*J. Vernon McGees ThruThe Bible*Barclays Daily StudyBible (NT)
AN EXCELLENTMINISTER IS, ABOVEALL, A SERVANT“you will be a goodservant of Christ Jesus,” 1 Timothy 4:6b NASB
*Good (Kalos) could alsobe translated "excellent.“*Servant (diakonos) isused in the sense of itsmore general usage ofanyone who serves in anyministry on Christs behalf.
Those who serve Christ,those who are bond slavesto Christ, are called toexcellence in theirusefulness to His cause.
Colossians 3:22-2422 “Slaves, in all thingsobey those who are yourmasters on earth, notwith external service, asthose who merely pleasemen, but with sincerity of
heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, doyour work heartily, as forthe Lord rather than formen, 24 knowing that from theLord you will receive the
reward of the inheritance.It is the Lord Christ whomyou serve.” Colossians 3:22-24
Having discussed theinevitability of falseteachers in 4:1-5, Paulnow instructs Timothy inhow to be, and to evaluatethose suited to be, aneffective minister of the
Lord in the face ofdemonic opposition.*In so doing, Paul focusesmostly on the positivetraits that shouldcharacterize an excellentministry.
The way to defeat falsedoctrine is not only bydenouncing and refutingit, but also by positivelyteaching and living thetruth.
The primary focus of theministry is to be positive,to build up the people ofGod, becausesanctification is more thanavoiding error, it is beingbuilt up with truth.
So Paul calls Timothy tobe an excellent servant ofJesus Christ, and to set astandard of virtue in faith,devotion, and conductthat others can follow.
By so doing, people willbe delivered from heresyand will be focused on thepositive truth that makesthem spiritually strong.
In 4:6-16, Paul directsTimothy to consider hisresponsibilities byexhibiting eleven qualitiesthat are to characterize theministry of an excellentservant of Jesus Christ.
AN EXCELLENTMINISTER WARNS HISPEOPLE OF ERROR“In pointing out thesethings to the brethren,” 1 Timothy 4:6a NASB
*While the ministry is notto be dominated by anegative attitude, thatdoes not mean there is noplace for warning.*It is an essential elementof the ministry.
This passage is close—packed with practicaladvice, not only forTimothy, but for anyservant of the Churchwho is charged with theduty of work and
leadership.(i) It tells us how toinstruct others. The wordused for laying thesethings before the brothersis most suggestive(hupotithesthai).
It does not mean to issueorders but rather toadvise, to suggest.It is a gentle, humble, andmodest word.It means that the teachermust never dogmatically
and pugnaciously laydown the law.It means that he must actrather as if he wasreminding men of whatthey already knew orsuggesting to them, not
that they should learnfrom him, but that theyshould discover fromtheir own hearts what isright.
Guidance given ingentleness will always bemore effective thanbullying instructions laiddown with force. Menmay be led when they willrefuse to be driven.
Hupotithemi (pointingout) is a mild verb,meaning "to remind," or"to suggest."*It could literally betranslated, "to lay before."
*The verb does not havethe idea of commandingpeople or forcingobedience.*Rather, it refers to gentle,humble persuasion.
The present tense of theparticiple indicatesTimothy was to becontinually warning hispeople.
*That was a recurringtheme in Pauls ministry.*In Acts 20:29-32, hewarned the Ephesianelders of the errors thatwere to come.
*He did not, however,give an exhaustiveexposition of those errors.*Instead, he focused onthe positive aspect ofbuilding up their faiththrough Gods Word.
Having that strongfoundation, they wouldbe able to handle any kindof error when it came.*The first thing theytaught us in dental schoolwas what is healthy.
*The way a teller is taughtto recognize a counterfeitbill is by first teachingthem what the real thinglooks like.*Know the Truth and youwill recognize error.
*These things are thosePaul warned of in 4:1-5.*Timothy is to warn of thedanger of all features ofun-biblical, demonicdoctrine purveyed byfalse teachers.
*The people he is to warnare the brethren, Godspeople.*Believers are not to be"children, tossed here andthere by waves, andcarried about by every
wind of doctrine, by thetrickery of men, bycraftiness in deceitfulscheming" (Eph 4:14).*He is to remind themthat the way to deal withsatanic false teaching is to
be strong in the Word(1 John 2:14).
1 John 2:14Holman ChristianStandard Bible (HCSB)14 “I have written to you,children, because youhave come to know theFather.
