1 Timothy 1:13
I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a violent man; yet because I had acted in ignorance and unbelief, I was shown mercy.
A Wonderful Change1 Timothy 1:13
I was BeforeC. H. Spurgeon.1 Timothy 1:13
St. Paul's Wish to be Accursed from ChristAndrew Lee et al 1 Timothy 1:13
The Lord's Mercy Contrasted with His Own Want of itT. Croskery 1 Timothy 1:13
The Memory of Forgiven SinsThe Homilist1 Timothy 1:13
Transformation of the Vilest1 Timothy 1:13
Ejaculation of Thankfulness for This High TrustT. Croskery 1 Timothy 1:12, 13
Personal DigressionR. Finlayson 1 Timothy 1:12-17

Great as his sin had been, he became a subject of Divine mercy.

I. THE LORD'S MERCY TO HIM. "I obtained mercy."

1. The mercy included the pardon of his great wickedness. It was mercy unsought for as well as unmerited.

2. It was mercy with the grace of apostleship added to it.

II. THE GROUND AND REASON OF THIS MERCY. "Because I did it ignorantly in unbelief."

1. The true ground of mercy is nothing whatever in man, but the compassion of God himself (Titus 3:5).

2. The apostle does not signify that he had any claim to God's mercy, for he calls himself in the next verse "the very chief of sinners."

3. He does not mean to lessen the enormity of his guilt, but sets it forth, in all its attending circumstances, as not being such as excluded him from the pale of mercy, because he had not sinned against his own convictions.

(1) He did it ignorantly; but ignorance was no excuse where there were the means of knowledge; and unbelief, out of which the ignorance springing could not be accepted as an excuse, since he had heard the statement of Stephen. Besides, all sins spring from ignorance, and are aggravated by unbelief.

(2) But he did not sin willfully against light and conscience, and so commit the sin against the Holy Ghost.

(3) He who has compassion on the ignorant had compassion upon him, when he found him an ignorant and blinded zealot. Thus were confirmed the words of Christ, that every sin against the Son of man will be forgiven, so long as there is no blasphemy against the Spirit (Matthew 12:31). The apostle had not deliberately set at naught the counsel of God, but stood on exactly the same ground with those sinners converted at Pentecost, who had acted "in ignorance" (Acts 3:17). The sin was great in both cases, but it was not unpardonable.

(4) There is nothing in the apostle's statement to justify the opinion that those who have never heard of Christ will be forgiven on account of their ignorance. Our Lord's words warrant the expectation that there will be a mitigation, but not a remission, of punishment in such cases. "He that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes" (Luke 12:48). The language in both passages justifies charitable judgments even respecting persecutors. - T.C.

Who was before a blasphemer.
Note here, before we come to the special purpose we have in view, that godly men never think or speak lightly of their sins. When they know that they are forgiven, they repent of their iniquities even more heartily than before. You have probably read biographies of John Bunyan, in which the biographer says that Bunyan laboured under a morbid conscientiousness, and accused himself of a degree of sin of which he was not guilty. Exactly so, in the view of the biographer, but not so in the view of John Bunyan, who, startled into sensitiveness of conscience, could not find words strong enough to express all his reprobation of himself. Job said once, " I abhor myself."

I. IF WE THINK OF WHAT WE WERE, IT WILL EXCITE IN US ADORING GRATITUDE. Paul was full of gratitude, for he thanked Christ Jesus that He counted him faithful, putting him into the ministry.

II. A SENSE OF WHAT WE WERE SHOULD SUSTAIN IN US VERY DEEP HUMILITY. 1 Corinthians 15:9. I have heard of a good man in Germany who used to rescue poor, destitute boys from the streets, and he always had them photographed in their rags and filth, just as he found them; and then, in years afterwards, when they were clothed and washed and educated, and their characters began to develop, if they grew proud he would show them what they were, and try to teach them what they would have been likely to be if it had not been for his charity. If you are inclined to lift up your head, and boast what a great man you are now, just look at the likeness of what you were before the Lord made you a new creature in Christ Jesus. Oh I who can tell what that likeness would have been but for the interpositions of Divine grace?


IV. THE RETROSPECT OF OUR PAST LIVES SHOULD KINDLE IN US FERVENT LOVE to the Lord who has redeemed us. I think there is nothing better than to retain a vivid sense of conversion in order to retain a vivid sense of love. Do not be afraid of loving Christ too much. Oh for more love arising out of a deep, intense sense of what we once were, and of the change which Christ has wrought in us!

