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Bible Commentaries

Wells of Living Water Commentary

1 Timothy 1

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-7

Our Guide amid the Denials of the Faith

1 Timothy 1:1-7 , 1 Timothy 1:18-20

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

1. Will Christ find Faith on the earth? The question above has to do with the Second Coming of Christ, and the Second Coming of Christ has to do with the conditions which will conclude the age in which we are now living.

The Apostle Peter plainly told us, in the Spirit, of the advent of mockers in the last times. These mockers are men who deny the Faith, and particularly, who say, "Where is the promise of His Coming?"

The Book of Jude speaks of the advent of certain men who creep in unawares. These certain men deny the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. They utter hard speeches against Him.

These men are the complement of that which the Holy Spirit, in the Book of Thessalonians, calls "the falling away" a falling away that is marked by the apostasy from the Faith.

Along this line, there is an Old Testament Scripture which speaks of "a famine for the Word of God."

We believe that the day of apostasy is here. The denials of the Faith have come as a great stream overflowing its banks. Men are not ashamed to stand in the pulpit dedicated to the Gospel of God concerning His Son, while they defame everything vital to that Gospel.

2. The present-day apostasy described. The men who deny the Faith are wolves, dressed in sheep's clothing, professing to know God, they deny Him.

(1) The apostasy began by discounting the miracles. As we see it, the fad and fancy of evolution was no more than a strategic stroke of unbelieving and apostate men, intent upon side-stepping a miracle-working God.

If miracles were to be done away, the first miracle of creation had to be set aside. In order to defame that miracle, there must be some method by which the advent of man upon the earth might be established.

Skeptical minds were ready to promulgate a fable as a fact, a dream as a dogma, rather than to accept the plain and only reasonable statement of man's advent to being even the statement of the Divine fiat of creation as set forth in the Word of God.

(2) The apostasy continued by denying the need of the atonement. Salvation by the Blood of the Son of God was unpalatable to aesthetic minds. They wanted to be saved by the works of their own hands. They, like Cain, were willing to pass compliments with God; but they were unwilling, like Abel, to put their faith in a sacrificial offering.

(3) The apostasy deepened in the denial of the Deity of Christ. Jesus Christ, to the apostate, became no more than a man applauded for his virtues. He was only revered as a man who lived ahead of His time.

The fact of Christ's Virgin Birth; the fact that He came down from the Father and came into the world; the fact that He was God, manifest in flesh, was utterly repugnant to apostates. They were willing to place Christ on a pedestal of fame along with Elias, Jeremias, or one of the Prophets, but they were unwilling to acclaim Him Son of God and God the Son.

I. SWERVING FROM THE FAITH (1 Timothy 1:3-7 )

1. Fads, fables, and fanaticisms. Our text says that we are not to give heed to "fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith." We believe that a safe rule for saints is to utterly ignore religious discussions which are not based upon the faith once delivered. It is so easy to step aside into the mists and labyrinths of speculation along spiritual lines. We must never become erratic. We must never become preachers of our own dreams. Even in our statements of doctrine, we must seek always to us Scriptural terminologies.

Christ said, "We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen."

2. Teachers, ignorant of the Faith. Verse seven tells us that some, desiring to be teachers of the Law; understand neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

We need to study to show ourselves approved of God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.

The Book of Romans, in chapter one, speaks of some who profess themselves to be wise, but are fools. While we would class none of you with them, yet we want you to beware lest you speak of those things of which you know not. We do not believe that an intellectual grasp of Truth is all that is needed with the Christian. We need to know experimentally, the things of God.

3. Turning aside to vain jangling. Whenever we are unsettled in the faith, and are babes in knowledge of God and His Word, we will fall an easy prey to every false wind of doctrine that may blow.

Those who swerve from the Faith are those, usually, who have never been rooted and grounded in the Faith. Their faith was never an "unfeigned Faith," grounded in a pure heart, and a good conscience.

When the Faith is left and a professor swerves from the plain message of God, he will be turned aside unto vain jangling. There is a great deal of bickering and strife in religious circles; there are sects and divisions almost innumerable; and all of these because people are not established in the Word of God. When Christians follow men, and creeds, and sects, instead of a plain and positive "thus saith the Lord," they are bound to swerve from the Faith.

II. MAKING SHIPWRECK OF THE FAITH (1 Timothy 1:18-20 )

1. The marks of a good warfare. Paul writes to Timothy, "That thou * * mightest war a good warfare." Timothy had known the Scriptures from his childhood. He had heard the Faith from his mother Eunice, and his grandmother Lois. That Faith was an unfeigned Faith. Timothy had been led to Christ through the ministry of Paul. We know this, because Paul wrote unto him, calling him "My own son in the Faith."

