The Berean Expositor
Volume 15 - Page 43 of 160
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"But this I do admit."--These words are in strong contrast with the repudiation of the
other verses. Paul admitted that he worshipped God away from his forefathers, and
thereby merited the censure of his unregenerate kinsmen, but he protested at the same
time that his conscience in the matter was clear. When we turn back to I Tim. 1: we read
immediately following the reference to the unfeigned faith and good conscience:--
"From which some having missed the mark have turned aside to vain jangling;
desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they
affirm" (verses 6 and 7).
The word rendered "swerve" in the A.V. and which we have rendered "miss the mark"
occurs elsewhere only in 6: 21, a very evident parallel, and in II Tim. 2: 18 where the
Gnostic denial of the resurrection is suggested. These opposers had missed the mark.
Not understanding the apostle's standpoint, they turned aside to that which ceased to be
argument and became simply confusion. The apostle did not need their instruction as to
the true place of the law, as I Tim. 1: 8-10 shows.
We continually meet the same thing. So far as orthodox Christianity is concerned we
must be willing to be accused of departing from the worship of God as sanctioned by
custom and tradition. We must be prepared to be called sectarians and heretics. We must
be prepared to read long disquisitions intended for our edification, which as clearly miss
the point as did the lectures given to Paul on the law. It must suffice us that "we know
Whom we have believed", and the good deposit entrusted to Paul and passed on since is
after all in the hands of the Lord. As stewards let us be faithful. Let us remember the
glorious goal of the charge--love, and the threefold channel--a pure heart, a good
conscience, an unfeigned faith, and steadily pursuing our ministry let us leave the rest
with the Lord. Vain jangling belongs only to those who have "missed the point".
The Contest.
pp. 61, 62
An atmosphere of conflict is palpable in the earlier verses of chapter 1:, and in the
third reference to the charge the apostle speaks definitely of the good warfare:--
"This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which
went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare: holding faith and a
good conscience, which some having put away concerning the faith have made
shipwreck: of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan
that they may learn not to blaspheme" (I Tim. 1: 18-20).
"This charge."--To what do these words refer, and to what part of the preceding
verses shall we go back? Verses 17 and 18 are glorious doxology. Before that Paul
speaks of his conversion and commission. It is here that the structure comes to our aid
and sorts the subject matter out for us.