By Paul M. Zehr
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Extra info for 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus
Its transmission from one generation to the next was associated with sexual reproduction. He justified infant baptism on the assumption that infants inherit a sinful nature from birth and therefore must be baptized to remove this original sin. Augustine believed that God responds to us in our sin by grace, but this grace is conditioned by God’s decree of predestination, in which God wills some to be saved and provides irresistible grace for them. Thomas Aquinas based his thought on the creation of humans in the image and likeness of God.
If so, he declares Christ to be “the only God,” thus uniting Christ and God. More likely Paul means God as King (note that he calls God our Savior in v. 1). This King is incorruptible, distinguishing him from mortal creatures. This King is invisible, in contrast to the visibility of earthly kings (1 Tim 3:16). Reflecting the Jewish Shema (Deut 6:4), Paul speaks of the only God. God does not die like other kings. His reign is eternal. People give God glory and honor as they praise him for who he is and what he does forever and ever.
Sincere faith is genuine, a faith filled with integrity, an honest faith that fully trusts in God. Thus sincere faith, a good conscience, and a pure heart comprise love, which is the aim of Timothy’s instruction. Some people have deviated from these (1 Tim 1:6-7). Paul now states a reason for opposing the other teachers. These teachers deviated from the qualities of love listed above. Instead of moving toward the goal of the commandment, they miss the mark of the desired qualities of love. In their desire to be teachers of the law, they have actually been misinterpreting the law by meaningless talk and using the law wrongly.
1 & 2 Timothy, Titus by Paul M. Zehr