When the Apostle wanted a young man to travel with him he chose the young man Timothy. He chose him because, that from a child he had known the Holy Scriptures.

What then are the marks of a good warfare? They are certainly a warfare in the Truth holding the Faith, with a good conscience.

2. The marks of shipwreck. Verse nineteen reads, "Holding faith, * * which some having put away concerning Faith have made shipwreck." We have before us a graphic scene. It is the old ship of Faith sailing over life's sea. Not a ship of "faith in Christ," but the ship of the "Faith of Christ." The ship is a wreck. It is engulfed by the wild waves and about to sink. Here is a picture of what we have before us today. The old-time message of the Cross, and the old-time confession of the Faith has, in many instances, suffered shipwreck.

The Apostle Paul, in the close of verse twenty, speaks of the men who put away the Faith, and who make shipwreck, as blasphemers. This is a serious charge, and yet it is true.

3, The results of making shipwreck. The Spirit, through Paul, definitely mentions two men, Hymenaeus and Alexander who put away the faith; and then he says, "I have delivered" them "unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme."

It is no light matter to depart from the Faith of God and to preach another message than that which God has delivered. Such men are under a curse. As we have said once, we say again, "If any man preach any other gospel * * let him be accursed."

It is important to know the Truth, and to live it, and to preach it. If we hope to receive from God a "Well done, thou good and faithful servant," we must stand unfailingly for the Faith.

The idea that we may live as we list, preach what we please, and believe what we choose, and, withal, be well pleasing unto God, is sheer folly.

III. DEPARTING FROM THE FAITH (1 Timothy 4:1 )

1. The pillar and ground of the Truth. By referring to chapter three, we find that the Church of the Living God is described as the pillar and ground of the Truth. The pillar is that which supports the roof. The ground is the firm foundation, the undergirding, upon which the whole superstructure rests.

When Peter said to Jesus, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God," the Lord immediately replied, "Upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

In Matthew seven, Christ said, "Whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock, * * and it fell not."

2. The perils of the last days. Young people need not become alarmed because so many have departed from the Faith. To be fore-warned, should suffice us to be forearmed. The Spirit described for us the very apostasy which surrounds the church today. They who know their books know that nothing has happened which has upset the Faith once delivered to the saints. They who have departed from the Faith are men who know not God in any vital and spiritual sense. Our text even says that they speak lies in hypocrisy. If they contend that they are conscientious in what they say, God quickly says that their conscience is seared with a hot iron.

It is still true that great men are not always wise; neither do the aged understand judgment. It is still true that the natural mind receiveth not the things of God. Men by scholarship cannot know God.

God has even said of the men who depart from the faith, that they are giving heed to the doctrines of demons. We should think such a charge would cause present-day modernists to stop and consider. They, indeed, are swayed by a power of which they may be unaware. They are carried on by winds of doctrine which sweep them from their moorings; yet, they may not realize their lot.

3. Nourished up in the Faith. We are sure that all who follow us, desire to be good ministers of Jesus Christ. If they do, they will put the brethren in remembrance of the apostasy which is now upon us. They will do more. They will nourish themselves up in the words of faith and of good doctrine. They will also refuse profane and old wives' fables.

The great need of the churches today is a testimony that rings true to the Faith. God give us many young men who will go forth in love and in courage, proclaiming the whole counsel of God.

IV. DENYING THE FAITH (1 Timothy 5:8 ; 1 Timothy 5:15 ; 1 Timothy 5:17 )

1. He who denies the Faith of practical Christianity. The faith for which we are to contend includes the great doctrines of Grace. It asserts the Deity of Christ; it acclaims the Virgin Birth; it emphasizes the Substitutionary Suffering of Christ; it unswervingly advocates the bodily Resurrection and Ascension of the Lord: it faithfully teaches the personal Return of the Lord Jesus.

There is another viewpoint, however, in upholding the Faith; that is the practical side of the Faith. It is the Faith, in action; the Faith, in life. Our verse tells us "If any man provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the Faith, and is worse than an infidel."

We need men who not only preach the Faith, but who live it. The doctrine must he glorified, adorned, by our walk, and work, and way.

2. He who denies the Faith turns aside after Satan. This is the message of verse fifteen. Low standards of living, as well as low standards of doctrine may find their source in Satan himself. He is the one who, in the Garden of Eden, with the self-same breath sought to instil doubt of God's Word on the one hand, and to inculcate the spirit of disobedience to God, on the other hand. How many there are today whom Satan hath blinded, lest the light of the glorious Gospel should shine in upon them!

3. He who holds the Faith is worthy of double honor. In 1 Timothy 1:17 the emphasis is placed upon those who toil in the Word of God and in the teaching of Truth.

