BIBLE STUDY


Paul's Letters To Timothy
by Greg Williamson (c) 2014, 2019
Featuring the text of the New American Standard Bible *
( = pop-up definition)


Intro | 1 Timothy 1:1-11 / 1:12-17 / 1:18-20 | 2:1-8 / 2:9-15 | 3:1-7 / 3:8-13 / 3:14-16 | 4:1-6 / 4:7-12 / 4:13-16 | 5:1-16 / 5:17-25 | 6:1-2 / 6:3-10 / 6:11-21 | 2 Timothy 1:1-7 / 1:8-12 / 1:13-18 | 2:1-7 / 2:8-13 / 2:14-18 / 2:19-26 | 3:1-9 / 3:10-12 / 3:13-17 | 4:1-4 / 4:5-8 / 4:9-22 ** | Articles & Definitions | Sources

PROCLAIMING THE GOSPEL
(1 Timothy 1:12-17)

12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service,
13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;
14 and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.
15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.
17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:12-17)

 
Jesus died to save sinners, and He lives to equip and enable His servants to do the work of the ministry. The same God who empowered Paul could empower Timothy -- and can empower us today. God is faithful! - Warren Wiersbe [ref]
 

QuoteWorthy: Christian Growth
You cannot fight your battles in another person’s armor. [ref]

1 TIMOTHY 1:12 - Dependence on Christ

I thank Christ Jesus ... (1 Timothy 1:12)
There are several possible reasons for this section of Paul's letter, including one or more or all of the following:

  • Paul wants to encourage Timothy by letting him know how much he values Timothy's "calling to the service of Christ." [ref]
  • Paul wants Timothy to know that the same power God used to change Paul from a murderer to a missionary is the same power that will help Timothy despite his youth and lack of experience in the ministry. [ref]
  • Paul's life demonstrates the grace of God available in the Gospel rather than the law. [ref]
  • Having just mentioned "the glorious gospel of the blessed God" with which he had been entrusted (1 Timothy 1:11), "Paul immediately indicates that his experience demonstrates that gospel." [ref]
  • The Gospel can convert even the false teachers/blasphemers (see 1 Timothy 1:20), since prior to his conversion Paul himself had been a blasphemer. [ref]
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OVERWHELMED OR OVERFLOWING?

Rather than allowing himself to be overwhelmed by the memory of his past sins, Paul "overflowed with gratefulness that God had strengthened and appointed him to serve in spreading the Good News of salvation to his fellow Jews and to the Gentiles (see Acts 9:15; 11:25-26; 13:1-3)." [ref]

To the Philippians, Paul wrote: "I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize" (Philippians 3:13, NLT). While Paul could not/would not/did not mean he forgot the past in an absolute sense, he did mean that he would not allow anything in the past to hinder his spiritual progress in the present.

Paul said that his goal was to know Christ, to be like Christ, and to be all Christ had in mind for him. This goal took all of Paul's energies. This is a helpful example for us. We should not let anything take our eyes off our goal -- knowing Christ. With the single-mindedness of an athlete in training, we must lay aside everything harmful and forsake anything that may distract us from being effective Christians. [ref] (quoted verbatim)

"Anything" includes past sins. If and when they come to mind, I need to:

  • thank God for his forgiveness and the fact that I am a new creation in Christ
  • pray for his mercy upon anyone I've wronged in any way
  • forgive anyone who has wronged me in any way
  • ask him to comfort other believers who are struggling with past sin
- AC21DOJ

who has strengthened me (1 Timothy 1:12)
Of its seven occurences within the NT, the word for "has strengthened" (endunamoō) is used of Paul four times (Acts 9:22; Philippians 4:13; 1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:17), Abraham once (Romans 4:20), believers once (Ephesians 6:10), and Timothy once (2 Timothy 2:1).

