James' Verse-By-Verse Bible Study
This will be a new series of videos. Lord willing, I want to try and go through as many books of the New Testament as is possible and, like in previous videos that I've made, offer you a verse-by-verse commentary. I have no script, so I'm simply going to be offering you my thoughts as I go through. And the only way to really understand the Bible is Scripture with Scripture, so hopefully I'll give you a lot of cross-references, which I would hope you'd have the time to look up, or if not, just jot them down and read them later at your own leisure, because at the end of the day, my view on the Scripture is totally irrelevant as is your view. All that matters is what the Bible actually says and states categorically. There are a lot of people who offer speculative theories and thoughts and gimmicks, so on and so forth, and if there's one thing that we will never do, Patrick and I, is offer you our thoughts. We have to prove that the Bible teaches and states what we are presenting to you, the listener. So hopefully you will enjoy this unscripted Bible study, and as always, if you have any questions or any issues, just let me know. Okay. Chapter 1 verse 1:
VERSE 1: "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;"
First up, Paul clearly is the author of this epistle, and to prove that, he puts his name at the beginning of the epistle. This is very much typical of Paul's writings. Everything he ever wrote he signed. Not only that, it's something which is found throughout antiquity. Today's world we end our letter with our name, but in those days, they commenced their letter with their name.
VERSE 2: "Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord."
Timothy wasn't his biological son, of course. If you look at Acts 16, he refers to Timothy as having an unsaved father – simply a spiritual term or a sign of affection, much like we speak about Christian brothers or sisters. Here Paul is an old man, and he's referring to Timothy as his own son in the faith.
VERSES 3-4: "As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do."
Timothy is a young man; he's a young Christian, and Paul doesn't want him to get tied up in nonsensical or argumentative issues like genealogies, arguing with Jews, for example, whether or not Christ was the Messiah and rather ridiculous questions. And this is something which all Christians have to learn. If you spend any time on the Internet, if you spend any time on forums, you will find a lot of people are out to waste your time; they're out to get you into pointless debates. And we haven't got time for that. We are told to preach the Gospel, to be ready in season and out of season, and then to move on to the next person. Now, obviously. if somebody has a sincere question, then you may put some time aside to help that party. But if they just want to debate and argue, then it's best just to move on and leave those people to the Lord, because, like I say, our time is precious, whereas their time is their own.
VERSE 5: "Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:"
The word "charity" here simply means love. There are some words in the AV which, for today's world, cause some confusion, and that's simply because we don't know the English language very well. So as and when any words pop up in this epistle which may be unclear to modern-speaking people – if that's the right way to put it – then I will just tell you what the meaning of the word means – because we don't change the Bible; we don't correct the Scripture. The King James Bible is 400 years old this year, and it's sold over a billion copies. And the British Empire was built on the Authorized Version, so we have no right whatsoever to correct it. We can explain it to people; we can deal with difficult passages; we can give you the correct connotation to the Elizabethan structure, the language, but we don't change it. We have no right to change it. A medical student has no right to change his or her medical books, and we take the same position with the word of God. We take it all or we don't take it at all.
VERSES 6-7: "From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm."
This was a real big problem in the early church. Predominantly the early church was Jewish up until Paul, and, of course, Paul has a joint nationality, and that's why the Lord chose him to go to the Gentiles. But up until Paul, the church was predominantly Jewish. And here you have Paul writing to Gentiles, and even they are falling into the problem of the Jewish issue – Judaism, keeping the law, having circumcision, dietary restrictions, so on and so forth. And what you're getting here is similar to what you find in Galatians. You're having saved people, for the most part, that have got saved by faith in Christ alone and have got caught up with a form of legalism. And legalism is a broad term. Legalism isn't only Lordship salvation, which the Calvinists are fond of pushing, but legalism can also be a problem with Arminianism. And Arminianism simply means – or classical Arminianism teaches that you can lose your salvation and therefore you have to keep doing something or you have to remain in a period of grace to stay saved. And, of course, that's heresy. The only way anybody ever got saved was by the finished work of Christ. He saved you; you don't save yourself. He saved you to the uttermost according to Hebrews 8. You can come to Him, and according to John 10, He won't cast you out. Ephesians 1 says you are sealed unto the day of redemption, and Romans 8 says nothing can in any way separate you from the love of God.
So you come to Christ as you are in your own filthy state; you confess Him as your Saviour, as your Lord; you believe on Him, you trust Him totally, and then He will get you to glory. I just want to make that point right from the outset because this is an issue which continually causes people to stumble, especially new Christians, and it's something which I have a big problem with because if there's one thing that all Christians should know is that they are saved and they are saved by the finished work of Christ, not by what they do or what they don't do. You don't lose your salvation if you're not faithful. And I'll get to that later on.
VERSES 8-11: "But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust."
The law was given, as Paul tells us here, to those that are not saved. It was given to show you that you need to be saved. Galatians says we have the law given to us like a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. But we are no longer under the law; we are under grace. The first epistle of John tells us that when we believe that Jesus is the Christ and we love our Christian brother or sister, we have fulfilled the law. So the Christian is not bound to keep the law. That doesn't mean you live as you want to or you live as you choose to. If you become carnal, if you become backslidden, if you become rebellious, then the Lord will chastise you, and if you continue in that position, then according to 1 Corinthians 11, you will die, you will sleep. The same thing is found in Acts chapter 5 when Sapphira and Ananias are caught lying to the Holy Spirit and Peter challenges them, and, of course, they die. They drop down dead.
I remember listening to a debate sometime ago between a Catholic and a Protestant theologian, and the issue of eternal security came up. And the Catholic said to the Protestant that he knew people that weren't being chastised and were living very ungodly lives. And my feeling at the time was, well, maybe those people aren't even saved to begin with. If you are the Lord's, if you are born again and you fall into a pattern of sin or if you fall into a period of apostasy even, your life is going to be miserable because you have quenched, you have grieved the Holy Spirit. But if you are the Lord's, you will always be the Lord's. The only salvation found in the New Testament is eternal salvation. But the reality is that most people today who think they are saved are not saved, and it's those sorts of people that are teaching heresy, and some of it's damnable heresy. And it's those sorts of people which are making grace cheap. So just be mindful that whilst eternal security is 100 percent scriptural, what it doesn't do is give you a license to sin, and people who are living in sin and aren't bothered about it, aren't phased by it, are clearly not the Lord's and never have been.
