An Interpretation of the English Bible THE PASTORAL EPISTLES OF PAUL, I and 2 PETER, JUDE, and 1, 2, and 3 JOHN by B. H. CARROLL

An Interpretation of the English Bible

I and 2 PETER, JUDE, and
1, 2, and 3 JOHN

Late President of Southwestern Baptist
Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas

Edited by
J. B. Cranfill

Grand Rapids, Michigan

New and complete edition
Copyright 1948, Broadman Press
Reprinted by Baker Book House
with permission of
Broadman Press
ISBN: 0_8010_2344_0
First Printing, September 1973
Second Printing, September 1976



I. Introduction to the Pastoral Epistles 1
II. Analysis, Pulpit Themes, and Exposition 10
III. Paul’s Christian Experience 22
IV. The Spheres of Men and Women in the Church;
Church Officers and Their Qualifications 33
V. The Mission of the Women 48
VI. The Mystery of Lawlessness. A Good Minister
of Jesus Christ 59
VII. The Administration of Internal Church Affairs. 69
VIII. Administration of Internal Church Affairs
(Concluded) 82
IX. The Introduction, Analysis, and Greeting of the
Letter to Titus 95
X. An Exposition of the Book of Titus 104
XI. Introduction to 2 Timothy and Exposition of 2
Timothy 1:1_6 117
XII. A Faithful Minister of Jesus Christ 126
XIII. Illustrations of a Faithful Minister 136
XIV. Characteristics of the Last Day 147
XV. Paul’s Final Word 156
XVI. The Life of Peter 163
XVII. The Life of Peter (Continued) 172
XVIII. Introduction to 1 Peter 183
XIX. Undeserved Christian Suffering 196
XX. What to Put Away 209
XXI. Sane Thinking on the Second Advent and Other
Things 221
XXII. The Book of 2 Peter: An Introduction, Outline,
and Exposition 232
XXIII. Import of the Transfiguration of Jesus and False
Teachers 241
XXIV. The Second Advent and the Judgment 249
XXV. Introduction to Jude 257
XXVI. And Exposition of the Book of Jude 271
XXVII. First Letter of John: An Introduction, Analysis,
Exposition 288
XXVIII. First Letter of John: Exposition (Continued) 297
XXIX. First Letter of John: Exposition (Concluded) 308
XXX. Introduction and Exposition of the Second and
Third Letters of John 322


The last group of Paul’s letters consists of I Timothy, Titus,
and 2 Timothy, commonly called the „Pastoral Epistles,” not
because addressed to pastors, but because they relate to the
flock. Though addressed to individuals, the letters are ec_
clesiastical. So far as New Testament records show) neither
Timothy nor Titus was ever a pastor in the ordinary sense,
but evangelists acting temporarily here and there as special
apostolic delegates, according to the passing emergency. In
this case, Titus was left in the Island of Crete and Timothy at
Ephesus. The Anglican Church misinterprets the New Testa_
ment in deriving their modern bishopric cases from the cases of
Timothy and Titus. Neither these nor any other apostolic dele_
gates, and there were many, ever had a settled diocese. They
might be counted the apostolic staff, sent here or there, in any
part of the world, for a few days only or for a longer time,
according to the necessity. Their fields of labor were shifted
at the apostolic will, and wherever sent in the name of the
apostle, they carried his apostolic authority. Even in the brief
period covered by these letters, both of them are directed again
to far distant fields.
It is absurd to call them bishops, in either the New Testa_
ment or modern sense. In the New Testament the bishop was
the pastor of a single church. In our day a bishop of a hier_
archial or prelatical denomination has a settled diocese – me_
tropolis, county, province, or state. As Timothy and Titus
(with others named in these letters: for example, Luke, Trophi_
mus, Artemus, Tychicus, Zenas, Apollos, Erastus, Demas, Cres_
cens, and Mark) were evangelists, we need at the threshold of
this discussion to consider that office somewhat. For a more
elaborate discussion, the reader is referred to the author’s ad_
dress on „The Office of Evangelist,” delivered before the South_
ern Baptist Convention in May, 1907, and published by its
Home Mission Board.
Our Lord himself originated the office when he appointed the
seventy to go before his face, delegating to them his own power,
and distinguished it from the office of pastor or bishop. The
pastor had charge of a single flock; the evangelist was a king_
dom officer, though like all others, set in the church, that every
preacher of whatever kind might be subject to some definite
We have already seen, in our study of Ephesians, that our
Lord gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.
Apostles and prophets were necessarily inspired; pastors and
evangelists might be only illumined. Inspiration qualified to
speak or write for God. Illumination qualified to interpret the
inspired teaching. Apostles and prophets spoke or wrote
authoritatively for God; evangelists and pastors expounded
and executed what apostles and prophets taught.
Authenticity. The next question concerning these letters is
their authenticity. Are they veritable letters of the apostle
Paul? The consensus of Christendom is that they are. There
are a few infidels and some semi_infidels holding office aa
teachers or preachers in some state denominations, who argue
that they were written in the second century and attributed to
Paul in order to give them currency. There is not a particle of
real evidence for any such assertion. Such contention results
from radical higher criticism run mad.
If we go back to the earliest lists of Paul’s books of which
we have any account at all, I and 2 Timothy and Titus are in
them. When we go back to the earliest New Testament Manu_
scripts, Timothy and Titus are in them. When we go back to
the earliest versions, as the Peshito Version, we find these let_
ters attributed to Paul. The external evidence that they are
Paul’s is overwhelming. It is really not worth while to take
up any more time discussing the authenticity of these letters.
Date. The question of the date of these letters necessarily
raises a prior question, namely, was there a second Roman im_
prisonment? If the imprisonment of Acts 28 resulted in his
death, then we must put these letters, in order to make them
Pauline letters, at a much earlier date than if we assume that
he escaped from that imprisonment. The fact that Paul did
escape from that imprisonment rests upon two kinds of evi_
The unbroken testimony of early history and the apostle’s
own testimony in these letters are alike convincing. We need
not here enter into the church history problem as to whether
Paul ever fulfilled the purpose expressed in the letter to the
Romans to visit Spain, nor the more improbable conjecture
that he visited Britain, but it is evident from Philippians, Phi_
lemon, Colossians, and Hebrews, that he confidently expected
a speedy release from the Roman imprisonment recorded in
Acts. And it is certain that the events recorded in I and 2
Timothy and in Titus never occurred in the period covered by
the book of Acts. So that we may count it a settled result of.
fair biblical criticism that Paul was acquitted on the charges
which first held him bound at Rome, and whether or not he
ever visited Spain or Britain, we may be sure, on biblical evi_
dence, that after his release he did make an extended tour over
his old fields of labor in proconsular Asia, Macedonia, and
His companions on this tour – some of them perhaps all of
the time, all of them some of the time – were Luke, Titus, Tim_
othy, Tychicus, Erastus, Demas, and perhaps others. While
the order of his travels may not be dogmatically affirmed, the
following may be accepted as approximately correct:
1. He stopped at the Island of Crete, leaving Titus as his
delegate, to set in order certain irregularities and heresies there
(Titus 1:5), and later ordered him to rejoin him at Nicopolis,
where Paul expected to winter (Titus 3:12), and still later to
Dalmatia (2 Tim. 4:10).
2. Then he went to Ephesus, where he found Timothy, who
had been sent from Italy with the letter to the Hebrews, and
where he exercised his apostolic authority on two heretics (I
Tim. 1:20), and there left Timothy as apostolic delegate (I
Tim. 1:3).
3. Thence to Macedonia (I Tim. 1:3), where probably he
wrote I Timothy and Titus, and sends Artemas or Tychicus
to Crete with the letter to Titus directing him to join Paul at
Nicopolis for the winter (Titus 3:12).
4. He returns to Ephesus (I Tim. 3:14), where he has a
stormy time (2 Tim. 1:15, 18:4:14). He found heresy ram_
pant and all the tide against him, caused largely, perhaps, so
far as the Jewish and Gnostic elements are concerned, by his
recent letter to the Hebrews. From the storm against him he
was sheltered in the house of Onesiphorus (2 Tim. 1:16). Per_
haps his very life was imperiled, and so he hurried to Miletus.
5. At Miletus he left Trophimus sick (2 Tim. 4:6).
6. Thence to Troas, where, perhaps in the hurry of flight, he
leaves with Carpus his cloak and books (2 Tim. 4:13).
7. Thence to Corinth, where he left Erastus (2 Tim. 4:20).
8. Thence to Nicopolis, where he intended to winter (Titus
3:12). Here, or somewhere in that section, the Neronian perse_
cution reaches him. Nero had set fire to Rome, causing the
most awful conflagration known in the annals of time. It
caused such indignation that it was necessary for him to put
the blame on somebody else, so he accused the Christians of
setting fire to Rome. That brought about the bloodiest perse_
cution of Christians known to history, if, perhaps, we except
the persecution of Phillip II of Holland. In some of its hor_
rors it has never been equaled.
Most diligent search was made for anybody that would take
the name of Christ. From Rome the persecution spread, and
about this time it struck Paul over there in Achaia or in
Nicopolis. When Paul was arrested, Demas, one of his lieuten_
ants, got snared and left. him. as he writes to Timothy: „Demas
hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and hath
gone to Thessalonica.” Paul had sent Titus to Dalmatia and
Crescens to Galatia; Trophimus had been left sick at Miletus,
so Luke is his only companion. They are arrested and carried
to Rome.
When he is brought before Roman judges, he says that
nobody stood by him. It was very different when he was there
the first time; two great church delegations came out and met
him before he reached the city. But now, with the Christians
under the ban, when to acknowledge the name of Christ meant
the most awful death, matters were different. Afterward he
says that only Luke stood with him at the examining trial. This
is not the final trial, but the trial for commitment. He was
committed and taken to prison to await the final trial, and he
never escaped. Under such conditions, winter coming on, hav_
ing left Troas in a hurry without his cloak and books, he is
imprisoned. He has nothing to read. He sends Tychicus to
Ephesus to take Timothy’s place and urges Timothy to join
him at Rome; to come by Troas and get his cloak and books.
The Romans made few provisions for the comfort of prisoners
under serious charges. They were shut up in a bare cell. Paul
wants his manuscripts, and he tells Timothy to bring Mark
back with him, that he needs him. Whether or not they reached
him before his martyrdom we do not know.
Before we take up the letters to Timothy, I will give a con_
nected biblical history of Timothy, as follows:
1. His early training. 2 Timothy 3:15: „And that from a
babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to
make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Jesus
Christ.” As his mother was a Jewess, he was from infancy in_
structed in the Old Testament Scriptures.
2. His conversion to Christianity. He was converted under
Paul’s preaching. In I Timothy 1:2 Paul says, „Unto Timothy
my true child in the faith”; again in 2 Timothy 1:2 he calls

him his „beloved child.” His conversion followed that of his
grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice (2 Tim. 1:5). This
conversion occurred on Paul’s first missionary tour (Acts 14:
6_7). The relating of Timothy’s Christian experience before
the church made a profound impression, as Paul referring to it
says, „Thou didst confess the good confession in the sight of
many witnesses” (I Tim. 6:12).
3. His ordination to the office of evangelist, to be Paul’s com_
panion as Barnabas had been. The scriptures bearing on this
are Acts 16:1_3; I Timothy 1:18; 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6; 4:5.
From which it appears that as the Spirit signified to prophets
that Paul and Barnabas be set apart to the foreign mission
work (Acts 13:1_2), so now the same Spirit, through some
prophet, Paul himself or Silas, directed the ordination of Tim_
othy to the same work. And as all the neighboring churches
highly recommended Timothy for the work, he was solemnly
and impressively ordained by the laying on of hands of the
presbytery, one of whom was Paul himself. And that through
Paul’s laying on of hands there came the same remarkable gifts
noted in Acts 8:17; 19:5.
4. His labors with Paul. In general terms 2 Timothy 3:10_
11. More particularly Timothy was with Paul in all the history
set forth in Acts 16:1 to 17:14 at Philippi and Thessalonica
and Berea. Here Timothy was left (Acts 17:14), but rejoined
Paul at Athens, and from that point was sent back to Thes_
salonica (Actsl7:15_16andlThess.3:2). He rejoined Paul at
Corinth, bringing the news that occasioned the first letter to
the Thessalonians (Acts 18:5; I Thess. 1:1). So both with Silas
were associated in that letter, as well as in the second letter
written also from Corinth (2 Thess. 1:1).
The record is silent as to Timothy’s accompanying Paul to
Syria, Jerusalem, and Antioch (Acts 18:18_22). But we cer_
tainly find him with Paul on the third missionary tour at
Ephesus, from which place he is sent into Macedonia (Acts 19:
22). and from thence to Corinth (I Cor. 16:10). Joining Paul
in Macedonia, he is associated with him in the second letter to
the Corinthians (2 Cor. 1:1).
He certainly accompanied Paul to Greece (Acts 20:2_3),
and goes with Paul back to Macedonia. In Paul’s last visit to
Syria he sent Timothy with others ahead of him to Troas
(Acts 20:3_5), and Timothy was left there in Asia. There is
no further account of Timothy in Acts. But when Paul, ar_
rested at Jerusalem, imprisoned two years at Caesarea, finally
reaches Rome, Timothy joins him there, for he is associated
with Paul in the letters from Rome (Phil. I: I; Philem. I; Col.
1:1). His temporary imprisonment, perhaps, accounts for the
absence of his name in the address of the letters to the Ephe_
sians, but soon after he is released and bears the letter to the
Hebrews (Heb. 13:23) where Paul later finds and leaves him
(I Tim. 1:3). Here again at Ephesus Paul finds him (I Tim.
3:14), and he is a witness of the stormy time Paul had there
(2 Tim. 1:15, 18; 4:14).
After Paul’s arrest in Nicopolis of Epirus, or somewhere in
Achaia, and his being carried to Rome, and his commitment
trial, he writes a second letter to Timothy (2 Tim. 1:1), and
urges him to come to Rome speedily, before winter, bringing his
cloak and books left at Troas, and also Mark. Paul sent Ty_
chicus to take Timothy’s place at Ephesus (2 Tim. 4:9, 11_13,
21). We do not know positively whether Timothy reached
Rome before Paul was executed.
That gives a connected biblical history of Timothy, and if
one will go over it carefully he will have impressed upon his
mind, in regard to Timothy, two things: One is that by the
direction of the Holy Spirit, Timothy was elected to be Paul’s
companion in the place of Barnabas, and associated with him
in his letters and labors, and also that he, as an apostolic dele_
gate, was the most faithful and useful of all of Paul’s corps of
So that the order of the scriptures touching Timothy’s life,
in summary, is:
1. Early training: 2 Timothy 3:15.
2. Conversion: I Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2, 5; 6:12.
3. Ordination: Acts 16:1_3; I Timothy 1:18; 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6;
4. Labors with Paul: 2 Timothy 3:10_11; Acts 16:1_17; 17:14_16;
I Thessalonians 3:2; Acts 18:5; I Thessaloniana 1:1; 2 Thessalonians
1:1; Acts 19:22; I Corinthians 16:10; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Acts 20:2_3
with Romans 16:21; Acts 20:3_5; Philippians 1:1; Philemon 1; Colos_
sians 1:1; Philippiana 2:19; Hebrews 13:23; I Timothy 1:3; 3:14; 2
Timothy 1:15, 18; 4:14; 4:9, 11_13, 21.
In these letters we bid farewell to Paul. In his first group of
letters, I and 2 Thessalonians, we have studied eschatology;
in his second group, I and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, and Ro_
mans, we have seen in I Corinthians the disorders of a New
Testament church, learned the place and significance of mirac_
ulous spiritual gifts, and studied the great argument on the
resurrection of the dead. In 2 Corinthians we have heard the
vindication of his apostolic claims. In Galatians and Romans
we have had the doctrine of justification by faith. In the third
group, Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, and He_
brews: we have found in Philemon Christianity’s attitude to
the then worldwide institution of slavery; in Philippians, Colos_
sians, and Ephesians, we found a great advance in the plan of
salvation and in the meaning of the word „church,” and have
learned the finalities on the nature, person, offices, and rela_
tions of our Lord. In Hebrews we have learned the superiori_
ties of the new covenant.
Now in this last group, I Timothy, Titus, and 2 Timothy, we
find the Christian’s vade_mecum on church order and officers,
and take our last look at earth’s greatest man in his exodus,
through martyrdom, from the battlefield of time to the victor’s
crown of glory in eternity.
As the storm of imperial persecution bursts on him, we hear
him, in his weakness, call for Zenas, the lawyer, Luke, the
physician, and Timothy, his son in the gospel, his cloak to
warm him in his cold cell, his books and parchments to cheer
him; then we heard him in his strength, shout his battle cry of
triumph for himself and every other saint: „For I am already
being offered, and the time of my departure is come. I have
fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept
the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of
righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give
to me at that day; and not to me only, but also to all them that
have loved his appearing.”

1. What is the last group of Paul’s letters and why called „Pastoral
2. How does the Anglican church misinterpret Timothy and Titus?
3. What other evangelists mentioned in these letters?
4. Where do you find an elaborate discussion of the office of evangelist?
5. Give brief account of the office as distinguished from others.
6. What can you say of the authenticity of these letters?
7. Their probable dates?
8. Give briefly the proof that Paul was acquitted and released from
the first Roman imprisonment.
9. What old fields did he revisit?
10. Give probable order of the itinerary of this last tour.
11. Who his companions on this tour for the whole or part of the
12. What the origin of the Neronian persecution which led to Paul’s
arrest, second imprisonment and martyrdom?
13. What the different conditions this time at Rome?
14. Give connected biblical history of Timothy.
15. What the value of the Pastoral Epistles and what the contrast of
the great topics of this group of Paul’s letters with those of preceding ones?

I Timothy 1:1_17
Chapter One:
1. The salutation (1:1_2).
2. Timothy reminded that he was left at Ephesus to correct
certain errorists (1:3_4).
3. These errorists, assuming to be teachers of the Law while
ignorant of its end and application, were so teaching as to sub_
vert both Law and gospel (1:5_11).
4. Paul’s own case an illustration of gospel grace and power
5. Consequent charge to Timothy (1:18_19).
6. The case of Hymenaeus and Alexander, making ship_
wreck concerning the faith, illustrate the evil of turning away
from the gospel (1:19_20).
Chapter Two:
7. Directions for public prayer worship, distinguishing be_
tween the spheres of men and women.
Chapter Three:
8. Directions concerning church officers and their qualifica_
tions (3:1_12).
9. Reasons for Paul’s writing (3:14_15).
10. The church and its mission concerning the truth (3:15).
11. The elements of truth concerning the mystery of godli_
ness (3:16).
Chapter Four:
12. The Spirit’s prophecy concerning heretics in later times

13. What constitutes a good minister of Jesus Christ:
(1) As touching heresy (4:6)
(2) As touching himself, in example (4:6_12)
(3) As touching himself, in consecration, to study, ex_
hortation, and teaching (4:13_16)
Chapter Five:
14. How to administer internal church affairs:
(1) In relation to old men, young men, and widows (5:
(2) And to preachers (5:17_25)
Chapter Six:
15. What to teach on social problems (6:1_10).
16. Solemn charge to Timothy:
(1) Concerning his own life (6:11_16)
(2) Concerning the rich (6:17_19)
(3) Concerning the deposit of faith committed to his
trust (6:20_21)
(4) Benediction (6:21)


1:5 – The end of the commandment.
1:5, with I Corinthians 13:13 and 2 Peter 1:5_7 – The Chris_
tian Pyramids.
1:11 – The gospel of the glory of the happy God.
1:12 – Christ puts men into the ministry and enables them.
1:13 – From blasphemer to preacher.
1:13, 16 – The two poles of salvation:
(1) Who are salvable (1:13)
(2) The salvation of the outside man among the sal_
vable (1:16)
1:15 – Wherein Paul was the chief of sinners.
l:15;3:l;4:9 with Titus 3:8 and 2 Timothy 2:11_13ùThe
five faithful sayings of the Pastoral Epistles.

2:4 – God’s desire for the salvation of all men.
2:8_15 – The distinct spheres of men and women in public
3:1 – The pastorate a good work.
3:6, 10, with 5:22 – The proving of preachers and deacons be_
fore ordination.
3:6 – The cause of the devil’s condemnation.
3:7 – The testimony of outsiders concerning fitness for the
3:11, with Romans 16:1 – The deaconess of the New Testament
3:13 – What a faithful deacon gains.
3:15 – How the church is the pillar and ground of the truth.
3:16 – The mystery of godliness and the elements of its truth.
4:1 – The great apostasy of post_apostolic days:
(1) The cause, seducing spirits, or demons, and the
doctrines taught by them (4:1)
(2) Their human agents, lying hypocrites with seared
consciences (4:2)
(3) What the demon doctrines (4:3)
4:6 – Who a good minister of Jesus Christ.
4:8 – The promise of godliness in this life and the next.
4:10 – God, the Saviour of all men, especially of them that be_
4:12_14 – The preacher as an example – his reading, exhorta_
tion, teaching, and the gift that is in him.
4:14 – The laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
4:16 – How the preacher saves himself and his hearers.
5:5 – „A widow indeed.”
5:6 – She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth, and
„Little Women” (Greek: gunaikaria, 2 Tim. 3:6).
5:8 – He that provideth not for his own hath denied the faith
and is worse than an infidel.
5:10 – The „washing of feet” a good work, not a church ordi_
nance ; Christ’s washing of the feet of the disciples as
a preparation for the Old Testament Passover, and
not connected with the New Testament Lord’s Supper.
5:21 – The elect angels.
5:24 – Sins that go before and sins that follow after.
6:9 – They that are minded to be rich.
6:11 – The love of money a root of all evil.
6:17_19 – Charge to the rich.
6:20 – The deposit of faith.

I have called the Pastoral Epistles the preacher’s vade_rne_
cum, i. e., „traveling companion,” because of their incalcula_
ble importance. They contain the Bible’s best teaching on
church polity and order and constitute a richer mine for ser_
mon texts than can be found elsewhere in the same space of
biblical literature. The author has preached, in his long pas_
torate at Waco, more than an equal number of sermons from
the thirty_six texts cited above from only one of these letters,
and an almost equal proportion from Titus and 2 Timothy.
I cannot now refrain from calling your attention to Paul’s
new phrase: „Faithful is the saying.” Its use five times in these
Pastoral Epistles makes it proverbialùlet us now look at them:
1. 1:15: „Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all accepta_
tion, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”
2. 3:1: „Faithful is the saying, if a man seeketh the office of
a bishop, he desireth a good work.” It is sometimes alleged
that New Testament churches had no definite organization.
But it was already a current proverb concerning this ruling
officer of the church.
3. 4:8_9 or 9_10: „Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all
acceptation.” Here it is somewhat difficult to determine whether
verse 8 or 10 expresses the proverb, so we give both. Verse 8:
„Godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the
life which now is and of that which is to come.” Verse 10: „The
living God who is the Saviour of all men, especially of them
that believe.” The context favors verse 8.
4. Titus 3:8: „Faithful is the saying . . . that they who have
believed God may be careful to maintain good works.” Atten_
tion is specially called to this, because some seem to desire to
stop at believing. Not only was this a current proverb, but
Titus is exhorted to affirm it constantly. Paul’s doctrine of
justification never rested on a barren faith.
5. 2 Timothy 2:11_13. This one is fourfold:
„Faithful is the saying:
(1) If we died with him, we shall also live with him;
(2) If we endure, we shall reign with him;
(3) If we shall deny him, he also will deny us;
(4) If we are faithless, he abideth faithful, for he cannot
deny himself.”
These sayings may be treated briefly in one sermon, or more
particularly in eight sermons. The author has done both.
The Greek student will find in the Pastoral Epistles quite
an increase of new words in Paul’s vocabulary. But special
words in each group of letters is characteristic of Paul’s adap_
tation of new terms to new lines of thought.

We need to note only these points:
1. God, the Father, is called „Saviour,” which is new for
Paul, but repeated in Titus 1:3. In both cases he attributes his
office to the command of the Father. Mary, in her magnificat,
had already used the phrase.
2. Christ is called „our hope.” Paul generally puts Christ as
the object of faith, but in Colossians he had already said,
„Christ in you the hope of glory.” In all his later letters he i9
turning to the future, the realm of hope.
3. Timothy is called his „true child in the faith,” meaning
that Timothy was converted under his ministry, as was Titus
also (Titus 1:4). So in Philemon he says the same of Onesi_
mus: „My child begotten in my bonds.” I suggest to preachers
the preparation of a sermon clearly distinguishing the several
thoughts in these expressions:
(1) Christ our righteousness.
(2) Christ our hope.
(3) Christ our wisdom.
(4) Christ our sanctification.
(5) Christ our redemption.
(6) Christ our life.
On this last, Angus wrote his prize volume, Christ Our Life,
for translation into heathen languages.
Clearness of thought in the general departments of our Lord’s
work will greatly confirm our faith, and as special reading in
preparing such a sermon, I commend two old_time Puritan
books: Owen on Justification and Flavel on The Methods of
Now let us take up Timothy and the errorists at Ephesus,
1:3_11. Here we come upon a new word which became, and is,
world_famous: Greek, hetero_didaskalein. Certain ones are
commanded not to teach „heterodoxy.” There we have it:
Orthodoxy versus Heterodoxy. It is quite popular in certain
liberal (meaning loose) circles to sneer at one’s insistence on
orthodoxy and to denounce him as being a „heresy hunter.”
Paul had no such spirit, but holding heresy as a deadly evil,
hit it hard and hit it to kill as he would any other venomous
It is easy to say: „Orthodoxy is my doxy and heterodoxy is
your doxy,” but there is no argument in the catch phrase.
Orthodoxy is conformity to New Testament teaching.
Heterodoxy is departure from New Testament teaching.
Paul was ready to write „anathema” in letters of fire on the
brow of even an angel from heaven who preached a different
gospel from the one delivered by our Lord. It is to teach in_
stead, as these Ephesian heretics did, „the doctrines of de_
mons.” And we are partakers of their sins if we fellowship
with them, or bid them Godspeed.
What the heterodox teaching here denounced? Assuming to
be teachers of the Law, while ignorant of both its scope and ap_
plication, they so taught as to subvert both Law and gospel. Leaving out the saving dispensation of God in faith, they con_
fined their teaching to myths and endless genealogies which
ministered questionings and disputes about matters either in_
soluble or of no value when solved. Later these fables grew
into the Talmud, which may be likened to „a continent of mud,” or, on account of the dryness of the matter, to the Sahara Desert minus its oases. It is as unpalatable as sawdust bread. Its diet is as void of nutritive properties as the sick soldier’s soup, accord-ing to his own hyperbolic description: „A piece of blue beef held up between the sun and a pot of boiling water, so as to boil its shadow.”
The Old Testament genealogies had an intelligent purpose
till Christ came, for they located him. After that they were of
no value, and when they were arbitrarily spiritualized they
became vicious.
In a political race in McLennan County one of the candi_
dates devoted an hour to tracing his honorable descent from il_
lustrous families. The other won the race by a reply in one
sentence: „I would rather be a horse without a pedigree than
a pedigree without a horse.”
So Paul, in one great sentence, disposes of the Law: „Now the end of the commandment is love, out of a pure heart, out of a good conscience, out of faith unfeigned.” Mark well the order:
(1) Unfeigned faith in our Lord, leading to
(2) A good conscience, leading to
(3) A pure heart, culminating in
(4) Love.
Not some sentimental gush miscalled love, but love bot_
tomed on faith and emerging from a good conscience, cleansed
by the blood of Christ, and from a purified heart. This brings
us not to the hollow Egyptian Pyramids, but to the Christian
Let us mentally construct them so we can diagram them on
paper. Take these passages: I Corinthians 13:13; I Timothy
1:5; 2 Peter l:5’7, and construct three pyramids, arising in
ever_narrowing terraces, always with faith the foundation and
love the capstone:
1. Faith – Hope – Love.
2. Faith unfeigned – A good conscience –
A pure heart – Love.
3. Faith – Courage – Knowledge – Self_control – Patience
Godliness – Brotherly Kindness – Love.
These heterodox teachers never understood this supreme end
of the Law. Moses himself had compressed his Ten Command_
ments into two – Love God supremely and your neighbor as
yourself, and our Lord, quoting him, said, „On these two hang
all the Law and, the prophets.” Paul compressed them into
one: „Love is the fulfilling of the Law.” He would have them
understand that the Law was not a way of life, but to discover
sin – making sin appear to be sin and exceedingly sinful. Then
he adds: „But we know that the Law is good, if a man use it
lawfully, as knowing this that the law is not made for a right_
eous man, but for the lawless and unruly, for the ungodly and
sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers
and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for
abusers of themselves with men, for menstealers, for liars, for
false swearers, and if there be any other thing contrary to the
sound doctrine.”
And over against this he solemnly declares that what ia
„sound doctrine” must be „according to the gospel of the glory
of the happy God,” which was committed to his trust. All doc_
trine contrary to that gospel is unsound, whether preached by
demon or man. Paul’s sound doctrine here accords with his
sound doctrine in Titus 2:1. We hear much of sound doctrine,
but let us not make a mistake. It is not the doctrine of grace
theoretically held, resting on a barren faith, but on a faith
which works by love, purifies the heart, and makes the man a
better man in all the relations of life – parent, child, brother,
husband, neighbor, and citizen.
On my first visit to St. Louis, Dr. Pope Yeaman asked me:
„Are Texas Baptists sound?” I replied: „Some of them are
nothing but sound: Vox et preterea nihil.”
Before the Southern Baptist Convention I preached on this
passage, I Timothy 1:11: „The gospel of the glory of the hap_
py God,” rendering the Greek word, Makariou by „happy”
instead of „blessed,” because this is not the usual word for
„blessed” and because „happy” expresses the precise thought.
The success of the gospel makes God happy. As in Luke 15, it
is the shepherd who rejoices when he finds the lost sheep; and
it is the woman who rejoices when she finds the lost coin; and
it is the father who rejoices when he recovers his lost son. And
that this rendering accorded with Christ’s being anointed with
the oil of gladness, and of his being satisfied when he saw of
the travail of his soul.
My rendering was criticized by one captious hearer, but I
was gratified to find afterward in one of his books that Dr.
Harwood Patterson of Rochester Seminary gave the same ren_
dering and for similar reasons.
There are two kinds of heretics, both abominable to God for
their „unsound doctrine.” The one who claims the power of
godliness and decries its form; the other who magnifies the
form and despises the power. In one community I found strik_
ing examples of both kinds. One of them was ever saying, „I
care nothing for your dogmas and ordinances and churches and
preachers. I go in for keeping the heart all right, and stand for
good morals.” The other was the most contentious, disputatious
man I ever knew. As a good old deacon described him: „He
pulled all the buttons off your coat trying to hold you while
be set forth his infallible propositions, and developed corns on
his fingers in repeating his points.” All his followers carried
chips on their shoulders, and like a wild Irishman at a fair,
were daring people to step on their coattails.

