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Advent Devotional: Introduction

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The Blessed Son of God

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 1 Timothy 1:2

At the time that he wrote 1 Timothy, Paul was coming to the close of his world-changing ministry. He wrote not as a self-appointed apostle, or even as an apostle commissioned by the church, but as one who had been chosen, called, and commissioned directly by Jesus Christ—“by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope” (1 Tim. 1:1).

Not only is this verse a strong claim for Paul’s authority, but it is also a strong claim for the deity of Jesus Christ, God’s Blessed Son. A command from the Father is also said to be a command from the Son, and vice versa. Therefore, the Son must be equal in power and authority to the Father. Jesus is God.

John Stott explains that from the beginning of 1 Timothy, “Paul locates his apostleship in a historical context, whose beginning was the saving activity of God our Savior in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus, whose culmination will be Christ Jesus our hope, his personal and glorious coming, which is the object of our Christian hope, and which will bring down the curtain on the historical process.”1

Paul’s greeting is full of profound theology. He offers Timothy “grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord” (1 Tim. 1:2). He starts with the traditional Greek salutation of grace (charis), ends with the traditional Jewish greeting of peace (shalom), and inserts mercy (eleos) to make a distinctively Christian blessing.

From the outset, this epistle is full of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Son of God. It is full of the hope that the baby born in the manger will return one day in glory. It is full of the grace Christ offers to sinners, the mercy Christ gives to the needy, and the peace Christ has made with God through his death on the cross.

1 John Stott, Guard the Truth: The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1996), 39.

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