1 Timothy 1

1 Timothy 1 has Paul writing to Timothy and urging him to remain in Ephesus to get after those in the church who were teaching doctrine that was false and not aligned with God’s truth.  The foundation of the gospel is this: “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith”.  It’s all about love – God’s love for mankind, and subsequently our love for one another.  That’s how you can boil down God’s plan – He loved us with unexplainable love that should penetrate our hearts and cause us to love one another the same way.

There is a conflict for some to understand how grace and the law can co-exist.  “Now we know that  the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted”.  The law helps us understand where we fall short.  It makes clear the truth that left to our own efforts to meet God’s standards of holiness and righteousness, we’re going to come up short.  We can’t make it on our own.  That’s where the gospel comes in.  It allows us through grace to be set free from our shortcomings in meeting the law and receive the gift of forgiveness even when we don’t deserve it.

That was Paul’s mission, to tell the world of the amazing love expressed through Christ as God’s grace.  “I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus”.  Paul was a sinner like all the rest of us, but when he accepted God’s grace through Christ, he was set free from that sin and made righteous through Jesus.  That’s what the gospel is all about.  It’s God’s love providing a future for all of us as sinners, if we receive the gift God offers.

Paul makes clear why Jesus came to this earth as a baby some 2000 years ago.  “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life”.  Jesus came for one reason – to save sinners.  That’s been God’s plan from the beginning.  He offered His only Son sacrificially on the cross to carry the burden of our sin and offer us mercy and grace through a relationship with Jesus.  That is the only way we can be freed from the penalty of our sin because we certainly will not achieve God’s standard through keeping the law.  Jesus is the only solution to our sin problem.  Have you dealt with the sin in your life?  Thinking God might forget or overlook it is a bad strategy.  Sin will be addressed.  Jesus and the grace God offers through Him, is our answer.  Are you ready?

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