STRIVING FOR WHAT IS RIGHT
STRIVING FOR WHAT IS RIGHT
1 Timothy 1
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
1 From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus our confidence.
2 To Timothy, a genuine child in faith.
Good will,[a] mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord are yours!
A Warning about False Teachers
3 When I was going to the province of Macedonia, I encouraged you to stay in the city of Ephesus. That way you could order certain people to stop teaching false doctrine 4 and occupying themselves with myths and endless genealogies. These myths and genealogies raise a lot of questions rather than promoting God’s plan, which centers in faith.
5 My goal in giving you this order is for love to flow from a pure heart, from a clear conscience, and from a sincere faith. 6 Some people have left these qualities behind and have turned to useless discussions. 7 They want to be experts in Moses’ Teachings. However, they don’t understand what they’re talking about or the things about which they speak so confidently.
8 We know that the laws in Moses’ Teachings are good if they are used as they were intended to be used. 9 For example, a person must realize that those laws are not intended for people who have God’s approval. Laws are intended for lawbreakers and rebels, for ungodly people and sinners, for those who think nothing is holy or sacred, for those who kill their fathers, their mothers, or other people. 10 Laws are intended for people involved in sexual sins, for homosexuals, for kidnappers, for liars, for those who lie when they take an oath, and for whatever else is against accurate teachings. 11 Moses’ Teachings were intended to be used in agreement with the Good News that contains the glory of the blessed God. I was entrusted with that Good News.
Today we start another of Paul’s letters – this one to Timothy, who we know was mentored by Paul. At this stage in his ministry, Timothy was on temporary assignment in Ephesus, raising leaders to continue the work that God had started there.
Paul starts his letter focussing on the false doctrine that was sweeping the church. This false doctrine appears to have caused some confusion regarding the law of Moses and the Gospel of Jesus.
1 Timothy 1 is one of the most fundamental passages to understanding the role of the law in the life of the believer: is simply points out our sin so that we can leave it behind us. This is why Paul writes, “we know that the laws in Moses’ teaching are good if they are used as they were intended to be used”. He goes on to explain that laws are only there for the law breakers, to reveal their sin. Rather, for the Christian, Moses teachings were intended to be used in conjunction with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, rather than opposed to it.
F. H. Paschall explains that “The gospel lifts the believer from the negative life of avoiding wrong, to the positive life of striving for that which is right in God’s sight.” What a great revelation.
A CALL TO ACTION
Living the Christian life isn’t avoid avoiding the wrong things in life. Rather, as we strive to live the best possible life that we can (because that’s what Jesus offers us) the “wrong” things are no longer appealing. A husband in love with his wife doesn’t want to hurt her; a child who respects his parents wants to obey them; a Christian who loves Jesus wants to do what is right, not only avoid what is wrong.
Do you need to shift your attention from not doing what is wrong, to doing what is right? When it comes to actions, there may not be much change in the way you live that out. But what counts is your heart. Striving for what is good is about pleasing God because you love Him. Striving to avoid what is wrong is often about trying to earn favour.
Today – strive to please God because you love Him!
A PRAYER TO PRAY
Gracious God, thank you for yet another day that you have blessed me with. Today I want to express my love to you through obedience. I pray that my obedience and the way I live today will honour You. For Your glory, amen.