Unfeigned Faith

2Timothy 1:3-6 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 

‘Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy.’ Note the great love of Paul for Timothy, his mother and grandmother (1:3-5).

‘When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee.’ This refers to a faith that is genuine and true in taking God at His Word, thus living in absolute obedience to all of His commandments. It is one of the conditions for eternal life (Heb. 11:6). Many today emphasize forgetting any conditions of eternal life. They teach that there are no conditions other than accepting Jesus, that the rest of the Christian program is up to God and that if one is lost it is God’s responsibility, not man’s.

‘First in thy grandmother Lois.’ She was the first convert. Then the daughter was saved, and finally Timothy. This did not come through heredity but through prayer and Christian training. Timothy’s father was a Greek (Acts 16:1) and since no mention is made of his faith it is possible that he was a heathen and contributed nothing to his son’s Christian training.

‘Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.’ Wherefore – on account of your true faith and consecration, I remind you to stir up the gift of God that is in you. Be faithful even in afflictions according to the power of God in you (1:6-8). The gift is referred to as a fire, which, if not frequently stirred up and more fuel added, will go out. The Greek for “stir up” is anazopureo, to kindle up the fire; to add fresh fuel to it.

From this, it is clear that gifts can be neglected, as Paul warns in 1Timothy 4:14. If this happens if they are not properly used or replenished with continued grace and power from the Holy Spirit anointing they will become powerless and useless and thus fail in their purpose. This is why people need a constant supply of the Spirit – many fillings, as we see in Acts. This is why Jesus Himself had to live in prayer and receive a constant supply of the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:21-22). This is what Paul prayed for and expected in Philippians 1:19 and Ephesians 3:14-21.

The Promise of Life

2Timothy 1:1-2 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 

‘Apostle’ [Greek: Apostolos] a delegate, one sent with the full power of attorney to act in the place of another, the sender remaining behind to back up the one sent. In the case of the New Testament Christians, it means God sent them to do what He, Himself would do if He went. It is found 81 times and translated as apostle 78 times; messenger twice (2Cor. 8:23; Php. 2:25); and once he that is sent (John 13:16).

‘Promise of life which is in Christ Jesus.’ Another proof that eternal life is yet a promise, forfeitable until the end of a life of sowing to the Spirit. There are twenty-three conditions of eternal life: Come to Christ (John 6:37, 44, 45, 65). Eat His flesh – drink His blood, partake in His sacrifice to bring life to the world (John 6:50, 51, 53, 58).

Labour (John 6:27). Reap – win souls (John 4:35-38). Hate (love less) the life in this world (John 12:25). Know God and Christ (John 17:2-3). Enter the right gate (Matt. 7:13-14). Do not offend others (Matt. 18:8-9). Keep commandments (Matt. 19:17). Forsake all (Matt. 19:27-29; Mark 10:28-30; Luke 18:28-30). Live free from sin (Rom. 5:21; 6:16-23; 8:1-13; Tit. 2:11-14). Continue in well-doing and seek eternal life (Rom. 2:7). Sow to the Spirit (Gal. 6:7-8). Fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on it (1Tim. 6:12, 19). Be sober and hope to the end for it (Tit. 1:2; 3:7; 1Pet. 1:5, 9, 13 with Rom. 8:24). Endure temptations (Jas. 1:12). Let the promise of it remain in you and continue in God and Christ (1Jn. 2:24-25; 5:11-20). Love everybody (1Jn. 3:14-15). Keep yourself in the love of God, looking for eternal life (Jude 1:20-24). Overcome sin (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21). Be faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10; Heb. 12:14-15). Believe and obey the gospel (John 3:15-19, 36; 4:14; 5:24; 6:40, 47, 54; 2Cor. 5:17; Rom. 1:5). Be born again, hear Christ, and follow Him (John 3:1-36; 10:27-29).

We get eternal life now and keep it forever if we meet the above conditions, but it does not become an unforfeitable eternal possession until we enter into it (Matt. 7:13; 18:8-9; 19:17; Rom. 6:22); receive it (Rom. 6:23; Jas. 1:12; 1Pet. 1:13; Rev. 2:10); reap it (Gal. 6:7-8); and inherit it in the world to come (Matt. 19:27-29; Mark 10:28-30; Luke 18:28-30), and at the end of this life (Rom. 6:22).

