Friday, March 27, 2015

Word of God
Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

Read, Study, and Understand

15 Study to show thyself approved unto God a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, dividing the word of truth aright. 16 Stay profane, and vain babblings: for they shall increase unto more ungodliness. 19 But the foundation of God remaineth sure, and hath this seal, The Lord knoweth who are his: and, Let everyone that calleth on the Name of Christ, depart from iniquity.
2 Timothy 2:15-16, 19

Study to show thyself approved unto God

Not unto men, as pleasing them; for such who study to please men, are not the servants of Christ; and sometimes those that are approved to and by men, are disapproved of by God and Christ: but unto God, showing all fidelity and uprightness; speaking out the Gospel openly, and freely, with all sincerity, as in the sight of God; commending themselves to him, and to every man's conscience, by manifestation of the truth; and such will hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant" another day.

A workman that needeth not to be ashamed;

The ministry of the word is a work, and it is a good work; and those that perform it aright are worthy of honour and esteem; and it requires industry, diligence, and application, and for which no man is sufficient without the grace of God; and those who are employed in it are workmen, workers together with God, and labourers in his vineyard: and such who are faithful and diligent ones, "need not to be ashamed"; such do not cause shame, neither in themselves nor in others, as false teachers do, who foam out their own shame, and as negligent ministers of the word, and such whose lives are not agreeable to the doctrines they preach; nor have they any reason to be ashamed, neither of the Gospel, which they preach, nor of their sufferings, which they endure for the sake of it, nor of their upright ministrations of the word; and as they are not afraid to suffer shame for the sake of Christ now, they will not be ashamed before him at his coming.

Rightly dividing, the word of truth.

That is, the Scriptures of truth, which come from the God of truth, are concerning Christ, who is the truth, and are dictated and led into by the spirit of truth, and contain in them nothing but truth: to divide the word, is not merely to divide the text into its proper parts, though care should be taken that this be done aright; by one that is well versed in the Bible, and knows every part of it, and readily uses it, in speaking or writing; and such an one was Timothy. Moreover, to divide the word of truth, or to cut it, is to cut it open, and dissect its several parts, and search and look into the inside and bottom of it, for to find out every truth contained in it, and lay them open to others, and so the ministers of the Gospel are to distribute the spiritual food of the word to babes in Christ, and to grown Christians, according to their capacities, and suitable to their cases and circumstances, dividing to everyone what is proper for him: in short, one that divides the word of truth rightly, is, as the Vulgate Latin version renders it, one that "rightly handles"; or, as the Syriac version, that "rightly preaches the word of truth"; who gives the true sense of Scripture, does not pervert and wrest it, and take from it, or add to it; who points out the truth in it, and shows unto men the way of salvation, and plainly and faithfully preaches the Gospel contained in it, without keeping back anything that is profitable, but declares the whole counsel of God. And may here design a plain and open interpretation of the word of God: and to answer these several characters in the text should be the studious concern of every Gospel minister; and study is necessary thereunto; it requires great care that a man take heed to himself, and to his doctrine; and great industry, diligence, and application, and much reading, meditation, and prayer.

But shun profane and vain babblings

The ministry of false teachers is mere babbling; a voice, and nothing else, as the man said of his nightingale; a sound of words, but no solid matter in them; great swelling words of vanity, like large bubbles of water, look big, and make a great noise, but have nothing in them; contain nothing but vain, empty, idle, and trifling stuff; what is unprofitable and unedifying, yea, what is profane, contrary to the nature and perfections of God, and not agreeable to the doctrine which is according to godliness; and being palmed upon the Holy Scriptures, is a profanation of them. And all such wicked and empty prate, and babbling, is to be shunned, avoided, and discouraged, refused, and rejected; and, as much as can be, a stop should be put to it, both by ministers and hearers of the word.

For they will increase unto more ungodliness

Meaning either that such babblings, if used and encouraged, will grow more and more profane and wicked; or the persons that use them, the unruly and vain talkers, will grow more daring, bold; and impudent, will wax worse and worse, and from one error will proceed to another, for such seldom stop; and having abused one passage of Scripture, will go on to attack another, and will not cease, till they have wrested the whole Scripture to their own destruction, and that of others.

Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure

That faith, which is the faith of God's elect, is of the operation of God, and is the gift of his grace, and of which Christ is the author and finisher, is firm and immovable as a foundation; it is solid and substantial; it is the substance of things hoped for; and it is permanent and abiding; it stands sure, being supported by the power of God, and prevalent mediation of Jesus Christ; and so cannot be overthrown by false teachers, when an historical faith, or the faith of temporary believers may: or the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is here meant, which was said to be past by the above false teachers; which is a fundamental doctrine of the Gospel, without which the preaching of it is vain, and faith is vain; and which is a doctrine of God, of pure revelation; and this will be effected by his power: this stands sure upon the testimony of the patriarchs, prophets, and of Christ, and his apostles; upon the sure word and writings both of the Old and New Testament; and will stand its ground against all opposition, and will have its certain effect; for the Lord Jesus knows who are his distinctly and perfectly; nor will he lose them, nor anything that belongs to them; not their bodies, any more than their souls, nor any dust of theirs, but will raise it up at the last day. Or else the doctrine of eternal election may be here designed; which is the foundation of all spiritual blessings, of faith and of holiness, of joy and comfort here, and happiness hereafter, and even of complete and everlasting salvation; and is of God's laying, and is owing to his sovereign pleasure and free rich grace; and stands sure, not on the foot of works, but upon the unchangeable and unfrustrable will of God; and this secures from a final and total deception by false teachers: and also into the account may be taken the persons of God's elect themselves; who are of God's founding, and are as immovable as the firmest foundation whatever, even as rocks and mountains, and stand sure upon the rock of ages, Christ Jesus, and shall never perish; nor can they be deceived by false Christs and false prophets, but will remain safe and sound, when the faith of ever so many is subverted by them.

Having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his

Faith is sealed and insured to God's elect, by his foreknowledge and predestination of them; so that they certainly have it, and shall never lose it: and their election is according to God's foreknowledge of them; which designs not a foresight of their faith, holiness, and good works, as the motives of his choosing them; nor a bare prescience of their persons; but such a foreknowledge as includes special love to them, which is distinguishing, unchangeable, and everlasting; and this being a seal affixed to all the elect, shows the distinguishing grace of God in their election, the secrecy of it, and its firmness and irrevocableness, and also the safety of the chosen ones; things being sealed, to distinguish one thing from another, and to keep things secret, or to render them firm and authentic.

And let everyone that nameth the name of Christ; depart from iniquity

Both from doctrinal iniquity, the errors and heresies of the above false teachers, which increased to ungodliness, and ate as a gangrene, and were the subversion of the faith of some; and from all practical iniquity, which those men, and their followers, were guilty of; and, generally speaking, when men make shipwreck of faith, they put away a good conscience, and that all such should depart from iniquitous men, from men whether of bad principles or practices, or both, and have no fellowship with them, it being unworthy of the name by which they were called.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Word of God

For man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God - Matthew 4:4

He is faithful

If we are faithless He remains faithful. He cannot deny Himself - 2 Timothy 2:13

If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. - 1 John 1:9

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope with wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:23

Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed. Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.

Herein what says the Apostle Paul? It is this writer's thought that he speaks on three types of persons.

1) Those that openly deny and defy Christ as Savior, and refuse God's grace and offer of Salvation. They say there is no God we are our own men and women, none is above us.
2) Those who may believe in God and Christ do not the works ordained by the Father. That is to say to worship God and love they neighbors. Outwardly they take the form of Godliness but inwardly they deny Him through their lack of actions and thereby deny the power that is given unto them to preach and spread the Gospel of Christ.

