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Read Introduction to 1 Timothy


9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,


The list of examples of sins that the Mosaic law shows is set forth in the first and second tables of the Ten Commandments:

First table of sins against God (in three pairs):

-lawless and insubordinate

-ungodly and for sinners

-unholy and profane

Second Table of sins against people:

-Murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers







9 knowing this:

The three pairs of sinful behavior refer to morally depraved individuals who willfully reject the law and blatantly refuse to obey it. God provided the law to deal with the sins of humanity.

that the law is not made for a righteous [justified] person,

There is no Greek word for “the” in “the law,” indicating law in the general sense. No matter what element of the Mosaic law, it is not only for the lawless and unruly person but also for the ungodly. The law, when used without the definite article “the,” emphasizes its character in reference to God.

The justified do not need the law to restrain them, but the lawless and insubordinate do. The law does not provide the power to fulfill its demands.

The “righteous” or just person stands in the righteousness of Christ by faith. The law has no power to condemn the believer because Christ met the demands of the law on the cross (Ro 10:4). The justified person rests in the power of the Spirit to live the Christian life.

but for the lawless [not devout] and insubordinate [profane],

Those who oppose the law are “lawless and insubordinate.” God designed the law for these people. “Lawless” are those with no standards. They are anarchists and operate on laws unto themselves.

Those with no caliber of soul become “insubordinate” or rebellious against authority; these people refuse to be subjected to control (Tit 1:6, 10). They violate both human (lawless) and divine (insubordinate) laws. These people will not yield themselves to God’s authority or will (Ga 3:1; 5:7; 2 Th 1:7, 8).

The pair operates as a unit of sins; they are a pair.

for the ungodly and for sinners,

This second pair deals with outward scoffers who have no reverence for God Himself. The connotation of “ungodly” carries the idea of irreverence toward God; these people are destitute of reverence and piety (2 Pe 2:5; 3:7; Jude 4, 15). “Ungodly” is joined with “sinners” in Romans 4:5; 5:6; 1 Peter 4:18. Christ died for the “ungodly” (Ro 4:5; 5:6). He gave Himself for people without God (Eph 2:12).

These people are categorized as “sinners” because they do not regard what God has to say. They have missed the mark of God’s absolute standard (Ro 5:8; 1 Tim 1:15).

for the unholy and profane,

This third pair describes those who trample on what represents God. God is holy, but these people do not respect His holiness, leading them to become “profane,” unhallowed, or the opposite of holy. Those who are profane trample on what is holy, on what is set apart unto God. The profane person is secular at heart.

for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers,

Beginning with the sins of murdering fathers and mothers, six sins are specified. Each of these sins is specified in the law of Moses.

The following list of sins from here through verse 10 is against the second table of the Ten Commandments.

Those who murder their parents lost natural affection, the fifth commandment (Ex 20:12).

or manslayers,

Murder is a violation of the sixth commandment (Ex 20:13).


God designed the law for those who violate both God and men.


God designed the law for those who profane God and men.

Anytime we add to the Bible something that is not there, we distort it. Adding additional rules for salvation or sanctification creates false doctrine. This attempt to earn God’s favor runs counter to all extant Scripture.