1 Timothy 1:9
We realize that law is not enacted for the righteous, but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for killers of father or mother, for murderers,
IntroductionR. Finlayson 1 Timothy 1:1-11
The Nature and Design of the LawT. Croskery 1 Timothy 1:8, 9
Applying the Law1 Timothy 1:8-10
Design of the LawC. H. Spurgeon.1 Timothy 1:8-10
On the LawG. Clayton, M. A.1 Timothy 1:8-10
Sound DoctrinePhillips Brooks, D. D.1 Timothy 1:8-10
The Law GoodT. Guthrie, D. D.1 Timothy 1:8-10
The Lawful and Unlawful Use of LawF. W. Robertson, M. A.1 Timothy 1:8-10
The Moral Teaching of the GnosticsA. Plummer, D. D.1 Timothy 1:8-10
The Proper Uses of the LawJ. E. Hull, B. A.1 Timothy 1:8-10
The Purpose of the LawA. Rowland, LL. B.1 Timothy 1:8-10
The Right Use of the Divine LawW. Howels.1 Timothy 1:8-10
The Right Use of the LawB. Beddome, M. A.1 Timothy 1:8-10
The Use of the LawT. Chalmers, D. D.1 Timothy 1:8-10
The Use of the LawT. Chalmers, D. D.1 Timothy 1:8-10
The Use of the LawJ. Graham.1 Timothy 1:8-10
Using the Law1 Timothy 1:8-10

We know that the Law is good, if a man use it lawfully. This passage contains the last recorded utterance of the apostle concerning the Law, and of which he speaks with all the conscious authority of an apostle. He asserts the goodness of the Law - the moral Law, not the ceremonial, which was now disannulled, for the context refers expressly to the precepts of the Decalogue - and this goodness is manifest if you keep in view the moral end for which it was given. Perhaps the apostle may have had in view the lax moral practice of the errorists at Ephesus.

I. THE LAWFUL USE OF THE LAW. Scripture sets forth its design in plain language.

1. It was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. (Galatians 3:24.) Thus "Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness" (Romans 10:4).

2. But it only brings us to Christ as it reveals to us our imperfections and our sins. "For by the Law is the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20). It was, indeed, "added because of transgressions" (Galatians 3:19). The Law shows us our sinfulness, and drives us to the Savior. It thus "shuts us up to faith" (Galatians 3:23).


1. To make it the occasion of endless logomachies - of vain talking, of "strivings about the Law."

2. To seek justification by obedience to its precepts.

3. To strive for the attainment of holiness by a use of the Law, interpreted, not in its plain sense, but with meanings imposed upon it by mystical allegorizings and theosophic culture. The errorists at Ephesus were no Pharisaic legalists or mere Judaists, but persons ignorant of the true nature and design of the Law; who abstained from things lawful and good, and were yet morally corrupt (Titus 1:10; Revelation 2:9, 14, 20, 24).

III. GROUND OF THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN ITS LAWFUL AND UNLAWFUL USE. "Knowing this, that the Law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless"

1. The Law is not made for a righteous man.

(1) This does not mean that a righteous man - that is, a man right with God, whose experience has made the principles of righteousness habitual with him - has no relation whatever to the Law.

(a) Because the Law had relation to

(α) Adam in innocence, who had the Law written in his heart;

(β) to Abraham, who was a righteous man;

(χ) to David, who was a righteous man;

(δ) and to all the Old Testament saints;

(ε) it had even relation to Jesus Christ himself,

who was "made under the Law" - the very "Law that was in his heart" (Psalm 40:8), of which he was "the end for righteousness" (Romans 10:4), because he came to fulfill it (Matthew 5:16).

(b) Because the Law has relation to believers under the Christian dispensation; for this very apostle enforces the obligation to obey it, specifying six of its enactments (Romans 13:8, 9; Ephesians 6:1). James says that believers who show respect of persons become "transgressors of the Law." Therefore, when the apostle says "the Law is not made for a righteous man," he does not mean that the righteous man is no longer bound to obey it. He delights in it; he actually serves it (Romans 7:25). If any should say that the apostle means that the righteous do not need the Law to direct them, we answer that they might as well say they do not need the Scripture to direct them, as the Law is already in their hearts. How is a righteous man to know sin but by the Law? "For by the Law is the knowledge of sin."

(2) His statement has an abstract cast, like our Lord's saying, "I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

(a) The Law was not made because of righteous, but because of wicked, men. "It was added because of transgressions." It is similar to the statement of the apostle concerning the nine graces of the Spirit - "against such there is no Law" (Galatians 5:23). The Law does not, cannot condemn, any one of these graces.

(b) The Law was never made for the righteous man in the sense in which it was made for the unrighteous man, to condemn him; for the righteous man is redeemed from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13). Its penalty cannot affect him; its burden does not weigh him down; its terrors do not bring him into bondage. On the contrary, he delights in it as he serves it. Thus, while in one sense the righteous man delights in it and serves it, he is in another sense "not under the Law, but under grace" (Romans 6:14). It may be further observed that if Adam had continued in his original righteousness, the Law of Sinai would never have been given to man. "It was added because of transgressions."

2. The Law is made for the wicked. They are described according to the two tables of the Decalogue. Those in the first table go in pairs.

(1) The lawless and unruly. These terms describe opposition to the Law - the one in its more subjective, the other in its more objective side; the one representing, perhaps, a more passive, the other a more active hostility to Law.

(2) The ungodly and sinful. These terms describe the opposition to God - the one without reverence for him, the other living in defiance of him.

(3) The unholy and profane. These terms describe the manifestation of the wicked and godless spirit toward the Name or ordinances of God. They touch upon the violation of the first four commandments.

(4) Those in the second table in with

(a) sins against the fifth commandment: "smiters of fathers and smiters of mothers;"

(b) sins against the sixth: "man-slayers;"

(c) sins against the seventh: "fornicators, sodomites;"

(d) sins against the eighth: "men-stealers" - this special form of transgression being selected because the theft of a man himself is a far more serious offence than the theft of his goods;

(e) sins against the ninth: "for liars, for perjurers" - the one being a great advance in enormity upon the other.

(f) Strange that the apostle does not enumerate the tenth, which operated upon himself so powerfully (Romans 7:7). Perhaps it was designed by the inclusive reference no longer to the committers of sin, but to the sins themselves: "And if there be any other thing that is contrary to the sound instruction, according to the gospel of the glory of God which was committed to my trust." This language implies

(1) that the list is not designed to be exhaustive of the various forms of evil in the worm;

(2) that the Law and the gospel are in perfect harmony respecting what is sin;

(3) that the design of the gospel is to set forth the glory of God's mercy, goodness and love;

(4) that the gospel is a precious deposit committed to human hands, to be dispensed for the benefit of the race of man. The apostle did not shrink from such a solemn trust, but rather rejoiced in it. - T.C.

