Monday, January 19, 2009

I Timothy. . . . . by an unshaven guitar player

So, this week I have the opportunity to preach at Calvary Bible Church. . which is indeed a huge privledge, and a responsibility that I don't take lightly. I thought I would ask you all. . . you know, the thunderous horde of readers of my blog. . . . to give some input to the message.

Here's the text I've been asked to speak on(we're in a series on I Timothy after all). . .

I'd love for you, after you read it to maybe answer a couple of these questions. . .

1) What jumps out at you?
2) What questions do you have about the meaning of this passage?
3) Who is Hymenaues's great aunt?

1 Timothy 1:12-20 (English Standard Version)

Christ Jesus Came to Save Sinners
12I thank him(A) who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful,(B) appointing me to his service, 13though formerly I was a blasphemer,(C) persecutor, and insolent opponent. But(D) I received mercy(E) because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14and(F) the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the(G) faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15The saying is(H) trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus(I) came into the world to save sinners,(J) of whom I am the foremost. 16But 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. 17To(K) the King of ages,(L) immortal,(M) invisible,(N) the only God,(O) be honor and glory forever and ever.[a] Amen.

18This charge(P) I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with(Q) the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may(R) wage the good warfare, 19(S) holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have(T) made shipwreck of their faith, 20among whom are(U) Hymenaeus and(V) Alexander, whom I(W) have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to(X) blaspheme.

(ps. I have some good ideas as to where this passage is taking me . . so this isn't a last-second plea for help, ideas, etc. . . . for those cynical readers of this blog)
(and if that's you. . . . Hey, stop being cynical!!!)



Publican_Chest said...

What a great passage.

On first glance, I am curious why you made the break at v. 18? It seems like vv. 12-17 are a cogent unit.

There is great law and gospel in this verse. I am sure most folks might at first be comforted by thinking "oh, well I wasn't as bad as Paul, I don't blaspheme, kill Christians, etc." But there is a bridge to our context, in what ways do we all blaspheme in our hearts? When are patience is put to the test, how do we respond? Do we have perfect patience when we get home from work and the kids are nagging, wife needs help...we blow up at them...

Also what sticks out is that Paul isn't saying he should get off the hook in v. 13 with the "ignorantly in unbelief." No, he was ignorant to his shame, he should have known what he denied, Christ is Lord. His ignorance was sin.

Helpful books on Pastorals:

George E. Knight's commentary on the Pastorals

John Stott's commentary on I Tim.

That's it, we'll be praying for your ministry bro...

Jeff said...

1) What jumps out at me?

I love the message of abundant grace and mercy - in spite of who we were.

fight the good fight holding on to faith and a good conscience.

2) What questions do you have about the meaning of this passage?

vs. 12 on what basis was he "judged faithful"?

vs.14 "The Saying is trustworthy" - is the saying an early church creed on commonly quoted thing prior to Paul capturing it in scripture.

vs. 15 how is Paul the foremost of sinners? Certainly there have been worse before and after Paul (including me).

vs. 20 how does paul deliver someone to Satan?

3) Who is Hymenaues's great aunt?

Is there a punch line here somewhere? His name means "singing man".

aaron said...

Thanks guys,

I've been reading Calvin's commentaries on this text (they're all free online for the whole bible)and it's a bit of tightrope to walk between "I'm not as bad as Paul" and taking seriously his assertion that he was the foremost of sinners for his blatant persecution of the church.
I"m still working on how I'll navigate that. We can take a lesson from Paul on "self-view" and humility in how he speaks of himself, of course. . . but I think there's more there, and some things to be drawn out about how he was the "worst" sinner and we all are when we work against God and/or his church. . .hmm. . .

thanks for the thoughts guys.

Austin, I just cut and pasted from There was no intention on the break. Jeff, yes, that was a joke. :)

Publican_Chest said...


I was curious in why you are including v. 18 in your preaching text? That is what I meant. Not the paragraph break. It seems like vv. 12-17 are one cogent unit ending with "amen" and then v. 18 moves on to the charge of Timothy.

I agree with Jeff that the "trustworthy statements" are very important organizing phrases in the pastorals and are useful to pay attention to.

Interesting stuff.

aaron said...

yeah, Austin, I was charged with preaching through 20.. . but we may end at 17 :). You're right,it's the natural break.

I haven't read anything that says the "trustworthy statement" was anything outside of Paul. But, yes, that's the key verse.