Tag: law for law-breakers
Scripture reading for October 16th: 1st Timothy 1:1-20
Paul’s letter to Timothy, his son in the faith was written to instruct a young pastor in leadership in the church. Timothy was a pastor of the church at Ephesus. There were false teachers and other issues in the church and Timothy was a young man who evidently struggled in leadership. Paul’s experience and ability to teach shine through this first of his ‘pastoral’ epistles.
Some of the false teachers were trying to teach the law. They were evidently coming out of a Jewish background and thought that adding the law would be logical to please God. “We also know that the law is not for the righteous, but for the lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers–and for whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, which is entrusted to me.”
The Gospel declares a person righteous by faith in Jesus Christ, not by any works on our part. When the law is added to faith, the Gospel is made of no consequence. The only purpose that the law can serve is to reveal sin in sinners. It is like a mirror that shows sin, but cannot remedy or erase sin. Paul’s list of the types of sinners who need the law would have included many in Ephesus.
But Paul also told Timothy that sin had permeated his own life as well. Paul was once a blasphemer and violent man who was a respected teacher of the law! But God showed him mercy because of his ignorance of faith. “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1st Timothy 1:15-17) God’s grace was available to all, even the worst of sinners! This amazing God was the King of Kings and deserves worship for who He is!