christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

1 timothy 1, love from a pure heart

Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith.

1 Timothy 1:5

Read 1 Timothy 1 at Bible Gateway.

This chapter forms an interesting chaistic structure:

1 Tim 1:2-20
1a) 1 Tim 1:2-6, To Timothy:
— 1.1) 1 Tim 1:2-3, To Timothy, a true son in the faith: charge some that they teach no other doctrine;
— 1.2) 1 Tim 1:4, Fables + endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification;
— 1.3) 1 Tim 1:5-6, Purpose of Law: pure love + good conscience + sincere faith, some having strayed;
1b) 1 Tim 1:7-9, The excellence of the Law toward the unrepentant;
1c) 1 Tim 1:9-10, Meant for the lawless, unrighteous, those things contrary to sound doctrine;
1d) 1 Tim 1:11, According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust;
central axis) 1 Tim 1:12, I thank Christ Jesus;
2d) 1 Tim 1:12, He enabled me, counted me faithful, put me into the ministry;
2c) 1 Tim 1:13, Although formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man;
2b) 1 Tim 1:13-17, The excellence of the King and His mercy toward the repentant;
2a) 1 Tim 1:18-20, To Timothy:
— 2.1) 1 Tim 1:18, This charge I commit to you, my son Timothy;
— 2.2) 1 Tim 1:18, Prophecies concerning you, which cause you to wage the good warfare;
— 2.3) 1 Tim 1:19-20, Having faith + good conscience, which some rejected + shipwrecked their faith.

The B pair lept out at me today. Notice that the Law is the flip side of Mercy, and both express the love of God. The Law is love for the unrepentant, because the greatest gift someone can give someone else who is unrepentant in their sin, is the knowledge that their sin is evil and will cause their ultimate destruction. And Mercy is love for the repentant, because the instant someone’s knees hit the ground, saying, I repent of my sin, God in His great love extends mercy which covers the multitude of their sins and transgressions of the Law.

The purpose of the Law is love – let’s stop right there. Paul is merely reiterating what he has said in many other places … in agreement with Jesus and Moses … that the Law is God’s Law of Love, and the two commands, Love God, and Love your neighbor, sum up all the Law and the Prophets.

So let’s say someone reads a law from Moses that they disagree with, on the premise that such a thing could not express love (such as Lev 18 for example). Jesus said that not one jot or tittle is to be excised from Torah until all things have been fulfilled (Mat 5:17-21). God’s definitions of righteousness and sin as expressed in Torah, the foundation of all Scripture, have not changed and will not change.

God’s Law provides mankind with protection from all things that harm. Many of the commandments found in Lev 18 restricts unbridled lust and therefore protects those who are vulnerable from becoming victims. That is an expression of love. God’s Law provides mankind with correction so they they would recognize a path that was not God’s path, so that they could correct their course. That is an expression of love. And God’s Law provides mankind with direction, so that we not only know what way not to walk, but also what way to walk. God has not left us in the dark.

Protection, correction, and direction come from the love in our Perfect Parent’s heart toward His children.

Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. Rom 7:12

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 2 Tim 3:16

We may read something our culture has trained us to disagree with, but we recognize the truth of God’s Word, that this commandment (whatever it is) must be holy, just, and good, that this commandment must express the nature of God which is love, and this commandment was given in order to promote love from a pure heart, and comes from God’s love for us from His pure heart.

So we say, God, You are greater than I, Your word is more excellent than my finite human understanding, Your holiness is above searching out, and Your love is the purest love in the universe, from which every other thing which is love must flow or not be love. I humble myself before You and before Your word. May my obedience to You and Your word be acceptable in Your sight, My rock and My redeemer. ♥


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