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Tag Archives: 1 Timothy

Unlawful Usage of the Law

1 Timothy 1:4-11

Timothy was a young preacher who was saved under the ministry of, and mentored by, the Apostle Paul. Paul felt a special closeness to this young man, and reserved some of his finest instruction for ministry and preaching in the final two letters of his life, both addressed to Timothy.

The first few verses of his first letter to Timothy are rich in good advice about what not to preach. He tells him to avoid fables and endless genealogies, which only cause people to ask questions that lead nowhere (verse 4). On the contrary, he instructs Timothy to edify the hearers, challenging their faith (verse 4).

Paul’s instruction to Timothy is not unlike Jesus’ very simple command to Peter, when He asked Peter if Peter loved Him. When Peter said that did indeed love Him, Jesus replied, “Feed my sheep” (John 21:17).

Then Paul begins to get specific with Timothy as to how to edify the listeners. Every preacher, pastor, evangelist, and even lay person would do well to grasp what Paul says about the “glorious gospel” (verse 11). He tells him that the end of the commandment is “charity out of pure heart and a good conscience and faith unfeigned (not pretending)” (verse 5). The Law demanded that men love the Lord with all of the heart, mind and soul, but no man was able to do that without a heart reformation. Christ entering into us gives us that reformation, thus completing the demand of the Law. Paul then warns that some preachers have turned aside from preaching that, to “vain jangling” or “useless talk” (verse 6).

What a bold thing to say! By continuing to preach the commandments, Paul says that a preacher is presenting useless talk. To further the argument, he continues in verse 7 with this powerful comment:

“Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm” (1 Timothy 1:7).

Now Paul wants to make sure that no one thinks that he is against the law, so he says that it is good, “if a man use it lawfully” (verse 8). Wait a minute! If there is a lawful way to use the law, then there must be an unlawful way to use the law. Paul says, “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane…” (verse 9). In light of this instruction, why is the law so frequently used against Christians? When a saint fails, we often hear the same condemnatory remarks used, citing the Law of God, as we do against the sinner. Instead, we should edify the believer, reminding them of who they are in Christ. Only the grace of God is going to teach them how to live righteous in this present world (Titus 2:11, 12).

Saint, receive no condemnation today. Let the love of God and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son silence the voice of condemnation in your spirit. God’s Law is just, holy and good and it shows people their sins. You are clean in Jesus, so see His grace and favor, and walk therein.

 

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Lay Hold on Eternal Life

1 Timothy 6:17-19

Jesus promised each one of us life more abundant (John 10:10), which means that we are to have a glorious experience in this life, happy and free in His finished work. His promise was not referring to our life to come, though that will be wonderful as well, for the New Testament makes it clear that we are to be living a great life in this present world (Romans 5:17; 1 Peter 3:10).

There are things that we can do in this present life that allow us to apprehend the glory that is found in the next life. Paul refers to this as laying hold on eternal life (1 Timothy 6:19). There are no works that we can do that can qualify us for heaven, but there are some actions that we can take while on this earth that will lead to days of heaven on earth. It is the simple principle of sowing and reaping that is a recurring theme of the New Covenant, and if the believer follows its pattern, they will reap if they faint not (Galatians 6:9).

Paul addresses young Timothy in two letters that bear Timothy’s name. Near the close of the first letter, he tells Timothy to give a charge to the wealthy members of his congregation that they not trust in their “uncertain riches, but in the living God” (1 Tim. 6:17). All wealth that we accumulate on this earth is uncertain riches, for the economies can shake and crumble, as we have well seen! The living God is unshakeable, thus He is a firm foundation. When we trust in Him we see that He “giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17).

The word “communicate” in verse 18 is an unfortunate translation. The original Greek word is ‘koinonikos’ which means “inclined to share with others; a free or liberal giver”. Paul uses this word 4 times in the New Testament and each time he is referring to giving financially or in any other way in which you are contributing to someone else. This is the heart of sowing into good ground, where you believe that your giving makes a difference in a church, a ministry or a life. Paul encouraged those that could spare the money to give it, for it would lay up a store for themselves against bad times to come (1 Timothy 6:19). Where the world’s system says “save your money for a rainy day”, Paul said “Give to others and you are prepared for the rainy day”.
When you learn the concept of sowing and reaping, you lay hold on a piece of eternity. The glory and the joy that permeates the next life will become yours on this earth and in this life. Days of heaven on earth are possible, but only if the redeemed become less attached to the system of this earth and more in tune with the music of heaven.

Jesus warned us about laying up treasure here, which was not His way of saying “Don’t save your money”. Instead, He wants us to focus our investments in the spirit realm, confident that our heavenly Father is a firm foundation, unshakeable in a world of uncertain riches. Invest wisely in ministry and the work of the Lord and you too will “lay hold on eternal life”.

