Reading through the Bible together
“To Timothy, my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God.” This was not just a formal way by which Paul begins his letters. It is his declaration that it is only by Christ’s work of grace that we can live and accomplish that which God asks of us.
With verse 3, Paul reminds Timothy why he asked him to stay at Ephesus. Ephesus was an important commercial city. Greek culture, “Diana” and pagan religion with its immorality formed the culture of Ephesus. Some Jewish believers there insisted on teaching the legalistic requirements of the law that they grew up with. Perhaps some could trace their genealogy back to David or Joshua the high priest and claimed that gave them authority to teach. Disputes, false doctrines, and idle talk were hurting the church. Timothy was to teach the word and train others to do the same.
The purpose of the commandment is to love from a pure heart. The behaviors mentioned in vs. 9,10, which are condemned by the law, are thus condemned by “the glorious gospel.” “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” Paul could never get over the wonder of his salvation. His thoughts were, “How long-suffering is Jesus Christ. I wanted to kill those who believed in Him, but He worked to save me. I needed mercy. I obtained mercy. Do you think that God does not want you in His kingdom? He does, He does. My experience proves how much He wants you.”
Paul’s conversion, his tireless ministry, his writings, were not done to bring honor to himself. “To God, the King, who is eternal, immortal, and alone is wise, be honor, and glory, forever and ever. Amen!” How can we not praise and thank God for His work of grace in our lives, and respond to the words: “This charge I commit to you…”
David Manzano, Retired Pastor
Member of the Retired Workers Association
Collegedale, TN U.S.A.