If we had dropped into any of the services conducted by the Apostle Paul we would have found him standing true to the Faith, and proclaiming it with all longsuffering and doctrine. Paul knew how to reason out of the Scriptures. He knew how to open them up in such a way as to confound the adversaries. He never sounded an uncertain note. He never placed a question mark around any "Thus saith the Lord." He believed all things that were written in Moses and in the Prophets; and, what he believed, he proclaimed.

Men who hold down the truth, or keep back the whole counsel of God, are worthy of double condemnation. Men who serve for human plaudits, and not for Divine approval are to be pitied.

There is a little verse that says, "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." God grant that at this hour a great host of stalwart sons may stand forth and wield the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, with unswerving loyalty.

V. ERRING FROM THE FAITH (1 Timothy 6:10-12 ; 1 Timothy 6:20-21 )

We have found five distinct statements concerning the denials of the faith in First Timothy. (1) Swerving from the Faith. (2) Making shipwreck of the Faith. (3) Departing from the Faith. (4) Denying the Faith. (5) Erring from the Faith.

Just now we want to discuss the fifth statement.

1. He who errs from the Faith. Verses nine and ten tell us of the rich who fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. These men love money and covet after it. To such the Holy Spirit writes, "They have erred from the Faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." Once again we behold that the Faith once delivered, touches the practical walk of the believer.

There is a verse in the Epistle of James which says, "Have not the Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, with respect of persons."

Faith, that is doctrine, touches the very vital walk and life of the inner man. Faith is not to be forever located in the head; it should lodge in the heart, and become the lord of the life.

2. He who fights the good fight of Faith. The Apostle Paul was not slow to urge the man of God to fight this good fight. Here is a contest, which is worthy of the best that is in any man. How is this fight summed up? Here it is, just as God places it: "Follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness." This is the good fight of Faith. It is to this we are called. It is in behalf of this that we have confessed a good confession.

3. The final warning. "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called."

(1) There is the positive warning to keep that which is committed. In another chapter we are told that Paul knew Him, to whom he had committed his soul, and he knew that He would keep it. God is true to His tryst. Now, however, Timothy is urged to keep that which is committed to him. What is committed? It is the "Faith" of the Lord Jesus Christ.

(2) There is a negative warning, to avoid babblings and the oppositions of science, falsely so-called. Of these the Spirit writes to Timothy that some, having professed these things, have erred concerning the faith. How important is this last warning word. Science is all right when it deals with facts. Human knowledge is all right when it lies in the realm of truth; but, when it goes out of its realm and puts itself in opposition to truth, it places itself along with profane and vain babblings.

AN ILLUSTRATION

FIRE! FIRE!

"When a fire is kindled in a city we do not say coldly, 'Yonder is a great fire, I pray God it do no harm.' In times of public defection we are not to read tame lectures of contemplative divinity, or fight with ghosts and antiquated errors, but to oppose with all earnestness the growing evils of the world, whatever it may cost us." "If men valued truth as they do their goods and their houses they would not regard error with such cool contentment. The cant of the present day cries, 'Charity, Charity.' As if it were not the truest charity to grow indignant with that which ruins souls. It is not uncharitable to warn men against poisonous adulterations of their food, or invasions of their rights; and surely it cannot be more uncharitable to put them upon their guard against that which will poison or rob their souls. Lukewarmness of love to truth is the real evil to be deprecated in these times. We have new doctrines among us, full of practical mischief, and against these there is need to raise an earnest outcry lest they gain so great a head that both Church and state should be set on fire.

"Lord, arouse Thy watchmen, and bid them arouse all Thy saints, for the times are full of danger."


Verse 15-16

Saul's Conversion: A Pattern and a Prophecy

1 Timothy 1:15-16 ; with Acts 9:1-43

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

We marvel, therefore, that what God wrought in Saul's conversion on the Damascus road is as vital a part of prophecy, as what He wrote by Paul in the Epistles.

As we enter upon this message we ask your attention to a most striking Scripture. Let us weigh the words:

"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.

"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" (1 Timothy 1:15-16 ).

Paul's conversion was a model, a pattern to them who should hereafter believe. Certainly his conversion was not a pattern to the Gentiles, or even to the Jews, saved during this age of grace. We may have a wonderful change when we find the Saviour, but none of us have had the things accompanying our salvation, that befell Saul.

If, with wisdom and positive Scripture, we can truly show that Saul's conversion on the Damascus road is a sample, or pattern, of the future conversion of his own people Israel, then we will feel that we have not overstated the scope of meaning which we believe the Spirit is stressing in 1 Timothy 1:15 , 1 Timothy 1:16 . Let us give this interesting study our careful thought.

I. SAUL WAS A CHIEF OF SINNERS SO IS ISRAEL

In what sense was Saul the chief of sinners? He was not the chief of sinners morally. He could truthfully boast of his righteousness according to the Law therein he was blameless. Israel, nationally, is known for superiority over the Gentiles in the realms of the obscene, and of the baser lustings of the flesh.

Wherein was Saul so great a sinner? His sin lay in his blasphemy against Christ, and in his persecutions against the Church. What of Israel?

When Isaiah spoke of his sin, he cried, "I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips." When Paul spoke of Israel, he said, "Thou that makest thy boast of the Law, through breaking the Law dishonourest thou God? For the Name of God, is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you."

Israel has been scattered among the nations, and has been dispersed among all countries; wheresoever they have gone they have profaned the Name of the Lord. God will have pity for His Name, and will sanctify it. He will gather the Children of Israel back from every land whither they have gone, and will bring them into their own land. Then will He sprinkle clean water upon them and they shall be clean; He will give them a new heart, and put a right spirit within them: then, will they learn not to blaspheme.

II. SAUL WAS SAVED BY THE SHINING OF GREAT LIGHT ISRAEL WILL THUS BE SAVED

The light that shone upon Saul was supernatural; it was a light that demonstrated that Christ was living. Accompanying the light, was the voice of the risen and seated Lord.

When Israel is saved, there will be a marvelous effulgence of glory, shining upon her. The Spirit speaks by Isaiah this way:

"So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.

"And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.

"As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever" (Isaiah 59:19-21 ).

When Christ comes the second time He will come in the glory of His Father, and of the holy angels. His coming will be like the lightning that shineth from one end of the heaven even unto the other. Then, His people will see His glory. The Redeemer will come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob.

III. SAUL HEARD AND SAW JESUS CHRIST SO WILL ISRAEL

1. The first query that came to Saul from Jesus was, "Why persecutest thou Me?" These words were spoken from the sky, and fell upon Saul as he was filled with astonishment. Will Israel suddenly awaken to the fact that she has despised and hated the Christ of God?

The Prophet Zechariah wrote of the days of Israel's national salvation, thus:

"And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn" (Zechariah 12:10 ).

Think of it Israel is yet to look on the face of the One whom she gave over to die. She shall see the One she pierced. The Book of Revelation, chapter 1, Revelation 1:7 , says, "Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him."

Bless God, the Lord will come, and His people shall see Him, and seeing Him, they shall mourn for Him, Israel shall both hear His voice, and see His face, even as Saul saw and heard.

IV. SAUL CALLED JESUS, LORD, ISRAEL WILL ALSO NAME CHRIST AS LORD

We have now come to the gist of the whole Damascus road scene its culminating glory. Saul had rejected Jesus, because he knew Him only as "Jesus." The bitterest offense that Jesus ever gave against the Jews' religion, was when He announced Himself God, making Himself equal with God. The climax of the sins of the Christians against Judaism, was their continued assertion, and bold declaration that Jesus was both Lord and Christ.

The name Lord summed up all that the Godhead implied. It was a word that could be applied only to Deity. Israel's conception was: "The Lord our God is one Lord." Israel held that God would never give to another, the name of Lord.

Christ accepted that title, and the early saints asserted it. Christ came in the Name of the Lord, He also came bearing the Name, Lord. This was the core of the confession of faith that marked the early Church. They were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus, because they confessed that Jesus was Lord, the same as the Father was Lord, and the Spirit was Lord.

Peter was not slow to say at Pentecost, "Therefore let all the House of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye crucified, both Lord and Christ."

It was of this that Christ spoke when He said unto the Pharisees, "What think ye of Christ, whose Son is He?" They said, "The son of David." Christ then asked the question that for ever closed their mouths, "How then doth David in spirit call Him Lord?" "If David then call Him Lord, how is He his son?"

Now we come to the other side of the task, which we set for ourselves in today's discourse. Will Israel at Christ's Second Coming confess Christ as Lord? If they do, their change of heart and of mind will be as miraculous as was that of Saul's. Israel is blinded unto this day to the fact of the Deity of Jesus. Will they ever acclaim Him as Lord and Christ? Will they ever acknowledge Him as God?

V. SAUL KICKED AGAINST THE PRICKS SO WILL ISRAEL

The shining face of Stephen, the relatives of Saul who were in Christ before him, the mighty works of the Lord through the Christians, all of these played a great part in the conversion of Saul. Even during the time that Saul fought the Lord, there was a growing conviction that prodded his soul he felt that he was wrong in fighting God, yet, he pressed on his way of fury with even renewed vigor.

We now want to ask Has there been, and will there be certain goads to prick Israel? Will these goads open up to Israel the stubbornness of her heart against Christ Jesus, the Son of God?

The Holy Spirit in Romans 11:1-36 speaks on this wise: "Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. I say then, Have they stumbled, that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy."

