Today we are reading from 1 Timothy 1: 1-11:
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
2 To Timothy, my loyal child in the faith:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I urge you, as I did when I was on my way to Macedonia, to remain in Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach any different doctrine, 4 and not to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies that promote speculations rather than the divine training that is known by faith. 5 But the aim of such instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith. 6 Some people have deviated from these and turned to meaningless talk, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make assertions.
8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it legitimately. 9 This means understanding that the law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, 10 fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching 11 that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
One of my favorite songs by U2 is from their Joshua Tree album entitled “Red Hill Mining Town.” This is a song written by a father to son about their mining community. It’s a song about his love for his son, and his son is what keeps him holding on. It’s a beautiful song. The first line of the song is:
From father to son
The blood runs thin
See faces frozen still
Against the wind
I thought of that love from father to son as I was reading through this section today. Paul calls Timothy his loyal child in the faith. Paul loves Timothy in the Lord, and he just plain loves him. In this book, we’ll see practical advice, from father to son, about leading a church and being a good pastor.
Today we see Paul tell Timothy beware of foolish doctrine. Remember what the point of good teaching is, love that comes from a pure heart. This pure heart comes from correct doctrine and from correct living.
Orthodoxy (right doctrine) and orthopraxy (right living) are the foundations of what the Christian life should be about. Paul knows that Timothy will be a leader of the church and he needed to focus on what matters and what is important. A father passes along truth to a son. Paul does this to Timothy.
And we will learn from this in the coming days. Today, we learn about the importance of right doctrine and right living. Let’s hold to these two foundations.
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