1 Timothy 1

** The design of the epistle appears to be, that Timothy having

been left at Ephesus, St. Paul wrote to instruct him in the

choice of proper officers in the church, as well as in the

exercise of a regular ministry. Also, to caution against the

influence of false teachers, who by subtle distinctions and

endless disputes, corrupted the purity and simplicity of the

gospel. He presses upon him constant regard to the greatest

diligence, faithfulness, and zeal. These subjects occupy the

first four chapters; the fifth chapter instructs respecting

particular classes; in the latter part, controversies and

disputes are condemned, the love of money blamed, and the rich

exhorted to good works.

* The apostle salutes Timothy. (1-4) The design of the law as

given by Moses. (5-11) Of his own conversion and call to the

apostleship. (12-17) The obligation to maintain faith and a good

conscience. (18-20)

1-4 Jesus Christ is a Christian's hope; all our hopes of

eternal life are built upon him; and Christ is in us the hope of

glory. The apostle seems to have been the means of Timothy's

conversion; who served with him in his ministry, as a dutiful

son with a loving father. That which raises questions, is not

for edifying; that which gives occasion for doubtful disputes,

pulls down the church rather than builds it up. Godliness of

heart and life can only be kept up and increased, by the

exercise of faith in the truths and promises of God, through

Jesus Christ.
5-11 Whatever tends to weaken love to God, or love to the

brethren, tends to defeat the end of the commandment. The design

of the gospel is answered, when sinners, through repentance

towards God and faith in Jesus Christ, are brought to exercise

Christian love. And as believers were righteous persons in God's

appointed way, the law was not against them. But unless we are

made righteous by faith in Christ, really repenting and

forsaking sin, we are yet under the curse of the law, even

according to the gospel of the blessed God, and are unfit to

share the holy happiness of heaven.
12-17 The apostle knew that he would justly have perished, if

the Lord had been extreme to mark what was amiss; and also if

his grace and mercy had not been abundant to him when dead in

sin, working faith and love to Christ in his heart. This is a

faithful saying; these are true and faithful words, which may be

depended on, That the Son of God came into the world, willingly

and purposely to save sinners. No man, with Paul's example

before him, can question the love and power of Christ to save

him, if he really desires to trust in him as the Son of God, who

once died on the cross, and now reigns upon the throne of glory,

to save all that come to God through him. Let us then admire and

praise the grace of God our Saviour; and ascribe to the Father,

Son, and Holy Ghost, three Persons in the unity of the Godhead,

the glory of all done in, by, and for us.
18-20 The ministry is a warfare against sin and Satan; carried

on under the Lord Jesus, who is the Captain of our salvation.

The good hopes others have had of us, should stir us up to duty.

And let us be upright in our conduct in all things. The design

of the highest censures in the primitive church, was, to prevent

further sin, and to reclaim the sinner. May all who are tempted

to put away a good conscience, and to abuse the gospel, remember

that this is the way to make shipwreck of faith also.

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