1 Timothy 1:1-20 (NKJV)
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,
2 To Timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.
5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,
6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk,
7 desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.
8 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully,
9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,
11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.
12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry,
13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.
17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,
19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck,
20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.
I thank God that He has enabled me because he counted me righteous!
I love that His work isn’t contingent on my work but that He is so faithful and never failing!
There is a consistent reference to identities based on the current state of choice-determined development. Paul is an apostle because of obedience to a commandment; Timothy is a son that is growing in his leadership impact; Wannabe teachers have strayed from the truth to idle talk; The lawless and insubordinate (and a long list of other transgressors) are the real purpose for the law; Those once bound in lawlessness can be in the process of transformation by the power of God’s grace and mercy through faithfulness to salvation; God is the only One who is eternally the same without possibility of status change; And, those once part of the body can be cut off due to blasphemy. There is this wonderful reality in knowing God and pursuing His heart – that how we once were, or are even now, doesn’t disqualify us from a complete status change in Christ. By simple belief in the gospel and faithfulness to its truth we can be on a continual path of status change, from glory to glory. Choosing Him is choosing a path of transformation that takes us ever closer to the heart of an unchanging, ever-amazing God of love and mercy. How we once were is no more, and how we are right now is but a step in the process. Must keep pressing towards this mark, this prize – a choice that is ever upward in Him.