He considered me faithful (1 Timothy 1:12)
Here it is as if Paul is saying: "He foreordered and foresaw that I would be faithful to the trust committed to me." [ref] The strength Jesus gave him enabled Paul to be faithful/reliable. [ref] [ref] "A sovereign, when he sends an ambassador to a foreign court, reposes confidence in him, and would not commission him unless he had reason to believe that he would be faithful."  [ref]

Within the Bible to have faith is to be faithful, and thus faith "can be summarized as active trust and belief displayed through obedience." [ref] Simply stated, it means trusting God enough to obey him.

putting me into service (1 Timothy 1:12)
The word for "service" (Greek diakonia) "is very general and covers the many aspects of the apostle’s work." [ref] Rather than some type of passive receiver of God's power and grace, Paul "saw himself as a channel through whom God could work." [ref]

"The grace of God turned the persecutor into a preacher, and the murderer into a minister and a missionary! So dramatic was the change in Paul’s life that the Jerusalem church suspected that it was a trick, and they had a hard time accepting him (Acts 9:26–31). God gave Paul his ministry; he did not get it from Peter or the other Apostles (Gal. 1:11–24). He was called and commissioned by the risen Christ in heaven." [ref]

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CHRISTIAN SERVICE

"Service" (1 Timothy 1:12) is closely related to the word for "deacon" and could just as easily be rendered "ministry." While no Christian today is called to be an apostle, and relatively few are called to full-time ministry, every believer is called to Christian service. This can be accomplished in any number of ways, including:

  • Sharing the Gospel. We should do this whenever, wherever, and however we get the opportunity. Leaving Bible tracts; casual conversations in which we tell others about our very best Friend; inviting co-workers, neighbors, family members to church; sharing our Christian testimony with a few or with many -- these are only some of the many ways in which we can share the glorious good news of new life and real hope found only in Jesus Christ. (See this page for more info.)
  • Servant Evangelism. This simply means meeting people's practical needs as a way of sharing God's love. (See this page [pdf] for lots of examples.)
  • Serving in your local church. Every Christian should be trying out different ministry opportunities until he/she finds one that fits well and then sticks with it.
  • A positive, Christ-like attiude. This includes consistently choosing kindness over bitterness, and encouraging words over discouraging ones. Besides promoting peace, such an attitude will open the door to conversations as people seek to learn the secret of our attractive attitude.
- AC21DOJ

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1 TIMOTHY 1:13 - Experience of God's Grace and Mercy (vv. 13-14)

blasphemer ... persecutor ... violent aggressor (1 Timothy 1:13)
Here is Paul's open and full confession of sin [ref], which was against God ("blasphemer"), other people ("persecutor"), and himself ("violent aggressor"). [ref] See: Acts 8:1, 3; 9:1; 22:4; 26:9-11; Galatians 1:13. [ref]

As one commentator explains: "His ‘blasphemy’ was that he spoke evil of Jesus Christ; he also ‘tried to force them [sc. his disciples] to blaspheme’ (Acts 26:9, 11). His persecution of the church was pursued ‘intensely’, for he ‘tried to destroy it’ (Gal. 1:13), and in persecuting it he did not realize that he was persecuting Christ (Acts 9:4). Then behind both the blasphemy and the persecution there was a violent man (hybristēs), hybris being a mixture of arrogance and insolence, which finds satisfaction in insulting and humiliating other people. Perhaps the apostle was intending to portray an ascending scale of evil from words (of blasphemy) through deeds (of persecution) to thoughts (of deep-seated hostility)." [ref]

a blasphemer (1 Timothy 1:13)
As a faithful Pharisee, Paul "was remarkable for treating what he regarded as sacred with the utmost respect. ... [But] he had reviled the name of Christ, and opposed him and his cause -- not believing that he was the Messiah; and in thus opposing he had really been guilty of blasphemy. The true Messiah he had in fact treated with contempt and reproaches."  [ref

violent aggressor (1 Timothy 1:13)
This word (Greek hubristēs) is closely related to the source for our word "hubris" ("exaggerated pride or self-confidence" [ref]). "Bully" might be a good modern equivalent. [ref] "What [Paul] did was done with a proud, haughty, insolent spirit. There was wicked and malicious violence, an arrogance and spirit of tyranny in what he did, which greatly aggravated the wrong that was done." [ref

I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief (1 Timothy 1:13)
While Paul deserved to "have been struck down and made an example of the Lord’s justice" [ref], he was instead made an example of the Lord's mercy. "God in His mercy did not give Paul what he did deserve; instead God in His grace gave Paul what he did not deserve." [ref]

A similar sentiment was expressed by Jesus regarding those who had nailed him to the cross (Luke 23:34). While neither their ignorance nor Christ's prayer saved them, the two combined to postpone "God’s judgment, giving them an opportunity to be saved." [ref] (Also see Paul's example in reference to his fellow Jews in Acts 3:17 and Romans 10:2.)

