1 Timothy 1:17, The Goal of God’s Mercy

False teachers in the churches in Ephesus needed correction. In 1 Timothy 1:8-11, Paul corrected their misuse of the Law—it cannot contribute anything to our salvation. In 1 Timothy 12-16, Paul presented himself as an example of the saving power of the gospel of God’s grace given through Jesus Christ: by mercy and grace, God saved Paul, the very worst of sinners. And he did it apart from the Law.

Having laid out this argument and its deeply personal and moving exploration of the wonders of God’s mercy found in Christ Jesus, Paul broke out in a jubilant poem (song?) in verse 17. It is a response to the wonders of the gospel. It begins with a description of the One who saves us and ends with the appropriate response of those who have been saved.