Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 1 Study # 1
January 18, 2004
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior and Christ Jesus our hope
The textual differences...
- 1. The word order for the name is reversed.
- 2. The word "Lord" is omitted by the Nestle/Aland 26.
The Progression of Paul's thoughts...
- 1. The reversal of the word order of the name creates a tiny shift in our thinking. If Christ precedes Jesus, the focus is first upon His identity as the Davidic King; but, if Jesus precedes Christ, the focus is first upon His identity as the Savior.
- a. The likelihood that Paul would focus upon His identity as Savior while clearly identifying God as our Savior is less than the likelihood that he would focus upon His identity as King.
- b. The identification of Christ Jesus as our hope has somewhat of a different insertion of focus. If the focus of "hope" is upon "means", Jesus is clearly the issue; however, if the focus of "hope" is upon "identity", Christ is clearly the issue. We "hope" for salvation because of Jesus; we "hope" for a righteous Kingdom because of Christ.
- 2. The omission of the word "Lord" has other implications...
- a. If Paul called Him "Lord", he would have been pushing the issue of His authority.
- b. If Paul did not identify Him as "Lord", he would not have been bringing the issue of authority to the fore.
- 3. The resolution of these differences awaits a better overall understanding of Paul's letter to Timothy.
Observations regarding Paul's expressions...
- 1. Paul strongly aligns himself with Christ Jesus in terms of authority (apostle).
- a. The probable cause is rooted in the entire question of where authority for men actually resides.
- b. The self-identification carries no "proof" that he is what he claims, which implies that there is no need, with Timothy, to go further than to just stick the issue of authority into his mind.
- 2. He then makes this alignment according to the standard of the commandment of both God and Christ Jesus.
- 3. He characterizes God as "our Savior".
- 4. He characterizes Christ Jesus as "our hope".
What is Paul talking about?
He is talking about his identity as an apostle as the author of the material to come.
What is he saying about what he is talking about?
He is saying that this identity is heavily vested in salvation and hope because it arises out of a direct "commandment" from the Roots of salvation and hope.
- He characterizes himself as "apostle"
- He refers to Christ Jesus two times.
- He refers to God as "our Savior".
- He seems to put his references to Christ and God into a parallelism that adds depth to our understanding of where he is coming from: God is "Savior"; Christ Jesus is "our Hope".
- 1. Timothy was going to go into the reading of this communication with the understanding that it was not just some man's opinion about the way certain things ought to be; his grasp of apostleship by commandment was going to heavily overshadow any decision-making that arose in his "ministry" as a result of having received this communication because there is such a thing as being mentally captivated by the authority of divine revelation.
- a. Timothy, as Paul's under-study, had experienced first hand over much time the principle that God only speaks truth and only speaks unto blessedness.
- b. That Timothy might take Paul's letter as 'helpful suggestions' is ludicrous on the face of it.
- c. The 'reservations' men maintain about what they hear have two roots...
- 1) They must have reasons to believe that what they are hearing is truth as they have understood it.
- a) Hearing is half of the process -- a half that can not legitimately maintain reservations.
- b) Interpreting the content that has been heard is the other half -- a half that probably must have some initial reservations until the "interpretation" has been validated and firm conclusions have been drawn as to the particular meaning of the thing heard.
- 2) They must have reasons to cast aside the fears and aspirations that war mightily against moving forward in obedience without reservations.
- a) It is a fundamental aspect of man's condition that he seeks to maintain some level of control over what he is going to be involved with and that seeking automatically builds some level of known or unknown reservations into his thinking processes.
- b) The 'drivers' behind the control issue are two: fear and desire.
- 2. Timothy's mind was immediately directed into two crucial issues regarding authoritative instruction...
- a. The "Instructor(s)" have "salvation" in mind for us, for the apostolic command came from God as Savior.
- 1) "Salvation" has had all kinds of overtones glued to it by men [salvation means deliverance from all kinds of bad experiences].
- 2) God is not a man-defined-according-to-the-present-moment Savior.
- 3) The salvation of God is, however, a deliverance from the really crucial issues of life that have been marred by sin's deception...and that includes deliverance from the foolishness of men who define salvation for themselves according to the pain of the moment.
- b. The "Instructor(s)" have "real salvation" in mind for us, for the apostolic command came from Christ Jesus as our Hope.
- 1) The issue of hope is the issue of future fulfillment. What is seen is not hope [Romans 8:24].
- 2) The inescapable implication of hope is that there will be things in the present that do not look like salvation at all.
- 3) The point of hope is that we refrain from casting aside our faith because the present appears to prove that it is invalid.
- a) Here the issue is whether the faith we have is, in fact, valid.
- i. Those who refuse to allow their experience to contradict their understanding of what is true are on extremely dangerous ground since there is little beyond experience to adjust and purify our theology. However, those who are willing to allow their experience to adjust their theology are on equally dangerous ground since experience often comes to flat contradiction of the things that ought to be believed.
- ii. There is, however, this fundamental question: where does the content of my faith come from? Did God communicate this content? Did this content come from somewhere else?
- iii. And, beneath this question is one even more fundamental: how do I decide whether it is God-given content, or not? Do I go with 'reason'? Do I go with 'inner conviction'?