The Berean Expositor
Volume 49 - Page 136 of 179
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The good doctrine is obviously in contrast with the evil doctrine that Paul had just
been mentioning. The word used for `nourished' is the present participle entrephomenos
which shows there was a continual process of being nourished up in the words of the
faith, that body of doctrine which the ascended Christ had deposited with the Apostle
Paul. The false teaching was likened to "profane and old wives' fables" vividly rendered
by Moffatt `driveling myths'. These must be rejected firmly for there must be no
compromise (4: 7).
The Apostle now makes a further comparison between physical and spiritual
discipline. He does not say that there is no value in bodily exercise, but that it profits for
a little time (cp. James 4: 14) in contrast to the lasting profit of spiritual training which
not only embraces this life but also the life to come (4: 8).
Another of the `faithful sayings' follows in verses 9-11:
"Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation. For to this end we labour and
strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, Who is the Saviour of all men,
specially of them that believe. These things command and teach."
It is difficult to say whether the `faithful saying' related to the previous verse (8) or
the verses that follow. Either way, truth is being stressed. We must be careful with the
word soter, Saviour, remembering that its usual Greek meaning is `preserver', such as is
expressed in Psa. 36: 6:
". . . . . Thy judgments are a great deep; O Lord, Thou preservest man and beast."
The Scriptures often raise this word to a higher level and the fact that believers are
specially mentioned in verse 10 shows that Paul uses it here in a double sense. What is
certain is that the Apostle is not teaching universalism, and those who use it for this
purpose must be hard pressed indeed.
Timothy is now enjoined to teach these things with authority even though this meant
instructing believers who were older than himself. "Let no man despise thy youth", said
the Apostle, but we must not infer from this that Timothy was a mere stripling. Moulton
and Milligan quote from Irenaeus showing that neotes could apply to anyone up to the
age of forty and Timothy at this point could have been between 35 and 40 years.
Whatever his age may have been, he was to be an example (tupos, type) to all under his
charge, manifesting seriousness of purpose, trustworthiness, consideration for others and
Verse 13 instructs Timothy to devote himself to these pursuits, public reading,
exhortation and teaching. The reading referred to his public services, the reading aloud
of the Old Testament Scriptures to the congregation. The phrase occurs in Luke 4: 16
and Acts 13: 15 of the synagogue lessons. The proclamation of the Word of truth was
of the utmost importance and still is, and should always accompany Christian gatherings
for worship and divine instruction. There is a need of those who can read the Scriptures
distinctly and with understanding. God is always prepared to work on His own Word!