V11Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, [who is] our hope,. Paul is the sender. He points at his apostleship. “Apostle” means one who is sent. He is sent by “Christ Jesus”. The name of his Sender makes clear Who the Lord Jesus is as He is now in heaven (‘Christ’) and as He once was in humiliation on earth (‘Jesus’). The Lord Jesus is made ‘Christ’ by God, after He had been despised as ‘Jesus’ by men, and fulfilled the work on the cross (Acts 2:3636Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”). What surely will happen someday, is that every being in the universe will bow his knee to Jesus and confess Him to be Lord (Phil 2:10-1110so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.).
Paul has already bowed his knees. He submitted himself to the Lord Jesus. Paul’s apostleship is not something he himself chose. He didn’t apply for it. He is an apostle, because he received a “commandment”, an order for it from authoritative Persons. It is not possible to avoid such an order. He neither desires to do that (cf. 1Cor 9:17b17For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.). He pursued with tenacity and strength to accomplish his task (cf. 1Cor 9:19-2119For though I am free from all [men], I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more.20To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law;21to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.).
His Commanders are two Divine Persons. The names of these Persons are most telling. They indicate that God’s people are in degradation. God called Himself “Savior” in Isaiah 45 (Isa 45:1515Truly, You are a God who hides Himself,
O God of Israel, Savior!
) when the end of Israel is near. A Savior or Redeemer is needed when the end of the existence of a nation or a man has come into view. How great is God that He right then is also willing to present Himself like that (Lk 1:4747And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
; 1Tim 2:33This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,; 4:1010For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.; Tit 1:33but at the proper time manifested, [even] His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior,; 2:1010not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.; 3:44But when the kindness of God our Savior and [His] love for mankind appeared,; Jude 1:2525to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, [be] glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.).
Paul also draws Timothy’s attention to “Christ Jesus, [who is] our hope”. When all hope seems to be gone for God’s people in general that everything will turn out well, you may know that for you personally the situation is really not hopeless. When the Person of Christ Jesus is your only hope in this time of degradation, you will surely be able to manage in a special way to the honor of God and the Lord Jesus in the midst of degradation.
Summarizing you could say that when everything has failed, the faithful believers will not put their trust in churches, elders or whosoever, but will be occupied with God their Savior and with Christ Jesus their Hope. Such faithful believers you come across for example in the book of Malachi (Mal 3:1616Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard [it], and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name.) and in Luke 1 and 2. There you find a situation that God’s people do not think of God anymore, but only of themselves. There are just a few who take account of God and expect their redemption from Him and who put their hope on Him.
V22to Timothy, [my] true child in [the] faith: Grace, mercy [and] peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.. The letter is addressed to Timothy. I already said some things about him in the introduction. Paul calls him his “true son in the faith”. Timothy is his spiritual son. He has conceived him through the gospel (cf. 1Cor 4:1515For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet [you would] not [have] many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.; Gal 4:1919My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you—). But also in his life as a believer Timothy is his son. Timothy has seen and learnt so much of ‘father’ Paul (2Tim 3:1010Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance,) that Paul sees a lot of himself in Timothy. He has the same mind (Phil 2:2020For I have no one [else] of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare.) and his ministry is fully in line with the ministry of Paul (1Cor 4:1717For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church.; Phil 2:19-2219But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition.20For I have no one [else] of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare.21For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.22But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child [serving] his father.).
Then the blessing follows. In the salutation of all the letters to the churches it is always ‘grace and peace’, but here the blessing is “grace, mercy [and] peace”. “Mercy” is added to the common blessing. That’s actually very characteristic for a letter to a person. You also see that in the second letter to Timothy, in the letter to Titus and in the second letter of John, which are all addressed to a person.
‘Grace’ makes clear that you are totally dependent on God, in order to live to His honor. There is nothing present in you that could be pleasing to God. It is important to be aware of that, for only then you are in the right attitude to make use of the grace that God wants to give you abundantly.
You can expect ‘mercy’ from God with a view to the miserable situation you find yourself in. He wants to help you when you are in need and to get up when you have stumbled.
‘Peace’ is the inner rest you have when you trust on God (Isa 26:3-43“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You.
4“Trust in the LORD forever,
For in GOD the LORD, [we have] an everlasting Rock.
For receiving these three blessings Paul draws Timothy’s attention to the source of them. They come “from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord”. In verse 11Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, [who is] our hope, God is presented as Savior. Now you hear about God the Father. This is to encourage you while you have to fight against so many things around you. You are always welcome to the Father to tell Him about your difficulties, worries, struggles and desires.