"Ignorant" (Greek agnoeō) means "Not to recognize or know." [ref] Paul acted "[i]n a blindness of heart." [ref] "This is the ignorance that is always found in unbelief, that does not see what it ought to see: the deity and the Saviorhood of Christ. ... When [Paul] realized the deity and the glory of Jesus, his unbelief was changed into belief." [ref]

So blind was the pre-Christian Paul that he thought persecuting Christians was a means of "offering service to God." [ref] Seeing Christianity as a dangerous "distortion of his beloved Jewish faith" [ref], Pharisee Paul truly believed it was his religious and moral duty "to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth" (Acts 26:9). [ref] Paul's "willing repentance when confronted by Christ (cf. Rom. 7:9; Phil. 3:8,9) is evidence that he had not understood the ramifications of his actions." [ref]

Whereas those who are willfully disobedient can fully expect God's wrath (Numbers 15:30-31; Hebrews 10:26), God often chooses to deal gently with those who are ignorant and misguided (Hebrews 10:26). This principle was actually encoded in Jewish law (Leviticus 5:15–19; Numbers 15:22–31). "If a person sinned knowingly 'with a high hand' in Israel, he was cut off from the people. But if he sinned in ignorance, he was permitted to bring the proper sacrifices to atone for his sins." [ref] We should note well, however, that the grounds for God's mercy is not our ignorance but his compassion. [ref]

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BELIEVE AND KNOW

The French writer and scientist Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) is credited with saying: "Human things must be known to be loved; but Divine things must be loved to be known." [ref]

Prior to his Damascus Road conversion experience, Paul did not believe the Gospel and so did not know the truth about Jesus. Typically, when a person places his faith in Christ, it is not because he has gained lots of knowledge about him. In fact, he probably knows very little about Jesus. What he does know is that he is a sinner bound for Hell and that Jesus Christ is his only hope. He then believes and receives God's gift of eternal life. Then begins a life-long process of growing in the grace and knowlege of the Lord. When it comes to Jesus Christ and his Gospel, first we must believe and then we will want to know more.

- AC21DOJ

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1 TIMOTHY 1:14 - Experience of God's Grace and Mercy (vv. 13-14)

the grace of our Lord was more than abundant (1 Timothy 1:14)
"Grace" -- that is, "God’s undeserved, unearned, freely given favor" [ref] -- summarizes the "newness of life, strength, and blessing" that Paul experienced. [ref]

"Was more than abundant" translates a single word (Greek huperpleonazō; from huper, "above, over," and pleonazō, "to be more than enough" [ref]), meaning "to superabound, be exceedingly abundant" [ref], and this is the only time it is used in the N.T. Where Paul's sin abounded, God's grace superabounded, "overflowing beyond all expectations." [ref]

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SUPER

Meaning "an exceeding abundant amount" [ref], the huper prefix is used often by Paul. It "has come into the English language as hyper. We speak of 'hyperactive' children and 'hypersensitive' people." [ref]

superabundant grace: "and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant (huperpleonazō) ... " (1 Timothy 1:14)
huperpleonazō: "to superabound, be exceedingly abundant" [ref]

supergrace: " ... grace abounded all the more (huperperisseuō)," (Romans 5:20)
superjoy: " ... I am overflowing with (huperperisseuō) joy ... " (2 Corinthians 7:4)
huperperisseuō: "To superabound, abound much more in a comparative sense." [ref]

superrevelation: " ... the surpassing greatness (huperbolē) of the revelations ... " (2 Corinthians 12:7)
huperbolē: "lit., 'a throwing beyond' (huper, 'over,' ballo, 'to throw'), denotes 'excellence, exceeding greatness'" [ref] // "extraordinary, extreme, supreme, far more, much greater, to a far greater degree" [ref]

superpeace: " ... the peace of God, which surpasses (huperechō) all comprehension ... " (Philippians 4:7)
huperechō: "to be of surpassing or exceptional value" [ref]

superpraying: " ... praying most earnestly (hyperekperissou) ... " (1 Thessalonians 3:10)
superesteeming: " ... esteem them very highly (hyperekperissou) in love ..." (1 Thessalonians 5:13)
hyperekperissou: "an extraordinary degree, involving a considerable excess over what would be expected" [ref]

superfaith: " ... your faith is greatly enlarged (huperauxanō) ... " (2 Thessalonians 1:3)
huperauxanō: "To flourish, increase exceedingly or greatly." [ref]

