Friday, 10 November 2017
…according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust. 1 Timothy 1:11
Paul is summing up his thoughts of verses 3-10 now, but the words “according to” are more specifically directed to verses 8-10. He has been speaking of the law as being an instrument not intended for righteous people, but for those who are unrighteous. This was its full intent and purpose. And this concept is nothing invented by him, as if he had found some new meaning in it. No! In fact, he had served under this law all his life, striving for righteousness, and falling short of it continuously. And then came Christ Jesus! When Paul found true righteousness in Him, he also found the true intent of the law. Thus, his words concerning the law in relation to the unrighteous are “according to” this precept.
After this, the English translation of the NKJV is argued to break down. Rather than it saying, “according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God,” Greek scholars say it is better translated as, “according to the gospel of the glory of the blessed God.” This then speaks of “the glory” in relation to God. In other words, the gospel which tells of righteousness apart from the law is seen in “the glory of the blessed God.” It is a reference to the work of Christ Jesus who is “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 4:6). The gospel may be glorious, but it is only in relation to the One who brought it forth.
It is Christ Jesus who is this “glory of the blessed God.” The glory of God, in His infinite grace and mercy, is seen in and through the work of Christ. Apart from God’s works in Christ, these things would be unknown, and unattainable. But because of Him, we can see a glory which transcends the marvel of creation. We can see that all of the majesty of creation is only a container for man to exist in, and into which God Himself would enter and demonstrate the fullness of His glory to us. Understanding this, Paul notes that this amazing treasure, the gospel which reveals these things, “was committed to my trust.”
These words set his message apart from the false teachers noted in verses 3-7. They had a false gospel which revealed no glory at all. Instead, adherence to the law which they proclaimed was a part of earning salvation (or even a convoluted misuse of the law), was only a means of obscuring the glory of God, not a means of revealing it. What they put forth was only darkness and damnation, but that which Paul put forth was light and life. This trust given to him, and to the other apostles, is the true and marvelous gift of God, revealing the Person and work of Jesus Christ on our behalf.
Life application: Again we need to consider Paul’s words. If the gospel of Jesus Christ reveals the glory of the blessed God, and if the law is simply an instrument intended for the unrighteous, then why O’ why would we shun the cross of Christ and place ourselves under the law? Who on earth would throw away salvation in hopes of gaining condemnation? And yet, this is exactly what those who hold to the Law of Moses are doing. Be freed from this heresy! Turn to Christ, and be saved through a reliance on His finished work!
Great, glorious, and gracious God! How we treasure our hope of glory – Christ in us! We are freed from condemnation because of His fulfillment of the law. When His body died on the cross, the law died with Him. And in His burial, there it too was buried. Help us to be wise, and to leave the law there. It didn’t resurrect! But Christ did! May we only put our hope in Him, trusting in His merits alone for our entrance into Your glorious presence. Great are You, O God, and greatly are You to be praised. Hallelujah and Amen!