Warfare of Grace
Today’s Bible Reading:
We’re starting 1 Timothy this morning! Go ahead and grab your paper bible, or pull up 1 Timothy 1 on another device and read it, then come back here for the devo.
While the law is useful, God’s people need the gospel as they live under grace. Paul and Timothy are both called to proclaim it, and we are too!
“Good men (those who are declared righteous through faith in Christ) are governed not by law but by a personal relationship to Jesus Christ. This means, for example, that they not only do not kill (that is merely the restriction of the law) but they do not entertain anger towards others (see Matt. 5:21, 22). To live in unbroken fellowship with Christ rules out the possibility of personal resentment and hatred.” (Mounce)
The law is helpful because it shows us where we may be going against God’s ways, but what does Paul say the “aim” or “goal” of his charge is? (Verse 5)
Can the law accomplish this goal?
“Paul (then named Saul) appeared to be impossibly lost. He was a religious predator whose hands were stained with the blood of Christians—a callous, self-righteous, bigoted murderer hell-bent on a full-scale inquisition (Acts 9:1–2; 26:9–11). But on the Damascus road, he met the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Acts 9:3–6). There, while he did not deserve mercy, he was shown mercy—he “received mercy” (1 Tim. 1:13, 16)…
The result? In Paul’s own words, “and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (v. 14). The words portray an overwhelming supply of mercy.”” (ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible)
What is the statement that Paul says is “trustworthy” in verse 15? What does Paul’s testimony about God’s grace in his life tell you about God’s willingness to give grace to you?
Paul gives Timothy a “charge” to “wage warfare” in verse 18. Based on verses 12-17, what are the weapons of our “warfare?”
Adoration: Praise God that he has given us his law as a good and wise guide for our life. Praise Jesus for his work on the cross that frees us from the condemnation of the law and invites us to live out of relationship with him.
Confession: Confess to God ways that you may hold others to law standards instead of giving them grace. Confess to God that the gospel doesn’t always “overflow” out of your life. Confess that you may not always stay “waging warfare” with the gospel.
Thanksgiving: Thank God that we get to be apart of his army that brings the message of Jesus redemption to the world. Thank him that we are not under the law, but under the grace he gives us so freely in Jesus. Be glad this morning that our aim is “love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
Supplication: Ask God to help you remember his grace and extend it to others. Ask him to show you clearly your part in “waging warfare” with the gospel and to help you do it with wisdom and grace. Spend time laying any burdens you have upon him as you begin your day. He desires for you to walk in the freedom and joy of the gospel.
Grace & Peace.
Robert H. Mounce, Pass It On: A Bible Commentary for Laymen: First and Second Timothy (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2005).