V. REMEMBERING WHAT WE WERE, ARDENT ZEAL SHOULD BE AROUSED IN US. Look at Paul. He says, "I was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious." What then? Why, now that he has become a follower of Christ, he cannot do too much. He put many saints in prison; now he goes into many prisons himself. I remember one who lived four or five miles away from a place of worship, who used to say, "You old legs, it is no use being tired; for you have got to carry me. You used to take me to the place of amusement when I served the devil, and you shall carry me now to the house of God, that I may worship and serve Him." When sometimes he had an uneasy seat, he used to say, "It is no use grumbling, old bones, you will have to sit here, or else you will have to stand. Years ago you put up with all kinds of inconveniences when I went to the theatre, or some other evil place, when I served Satan; and you must be content to do the same now for a better Master and a nobler service." I think some of us might take a lesson from that old man, and say to ourselves, " Come, covetousness, you are not going to hinder me from serving the Lord. I used to be liberal to the devil, and I do not intend now to be stingy to God."

VI. If we remember what we were, and how grace has changed us, IT OUGHT TO MAKE US "VERY HOPEFUL ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE. VII. WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US SHOULD CONFIRM OUR CONFIDENCE FOR OURSELVES — our confidence, not in ourselves, but in God, who will perfect that which He has begun in us.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

The Homilist.
God's forgiveness is full, free, and thorough. Yet, forgiving, He does not forget. God remembers forgiven sins, but He does not, will not, remember them against us. We should remember them.

I. THE MEMORY OF FORGIVEN SINS IS FAVOURABLE TO HUMILITY. Spiritual pride is a sin to which the eminently holy, gifted, and useful Christian is peculiarly liable. Let the first remember how he formerly defiled himself; the second, to what unworthy objects he directed his noble faculties; the third, that his pardoned sins may be — probably are — working fatal mischief in the world; and where is there room for pride? How much reason for self-abasement? Why did Paul describe himself as "less than the least of all saints"?

II. THE MEMORY OF FORGIVEN SINS IS CONDUCIVE TO WATCHFULNESS. Forgiveness has not destroyed our liability to sin. Forgiven sins have left weak places in our souls. He who keeps in view those remitted sins which had the strongest hold on his nature, will vigilantly watch against the return of "the unclean spirit."

III. THE MEMORY OF FORGIVEN SINS IS PRODUCTIVE OF COMPASSION. We pity sinners. The unforgiven are the unforgiving, the unmerciful and stony hearted.

IV. THE MEMORY OF FORGIVEN SINS AWAKENS GRATITUDE. We are in danger of forgetting "all" the Lord's "benefits," but we cannot if we remember our sins.

(The Homilist.)

Mr. Ruskin, in his "Modern Painters," tells that the black mud or slime from a footpath in the out skirts of a manufacturing town — the absolute type of impurity — is composed of four elements — clay, mixed with soot, a little sand, and water. These four may be separated each from the other. The clay particles, left to follow their own instinct of unity, become a clear, hard substance, so set that it can deal with light in a wonderful way, and gather out of it the loveliest blue rays only, refusing the rest. We call it then a "sapphire." The sand arranges itself in mysterious, infinitely fine parallel lines, which reflect the blue, green, purple, and red rays in the greatest beauty. We call it then an "opal." The soot becomes the hardest thing in the world, and for the blackness it had obtains the power of reflecting all the rays of the sun at once in the vividest blaze that any solid thing can shoot. We call it then a "diamond." Last of all, the water becomes a dew-drop, and a crystalline star of snow. Thus God can and does transform the vilest sinners into pure and shining jewels, fit for His home in heaven.

The following is one of many well-authenticated cases of converted infidels given in the Anti-Infidel: — Walking along a street in the "second city of the empire" a few days ago, I saluted a middle-aged man dressed in the semi-clerical garb of a mission preacher, and I rather surprised a friend who was with me by telling him that he who had just passed us was a converted infidel. The story of his being "brought back," as I heard it from his own lips, may not be uninteresting. Mr. B. — then, was at one time an avowed atheist, a professed and prominent infidel. He possesses a fine intellect; but, alas! he devoted his talent to the wicked purpose of "proving" the non-existence of the Divine Giver thereof. One evening a mock debate was held among his athiest associates, in which Mr. B. assumed the part of a Christian, and towards the close of the discussion said to his opponent, in solemn tones, Now, my young friend, when you go home, take and read your Bible for the truth of what I have stated, and pray for help and guidance, This was considered to be a rich bit of sarcasm, and made a "great hit." Some time after, Mr. B. was accosted by the same young man, who, to his surprise, asked him in real earnestness, "My friend, how about your soul?" "Oh, don't bother me with such stuff," replied Mr. B., impatiently. "Do you remember that debate we had?" said the young man. "Well, I took the advice you gave me then; I studied the Scripture, I prayed over it, and I have found peace; and, oh! my friend, you cannot do better than take your own advice. You gave it then to ridicule the cause you were supposed to be upholding. Now, I beg. of you to think of it seriously, and it will really do you good. Mr. B. — did take his own advice, with the result that he saw the error of his ways, embraced Christianity, and has been for years zealously preaching that doctrine which he formerly reviled.