The law is good, if a man use it lawfully.
The value of God's gifts largely depends upon the use we make of them. There are powers within our reach which may with equal ease destroy our welfare or increase it. Every reader of the Epistles, every student of Pharisaic teaching, and every one who understands the work of the Judaisers, is aware that even the Mosaic law was grossly abused. The law is good if a man use it lawfully. The apostle next endeavoured to explain more fully the purpose of the law, and his explanation may be summed up under three heads: —

I. THE LAW WAS NOT MEANT AS AN INSPIRATION. "The law is not made for a righteous man." The statement is true, whether you think of a man "righteous" by nature or by grace. Those edicts and prohibitions were not intended for one who was eagerly inclined to obey their spirit. Such a revelation of God's will would not have been needed if Adam had continued in his righteousness, for things forbidden with pains and penalties after his fall were not at first attractive to him. If you walk through a private garden with the children of its owner, as one of themselves, you do not see anywhere the unsightly notice-boards, which are necessary in a place open to the public, asking you to move in this direction or in that, and to avoid trespassing hither or thither. Amongst the children, and as one of them, you are consciously above the need of such laws as those. Restrictions and warnings are always meant for those inclined to break them. Another example might be drawn from society. The laws on our statute books, the police who tramp through our streets, the vast organization represented by prisons and courts, by judges and magistrates, would no longer be necessary, and would never have been called into existence, if every man loved his neighbour even as himself. It is those who are disobedient in nature who make law a necessary institution. Similarly in the home. When your first child comes as a gleam of sunshine into your home, you parents do not begin to make a theoretical code of restrictions; but when the children grow older, and there are conflicts of will between them, and the household is likely to he disorderly by their thoughtlessness and faults, you begin to say, "You must not do this or that; it is to be from this time forward forbidden." But as the years roll on and good habits are formed by the young people, and from the love they bear you they instinctively know what you wish and readily do it, even these wise rules practically fall into desuetude. Because they are ruled by a right spirit they are set free from law. This leads to our second assertion, namely, that the law which was not meant for an inspiration was —

II. INTENDED FOR THE RESTRAINT OF THE DISOBEDIENT. A law less man is everywhere the least free. Carried hither and thither by his ungoverned passions; swayed now this way, now that, by his inexcusable carelessness and neglect, he nevertheless finds himself perpetually clashing against a will mightier than his own. Sometimes it is the law of his country which seizes him by the throat and holds him in restraint. Sometimes it is disease, the direct result of his own sin, which falls like a curse upon himself, and even upon his children. Some times it is conscience which protests and rebukes, until his whole life is made miserable. And these are but premonitions of what is coming when the Judge of all the earth will appear to give every man according to his works, and the thunders of outraged law will supersede the gentle voice of Christ's gospel. Terrible is the list of offences against human relationships which follows; though the first of the phrases in our version is at once too strong and too narrow. "Murderers of fathers" should be "smiters of fathers and smiters of mothers." The allusion may be to such crimes in the literal sense of the word, of which now and again we are horrified to hear, and which are commonest with those who are under the influence of drink — the cause of innumerable crimes! Or it may refer with equal force to those who smite their parents with the tongue, loading them with scorn and reproach, instead of encircling them with considerate love. "Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother, and let all the people say Amen." "Man-slayers" — those who, by their exactions and oppressions, indirectly destroy the lives of men — as well as murderers, who are regarded as the pariahs of society. "Whoremongers and they that defile themselves with mankind," are terms which are meant to include all transgressors of the seventh commandment, a law which our Lord Jesus so broadened out in its application as even to include indulgence in lustful thought. "Liars and perjured persons" are forms of that false witness against one's neighbour which the ninth commandment so strongly condemns; and nothing is clearer as an evidence of the rule of Christ's spirit than the transparent truthfulness of character, which wins the admiration of the world, and suns itself in the favour of God. This list is formidable enough, and the fact that the apostle does not confine himself to the phraseology of the Mosaic decalogue, is a sign that we do not evade the penalties of the law by keeping its letter.

III. THE APOSTLE ASSERTS THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE LAW IS AMONGST THE THINGS REVEALED IN THE GOSPEL OF THE BLESSED GOD, The "sound doctrine" he mentions is the teaching of our Lord and His apostles; which, as the phrase denotes, was thoroughly "sound" or wholesome, especially as opposed to the weak and distempered doctrines propounded by the false teachers whom Timothy had to oppose.

(A. Rowland, LL. B.)

It would appear from this text that there is a way in which the law may be used lawfully, or rightly, from which we infer that there is also a way in which it may be used unlawfully, or unrightly — it may be put to a right use or to a wrong one. And there is a real distinction between this right and this wrong use of the law, which, if steadily kept in view, would be perfect safeguard, both against the error of legality and the equally pernicious one of Antinomianism. First, then, we use the law unlawfully when we try to make out a legal right to the kingdom of heaven. There are two ways in which one may proceed who purposes to make out his right by his obedience to the law. If he have a sufficiently high conception of the standard, then he is paralyzed, and sidles into despair because of the discoveries that he is making of his exceeding distance and deficiency from that standard; and thus he is haunted at all times by a sense of his great insufficiency, and he never can attain to anything like solid peace. But there is another way — he may bring down the law to the standard of his own obedience, and may bring his conscience and conduct into terms of very comfortable equality with one another. But this is what the Bible calls a peace which is no peace. The ruin of the soul comes out in either way of the enterprise.

2. Having said this much on the wrong use of the law, I have only time in this discourse to instance one right use of it. When we compare our conduct with its commandments, we cannot fail, in our deficiency and in our distance, to be convinced of sin.

(T. Chalmers, D. D.)

