1 TIMOTHY CHAPTER 1.
Address and Greeting. 1 Tim. 1, 1. 2.
V.1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God, our Savior, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our Hope, v.2. unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God, our Father, and Jesus Christ, our Lord. This superscription characterizes both content and tone of the entire letter. While Paul does not emphasize his apostolic authority with the force which he uses in the letter to the Galatians or with the firm insistence of the first epistle to the Corinthians, yet the stress is unmistakable: Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the command of God, our Savior, and Christ Jesus, our Hope. Paul was an apostle, an ambassador, with a message, in obedience to the command or precept of the Lord. He considered himself under orders from the great Lord of the Church, and distinctly names God the Father and Christ Jesus as the two equal persons from whom the command proceeded. He was an official organ of Christ, an authorized representative of the Lord. It is to be noted that Paul calls God the Father our Savior, a designation which is altogether familiar to earnest Bible-readers, Luke 1, 47; Is. 12, 2; 45, 15. Cp. also 2 Cor. 5, 18. 19. God is the Source of our salvation; God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. At the same time Christ Jesus is our Hope. In His capacity as Redeemer, in His office, He is the object of the hope of our glory, Col. 1: 27. Through Him we have free access to the grace of God; in Him we confidently expect the future glory, Rom. 5. 1. 2. As we are even here on earth united with Christ through faith and are partakers of all His blessings and gifts, thus we also have the certain confidence of attaining to the end of our faith, the salvation of our souls.
The address of Paul shows the cordial relationship which obtained between him and his young assistant: To Timothy, my true child in faith: Grace, mercy, peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus, our Lord. Timothy was Paulís spiritual child: he had begotten him through the Gospel on his first missionary journey; cp. Philemon, v.10; 1 Cor. 4, 1 5; Gal. 4, 19; through his preaching regeneration, a new spiritual life, had been wrought in Timothy. By virtue of the faith which had been kindled in him in conversion, Timothy was now a true son of Paul; he gave evidence of his fatherís nature and characteristics. The relationship of faith between the two men was much firmer, much more intimate, than one of blood ties could have been. The salutation of Paul, on account of this intimate fellowship, is therefore extremely cordial. He wants the grace of God, that wonderful blessing merited through the redemption of Christ and intended for poor, helpless sinners, to rest upon Timothy for his person and in his work. But this gift of God, in turn, flows from His mercy, from His sympathetic interest in the condition of fallen mankind, the condition which prompted Him to offer the sacrifice of His only-begotten Son. Quite naturally, finally, there follows from this state of affairs that there is peace between God and mankind through the blood of Christ. The perfect satisfaction which Christ rendered mitigated the wrath of God and removed the enmity between God and man. By faith the believer enters into this state of reconciliation with God. By virtue of the redemption of Christ, which he appropriates through faith, he no longer looks upon God as his enemy, as the just and holy Judge, but as his true Friend, as His dear Father. But these three gifts of grace, mercy, and peace proceed not only from God the Father, who thereby reveals His fatherly heart, but also from Christ Jesus, our Lord. The eternal counsel of love resolved upon in the Godhead was carried into execution in time through the active and passive obedience of the Redeemer. He, therefore, the Lord of the Church, dispenses the gifts of His love with a free hand, through faith, not as a subordinate of the Father, but as the Fatherís equal from eternity, who donates to men from His own rich store.
The Judaizing Teachers. 1 Tim. 1, 3-7.
V.3. As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, v.4. neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith; so do. V.5. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned, v.6. from which some, having swerved, have turned aside unto vain jangling; v.7. desiring to be teachers of the Law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. Without further introductory remarks the apostle here takes up one of the most urgent matters that demanded his attention. So great is his anxiety to have Timothy take up at once the matter broached by him that he does not finish his sentence: Even as I besought thee to abide at Ephesus, while I journeyed into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some men to teach no strange doctrines nor to apply themselves to myths and endless genealogies, such as cause questionings rather than stewardship toward God (so do). At a meeting with Timothy, which had probably taken place at Miletus when Paul was on his way from Crete to Macedonia, or when he was making the journey directly to Philippi, after the first imprisonment, the apostle had given this charge to Timothy. It seems that the latter had found his position in Ephesus too difficult and had made some attempt to convince the apostle that he was not the man for the position. But Paul had not agreed with him, bidding him rather persevere, hold out, continue in his work. He did not come to the assistance of his young fellow-laborer, but continued his journey into Macedonia. Note: Difficulties in the work of the Church often tend to discourage younger pastors, and in such a case a word of encouragement from an older and more experienced pastor may serve to keep an important post supplied.
