to recognize God nor his Spirit's good ways (8,9). The law was not made for the righteous, that is those who follow the Spirit's leading and do what is right and good (9).

The law was made to help those that kill their parents and others, adulterers, perverts, slave traders, liars, and perjurers (10). The law was made to help the unholy and those who think nothing is holy nor sacred escape from a seemingly hopeless mess of life that they have made. By accepting and following God's written life code a hard heart can live a better life.

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>Who was the law made for and why? (9-10a)

* 1 Timothy 1:9-10 "We also know that 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, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers--"

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>What does sound doctrine conform to?

* 1 Timothy 1:10b-11 "and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me."

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>What is the gospel? (1 Cor. 15:1-8)

* 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 "Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born."

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>Why does God entrust it to men?

* "which he entrusted to me"

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III. The Lord's Grace (1:12-20)

>6. Why did Paul thank Jesus? (12)

* 1 Timothy 1:12 "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service."

* God's personal and real grace is astounding (14)! Consider what I did before God's grace purified my spirit, life, and personality.

I cursed God in mind, heart, word, and action (13). Still, God continued to knock on my heart and ask, "May I come in?"

I persecuted Jesus, God's one and only Son in my mind, heart, word, and action (13). Jesus' body is his people. When I encountered his body I was so repulsed that my thoughts were repulsed and I shoved them away with attitude. Still, the Holy Spirit continued to knock on my heart and ask, "May I come in and heal you?"

I was a violent, injurious, and arrogant man. Still, Jesus stood behind my heart's door treating me with mercy because I acted ignorantly in my unbelief (13).

Through gentle kindness and passionate love, he brought me to faith in the Father, Son, and Spirit (14). God's personal and real grace towards me is astounding. He is the rainbow after a violent storm.

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>How is his past an example of the grace of Jesus? (13)

* 1 Timothy 1:13 "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."

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>What does Paul state his Bible knowledge was before Jesus' grace came into his life?

* "I acted in ignorance and unbelief"

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>7. How is what Paul experienced no different than what all true believers experience? (14-15)

* 1 Timothy 1:14-15 "The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus." Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst."

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>What does Jesus save us from?

* "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance"

* "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"

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>How should Paul's view of himself be also the view we hold? (Isaiah 64:6-7; Psalm 143:2; Romans 3:9-20)

* "of whom I am the worst"

* Isaiah 64:6-7 "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and made us waste away because of our sins."

* Psalm 143:2 "Do not bring your servant itho judgment, for no one living is righteous before you."

* Romans 3:9-20 "What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." "Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit." "The poison of vipers is on their lips." "Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness." "Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know." "There is no fear of God before their eyes." Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin."

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>8. What does it mean to you that Jesus has unlimited patience? (16)

* 1 Timothy 1:16 "But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life."

* God has unlimited patience (16). Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. He is long-suffering. God keeps his cool. He doesn't have a temper. Christ Jesus has extraordinary patience.

I remember the toddler years. Any parent of toddlers often meets their patience end. My children are extremely intelligent. Perhaps it is my circumstance that gives me the bias conclusion that intelligent toddlers can especially test their parent's patience. Making rules for intelligent toddlers and expecting them not to defy them every once in a while is like expecting a spring without flowers and weeds.

Considering my limitations of patience helps me admire and appreciate God's unlimited patience. I consider my past actions and attitudes and my Lord's response, his ever-presence when I turn to him, his calming peace, and the warmth of my soul due to his gentle touch - yes, I have seen and still experience God's unlimited patience. His calming peace and the warmth of my soul due to his gentle touch.

Considering God's response to Paul's pre-Christ life as a blasphemer, a persecutor of the church, and a violent man beating and killing God's chosen I learn of God's long-suffering (13,16). So it is not hard for me to say and believe that there is always hope as long as I breathe to enter God's limitless grace and mercy no matter who I am, nor how dark my soul may become, nor how many times I go to him for forgiveness.

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>What can we learn about God's nature from verse 17?

* 1 Timothy 1:17 "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen."

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>9. What does Paul compare the believer's life to in verse 18?

* 1 Timothy 1:18 "Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight,"

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>What does that mean practically? (19)

* 1 Timothy 1:19 "holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith."

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>10. Who were Hymenaeus and Alexander? (20)

* 1 Timothy 1:20 "Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme."

* Mark 15:21 "A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross."

* Acts 19:32-33 "The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there. The Jews pushed Alexander to the froth, and some of the crowd shouted instructions to him. He motioned for silence in order to make a defense before the people."

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>How did Paul follow his own advice given in verses 3 to 7?

* "I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme"

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