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Read Introduction to 1 Timothy


17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.


Paul breaks out in a doxology of praise to God for saving his soul and the souls of others. This praise is to God, who saved a wretch like Saul of Tarsus.

17 Now to the King eternal,

The words “King eternal” are literally King of the ages, emphasizing God’s sovereignty over every ebb and flow of the history of humanity. His eternality indicates He has no beginning or end.


“Immortal” refers to God’s endless existence without cessation; He is eternally incorruptible, that is, immune from decay. He will never die or diminish in who He is (Ro 1:23). He is exempt from the concept of death.


God exists as a Spirit invisible to the naked eye (Jn 5:37; 6:46; Co 1:15; 1 Tim 6:16; He 11:27; 1 Jn 4:12, 20). He reveals Himself by the revelation of Scripture and the person of Christ (Jn 1:18).

to God who alone is wise,

God’s omniscience is unique; no one is like Him. He is “alone” in His greatness with no competitors (Ro 16:27; Jude 25). No one can compare to Him. The word “wise” is not in older texts, so the idea is the only God, the unity of the Godhead (Jn 10:30, 38; 17:11).

be honor and glory forever and ever.

God deserves endless esteem and glory. He deserves our reverence due to His excellence. The word “honor” conveys a value by which a price is fixed. God deserves veneration and reverence. Everyone should give Him deference.


Paul affirms his agreement about who God is (1 Tim 6:16).


God has no peer.


Human kings and presidents are temporary; they come and go. However, the King of ages, the King of eternity, is everlasting and has no beginning or will have no ending. The God of the Bible exists outside and inside time and space. He is not bound by finiteness. He is also “immortal,” a being immune from anything finite. He towers over creation. God is also invisible because He is a Spirit and not a created being (Jn 4:24). Christ brings the invisible God to light (2 Co 4:4-6). God is also singular; He is the “only” God. No one can compare to Him (2 Kgs 19:15; Isa 37:20). No wonder He deserves “honor and glory forever and ever.”