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1 Timothy 1

Paul says ‘Hello’ to Timothy

1 This letter is from me, Paul. I am an apostle of Christ Jesus. God is the one who saves us. We trust Christ Jesus to take care of us. They are the ones who have chosen me to be an apostle.

2 I am writing to you, Timothy. I told you the message about Jesus and you believed in him. So you are like my own child.

I pray that God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord will continue to help you and be kind to you. I pray that they will give you peace in your mind.

Paul tells Timothy to stop the wrong teachers

3 When I was going to Macedonia, I asked you to stay in Ephesus. Please continue to stay there. Certain people in Ephesus are teaching wrong things about God. You must tell them to stop doing that. 4 Tell people not to listen to false stories. They should not always be studying long lists of their families' names from years ago. Those things do not help people. They only cause them to argue. Instead, they need to understand God's purpose for us. To do that, people must trust him.

5 We need to teach people really to love one another. To do that, people need to have good thoughts. They need to know that they live in a good way. And they need to trust God completely. 6 But certain people have failed to live in that way. They would rather argue about things that do not help anybody. 7 They want to be teachers of God's laws. They speak very strongly, but they do not really understand what they are talking about.

The purpose of God's laws

8 We know that God's laws are good, if people use them properly. 9 We also know that God did not make those laws for people who live in a way that is right. He made them for people like this, to show them what is right:

  • People who refuse to obey any laws.
  • People who do not want anyone to rule them.
  • People who refuse to obey God.
  • People who like to do bad things.
  • People who do not respect God's good things.
  • People who kill their father or their mother.
  • People who choose to kill other people.
  • 10 People who have sex in a wrong way.
  • Men who have sex with other men.
  • People who catch other people and take them away to be slaves.
  • People who tell lies.
  • People who promise to say what is true, but then they speak lies.
  • People who do any other wrong things that are against God's true message.
  • 11 That true message is the good news that comes from our great God. We praise him for it. He has chosen me to tell this good news to people.

    Paul thanks Christ Jesus

    12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has made me strong to serve him. He decided to trust me and he chose me to work on his behalf. 13 Before he chose me, I spoke bad things about him. I caused great trouble for his people. I was a cruel man, but God was very kind to me. He forgave me because I did not know what I was doing. That was because I did not believe in Jesus. 14 Our Lord continued to be very good and kind to me. He caused me to believe in Christ Jesus and to love him.

    15 Here is a true message that everyone should believe: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save people who do wrong things.’ I am the worst of people like that! 16 But, because I was so bad, God was kind to me. Then Christ Jesus could show how completely patient he was with such a bad person as me. That would be an example to those people who would later believe in him and receive life for ever with God.

    17 Praise God, the King who rules for ever! He can never die. He lives where we cannot see him. He is the only God. So, everyone should praise him and say how great he is! That is true always and for ever! Amen! This is true.

    1:17Before Paul became a Christian, he caused a lot of trouble for Christians. He did not agree with what Christians believed. He did bad things to Christians. He thought that he was working in a way that made God happy, but he was wrong. See Acts 8:1-3; 9:1-2. When he became a Christian he knew that God was very kind to save him.

    Timothy should be a good leader in the church

    18 Timothy, you are like my own child. So now I am telling you to serve God well. Remember the words from God that people spoke about you, when you became a servant of God. Those words will help you to be strong, like a soldier who fights well. 19 You must continue to trust God. Always do what you know to be right. Some people have refused to do what is right, even when they know it. As a result, they no longer believe God's true message. 20 Hymenaeus and Alexander are people like that. I have given them to Satan so that he may punish them. Then they can learn not to say bad things against God any more.

    1:18Some Christian leaders had prayed for Timothy at some time before Paul wrote this letter. See 1 Timothy 4:14. They had spoken words from God to Timothy. Perhaps God had said that he would make Timothy strong. Timothy needed to be strong so that he could be a Christian leader.
    1:18Timothy did not have to fight anyone and hurt them. Paul did not mean that. He meant that Timothy had to be strong to teach the true Christian message. That was how he could ‘fight’ against wrong things.
    1:20Paul had told Hymenaeus and Alexander to leave the church. He wanted them to become ashamed of themselves. He hoped that they would learn to obey God.