‘Grace, mercy, and peace.’ This salutation is unique to Timothy and Titus.

‘From God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.’ Another clear reference to two distinct persons of the three who make the Godhead (1John 5:7-8).

Has Immortality

1Timothy 6:16-21 Who only has immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man has seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen. The first to Timothy was written from Laodicea, which is the chief city of Phrygia Pacatiana. 

‘Immortality’ [Greek: athanasia] this could only mean that God is the source of immortality, for not only do all three members of the Divine Trinity have immortality, but all angels, seraphim, cherubim, living creatures of Revelation 4:1-11, and all spirit beings have immortality. People have immortality of soul and spirit (1Pet. 3:4), and will have immortality in the body in the resurrection (1Cor. 15:51-58).

‘Dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man has seen, nor can see.’ God dwells in infinite glory which no man has ever seen nor can see. God out of His glory has been seen many times with the eyes of men. Moses talked with God face to face out of His glory and when he requested, “show me thy glory” it could not be granted except as manifested through the back parts of God (Exo. 33:11-23). He has also been seen physically many times by others (Gen. 18:1-33; 32:24-30; Exo. 24:9-11; Jos. 5:13-15; Isa. 6:1-13; Dan. 7:9-13; Ezek. 1:1-28; Acts 7:56-59; Rev. 4-5) and can be understood by the things that are made. Man is the visible image and likeness making the invisible God clearly seen as in Romans 1:20.

‘Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God.’ Ninefold charge to rich men: Be not high-minded (6:17). Do not trust in riches. Trust in the living God. Do good (6:18). Be rich in good works. Be ready to distribute goods to help others. Be willing to communicate or have fellowship with all men, even the poor. Lay up treasures in heaven (6:19). Lay hold on eternal life.

Keep This Commandment

1Timothy 6:14-15 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords 

‘Keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ The commandment for obedience is the one key that most miss in the battle for salvation (1Pet. 1:2). We are commanded in James 1:22-25 to become doers of the Word, not just hearers. We must purify our souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit (1Pet. 1:22). Healing was promised on condition of obedience (Lev. 26:1-46; Deut. 28:1-68; Ex. 15:26; Ps. 91:1-16; Isa. 58:1-14; Jas. 5:14-15). Not one scripture teaches unconditional grace, or that God gives grace to men who disobey the gospel. If so, then God is under obligation to save all, even sinners who disobey if He saves even one (Rom. 2:11). God is under obligation to saints only when they walk in the light and remain true to the gospel (1Jn. 1:7). He is not under obligation to sinners until they come to full obedience of the gospel. Grace teaches men to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live soberly, righteously, and godly here and now (Tit. 2:11-12). If people do not obey its teaching grace can go no further. ‘Unrebukeable’ Same as blameless (1Tim. 3:2; 5:7).

‘Until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ …’ This is the 2nd and last New Testament prophecy in 1Timothy (6:14-15). This is required of all saints until the rapture (1Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:13-17) and the second coming (Tit. 2:13; 1Tim. 4:1).

‘Which in his times he shall show.’ Which refers to the appearing when Christ will make known the only Potentate (Rev. 11:15; 19:11-21; Zech. 14:1-9; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-14; Isa. 9:6-7). ‘His times’ – The times that He will rule.

‘Potentate’ [Greek: dunastes] a mighty prince, a ruler. Used only here of God, but translated “mighty” (Luke 1:52) and “of great authority” (Acts 8:27).

‘King of kings, and Lord of lords.’ Used of God and Christ (6:15; Rev. 17:14; 19:16). Both are great Potentates and Kings. Literally, the Eternal your Creator is the Creator of creators, the Sovereign of sovereigns, the Strong One, the Mighty One, the Fearful One, who champions the cause of the fatherless and widows without respect of persons (Deut. 10:17-18).

‘Lord of lords’ [Hebrew: ’Adoniym] of the ’adoniym, Sovereign of sovereigns; Master of masters; and Ruler of rulers (Ps. 136:3).

