THE BOOK OF 1 TIMOTHY
Deliverance by Godís Grace and Mercy
1 Timothy 1:8-14 SCC 10/14/12
††††††††††† Notice in verse 7 says, "First of all, these who desire to be teachers don't understand what they say nor that about which they affirm." The word "affirm" could be "speak dogmatically". They not only were saying things that they didn't understand, but they were saying them dogmatically as if they were absolute truth. They were ignorant and they were proud of it. They were parading their ignorance and being dogmatic. The idea of understanding neither what they say and they were continually in a state of not understanding of what they were talking about. As a general rule they could be defined as ignoramuses. They had no idea of what they were talking about. But what they were doing was promoting a false gospel. We get this idea from what follows. A discussion about law and grace:
THE LAW IS GOOD IF YOU USE IT LAWFULLY 8
††††††††††† The law has a right use. It has a right place but they're not using it right. They're using it as a means of salvation. They're setting the standard up of salvation by the law. And that is always what appeals to men who are proud because they're proud...or their pride is manifest in the illusion that their good enough by themselves to please God, that's the epitome of pride. Pride says I don't need a Savior. Why do I need a Savior? I can attain unto God's standard by myself.
††††††††††† So, their pride had caused them to create an approach to the law of God, and I believe when he talks about wanting them to be teachers of...they wanted to be teachers of the law, he has in mind the Mosaic Law, the law of God. But he says they don't know anything about it but the law is good if you use it right. They were using it wrong. They were feeling the law could save you. That's always what the false teachers teach, that you don't need saving grace. You don't need the death of Christ. You don't need to come in meekness and humility and fear and brokenness before God. You can get there on your own, you can attain to it. They think the law is the standard by which men reach their salvation. That's wrong. He says the law is good if you use it lawfully. Well, how do you use it lawfully?
THE LAW IS FOR SINNERS NOT RIGHTEOUS 9-10
††††††††††† The law is good but you can't treat it like gospel. Listen carefully, the law is good but the law alone is not good news. The law is good but the law alone is not good news. So what the law does is condemn everybody. What the law does is pronounce judgment damnation on everybody. What the law does is send everybody to hell because we've broken God's law and there's none righteous, no not one. The law is unable to make you holy.
††††††††††† You're never going to see the true use of the law because the law is not for righteous people, the law is for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for homosexuals, for kidnappers, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine. That's what the law is for. The law is to crush sinners, the law is to show who we really are. The law is good but the law is not good news. The law is good but it's not gospel...not alone, it wasn't made for righteous men, it was made for sinners so they could see their sin.
††††††††††† The first three pairs, lawless and rebellious, ungodly sinners, and unholy profane, all refer to the first part of the Ten Commandments, which has to do with our relationship to God. Starting with the murderers of fathers and mothers and manslayers and fornicators and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars, he moves through the second half of the Ten Commandments, which have to do with our relationship to other men in society. We could summarize by saying then that the law was made for people who are disobedient, impure and irreverent. When you put your life against the law of God, you see that you are indeed lawless disobedient ungodly sinful and unholy and profane. And all of that has to do with the defying of God and the duty one has to render to God. It is a sinner attacking God. The law is made for those people to show them their evil, to show them they were violating the law of God. And he concludes just in case anything is left out, any other thing contrary to sound doctrine the law comes to expose. The law is to expose and condemn and crush the sinner. And then he lists a few kinds of sinners and throws everybody in as any other thing contrary to healthy life‑promoting teaching.
THE GOSPELS FORGIVENESS REVEALS THE GLORY OF GOD 11
††††††††††† The good news, first of all, is bad. That is the gospel. The gospel says that man is a sinner. The first part of the gospel is that you are lost without Christ with un-forgiven sin for which you will be damned forever in an eternal hell. So when somebody comes along and covers up the message of sin, that's not any help. People say, "Well, we don't want to talk about that." We have to talk about that. That's the gospel. That's according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God. We cannot strip out the sin part of the gospel, because we think we have a better gospel than the glorious gospel of the blessed God. That is to say the gospel demonstrates His glory.
††††††††††† Part of His attributes is a hatred of sin. His attributes are wrath and judgment and condemnation and holiness. And if you strip all that other stuff out and change the gospel that's not the glorious God...that's not the glorious gospel. You have to see His holy hatred of sin; you have to see His condemning justice because that's part of His essential being. And then you understand His grace and mercy and love as well. So, it is called the glorious gospel because it is the gospel through which God's glory is revealed. You see His attributes of wrath and judgment and righteousness and holiness, condemnation, hatred against sin and all that, and you see His wisdom and you see His love and you see His mercy and you see His grace and His power. All that God is comes together revealed in the gospel, that's why it is the gospel of His glory, the gospel revealing His glory or the essence of who He is.
GODS GOSPEL HAS THE ABILITY TO TRANSFROM LIVES 12-13
††††††††††† See the elements of grace as he does this. First is the source of grace. Look at verse 12. He is thankful, he says, to Christ Jesus our Lord. Why does he direct his thanks there? Because therein is the source of grace. The emphasis is on the gratitude. He is saying I am continually grateful, continually grateful to Christ always emphasizing the lordship of Christ. Why? Paul's testimony in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 verse 9: "For I am the least of the Apostles, I am not fit to be called an Apostle because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am and His grace which was bestowed on me was not in vain but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I but the grace of God which was with me." In Ephesians chapter 3:8, "Unto me who am less than the least of all saints is this grace given." I am what I am by the grace of God even though I'm nothing, I am not fit to be an Apostle. I am the least of all saints. I am the chief of sinners. Always he sees himself that way and it's always connected to his blasphemous slanderous Christ-hating Christian persecuting background. And
he knows that if he has received salvation, it is all of grace.
1. He is also grateful for enabling grace. It says, "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me," literally, who has given me strength.
2. He is thankful for entrusting grace. He says, "In that He counted me trustworthy, or faithful." He is very amazed that the Lord counted him trustworthy enough to deposit in his life the salvation that God gave him and the truth that God brought to him. And he is one committed to faithfulness.
3. He is grateful for employing grace of God that not only saved him and strengthened him and made him worthy to hold the trust of his salvation, but also allowed him to serve with humility and blessing. †††††††††† In verse 13 the need is very clear, before his conversion he was a blasphemer and a persecutor and injurious. The grace of God is so vivid in his mind because of what he used to be of what he was. He was a ferocious aggressive evil persecutor of the church.
PT: It's very helpful for each of us to remember the pit from which you were dug.
††††††††††† The power of grace was expressed because the need was so great. Mercy has to do with misery. Grace has to do with guilt. Grace takes away the guilt; mercy takes away the misery that accompanies the guilt. The undeserved relief of misery that comes with saving grace came to Paul and I was mercied, he says. How so? How could such a wretched vile rotten sinner be mercied? Because, he says, "I did it ignorantly in unbelief, I didn't know what I was doing." The Day of Atonement provides atonement for the sins of people who sin without knowledge, who sin ignorantly. But those who sin deliberately willfully, cold-blooded, arrogantly are beyond the atonement because they have no repentance. Someone who sins and repents understands what they've done and comes in repentance and confession and faith. They were covered in Israel by the atonement on the Day of Atonement. But those cold-blooded arrogant sinners with no confession and no repentance, their sin was not taken care of.
GOD HAS A LOT OF GRACE TO COVER ALL OUR SIN 14
††††††††††† What's the measure of this grace? "And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundantĒ v 14. It super abounded. You got a lot of sin; you got a lot of grace to cover that sin. And here we find the use of the term grace, which is central to the passage, and though it only appears here it permeates the whole of Paul's gratitude. Abounding sin gives way to super abounding grace, above the expected measure. He says it is grace with faith and love, which is in Christ Jesus. Now this grace is in Christ Jesus. You're not going to get grace anywhere else. Now in Christóbefore it was only hatred and unbelief v 13 óbut now because of Godís grace, his life is full of faith and love! Here is a complete transformation due to the power of the gospel.
1. People can be completed transformed within by the power of the gospel. Miraculous life transformation is possible because the gospel changes lives.
2. We live within the realm of the grace and mercy of God. Every day remember this and look to the gospel as a daily reminder of your need.