I just want to give you one other quick point on this law before I move back into Timothy. Go to Matthew chapter 5. Look at 17: "Think not that I'm come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I'm not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled" (vv. 17-18.) So Heaven and earth haven't yet passed away, so the law is still in place. So therefore what do we do with the law? Well, according to 1 Timothy, it still stands, but it's given as an indictment against unsaved men, against the whoremongers, against the liars, the lawless, the disobedient, the ungodly, the unholy, those who are living contrary to God's standard.
So we leave the law as it stands. When we go on the streets, when we talk to unsaved people, we will take them to the Ten Commandments, for example, or take them to 1 Timothy, and we'll see how they line up with the Scripture. What we never do is compare ourselves to one another. We always compare ourselves to the Scripture and ultimately to Jesus Christ. God demands perfection, and Peter says you are to be perfect as He is perfect. But, of course, you can't be perfect without the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Only when God gives you His Son's righteousness are you perfect and are you blessed, and then you walk in holiness, in righteousness; and as and when you fall into sin, you confess your sin according to 1 John chapter 1, and He forgives you your sin, He cleanses you from your sin, and you continue on walking with Christ. But your salvation has already been dealt with at the cross.
So when Christ dies on the cross, He says, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" He doesn't say, "My Father, why have you forsaken me?" which would be a reference to the Trinity, the Godhead. He says, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" And He is speaking as our substitutionary Saviour. He became sin for us. Now, He didn't become a sinner; He didn't go into Hell to be born again, which some heretics teach. It simply means He became a sin offering for us; He became a Lamb of God Who took away the sin of the world. So he says, "It is finished," and that is it. It is finished, per se. He dies; His Spirit goes back to be with the Lord; His body is in the tomb, and His soul goes into Hell. Now, this is pre-resurrection. He goes into the ground where everybody went up until the time of Christ. And there's two parts of Hell: There's the righteous part and the unrighteous part, the saved and the unsaved. He goes into Hell; He preaches victory to those who had waited for Him; He proclaims His finished work, and He also rebukes the unrighteous and He gets the glory that He has become the victorious Saviour. He takes the righteous up with Him at the resurrection, and they now go straight to be with the Lord.
If you die today, you go straight to be with the Lord. If you die today unsaved, you go into the ground – that is the first death – and you stay in the ground until the Great White Throne, and then you are judged. And if your name is not found written in the Lamb's Book of Life, you go into the lake of fire, which is the second death. Okay. So I've done videos on Hell. I won't go down that route again here. I haven't got time.
VERSES 12-13: "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief."
A couple of things here. Christ Jesus is quoted here, not Jesus Christ, and that is a reference to Christ in eternity. Paul says he was put into the ministry – and he had a real ministry. I mean, when we talk about ministry, Patrick and I, we speak about ministry in a small case, lowercase "m." We're just a couple of guys who got saved who have a love for the lost, a love for the Scripture, a love for God and a desire to reach out to people, to edify those that are saved, to reach the lost and to rebuke falsehood. But here's a man, here's a true minister of the Lord. Paul was the greatest man that ever lived. Jesus said that John was the greatest up until the Kingdom of God, but post the Kingdom of God, post John's death, post Christ's death, I believe that Paul was the greatest man that ever lived, and it says that he was counted faithful to go into the ministry. He was a blasphemer and a persecutor, and according to the book of Acts, he was even a murderer; he was even guilty of manslaughter. So if Paul could get saved – and Paul did get saved – then anybody can get saved.
VERSE 14: "And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."
VERSE 15: "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief."
If you're not saved, if you're watching or listening to this video wherever you are and you want to get saved, then you just come to Christ as you are. Get on your knees and start talking to Him. Speak to Him like you speak to your husband or your wife or your father or your mother or your child – whoever you are close to ‒ speak to Him in the same way and tell Him that you are sorry; tell Him that you believe in Him, that He died for your sins. And stay on your knees or get on your face – whatever – but stay down until you know He's heard you, until He has received you. And then get up; get into the word of God; get into the Gospel of John. Always start in John's Gospel. John's Gospel is the best place for a new Christian to start with, and go from John to Luke to Mark to Matthew. Read the four Gospels. Take your time. Spend six months if you need to, and then start in the Pauline epistles. First Thessalonians is good; 1 Timothy would be good; 1 John is good. Your new life has begun now in Christ, and it's important to get the word of God into you. Peter says you are to feed on the word of God, and Paul says that you will need to eventually get on to solids – you come off the basics and get on to the solids. There's a growth which is expected of a Christian. We're all growing in grace, and the only way you can grow in grace is to read the Scriptures every day and have a decent prayer life.
VERSE 16: "Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting."
Christ's life is found clearly in the epistles and in the Gospels, of course, and Matthew 28 says to observe all things that He has commanded us to do. So we observe what He said. We try and follow His lifestyle, His pattern. But that doesn't save us. We don't get saved by living a good life. We're not saved by giving to the poor. We're not saved by fasting. We're not saved by doing A, B, or C. We're saved by believing on Him and in Him and through Him, and only when we are saved do we try and model our lives on His life. We will always fall short – Romans chapter 3 says that – and we are continually falling short, but there is a desire within us to live righteously and honestly because it reflects Him and it ultimately glorifies Him.
VERSE 17: "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen."
Christ is spoken of as a King – eternal, immortal. Only God is immortal. Only God has everlasting life abiding in Him, and therefore He can give it to whoever He wishes to do so. There's only one King in the Bible ultimately, and that's the Lord God of Israel. And, of course, being eternal, only the Godhead is eternal. Invisible, that's an attribute of God. The human eye can't see God, so God has to become flesh. Now, I will say this just briefly – and I appreciate that some Christians agree with me on this and some don't – but it's long been my belief that in the Old Testament, whenever God appeared in human form, it was a pre-incarnation of Jesus Christ. That is called a Christophany. A Christophany is simply an appearance of deity taking on human form. So I don't believe that the Father has yet been seen by mankind. All we've ever seen is the Son of God taking on human form, Old and New Testament. Matthew 5 says in the Millennium – because Matthew 5 is primarily eschatological – that in the Millennium we will see God, the pure in heart will see God. And I perceive that to be a reference to the Father. But here Christ is spoken of as "the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God."