Observe, then, of the law of God, that it has another and distinct object from that of holding out a method by which men acquire a right to its promised rewards, even that of holding out a method by which they acquire a rightness of character for the exercise of its fruits. The legal right is one thing; the moral rightness which obedience confers is another. For the former object the law must now become useless, and having fallen short of perfect obedience in ourselves, we must now found our whole right only in the righteousness of Christ. For the latter object, the law still contains all the use and all the importance which it ever had. It is that tablet on which are inscribed the virtues of the Godhead; and we, by copying these into the tablet of our own character, are restored to the likeness of God. We utterly mistake the design and economy of that gospel, if we think that while the first function of the law has been superseded under the New Testament dispensation, the second has been superseded also. Obedience for a legal right is everywhere denounced as a presumptuous enterprise; obedience for a personal righteousness is everywhere said to be an enterprise, the prosecution of which forms the main business of every disciple, and the full achievement of which is the prize of his high calling. For the one end the law has altogether lost its efficacy; and we, in order to substantiate its claim, must seek to be justified only by the righteousness of Christ. Let me now, then, expound more particularly the uses to which our observance of the law may be turned, in giving us not a right to heaven, but the indispensable character without which heaven never will be entered by us. If, after having laid hold of the righteousness of Christ, as your alone meritorious plea for the kingdom of heaven, you look to the law as in fact a transcript of the image of the Godhead, and by your assiduous keeping of this law, endeavour more and more to become like to God in Christ, this is the legitimate and proper use of the law, and by making this use you use it lawfully. You must not discard the law as being a thing that has no place in the system of the gospel The great end of the gospel is to work in you a life and law of God, and by impressing the traits of that law on your character, to make you more and more like the Lawgiver, and fit you for His companionship. Therefore, although you discard the law in one capacity, that is not to say that you are to discard it altogether; for there remains this other capacity — the law is that to which you must conform yourselves in order to render you meet for the inheritance of the saints. We see, then, that though this obedience of ours to the law of God never can make out for us a judicial right for heaven, yet that this obedience, and this alone makes out our personal meetness for heaven. We can separate, in idea, the judicial from the personal meetness for heaven, and while we lay an entire stress on the former we also count the latter indispensable. Now, what helps us to do this is the arbitrary connexion which obtains between a punishment and a crime in civil society. I trust you see the relation of this to our present subject. One part of the law of God is that we should be forbearing and forgiving one with another. The circumstance which leads us to transgress that law is just the natural heat and violence of our temper. Suppose a man set out on the enterprise of seeking to establish a right to heaven by his obedience to the law, then it is his duty to restrain all the outbreakings of a furious temper, but he sees he never can succeed in making out the right by his obedience to the law, and, transgressing in one particular, he has failed in all. Now, some thinking that they have discarded the law, in as far as its power to obtain for them a right to heaven is concerned, and that in discarding it they have gone to Christ, are apt to think they are quit of the law altogether. But we say they are not because there still remains another end — another important capacity in which they are still to use the law even after they have united themselves to Christ. What is this capacity? and of what use is the law after this step has been taken? Here is the use of the law. All that you have gotten by your faith in Christ is a right to the kingdom of heaven. But the kingdom of heaven is peace and righteousness and joy. The kingdom of heaven is within you, and the essential joy of heaven is that joy which springs from the exercise of good, and kind, and virtuous affections. You have obtained a right of entering heaven and a release from the punishment of hell. But if the temper which prompted you to those transgressions of the law still remains within you, then the essential misery of hell remains within you. You are still exposed to all the misery that is incurred by the exercise of furious and malignant passions. You must have a rightness of character — you must get quit of all those immoral, vile, and wretched things which by nature adhere to you, and your salvation is begun here by a gradual process of deliverance from the wickedness of your hearts and lives, and which, perfected, renders you meet for the inheritance of the saints; so that this use of the law is an indispensable thing, although the law has failed, or rather you have failed, in making out your right to heaven by your obedience to its precepts. If a believer could be delivered from the fear of hell and were to remain in character and effect just what he was, a portion of the misery of hell would still adhere to him. His mind, in respect of all these painful sensations, may be as unrelenting as ever. The man that has this unsanctified feeling in his heart carries hell about with him. In respect of the material ingredients of torture, it is conceivable that he may be saved by being justified, but in respect of the moral ingredients to be saved he must be sanctified. Therefore we see that though the law is of no use, it is just by obeying this law that you make out your sanctification, and the one is just as indispensable as the other. The thing I want is that you will not put asunder what God has joined. It is not enough, then, to obtain a mere translation from what is locally hell to what is locally heaven. There must be an act of transformation from one character to another. Or, if faith is to save them, they must be sanctified by faith; and if it is not by the law that they are to obtain their right of entering into heaven, most assuredly it is by their obedience to the law that they have obtained that heaven shall be to them a place of enjoyment, for without it heaven itself would be turned into a hell. And without going for illustration to the outcasts of exile and imprisonment, the very same thing may be exemplified in the bosom of families. It is not necessary that pain be inflicted on bodies by acts of violence in order to make it a wretched family. It is enough that pain be made to rankle within every heart; from the elements of suspicion, hatred, and disgust, an abode of enjoyment may be turned into an abode of the intensest misery. Having thus endeavoured to make palpable to you that the hell of the New Testament consists mainly in the wretchedness which attaches naturally and necessarily to character, let me touch on the opposite and more pleasing side of the picture — the heaven of the New Testament, as consisting mainly in the happiness which attaches naturally and necessarily to character. I have no idea of a man carrying in life with him the security that he is a justified person, and at the same time a bad member of society, making his whole family miserable. If he perseveringly and presumptuously go on with his disobedience to the law, that man is not in the way of salvation at all. Were it real, the first doing of faith in Christ would be to work love in his heart. It would show itself in all sorts of ways in the walk and conversation. But the main happiness of heaven is just the happiness that springs from righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. And though you have the right of entering there if you have not these things you have no heaven at all. If your life has in it the character of hell, taking you out of one place and putting you into another will not make you happy. The kingdom of God is not in you. To enjoy a brilliant and picturesque heaven a man must be endowed with a seeing eye; to enjoy a musical heaven he must be endowed with a hearing ear; to enjoy an intellectual heaven he must be endowed with a clear and able understanding; and to enjoy the actual heaven of the New Testament into which all who are meet on earth are soon to be transported, he must be endowed with a moral heart. So that the very essence of salvation shall consist in the personal salvation by which man is rendered capable of being a happy and congenial inmate of heaven. This might be made obvious to you in the lessons of your own experience with man — the connection between the character and the happiness of man.

(T. Chalmers, D. D.)

He does not, like a vehement polemic, say Jewish ceremonies and rules are all worthless, nor some ceremonies are worthless, and others essential; but he says the root of the whole matter is charity. If you turn aside from this all is lost, here at once the controversy closes. So far as any rule fosters the spirit of love, that is, is used lawfully, it is wise, and has a use. So far as it does not, it is chaff. So far as it hinders it, it is poison.

