1 Timothy 1



1 Timothy 1 addresses the importance of sound doctrine, warns against false teachings, and emphasizes gratitude for God's mercy and grace. Paul encourages Timothy to uphold the true faith and fight against false doctrines while reflecting on his own transformation by Christ's mercy.


  1. Greeting and Charge to Timothy (1 Timothy 1:1-2): Paul identifies himself as an apostle of Christ and greets Timothy, whom he refers to as his "true child in the faith." Paul charges Timothy to remain in Ephesus to address certain issues within the church.
  2. Warning Against False Teachings (1 Timothy 1:3-11): Paul instructs Timothy to confront those teaching false doctrines that deviate from the sound instruction of Christ. He emphasizes the importance of love that issues from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. Paul specifically mentions those who teach the law but lack a proper understanding of its purpose.
  3. Paul's Gratitude for Mercy (1 Timothy 1:12-17): Paul reflects on his own past as a persecutor of the church but emphasizes the abundant mercy and grace he received from Christ. He expresses gratitude for being entrusted with the ministry despite his former hostility toward the faith. Paul highlights the patience of Jesus in saving sinners.
  4. Instructions for Timothy (1 Timothy 1:18-20): Paul encourages Timothy to fight the good fight, holding onto faith and a good conscience. He mentions Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom he handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.


1.1-2 Paul's Greeting To Timothy


"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord."


  1. Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus: Paul, formerly known as Saul, was a persecutor of Christians but had a transformative encounter with Jesus Christ. He became an apostle, meaning he was chosen and sent by Jesus to spread the Gospel.

  2. by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope: Paul emphasizes that his apostleship is not self-appointed but comes by the command of God, who is referred to as our Savior, and Christ Jesus, who is our hope. This underscores the divine authority behind Paul's ministry.

  3. To Timothy my true son in the faith: Timothy was a young disciple and a close companion of Paul. Paul often referred to him as his spiritual son, indicating a strong mentor-disciple relationship.

  4. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord: This is a common greeting in Paul's letters. He wishes for Timothy to experience God's grace (unmerited favor), mercy (compassion and forgiveness), and peace (inner well-being) from both God the Father and Christ Jesus.


1.3-4 Warning Against False Doctrines


"As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do."


  1. "As I urged you when I went into Macedonia": This phrase sets the context for the instruction. It indicates that Paul had previously given Timothy specific guidance during his visit to Macedonia, and he is now reminding him of that instruction.
  2. "Stay there in Ephesus": Paul is instructing Timothy to remain in Ephesus, emphasizing the importance of his continued presence in that particular church community. This implies that there are specific challenges or issues in Ephesus that require Timothy's attention.
  3. "So that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer": The primary purpose of Timothy's stay in Ephesus is to address a pressing issue – the presence of individuals who are spreading false teachings. Timothy is given the authority and responsibility to command or instruct these individuals to stop teaching doctrines that deviate from the true teachings of the Christian faith.
  4. "Or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies": Paul lists two specific activities that he advises against. First, "myths" likely refers to speculative, fictional stories or teachings that are not grounded in truth. Second, "endless genealogies" might point to a preoccupation with tracing and discussing ancestral lines to an extent that becomes irrelevant to the faith. Both activities seem to involve unnecessary and unproductive speculation.
  5. "Such things promote controversial speculations": Paul's concern is that engaging in myths and endless genealogies can lead to controversial discussions and debates within the community. Instead of fostering unity and a deep understanding of faith, these activities can create division and distract from the essential teachings of Christianity.
  6. "Rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith": The key contrast Paul makes is between engaging in speculative teachings and advancing the genuine work of God. He emphasizes that the true progress in God's work comes through faith – a trusting and obedient relationship with God. Engaging in endless debates and speculations can divert attention from the core message of faith in God.


1.5-7 The Goal Of This Command Is Love


"But the goal of this command is love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith, from which things some, having missed the mark, have turned away to vain talking, desiring to be teachers of the law, though they understand neither what they say nor about what they strongly affirm."


  1. "The goal of this command is love": Paul emphasizes that the central purpose of his command and instruction to Timothy is to promote love within the Christian community. This love is not just a superficial or emotional feeling but is rooted in genuine care, compassion, and selflessness.

  2. "which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith": Paul describes the source of genuine love. It stems from a heart that is untainted by impure motives, a conscience that is clear and aligned with moral principles, and a faith that is sincere and genuine.

  3. "Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk": Paul acknowledges that some individuals in the community have strayed from the core principles of love, purity of heart, good conscience, and sincere faith. Instead, they have become involved in empty, purposeless discussions or teachings that lack substance or significance.

  4. "They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm": Paul points out that these individuals aspire to be teachers of the law, but their understanding is flawed. They speak confidently about matters of the law, but their teachings lack substance and accuracy. This suggests a danger of false or misguided teachings within the community.


1.8-11 Who The Law Was Intended For


"But we know that the law is good if a person uses it lawfully, as knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for the sexually immoral, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and for any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine, according to the Good News of the glory of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust."


  1. "We know that the law is good if one uses it properly": Paul begins by affirming the goodness of the law when used appropriately. The law, in this context, likely refers to the Old Testament law given to the Israelites. Paul acknowledges the positive role of the law when it is applied correctly.
  2. The Law for the unbelieving: Paul clarifies the purpose of the law. It is not designed for those who are already righteous or obedient but for those who engage in disobedient and rebellious behavior. The law serves as a guide and standard for those who violate moral and ethical principles.
    •  Paul provides a list of specific behaviors that the law addresses. This includes a range of moral transgressions such as murder, sexual immorality, homosexuality, slave trading, lying, and perjury. The law serves to restrain and condemn actions that are contrary to God's moral standards.
  3. The Law glorifies God: Paul concludes by emphasizing that the law is intended to address anything that goes against sound doctrine aligned with the gospel. The gospel reveals the glory of God, and the law is a guide to ensure that behavior is consistent with this divine standard.