Making Shipwreck

Gospel Meditation

1 Timothy 1:18–20

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.   The Apostle Paul, a former Pharisee, is writing to young Timothy, this is the first of two epistles (letters). He starts off with a warning about false teachers troubling churches. The problem seems to be those who are still clinging to the Law of the Old Testament.

2.   Paul admits that formerly he had been a “blasphemer” as he had strongly opposed those who acknowledged Jesus as Lord and Messiah. Others were now doing this as well and causing grief among those early believers.

3.   Paul knows Timothy will be, and likely was already, having to face the same from people like Paul had been. He writes to encourage him then, that he “wage the good warfare.” Indeed, it was warfare, demonically inspired, and what was then remained and remains today.

4.   When someone who acknowledged Jesus as the Christ yet does not hold to the faith and “a good conscience,” these make “shipwreck of their faith.” Paul names two such persons, obviously somewhat well known to both Paul and Timothy, a Hymenaeus and an Alexander.

5.   Paul goes so far as to say that he “handed” them over to Satan with the hope that these two men would correct their views and ways and return to being true Christians. This handing over is a way of saying the two men were put out of their congregations.

April 24, 20

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