1 Timothy & Titus Lesson 3
Texts: 1 Timothy 1:12-20
Please read these verses through in you Bible and then respond to the following:
1 Tim 1:12-14
12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who hath enabled, me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious; but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
- For what does Paul give thanks in these verses?
- According to verses 12 and 13 Paul was called to the ministry, after he straightened up his life, by the church. True or false? Notice also Acts 13:1-4.
- What does verse 13b add to our understanding of mercy as an attribute of God’s character which is exercised only toward that which is imperfect? (cf.1:1,2d for support for this definition.) Or, to express the question differently, does the definition of mercy as an attribute of God’s character that he exercises toward imperfect or defective beings, not mean that because all sinners are defective all sinners will be saved?
Substantiate your answer from 1 Timothy chapter 1.
- What relationship do you see between grace in v. 14, mercy in verse 13, and verse 15? Or, why does verse 15 follow verses 13 and 14?
- What is the significance of the word “with” in verse 14?
1 Tim 1:15, 16
15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
- What is “this” in verse 16a?
- What is the function of the timing of Paul’s salvation?
- What “pattern” is set forth in verses 15, 16?
1 Tim 1:17-20
17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightiest war a good warfare;
19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck;
20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
- What charge is “this charge” in v.18?
- What does “them” refer to in verse 18b, and what is their function?
- By implication, how is the “good conscience” of verse 19a attained?
- What distinction do you see, if any, between the meaning of “having faith”, in verse 19a, and “the faith” in verse 19b?
- State briefly in your own words the message of verses 18 and 19.
- Explain verse 20b.
1 Tim 1:12-14
- Paul gives thanks in these verses for the grace, faith, and love, that are in Jesus (v. 14), and for the fact the Lord “empowered me” to make him able to do the work of ministry (v. 12); the implication is that God’s grace, faith, and love were the agents which changed Paul.
- False. The church did not put Paul into the ministry – – the Lord did (v. 12).
- According to our dictionary definition Paul needed mercy because he was defective – – a sinner. What verse 13 adds to that concept is that while all sinners are defective and therefore must have mercy extended to them if they are to have a hope of salvation, the motives from which they act as they are sinners, are relevant to the way God deals with them.
- In these verses Paul presents his own need – – he was a sinner (v. 13) who obtained mercy (v. 13) because of his great need (v. 15).
God’s attitude toward sinners is to respond gently (mercy, v. 13), and give an exceeding abundance of grace (v. 14).
- According to Dana and Mantey, A Manuel Grammar of the Greek new Testament, p. 107f, Meta (with), means “with” or “after”. In verse 14, to this writer, both meanings come together – – the superabundant grace Paul says he received came in response to faith as chained to it. Faith activates grace, for God gives to every man a measure of faith (Rom 12:3), that faith exercised, may result in the salvation of the soul, which salvation is realized by the grace that comes to the believing (see 1 Peter 1:9, 10).
This means we can paraphrase 1 Tim 1:14 as saying that grace and faith came together from Christ; if one were to be first, faith would precede grace.
1 Tim 1:15, 16
- “This” in verse 16 refers to the reason he obtained mercy. Paul says the goodness of God that includes the extending of mercy to him, the first (chief) of sinners, shows the extent to which Christ’s salvation reaches. This revelation is another evidence, God and Christ offer to the world, of their intent, and a platform for hope to become faith – – which faith results in life eternal.
- It is to give hope to all who come after him, verse 16b.
- The word “pattern” is hupotuposin, meaning “model”, example”, or “prototype”. T he salvation of Paul, chief of sinners, makes Paul a “pattern”, or example, of God’s intended works, or salvation.
1 Tim 1:17-20
- 1 Tim 1:3c-5.
- Prior prophecies given concerning Timothy Paul refers to as “them” in verse 18, adding that the function of the prophecies was to steady timothy as he attempted to fulfill his commission.
- Without a prophecy about us we can have faith, but to have a good conscience one needs an educated conscience. The good conscience of verse 19 was attained by Timothy’s putting his faith together with the education gained from his specific knowledge of specific prophecies about him.
The great truth of the conversion of the heart by the Holy Spirit is presented in Christ’s words to Nicodemus: . . . ye must be born again. . . .
. . . the leaven of truth woks secretly, silently, steadily, to transform the soul. The natural inclinations are softened and subdued. New thoughts, new feelings, new motives, are implanted. . . . The conscience is awakened (COL, pp. 98, 99).
Keep the conscience tender, that you may hear the faintest whisper of the voice that spake as never man spake (Ellen White, in My Life Today, p. 322).
God will not accept a willfully imperfect service. Those who claim to be sanctified, and yet turn away their ears from hearing the law, prove themselves to be the children of disobedience, whose carnal hearts are not subject to the law of God, and neither indeed can be.