I. THE UNLAWFUL USE. Define law. By law, Paul almost always means not the Mosaic law, but law in its essence and principle, that is, constraint. This chiefly in two forms expresses itself — first, a custom; second, a maxim. As examples of custom we might give circumcision, or the Sabbath, or sacrifice, or fasting. Law said, thou shalt do these things; and taw, as mere law, constrained them. Or again, law may express itself in maxims and rules. Principle is one thing, and maxim is another. A principle requires liberality, a maxim says one-tenth. A principle says, "A merciful man is merciful to his beast," leaves mercy to the heart, and does not define how; a maxim says, thou shalt not muzzle the ex that treadeth out thy corn. A principle says, forgive; a maxim defines "seven times"; and thus the whole law falls into two divisions. The ceremonial law, which constrains life by customs. The moral law, which guides life by rules and maxims. Now it is an illegitimate use of law:

1. To expect by obedience to it to make out a title to salvation. By the deeds of the law shall no man living be justified. Salvation is by faith: a state of heart right with God; faith is the spring of holiness — a well of life. Salvation is not the having committed a certain number of good acts. Salvation is God's Spirit in us, leading to good. Destruction is the selfish spirit in us, leading to wrong. For a plain reason then, obedience to law cannot save because it is merely the performance of a certain number of acts which may be done by habit, from fear, from compulsion. Obedience remains still imperfect. A man may have obeyed the rule, and kept the maxim, and yet not be perfect. "All these commandments have I kept from my youth up." "Yet lackest thou one thing." The law he had kept. The spirit of obedience in its high form of sacrifice he had net.

2. To use it superstitiously. It is plain that this was the use made of it by the Ephesian teachers (ver. 4). It seemed to them that law was pleasing to God as restraint. Then unnatural restraints came to be imposed — on the appetites, fasting; on the affections, celibacy. This is what Paul condemns (1 Timothy 4:8). "Bodily exercise profiteth little." And again, this superstition showed itself in a false reverence — wondrous stories respecting angels — respecting the eternal genealogy of Christ — awful thoughts about spirits. The apostle calls all these, very unceremoniously, "endless genealogies" (ver. 4), and "old wives' fables" (1 Timothy 4:7). The question at issue is, wherein true reverence consists: according to them, in the multiplicity of the objects of reverence; according to St. Paul, in the character of the object revered.

3. To use it as if the letter of it were sacred. The law commanded none to eat the shewbread except the priests. David ate it in hunger. If Abimelech had scrupled to give it, he would have used the law unlawfully. The law commanded no manner of work. The apostles in hunger rubbed the ears of corn. The Pharisees used the law unlawfully in forbidding that.


1. As a restraint to keep outward evil in check... "The law was made for sinners and profane."... Illustrate this by reference to capital punishment. No sane man believes that punishment by death will make a nation's heart right, or that the sight of an execution can soften or ameliorate. Punishment does not work in that way. The law commanding a blasphemer to be stoned could not teach one Israelite love to God, but it could save the streets of Israel from scandalous ribaldry. And therefore clearly understand, law is a mere check to bad men: it does not improve them; it often makes them worse; it cannot sanctify them. God never intended that it should. Hence we see for what reason the apostle insisted on the use of the law for Christians. Law never can be abrogated. Strict rules are needed exactly in proportion as we want the power or the will to rule ourselves. It is not because the gospel has come that we are free from the law, but because, and only so far as, we are in a gospel state. "It is for a righteous man" that the law is not made, and thus we see the true nature of Christian liberty.

2. As a primer is used by a child to acquire by degrees, principles and a spirit. This is the use attributed to it in verse 5. "The end of the commandment is charity." Compare with this two other passages — "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness," and "love is the fulfilling of the law." "Perfect love casteth out fear." In every law there is a spirit, in every maxim a principle; and the law and the maxim are laid down for the sake of conserving the spirit and the principle which they enshrine. Distinguish, however. In point of time, law is first — in point of importance, the Spirit. In point of time charity is the "end" of the commandment — in point of importance, first and foremost. The first thing a boy has to do is to learn implicit obedience to rules. The first thing in importance for a man to learn is to sever himself from maxims, rules, laws. Why? That he may become an Antinomian, or Latitudinarian? No. He is severed from submission to the maxim because he has got allegiance to" the principle. He is free from the rule and the law because he has got the Spirit written in his heart.

(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

The speculations of the Gnostics in their attempts to explain the origin of the universe and the origin of evil, were wild and unprofitable enough; and in some respects involved a fundamental contradiction of the plain statements of Scripture. But it was not so much their metaphysical as their moral teaching which seemed so perilous to St. Paul. Their "endless genealogies" might have been left to fall with their own dead weight, so dull and uninteresting were they. But it is impossible to keep one's philosophy in one compartment in one's mind, and one's religion and morality quite separate from it in another. However unpractical metaphysical speculations may appear, it is beyond question that the views which we hold respecting such things may have momentous influence upon our life. It was so with the early Gnostics, whom St. Paul urges Timothy to keep in check. "The sound doctrine" has its fruit in a healthy, moral life, as surely as the "different doctrine" leads to spiritual pride and lawless sensuality. The belief that Matter and everything material is inherently evil, involved necessarily a contempt for the human body. This body was a vile thing; and it was a dire calamity to the human mind to be joined to such a mass of evil. From this premise various conclusions, some doctrinal and some ethical, were drawn. On the doctrinal side it was urged that the resurrection of the body was incredible. Equally incredible was the doctrine of the Incarnation. How could the Divine Word consent to be united with so evil a thing as a material frame? On the ethical side the tenet that the human body is utterly evil produced two opposite errors — Asceticism and Antinomian sensuality. And both of these are aimed at in these Epistles. If the enlightenment of the soul is everything, and the body is utterly worthless, then this vile clog to the movement of the soul must be beaten under and crushed, in order that the higher nature may rise to higher things. The body must be denied all indulgence, in order that it may be starved into submission (1 Timothy 4:3). On the other hand, if enlightenment is everything and the body is worthless, then every kind of experience, no matter how shameless, is of value, in order to enlarge knowledge. Nothing that a man can do can make his body more vile than it is by nature, and the soul of the enlightened is incapable of pollution. Gold still remains gold, however often it is plunged in the mire. The words of the three verses taken as a text, look as if St. Paul was aiming at an evil of this kind. These Judaizing Gnostics "desired to be teachers of the Law." They wished to enforce the Mosaic Law, or rather their fantastic interpretations of it, upon Christians. They insisted upon its excellence, and would not allow that it has been in many respects superseded. "We know quite well," says the apostle, "and readily admit, that the Mosaic Law is an excellent thing; provided that those who undertake to expound it make a legitimate use of it. They must remember that, just as law in general is not made for those whose own good principles keep them in the right, so also the restrictions of the Mosaic Law are not meant for Christians who obey the Divine will in the free spirit of the gospel." Legal restrictions are intended to control those who will not control themselves; in short, for the very men who by their strangest doctrines are endeavouring to curtail the liberties of others. In a word, the very persons who in their teaching were endeavouring to burden men with the ceremonial ordinances, which had been done away in Christ, were in their own lives violating the moral laws to which Christ had given a new sanction. They tried to keep alive, in new and strange forms, what had been provisional and was now obsolete, while they trampled under foot what was eternal and Divine. "If there be any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine." In these words St. Paul sums up all the forms of transgression not specified in his catalogue. The sound, healthy teaching of the gospel is opposed to the morbid and corrupt teaching of the Gnostics, who are sickly in their speculations (1 Timothy 6:4), and whose word is like an eating sore (2 Timothy 2:17). Of course healthy teaching is also health-giving, and corrupt teaching is corrupting; but it is the primary and not the derived quality that is stated here. It is the healthiness of the doctrine in itself, and its freedom from what is diseased or distorted, that is insisted upon. Its wholesome character is a consequence of this. The extravagant theories of the Gnostics to account for the origin of the universe and the origin of evil are gone and are past recall. It would be impossible to induce people to believe them, and only a comparatively small number of students ever even read them. But the heresy that knowledge is more important than conduct, that brilliant intellectual gifts render a man superior to the moral law, and that much of the moral law itself is the tyrannical bondage of an obsolete tradition, is as dangerous as ever it was. It is openly preached and frequently acted upon. The great Florentine artist, Benvenuto Cellini, tells us in his autobiography that when Pope Paul