3) The false convert. These are those who likewise take the name Christian but secretly do not believe in Him. Likewise they appear to be good, but inside they are full of dead men's bones. These are the scribes and pharisees of our day. Loving the praise of mankind more so than the praise of God.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Word of God

For man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth  forth from the mouth of God - Matthew 4:4

Not Chained

But the word of God is not chained -  2 Timothy 9c

So shall my word be that goes forth from my My mouth. It shall not return to Me void. But shall accomplish what I please and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.  - Isaiah 55:11

The apostle Paul in this epistle to Timothy makes it known that even when a man is in chains as he was at this time, (being under house arrest in Rome), that the word of God goes onward and forward.  But even deeper still, it seems the more mankind tries to wipe it out and make it disappear the more so it increases in power.  Throughout history from the Old Testament to present day our Creator always has a way of sending out his message. It does not return empty handed, but returns with increase in the way of new believers. 

It is not, nor cannot be restricted. It cannot be contained in any way by anything or anyone.  It has not nor will it ever be exterminated. It is unlimited in it's reach. There is no place where it can be hidden. nor can onne cannot hid from it, or outrun it. It expands to the very edge of the universe and is infinite yet is found in the smallest of atomic particles. It is a light unto all mankind and can penetrate the deepest darkness of night, and the darkest recesses of the mind of man. It is all powerful with the ability to fulfill itself. 

The word of God is alive and active bringing life eternal to the hearer and doer of it. It feeds the soul, nourishes the spirit and renews the mind. It is water to the thirsty, and mana to the hungry. It whispers to the deaf causing them to hear it, and gives sight to the blind so that they may see it. It is the very voice of God that can be heard in the loudest of thunders, or the quietness of a whisper. 

Have you read His word today?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Word of God
Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

Hold Fast, Be Strong, Remain Steadfast

When he taught me, and said unto me, Let thine heart hold fast my words: keep my commandments, and thou shalt live - Proverbs 4:4

Holding fast that faithful word according to doctrine, that he also may be able to exhort with wholesome doctrine, and convince them that say against it - Titus 1:9

But Christ is as the Son, over his own house, whose house we are, if we hold fast that confidence and that rejoicing of that hope unto the end. - Hebrews 3:6

Seeing then that we have a great high Priest, which is entered into heaven, even Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession - Hebrews 4:14

But that which ye have already, hold fast till I come. - Revelation 2:25

Remember therefore, how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast and repent. If therefore thou wilt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. - Revelation 3:3

Have not I commanded thee, saying, Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be discouraged? for I the Lord thy God will be with thee whithersoever thou goest. - Joshua 1:9

Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments, which I command you this day, that ye may be strong, and go in and possess the land whither ye go to possess it - Deuteronomy 11:8

All ye that trust in the Lord, be strong, and he shall establish your heart - Psalm 31:24

Say unto them that are fearful, Be you strong, fear not: behold, your God cometh with vengeance: even God with a recompense, he will come and save you - Isaiah 35:4

Yet now be of good courage, O Zerubbabel, saith the Lord, and be of good comfort, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak the high Priest: and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and do it: for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts - Haggai 2:5

Watch ye: stand fast in the faith: quit you like men, and be strong - 1 Corinthians 16:13

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might - Ephesians 6:10

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus - 2 Timothy 2:1For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear - Job 11:15

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord - 1 Corinthians 15:58

For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of  our confidence stedfast unto the end. Hebrews 3:14

Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness - 2 Peter 3:17

Friday, March 20, 2015

I Am Not Ashamed

17‭ ‬But Israel shall be saved in the Lord,‭ ‬with an everlasting salvation:‭ ‬ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.‭ ‬18‭ ‬For this saith the Lord‭ (‬that created heaven,‭ ‬God himself that formed the earth,‭ ‬and made it:‭ ‬he that prepared it,‭ ‬he created it not in vain:‭ ‬he formed it I am the Lord,‭ ‬and there is none other‭ 
Isaiah‭ ‬45:17-18

22‭ ‬Thus saith the Lord God,‭ ‬Behold,‭ ‬I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles,‭ ‬and set up my standard to the people,‭ ‬and they shall bring thy sons in their arms:‭ ‬and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.‭ ‬23‭ ‬And Kings shall be thy nursing fathers,‭ ‬and Queens shall be thy nurses:‭ ‬they shall worship thee with their faces toward the earth,‭ ‬and lick up the dust of thy feet:‭ ‬and thou shalt know that I am the Lord:‭ ‬for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.
Isaiah‭ ‬49:22-24

7‭ ‬For the Lord God will help me,‭ ‬therefore shall I not be confounded:‭ ‬therefore have I set my face like a flint,‭ ‬and I know that I shall not be ashamed
Isaiah‭ ‬50:7

4‭ ‬Fear not:‭ ‬for thou shalt not be ashamed,‭ ‬neither shalt thou be confounded:‭ ‬for thou shalt not be put to shame:‭ ‬yea,‭ ‬thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth,‭ ‬and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood anymore.‭ ‬5‭ ‬For he that made thee,‭ ‬is thine husband,‭ (‬whose name is the Lord of hosts‭) ‬and thy redeemer the holy One of Israel,‭ ‬shall be called the God of the whole world.
Isaiah‭ ‬54:4-5

38‭ ‬For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation,‭ ‬of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.‭ 
Mark‭ ‬8:38

16‭ ‬For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,‭ ‬for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes,‭ ‬for the Jew first and also for the Greek.‭ ‬17‭ ‬For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith‭; ‬as it is written,‭ “‬The just shall live by faith‭”
Also by every word that proceeds from the very mouth of God.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Matthew‭ ‬4:4‭ 
Romans‭ ‬1:16-17

8‭ ‬Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord,‭ ‬nor of me,‭ ‬His prisoner,‭ ‬but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according of the power of God.‭ 
2‭ ‬Timothy‭ ‬1:8

16‭ ‬Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian,‭ ‬let him not be ashamed,‭ ‬but let him glorify God in this matter.
1‭ ‬Peter‭ ‬4:16

28‭ ‬And now little children,‭ ‬abide in Him,‭ ‬that when He appears we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
1‭ ‬John‭ ‬2:28

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The First Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Timothy
Chapter 6:20

20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed unto thee, and avoid profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called

Study Notes

Keep that which is committed to thy trust

That is, the Gospel, see ( 1 Timothy 1:11 ) which is a rich treasure put into earthen vessels, and ought to be kept pure and uncorrupt, and faithfully dispensed, and diligently preserved, that so it may be continued genuine and sincere, and not be either adulterated and depraved, or be taken away by false teachers. And it may also include his gifts for the ministration of it, which were to be kept in use, and stirred up, and not neglected, but cultivated and improved to the advantage of the church, and of the interest of Christ.

Avoiding profane and vain babblings

About the law, and circumcision, and other things, which the false teachers insisted much on, and amused their hearers with; and which were vain, empty, useless, and unprofitable talk. Some copies, and so the Vulgate Latin version, read, "profane newnesses of words"; or new words, which ought not to be introduced, for they often bring in new doctrines: the form of sound words, the wholesome words, the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, the words which the Holy Ghost teacheth, should be held fast; and especially all new words should be avoided, which are contrary to them, or in the least weaken them, or detract from them.

And oppositions of science falsely so called

The false teachers boasted of their science and knowledge, but it was not true, solid, spiritual, and saving; it was not an experimental knowledge of the Gospel; it was not the excellent knowledge of Christ, which has eternal life connected with it; it was merely notional and speculative; it was idle, empty, and useless, mere Pagan philosophy, and vain deceit, upon which they formed antitheses, or oppositions and objections to the truths of the Gospel; and even opposed themselves, and the word of God, as well as the faithful ministers of it

Editor’s thought - Knowledge is not determined by a "show of hands". Even though the majority of people believe something, that does not make it true. The majority today do not believe in Noah's flood, ( 2 Peter 3:4-6 ) . It was so in Noah's day also, but the unbelievers all drowned! Many fervently believe in evolution and try to compromise the scriptures with it. This verse stands as a stark warning to those who do not try everything through God's Word. ( Isaiah 8:20 )