So this is a clear affirmation of Christ's deity. And I've seen the Seventh Day Adventists and the Jehovah's Witnesses try to obliterate immortality for those of us that are saved, that somehow we will not live forever, and it's slightly odd because they do believe that man will live forever. The Jehovah's Witnesses believe that man will live forever on the earth, and that's a kind of misunderstanding of the Millennium. The Seventh Day Adventists do believe that man will live forever, but they don't believe that the unsaved will live forever. Both groups don't believe that the wicked will live forever.
So we have immortality dwelling in us now. When you got saved, your spirit went to be with the Lord according to John chapter 5 and Ephesians chapter 1 verse 6 – excuse me – Ephesians 2 verse 6 and Colossians 3:1. So your spirit is already in Heaven now, which means you're positionally perfect. Your salvation has already been fixed. Your body is still physically on the earth and your soul is still within your body, but when you die, your soul goes straight to be with the Lord and your body goes to the ground awaiting the Rapture.
VERSES 18-20: "This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme."
Here's a picture of excommunication. Here's a picture of a couple of young Christians, perhaps, who have shipwrecked their faith, and Paul is putting them out of the church. And he says here that they would learn not to blaspheme, which means there's hope for them. When you find Christians that fall into some kind of sin, they are put out of the church if it's a Bible-believing church, and they learn not to sin. And it's done for their own welfare; it's not done to destroy them, but it's done to bring them back to the knowledge of God.
So that's the first chapter of Timothy. A quick recap, I guess, that Paul was chosen; he was called by Jesus Christ to be a messenger. He was saved in spite of who he was, not because of who he was. And the Lord doesn't call people because they are intellectual; He doesn't call people because they can use their charm or their charisma. He nearly always calls the base sort, the uneducated, those who are seen in a negative sense or a negative way by the unsaved world so He can use these vessels for His own glory. But, like I say, Paul was chosen; he was given a wonderful mission, and it's my belief that this one man with the Holy Spirit, of course, but this one man changed the world. He was able to take the Gospel to Rome ultimately, and once that it got to Rome, that was it; it was something which would never be the same; the world would never be the same after this. And we give God all the glory for Paul, and we would pray that there are more Pauls out there and they would be raised up in these last days.
VERSES 1-2: "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."
That expression "all men" can be all of mankind or men without exception. And then Paul starts with kings, because they are at the top of the pecking order, and for all that are in authority – and, again, that would be all without exception – teachers, police officers, men and women in society, those that have a responsible position, and, of course, parents, so on and so forth. He wants you to pray for all people.
And verse 3 says:
VERSES 3-4: "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."
It's quite a clear statement that God wants to save all men. He's not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. His atonement was provided for every man, woman, and child, but only those that receive it, only those that believe on Him are going to be saved. But nonetheless, He died for everybody who ever lived and who ever will live. Nobody goes to Hell because Christ didn't die for them; they go to Hell because they chose darkness over light.
VERSES 5-6: "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."
Again, "all" is cross-referenced to verse 1 ‒ all men. He gave Himself for all men. There are some people that say that Christ only died for the elect, so on and so forth. Well, verse 5 says there's only one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Whether you believe in that or not is immaterial. He's still the mediator, and God is still God whether you believe in Him or not. The Queen is still the Queen of England whether you believe in her or not, and the American President is still the President whether you believe in him or not. It doesn't make any difference. The thing that matters the most is whether or not you have believed on Him, whether you have received Him or not.
VERSES 7-10: "Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works."
So a typical woman would dress modestly. She wouldn't be over the top, and she wouldn't be under dressed either. You can be over dressed or you can be under dressed. A woman who's born again, who's saved, who walks with the Lord, who's growing in grace will know how to dress. Now, for a young Christian, it may not be so simple, and the same would go for men too. Some guys get saved and they continue to dress like gangsters dress. What it comes down to in reality is Christian liberty. A Christian, once they are saved, can dress, to some extent, as they please as long as it doesn't violate verse 9 here. But when it causes somebody else to stumble, then they have to take that on board.
So I won't go beyond the Scripture, but I'll just reaffirm one more time that women are to adorn themselves in modest apparel with shamefacedness, with sobriety, no braided hair, nothing like gold or pearls or costly array. Like I say, once you know the word of God, once you are saved, born again, so on and so forth, you will know, you will find your feet and you will go on from there.
VERSE 11: "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection."
This woman here could be a typical woman, could be a married woman, and the next couple of verses would indicate that this is in reference to a married woman. But from verses 9 and 10, this is just a woman in general. In fact, 9 and 10 are speaking of women in the plural, whereas 11 is speaking of a woman in the singular. So put these verses together, and I would take this to be a reference to women, per se.
VERSE 12: "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence."
"Suffer" is old English for allow, and he says he doesn't allow a woman to teach or to have any authority over the man.
VERSES 13-15: "For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety."
Fifteen isn't a reference to salvation. You don't get saved by having children. The reference to verse 15 is to be saved from deception, which is found in verse 14. So a woman isn't to have authority over her husband – that's the first part of this – and the second part of this would be that she's not to have authority over men, per se. And, of course, the whole of the New Testament is speaking to saved men and women living a life in the world and also in the local church. So this rules out female pastors. And women in marriage, according to Paul, are to be in submission to their husbands, and 15, if they have children and continue in the faith, they won't be deceived.
Okay. Just before I get into the third chapter, I want to add a couple of footnotes, if I may, to the second chapter. The first thing I want to say is, looking at verses 1 and 2, Paul tells us to offer prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks for all men, and he gives us a breakdown from kings to all that are in authority. And he tells us in verse 4 that he wants all men to be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth. Now, I've been following politics for quite a few years now, and my family has always been interested in politics, and to the best of my knowledge, I cannot think of any politicians from my generation that have been saved. In Paul's day, all of the so-called leaders, kings, dukes, patriarchs – whatever group, whatever title you wish to categorize those people as being – were not saved. Nero wasn't saved. Domitian wasn't saved. All of those people were pagans; they were reprobates; they were enemies of the cross. So Paul is telling us to pray for those that are in authority that they may come unto the knowledge of the truth.