III. expressed his willingness to forgive him an outrageous murder committed in the streets of Rome, one of the gentlemen at the Papal Court ventured to remonstrate with the Pope for condoning so heinous a crime. "You do not understand the matter as well as I do," replied Paul III.: "I would have you to know that men like Benvenuto, unique in their profession, are not bound by the laws." Cellini is a braggart, and it is possible that in this particular he is romancing. But, even if the story is his invention, he merely attributes to the Pope the sentiments which he cherished himself, and upon which (as experience taught him) other people acted. Over and over again his murderous violence was overlooked by those in authority, because they admired and wished to make use of his genius as an artist. "Ability before honesty" was a common creed in the sixteenth century, and it is abundantly prevalent in our own. The most notorious scandals in a man's private life are condoned if only he is recognized as having talent. It is the old Gnostic error in a modern and sometimes agnostic form.

(A. Plummer, D. D.)

When we look around us, we see that God governs all by established rules. His government enters into all the minutiae of providence. But when we leave this government, where we ought to leave it, in the hands of almighty wisdom and power, and ascend to the spiritual world, there we find the great difference there is between created and uncreated, between the imperfection of man and the perfection of God. Let us consider —

I. THE INFINITE PERFECTION OF THE LAW OF GOD. "The law," says the apostle, "is holy; and the commandment holy, just, and good"; and why? because God Himself "is holy, just, and good."

1. To understand the perfection of this law we must consider also the relation subsisting between the Governor and the governed. They are all dependent for everything, both new and for ever, upon Him. No man upon earth has a right to legislate, but as the representative of God Himself. Why is a father a legislator in his own family? because he is a father? No; but because God has invested him with that right. Moreover, legislation is not a something arbitrary in the Deity; His legislation flows from His own essential perfection. It must be what it is, it cannot be otherwise.

2. Consider the law of God as to its commandments. It requires, in the first place, supreme love to God; involving the exercise of all the affections of the heart. The commands of this law require, also, fraternal love.

3. Consider the law of God as to its curse. In this respect, also, it will appear to be "just and good." Does it seem unkind? No; for it throws the sinner no farther from God than he throws himself.

4. The law of God, then, is immutable and eternal. The law of God must necessarily relate to every inhabitant of heaven, of earth, of hell.

5. Consider the law of God under the Adamic covenant. It connected life with obedience, death with disobedience.

6. Consider the law of God under the Mosaic dispensation.

II. THE USES OF THE LAW OF GOD. "The law is good, if a man use it lawfully."

1. The law is abused and insulted by transgression. What is said of wisdom may be said of this law; "he that sinneth against Me wrongeth his own soul."

2. The law is insulted and abused when men endeavour to justify them selves by it. This must arise, first, from ignorance of themselves; and, secondly, from ignorance of the law of God. Paul says of the Jews, "they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they, being ignorant of God's righteous ness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." The whole ceremonial law taught men that they were to be justified by another — that sin was to be atoned for.

3. And the law is insulted and abused whenever men endeavour to justify themselves, in the least degree, by it.

4. And not only is the law insulted and abused when men reject the law, but also when they reject the remedy for their disobedience. The rejection of the gospel is the greatest and most dreadful act of disobedience to the law. It is an insult offered to the government of God, and a wanton rejection of His goodness.But what are the uses of the law?

1. We should view it as fulfilled by Jesus Christ. But Christ died also for His brethren, that He might bring them to a state of perfect conformity to the law, and preserve them in that state for ever. The apostle speaks of being "under the law to Christ"; this is the state of the believer on earth, and this will be his state for ever.

2. To use the law aright, is to study it perfectly, and to see its beauty as it was exemplified in Christ.

3. To use the law aright is to connect it intimately with faith. There is a more intimate connection between faith and the law of God than we can possibly describe. By believing in Christ we honour the law as a covenant, in its commands, and its curse; and when we take it as a rule of life we honour it altogether.

4. The law is used and honoured as it should be, when we make it the guide of our dally conduct, when we aim to bring all our actions as near to the law of God as possible.

(W. Howels.)

The apostle speaks like one possessed of the full assurance of understanding, in the mystery of God and of Christ. "We know," says he, "that the law is good:" we know it by Divine inspiration, by rational deduction, and also by experience. This may be applied to the ceremonial law, by which the Jews were distinguished from all other nations as God's peculiar people. They were hereby directed how to worship God, and how they were to be saved. It was a shadow of good things to come, and afforded a typical representation of the blessings of the gospel. But it is the moral law which the apostle principally intends: and this is truly good in itself, whether we use it lawfully or not. It is a copy of the Divine will, a transcript of the Divine perfections. If we do not approve of this law, it is because we are ignorant of its nature and are at enmity against God. "The law is holy, and the commandment holy, just and good:" and "I delight in the law of God after the inward man" (Psalm 119:28; Romans 7:12, 22).


