06
Jan
15

Why We Need God’s Law

As we begin a new study of 1 and 2 Timothy, we see that Paul identifies himself as the author and his protege, Timothy, as the recipient of this letter.  Timothy was a young preacher for whom Paul had great affection.  Timothy was preaching and teaching in Ephesus, where Paul had left him to continue the work of the Gospel.  Paul was on his way to Rome and had said farewell to the elders at Ephesus.  He tells Timothy to continue the work that they had begun together.
There were some in Ephesus who were teaching false doctrines and myths that were leading people astray from the true Gospel.  They wanted to be rabbis and teachers of the law, but they were ignorant of the law’s true purpose and meaning.  The true purpose of the law is to make people aware of sin.  Its true purpose is not for people to earn salvation.  We cannot be good enough by keeping the law to be saved.  If we could keep the law perfectly, Jesus would not have had to come and die for our sins.  The fact is, we are incapable of perfectly keeping all of God’s commands.  But Jesus did keep all of God’s commands.  He never sinned in any way.  He was the unblemished Lamb of God who was able to take away the sins of the world.  Now, for us, the law serves a two-fold purpose:
1. The law reminds us of our need for grace, which God freely bestows out of His love and goodness.
2. The law reminds us of what sin is – rebellion against God.
The list of sins in verses 9-10, is complete.  From murder to sexual immorality of every kind to lying to everything else that is “contrary to sound doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:10, NIV), Paul covers all of the bases.  Sin is sin and God hates all of it.  God loves sinners, though, and He sent Jesus to prove it.  That is the heart of the Gospel.  We are evil and wicked and sinful and God is holy and just.  The holy God of the Bible sent His perfect Son to take the punishment for our sins and now, by grace through faith, we are being made perfect.  The law points us to Jesus, the law keeper, so we can find forgiveness, mercy and grace.  In response to this forgiveness, let us resolve ourselves to obeying God and a daily repentance, self-denial and sacrifice for this pleases Him.

1 Timothy 1:1-11 (NIV)

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

To Timothy my true son in the faith:

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Timothy Charged to Oppose False Teachers

As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith.The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

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