Alexander, Hymenaeus, Paul, Sodomites, Timotheus, Timothy
Ephesus, Macedonia
Acted, Acts, Aggressor, Although, Believed, Blasphemed, Blasphemer, Causing, Cruel, Evil, Faith, Formerly, Howbeit, However, Ignorance, Ignorant, Ignorantly, Injurious, Insolent, Insulted, Insulting, Kindness, Mercy, Obtained, Outrage, Overbearing, Persecuted, Persecuting, Persecutor, Previously, Received, Shewn, Shown, Speaking, Though, Trouble, Unbelief, Violent, Yet
1. Paul declares Timothy is faithful to the charge which was given him at his going to Macedonia.
5. The right use and end of the law.
11. Paul's calling to be an apostle;
20. and the disobedience or Hymenaeus and Alexander.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Timothy 1:13

     5800   blasphemy
     6021   sin, nature of
     6183   ignorance, of God
     6257   unbelievers
     8744   faithlessness, as disobedience
     8796   persecution, forms of
     8836   unbelief, response

1 Timothy 1:12-15

     6604   acceptance, human

1 Timothy 1:12-16

     8426   evangelism, motivation

1 Timothy 1:13-14

     2027   Christ, grace and mercy
     6668   grace, and Christ

1 Timothy 1:13-15

     5040   murder

'The Gospel of the Glory of the Happy God'
'The glorious gospel of the blessed God.'--1 TIM. i. 11. Two remarks of an expository character will prepare the way for our consideration of this text. The first is, that the proper rendering is that which is given in the Revised Version--'the gospel of the glory,' not the 'glorious gospel.' The Apostle is not telling us what kind of thing the Gospel is, but what it is about. He is dealing not with its quality, but with its contents. It is a Gospel which reveals, has to do with, is the manifestation
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Gospel in Small
'This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.'--1 TIM. i. 15. Condensation is a difficult art. There are few things drier and more unsatisfactory than small books on great subjects, abbreviated statements of large systems. Error lurks in summaries, and yet here the whole fulness of God's communication to men is gathered into a sentence; tiny as a diamond, and flashing like it. My text is the one precious drop of essence, distilled
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Chief of Sinners
'Of whom I am chief.'--1 TIM. i. 15. The less teachers of religion talk about themselves the better; and yet there is a kind of personal reference, far removed from egotism and offensiveness. Few such men have ever spoken more of themselves than Paul did, and yet none have been truer to his motto: 'We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus.' For the scope of almost all his personal references is the depreciation of self, and the magnifying of the wonderful mercy which drew him to Jesus Christ. Whenever
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A Test Case
'Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe.'--1 TIM. i. 16. The smallest of God's creatures, if it were only a gnat dancing in a sunbeam, has a right to have its well-being considered as an end of God's dealings. But no creature is so isolated or great as that it has a right to have its well-being regarded as the sole end of God's dealings. That is true about all His blessings and
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Glory of the King
'Now, unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.'--1 TIM. i. 17. With this burst of irrepressible praise the Apostle ends his reference to his own conversion as a transcendent, standing instance of the infinite love and transforming power of God. Similar doxologies accompany almost all his references to the same fact. This one comes from the lips of 'Paul the aged,' looking back from almost the close of a life which owed many sorrows
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

St. Paul's Wish to be Accursed from Christ.
"For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh." Few characters more remarkable than that of St. Paul, are to be found in history. He is introduced to our acquaintance on a tragical occasion--the martyrdom of Stephen, where he appears an accomplice with murderers--"he was standing by and consenting to his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him." The circumstances of Paul's conversion to Christianity were very remarkable, and
Andrew Lee et al—Sermons on Various Important Subjects

