Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 1 Timothy 1:15-20

<< Previous Note(s)1 Timothy Main PageNext Note(s) >>

This message is reliable and worthy of all acceptance. - 1 Timothy 1:15

This message is reliable and worthy of all acceptance. In the New Testament, this expression is found exclusively and repeatedly in the Pastoral Epistles to underscore the reliability of known, traditional sayings used in Christian worship (1 Tim 1:15; 2 Tim 2:11-13) or training (1 Tim 3:1; 4:8-9; Titus 3:4-8)

I was given mercy - 1 Timothy 1:16

I was given mercy. See 1:13 above. Because of his violent persecution of the church before he submitted to Jesus as both Christ and Lord, Paul viewed himself as the worst of sinners (cf. 1 Cor 15:9; Gal 1:13, 23). His vision of the risen Christ illuminated his actions against Christ's followers as against Christ himself. The lavish extremity of Christ's mercy towards Paul demonstrated God's grace and love asan example for all who believe.

Now, to the King - 1 Timothy 1:17

Now, to the King of the ages . . . be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. Paul's confession of sin and testimony about Christ's mercy led him to praise and worship God. This doxology echoes Paul's opening benediction that "grace, mercy and peace come from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord" (see note on 1:1-2).

Timothy's commission to confront false teachers with this gospel - 1 Timothy 1:18-20

Timothy's commission to confront false teachers with this gospel. Having described the merciful circumstances of his own commission from Christ, Paul passed on "this charge" to Timothy on the basis of "prophecies once made" about him, and Paul's own assessment that Timothy's fidelity was like that of a "genuine child." Timothy would need to draw strength from these confirmations of his calling which meant confronting false teachers at Ephesus.

The prophecies previously made about you - 1 Timothy 1:18

the prophecies previously made about you. This is the first of three references Paul makes to Timothy's commissioning (or ordination) by a "council of elders" (4:14), who recognized Timothy's gifts and calling to Christ's service (see note on 1:12). This event included "prophecies" and the "laying on of hands" (cf. Acts 13:1-13; 1 Tim 4:14) by council members about the purpose(s) of Timothy's ministry. From 2 Timothy 1:6-7, we learn that Paul participated personally

For the Scripture says - 1 Timothy 1:18

For the Scripture says. Paul's instructions to Timothy continue to model readings from the Law based on Jesus' teaching. Here, Paul cites both Moses (Deuteronomy 25:4) and Jesus (as recorded in Luke 10:7), identifying both as 'Scripture.' As he also wrote in 1 Cor 9:9, Paul believed that someone who devotes the majority of their time to teaching the Scriptures should be supported financially by the church

A good conscience - 1 Timothy 1:19

holding faith and a good conscience. Specifically, Timothy was called to contend for the gospel against the confidence the false teachers at Ephesus were placing in law-keeping to cultivate "a good conscience." As Paul made clear by narrating his own experience of God's mercy, personal and communal transformation come by faith in Christ alone.

Hymenaeus and Alexander- 1 Timothy 1:20

Hymenaeus and Alexander. Paul named two leaders in the community who had "ship-wrecked their faith." In 2 Tim 2:17-18, Hymenaeus (likely the same person) is described as one who "wandered away from the truth." Though we cannot be certain, Alexander, described as Paul's opponent in 2 Tim 4:14 and Acts 19:33-34, may be the man named here. I gave over to Satan. As in 1 Cor 5:5, where Paul used similar language, this probably refers to a form of excommunication or formal disciplinary action against these two men, that placed them outside the church in the domain of Satan (cf. Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2; Tit 3:10-11). taught not to blaspheme. This disciplinary action against Hymenaeus and Alexander had a corrective purpose to restore them to "healthy teaching" and practices rooted in the gospel (cf. Gal 6:1; 2 Tim 2:24-26).

Related Resources

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

<< Previous Note(s)1 Timothy Main PageNext Note(s) >>