The Book of 1 Timothy Bible Study Chapter 1 Part 4

Let’s finish off chapter 1. 1 Timothy 1:15-20

v15: Faithful: i.e. True

  • To save sinners: This was the primary purpose of Yeshua’s first coming. Paul wanted Timothy to be aware that the issue of salvation was to be foundational in his leadership role within the congregations. 
  • Chief: The Greek word used here is where the word ‘prototype’ comes from. From Paul’s perspective he is saying that if there was a list of sinners his name (before he turned to Messiah) would be right at the top of the list. 

v16: Obtained mercy: This is written in the passive. Paul did nothing to earn mercy. He simply received it. 

  • Longsuffering: Patient
  • A pattern: An example. Paul considered himself a pattern of what Messiah could do with a chief of sinners. When G-d’s grace saved Paul, a sinner, it brought about a change in his life. Paul was a pattern for future believers of the potential transformation that can take place in a person’s life once they believe. 
  • Everlasting (eternal) life: This does mean life forever. But eternal life is even more than that. It is Kingdom life. This does not only begin when we die. For a believer, eternal life begins the moment that we believe (Roms 10:9-10, John 3:16). 

v17: Note: Because of the wonderful thing that G-d had done for Paul (through His only begotten Son, Yeshua), Paul broke out in a benediction of praise.

v18: This charge: Paul gets very specific with Timothy. This charge that Paul gives Timothy is for the purpose of encouraging him. It is also for the purpose of revelation – Paul wants to reveal something to Timothy. 

  • This charge I commit to you: This is a charge that G-d has set in force for Timothy. It is something that Timothy can wholeheartedly commit himself to. 
  • (Child): This is the term for a child and not for a son (see comments made in 1 Tim 1:2). Although Timothy was young, he was not a child in the true sense of the word. Paul used this word to show his love for Timothy, to show that he saw himself as a father to Timothy (a father in the faith). 
  • The prophecies previously made concerning you: People had prophesied that G-d was going to use Timothy in this way. Paul is charging Timothy to be committed to those things which G-d had revealed to him through prophecy.
  • Wage the good warfare: The epistles of Timothy and the book of Titus are considered the pastoral epistles. The reason for this is that Timothy and Titus were both leaders over local congregations. So often there is conflict within a local congregation, so it is no surprise that words related to warfare are used within this context. There were things within the local congregations that G-d had called Timothy to go to war over (e.g.: G-dly doctrine, proper theology, the truth of G-d).
  • Good warfare: Timothy was called to be a faithful soldier. 

v19: Faith: A word which is related to truth (Roms 10:17)

  • Good conscience: G-d gave us our consciences, but it is truth (faith) that causes that conscience to function well. We need to fight for proper doctrine so that the truth of G-d can give us a good and a well-functioning conscience.
  • Rejected: Pushed away. This is not the word for simply deviating or veering off course. It is a word which is much stronger – a word for rejecting. Many people actively rebel against true faith. 
  • Shipwreck: A ship which is broken up and destroyed. Paul charged Timothy to remember his call. He wanted Timothy to fight for truth, for proper doctrine, so that his faith would not be broken up or destroyed. 

v20: Hymenaeus and Alexander: We do not name names for the sake of gossiping, bringing people down, etc. However, if people who are public figures, have a large public ministry, and are publicly teaching falsehood, it is incumbent upon us to speak out and to warn people against what they are teaching. Hopefully (in the process) these public figures will see the error of their ways and they will repent. Sometimes people do need to be named, but it needs to be done prayerfully and lovingly (not pridefully). These two men would have been known to Timothy. This epistle was also circulated amongst the believers. Paul did not hide their names from public view, but he exposed them and warned about them. 

  • Delivered to satan: If they were teaching abominable doctrine, they needed to meet the one who was its source – the father of lies (John 8:44). Paul wanted to reveal that false doctrine has a common origin – satan. For these men to be changed they had to understand what they were embracing and who they were serving. If they did not realise that they were in dangerous error, they would not have had the opportunity to repent and to grow/mature. 
  • That they may learn: The word used here is the same word that is used to speak about training up a child from immaturity to maturity. 
  • Learn (be taught) not to blaspheme: If someone does not know the divinity of Messiah, they are a blasphemer (see 1 Tim 1:13). Paul is warning Timothy that he has to be harsh against or war against those who deny the divinity of Yeshua. 

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