1 Timothy 1:15 (NIV)
15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.
On verses 12-15: No matter how far Paul advanced as a leader in God’s kingdom, Paul never forgot where he came from, how he once was a persecuter of God’s church, “the worst of sinners” he calls himself. Likewise, may you never forget the depths from which God saved you, so that you will never take for granted His forgiveness, His acceptance, and the opportunities He has given you to serve Him since.
1 Timothy 1:16-17 (NIV)
16 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.
17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
On verses 16-17: The reason God saved you wasn’t just for you. It was so that others would come to know God through you (v16) and so that God’s name would be given honour and glory (v17). God saved you because He had others in mind. Who are the people God wants to help through you?
1 Timothy 1:18 (NIV)
18 Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight,
On verse 18: Apparently some Christians with the gift of prophecy, including Paul most likely, received prophetic and encouraging words for Timothy. Paul reminds Timothy of those prophecies that were spoken over his life and encourages Timothy with them, especially as Timothy gets ready to stand up to certain false teachers in his church.
What can we learn from this? When you’re facing challenging or uncertain times, remember what God has said about you in the past, including promises from Scripture about who you are, pictures and prophecies about yourself that resonated with you. Doing this will renew your courage and your mindset as you face whatever challenge is in front of you.
1 Timothy 1:19-20 (NIV)
19 holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.
20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.
On verses 19-20: It is vital that we protect our faith and our conscience (see also 1:5). How?
We protect our faith by feeding it every day with God’s Word, going to church every Sunday, going to small group regularly, praying, and other spiritual disciplines that help develop our spiritual muscles.
We keep a good conscience by doing our best to live a life that pleases God and, whenever we fail, by repenting of our sins to God and receiving His forgiveness.
When we don’t protect our faith and our conscience, it is easy for us to become hard-hearted, side-tracked and shipwrecked spiritually. This was the case with Hymenaeus and Alexander, two men in the church at Ephesus who went astray because they failed to protect their faith and their conscience, and started believing and possibly teaching wrong doctrine in the church. What does Paul mean in verse 20 when he writes, “whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme”? He probably means that Paul had removed Hymenaeus and Alexander from the church, at least temporarily, as a form of discipline and as a warning (for them and for others) that they need to come back to the faith that had saved them.
Heavenly Father, thank You for saving me, the worst of sinners, and showing me incredible mercy through Your Son Jesus Christ. Thank You for all the patience You continually show me and the words You have spoken to me. May I not forget them. Help me today and every day to hang onto faith and a good conscience, so that I can discern Your Word correctly and teach it well to others. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!