So we don't know ultimately who is or who is not going to be saved, but we are told, nonetheless, that God wants these people to be saved. So when we pray for those that are in authority, whether it's in the UK, France, Germany, Holland, Portugal, America, Canada, Saudi Arabia, China, North Korea – any country on the planet – when we pray for those people, we are doing so (a) because God wants us to and (b) because He wants them to be saved, and He wants them to be saved because He's already died for them. So I just wanted to add that quick footnote in. It's not easy praying for leaders, especially corrupt leaders, but we are told from Romans 13 that the powers that be are ordained of God. So I just wanted to add that comment to you.
The second part I wanted to offer you some thoughts on was from verse 9 down to, I guess, 15, really – the role of women. Now, sometimes when you talk about women in the word of God, you get accused of being chauvinistic. I want to say something, that, first of all, the Bible is not chauvinistic. The first person to see the risen Christ was a woman, and she went to the apostles with the good news that Christ had been resurrected from the dead. He chose a woman. Secondly, when it talks about women being in subjection to their husbands, it does not mean that they are slaves. Go to 1 Corinthians. This book was written in about 56AD, and in those days, women had a pretty low role in society, and yet there's something quite remarkable here. Look at verse 3: "Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife" (1 Cor. 7:3-4.) You can read the rest of this if you want, and I would encourage you to do so. What he's saying here is, in a marriage, a husband and a wife are to submit to one another when it comes to sexual relations. But outside of sexual relations, the man is the head of the family as Christ is the head of the church.
And I'll give you one more reference to look at, 1 Peter 3:1: "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement" (vv. 1-6.)
So I just wanted to give you those verses to get a more complete picture. And one thing I will say – and I'll get back to 1 Timothy, primarily the fifth chapter which talks a bit more about the role of women – but keep this also in mind that Lydia was a woman, a single woman who was self-employed, had her own business. So the word of God is not against women being independent, being single. Paul says in 1 Corinthians that it's sometimes better to be single. But if you are married, then the Scripture says you are to be in subjection to your husband, and if you're married to an unsaved person, that is even more difficult for you. But the second chapter is primarily speaking about deception and how women are to adorn themselves. So like I say, if you're a new Christian, if you're a young Christian, then you will find your feet, and if you're an older Christian and you're dressing like the world, then perhaps you need to take a closer look at the second chapter of 1Timothy.
VERSE 1: "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work."
A bishop in the New Testament is the same as an elder or a deacon, although the offices slightly vary, but nonetheless, they pretty much refer to the same position. Today's bishop in the Catholic church would be a single man, a bachelor who's responsible for many different churches. He's not married; he doesn't have any children. A bishop in the church of England would be a man who's normally married with children and, again, responsible for many churches. But in the New Testament, a bishop would be a church elder, a church leader who is responsible for an individual church. And he doesn't work on his own; he works alongside other elders, which we'll get to in the fifth chapter.
VERSES 2-5: "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)"
He's told not to be given to wine. Now, this is interesting because alcohol, per se, in the Scripture is not outlawed. It's not a sin, per se, to drink alcohol. But when you find alcohol in the Bible, it's nearly always linked to sin. Noah got drunk, and his son found him naked. Lot was forced or was given intoxicated liquor, alcohol, which got him drunk, and his daughters performed a sexual act on him. And here an elder is told not to be given to wine, not to have a taste for alcohol. Obviously, too much alcohol can make you drunk, and if you're seen in public drinking alcohol, it can cause you to lose your testimony at times and it can cause a person who may have been an alcoholic once upon a time to stumble. So Paul says it's best not to touch the wine.
And it says here not to be a striker, not to be violent with your fists, not greedy of filthy lucre. There's your money. Some people go into "the ministry" for money, and Paul is critical of that. "But patient, not a brawler" ‒ again, brawler, striker – same sort of thing. "Not covetous" – don't lust after things which are not your own. And you're told to rule your own house having your children in subjection unto you. So five says a man who can't rule his own house can't rule the local church. Now, this isn't a mandatory teaching to be a church leader. You don't have to be married with children. Paul wasn't married with children, nor was the apostle John married with children. So we don't want to force marriage and children on a man of God who's going to go into some kind of leadership in a local church. But the indication here is that the church, like a family, is going to be reflected in an elder's personal life. But as I say, it's not mandatory, so you need to watch that.
VERSE 6: "Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil."
Don't ordain a young Christian. Don't put a young person into "the ministry." It's best to be saved a couple of years at least, and personally, I wouldn't want to see anybody under 25 in any kind of church leadership because you're too young. You haven't lived, you haven't experienced life, and you're going to be dealing with men and women much older than you with pretty complex problems; and unless you're grounded in life, unless you're grounded in the word of God, then you're going to fall and also you're going to get into the problem of pride.
VERSE 7: "Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil."
This is a very interesting Scripture. Those that are without are those outside the church. Now, the way I look at verse 7 means to me that a church leader has to have a good testimony outside of the church. Now, it's an interesting bit of Scripture because when you get saved, you're called out of the world, but the world still sees you; the world still monitors you. And here Paul is saying that you need to have a good report, a good testimony to those that are outside the church.
VERSE 8. "Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;"
Again, wine is flagged up here and greedy, filthy lucre. Again, money and wine, this is one of the reasons why people go into religion, organized religion, because it can pay quite well. And wine, again, can cause you to stumble and lose your testimony. And Paul is against both of those areas quite clearly here.
VERSE 9: "Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience."
"Mystery" simply means something which was hidden, not revealed to man until God's timing.
VERSE 10: "And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless."
Again, verse 10, cross-reference that back to verse 6. You need to be tried, tested if you're going to go into a fellowship which has deacons and elders. Now, if you're in a group of two or three people, for example, which you'll find in Matthew 20, then this part of Scripture doesn't yet have application to you. But if your fellowship grows and you leave a house and you form a local church fellowship in more than just your local four walls, then this part of writ will have a direct application to you.
VERSE 11: "Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things."
Interesting that the wives are spoken of here in reference to deacons, but a bishop's wife isn't covered at all. So most people when they get to 1 Timothy 3 consider a bishop and a deacon to be the same office but slight variations. And the wives here are also given a clear indication that they are not to be slanderers and they are to have a good testimony too.
VERSE 12: "Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well."
Again, there's no polygamy here – one man, one wife, period. The Mormons for many, many years allowed polygamy, and it was officially outlawed back in the late 70s in America, and yet many sects within Mormonism still have many wives. Islam allows their men to have multiple wives, but their wives are not allowed to have multiple husbands. So there's clearly a problem with equality there. But here the deacons are told to be the husbands of one wife and one wife only.
