The Book of 1 Timothy Bible Study Chapter 1 Part 3

Our next reading is 1 Timothy 1:12-14

G-d moves through His people. He wants to use each one of us to fulfil His purposes on earth – part of which is to be a blessing to those around us (Gen 12:3). G-d remembers all the good works we have done in His name (Heb 6:9-10) and He is going to reward us according to these works (Rev 22:12). 

v12: Thank: ‘Grace’ is the literal word used here. Grace is a word that is related to forgiveness. When we receive G-d’s grace (His forgiveness) it produces thanksgiving, an attitude of gratitude, in our lives. In this context, Paul is giving thanks to G-d.

  • Putting: Placing, setting or appointing.
  • Putting me into the ministry: Yeshua appointed Paul to serve Him (as believers, we have been appointed to serve Messiah).

Note: Paul received grace from G-d. This grace transformed him, working in his life to enable him to faithfully carry out the will of G-d – to do ministry, ie to serve G-d (Titus 2:11-14). Before receiving grace, Paul was a slave to sin (Roms 7:24-25). After receiving grace, he was a slave to G-d. 

The takeaway for us: If we are not enabled by Messiah, we are going to find that we cannot serve Him in our flesh. We cannot serve Him through our own ability, wisdom, knowledge or capability. None of these things can adequately prepare us to serve G-d. It is only through what Messiah does, through His Holy Spirit working in our lives, that we are reckoned to be appropriate or faithful for service to G-d. Being put into ministry, by Yeshua, should lead to us feeling grateful or thankful for what G-d has entrusted us to do. It is such a privilege to serve Him!

v13: I was formerly: Referring to Paul’s past – before he became a recipient of G-d’s grace, and before he was enabled by Messiah for service. 

  • Blasphemer: Blasphemy is a term usually reserved for G-d. It is the offence of speaking sacrilegiously (disrespectfully, in a derogatory way) against G-d. Paul did not blaspheme G-d the Father, but he did blaspheme Yeshua. The use of this word here affirms the divinity of Messiah Yeshua – who is G-d. Initially Paul did not recognise the divinity of Yeshua. Those who do not recognise Messiah’s divinity are blasphemers. 
  • Persecutor: Acts 8:3
  • (Violent): This is stronger word than ‘insolent’. It is a word that speaks of someone who is strongly rebellious. Paul was violent against the things of G-d (Acts 9:1). He thought that as a Pharisee he was serving G-d, but he was deceived and in spiritual darkness. Paul was very knowledgeable of the Scripture, but he could not see or interpret them correctly because he allowed the deception of Pharisaic Judaism to blind him. The Pharisees were excessively and hypocritically pious. 
  • I obtained mercy: G-d’s mercy transformed Paul.
  • Ignorantly: This is a word that speaks of wilful ignorance (intentionally keeping oneself unaware of the facts). Paul was against knowing. Many scholars point out that when we are committed to ourselves and to our own causes, we are against knowing G-d. 
  • Unbelief: Literally: FaithlessnessPaul knew much about Judaism, but it did not lead him to a place of faith in Messiah. Every aspect of Paul’s behaviour did not show faith. (faith is related to truth). Paul was not walking in truth. He was far removed from what G-d wanted for him.

v14: Grace: Paul became a recipient of mercy (1 Tim 1:13). There is a close relationship between mercy and grace (see comments for 1 Tim 1:2). The primary (first) purpose of grace is to lead us to salvation (Titus 2:11). It is only once we have received this grace that we can become a recipient of G-d’s mercy. After this mercy has been received there is another aspect of grace that we receive – grace enables us to say ‘no’ to ungodliness and it equips us for service – a people who are ‘zealous for good works’ (Titus 2:14). 

  • Our L-rd: When we receive G-d’s grace it causes us to recognize Yeshua as not just our Saviour or Redeemer, but we recognise Him as our L-rd – the One whom we serve. 

Note: We do not serve Messiah to obtain salvation (that is what legalism is from a theological standpoint – doing good works in order to receive salvation). However, once we have been saved (salvation is a free gift, received by faith) good works or service to G-d is a fruit of salvation. Good works are proof that we are truly saved. Grace positions us, and places within us the desire, to serve G-d successfully. 

  • Exceedingly abundantThis cannot be numbered. It is given in excess. It (grace) can overcome all things (all of our sins, rebelliousness etc). 
  • Faith and love: These two are linked together. When we walk in faith, we are going to be people who express our love to G-d as well as to others. Walking in our own desires (faithless) causes us to be selfish (unloving). 

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