| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 48 - Page 92 of 181 Index | Zoom | |
1: 18 - 2: 7.
pp. 101 - 105
After his rapturous doxology (I Tim. 1: 17), Paul reverts to the main purpose of his
letter, to impress upon Timothy the solemn charge he had been given in connection with
"This charge I commit unto thee, my child Timothy, according to the prophecies
which went before on thee, that by them thou mayest war the good warfare; holding faith
and a good conscience . . . . ." (I Tim. 1: 18, 19, R.V.).
It is significant that the verb commit or deposit (paratithemi) is used of Timothy
passing the good deposit of Truth to others (II Tim. 2: 2). This young fellow had
evidently been marked out by those who had been given the gift of prophecy during the
Acts, as being God's choice for being Paul's successor, and as such he had no light
responsibility, as this epistle makes clear. Satanic opposition and the forces of darkness
made warfare inevitable and this has been true ever since Satan's fall, but Timothy must
be the Lord's good soldier and loyally take his stand and not yield an inch, `fighting the
good fight of faith' (6: 12) and holding faith and a good conscience. Faith and
conscience are joined together three times in this epistle (Compare 1: 5 and 3: 9).
These embrace the fundamentals of true doctrine and practice and the surrender of one
can ruin the other. Faith keeps us in close contact with the Lord and His truth, and a
sensitive conscience will tamper with nothing that is false, lax, or doubtful. These are
really the expansion of the whole armour of God that is described in Eph. 6:, which
ensures the safety of the believer in this highly dangerous conflict. Paul had witnessed
many a spiritual downfall due to lax regard of these essentials and so he warns his son in
". . . . . holding faith and a good conscience; which some having thrust from them made
shipwreck concerning the faith: of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I
delivered unto Satan, that they might be taught not to blaspheme" (1: 19, 20, R.V.).
Hymenaeus and Alexander were the concrete examples of this who would have been
known to Timothy. Hymenaeus is mentioned again in II Tim. 2: 17 in connection with
false teaching concerning resurrection and Alexander is spoken of in Acts 19: 33 and
II Tim. 4: 14. As Alexander was a common name it is not possible to say definitely that
these are one and the same person, but it seems unlikely that Paul would be referring to
two different Alexanders in the Pastoral Epistles without making this clear.
Whoever these men were, they called for strong disciplinary action, if the purity of the
Truth was to be preserved. One of the Apostle's powers was to be able `to deliver to
Satan' such people for chastisement, and if possible reformation, under the over-ruling of
God. Some think this means excommunication, but in view of Job's experience in the
O.T. it could have related to serious bodily affliction. Acts 13: 11 and I Cor. 11: 30 are
examples of this. In the case of the two mentioned in I Tim. 1:, the object was remedial:
"that they may learn not to blaspheme", so there was mercy at the back of it all.