Quicken All Things

1Timothy 6:13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quicken all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession

‘Charge’ [Greek: parangello]. Translated “charge” (1Tim. 5:7; 1:3; 6:13, 17; Luke 5:14; 8:56; Acts 16:23; 23:22); “declare” (1Cor. 11:17); and “command” (Matt. 10:5; Mark 6:8; 8:6; Luke 8:29; 9:21; Acts 1:4; 4:18; 5:28, 40; 10:42; 15:5; 16:18; 17:30; 23:30; 1Cor. 7:10; 1Thess. 4:11; 2Thess. 3:4, 6, 10, 12; 1Tim. 4:11).

‘Before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession.’ This was the central controversy about Jesus. He claimed to be the Christ and the Son of God but satan and the Jews were determined to disprove these claims (Matt. 4:3, 6; 27:40; John 5:18; 10:36; 19:7). God acknowledged His claims (Matt. 3:17; 17:5); demons were forced to acknowledge them (Matt. 8:29; Mark 3:11; 5:7); disciples confessed them (Matt. 14:33; 16:16); but His enemies rebelled against facts and refused to believe even after His resurrection (Matt. 27:40; 28:11-15; Acts 4:16-22; 5:17-28, 40-42). Some Jews repented and confessed His claims after miraculous and resurrection facts were known (John 3:2; Acts 6:7). A few years after the resurrection of Christ, Josephus, a noted Jewish historian gave one of the most valuable confessions of honest faith in Christ. He said, “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man if it be lawful to call Him a man; for He was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to Him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned Him to the cross, those that loved Him at the first did not forsake Him; for He appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning Him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from Him, are not extinct at this day” (Josephus, Antiquities, Book 18, 3:3).

The Good Fight of Faith Part 2

1Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou are also called, and have professed a good profession before many witnesses. 

‘Lay hold’ “Lay hold on eternal life” is commanded twice (6:12, 6:19; cp. Heb. 6:18-19). There are twenty-three conditions of eternal life: Come to Christ (John 6:37, 44, 45, 65). Eat His flesh – drink His blood (John 6:50, 51, 53, 58). Labour (John 6:27). Reap – win souls (John 4:35-38). Hate (love less) the life in this world (John 12:25). Know God and Christ (John 17:2-3). Enter the right gate (Matt. 7:13-14). Cause no offence to others (Matt. 18:8-9). Keep commandments (Matt. 19:17). Forsake all (Matt. 19:27-29; Mark 10:28-30; Luke 18:28-30). Live free from sin (Rom. 5:21; 6:16-23; 8:1-13; Tit. 2:11-14). Continue in well-doing and seek eternal life (Rom. 2:7). Sow to the Spirit (Gal. 6:7-8). Fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on it (6:12, 19). Be sober and hope to the end for it (Tit. 1:2; 3:7; 1Pet. 1:5, 9, 13 with Rom. 8:24). Endure temptations (Jas. 1:12). Let the promise of it remain in you and continue in God and Christ (1Jn. 2:24-25; 5:11-20). Love everybody (1Jn. 3:14-15). Keep yourself in the love of God, looking for eternal life (Jude 1:20-24). Overcome sin (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21). Be faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10; Heb. 12:14-15). Believe and obey the gospel (John 3:15-19, 36; 4:14; 5:24; 6:40, 47, 54; 2Cor. 5:17; Rom. 1:5). Be born again, hear Christ, and follow Him (John 3:1-36; 10:27-29).

We get eternal life now and keep it forever if we meet the above conditions, but it does not become an unforfeitable eternal possession until we enter into it (Matt. 7:13; 18:8-9; 19:17; Rom. 6:22); receive it (Rom. 6:23; Jas. 1:12; 1Pet. 1:13; Rev. 2:10); reap it (Gal. 6:7-8); and inherit it in the world to come (Matt. 19:27-29; Mark 10:28-30; Luke 18:28-30), and at the end of this life (Rom. 6:22).