Instead of yielding to Timothyís wishes, the apostle had rather given him some specific commands regarding certain people in Ephesus that were probably the reason for his discouraged attitude. These people were to be told not to teach a doctrine different from that which had been delivered by Christ and the apostles, different from that which Paul had taught. It seems that there were indications of an unhealthy movement within the congregation. Certain men, who may have been, as Luther suggests, very able men and pupils of the apostles themselves, were beginning to emphasize secondary doctrines and various questions which drew the minds away from the central doctrine of redemption and justification. The general tendency of their teaching seems to have been Judaizing, and they insisted on the necessity of the Law for manís salvation. 1) The apostleís prophecy, given to the elders of Ephesus, was being fulfilled now. Paulís apprehension was aroused especially by the fact that these teachers were paying such decided attention to myths, rabbinical legends, and genealogies as they were found in the Old Testament and in tradition. It was a favorite pastime of the Jewish teachers of those days to be engaged in crafty speculations in genealogical tables, upon which they placed a great deal of weight. But discussions concerning these questions were endless, infinite, they could not lead to a definite conclusion. Instead of satisfying minds that were anxious for the knowledge of the truth they caused questionings, violent disputings. The number of Jewish rabbinical authorities being so large and their schools differing widely in their understanding of Scripture and tradition, all discussions about the matters introduced by these Judaistic teachers were bound to result in greater divergencies in the congregation than ever. And these vain disputes took the place of the stewardship of God in faith. Godís activity as steward of His own mysteries which He carries out through His ministers realizes its object in faith by which people are added to the Christian Church. Naturally, the work of Godís spiritual economy is hampered or outright hindered if preachers within the Church replace the old Gospel-truth with subtleties of various kinds, purporting, at the same time, to be the acme of wisdom. Note: This text fits the activity of many so-called ministers in our day, since many of them apparently have a veritable mania to discover doctrines and topics which have only the most remote connection with the fundamental doctrines of the Bible. Thus did Timothy receive his orders to combat the Judaizing teachers and to serve the cause of the Church of Christ.
The apostle, however, is not satisfied with mere criticism and condemnation, desiring rather that people should learn the way of true sanctification: But the purpose of the Law is love out of a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith. The end and purpose of the entire content of Christian doctrine, of the preaching of the New Testament, particularly in so far as it contains precept and admonition, is love, John 13, 34: 1 Cor. 13. The apostle designates the fruit of the tree, which serves as a proof for its life and fruitfulness. He therefore also modifies the term ďloveĒ by adding that it must he out of a pure heart, a heart free from all impure motives and objects; out of a good conscience, one that is conscious of its justification through the redemption of Christ and desires to serve the Lord in humble love; out of sincere faith, a faith free from hypocrisy, based with definite confidence upon the Savior, no vain and empty imagination, but spiritual light and spiritual life. All this flows out of the proper preaching of sin and grace. 2)
Having thus indicated briefly wherein the ministry of the Sew Testament properly consists, the apostle directs his attention again to the errorists: From which certain individuals have erred and have turned aside to empty talking, desiring to be masters of Scripture, though they understand neither what they say nor whereof they affirm. The men to whom the apostle here refers had swerved aside, they had missed the mark; they may originally have had in mind love and a good conscience and faith, but because they followed their own ideas as to the attainment of these virtues instead of being directed only by the Word of God, they had gone in an altogether false direction and landed far from the goal. By placing their historical and genealogical speculations into the center of teaching instead of the simple Gospel-truths, they had lost sight of their object. And the next step naturally was that they lost their way entirely. They ended up with vain jangling, empty talk, discourses without sense. Cp. Titus 1, 10. They desired indeed to be masters of Scripture; they thought, in their own mind, that they were penetrating into its truths more deeply than the apostle. But Paulís verdict in their case is that they had no idea what they were really talking about, that they did not possess the faintest notion as to what their affirmations really amounted to. Their own assertions with regard to the Law and its purposes were not clear to them; their arguments, intended to make an impression upon the unlearned, were not understood by themselves. Note: This is invariably the case when men despise the foolishness of preaching, as found in the Gospel, and substitute human wisdom. All the so-called moral Christianity and the social gospel of our day belongs into this category, and the discourses that are delivered in its name, and the books that are printed for its propagation, reflect only too well the truth of Paul's judgment.
