1 Timothy 1

This devotional is written by Matt Windsor-Richards.

1 Timothy 1

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Saviour and of Christ Jesus our hope,

2 To Timothy my true son in the faith:

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Timothy charged to oppose false teachers
3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work – which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practising homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers – and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

The Lord’s grace to Paul
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The charge to Timothy renewed
18 Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, 19 holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith. 20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.


The word “command” in our passage feels heavy in today’s society. We don’t like being told what to do. I have pathetic arguments with myself over not putting my seatbelt on if driving literally round the corner in my town - what’s that about? Just do it!!
We are ultimately commanded to love. I innately love my teenage boys even when they drive me mad - but I have to actively force myself to show them I love them sometimes, not just tell them. Are friends, strangers and colleagues easier to demonstrate love towards? Jesus has our back…
How often in our daily work and home lives do we act in ignorance and unbelief (v.13)? Either unwittingly causing trouble or missing opportunities to grow ourselves and others? Yet God’s grace is always abundantly available to us. When in trouble, or struggling with seemingly insurmountable problems, His grace, mercy and love is endless.
Timothy had prophesies made about him (v.18) that Paul obviously feels compelled to remind and encourage him with. To avoid shipwrecking faith. Have you ever received prophesies? Do you go forward for prayer at St Mary’s and open yourself to allowing God’s power to remind you and encourage you? We all need it. Regularly.
A prayer - Christ Jesus, please help me demonstrate “immense patience” towards others, as you have shown for us (v.16).
ps. It is important to me to briefly comment on v.10. I encourage all to read Marcus Green’s “The Possibility Of Difference”. Verses, such as this one, taken out of context (or lazily translated from the Greek), are given full attention and insight. We are all equal and made in God’s image to love one another. Let us all be careful, just as Paul urges Timothy and question whether “false doctrine” is being taught.

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