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy
Chapter 6:12

12 Fight the good fight of faith: lay hold of eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

Study Notes

Fight the good fight of faith

The apostle suggests to Timothy, that he had other business to do than to mind the things of this world; his life was a state of warfare; he was a soldier, and was not to entangle himself with the things of this life; he had many enemies to engage with, as Satan, and his principalities and powers; sin, and the lusts of the flesh; the world, and the men of it, and a great fight of afflictions to endure with them; as also false teachers, with, whom particularly he was to fight the good fight of faith, that so the truth of the Gospel, which they resisted, might continue with the saints. This fight is called "the fight of faith"; partly in opposition to the law, "the fight", or "war of the law" the Jews so much talk of; and in which the false teachers, in the apostle's time, were so much engaged, and against whom the apostles set themselves; and partly because the doctrine of faith, the faith of the Gospel, the faith once delivered to the saints, is what they earnestly contended, strove, and fought for; and because the grace of faith, as conversant with the Scriptures of truth, was the weapon they fought with: and this may be called a "good fight", because it is in a good cause, the cause of God and truth; and under a good Captain, Jesus Christ the Captain of our salvation; for which good weapons are provided, even the whole armour of God, and which are not carnal, but spiritual and mighty; to which may be added, that those who are engaged in this fight may be sure of victory, and the crown of glory, life, and righteousness: so that when they have done fighting they have nothing else to do but to;

Lay hold on eternal life.

As Timothy for his encouragement is here bid to do. Eternal life is the prize of the high calling of God, which is held up, and held forth to those who are fighting the Lord's battles; and this they should look unto as the recompense of reward; and this they may lay hold upon, even now by faith, believing their interest in it, their right unto it, and that they shall enjoy it; of which they may be the more assured, because of their effectual calling

Whereunto thou art also called

Not barely by the external ministration of the Gospel, in which sense many are called, but few chosen and saved; but internally, by the special grace and power of the Spirit of God; and such who are so called, are not only called to grace, but to eternal glory; and the God of all grace, who has called unto it, of his sovereign good will and pleasure, is faithful, and will bestow it. The word "also" is left out in the Alexandrian copy, and in the Vulgate Latin, and in all the Oriental versions; but it seems to be emphatic, and is used to strengthen Timothy's faith, as to the enjoyment of eternal life; since it was not only the reward of grace, following upon the good fight of faith, but was that also to which he was called by the grace of God.

And hast professed a good profession before many witnesses;

Both before the brethren at Lystra, at his baptism and admission into the church, before whom he gave an account of his faith, and made a profession of it; and who, upon this, and his agreeable life and conversation, gave a good report of him to the Apostle Paul, ( Acts 16:1 Acts 16:2 ) and before the apostle, and the rest of the elders, when they laid their hands on him, whereby an extraordinary gift was conveyed unto him, ( 1 Timothy 4:14 ) ( 2 Timothy 1:6 ) or it may be before the men of the world, some violent persecutors, before whom he bravely, and with great intrepidity, professed his faith in Christ Jesus; and which he continued constantly to do, in every place wherever he came; and which being done so often, and so publicly, is a reason why he should keep on till the battle was over.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The First Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Timothy
Chapter 6:11

11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness.

Study Notes

But thou, O man of God

Not only by creation, as every man is; nor merely by special grace, as everyone is, that is chosen of God, redeemed by Christ, and regenerated and sanctified by the Spirit; but by his peculiar office, as an evangelist and minister of the word, being qualified for, and devoted to, and employed in the service of God. The phrase is taken out of the Old Testament, where the prophets, Elijah and Elisha, are so called, ( 2 Kings 1:9 ) ( 2 Kings 4:7, 9 )

Flee these things

The Arabic version reads "these abominations"; namely, all questions and strifes of words, from whence so many evils follow, ( 1 Timothy 6:4-5 ) and all worldly gain, selfish interest, and mercenary views in religion; a wicked resolution to be rich, at any rate, and an immoderate love of the things of the world, and an eager pursuit after them, which expose to great danger, and even utter ruin; things very unbecoming any professor of religion, but much more a minister of the Gospel.