The Lawful and Unlawful Use of Law.
Preached June 27, 1852. THE LAWFUL AND UNLAWFUL USE OF LAW. (A FRAGMENT.) "But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully."--1 Tim. i. 8. It is scarcely ever possible to understand a passage without some acquaintance with the history of the circumstances under which it was written. At Ephesus, over which Timothy was bishop, people had been bewildered by the teaching of converted Jews, who mixed the old leaven of Judaism with the new spirituality of Christianity. They maintained the
Frederick W. Robertson—Sermons Preached at Brighton

The Glorious Gospel
Our text is one that pride would never prompt a man to select. It is quite impossible to flourish about it, it is so simple. Human nature is apt to cry, "Well I cannot preach upon that text--it is too plain; there is no mystery in it; I cannot show my learning: it is just a plain, common-sense announcement--I scarcely would wish to take it, for it lowers the man, however much it may exalt the Master." So, expect nothing but the text from me this morning, and the simplest possible explanation of it.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 4: 1858

"Now the End of the Commandment is Charity Out of a Pure Heart, and a Good Conscience, and Faith Unfeigned. "
[It is extremely probable that this was one of the probationary discourses which the author delivered before the Presbytery of Glasgow, previous to his ordination. The following is an extract from the Record of that Presbytery: "Dec. 5, 1649. The qlk daye Mr. Hew Binnen made his popular sermon 1 Tim. i. ver. 5 'The end of ye commandment is charity.'--Ordaines Mr. Hew Binnen to handle his controversie this day fifteen dayes, De satisfactione Christi."--Ed.] 1 Tim. ii. 5.--"Now the end of the commandment
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Thoughts Upon the Imitation of Christ.
IF we seriously consider with our selves that Wonder of all Wonders, that Mystery of all Mysteries, the Incarnation of the Son of God, it may justly strike us into Astonishment, and an Admiration what should be the reason and the end of it; why the great and glorious, the almighty and eternal God, should take our weak and finite Nature into his infinite and incomprehensible Person; why the Creator of all things should himself become a Creature; and he that made the World be himself made into it;
William Beveridge—Private Thoughts Upon a Christian Life

Thoughts Upon Worldly-Riches. Sect. Ii.
TIMOTHY after his Conversion to the Christian Faith, being found to be a Man of great Parts, Learning, and Piety, and so every way qualified for the work of the Ministry, St. Paul who had planted a Church at Ephesus the Metropolis or chief City of all Asia, left him to dress and propagate it, after his departure from it, giving him Power to ordain Elders or Priests, and to visit and exercise Jurisdiction over them, to see they did not teach false Doctrines, 1 Tim. i. 3. That they be unblameable in
William Beveridge—Private Thoughts Upon a Christian Life

The Christian's Hope
Scripture references: 1 Timothy 1:1; Colossians 1:27; Psalm 130:5; 43:5; Proverbs 10:8; Acts 24:15; Psalm 71:5; Romans 5:1-5; 12:12; 15:4; 1 Corinthians 9:10; Galatians 5:5; Ephesians 1:18; Philippians 1:20; Colossians 1:5; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 2:19; Titus 1:2; 2:13; 3:7; Psalm 31:24; 71:14,15. HOPE IN THE PRESENT LIFE That which a man ardently hopes for he strives to realize. If he desires fame, office or wealth he will seek to set forces in motion, here and now, which will bring him that which
Henry T. Sell—Studies in the Life of the Christian

The Communion of Gifts.
"Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned."--1 Tim. i. 5. Communion of goods in Jerusalem was a symbol. It typified the communion of the spiritual goods which constituted the real treasure of Jerusalem's saints. The other inhabitants of that city possessed houses, fields, furniture, gold, and silver just as well as the saints, and perhaps in greater abundance. But the latter were to receive riches which neither Jew, Roman, nor
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Humility is the Root of Charity, and Meekness the Fruit of Both. ...
Humility is the root of charity, and meekness the fruit of both. There is no solid and pure ground of love to others, except the rubbish of self-love be first cast out of the soul; and when that superfluity of naughtiness is cast out, then charity hath a solid and deep foundation: "The end of the command is charity out of a pure heart," 1 Tim. i. 5. It is only such a purified heart, cleansed from that poison and contagion of pride and self-estimation, that can send out such a sweet and wholesome
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Of Lies are Many Sorts, which Indeed All...
4. Of lies are many sorts, which indeed all, universally, we ought to hate. For there is no lie that is not contrary to truth. For, as light and darkness, piety and impiety, justice and iniquity, sin and right-doing, health and weakness, life and death, so are truth and a lie contrary the one to the other. Whence by how much we love the former, by so much ought we to hate the latter. Yet in truth there be some lies which to believe does no harm: although even by such sort of lie to wish to deceive,
St. Augustine—Against Lying

