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Safeguards and Correctives.
"Endeavouring to keep the Unity of the Spirit"
(Eph. 4: 3).
pp. 110 - 115
We have seen that in the epistles to Timothy Paul gives a warning concerning the
departure from the faith that will characterize the `last days'. To leave the matter there
would be to present a negative aspect of truth. The same Apostle gives positive teaching
which is intended to be a corrective and a safeguard, and these are indicated by a series of
injunctions, exhortations and examples which fall into four main groups:
(1) "To keep"
(Eph. 4: 3; II Tim. 1: 12, 14; 4: 7).
(2) "To hold"
(Phil. 2: 16; Col. 2: 19; I Tim. 1: 19; 3: 9; 6: 12, 19; II Tim. 1: 13;
Titus 1: 9).
(3) "To stand"
(Eph. 6: 11, 13, 14; Phil. 1: 27; 4: 1; Col. 4: 12; II Tim. 4: 17).
(4) "To watch"
(Col. 4: 2; II Tim. 4: 5).
In the course of our expositions we shall probably come across other injunctions, but
for all practical purposes the references listed under these four headings will provide the
necessary correctives and safeguards against the infection of apostasy, and against the
plague of `the itching ear'.
It is not without significance that, though these four exhortations and examples range
throughout the Prison Epistles, finding illustrations in Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians,
I Timothy and Titus, a reference is found under each heading from Paul's last epistle. It
is important enough to justify a demonstration:
Correctives to apostasy.
Eph. 4: 3
II Tim. 4: 7.
Phil. 2: 16
II Tim. 1: 13.
Eph. 6: 11
II Tim. 4: 17.
Col. 4: 2
II Tim. 4: 5.
This fact emphasizes the place which the second epistle to Timothy occupies in
relation to the departure from the truth that will characterize the last days and impresses
every true Berean with the imperative need for its study and assimilation.
Most readers of The Berean Expositor are aware that the pivot of the epistle to the
Ephesians is the word `worthy' of Eph. 4: 1, the first three chapters containing the great
doctrinal revelation of the Mystery, the second three containing the corresponding
practice that is required. This practice is not limited to the church and its ministry, but to
daily life in home and business. It provides complete armour against the evil day, and
calls upon the believer to put on the new man, put off the old, and to repudiate the lie.