Here, then is a goad that pricks the Jews. They cannot but be moved with the fact that the Gentiles are being blessed in Christ. The One whom the Jews crucified, and the One whom the Jews now deny, is the God of the Gentiles. The Jews are also learning that the Gentiles believe all things that are written in the Prophets. They have seen the hand of God favoring the Christians. They have beheld the joy and the song that moves the lives of the truly regenerated. National Israel is more and more moved to jealousy by these things. They are prodding deeper and deeper into their consciences.

However, the goads that prick, will prod the deeper, as the Church is taken out and up to be with the Lord, and as the miracles, and wonders, and signs of the day of Jacob's trouble are multiplied. Saul of Tarsus had a Stephen to proclaim in fiery faith and miraculous power the story of the Christ of God. Saul was overwhelmed by the testimony of Stephen.

Israel will have a similar testimony in the last days. God will send His two witnesses who will prophesy for forty-two months. These two will work miracles.

All of this will have a deepening effect on Israel. It will fill them with fear. It will prick their hearts like goads prick the oxen.

There is no doubt but that there will be many stirring events which will cause Israel to turn her face toward the Lord all of these things will prepare her heart for the Advent of Christ; they will make her ready to receive the Lord when He comes.

Behold thy God, O Israel,

No God there is, but He,

No Lord, no Saviour, and no God

To whom to bend the knee;

He is Jehovah Jireh,

And Jehovah Shallum, too,

He is Jehovah Shammah,

And Jehovah Tsidkenu.

Behold thy God, O Israel,

He is the First and Last,

Thy God in coming ages, and

Thy God in ages past;

He is thine only Alpha,

Only Omega He,

A just God and a Saviour,

He calls, Look unto Me.

VI. A GREAT CHANGE CAME INTO THE LIFE OF SAUL: A GREAT CHANGE WILL COME TO ISRAEL AT CHRIST'S RETURN

The expression which the Lord used in emphasizing the fact that Saul was saved, was, "Behold, he prayeth." The populace at Damascus themselves bore witness, when they heard Saul speaking in the synagogues, "Is not this he that destroyed them that called on this Name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?"

No one will hesitate to acclaim the great change that was wrought in Saul of Tarsus by his conversion. But, what of Israel? Yes, Israel shall be changed. Hear the words of God, recorded in Ezekiel:

"For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

"Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

"And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them" (Ezekiel 36:24-27 ).

In those days God will write His Law in the hearts of His people. She who persecuted, will pray. Hear God through Zechariah, "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness." In that day the Lord will come. His feet will stand upon the mount of Olives, The saints will come with Him. The Lord will be King of the whole earth. Then, "in that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness unto the Lord."

VII. SAUL SAVED WAS SENT TO THE GENTILES ISRAEL SAVED WILL BE SENT TO THE GENTILES

When salvation came to Saul, he cried, "What wilt Thou have me to do," Lord? The Lord replied, "Go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do." When the Lord gave Ananias instruction on this line, He said, of Saul, "For he is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My Name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the Children of Israel."

We now come to the vital part of this message Israel in the day of her salvation and restoration is destined, Saul-like, to be God's vessel to bear His Name before the Gentiles and kings.

It will be a great day when a multitude of redeemed Jews preach the Glad Tidings. When a great host of national Israel, saved as Saul was saved, go forth as Saul went forth: go forth, as Sauls, innumerably multiplied, to preach to the Gentiles. When God's "judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness."

In the day of Israel's national forgiveness, the Lord will sing a song unto her: "A vineyard of red wine. I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day." What else will the Lord do for His chosen people? "He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit." In that day they of Assyria who were ready to perish, and the outcasts of the land of Egypt will come to worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.

In that day the Lord will say unto Israel, "Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen." "Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God."

Hear the Lord! "It is a light thing that Thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a Light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My Salvation unto the ends of the earth."

O Israel, thou shalt arise and shine, when thy Light is come and when the glory of the Lord hath risen upon thee. Then shall "the Gentiles come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising." Men shall bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles; and, the nation or the kingdom that will not serve thee, shall perish.

In that day "the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory." And "thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God."

Israel shall yet declare God's glory among the Gentiles. All flesh shall "come to worship before Me, saith the Lord."

God will yet send the times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. The Holy Spirit in Pentecostal power will rest on Israel. Her old men shall dream dreams, her young men shall see visions. Upon her handmaids and servants will God pour forth His Spirit and they shall prophesy. Then it shall come to pass that "whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord shall be saved."

Let us, as we close our message, not forget the meaning of Jonah recommissioned. The Lord said unto Jonah the second time, "Arise, go unto Nineveh." Then, Nineveh repented. So shall Israel, who was unfaithful to her first call, be sent again, and in her, all nations shall indeed be blessed. God will perform the truth He spoke to Abraham, and swore to the fathers of old.

Whether we hear of forbear, God has spoken and He will perform, as saith Zephaniah.

"Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and 1 will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.

"At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord" (Zephaniah 3:19-20 ).

It will surely come to pass that every one that is left of the nations of the earth will go up to Jerusalem from year to year to worship the Lord.

Turn thou to God, O Israel,

And stretch thy curtains forth;

Lengthen thy cords, strengthen thy stakes,

Turn homeward from the North;

Thine habitations shall be filled,

As Jews from ev'ry land

Turn back their faces toward their homes,

And toward their fatherland.

No more shalt thou be put to shame,

No more confounded be,

Thou shalt forget thy shame of youth,

From sorrows be set free;

Jehovah, thy Redeemer, shall

Be called the King of earth,

Thou shalt believe the Holy One,

The One who gave thee birth.

In wrath a while He hid His face,

A moment He forsook;

He now returns with mercies, large,

O turn to Him and look:

Sing thou, O barren, cry aloud,

Break forth with joyful song,

Thou shalt bear children unto God,

A people great and strong.

The mountains may depart from Him,

The hills may be removed;

But Israel, His loved, His own,

Shall never more be moved.

O thou, afflicted, tempest tossed,

Thy path with sorrows fraught;

With sins all gone, with lives made clean,

What change thy God hath wrought.


Verses 18-20

Our Guide amid the Denials of the Faith

1 Timothy 1:1-7 , 1 Timothy 1:18-20

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

1. Will Christ find Faith on the earth? The question above has to do with the Second Coming of Christ, and the Second Coming of Christ has to do with the conditions which will conclude the age in which we are now living.

The Apostle Peter plainly told us, in the Spirit, of the advent of mockers in the last times. These mockers are men who deny the Faith, and particularly, who say, "Where is the promise of His Coming?"

The Book of Jude speaks of the advent of certain men who creep in unawares. These certain men deny the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. They utter hard speeches against Him.

These men are the complement of that which the Holy Spirit, in the Book of Thessalonians, calls "the falling away" a falling away that is marked by the apostasy from the Faith.

Along this line, there is an Old Testament Scripture which speaks of "a famine for the Word of God."

We believe that the day of apostasy is here. The denials of the Faith have come as a great stream overflowing its banks. Men are not ashamed to stand in the pulpit dedicated to the Gospel of God concerning His Son, while they defame everything vital to that Gospel.

2. The present-day apostasy described. The men who deny the Faith are wolves, dressed in sheep's clothing, professing to know God, they deny Him.

(1) The apostasy began by discounting the miracles. As we see it, the fad and fancy of evolution was no more than a strategic stroke of unbelieving and apostate men, intent upon side-stepping a miracle-working God.

If miracles were to be done away, the first miracle of creation had to be set aside. In order to defame that miracle, there must be some method by which the advent of man upon the earth might be established.

Skeptical minds were ready to promulgate a fable as a fact, a dream as a dogma, rather than to accept the plain and only reasonable statement of man's advent to being even the statement of the Divine fiat of creation as set forth in the Word of God.

(2) The apostasy continued by denying the need of the atonement. Salvation by the Blood of the Son of God was unpalatable to aesthetic minds. They wanted to be saved by the works of their own hands. They, like Cain, were willing to pass compliments with God; but they were unwilling, like Abel, to put their faith in a sacrificial offering.

(3) The apostasy deepened in the denial of the Deity of Christ. Jesus Christ, to the apostate, became no more than a man applauded for his virtues. He was only revered as a man who lived ahead of His time.

The fact of Christ's Virgin Birth; the fact that He came down from the Father and came into the world; the fact that He was God, manifest in flesh, was utterly repugnant to apostates. They were willing to place Christ on a pedestal of fame along with Elias, Jeremias, or one of the Prophets, but they were unwilling to acclaim Him Son of God and God the Son.

I. SWERVING FROM THE FAITH (1 Timothy 1:3-7 )

1. Fads, fables, and fanaticisms. Our text says that we are not to give heed to "fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith." We believe that a safe rule for saints is to utterly ignore religious discussions which are not based upon the faith once delivered. It is so easy to step aside into the mists and labyrinths of speculation along spiritual lines. We must never become erratic. We must never become preachers of our own dreams. Even in our statements of doctrine, we must seek always to us Scriptural terminologies.

Christ said, "We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen."

2. Teachers, ignorant of the Faith. Verse seven tells us that some, desiring to be teachers of the Law; understand neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

We need to study to show ourselves approved of God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.

The Book of Romans, in chapter one, speaks of some who profess themselves to be wise, but are fools. While we would class none of you with them, yet we want you to beware lest you speak of those things of which you know not. We do not believe that an intellectual grasp of Truth is all that is needed with the Christian. We need to know experimentally, the things of God.