One of the converts of such (an old Negro, as I have heard),
as soon as he rose from his baptism, spat the water out of his
mouth, and said, „Now l’s ready fur a ‘spute.”
The first was blind to God’s methods in grace, i.e., envelop_
ing the life germ in a form for its protection until maturity. I
asked him once what would become of the corn and wheat and
nuts if they attempted to mature without the protecting forms
of husks and chaff and shells, and showed him a nubbin that
grew on the top of a cornstalk where the tassel ought to be.
It had no shuck to protect it, no tassel to fertilize it, no silk
to catch the shedding from the tassel. Birds had pecked it,
worms had bitten it, „smut” had discolored it and infested it,
cold had smitten it, heat had scorched it until there was not
a sound grain on it. Not even a hog would eat it.
My young readers, let no „broad_gauged” fool beguile you
into despising forms and ordinances established by the wisdom
of our Lord, and follow no brass band and tinkling cymbal
crowd in resting on a barren faith and wordy orthodoxy.
Paul’s case an illustration of gospel power. The paragraph,
I Timothy 1:12_17, is one of the deepest, broadest, richest, and
sweetest in the Holy Scriptures. It has as many sermons in it
as there are eggs in a guinea’s nest – and I once found a gui_
nea’s nest with sixty eggs in it.
The first thought that rushes into my own mind as I read it
is: What a wonderful use Paul makes of his own Christian ex_
perience. Eight times, at least, it is used, and each time for a
different purpose. Once Luke tells it (Acts 9:1_18) ; once Bar_
nabas tells it (Acts 9:26_27); six times Paul tells it himself
(Acts 22:1_16; Acts 26:1_18; Rom. 7:9_25; Phil. 3:4_14; I
Tim. 1:12_17; 2 Tim. 1:12).
I am reminded of the fighting Methodist preacher’s advice,
as given in one of Edward Eggleston’s romances. On the way
to an appointment two wicked men met him and told him he
must go back or take a whipping. He concluded to do neither,
but got down off his horse and whipped both of them till they
„hoilered,” prayed for them, and then made them go with him
to church! But when he got there his own bruised jaw was so
swollen he couldn’t preach. Whereupon he peremptorily or_
dered a young convert to get up and preach. The timid boy
protested that he had no sermon and did not know how to make
one. „Get up at once and preach,” said the stern circuit rider,
„and if you can’t preach, tell your Christian experience.” The
boy obeyed. His heart was overflowing with gratitude to his
Lord for saving him, a wicked, ignorant, country lad. He at_
tempted no sermon, scraped down no star_dust of rhetoric,
indulged in no sophomore flights of fancy, shot off no glittering
fireworks, scattered no bouquets of compliments, but went
right on in sobs and tears and rejoicings to tell how he was con_
victed of sin, how the Lord graciously met him, how God, for
Christ’s sake, pardoned his many sins, how gloriously happy
he was, how Jesus was ready to welcome any other poor coun_
try boy, and how the one desire of his soul was to lead others
to Christ, and there he stood, himself a monument of grace,
and exhorted till
Heaven came down their souls to greet,
And glory crowned the mercy seat –
And the woods were afire like the burning bush. That broken_
jawed circuit rider bugged him on the spot and told him it was
the greatest sermon he ever heard, instantly called for his ordi_
nation, and put him at once into a life_saving work that ended
only when his voice was hushed in death.
If a man has a genuine experience, and keeps right on ex_
periencing new manifestations of grace, it is a big part of his
preaching stock. In our next chapter this glorious paragraph
of Paul’s experience will be unfolded and illustrated

1. What the analysis of I Timothy?
2. What its great pulpit themes?
3. Why the Pastoral Epistles the preacher’s vade_mecum and what
do they contain?
4. What new phrase in these epistles?
5. Give in order the five „Faithful Sayings.”
6. Why does Paul use new terms in each group of letters?
7. What three points of note in the salutation?
8. The preparation of what sermon was suggested, and why, and
what old books commended for help in the preparation?
9. What new term in 1:3?
10. Give both a false and a true statement of heterodoxy and orthodoxy.
11. Wherein do many moderns differ from Paul on heterodoxy?
12. What the heterodox teaching here condemned?
13. In what Jewish book are most these legends contained and how
would you illustrate its value?
14. What the original purpose of the biblical genealogies and when
did they become valueless?
15. Illustrate their present worthlessness by a certain political race.
16. How does Paul in one sentence dispose of the law?
17. Using I Corinthians 13:13; I Timothy 1:5; 2 Peter 1:5_7 construct
a diagram of three Christian pyramids, the foundation in each being
„Faith” and the capstone „Love.”
18. How did Moses himself condense his Ten Commandments and
what our Lord’s comment thereon? How does Paul condense them even more?
19. Instead of being a way of life for the righteous what classes was
it designed to restrain and convict?
20. According to what is all „sound doctrine”? Illustrate.
21. What the defense of the rendering „happy” instead of „blessed” in
I Timothy 1:11?
22. What the two kinds of heretics?
23. How many times and where in New Testament is use made of
Paul’s Christian experience?
24. Cite Edward Eggleston’s instance of the value of one’s Christian
experience as a pulpit theme.

I Timothy 1:18 to 2:7

At the close of the last chapter we were considering Paul’s
use of his Christian experience, and eight instances of its use
were cited. In that connection a promise was made to begin
this chapter with a bit of history illustrating the last two in_
stances of its use, namely, I Timothy 1:12_13 and 2 Timothy
1:12. The history is this:
The Southern Baptist Convention held its first Texas ses_
sion at Jefferson. On Sunday two remarkable sermons were
preached. Rev. W. W. Landrum, a licensed preacher, was pas_
tor_elect of the First Church, Shreveport, Louisiana. The
church called for his ordination to take place Sunday at 11:00
A.M. at Jefferson during the Convention session there, in order
that Dr. Broadus and Dr. S. Landrum, the father of the candi_
date, might serve on the presbytery. The Convention, of
course, did not ordain him, but some thought it would have a
misleading effect to have the ordination away from the home
church and at an important Convention hour. Dr. Broadus
preached the ordination sermon from the common version of
I Timothy 1:12_13, the very passage we are now considering.
It was a great and very impressive sermon.
From memory I give you his outline:
1. Christ puts men into the ministry: „Putting me into this
2. Christ confers ability on his ministers: „Enabling me.”
3. This should be a matter of thankfulness to the minister:
„I thank Christ Jesus my Lord.”
4. Especially when the preacher was formerly Christ’s ene_
my: „Putting me into this ministry who was before a blas_
phemer, persecutor, and injurious.”

Sunday night the Convention sermon was preached by Dr.
Taylor, newly_elected pastor of the Colosseum Place Church,
New Orleans, Louisiana. His text was another relating of
Paul’s experience: 2 Timothy 1:12: „For which cause I suf_
fer all these things; yet I am not ashamed; for I know
whom I have believed; and I am persuaded that he is able to
guard that which I have committed unto him against that day.”
I have italicized the words stressed in the sermon. Again
from memory I give the outline:
1. Paul called to be a great sufferer: „I suffer all these
things,” citing in illustration Acts 9:16; I Corinthians 4:9; 2
Corinthians 4:10_11; 6:4_5; 11:23_29. This point was exceed_
ingly pathetic.
2. The cause of his willingness to suffer: „For this cause I
suffer”; he found in the preceding verse: „Our Saviour, Jesus
Christ, hath abolished death, and brought life and immortality
to light through the gospel.”
3. Called to suffering but not to shame: „Yet I am not
4. Reasons for not being ashamed:
(1) „I know him whom I have believed.” Here the
preacher, evincing great classical research, con_
trasted the vague guesses of the wisest heathen in
their philosophies, with the certitude of Christian
(2) „Whom I have believed.” Here, with great power,
the preacher showed that the object of faith was a
person and not a proposition, contrasting the dif_
ference between a burdened sinner resting his
weary head on a sympathetic heart, and resting it
on the cold marble of an abstract proposition.
(3) „I know whom I have believed,” Here he made
plain that faith is not blind credulity, but based
on assured knowledge and therefore reasonable.

(4) „And I am persuaded that he is able to guard.”
Here the assurance of faith.
(5) „To guard that which I have committed unto
him.” Here faith, having believed a well_known
person, commits a treasure to his keeping, being
assured of his ability to guard it. The thought
is clear and impressive that faith is not only
believing, but a committal – the making of deposit
– even one’s own assaulted body and soul – the
life of the man himself – to be hid with Christ in
(6) „Against that day.” The great judgment day –
not only guarded in all of life’s trials, sorrows,
and sufferings, and in death’s dread hour, but
even in the last great assize, where before the
great white throne final assignment is made to
one’s eternal state, home, and companionship.
The two sermons were much discussed as to their relative
greatness. The general verdict was that Dr. Broadus’ was the
greater to the hearer, and Dr. Taylor’s was the greater to the
reader, the one being much more impressive in delivery than
the other.
I have given this bit of history not only to illustrate the
force of the closing point in my last discussion on the uses made
of Paul’s Christian experience, but because the sermons were
masterpieces of homiletics.
In resuming the exposition of our great paragraph, attention
is called to two distinct reasons assigned for Paul’s conver_
The Two Poles of Salvation. The first reason assigned –
latter clause of verse 13: „Howbeit I obtained mercy because
I did it ignorantly in unbelief.” A blasphemer, a persecutor,
an injurious man may obtain mercy if these things are done in
spiritual ignorance and unbelief. This answers the question:
„Who are salvable?” to wit: all sinners on earth who have not

committed the unpardonable sin – eternal sin – pardonable be_
cause not wilfully against the light, knowledge, and conviction
of the Holy Spirit. Let the reader consult the teacher’s exposi_
tion of Hebrews 10:26_31, and compare Matthew 12:32; Mark
3:28_30; I John 5:16_18. Paul was conscientious in all hw
blasphemies and persecution. He verily thought he was doing
God’s service. Conscience is that inward monitor, divinely im_
planted, which pronounces verdict on good and evil. It is a mis_
take to say that it is the creature of education. Education
itself being only development and training of what ia already
potentially present, can have no creative power. Conscience,
unenlightened, may become the servant of education and en_
vironment. Its light may be darkened; it may become callous
and even seared as with a hot iron, but it never vacates its
witness box or judicial seat in either Christian, Jew, or heathen
(Rom. 2:14_15; 9:1; Acts 26:9).
The second reason assigned is in 1:16: „Howbeit for this
cause I obtained mercy, that in me as chief might Jesus Christ
show forth all his longsuffering, for an example of them that
should thereafter believe on him unto eternal life.” This ia
the other pole of salvation. The chief of sinners, the outside
man of the salvable, was saved to show the utmost extent of
longsuffering mercy as an example of encouragement to de_
spairing men less guilty than the chief, to believe on Christ
unto eternal life.
Now, the use that we make of that last reason is this: We
may take that case of Paul as the outside man, the chief of
sinners, and holding it up as a model, as an example, go to any
sinner this side of hell – even if his feet be on the quivering,
crumbling brink of the abyss – and preach salvation to him,
and if he despairs and says, „I am too great a sinner,” then we
may say, „Behold, God saves the outside man, nearer to hell
than you are.”
In order to get the full benefit of that thought we must con_
ceive of all sinners that are salvable put in a row, single file,
and graded according to the heinousness of their guilt – here
the least guilty, there the next most guilty, and the next
and the next, and away yonder at the end of the line is that
outside man, Paul, right next to hell. Now Christ comes and
reaches out a long arm of grace over that extended line and
snatches the outside man from the very jaws of hell, and holds
him up and says, „Is not this brand plucked from the burn_
I have used that example just the way God intended it to
be used in preaching in jails and penitentiaries and city
slums, and in coming in contact with the toughest and rough_
est and most criminal sinners in the world.
The next question is: Wherein is Paul the chief of sinners?
Quite a number of men have disputed my contention that Paul
was really the greatest sinner, leaving out of course the un_
pardonable sin. He was a blasphemer) but that did not make
him the chief of sinners, for others have been more blas_
phemous. He was a persecutor, but that did not make him
the chief of sinners, for other men have been greater persecu_
tors : Nero, Louis XIV of France, and especially that spiritual
monster, Philip II of Spain. Any one of these men persecuted
beyond anything that Paul ever did. He was an injurious
man, but other men have been more injurious than he. What,
then, constituted him the chief of sinners, the outside man?
My answer is: He was a Pharisee of the Pharisees in his
self_righteousness – the extremest Pharisee that ever lived –
and self_righteousness stands more opposed to the righteous_
ness of Christ than does either persecution or blasphemy. To
illustrate: The Pharisee who came into the Temple to pray,
and with uplifted eyes, faces God and says, „God, I thank
thee that I am not like other men – especially this poor pub_
lican. I fast twice every week; I pay tithes of all I possess.”
No praying in that. It is the feigned prayer of the self_
righteous man, denying that he is a sinner. He denies any
need of regeneration and sanctification by the Holy Spirit.
He denies any need of the cleansing by the blood of Jesus
Christ: “I need no Saviour; I stand on my own record, and
answer for myself at the bar of God.” The self_righteous
man would come to the very portals of heaven over which is
written: „No unclean thing shall enter here,” march right in
and stand unabashed in the presence of the Cherubim who
sing, „Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty,” and brazenly
say to God’s face: „I am as holy as thou art. I am as white
as snow. I was never in bondage. I have no need to be for_
given.” That made Paul the chief of sinners; nobody ever
came up to him on self_righteousness. Now, if this chief of
sinners, this outside man, be saved, that gives us the other
pole of salvation.
Proceeding with the discussion, we note what verse 17
says: „Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the
only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” How
is God more immortal, more eternal than the soul of man?
If the soul of man is deathless, then how is he more immortal?
There was a beginning to that soul, but there was no begin_
ning to the being of God. How is God invisible? The Scrip_
tures declare that no man bath seen God at any time, or can
see him. The only way in which he has ever been seen has
been in his image, Jesus Christ. Jesus has revealed him; so
when we look at Jesus we see the Father, and in the teachings
of Jesus we hear the Father. But there will come a time, when
we are completely saved, when the affairs of the world are
wound up, then we shall see God; „God himself shall taber_
nacle with men, and they shall see his face.” That was the
glorious thought in Job’s declaration: „Oh, that my words
were now written, that they were graven with iron and lead
in a rock forever, for I know that my Redeemer liveth; and
though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my
flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself, and mine
eyes shall behold.” In quoting this passage, I stand upon the
King James Version: „In my body” – not „apart from my
body.” We do not see God in our disembodied soul, but when
our soul and body are redeemed, then God himself becomes
visible. The context and all the scriptures in other connec_
tions oppose the Revised Version on this passage. See Revela_
tion 22:4.
Verse 18 gives a consequential charge to Timothy. It reads:
„This charge I commit unto thee, my child Timothy, accord_
ing to the prophecies which led the way unto thee, that by
them thou mayest war a good warfare.” What is the meaning
of the prophecy that led the way to Timothy? In Acts 13 in
the church of Antioch there were certain prophets, and it was
revealed unto these prophets that Saul and Barnabas should
be set apart, or ordained, to the foreign mission work. Later
Barnabas drops out, and Paul needs another and better
Barnabas and some prophet, either Paul himself or Silas, re_
ceives & revelation that that boy, Timothy, who was led to
Christ in Lystra or in Derbe, should be ordained to go with
Paul to the foreign mission work.
The second part of the charge is, „holding faith and a good
conscience.” Do not turn faith loose; don’t say, „I once be_
lieved in Jesus Christ, now I do not.” Hold on to a good
conscience. Conscience is never good until it is purified with
the application of the blood of Jesus Christ in regeneration.
The lamp of the Lord shines with a clear light upon every
action, right or wrong, as long as it remains good. But when
we begin to trifle with the conscience – when we do things we
are conscientiously opposed to, our conscience will become
callous. Therefore, let us hold to our faith, and hold to a good
In the next verse: „Which some having thrust from them
made shipwreck concerning the faith, of whom is Hymenaeus
and Alexander, whom I delivered unto Satan, that they might
be taught not to blaspheme.” Now here we have a shipwreck
– not of faith – but concerning the faith. These men turned
loose the faith, blinding their consciences. Now the question
comes up: On what specific point did these two men turn loose
the faith? 2 Timothy 2:16ff answers: „But shun profane
babblings, for they will proceed further in ungodliness, and
their word will eat as doeth a gangrene (or cancer), of whom is
Hymenaeua and Philetus (here we get one of them with an_
other added); men who concerning the truth have erred, say_
ing that the resurrection is past already, and overthrow the
faith of some.” Men in Ephesus denied that there was any
such thing as the resurrection of the body – that it was scien_
tifically impossible – and taught that the resurrection was the
conversion of the soul. They have followers today. Some
who claim to be teachers of preachers virtually deny the
resurrection of the body. A preacher of the annual sermon
before the Southern Baptist Convention, taught that Christ
assumed his resurrection body simply for identification, and
that after he was identified it was eliminated, and it did not
concern us to know what became of it.
Now, what does Paul say about the denial of the resurrec_
tion? He calls it profane babbling that will progress to greater
ungodliness: „And their word will eat as doth a gangrene.”
We know how a cancer eats while we are sleeping, commencing
perhaps in the corner of the eye, and after a while it will eat
the eye out, then the side of the face, then it will eat the nose
off, and then the lips, and keep on eating. That was the ship_
wreck concerning the faith made by Hymenaeus, Alexander,
and Philetus.
The next question is: What chance did Paul give these men
to be saved? The text says that he turned them over to Satan
that they should be taught not to blaspheme. In other words,
the true Christian in the fold is hedged against Satan – he
cannot get to him – he cannot put the weight of his little
finger on him without asking permission; he asked permission
to worry Job and Peter. Whenever a sheep on the inside
gets too unruly and he is put on the outside and hears the
wolves howl a while, he will bleat around to come back in.
But if one turns an unruly hog out of the pen, he will strike
tor the woods and never come back. Peter, in the exercise of
his apostolic power, could strike Ananias dead. Paul, in the
same power, struck Elymas blind, but where the object of this
power is to save, offenders were temporarily turned over to
the buffeting of Satan as in the case of the offending Corin_
thian. This man had taken his father’s wife, but the discipline
led him to repentance and he was glad to get back in.
Chapter 2 gives direction concerning public prayer worship.
The first injunction is that prayers, supplications, and inter_
cessions be made for all men – not only for our Baptist breth_
ren, but our Methodist brethren; not only for the Christians,
but for those on the outside. Pray for all rulers, all people in
authority – presidents, governors, senators, city councils, and
police – ah, but some of them do need it! Now, he gives the
reasons – it is important to see what the reasons are: (1) Pray
for these rulers that we may live a quiet and orderly life. If
they are bad, we won’t have an easy time. If the administra_
tors of law be themselves lawless in their speech, every bad
man construes it into permission to do what he pleases. When
the wicked are in power the righteous suffer. (2) It is good
and acceptable in the sight of God that we should do it. God
wants us to pray for all people. (3) And the third reason is
the great reason: That God would have all men to be saved.
Let us not squirm at that, but for a little while let us forget
about election and predestination, and just look this scripture
squarely in the face: God desires the salvation of all men. In
this connection I commend that sermon in my first book of
sermons on „God and the Sinner.” Note in order its several
proof texts.
God asks, Ezekiel 18: „Have I any pleasure at all in the
death of the wicked that they should die and not live?” Ezek_
iel 33, God takes an oath: „As I live saith the Lord, I have
no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that he will
turn from his evil way and live. Then why will you die? saith
the Lord.” Then we come to the passage here: „God would
have all men to be saved.” „And God so loved the world
that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth
on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” In Luke
15 the accusation made against him was: „This man receiveth
sinners and eateth with them”; and he answered: „I came to
seek and to save that which was lost.” And the text here says
that he gave his life a ransom for all. That all is as big here
as elsewhere. He would have all men to be saved; pray for
all men because he would have all men to be saved, and be_
cause Christ gave his life as a ransom for all. Then this scrip_
ture: „Jesus Christ tasted death for every man.” If there
is still doubt, look at the Lord’s Commission: „Go ye, and
make disciples of all nations”; ” Go ye, and preach the gospel
to every creature.” Finally, consider the teaching of Peter:
„We must account that the long suffering of God in delaying
the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is that all men should
have space to repent and come to the knowledge of truth.”
That’s the construction he puts upon the apparent tardiness
of the final advent of our Lord. However, when we study
election and predestination, we should study and preach them
just as they are taught. Let us not say, „I don’t know just
how to harmonize them with these other teachings.”
God did not appoint us harmonizers of his word.
As Dr. Broadus used to say, let the word of God mean just
what it wants to mean, every time. Preach both of them. These lines are apparently parallel, but they may come together. If on a map parallels of longitude come together at the poles, why not trust God to bring together in himself and in eternity his apparent parallels of doctrine? Up yonder beyond the clouds they will come together. That is my own method of preaching.
Now, we come to a very important part of this prayer, verse 5: „For there is one God, one mediator between God and man, himself man, Christ Jesus.” Oh, if we could but learn thoroughly the relation of this passage to the doctrine of prayer: The Old Testament gives us the type of it: The victim is sacrificed; the high priest takes the blood and starts into the holy of holies to sprinkle it upon the mercy seat. Then he takes a coal of fire from the altar of that sacrifice and kindles the frankincense, which represents the prayers of the people. The high priest alone takes the prayers of the people there into the holy of holies: „Father, behold the atoning blood. On account of that blood, hear these petitions of the people and answer them.”
The thought is that in offering up prayers to God, there is
only one mediator. Let us not kneel down and say, „Oh, virgin Mary, intercede for me with Jesus, that he may hear my prayers.” Or, ”Oh, Peter, John, Paul, James, ye saints, help me in getting my prayers up to heaven.” There is just one mediator between God and man, and one of the most blasphemous doctrines of the papacy is prayer to saints. Saints may pray for sinners, but saints are not allowed to mediate prayers nor themselves be prayed unto. We are not mediators with Jesus. There is just one case in the Bible where a prayer was made to a saint, and that prayer was not answered. The rich man lifted up his eyes and seeing Abraham afar off, said, „Father Abraham, have mercy on me.”
1. What bit of history illustrates the uses of Paul’s Christian experience and furnishes two models in homiletics?
2. What two reasons are assigned in the text for Paul’s conversion
and show how they constitute the poles of salvation?
3. What use in preaching may be made the second reason?
4. Wherein was Paul the chief of sinners? 5. How alone is God now visible?
6. When and to whom will he be directly visible?
7. Explain the prophecy that led the way unto Timothy?
8. Wherein did Hymenaeus and Alexander make shipwreck concerning the faith & what the difference between „shipwreck of faith” &”concerning faith”?
9. Show in two respects how this heresy worked evil.
10. What was the power given to apostles and what cases of its use: (1) To destruction. (2) In order to save. (3) And what illustration of the test of „turning over to Satan.” (4) What notable examples of „turning over to Satan” where it worked for good to its subject?
11. What the topic of chapter 2?
12. For whom should we pray and what the general reasons given?
13. Cite other passages in line with 2:4.
14. Can you satisfactorily harmonize these passages with the doctrines of election and predestination?
15. What will you do with doctrines you can’t harmonize?
16. What the bearing of „One Mediator” on the doctrine of prayer?
17. What the Old Testament typical illustration?
18. What errors of the papacy at this point?
19. What one case in the Bible of praying to a saint?
20. What the result and what the inference?

I Timothy 2:8 to 3:13

There must be no question that this letter is about church
affairs – affairs of the particular church at Ephesus. This
appears both from explicit statements (1:3; 3:14_15) and from
the subject matter. It relates to present heterodox teachings
(1:3), public worship (2), church officers, pastors, deacons,
and deaconesses, the truth to be upheld by the church (3), its
danger through future heresies (4), its discipline and pension
list (5), its social duties (6).
Indeed, its express object is to show how its members should
conduct themselves in the church assemblies, worship, and
services. If we do not keep this ruling thought in our minds,
we will widely miss the mark in our interpretation. Particu_
larly must we bear this in mind when we attempt to expound
the last paragraph in 2:8_15. And, as Dr. Broadus says, „We
must let the Scripture mean what it wants to mean.”
This paragraph, by any fair rule of interpretation, does
distinguish sharply between the spheres of the man and the
woman in these public, mixed assemblies. Nothing can be
more explicit than the way the apostle commences: „I desire
that the men pray everywhere . . . in like manner [I desire]
that women”; note the article before „men.” Carefully note
three other things:
1. These injunctions on the woman in these church assem_
2. The reasons therefor.
3. The encouraging and compensating promise to women in
their different and restricted sphere.
1. Injunctions:
(1) Not to appear in the church assemblies in gorgeous,
costly, worldly, immodest, flaunting, fashionable attire. That
mind is blind indeed that cannot both understand and ap_
preciate the spiritual value of this injunction.
The church assembly is not for dress parade. It is not a
meeting at the opera, or theater, or ballroom, or bridge party,
or some worldly, social function, where decollete dress, mar_
velous head attire, and blazing jewels are fashionable. These
worldly assemblies have their own standards and reasons for
their fashions, and it is not for us to judge them that are with_
out. It is the standard for the church assemblies, gathered to
worship God and to save the lost, under consideration. Jesus
Christ, and not Lord Chesterfield, established the church.
Our dress at church, if nowhere else, should be simple, mod_
est, in no way ministering to vanity, display, or tending to
keep away the poor, or sad, or sin_burdened. I appeal to
any cultivated, real lady, who has a sense of proprieties, to
answer the question: Is the church assembly the place for
gorgeous and costly dress? Positively, women are enjoined
to seek the adornment of good works.
(2) They are enjoined to learn in quietness with all sub_
jectionùnot to teach or have dominion over the man, or as
expressed in I Corinthians 14:33_35. Evidently from all the
context, this passage in Timothy refers to official teaching, as
a pastor ruling a church, and to prophesying in I Corinthians
14:34_35. The custom in some congregations of having a
woman as pastor is in flat contradiction to this apostolic
teaching and is open rebellion against Christ our King, and
high treason against his sovereignty, and against nature as
well as grace. It unsexes both the woman who usurps this
authority and the men who submit to it. Under no circum_
stances conceivable is it justifiable.