The Real Purpose of the Law. 1 Tim. 1, 8-11.
V.8. But we know that the Law is good, if a man use it lawfully; v.9. knowing this, that the Law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane. for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for man-slayers, v.10. for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for men-stealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; v.11. according to the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. Far from decrying the Law and deprecating its continued use in the Church, the apostle is careful to place his right knowledge in opposition to the false teaching of the errorists: We know, however, that the Law is admirable, if one makes a lawful use of it. The apostle chooses such words as bring out his position properly and ward off the objection that his language does not agree with his policy. That the Mosaic Law, the Moral Law, is good, acceptable, that it is of real value in the world, the apostle says also in other instances, e.g., Rom. 7, 12. 14. 18 its contents correspond to the highest demands which can be made with reference to a law, namely, that it be above all justified criticism. But the Law must now also be used lawfully, in accordance with its object. Only then is the Law used properly, when it is taught for the purpose of working knowledge of sin, of making men conscious of their guilt and damnableness. It is not there for the purpose of affording occasion for various idle questions and speculations or for teaching righteousness through works.
The apostle now illustrates his meaning by naming such sins as demand the application of the Law: Knowing this (when every teacher for his own person has this knowledge), that for the just man the Law is not set forth. This is a sweeping statement concerning the Moral Law, and one which puts the doctrine of justification into the very center of Christian preaching. He that is justified in Christ through faith and by virtue of the merit of Christ is acknowledged by God as just, is no longer under the Law, for Christ is the end of the Law to them that believe, Rom. 10, 4; 6, 14. 15; Gal. 2, 21; 3, 21. 4 person justified in this manner is clothed with the righteousness of Christ and no longer is subject to the condemnation of the Law. The Law, as demanding a perfect fulfillment, no longer exists for him. ďBut the meaning of St. Paul is that the Law cannot burden with its curse those who have been reconciled to God through Christ; nor must it vex the regenerate with its coercion, because they have pleasure in Godís Law after the inner man.Ē 3) To a believer in his capacity as Christian, as justified before God, the Law, as Law, shall no longer be applied. And evangelical admonitions that have the sanctification of the believers in view must never assume the character of legal driving.