I have written to you,fathers, because you havecome to know the OneWho is from thebeginning.I have written to you,young men, because you
are strong, God’s wordremains in you, and youhave had victory over theevil one.” 1 John 2:14 HCSB
*In 2 Timothy 4:1-5, Paulgave the followingexhortation to Timothy:
“I solemnly charge you inthe presence of God andof Christ Jesus, Who is tojudge the living and thedead, and by Hisappearing and Hiskingdom: preach the
word; be ready in seasonand out of season;reprove, rebuke, exhort,with great patience andinstruction. For the timewill come when they willnot endure sound
doctrine; but wanting tohave their ears tickled,they will accumulate forthemselves teachers inaccordance to their owndesires; and will turnaway their ears from the
truth, and will turn asideto myths. But you, besober in all things, endurehardship, do the work ofan evangelist, fulfill yourministry.” 2 Timothy 4:1-5
*A man of God mustdevelop and preachstrong convictions.*He must continuallywarn his people of erroras the need arises.
*He is the protector of hisflock.*A man of God mustdevelop and preachstrong convictions.
*He must continuallywarn his people of erroras the need arises.*So many pastors havefailed to draw the lineclearly between truth anderror and build their
people up in the rich andsound doctrine of GodsWord.*Such weak preachers areoften said to compensateby having what some calla "pastors heart."
A pastors heart, however,is not measured by howgood a man is at pettingsheep, but by how well heprotects them fromwolves and feeds them sothey grow to be mature
AN EXCELLENTMINISTER IS ANEXPERT STUDENT OFSCRIPTURE“constantly nourished onthe words of the faith andof the sound doctrine
which you have beenfollowing.” (1 Timothy4:6c)*This quality is basic toexcellence in ministry, butis sadly lacking in thechurch today.
"The Word of God andprayer" (v. 5) settle thematter. God, in His Word,has declared that all foodsare clean (Gen 1:29-31; 9:3;Mark 7:14-23; 1 Cor 10:23-
26; Acts 10:1); andthrough prayer, theChristian thanks God anddedicates the food to Hisglory (1 Cor 10:31).
The pastor must teachthese things to his people,nourishing them andhimself on "healthy"(sound) doctrine; seenotes on 1:10.
A good minister will feedon the Word that he mightbe able to feed others.
1 Timothy 4:6 KJV"Nourished up in thewords of faith and ofgood doctrine” -- this ishow the believer is togrow in the Word of God.
We are not to go off ontangents about diet orsome other aestheticprogram as if it wouldcommend us to God.
Instead our diet is to be"nourished up in thewords of faith and ofgood doctrine.“ 4:6
Much contemporarypreaching is weak andproduces weak churchesbecause it reflects a lack ofBiblical knowledge, and aminimal commitment tothe study of Scripture.
It tells us how to face thetask of teaching.Timothy is told that hemust feed his life on thewords of faith.No man can give outwithout taking in.
He who would teach mustbe continually learning.It is the reverse of thetruth that when a manbecomes a teacher heceases to be a learner;
he must daily know JesusChrist better before he canbring him to others.
*For many pastors, studyis an unwelcome intrusioninto their schedule.*It interrupts the routineof administrative tasksand meetings with whichthey occupy themselves.
They study only enoughto make a sermon, not tofeed their own hearts andthink deeply and carefullyon divine truth.
The result is impotentsermons that fall on hardhearts and have littleimpact.
*It is to that expert studyof Scripture that Paulcalled Timothy.*The translationconstantly nourishedreflects the present tenseof the participle.
*The continual experienceof being nourished on thetruths of Gods word isessential.*An excellent ministermust read the Word,study it, meditate on it,
and master its contents.*Only then can he be"approved to God as aworkman who does notneed to be ashamed,handling accurately theword of truth" 2 Tim 2:15.
BIBLE MATHEMATICSWe are not to add to theBible,nor to subtract from itbut to rightly divide it!
*The phrase the words ofthe faith reflects the bodyof Christian truthcontained in Scripture.*If the Word is "inspiredby God and profitable forteaching, for reproof, for
correction, for training inrighteousness; that theman of God may beadequate, equipped forevery good work" (2 Tim3:16-17), a minister mustknow it.
The issue is not how gooda communicator a man is,or how well he knows theculture and the currentissues, or even how wellhe knows the particularvicissitudes of his flock.
The issue is how well heknows the Word of God,since Gods revelationperfectly assesses allissues in every time andevery life and addressesthem with the divine will.
It is through knowledgeof the Word that thepastor fulfills his callingto lead his people throughspiritual growth toChristlikeness(1 Peter 2:2).