 

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Lay Hold on Eternal Life

1 Timothy 6:17-19

Jesus promised each one of us life more abundant (John 10:10), which means that we are to have a glorious experience in this life, happy and free in His finished work. His promise was not referring to our life to come, though that will be wonderful as well, for the New Testament makes it clear that we are to be living a great life in this present world (Romans 5:17; 1 Peter 3:10).

There are things that we can do in this present life that allow us to apprehend the glory that is found in the next life. Paul refers to this as laying hold on eternal life (1 Timothy 6:19). There are no works that we can do that can qualify us for heaven, but there are some actions that we can take while on this earth that will lead to days of heaven on earth. It is the simple principle of sowing and reaping that is a recurring theme of the New Covenant, and if the believer follows its pattern, they will reap if they faint not (Galatians 6:9).

Paul addresses young Timothy in two letters that bear Timothy’s name. Near the close of the first letter, he tells Timothy to give a charge to the wealthy members of his congregation that they not trust in their “uncertain riches, but in the living God” (1 Tim. 6:17). All wealth that we accumulate on this earth is uncertain riches, for the economies can shake and crumble, as we have well seen! The living God is unshakeable, thus He is a firm foundation. When we trust in Him we see that He “giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17).

The word “communicate” in verse 18 is an unfortunate translation. The original Greek word is ‘koinonikos’ which means “inclined to share with others; a free or liberal giver”. Paul uses this word 4 times in the New Testament and each time he is referring to giving financially or in any other way in which you are contributing to someone else. This is the heart of sowing into good ground, where you believe that your giving makes a difference in a church, a ministry or a life. Paul encouraged those that could spare the money to give it, for it would lay up a store for themselves against bad times to come (1 Timothy 6:19). Where the world’s system says “save your money for a rainy day”, Paul said “Give to others and you are prepared for the rainy day”.
When you learn the concept of sowing and reaping, you lay hold on a piece of eternity. The glory and the joy that permeates the next life will become yours on this earth and in this life. Days of heaven on earth are possible, but only if the redeemed become less attached to the system of this earth and more in tune with the music of heaven.

Jesus warned us about laying up treasure here, which was not His way of saying “Don’t save your money”. Instead, He wants us to focus our investments in the spirit realm, confident that our heavenly Father is a firm foundation, unshakeable in a world of uncertain riches. Invest wisely in ministry and the work of the Lord and you too will “lay hold on eternal life”.

 

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Old Wives’ Fables

1 Timothy 4:1-7

In writing to young Timothy, Paul told him, and us, that “the Spirit speaketh expressly” or ‘pointedly’, “that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils”. Someone asked me recently if I felt that the church was entering a period that could be defined as “the falling away” (2 Thessalonians 2:3) or “the latter times”. I responded that I believe that we are certainly in the latter times, but that we have been in them for nearly 2000 years on God’s time clock. As for the falling away, I do not believe that we are entering that period now; I believe that we are already in it!

When Paul wrote of the falling away from the faith, he was writing it from the perspective of his gospel. What was it that Paul preached? He preached pure grace with salvation coming by faith alone in what Jesus had finished at the cross. Paul never preached the law as a means of salvation or as a means of maintaining or improving one’s salvation. Paul advocated a complete separation of the law from the preaching of grace, claiming that the law would inflame sin (Romans 5:18) and cause saints to fall from grace (Galatians 5:4).

To envision a church that would fall away from the faith, Paul sees one that no longer preaches pure grace. It should be obvious that we are not entering this period of church history, but are already there. The gospel of pure grace has all but vanished from many pulpits, with the hybrid message of law and grace being so prevalent as to be considered the only true gospel. In my part of the world, preachers that scream and yell and condemn people to hell are praised as preaching the “unadulterated gospel”, while they are truly instruments of condemnation and death. Paul would be hard pressed to find the comfort and exhortation being ministered that he personally worked so hard to foster.

He warns of “old wives’ fables” while not actually giving us one. However, the Word does share one with us that is of particular importance. The word of the LORD came to Ezekiel and this “wives’ fable” was confronted:

“What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?’ As I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:2-4)

This old proverb in Israel stated that if a man ate sour grapes, his child’s teeth would hurt. In other words, if a man sinned, his son would be punished. This teaching of generational curses passed back from God’s teaching Moses on Mt. Sinai that he would “visit the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me” (Exodus 20:5). God states that it can no longer be used, but why? The answer is found at the cross.

Jesus is thirsty at Calvary, so he asks for something to drink. They fill a sponge with “vinegar” or “sour wine” and lift it to Jesus. After he had received it, he said “It is finished”. At Calvary, Jesus drank the sour wine so that you will never have your teeth set on edge. He was punished so that you can go free. Remove the old wives’ tales and rejoice in a New Covenant!

 

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