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Read Introduction to 1 Timothy


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


Paul urged Timothy to be faithful to his task in 1 Timothy 1:12-17. He needed to recognize God’s grace upon him for ministry, just as Paul himself did. It is by grace that God calls people into ministry.

12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me,

“Enabled” is the same word we find in Philippians 4:13. The word carries the idea of infused strength or divine empowerment. God furnishes Paul with strength for ministry. Paul gave thanks directly to Christ Jesus, his Lord, for enabling him for ministry. Christ’s grace was “exceedingly abundant” in doing so (1 Tim 1:14).

The word “thank” is emphatic. Nothing in Paul caused Christ to enable him for ministry; it was a pure act of His grace (Jn 1:17; Ro 1:5; 3:24; 1 Co 15:9-10; Eph 3:8).

because He counted me faithful [trustworthy],

This verse is the third reference to God putting Paul into ministry. God counted him worthy for ministry. If a minister is to be anything, he must be trustworthy (1 Co 4:1-2).

putting [appointing] me into the ministry,

God recognized Paul’s trustworthiness and put him into ministry (Acts 20:24; Col 4:17; 2 Tim 1:11). The word “ministry” means one who serves. A minister serves others.


We tend to rest on our capacities rather than draw on God’s enablement.


A proclivity of the flesh rests on the self rather than God’s provisions. This tendency is especially dangerous when dealing with Satan. The devil sent his agents to the church in Ephesus, causing confusion and conflict in the assembly. We need the One who upholds us during danger. If Paul needed Christ’s enablement, Timothy certainly did. If these two men of God needed to trust in divine enablement, we certainly do.

God does not expect us to do more than what He gave us. If He gave us a four-cylinder motor, that would be all He expects of us. However, He expects more of us if He gave us a six-cylinder motor. If we hit on four cylinders when He gave us six, we will be accountable for the two we did not call upon. That is all faithfulness to God requires.