‘Professed’ [Greek: homologeo] translated as “profess” (6:12; Matt. 7:23; Tit. 1:16); “promise” (Matt. 14:7); “give thanks” (Heb. 13:15); and “confess” (Matt. 10:32; Luke 12:8; John 1:20; 9:22; 12:42; Acts 23:8; 24:14; Rom. 10:9-10; Heb. 11:13; 1Jn. 1:9; 4:2, 3, 15; 2Jn. 1:7).

The Good Fight of Faith Part 1

1Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou are also called, and have professed a good profession before many witnesses. 

‘Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou are also called, and have professed a good profession before many witnesses.’ Seven last commands to Timothy: Fight the good fight of faith (6:12). Lay hold on eternal life. Keep this commandment (lay hold on eternal life) until Christ appears (6:14). Charge the rich. Keep or guard that which is committed to your trust (6:20). The Greek word parakatatheke, means to trust or deposit (6:20; 2Tim. 1:14). The deposit entrusted to Timothy was the mystery of 1Timothy 3:16. Avoid profane, vain babblings (6:20; 2Tim. 2:16). Avoid fighting false science [Greek: gnosis] knowledge acquired by learning, effort, or experience. Translated “science” (6:20) and “knowledge” 27 times (Luke 1:77; 11:52; Rom. 2:20; 11:33; etc.).

‘Lay hold’ [Greek: epilambanomai] to lay hold; seize; to attain to. Translated “lay hold on” (6:12, 19; Luke 23:26); “catch” (Matt. 14:31; Acts 16:19); “take on” (Heb. 2:16); “take by” (Mark 8:23; Acts 23:19; Heb. 8:9); “take” (Luke 9:47; 14:4; Acts 9:27; 17:19; 18:17; 21:30, 33); and “take hold of” (Luke 20:20, 26). The fact that Timothy, who had eternal life, was commanded to lay hold of it and keep this commandment “without spot, unrebukeable,” until Christ comes, proves that it is not an unforfeitable possession until final salvation is brought at His appearing (1Pet. 1:5, 9, 13). It is now hope, but hope that is seen is not hope (Rom. 8:24-25; 1Cor. 13:13; Gal. 5:5; Eph. 4:4; Col. 1:5; 1Thess. 5:8; 1Tim. 6:12, 19; Tit. 1:2; 3:7).

To be continued…

Follow After Righteousness Part 3

1Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 

‘Follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.’ Six things Christians must follow (continues): [5] Patience – a quality where we have the grace to endure trials without sustaining loss or deterioration. We are like silver and gold when refined. Suffers long; bears, believes, hopes, and endures all things. Trials test religion and faith and the man who stands true in them proves his religion sound and his faith genuine. Tests work patience and patience works perfection (Jas. 1:3-4, 12; Rom. 5:3-5; 1Pet. 1:7). [6] Meekness [Greek: praotes] is the disposition to be gentle, kind, indulgent, even balanced in tempers and passions, and patient in suffering injuries without feeling a spirit of revenge. There are ten blessings noted in Scripture of the meek: Satisfaction (Ps. 22:26). Guidance in judgment (Ps. 25:9). Knowledge of God (Ps. 25:9). Earth as an inheritance (Ps. 37:11; Matt. 5:5). Salvation (Ps. 76:9; 149:4). Help from God (Ps. 147:6). Increased joy (Isa. 29:19). Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). A blessing to others (Gal. 6:1). Patience (2Tim. 2:24-25).

Three things Christians know: That Christ is righteous. That every born-again person is righteous. That doing righteousness is proof of the new birth (1Jn. 3:6-10; 5:1-4, 18). Righteousness has two main results: Present holiness of life (Rom. 6:22). Future and eternal life, and the end of a life of sowing to the Spirit (Rom. 6:22-23; 8:13; Gal. 6:7-8; John 6:27).

Fourteen facts about righteousness: Revealed in the gospel (Rom. 1:17). Not commended by unrighteousness (Rom. 3:5). Manifested apart from the law (Rom. 3:21). Witnessed by the law and prophets. Freely given to all alike (Rom. 3:22-25). Imputed by faith without works or law (Rom. 3:22; 4:3, 5, 13, 22). It is God’s righteousness in remitting sins through Christ (Rom. 3:25; 1Jn. 1:9). It is Christ’s righteousness because He did all that was required of God to redeem people (Rom. 5:18; 2Cor. 1:1-24). The medium of grace reigns (Rom. 5:21). A requirement of saints (Rom. 6:13-20). It produces life (Rom. 8:10). The law required it, but could not give it (Rom. 8:4; 9:31-32; 10:4-6). Produced by Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17). Conditions of receiving it (Rom. 3:22; 4:1 – 5:11; 6:13-19; 8:1-10; 10:9-10).

