These daily online studies are adapted from our Quiet Time Bible Guide. The studies go through the Old and New Testaments in just over two years. The approach taken by our quiet time Bible studies does not include answers. The goal of the study is to help you dig into Scripture for yourself. You can go deeper using a commentary, Bible background guide or Bible handbook.

1 Timothy 1: What Difference Does It Make?

For more context before you begin studying, read this introduction to the book of 1 Timothy.

Christ consciousness—mystical Teaching in the Bible," advertises a poster. "The mystical core of Christ's teaching has been obscured by centuries of dogma," it announces, inviting Christians to come to lectures by a young lady who follows a Hindu sect. And at the other extreme, some Christian leaders, dismayed by a low level of commitment, seek to create high-intensity groups with special teachings on top of the gospel and extra rules that regulate the social lives of their members. These modern examples are the kinds of thing that were rampant in the church at Ephesus; Paul sent Timothy to Ephesus to deal with them.

Warming Up to God

How do you distinguish between true and false spirituality?

Read 1 Timothy 1

Discovering the Word

  • How does Paul describe Timothy's job (vv. 3-5)?
  • Finding hidden meanings in the Old Testament was big business in first-century religion. False teachers here tried to mix these "secret teachings" with the gospel. What results were the false teachers getting for their efforts (vv. 4-6)?
  • From what Paul says about the proper use of the law, how does it seem that the false teachers use it (vv. 8-11)?
  • In what ways was Paul himself like the false teachers before his conversion (vv. 12-17)?
  • Note the places where the word conscience comes up (vv. 5, 19). When we speculate and theorize instead of dealing with our own issues of sin, what happens to conscience?

Applying the Word

  • How can the kind of faith Paul shows in verse 15 help you face your own issues of conscience?
  • As in Paul's day, Christians can wander into groups that make unusual claims and demands. They may have impressive features, but engage in certain practices and pressures which make members feel uneasy. A lot of energy goes into keeping faith and conscience apart in these groups. Are you involved with some "spiritual" activities which bother your own conscience? (Be as honest as possible.)

Responding in Prayer

Close in prayer by putting your own name in place of the general word sinners in verse 15. Now read verses 16-17 as your own prayer of thanks to God.