1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, 2 To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
— 1 Timothy 1:1–2 —
Mercy: The Theme Song for God’s Household (1 Timothy 1:1–2)
Am I not merciful ?!?!!
I could not help but think of these words from the emperor in the movie Gladiator, as I heard the governor of Virginia publicly defend the right to terminate a life after a child was born.
This recent defense of late term and post-term abortion (read: infanticide) reminds us that our culture and its leaders are confused about the meaning and value of life. But our world is also profoundly unmerciful!
For too many reasons to list, pride and exploitation surround us. And unless God delivers us from the cruelty of our age, we will continue to be engulfed by impatience, harshness, and hatred. Even those decrying the wickedness of abortion often do so with angry rage. Oh how easily we conflate righteousness with unrighteousness.
Considering this, the Bible gives us many ways to grow in grace and mercy. And this week’s sermon focused on this theme of mercy in the book of 1 Timothy. Introducing the book, we consider the grace of God in Paul’s life, the peace-making ministry of Timothy, and the message of mercy in 1 Timothy.
You can find the sermon online and response questions below. I have also listed a few helpful resources on the book of 1 Timothy.
- Have you read 1 Timothy? If so, what stood out? What repeated? What questions came to light? What are you looking to learn about?
- Read 1 Timothy 3:14–16. Why is it important to keep this verse in mind as you read this book? How does understanding the purpose of this letter inform us?
- Who is Paul? And why is it important to know him? How does knowing his testimony teach you about God? About the church? About yourself?
- Who is Timothy? What role does he have in Ephesus? How do we apply someone else’s mail to ourselves? (Remember 1 Timothy 3:14–16 and the unique role of this Evangelist)
- Paul adds “mercy” to the beginning of his letter. How might this inform our reading of 1 Timothy? Where do we see mercy in 1 Timothy?
- How essential is mercy for the Christian? Why do we struggle with mercy?
- How might 1 Timothy help us be merciful? What are ways you need to grow in mercy?
- Pray for the mercies of God to make you merciful.
The guys at The Bible Project give a helpful introduction to 1 Timothy. While equivocating on the question of women teaching, the rest of the introduction is very insightful.
Nancy Guthrie has also listed a number of helpful resources, including:
- 1–2 Timothy and Titus: A 12-Week Study by Brian Tabb
- 1–2 Timothy and Titus: To Guard the Deposit by Bryan Chapell
- Sermons on 1 Timothy by Phillip Jensen
- Sermons on 1 Timothy by Alistair Begg
So, take up 1 Timothy and read. May the Lord’s grace, mercy, and peace be made manifest to you and your church as you do.
Soli Deo Gloria, ds