- AC21DOJ

faith and love (1 Timothy 1:14)
Whereas prior to his conversion experience Paul's heart was filled with unbelief and polluted by hatred, grace flooded his heart with faith and love. [ref] It could also be said that "'[g]race' provided [Paul's] salvation, 'faith' appropriated it, and 'love' applied it." [ref]

The combination of faith and love is a vital concept for the apostle Paul, as evidenced by its usage in almost all of his letters (1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon). The exact phrase "faith and love," which Paul uses a total of five times (1 Thessalonians 3:6; 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:14; 2:15; 2 Timothy 1:13), appears to be synonymous with "righteousness" or "righteous living" -- that is, life lived according to God's standards of right and wrong. This is seen most clearly when comparing Paul's spiritual armor analogies in Ephesians 6:14 ("the breastplate of righteousness") and 1 Thessalonians 5:8 ("the breastplate of faith and love"), both of which draw from Isaiah 59:17: "He put on righteousness like a breastplate ..." [ref] [ref]

QuoteWorthy: Christian Living
Christian people are not called to fit in but to stand out. [ref]
It is a sad day when the Lord’s people choose to stand in the world, rather than to stand out for God in the world. [ref]

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1 TIMOTHY 1:15 - Committed to the Gospel and God's Plan of Salvation (vv. 15-16)

a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance (1 Timothy 1:15)
"A trustworthy statement" is found only in 1 Timothy 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; 2 Timothy 2:11; Titus 3:8. "The form and style of these statements seem to mark them as brief 'creeds,' 'hymns,' or 'statements' used in worship services which had become well known to Paul and his readers." [ref]

"Trustworthy" allows no room for mere assent; it demands nothing less than complete incorporation into one's life. [ref] "Deserving full acceptance" means it can/should/must be completely accepted "in every way, without reservation, without hesitation, without the least doubt." [ref]

Christ's mission to save sinners is a universal truth ("a trustworthy statement") which nonetheless must be personally appropriated ("deserving full acceptance"). [ref] [ref]

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15)
Paul's Christian conversion "is a testimony concerning the purpose of the Incarnation of Christ. Jesus came not merely to set an example or to show that He cared. He came to salvage sinners from their spiritual destitution -- and Paul said he was the worst of that lot." [ref] That said, we should also remember that everything Jesus went through -- his birth, his life and ministry, his death and resurrection, his ascension -- has a direct bearing on our salvation. [ref] Once a person has personally experienced salvation, he/she can/should/must follow Jesus' example, including demonstrating his love.

To be saved is "to be emancipated from the greatest evil, and to be placed in possession of the greatest good. The state of salvation is opposed to the state of 'perishing' or being 'lost" [ref]:

  • from guilt (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14) to righteousness (Romans 3:21-26; 5:1)
  • from slavery (Romans 7:24-25; Galatians 5:1) to freedom (Galatians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 3:17)
  • from alienation from God (Ephesians 2:12) to fellowship with God (Ephesians 2:13)
  • from the wrath of God (Ephesians 2:3) to the love of God “shed abroad” in the heart (Romans 5:5)
  • from everlasting death (Ephesians 2:5-6) to everlasting life (Ephesians 2:1; 2:5; Colossians 3:1-4).

among whom I am foremost (of all) (1 Timothy 1:15)
Paul expressed this same sentiment elsewhere (1 Corinthians 15:9; Ephesians 3:8).

Notice Paul says "I am" rather than "I was." The more Paul grows in Christ, the more he becomes aware of his own sinfulness. has followed Christ, the more he walked with Christ. [ref]

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A SINNER SAVED BY GRACE AND USED BY GOD

Paul claims he is the foremost of sinners.

But can he mean it? Are we to understand him literally? ... Common sense tells us not to take his statement as a precise, scientific fact. For he had not investigated the sinful and criminal records of all the inhabitants of the world, carefully compared himself with them, and concluded that he was worse than them all. The truth is rather that when we are convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit, an immediate result is that we give up all such comparisons. Paul was so vividly aware of his own sins that he could not conceive that anybody could be worse. It is the language of every sinner whose conscience has been awakened and disturbed by the Holy Spirit. [ref]

To the non-Christian: God can forgive you, no matter what your past looks like.

