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  • Paul was an apostle according to four things:
    1) the command of God (1 Tim. 1:1),
    2) the promise of life (2 Tim. 1:1),
    3) the faith of God's chosen ones,
    4) the full knowledge of the truth, which is according to godliness.
    The command, on God's side, speaks for Him and requires something of us for Him. Faith, on our side, responds to God's requirements and receives His life. Faith is a proclamation that we are unable to fulfill God's requirements but that God has done everything for us and that we receive what He has done. The life promised by God is what we have received of Him for the carrying out of His demand. It was in this way that Paul was an apostle to administrate God's New Testament economy.

  • See note 1 Tim. 2:42c. Paul was an apostle not only according to the faith but also according to the full knowledge of the truth. Faith is to receive all God has planned for us, all God has done for us, and all God has given to us. The full knowledge of the truth is a thorough apprehension of the truth, a full acknowledgment and appreciation of the reality of all the spiritual and divine things that we have received through faith. Apostleship is according to such an apprehension and appreciation of the reality of God's eternal economy.

  • The truth, the reality, of God's eternal economy is according to godliness, which is God manifested in man (see note 1 Tim. 3:162a and note 1 Tim. 3:163). Apostleship is the dispensing of this reality to God's believing elect and the carrying out of such a godliness among them through preaching, teaching, and administrating in the Word and in the Spirit (1 Tim. 6:3).

  • Paul was an apostle not only according to the faith and the knowledge of the truth but also in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised in eternity. This corresponds with according to the promise of life in 2 Tim. 1:1. In the hope of eternal life means on the basis of, on the condition of, relying on the hope of, eternal life. Eternal life, the uncreated life of God, is not only for us to partake of and enjoy today but also for us to inherit (Matt. 19:29) in its full extent for eternity. Today's experience of eternal life qualifies us to inherit it in the future. The enjoyment of eternal life today is a foretaste; the inheritance of eternal life in the coming age and in eternity will be the full taste. This inheritance is the hope of eternal life (see note Titus 3:73c). This is the blessed hope revealed in 2:13, composed of the freedom of the glory of full sonship, the redemption of our body (Rom. 8:21-25), the salvation to be revealed at the last time (1 Pet. 1:5), and the living hope of the incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading inheritance kept in the heavens for us (1 Pet. 1:3-4). This is the full, spiritual, divine, and heavenly blessing and enjoyment of eternal life, both in the millennium and in the new heaven and new earth (2 Pet. 1:11; 3:13; Rev. 21:6-7), referred to in 1 Tim. 4:8. Paul assumed his apostleship and accomplished his apostolic ministry not based on any benefit in the present life, nor taking the privilege of the law as a condition, but based on this hope as a condition, indicating that for his apostleship he relied on and trusted in the divine life with all its hope, which God promised in eternity and which was brought to us through the gospel (2 Tim. 1:10).

    This Epistle concerns the maintaining of order in the churches. For this, the faith of God's chosen ones, the truth according to godliness, and eternal life are indispensable. Hence, in the very opening word these three things are set forth.

  • The divine life, the uncreated life of God, which not only lasts forever timewise but also is eternal and divine in its nature. See note 2 Tim. 1:103d.

  • This must be the promise of the Father to the Son in eternity. The Father chose us in the Son and predestinated us unto sonship through Him (Eph. 1:5) before the foundation of the world. It must have been in eternity that the Father promised the Son that He would give His eternal life to His believers. By this life the believers, who were given to the Son in eternity (John 17:2), would become His brothers (Heb. 2:11).

  • Before the world began.

  • The proper time for the eternal life to be manifested.

  • Equal to eternal life in v. 2. This corresponds with 1 John 1:1-2.

  • The faith that is common to all believers (cf. 2 Pet. 1:1).

  • These words, compared with every church in Acts 14:23, indicate not only that the jurisdiction of a local church is the city in which it is located but also that in one city there should be only one church. The eldership of a local church should cover the entire city in which that church is located. Such a unique presbytery in a city preserves the unique oneness of the Body of Christ from damage. One city should have only one church with one presbytery. This practice is illustrated, beyond any question or doubt, by the clear pattern in the New Testament (Acts 8:1; 13:1; Rom. 16:1; 1 Cor. 1:2; Rev. 1:11) and is an absolute prerequisite for the maintaining of proper order in a local church. Because of this, the first thing the apostle charged Titus to do in setting things in order was to appoint elders in every city.

