v1-2 - Even though the introductions in Paul's letters often fit a very similar format, each has it's own unique flavor. How many unique things can you spot in the intro to 1 Timothy?
v3-5 - It can be so easy to think that the problems faced in the world and church today are worse than they've ever been before, but Paul's purpose statement here opening this letter reminds us that there have and always will be those who seek to derail the true gospel.
But God uses even ugly sins like heresy to accomplish His good work. Were it not for these problems, we would not have many of these books of the Bible, written to correct heresy two thousand years ago which now give us so much good guidance (our confessions were also written in large part to correct error and now serve to guide us forward).
An example of this treasure that sprung forth to quell error is v5, a brief little statement about where love comes from (1 - a pure heart, 2 - a good conscience, 3 - a sincere faith). There's an entire sermon in that one verse!
v6-11 - We read portions of God's law often on Sunday mornings, and v9 is a perfect explanation of why we do so. We don't need to hear it read to remind us how awesome we are, but rather to help us identify and confess the ugly sin which constantly seeks to pull us back into the rebelliousness that God saved us from.
v12-16 - Paul points to his own life as a testimony that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst (v15)."
v17 is a perfect example of the spontaneous doxologies (words of glory) that Paul often drops into the middle of his writings.
It's almost like he just can't contain himself, and in the middle of a thought he drops what he was writing and breaks out into praise.
This is an example of an awesome Spiritual Discipline that you can emulate as well. Keep your mind so aligned with God's will, that at random times throughout the day you find yourself praising God, even if the words you use (or even just think) aren't quite as eloquent as Paul's.
It's quite likely that both these words and the famous quotation in v15 were lines to ancient hymns.
If that's the case, Paul is simply writing down the songs echoing in his mind from a recent worship service, again underscoring how important it is for us to sing, and thereby burn solid truths into our minds!
v18-20 - Living a solid Christian life in the midst of those trying to steer the Church off course isn't easy. Look at the violent words used here:
v18 - "fight the battle well;"
v19 - "some have rejected [the faith] and so have suffered shipwreck;"
v20 - those who reject this faith are "handed over to Satan."
Strive to hold onto the faith given to you using the strength God provides.
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE: 1 Chronicles 29:10-13 is a great example of a psalm that's not in the book of Psalms as well as being a doxology to God.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: Paul uses three terms to describe what he was like before he came to Christ. The first is “blasphemer.” What are the other two terms? (See verse 13.)
How has God used error in the Church to actually strengthen the Church?
Question 1 taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father is the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God (v17)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the strength to "fight the battle well (v18).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: