Wednesday, March 4, 2015



The First Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Timothy
Chapter 5:22, 25

22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins; keep thyself pure. 25 Likewise also the good works are manifest before hand, and they that are otherwise, cannot be hid.

Study Notes

Lay hands suddenly on no man

Which is not to be understood of removing censures from off offenders, upon their repentance, which should not be suddenly and hastily done; and which it seems in later times has been done by imposition of hands; but since no such custom obtained in the apostle's time, and a taking off of censures is never in Scripture signified by this phrase, it cannot be intended here; but rather the admission of persons into the work of the ministry, and the installing of them into the office of an or pastor; upon whom, in these early times, hands were laid by the apostles, whereby gifts were conveyed, as on Timothy. (Read 1 Timothy 4:14).  And from this rite this act was so called, as it might be when it was laid aside; just as, with the Jews, an ordination of one of their doctors is called "imposition of hands", though they performed it by words, and not by laying on of hands; which now by them is not judged necessary and then the sense is, do not hastily and at once admit any person into the sacred work of the ministry, or constitute him an elder, or pastor, over a church of Christ; but let him be first proved, and let it plainly appear, that he has the grace of God in him, and has gifts for public service bestowed on him; that he is sound in faith, and of a good life and conversation; and a man of uprightness and fidelity.

Neither be partaker of other men's sins

Or of any of the members of the church; by doing the same, joining with them therein, or by consenting to them and taking pleasure in them, as done by others; by conniving at them, and not restraining them, nor reproving for them: or rather this refers to rash and hasty ordinations of ministers; and either regards the sins of those who lay hands suddenly on men, and with whom the apostle would not have Timothy join, that he might not be a partner in their sins; or else the sins of those that are ordained, and these, whether before or after their ordination; which such involve themselves in, who either rashly and ignorantly ordain such persons; and much more if they do it, knowing them to be such: and these sins may include both immorality and error; see ( 2 John 10 11 ) . Keep thyself pure; not from his own sins, the sin of nature, indwelling sin, and actual transgressions; no man is, or can be pure, from either of these; nor can any man keep himself; Christ only is able to keep them from falling. But the apostle's meaning is, that he should keep himself pure from the sins of others, by not rashly and suddenly admitting any into the ministry; just as the apostle was pure from the blood of all men, by faithfully preaching the Gospel; so he suggests that Timothy would be pure from partaking of other men's sins, by observing a strict discipline in the house of God. Some refer this to chastity of body, in opposition to the sin of uncleanness, which his youthful age and the temptations about him might expose him to the danger of; and which is scandalous and infamous in a minister of the word. Which sense serves to show the connection of the following words, which otherwise seem to stand unconnected.

Likewise also the good works [of some] are manifest before hand

The characters of some men, on the other hand, are so fair and bright; and it is so clear a point, that they have received the grace of God in truth; and have a rich furniture for the ministry; and are sound in the doctrine of faith; and are men of such godly lives and conversations, that they prevent any formal inquiry, examination, and judgment; and there can be no difficulty in admitting them at once: and therefore the above rule is not designed for such persons, but to guard against those with whom things do not appear so very clear and manifest.

And they that are otherwise cannot be hid

[In contrast], if they are men of bad principles or practices, they will be discovered in time; for there is nothing hid that shall not be revealed;(Read Romans 1:18; 1 Corinthians 3:13;)  time will make all things manifest; their errors and sins will break out, and be exposed: and therefore it is right to wait a while, and not to be quick in the reception of them into the Gospel ministry; for otherwise, much mischief may be done to the souls of men, and much dishonour brought on the ways and doctrines of Christ.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015



The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy
Chapter 5:17-20

17 The Elders that rule well, let them be had in double honor, specially they which labor in the word and doctrine. 18 For the Scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn: and, The laborer is worthy of his wages. 19 Against an Elder receive none accusation, but under two or three witnesses. 20 Them that sin, rebuke openly, that the rest also may fear.

Study Notes

Let the elders that rule well

By whom are meant not elders in age; though such ought to be honoured and respected, and to have a proper maintenance either from their children or the church, when reduced, and incapable of helping themselves; but then this is what should be done to all such persons, whereas the elders here are particularly described as good rulers and labourers in the word and doctrine; besides, elders in age are taken notice of before; nor are civil magistrates intended, such as were called the elders of Israel; for though such as discharge their office well are worthy of honour, yet it does not belong to any of them to labour in preaching the doctrine of the Gospel: nor are deacons designed, for they are never called elders in Scripture; nor is their work ruling, but serving of tables; nor does the ministry of the word belong to them as such; nor is any maintenance allowed them from the church on account of their office: nor are lay elders meant, who rule, but teach not; since there are no such officers appointed in the churches of Christ; whose only officers are bishops or elders and deacons: wherefore the qualifications such are only given in a preceding chapter. There are no other that rule in churches, but such who also speak to them the word of God; wherefore by him that rules, and the labourer in word and doctrine, are not meant two distinct orders, but different persons of the same order; some of these ruling well, but do not take so much pains in the ministry of the word; while others of them both rule well and labour in the word, and who are to be reckoned deserving of the honour hereafter mentioned. These are called "elders", because they are commonly chosen out of the senior members of the churches, though not always, Timothy is an exception to this; and because of their senile gravity and prudence, which were necessary in them: and they may be said to "rule", because they are set in the highest place in the church, and over others in the Lord, who are to submit themselves to them, and obey them. Christ's church is a kingdom, he is King of it, and his ministering servants are rulers under him; and who rule "well" when they rule not with force and cruelty, or lord it over God's heritage; but when they govern according to the laws which Christ the King and lawgiver has prescribed; when they explain and enforce those laws, and show them to the people, and see that they are put in execution and when they discharge this part of their work with diligence and prudence. 

Now let such be counted worthy of double honour

Which some understand of honour in this world, and in the world to come, and which they have; they are honoured now by Christ, though reproached by the world, by being called unto, qualified for, and succeeded in the work of the ministry; and when they have faithfully discharged it, they will be honoured by him hereafter, and be introduced into his joy with commendation, and shine as the stars for ever and ever. But rather this is to be understood both of that outward respect that is to be shown them by words and actions; and of a sufficient maintenance that is to be provided for them; in which sense the word "honour" is used in this chapter before; (See Gill on 1 Timothy 5:3), and some think that the comparison is between the widows before mentioned, and these elders; that if poor widows in the church are to be honoured and maintained, then much more the officers of it; these are worthy of more honour, even of double honour, or, a larger and a more honourable main tenant: and indeed this seems to be the meaning of the word "double" when used both in an ill and in a good sense; see ( Revelation 18:6 ) ( 2 Kings 2:9 ) and is an allusion to the firstborn among the Jews, who was to have a double portion of his father's goods, ( Deuteronomy 21:17 ) and so may here signify, that the ministers of the Gospel ought not to have a short and scanty, but a large and honourable maintenance.

Especially they who labour in the word and doctrine

Which lies in a constant reading of the Scriptures, the word of God, and diligently searching into them, and comparing them together, in order to find out the mind and will of God in them; in a daily meditation upon them, and study of them; and in frequent and fervent wrestling with God, or prayer to him, to give an understanding of them; and in endeavouring to find out the sense of difficult passages, which are hard to be understood; and in providing for the different cases and circumstances of hearers, that everyone may have a portion; and in the choice of apt and proper words to express truth in, to the capacities of all: this is labouring in the word in private; besides which there is labouring in doctrine, in public; in preaching the Gospel constantly, boldly, and faithfully; in holding it fast against all opposition, and in defending it by argument, both by word and writing.

Monday, March 2, 2015



The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy
Chapter 5:8

8 If there be any that provideth not for his own, and namely for them of his household, he denieth the faith, and is worse than an infidel

Study Notes 

But if any provide not for his own and specially for those of his own house

Not only for his wife and children, but for his parents, when grown old, and cannot help themselves that is, who are of the same household of faith with him; see ( Galatians 6:10 ) , and so the Syriac version renders it, "and especially those who are the children of the house of faith"; for though the tie of nature obliges him to take care of them, yet that of grace makes the obligation still more strong and binding; and he must act both the inhuman and the unchristian part, that does not take care of his pious parents: wherefore it follows;

 He hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel

This is to day the doctrine of faith, though not in words, yet in works; (see James 2:19) and is to be considered in the same light, and to be dealt with as an apostate from the Christian religion. For [even] the very Heathens are taught and directed by the light of nature to take care of their poor and aged parents. The daughter of Cimon gave her ancient father the breast, and suckled him when in prison. Aeneas snatched his aged father out of the burning of Troy, and brought him out of the destruction of that city on his back; yea, these are worse than the brute creatures, and may be truly said to be without natural affections; such should go to the storks and learn of them, of whom it is reported, that the younger ones will feed the old ones, when they cannot feed themselves; and when weary, and not able to fly, will carry them on their backs. The Jews have a rule or canon, which obliged men to take care of their families, which runs thus:

 ``as a man is bound to provide for his wife, so he is hound to provide for his sons and daughters, the little ones, until they are six years old; and from thenceforward he gives them food till they are grown up, according to the order of the wise men; if he will not, they reprove him, and make him ashamed, and oblige him; yea, if he will not, they publish him in the congregation, and say such an one is cruel, and will not provide for his children; and lo, he is worse than an unclean fowl, which feeds her young.''

Saturday, February 28, 2015



First Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Timothy
Chapter 4:16

16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto learning: continue therein: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. (Read also Luke 11:28; James 1:25)

Study Notes

Take heed unto thyself

Not as a man, or a Christian only, but as a minister; and as every minister should take heed to his life and conversation, that it be exemplary, as in 1Timothy 4:12  to his gifts, that they be not lost, or neglected, but used and improved; to the errors and heresies abroad, that he be not infected with them; and to his flock, which is the other part of himself, that he feed it with knowledge and understanding: and to thy doctrine: preached by him, that it be according to the Scriptures, be the doctrine of Christ, and his apostles, and according to godliness; that it tend to edification, and is pure, incorrupt, and all of a piece; and that it be expressed in the best manner, with all boldness and plainness; and that he defend it against all opposition.

Continue in them

Or "with them"; the members of the church at Ephesus; or rather in the doctrines of the Gospel; which should be done, though a majority is against them; though rejected by the wise, learned, and rich; though not to be comprehended by carnal reason; and though loaded with reproach and scandal; and though persecuted, yea even unto death for them. (Read also 1 Corinthians 1:19-20, 25, 27)

For in doing this, thou shall both save thyself

A minister by taking heed to himself, and doctrine, saves himself from the pollutions of the world, from the errors and heresies of false teachers, from the blood of all men, and from all just blame in his ministry.

And them that hear thee

By being an example to them in doctrine and conversation, a minister is the means of saving and preserving those that attend on him, from erroneous principles, and immoral practices; and by faithfully preaching the Gospel to his hearers, he is instrumental in their eternal salvation; for though Jesus Christ is the only Saviour, the only efficient and procuring cause of salvation, yet the ministers of the Gospel are instruments by which souls believe in him, and so are saved; the word preached by them, being attended with the Spirit of God, becomes the ingrafted word, which is able to save, and is the power of God unto salvation; and nothing can more animate and engage the ministers of the word to take heed to themselves and doctrine, and abide therein, than this, of being the happy instruments of converting sinners, and saving them from death; (Read also James 5:20 )

Friday, February 27, 2015



The First Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Timothy
Chapter 4:15

15 These things exercise, and give thyself unto them, that it may be seen how thou profitest among all men.

Study Notes

Meditate on these things

Not only on those instructions, advices, and exhortations, which the apostle had given him, throughout this chapter, which might be very useful to him, often to think of, and revolve in his mind, and seriously consider and reflect upon; but upon the Scriptures, the reading of which he had recommended to him, and the doctrines contained therein; it becomes every man not only to read, but meditate on the word of God, and much more ministers of the Gospel. The Scriptures should be read with care, and be industriously and laboriously searched into, as men dig in mines for silver or golden ore; and passages in it should be carefully compared together, the more obscure with those that are more plain and easy; and the whole is to be studied with great attention and application.

Give thyself wholly to them

To the reading of the Scriptures, meditation upon them, and preaching the doctrines contained in them, clear of all secular affairs, or worldly business and employment. The apostles threw off the branch of deaconship, or ministering to the poor, that they might give themselves up wholly to the ministry of the word, and prayer; and much more should worldly business be cast off, where the circumstances of ministers and churches will admit of it; a Christian soldier, or minister of the Gospel, ought not, if possible, to be entangled with the affairs of this life; he finds enough to do without, in the discharge of his ministerial function; and though the apostles sometimes wrought with their own hands, yet it was not because they had so much leisure from the ministry, or time on their hands, or because they had not a power of forbearing working, but out of necessity, see ( Acts 20:34 ) ( 1 Corinthians 9:6 1 Corinthians 9:7 ) ( 2 Timothy 2:4 ) , or these words may be rendered.

Be thou in these things

Let thine heart be in them; for if a minister's heart is not in his work, if he does not take delight in it, it will be a slavery and drudgery to him; spend all the time and strength in them, give thyself continually to them, and be always diligent and laborious in them.

That thy profiting may appear to all

That it may be manifest to all that attend the ministry of the word that there is an increase in gifts, a growing in spiritual knowledge, an improvement of the talents bestowed: or that this profiting or increase might appear in all things; in every branch of the ministry, both in exhortation or consolation, and in doctrine; or that it might be manifest among all; that is, all that hear might receive some profit, might learn, and be comforted and edified; faith might be increased, and the joy of it be furthered; and all under the ministry visibly thrive and flourish.

Thursday, February 26, 2015



The First Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Timothy
Chapter 4:14

Despise not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the company of the Eldership.

Study Notes

Neglect not the gift that is in thee

What qualifies men for the work of the ministry is a gift from God: it is not of nature, nor is it mere natural abilities and capacity; nor is it any thing acquired, it is not [of] human learning, or the knowledge of languages, arts, and sciences; nor is it special saving grace; for a man may have all these, and yet not be apt to teach, or fit for the ministry; but it is a peculiar and distinct gift, it is a gift of interpreting the Scriptures, and of dispensing the mysteries of grace to the edification of others; which, when it meets in a man with all the rest before mentioned, makes him very considerable: and this gift is in a man; it is a treasure put into earthen vessels, a good treasure in the heart, out of which a good minister of Christ brings forth many good things, things new and old, both for the delight and profit of men: and this gift is by no means to be neglected; this talent should not be hid in the earth, or wrapped up in a napkin; it should not lie dormant and useless, but should be stirred up, cultivated, and improved, as it may by reading, meditation, and prayer. And in order to enforce this exhortation on Timothy.

Which was given thee by prophecy

that is, it was prophesied of before hand, by some of the prophets in the church, that a very extraordinary gift should be bestowed upon this young man, which would make him a very useful person in the church of God; see ( 1 Timothy 1:18 ) and since it was now given, he ought not therefore to neglect it: or it was given him, as some read it, with prophecy, that he should use it, and it should be of great advantage to many souls; or, together with this gift of preaching, he had also a gift of foretelling things to come; or it may be, the words may be better rendered, "for prophecy": that is, for preaching, for prophesying is frequently used for preaching; see ( 1 Corinthians 13:2 ) ( 1 Corinthians 14:1 1 Corinthians 14:3, 31 ) and then the sense is, that this gift was given him to qualify him for the interpreting of the Scriptures, the explaining of the prophecies of the Old Testament, and for the preaching of the Gospel; and therefore he should not neglect it, but use it for this purpose.

