1 Timothy 1:12-20

1 Timothy 1:12-20 … The passage before us continues the opening charge to Timothy, who was given responsibility to lead the church in Ephesus. There are several important examples to note in Paul’s personal testimony. First, we’d note his humility, honestly recognizing his own ugly unworthiness (v.13) yet, still a person who received God’s mercy. Moreover, we see in that humility, total dependence on Christ for strength (v.12) and even for faith itself (v.14), which is found in Christ. 1 Timothy 1:15 is a great memory verse, setting forth God’s purpose in Christ … to save sinners … because we cannot save ourselves. Paul calls verse 15 a “trustworthy saying” and there are five of these in the Pastoral Letters that we’ll note as we get to them. Here, Paul reiterates that he’s an example to all … he was the vilest of sinners, fighting God, and yet is used by Him to show that the worst offender can be transformed by faith in the Living God.

Fanny Crosby who was blind her whole life (she lived until she was 95, dying in 1915), was one of the most prolific hymn writers in history, with many of her hymns in every church hymnal. One song she wrote was To God be the Glory, in which this line appears: “the vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.” Paul was a great illustration of that great truth, and frankly, you and I are as well. In that context, another great memory verse (1 Timothy 1:17) has been turned into a wonderful hymn that you may know … Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise.1 Paul completes his charge to Timothy by instructing him to fight the good fight (v.18) and to be vigilant, recognizing that there will be those who will attempt to undermine the work of God.

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