The false teachers in Ephesus were inappropriately using the Law to skew basic gospel truths. Here, Paul sets the record straight by reminding the readers that the Law could not provide the righteousness necessary to stand before God. Instead, readers are reminded that our righteousness must come from Christ. These truths are important because they protect the church’s pursuit of holiness


I. The Law is Good (1 Tim 1:8)

II. The Law and Its Proper Use 

A. The Law Is Not for the Righteous (1 Tim 1:9a)

B. The Law Is for the Unrighteous (1 Tim 19b – 10)

1. Law Breakers

2. God Haters

3. Filth Chasers

4. Parent Strikers (Dishonor Parents)

5. Life Takers (Murderers)

6. Sexual Violaters (Adulterers)

7. Man Traders (Kidnappers / Thieves)

8. Lie Tellers (Liars)

9. Truth Rejecters

III. The Law and the Gospel (1 Tim 1:11)

Questions for Reflection & Application

1. How often do you stop to think about the righteousness you posses in Christ? Take a moment to reflect upon your sins and remind yourself of your hopeless status apart from Christ. Take a moment to thank God and enjoy your righteous standing on the basis of faith in Him and Him alone. 

2. Review the vice list in vv. 9b-10. What sin on the list is an accurate representation of your life prior to Christ? What are some sins that you may continue to struggle with as a believer? 

How are you handling those sin struggles? How should the gospel change the way you approach those sins? 

What are the tools that God has given you to fight those sins that you continue to struggle with? Have you memorized any passages related to your struggles? Have you sought accountability and discipleship as you struggle through some of these sins? 

3. This passage comes in the context of combating false teachers. Still, how might this passage inform how the Law can be used in evangelism? 

4. What does this passage teach us about the believer’s relationship to the Mosaic Law? What does this passage teach us about the relationship between the gospel and the Law?

First Timothy 1:8-11
The Lawful Use of the Law
Pastor Mark Pakingan

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