1 Timothy 1

Confront False Teaching at Ephesus

Opening Greeting (1-2)

Paul asserts two points of interest in his greeting: first, he is an Apostle by command, and second, Timothy is a true spiritual son.

Confront False Teachers (3-7)

Paul commissions Timothy to confront false teachers at Ephesus who were dishing up a different teaching from theirs, teaching devoted to theories, genealogies, and hypotheses concerning Jewish legends and family trees, aimed at distorting the Gospel revealed throughout the Old Testament. The Apostolic Gospel was based on eyewitness accounts of Jesus, and anything else would never produce faith or a faith lifestyle (3-4). Paul then gives a summary of the faith lifestyle—a life dominated by love, resulting from a purified heart, a commitment not to violate conscience, and genuine faith in Christ and His promises (5). Paul states the obvious: false teachers haven't been eyewitnesses, thus they do not know what they are talking about.

Confront False Uses of the Law (8-11)

Another feature of a false teacher is their misuse of the law. Paul makes it clear that the law is not for those who live by and act out gospel faith (8,11) but for those who are lawless (9-10).

Confront False Concepts Concerning Grace (12-17)

Paul then serves himself up as an example of the transformative power of Gospel faith. First he mentions that Gospel faith, which is the result of grace (14), made him faithful (12) and changed him from being a blasphemer and persecutor (13) into a man of faith and love (14). Then, Paul confesses that Christ came to save sinners (15), and he considers himself to be one of the worst (16), an example (16) of how faith in Christ and the resulting grace radically changed his entire being (16). Paul finally erupts in a song of praise (17).

Confront False Actions in Yourself (18-20)

Paul ends the chapter by reminding Timothy to wage the good warfare for faith as was his prophetic destiny, and to beware of the catastrophic disasters of those who had rejected their faith and begun to blaspheme it.