And follow after righteousness

Not for justification before God, that he had followed after, and attained unto, which is the righteousness of Christ, and not of the law; but for the honour of religion before men; and intends the doing of justice between man and man, giving everyone their own, which in undue affection for the world sometimes leads men from:

Godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness

Spiritual religion, holiness of heart, and conversation, which has the promise of this life, as well as of the other, and with contentment is great gain; wherefore to pursue this is much better than greedily to run after the riches of this world, or with the false teachers to suppose that godliness lies in worldly gain, or in securing to a man his worldly interest. The grace of faith, which looks not to things seen, which are temporal, but to things not seen, which are eternal; and leads off the mind from sublunary enjoyments to God, and Christ, and the glories of another world; and is the leading grace to all others, and the foundation of good works, without which there is no pleasing in acts of moral righteousness, or in any acts of religious worship, which may be called godliness. To God, which is inconsistent with serving mammon, or with an immoderate love of money; and to Christ, which will put a man on seeking, not his own things, but the things of Christ; and to the saints, which will direct him to serve them by acts of beneficence and liberality.  In bearing reproaches and indignities; in suffering injuries, loss of goods, imprisonment, and every sort of persecution, for the sake of the Gospel; which a covetous disposition will not admit of.  Or humility, not seeking great things, but being content with a lower station of life; for generally it is pride that puts men upon a determination to be rich at any rate: it may also design meekness in instructing the ignorant, in refuting error, and in reproving offenders.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy
Chapter 6:9-10

9 For they that will be rich, fall into tentation and snares, and into many foolish and noisome lusts, which drown men in perdition and destruction. 10 For the desire of money is the root of all evil, which while some lusted after they erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Study Notes

But they that will be rich

Not they that are rich; for some rich men are good men; and do much good with their riches; and are as free from temptations and snares, and foolish and hurtful lusts, as other persons, as Abraham, Joseph of Arimathea, Gaius, and others were; but such that would be rich, who labour after, make haste for it, and are resolved upon it, at any rate, right or wrong, as there be thousands, who never attain to it; so that the apostle does not point at rich men particularly, but at such who are determined to be rich, whether they ever are so or not.

Fall into temptation; and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts

Not in such sense in which the phrase is used in ( James 1:2 ) but in such sense as Christ uses it, ( Matthew 6:13 ) namely, a falling into temptation to sin, so as to be drawn away by it, and overcome with it. The Vulgate Latin version reads, "the snare of the devil", and so Beza's Claromontane copy; which perhaps is taken from ( 1 Timothy 3:7 ) , and though this seems not to be the genuine reading, yet it may give the true sense: Satan may be compared to a fowler; his temptations to sin are his nets and snares; and they that will be rich, are the birds that are caught and entangled therein, out of which sometimes it is impracticable to extricate themselves. Carnal and worldly lusts, the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, which are the things that are in the world and draw the affections to them; yea, what sin is there but such persons may, and do fall into; as defrauding of the neighbour, oppressing the poor, lying, perjury, theft, murder, rapine, violence, and injustice of every kind? So that they may be said to be "many", and some of them are "foolish". All sin is folly, and every wicked man is a foolish one, and acts a part quite contrary to reason; but some evil ways are notoriously silly, weak and foolish, and which they that will be rich make use of to get money; though others of them are sly and artful enough, and all of them are "hurtful" to their credit and reputation, or to the health of their bodies, and especially to the welfare of their immortal souls. So the phrase, "their foolish lust", is used by the Targumist in ( Ezekiel 20:25 ) and the corruption of nature in general is by the Jews called the old and foolish king, in ( Ecclesiastes 4:13 ). 

“why is he called a king? because all obey him; why is he called old? because he is joined to him (a man) from his birth to his old age; and why is he called, "foolish?" because he teaches him an evil way, which he knows not how to warn him of again.''

