Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 1 Timothy 1:19-3:16

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

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).

Paul Describes Healthy Worship & Leadership in God's Household. - 1 Timothy 2:1-3:16

Having focused Timothy's attention on the problem of false teachers at Ephesus and the remedy of "healthy teaching" in accord with the gospel, Paul unpacks the implications of the gospel for corporate worship (2:1-15) and selecting leaders (3:1-13). These two practices are essential gestures for the church to express its character as God's household, and its civic role to bear witness to the truth (3:14-16).

Worshippers of Christ Should Pray for Leaders & Model a Wholesome Social Order. - 1 Timothy 2:1-15

Paul's first concern is the conduct of corporate worship and the cosmic order it signifies. At the time of Paul's writing, every public assembly in Ephesus (cf. Acts 19:32, 39 and 20:28)—gatherings in the theater, the temples, the games—represented the dominant belief in the cities of Asia Minor that the Roman Caesar was favored by that city's gods and goddesses (especially Artemis) to provide them blessings for life and protection from harm. This view was represented in the social order and practices of their assemblies, which included praise for Caesar alongside their deities as supreme, and public honor for civic and temple leaders who received benefaction from Caesar, and shared his gifts locally to their advantage. Paul insisted that, as an alternative public assembly, the church must signify the true cosmic order by praising and praying to the "one God" and the "one mediator between God and human beings, the man Jesus Christ" (2:5), and by honoring one another.

God's People Show-and-Tell the Gospel in Corporate Worship. - 1 Timothy 2:1-7

Prayers should be offered for, not to, kings and others who have positions of leadership in society, so the community can flourish. Not only leaders, but "all people" in the community should be prayed for with "intercessions and thanksgivings" (vv1-2). These practices of prayer are consistent with the central narrative that shapes the identity, worship and mission of Christ's public assembly the good news that the one, true God wants "all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (v4).

He desires all people to be saved- 1 Timothy 2:4

He desires all people to be saved. Consistent with prayers for "all people" (2:1), Paul's gospel summary defined the central narrative of Christian worship—Christ was crucified and raised for the salvation of all people groups. On the one hand, this core testimony stood against the false teachers' misreadings of the Law, which imposed culturally specific dietary practices on the church. On the other hand, Paul's gospel countered Caesar's arrogant claim that he had brought peace and salvation to the whole world.

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) >>