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By Paul M. Zehr

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Extra resources for 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus

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Paul commands Timothy not to teach any different doctrine from the divine training that is known by faith (1:4). Such instruction has love as its goal and is characterized by a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith (1:5). God’s way of ordering and saving the world stands in contrast to the opposing teachers. These teachers needed correction because they thought they were teaching the law, when in reality they were deviating from it. Recognizing the problem, Paul calls attention to the divine and true intention of the law in 1:8-11 and says that healthy teaching conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God (1:11).

Moving from the negative to the positive, Paul calls attention to grace, drawing on his own experience of salvation in Jesus Christ (1:12-17). In doing so, Paul contrasts his own new self with those who are teaching unhealthy doctrine. He also calls attention to the first of five faithful sayings in the letters to Timothy and Titus: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1:15). Finally, Paul returns to the importance of faithful teaching and exhorts Timothy to exercise himself in fighting the fight of faith with good conscience in leading the church at Ephesus.

H. Marshall 1999: 370). Sincere faith comprises the third force behind true love. Insincere faith is no faith at all. Sincere faith is genuine, a faith filled with integrity, an honest faith that fully trusts in God. Thus sincere faith, a good conscience, and a pure heart comprise love, which is the aim of Timothy’s instruction. Some people have deviated from these (1 Tim 1:6-7). Paul now states a reason for opposing the other teachers. These teachers deviated from the qualities of love listed above.

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