1 Timothy 1:12-20
Paul finishes the first chapter of 1 Timothy in much the same way that he opened it: He commands Timothy to stay away from strange doctrines that preach anything other than the gospel of Jesus as a means to salvation.
It is Jesus alone who sustains believers. He sustains our salvation, our pursuit of holiness and our ministry to family, friends and strangers. Jesus alone gives us the strength we need to get up in the morning and to spend time alone with him. He alone gives us the strength we need to serve our families and our neighbors. He sustains us because he has found us faithful. You are counted faithful to Jesus if you hope in him alone for your salvation. It is a humbling truth to recognize that we rely on Jesus for something as simple as our faith.
It is Jesus who has saved us from our unbelief. He has placed Christ’s righteousness upon us and continues to sanctify us. Where there once lived darkness and an evil heart, there now lives the spirit of God. It is this spirit that compels us in the love of Christ. Were it not for Jesus we would be lost in the ‘strange doctrines’ of men and would have long since shipwrecked our faith as Hymenaeus and Alexander did. Paul reminds us that Jesus came into the world to save sinners just like him… just like us. If Jesus could save Paul from his sinful heart – if Jesus can save us from the wretchedness of our sin, from our fruitless efforts to reach salvation by being good, from our brazen denial of God – if Jesus can save a sinner like me from the wrath of an almighty God, he can save anyone! Our salvation is a testimony to others. It points to God alone and to his kindness through Jesus as the only way to salvation.
It is with this truth and with this knowledge that we must continually speak the truth of the gospel to others. The awe of our salvation should urge us to share this great news with as many people as we can. It should convict us to point out ungodliness and strange doctrine in the lives of our believing friends. It should cause us great joy to tell others about the gospel of Jesus and give us great pain when they reject his gift of salvation.
If the amazing grace of the gospel of Jesus does not move us to action we have to ask ourselves “Just how amazing do I really think it is?”