VERSES 13-15: "For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
Every local assembly is a local fellowship, whether it's in a house or a building, in a cafeteria, or wherever it may be. Where two or three gather, Christ is there in the midst of them. And the church of God in this part of Scripture is a reference to the body of Christ, which is a living organism, not just a local church building.
VERSE 16: "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."
This is one of the clearest bits of Scripture of the deity of Christ. God Himself was manifest in the flesh. John says the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (Jn. 1:14.) "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (Jn. 1:1.) Jesus Christ is very God, period. When you sin against God, only God Himself can forgive you. The teaching that Christ was just a good man and He set an example for us to live is completely flawed. When you sin against God, only God can save you. Isaiah says there's only one God and one Saviour. In John's Gospel Jesus says, "You call me Lord and Master, and ye do well." He was more than happy to take worship; He was more than happy to allow people to fall down and call Him "My Lord and my God" (Jn. 20:28.) Never once did He correct anybody who approached Him in that way, because He is very God and very man.
VERSES 1-3: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth."
First of all, verse 1 speaks about the latter times, and the latter times here are twofold. The first part would be eschatological, which would mean in the last days before Jesus Christ comes back, but it can also have application to the present.
Now, when you go through church history, the first group of people that you come across which forbid their so-called church leaders from marrying would be, of course, the Roman Catholic church. It's interesting that they are found here, and the same church for many, many years would not allow their members, whether they were laity or clergy, to eat fish on a Friday ‒ and, of course, fish is meat. So we find the Catholic church found twice in this one verse alone.
Verse 2 says they speak lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron. The hypocrisy is quite simple. They would tell others not to do what they were doing, and they do so because their conscience has been seared. These are the people that you find in Ephesians chapter 4 that give themselves over or give themselves up to a debased mind, and once a person gives him or herself up to a life of sin, a life of wickedness, then the Lord, according to Romans 1, gives them up also. And once the Lord gives up person, there's no going back for that person. They're completely finished.
The other point I need to make on this would be dietary rules, a problem for the early church. The Jews had a conscience. They knew that food was off limits to them for many years, and it took a vision from the Lord and a personal visitation from the Lord to convince Peter that from now on, everything was pure and if you wanted to eat meat, you could; if you didn't, no big problem either. But here you’ve got some demonic activity, seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. That's pretty wicked.
I'll say one other thing here. It says some shall depart from the faith. Now, some people read this and they think that this is a teaching that once saved you can be lost, which is not the teaching at all. Let me show you something in 1 John. Now, again, Scripture with Scripture here to get a complete picture of doctrines and teachings to clarify the issue here. Okay. So look at 1 Timothy 4:1 speaking about some departing from the faith, and then cross reference that to 1 John 2:19: "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us." So here you have people who have gone out from the church, and they've gone out from the church because they were never part of the church to begin with. They may have been physical members in a church of some sort, but by departing – and this would be a permanent departure, not just a period of backsliding or a period of sin. This is permanent apostasy, a permanent departure, which is what apostasy means. Apostasy means, for those that don't know, that you've moved from a position that you once held to.
And I'll show you something else in Matthew chapter 7. People that teach conditional security sometimes fail to understand the very basic grammar of the word of God. Matthew 7:21 ‒ this is twofold again. This is a picture of an unsaved person at the Great White Throne, but it's also a picture of people living today who are not saved, the wheat and the tares, and here are the tares: 21: "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." And the will of the Father as found in John chapter 6 is to believe on Him, total faith on Him and in Him, and there's no works involved there. 22: "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" These are people that are trusting in their good works. They've got involved in some kind of system, a system which pushed works. Perhaps it could be the Jehovah's Witnesses ‒ they are very much into works ‒ the Mormons, the Moonies and groups like that. Look at 23: "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." These people from 21 to 23 were never saved to begin with. They're the crowd that you see in 1 John 2:19, and we also find them, of course, in Timothy chapter 4 verse 1. So don't allow people that teach conditional security to rock your faith. A lot of the times these people are insecure themselves, and Peter says that a man who's insecure or unstable, he's unstable in all his ways. So just bear all that in mind:
VERSES 4-5: "For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer."
Whatever is put before you to eat ‒ providing it's edible, obviously ‒ you can receive it. If you don't want to receive it, then Romans 14 says don't receive it.
VERSE 6: "If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained."
Unfortunately, in the 21st century when we think of a minister, we think of a man or woman with a dog collar and some letters before their name, but in the first century church, a minister was simply a servant, no more than that.
VERSE 7: "But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness."
Again, one of the problems here was time-wasters, people arguing just for the sake of arguing. You find these people in Acts 17 when Paul went up to Athens and he met the philosophers. And YouTube is full of philosophers, full of dead atheists, people arguing and debating and trying to tie up Christians in all sorts of pointless debates. If you don't understand the Gospel, if you've been witnessed to and if it's still a blank with you, then perhaps this message isn't for you anyway, and therefore if you're a Christian trying to get through to these people, maybe you need to look elsewhere. Time is precious. You only get one life.
VERSE 8: "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."
Of course, the latter part is eternal life. Bodily exercise is interesting. Paul says it doesn't benefit you spiritually in the long-term, which is true. But sometimes if you're physically out of shape, you will be spiritually out of shape. So you've got to harmonize these two areas carefully. Some people like to walk four miles a day; others don't. Some people can eat what they want and they're still pretty healthy; others can't. But the point here is that if you're going to do anything, do it to the glory of the Lord, which is found in the Pauline epistles. But just watch bodily exercise. Some people can get caught up in exercise and it becomes a religion. I read a story of a woman recently who got involved with some kind of exercise, and it became an obsession and her marriage broke down over it. So be careful.
VERSES 9-10: "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."
There's two words here I want to just flag up to hopefully help people understand how the atonement works. The first word is "provision," which simply means that God has provided a way to save the world. He's provided an atonement for the world. The second word is also important ‒ "appropriation." God has made a way to save people for the provision, but you have to personally appropriate it. For example, in 2 Corinthians 5:18, the word of God says that God has reconciled the world unto Himself. That's the provision. "We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God" – appropriation. The same structure is found here. He is the Saviour of all men – there's your provision – especially those that believe – appropriation. So when you look at the word of God, if you can understand one thing when it comes to the atonement is this, that God has provided a way through the atonement to save everybody, but only those that appropriate the atonement are going to be saved.