Which drown men in destruction and perdition

That is, in utter ruin, in the ruin both of soul and body; and which is irrecoverable, like that of the drowning of a man in the sea, with a millstone about his neck; such folly and danger do those expose themselves to, who will be rich at any rate

For the love of money is the root of all evil

Of all the evils before mentioned, and of others; not money itself, as silver and gold, which are God's creatures, and his gifts, and may be used to, and answer many good purposes; but the love of it, and not any love of it; for there may be a lawful love of it, and desire after it, so far as it is requisite to the necessaries of life, to answer the calls of Providence, the duties we owe to God and men, to serve the interest of Christ, and do good to fellow creatures and fellow Christians: but it is an immoderate insatiable desire after it, and an inordinate love of it, which is here meant, such as is properly idolatry: as when a man loves it, not only besides, but above God; serves it as if it was God, and places his trust and confidence in it, independent of God, and his providence; such love of it is the source and spring of all iniquity, as above; it was the sin of Judas, and the root of all his iniquity. The phrase is Jewish. So idolatry is said to be, "the root of all iniquities"  see ( Hebrews 12:15 )

Which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith. And pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

In a greedy and insatiable way, [have strayed from], the doctrine of faith. Observing that the professors of it are generally poor, they have declined that path, and have not so much as heard the word; and if they have heard and embraced it, yet when persecution arises because of it, they drop their profession of it; or else their minds are so filled with worldly cares, and deceitful riches, that the word is choked, and becomes unprofitable, and by and by, Demas like, they forsake it, having loved this present world. Riches are therefore fitly compared to thorns, which give great trouble and uneasiness, both in getting and keeping them, and oftentimes the reflection upon the unlawful ways and means made use of to obtain them, gives very pungent pain and distress; see ( Job 20:15-29 ) . The apostle seem to allude to, a covetous man, which signifies one that pierces, cuts, and wounds, as such an one does both himself and others.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy
Chapter 6:6

6 But godliness is great gain, if a man be content with that he hath

Study Notes

 By "godliness" is not meant any particular grace, but all the graces of the Spirit of God; as faith, hope, love, fear the whole of internal religion, as it shows itself in outward worship, and in all acts of holiness of life and conversation; and which the doctrine that is according to godliness teaches and engages to; and this is gain, very great gain indeed. A man possessed of true godliness is a gaining, thriving, man: such as are godly, or truly gracious, they are come into good and happy circumstances, and are possessor of the true, solid, satisfying, durable, and unsearchable riches of grace; all their debts are paid, they are richly clothed, and deliciously fed, and are in a good family, even the household of God, who before were in debt, arrayed in rags, were in a starving condition, and strangers and foreigners; yea, they are heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ, and have both a right and a meetness for the heavenly inheritance; they are now made kings and priests to God, and, in the present state of things, have God to be their portion, and exceeding great reward; they have an interest in Christ, and in all spiritual blessings in him, and have the Spirit as the earnest of their future inheritance; they are rich in faith, and in good works; their souls, which were lost, are gained, and shall be saved with an everlasting salvation; and ere long they will be possessed of all the riches of glory, signified by a house not made with hands, a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God, an incorruptible inheritance, and a kingdom and glory: how great is the gain of godliness! And what adds to this gain, and now goes along with it, is "contentment"; for this is not to be considered as the condition of godliness being great gain, as if it was not so without it; but as the effect of godliness, what that produces, and as a part of its gain. The word here used signifies "sufficiency"; and so it is rendered in the Vulgate Latin version: it designs a competency of the good things of this life; and what that is, is expressed in 1Timothy 6:8 and such God gives to them that fear him, his godly ones, who shall lack no good thing convenient for them; for godliness has the promise of this life, as well as of that which is to come; and God does give to such all things pertaining to life and godliness, even all things richly to enjoy. The word indeed properly signifies "self-sufficiency", which in its strict sense, only belongs to God, who is "El-Shaddai", God all-sufficient and self-sufficient; but here it intends such a sufficiency as a man himself judges to be so; for this phrase does not so much design the thing itself, which is a sufficiency, as the opinion, the sense which the godly man has of it, who himself judges it, as Jacob did, to be enough; and such a man is content with what he has, and thankful for it, submits quietly to the will of God, and patiently bears every adverse providence: and this is now the fruit and effect of godliness, or true grace, and is a considerable part of that gain which godliness brings with it; and such a man is a happy man indeed, let his circumstances be what they will. The Jews have a saying;

``he is a rich man whose spirit rests in, or is contented with his riches; who rejoices in his portion, be it little or much”  Thus, though godliness is not gain, nor gain godliness, yet is it true gain in a spiritual sense.''