1 Peter 2:2 HCSB2 “Like newborn infants,desire the pure spiritualmilk, so that you maygrow by it for yoursalvation,”
Sound doctrine is thatteaching which is firmlyrooted in and yieldedfrom the properinterpretation ofScripture, not humansystems of theological or
philosophicalspeculations.*Exegetical theology mustbe the foundation ofBiblical and systematictheology.
An excellent ministermust be knowledgeable ofBiblical truth, both itsdepth and breadth.
*An excellent ministermust be an excellentstudent of Scripture.*He cannot give out whathe does not take in.
AN EXCELLENTMINISTER AVOIDS THEINFLUENCE OF UNHOLYTEACHING“But have nothing to dowith worldly fables fit onlyfor old women.” 1 Timothy 4:7a
This verse tells us what toavoid.Timothy is to avoidprofitless tales like thosewhich old women tell tochildren.
It is easy to get lost inside-issues and to getentangled in things whichare at best embroideries.It is on the great centraltruths that a man mustever feed his mind and
nourish his faith.
*The flip side of beingstrong in the Word isavoiding false teaching.*An excellent ministerwho is committed to thestudy of Scripture iscorrespondingly
uninterested in andunwilling to have hisstrength dissipated byungodly teaching.
*Paraiteomai (havenothing to do with) is astrong word, meaning"reject," or "put away"(2 Tim 2:23; Titus 3:10).
Worldly translates bebelos,a word that describes whatis radically separate fromwhat is holy. It could betranslated "unhallowed,"and refers to anything that
contradicts the Word ofGod.*Fables translates muthos,from which our Englishword "myth" derives.
*Such fables are theopposite of Biblical truth(cf. 2 Tim 4:4).*Paul sarcasticallydescribes them as fit onlyfor old women.
Women were not usuallyallowed the educationalopportunity men had, sothis phrase comes fromsuch a situation.
That epithet wascommonly used inphilosophical circles as aterm of disdain for aviewpoint lackingcredibility and thusappealing only to
uneducated,unsophisticated, andperhaps senile matrons.*No intelligent manwould hear it at all.
*The Ephesians wouldhave understood Paulsuse of the phrase.*The mind is a preciousthing, and God expectsthose in leadership tohave a pure mind, one
saturated with His Word.*There is no place forfoolish, silly myths thatare in reality the doctrinesof demons.
The excellent ministermaintains his convictionand his clarity of mind byexposing himself to theWord of God not todemonic lies that assaultthe Bible.
Under the guise ofadvanced theologicaleducation and academicerudition, many a manslove of the truth has beendestroyed, and a onceclear mind has been
AN EXCELLENTMINISTER DISCIPLINESHIMSELF FORGODLINESS“On the other hand,discipline yourself for thepurpose of godliness;
for bodily discipline isonly of little profit, butgodliness is profitable forall things, since it holdspromise for the presentlife and also for the life tocome.
It is a trustworthystatement deserving fullacceptance.” 1 Timothy 4:7b-9
A Godly Minister:Practicing the Word (4:7-12)Just as "healthy" doctrinewill promote spiritualhealth, so the foolish andsilly myths of false
teachers will producespiritual sickness.*Spiritual food andspiritual exercise are ahappy combination!
It is suggested thatTimothy was leaningtoward asceticism, thedisciplining of the body;and that Paul is hereteaching him toemphasize spiritual
disciplines and exercisesmore than physical.
If some Christians wouldput as much energy andenthusiasm into spiritualthings as they do athleticsand body-building, howmuch stronger they andtheir churches would be!
"Bodily exercise profits fora little time," Paul admits,"but spiritual exercise -practicing the Word ofGod - is profitable for thislife and the life to come"(v. 8). See Heb 4:14.
The Christian, andespecially the pastor,must practice the Word ofGod and be known forgodliness (god-likeness).
This may mean carryingburdens and bearingsuffering (v. 10), but it isworth it.
Even young people can beexamples of the faith, asPaul admonishes in v. 12:in word, in behavior(conversation), in love, inspirit (enthusiasm), faith(faithfulness), and purity.
This passage tells us whatto seek.Timothy is told that as anathlete trains his body, sothe Christian must trainhis soul.
It is not that bodily fitnessis despised.The Christian faithbelieves that the body isthe temple of the HolySpirit.
But there are certainthings in Pauls mind.First, in the ancient world,especially in Greece, thegymnasia were dangerousplaces.
Every town had itsgymnasium; for the Greekyouth between the ages ofsixteen and eighteen,gymnastics were the mainpart of education.
But the ancient world wasriddled withhomosexuality and thegymnasia were notoriousas hotbeds of thatparticular sin.
