Hope this can help anyone who is wrestling with the logic of 1 Timothy chapter one. In this sermon I am preaching tomorrow, Lord willing, I am skipping over vv12-17 because it looks like a tangent that the Apostle goes on to help explain the unbelievable mercy God showed him in order to entrust him with the gospel ministry. A brief outline:
Guard the Truth with Love
1. Know what the truth is- the fact that Paul tells Timothy to charge certain ones not to teach a different doctrine (v3) means that there is a right doctrine; and that right doctrine is the “stewardship from God that is by faith (4); and that stewardship is the gospel that God entrusted to the Apostles (11). If you want to guard the truth, then know the gospel very well.
2. Confront those who do not promote that truth- Paul’s initial charge is to stop certain men from teaching different doctrines (3); and then he says this charge is in accordance with previous prophecies about Timothy, that by the prophecies he might “wage the good warfare” (18). The teaching ministry is warfare! Don’t take the pulpit unless you’re willing to fight.
3. Sometimes we must use tough love- Paul mentions two men that he had to “hand over to Satan.” This means to put them out of the church (cf. 1 Cor 5.1-5). This is tough love– but it is love! This was so that “they may learn not to blaspheme.”
1 Timothy 1.5- “The aim of our charge is love.” It is loving to confront false teachers– so they know they are in error and to protect the sheep. It is loving to discipline people when needed– because God may use that to bring them to repentance. The goal of our gospel-truth-guarding-ministry is love!