I have an opportunity to speak at a Sunday night service at Live Oak Baptist Church in Crestview, FL, the church Natalie grew up in. I have been meditating on 1 Timothy this year, and I have come to enjoy preaching from the first chapter of epistles when given these types of opportunities. 1 Tim 1.8-11: “Now we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the Law was not laid down for the just, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for the those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.”
My main challenge from the text is to use the law lawfully, and the two ways I see how to do that is to (1) put the law before lawbreakers and (2) always make sure you have sound doctrine. One interesting thing of note from the end of verse 10: Paul says that the law is supposed to be laid down before those who practice wicked things, “and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine.” So wicked things is contrary to sound teaching. And ‘sound doctrine’ is clarified by verse 11, “in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God.” So sound teaching is whatever points to the gospel. Let me try and paraphrase these four verses: The law is for those who do wicked things, and wicked things are contrary to the gospel. You either do wickedness, or believe the gospel. Those are the two things pitted against each other here. You are either believing rightly, or doing wrongly. Theology drives everything! May sound teaching– the gospel– keep you from sin.