Second, Paul is pleadingfor a sense of proportion.Physical training is good,and even essential; but itsuse is limited.It develops only part of aman; and it produces only
results which last for soshort a time, for the bodypasses away.Training in godlinessdevelops the whole manin body, mind and spirit,and its results affect not
only time, but eternity aswell.The Christian is not theathlete of the gymnasium,he is the athlete of God.The greatest of the Greekswell recognized this.
Isocrates wrote: "Noascetic ought to train hisbody as a king ought totrain his soul.""Train yourself bysubmitting willingly totoils, so that when they
come on you unwillinglyyou will be able to endurethem."
This shows us the basis ofthe whole matter.No one has ever claimedthat the Christian life is aneasy way; but its goal isGod.
It is because life is lived inthe presence of God andends in His still nearerpresence, that theChristian is willing toendure as he does.
The greatness of the goalmakes the toil worthwhile.—Barclays Daily StudyBible (NT)
*"For bodily exerciseprofiteth little." There arethose who believe thatPaul is downgradingphysical exercise.*I dont understand it thatway at all.
*Paul spent about threeyears in Ephesus wherethere was a great coliseumin which the OlympicGames were held at times.*The coliseum seated100,000 people, and foot
races were often heldthere.*Paul uses the figure ofthe race and compares itto the Christian life andwalk in1 Corinthians 9:24-27.
*Paul knew somethingabout exercise.*I stood in the city ofSardis one time andobserved the Roman roadthat was being excavatedto the east and the west of
that city.*Paul walked that roadnineteen hundred yearsago, preaching the Gospelof Christ.*He didnt travel in a busor in an automobile.
*He didnt ride a horse oreven a donkey.*Paul walked there, and ittook a rugged individualto cover the ground thathe covered throughoutthe Roman Empire.
*He may not have donemuch jogging, but he dida great deal of walking.*Pauls emphasis ongodliness rather than onphysical exercise isbecause the Ephesians
were a people given overto games and athletics.*We are also that kind of anation.*Many of our cities havecoliseums where greatspectacles are conducted,
and many believers putmore emphasis onathletics than they do onthe things of God.*There are church officerswho spend more timeduring the summer in the
ball park than they spendin prayer meetings.*Paul is not saying bodilyexercise is wrong.*He is saying, "Lets holdthings in correctperspective."
*"But godliness isprofitable unto all things,having promise of the lifethat now is, and of thatwhich is to come."*Bodily exercise will helpyou only in this life,
because when you get anew body it wont makeany difference whetheryouve exercised this oneor not.
*"But godliness isprofitable unto all things."*Those who argue that aChristian can fall into sinand can always come backto God on easy terms areright.
*But, my friend, a godlylife pays off not onlydown here, it will pay offin eternity.*The Prodigal Son lost agreat deal by going to thefar country, and any
Christian who lives acareless life rather than agodly life will find thateven in eternity he willpay for it.
*Are you as anxious aboutgodliness as you are aboutphysical exercise, aboutathletic events?*The physical ends at theend of this life, butgodliness is carried over
into the next.
There is no effectivespiritual ministry apartfrom personal godliness,since ministry is theoverflow of a godly life.
J. Oswald Sanders wrote,"Spiritual ends can beachieved only by spiritualmen who employ spiritualmethods"(Spiritual Leadership, 40).
Spurgeon described in thefollowing words theminister who, lackinggodliness in his own life,would seek to lead othersto it:“A graceless pastor is a
blind man elected to aprofessorship of optics,philosophising upon lightand vision, discoursingupon and distinguishingto others the nice shadesand delicate blendings of
the prismatic colours,while he himself isabsolutely in the dark!He is a dumb manelevated to the chair ofmusic; a deaf man fluentupon symphonies and
harmonies! He is a moleprofessing to educateeagles; a limpet elected topreside over angels.”(Lectures to My Students,first series, Grand Rapids:Baker, 1980, 4)
Discipline is fromgumnazo, from which ourEnglish words"gymnasium" and"gymnastics" derive.
It means "to train," or"to exercise."The word speaks of therigorous, strenuous,self-sacrificing training anathlete undergoes.
*Every Greek city had itsgymnasium, and Ephesuswas no exception.*Youths customarily spentmuch of their time fromages sixteen to eighteen inphysical training.
*That was vital, since lifein those days involvedmuch physical activity.*There was a greatemphasis on physicaltraining and the glory ofwinning athletic events.