1. In thinking that Christ's obedience to it renders our obedience unnecessary.

2. When, instead of judging ourselves by the law, we take occasion from it to judge uncharitably of others, we use it unlawfully. Thus did the Pharisees: "This people who know not the law are cursed," said they.

3. In depending upon the works of the law for justification before God, we make an improper use of the law; and that which is good in itself ceases to be good to us.

II. CONSIDER WHAT ARE THE PROPER USES OF THE DIVINE LAW. "The law is good, if a man use it lawfully."

1. It serves as a glass or mirror, in which we may behold the majesty and purity of God, and the guilty and wretched state of man.

2. It acts as a restraint upon our lusts and corruptions. If it be asked, "Wherefore serveth the law?" The answer is, "It was added because of transgressions"; that is, to prevent them by curbing the unruly passions and appetites of men.

3. The law is properly used as a means of conviction. "By the law is the knowledge of sin," and without it sin could not be fully known. "When the commandment came," says Paul, "sin revived, and I died."

4. It is a complete directory, or rule of conduct. One great end of the law ever was, and ever will be, to instruct us in our duty towards God, ourselves, and our neighbour. Like the pillar of fire which guided the Israelites through the wilderness, it is a light to our feet, and a lamp to our paths.

5. It serves as a criterion by which to judge of our experience, and whether we be the subjects of real grace.

(B. Beddome, M. A.)

I. In the first place, then, we beg your attention to THE CHARACTER AND REQUIREMENTS OF GOD'S LAW.

1. This law, in the first place, is holy. It is the offspring of the mind of Deity, which is perfectly pure. It is the spotless transcript of God's holiness. It is the faithful representation of His moral excellence and perfection.

2. It is not only holy, but it is just. It is the standard of right, and the infallible standard of right. In all that it claims, in all that it forbids, in all that it inculcates, it is perfectly just to God the Lawgiver, and perfectly just to man the subject of His laws.

3. Moreover, the law is good. It is a kind and merciful law. The motive which prompted the promulgation of it was a motive of benevolence.

4. I beg to remind you that it is a supreme law; universal in its obligations, and binding on the consciences of every rational, intelligent, and accountable being.

5. I must beg you to remark, in the fifth place, that the law is unchangeable; and for this plain reason, because it is perfectly holy, perfectly just, perfectly good. Whatever change there is wrought in the law, it must be either for the better, or for the worse. If the law be already perfect, it cannot be changed for the better; and that God should change His law for the worse, is an idea not for a moment to be admitted into any rational understanding.

6. Let me further observe that this law is also eternal; for the very reasons to which I have already adverted. It requires not only a personal obedience but a perfect obedience. We must not only obey in some things but in all things — "all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." This obedience, also, must be perpetual. It is not a man's obeying the law to-day and violating it to-morrow, which will constitute the obedience which it requires: for "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them."

II. "WHEREFORE THEN SERVETH THE LAW?" If such are its characters, and such are its requirements, and every living man must feel that he is utterly incapable of rendering that personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience which the law requires, "wherefore then serveth it?"

1. The law of God serves for instruction. It holds up to our view the standard of right and of wrong.

2. The law serves for conviction — conviction of sin: and this it does in three ways. First, it demonstrates to us the evil of sin in its direct contrariety to God's nature and will. "I had not known sin" — I had not been acquainted with sin — "except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." But the law of God not only demonstrates what sin is, but it brings home a sense and a conviction of it, to the conscience of the sinner. Once more, the law serves for conviction, inasmuch as it utterly silences and stops the mouth of every transgressor, by showing him that he stands without excuse in the presence of the Lawgiver, on the ground of his manifold delinquencies and his innumerable breaches of this law. The law serves, in the third place, for condemnation. It will be the rule by which every sinner who perishes will be condemned at the last great day: for "the wages of sin is death." Fourthly, the law serves to magnify the all-sufficiency and perfection of that justifying righteousness, which Christ, as the surety of His people, has supplied. In the fifth place, this law serves as a rule of life and a directory of conduct to all who are the subjects of God's moral government. Some persons have adopted that most pernicious sentiment, that the law of God is not a rule of life to the believer. But I ask, why not? Cannot you easily conceive that the law of God may be annulled and abrogated in one view of it, and remain altogether in full force in another view of it? As a covenant, it is utterly taken out of the way; because it has been gloriously fulfilled in the person of the Surety. And therefore, now, by the deeds of the law no flesh living shall be justified." But it would be indeed a strange and most anomalous thing, if God, in removing His law as a covenant, should have disannulled that law as the rule of life. I speak it with all reverence, this is a thing which God Himself could not do; and for this plain reason, that the law is just a transcript of His own pure and perfect mind; the law is just the revelation of His holy and unchangeable will; and unless He could destroy His own perfect mind, and unless He could alter His own immutable will, then His law must ever remain the rule of life and manners, not only to all His redeemed children, but to all intelligences in heaven and in earth.


1. We should daily appeal to it, as the standard of action, the rule of self-examination, and the instrument of penitential conviction.

2. In the next place, be it remarked, that when we habitually divorce ourselves from the law as a covenant, as a means of justification, and as a ground of hope, we use it lawfully.

3. We use this law lawfully, in the third place, when Christ becomes inexpressibly dear to our hearts, as having honoured and fulfilled the law, placed it in the position of its just authority and importance, and at the same time redeemed us from its curse and from its punishment.

4. We use the law lawfully when, conscious of our own weakness and incapacity to fulfil its requirements, we are earnest in prayer for the Spirit of grace to renew and sanctify our nature, and to strengthen us to a compliance with all the known will of God.

5. Again, the law is used lawfully when we make it our constant study, and aim, to exemplify is holy requirements — to show the law of God in our habitual walk, in our life, our spirit, our behaviour. "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light."

(G. Clayton, M. A.)

"The law is good," says the apostle, "if a man use it lawfully." Consequently there is an unlawful use of the law. What, then, is the lawful use of the law?

I. TO SHOW US OUR NEED OF A SAVIOUR. "By the law is the knowledge of sin." And again, "The law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ." Let us take but a cursory view of the various commandments, and we shall find that we have individually violated them all, and thus are verily guilty before God.