2. Reasons:
(1) Adam was first formed, then Eve. Here the allusion
is obvious to the beginning of the human race. The whole
race was created in Adam potentially. His companion, later
named Eve for a grace reason, was called „woman,” which
simply means derived from the man. The man, by nature, is
the head of the family.
(2) In addition to this natural reason is the explicit divine
part in the fall of the race. Compare Genesis 3:16 with this
authority subjecting her to the man because of her tempting
passage (2:14).
3. The encouraging and compensatory promise:
„But she shall be saved through her childbearing, if they
continue in faith and love and sanctification with sobriety.”
Whatever this ‘difficult passage means, it is intended as com_
pensation to the woman for her restriction in sphere and sub_
jection of position. Two words constitute the difficulty of
interpretation: (1) The import of „saved”ù”she shall be saved
through her childbearing”; (2) what the antecedent of the
pronoun „they”ù”if they shall continue, etc.” One obvious
meaning of saved lies in the evident allusion to the gospel
promise in Genesis 3:15. „The seed of the woman shall bruise
the serpent’s head,” and to Adam’s evident understanding of
the grace in the promise, since he at once changes her name
from „woman” (Issha), i. e., derived from the man, to „Eve”
(Chavvah), because she was thus made the mother of all liv_
ing (Chay). As for grace reasons Abram’s name was changed
to Abraham, Sari to Sarah, Jacob to Israel, Simon to Cephas
ùso she is no longer named „derived from the man,” but „the
mother of all life,” and this came through the bearing of a
child – her seed, not the man’s – who shall be the Saviour of
the world. What a marvelous change of names! Though
herself derived from the man, yet from her is derived salva_
tion through her Son. See the explanation of the angel at the

annunciation to the virgin Mary in Luke 1:31_35. She shall
be saved in bearing a child who is God manifest in the flesh.
But the true antecedent of the pronoun „they” – „if they
continue, etc.” – suggests a more appropriate thought, at least
one in better harmony with the context. Let us get at this
thought by a paraphrase: The man shall have his life directly
in authority and public leadership. The woman shall live,
indirectly, in the children she bears if they (the children)
prove to be worthy. The man lives or dies according to his
rule and leadership in public affairs; the woman lives or dies in
her children. His sphere is the public arena. Her sphere, the
home. Washington’s mother lived in him; Lois and Eunice
lived in Timothy. The Roman matron, Cornelia, pointed to
her boys, the Gracchi, and said, „These are my jewels.”
The world is better and brighter when women sanctify and
beautify home, proudly saying, „My husband is my glory,
my children are my jewels and I am content to live in them.
Why should I desire to be a man and fill his place: who then
will fill mine?” See the ideal woman in Proverbs 31:10_31.
It would be unnatural and ungrammatical to start a sentence
with „she,” singular, and arbitrarily change it to „they,” both
referring to the same antecedent. That nation perishes which
has no homes, no family sanctity, no good mothers.
Under my construction of this paragraph, I never call on
a woman to lead the prayers of a church assembly, nor yield
any kind of encouragement to a woman pastor. This is very
far from denying any place to woman in kingdom activities.
I have just suggested to a woman the great theme for an essay:
„Woman’s Sphere in Kingdom Activities.” The Scriptures
blaze with light on the subject and teem with illustrations and
inspiring examples. Understand that the injunction against
woman’s teaching does not at all apply to teaching in the
schoolroom nor at home, but only to teaching involving church
rule that would put man in subjection. Nor is prayer in_
hibited, but the leading in prayers in the church assemblies.
The third chapter, except the last paragraph, relates to
church officers, their qualifications and duties, and the last
paragraph relates to the church mission. Let us now take up
the first part. The first officer of the church is the bishop
(3:1_7), and we find here that this title episcopos („bishop”)
ig derived from a function of his work, to wit: overseeing, or
superintending, the work of the church. An episcopos is an
overseer. Considering the church as a flock that must be
guided, fed, and guarded, he is called „pastor,” that is, a shep_
herd. He is also called „presbytery,” i. e., elder, a church
ruler. In view of his duty to proclaim the messages of God,
he is called a kerux, that is, „preacher.” In view of his duty
to expound the word and instruct, he is didaskalos, a „teacher.”
But bishop, pastor, elder, preacher, and teacher do not signify
so many offices, but departments of work in the one office.
Here is a working force – there is an overseer for that working
force; here is a flock – there is a shepherd for that flock; here
is an assembly – there is a ruler of that assembly, a president;
here is an audience – there is a preacher to that audience; here
is a school – and there is a teacher for that school, an ex_
pounder of the word of God. This office, from its importance,
may be learned from the fact that „no man taketh the office
unto himself”; God calls him to it, as Paul said to the elders
at Ephesus, „The Holy Spirit hath made you bishops,” and
the church sets him apart by prayer and the laying on of
hands. In the Northern section of this country some say,
„What is ordination? It is nothing.”
We had better let God’s ordinances stand as he instituted
The duties of the pastor may be inferred from the terms
We now come to consider the question of his qualifications,
and the qualifications in this passage are put before us, first
negatively and then positively, or rather, the two intermingle,
now a positive, now a negative.
Let us look at the negative qualifications: „Without re_
proach.” Do not make a man the pastor of a congregation
whose record is all spotted, reproaches coming up against him
here, there, and everywhere. Second, he must be no brawlers
I once heard a pastor boast on a train that he had just knocked
a man down. I said, „I am going to pray for you either to
repent of that sin, or resign as a pastor.” I will admit there
was some provocation, but a pastor must not be a brawler,
he is not a swash buckler, he is no striker. In the case of
the two wicked men who headed off the Methodist circuit
rider and told him he must turn back I believe I would my_
self have fought under the circumstances, and as the Meth_
odist preacher did fight, and I am glad he whipped the other
fellows. But the idea here is that the preacher must not have
the reputation of „throwing his hat into the ring”: „Now,
there’s my hat, and I’ll follow it”ù”don’t you kick my dawg
around.” Not contentious. I saw within the last ten days
the account of a man’s death, and I thought as soon as I saw
it: „0 Lord, I hope thy grace has saved him and put him in
a place where he will see that it is not right to be an eternal
disputer.” We should not be like Shakespeare’s Hotspur,
ready „to cavil on the ninth part of a hair.”
„No lover of money.” Any man that loves money is guilty
of the sin of idolatry; covetousness is idolatry, and the fellow
that holds the dollar till the eagle squeals, or holds it so close
to his eye that he cannot see a lost world, or that dreams about
it and just loves to pour it through his fingers or to hear the
bank notes rustic – he should not preach.
„Not a novice.” What is a novice? A novice is one juet
starting out. Now that does not mean that a novice must not
be a preacher. He must learn to preach some time, but do
not make him the bishop of a church. „Not a novice” – why?
„Lest being lifted up with pride, be falls into the condemna_
tion that came on the devil.” That is where the devil got his
fall. Being lifted up with pride, too proud to be under an_
other creature at first made lower than himself, afterward to
be exalted above him.
These are the negatives. Now, let’s look at the positives.
First, „the husband of one wife.” Does that mean that he
must be the husband of a wife – is that what it means? In
other words, that an unmarried, man ought not to be a pastor?
I will say this for the unmarried pastor: If he is not wiser
than Solomon, more prudent than Augustus and more patient
than Job, he certainly has rocks ahead of him I We had an
old deacon once that put his foot right on it that that was
what it meant: „I am willing to give that young preacher a
place, I am willing to recognize him and even ordain him to
special mission stations to preach, but no unmarried man can
be pastor of this church.”
Second, does it mean that as a large part of these people
were heathen, just converted, and tangled up with their
polygamous associations even when they were converted, hav_
ing more than one wife, the question being: „What are you
going to do with them and the children?” Now does the
apostle mean that even if we patiently bear for a time with
the bigamist or polygamist cases, yet we must not make bish_
ops of them? Some commentaries suggest that meaning. I
will put it in a third form: Does it mean that he must have
but one wife according to scriptural law? Some have been
legally divorced under human law, but not under the Scrip_
tures, and have married again. Now, shall we have a man as
a pastor who may not under human law, but who under
Christ’s law, may have more than one wife – is that what it
We find the same requirement in the case of the deacon.
But to proceed with qualifications: „temperate” – and I think
that not merely means temperance in drink, but includes tem_
perance in eating. A man may be a glutton as well as a
tippler; and without raising the question as to whether the
pastor should be a total abstainer, one thing is certain; no
man should be made the pastor of a church who drinks in_
toxicating liquors as a beverage.
„Sober minded” – in the sense of grave, the opposite of
which is levity. Do not put a man in the office of bishop who 18 a clown. I knew a man who occupied the pastoral position in a prominent place in this state; a very brilliant man. But it was impossible to have a reverent feeling toward him, for he was the funniest man I ever saw; he could imitate birds, dogs, and cattle, and hearing him imitate a stutterer would make a dog laugh. It was exceedingly funny, but after you laughed at him and listened to him, somehow or other you did not have reverence for him, for he was not sober_minded.
The next word is „orderly.” I said once to a young preacher,
„You have mind enough to be a preacher, and I really believe
you are a converted man, but you have a disorderly and law_
less spirit. You will more likely succeed as an anarchist than
as pastor of a church.”
The next phrase is „given to hospitality.” Here most
preachers stand the test. As a rule they and their wives are
very open hearted and open handed. God bless them! They
have not only given themselves to hospitality, but they have
given to it everything they have, as a rule. I have known my
father to entertain a whole association of seventy messengers.
The highest I ever entertained was forty, and they crowded
me, too, but they were a lot of mighty good fellows.
„Gentle”: he ought not to be a rough fellow. „Ruling well
his own house”: that’s the rock that some of us fall on. I am
sure that when I was a pastor I did not measure up on that.
„Having a good testimony from them that are on the out_
side.” If we go out over a town or community and inquire
about the preachers, we find that for some preachers every_
body has a good word, and for some other preachers no one
speaks well and some even sneer when his name is mentioned.
The obvious reason of this requirement is that the preacher,
in order to fulfil his mission to the lost, must be in position to

reach them. If they have no confidence in him as a man – if
they can even plausibly question his personal integrity as to
honesty, veracity, and purity, he can do them no good.
But though we have all the characteristics so far named,
the lack of two of them knocks us out: „aptness to teach”
and „ability to rule.” The first does not mean that we must
be learned; that our range of information must be extensive;
that we must have gathered a great storehouse of varied
knowledge. We may have all of these and yet be a dead fail_
ure in the teacher’s office. Indeed, we may lack these – our
ignorance be as vast as another man’s learning – and yet
possess that essential qualification: „aptness to teach.” Igno_
rance can be cured, but the natural incapacity to teach is
irremediable so far as this office is concerned. The power to
arrest and hold attention, the power to awaken the dormant
and alarm the careless, the great faculty of being able to
impart what we do know or may acquire, the being able, not
only to say things but, to so say them that they will stick,
yea, the power not of pouring into empty vessels from our
fulness nor of cramming a receptacle with many things, but
of suggesting so that the other mind will do the thinking and
working out – that is the teacher.
Once only, though inclined thereto more than once, I put
my arms in tenderness around a ministerial student and said,
„My boy, may you and God forgive me if I make a mistake,
but after patient trial and much observation, I am impressed
that you never can be a preacher. You are a Christian all
right, your moral character is blameless) but so far as I am
capable of judging with the lights before me, you are wholly
devoid of any aptness to teach.”
The deacon. So far as moral qualifications go, there is little
difference between the qualifications of preacher and deacon.
And they arealike in the requirement of „soundness in the
faith.” It is not fitting that any officer of a church should hold
loose views on the cardinal doctrines of Christianity. Yea,
there are strong and obvious reasons why the collector and dis_
burser of church funds should be as free as the preacher from
„the love of money,” or „covetousness,” lest in making esti_
mates on recommending expenditures he should make his own
miserly spirit the standard of church liberality.
But, also, because of his official relation to church finances,
even more than in the preacher’s case, he should have business
sense and judgment. Without going into details of the exposi_
tion of words and phrases, we need to impress our minds with
some general reflections on this office:
1. In what idea did the office originate? In the necessity of
the division of labor. One man cannot do everything. Old
Jethro, the father_in_law of Moses, was a wise man in his gen_
eration. He observed Moses trying to do everything in the
administration of the affairs of a nation, and fortunately for
succeeding administrations freed his mind, saying in substance:
„This is not a wise thing you do. You weary yourself and the
people who have to wait for attention. You attend to things
Godward, and appoint others to attend to secular matters.”
The good advice for a division of labor resulted in the appoint_
ment of graded judges, to the great dispatch of business and
the relief of the overburdened Moses and the weary people.
(See full account, Exodus 18:13_26.)
Certainly the judicious division of labor is one of the great_
est elements of success in the administration of the world’s af_
fairs. From the account in Acts 6:1_6, it is evident that this
was the ruling idea in the institution of the deacon’s office. The
ministerial office was overtaxed in giving attention to the dis_
tribution of the charity fund, to the detriment of its spiritual
wurk. This was bad policy in economics and unreasonable. It
left unemployed competent talent. People to be interested in
any enterprise must have something to do.
2. The next idea underlying this office was, that in applying
the economic principle of the division of labor, this office should
be supplemental to the preaching office. It was designed to free
the preacher’s mind and heart from unnecessary cares with a
view to the concentration of his powers in spiritual matters.
„It is not fit that we should forsake the word of God and serve
tables. Look ye out among yourselves suitable men to attend
to this business. But we will continue stedfastly in prayer,
and in the ministry of the word.” Evidently, therefore, the
deacon’s office is supplemental to the pastor’s office. A deacon
therefore whose services are not helpful in this direction fails
in the fundamental purposes of his appointment. He is not to
be a long_horned ox to gore the pastor, but a help to him. Some
deacons so act as to become the enemy and dread of every in_
coming pastor.
3. The third idea of his office delimits his duties – the charge
of the temporalities of the church, over against the pastor’s
charge of the spiritualities. Of course, this includes the finances
of the church, the care of its property and the provision for
comfortable service and worship, and for the proper obser_
vances of its ordinances. I heard an old_time Baptist preach_
er, at the ordination of some deacons, expound this text, „to
serve tables.”
His outline was:
1. To serve the table of the Lord – arrange for the Lord’s
2. To serve the table of the poor – administer the charities
of the church.
3. To serve the table of the pastor – make the estimates and
recommendations of appropriations for pastoral support and
other current expenses, collect and disburse the fund.
But we go outside the record and introduce vicious innova_
tions on New Testament simplicity if we regard, or allow the
deacons themselves to regard a board of deacons as
1. The grand jury of a church. To bring in all bills of in_
dictments in cases of discipline. They are not even, exofficio,
a committee on discipline, though not barred, as individuals,
from serving on such committees. Discipline is an intensely
spiritual matter, whether in regard to morals or doctrines, and
is the most delicate of all the affairs of a church. It does not

at all follow that one competent as a businessman to attend
to temporal and financial matters is the best man to handle
such a delicate, spiritual matter as discipline. The preacher,
charged with the spiritualities of the church is, exofficio, the
leader and manager here, as every case of discipline in the
New Testament shows. In not one of them does a deacon, as
such, appear. Indeed, any member of a church may bring a
case of discipline to its attention, and every member of the
church is required under proper conditions to do this very
thing. (See Matthew 18:15_17.)
In reading this paragraph omit the „against thee” in the
second line as unsupported by the best manuscripts. Read it
this way: „If thy brother sin, go right along, and convict him
of his fault, between thee and him alone.” No matter against
whom the sin, nor whether it be a personal or general offense,
as soon as you know it, go right along and take the steps re_
quired first of you alone, then of you and others. If you and
the others fail, even then it does not say: „Tell it to the dea_
cons.” Officially they have nothing in the world to do with it.
„Tell it to the church.” When the deacons are made a grand
jury, God’s law of responsibility resting on each brother is
superseded by a most vicious human innovation.
2. A board of deacons is not a board of ruling elders having
official charge of all church affairs. Baptists are not Presby_
terians in church polity. It is not the name, but the thing, that
is objectionable. We do not dodge the offense of having a rul_
ing board by calling them deacons. The New Testament elders
who ruled were preachers. There is not even a remote hint in
the New Testament that the deacon’s office was a ruling office.
The reader must observe that proving precedes appointment
to pastoral or deacon’s office. Unknown, untried men should
not be put in either office. One of the greatest needs in the Bap_
tist denomination today is a corps of good deacons in every
church, attending to the New Testament functions of their of_
fice and no other. One of the greatest evils in our denomina_
tion is making, or allowing the corps of deacons to become a
grand jury or a board of rulers. All along the shores of history
are the debris of churches wrecked on these sunken, keel_split_
ting rocks.
One other great need of our people is that a great sentence
of this section should be lifted up and glorified as a good dea_
con’s objective and incentive: „For they that have served
well as deacons gain to themselves a good standing, and great
boldness in the faith which is in Jesus Christ” ( I Tim. 3:13).
It ought to become so exalted that it would become every dea_
con’s inspiration and guiding star. As a meritorious distinc_
tion, it should outrank the badge of the Legion of Honor, the
Collar of the Golden Fleece, or the degree of Ph.D. conferred
by earth’s greatest university.
We need now to consider only one other sentence: „Women
in like manner must be grave, not slanderers, temperate, faith_
ful in all _things.” As this verse is sandwiched between two
paragraphs on the deacon’s office, and is a part of the section
on church officers, it would be out of all connection to interpret
it of women in general. And as there is no similar requirement
concerning the pastor’s higher office, we should not render it
„wives” meaning the wives of deacons. The context requires
the rendering: „women deacons.” This rendering not only has
the support of Romans 16:1, commending Phoebe as a deacon_
ess of the church at Cenchrea and as doing work supplemental
to the preacher and the administrator of charity help, but
meets a need as obvious as the need of a male deacon. In every
large church there is deacon’s work that cannot be well done
except by a female deacon. In the administration of charity in
some cases of women – in the preparation of female candidates
for baptism) and in other matters of delicacy there is need for
a woman church official. The Waco church of which I was
pastor for so many years, had, by my suggestion and approval,
a corps of spiritually minded, judicious female deacons who
were very helpful, and in some delicate cases indispensable. In
churches on heathen mission fields the need is even greater
than in our country Many an embarrassment did the worthy
deaconess save me from, even on the subject of visitation. In
some cases appealing for charity, only these women could make
the necessary investigation.

1. To what matters is I Timothy confined, what the evidence there_
of and how does the fact bear on the interpretation of the book?
2. What distinction does the paragraph 2:8_15 sharply make?
3. What the first injunction on women in the church assemblies and
4. What the second and the reasons?
5. What the result of having a woman pastor?
6. What the compensating promise for these restrictions?
7. What words constitute the difficulties of interpreting this promise?
8. What the antecedent of the pronoun, „they”?
9. What the possible explanation of „She shall be saved through her
10. In this context what the more probable explanation? Convey it
by a paraphrase.
11. Illustrate this by a scriptural, a classical, and a modern case.
12. What Old Testament passage is in line with the thought and pic_
tures the ideal woman?
13. What the limitations on woman’s praying and teaching?
14. What the twofold lesson of chapter 3?
15. In the paragraph 3:1_7 what the name of highest church officer
and its meaning?
16. Give other names for this officer and their meanings.
17. Give the qualifications for this officer negatively and positively.
18. What the meaning of „husband of one wife”?
19. Meaning of „novice”?
20. Why should a pastor have good testimony of them that are with_
21. Most of these qualifications relate to his character, but what two
bear on his work?
22. Show what „aptness to teach” does not mean and then show in
what it consists.
23. Cite other passages to show that the bishop is a ruler.
24. What the second office?
25. Wherein do his qualifications coincide with the pastor’s?
26. Wherein superior?
27. Why should not a deacon be „a lover of money”?
28. In what idea did the office originate?
29. Cite an Old Testament example.
30. What the second idea underlying the office and what the passage showing it?
31. What the third?
32. Give the text and outline of a notable sermon at the ordination
of deacons.
33. Show why a corps of deacons should not be considered a grand
34. Why not a ruling board?
35. What officer of a church has charge of discipline and why? Of
36. What is a long_homed deacon? Aas.: One who gores the pastor
instead of helping him and in love of ruling runs roughshod over the church.
37. Why from the context must verse II be construed to teach that
there should be „female deacons” and what other scripture in support and what the need of having them?

I Timothy 3:14_16

Our last discussion closed with I Timothy 3:13, on the of_
ficers of the church, their qualifications and duties. The clos_
ing paragraph of .the chapter is devoted to setting forth the
mission of the church in relation to the truth and what the
elements of the truth. Since the contention that there is now
existing a universal church is based upon the broad statement
applied to the church in the letter to the Ephesians, I am glad
that in the passage now to be considered, and in the address
of Paul at Miletus to the elders of the church at Ephesus (see
Acts 20), we see the broadest of these terms applied to the
particular church at Ephesus.
Now, let us read: „These things write I unto thee, hoping to
come unto thee shortly, but if I tarry long thou mayest know
how men ought to behave themselves in the house of God,
which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of
the truth.” Here „the house of God,” „the church of the living
God,” „the pillar and ground of the truth,” „the flock,” „the
church of the Lord which he purchased with his own blood,”
are statements just as broad as we can find in the letter to the
Ephesians, and yet all these broad terms are expressly applied
to the one particular church at Ephesus, for he is discussing the
heresies in that church, the prayer services in that church, and
the officers of that church.
The reader will notice that when Paul wrote the first letter
to Timothy, it shows that on this last tour of his, after his es_
cape from the first Roman imprisonment, he had been in Asia
and at Ephesus, and now expresses the hope to speedily return.
In 2 Timothy, we find evidence that he did return to Ephesus,
and had a very stormy time.

The word „behave” in verse 15 refers to more than mere
proprieties. It includes worship and service – how church mem_
bers should conduct themselves in the church assemblies. Right
behavior on the part of both men and women in the worship
and service of the public assembly is based on three great
1. The assembly is the church of the living God. The in_
stitution is not of human origin. It is not a Greek ecclesia
humanly devised for the transaction of municipal or state busi_
ness. It is not a political gathering.
2. It is a house for divine habitation. The letter to the
Ephesians expresses the thought. (See Ephesians 2:21_22.)
3. Because of its mission, being „The pillar and ground of
the truth.” The ground of a thing is the foundation upon which
the superstructure rests. A pillar is a column upholding a
superstructure. The attitude of the church toward the truth
is that’ it supports and upholds the truth which teaches these
doctrines. The Bible alone would not save the world. There
must be an organization back of the Book, an organization that
has in it the elements of perpetuity, otherwise the truth would
go to pieces. If there was no competent body to exercise dis_
cipline) to insist upon the gospel elements of the truth in
preaching) and to exercise jurisdiction over the preachers of
that doctrine) then there would be all sorts of preaching) all
sorts of doctrines) and there would be no conservation of the
I now answer the question: How does the church) as a pil_
lar and foundation) uphold the truth?
1. By proclaiming it through its ministry. They carry that
truth to the end of the world.
2. By exhibiting it pictorially) through the ordinances of
baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Wherever water flows) wher_
ever it stagnates in pools) wherever it masses in lakes) baya, or
ocean) there in the yielding waves of baptism the church pic_
torially represents the central truths of the gospel.

3. They uphold the truth by vindicating it in their discipline.
If a man comes teaching for the gospel that which is not the
gospel, if a man lie and contradict the gospel, the church up_
holds the truth by refusing to hear, receive or in any way give
him countenance. Yea, the church must expose his heresy.
4. It upholds the truth by illustrating it in all its practical
life. Every Christian father and mother, brother and sister,
boy and girl, every Christian citizen, is upholding the truth by
illustrating it in the life.
I would not have you forget these four points by which the
church upholds the truth:
1 – Proclaiming it through its ministry.
2 – Pictorially representing it in its two ordinances.
3 – Vindicating it in discipline.
4 – Illustrating it in life.
The next matter we have under consideration: What is the
truth which the church is to uphold? Here we have a summary
of the truth so far at is relates to the mystery of godliness. It,
of course, is not a summary of all the truth, but it is a sum_
mary of the truth as it relates to the mystery of godliness and
these are its six elements:
1. „God was manifested in the flesh.” It is immaterial to
the sense whether we read „God was” or „who was.” Both
teach the incarnation of Deity. The incarnation of the Word
that was with God and that was God. Incarnation includes all
that he did in that incarnation, his personal obedience to the
Law, his teaching of the fulness of the New Testament law,
his expiation for sin on the cross, and his resurrection from the
dead. A church that does not uphold that, ought to be dis_
countenanced and disfellowshiped as a church. That is the pur_
port of John’s testimony. (See I John 4:1_3.)
2. „Justified in the Spirit.” Does the Spirit here mean
Christ’s own human spirit, or the Holy Spirit? The revisers
evidently understood it to mean Christ’s human spirit as
contrasted with his flesh – manifested in the flesh and justified

in his spirit. Their contention is based upon the absence of
the article before „Spirit” and the apparent parallels between
„flesh and spirit.” The „Cambridge Bible” thus paraphrases
to bring out the rhythmical effects of the several pairs in the
Who in flesh was manifested,
Pure in spirit was attested;
By angels’ vision witnessed,
Among the nations heralded;
By faith accepted here,
Received in glory there.
This presentation is grammatical, plausible, and strong. If
it be the right interpretation, the sense of „justified in spirit”
would be that because sinless in his inner man, and because
none were able to convict him of sin, he was justified or ac_
quitted on his own personal life.
But the author prefers, as more in consonance with the line
of thought and far more feasible, to understand it to refer
to the Holy Spirit. The line of thought would then be:
1. God assumed human nature in his incarnation for the
salvation of men.
2. In this incarnation the Holy Spirit justified or vindicated
his Deity and its claims.
3. The angels recognized the Deity in the flesh.
4. As God in the flesh he was proclaimed to all nations.
5. Wherever thus proclaimed and attested he was accepted
by faith, i.e., the truth so proclaimed and attested was
6. The Father’s reception of him into glory after his resur_
rection was a demonstration of his Deity in the flesh and a
vindication of all his claims while in the flesh.
Here we have one great proposition embodying a mystery,
God was incarnated, supported by five successive evidences:
The attestation of the Holy Spirit; the recognition by angels
who had known him before his incarnation; the fact of its

publication to all nations; the credibility of the publication,
evidenced by the fact that men all over the world believed
it, and the Father endorsed it all by receiving him into origi_
nal glory and crowning him Lord of all.
There mere rhythm of the parallel, proverb style can never
be equal in force to this line of thought. The insistence on
making „spirit” mean „his human spirit” – not only is re_
dundant and tautological, since a human spirit is already
stated in his being made flesh – flesh meaning full human na_
ture – but in a similar construction, I Peter 3:18_19, such in_
terpretation teaches most awful heresy and indefensible fool_
ishness. Therefore, I totally dissent from the thought of the
revisers. It means that when God was manifested in the
flesh, he, so manifested, was vindicated – justified by the Holy
Spirit. If the reader asks when did the Holy Spirit justify
the Deity in his incarnation, my answer is:
(1) At his baptism. Nobody could otherwise know that
he was the Christ. John the Baptist could not, except by
certain action of the Holy Spirit. „I knew him not,” said
John, „but he that sent me to baptize gave me this sign:
Upon whom thou shall see the Spirit of God descend, he is
the Messiah.” And so at the baptism of Jesus Christ, as he
came up out of the water, he prayed that this demonstration
might take place – and in the form of a dove the Holy Spirit
descended and rested upon him. Unenlightened men who
looked at him in his humanity would say, „This is no God.
This is Joseph’s son; we know his brothers and sisters.” But
the Holy Spirit vindicated him in that manifestation; justi_
fied him, as did also the Father’s voice: „This is my beloved
Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
(2) If the reader again asks me how next the Holy Spirit
justified him, I will say that all his teachings and miracles
were by the Spirit resting on him without measure.
(3) The sacrifice he made in his body for the sing of the
world was through the Holy Spirit. When he made that
sacrifice, according to the letter to the Hebrews, that offering
was through the eternal Spirit. If man counts not that a sac_
rifice, the Holy Spirit did.
(4) In raising his body from the dead. They had denied
his messiahship and his divinity, and demanded a sign to
prove it. The sign was that God would raise him from the
dead on the third day, and according to this apostle in an_
other connection: „He was declared to be the Son of God
with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resur_
rection from the dead, even Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom.
(5) Now, the fifth way that he was justified by the Holy
Spirit was in the descent of the Spirit at Pentecost to ac_
credit and give power to the church whose mission was to
proclaim this truth. This was the promise and the sign with_
out whose fulfilment the church dare not preach that mystery.
The coming of another Paraclete to abide with them till the
return of the absent Lord, was the supreme justification of
their preaching that God was manifested in the flesh. See
John 14:16_18; 14:26; 15:26; 16:7_10, 13_15; Acts 1:4_5, 8.
And so on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came
down and the church was baptized in that Spirit, that was his
Let’s restate the five points in which the Spirit justified
First, in his baptism.
Second, through whom all his teachings and miracles were
Third, in offering himself for sin.
Fourth, in raising him from the dead.
Fifth, in his coming on the day of Pentecost to abide with
the church until his final advent.
That is the second element of the truth the church must
ever uphold. Let us see the third element.
He was seen by angels. Men heard with indifference
that a babe was born at Bethlehem. Nobody would pay any
attention to such an incident as that. That babe surely was
not God. But the angels who knew him up yonder in heaven
recognized him in his incarnation. The flesh could not veil
him from their sight. But when did the angels so recognize
him? When did he have their attestation of the Godhead in
his humanity?
Go back to that announcement to the shepherds, where
they told the shepherds that unto the world was born a Prince
and Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, and that this would be
the sign: they would find a babe wrapped in swaddling
clothes and lying in a manger. They recognized him there.
When else did they recognize him? Just after his baptism,
when he was tempted of the devil. As the first Adam was
tempted, so the Second Adam was now tempted, and after
triumphing in that temptation the angels recognized him, and
came and ministered unto him.
The third time was when he was in the garden of Geth_
semane, going there in anticipation of the awful horrors of
death, as a malefactor at the hands of man; death, as a sin_
ner at the hands of God; death, in passing into the power of
Satan. When he triumphed in that temptation the angels
came and ministered unto him.
And the angels will further bear witness to him when he
comes to judge the world. They will come in execution of
the divine will in gathering his elect, and in gathering up the
tares to be burned. Man may see no divinity in that Babe
of Bethlehem, but the angels recognized him, and I may add
that the devil recognized him, and all the evil angels. What_
ever infidelity may have existed in the minds of Pharisee or
Sadducee, the evil angels made no mistake. On one occasion.
they said to him: „We know thee, who thou art, thou Holy
One of God.” The next element of this truth is a universal
gospel, to be preached among all nations. This appears from
the Great Commission – Matthew 28:16_20; Mark 16:15_20;
Luke 24:46_47; John 20:22_23; Colossians 1:23.
This commission was not limited to Jews: „Go ye unto all
the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” „Make
disciples of all nations.” That preaching was done in Paul’s
time. He said the gospel was preached unto every creature
under heaven, and it has been done since, generation by gen_
eration. We are doing it now. We do not limit our mis_
sionary work to America. We go to Mexicans. Brazilians,
Italians, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Russians, the Ger_
mans, and the Swedes, telling them how God was manifested
in the flesh, was justified by the Holy Spirit, and so mani_
fested he was recognized by angels. That is the theme of
universal preaching. That this truth was believed appears
from the history of its preaching.
Three thousand Jews were converted at Pentecost, and
before the close of that big meeting near unto 144,000 Jews
were converted. Some of the Jerusalem sinners believed on
him. His great persecutor, Saul of Tarsus, believed on him.
Then his gospel was carried to heathen Antioch, Asia Minor,
Greece, Rome, the ends of the earth, and wherever this gospel
has been faithfully preached it has been accepted and be_
lieved. It is not a gospel of empty sound. That is an element
of the truth that the church is to uphold. That Jesus was re_
ceived up into glory appears from this vision of him there by
Stephen, Paul, and John.
But we need not go back to Pentecost and apostolic times
for proof. Nor need we rely on persistent monumental evi_
dences – baptism, the Lord’s Supper, the Lord’s Day. Fresh
evidences abound now, and we are his witnesses. If Jesus
be now alive in glory he can now manifest that life. The
continued work of the Holy Spirit in the call of preachers, in
regenerating and sanctifying sinners, attests it. Every new
convert has the witness in himself. Every prayer heard, every
sad heart comforted, attests it. It is just as credible now as
when first preached, and its saving power as evident.
My old_time teacher in Latin and Greek became an infidel.
Our personal friendship continued till his death. He said
to me once: „I like to hear you. You always interest me,
but what you preach about the incarnation, its miracles, its
vicarious expiation, cannot be believed. It is unscientific
and therefore incredible.” I replied, „Doctor, I oppose your
dogmatic affirmation, not by argument, but by the fact that
it is believed, and has been believed wheresoever in the world
it has been preached. Earth’s noblest, best, and wisest have
believed it. Washington, Gladstone, Lee, Jackson, Chief Jus_
tice Marshall believed it. Your own mother believed it.
Greenleaf, the greatest international authority on the Law of
Evidence, declares it legally provable and proved. Whenever
it is hid, it is hidden to those who are spiritually blind. The
difficulty in its acceptance is not intellectual, but an aliena_
tion of heart from God.”
That is one of the things the church ought to uphold, one
of the truths concerning godliness; that when he is preached
to the world he will be believed, he will be accepted.
It has been said, if this mystery of godliness be so credible,
why do not Jews, his own people, accept it? The answer is
(1) Many of them did accept it. (2) Some of them now ac_
cept it. (3) In later days all of them will accept it.
Paul explains why some of them rejected it then, and most
of them now reject it (2 Cor. 3:15_16; Rom. 11:7, 10, 25).
He foretells when and how the whole nation will one day
accept it (Rom. 11:11_12, 26). In this he agrees with their
ancient prophets (Isa. 66:7_8; Ezek. 36_37; Zech. 12:8 to
Let us look at the sixth_element: „Received up in glory.”
If God had not received him, all of his claims would have
been set aside; but the record tells us that the last time the
disciples saw him he was going up into the clouds. A prophetic
psalm tells us what happened as he approached heaven, shout_
ing: „Lift up your heads, oh ye gates; and be ye lifted up,
ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory will come in. Who
is this King of glory? I, the Lord, mighty to save.” And
when he was received up into glory, the test he gave them
that he would be received was the descending of the Holy
Spirit. The point is just this: If Jesus was raised from the
dead and ascended up into heaven, he is alive now. That is
what he says: „I am he that was dead but am alive.” If
Jesus is alive he can right now manifest that life just as well
as when he was alive and walking the streets of Jerusalem.
Arguments on a monument are very poor things when com_
pared with arguments based upon present evidences that
Christ, the living God, is King of kings and Lord of lords.
Paul, elsewhere, gives summaries of the truths that the
church is to uphold, some of them very much like this. For
instance, in Romans, „It is Christ that died, he is risen again,
he is exalted to the right hand of the Majesty on high, he
ever liveth to make intercession for us,” or as he puts it in
another passage: „I delivered unto you that which I also
received; how that Christ died for our sins, according to the
scriptures and that he was buried and that he is risen, and
that he was recognized when raised.” But these six elements
here are limited to the mystery of godliness.