I want to give you a couple more examples. John 3:16 – you know it so well: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son" ‒ there’s your provision ‒ "that whosoever believeth in him" ‒ appropriation ‒ "should not perish, but have everlasting life." He's made the provision to the world, per se ‒ everybody in the world, not just the inhabited earth, which the Calvinists believe and teach, but the people within the world, and only those that appropriate that provision, those that personally receive it and believe in it are going to be saved.
Revelation 3:20: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock" ‒ again, there's your provision ‒ "if any man hear my voice, and open the door" ‒ there’s the appropriation ‒ "I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Okay. So you get the idea there that the Lord has provided a way for everybody to be saved, but only those that respond will be saved.
And I've got to give you just one more Scripture because you can never get enough Bible. First John 2:2: "And he is the propitiation for our sins:" ‒ the church ‒ "and not for ours only" ‒ the church ‒ "but also for the sins of the whole world." So you can't get away from it. The atonement was provided for everybody, but only those that receive it, only those that call on the Lord, according to Romans 10, will be saved. Like I said earlier on, nobody is going to go to Hell because Christ didn't die for them; they're going to go to Hell because they rejected Him and they chose sin and darkness over life and light.
VERSES 11-12: "These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
We don't know how old Timothy was. What we do know is that Paul was an old man by the time he wrote this epistle. If Paul was about 70 years old – and he may well have been – then he would have looked at someone like Timothy, who could have been in his 20s or early 30s, as being a young man.
VERSE 13: "Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine."
Very important. Again, if you're a church leader, you are expected to read the word of God, teach it, and make sure you present clear doctrine. That's what the Scripture was written for ‒ for doctrine first and foremost. If we don't have doctrine, then what do we have? We have a lot of things, but if we haven't got the truth of Scripture, then we are in error. And, of course, error can send people to Hell.
VERSE 14: "Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery."
Personally, I think his gift here was teaching. I think this man was a teacher, and those that had seen him, those that had recognized him saw that within him, and they laid hands on him. Again, Acts 6 is a good cross-reference. Not all churches lay hands on people. I know that the Brethren Assembly doesn’t believe in the teaching of laying hands literally on new elders, whereas the Baptists and other denominations do. So, again, every church is different.
VERSES 15-16: "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."
This is not a reference to salvation. This is a reference to saving yourself from deception, saving yourself from error, saving yourself from falsehood. Again, you can be pretty straight on a lot of things, but if you get a bit of doctrine wrong, then everything else you believe and teach can also be in error. So if he gives himself continually to these things, which Paul has already laid out clearly in the fourth chapter, then Timothy won't stumble, he won't fall and he'll be a faithful minister.
VERSES 1-2: "Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity."
It's never easy to rebuke somebody. If you come across a brother or a sister in the Lord who has fallen into some type of sin, then it's always wise to take that person aside and whisper in their ear that they've done something wrong, give them the chance to repent. And, of course, if it's a serious sin, then you may have to take a couple more people with you, and if they won't hear the church, then, according to Matthew 18, they are to be put out of the church because a little leaven leavens the whole lump.
VERSES 3-6: "Honour widows that are widows indeed. But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth."
I just want to make a quick point that a person who is saved and falls into sin is seen in the eyes of the Lord as being dead. Now, you're still physically alive, but you're dead in sin; and it comes across to some people as a contradiction, but in reality, it is a paradox.
If you go to Luke 15, you find the account of the prodigal son. Here was a man who was his father's son. And, of course, you know the story well. The father had two sons. One of the sons went off; the other son remained. The son that went off fell into sin, and he died, but it also says that he came to himself, which is a type of repentance, and he returned to his father. His father received him, and they all lived happily ever after.
In John chapter 5 Jesus says the hour is coming when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God. So you can be physically alive but spiritually dead. You can be saved, but you can be in sin, and while you are in sin, the word of God says you are dead. That is, of course, a picture of judgment. Now, you're still positionally saved. Your salvation is fixed the minute you are born again, but your practical standing can fluctuate. And I've done other videos on eternal security versus conditional security, and I've been through the Old Testament and shown conclusively, I believe, that a person can be saved here and now but their practical righteousness can fluctuate.
VERSES 7-8: "And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."
Two things I want to say. First of all, first century AD was a pretty difficult time to live. There was no Social Security. If you didn't work, you didn't eat, and if you got sick, you died. Darwin called that the survival of the fittest, and he believed that only the fittest did survive. And it's true that the fittest do survive, but normally those that survive are the ones that have the gun, and those who haven't got the gun normally are put down by those that do have the gun.
But nonetheless, Paul is saying that if you don't provide for your own house, you're worse than an infidel. And when I look at this Scripture, it reminds me of a conversation I had some years ago with a couple of Christadelphians, and this elderly couple told me that they were pacifists ‒ which is fine in and of itself ‒ and they didn't believe that Christians should fight in wars. And we talked about that. But what concerned me mostly about this couple was their views on what would happen or what they would do if an intruder broke into their house at 3 o'clock in the morning, and after robbing the house and stealing all the goods, the burglar decided to rape the wife and rape the daughters. What would this man do? And he told me quite openly that he would stand aside and not resist the man. Of course, that is very dangerous, it's very foolish, and I believe, according to verse 8, you have a duty to protect your family, to provide for them. That doesn't just involve putting food on the table and paying all the bills, but it means being a good parent and, like I say, looking after your family, not just every so often but 24/7.
VERSE 9: "Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,"
Threescore years old would be 60 years old.
VERSE 10: "Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work."
So it's obvious by the end of verse 10 that a woman who's 60 years old, widowed, and has a good testimony would be expected to have been looked after by the local assembly. Why? Because there was no Social Security in those days. It was down to the church to look after their own people. Nowadays the churches are smaller, and society looks after the people. But then, that wasn't the case, and Paul wanted to make sure that money wasn't given to younger women who would then get married, go off and live their own life.
VERSES 11-12: "But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith."
Damnation here is judgment. It's a temporary judgment similar to what you find in Revelation chapter 2 where Jesus speaks about those that are lukewarm, and he says you've lost your first love, and a call of repentance is sent out. And, again, Paul is desperate here not to have young women being given money, being given support only to later meet up with somebody, get married, and off they go. As I say, money was scarce in those days, and Paul didn't want money being wasted.