People can feel so guilt-ridden by their past that they think God could never forgive and accept them. But consider Paul's past. He had scoffed at the teachings of Jesus and had hunted down and murdered God's people before coming to faith in Christ (Acts 9:1-9). God forgave Paul and used him mightily for his Kingdom. No matter how shameful your past, God also can forgive and use you. [ref]

To the Christian: You are still a sinner, so be humble."To each believer his own sins must always appear, as long as he lives, greater than those of others, which he never can know as he can know his own." [ref] While I should never feel discouraged or weighed down by my past sins, neither should I ever for even one instant believe God has saved me because I'm some sort of great person. God saves us not because we deserve it, but solely because of the immeasurable love, mercy, and grace that is an intrinsic part of his perfect nature. As Paul reminded Titus: "He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. ..." (Titus 3:5, NLT).

To the Christian: Be real and God can use you.

Paul was not nearly as interested in creating an image as he was in being an example. He did not hesitate to share his past, because he knew his failures would allow others to have hope. At times we hesitate to share our past struggles with others because we are afraid it will tarnish our image. Paul demonstrated that lowering our guard can be an important step in communicating the gospel. People will not believe the gospel is important if they can't see that it is crucial in your life. How has Christ shown patience with you? Did he stay with you when you doubted and rebelled? Did he remain faithful when you ignored his prior claim on your life? Did he love you when you disregarded his Word and his church? Remember that his patience is unlimited for those who love him. Don't be afraid to let others know what Christ has done for you. [ref]

- AC21DOJ

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1 TIMOTHY 1:16 - Committed to the Gospel and God's Plan of Salvation (vv. 15-16)

for this reason ... mercy ... His perfect patience ... an example (1 Timothy 1:16)
"An example" is derived from a word meaning "to draw a sketch or first draft as painters when they begin a picture." [ref] Paul's dramatic conversion presents us with a tangible example of Christ's "perfect patience" as he "[held] out long under provocation. Did any man provoke Jesus more severely than did Saul? But instead of promptly striking this blasphemous, persecuting insolent down with the justice he deserved, as we might rightly have expected, Jesus bore him and kept bearing him and finally attained the most astonishing success by means of his mercy. ... [Behind] that mercy was the wondrous ['perfect patience'] which held back judgment when it was long overdue and thus enabled mercy to win its blessed result." [ref]

And so, "athough Paul had been a blasphemer and a violent persecutor, the grace of Christ had overwhelmed him. He received mercy partly because of his ignorant unbelief and partly in order to display for the benefit of future generations the limitless patience of Christ." [ref] Paul's conversion is proof positive that God possesses enough mercy and patience to save even the vilest of sinners who will but turn to him in sincere repentance and faith.

believe in Him for eternal life (1 Timothy 1:16)
"Over 185 times in the New Testament the sole condition given for salvation is belief, having faith or trust in Jesus Christ. ... To add any other condition to faith for salvation is to make justification a matter of works (see Rom. 11:6; Gal. 2:16)." [ref]

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MERCY

In both Testaments, mercy is compassion expressed to meet human need. The focus in both is on God’s mercy to human beings. In the final analysis, God is the only one truly able to meet our needs. He is the one on whom we must depend.

Those who know Jesus have received mercy and continue to experience God’s mercy. We follow the example of those men and women of the Gospels who came to Jesus, acknowledged him as Lord, and cried out to him for mercy in their time of need.

And, because in mercy God has brought us to life in Jesus, we too can show mercy to those around us, providing in our own compassion a witness to the loving mercy of God.

- Lawrence O. Richards [ref] (condensed/extracted from longer article)


Present usage identifies mercy with compassion, in the sense of a willingness to forgive an offender or adversary and, more generally, a disposition to spare or help another. This disposition, although inwardly felt, manifests itself outwardly in some kind of action. It is evident that mercy combines a strong emotional element, usually identified as pity, compassion, or love, with some practical demonstration of kindness in response to the condition or needs of the object of mercy.