1. Upon what is based the contention that there now exists a uni_
versal church?
2. How does this passage written concerning the church at Ephesus
and Paul’s previous address to the Ephesian elders at Miletus (Acts 20) disprove it?
3. What the meaning of „behave themselves” in verse 15?
4. On what three reasons is the exhortation to „behave” in the
church assembly based and what the force of the first?
5. Prove the second from the letter to the Ephesians.
6. Explain „pillar and ground” in the third.
7. What would be the result if there were no church to uphold the
8. In what four ways does the church uphold it?
9. What the one great truth the church must uphold?
10. What the six elements of the mystery of godliness?
11. How much is included in the first element, „God was manifested
in the flesh”?
12. What the testimony of John on this point?

13. What should be our attitude toward a man or a so_called church
denying this truth?
14. In the second element „justified in Spirit” what the controversy?
15. Give the argument and paraphrase supporting the view that it
means Christ’s human spirit and ‘then the meaning of the phrase.
16. Give the author’s line of thought in support of the contention that
it means the Holy Spirit.
17. Where do we find a similar construction and what heresy and
foolishness result from making „spirit” in that connection mean „Christ’s human spirit”?
18. If the author’s contention be right when did the Holy Spirit justify God incarnate?
19. Explain „seen of angels” and its bearing on the line of thought.
20. When this recognition by angels?
21. Cite proof that the devil and his demons recognized God in the
22. On what three occasions did Satan himself assail God in the flesh
and what the result in each case?
23. What proof in the next chapter that the demons fight this truth?
24. Where do we find embodied the next element – a universal gospel?
25. What the historic evidence of the next element, „believed on in
the world”?
26. What the monumental proof?
27. What the proof of today?
28. Relate the incident in this connection concerning the author’s in_
fidel friend.
29. Where the only difficulty in ita universal acceptance?
30. If it be incredible to any what the cause? Quote Paul.
31. Why do not Jews believe it? Quote Paul.
32. When will they believe it? Quote Paul and cite the prophets.

I Timothy 4:1_16

Our last discussion considered the church of the living God,
upholding the mystery of godliness. This chapter commences
with a view of the synagogue of Satan, upholding the mystery
of lawlessness. God’s intervention was a mystery. Satan’s
intervention was a mystery. Both a mystery because super”
natural. The two mysteries are in opposition – the one work_
ing to man’s salvation – the other to man’s damnation. Both
propagated by human agency; both, a fulfilment of prophecy.
4:1ù”But”: This conjunction teaches that what follows is
not in line with the foregoing, but in opposition.
4:1 – „The Spirit saith” may mean either „hath said” in a
former revelation, or „now saith” by inspiration of the apos_
tle writing. In this case it is both. That constant inspiration
rested on the apostle appears from Acts 20:23:_ „The Holy
Spirit testifieth unto me in every city, saying that bonds and
afflictions abide me.” So we are not necessitated to find that
what the Spirit here said is a quotation from a previous rec_
ord. In fact, however, the substance of it, and more besides,
appears in 2 Thessalonians 2:3_12.
Here we find that a great apostasy and the revelation of
the man of sin must precede the final advent of our Lord;
that this apostasy is a „mystery of lawlessness” already com_
mencing to work; that Satan is back of it; that just before
the final advent he will incarnate himself in the man of sin,
accrediting him with miracles, „power, signs, and wonders,”
intended to create a lying impression, working a delusion with
all deceit in unrighteousness in them that perish; that God
permits this subjection to Satan because they received not
the love of the truth. All of which is in accord with our les_
son and the later testimony of Peter (2 Peter 3:1_4) and of
John (I John 4:1_3).
4:1 – „Some shall fall away from the faith.” This is apos_
tasy, not from personal faith, but from „the faith” – the truth
embodied in the mystery of godliness.
4:1 – „Giving heed to seducing spirits.” These spirits are
demons, Satan’s evil angels.
4:1 – „Doctrines of demons.” As the mystery of godliness
was embodied in doctrines considered in last chapter, so the
mystery of lawlessness is embodied in doctrines, some of
which are to be named here, and others elsewhere.
4:2 – „Through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies, brand_
ed in their own consciences as with a hot iron.” On this sen_
tence note:
(1) As the mystery of godliness is propagated through
human agents under the influence of the Holy Spirit, so the
mystery of lawlessness is propagated through human agents
under the influence of Satan.
(2) Over against the „good minister of Jesus Christ” (4:6_
16), we have here the character of the evil minister of Satan:
(a) They received not the love of the truth;
(b) They are hypocrites;
(c) They have Satan’s brand on their consciences, as Paul
bore the mark or brand of Jesus;
(d) They teach lies;
(e) They are God_abandoned to a delusion of Satan that
they may perish.
What then are the „doctrines of demons” that embody this
mystery of lawlessness?
4:3 – „Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain
from meats, which God created to be received with thanks_
giving by them that believe and know the truth.”
So far as this scripture testifies, these doctrines consist of
one prohibition: „Forbidding to marry,” and of one com_
mand; „To abstain from meats.” Both are tenets of the

Gnostic philosophy condemned in all the later New Testa_
ment books, and to which so much attention is devoted in
John’s Gospel and in the letters of the first Roman imprison_
ment, and which abound in the letters of Peter and Jude and
The theory of both the prohibition and the command is
based on the heresy that sin is limited to matter, residing in
the body alone, and so by ignoring sexual relations, and re_
stricting food to a vegetable diet, the body may be kept in
subjection and sin avoided. It is the doctrine of celibacy and
asceticism, and is responsible for all hermits, whether heathen
or Christian, that seek escape from sin in isolation from one’s
fellows, and is the father of monasteries and the mother of
nunneries. It is the doctrine of Buddha and the Papacy. It
opposes the gospel teaching that sin is of the inner man –
„apart from the body” – and consists of spirit alienation of
mind and heart from God. Envy, malice, jealousy, lying,
stealing, blasphemy, pride, vanity, slander, idleness, selfish_
ness, and the like, are sins. These proceed from the inner
man. To eat meat on Friday is not a sin. To marry, multi_
ply and populate the earth and subdue it was the original
commission of man in innocence. The very depths of Satan
are disclosed in making that to be sin which is not sin, and
in making that to be righteousness which is sin. And espe_
cially is this doctrine deadly in the assault on the gospel
teaching that marriage is honorable in all. In the beginning
of time the Father instituted it, in the fulness of time the
Son honored it with his presence, in the end of time the Holy
Spirit sanctifies it by bestowing its name on the relation
eternally subsisting between Christ and his church. No idle
hermit in his cave, no ascetic monk in his cell, no nun in her
convent can bar out sin which resides in the spirit.
The prayer of Jesus was: „I pray not that thou shouldest
take them from the world, but that thou shouldest keep them
from the evil one.” External barriers do not keep out tho
evil one. He can enter wherever atmosphere enters.
Experiment may show what diet in particular cases pro_
motes physical health. Let each one eat the food, whether
vegetable or animal, which in his own case is promotive of
a sound body. Says this section: „Meats which God created
to be received with thanksgiving by them that believed and
knew the truth. For every creature of God is good, and
nothing is to be rejected if it be received with thanksgiving,
for it is sanctified through the word of God and prayer.”
The temporary, symbolic distinction of the Mosaic law
between „clean and unclean meats” was nailed to the cross of
Christ. Therefore says our apostle elsewhere: „Let no man
judge you in meats and drinks,” and particularly pertinent
are his words: „If ye died with Christ from the rudiments of
the world, why, as though living in the world, do ye subject
yourselves to ordinances: handle not, nor taste, nor touch –
all things are to perish with the using – after the precepts and
doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a show of wis_
dom in will, worship, and humility, and severity to the body,
but are not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.”

We have just considered on 4:2 the evil minister of Satan,
and now sketch on opposite canvass, in salient strokes, the
outline of a good minister of our Lord.
1. The matter of his preaching.
(1) Positively, having been himself nourished in the words
of the faith and of the good doctrine, of the mystery of god_
liness, he puts the brethren in mind of them.
(2) Negatively, he refuses to teach profane and old wives’
fables. Here we have „fables” opposed to revelations from
God. These fables are the lies spoken by the hypocritical,
conscience_seared ministers of evil; they are doctrines in_
spired by seducing demons, and hence profane, irreverent,
godless. From Titus 1:14 it appears that these fables were
of Jewish origin, „commandments of men” that make void
the word of God. They are further characterized as the fables
of old wives. This alludes to the fact that there are certain
women among the ministry of Satan, and suggests another
form of Gnosticism – unbridled license – equally derived with
asceticism from the one root heresy that sin resides only in
the body and as the body perishes without a resurrection,
it made no difference of what uses it was made an instru_
ment. In the next letter to Timothy these teachers are thus
described: „Holding a form of godliness, but having denied
the power thereof: from these also turn away. For of these
are they that creep into houses and take captive silly women
laden with sins, led away by divers lusts, ever learning and
never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. And even
as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also
withstand the truth; men corrupted in mind, reprobate con_
cerning the faith” (2 Tim. 3:5_8).
The phrase „old wives,” however, does not refer to corrupt
women who are willing victims of these evil ministers of
Satan, but to godless old women themselves teachers of
fables. They are of the class who deal in palmistry, magic,
or other methods of fortune telling, gathering their herbs for
love philters, or other materials for working charms, and
brewing their potions with incantations, somewhat after the
method of the three hags in Macbeth.
Edward Eggleston, in The Hoosier Schoolmaster, gives a
fitting description of one of these old „grannies” that filled a
neighborhood with evil superstitions. I myself knew one who
wrought serious evil in several families by persuading the
wives that marriage was an evil institution, thus bringing
about separations that wrecked homes and scattered children.
2. His athletics in teaching and practice. While not under_
estimating physical athletics, he stresses rather spiritual ath_
letics. He concedes some profit in physical training. „Bodily
exercise is profitable for a little in this life.” But his ideal
man is not a winner in the Olympic Games, in the Ephesian
Amphitheatre, in prize rings, ball games, or foot races, or
boat races. His heroes are not gladiators. As elsewhere in
many of his letters he uses the exploits and activities of the
outer man athlete as images of a spiritual race course or
gymnasium, because exercise in godliness has the promise of
both this life and the life to come.
The saying which gives the greater glory to spiritual exer_
cise is not only a „faithful one,” but „worthy of all accepta_
tion.” He is indeed a good minister of Jesus who can develop
among Christian people an enthusiasm for spiritual culture
that will equal the world’s enthusiasm for physical athletics.
John Bunyan on this line, in his Heavenly Footman and
Pilgrim’s Progress, not only won a tablet in Westminster
Abbey but is heard today in all the languages of the world,
and welcomed in all its homes. Without endorsement of
some of their teachings, the author rejoices to honor John
Wesley and Savonarola in their great reformations toward
„exercising unto godliness.” Nor does he hesitate to say that
John Wesley’s class in spiritual athletics has not only con_
ferred more honor upon Oxford University than all its boat
clubs and ball teams, but its enthusiasm has fired the Western
continent and awakened myriads to „strive unto holiness.” A
good minister „labors and strives to this end, because he has
his hope set on the living God who is the Saviour of all men,
especially of them that believe.” That preacher’s doctrine is
defective and his ministry narrow and barren who stops at
election, predestination, and justification, and ignores the
salvation in us – sanctification developing the life given in
regeneration – and has no heart and hopefulness in preaching
a universal gospel.
3. His own example:
(1) In himself heartily believing, without wavering, the
vital doctrines of the faith. Loose views on any fundamental
doctrine should forever bar a man from the ministry. That
presbytery is itself disreputable and disloyal that lays the
hands of ordination on a man who has loose views on the
incarnation, the vicarious expiation, the resurrection, the ex-

altation, and intercession of our Lord, and upon the inspira_
tion of the Holy Scriptures, and upon the necessity of
regeneration and sanctification.
(2) In character and life: „Let no man despise thy youth;
but be thou an ensample to them that believe in word, in
manner of life, in love, in faith, in purity” (I Tim. 4:12).
(3) In diligent study and practice: „Till I come, give heed
to reading, to exhortation, to teaching” (I Tim. 4:13). „Be
diligent in these things; give thyself wholly to them, that thy
progress may be manifest to all” (I Tim. 4:15).
(4) In stirring up by exercise any spiritual gift: „Neglect
not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy,
with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery” (I Tim.
In Timothy’s own case a prophecy went before – by Paul.
Silas, or some other prophet – that a great gift of the Spirit
would rest on him, and it did come on him as the hands of
ordination touched his head. Indeed, the laying on of hands
symbolizes the imparting of Spirit power as appears from
Acts 8:17; 19:6. On these two passages in Acts, with He_
brews 6:2, the Six Principles Baptists always followed baptism
with a laying on of hands, and strangely enough Episco_
palians, founded on the same passages the rite of Confirmation
by the laying on of the hands of their bishop.
As illustration of (2) above, I may allude to a warning I
once gave to a spoiled boy preacher: „My boy, you are in
great danger. You have been complimented so much for the
fire of your offhand, maiden sermons you have quit studying.
You have no library and do not read. You have already
contracted the habit of relying on preaching over your first
dozen revival sermons. Such a habit calls for a wide range
of ever_changing pasturage. The first time such a sermon
is a juicy roast, next time it is only warmed over, next time
it is hash, next time it is soup out of the bones. Soon these
sermons that once warmed your heart will no longer taste
well, not even in your own mouth, and then you may be sure
they do not taste well to the congregation. The spiritual
stomach, as well as the physical, calls for freshness, variety,
and change in the food served. When this stage of non_
appreciation in your hearers arrives, you have to move on to
another field; you soon will acquire the reputation of not
being able to hold any field long. When your family in_
creases you will find that ‘three moves are equal to a burn.’
Then will you become sore and soured in spirit, and doomed
to join the murmurers, complainers, and kickers – you will be
avoided as ‘the man with a grievance.’ ”
I am sorry to say my foreboding in his case came to pass.
I solemnly warn young preachers against mental and spiritual
laziness. The unused gift or faculty, whether natural or spir_
itual, goes into paralysis and bankruptcy. When a stream
ceases to flow it stagnates. Even the waters of Ezekiel’s River
of Life that became sidetracked into basins of stillness be_
came only salt marshes. When a tree ceases to grow, it be_
gins to die. When a farmer does not take in new ground and
put out his fences, the bushes and briers in his fence corners
require him to move in his fences. We must give attention
to study to enlarge our stock of preaching material. We can’t
always preach on the first principles. Besides, it is robbing
the churches.
I believe it was Booker T. Washington who tells the story
of his rebuke of a Negro church for violation of contract in
not paying their pastor, and how completely he was silenced
by a remark of one of the sturdy members: „We done paid for
them sermons last year.”
Moreover, I warn again that to secure novelty and fresh_
ness, we do not need to turn to that crassest and most unprofit_
able of sensationalism – hat goes out of the record for pulpit
themes. Leave that to worldly lecturers. The Bible is an in_
exhaustible mine to the student delver and all the student
preachers of the world, generation by generation, may let down
their little buckets into the wells of salvation without fear of
lowering the waterline. „Save thyself and thy hearers.”
1. How is the last paragraph of I Timothy 3 contrasted with the first
paragraph of chapter 4?
2. Why in both cases a mystery and through whom each propagated
and was each foretold?
3. What conjunction suggests the oppositions between, the two mys_
4. „The Spirit saith.” Does that mean „now saith” or „hath said”
or both?
5. Show how 2 Thessalonians 2:3_12 contains the substance of the
present saying of the Spirit and with what subsequent writings it ac_
6. The meaning of „falling away from the faith”?
7. Who the „seducing spirits” of 4:1 and how their seductions em_
8. On 4:2 answer: (1) What agents propagate the „doctrines of
demons”? (2) Their characteristics? (3) With whom in this chapter
9. So far as this context extends what the doctrines of demons?
10. What philosophy inculcated both and what books of New Testa_
ment discuss the philosophy and where did it originate?
11. On what heresy is the theory of these doctrines based and what
evils resulted from it and in what two religions are they embodied?
12. Show how an attack on the honor and sanctity of marriage and
a teaching that isolates one from his kind controverts the mission of
man as a race and the teaching of both Testaments.
13. What regimen of diet should each individual follow?
14. Show how the gospel abrogates the temporary and symbolic dis_
tinction between „clean” and „unclean” animals for food and
characterizes present prohibitions thereon.
15. With whom is the „good minister of Jesus Christ” in 4:6_16 con_
16. Gather up from the paragraph what should be the matter, nega_
tive and positive, of the „good minister’s preaching.”
17. What one word characterizes the negative matter of preaching –
to what is it opposed – and why the descriptive „profane,” and what
means the other descriptive „old wives”?
18. Show from Titus the natural origin of the „fables” in question.
19. How does the one heresy, sin resident only in matter – in body –
teach two opposing evils – asceticism and isolation from one’s fellows on the part of some and unbridled license ill association with one’s kind on the part of others?
20. Where the heresy tends to unbridled license give the apostle’s
description of its subjects in the second letter to Timothy.
21. Give in description and illustration the „old wives” who teach
vicious superstitions adverse to gospel revelation.
22. What the second element of a good minister of Jesus Christ and
what his attitude toward physical athletics?
23. Is it possible to develop an enthusiasm for spiritual athletics equal
to the world’s enthusiasm for physical athletics?
24. On this point what said the author concerning John Bunyan and
John Wesley?
25. What may you say of a preacher’s doctrine and ministry whose
preaching and life stops at election, predestination, and justification
ignoring the salvation in us through sanctification’s development of the life in regeneration and ignoring a universal gospel?
26. What the third element in a good minister and what the particulars
in which this element is exhibited?
27. What the incident given by the author bearing on the third par_
ticular, i.e., the necessity of study? Cite the Booker T. Washington
28. According to what and through what was a special spiritual gift
conferred on Timothy?
29. What does „the laying on of hands” symbolize?
30. Show what use the Six Principles Baptists and the Episcopalians
make of I Timothy 4:14 in conjunction with Acts 8:17; 19:6; and Hebrews 6:2.
31. What follows the neglect to stir up by exercise a natural or
spiritual gift and how did the author illustrate it?
32. To what should a preacher not turn to satisfy the natural craving
for freshness, variety, and progress and why is this resort not necessary?

I Timothy 5:l_25

In this chapter and the next we consider the administration
of internal church affairs:
1. How to deal with the different classes of unofficial of_
fending members (5:1_2).
2. How to administer church pensions to widows (5:3_16)
and to aged ministers (5:17_18).
3. How to treat offending elders – that is preachers (5:19_
4. Why there should be care in ordaining preachers (5:22,
5. Slaves and masters (6:1_2).
6. Heterodox teachers in practical religion (6:3_8).
7. The rich (6:9_10, 17_19).
8. Quadruple charge to Timothy or the Law of Administra_
tion (5:21,23; 6:11_16; 6:20_21).
5:1: „Do not reprimand an elderly man, but exhort him as
a father; the younger men as brethren; the elder women as
mothers; the youngest as sisters, in all purity.”
Whoever has charge of a church will sometimes see in the
conduct of old men) old women, young men, and young women
things that are not exactly right, and will wonder how to deal
in judicious discrimination with these cases, especially if he is
a young man, as Timothy was. This direction solves the prob_
lem: „Do not reprimand, but appeal to the elderly man as a
father, to the elder women as mothers, deal with the young
men as brothers, with the young women as sisters.” This is
capital advice to young pastors.

The young preacher, perhaps not much more than a boy,
who gets up into the pulpit with the air of a lord and hurls
Jupiter’s thunderbolts, knocking down an old man here, an old
woman there, a young man here, and a young woman yonder,
had as well quit. This does not mean that we are to be silent
when wrong exists. There is a way to get at it judiciously, and
the text enjoins the right way. We should not let people get
the”idea that we are „pulpit tyrants” or „bosses.”
Pensioning of widows by the church. This matter extends
from the third verse down to the sixteenth verse inclusive, and
refers to a list of widow pensioners to be supported by the
church. The Anglican Church and the Romanists try to make
this out an order of women devoted to celibacy, but there is
nothing in the text to indicate such a thing. It is simply a list
of those „widows indeed” dependent on the church for support.
The Mosaic law, in Deuteronomy, is very broad concerning the
caring for widows and orphans, and in the New Testament
special emphasis is laid on it.
In Acts 6 we have our first church history on the subject.
When they had things in common, selling their possessions and
turning the proceeds into a common fund, which was dis_
tributed daily, a complaint arose among the Hellenist Jews
that their widows were being neglected. Let us keep that pas_
sage in mind as we study this.
We are now to consider the important question: What wom_
en are entitled to be supported by the church? „Honor widows
that are widows indeed.” But who are widows indeed, must be
very carefully determined. The apostle defines negatively and
1. Not one who has children or grandchildren able to take
care of her. They are lacking in piety if they allow the older
people of their family to suffer or to become a burden on the
church. In a community like Ephesus, where the number of
Christians was so vast, and where there was such a large pro_
portion of the poorer class of people, the list of pensioners on