VERSE 13: "And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not."
It's not only women that Paul would have in mind here but anybody, really, who's got too much time on their hands. If you're not doing something constructive for the Lord, then you are idle; you're a tattler, another word for a gossiper, and you're wasting time. Time is precious. You were told that Christ has bought you with a price, and He expects you to live your life in a way that would honor Him and be a good testimony, a good witness to the lost.
VERSE 14: "I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully."
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7 that it was good if a woman or a man didn't get married because it would be more of an opportunity for those people to give themselves completely to the Lord. But here he's saying that to stop women wandering around and wasting time, it would be better to get married ultimately so they would be looked after by their husbands; they wouldn't be a burden on the local church. So, again, Scripture with Scripture. You've got to be careful here. When you go to 1 Corinthians, Paul is speaking about single people who are independent, to some extent, and not a burden to the local church, and therefore he would say to those people that if you can give yourself completely to the Lord, go for it, but if you can't, get married. Either way it's not a sin. But here he's saying to the young women to avoid living off the church, as it were, it's best to get married, and, of course, the husband would support his wife.
VERSE 15: "For some are already turned aside after Satan."
Pretty powerful bit of Scripture there. If your eyes aren't on the Lord, if you're not walking with the Lord, then you're walking in the flesh, and if you're walking in the flesh, then you are in trouble and you are a little bit like Samson who had fallen from grace in a sense. He'd lost his covering, and he lost his eyes as a result. That had his hair cut off. And, of course, in the end, he pulled the pillars down, killed himself and killed all of the Philistines – a very sad end to what was a very promising future. But here these women have turned aside and are walking in the flesh, and obviously repentance is called for.
VERSE 16: "If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed."
Again, pretty simple. Money needs to be spent where it's needed and not to be wasted.
VERSE 17: "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine."
Here you see the word "elders" spoken in the plural. A local fellowship which is up in numbers would be run by a group of godly men. You don't find one man running the show. An orchestra doesn't just have one member; it has multiple members, and the good orchestra doesn't even need a conductor. A good orchestra, if they know what they're playing, can take the beat from the percussionist or the drummer if it's a big band, and they are pretty content to perform the piece of music which is before them. The same is true of a church. A good church, if it has a couple of godly men or some more, they can run or they can function quite well without one man stealing the show. But here the elders are worthy of double honor, and, of course, we looked at this in other videos that you were told to honor your parents. But here an elder is to be given double honor, which, of course, is respect.
VERSE 18: "For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward."
Now, again, we've looked at this in other videos. I did a video called "Resign the Pastorate." You're welcome to watch that video and listen to what I said there. But I will just say briefly this, that if you have a picture of people being sent out ‒ for example, if you send missionaries out or evangelists out ‒ they are to be provided with some kind of support, some kind of network. And I know that some churches allow certain individuals who are sent out by their church to stay in their homes, and these people are able to go out full-time on the streets with tracts, with Bibles, with signs. Some are even able to go into schools and give talks, and they are supported by families within the local church. There's no money involved, per se, but the church will look after those that are sent out. Again, these are missionaries; these are evangelists, and evangelists in the New Testament are people that build a church up from scratch, much like Paul and Barnabas did. And here they are worthy of their reward, which, again, could be food, it could be accommodation, but ultimately, according to verse 17, it's double honour, which is double respect.
VERSE 19: "Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses."
Very, very important this. If somebody contacts you or if you hear of something against a third party, before you go to that party, make sure you have two or three witnesses. Get the fact established before you knock on somebody's door, because there are a lot of mischief-makers out there. And an elder is innocent until proven guilty.
VERSE 20: "Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear."
Again, this has to be taken in context with Matthew 18. If somebody sins, go to him; if he doesn't hear you, take the church with you, and if the church is not heard, then you tell the whole world; you put him out of the church; you make it a public event. And, of course, in these days in the first century, the local fellowship was the family, in many ways, to a Christian. For a Christian to get saved in the first century, especially a Jewish person, meant complete rejection, and a church would support a Christian. So when a Christian was put out of the fellowship, in many ways it meant complete loss, complete ruin, possible job loss, maybe homeless. It was a big deal. So before you get to the stage today of putting somebody out of the church, follow Matthew 18. But here this would be a last resort.
VERSE 21: "I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality."
Again, there's no favorites here. God is no respecter of persons, and he wants Timothy to be careful not to show partiality between certain people.
VERSE 22: "Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure."
Again, don't just ordain somebody because they've got a standing in the church or they've got a checkbook. You would ordain somebody because they are recognized by the congregation, and they've been recognized by the congregation because the Holy Spirit has raised them up.
VERSE 23: "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities."
Here you find Timothy having some kind of stomach upset, an ulcer perhaps, and Paul is saying to him, "Drink some wine, and it will help your stomach." In the context here, I would put to you this is a reference to medicine. Wine or alcohol was used for many years to alleviate pain. You can't read from verse 23 justification for binge drinking or even open drinking, sort of casual drinking. Again, although it's not a sin, as I said in the early part of this video, to drink alcohol – and it's not – you've got to always weigh up the pros and cons. How does it look to the world? Does it help your testimony? And, of course, if you drink too much alcohol, you will get drunk. Here's a man who's sick. Here's a man who has taken water; it hasn't worked, so Paul is saying drink some wine, and, Lord willing, you will be better.
One other point I will just say here that you can see that the sign gifts are ceasing. Paul was able to heal people left, right, and center in the book of Acts, but here he cannot heal Timothy and Timothy couldn't heal himself. Now, the sign gifts were given to the Jews because the Jews expect a sign and the Jews are always given a sign, but by the time this is written, we’re about 30 years into the church. The epistles have been written pretty much. The Gospels are being written or will be written. Either way, the word of God has gone out. The churches have been established. The Gospel has been preached. So within 30 years of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, we see from here that the sign gifts are drying up; they are evaporating. And I've done other videos on that, and I wrote a massive article on tongues and healings and so on and so forth, which I would invite you to look at if you want to get some more information on that.
VERSES 24-25: "Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid."