Mercy in biblical usage ... is many-faceted. Basic to the concept is God's care for human beings in their wretchedness and creatureliness. This emotionally based response manifests itself in his redemptive acts. The person responding to God sees in himself one who has received mercy; therefore he in turn must show mercy to others.

- C. E. Armerding [ref] (condensed/extracted from longer article)

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ISRAEL'S SALVATION

[Paul] is proof that the grace of God can change any sinner! But there is a special application of this to today’s people of Israel, Paul’s countrymen, for whom he had a special burden (Rom. 9:1–5; 10:1–3). The people of Israel, like unconverted Saul of Tarsus, are religious, self-righteous, blind to their own Law and its message of the Messiah, and unwilling to believe. One day, Israel shall see Jesus Christ even as Paul saw Him; and the nation shall be saved. “They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced” (Zech. 12:10). This may be one reason why Paul said he was “born out of due time” (1 Cor. 15:8), for his experience of seeing the risen Christ came at the beginning of this Church Age and not at its end (Matt. 24:29ff).

- John Stott [ref]

1 TIMOTHY 1:17 - Testimony Leads to Worship

Now to the King ... (1 Timothy 1:17)
For Paul, words of praise was the only legitimate response to God's incredible goodness and mercy. [ref]

Paul includes quite a number of doxologies in his letters (Romans 1:25; 9:25; 11:36; 16:27; Galatians 1:5; Ephesians 3:21; Philippians 4:20; 1 Timothy 1:17; 6:16; 2 Timothy 4:18). [ref] [ref] As one source explains: "Doxologies are short, spontaneous ascriptions of praise to God which frequently appear as concluding formulae to prayers, hymnic expressions and sections of Paul’s letters. Their basic structure is threefold. First, the person to whom praise is ascribed is mentioned ('to our God and Father,' Phil 4:20). Then follows the word of praise, usually doxa ('glory,' or an equivalent), and finally, the doxology concludes with a temporal description, normally an eternity formula ('for ever and ever'). In most cases the doxology is followed by 'amen.'" [ref]

King (1 Timothy 1:17)
Paul "addressed God as the King, the sovereign ruler of all things, who not only reigns over the natural order and the historical process, but has also established his special kingdom through Christ and by the Spirit over his redeemed people." [ref]

eternal (1 Timothy 1:17)
God is "beyond the fluctuations of time." [ref] The literal reading is "King of the ages," which "may have come from the Jewish idea of the two ages -- the present age and the age to come." [ref] God is "ever living and ever able to redeem." [ref]

immortal (1 Timothy 1:17)
God is "beyond the ravages of decay and death." [ref]

invisible (1 Timothy 1:17)
God "cannot be seen but [he] works everywhere." [ref] God is "beyond the limits of every horizon. For ‘nobody has ever seen God’ (Jn. 1:18; 1 Jn. 4:12), and indeed nobody ‘can see’ him (1 Timothy 6:16); all that human beings have ever glimpsed is his ‘glory’, which has been defined as ‘the outward shining of his inward being’. His glory is displayed in the creation (Rom. 1:20), in both the heavens and the earth (Ps. 19:1; Is. 6:3), and reached its zenith in the incarnate Son, who is ‘the image of the invisible God’ (Col. 1:15)." [ref]

the only God (1 Timothy 1:17)
God is absolutely unique and thus "has no rivals." [ref] "Most people [within Greco-Roman society] believed in all gods equally, so the Jewish and Christian view [of only one God] could sound intolerant to outsiders." [ref]

honor and glory forever and ever (1 Timothy 1:17)
"Honor is the esteem and reverence, and glory is the ascription of our praise as we see and adore all [God's] excellencies." [ref]

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GLORIOUS LIVING

The world is impressed by appearances. Wealth and position are equated with glory, and fame -- the admiration of others -- is eagerly sought.

The Christian has a different set of values. To the believer, true glory is found only in the splendor of God. It is recognized as his character is displayed in his actions, and it is reflected back to him as praise. We say with the psalmist David: “You are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head” (Ps 3:3). We glorify God by recognizing his presence in his actions and by offering him our praise. And we glorify God by being channels through which the Holy Spirit, who lives within us, can communicate God to those whose lives we touch.

- Lawrence O. Richards [ref]

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*Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org) | **This outline is from The Bible Exposition Commentary, by Warren W. Wiersbe