| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 36 - Page 206 of 243 Index | Zoom | |
depart from iniquity". While we must not limit the title believer, brother, Christian or
fellow member, to those whose doctrine commends itself to our judgment, we must limit
our fellowship, as servants of the Lord in active fellowship with other servants of the
Lord, to those whose doctrine is according to the pattern given by the apostle Paul. We
have been obliged to refuse space in our pages to those whose Christianity we do not
doubt, but who by reason of some doctrine which they advocate, make it a matter of
faithfulness on our part to avoid them in their capacity as servants. This attitude is
always liable to misunderstanding, and those whose fellowship is refused are always
likely to resent the "Pharisaic" attitude adopted. This is part of the price we must pay.
"Purging ourselves" will not be a pleasant process but if it pleases the only One Who has
the right to be called "Master", if we ever and only seek to show ourselves "approved
unto God" we shall not only be "prepared unto every good work" but shall not be
ashamed of our work in that day, for not only shall we have "rightly divided the Word of
truth" but we shall have also "rightly divided" in connection with our service, and be not
only "unashamed" but "honoured" with the only honour that is worthy of the name.
#26. Characteristics of the Lord's servant,
especially in association with opposition (2: 22 - 26).
pp. 89 - 92
Separation from doctrinal error is most important, but separation because of doctrine
without a corresponding separation in heart and life, even though the doctrinal separation
be true, must in itself be false and breed a Pharisaic spirit. The Apostle who knew this
fact only too well, follows his exhortation to Timothy to separate himself from those
vessels which were not unto honour, by adding immediately:
"Flee also youthful lusts" (II Tim. 2: 22).
The word "lust" when used by itself generally denotes sensuality and if there were no
context to the exhortation addressed to Timothy, we should be obliged, however
reluctantly, to reckon that Timothy, being a man of like passions as ourselves and a
young man in a prominent position often having to deal very intimately with members of
the other sex, the Apostle felt it incumbent upon him to utter this warning. Before
attempting a conclusion, however, we should acquaint ourselves with two essential facts:
the way in which epithumia (lust) is translated in other passages, and the general bearing
of the immediate context. While epithumia is usually translated "lust" there is a
secondary and milder meaning, as may be seen in the following list.
"The lusts of other things" (Mark. 4: 19).
"With desire have I desired to eat this passover" (Luke 22: 15).
"Having a desire to depart" (Phil. 1: 23).
"After their own lusts shall they heap unto themselves teachers" (II Tim. 4: 3).
We can understand that "intense desire" can well be the meaning of the Saviour's
desire in Luke 22: 15 and that of His apostle in Phil. 1: 23; and a moment's thought