Some people will die, just fall down and collapse on the street, and we don't know what they have died of or why they have died. Others are seen to have sinned openly, and the Lord has dealt with them. Again, Acts chapter 5, a husband and wife team had lied to Peter, and they were struck down. That was an open sin which called for an open judgment. And, of course, they died, and the whole church saw that and fear fell upon them all.
VERSE 1: "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed."
Here's a picture of an employee submitting to his employer, much like you find in Romans 13 where the Christian is told to submit to the state. Now, of course, when the state tells a Christian to do something which is contrary to the word of God, like Acts chapter 5, then the Christian goes with the word of God and ignores the state. But by and large, where the state tells a Christian to do something which is not categorically laid out in the word of God, then you would submit to the state. And here Paul is telling the employee to submit to the employer.
VERSE 2: "And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort."
This was a problem in the early church. You had saved employers and they were looked upon in a negative sense by some employees, some servants, some slaves, and Paul is trying hard to stop any disunity coming into the local fellowship.
VERSES 3-5: "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."
Here's a clear picture of separation. Separation is found throughout the word of God, and sometimes you will have to separate not only from other Christians that are saved but have nonetheless got into a bad way, but you'll also have to separate from family and friends. And that's never easy to do, but 2 Corinthians 6:14 to 18 makes it crystal clear that once you are in Christ, your union with the world is now limited. Now, of course, you don't just separate, per se. If you're in a family, you don't just shun your relatives, but when it comes to spiritual elements like worship or anything which is un-Christian, whether it be socializing, perhaps, in an environment which isn't appropriate, you may have to consider separation. But that does not mean you cut yourself off completely from your family like the cults do, but you simply distance yourself in certain areas so as not to hurt your testimony.
VERSES 6-7: "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out."
There was an old joke some years ago of a very wealthy man who died, and all the locals came together and they were talking about how much money this very wealthy man had left, and somebody said, "He left it all." And, of course, that's absolutely true. You can come into this world with nothing. You may need money in between coming and exiting, but nonetheless, when you die, you leave it all behind.
VERSE 8: "And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."
In Matthew's Gospel, Jesus makes it clear that those that are saved don't need to worry about what's going on in the world, whether it's the Illuminati, the Masons, the Bilderbergers, chemtrails, GM foods – whatever. Jesus said that if you seek the Kingdom of God, all these things will be given to you. Now, the Gentiles, people that are not saved, according to the Lord at that period of time, were always worrying, always anxious, and He says their prayers were long and they weren't heard. But today, for those that are saved – of course, there's neither Jew nor Gentile today. You are simply one person in the eyes of the Lord. You have no identity as such. If you're born again, you're bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh. You're still physically a man, obviously, and the woman, but, like I say, in the eyes of the Lord, there's neither Jew nor Gentile; you are a non-entity. But Paul says here to be content with what you have, and once a person gets content, then nothing whatsoever can faze that party.
VERSES 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."
Having money, per se, isn't a sin. There are wealthy people in the word of God and there are poor people in the word of God. What causes the problem is the love of money. When a person loves money, when a person worships money, that opens the door to so many problems and evils. Again, it's a fine line – I appreciate that – but Paul wants to make it crystal clear that you don't love anything other than the Lord Jesus Christ and then, of course, your family.
VERSE 11: "But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness."
Here are some of the fruits of the Spirit. The charismatics talk a lot about the gifts of the Spirit, but rarely will you hear them speak about the fruits of the Spirit. And if you go to the book of Galatians, you'll find all of the fruits clearly displayed.
VERSE 12: "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."
Eternal life is yours, so here Paul is saying to hold onto it, grab it. First John chapter 5 says we can know that we are saved from verse 13 ‒ now. John 5:24 says you've already passed from death unto life. Again, positional security is something which every Christian should know that they have. Their practical standing, like I say, will continually fluctuate sometimes minute-by-minute, but your positional standing is fixed the moment you believed on Jesus Christ.
The second part of 12 says he professed a good profession before many witnesses. Something similar is found in Matthew 10:31 and 32 ‒ to confess Christ before men, something which all Christians are called to do. And Paul also said to be ready in season and out of season, which simply means you are never off duty.
VERSE 13: "I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;"
That word "quickeneth" simply means to make alive.
VERSE 14: "That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:"
That could be a reference to the Second Advent, Matthew 24, when Christ comes back at the end of the Tribulation, or it could be a reference to the Rapture. I can't be dogmatic. But verse 15 is interesting:
VERSE 15: “Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;”
That’s Christ reigning, Matthew 25 and the latter part of Revelation.
VERSE 16: "Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen."
Again, Christ is the dispenser of everlasting life, and we come to Him and we receive everlasting life. This is clear affirmation of Christ's deity. Nobody else in antiquity comes anywhere near Jesus Christ.
VERSES 17- 19: "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth 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."
I just want to give you a quick cross reference here to a person's standing in the Lord, because you can talk about it, and unless you've got the Scripture to support it, if you're not careful, you can get into speculation, something which we don't want to do. Philippians 3:10: "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead" (vv. 10-11.) Look at 12: "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus."
So here's a couple of verses where Paul speaks about not yet attaining perfection, which is sanctification, but he says in verse 9 to "be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." So Paul is already justified from verse 10, but by verse 12, he hasn't yet attained perfection, which ultimately will be glorification. And Romans 7 makes it crystal clear that here was a saved man battling both natures, and every Christian has two natures – the old nature and the new nature.
VERSES 20-21: "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."
Paul's final plea to Timothy was to avoid profane and vain babblings. And, again, science is thrown in here, and I always think of evolution, Darwinism when I get to this part of Scripture. And I speak from experience, if you're not careful, you can spend a lot of time debating with people that are not Christians that have no interest in being Christians but wish to debate just for the sake of debating. And one of my mottos, one of my New Year resolutions for this year, 2011, was not to spend too much time debating on the street. I don't mind talking to people that are not saved that want to know how to get saved, and I don't mind talking to people of other faiths and comparing the word of God to what they believe, and I don't mind talking to anybody, really. But what I don't want to do – and like I say, for a New Year's resolution – was to cut down the amount of time I have spent going back and forward with people. This is a supernatural message. The Gospel is from the Lord, and if people don't understand it, then 2 Corinthians 4:4 says that Satan has blinded them. Therefore, we step back and we move on to the next person.
So that concludes my six chapters on Timothy. I hope you enjoyed this, and, Lord willing, I will return shortly to look at some other books in the New Testament.