, , , ,

Paul’s first letter to Timothy (Part 1): 1 Timothy 1–3

The Law was given so we would know right and wrong. On that basis, it’s for the sinner—for those who need to be told what is right and what is wrong. Those who need to learn what holiness, the basic law, is. Everyone else should know better and live in the grace of God:

1 Timothy 1:8-11We know that the law is good when used correctly. For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.

By the way, it’s easy to look at this list and think we’re not one of those sinners. But Paul has lying and breaking promises on the same plane as murderers, slave traders, and the immoral.

And on that note, it’s hard to see how anyone could ever have used the Bible to justify a slavery that relied on mass kidnapping of African (or any other) communities. It’s easier to see that God really doesn’t approve of slavery at all.