*By using gumnazo, Paulplays off that culturalphenomenon and appliesit to the spiritual realm.*As Greek cultureemphasized dedicatedtraining of the body, Paul
urged Timothy todiscipline himself for thepurpose of godliness.*The present tense of theverb indicates that was tobe Timothys constantpursuit.
*Timothy was to train hisinner man for godliness.*Eusebeia (godliness)expresses the reality ofreverence, piety, and truespiritual virtue.
Godliness is a rightattitude and responsetoward the true CreatorGod; a preoccupationfrom the heart with holyand sacred realities.
*It is respect for what isdue to God, and is thusthe highest of all virtues.*In 1 Tim 6:3 it is said tobe at the heart of truth.
False Doctrine and Human Greed 1 Timothy 6:2b-12Teach and encourage these things. 3 If anyone teaches other doctrine and does not agree withthe sound teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotesgodliness, 4 he is conceited, understanding nothing, but has a sick interest in disputes andarguments over words. From these come envy, quarreling, slander, evil suspicions, 5 andconstant disagreement among people whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth,who imagine that godliness[b] is a way to material gain.[c] 6 But godliness with contentmentis a great gain.7 For we brought nothing into the world,and[d] we can take nothing out.8 But if we have food and clothing,[e]we will be content with these.9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmfuldesires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is aroot[f] of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith andpierced themselves with many pains.Fight the Good Fight11 But you, man of God, run from these things,and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith,love, endurance, and gentleness.12 Fight the good fight for the faith;take hold of eternal lifethat you were called toand have made a good confession aboutin the presence of many witnesses.
2 Peter 1:3 says thatgodliness comes fromChrist, while 1 Tim 6:11balances that by teachingthat believers must pursueit.
*According to Acts 3:12 itbrings power, while 2 Tim3:12 indicates it bringstrouble.*1 Tim 6:5-6 says that itbrings eternal blessings.
Godliness is the heart andsoul of Christiancharacter, and the aim ofChristian living(1 Tim 2:2; 2 Peter 3:11).
*Spiritual self-discipline isthe key to godly living.*In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27Paul wrote, “Do you notknow that those who runin a race all run, but onlyone receives the prize?
Run in such a way thatyou may win. Andeveryone who competesin the games exercisesself-control in all things.They then do it to receivea perishable wreath, but
we an imperishable.Therefore I run in such away, as not without aim; Ibox in such a way, as notbeating the air; but Ibuffet my body and makeit my slave, lest possibly,
after I have preached toothers, I myself should bedisqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
In 2 Corinthians 7:1 heexhorted us to "cleanseourselves from alldefilement of flesh andspirit, perfecting holinessin the fear of God."
In 2 Timothy 2:3-5 Paulcommanded Timothy to“Suffer hardship with me,as a good soldier of ChristJesus. No soldier in activeservice entangles himselfin the affairs of everyday
life, so that he may pleasethe One Who enlisted himas a soldier. And also ifanyone competes as anathlete, he does not winthe prize unless hecompetes according to the
rules.” 2 Timothy 2:3-5
*Here Paul likens spiritualdiscipline to that requiredof a soldier and an athlete.*Such discipline isnecessary for victory inwar, or in the games.
The lack of spiritualdiscipline is the primaryreason so many spiritualleaders fall into sin.
They fail to spend timecultivating the means ofgrace, in the Word, inprayer, and in self-sacrificial service.
*An excellent minister isto pursue godliness, notsuccess (cf. 1 Tim 1:5; 2:8;3:2,10; 6:11; 2 Tim 2:1,21-22).
He will one day hear fromthe Lord, "Well done,good and faithful slave"(Matt 25:21).
*In Pauls day, as in ourown, there was a greatemphasis on bodilydiscipline.*While helpful, suchdiscipline is only of littleprofit.
*Paul is showing that it islimited both in extent andduration.*Bodily discipline affectsonly the physical bodyduring this earthly life.
On the other hand,godliness is profitable forall things, since it holdspromise for the presentlife and also for the life tocome.
Unlike bodily discipline,godliness is profitable forthe soul as well as thebody.
Its positive effects are alsonot limited to this life,because it holds promisefor the present life andalso for the life to come.
Cultivating godliness willbring benefits in thepresent life (cf. Prov 3:7-8), but it will primarilybring blessedness for alleternity.
So axiomatic is the truthof verse 8 that Paul calls ita trustworthy statementdeserving full acceptance.
“This is a faithful sayingand worthy of allacceptation” (1Tim. 4:9).*Paul is emphasizing thepoint he has just made.*In other words, he says,"Heres something you
can count on."*You could count on it inthe first century inEphesus, and you cancount on it in Jackson,Mississippi in the twentyfirst century.