3. Turning aside to vain jangling. Whenever we are unsettled in the faith, and are babes in knowledge of God and His Word, we will fall an easy prey to every false wind of doctrine that may blow.

Those who swerve from the Faith are those, usually, who have never been rooted and grounded in the Faith. Their faith was never an "unfeigned Faith," grounded in a pure heart, and a good conscience.

When the Faith is left and a professor swerves from the plain message of God, he will be turned aside unto vain jangling. There is a great deal of bickering and strife in religious circles; there are sects and divisions almost innumerable; and all of these because people are not established in the Word of God. When Christians follow men, and creeds, and sects, instead of a plain and positive "thus saith the Lord," they are bound to swerve from the Faith.

II. MAKING SHIPWRECK OF THE FAITH (1 Timothy 1:18-20 )

1. The marks of a good warfare. Paul writes to Timothy, "That thou * * mightest war a good warfare." Timothy had known the Scriptures from his childhood. He had heard the Faith from his mother Eunice, and his grandmother Lois. That Faith was an unfeigned Faith. Timothy had been led to Christ through the ministry of Paul. We know this, because Paul wrote unto him, calling him "My own son in the Faith."

When the Apostle wanted a young man to travel with him he chose the young man Timothy. He chose him because, that from a child he had known the Holy Scriptures.

What then are the marks of a good warfare? They are certainly a warfare in the Truth holding the Faith, with a good conscience.

2. The marks of shipwreck. Verse nineteen reads, "Holding faith, * * which some having put away concerning Faith have made shipwreck." We have before us a graphic scene. It is the old ship of Faith sailing over life's sea. Not a ship of "faith in Christ," but the ship of the "Faith of Christ." The ship is a wreck. It is engulfed by the wild waves and about to sink. Here is a picture of what we have before us today. The old-time message of the Cross, and the old-time confession of the Faith has, in many instances, suffered shipwreck.

The Apostle Paul, in the close of verse twenty, speaks of the men who put away the Faith, and who make shipwreck, as blasphemers. This is a serious charge, and yet it is true.

3, The results of making shipwreck. The Spirit, through Paul, definitely mentions two men, Hymenaeus and Alexander who put away the faith; and then he says, "I have delivered" them "unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme."

It is no light matter to depart from the Faith of God and to preach another message than that which God has delivered. Such men are under a curse. As we have said once, we say again, "If any man preach any other gospel * * let him be accursed."

It is important to know the Truth, and to live it, and to preach it. If we hope to receive from God a "Well done, thou good and faithful servant," we must stand unfailingly for the Faith.

The idea that we may live as we list, preach what we please, and believe what we choose, and, withal, be well pleasing unto God, is sheer folly.

III. DEPARTING FROM THE FAITH (1 Timothy 4:1 )

1. The pillar and ground of the Truth. By referring to chapter three, we find that the Church of the Living God is described as the pillar and ground of the Truth. The pillar is that which supports the roof. The ground is the firm foundation, the undergirding, upon which the whole superstructure rests.

When Peter said to Jesus, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God," the Lord immediately replied, "Upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

In Matthew seven, Christ said, "Whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock, * * and it fell not."

2. The perils of the last days. Young people need not become alarmed because so many have departed from the Faith. To be fore-warned, should suffice us to be forearmed. The Spirit described for us the very apostasy which surrounds the church today. They who know their books know that nothing has happened which has upset the Faith once delivered to the saints. They who have departed from the Faith are men who know not God in any vital and spiritual sense. Our text even says that they speak lies in hypocrisy. If they contend that they are conscientious in what they say, God quickly says that their conscience is seared with a hot iron.

It is still true that great men are not always wise; neither do the aged understand judgment. It is still true that the natural mind receiveth not the things of God. Men by scholarship cannot know God.

God has even said of the men who depart from the faith, that they are giving heed to the doctrines of demons. We should think such a charge would cause present-day modernists to stop and consider. They, indeed, are swayed by a power of which they may be unaware. They are carried on by winds of doctrine which sweep them from their moorings; yet, they may not realize their lot.

3. Nourished up in the Faith. We are sure that all who follow us, desire to be good ministers of Jesus Christ. If they do, they will put the brethren in remembrance of the apostasy which is now upon us. They will do more. They will nourish themselves up in the words of faith and of good doctrine. They will also refuse profane and old wives' fables.

The great need of the churches today is a testimony that rings true to the Faith. God give us many young men who will go forth in love and in courage, proclaiming the whole counsel of God.

IV. DENYING THE FAITH (1 Timothy 5:8 ; 1 Timothy 5:15 ; 1 Timothy 5:17 )

1. He who denies the Faith of practical Christianity. The faith for which we are to contend includes the great doctrines of Grace. It asserts the Deity of Christ; it acclaims the Virgin Birth; it emphasizes the Substitutionary Suffering of Christ; it unswervingly advocates the bodily Resurrection and Ascension of the Lord: it faithfully teaches the personal Return of the Lord Jesus.

