4:1 Now 1 the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the a faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
(1) He contrasts that true doctrine, with false
opinions, which he foretells that certain ones who shall fall away from God
and his religion, will bring in by the suggestion of Satan, and so that a
great number will give ear to them.
(a) From the true doctrine of God.
Speaking lies in b hypocrisy; having
their c conscience seared with a hot
(2) Even though heretics pretend holiness ever so
much, yet they have no conscience.
(b) For they will as it were practise the art of
disguised persons and players, so that we may not think they will lie lurking
in some one corner or keep any resemblance of being shameful.
(c) Whose conscience became so hard, that there
grew a callous over it, and so became to have a canker in it, and now at
length required by very necessity to be burned with a hot iron.
Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, 4
which God hath created 5 to be received 6
with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
(3) He sets down two types of this false
doctrine, that is, the law of single life, and the difference of meats. (4)
He proves that he justly called such doctrines devilish, first, because the
teachers of them make laws of things which are not their own: for have they
created the meats? (5) Secondly, because they
overthrow with their decrees the reason why they were created by God, that is,
that we should use them. (6) Thirdly, because by
this means they rob God of his glory, who will be honoured in the use of them.
And here with this, the apostle declares that we must use the liberality of
God solemnly, and with a good conscience.
For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be
received with thanksgiving:
(7) He sets an apostolic rule for taking away the
difference of meats, against that false doctrine.
For it is d sanctified by the e
word of God and prayer.
(8) He properly uses God's benefits who
acknowledges the giver of them by his word, and calls upon him.
(d) It is so made pure and holy in respect of us,
so that we may use it with a good conscience, as received from the Lord's
(e) We confess and acknowledge that God is the
maker and giver of those creatures which we use. Secondly, that we are of the
number of those, who through Christ's benefit, have recovered that right
over all creatures, which Adam lost by his fall. Thirdly, by our prayers we
crave of the Lord that we may use those meats with a good conscience, which we
receive from his hands. Fourthly, we make an end of our eating and drinking,
with thanksgiving and prayer: and so are our meats sanctified to us.
4:6 9 If
thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good
minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good
doctrine, whereunto thou hast f
(9) The conclusion with an exhortation to
Timothy, to propound these things diligently to the churches, which he had
gotten from the apostle even as though he were being fed.
(f) Never departing from it in the least.
But refuse profane and old wives' fables, 11
and exercise thyself [rather] unto g
(10) He contrasts again true doctrine not only
with the false and apostate doctrine, but also with all vain and curious
(11) It is not only necessary that the minister
of the word be sound in doctrine, but also that his life is godly and
(g) In the true serving of God.
For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all
things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
(12) Godliness consists in spiritual exercise,
and not in outward strictness of life, which though it is something to be
esteemed, if it is used correctly, yet it is in no way comparable with
godliness. For it profits not in and of itself, but through the benefit of
another; but godliness has the promise both of the present life, and of that
which is to come.
This [is] a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.
(13) He goes a little from his matter, and shows
that those who give themselves to godliness, even though they are afflicted
and reproached, are nonetheless not to be considered miserable as other men
are, because they are not afflicted for that reason that other men are, and
the end of them both is far different one from the other. For how can God
forsake his own, who is bountiful even towards his enemies? And he wishes that
this doctrine is well learned by them.
14 Let no man despise thy youth; but be
thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in
spirit, in faith, in purity.
(14) Now he returns to that exhortation, showing
what are the true virtues of a pastor, by which he may come to be reverenced
even though he is young, that is, such speech and life as are witnesses of
charity, zeal, faith, and purity. But here there is no mention made of the
hooked staff, ring, cloak, and such other foolish and childish toys.
Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
(15) The private exercise of pastors, is the
continual reading of the scriptures, from which they may draw water out of
wholesome doctrine and exhortation, both for themselves and for others.
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing
this thou shalt both h save thyself, and
them that hear thee.
(h) Faith is by hearing, and hearing by
preaching: and therefore the ministers of the word are so said to save
themselves and others, because in them the Lord has put the word of