And we can count on it inthe twenty-first century, ifwe make it that far.
As noted in chapter 3 ofthis volume, atrustworthy statement is aself-evident, obviousstatement.
It is something so patentlyclear that everyoneacknowledges it. Thisaffirmation refers back toverse 8, not ahead to thecomment in verse 10.
It is axiomatic thatbelievers are to bedisciplining themselvesfor godliness because ofits eternal value.
Godliness, not fame,popularity, or reputation,is the pursuit of theexcellent minister, whomust be an example ofspiritual virtue to hisflock.
He must apply all themeans of grace as heendeavors to be able tosay, as did Paul, "Beimitators of me, just as Ialso am of Christ " (1 Cor11:1).
AN EXCELLENTMINISTER ISCOMMITTED TO HARDWORK1 Timothy 4:10
“For it is for this we laborand strive, because wehave fixed our hope onthe living God, Who is theSavior of all men,especially of believers.” 1 Timothy 4:10
"For therefore we bothlabour and sufferreproach."*If you stand for JesusChrist today it will costyou something. There isno question about that.
*What Scripture does sayis that He is the Savior ofall men.*Whoever you are, Hesyour Savior and Hes theonly Savior.
"Specially of those thatbelieve."*He is the Savior of allmen, but you can turnHim down if you want to.*Let me illustrate this foryou.
They say that a planeleaves the Los AngelesInternational Airportevery minute, and I couldget on any one of them (ifI had the courage!).
*All I need to do is get aticket and get on theplane.*Its a plane foreverybody, you see, butnot everybody will take it.
Christ is the Savior of allmen, but only those whobelieve will be saved(see John 3:16; 1John 2:2).
The ministry of excellenceis not only a heavenlypursuit demanding divinepower, but also an earthlytask, demanding hardwork.
*As already noted, for thisconnects verse 10 withverse 8.*The goal of laboring andstriving is godliness, withits eternal implications.
Kopiao (labor) means "towork to the point ofweariness andexhaustion."Agonizomai (strive) is thesource of our Englishword "agony."
It means "to engage in astruggle."*In 2 Cor 5:9-11, Paulgives two reasons suchhard work is necessary:believers will appearbefore the judgment seat
of Christ (v. 10), andunbelievers will faceGods eternal judgment(v. 11; Col 1:28-29).
The knowledge of thisdemand for diligent laborspurs the excellentminister on to seriousefforts.
*No wonder HenryMartyn, the missionary toIndia, exclaimed, "Now letme burn out for God."*Because of his diligent,hard work as a missionaryto the American Indians,
David Brainerd was deadbefore he reached thirty.*Ministers of God areengaged in an eternalwork, with the destiny ofmens souls at stake.
*The urgency of that workdrives them on, throughweariness, loneliness, andstruggle.
*J. Oswald Sanders wrote,"If he is unwilling to paythe price of fatigue for hisleadership, it will alwaysbe mediocre. . . . Trueleadership always exacts aheavy toll on the whole
man, and the moreeffective the leadership is,the higher the price to bepaid" (SpiritualLeadership, 175, 169).
Paul affirmed to theGalatians that through thecross of Christ "the worldhas been crucified to me,and I to the world"(Galatians 6:14).
To the Corinthians hewrote,“For if I preach the gospel,I have nothing to boast of,for I am undercompulsion; for woe is meif I do not preach the
Gospel. For if I do thisvoluntarily, I have areward; but if against mywill, I have a stewardshipentrusted to me. . . .Therefore I run in such away, as not without aim;
I box in such a way, as notbeating the air; but Ibuffet my body and makeit my slave, lest possibly,after I have preached toothers, I myself should bedisqualified.”1Cor 9:16-27
To Timothy he wrote,10 For it is for this we laborand strive, because we havefixed our hope on the livingGod, who is the Savior of allmen, especially of believers. 1 Timothy 4:10
These passages speak ofPauls commitment tohard work and privation,a commitment evidencedby his suffering recordedin 2 Cor 11.
*An excellent ministerlives with hope and is notmotivated by instantgratification or immediatefulfillment.*He has fixed his hope onthe living God.
*The perfect tense of theverb indicates somethingdone in the past withcontinuing results in thepresent.*He constantly labors inthe light of eternity.
*As he was saved in hope(Rom 8:24), so he livesand ministers in thathope.*His concerns do notrelate to the temporalworld or earthly
fulfillment, but to therealm of eternity and theinvisible kingdom.