But the case is different with the unbelievers, with the unregenerate. The Law is indeed given, and exists in its full force, for the lawless, for those that deny the validity of the Law and serve their own lusts and desires; for refractory people, unruly rebels that resent restrictions of every kind; for irreverent, that deliberately deny all respect to God; for sinners, such as are continually engaged in acts of evil against God and man; for irreligious, who consider nothing holy and refuse to know anything of the dignity of duty and obligation; for profane, that deliberately tread everything holy under foot. Their sins profane the name of God and destroy all morality. There is, however, not only a general disposition toward evil on the part of the unregenerate, but they become guilty also of specific transgressions. The Law is given for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, children that so far forget themselves as not only to omit the respect and reverence due the parents, but actually mistreat them brutally, and under circumstances do not shrink back from the last terrible step, that of taking the life of them that gave them life. As the Fourth and Fifth Commandments are both included here, so the apostle names the transgressors of the Fifth Commandment separately: murderers. As violators of the Sixth Commandment are mentioned adulterers and sodomites, people that either in a natural or in an unnatural manner abuse their fellow-men for the sake of gratifying their sexual lust. Cp. Rom. 1, 27; 1 Cor. 6, 9. The kidnapers mentioned by the apostle include all who exploit other men and women for their own selfish ends, especially such as abducted girls and boys for the purpose of selling them into slavery. As transgressors of the Eighth Commandment Paul names liars, such as deliberately speak falsehoods in order to harm their neighbor; and perjurers, that do not hesitate to swear in corroboration of a lie, or deliberately break a word given under oath. All other sins the apostle includes in the expression: And if there is anything else opposed to the sound doctrine, according to the Gospel of the glory of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. The expression ďhealthy, wholesome doctrineĒ is peculiar to the Pastoral Letters. Evidently the apostle is speaking of the Christian doctrine as a whole, of the teaching concerning sin and grace. All sins are contrary to this doctrine, for they indicate the corruption of human nature, they are external symptoms for the illness of the soul. Against such transgressions the proclamation of the Law is directed, such violations it condemns. By applying the Law in its proper manner, the disease should be uncovered, the tumor of the soul exposed. Only then will it be possible to put a person in the condition that accords with the wholesome doctrine of the apostle: the Law having shown the disease, the Gospel brings the remedy, health and strength. 4)
So the apostle closes this paragraph by summarizing his knowledge regarding the wholesome doctrine entrusted to him. He has the knowledge, as every true teacher in the Christian Church should have it, on the basis of the Gospel, namely, that the Law is not made, does not exist, for a righteous man. The apostle wants to distinguish absolutely between the teaching of the Law and the proclamation of grace; for the one class of men, for the justified as such, he wants only the Gospel; for the other class, the unrighteous, he wants only the Law. His Gospel, moreover, is a Gospel of glory; it contains and transmits all the gifts of grace through which God is glorified in the believers. But the perfection of this glory will be reached in the life above, when our existence for eternal ages will redound to the glory of God, of Him who is blessed and perfectly happy in Himself and will make us partakers of this eternal happiness. With the news of this grace, of these blessings, the apostle has been entrusted. He considers his office a wonderful privilege, which no natural inclination caused him to seek, but which he now, in the full consciousness of its dignity and power, defends with all warmth, and which causes him to voice his heartfelt gratitude.
Paulís Praise for the Grace which He has Experienced. 1 Tim. 1, 12-17.
V.12. And I thank Christ Jesus, our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, v.13. who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious; but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly, in unbelief. V.14. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. V.15. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. V.16. Howbeit, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them which should here after believe on Him to life everlasting. V.17. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever! Amen. St. Paul could not even think of, nor mention, his part in the furtherance of the Gospel without expressing his gratitude to the Lord for His forgiving kindness and stimulating confidence: Thanks I render to Christ Jesus, our Lord, who has given me ability, because He considered me faithful in placing me into the ministry. Paul emphasizes the grateful attitude of his heart as he broaches this topic, which never fails to excite his humble and admiring thanks. From Christ Jesus, the Lord of the Church, he had received the ability and strength for the work of the- ministry, of preaching the glorious Gospel of the atonement through the merits of the Savior. When Jesus had called him, placed him into office, He had deemed him trustworthy for the work of the ministry; He Himself had been his Leader and his Model in faithfulness, 1 Cor. 7, 25. Note: This thought offers food for thought to both pastors and parishioners, the former feeling the dignity and responsibility of their office, a fact which should stimulate their faithfulness, the latter realizing the fact that ability and faithfulness are Godís gifts to their pastors, and valuing them highly for that reason.