II. Observe, then, that in this case the law serves AS A RULE TO REGULATE OUR BEHAVIOUR. Like so many poles or beacons placed along a difficult navigation, or so many finger-posts erected along a road, the several commandments serve to indicate our course heavenward. If we wish to secure in the most effectual manner the fidelity of a son or a servant, we shall not proceed by a system of terror, but rather by one of authority, tempered by gentleness and kindness. Precisely such is the system adopted by the Father of mercies in the gospel. Seeking not the compulsory "eye-service" of the convict, but the cheerful and cordial obedience of an attached child, He employs a plan exquisitely suited to this desired end. He deals with us as creatures of reason and feeling. He knows that affection must be won, not forced; that men are not to be driven, but drawn into love. Accordingly the Christian, now that he is "justified by faith," obeys the law immeasurably better than he ever did, or could do before.

1. For now he obeys it not merely in the letter, but in the spirit; not as of necessity, but willingly; not partially, but universally. He esteems God's commandments concerning all things to be right.

2. And then he has now what he had not before, namely, the aid of the Holy Spirit working in him both to will and to do, and causing him, like water at the roots of a tree, to bring forth the fruits of righteousness to the Divine praise and glory. And now behold the necessary, the indissoluble connection between justification and sanctification. A person is justified through faith, which, uniting him to Christ, gives him an interest in His righteousness. Then this faith produces obedience by producing love. "Faith worketh by love." It becomes a living principle in the heart, urging to the performance of all such good actions as God has prescribed; and therefore this is termed "the obedience of faith."

(J. E. Hull, B. A.)

I. We consider THE INSTITUTION, EXTENT AND APPLICATION OF THE LAW. When God formed man upright in His own image, the moral law, which inculcates eternal, unchangeable truth and perfect goodness, was written in his heart. By the fall, the fair image of God's purity was defaced, some faint lines of distinction only of right and wrong being left upon the natural conscience. When God was about to separate to Himself the people of Israel, with a view to preserve and perpetuate in the earth the knowledge of His character and will, He gave them the law from Sinai, not now inscribed on their hearts as before, but engraven on two tables of stone. Such was the institution of the law. We proceed to its extent and application. The moral law of the ten commandments is a complete summary of all human duty to God, to each other, and to themselves. We are not to limit the commandments to their literal meaning; otherwise a great part of our thoughts, and words, and even of our actions would be exempt from the notice and control of the law of God. It has the whole Word of God for its expositor, the regulation of the whole sphere of human principle and action for its object. "The law is spiritual." It does not merely regard the outward action, it goes down into the heart and motives, and tries every thought, intention, and principle of the soul.


1. We use it lawfully when we receive and respect it in its full extent, and in every part of it. There is hardly any man, however wicked, who does not feel something like reverence for some parts of God's commands. A man will coolly break and profane the Sabbath who dares not curse and swear.

2. We use the law lawfully when we bring every part of our character, the inward as well as the outward man, to the test of its requirements. An action, though apparently agreeable to the law of God, if it originate in some base, selfish, unholy motive, is in His sight an act of disobedience, a positive sin. Jehu did an action which the law required, when he rooted idolatry out of the land; but it soon appeared that his object was not the glory of God, but his own distinction and advancement. Neither was Amaziah's conduct better than splendid sin, "who did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart."

3. We use the law lawfully when we seriously believe, and rally admit that it contains eternal and unalterable truth, that our holy God could not have given a law less holy, less extensive; that every being, in proportion as he is holy and fit for heaven, loves the law; that every transgression of it must expose us to Divine justice as guilty offenders; that the penalty of every sin is death eternal; and that till we seek mercy and forgiveness in His appointed way for each sin of our lives, the curse of the law, and the wrath of God abide upon us. All this must be true in the very nature of things.


1. This lawful use of the law is good for the unconverted, whether a wicked or a self righteous man. When, under a serious and spiritual understanding of the law, he not only surveys his actions but enters with its light into the secret chambers of his heart, he discovers his true character in all its horrid deformities. He perceives that his heart has never felt the love of God, the principle of all true obedience. His best actions are now seen in their proper light, as needing the mercy, not claiming the reward of his holy God. He cannot be saved by works under the law, except he keep it perfectly. But if he could forget all his past sins, he finds that the law is so pure and extensive that he cannot keep it for a day. The more he tries the more he is condemned. In this awful state the gospel points his despairing eye to the Cross. "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world." Thus "the law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ." It drives us from Sinai to Calvary. It pulls down every false foundation of hope, that we may build on Christ alone, the rock of ages.

2. After the law has brought a penitent sinner to Christ for pardon, peace, and life, it is, if lawfully used, good and useful to him as a justified believer. He is called to be holy; and the practical part of the Word of God, which is a comment upon the law, shows him at large what is sinful and what is holy. It therefore becomes a light to his feet and a lamp to his paths. To be conformed to the law is to be conformed to the image of God, and to be capable of heavenly happiness with Him.(1) Let me entreat you, if you regard your immortal souls, diligently to read, hear, and meditate upon the Word of God at large, which explains the law and will of God by precept, and illustrates them by example.(2) Let your hearing and study of the Word of Life be ever accompanied with earnest humble prayer to God, for the powerful aid of His grace to give you a spiritual taste and judgment to dispel your ignorance, to guide you into all truth, and to fasten it with power on your hearts.(3) In considering the* several parts of the law of God your object should be to comprehend its full bearing, extent, and meaning. In order to succeed you cannot take a better model than our Saviour's view and explanation of a part of the law in His sermon on the mount.

(J. Graham.)

A Chinese correspondent of the New York "Christian Weekly" sends some instances of how Chinese preachers meet questions and preach, of which the following is one: — "Bishop Russell, of Ningpo, recently told us of a helper of his who was preaching on the Ten Commandments, when a man suddenly entered and walked rapidly forward to the desk. 'What have you got there?' he asked in a loud voice. The helper immediately replied, 'I have a foot-rule of ten inches' (the Chinese foot has ten inches, as the foot everywhere ought to have), 'and if you will sit down I will measure your heart.' And he proceeded with his ten-inch rule to show how 'short' his hearers were according to God's measure."

No doubt the law restrains us; but chains are not fetters, nor are all walls the gloomy precincts of a jail. It is a blessed chain by which the ship, now buried in the trough, and now rising on the top sea, rides at anchor, and outlives the storm. The condemned would give worlds to break his chain; but the sailor trembles lest his should snap; and when the gray morning breaks on the wild lee-shore, all strewn with wrecks and corpses, he blesses God for the good iron that stood the strain. The pale captive eyes his high prison-wall to curse the man who built it, and envies the little bird that perches upon its summit; but were you travelling some Alpine pass, where the narrow road, cut out of the face of the rock, hung over a frightful gorge, it is with other eyes you would lock on the wall that restrains your restive steed from backing into the gulf below. Such are the restraints God's law imposes.

