1 Timothy 1 - The Deadly Dilution Disease
1 Timothy 1:1-20
Get people to turn to passage.
In this bottle I have a disease that is a killer.
It is invisible, but merciless.
A virus which spreads secretly and without warning.
It can attack the strongest person and take them over and steal their life.
I know people it has killed. I have had friends that have fallen to this
disease. Many of you probably have as well.
Many names . mine comes from its effect.
(pour water into clear jug of cordial)
Deadly dilution disease.
What can we do about it?
Next five weeks - series through the book of 1 Timothy.
First chapter, Paul deals with the Dilution Disease.
Paul once sent a letter to his young apprentice Timothy about this very
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of
Christ Jesus our hope, 2 To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy
and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
It was an urgent letter. You can tell that because normally he says all
sorts of wonderful things about the people he is writing to, and how he
thanks God every time he remembers them.
Not in this letter. He doesn't have time.
There is a breathless urgency as Paul dives straight into it in verse 3.
3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus
Paul had sent Timothy to help this church in Ephesus get on its feet while
Paul was busy elsewhere in the world, and he says to Timothy . STAY THERE!
"Timothy, do not give up."
"Because I have heard that the deadly Dilution Disease had struck the
Who were the carriers of this disease?
stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach
false doctrines any longer 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless
genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work-which is by
They were a group of conservative Jews in another church who became
Christians but could not seem to give up following all the Old Testament
"Yes Jesus is cool, but to be REALLY right with God you also have to not
eat some foods, and worship God on certain days . and . oh yes! Guys, you
have to be circumcised."
And their message spread like a disease from church to church
Guess what the result was?
Christians were dropping like flies.
6 Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.
Jesus is no longer enough!
Many strains of the dilution disease:
2. I can't trust Jesus to fulfil me. Jesus AND girlfriend; Jesus AND
career; Jesus AND stuff.
Guy with porno stash under the Bible College men's dorm.
What did Paul want Timothy to do about the deadly Dilution Disease?
Imagine Timothy saying to Paul - how can I tell if someone is coming down
Jesus AND something else
Can be hard, because the 'Jesus' camouflages the something else!
The deadly Dilution Disease is a cunning little virus because it
camouflages itself . and it looks so good!
Satan invented it - can appear as Angel of Light (2 Corinthians 11:14).
"I don't need to destroy truth, I just need to dilute it. This disease will
be more effective if it contains a mixture of truth and lies."
"We need to follow the Old Testament Laws! God gave them to us so they must
7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are
talking about or what they so confidently affirm. 8 We know that the law is
good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that law is made not for the
righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the
unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for
murderers, 10 for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and
perjurers-and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that
conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to
Paul: "Sure, the law is good - it did come from God - it has its place. But
its use is limited. All it can do is shine a spotlight on people's evil
behaviour to help them try to become better . but for those who have been
MADE better by Jesus . the Law is old technology; it's outdated,
It's like Paul is saying to Timothy - see how this thing works?
This is how you diagnose it.
It works when people start believing a truth that is a bit twisted - a bit
altered - a bit diluted.
So what do we do when we come across the deadly Dilution Disease?
KISS principle - me in volleyball game trying to be fancy with setting the
We need to dose it with a simple truth.
15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus
came into the world to save sinners (v 15)
Jesus is God - he came into the world.
I am a sinner - I desperately need help.
Jesus saved me - it is all him. I can't save myself.
This is a very simple truth.
But when it is undiluted, it is incredibly powerful. And he goes through
the experience of how Jesus touched his own life as an example of how
powerful it is.
"I was the worst of sinners"
. I persecuted people
16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of
sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example
for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.
Some of you tonight may be in the early stages of this deadly Dilution
Message of Paul - "Jesus is enough. Jesus is MORE than enough. Christ Jesus
came into the world to save you."
But some of you tonight may have friends or family members, who once
followed Jesus, but are now in the process of drifting away.
What do you do? What practical words of advice would Paul give?
1. Be a walking advertisement of this simple truth.
18 Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the
prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the
2. Hold on to your own faith.
19 holding on to faith and a good conscience.
3. Recognise we may have to let our friends go, in order to get them back
Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. 20 Among
them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be
taught not to blaspheme.]
Not cursing them!
Letting them go into a world where Satan is the dominant force, not God, so
that when they realise the consequences of their choices they might come