Chapter 1 Discussion Guide
Section A: Chapter 1:1-7 (CSB)
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope: To Timothy, my true son in the faith. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. As I urged you when I went to Macedonia, remain in Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach false doctrine or to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies. These promote empty speculations rather than God’s plan, which operates by faith. Now the goal of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. Some have departed from these and turned aside to fruitless discussion. They want to be teachers of the law, although they don’t understand what they are saying or what they are insisting on.”
What were the “speculations” in v4, and why were they problematic?
How did the message Timothy brought, differ from “false doctrines” Paul warns of?
The Point: Adding anything to the “requirements” list for salvation other than faith in Jesus, results in false doctrine. Family lineage, diet, culture – none of these matter for the purpose of salvation.
Section B: Chapter 1:8-11 (CSB)
“But we know that the law is good, provided one uses it legitimately. We know that the law is not meant for a righteous person, but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and irreverent, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral and homosexuals, for slave traders, liars, perjurers, and for whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which was entrusted to me.”
Why did God give the Law to Israel?
As Christians, what should our relationship with God’s Law look like?
What would “improper” use of the Law be? How would this make it “not good”?
The Point: The Law is NOT the point. It merely illustrates our inability to Love each other as God calls us to and points to our deep need for God. The Law is Good, because it reveals God’s character, but the Law itself has no power to save. Instead, the Law points to the savior: Jesus.
Section C: Chapter 1:12-17 (CSB)
“I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because he considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry — even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” — and I am the worst of them. But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus might demonstrate his extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Is there anyone too sinful for Christ to save?
What was the effect of Christ on Paul’s life?
The Point: Regardless the severity of our sin, through Jesus, God has provided Mercy. In God’s grace, He provides us the Faith we need to receive the salvation and pure heart Jesus has won for us on the cross.
Section D: Chapter 1:18-20 (CSB)
“Timothy, my son, I am giving you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies previously made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the good fight, having faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and have shipwrecked their faith. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered to Satan, so that they may be taught not to blaspheme.”
If Faith and Good Conscience require a Pure Heart, which comes from God, how can we “persist” in them, once we have them?
What does it mean for Faith to be shipwrecked? Can the “Faith” ship be repaired?
The Point: We will continually need God, even after our salvation, until the Day of the Lord. On that day, when sin is “unmade” we’ll be remade in perfection. Until then, regardless of our Sin missteps Jesus will always be there. We should get comfortable repenting, so that we can quickly turn back to Christ whenever we wander away.
What do we learn about God from Chapter 1?
How should this reality about God, shape our attitudes and actions?
How will we help each other to grow in Christlikeness this week?