The phrase the living Godis used frequently in theOld Testament in contrastwith dead idols (1 Sam17:26; 2 Kings 19:4,16; Ps42:2;84:2)
Excellent ministers do notserve dead idols forearthly rewards, but theeternally living and trueGod for results andrewards that will only beknown in Heaven.
In what sense God is theSavior of all men,especially of believers hasbeen much disputed.
Some, wanting toeliminate the Scripturalteaching of an eternal hell,argue that Paul hereteaches universalism, thatall men will be saved.
*That view violates thebasic hermeneuticalprinciple known asanalogia Scriptura.*According to thatprinciple, the Bible nevercontradicts itself.
It will never teachsomething in one passagethat violates what itteaches elsewhere.
The Bible clearly teachesthat those who reject Godwill be sentenced to hell(Rev 20:11-15).
Matt 25:41 and 46 statethat the duration of thatpunishment will beeternal.
2 Thess 1:8-9 says thatthose who do not knowGod and refuse to obeythe Gospel will suffereternal punishment awayfrom Gods presence.
Jesus repeatedly spoke ofthe danger of hell (Matt8:12; 13:41-42,49-50; 22:13;24:51; 25:30; Luke 13:28).
He solemnly warnedthose who rejected Himthat they would die intheir sins (John 8:24).
Universalism isundeniably contrary toScripture, since the samewords in the original thatdescribe hell as eternalalso describe God andheaven as eternal.
*A second view might bedubbed thepotential/actual view.*According to this view,Christ is potentially thesavior of all men, butactually only of those who
believe.*It is true that Christsdeath was powerfulenough to have redeemedthe whole human raceand to satisfy the justice ofGod and remove the
barrier between God andall men.*Therefore, all can becalled to salvation andjustly damned if theyrefuse that call.
By means of Christsdeath, God madeprovision for the sins ofthe world.
That such is not theteaching of this verse,however, is revealed bythe use of the adverbmalista (especially), whichmust mean that all menwill enjoy to some
extent the same kind ofsalvation as believersenjoy.
The adverb is notadversative or contrastive,it cannot be saying that allmen are saved in onesense, but believers inanother.
The difference is one ofdegree, not kind.
It seems best tounderstand this verse tobe teaching that God isreally the Savior of allmen, who actually doessave them — but only inthe temporal sense, while
believers He saves in theeternal sense.*In both cases, He is theirSavior and there is asaving that He does ontheir behalf.
*In this life, all menexperience to some degreethe protecting, delivering,sustaining power of God.*Believers will experiencethat to the fullest degreefor time and for all
eternity.*The word Savior is notalways in Scripturelimited to salvation fromsin.
In the Septuagint, theGreek translation of theOld Testament, soter(Savior) is sometimesused in the lesser sense of"deliverer" (cf. Judg 3:9;6:14; 2 Sam 3:18; 2 Kings
Words in the same wordgroup occasionally havethat sense in the NewTestament as well ( Luke1:71; Acts 7:25; 27:34; Phil1:19; Heb 11:7).
A related word,sozo ("to save") is used inthe Gospels to refer tophysical healing (Matt9:21-22; Mark 5:23; Luke8:36,50; John 11:12; cf.Acts 4:9).
God is the Savior of allmen in that He withholdsthe death and judgmentall sinners should receivebecause of sin(Ezek 18:4,32; Rom 6:23).
The reality that Goddelivers men from instantdamnation and does"good and [gives them]rains from heaven andfruitful seasons, satisfying[their] hearts with food
and gladness" (Acts 14:17)shows He is the Savior ofall.
*He graciously gives "toall life and breath and allthings" (Acts 17:25), and"causes His sun to rise onthe evil and the good, andsends rain on therighteous and the
unrighteous" (Matt 5:45).*He gives common graceto all men.*Unbelievers experienceGods goodness andmercy in that they are notinstantly killed for their
sin.*Nor does He give themconstant pain andpermanent deprivation.*They experience Histemporal blessings in thislife.
That principle isillustrated in Isa 63:8-10:“For He said, "Surely,they are My people, sonswho will not deal falsely."
So He became theirSavior.In all their affliction Hewas afflicted, and theangel of His presencesaved them; in His loveand in His mercy He
redeemed them; And Helifted them and carriedthem all the days of old.*But they rebelled andgrieved His Holy Spirit;therefore, He turnedHimself to become their
enemy, He fought againstthem.” Isaiah 63:8-10*Verse 8 says God becameIsraels Savior.*He brought the nationout of Egypt, and caredfor them.
