1 Timothy 1:12-17

Talks for Growing Christians

Paul's Experiences Before and After Becoming a Christian

1 Timothy 1:12-17

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Lesson Number 3

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God’s mercy does take into account the ignorance of man.
  2. God’s mercy is not separate from the sovereign plan of God.

Practical Application

  1. Do you have periodic bursts of praise?


  1. Why is this section sometimes called “Paul’s delayed thanksgiving”?
  2. What is Paul thanking and praising the Lord for in this passage?
  3. Is this a change of subject from his case against false teaching?
  4. What is the purpose of the law?
  5. What does Romans 7:7 tell us about Paul?
  6. Does ignorance change God’s standards?
  7. Is anyone actually ignorant of God?


  1. First century letters would normally have a section of thanksgiving following the salutation.
  2. For his salvation and for being put into Christian service.
  3. No. Actually, it’s part of his argument against false teaching, because false teachers did not understand the purpose of the law.
  4. To act as a mirror to show that we are unclean. The law cannot save us, but it points out sin.
  5. That Paul kept the law before he met Christ. He was sincere, but sincerely mistaken.
  6. No. But God takes into account a person’s ignorance when dealing with him.
  7. No. See Romans 1.


  1. Paul thought he was doing God’s will before he became a Christian. See Acts 26:9. God took this ignorance into account and saved him. How did God save you?
  2. Paul actually delighted in getting Christians killed (see Acts 26:10-11). But Paul received God’s mercy. This is a pattern for believers. How did God show you mercy when you were ignorant of Him?


  1. Read 1 Timothy 1:17. A doxology of praise is typical of Paul. He praises God for His character and attributes. When was the last time you had a burst of praise?

Key Verses

  • “ I thank Jesus Christ our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry. ” - 1 Timothy 1:12 “ I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. ” - 1 Timothy 1:13 “ The grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant…” - 1 Timothy 1:14 “ Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. ” - 1 Timothy 1:15 “ Jesus Christ showed all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. ” - 1 Timothy 1:16 “ Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. ” - 1 Timothy 1:17

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