A Faithful Saying

1 Timothy 4:9-11 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. 

‘This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.’ Four “faithful sayings” in Timothy and Titus: Christ came to save sinners (1:15; 4:10; Matt. 1:21; John 3:16; Gal. 1:4). Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of life now, and of that which is to come (1:4, 8-10). If we are dead with Him, we shall also live with Him (2Tim. 2:11-13). They who believe must maintain good works (Tit. 3:8; cp. 1Tim. 3:1; Rev. 21:5; 22:6). This gives the whole span of redemption from the fall of man to the eternal reign with Christ.

‘Saviour of all men.’ God is called “Saviour” 19 times (1:1; 2:3; 4:10; Luke 1:47; Tit. 1:3; 2:10; 3:4; Jude 1:25; 2Sam. 22:3; Ps. 106:21; Isa. 43:3, 11; 45:15, 21; 49:26; 60:16; 63:8; Jer. 14:8; Hos. 13:4); Jesus Christ is called “Saviour” 16 times (Luke 2:11; John 4:42; Acts 5:31; 13:23; Eph. 5:23; Php. 3:20; 2Tim. 1:10; Tit. 1:4; 2:13; 3:6; 1Pet. 1:1, 1:11; 2:20; 3:2, 18; 1Jn. 4:14).

‘All men, specially of those that believe.’ There is a sense in which God has already saved all men – by providing salvation for them to receive if they want to. When Adam and Eve incurred the death penalty, the race would have been extinguished if God had not interposed and promised the seed of the woman (Christ). In the final sense of salvation, God becomes the Saviour only of those who accept the Redeemer by faith (John 3:16).

‘These things command and teach.’ Let these things (as seen in thirty things about a good minister) be the substance of your preaching.

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