(T. Guthrie, D. D.)

The Bishop of Moosonee, whose diocese is in the region of the Hudson's Bay territory, and inhabited chiefly by Ojibbeway Indians and Esquimaux, said, "Let me take you in thought to a place a hundred miles distant from my own home in that country — a place called Rupert's House. One morning I had before me a large congregation of Indians. I knew that among them there were four men who only a month or two before had murdered their fathers and mothers, and I intentionally placed those men directly in front of me. I called attention to the Ten Commandments. I read the Fourth Commandment and explained it, and I also read the sixth and explained it, and when I had done I put questions to the four men to whom I have just alluded. I said to the first, 'Who killed his father?' I said to the second, 'Who killed his mother?' I said to the third, 'Who killed his mother-in-law?' I said to the fourth, 'Who killed his father?' And each of those men replied without blushing, 'It was I who did it.' Of what crime were those poor murdered people guilty? They were guilty of a crime of which we may any of us be guilty, and of which some of us here already begin to be guilty — the crime of growing old. Accordingly the old father and mother were told that they had lived long enough and that it was time for them to die, and the bow-string was speedily placed round their necks, and with one son pulling at one end, and another son or perhaps a daughter at the other, the poor old people were deprived of life, and then hastily flung into a grave. Happily this state of things has now passed away."

An American gentleman said to a friend, "I wish you would come down to my garden and taste my apples." He asked him about a dozen times, but the friend did not come, and at last the fruit-grower said, "I suppose you think my apples are good for nothing, so you won't come and try them." "Well, to tell the truth," said the friend, "I have tasted them. As I went along the road I picked up one that fell over the wall, and I never tasted anything so sour in all my life; and I do not particularly wish to have any more of your fruit." "Oh," said the owner of the garden, "I thought it must be so! Those apples around the outside are for the special benefit of the boys. I went fifty miles to select the sourest sorts to plant all around the orchard, so the boys might give them up as not worth stealing; but if you will come inside you will find that we grow a very different quality there, sweet as honey." Now you will find that on the outskirts of religion there are a number of "Thou shalt nots," and "Thou shalts," and convictions and alarms; hut these are only the bitter fruits with which this wondrous Eden is guarded from thievish hypocrites. If you can pass by the exterior bitters, and give yourself up to Christ and live for Him, your peace shall be like the waves of the sea.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Sound doctrine
is not a thing separate from its purpose. It is not spoken from heaven merely for the sake of informing men's minds. Is not this the heresy pervading Christian teaching; that Christian teachers have thought of doctrine as something given them that they might exercise their minds upon it, rather than as something which came to them in order that what God supremely loves — a holy life — might be built up? The one great thing which has perverted man's study of the Christian gospels is, that men have dared to forget that the gospel came to a world of sinners that they might be reclaimed from the paths of sin and brought to righteousness again. Wonderfully few are the mistakes which men make when they read the Bible as the law of life. Wonderfully few are the men able to read the Bible rightly when they fasten their eyes on it for speculation. The soul which goes to the Bible to get the thing for which it was given, gets the thing it goes for. The soul laying hold on the heart of the New Testament finds what was in the heart of God. It is expressed by St. Paul in the phrase, "the will of God, even your sanctification." It is certainly easy to find in the New Testament the truth of Jesus Christ. A man comes to the Bible and says, "Is not this strange and mysterious?" And he points to some marvellous proof he seems to have extorted from the plain text of the New Testament. He is using the Bible for that for which it was not given. He is sure to go wrong, and gather from it some strange doctrine, a fantasy which never was in .the simple teaching of the Holy Spirit. Another man goes to the Bible hungering for a better life, desiring to escape from sin; weary of the barren sinfulness of this world he goes to the Bible for a picture of the kingdom of heaven; goes to the Bible to learn how this world can be made the habitation of the Holy God. That man can understand, not perhaps every truth there, for there are truths yet to be developed by certain exigencies of the world; but he will come away full of the learning which he at present needs. The New Testament will become to him a book of life. When St. Paul writes back from Europe to Asia, he bids Timothy teach the disciples that the law is to be used lawfully. He tells him and them the same lesson which we need. Let us go to our Bible for our Bible's purpose, inspiration, and a law of life, and the idea of what God would have man to be, and the power to become what it is the purpose of our Father that we should become. This is the teaching of the First Epistle to Timothy. The fundamental thing which Paul said to Timothy was that he should send the Ephesians to the Bible for the Bible's purpose. Always, spirituality is to go back to morality. The idea that man is to be wise with the wisdom of God is to refresh itself with the idea that man is to be good with the holiness of God.

(Phillips Brooks, D. D.)

Alexander, Hymenaeus, Paul, Sodomites, Timotheus, Timothy
Ephesus, Macedonia
Application, Control, Death, Disobedient, Enacted, Evil, Fact, Fathers, Godless, Impious, Insubordinate, Irreligious, Kill, Laid, Law, Lawbreakers, Lawless, Manslayers, Man-slayers, Matricides, Men-slayers, Mothers, Murderers, Order, Parricides, Persons, Profane, Realizing, Rebellious, Rebels, Religion, Remembers, Respect, Righteous, Sinful, Sinners, Smiters, Strike, Takers, Understanding, Ungodly, Unholy, Unruly, Upright
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 1:9

     5040   murder
     6021   sin, nature of
     6669   grace, and salvation

1 Timothy 1:3-10

     5293   defence, human

1 Timothy 1:8-10

     5380   law, and gospel

1 Timothy 1:8-11

     5362   justice, believers' lives

1 Timothy 1:9-10

     5365   kidnapping
     5440   perjury
     6242   adultery
     7448   slavery, in NT
     8710   atheism
     8776   lies

1 Timothy 1:9-11

     6238   homosexuality
     8217   conformity
     8316   orthodoxy, in NT
     8736   evil, warnings against
     8846   ungodliness

'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

1 Timothy 1:9 NIV
1 Timothy 1:9 NLT
1 Timothy 1:9 ESV
1 Timothy 1:9 NASB
1 Timothy 1:9 KJV

1 Timothy 1:9 Bible Apps
1 Timothy 1:9 Parallel
1 Timothy 1:9 Biblia Paralela
1 Timothy 1:9 Chinese Bible
1 Timothy 1:9 French Bible
1 Timothy 1:9 German Bible

1 Timothy 1:9 Commentaries

Bible Hub
1 Timothy 1:8
Top of Page
Top of Page