There is another viewpoint, however, in upholding the Faith; that is the practical side of the Faith. It is the Faith, in action; the Faith, in life. Our verse tells us "If any man provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the Faith, and is worse than an infidel."

We need men who not only preach the Faith, but who live it. The doctrine must he glorified, adorned, by our walk, and work, and way.

2. He who denies the Faith turns aside after Satan. This is the message of verse fifteen. Low standards of living, as well as low standards of doctrine may find their source in Satan himself. He is the one who, in the Garden of Eden, with the self-same breath sought to instil doubt of God's Word on the one hand, and to inculcate the spirit of disobedience to God, on the other hand. How many there are today whom Satan hath blinded, lest the light of the glorious Gospel should shine in upon them!

3. He who holds the Faith is worthy of double honor. In 1 Timothy 1:17 the emphasis is placed upon those who toil in the Word of God and in the teaching of Truth.

If we had dropped into any of the services conducted by the Apostle Paul we would have found him standing true to the Faith, and proclaiming it with all longsuffering and doctrine. Paul knew how to reason out of the Scriptures. He knew how to open them up in such a way as to confound the adversaries. He never sounded an uncertain note. He never placed a question mark around any "Thus saith the Lord." He believed all things that were written in Moses and in the Prophets; and, what he believed, he proclaimed.

Men who hold down the truth, or keep back the whole counsel of God, are worthy of double condemnation. Men who serve for human plaudits, and not for Divine approval are to be pitied.

There is a little verse that says, "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." God grant that at this hour a great host of stalwart sons may stand forth and wield the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, with unswerving loyalty.

V. ERRING FROM THE FAITH (1 Timothy 6:10-12 ; 1 Timothy 6:20-21 )

We have found five distinct statements concerning the denials of the faith in First Timothy. (1) Swerving from the Faith. (2) Making shipwreck of the Faith. (3) Departing from the Faith. (4) Denying the Faith. (5) Erring from the Faith.

Just now we want to discuss the fifth statement.

1. He who errs from the Faith. Verses nine and ten tell us of the rich who fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. These men love money and covet after it. To such the Holy Spirit writes, "They have erred from the Faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." Once again we behold that the Faith once delivered, touches the practical walk of the believer.

There is a verse in the Epistle of James which says, "Have not the Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, with respect of persons."

Faith, that is doctrine, touches the very vital walk and life of the inner man. Faith is not to be forever located in the head; it should lodge in the heart, and become the lord of the life.

2. He who fights the good fight of Faith. The Apostle Paul was not slow to urge the man of God to fight this good fight. Here is a contest, which is worthy of the best that is in any man. How is this fight summed up? Here it is, just as God places it: "Follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness." This is the good fight of Faith. It is to this we are called. It is in behalf of this that we have confessed a good confession.

3. The final warning. "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called."

(1) There is the positive warning to keep that which is committed. In another chapter we are told that Paul knew Him, to whom he had committed his soul, and he knew that He would keep it. God is true to His tryst. Now, however, Timothy is urged to keep that which is committed to him. What is committed? It is the "Faith" of the Lord Jesus Christ.

(2) There is a negative warning, to avoid babblings and the oppositions of science, falsely so-called. Of these the Spirit writes to Timothy that some, having professed these things, have erred concerning the faith. How important is this last warning word. Science is all right when it deals with facts. Human knowledge is all right when it lies in the realm of truth; but, when it goes out of its realm and puts itself in opposition to truth, it places itself along with profane and vain babblings.

AN ILLUSTRATION

FIRE! FIRE!

"When a fire is kindled in a city we do not say coldly, 'Yonder is a great fire, I pray God it do no harm.' In times of public defection we are not to read tame lectures of contemplative divinity, or fight with ghosts and antiquated errors, but to oppose with all earnestness the growing evils of the world, whatever it may cost us." "If men valued truth as they do their goods and their houses they would not regard error with such cool contentment. The cant of the present day cries, 'Charity, Charity.' As if it were not the truest charity to grow indignant with that which ruins souls. It is not uncharitable to warn men against poisonous adulterations of their food, or invasions of their rights; and surely it cannot be more uncharitable to put them upon their guard against that which will poison or rob their souls. Lukewarmness of love to truth is the real evil to be deprecated in these times. We have new doctrines among us, full of practical mischief, and against these there is need to raise an earnest outcry lest they gain so great a head that both Church and state should be set on fire.

"Lord, arouse Thy watchmen, and bid them arouse all Thy saints, for the times are full of danger."

 


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Bibliography Information
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on 1 Timothy 1:4". "Living Water". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/lwc/1-timothy-1.html.

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