a church would be large in any event. It was necessary in
order not to overburden the church, not to allow on this list
any widow who has a child or grandchild living able to support
her. Again in verse 16 we find an enlargement of the restric_
tion: „If any woman that believeth hath widows, let her relieve
them, and let not the church be burdened; that it may relieve
them that are widows indeed.”
So, if there be relatives of even a remoter degree who are
able to take care of their older kindred, then the church ought
not to be burdened, and they ought to be made, if members
of the church, to do their duty, because „whosoever will not
provide for his own has denied the faith and is worse than an
infidel.” It is to the lasting credit of some men that just as
long as they live they exercised deference, patience, and love
toward their parents.
There is a further restriction in age. How old must this
widow be? She must be sixty years old in order to be received
as a regular pensioner of the church. Of course, this does not
mean that some widows younger than that may not be in need
of ordinary charity. But when we make out our pension list
of those who are to be regularly supported by the church, we
are as a rule to suppose that women under that age can prob_
ably take care of themselves. Again, of course, this would not
exclude special cases of ordinary charity; say a crippled or a
blind woman, however young. The apostle is discussing the
general rule of charity which has no regard to age or worthi_
ness. The age restriction for pensions is thus expressed nega_
tively: „But the younger widows refuse, for when they have
waxed wanton against Christ, they desire to marry.” That im_
plies marrying out of the faith, because soon he exhorts them
to marry. If these younger widows are supported they will be
idle when able to work, and will likely go about from house
to house, and having no employment become busybodies and
If, as a rule, every widow is to be supported by the church,
we may have, as pensioners, young women with nothing to do,
whose very youth, with its vitality and restlessness may make
them busy in wrong things. Paul was a wise old man, and he
was an inspired old man. He says, „I desire that the younger
widows marry, bear children, rule the household.” When a
woman is sixty years old she is not apt to marry again either
in or out of the faith.
He now defines positively: „She must be desolate.” Like a
single tree left of a grove, all its comrades cut down by the
unsparing ax and this lone survivor scarred and riven with
lightning bolts, stripped of boughs and foliage by passing
The definition is yet more restrictive: She must have a good
record, „having been the wife of one man,” that is, not having
two husbands at one time. „Well reported of for her good
works; if she has brought up children, if she has used hospi_
tality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet [men_
tioned among the good works, showing that it is a good
individual work and not a church ordinance], if she has re_
lieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good
He does not mean that every woman on the list shall have
every one of these qualifications, but these rules define the
requisite record. If a woman be received as a pensioner whose
life has been a reproach, somebody in the church will be sure
to question the justice of her title to support. Paul is directing
here a sane, safe way to guard the church from reproach, and
yet allow no neglect of duty.
There is even yet something to be considered: What are her
spiritual habits? „She that is a widow indeed and desolate,
and hath her hopes set on God, and continueth in supplications
and prayers day and night.” A genuine Christian, an old wom_
an by herself, no relatives, no property, but with her hope in
God, and devoting the remnant of her earthly life to prayer
and supplications. Nobody will object to helping her because
she has merited the pension, but she must be really desolate
and needy and worthy.
And again, negatively: „But she who giveth herself to pleas_
ure is dead while she liveth.” There are many old women, who,
though old, devote their lives to pleasure and not to God’s
service. Paul says that sort of a woman is dead while she
If we were in the French Capital today, we might see old
women affecting to be young women, and acting as if they
were about twenty_five years old, and so made up as to appear
to be girls, face painted or enameled, hair fluffed and curled,
outline supplied by the milliner, altogether devoting their lives
to social pleasures, going from one soiree to another, from one
reception to another, living without God, or without a thought
of God. So, in Shakespeare, Hamlet regards his mother. Hold_
ing up the ghastly skull of the jester, Yorick, he says to his
friend Horatio: „Go and tell my lady that though she paint
an inch thick, yet to this favor will she come at last.”
While this fund of the church must be administered judi_
ciously, so as not to encourage idleness, not to include in its
list one likely to bring reproach on the cause, yet it is a shame
to a church to neglect its truly desolate, helpless, and worthy
members. This pension list of the church, whether relating as
we have just seen to widows, or as we shall next see to preach_
ers, must be distinguished from ordinary charity. This is
compensation for service rendered and hence must regard
worthiness, while ordinary charity only regards human need no
matter what the reason. This is like a government caring for
wornout or crippled sailors and soldiers.
Pensioning superannuated preachers. Verse 17: „Let the
elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, espe_
cially those who labor in the word and in the teaching.” The
„double honor” referred to here is more than the respect to be
accorded to these venerable, worn_out preachers. The Greek
word time here rendered „honor” is the word used to express
the wages of soldiers. That it has that meaning here is evi_
dent, not only from the matter under consideration, awarding
a pension support, but also from the pertinent quotations which
follow: „Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the
corn,” and „the laborer is worthy of his hire.”
Our Presbyterian brethren are mistaken in supposing that
this passage teaches a distinction between two different of_
fices in the church, to wit: teaching elders who are preachers.
and ruling elders not preachers who have the general adminis_
tration of church affairs. It is true there might be many elders
– preachers – in one church, all of them teachers, but only one
of them the pastor, a ruler. The distinction between the amount
of the pension accorded by a particular church, would be based
on the degree of the service rendered. Many of them might
have done their teaching elsewhere. They may indeed have
been rulers over the smaller churches they served as pastors.
But their membership in this particular church puts them
within its care. If they have been distinguished as rulers and
have taught that particular church, their pension should be
Churches, if honest, will fairly compensate their preachers
who labor in word and in doctrine, devoting their lives to the
service of God. Timothy is there as Paul’s delegate, standing
in the place of Paul, as Paul stood in the place of Jesus Christ.
How reproachful to churches when faithful superannuated men
of God are not only shelved with disrespect, but robbed of their
wages. The cases are shamefully numerous of men who, with_
out thought of themselves, devote their lives unselfishly to the
work of God, and then in old age are laid on the shelf even
when they want to work and are still capable of working.
Many churches are guilty, just here, to their shame. A preach_
er of that kind has earned a living and it must be accorded to
him, not as charity, but as wages for his labor. A church that
will grind its pastor down to fine powder, and force him to
live under conditions that will keep him from rendering his
best service, sins against God and will be held to account. There
are some ”freeze_out churches” among the Baptists, which
takes a man in and uses up his life, and when their debt to him
for salary is large they begin to find fault with him and finally
rudely send him off to get another to be treated the same way.
It is a dishonorable method of paying debts.
I knew one preacher who positively refused to take charge
of a church in debt to its former pastor. One of his questions
when called was this: „Do you owe your former pastor any_
thing?” „Well, you see, our former pastor had faults.” „But
do you owe him anything?” „Yes.” „Pay him, and I will talk
to you.” This preacher was John S. Alien.
The next thing is: „Receive not an accusation against an
elder, except at the mouth of two or three witnesses.” If that
rule were followed strictly, many needless scandals and trou_
bles in churches would be avoided. It is such an easy thing
to call a man off and whisper, „Don’t say anything about this,
but I want to tell you something about our pastor.” We should
stop the whisperer at once: „Are you about to tell me some_
thing against the pastor? If so, do you know it to be true, or
are you proposing to circulate a hearsay? If you know it to be
true, can you furnish the corroborative testimony of other
witnesses? And will you and the other witnesses go with me
now and tell what you know to the pastor himself, face to face,
giving him an opportunity to meet the accusation?” The whis_
perer will be apt to reply: „Oh, no! I don’t know anything
myself. I have heard so and so.” Thus we not only silence
the whisperer, but we save ourselves from becoming a partaker
of his sin. The necessity for this rule, in all cases, is more em_
phasized in the case of a preacher, whose reputation is a large
part of his capital.
I had a remarkable experience on this line. I went to a cer_
tain church to help in a meeting, and noticed one man who
kept praising my preaching ad nauseam, while others looked
sad when they heard him. After a while he came to me and
wanted to put me up against some members of the church, and
especially against the pastor. I said, „Look here; you don’t
know whom you are talking to. I came here to help, not to
harm this pastor. I won’t hold a meeting to hurt a pastor. If
you have any accusations or complaints to make, and if you
can bring two or three witnesses, let us go before the pastor
himself and then if necessary before the church and fairly in_
vestigate this matter before we go on with the meeting.” That
sawed him off and he never praised my preaching any more.
It is shameful the way good, God_fearing men are slandered
by irresponsible reports against them. Bring the accuser to
task and make him come out in the open and give his corrobo_
rative evidence, and allow the accused a chance to answer.
Timothy is there in Ephesus, a great city with many thou_
sands of church members, and many preachers. He is there in
an apostle’s stead, and from all over the country some people,
if encouraged, will be bringing him private word about some
of the preachers. Paul says, „Don’t receive an accusation
against an elder except at the mouth of two or three witnesses.”
The Mosaic law went further: If a charge was made and not
sustained, the perjurer received the punishment that the ac_
cused would have received if found guilty. Such a restriction
puts a brake on the slanderer’s tongue. When we thus hold a
man responsible for what he says he is not so ready to talk
about people.
The next thing about the elder: „Them that sin, reprove in
the sight of all, that the rest may also be in fear.” I must call
attention to the original word here, which means, sin continual_
ly, habitually. Some preachers do sin, and keep on sinning, and
do not try to stop. This is not like the case in the beginning
of the chapter where an elderly man must be reprimanded. In
this case, reprove him in the sight of all. We should not de_
nounce him privately, but make our reproof in the open
church, as Paul did Peter at Antioch. We should speak right
out: „Here is a man in the ministry who sins and keeps on sin_
ning, and there is no indication that he is going to stop.” Let
the rebuke be sharp and definite. If the public reprimand does
not stop him, withdraw fellowship from him and take away
his credentials.
The last item about the elder is found in verse 22: „Lay
hands hastily on no man, neither be partakers of other men’s
sins: keep thyself pure.” The last clause needs exposition. I
heard one of the most noted Baptist preachers in Texas preach
on that text, „keep thyself pure,” and he never touched the
real meaning, though all he said was good.
„Pure” here does not refer to chastity. „Sincere” comes
nearer the meaning. It must be construed strictly with its con_
nection. The main injunction is: „Be not hasty in ordaining
men to the ministry.” The subordinate thought: „By hasty
ordination you may become a partaker of the candidate’s dis_
qualifying sin.” Be sincere in such matters; that is, be without
reproach in ordaining men.
The reasons against haste are set forth in verses 23_24. Some
men’s sins, particularly impulsive men, are evident. It takes
no long time to know them. They advertise themselves. These
impulsive sins precede the candidate. But all men are not
alike. Some are very secretive in their sins. The man passes
before we see his sins. We must particularly watch out for
what follows him. It takes time to find out whether such men
are worthy of ordination. We should not look ahead to their
promises, nor to the present, but examine the back track.
What follows him? Does his past leave a good taste in the
mouth? What impression prevails after the sober second
In like manner also there are good works that are evident.
In the case of some men we see them at their best when we
first see them. Others do not make a good impression at first.
They grow on us. Their good works follow them. The longer
they stay at a place, and the more they are known, the better
they are liked. Because of these distinguishing characteristics,
do not lay hands on a novice. License him and prove him;
allow time for character to develop itself. Mere brilliancy or
flashiness may be accompanied by instability, lack of self_
control. Wait a while!
In ordaining men we are to remember that some sins adver_
tise themselves, and we can very easily know when not to ordain certain men. Suppose he is known to be intemperate, quick to fly off the handle, boastful in speech; let that man alone for a while, do not ordain him offhand. Remember, also, that some sins do not go before. It takes time to show what they are; they follow after. Wait until there is a chance for the proper development of a man’s character before ordaining him. He may be, so far as anybody knows, very exemplary in his life, and yet in his heart he may cherish deadly sins. „Such sins,” says the apostle, „will work out and show themselves after a while.” Therefore, do not be in a hurry about ordaining any man. When we first meet a man he may seem to be all right, but we must wait to see what follows after. This does not mean to wait always. Character expresses itself; there is nothing covered but shall be revealed. There is nothing hid but shall be brought to light. If a man imagines that he can continue indefinitely to sin secretly, he is mistaken. We may rest assured that our sin will find us out. It is as certain as that the sun shines. I have been out in the woods and have seen charcoal burners trying to smother their fire by covering it up, but the flames would break out if not constantly watched. It is an inexorable law of God that what we are inside will crop out after a while. Moreover, human secretiveness can-not avail against God’s overruling providence. On this point are
to be found in Lilley’s very able Commentary on the Pastoral
Epistles some judicious observations and quotations:
The great principle announced is the constant drift of all human action to the light of God’s throne. Here Paul’s teaching coincides with that of the Lord Jesus (Matt. 10:26). It is essentially the same view of life and providence. though contemplated more from the human standpoint, that the Evangelist John also takes, when he says: „For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be convicted: but he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they have been wrought in God” (3:20_21). In either case there is no possibility of concealment. The discovery of human conduct is automatic and irresistible.
The law of retribution given in the former part of Paul’s statement (v. 24) is the standing theme illustrated in tragedy. The Greek trage-dians, especially Aeschylus, excelled in the skill with which they exhibited this aspect of providence. It is also constantly reproduced in modern literature in the most varied forms. „My Lord Cardinal,” said Anne of Austria to Richelieu, „God does not pay at the end of every week, but at the last he pays.” The German poet, Von Logau, said,
„The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience he stands waiting, with exactness grinds he all.”
As Dora Greenwell pointed out, however, the same principle holds true for mercy equally with judgment: „Some of the good seed sown in tears is now shedding a heavenly fragrance within our lives, and some of it will blossom, perhaps bear fruit over our graves” (Patience of Hope).
The aim of the whole utterance is to quicken in men a keener sense of individual responsibility to God. They shall not be able to hide from his eye in the multitude at last: they should not attempt to do so now.
Man lumps his kind i’ the mass: God singles thence
Unit by unit. Thou and God exist –
So think! – for certain: think the mass – mankind –
Disparts, disperses, leaves thyself alone!
Ask thy lone soul what laws are plain to thee –
Thee and no other – stand or fall by them!
That is the part for thee: regard all else
For what it may be – Time’s illusion.
– BROWNING, Ferishtah’s Fancies.
Lilley’s Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles is, in the main,
a very scholarly and sound exposition of the letters to Timothy
and Titus, and is hereby heartily recommended.
I add one other from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Mark
Antony, in delivering the funeral oration over Caesar, uses
this expression:
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones.
All these bear upon the caution to Timothy about ordaining
men to the ministry. While we cannot wait forever, we should
not lay hands on any man hastily. Churches today are com_
mitting sins fore and aft in hasty ordinations. It is not so like_
ly that there will be a sin committed in licensing men; we
should give them an opportunity to prove themselves.

1. To what one general theme are chapters 5_6 devoted?
2. State in order the particulars of this discussion.
3. What the discriminating direction when unofficial church members
of different age or sex offend?
4. How may the preacher in charge defeat the ends of discipline by
his methods of administration?
5. In the paragraph 5:3_18 that the author has entitled „Pensioning
Widows and Superannuated Preachers,” is the pensioning regarded as an ordinary charity or compensation for past fidelity?
6. What mistake do Romanists and some Anglicans make as to these
pensioned widows?
7. Where do we find the first New Testament history on this point?
8. Give first the negatives, i.e., what widows are not to be put on
this list.
9. Give the positive requisites.
10. On the law for pensioning old and broken down preachers, 4:17_18,
what mistake do the Presbyterians and some Baptists make?
11. What the Greek word here rendered „honor,” what its meaning
and what contextual proof?
12. How do some „freeze_out” Baptist churches pay their pastors?
13. What noted Baptist preacher in Texas refused to consider a call
from a church in. debt to a former pastor?
14. What other wrong is often done to a preacher’s reputation and
what the law here to prevent it?
15. As the Mosaic covenant was both civil and religious how did it af_
ford even greater protection against this evil?
16. State one experience of the author on this line.

17. But this passage (v. 20) supposes that a preacher may sin, what
the meaning of the word „sin” in this connection?
18. As private accusation is forbidden in such case, what is the remedy
enjoined and why, and on what notable occasion did Paul himself carry out the injunction?
19. What fault of the churches is largely responsible for so many of
these preacher troubles, and stands most in the way of pensioning
preachers and what the remedy here enjoined?
20. Why, on account of distinctions in sin and in merits should
churches avoid haste in ordination?
21. In the injunction (v. 22) what the meaning of _”Keep thyself
pure,” and why the necessity of this particular caution in this connection.
22. Develop the thought in verses 24_25 and show its pertinence
against hasty ordination,
23. How does Lilley, in his masterly Commentary on the Pastoral
Epistles, sum up the thought and what each one of his great quotations?
24. What other quotation does the author add?

I Timothy 6:1_21

The former discussion on these chapters covered all of chap_
ter 5 except verses 21 and 23, which will be grouped with other
matters in chapter 6, and made the last item of discussion
on the book.
Our last chapter closed with the proof that hasty ordination
by churches, ignoring the fact that the sins of secretive men
are not evident on first acquaintance but crop out later, and
other disqualifications, is one ground of difficulty in securing
a pension sufficient for the worthier class of aged and worn_out
ministers. Not every preacher deserves a pension when old.
If he has been lazy, unstudious, of doubtful moral character,
not devoted, there is no reason that the church should pension
him. Pension rests on desert and meritorious service. If he be
in want and suffering, then it is a case for charity which rightly
has no regard to worthiness. Charity, like sunshine and rain,
outflows alike to the just and the unjust.
Slaves and masters (6:1_2). In the chapter on Philemon
we have already considered at length Christianity’s attitude
to the then worldwide institution of slavery, so it is unnecessary
here to go over the ground again. The remark applies here as
well as there that rabid fanatics on the slavery question never
did endorse, and were incapable of appreciating the heavenly
wisdom of the New Testament attitude toward any method of
dealing with this vast and complicated problem.
The severest tests to which Christianity has ever been sub_
jected have been in healing the wounds and rectifying the
blunders of their rash handling of this matter. Indeed, their
misdirected zeal and injudicious remedies have created prob_
lems more insoluble than slavery itself. The shining of stars
affords a steadier light and more healthful influence than fire_
brands followed by ashes and darkness.
Heterodox teachers (6:3_8). Heresy in theory is bad
enough, but it becomes frightful when reduced to practice.
Unquestionably from the context the words of this scathing
paragraph (6:3_8) apply primarily to the fanatics dissenting
from the teaching of the preceding paragraph on Christian
slaves and masters. Let us consider the words: „If any man
teacheth a different doctrine, and consenteth not to sound
words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the
doctrine which is according to godliness; he is puffed up, know_
ing nothing, but doting about questionings and disputes of
words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
wranglings of men corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth,
supposing that godliness is a way of gain. But godliness with
contentment is great gain: for we brought nothing into the
world, neither can we carry anything out; but having food
and covering we shall be therewith content” (I Tim. 6:3_8).
Understand that the fanatical teaching here condemned is
not limited to one side of the question of slavery. The pro_
slavery fanatic who ignores that in Christ Jesus there is neither
bond nor free, and the boundless mercy of the gospel to all
slaves, its regenerating and uplifting power, and who takes his
position for the gain in it, is on a par with the antislavery
fanatic who, for political ends, takes the other side. The in_
centive is gain in the case of both. Each in his section takes
the position that gives him the biggest audience, the popular
favor, the most votes, the quickest promotion, and the biggest
salaries. When preachers, for a like motive on this or any
other subject, depart from New Testament teachings or spirit.
the result is unspeakably deplorable. For his own selfish ends
he projects not Christ, but himself in the limelight of publicity
and unhealthy sensationalism.
Thus „supposing that godliness is a way of gain,” „he is
puffed up, knowing nothing, but doting about questionings and
disputes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil
surmisings, wranglings of men corrupted in mind and bereft
of the truth.” Ah, me! if we could only remember that the
„kingdom of heaven cometh not with observation.” The brass
band is louder than „the still small voice.” We need to hear
again the lesson of Elijah at Sinai: „What doest thou here,
Elijah?” There came a mighty wind, „but Jehovah was not in
the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but Jehovah was
not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but
Jehovah was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small
voice.” When Elijah heard that he wrapped his face in his
mantle. The mightiest forces in nature and grace are noiseless
and unobtrusive. We hear thunder, but not gravitation. In_
tangible moonbeams lift the ocean seventy feet high in the Bay
of Fundy, but we never hear the groaning of the machinery.
There is gain, of a kind, in godliness with contentment, but it
is seldom financial.
The man minded to be rich (6:9_10). Hear the words:
„But they that are minded to be rich fall into a temptation
and a snare and many foolish and hurtful lusts, such as drown
men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a
root of all kinds of evil; which some reaching after have been
led astray from the faith, and have pierced themselves through
with many sorrows.”
These are terrible words, and true as terrible. „Minded”
means the dominant desire and will. Riches is the goal, the
chief concern. All other things are subordinated. Love of
home, wife, and children; love of country; and health, hap_
piness, purity, honor, righteousness, humanity, justice, mercy;
and thoughts of God and heaven and hell are trampled under
No voyage was ever made over more treacherous seas; no
trail was ever more thickset with dangers. The chances of
ultimate escape are almost nil. Temptations assail him, snares
entrap him; lusts, foolish and hurtful, burn him. It is the case
of a swimmer in the rapids above the falls, or skirting the suc_
tion of a whirlpool – how can he escape drowning? The case
is even more desperate because the love of money is a root of
all kinds of evil. From it may come lying, murder, lust, em_
bezzlement, theft, robbery, or any other evil against humanity
and blasphemy or any other sacrilege against God.
See the malice of the syndicate that invested money in the
soothsaying damsel at Philippi when Paul cast out the demon
that made her profitable and „her masters saw that the hope
of their gain was gone” (Acts 16:16_20) ; and the malice of the
craftsman’s ring at Ephesus when Paul’s preaching against
idols broke up the business by which they had their wealth and
„brought it into disrepute” (Acts 19:23_34). There is no hate
more intolerant and murderous than the hate of an interrupted
evil business. In truth the lowest, meanest, basest, cruelest,
beastliest, ghastliest, deadliest form of idolatry is the worship
of mammon. Pirates and highwaymen have been gallant,
brave, chivalrous, plying their business openly and risking
their lives. The lover of money skulks in his methods, which
are timid, treacherous, secretive, underhand, relentless. There
is neither chivalry, mercy, friendship, honor nor fairness in his
method when it comes to a crucial test. He is a web_spinning
spider, preying on the weak and unwary. His course is most
hurtful to himself; the foundation logs of his character suc_
cumb to dry rot. The milk of human kindness dries up; the
soul is starved; he pierces himself with many sorrows. And
when his shrunken soul, rattling like a dry pea in the pod, is
forcibly evicted from his crumbling body, it is buried naked,
hungry, thirsty, bankrupt, into an eternity of torment, where
memory plays dirges, remorse is an unlying worm, apprehen_
sion a gatherer of eternal storms to beat mercilessly on his
helpless head and dried_up heart.
Them that are rich (6:17_19). This is different from
„minded to be rich.” There may be no fault in possessing
riches. Wealth may come by inheritance, by honest industry
and economy, by judicious investments, or by diligent atten_
tion to business. Indeed, God, in love, has bestowed riches on
many good men. Yea, he has set but one limit to the amount
of lawful wealth one may possess, to wit: that his financial
prosperity shall never exceed the prosperity of his soul (3 John
2) : „Even as thy soul prospereth.” He is all right when riches
increase if he set not his heart upon them.
But our present inquiry is: What the duty of the pastor to
rich church members? Here it is: „Charge them that are rich
in this present world, that they be not highminded, nor have
their hope set on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who
giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that
they be rich in good works, that they be ready to distribute,
willing to communicate, laying up in store for themselves a
good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay
hold of the life which is life indeed.” But it is worthy of de_
tailed consideration.
6:17: „Charge them that are rich in this present world that
they be not highminded”; in other words, proud or haughty.
It is almost impossible for weak persons to be rich and not be
proud over it; they look down on people who are not rich.
Particularly is this the case with what we call the „new rich,”
people who have suddenly sprung into wealth, say a man who
has discovered an oil field, or patented an invention, or made
a „corner” on wheat, cattle, hogs, or cotton, and suddenly be_
comes a millionaire. The self_sufficiency of that class is almost
indescribable; they look down with contempt upon people who
have not a great deal of money. One who has been a gentleman
through several generations – Oliver Wendell Holmes says it
takes three generations to make a gentleman – ignores that
kind of rich people. The hardest struggle for the new rich is to
get recognition from the old families.
„Nor have their hope set on the uncertainty of riches.” It is
difficult for one of the new rich to put his hope on anything else.
If in one night we could strip him of his wealth, it would ap_
pear what a coarse, common mortal he is. He has nothing to
recommend him except his money. „The uncertainty of
riches:” uncertainty is a characteristic of wealth. It takes
wings and flies away; it is subject to fire, earthquake, pesti_
lence, panic, and a multitude of other contingencies. It is a
pitiable thing to see an immortal creature setting his hope upon
such an uncertain thing as wealth. „But on God.” If his hope
is set on God, there is certainty.
Whosoever has God is rich indeed, if he has nothing else in
the world. Whosoever hath not God is poor indeed, if he has
everything else in the world.
Let our hope „be set on God, who giveth us richly all things
to enjoy.”
Now we come to the positive part: „That they do good; that
they be rich in good works.” If one wants to be rich, here is
the way: be rich in good works. „That they be ready to dis_
tribute.” I have preached on this charge to the rich a number
of times, and have always told them that every agent out after
money is solemnly impressed with the fact that the rich man
is not ready: he tells us about certain investments not yet
profitable, or others so pending that he does not know how he
stands yet, And is not ready to distribute, nor willing to com_
municate. We don’t often find them ready.
A rich man ought to have his affairs in hand, so that he is
ready all the time to do good with his money, laying up in
store for himself treasures against the time to come. The rich
man will lecture the poor man on account of his lack of pro_
vision: „Why don’t you save up something for a rainy day?”
When perhaps of all men in the world he has laid up the least
for a „rainy day.”
„That they may lay hold of the life which is life indeed.”
This life they are living is not life; it is a miserable existence.
The thought here is the same presented in Luke 16, where the
rich man, dressed in purple and fine linen, faring sumptuously
every day, makes no provision for the future. When death
came and stripped him of everything he had, he went over into
another country and found nothing there which he had trans_
ferred. He had not made friends by the use of Mammon. He
had not used his money so as to secure any heavenly reward.
A man who invests his money in preachers, churches, schools,
colleges, humanity, charity, it goes on working for him, laying
up stores to his credit on the other side of the river.
Suppose a man had to leave the United States and go to a
foreign country. His object would be to convert his property
here into the property of that country. If his American money
did not pass over there, to exchange it for money of that coun_
try; to exchange his realty here for realty there. The only
thing we can do in the way of exchanging is by good deeds,
transferring what we have to the other side. I am not discuss_
ing salvation; that is determined by other things entirely. I
am discussing the question of rewards in the world to come.
In delivering an oration on the death of Spurgeon in the
city of Nashville, I drew this picture: „Mr. Phillips said of
Napoleon, when he died: ‘He is fallen.’ I say of Spurgeon:
‘He is risen.’ ” I described in fancy the abundant entrance
of Spurgeon into the heavenly home, the friends he had made
by his unselfish use of means here on earth. Up there he met
the orphan children whom he had cared for and sheltered,
the aged widows whom he had comforted and cheered in their
dying hours, the young preachers he had taken care of in
college and supplied with libraries, and who had gone out on
the fields as missionaries and died before Spurgeon died, who
were all waiting and watching for him to come, and were
ready to meet him. That is the thought Paul is trying to im_
press upon Timothy with reference to the rich.
5:21; 5:23; 6:11_16; 6:20_21
First charge to Timothy: “I charge thee in the sight of
God and Jesus Christ and the elect angels, that in conducting
the internal affairs of the church, thou observe these things
without prejudice, doing nothing by partiality.” Paul could
make a young man intensely solemn when he impressed on
him that he stood in God’s sight, with the eye of Jesus upon
him, as a spectacle to the angels. „When you are conducting
the affairs of the church do nothing through prejudice or
Once let it appear that the pastor is a partisan in the affairs
of the church; that he favors certain members of the church,
then he is stripped of his power with the congregation. „Prej_
udice” in its etymological meaning, is to judge before hand.
Say there is a division in the church: The pastor listens while
A and B tell their side of the case; C and D he had not heard.
Then he occupies the seat of moderator with a prejudgment
in his mind; for some, against some, and he greatly damages
The second charge. „Be no longer a drinker of water, but
use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often in_
firmities.” .From this charge we learn two important lessons:
1. That alcoholic stimulants may be prescribed, in small
quantities, for sick people. Timothy was a total_abstinence
man. Paul shows him a distinction between a beverage and a
medicine. But it is not fair to Paul to stretch „a little wine”
as a medicine to make it cover a barrel of whiskey as a
2. The fact that Paul did not miraculously heal himself
and Timothy, nor resort to a faith cure, but did keep near
him Luke, the physician, and did prescribe a medicine to
Timothy, is proof positive that we, as a rule, must rely on
ordinary human means for health and healing.
Third charge, 6:11: „Flee these things, and follow after
righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness.”
Certain things we must flee from; all we can do is to run
from them, e.g., love of money, which we have just discussed.
We should run from that as we would run from a rattlesnake.
It is not cowardice, but we had better get out of his way as
quick as possible. Flee from the love of money, covetousness,
anger. When we see them coming, we can gain nothing by
meeting them; so we had better run. But there are certain
other things we must chase: righteousness, godliness, faith,
love, meekness. Whenever we see their tracks, let us follow.
The next item of the charge: „Fight the good fight of faith.”
If the reader will compare this exhortation with what Paul
says of himself in the second letter to Timothy (4:7) : „I have
fought a good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept
the faith,” and then with what he says in the letter to the
Philippians, third chapter: „Forgetting the things which are
behind and stretching forward to the things which are be_
fore; I press onward to the goal unto the prize of the high
calling of God in Jesus Christ,” he will see that Paul has
exemplified the very things he tells Timothy to do. What Paul
has exemplified in his life, that he charges on Timothy: „The
teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is a warfare,
and the preacher must make a fight for all of it, illustrating
the truth in his life, preaching the truth with great earnest_
ness to his people, and resisting every temptation to substi_
tute some other thing for the doctrines. Stand for the truth,
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Then, we must work out our sanctification; work out what
God works in, pressing on to lay hold of the things for which
Jesus laid hold of us, and then keep the faith.
Fourth charge. „Timothy, guard that which is committed
unto thee.” The deposit of faith which God placed with the
church, and in the preacher through the church, is the most
sacred deposit of either time or eternity, and whoever trifles
with it, whoever thinks he can surrender a part of it with im_
punity, makes the mistake of his life.
It is as if a father should call his son to him, open a leather
case and say, „My son, in this case is the history of the family,
and the precious jewels of the family that have been accumu_
lated from 400 years back. Your mother, your grandmother,
and your great grandmother wore these jewels. They are
connected with all the festivities of the family history. I de_
posit these precious heirlooms with you. Guard them, my son,
and see that the one who comes after you finds not one of the
jewels missing, not one substituted for taste.” A boy receiving
such a charge as that from a father, who would forget his
stewardship, and think that it was his to dispose of these
jewels for his own pleasure, swap them off for others to suit his
taste, would be an unworthy son of a noble family.
How incomparably greater is this charge to Timothy I This
deposit of the truth all the wealth of the world could not buy.
This truth all the wisdom of the world could never have dis_
covered. God revealed it to Paul, and he delivered it to Timo_
thy. It is delivered with a view of transmission to those who
come after. Keep it inviolate, and transmit it in its entirety.
How seldom do we find a preacher with that sense of honor
and responsibility for the divine truth deposited with him. He
is not at liberty to preach whatever he pleases. He is speak_
ing for God.
Let me illustrate the thought in another way: The United
States Government sends an ambassador to a foreign country
with special instructions, tells him what the issue is between
the two countries, and says, „Now when you get over there and come up against those sharp diplomats of other nations, you are to say what we tell you to gay; you are not to vary from the instructions one hair’s breadth.” That man cannot there make a treaty according to his idea of it. An ambassador cannot move a step beyond his instructions. If in the negotiations some of the things which his country demands are found to be impracticable, he must adjourn the meeting, write home for instructions, and when he gets the new instructions he can step forward again.
„Do thou speak the words that I put in thy mouth” is what
God always said to the prophets. „Deliver my message. You
need not apologize for it; it will take care of itself. What you
are to do is to deliver the message, just as it comes to you, and
you may rest assured that it will accomplish more than if you
try to fix it up palatably.” God did not send us out as apothe_
caries to put sugar in his medicine, nor to coat his pills. Our
business is to put forth the words of the Almighty.
In one of Scott’s novels, the thought is brilliantly brought
out: The brave Knight of Crevecour goes from the Duke of
Burgundy with certain messages to Louis of France. When he
steps into the presence of the King of France he is not ashamed,
because he stands there not for himself but for the Duke of
Burgundy. When he has been approached to change certain
things in his message, he takes off his mailed gauntlet, and
throwing it down on the floor says, „That is what I am com_
missioned to do, as a defiance to this court, if you do not accept
the terms of my message. I cannot change a letter of it.”
That is the attitude of the preacher. It is in Paul’s thought
when he calls Timothy’s attention to the relation of his Chris_
tian experience: „Lay hold of life eternal whereunto thou wast
called, and didst confess a good confession in the sight of many
witnesses.” In other words, „Go back to your conversation;
what did you do when you came before the church? There
were many witnesses present, and you came out openly with
the statement that you were a lost sinner, saved by the grace
of God by simple faith in Jesus Christ, and that your sins were
remitted through the shedding of his blood on the cross. That
was your confession. Stand up to it now. Don’t go back on it.”
In order to impress the more the idea of a public committal,
he quotes Christ’s confession when brought before Pilate, the
stern Roman procurator, who said to Christ, „Do you know
that I have power to set you at liberty, or to take your life?”
Christ said, „You have no power except what is given you. I
am a king, but my kingdom is not of this world.” There Christ
witnessed a good confession before Pontius Pilate.
Whatever may be the fate or circumstances of life, let the
ambassador keep this thought always in mind: That he stands
for the Saviour; in the parlor, on the streets, behind the coun_
ter, on the farm, in amusements, and with whomsoever, in the
presence of whatsoever enemies, he is the witness to a good
confession. That is the charge to Timothy.
I have read the lives of many men. One of my favorite
classes of reading is biography. I have never read a biography
of another man that impressed me like Paul’s as set forth by
himself. I have never found anywhere a man so conscientious,
whose life was so consecrated, whose eye was so single, whose
ideal of duty was so high. Always he stands like an everlast_
ing rock upon the truth of Jesus Christ.

1. On what earlier letter have we considered at length Christianity’s
attitude toward the institution of slavery?
2. What class of people never endorsed nor appreciated New Testa_
ment teaching on this point?
3. What heavy burden has their misdirected zeal imposed on both
Christianity and the state?
4. Show how a vicious incentive discounted the labors of these fana_
tics whether anti_ or pro_slavery men, and how the same motive in a preacher or any other matter brings deplorable results to him and the community.
5. What lesson from our Lord and from the life of Elijah opposes
this loud method?
6. Illustrate the fact that the mightiest forces are not noisy,
7. What the meaning of „minded to be rich”?
8. Show how the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
9. Illustrate the danger to the man himself.
10. Cite two cases from Acts to show that there is no hate more in_
tolerant and murderous than an interrupted evil business.
11. In whose favor and why ia the contrast between the pirate and
the miser?
12. Give the outcome of the lover of money.
13. Why the great difference between „minded to be rich” and „them
that are rich”?
14. What passage the only limit to the amount of wealth that may be
lawfully acquired?
15. Give the elements negative and positive of the charge to the rich,
16. What the importance of the charge to Timothy at 5:21?
17. What two important lessons may be learned from the charge at
18. In the charge at 6:11 what must the preacher run from and what
must he chase?
19. Cite proof texts to show that Paul himself exemplified the charge:
„Fight the good fight of the faith.”
20. In the last charge (6:20_21) what was committed to Timothy and
with what contrasted?
21. When did Timothy make the „good confession” and when did our
22. Illustrate from one of Scott’s romances, telling which one, he
necessity for an ambassador to be faithful to the message entrusted to him.

Titus 1:1_4

We now take up the letter to Titus and commence with a
historical introduction. The first thing we deal with is the
island of Crete. Its modern name is Candia. It is about 140
miles long, but very narrow. It closes up what is called the
„Grecian Archipelago” (a sea full of islands). The island is
lifted up high out of the sea and has some very high mountains
on it. The valleys are small, but very rich. It has always been
a thickly peopled island as far back as history goes.
Now, the inhabitants of the island: The original inhabitants
– that is, if we go no further back than the times of the Greek
supremacy – were Greeks, mingled with, perhaps earlier ele_
ments, as, Phoenicians, Philistines, Cherethites. There is a
passage in Virgil’s Aeneid about the hundred cities of Crete.
For an island of that size to have a hundred cities, or even
small towns, implies a great population. When I studied Virgil
I looked up this island and wondered where they found space
for a hundred cities.
There is a passage in Tacitus that makes the Jews descend_
ants of the Cretans. What plausible argument could Tacitus
have had for such a notion? The Philistines and Phoenicians,
in Palestine, were naval powers and early connected with
Crete, and the Cherethites, who were associated with the Philis_
tines. In the history of David we find that one of his body
guards was made up of Cherethites, and in the Septuagint, in
two Old Testament passages, the Cherethites are called Cre_
It may have been these facts that suggested to Tacitus that
the Jews were derived from the Cretans. Tacitus was a good
historian on Roman affairs, but he is wrong here. This much is certain: While the base of the inhabitants was Greeks, Phoeni-cians, and Cherethites, in very early days many Jews settled there. We find an account of them in the apocryphal books, in Maccabees, and extensive reference to them in Josephus, and in Philo the Alexandrian Jew, showing how in the period of the beginning of the Greek Empire the Jews, who were great traders, had established themselves in the Island of Crete.
Now we come to the New Testament bearings upon the sub_
ject. We want to ascertain how, possibly, the gospel was.
planted in this island. In Acts 2 where so many Jews of the
dispersion and Jewish proselytes came from all parts of the
earth to be in Jerusalem at the great feast, among the number
there (v. II) we find the Cretans especially mentioned. These
Jews of the dispersion assembled in the city of Jerusalem,
heard Peter preach that day, and it is possible that some of
them were converted, and in that way the gospel originally
came to Crete.
The next New Testament reference is in Acts 27. Paul is a
prisoner on his way to Rome, and he touches on the coast of
Asia Minor, is transferred to a new ship bound for Italy, which
stops at Fair Havens, a harbor on the southern coast of the
Island of Crete. The record implies a somewhat lengthy stay.
We do not know whether they were allowed to go ashore or not.
Paul warned them to spend the winter there, but they, be_
guiled by a favorable breeze, left Crete and a typhoon struck
them, blowing them out of their course and wrecking them on
the Island of Malta. These are two New Testament references
which occur before we come to the reference here in Titus.
The next thing is to determine the character of the Greek
inhabitants. Paul quotes a poem in which the poet, himself a
native of the island, describes them as liars, beasts, and glut_
tons. At Athens Paul quotes poets, and so in this letter he
quotes a poet. He was raised at Tarsus, in Asia Minor, a great
university city, probably the greatest in the world. Alexandria

was great, but it is held by some that Tarsus was greater. So
Paul’s being raised there gave him an acquaintance with the
current literature of his time.
Just a few words on the position of Crete in previous myth_
ology. Mythology has a great deal to do with Crete. When I
was a schoolboy, about 13 years old, we were reading Ovid.
One of the lengthiest and best written pieces in the book of
Ovid connects Jupiter and Europa with the Island of Crete.
That is a special part of old Grecian Mythology.
It is not proper here to go into the details about the history
of Crete before Paul’s time; so will pass over that part. But I
will say this: when the Romans came to the island, 67 B.C.,
Metellus, a Roman general, captured Crete and thence ob_
tained his surname „Creticus,” as one Scipio, after his victory
over Hannibal in Africa, was surnamed „Africanus,” and
another one surnamed „Asiaticus.” The Romans were accus_
tomed to giving a surname to their generals who accomplished
anything great.
In establishing the province (Rome always put what she
captured into a province) Crete was united with Cyrenaica,
in the northern part of Africa. It is called Cyrene in the New
Testament. They were put together and governed by one pro_
Just a word about the impress left by Titus on the subse_
quent history of Crete: Archaeologists tell of a church whose
ruins are yet standing, named for Titus. It is certain that in
later days the Venetians, who became a great sea power, cap_
tured this island. As St. Mark is patron of Venice, Titus is
regarded as the patron saint of Crete. They would pray thus:
„Oh, St. Mark, do thou help us.” „Oh. St. Titus, do thou help us.”
We now want to consider Titus himself before we go into the
letter. Here are the scriptures that present the earlier state_
ments about Titus in the New Testament:
Titus 1:4 teaches that he was converted by Paul. Just where
we do not know, possibly at Antioch. We know that Titus was

a Greek on both sides. Timothy’s father was a Greek, but his
mother was a Jewess. Somewhere in Paul’s work Titus was
led to Christ.
Galatians 2:1_3, construed with Acts 15: In the passage in
Galatians Paul is referring to the great council at Jerusalem,
and says that he designedly took Titus, an uncircumcised man,
with him; that there might be a test case. The Jerusalem Jews
demanded that one must be a Jew to be saved. A delegation
from Antioch went down, including Paul and Barnabas, the
church bearing the expenses of the expedition, and in order to
make a test case Paul took Titus along with him. „Here is a
Gentile converted to God under my ministry. Dare you say
he is not saved?”
Canon Farrar, who is cranky on Old Testament criti_
cism, and sometimes on the New Testament, takes the position
that Paul did have Titus circumcised. He stands alone on that,
however. But standing alone does not bother him at all be_
cause he is so conscious of being infallibly right that he does
not mind being by himself. Inasmuch as Timothy had a Jew_
ish mother, was reared in the Jewish faith of the Holy Scrip_
tures from a child, Paul circumcised him, lest his lack of cir_
cumcision would discount his influence with the Jews, but he
would not do that in Titus’ case.
2 Corinthians 2:13, also 7:6_7, 13_15. From these scriptures
we learn that when Paul was at Ephesus the Corinthians were
urging him to come over there, but he tarried at Ephesus until
Pentecost. On information from the household of Chloe he
wrote the first letter to the Corinthians, and sent Titus to carry
it and to set these people straight on their immortalities, par_
ticularly that man who took his father’s wife, and to work
them up on that big collection for the poor saints in Judea.
Leaving Ephesus, Paul went to Troas, expecting to meet Titus
there bringing the report of the effect of his first letter to the
Corinthians. Titus did not meet him, and he was greatly dis_
tressed; although he was having a great meeting he quit and
went over into Macedonia.
The next scriptures are 2 Corinthians 8:6, 16, 23; 12:18.
These scriptures show that Titus joined him in Macedonia, and
brought a report from Corinth, and that Paul sent Titus back
to complete the work he had so magnificently begun, sending
with him Trophimus and Tychicus (Acts 20:4).
Titus 1:5: On the missionary tour after Paul’s escape from
the Roman imprisonment, he came to this Island of Crete,
stops a while, and finding great disorder in the churches here,
leaves Titus to set things in order.
Titus 3:12: In this passage Paul writes to Titus to join him
in Nicopolis, where he expects to winter. He tells him to join
him there when a successor comes; that he will send Artemas
or Tychicus to take his place.
Titus 3:13: Titus is still in Crete. Paul sends the letter by
Zenas and Apollos, and charges Titus to take charge of these
two brethren and help them forward on their way.
2 Timothy 4:10: Paul is now a prisoner a second time in
Rome, and is writing to Timothy. He says that Titus had
gone to Dalmatia, which is not very far from Nicopolis, where
he was to winter with Paul.
The last scriptures to consider as bringing out the character
of Titus are 2 Corinthians 7:7, 13, 15; 8:23. Let us picture in
our minds the kind of a man Titus was. We know that he suc_
ceeded magnificently in his work, but this passage shows the
character of the man:
„God comforted us by the coming of Titus; and not by his
coming only, but also by the comfort wherewith he was com_
forted in you, while he told us of your longing, your mourning,
your zeal for me, that I rejoice yet more. Therefore, we have
been comforted, and in our comfort we joyed the more exceed_
ingly for the joy of Titus, because his spirit hath been re_
freshed by you all.” That indicates his appreciative nature;
when he brought them comfort and saw how glad they were,
he became glad.
„But this affection is more abundantly toward you while he
remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and
trembling ye received him.” That brings out his love for these
people among whom he labored.
„Whether any inquire about Titus, he is my partner and my
fellow_worker to you_ward.” From these scriptures we get an
idea of the inside man; the tenderness, sympathy, and love of
his nature. Titus is not mentioned in the book of Acts at all.

We now come to the outline of the book; I am giving a very
critical outline, chapter by chapter:
Chapter One:
1. Elaborate greeting (1:1_4)
2. Occasion of the letter (1:5)
3. Qualifications of elders to be ordained (1:6_10)
4. Reasons for such high qualifications (1:11_16)
Chapter Two:
5. Directions concerning practical piety in social life (2:1_
6. High doctrinal reasons therefor in the teaching of grace
7. How Titus must carry out the directions (2:15)
Chapter Three:
8. Directions concerning civil life and character (3:1_2)
9. High doctrinal reasons therefor in the example of the
salvation of the saints (3:3_7)
10. A faithful saying in point, and the value of good works
11. What to shun (3:9)
12. How to treat the factious (3:10_11)
13. Directions to Titus when a successor arrives (3:12)
14. Directions to forward with help, Zenas and Apollos
15. Farewell salutation and benediction (3:15)

That is strictly a critical outline. It leaves out nothing in
the letter, is orderly arranged chapter by chapter, and brings
out each thought. With that the reader will more understand_
ingly study Titus.
I will consider the first item of the analysis, the elaborate
greeting (1:1_4). In the first place Paul desires to have the
men to whom he writes to understand that he is writing with
the fulness of authority, representing God, representing Jesus
Christ, representing the faith of God’s elect, and that he is
writing concerning the true knowledge of the faith, which is
according to godliness.
He makes the keynote of the letter, practical religion, or
godliness in life: „According to godliness, in hope of eternal
life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before time eternal;
but in his own seasons manifested his word in the message,
wherewith I was intrusted according to the commandment of
God our Saviour.” Marking himself out as the one who is to
speak, in every direction he buttresses his authority to speak,
and especially on the topic to be discussed in this letter, prac_
tical holiness, practical religion according to the truth, the
divine truth.
He will demonstrate in the letter how doctrine is the basis
of morality. He will use great doctrines to enforce morality.
He inculcates every one of these thoughts as special and pre_
cious. When he writes to Titus he makes the following points:
„I led you to Christ; you are my true child, but it is in a com_
mon faith.” Just as Jude says, „a common salvation,” or as
Luke says, „the things which are commonly believed among
Conversion is always according to the common faith. Cer_
tain impressions of men may be different, but one was not
converted to one kind of faith and another to another kind.
From the days of the first converts under the gospel to the
present time, every conversion is unto truth which is common.
Whether manifested in some cases as in others or not, the
normal conversion has these elements in it’. Under the preach_
ing of the gospel a man sees himself to be a sinner in the sight
of God. He is sorry for his sins and changes his mind toward._
God on account of sin. There was a burden resting on him be_
cause of sin. He turned by faith to the Saviour for salvation
from that sin.
These are the normal elements of conversion. Some people
may not experience these things so as to be able to separate
them item by item. I once received a letter from a man who
heard some great teacher in a Bible rally. He wrote: „Great
teachers here are saying that there is no time element between
repentance and faith; that they are simultaneous. Is this true?”
I wrote back that the two were distinct, repentance one thing
and faith another thing; that they have different objects – re_
pentance is toward God, and faith is toward our Lord Jesus
Christ; that they are represented always in a certain order:
„repentance and faith”; that while in some cases a conversion
takes place in so short a time that a man is not able to separate
them, the steps were there just the same; that there was a dif_
ference in time, even when one could not appreciate it.
In some cases conviction manifests itself a good while before
the man reaches repentance, and sometimes a man is penitent
a long time before a clear view of the Saviour is presented to
him. I know a case where repentance lasted a year before
faith came.

1. Give an account of the Island of Crete: (1) Where, what the di_
mensions and what the topography? (2) Early inhabitants. (3) Density of population including citation from Virgil.
2. What the strange statement of Tacitus as to national origin, of
Jews and the probable ground of the statement?
3. What the strange account in Maccabees of the common origin of
Jews and Spartans?
4. Give account of Jews settling in the Island and the authorities.
5. What the New Testament references prior to this letter to the
Island and its Jewish population and how may the gospel have been
planted there?
6. What the character of the population according to one of its poets
quoted by Paul?
7. What noted myth concerning Crete?
8. Who conquered Crete for the Romans, what surname did he re_
ceive and with what other section of country was it constituted a
Roman province?
9. Later what Mediterranean Sea power conquered the Island?
10. To what nation does it now belong?
11. What archaeological testimony to Titus?
12. Give connected New Testament history of Titus and the impres_
sion of his character and ability conveyed.
13. Give the analysis of the letter.’
14. What the keynote of the letter?
15. What the two great doctrinal statements in the letter?
16. What relation does the letter establish between doctrine and
morals, or practical religion?
17. What the office of Titus, and what his special authority?

Titus 1:5 to 3:15

At the close of our discussion on the historical introduction
to the letter to Titus, I gave an elaborate outline of the letter,
so inclusive that it practically becomes an exegesis of the let_
ter. Moreover, we need now to consider but three points in the
letter, because in the first letter to Timothy we have gone over
much of the ground relating to preachers, their ordination, and
all the parts relating to their social life.
The historical introduction also expounded the elaborate
salutation, so that this section really commences at 1:5: „For
this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order
the things that are wanting, and appoint elders in every city,
as I gave thee charge.”
„Elders in every city”: there can be no efficient development
of church life without pastors. The pastors teach the word
and rule according to the word; they oversee the work of the
church; they shepherd the flock, feeding, guarding, and heal_
ing. Upon the entrance qualification into the office of elder, we
need to emphasize one point additional to those considered in
the first letter to Timothy. It has been rightly said that the
entrance spiritual qualification to church membership should
be the simple, trustful acceptance of Christ as Saviour. It is
not necessary for one to be a theologian in order to unite with
the church. We receive babes in Christ into the church.
But it is not true that in ordaining elders we should limit
the scope of the examination to entrance qualifications into the
church. Let us commence with verse 9. He is here cautioning
Titus about whom to ordain, that the candidate to the minis_
try must “hold to the faithful word, which is according to the

teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in the sound doc_
trine and convict the gainsayers.”
Then follow the reasons for such high qualifications on en_
trance into the ministry. He shows the presence of „unruly
men, vain talkers, and deceivers, especially they of the cir_
cumcision, whose mouths must be stopped; men who overthrow
whole houses, teaching things which they ought not for filthy
lucre’s sake.” The fact that there are capable opponents to
the Christian religion, sometimes exceedingly plausible, who
can overturn the faith of whole households, makes it necessary
that the man to be ordained to the ministry must understand
the teaching, the deposit of faith, as enunciated in the New
Testament, and summaries of which are given repeatedly by
the apostle Paul. We had this thought in part in the first let_
ter to Timothy, where be says, „Lay hands suddenly on no
man; not on a novice.”
In order to do the work of a preacher, and especially that of
a pastor of a church, one must be able to lead babes in Christ
to mature Christian knowledge. That is what he is for, and
he must be able to meet the gainsayers, those who stand out
against the doctrine. Where the pastor is unable to do either
one or the other, his church in all probability will suffer se_
verely, not only in lack of development, but also by in_roads
of the opposition. That this point may be clear let the reader
study this passage from Ephesians:
„And he gave some to be apostles, and some prophets, and
some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the per_
fecting of the saints unto the work of ministering, unto the
building up of the body of Christ: till we all attain unto the
unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
unto a full grown man, unto the measure of the stature of the
fulness of Christ: that we may be no longer children tossed to
and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the
sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; but speak_
ing truth in love, may grow up in all things into him, who is
the head, even Christ; from whom all the body fitly framed
and knit together through that which every joint supplieth ac_
cording to the working in due measure of each several part,
maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself
in love.”
The keynote of the letter to Titus is the practical religion
coming from the acceptance of sound doctrine. Paul never
conceived of an empty Christian faith. He never dissociated
morality from doctrine, but always predicated morality upon
doctrine. Doctrine is the fountain and morality is the stream.
While standing as he did with such earnestness for the truth
which he had received from Christ, and while exhorting them
to keep this truth just as he gave it to them, to preserve it in_
violate, to transmit unimpaired, he always insisted that the
evidence of one’s acceptance of this truth was a sound religious
life. This letter, perhaps more than any other, stresses that
point. True, in every letter after he had stated his doctrine,
there is an exhortation to practical morality, but in this letter
the main thought is in the direction of practical holiness, and
the doctrines introduced are for illustration.
With this thought before us, we consider the first great doc_
trinal statement, which is the second chapter. Throughout that
chapter he defines the things becoming sound doctrine: „That
the aged be temperate, grave, sober_minded, sound in faith, in
love, in patience,” how the aged women, young women, and
young men should do.
But when he unveils the fountain from which the stream of
moral life flows, and which this good life adorns, we find this
doctrinal origin: „For the grace of God hath appeared, bring_
ing salvation to all men, instructing us to the intent that, deny_
ing ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly and
righteously and godly in this present world.” He affirms that
this is the teaching of salvation by grace. There is no anti_
nomian fruit in the doctrine of salvation by grace.

From the lips of every expounder of salvation by grace in
the New Testament comes the one teaching that sound doc_
trine concerning the world to come leads us to a sound life in
this present world; that here on earth and in time, we should
live soberly, righteously, godly, and in denial of worldly lusts.
It is a little difficult, in view of the clear statement upon this
subject, to understand how antinomianism ever originated.
Certainly it is not warranted in the Bible. We may put it
down as a fundamental of Christianity, that where there is
anything of Christianity in the heart, it will make its subjects
better, here and now. It will make a husband a better husband,
a wife a better wife, a child a better child, a citizen a better
citizen, a slave a better slave. Many times in my life I have
felt called upon to preach from this text: What the grace of
God which bringeth salvation teaches.
The second thing that it teaches us is to „look for the blessed
hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and our
Saviour Jesus Christ.” Wherever there is a genuine acceptance
of Jesus as a present Saviour there is an attitude of expecta_
tion toward the second advent. We cannot have sound faith in
the historical Christ without having an expectant hope of the
coming Christ. Baptist churches need to have that ground into
them. Whenever we find that a considerable part of our life
is elapsing without thought of the final coming of our Lord,
then there is something wrong in us.
As the first coming was the highest mountain peak which
loomed up on the Old Testament horizon, so is the second ad_
vent the highest mountain peak in our future, and we should
never lose sight of it.
Here the question arises: „How do you maintain such an
attitude toward the final coming of our Lord, with your post_
millenial views?” It is easy to answer that question.
1. Having postmillenial views, I have no trouble with the
universality in preaching required in „bringing salvation to all
men,” since our only hope of saving men is before the final ad_
vent, expecting none to be saved after that advent; whereas
the premillennial view expects to save only an ever_lessening
few before that advent, and looks to postadvent times for
saving the bulk of those to be redeemed.
2. To any one individual life it is only a little time until the
Lord comes. As soon as we come to death we pass out of time
into eternity, where there is no time, no measuring of duration.
So the only period in which my looking for the Lord can be
beneficial to me is in my lifetime here upon earth. But to the
race of man, the succession of individuals, it may be a very
long time until the second coming of Christ. All through the
New Testament men are addressed not so much with reference
to the lapse which must pass in the history of the race before
the final advent, as to the individual’s brief stay on earth.
To illustrate: Peter positively knew that Christ would not
come before he died, because Christ had told him just how he
was to die. He himself makes reference to that. And yet Peter
was marvelously stirred in his heart with the thought of the
final coming of the Lord. He knew that it would not be in his
time, but he knew he was influenced by the thought while he
lived. In the great prophecy of our Lord, each steward in his
day, whether that day be remote from the second advent, or
near to it, is warned not to say in his heart: „My Lord delay_
eth his coming,” that in such a time as he thinks not the Lord
will come and he will be cut down and his portion appointed
with hypocrites. Very much in point is a passage in John’s
Gospel: „I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go I will
come again to receive you unto myself.” This was meant for
the men addressed and men ages remote from the final advent.
It is unquestionable that there is a sense in which the advent
of the Lord comes to the individual. He meets every one at the
depot of death. It is not at all peculiar to postmillennial
people to neglect the thought of the second advent of our Lord.
While I believe that it is absolutely impossible for that advent
to come in my life time, and base my belief upon the clear teachings of preceding things – things which must come to pass
before the final coming – yet the influence of the second advent
has been a tremendous power over my life. I have preached
from it oftener than from any other one theme in the Bible
except the cross of Christ.
To resume our discussion: Paul says that the grace of God
which bringeth salvation teaches these things: (1) That in this
present world we must live soberly, righteously, and godly;
(2) That the heart must be turned toward the final coming of
the Lord. These two lessons, and they are both good lessons,
are reinforced by the following:
„God gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all
iniquity, and purify unto himself a people for his own posses_
sion, zealous of good works.” So the teaching is buttressed by
the purpose which was in the mind of our Lord Jesus Christ.
You recall how that point was emphasized when we recently
passed over Ephesians, where it said that Christ loved the
church and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify it, hav_
ing cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, that he
might present the church to himself a glorious church not hav_
ing spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be
holy and without blemish.
It was once common for preachers, resting on the King James
Version, to insist that God’s people must be peculiar, i.e., odd.
But that is not the meaning of the word. He gave himself for
his people, having in view their complete holiness, and that
they were to be a people for his own possession, i. eä peculiar
to him and zealous of good works. If one finds himself without
that zeal for good works, he may question the Lord’s title to
him. First make a tree good, then its fruit will be good.
The other doctrinal passage is much more difficult. Indeed
to expound it satisfactorily to myself is to dissent from most
Christian scholars. I have tried hard to fall in with their views,
but cannot do it.

3:3: „For we also once were foolish, disobedient, deceived,
serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy,
hateful, hating one another, but when the kindness of God, our
Saviour, and his love toward man appeared, not by works
done in righteousness which we did ourselves, but according to
his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and
renewing of the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us rich_
ly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by
his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of
eternal life.”
The only difficulty in the passage is that relating to the
washing of regeneration. Most commentators find here an allu_
sion to baptism. To my own mind there is no allusion what_
ever to baptism. To justify my dissent from the majority of
commentators, I submit an exegesis of the passage, and then
leave the reader to agree with the author or to follow some
other exegesis, as he pleases.
The difficult passage is one of a group, all based on Old
Testament imagery, and referring exclusively to the divine
side of salvation, and not at all to our responses to divine com_
mands. Neither in this, nor any passage of the group) is’ any_
thing that we do referred to or considered; neither contrition,
repentance, faith, baptism, nor anything else.
This passage with its true parallels, is sharply contrasted
with another group which does set forth what we do in response
to divine commands, e.g., Mark 16:16: „He that believeth and
is baptized shall be saved.” That is something we do. We be_
lieve and we are baptized. Acts 2:36: „Repent ye and be bap_
tized every one of you unto the remission of sins.” Here again
is something we do. We repent and are baptized. Acts 22:16:
„Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins.” Here is an
injunction to human duty. Paul is commanded to be bap_
tized. I Peter 3:21_22: „Eight souls were saved through
water; which also after a true likeness doth now save you, even
baptism, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh … ”

Here again is a passage that tells us what baptism does and
what it does not.
All of this group of passages must be construed together,
whatever the interpretation. They all set forth something that
we do, and all discuss the human responses to divine com_
mands; but this expression, „the washing of regeneration,” in
the Titus passage is dissociated particularly from anything we
do, expressly saying, „Not by works done in righteousness,
which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved
us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the
Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Christ
Jesus our Saviour.”
Unlike Galatians and Romans, this passage does not even
consider salvation in its legal aspects – justification, redemp_
tion, adoption – i.e., the salvation done outside of us and for
us, but confines itself wholly to the salvation in us, wrought by
the Holy Spirit. The „washing” is in us as much as the „re_
newing,” and both by the Holy Spirit.
The divine side of salvation alone is considered and the
washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit
refer to the Spirit’s work in contradistinction to the Father’s
work or to the Son’s work in salvation, and especially to any_
thing we do. That baptism in water is a work of righteousness
done by us is evident from the statement from our Lord to
John: „Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh us to fulfill
all righteousness.” But this passage says that the salvation here
discussed is according to mercy, „not by works done in right_
eousness, which we did ourselves.”
Now the kindred passages with which this passage must be
associated in exegesis are to be found in John 3:2_8 and Ephe_
sians 5:25_27. In these two passages, as in Titus, the divine
side of salvation is considered. Christ said to Nicodemus, „Ex_
cept a man be born from above he cannot see the kingdom of
God.” Again he said, expanding the same statement, „Except
a man be born of water and Spirit, he cannot enter the king_
dom of heaven.”
Note particularly the following: Christ and Nicodemus are
discussing two births, one natural, the other spiritual. „That
which is born of flesh is flesh, that which is born of the Spirit is
spirit.” He is not discussing three births – one natural, one
figurative, and one spiritual.
Second, his teaching concerning the necessity of this new
birth was clearly taught in the Old Testament, for he rebukes
Nicodemus, he being a teacher in Israel, for not understanding
the new birth. If there had been any reference to baptism in
the word ”water,” Nicodemus, as a teacher of the Old Testa_
ment, could not have been rebuked, because the Old Testament
knew nothing of this New Testament ordinance of baptism. So
that whatever „born of water and Spirit” means, it is some_
thing unequivocally taught in the Old Testament.
Where, then, in the Old Testament is it so plainly taught?
The answer is, first, in Numbers 19. God, through Moses, makes
provision for the typical purification of his people; a red heifer
was killed and burned outside of the camp, her ashes gathered
up and mixed with water and this lye of commingled ashes and
water was kept for purification, hence the name „water of
cleansing and purification.” It was administered by taking a
branch of hyssop and sprinkling it upon the one to be cleansed.
In Ezekiel 36 we have a second exceedingly pertinent ref_
erence: There the prophet foretells that the dispersed Jews
shall one day be gathered together and saved and, as in this
Titus passage, he says that it is not on account of anything
they have done. Then he describes how they are to be saved:
„Then I will sprinkle the water of purification on you and you
shall be cleansed from all your filthiness and all your iniqui_
ties. I will take away your stony heart and give you a heart of
flesh, and put my spirit within you, and then ye shall keep my
commandments.” Here we have the first element of regenera_
tion typified, in the water of cleansing; its second element in
the renewing by the Holy Spirit. Regeneration always con_
sists of two elements: first, cleansing; second, renewing. The
cleansing always comes first.
We have another reference to it in Psalm 51 where David
says, „Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow; purify me
with hyssop, and I shall be clean. Renew a right spirit within
me.” Here are precisely the same thoughts presented by the
psalmist, and they are the very thoughts presented by the Titus
passage, the „washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy
Spirit,” and it means exactly what it means in chapter 3 of
John, „Born of water and Spirit.” What then, does the water
of purification, referred to in the Ezekiel and psalmist pas_
sages, typify? The answer is to be found in Hebrews 9: „For if
the ashes of a heifer sanctify unto the cleansing of the flesh,
how much more shall the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ purify
your conscience to serve the true and living God?”
So that this water cleansing in Numbers and in Ezekiel, and
in Psalm 51 and in John 3 refer to the cleansing by the blood
of Jesus Christ. When our Lord said to Nicodemus: „Except
a man be born of water and Spirit” it was the same as saying
„Except a man be cleansed by the Spirit’s application of the
blood of Christ, and by the Spirit’s renewal, he cannot see the
kingdom of heaven.”
The proof positive of the matter is Christ’s answer to Nico_
demus’ second pressing question, „How can these things be?”
„The wind bloweth where it listeth and we hear the sound
thereof, but cannot tell whence it cometh nor whither it go_
eth.” Nicodemus kept insisting, „How can these things be?”
And Jesus explained in this fashion: „As Moses lifted up the
serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be
lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but
have eternal life.” That is how these things come about. That
is, when Christ is held up before our eyes, in preaching, and we
accept him as a Saviour, then the Holy Spirit first applies the
blood of Christ to our hearts) purifying them, and then renews
us, changing our nature.
The other passage (Eph. 5:25_27) is perfectly in line. It
says, „Christ loved the church and gave himself for it; that
having cleansed it by the washing of water through the word,
he might sanctify it and present it to himself a glorious church,
having neither spot nor wrinkle, nor blemish, nor any such
thing.” Here again the work done is all on the divine side. It
is Christ that loved us. It is Christ that gave himself for us.
It is through the application of Christ’s blood that we are
cleansed, washed through the word preached and believed.
There is nothing in it that we are to do. We may learn our
duty from other passages of Scripture, but not from these three.
The cleansing, mark you, is a washing by the word, not a
washing by water. That is, the word of God holds up Christ
as the object of our faith, we accept him and the Spirit applies
the blood for our cleansing. It is said in the first letter to the
Corinthians, „Such were some of you, but ye were washed, ye
were sanctified.” Here we have the washing first again. The
washing here referred to is not a bodily washing in baptism,
but a spiritual cleansing that comes from the application of
Christ’s blood by the Spirit, then follows the sanctifying.
It has been objected that the term loutron in Titus 3 and
Ephesians 5, meaning laver or bath, is too expressive and
broad a word to correspond to the sprinkling of the ashes of
the red heifer. I meet this criticism squarely by citing a perti_
nent passage from Zechariah 13:1: „In that day there shall be
a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants
of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” This fountain evi_
dently refers to the blood of Christ, and is so embodied in
Cowper’s hymn which we often sing:
There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.
Certainly if the blood of Christ can be referred to as a foun_
tain into which the bathing or cleansing takes place, lou_
tron in Titus 3 and Ephesians 5 is not too broad a word to
express the fact.
But to put on the crowning proof: In Revelation 7, referring
to the great multitude which no man can number, which God
brought out of every nation, of all tribes and places, and
tongues, standing before the throne of the Lamb, arrayed in
white robes, with palms in their hands, this explanation is
given: „These are they that came out of the great tribulation,
and they washed their robes and made them white in the blood
of the Lamb.”
In the last chapter of the book (Rev. 22:14) it is said)
„Blessed are they that wash their robes that they may have
the right to come to the tree of life, and may enter in by the
gates into the city.” Here is the washing that corresponds to
the passage in I Corinthians, „Ye were washed,” and to the
passage in Ephesians, „having cleansed them through the wash_
ing of water by the word,” and to the passage in John, „born
of water.”
If anything more were needed, the added clause in the Titus
passage is, „which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus
Christ.” That is, the washing of regeneration and the renewing
of the Holy Spirit, both come from his out_poured Spirit. In_
deed, if it could be maintained that the „washing of regenera_
tion” in Titus, and the „born of water” in John, and the
„cleansing by the washing of water through the word,” in
Ephesians, refer to baptism, two things would follow like a
conqueror: First, that baptism is absolutely essential to salva_
tion; second, it must precede in every case the work of the
Holy Spirit in renewing our hearts. The grammatical construc_
tion demands as much, and no less.

1. Why should every church have an elder or elders?
2. What reason here given for extending the scope of the examina_
tion of the elder beyond church entrance qualifications?
3. What passage in Ephesians emphasizes this thought, and what the
substance of it?
4. What the keynote of this letter?
5. What use does Paul make of doctrine in this letter?
6. What the first great doctrinal statement in the letter?
7. What does the grace that brings salvation teach us?
8. What fundamental of Christianity taught here?
9. What the relation of the second advent to the life?
10. How may one with postmillennial views maintain such an atti_
tude toward the second advent?
11. How are the lessons of grace reinforced?
12. What the meaning of „peculiar” in the King James Version?
13. What the second great doctrinal passage in the letter?
14. What the difficulty of the passage?
15. What is the meaning of „washing of regeneration,” what its true
parallels in Scripture and what their explanation?
16. What hymn contains this truth?
17. If „washing of regeneration” here means baptism, then what
must follow?

OF 2 TIMOTHY 1:1_6
2 Timothy 1 :l_6

We now come to the second letter to Timothy, the last writ_
ing of Paul of which we have any account. In the general in_
troduction to the pastoral epistles we have already considered
the historical problem of Paul’s movements after his acquittal
at Rome.
This letter finds him again at Rome and once more a pris_
oner, but under new charges and by a far different prosecu_
tion. Before, the Jews were his bitter accusers and the Roman
judges his friends, but this time the persecution is heathen.
Rome, in the person of that blood_crazed and beastly Caesar,
Nero, now seeks his life. Seeking to avert condemnation for
himself on account of his burning the Imperial City, and to
divert thought from his own horrible brutalities, be charged
Christians with burning the city. A conflagration of per_
secution greater than the ocean of flame which devoured the
world’s metropolis is now kindled against Christians, and
fanned by the flames of devilish passion spreads beyond the
city to other shores and paints hell on the sky over the fol_
lowers of Christ.
Croly, in his Salathiel, or Wandering Jew (which General
Lew Wallace puts above all other human books), gives the
most vivid description in all literature of the burning of Rome.
It commences: „Rome was an ocean of flame.” Often when a
school boy I have recited that matchless piece of rhetoric.
We now consider, I say, a more awful, wide_spreading fire,
the moral arson of time, which finds no parallel until Alva’s
day in the low countries of Belgium and Holland. Philip II
of Spain, and Nero, in persecution and hypocrisy at least,
are par nobile fratrum!
When Christians are fed to the wild beasts of the amphi_
theatre, when, like parallel lines of lampposts they are staked
out, tarred, and set on fire, to form an illuminated avenue
through which Nero may drive, then all sycophants, all im_
perial appointees, whether executors or judges, all spies
through neighboring lands, will court royal favor by affecting
his spirit and following his cue in accusing and persecuting
Thus the lightning struck Paul. Our last account of him is
his direction to Titus, when relieved by Artemas or Tychicus,
to join him in Nicopolis, where he proposed to winter. But in
this letter he is urging Timothy to join him in the Roman
prison before that very winter comes, and to bring his cloak
left at Troas with Carpus, to keep him warm in his winter
cell, and to bring his books and parchments to cheer his lone_
liness. Not now does he live with liberty in his own hired
house, and preach to visiting crowds.
Two circumstances detailed in this letter vividly suggest
the great change wrought by this first great heathen persecu_
tion. First, its effect on his summer friends in Asia Minor
and Achaia. Second, its effect on his summer friends at Rome.
It is now a death circle which environs Paul. Whoever abides
near him courts imperial disfavor and death. It is as if a
general surrounded by a numerous staff found himself the
focus of a converging fire of a suddenly unmasked battery.
What a scattering when the chief is struck! How vividly it
recalls an earlier scene in the crisis of his Lord: „They all
forsook him and fled.”
The thunder of the coming storm sounded in Asia, and at
Ephesus.. Only after careful, long_continued study have I
reached the conclusion that the beginning of this storm struck
Paul at Ephesus. The usual argument against this opinion
is Paul’s statement in Acts 20, when he bids the elders of the
church at Ephesus goodbye at Miletus and says, „Knowing
that you shall not see my face any more.” In the main they
did not, but unquestionably we cannot understand this second

letter to Timothy unless we conceive of Paul at Ephesus. The
first letter shows that he wrote it to Timothy at Ephesus, and
now he seems to have gotten back there.
How pathetic his own account of the situation, and how
tragic his loneliness! He writes in this letter to Timothy:
„This thou knowest that all that are in Asia are turned away
from me, of whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.” Now, it
4s a difficult thing to account for such a revolution toward.
Paul in the place where his greatest labors were bestowed and
his greatest triumphs achieved, and yet we must in some way
account for it. There are three elements in the account:
1. The frown on Nero’s face toward Christians would take
away from Paul, or any other Christian, sympathy and co_
operation, or even justice on the part of Roman population.
2. Under the shadow of that frown, like wild beasts at night,
come out the old Jewish opponents of Paul and attack him,
the more incensed because of his recent letter to the Hebrews.
So he says to Timothy: „Alexander, the coppersmith, dis_
played much evil behavior to me. The Lord will reward him
according to his deeds, against whom be thou on thy guard
also, for he strongly withstood our words.” Then in another
part of the letter he mentions Hymeneus and Philetus, apos_
tates from the faith whose words eat as a canker. In the
great discourse at Miletus, years before, he had warned them
that from among them should arise wolves, not sparing the
flock. So long as Paul had Roman favor, they could not
proceed to extremities against him, but now that Rome is
persecuting Christians, all of these Judaizing teachers came
out in bitterest opposition against Paul.
3. This is now about the year A.D. 68. In the year A.D. 70
Titus destroyed the city of Jerusalem, so at this time war
was just about to break out in Judea between the Jews and
the Romans. Josephus is in command in Galilee. We find a
full account in his Jewish wars. The spirit that led them to
revolt against Rome became exceedingly aggressive and pro_
In Christ’s time a publican was hated because he gathered
Roman revenue. Jerusalem was always like a boiling pot
and any one recommending submission to the powers that he
was intensely hated. Everywhere Paul taught that Christians
should pray for and be obedient to those in authority. These
injunctions of Paul would naturally be intensely resented by
what was at that time called the patriotic part of the Jewish
people, those who wanted to rebel against Rome; „pay no
tribute,” they said, „but fight for natural freedom.”
These things, together with the announcement in Hebrews
of the abrogation of the Old Covenant and the impending
destruction of the nation, account for the change of sentiment
toward Paul in Proconsular Asia. Not only Christian Jews
but Gentiles would be cowed by imperial disfavor, and so
Judaizing teachers on the outskirts of each congregation would
press the point that he was untrue to his own country in
advocating submission to Rome. So all Asia was turned
against Paul.
Hymeneus and Philetus, apostates from the faith, whose
words eat like a gangrene, resume their profane babbling and
overthrow the faith of others. Indeed, Paul might have
starved, had not Onesiphorus in many things ministered to
him at Ephesus, with the cognizance of Timothy.
When Paul left Ephesus, according to this letter, he left
Timothy in tears: „When I remember your tears.” He first
escaped to Miletus, a seaport, and from that place, in all
probability, he hoped to get an outward bound ship that would
take him far away. When he gets to Miletus, his staff begins
to thin out.
He says, „Trophimus I left at Miletus sick, and Tychicus
I sent back to Ephesus.” They at Ephesus, yet friendly,
would want to know how he was getting along, and then, too,
he wants to have somebody there to relieve Timothy, so that
Timothy can join him. Finding no outward bound vessel, he,
as may be conjectured, takes a coasting vessel for Troas, that
from that port he may reach Europe across the Aegean Sea.
We infer that after reaching Troas he left it in a hurry.
That is inferable from the fact that he left his books, parch_
ments, and cloak, which constituted his bed as well as outer
protection in bad weather. He reached Corinth, and there
another adjutant dropped out: „Erastus abode at Corinth.”
The staff keeps thinning.
Titus, it is possible, acting upon the letter sent him, has
‘joined him. Somewhere, perhaps in Achaia, the bolt struck
him. It is now lightning where it had been thunder. Notice
the effect: „Then Demas forsook me, having loved this present
world.” Demas struck out for Thessalonica. It seems that
to stay by Paul’s side meant the next world, and Demas loved
this present world. Crescens turns back toward Galatia, and
Titus toward Dalmatia, only Luke is with him.
See how his crowd has thinned out, and how it answers the
illustration I gave of the general and his staff meeting sud_
denly the fire of a masked battery. I have seen such a thing
on the battlefield myself, and the „scatteration” that takes
place, leaving the general alone, where just before the staff
is parading all around him.
It is even worse at the other end of the line, that is, at
Rome. When he gets there no friendly delegation comes out
to meet and encourage him. Men through fear of Nero’s
deadly hate turn from Paul as from a leper. At his examining
trial he stands alone: „In my first defense no one came to
my help, but all forsook me. May it not be laid to their
charge. But the Lord stood by me and empowered me, in
order that through me the message might be fulfilled and all
the Gentiles might hear.” That is, Paul cannot die until he
completes the gospel for the nations that are alien from the
commonwealth of Israel.
Though the Lord stood by him, the strain of loneliness was
terrific, and the hunger for human sympathy and companion_
ship. This scene recalls an incident in the life of our Lord
after his hard doctrine discourse on the Bread of Life at
Capernaum. The record says that many of his disciples went
back and walked with him no more, and Jesus said therefore
unto the twelve, „Would ye also go away?”
So Paul, in this dire case, with some trace of apprehension
seems to plead: „Oh, Timothy, don’t you be ashamed of my
chain; don’t you fail to guard the deposit of faith which God
gave to you. Come to me quickly, before winter, I need my
cloak and books. Bring them. Pick up Mark by the way
and bring him.”
One ray of light shines in the gloom: Onesiphorus who had
protected and supplied him in dangerous times at Ephesus,
followed him all the way to Rome, hunts him up, and min_
isters to him many times, not being ashamed of Paul’s chains.
No wonder Paul says to Timothy: „May the Lord have mercy
on the household of Onesiphorus, and reward him in that day.”
That was a plucky thing to do. There in Ephesus, when all
Asia turned from him, Onesiphorus had said, „I will take care
of you.” And when he heard that Paul had been arrested
and taken to Rome, he leaves his home and his business and
goes to Rome. It is hard to find Paul now, not as it was be_
fore. Doubtless at this time he is shut up in a cell, but
Onesiphorus finds him, and Paul says he came to him and
refreshed him many times.
From this imprisonment Paul is not so hopeful of deliver_
ance as before. He considers himself as already being of_
fered up and the time of his departure at hand. He seems
to consider that he has finished his course, and fought his
fight, and yet later on in the letter he expects to winter at
Rome. When he says, „At my first defense nobody stood
with me,” that seems to imply that he had a second examining
trial, more favorable than the first one, and that somebody
stood by him in that trial.
Whether Timothy finds him alive, this letter does not show.
But it is sure that toward the last his condition is more
favorable than at first. Indeed, there seems to have been
quite a favorable reaction. How otherwise will you account
for the letter’s ending this way: „Give diligence to come be_
fore winter. Eubulus saluteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus,
and Claudia, and all the brethren.” And the preceding ex_
pression: „I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.” It
seems that the situation has moderated.
They could not connect Paul with the burning of Rome, yet
it may be that was the first charge against him and nobody
would stand by him under such an accusation. It is evident
that in this first trial Paul was delivered from imminent
death, though held on other charges. If the charge were
arson, Paul might well show his absence from the city at the
time of the burning, and everywhere he taught against law_
lessness, sedition, arson, anything that would subvert society,
anything like anarchy.
Now I will take up the exegesis: The first thing to deter_
mine is about when was this letter written? Probably late
in A.D. 67. The „winter” of this letter must be the same as
the winter referred to in Titus. Winter is coming and he
wants Timothy to come before navigation closes.
The salutation set forth in the first two verses contains a
note of special affection: „Timothy, my beloved child.” Cir_
cumstances call for this tenderness. The analysis consists of
only one thing: A faithful minister of Jesus Christ. That is
the subject of the whole letter – fidelity in a preacher. We
will consider that fidelity, however, from many viewpoints.
Whatever the viewpoint, one thing runs through this letter –
be faithful to Jesus Christ from conversion to death.
Note his thanksgiving and prayer: „I thank God whom I
serve from my forefathers in a pure conscience, how un_
ceasing is my remembrance of thee in my supplications night
and day.” He left Timothy in a pretty hard place, with that
menacing coppersmith, all those Judaizing teachers, and with
the hostile attitude of the Roman power.
Next thought: „Longing to see you.” We may rest as_
sured that that is not a formal statement. If there was any_
thing on this earth that Paul wanted right then, apart from
God’s favor, it was to see Timothy. What brought up that
longing to see him? „Remembering thy tears.” When Paul
had to leave Ephesus so suddenly, he had left Timothy in
tears. Remembering this, it makes Paul long to see him.
Now comes a second remembrance. He is in a position
where memory would have much to do with both his prayers
and his longings. „Having been reminded of the unfeigned
faith in thee.” Who brought that reminder? Somebody must
have brought a message to Paul that Timothy’s faith was
standing like a rock. I think it was Onesiphorus, whose coming
constitutes a part at least of the occasion of the letter. When
he contemplates the steadfastness of Timothy’s faith as re_
pored by Onesiphorus, he thinks of its origin: „Which dwelt
first in thy grandmother Lois, and in thy mother Eunice.”
Paul’s mind goes back to that first meeting held in Derbe,
those Jewish women, the mother, the daughter, and the daugh_
ter’s little boy sitting in the audience, and under his preaching
all were converted.
His mind, rapidly reviewing the past, comes to his second
meeting with Timothy on the occasion of his ordination, hence
the exhortation: ‘”For which cause I put thee in remembrance,
that thou stir up the gift of God [now, Timothy, I want your
memory exercised] which is in thee through the laying on of
hands.” When Timothy was ordained, Paul was in the pres_
bytery. After the prayer the presbytery passed by and each
one laid his hand on Timothy’s head. When Paul’s hands
touched his head the mighty power of the Spirit of God came
upon him. „Timothy, stir up that gift; don’t let it rust from
disuse. That gift was made for use.”
That is a good exhortation for any preacher. Whatever
gifts the Lord has given us, we can make them stronger by
use, or we can enfeeble them by disuse. Sometimes a spirit
of lethargy comes on a preacher; he seems to be spiritually
about half asleep. He needs to stir up the gifts which have
been given him. I remember once for about two or three
weeks, while I could theoretically take hold of things, I could
not take hold of them with my soul. When that time comes
to us, let us stir up our gifts.

1. Give the circumstances under which this letter was written.
2. When and where written?
3. How account for the sudden revolution toward Paul?
4. Who entertained Paul on his last visit to Ephesus?
5. What route did Paul take when he left Timothy at Ephesus,
what points did he touch, and what of his staff?
6. How received at Rome?
7. What one ray of light shines in the gloom?
8. What passage in this letter indicates his loss of hope of de_
9. What indications that conditions were more favorable toward the
10. What the tenderness in the salutation and why?
11. Put the analysis into one great theme.
12. What are Paul’s remembrances as expressed in his thanksgiving?

2 Timothy 1:7 to 2:5

We closed the last chapter with the statement that when
Paul laid his hands on Timothy’s head, the power of the
Spirit came upon him. He reminds Timothy of the fact that
the gift of the Spirit has for one of its purposes to confer
boldness and courage. That leads us to see the application,
verse 7: „For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of
power and love, and discipline.”
We see the force of the „therefore” with which verse 8
commences: „Be not ashamed therefore of the testimony of
our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but suffer hardship with the
gospel according to the power of God.” Paul did not know
but that Timothy over there, with all that outgoing tide might
do like some of the others – get scared and be ashamed of the
gospel and its testimony. I have known preachers who were
ashamed of it in what is called „polite society.”
Paul illustrated by referring to God’s salvation and calling,
„Who saved us and called us, not according to our works, but
according to his own purpose and grace which was given us
in Christ Jesus before times eternal [he never loses sight of
the doctrine of election and foreordination], but hath now
been manifested by the appearing of our Saviour, Jesus
Christ.” Now comes a great text. I have preached from it
about thirty times in my life: „Our Saviour, Jesus Christ,
who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light
through the gospel.”
When the Southern Baptist Convention met in New Or_
leans, I was appointed to preach at a Presbyterian church

at night. I took that text and for just about one hour, with_
out stopping, and with great fervor, I preached on it. The
Presbyterian preacher’s wife said she knew I had written
it and memorized it word for word. But I had not. My
heart was in it, and speaking of the King my tongue became
as the pen of a ready writer.
„Jesus Christ, who abolished death.” Very few people be_
lieve that. He said to Martha: „Whosoever liveth and be_
lieveth on me shall never die. Believest thou this?” What
is meant by it? Not altogether as death was abolished in
the cases of Enoch and Elijah, and the living who are to be
changed at the second coming of Christ, as it was originally
intended that man should, by access to the tree of life, be
freed from all susceptibility to weakness and death and mor_
tality, and become immortal. That is not the meaning here.
What is meant is that in the separation of soul and body
there is a difference between the believer’s case and the sin_
ner’s case. To one, in a true sense, death is abolished, and to
the other it is not abolished.
The meaning can more accurately be conveyed by an illus_
tration: In the Pentateuch Canaan is the Land of Promise,
and Egypt is this world. There are types running all through
the pilgrimages. The last barrier intervening between them
and the Promised Land is the river Jordan. When they got
to the river it was at its flood – no bridges, no boat. They
had to cross that – men, women, children, flocks, and herds.
Without any explanation God commands them to go straight
forward: and it came to pass that when the feet of the priest
who went before the ark of the covenant, touched the brim
of the water, the river divided. God stayed the waters, and
the waters backed up against his will, his will being the dam
that stopped it, all the water below ran off, and they crossed
over dry_shod. In that illustration we see that when they
came to the last barrier separating them from the Promised
Land, that dreadful river was no river to them. The channel

was there, but they passed over dry_shod. It is represented
this way in our hymnology:
Could I but climb where Moses stood and view the landscape o’er
Not Jordan’s stream, nor death’s cold flood could fright me from the
When the Christian dies, no matter what suffering his body
may seem to go through, in the hour of dissolution of his
soul and body, there is no death, no matter whether he is a
young Christian or an old one. It is no more than stepping
over a chalk mark on the floor; it is no more than stepping
through a door into another room. It is to him all light – no
Take the case of Lazarus: „And it came to pass that the
beggar died [no pause at all], and was carried by the angels
into Abraham’s bosom.” Abraham reclining at a banquet in
the kingdom of heaven, many coming from the north, south,
east, and west, and reclining with him; one of them is Lazarus,
who was starving on earth, begging the crumbs that fell from
the rich man’s table. At the very instant of his death he
passed to the heavenly banquet, and received the honorable
place next to Abraham, so that his head is against Abraham’s
bosom, as John at the Lord’s table rested his head on the
bosom of Jesus.
That is what Paul means by abolishing death. There is
no sting. My soul has so taken possession of that thought,
and I have witnessed so many cases where dying Christians
realized it, that I have not had any fear of death whatever
for many years. There is nothing horrible in it to me, not a
bit more than just lying down and going to sleep. Jesus has
abolished death to his people.
I have before quoted the testimony of a Methodist bishop,
who all of his lifetime feared death; it was a terrible thing
to him. He was afraid that when he came to die his agitation
would bring reproach on the cause of Christ. He was not
afraid of any external enemy, but was afraid that in dying
his fear might reproach Christ’s name. But just as he was
dying his eyes were opened) his face was shilling, and looking
around the room he said, „Brethren, brethren, is this death –
this light, this glory? Why should I have dreaded it?”
That is the thought. „Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, hath
abolished death.” The bearing of this on Timothy’s case
was this: „Persecutors are seeking your life, as they seek
mine. Remember that the Lord said they cannot kill the
soul. They cannot even bring terror to the soul, in the dis_
solution of soul and body.” There is no sting in death to
the Christian. The sting of death is sin, and sin has been
blotted out. The strength of sin is the law, and the law has
been satisfied. The power of death is the devil, but he has
been conquered.
Now look at the second part: „Who hath abolished death
and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
What is life? Life everlasting for the soul. A man dies and
there lies his cold body. Where is that which a few moments
ago warmed and animated that body? As Job said: „Man
dieth and giveth up his spirit. Where is he?” When Jesus
brought life to light, and he himself entered into the realm
of death, that bourne from which no traveler has ever re_
turned, and came back from it, he flashed a flood of light upon
the status of the spirits of the departed saints. That status
existed before, but had never been brought to light.
The river Niger has many mouths and empties itself into
the Gulf of Guinea. It has always had them, ever since it
has been a river, but the fact was not brought to light until
a few years ago. Travelers inland would speak of a great
river flowing southwesterly) which must somewhere empty
into the Atlantic Ocean. But sailors who had coasted along
the coast of Africa and finding no such great river emptying
into the Atlantic, were positive that it was all a lie – that
there was no such river) for a river must flow somewhere.
Finally Dr. Lardner went inland and struck it. He got in a
boat and determined to follow it to the ocean to find out
where the river went. Thus by actual experiment he dis_
covered that before reaching the Atlantic the river divided
into a great many small streams) reaching the ocean through
a delta.
Just so, Jesus, having entered personally into the disem_
bodied state, and returned to the embodied state of his resur_
rection, opened up to us the path of life – that is, the path of
the soul. It goes right to heaven. Now, immortality is quite
a different thing; that concerns the body. When he came
back he brought to light the immortality of the body through
his resurrection, that God intended to save the whole man,
not only his soul, but to raise and glorify his body.
In view of the fact that our Saviour had abolished death
and brought to light the life of the soul and the immortality
of the body, by the power of his resurrection, why should we
be afraid of death? What is there frightful in it? Paul says,
Jesus having brought back these messages, concerning both
the state of the soul, and the future redemption of the body,
the next. thing is the gospel, the story of God, or glad tidings.
He says, „I was appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and &
Look at these three words. I was appointed to go out and
preach these things to the people intimidated by formidable
adversaries, in bondage to the fear of death, the sting of sin,
the strength of the law, and back of it all the power of the
devil which pressed to pallid lips the cup of death. I was
appointed to go out and tell everybody these good things.
That is preaching.
Then he says, „I was appointed an apostle.” That is a
very different idea. An apostle must be a witness to the
resurrection of Jesus Christ. He testified that he was an
eyewitness. How? „I have seen the Lord since he came
back. He appeared to me on the road to Damascus. He has
stood by me many times since. I saw him in his glory, and
therefore I am an apostle. I am a witness to that resurrec_

