In these two letters, Paul writes to his prodigy Timothy who has shown great faith and obedience despite his youth. Timothy is someone who I always related too, but I might have to accept that I’m now getting too old to do this. But, still there is a lot to learn from these letters, I am sure.
Timothy is being trusted to keep the church in Ephesus on the straight and narrow, because they’ve fallen into silly controversies and meaningless talk. Instead, the Ephesians should be doing God’s work, which is produced by faith, which in turn comes from love.
Again, it’s interesting to read about Paul’s attitude toward the Law. Paul says that the Law is good. Those who go against it are in need for it as they defy the gospel. We often view the Law as something totally separate and perhaps even against the gospel, but here it is good. It’s something worth thinking about when reading the Old Testament, especially, and how the rules link and even promote the gospel message. (Again, another area of study for another time perhaps.)
Paul then thanks that God has given him strength and saw him as worthy for service. This was despite of Paul’s “achievements”, not because of it. Paul was, in himself, unworthy of service but God showed him mercy. Lord, I thank you also, for that you have seen me worthy of service despite not deserving it! Thank you for your mercy.
Then comes a passage that will be familiar to a lot of Anglicans (especially the first part).
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 immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.1 Timothy 1:15-17
This is the testimony of all who believe. May the King eternal have honour and glory for every and ever.
That would be a very lovely note to end the post on, but there is something else in this chapter that caught my attention. It’s the last verse, verse 20: “Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.” As an act of pastoral love, two people who have been shipwrecked in faith, have been turned over to Satan. That sound like a very cruel act, but it is to teach them and to hopefully restore them. Again, this is something that I don’t really understand and don’t know much about the practical outworking. How exactly do you hand someone over to Satan so they may be restored? Once again, reading this chapter has revealed so much I don’t actually know.