Opening Prayer Thoughts.
Praise God that he has revealed himself in his Word. Praise God that we can know the truth about life, salvation, and eternity. Praise God that he has appointed ‘gifts’ to the church for the preaching and teaching of his Word, and for the work of God the Holy Spirit in applying that Word to our lives. Ephesians 4:11-16.
Confess the sin of not laying hold of the truth of God’s Word as you may have in your inner life. Pray that the Holy Spirit would enable you to do so.
Please ask the Holy Spirit's help as you come to his Word.
Please read 1 Timothy chapter 1:12 - 2:7
Notes previously prepared by Rev. Daniel Hempkin, Minister of Hebron RPCNA.
1 Timothy 1:12-16. Overflowing Grace.
In yesterday's reading, Paul spoke of "the Gospel of the glory of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted". Today, he states clearly what that Gospel is. Paul had formerly blasphemed the Name of Christ Jesus, having opposed His followers as believers in a false Messiah. Ignorant of the truth and blinded to it by his sinful nature, he zealously persecuted Christians, thinking he was faithfully serving God by doing so. There is no way such a person will, of his own accord, believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, when Paul, in his opposition to the Gospel, was the foremost of sinners – a blasphemer, persecutor and insolent opponent – God poured His grace upon him to such a degree that Paul says it "overflowed", creating in his heart a faith in, and love for, Jesus. Through this faith, Paul was judged righteous and appointed to Christ's service as an Apostle. Thus, Paul's salvation is an example to others that salvation is by God's grace alone, and that Christ is perfect in His patience with sinners. Indeed, Paul is clear evidence that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Paul was saved in exactly the same way anyone else is saved. No one goes to heaven by his or her own merits, and no one can will himself into loving God or believing in Christ. It takes a sovereign act of God, by His overflowing grace, to change a sinner's heart, that he or she would love Christ and have faith in Him. The result of saving faith is "eternal life".
1 Timothy 1:17. Praise to God.
It is important to note that in I Timothy 1:15, Paul says that "Christ Jesus came into the world". The fact that He came into the world shows that He existed before His incarnation – that is, before He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, He existed. Thus, when Paul, after recounting his own salvation by the grace of God, breaks forth into praise in verse 17, this praise includes Jesus Christ as a Person of the Godhead. Paul's praise of the LORD teaches several things about our God: 1) He is the King of Ages – the One who rules over all things, including time itself; 2) He is immortal – the term can mean "deathless" or "incorruptible". In other words, God is not subject to time (which He created), or decay or change of any kind. He is immutable (changeless) in His nature; 3) He is the only (or only-wise) God - the All-knowing Creator of all things. There is no other god; and 4) Honor and glory belong to Him forever. Receiving salvation by God's grace causes the believer to break forth in praise and love of God for who He really is. May all who are saved reflect on their salvation and give Him the praise due His Name.
1 Timothy 1:18-19. Good Warfare.
Paul charges Timothy to "wage the good warfare". What is this war he tells Timothy to fight? The surrounding Scriptures tell us it is not a war fought with earthly weapons. It is a warfare that involves "holding faith and a good conscience", and one that God revealed Timothy was equipped and gifted to wage. It is the warfare of proclaiming the Gospel that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Paul calls this "warfare" because the world, being fallen and sinful, will hate God's message of salvation in Christ. Moreover, there will even be those within the visible Church, people who profess faith in Christ, who will nevertheless reject the authority of God's Word. Thus, the proclamation of the Gospel and of every doctrine consistent with it, will often be a struggle. If you are faithful to proclaim God's Truth, you will face opposition from the world – even from others called "Christians". (Be open to recognizing that you could be wrong. Be willing to be corrected by God's Word, but do not be surprised when the plain teaching of Scripture is opposed even by Christians. Some are misguided and some are false converts.) As long as there is sin in the world, the proclamation of the Gospel will be a struggle because the fallen world is in conflict with its Creator. Be ready to wage the good warfare.
1 Timothy 1:18-20. Church Discipline.
Since faithful proclamation of the Gospel will be opposed – sometimes even by some who are called "Christians", therefore, proclaiming the Truth is often a struggle or warfare. In verse 19, Paul reminds Timothy that he must be "holding faith and a good conscience". That is, in order to wage the good warfare, Timothy must hold fast to the Truth of God's Word and obey it. By contrast, some have rejected the Truth of the Bible and have "made a shipwreck of their faith". In other words, one's conscience is like a rudder that steers a ship. Informed by God's Word, the Christian's conscience can steer him through the challenges of life. His faith is deepened as he grows in his knowledge of God, conforms more and more to the LORD's revealed will and endures many hardships. If one rejects the authority of God's Word, the rudder of his conscience is warped, steering him in the wrong way. Thus, his life of faith becomes a shipwreck. Two men who made such a shipwreck of their faith were Hymenaeus and Alexander. Because this kind of thing happens, church discipline is necessary. Indeed, discipline is part of waging the good warfare. (For a detailed explanation of the Biblical process of Church discipline, see Matthew 18:15-20.) Paul has handed these men "over to Satan" – that is, he has cast them out of the church, treating them as if they have never had saving faith, because of their continued lack of repentance. However, it is important to note that this was not simply to get rid of them, but "that they might learn not to blaspheme". The goal of church discipline always must be the repentance and restoration of the erring brother or sister.
1 Timothy 2:1-7. One Mediator.
Verse 5 begins with the word "For". When used (as it is here) as a conjunction, the word "for" indicates that what the writer has just said is true because what he is about to say is true. In this case, verses 1-4 are true because verses 5 and 6 are true. Therefore, we'll consider verses 5-6, today, before dealing with the rest of this passage tomorrow. First, Paul says there is one God. This is revealed throughout Scripture – there is only one God; all other gods are false. Second, there is one Mediator between God and men. This might be better translated, "For God is also the one Mediator between God and mankind". In other words, God, Himself, is the only Mediator (the only go-between) between God and human beings. Third, that Mediator who is God, Himself, is also a man (literally, "human being"). So, the one Mediator between God and mankind is both divine and human. Lastly, this God-Man is Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all. Thus, we have the most profound of teachings: God, Himself became human so that He could mediate between mankind and Himself. There is no other possible Mediator between God and mankind because no one else is both God and human. Only the God-Man Jesus Christ can reconcile sinners to our Holy Creator. Many people are happy to accept that Jesus Christ may be one of many ways to God, but this is not what God tells us. It is vain and foolish to think that there could be anyone else who could properly mediate between God and mankind, for there is no one else who is both God and Man. God has graciously come to us in the Person of Jesus Christ. Let us gladly accept this free gift of Himself (and accept that He knows how many ways he has made between Himself and humankind). For One God is also the only Mediator between God and mankind - the Man Christ Jesus.
Sing with joy in your heart to God.
Psalm 40B. Link to the words. Link to it being sung.
Memory Verse - Lay the Word of God up in your heart.
It is a privilege to lay into our hearts and minds the light and truth of God's Word.
Ephesians 2:4-7 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
Truth for the Mind and Heart
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 10 – How did God create man?
Answer – God created man, male and female, in his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with rule over the creatures.
This is taken from https://matt2819.com/wsc where you will find proof texts.
Thank God for whatever is on your heart.
Take care in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley
Minister, Ottawa RPC