The Joy that was Set Before Him
T. P. I Tim. i. 15 From the palace of His glory, From the radiance and the rest, Came the Son of God to seek me, Bear me home upon His breast. There from that eternal brightness Did His thoughts flow forth to me-- He in His great love would have me Ever there with Him to be. Far away, undone, forsaken, Not for Him my heart was sore; But for need and bitter hunger-- Christ desired I nevermore. Could it be that in the glory, Ere of Him I had a thought, He was yearning o'er the lost one, Whom His
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen, Suso, and Others

But Regard the Troops of virgins, Holy Boys and Girls...
37. But regard the troops of virgins, holy boys and girls: this kind hath been trained up in Thy Church: there for Thee it hath been budding from its mother's breasts; for Thy Name it hath loosed its tongue to speak, Thy Name, as through the milk of its infancy, it hath had poured in and hath sucked, no one of this number can say, "I, who before was a blasphemer, and persecutor, and injurious, but I obtained mercy, in that I did in being ignorant, in unbelief." [2130] Yea more, that, which Thou commandedst
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

The Blessed Hope and Its Power
PHILIPPIANS iii. 17-21 The problem of the body--Cautions and tears--"That blessed hope"--The duty of warning--The moral power of the hope--The hope full of immortality--My mother's life--"He is able"--The promise of his coming The Apostle draws to the close of his appeal for a true and watchful fidelity to the Gospel. He has done with his warning against Judaistic legalism. He has expounded, in the form of a personal confession and testimony, the true Christian position, the acceptance of the
Handley C. G. Moule—Philippian Studies

Epistle iii. To Constantius, Bishop.
To Constantius, Bishop. Gregory to Constantius, Bishop of Mediolanum. It has come to my knowledge that certain bishops of your diocese, seeking out rather than finding an occasion, have attempted to sever themselves from the unity of your Fraternity, saying that thou hadst given a security [1524] at the Roman city for thy condemnation of the three Chapters. And the fact is that they say this because they do not know how I am accustomed to trust thy Fraternity even without security. For if there
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

Concerning Perseverance, and the Possibility of Falling from Grace.
Concerning Perseverance, and the Possibility of Falling from Grace. Although this gift and inward grace of God be sufficient to work out salvation, yet in those in whom it is resisted, it both may and doth become their condemnation. Moreover, they in whose hearts it hath wrought in part to purify and sanctify them in order to their further perfection, may, by disobedience, fall from it, turn it to wantonness, Jude iv. make shipwreck of faith, 1 Tim. i. 19. and after having tasted the heavenly gift,
Robert Barclay—Theses Theologicae and An Apology for the True Christian Divinity

Paul a Pattern of Prayer
"Go and inquire for one called Saul of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth."--ACTS ix. 11. "For this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting."--1 TIM. i. 16. God took His own Son, and made Him our Example and our Pattern. It sometimes is as if the power of Christ's example is lost in the thought that He, in whom is no sin, is not man as we are. Our Lord took Paul, a man
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

"To what Purpose is the Multitude of Your Sacrifices unto Me? Saith the Lord,"
Isaiah i. 11.--"To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord," &c. This is the word he calls them to hear and a strange word. Isaiah asks, What mean your sacrifices? God will not have them. I think the people would say in their own hearts, What means the prophet? What would the Lord be at? Do we anything but what he commanded us? Is he angry at us for obeying him? What means this word? Is he not repealing the statute and ordinance he had made in Israel? If he had reproved
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Addresses on Holiness,
IN EXETER HALL. FIRST ADDRESS. I think it must be self-evident to everyone present that it is the most important question that can possibly occupy the mind of man--how much like God we can be--how near to God we can come on earth preparatory to our being perfectly like Him, and living, as it were, in His very heart for ever and ever in Heaven. Anyone who has any measure of the Spirit of God, must perceive that this is the most important question on which we can concentrate our thoughts; and the
Catherine Booth—Godliness

The Eternity of God
The next attribute is, God is eternal.' Psa 90:0. From everlasting to everlasting thou art God.' The schoolmen distinguish between aevun et aeternum, to explain the notion of eternity. There is a threefold being. I. Such as had a beginning; and shall have an end; as all sensitive creatures, the beasts, fowls, fishes, which at death are destroyed and return to dust; their being ends with their life. 2. Such as had a beginning, but shall have no end, as angels and the souls of men, which are eternal
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

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