Exposition of 1 Timothy, Message 2
A. Introduction of the Epistle 1:1-2
1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;
Last week we learned the backgrounds of the writer and the recipient of this letter.
a. We learned through Paul of –
1). His appointment – an Apostle
2). His authority – God…
His appointment and authority were from the Lord, which brought forth –
3). His admission. – “…which is our hope.” Our expected end, our hope is in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
b. We also learned about Timothy, that he was –
1). The partner in ministry – “…my own son in the faith…”
We saw through his life the pattern of God working in us –
Convicted by the Word of God,
Converted by the Word of God,
Consecrated by the Word of God,
Commissioned by the Word of God,
Convinced by the Word of God –
Timothy was now –
2). The pastor at Ephesus – refer to 1:3 Placed in authority –
Timothy was working out the plan of God for a pastor –
Ephesians 4:11-16 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: ….. But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
This is difficult work – the strength for which is only found in the Lord. Paul encouraged Timothy in this truth by the next statement of that which is found only in God. Paul explains that which he has declared of God’s –
2. Intercession: “…our hope…” Our expected end – what to look forward to along the way:
1 Timothy 1:2b “…Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.”
a. Grace, Living grace needed for each day. We read of the application of the wonderful grace of God in the following verses. So different than what we had without Him! –
2 Corinthians 4:7-16 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
This is grace in action – grace in life! It is so important to know that God is working in us even when we are at our lowest point in life – He is there to pick us up and help us to go forward!
Do you really think that Superman would really be an encouragement to his family, friends, or community? He cannot be touched as we are! He does understand weakness even though he has knowledge of it. Do you believe that anyone around you would be encouraged by you if you had no capability of care or compassion for what they are going through? God strengthens us in our troubles so He can use us to encourage others! What He does for us, He will do for them! Does Jesus understand us? Yes, because even as the God/man He is not Superman. We read of Jesus –
Philippians 2:5-11 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Hebrews 4:14-15 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
How true are the words of the gospel song –
Once I was straying in sin’s dark valley, No hope within could I see
They searched through Heaven, And found a Savior
To save a poor lost soul like me.
Oh, what a Savior, oh hallelujah, His heart was broken on Calvary
His hands were nail scarred, His side was riven
He gave His life-blood for even me.
Along with grace we are introduced to –
b. Mercy, Paul realized the mercy of God in his own life and commended the same to Timothy –
1 Timothy 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
The common definition of mercy and grace is as follows:
Mercy is God withholding judgment which man deserves.
Grace is providing man with love that he does not deserve “unmerited favour”.
If mercy is only God withholding judgment that I deserve, do I not receive mercy when I have not done anything wrong? I have not caused the problem in my life, but I still need the Lord to hold back the trouble and keep me from being crushed!
A common answer to this thought is “We are sinful people living in a sinful world and we deserve everything that comes to us! While this statement is true, it does not take into account God’s love!
While considering this definition, my attention was drawn to the story told by Jesus to teach of man’s responsibility to man. In Luke 10:37 where the Samaritan identified his neighbor through having mercy on him –
Luke 10:37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
The point being that the man that was beaten and robbed had done nothing to deserve his plight. He simply happened to be the person chosen by evil men to rob.
The situation of the Samaritan showing mercy on the stranger has nothing to do with the stranger deserving judgment and that judgment being held off for a time. While the common definition is true, differences are noted at times in the use of the word. We must, as always, keep with the context, and in doing so, we conclude that often mercy provides the opportunity for grace to operate in the lives of men.
We should admit then that we have received mercy from God and that mercy should overflow through us to others –
James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
We remember Jeremiah’s words –
Lamentations 3:22-24 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
And so we discover that grace and mercy introduce into our lives –
c. Peace, that which only can come from God.
“The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.”
Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
The peace of God comes after we have peace with God –
Ephesians 2:15-16 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
And so we see the importance of the Lord’s admonition –
Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
– do not look back! Why? Because Grace, Mercy, and Peace of in front of us!
Are troubles ahead for us? Yes, but we have mercy, grace, and peace with us in our Lord Jesus Christ. We have help!