Friday, March 6, 2015

The First Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Timothy
Chapter 6:3-5

3 If any man teach otherwise, and consenteth not to the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, 4 He is puffed up and knoweth nothing, but doteth about questions and strive of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Froward disputations of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, which think that gain is godliness: from such separate thyself. (Read 2 Timothy 3:5)

Study Notes

Verse 4

Or swelled and puffed up with a vain conceit of himself and his own notions, and treats with an haughty air the faithful ministers of the word. The doctrines of grace are of an humbling nature, especially when they are spiritually and experimentally understood and received; but notional knowledge, knowledge of natural things, and the doctrines of men, such as are of their own invention, fill the mind with pride and vanity: as he ought to know; not anything that is solid and substantial; nothing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: he may have knowledge of natural and civil things, but not of spiritual ones; he may have collected a medley of knowledge together, but what will be of no real use either to himself or others: or he is "sick or diseased"; his mind is distempered; he is like one in a fever, that is delirious; his head is light and wild; his fancy is roving, and he talks of things he knows not what; his head runs upon "questions"; foolish and unlearned ones, about the law and works, and the necessity of them to justification and salvation; concerning genealogies, and other fruitless and unprofitable subjects: mere logomachies; contending and quarrelling more about words than things, which tend to no profit, but to the subverting and confounding of hearers. The ill effects of which are as follow:  [Envy] at the superior gifts and talents of others; at their success, and any little degree of honour and respect they have from others; which shows that such men, in whom this vice is a governing one, are carnal men, for this is a work of the flesh; and that they are destitute of charity, or the grace of love, which envieth not: also from hence comes  contention, quarrelling; the peace and comfort of particular persons, and even of whole communities, are broken and destroyed hereby; for foolish and unlearned questions gender strifes, ( 2 Timothy 2:24 2 Timothy 2:25 ) which are very unbecoming the servants of the Lord, and very uncomfortable to the churches of Christ: yea, these also produce, railings; at one another, and especially at the faithful ministers of the Gospel; for when the false teachers cannot overcome them by Scripture and argument, they fall to railing and reviling of them: or entertain evil surmises; groundless suspicions: or from hence follow, as the words may be rendered, "wicked opinions": concerning the being, perfections, purposes, and providence of God; concerning the person and offices of Christ; concerning the law and Gospel, grace and good works; and so the Syriac version renders it, "an evil opinion of the mind".

Verse 5

Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds Who being corrupt in their principles, and corrupters of the word of God, dispute in a very froward and pererse way, rubbing and galling one another, and so provoke, to wrath and anger, and, every evil work:
 and destitute of the truth  of Christ, who is the truth, knowing nothing of him spiritually and savingly; and of the Gospel, the word of truth; and also of the truth of grace, being carnal, sensual, and having not the Spirit of God.  Supposing that gain is godliness; such were Simon Magus and his followers, and other false teachers, who made merchandise of men, looked everyone for his gain from his quarter, and acted as if there was nothing in religion but worldly profit and gain; these served themselves, their own bellies, and selfish interests, and not the Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore the apostle gives the following advice to Timothy, and through him to all ministers and churches,  from such withdraw thyself: do not come near them; have nothing to do with them; do not lay hands on them, or admit them into the ministry; do not suffer them to preach, or encourage them by hearing them: if in the church, cast them out; have communion with them, neither in a civil nor in a religious way; avoid all conversation with them. (Read James 1:6-8)

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.''