God’s Saving Word: Encouragement
1 Timothy 1:1-20: Timothy, a young Christian from Asia Minor, was the son of a Jewish mother and Greek father, and he became a companion and assistant to Paul in his missionary work. In today’s reading, Paul gives general instructions for life in the church along with warnings against false teachings.
1 From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by order of God our Savior and Christ Jesus our hope—
2 To Timothy, my true son in the faith:
May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace.
Warnings against False Teaching
3 I want you to stay in Ephesus, just as I urged you when I was on my way to Macedonia. Some people there are teaching false doctrines, and you must order them to stop. 4 Tell them to give up those legends and those long lists of ancestors, which only produce arguments; they do not serve God’s plan, which is known by faith. 5 The purpose of this order is to arouse the love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a genuine faith. 6 Some people have turned away from these and have lost their way in foolish discussions. 7 They want to be teachers of God’s law, but they do not understand their own words or the matters about which they speak with so much confidence.
8 We know that the Law is good if it is used as it should be used. 9 It must be remembered, of course, that laws are made, not for good people, but for lawbreakers and criminals, for the godless and sinful, for those who are not religious or spiritual, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the immoral, for sexual perverts, for kidnappers, for those who lie and give false testimony or who do anything else contrary to sound doctrine. 11 That teaching is found in the gospel that was entrusted to me to announce, the Good News from the glorious and blessed God.
Gratitude for God’s Mercy
12 I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength for my work. I thank him for considering me worthy and appointing me to serve him, 13 even though in the past I spoke evil of him and persecuted and insulted him. But God was merciful to me because I did not yet have faith and so did not know what I was doing. 14 And our Lord poured out his abundant grace on me and gave me the faith and love which are ours in union with Christ Jesus. 15 This is a true saying, to be completely accepted and believed: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I am the worst of them, 16 but God was merciful to me in order that Christ Jesus might show his full patience in dealing with me, the worst of sinners, as an example for all those who would later believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 To the eternal King, immortal and invisible, the only God—to him be honor and glory forever and ever! Amen.
18 Timothy, my child, I entrust to you this command, which is in accordance with the words of prophecy spoken in the past about you. Use those words as weapons in order to fight well, 19 and keep your faith and a clear conscience. Some people have not listened to their conscience and have made a ruin of their faith. 20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have punished by handing them over to the power of Satan; this will teach them to stop their blasphemy.
Today’s Key Verse: 1 Timothy 1:15a
This is a true saying, to be completely accepted and believed: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
How is the relationship between Paul and Timothy described (verse 2)? What instructions are given to Timothy (verses 3-11)? For what does Paul express his gratitude (verses 12-17)? What advice is given to Timothy (verses 18-19)? Has anyone served as mentor to you in your faith journey? If so, in what ways has this mentoring helped to shape and strengthen your faith?
Loving and merciful God, you are my teacher and guide, and you provide godly people along life’s path to offer wisdom and guidance in my faith journey. Help me to recognize such teachers and mentors that I may open myself to their wisdom and grow in my knowledge of you. Amen.
1 Timothy 2:1-15: The apostle Paul provides instruction for church worship.