The apostle now shows why he, for his own person, had cause for such humble thanksgiving, writing of himself: Who formerly was a blasphemer and persecutor and insolent; but mercy have I experienced, because in ignorance I acted, in unbelief. The grace of our Lord, on the other hand, superabounded with faith and love in Christ Jesus. At the time of Paulís conversion the scales fell from his eyes with regard to this life during his youth, when he was surrounded with the darkness and blindness of Pharisaism. He now knew that he had been a blasphemer, that he had blasphemed the person and the office of Christ, Acts 26, 9. More, he had been a persecutor, he had shut up saints in prison, and when they were put to death, he had given his voice against them, acts 26, 10. 11; 9, 4; 22,4; Gal. 1, 13. 23; Phil. 3, 6. To these facts was finally added the feature of insolence, of despitefulness, of scornful meanness. This characterizes the condition of manís heart before the regenerative power of the Word of God has exerted its power. Paulís frank confession shows his humility and the consciousness of his utter unworthiness for this great office. His jubilant cry, therefore, rings out all the more gratefully, praising the mercy of God which he had experienced in being brought to faith. Upon the sinner who was unwittingly loaded down with such a great measure of guilt the inexpressible mercy of God was poured out. In continuing, the apostle first gives an explanation of Godís merciful kindness in his case. He had acted in ignorance, in unbelief. His entire life and education in Jewish teaching had been of a nature to keep him in ignorance of the grace of God in the redemption of Christ. He does not offer an excuse, but he gives an explanation why forgiveness in his case was still possible. Having shown that his ignorance had not yet reached the point where it became wanton perverseness, by which he would knowingly and maliciously have made the work of the Holy Spirit in his heart impossible, Matt. 12, 30-32; Mark 3, 28-30; Luke 12, 10; Heb. 6, 4-8, he lays all the emphasis upon the only reason for his having obtained grace, namely, that God wanted to show the superabundance of His grace and mercy in this vessel of His grace. The measure of his sins being so great. Paul stood in need of an unusually great measure of mercy. And the grace of God was accompanied by, and wrought in him, faith and love in Jesus Christ. Faith and love can exist only where they are firmly founded and daily renewed in Christ Jesus, where they daily gain strength and life from Him. Instead of blaspheming, Paul now believed in Christ with all his heart; instead of persecuting the believers with scornful insolence, he now practiced the love which gave evidence of his fellowship in Christ.
The apostleís own experience with regard to the grace of God now prompts him to set forth a brief summary of the grace of God in Christ Jesus: Trustworthy is the word, and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first. This sentence is evidently a summary of Gospel truth as it was in use in the early Church. Cp. Matt. 18, 11; Luke 19, 10. The saving of sinners, of lost and condemned mankind, was the object of Christís coming into the world, John 3, 16. Paul emphasizes this message over against the false doctrines of the Judaizing teachers as altogether trustworthy, absolutely reliable. This being true on the part of God, it follows that it may and should be accepted by men with all readiness of heart and mind, trusted in with simple faith. It is certainly true, an assurance of priceless worth. The last words of this verse are not to be regarded as a specimen of false modesty, but as an example of true and adequate knowledge of sin. When a sinner, through the application of the Word, becomes conscious of his sin, he sees in himself nothing but guilt and damnation. He no longer frames any excuses, he no longer makes any invidious comparisons; he knows that in the long list of sinners he stands at the head, because he is best acquainted with his own guilt.
The frankness of the apostle in humbling himself beneath the meanest of sinners now serves to bring out the more beautifully the merciful love of Christ Jesus, the Savior: But on this account I received mercy, in order that in me, as the first one, Jesus Christ would show all long-suffering, for a pattern to them that would believe on Him unto eternal life. Paul is here set forth as an example, a pattern, a type for those men of all times that would be brought to faith. Just as Paul at one time belonged to the fierce enemies of Christ, to those that opposed the preaching of the Cross, so he now, through the immeasurable grace of Christ, is saved and believes in his Redeemer. In his case we see that no sin is too great for the merciful love of the Savior. All men, no matter what their transgression, that accept this doctrine that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, will, by this faith, obtain eternal life. In the presence of their Savior, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light, they will enjoy the life for which they were intended to the full, world without end. Let every Christian, therefore, apply these words to himself with a firm trust in the mercy and grace revealed in the Gospel. 5)
The mere thought of such ineffable bliss as promised to him in the Gospel and accepted by him in faith, causes the apostle to lift up his voice in grateful acclaim: But to the King of the Ages, immortal, that cannot be seen, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever! Amen. The apostle praises God as the eternal Ruler, who lives and reigns from everlasting to everlasting. This great King is immortal, deathless, beyond the power of destruction, in contrast to the temporal, transitory world. The opening of new world periods, the rise and fall of nations, everything that concerns this mundane sphere, does not influence the everlasting Ruler in His essence. He dwells in a sphere beyond the ken of mortal men; no man has seen nor can see Him, John 1, 18; Col. 1, 15; Heb. 11, 27; 1 John 4, 12. His glory is too great and overpowering to be seen by the eyes of sinful men, Ex. 33, 20. And He is the only God, the blessed and only Potentate; there is none beside Him, His glory will He not give to another nor His praise to graven images, Is. 42, 8. To Him, therefore, the apostle and with him all Christians give glory and honor forever and ever. This is most certainly true.