With the laying on of the hands of the presbytery

Or "of the eldership", or elders. So (Gerousia) , "eldership", is used by the Septuagint on ( Exodus 3:16 Exodus 3:18 ) for the elders of Israel. Now of these elders Paul was one, ( 2 Timothy 1:6 ) nor is it unusual to call the apostles elders; see ( 1 Peter 5:1 ) ( 2 John 1:1 ) ( 3 John 1:1 ) . Who joined with the apostle, in the imposition of hands on Timothy, is not certain; I should think only apostles, since here was a gift of the Holy Ghost came along with it; and it was only through the laying on of the hands of the apostles that the Holy Ghost was given. Philip, an evangelist, laid not hands on the believing Samaritans; but Peter and John, apostles, were sent down from Jerusalem to Samaria to do it, whereby many received the gifts of the Holy Ghost, fitting them to take the care of those new converts, and to spread the Gospel further in those parts, ( Acts 8:5 Acts 8:12 Acts 8:14 Acts 8:17 Acts 8:18 ). The apostle in calling those that joined with him, in putting hands on Timothy, the "presbytery or eldership", may have some reference to "the elders of the congregation", which laid hands on the bullock for a sin offering, ( Leviticus 4:15 ) by whom some understand the great Sanhedrim [and] others, not all the elders, but some particular persons, in number three; and so the ordination of a Rabbi was by three, hence we read of "imposition of hands by the elders

Tuesday, February 24, 2015



The First Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Timothy
Chapter 4:8

 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, which hath the promise of the life present, and of that that is to come.

Study Notes

For bodily exercise profiteth little

Meaning not the exercise of the body in the Olympic games, as by running, wrestling, &c. which profited but little, for the obtaining of a corruptible crown at most; though since a word is used here, and in the preceding verse, borrowed from thence, there may be an allusion to it: much less exercise of the body for health or recreation, as riding, walking, playing at any innocent diversion; which profits but for a little time, as the Syriac and Arabic versions read; and the latter renders the phrase "bodily recreation": nor is the exercise of the body in the proper employment of trade and business, to which a man is called, and which profits for the support of life for a little while, intended; nor any methods made use of for the mortification of the body, and the keeping of it under, as watchings, fastings, lying on the ground, scourging but rather mere formal external worship, as opposed to godliness, or spiritual worship. There ought to be an exercise of the body, or a presenting of that in religious worship before God; there should be an outward attendance on the word and ordinances; but then, without internal godliness, this will be of little advantage: it is indeed showing an outward regard to public worship, and may be a means of keeping persons out of bad company, and from doing evil things; but if this is trusted to, and depended on, it will be of no avail to everlasting life; see ( Luke 13:26 Luke 13:27 )

But godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is

to the health of the body, and the welfare of the soul; to the things of this life, and of that which is to come; to themselves and others, though not to God, or in a way of merit. The continuance of it, of length of days, of living long in the earth, and of enjoying all necessary temporal good things, the mercies of life; for God has promised to his spiritual worshippers, to them that fear him, and walk uprightly, that their days shall be prolonged, that they shall want no good thing, nor will he withhold any from them that is for their good, that is proper and convenient for them.

And of that which is to come

Of eternal life; not that eternal life is received or procured hereby; for it is the free gift of God, and is not by any works of men, for otherwise it would not be by promise; for its being by promise shows it to be of grace: there is nothing more or less in it than this, that God promises glory to his own grace; for internal godliness, which animates and maintains spiritual worship, is of God, is of his own grace, and every part of it is a free gift of his, as faith, hope, love, fear.