1 Timothy 1:15
I. Pauls affirmation
of Christs coming into the world
A. This expression pistós Ho lógos, trustworthy the word, occurs only in the pastoral epistles
(1 Tim. 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; 2 Tim. 2:11; Titus 3:8).
B. This word or saying is trustworthy (pistós). You may place your faith upon it and you will not be disappointed.
1. When Christ became flesh (John 1:1, 14), it was God who was taking upon Himself human flesh. He became the one in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col. 2:9). He revealed to men the nature and purpose of God. What He revealed is trustworthy because Christ Himself proved trustworthy.
2. The dependability and trustworthiness of what one says depends on what he is.
3. What Jesus Christ revealed about God the Father is trustworthy because He proved to be trustworthy in Himself.
It is significant that the word lógosis used in the expression pistós Ho lógoswhich appears several times in the Pastoral Epistles.
It is not simply a saying but a fact that Christ came into the world. In John 1:1, He is called Ho lógos which means the intelligence that gave birth to the word and the expression of that intelligence.
II. The nature of Christs
coming into the world
A. The means of Christs coming into the world
1. His coming into the world was not due merely to the physical activity of one man and one woman, as is the case with all created human beings.
a) Christ came, and had to come, through the virgin Mary and divine action (Matt. 1:16, 20, 21; Luke 1:2635).
b) John 1:14 is sometimes wrongly used to deny this.
(1) A great intreptation of John 1:14 would be became,
rather than was made. The verb egéneto is not
passive, but is from the deponent verb gínomai.
(2) The Lógos, the eternal Word became, by His own volition and through His own power, something He was not beforeflesh, having then a human nature as well as the divine nature.
2. Jesus Christ did not become a mere man.
a) He became the representation of humanity while continuing to be what He always wasGod. This is why when He spoke of coming into the world, He did not speak of just being born into the world of the virgin Mary, but also of voluntarily coming into the world on His own (John 10:10; 12:46; 16:28).
b) Jesus answer to Pilate, expressing His sovereignty, put His coming into the world into proper perspective.
(1) With the words, To this end was I born [gegénneMmai,
the first person singular perfect indicative passive of gennáoM,
to give birth], Jesus indicates the time that
He came into the world as a human being, and that He was fully
man at the time He spoke to Pilate.
(2) He also said, and for this cause came I [elemlutha, first person singular perfect of ércHomai, to come,which indicates that there was a certain time that He voluntarily came into the world as God of His own accord] into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice (John 18:37).
A. No other human being could say that He was born into the
world but that He also voluntarily came into the world. While
He was here on earth, He was not only Man, He was God, or in other
words the GodMan. This is the reason His words are trustworthy
and the work He came to do, to save sinners, can be depended upon
B. The personal results of Christs coming into the world
1. Jesus Christ, in His incarnation as the GodMan, claimed to be equal with God: As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father . . . (John 10:15); I and my Father are one (in essence, Deity; John 10:30); . . . the Father [is] in me and I in Him (John 10:38).
a) Note John 14:11, Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me. . . . The verb am is not in the Greek text, which indicates that this statement has no chronological limitation. There was never an abdication of deity by Jesus Christ. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you (John 14:20), again the verb am is not in the Greek text indicating eternal relationship never given up by Jesus Christ.
b) When He was dying on the cross, He was dying as the GodMan. However, only His humanity, as bearing our sin and its consequence of death, could actually die; hence His cry, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matt. 27:46).
2. Yet Jesus also admitted His Fathers superiority, either in being or in knowledge, as in John 14:28, . . . for my Father is greater than I.
a) Notice that the verb estí, is, is used in the Greek text to indicate that the chronological limitation only relates to the Christs human nature. Jesus Christ was speaking of Himself as Man onlystressing His humiliation (Phil. 2:68).
b) In Matthew 24:36 we find, But of that day and Hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven but my Father only. See also Mark 13:32.
(1) If He as GodIncarnate did not know. How could He
say that only the Father knew? Since He was saying No man
knoweth [oudeís, no one or no created beingas
in John 1:18], He was referring to Himself as merely manas
brought into the world by the virgin Mary.
(2) Mere men do not know, but the Son of God knows. Otherwise He must cease to be omniscient, being ignorant of something. Likewise, if the Father knows something that the Son does not, then there must either be a division in the essence of Gods being, or the Son must cease to be God. The revelation of the time of His Second Coming was not a part of what He came to make known in His appearance as the GodMan.
III. The purpose of Christs
coming into the world
A. The purpose of the incarnation is stated quite clearly in 1 Timothy 1:15, that Christ Jesus came [emlthen, he came voluntarily as the GodMan, not merely being born into the world] into the world to save sinners.
1. He came into the world, He became flesh, because the blood
is in the flesh. He had to have blood to shed because without
the shedding of blood there could be no remission of sins (Heb.
2. With the shedding of His blood He accomplished:
a) The satisfaction of Gods justice in fulfilling the eternal pronouncement that the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). This is the reason why Jesus Christ, as the GodMan, had to die in order to remove sin from man (Rom. 5:1221). The sin of man could not be expiated, blotted out, without the shedding of blood.
b) The appropriation of Gods righteousness. Not only does the death of Christ give Him the right to declare us righteous before God, but He makes the righteousness of God part of us. Gods nature becomes our nature when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).
B. The Person who came is described by the term Christ Jesus, Christ being His divine name, and Jesus His human name.
1. The first time the name Christ Jesus occurs
in this order and not Jesus Christ is in Acts 19:4
and thereafter it is seen in the epistles beginning with Romans
3:24. It never occurs in the Gospels because they primarily focus
on the time before His resurrection.
2. Had Jesus Christ been born into the world and died like every other human being without rising from the dead, then news of His coming would not be worthy of all acceptation (1 Tim. 1:15).
3. Observe that Paul does not say that He was born of the virgin Mary, but that He came (emlthen, voluntarily and of His own power He entered into the world). This could never be said of any other human being who ever walked upon the face of this earth. A son of Mary, if he were nothing else but that, could never have saved the soul of anyone. He is able to save sinners because He, the eternal Son of God, voluntarily and of His own power came into the world.
C. Such a declaration about the justification and the simultaneous
sanctification of the sinner is indeed worthy of all acceptation.
1. The Greek word for acceptation is apodochem, which occurs only in 1 Timothy 1:15 and 4:9. This word comes from the preposition apó, from, and décHomai, to accept. It means to embrace, to receive with joy and approval as something very precious and worthwhile.
2. The complete phrase, . . . a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, is exactly the same in 1 Timothy 1:15 and 4:9.
- 1 Timothy 1:15 undoubtedly refers to the purpose of the incarnation of God in the Person of Christ Jesus, the salvation of sinners. It means that sinners should place their full trust in accepting Gods plan. The phrase further affirms that the results promisedbeing pronounced justified before God and being given Gods natureare absolutely trustworthy.
- In 1 Timothy 4:9 the phrase stands in contrast to the profane and old wives fables of verse seven. It is as if the apostle Paul is stating that the incarnation of Jesus Christ is not a fable. The old wives tales may be false, but what Jesus promised to dothrough His incarnation, His life, His death, and His resurrectionHe would fulfill.
3. Of all acceptation declares that this is absolutely trustworthy. You can be absolutely sure that when you come to Jesus Christ in humility and in repentance, He will forgive you of your sin and He will give you victory over sin, making you a new creature in Him (2 Cor. 5:17).