A Warning against Apostasy. 1 Tim. 1,18-20.
V.18. This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare, v.19. holding faith and a good conscience; which some, having put away concerning faith, have made shipwreck; v.20. of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered unto Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. In the preceding sections the apostle had discussed the Christian doctrine as a whole as well as in its application to the individual Christian. He now turns directly to Timothy, warning him against unfaithfulness and apostasy: This charge I lay before thee, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies of old upon thee. Not only in his childhood and youth had Timothy learned the Holy Scriptures, that is, the prophecies of old, but also after his conversion he had studied the Word of the Lord very carefully, also in its fulfillment in Christ Jesus. He had, in short, received the necessary instruction, not only for membership in the congregation, but also for the work of a minister of the Lord. Of this the apostle reminds his young assistant, whom he addresses with the very cordial term ďson Timothy,Ē incidentally bidding him wage a good warfare in them. In the Word of the Lord he should live, in that he should be clad, with that he should fight the Lordís battles, Eph. 6, 13-17. He that is clothed in the armor of the Lord can cheerfully and confidently go forth to battle for the Lord, being assured of victory from the very outset.
In such spiritual warfare a condition is, as a matter of course: Having faith and a good conscience, which some, having rejected, suffered shipwreck with regard to their faith. Every Christian, and especially every Christian pastor, must have faith, faith in his Redeemer, faith in the doctrines of Christianity as divine truth. He that himself entertains doubts with regard to these two points will hardly be able to teach with conviction. At the same time a good conscience is necessary, not one growing out of self-righteousness, but one that controls the entire conduct of man in accordance with the will of God. Unless these two conditions are met, unless faith and a good conscience are cargo and ballast in the ship of every Christian, he is apt to become a play of the billows and experience shipwreck. The apostle in his warning purposely uses a word which signifies a deliberate, malicious rejection of the Word of God, of faith and a good conscience, resulting in eternal disaster for the soul. The apostle mentions the names of two men whose terrible example should act as a deterrent to all lukewarm Christians: Among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered unto Satan that they may be taught not to blaspheme. The case of these two men was known to Timothy, both of them having become manifest as men that had denied the faith and a good conscience. Paul, therefore, had been obliged to deal harshly with these two men by having the resolution of excommunication passed upon them, by declaring them to be citizens in the kingdom of Satan. But he did not want to be understood as though he had thereby definitely shut out these men from the hope of salvation. True, indeed, if they would not repent and return to the truth, they would be lost forever. At the same time, exclusion from the Christian congregation was intended as an educational measure. Having lost the blessed privileges of church-member ship, the two men might be brought to see the heinousness of their offense in making light of the great blessings of God. Thus in this case also we see that ďthe primary cause of the highest censures in the primitive Church was to prevent further sin, and to reclaim the sinnerĒ (Henry).
Summary. After the opening salutation the apostle Characterizes the Judaizing teachers, over against whom the true object of the Law should always be emphasized; he shows the greatness of the mercy experienced by him, for which he praises the Lord in a special doxology; he adds a wanting again& apostasy.