From Genesis to Revelation the conditions upon which eternal life is promised, are made plain. God requires that those who shall enter heaven shall be without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Keep my commandments and live, is the requirement of God. But one says, “My conscience does not condemn me in my not keeping the commandments of God.” But in the word of God we read that there are good and bad consciences and the facts that your conscience does not condemn you in not keeping the law of God, does not prove that you are uncondemned in His sight. Take you conscience to the word of God, and see if your life and character are in accordance with the standard of righteousness which God has there revealed. You can then determine whether or not you have an intelligent faith, and what manner of conscience is yours. The conscience of man cannot be trusted unless it is under the influence of divine grace. Satan takes advantage of an unenlightened conscience and thereby leads men into all manner of delusions because they have not made the word of God their counselor. Many have invented a gospel of their own in the same manner as they have substituted a law of their own for God’s law (j4RH331).
- “Having faith” is an orientation of life, of course, while “the faith” is a commonly held body of propositions.
- Warring the good warfare for Timothy meant he
- Accepted Paul’s counsels to him (verse 18) regarding the importance of prophecies about him “Timothy”,
- By aligning his life with the prophecies, could wage a good warfare (verse 18c),
- Needed faith and a good conscience; these elements of life are in this passage, at least in part, the result of faith. As Timothy believed and lived according to prophecy and Paul’s instruction he lived the life of faith – – having faith and a good conscience. Here basic belief exercised becomes more faith. The good conscience is the accompanying result of not violating belief.
To violate one’s faith is to not have a good conscience and to have cast away the body of basic belief (verse 19b).
- Hymenaios and Alexander had thrust away faith and a good conscience, thereby making shipwrecked of the propositional beliefs, or “the faith, “ of the believers in Christ, Paul says. He then adds to his brief account of their activities the portion of the verse we are examining; “whom I delivered to Satan in order that they may be taught not to blaspheme.”
The word “delivered” is a translation of the greek word paradoka, which is from paradidomi. Paradidomi, has the dictionary meaning of to hand over, deliver, or entrust. In John 19:30 we read that “Jesus said: It has been finished, and inclining the head delivered up the spirit.” Arndt and Gingerich comments, “he gave up his spirit voluntarily.”
Our form of the word, paredoka, occurs in the New Testament in 1 Cor 11:2, 23; and in 1 Cor 15:3, in addition to our text.
In 1 Cor 11:2 Paul says that his hearers have held fast the traditions or doctrines, “as I delivered to you.”
In 1 Cor 11:23 Paul’s use of paredoka is the same; it refers to what he handed over to them; and again, this same use of the word holds in 1 Cor 15:3.
In these passages Paul’s use of paredoka has a contextual definition that is the same as the dictionary definition – – to hand over or deliver.
In our text Paul says he has paredoka two men to Satan. To my American English ear this sounds like a use of power. Arndt and Gingrich say it can have the meaning of giving up, or handing over a person, in the sense of hand over into the custody of the police. This sense of the word would make our text have Paul say that he as an apostle had the authority, and used it, to hand over into the custody of Satan the two people named in order that Satan might teach them not to blaspheme; but there is no cooperation between the Lord and the Devil which accomplishes man’s salvation. Neither is there any contextual definition with Paul’s use of paredoka that would include the exercise of power in connection with the act of giving up, or delivering up. Therefore Paul’s statement in 1 Tim 1:20b means that he handed over, or delivered, Hymenaios and Alexander to Satan; but this giving over is not to be seen as an act of force. In the language of today, he gave up on them; but his giving up did in fact deliver them to Satan.
Note the following from the Spirit of Prophecy.
These men had departed from the faith of the gospel, and furthermore had done despite to the Spirit of grace by attributing to the power of Satan the wonderful revelations made to Paul. Having rejected the truth, they were filled with hatred against it, and sought to destroy its faithful advocate. . . . (7SDABC912).
God keeps a reckoning with the nations. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without His notice. Those who work evil toward their fellow men, saying, How doth God know? will one day be called upon to meet long-deferred vengeance. In this age a more than common contempt is shown to God. Men have reached a point in insolence and disobedience which shows that their cup of iniquity is almost full. Many have well-nigh passed the boundary of mercy. Soon God will show that He is indeed the living God. He will say to His angels, ‘No longer combat Satan in his efforts to destroy. Let him work out his malignity upon the children of disobedience; for the cup of their iniquity is full. They have advanced from one degree of wickedness to another, adding daily to their lawlessness. I will no longer interfere to prevent the destroyer from doing his work.
This time is right upon us. The Spirit of God is being withdrawn from the earth. When the angel of mercy folds her wings and departs, Satan will do the evil deeds he has long wished to do (4RH335).
Conclusion. In 1 Tim 1:20b Paul teaches that evil men are protected from the full malignity of Satan by the prayers of the righteous; that when the righteous say, “I will no longer interfere to prevent the destroyer from doing his work, “ “Satan will do the evil deeds he has long wished to do.”
In this context the “they” who learn would be those given up to Satan and those who observe the results.