In verse 11Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, [who is] our hope, you read about Christ Jesus as your Hope. Now you hear that He is ‘Lord’. He has authority over your life. If you want to live up to that you go to Him for grace, mercy and peace.
V33As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines,. Timothy receives from Paul the order to stay in Ephesus, while he himself travels further to Macedonia. The way Paul is saying this to Timothy makes clear that he has to insist softly to keep him there. The order was not quite that simple after all for a timid young man like Timothy. The reason for this order is that the enemy is trying to introduce several forms of evil in the church of Ephesus. And let me warn you that the enemy knows how to use cunning speakers, people who are not easily brought to order. Against those speakers Timothy had to act.
You might think: ‘Ephesus was such a great church where nothing was wrong, wasn’t it? They knew the teachings, didn’t they? Had not Paul taught the highest truths of Christendom there?’ Nevertheless, you see here that having the knowledge of the highest truths is no guarantee to be kept from false doctrines. If you don’t remain in the grace of God, you will go astray. Only by being aware of the grace of God for knowing what you know you are kept from that.
Therefore Timothy has to stop the wrong doctrines that “certain men” are teaching in Ephesus. He was not to ask those ‘some’ kindly to stop their unedifying occupations. There should absolutely be no tolerance towards another doctrine that is contrary “to sound teaching” (verse 1010and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,). People who are guilty of such things are to be ordered “not to teach strange doctrines”.
V44nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than [furthering] the administration of God which is by faith.. You can see the effects of that ‘other doctrine’ in several ways. The ways these effects appear are described in verses 4-114nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than [furthering] the administration of God which is by faith.5But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.6For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion,7wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.8But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully,9realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers10and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,11according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.. In all cases it is about a doctrine that is contrary the doctrine of the Scripture (cf. Gal 1:77which is [really] not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.; Acts 20:3030and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.). There is mention of “myths”, “endless genealogies” and “the law”. The teachings that are related to these issues subsequently have their origins in human fantasy, human curiosity and human religiosity. They all stand against the truth that has only one purpose: to present Christ to us.
In verse 44nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than [furthering] the administration of God which is by faith. Paul first deals with the myths and genealogies. ‘Myths’ come forth from the corrupted spirit of man. They are products from human fantasy (2Pet 1:1616For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.). They are ideas from the world of pagans, although they may contain nice theories from Greek philosophy schools. There should absolutely be no room for that in the church. The command sounds simply: ‘Do not give heed to that.’
The ‘endless genealogies’ is another product of the corrupt spirit of man. Regarding this the command is also: not to give heed to it. Those are teachings of Jews about the descendants of different powers and idols. They serve to make man great and to exclude God. The man who takes heed to that, arrogates himself to be able to explain that all blessing we have received is the result of a process (consider the evolution theory).
By the way, you should not connect this kind of genealogies with the genealogies you find in the Word of God (e.g. 1Chr 1-9; Mt 1:1-171The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:2Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.3Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram.4Ram was the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon.5Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse.6Jesse was the father of David the king. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah.7Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa.8Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah.9Uzziah was the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.10Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah.11Josiah became the father of Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.12After the deportation to Babylon: Jeconiah became the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel.13Zerubbabel was the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor.14Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud.15Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob.16Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.17So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.). Those are inspired by God’s Spirit and they therefore serve God’s purpose.
You are to judge a doctrine by its result, the fruits it produces. When disputes are the result the doctrine is corrupt (Tit 3:99But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.). The religious arena is full of doubters and it echoes only hot air. Sound teachings do not cause disputes, but a sound spiritual growth. Disputes leave the soul in darkness and doubt. They do not give security to the searching soul.
Disputes stand against “the administration of God”. This means: commandments and responsibilities given by God and which are to be fulfilled (Lk 16:2-132And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’3The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg.4I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.’5And he summoned each one of his master’s debtors, and he [began] saying to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’6And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’7Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ And he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He *said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’8And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light.9And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.10“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.11Therefore if you have not been faithful in the [use of] unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true [riches] to you?12And if you have not been faithful in [the use of] that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?13No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”; 1Cor 4:1-21Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.2In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.; 1Pet 4:1010As each one has received a [special] gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.; 1Cor 9:1717For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.; Eph 3:2,92if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you;9and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things;; Col 1:2525Of [this church] I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the [preaching of] the word of God,). Each child of God, so you too, has a commandment and is responsible to carry that out. And that should happen “by faith, which means in complete trust in Him.
Now read 1 Timothy 1:1-4 again.
Reflection: Do you know your commandment?