  • Referring to the elders in v. 5. See note 21 in 1 Tim. 3.

  • Not easily provoked.

  • The elders are appointed to administrate God's government in a local church that good order may be maintained in the church. To accomplish this, the elders need to hold to the faithful word, which is according to the apostles' teaching, that they may be able to stop troublesome talkers and calm a tumultuous situation (vv. 9-14).

  • The trustworthy, reliable, and true word that was taught in the churches according to the apostles' teaching. The elders in a local church should hold to this kind of healthy word that they may fulfill their duty in teaching (1 Tim. 3:2; 5:17).

  • The teaching of the apostles (Acts 2:42) eventually became the New Testament. This indicates that
    1) the churches were established according to the apostles' teaching and followed their teaching, and
    2) the order of the churches was maintained by the faithful word, which was given according to the apostles' teaching.
    The disorder in the church was due mainly to deviation from the apostles' teaching. To counter this, we must hold to the faithful word taught in the churches according to the apostles' teaching. In a darkened and confused situation, we must cleave to the enlightening and ordering word in the New Testament — the apostles' teaching. To maintain order in the church, the apostles' word according to God's revelation is needed in addition to the eldership.

  • To disclose the true character of anything so as to convict and, hence, reprove someone by exposing his fault. It is translated reprove in Eph. 5:11, 13.

  • Or, the gainsayers.

  • The Jewish believers who were seducers within the church.

  • Stopped by severe reproof (v. 13) with the faithful word, which is according to the apostles' teaching (v. 9).

  • Similar to what the reprobate prophet Balaam did (2 Pet. 2:15-16; Jude 1:11).

  • The Cretans. All those mentioned in vv. 9-10 were such.

  • A heathen prophet, probably referring to Epimenides, a native of Crete who lived about 600 B.C., according to a legend.

  • Lit., bellies.

  • The same word is translated convict in v. 9. See note Titus 1:95.

  • Or, sharply.

  • The gainsayers (v. 9) and vain talkers (v. 10) were infected with doctrinal diseases and became unhealthy in the faith. They needed the inoculation of the healthy teaching and the healthy word (1 Tim. 1:10; 6:3, and notes), which the elders should provide (v. 9) for their healing.

  • Objective faith. See note 1 Tim. 1:193d in and note 1 Tim. 3:91b.

  • See note 1 Tim. 1:41a. The Jewish myths might have been the seed of the Gnostic mythologies.

  • According to the next verse, these commandments of the heretics must have been precepts concerning abstinence from meats and other things ordained by God for man's use (cf. 1 Tim. 4:3; Col. 2:20-22). These were the commandments not of the ascetics but of the early Gnostics. What the Gnostics adopted was theosophy, which concerned God and the universe and was based on mystical concepts. It was a theory on understanding the things of God and spirits; that is, it was a philosophy or a form of mysticism that employed physical means to communicate with God and spirits. It came from Jewish sources, and some of it was probably derived from the Mosaic law.

  • Probably referring to those of the circumcision (v. 10).

  • See note 1 Tim. 2:42c and note 1 Tim. 3:155e. The truth here and the faith in the preceding verse prove that those who were dealt with here were not unbelievers. They were those in the church who had turned away from the truth concerning God's economy. It is possible that most of them were Jewish Christians who still held to their Jewish myths and traditions and thereby became a great disturbance to the church. They had to be stopped by the word of the truth according to the faith, that the order in the church might be maintained under the established eldership.

  • This must have been a Christian maxim. The apostle quoted it to refute the commandments of men (v. 14), i.e., the precepts of abstinence, which forbade certain actions and the eating of certain foods (1 Tim. 4:3-5; Rom. 14:20).

  • Or, polluted.

  • The mind is the leading part of our soul, and the conscience is the main part of our spirit. If our mind is polluted, our soul is spontaneously polluted; and if our conscience is defiled, our spirit is unavoidably defiled. This is all due to unbelief. Our faith purifies us (Acts 15:9).

  • Or, polluted.

  • Or, confess.

  • Or, reprobate, worthless, disqualified. The Greek word means unable to stand the test.

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