October 10th Being a changed man
12: And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13: Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14: And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15: This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16: Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. 17: Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. 18: This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest wage a good warfare; 19: Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
Paul gives his testimony, he says, I thank Christ Jesus or Lord who has enabled me to do this ministry. He has counted me faithful putting me into this ministry. Previously l was a blasphemer of Christ’s name, a persecutor of Christ’s followers and one who injured them on purpose. BUT l obtained mercy because l did all that in complete ignorance. God was pleased to withhold his judgment on me although l was heading for destruction. Gods kindness to me overflowed exceedingly in the Gospel and love in Christ Jesus. This is a trustworthy and worthy of acceptance by everyone, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners and l was the ring leader - the worst of the bunch. However, says Paul, l obtained mercy, so that in me Jesus Christ might demonstrate his patience so that others might see me as an example of what God can do in the life of a sinner who believes. And so says Paul unto the King of the ages, who is incorruptible and unseen by men, who is the one and only God, may to him be honour and glory for ever and ever – Amen. Lastly, Paul emphasises this special duty to Timothy which is consistent with the prophesies that had gone before. He says, Timothy - fight the good fight. Hold on tight to The Faith - keeping a clear conscience. (‘The Faith’ is the body of truth – The Apostles Doctrine) There are some, says Paul, who have thrown away ‘The Faith’ and have run aground on the rocks of error. Hymenaeus and Alexander have done this and l have put them out of the fellowship into the realms of Satan that they might by discipline, learn not to blaspheme the Lord.
- How great had been the change in Paul's life?
- What was the purpose of Paul's conversion?
- What instruction and encouragement does Paul give to Timothy?