1 Timothy 1:1-7
God’s great and merciful gift to us is salvation from our sins through faith in him alone. God has granted this through the blood and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. There was, and remains, no other way to reconcile a sinful person to a righteous God than through the sacrificial blood of Jesus. Only by his grace have we been saved. Only by his grace have we had the faith to believe in his loving kindness offered to us on the cross.
Paul is reminding Timothy of the importance of this truth in 1 Timothy 1:3-5. There are, in Paul’s words “strange doctrines” all around us. Doctrines that would seek distort the gospel of Jesus by adding requirements to our salvation. These strange myths and doctrines all have one thing in common: Anything that adds to faith in Jesus for salvation is a strange doctrine. Anything that requires more than the blood of Christ to obtain righteousness is a strange doctrine. We must guard our hearts against such doctrines if we do not want to shipwreck our faith.
Furthermore, we must call out those who are teaching such strange doctrines. We must point out strange and unbiblical doctrine in the lives of our family and our friends. We must seek to prevent them from shipwrecking their own faith. It is not enough for us to sit content in the grace of Christ, not to speak of the sufficiency of his cross to those who have failed to see this truth. We must not sit complacent while our loved ones hope to gain salvation through anything other than the blood of Jesus.
The goal of this instruction must be love though. It must be love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. We must guard our hearts and our words in each of these areas. We must love unconditionally as Jesus loved us. We must repent regularly of our own sins and confess our great and continual need for a savior. We must sincerely live out our faith in Christ alone. We cannot teach Jesus’ gospel if we ourselves hope in something more than the blood of Jesus. We cannot hope in money, fame, or power while preaching the gospel of Jesus to others.
There is one true faith and it is firmly rooted in the sacrificial blood of Jesus. Anything else is strange doctrine. We must hope only in Jesus today. We must run from the temptation to add any of our own requirements for salvation to his gospel. We must lovingly share this great truth with those around us.