1 Timothy 1** The design of the epistle appears to be, that Timothy havingbeen left at Ephesus, St. Paul wrote to instruct him in thechoice of proper officers in the church, as well as in theexercise of a regular ministry. Also, to caution against theinfluence of false teachers, who by subtle distinctions andendless disputes, corrupted the purity and simplicity of thegospel. He presses upon him constant regard to the greatestdiligence, faithfulness, and zeal. These subjects occupy thefirst four chapters; the fifth chapter instructs respectingparticular classes; in the latter part, controversies anddisputes are condemned, the love of money blamed, and the richexhorted to good works. * The apostle salutes Timothy. (1-4) The design of the law asgiven by Moses. (5-11) Of his own conversion and call to theapostleship. (12-17) The obligation to maintain faith and a goodconscience. (18-20)1-4 Jesus Christ is a Christian's hope; all our hopes ofeternal life are built upon him; and Christ is in us the hope ofglory. The apostle seems to have been the means of Timothy'sconversion; who served with him in his ministry, as a dutifulson with a loving father. That which raises questions, is notfor edifying; that which gives occasion for doubtful disputes,pulls down the church rather than builds it up. Godliness ofheart and life can only be kept up and increased, by theexercise of faith in the truths and promises of God, throughJesus Christ. 5-11 Whatever tends to weaken love to God, or love to thebrethren, tends to defeat the end of the commandment. The designof the gospel is answered, when sinners, through repentancetowards God and faith in Jesus Christ, are brought to exerciseChristian love. And as believers were righteous persons in God'sappointed way, the law was not against them. But unless we aremade righteous by faith in Christ, really repenting andforsaking sin, we are yet under the curse of the law, evenaccording to the gospel of the blessed God, and are unfit toshare the holy happiness of heaven. 12-17 The apostle knew that he would justly have perished, ifthe Lord had been extreme to mark what was amiss; and also ifhis grace and mercy had not been abundant to him when dead insin, working faith and love to Christ in his heart. This is afaithful saying; these are true and faithful words, which may bedepended on, That the Son of God came into the world, willinglyand purposely to save sinners. No man, with Paul's examplebefore him, can question the love and power of Christ to savehim, if he really desires to trust in him as the Son of God, whoonce 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 andpraise 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; carriedon 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 designof the highest censures in the primitive church, was, to preventfurther sin, and to reclaim the sinner. May all who are temptedto put away a good conscience, and to abuse the gospel, rememberthat this is the way to make shipwreck of faith also.
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