*He provided food, water,and deliverance fromtheir enemies.*That He was not theSavior in a spiritual senseof every Israelite is clearfrom verse 10, which says
He became their enemyand fought against them.*That passage isanalogous to Paulsthought in 1 Timothy 4:10.*God is the Savior of allmen in the temporal
sense, and especially ofbelievers in the spiritualsense that they aredelivered from sinspenalty forever!
So the excellent ministerhas no trouble workinghard proclaiming thesaving glory and work ofGod in Christ, knowinghe serves the living God,Who is by nature the
Savior both in time andfor eternity.
That eternal aspect ofGods saving was whatmotivated Paul to endurewhat he suffered in thecourse of his Gospelministry.
*The excellent ministerslabor must not be done inthe power of the flesh, butof the Spirit.*Paul strikes that balancein Colossians 1:28-29:"And we proclaim Him,
admonishing every manand teaching every manwith all wisdom, that wemay present every mancomplete in Christ. Andfor this purpose also Ilabor, striving according
to His power, whichmightily works withinme." Colossians 1:28-29*Hard work in theministry must beenergized by Gods powerat work in the minister.
Vine describes it as:"piety characterized by aGod-ward attitude thatdoes that which iswell-pleasing to Him“.
Godliness is alsodescribed as:“character and conductdetermined by theprinciples of thelove of God and thefear of God in the heart”.
Godliness could besummarized as:pious conduct done witha desire to please God.
Godliness is the reverentawareness of Godssovereignty over everyaspect of life, and thedetermination to honorHim in all ones conduct.
"Godliness" and "holiness"denote one reality(the terms are joined in 1 Tim 2:2 ; and in 2 Peter 3:11 ).
Godliness depends on knowing Godsrevealed truth. Paul speaks of "theknowledge of the truth that leads togodliness" ( Titus 1:1 ), and of "godlysorrow that leads to salvation" ( 2 Cor 7:10 ). Peter declares that Gods "divinepower has given us everything we needfor life and godliness through ourknowledge of Him" ( 2 Peter 1:3 ). Godimparts knowledge of Himself byrevealing His Son.
The godly person is committed to obeying God in the world:"We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to thegodly man who does his will" ( John 9:31 ). The shape ofobedience is clarified by the terms to which "godliness" isjoined. "But you, man of God, pursue righteousness, godliness,faith, love, endurance and gentleness" ( 1 Tim 6:11 ). "Makeevery effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness,knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control,perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness,brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love" ( 2 Peter 1:5-7 )qualities which, in turn, deepen ones "knowledgeof our Lord Jesus Christ" ( 1:8 ). Christ, moreover, furnishespower for the godly life: "Why do you stare at us as if by ourown power or godliness we had made this man walk?" asksPeter ( Acts 3:12 ). Without divine power, godliness becomes anempty form ( 2 Tim 3:5 ).
Godliness in both respects (knowledge of God andholiness of life) is jeopardized by the propagation offalsehood: "If anyone teaches false doctrines and doesnot agree to the sound instruction of our Lord JesusChrist and to godly teaching, he is conceited andunderstands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest incontroversies and quarrels about words that result inenvy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions, and constantfriction between men of corrupt mind, who have beenrobbed of the truth and who think that godliness is ameans to financial gain" ( 1 Tim 6:3-5 ). Accordingly, "thewrath of God is being revealed from heaven against allthe godlessness and wickedness of men who suppressthe truth by their wickedness" ( Rom 1:18 ).
Godliness is costly: "everyone who wants to live a godlylife in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" ( 2 Tim 3:12 ).Hope of eternal life enables them to endure. "The Lordknows how to rescue godly men from trials and to holdthe unrighteous for the day of judgment" ( 2 Peter 2:9 ; 3:11-12 ). "Train yourself to be godly. For physicaltraining is of some value, but godliness has value for allthings, holding promise for both the present life and thelife to come" ( 1 Tim 4:7-8 ). Grace teaches us "to say Noto ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,while we wait for the blessed hopethe gloriousappearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ" ( Titus 2:12-13 ). Seeing this life in light of the nextencourages "godliness with contentment" ( 1 Tim 6:6-7 ).
god·ly [god-lee] Show IPAadjective, god·li·er, god·li·est.1. conforming to the laws and wishes of God; devout; pious.2. coming from God; divine.Origin:before 1000; Middle English; Old English godlīc. See God, -lyRelated formsgod·li·ness, nounSynonyms1. religious, saintly, holy, righteous, good.Antonyms1. wicked, impious.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 NASB1 “But realize this, that inthe last days difficulttimes will come. 2 For men will be loversof self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant,