Bible Commentaries

1 Timothy 1

Verses 1-20

This letter is an apostle's letter to a young minister having oversight of the church in Ephesus. The first part of the letter deals with the Church, its doctrine, its devotions, and its ministry. Difficulties existed in that "certain men" were teaching erroneous doctrine. In all probability, the reference was to the Gnostic heresies. The apostle shows the relation of "sound doctrine" to the law which the Gnostics were misinterpreting. Enumerating the evils resulting from such false teaching, he shows how, they are contradictory to that "sound doctrine" which is according to the "Gospel of the glory of the blessed God." Let Timothy charge these men not to teach the "different doctrine" which has such evil results, for the Gospel is a helpful doctrine.

Mention of the Gospel calls forth an exceedingly beautiful passage which is at once a song and a testimony. The apostle illustrates the beauty of the Gospel from his own experience. He had passed through stages, having been first a blasphemer, then a persecutor, and, finally, injurious. His salvation had come through faith. On that personal experience he now dogmatically affirmed the trustworthiness of the Gospel. He summarizes the Gospel in the simple statement, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." Addressing Timothy as a captain of the host of God, he charges him to wage a good war. This he will accomplish by holding faith, and a good conscience." The apostle emphasized the urgency of the charge by a warning in which he cited instances of those who had failed.