Follow After Righteousness Part 2

1Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 

‘Follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.’ Six things Christians must follow (continues): There are seven facts of the mystery of Godliness (continues): Believed on in the world – divine propagation (3:16; Matt. 4:23-24; 9:35; Luke 4:16-19; Eph. 2:17). Received up into glory – divine ascension and exaltation (3:16; Luke 24:51; Eph. 1:20-23; Php. 2:9-11). The Greek word analambano is translated as “received up” (3:16; Mark 16:19; Luke 9:51; Acts 10:16); “taken up” (Acts 1:2, 11, 22; 7:43); and “take” (Acts 20:13-14; 23:31; Eph. 6:13, 16; 2Tim. 4:11). The same human body and nature God was manifested in, was resurrected and received up to glory. These divine phrases of the mystery of godliness form one complete whole concerning the redemption of all things. No single part is now a mystery, for all have been made clear by many scriptures. [3] Faith [Greek: pistis] is confidence, faithfulness, trust, pledge of good faith. Used 244 times. Translated belief (2Thess. 2:13); fidelity (Tit. 2:10); assurance (Acts 17:31); and faith 239 times (Heb. 11:1-39; 12:2; etc.). [4] Love [Greek: agape] is spontaneous and divine love. It is more eternal than gifts. There are nine ingredients of divine love: Patience – love passive: no hurry; suffers long; bears, believes, hopes, and endures all things (1Cor. 13:4, 7). Kindness – love in action: never acts rashly or insolently; not inconsistent, puffed up, or proud (1Cor. 13:4). Generosity – love in competition: not envious or jealous. Humility – love in hiding: no parade; no airs; works then retires. Courtesy – love in society: does not behave unseemlily; always polite; at home with all classes; never rude or discourteous (1Cor. 13:5). Unselfishness – love in essence: never selfish, sour, or bitter; seeks only the good of others; does not retaliate or seek revenge. Good temper – love in disposition: never irritated; never resentful. Righteousness – love in conduct: hates sin; never glad when others go wrong; always gladdened by goodness to others; always slow to expose; always eager to believe the best; always hopeful, always enduring (1Cor. 13:6-7). Sincerity – love in profession: never boastful and conceited; not a hypocrite; always honest; leaves no impression but what is strictly true; never self-assertive; does not blaze out in passionate anger, nor brood over wrongs; always just, joyful, and truthful; knows how to be silent; full of trust; always present.

To be continued…

The Love of Money is the Root of all Evil – Part 2

1Timothy 6:9-10 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 

‘The love of money is the root of all evil.’ The love of money – not money itself – is the root of all these evils of 1Timothy 6:9-10. Even the love of it is not the root of all evil that has ever been. Neither Lucifer nor Adam fell because of love for money (3:6; Gen. 3:1-24; Isa. 14:12-14; Ezek. 28:11-17). Cain (Gen. 4:1-26); Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:1-38); David (2Sam. 12:1-31) and many others in Scripture went into sin for reasons other than the love of money. Not all men love money. Only some covet it and reap these evils of 1Timothy 6:9-10.

‘Coveted’ [Greek: oregomai] covet (6:10) and desire (3:1; Heb. 11:16).

‘Erred’ [Greek: apoplanao, err (6:10) and seduce Mark 13:22]. Here it means to err totally from the faith in Christ they once had. They could not err or be seduced from a faith they never did have.

‘Sorrows’ [Greek: odune] Only here and in Romans 9:2. The allusion here is to the snare or pit, where the victim falls upon the many sharp stakes in the pit and is pierced through with them.

Having riches is not a sin, but having an attitude about it is most definitely. A lot of rich people have no values whatsoever, but they look down on those who have fewer riches than them. Their end is described in Scripture, such as Psalms 37 and 73, etc.