Pursuing Godliness: A Woman After God's Own Heart Bible Studies,  1 TimothyPursuing Godliness: A Woman After God's Own Heart Bible Studies, 1 Timothy
Elizabeth George
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If you're A Woman After God's Own Heart, then Pursuing Godliness is the most important thing you do. But what exactly does a godly woman look like? You'll find the answer in 1 Timothy---and in this practical Bible study from best-selling author Elizabeth George. With warmth and wisdom she shares how you can make the focus, heart attitudes, and behavior of a godly person the center of your life. 160 pages, softcover, Harvest.

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Lesson 3

Giving Thanks for Godís Mercy

1 Timothy 1:12-17

I love Sunday nights at our church! Itís such an enlightening time. Why? Because thatís when we baptize new believers. How blessed we are to hear the wonderful testimonies of those who have been delivered from the power darkness and translated into the kingdom of Godís glorious light (Colossians 1:12-13)!

Yes, I love Sunday nights at our church because, after a hard week (and knowing that another long, hard week awaits me the very next day), itís so invigorating...so inspiring...so heavenly...to bask in the divine experience of saved sinners giving thanks to God for His mercy.

Well, my friend, like a comet streaking across a black sky at night, this next uplifting section of testimony and praise from the heart of Paul, comes to us right on the heels of the dark, dismal facts about false teachers (1 Timothy 1:3-11). Youíre truly in for a treat as Paulís testimony of his own salvation shows us the difference between ďthe glorious gospel of the blessed GodĒ (1 Timothy 1:11) and the nothingness of false doctrine. Read on...and see for yourself.


1 Timothy 1:12-17

12And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry,

13although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

14And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

15This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

16However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all long-suffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.

17Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.


Out of Godís Word...

1. Paul begins the testimony of his own pursuit of godliness in verse 12. First he gives thanks. To whom and why?

What else does Paul say about Jesus Christ (verse 15)?

2. Paul was always thankful for Godís ďgrace.Ē How does he describe it here in verse 14?

And in Ephesians 2:8-9?

3. Next, in verse 13, Paul reveals a little about ďhis past.Ē What kind of person was he?

How does Paul describe all believers before they experience salvation...

in Ephesians 2:1-3?

And in Titus 3:3?

4. The letter of 1 Timothy was written toward the end of Paulís life. Look up the following verses and note Paulís words of self-appraisal. Do you detect a pattern as Paul matures in his understanding of godliness?

1 Corinthians 15:9 (written in AD. 56)ó

Ephesians 3:8 (written in A.D. 61)ó

1 Timothy 1:15 (written in A.D. 63)ó

5. Using words poured out of a heart that ďbeats with the pulse of the psalmist,Ē6 Paul launches into a rich doxology of praise. Clearly, God received all the praise for saving Paul. List the four attributes or characteristics of God that Paul gives thanks for (verse 17).

Öand into Your Heart

ē SalvationóPaul never ďgot overĒ his salvation...and neither should we! As you reflect back upon your own salvation experience, what words from 1 Timothy 1:13-16 describe Godís work in your life?

ē StrengthóPaul thanked Jesus Christ for His enablement, or His strength (verse 12). How did Paul refer to this same strength and enablement in Philippians 4:13?

ē ServiceóChrist not only saves us, but He strengthens and enables us for service. What was Paulís service (verse 12)?

Now, what are some ways you can put Godís salvation and strength to work in service according to:

1 Timothy 3:11?

1 Timothy 5:10?

Titus 2:3?

Can you think of others?


Heart Response

Wow! I know my heart is overflowing with gratitude to God and Christ Jesus for His ďexceedingly abundantĒ grace (verse 14)! With these words Paul expressed the fact that Godís grace is ďsuper abundant,Ē more than adequate for all of our sins!

Why donít we do as Paul did? Why donít we make Paulís response our response? Why donít we, too, give thanks to God for His mercy? Why donít we, too, right this minute, burst forth in a doxology? A doxology is a praising, the giving of praise, the expression of glory to God. Spend time now in your own personal outpouring of praise and glory to God. (You may also want to write it out. And donít forget to share it with others!)

Then enjoy the words another woman after Godís own heart wrote and shares with us in an old familiar hymn:

Beneath the Cross of Jesus

And from my smitten heart with tears,
Two wonders I confess:
The wonders of redeeming love
And my unworthiness.

Elizabeth C. Clephane