The other thought is that he was appointed a teacher. That
is somewhat different from a preacher. A teacher instructs
and expounds; a preacher proclaims. The teacher takes the
word of God and rightly divides it, giving to each one his
portion in due season, administering the sincere milk of the
word to young converts, and the meat to the more mature
Christians. That is the distinction between preacher, apostle,
and teacher.
He goes on: „For which cause I suffer all these things, yet
I am not ashamed.” „These things have not come upon me
because I have done wrong. How can there be shame unless
I have sinned? I have robbed no temples, I have committed
no murder, I have violated neither the Jewish nor the Roman
law; but these sufferings have come upon me because I have
preached these glad tidings, witnessed these glad tidings, and
taught these glad tidings.”
He continues the thought (Paul’s thoughts are always con_
nected) : „am not ashamed.” „If I had stolen something, or
had killed a man and had been convicted therefor before the
court, I might be ashamed. But these things have come upon
me because I have done what I ought to do, and I am not
ashamed and you ought not to be.”
That brings us to the next great text: „I know him whom
I have believed.” Faith is not credulity; it is founded on
knowledge, as Dr. Taylor so well put it in a sermon, the out_
line of which appears in chapter 3. „Knowledge brings you
near to the kingdom, faith puts you in it.” Knowledge pre_
cedes faith. „I know him whom I believed. I never would
have attained this serene confidence by some kinds of knowl_
edge. It is not what I know, but whom I know, the person_
ality of Christ, and I am persuaded, I have assurance in my
mind, that Jesus is able to guard what I have committed to
Paul by faith received Christ, and then by faith committed
to Christ his life: „Now I have turned that over to the Lord;
it is in his keeping. If you say that I am not a skilled swords_
man and am therefore unable to defend my life, I will admit
it. If you say that my powers are below the powers of the
devil, who seeks my life, I will admit it. But I have this
persuasion: The very day I believed in Christ I committed
all to him, and my life is hid in Christ with God, and I am
persuaded that he is able to guard it today, tonight, tomorrow,
next week, next year, when I die, after I die, and clear on
until that day, i.e., the time when he will come back, and
when he comes he will bring it with him. He will guard what
I have committed unto him through all peril periods. There
will be no after perils when Jesus comes again.”
Verse 13: „Hold the pattern of sound words which thou
hast heard from me, in faith and love, which is in Christ
Jesus.” Modern people say, „Don’t have much creed, and
when you state it, don’t let it take any particular form. Some_
body might object.” Paul said, „I delivered you a pattern
of sound words, and you are to take it just as I gave it to
you. You are not to change it.” No man is true to the faith
who departs from the pattern.
Suppose, for example, baptism, the pattern is this: „They
both went down into the water; John baptized him and they
both came up out of the water.” What did he do when he bap_
tized him? Christ was buried in baptism, and we with Christ
were buried in baptism in the likeness of his death and raised
in the likeness of his resurrection. That is the pattern. Why
not just sprinkle a few drops on one’s head? That changes the
pattern. It changes the thought. Let it stand as it was given.
We may apply that pattern to the Lord’s Supper. We notice
how carefully a Baptist preacher, when he administers the
Lord’s Supper, quotes Christ’s very words, and the words that
Paul used in repeating the ordinance. Why? He must stick to
the pattern. He must present the ordinance just as we received
He refers to the same thing again in verse 14: „That good
thing which was committed unto thee, guard through the Holy
Spirit which dwelleth in us.” Some say it makes no difference
what a man believes if his heart is all right. If his heart is all
right he will not believe all sorts of things. „As a man thinketh
in his heart, so he is.” It is the faith we have that forms the
life we live.
In the introductory chapter I expounded verses 15_18. What
Paul refers to here is what took place when the storm broke
on him. All Asia turned away from him. Only Onesiphorus
and Timothy stood by him. Speaking of Onesiphorus: „How
many things he ministered at Ephesus thou knowest very well.”
Then when he heard that Paul was a prisoner at Rome, he
went to Rome and many times refreshed him there. That
closes the chapter.
2:1: „Thou, therefore, my child, be strengthened in the grace
that is in Jesus Christ.” When Paul wrote this he knew that the
time of his departure was at hand, and he knew that he had
given to Timothy a pattern of sound words, he had given him
the faith. But he knew that Timothy would die after a while,
and what then? „And the things which thou hast heard from
me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful
men, who shall be able to teach others also.” That is the way
the gospel is handed down.
A truly sound preacher is possessed with the desire that some_
body who hears him will receive the gospel in full from him,
and long after he has passed away will transmit that very
thing to somebody else, and that one in turn to his successor,
and then to another, and just keep it going. That is succession,
and I believe in the succession of the past, but especially in the
succession of the present. No matter what we believe about
succession back yonder, this is my day and I have the deposit
of faith and the injunction is on me to transmit it to somebody
else. I am more concerned about present succession than in
spending my life trying to prove that there was one way back
yonder, though there was one way back yonder, too. Remember
the soldier hymns: „Am I a soldier of the cross,” and „My
soul, be on thy guard.”
Listen to Paul’s soldier talk: „Suffer hardship with me as a
good soldier of Christ Jesus.” Soldiers do not sleep in the par_
lor (by the way, that is the worst room on the place to sleep
in) ; he does not attend many banquets. Sometimes we see him
with just one shoe, and sometimes none. Sometimes he has to
stand guard all night, and sometimes „double quick.” Some_
times he is cold and sometimes hot. Sometimes he is hungry
and sometimes gorged. The army that can endure such hard_
ships is going to win.
The fashion soldiers in times of peace, with their hurrahs,
gorgeous uniforms, flags flying, drums beating, attending re_
ceptions, making speeches, these we call „holiday soldiers”;
but the soldier who goes into the fight when the command,
„charge!” is given, never stops to consider the wisdom in it,
but storms the fortress crowned with belching artillery and
bristling bayonets, is the real soldier.
„No soldier on service entangleth himself in the affairs of
this life; that he may please him who enrolled him as a sol_
dier.” When a man enlists he is on service as a soldier. He
cannot go to the exchange to gamble; cannot go to the farm to
make a crop; he cannot entangle himself with the affairs of
this life; he is committed to a special line of duty. „Now,
Timothy, you are a soldier on duty; beware of entangling al_
I knew one preacher who ran fifteen kinds of secular busi_
nesses, and was then surprised that he was not equal to Paul
as a preacher! He had that many irons in the fire. I would
advise the preacher not to try to ride, at the same time, two
horses going in opposite directions. But that is as easy as it is
for a preacher to entangle himself with the affairs of this world.
If he makes a good deal of money, he will take the sore throat,
and every time one sees him he will explain how he had to quit
preaching on account of his voice failing; that his physicians
advised him to stop.
But let a preacher be nearly barefooted, with not much of
this world’s goods, and with the fire burning in his heart that
he must preach, and he will preach. But if he is able to go in
a coach and six, he always says, „Put up some of the other
I knew one preacher who was doing well as a pastor until a
rich man called him to be his private secretary. Since then
he has quit preaching, and is now only a millionaire.
„And if also a man contend in the games, he is not crowned
except that he contend lawfully.” Every man must conform
to the law relating to the line in which he is engaged. If he is
a farmer he must be ready to go to work just as the sun rises.
There are some other occupations that do not call for such early
rising. But whatever his line of work, he must conform to the
laws governing it.

1. What the force of „therefore” in verse 8T
2. How does Paul illustrate here?
3. What great text follows, and what the meaning of „abolished
4. Illustrate by Canaan and Egypt; also by the case of the Methodist
5. What the bearing of this on Timothy’s case?
6. What the meaning of „life” here? Illustrate.
7. What the meaning of „immortality”?
8. What effect should the teaching of this text have on a child of
9. Distinguish between the meanings of the words „preacher,” „apos_
tle,” and „teacher.”
10. What are some causes for shame, and what not a cause for shame?
11. What the relation of faith to knowledge?
12. What kind of knowledge brings salvation?
13, What had Paul committed to Jesus Christ, and what his con_
14. What the meaning of „pattern of sound words”? Illustrate.
15. What God’s method of preserving the truth and keeping it al_
ways before men?
16. What was Paul’s idea of a good soldier of Jesus Christ?
17. What general principle cited here by Paul?

2 Timothy 2:6_26

This section includes 2 Timothy 2. In the preceding chapter
we discussed somewhat the first five verses of this chapter, but
in order to a full understanding of the connection we now
glance at the whole chapter.
The first question I propound is this: What the gospel pro_
vision for the transmission of the correct teaching? The answer
to that question is this: „And the things which thou hast heard
from me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faith_
ful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2:2). Evi_
dently the gospel contemplates a succession of the gospel minis_
try from the days of Christ to the end of the world. What
Christ gives to Paul, Paul gives to the churches and commits
to the preachers, and charges the churches and the preachers to
commit that same thing, without variation, to faithful men
coming after, that they in their turn may teach others. It is
not my intention to show that there has been, historically, such
a succession of churches and gospel preachers. I think there has
been such succession, but I think it would be very difficult to
prove it according to human history, if for no other reason, be_
cause so very large a part of that history was written by the
enemies of evangelical Christianity. Particularly in the dark
ages, those faithful to apostolic doctrines were so hunted and
persecuted they had no opportunity to preserve records. But
we do see faithful churches and faithful preachers now, and
every one would be able to say, as far as his own knowledge
goes, it was transmitted to him. I don’t suppose that anybody
ever originated it. From this day back to Christ, in some way,
by some faithful preacher or other, or by some faithful church,

the truth has been handed down. That is the answer to that
first question.
The second question is: What is the first metaphor, or figure,
by which the apostle illustrates the faithful minister? The
answer to that is to be found in verses 3_4: „Suffer hardships
with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier on service
entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may
please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”
In this illustration, or metaphor, the Christian is compared
to a soldier, a regularly enlisted soldier, and as a soldier gives
up his private business, places his whole time and his entire
service under the direction of the power that enlisted him, so
the Christian preacher should not entangle himself with the af_
fairs of this world. As a faithful soldier has no time to run a
farm, or be a merchant, or be a banker, or to follow any other
kind of business, so it was certainly the purpose of our Lord
that the preacher should make preaching his life’s business.
On that similitude of the Christian as a soldier, much of
Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress is founded, using that chapter in
Ephesians about putting on the helmet, the breastplate, the gir_
dle, the sandals, the shield, the sword. The Christian is con_
templated as waging warfare. Paul says of himself in this
letter, „I have fought a good fight.” From that idea come some
of our best hymns:
Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb?
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His name?
Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?
What the second metaphor, or illustration of the faithful
preacher? That is found in verse 5: „And if also a man contend
in the games, he is not crowned except he contend lawfully.”
References to the games in Paul’s letters are so abundant, we
cannot interpret him without a knowledge of them.
The principal games in Greece were called the Olympic
games. These games were held on the plain of Olympia, on
the river Alpheus. The isthmus of Corinth connects upper and
lower Greece. The lower part is called the Peloponnesus, which
is almost an island. In the western part of the Peloponnesus is
the river Alpheus. On the right bank of that river lies a level
plain. In that plain is a grove sacred to Jupiter, and in that
grove is a marvelous temple. In that temple was one of the
seven wonders of the ancient world – a colossal statue of Jupi_
ter Olympus, done in gold and ivory, by Phidias, one of the
greatest of the Greek sculptors. Then there was the statue to
Minerva overlooking Athens. She was the patron goddess of
the city and so here this gigantic statue, made of ivory and
gold, represented the patron of the Olympic games. These fa_
mous games were held from 776 B.C. to A.D. 394ùover a thou_
sand years. They were discontinued by an edict of a Christian
emperor of Rome – Theodosius, but for that thousand years
they attracted the attention of the world.
These games were held every four years – the first full moon
after the summer solstice. From them chronology was reckoned
for the Greek world. The first Olympiad was 776 B.C., the sec_
ond four years later; so by four_year periods they continued
until their abolition. Pagan Rome reckoned from the building
of their city, until the new epoch of Christ’s birth superseded
Commencing 776 B.C., for one or two Olympiads these games were foot races only. Soon after were added quoit and javelin throwing, wrestling, boxing, leaping, and still later chariot races. A hippodrome was built covering a circuit of 2,400 feet. The chariots had to drive around that circle twelve times, making a five_mile race. In Ben Hur there is a brilliant descrip-tion of the chariot race. In the Greek games were no combats with weapons, no gladiators, no fights with lions. The Romans added these bloody contests.
That the whole Greek race might attend the Olympic games,
a truce was established so there would be no war anywhere
between the petty states while the Olympic games were being
played. No state was allowed to send an armed man up to
these games. It was a time of peace and festivity. The general
and peaceful gathering of all the petty Greek states at the
Olympic games gave them the name „panegyris” as opposed
to each particular „ecclesia.” This distinction Paul utilizes
in the letter to the Hebrews. The general festive assembly of
all the saints when warfare is over, the eternal feast in the
presence of God.
Now let us consider verse 5: „And if a man contend in the
games, he is not crowned except he contend lawfully.” That
brings us to the rules of the games. In the first place, they were
open to all classes of competitors. Whatever might be the home
distinction between the plutocrat and the poor man, at the
Olympic games they were on a dead level. It was not how rich
is the man, nor how illustrious, but can he now aa a man win
this athletic contest?
The second rule was that he must be of pure Greek descent.
A mixed blood could not contend. He must make proof of that
before the judges.
The third was that he must have had ten solid months of
preparation under competent coaches. After that ten months of
training he must give one more month to exercise. No man,
whatever his wealth or social status, could compete without this
thorough training and exercise on the field itself. Mark the
bearing of this on the training of preachers, if you please, be_
cause this is a preacher illustration.
The next rule was that he, and every member of his family,
must take an oath that he would observe the rules of the
games, that he would not play foul. His own father or brother
must take the oath that he would play fair. If he played foul
in one of these games he was judged a degraded man and must
pay a heavy fine. All over the grove were seen remarkable
works of art paid for out of the fines assessed on men who would
not play fair. Hence we have in our times the proverb: „Play
the game according to the rules.”
The next rule was that no form of bribery should be used,
either to bribe a judge, or to bribe a competitor, paying him so
much money to let them win. Whoever offered or took a bribe
was disgraced.
The next rule was that the crown awarded to the victor
must have no intrinsic value. They wanted no financial in_
centive. Honor and glory – not gold and jewels – must be the
The next rule was: No women were ever permitted to be
present. In all of my readings I do not remember but one woman being present at these games. A woman might enter a chariot in competition, but some male friend must drive the chariot.
The next rule was that this competitor, having shown that
he was born a pure Greek, must also show that he had never
been disfranchised, that he had never been guilty of a sacrilege,
like robbing a temple or anything of that kind. These were
the rules.
Let us see again: „And if a man contend in the games, he is
not crowned except he contend lawfully.” He must observe
every regulation, and his crown of victory was a wreath. In
order to deepen the interest in those panegyric assemblies, the
great poets were here accustomed to recite their poems, and the
great sculptors and painters to exhibit their masterpieces, so
that it was somewhat of the nature of a fair. They could sell
these poems, or those pieces oi sculpture, or paintings. After
a while people not only came from Greece proper, but from
all the colonies of Greece, all along the shores of the Mediter_
ranean Sea – wherever in the world the Greeks had a city, wher-ever Alexander’s conquest had extended, the Greeks would come here to witness or to contend. At first the assembly lasted just one day. Just think of what it would cost to be present for one day! Later it lasted five days. It was a glorious time, those five days.
Those were the Olympic games. And yet we must see in some of Paul’s writings references to the Isthmian games near Corinth and the amphitheaters of Greek cities, as at Epheaus.
Later when the Roman idea dominated, they put in gladiators,
and fights with lions. They became blood_crazed, and women
were allowed to attend. When gladiators fought until covered
with blood, it was at the option of the crowd to indicate whether
they wanted the combat to stop without death. They voted
by turning their thumbs up or down; and it was noticeable that
women usually voted for a fight to the death. So are they mer_
ciless in the Spanish or Mexican bull fights. But all these
bloody combats were of Roman origin. Paul may have spoken
literally in saying, „I have fought with wild beasts at Ephesus.”
Now, brother preacher, you are entering a race. As Paul
says, „Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
You will not receive your crown if you do not contend lawfully
– if you do not observe the rules of Christ’s games. As they
must be of pure Greek descent so must you be born of the
Spirit. You must train, you must lay aside every weight and
the sin which doth so easily beset you. You must fix your eye
upon the heavenly crown, not of fading laurel or olive bough,
but the crown which Christ, the righteous Lord, will give to us
at his appearing. Said Paul: „I have run my race and finished
my course, and henceforth there is laid up for me a crown
which Christ, the righteous Judge, will give to me.” It is laid
up in some of the mansions of heaven, and if you were per_
mitted to visit heaven’s gallery of waiting crowns, you might
see the most dazzling crown ever designed for human brow.
That is Paul’s. When does he receive that crown? When Jesus
comes, in the presence of the universe, he will be crowned for
being faithful to the game, for playing the game according to
the rules. One of the most convincing arguments in the whole
Bible for the necessity of ministerial training is this illustration
of Paul comparing the preacher’s preparation to the work of a
soldier and to a contender in the Olympic games.
The next illustration or metaphor is verse 6: „The hus_
bandman that laboreth must be the first to partake of the
fruits.” It is the farmer this time. First a soldier, then a con_

tender in the games, now a farmer. What about his work? Who_
ever does the work must receive first pay. No matter who
owns the land, this man who did the plowing, who did the hoe_
ing, who did the planting and cultivating, before anybody else
gets anything, he is entitled to his part. What a fine thought
to apply to political economy: not to let the man who does the
work be deprived of what is coming to him. Therefore, they
who preach the gospel shall live of the gospel. The laborer is
worthy of his hire.
The fourth metaphor or illustration is covered in verses 10_
12, the thought culminating in, „If we suffer with him we shall
reign with him,” and it is expressed in these words: the cross
before the crown. We do not come to the crown first; we go by
the way of the cross. That is the given order. What Shylock
said of the Jew is true of the Christian, „Sufferance is the badge
of all our tribe,” and we must suffer if we would reign. On that
point we have some magnificent hymns. One of them is:
Must Jesus bear the cross alone
And all the world go free?
No, there’s a cross for every one,
And there’s a cross for me.

Or, the way that hymn was originally written: „Must Simon
bear the cross alone.” On the way to Calvary, they found a
man named Simon coming in from the country, and when Jesus
broke down they compelled Simon to bear his cross and that
song originally read: „Must Simon bear the cross alone and all
the world go free?”
I knew a preacher who once invited all who thought their
sufferings beyond their strength, more than they could bear, to
come and hear him preach a sermon. There was a big crowd
out, and it was a burdened crowd. He took this text: „If we
suffer with him we shall reign with him,” his theme being the
cross before the crown. He drew a picture of the pilgrim who
bears the cross. „If any man will be my disciple, let him deny
himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” He showed
how the disciple from a child must bear a heavy cross, and how
at times he stumbles with it, groans under it, is weary of it, en_
vies people who have no burden, but how after a while, bowed
down with the burden of the cross of long carrying, with trem_
bling feet he comes to the Jordan of death. And when he gets
there he shouts and takes his cross, as Elijah took his mantle,
and smites the river of death with it and divides the river, going
over dry_shod, leaving his cross behind never to be seen any
more forever, and goes up to his waiting crown. So it pays to
carry the cross even that long, as with it he divides the river of
Notice in verse 10: „Therefore I endure all things for the
elect’s sake.” There we come to a new motive. „Why do you
endure all this suffering, Paul?” „Not only for Christ’s sake,
but for the elect’s sake. I am anxious for their salvation. If
I can reach more men by suffering, I will bear it. If I can
save souls by my bleeding wounds, by my jangling chains, by
my stripes, and by my imprisonment – if that gives me more
power in converting men, then for the elect’s sake I will bear
I next call attention to a great theme in verse 15: „Give
diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman
that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of
truth.” What a commentary that is upon the necessity of
ministerial training. Be careful to present thyself approved,
tested. God puts us to a test, and we are to endure this test,
and we should be very careful that we are approved under any
test he may propose. „Handling aright,” or as a good render_
ing states it, „dividing aright the word of truth.” I have
heard many sermons on „the right dividing of the word of
truth.” The idea is that of a farmer plowing a straight fur_
row, not crooked, curved, or zigzag. I have seen in a great
field men plowing a straight line for a mile – straight as an
arrow. So, when we come to the discussion of the truth, we
should plow a straight furrow, divide it right, handle it right.
ing to flush something, but go straight to the mark, hew to the
We should not zigzag around among words as if we were try_
line, and if we are tested as a minister of God we can do that.
Here is one way by which we may know that we are plowing
a straight furrow: If we put on some passage an interpretation
which in the next book will run up against a wall, or strike
it, that furrow won’t go clear through the Bible and we have
the wrong idea about it. If we have the right idea it will be
a straight furrow from Genesis to Revelation. It will be ac_
cording to the canon, or rule of the truth.
For instance: If we so preach election that we knock over
some other doctrine; or if we so preach on human effort as to
plow up the doctrines of election and predestination, then we
have not plowed a straight furrow. What a great theme for
ministerial training!
Now let us consider verse 18: „Hymeneus and Philetus,
men who concerning the truth have erred, saying the resur_
rection is past already, and overthrow the faith of some.”
What do they mean by saying the resurrection had passed
already? Mainly this: They argued that the resurrection of
the body that dies is foolishness) and that what is meant by
the resurrection is the conversion of the soul. That the quick_
ening of the soul in regeneration is the only resurrection. Later
this idea succeeded: That the resurrection is when the soul,
at death, escapes from the body which held it. It has no more
use for the body than a butterfly has for its cast_off chrysalis.
Paul says that that doctrine eats like a cancer. It
denies the salvation of the body, and thus denies the real
resurrection of Jesus Christ._ Notice further he says that they
overthrow the faith of some. Does this mean that these men
so fell away from grace as to be lost forever? Let us look at
the next verse: „Howbeit the firm foundation of God standeth,
having this seal.” Here were men who professed to be Chris_
tians. Now come these false teachers and persuade them to
abandon the true teaching, overthrowing their faith. Does
that mean apostasy in the modern sense of the word? „The
foundation of God standeth, having this seal.” What is the
seal? ,The seal is the impress of the Holy Spirit, and on every
seal there are two surfaces, and on each surface is an inscription. On this seal the first inscription is: „The Lord knoweth them that are his.” The Lord’s true man is scaled, and the impress on one side of the seal saith: „The Lord knoweth them that are his,” whether men do or not, God does. Judas was not sealed.
Now let us look at the other side of the seal: „And let every
one that nameth the name of the Lord depart from unrighteous-ness.” One inscription shows God’s infallible knowledge of their salvation. The other shows that whom God saves departs from iniquity. These are the two inscriptions on the seal. Let us never talk about baptism being the seal. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit, and that seal has two sides – two different impressions on it. First, „The Lord knoweth them that are his.” Second, those that are sealed depart from iniquity. And if a man never departs from iniquity, Jesus will say, „I never knew you.”
We now come to verse 20: „Now in a great house there are
not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and
of earth; and some unto honor, and some unto dishonor. If
a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel
unto honor, sanctified, meet for the Master’s use, prepared
unto every good work.” In every great house – that is, in
every great congregation, every great church – are different
vessels. They are not all the same thing. Some are vessels
unto dishonor, some unto honor. One may be compared to
gold, another to silver; others are just wood, inflammable, and
will perish in the fire. That is what is meant by a vessel of
dishonor in the church. Compare I Corinthians 3:12_13. But
though a man be a false professor while in the church, the
way is yet open for his conversion. If he will purify himself
from that dishonor, seek purification in the blood of Jesus
Christ, he shall become a vessel of honor.

1. What the gospel provision for transmission of correct doctrine and what does this necessarily imply?
2. What the first illustration in chapter 2 to show ministerial fidelity, and what the particular lesson taught?
3. What the second illustration and its particular lesson?
4. Cite from Paul’s writings at least six metaphors based on the athletic games of ancient Greece and Rome.
5. Give an account of the Olympic games, the place and its celebrities, what the time interval between them, how long did the festival last, how long the period of their observance, how used in chronology, when and by whom abolished?
6. What the games?
7. What additions to the Greek games made by the Romans?
8. What the rules of the Olympic games?
9. What the bearing of the illustration on the necessity of ministerial training?
10. Name another distinguished place for these games.
11. What other arenas for these games in all great Greek cities, citing one?
12. How did the Greeks provide for peace between, the petty warring
Greek states at the Olympic games?
13. How did they distinguish in name between this general gathering
and the governing body in a particular state and how does Paul use and
apply both names?
14. What the crown awarded, why not of intrinsic value and how does Paul contrast the Christian’s crown?
15. When is the Christian’s crown awarded?
16. What features of a fair characterized the Olympic games?
17. What Paul’s fourth illustration of ministerial fidelity and in what phrase do we embody it?
18. Cite the hymn based on this illustration and how did it originally read?
19. Give some account of the preacher’s sermon to all who felt that
their cross wag too heavy and how did it end?
20. What new motive does Paul introduce in Christian suffering and
how do you apply it?
21. Show the application to ministerial training in the great theme
in 2:15.
22. What the idea in „rightly dividing” or „handling aright” the word
of truth?
23. What the original meaning of those who said: „The resurrection ia
already past”?
24. The later meaning?
25. How does Paul characterize the heresy?
26. Expound the reference to the seal and its inscriptions?
27. Expound the passage concerning vessels of honor and of dishonor
in a great house, i. e., (1) What the meaning of the house? (2) Who
are meant by vessels of honor? (3) By vessels of dishonor? (4) The
hope held out to vessels of dishonor? (5) Compare with the passage
in I Corinthians 3.

2 Timothy 8:1_17

We continue the discussion of the second letter to Timothy
with chapter 3. The apostle calls attention to some char_
acteristics of the last day, just as he did in chapter 4 of his
first letter, and Just as we find in Peter’s second letter. „Mock_
ors shall come with mockery, walking after their own lusts.”
I do not know in any literature such a description of the char_
acter of man aa given here, except that by the same author
in Romans 1.
What does Paul mean by „last days”? The phrase „last
days” to be properly expounded, requires a whole chapter.
The „last days” in many instances means gospel days, but in
the case immediately before us, and in the parallel passage
in the letter to the Hebrews, there seems to be a reference to
the closing days of the dispensation. He does not mean that
progressing Christians will all be that way, but he is warning
against a class.
We have them with us now. If a country boy were lifted
up suddenly and put into the atmosphere that surrounds what
is called the higher circle in Paris, London, New York, or
Washington, he would say, „Last days!” It would be ques_
tionable with him whether any of those occupying front places
in national society have any character at all.
Let us look at this paragraph: „Men shall be lovers of self,
lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to
parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, im_
placable, slanderers, without self_control, fierce, no lovers of
good, traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather
than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having
denied the power thereof.”
The surprising thing of these characteristics is that they
are applied to church members – men that have a form of
godliness but deny its power. We now sometimes meet with
a heresy affirming the power of godliness, but denying its form.
Such heretics do not want any form of a church or particular
ordinances, and lay great stress on spirituality and internal
relation with God. But he commits a sin who denies form to
godliness. It is an old question: What is chaff to the wheat?
It depends upon the stage of the wheat. After the wheat is
threshed the chaff is nothing, but it amounts to much until
the wheat matures. It is the form which protects and shields
it. And we must have a form of godliness in order to godli_
ness of spirit. But when we insist on having form only, it re_
minds one of a man going into a field during the last great
drought we had in Texas. The corn looked all right, good
large ears, but when he gathered it he found nothing but
shucks. Just the form. No corn was there.
What I want to impress upon the reader is that form is
essential to the purpose which it serves, but more important
than form is the inner life. There is an inner man and an
outer man. We cannot safely disregard the outer man. We
may say that we will live spiritually, but the body gets cold,
it gets hungry, it has to be clothed and fed. There is an inti_
mate relation between the body and the spirit. A Quaker may
say, „We have no form of baptism; we believe in baptism of
the Spirit, and we dispense_with all externalities.” That is a
capital mistake, and contrary to the Bible, but this mistake
which Paul is here discussing is infinitely worse. They held
onto the form and left out altogether the heart and power
of religion.
Romans 1:28_32 resembles this passage somewhat: „And
even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God
gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which
are not fitting; being filled with unrighteousness, wickedness,

covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, de_
ceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, hateful to God, inso_
lent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient
to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, with_
out natural affection, unmerciful, etc.”
It is easy to see bow that parallels with the one we are con_
sidering. The sin of the Timothy passage is more heinous,
for these are professed Christians that have these character_
istics. Claiming to be Christians, and yet with such char_
acteristics as these I There are times of spiritual power and
strict discipline when people are not allowed to retain the
form of religion, when their lives are at variance with the
form. But at times of spiritual decadence and relaxation of
discipline, any kind of a life will be tolerated if only the ex_
ternals of religion are maintained.
Paul’s one theme in this letter is an exhortation to be a
faithful preacher. He is calling Timothy’s attention to his
necessity of being faithful in view of a class of men who would
come to the front. He says, „turn away from these men,”
and gives a description of them and their propagandism. It
must be evident to any one who has carefully studied the let_
ters to the Colossians and Ephesians, that this gnosticism had
a method of propagandism just the opposite of the gospel’s.
The gospel is open and above board. A man gets the biggest
audience he can, proclaims from housetops to all classes of
men without any distinction, the very quintessence of the
gospel. Contrary to that, the prevalent Gnostics evaded pub_
lic presentation to crowds. They always wanted to address
privately single individuals or single households, and they are
represented in this letter, and in all other letters on the sub_
ject, as people who crept privately into the church, crept
privately into the home, under the disguise of a form of re_
ligion. Retaining their membership in the church, they would
go around and talk about a select few, making a distinction in
classes. Only the cultured few were to be initiated into the
mysteries of this new philosophy.
Paul says, „For of these are they that creep into houses and
take captive silly women.” The word „silly” is not the best
translation. It means little women. Not little in the sense of
Miss Alcott, who wrote a most engaging series called Little
Women; young people who can be trained to have the graces
of older persons; not in that sense, but in the moral sense.
They take captive women with little souls. There are great
men and little men; great women and little women – some of
them infinitesimally small. They seem to have no high nature;
it is all low. They are on the plane of brute beasts. Their
pleasures are sensual – pleasures that appeal to the animal
nature. It may be the pleasure of eating like the lion or
tiger, gorging himself on blood. So a glutton lives to eat. It
may be in the direction of gossip, slander, or lasciviousness.
That is what Paul calls „little”; little in the sense that it keeps
down to the animal part of man.
When Henry Ward Beecher, rather upon his own solicitation
than upon accusation, before an assembly of the Congrega_
tionalists was being catechised as to his departure from the
faith, a question was put to him: „Do you believe in the
necessity of regeneration by the Holy Spirit?” he said, „Un_
questionably.” The second question: „Do you believe that
this necessity arises from the sins each man himself commits
or from the depravity of his nature?” That was putting him
in a close place. He evaded it most adroitlyù1 never knew
any man to more adroitly evade a question: „I believe,” said
he, „a man needs regeneration because he is an animal.” That
is an exceedingly acute thought, and much can be said about
it. For instance, when man was originally made part of him
was made out of the dust of the earth, and God himself
provided the tree of life that the mortality should be elimi_
nated from that body, and it should become an immortal
body. To evade the doctrine of depravity, Beecher took the
position that regeneration should be predicated upon the fact
that man is an animal – that is, has a lower nature.
In the passage before us Paul is bringing out a class of
women – „little women.”
Any woman is little who is satisfied with the mere round
of social pleasures, loving pleasure more than God; who is
satisfied to reign in merely fashionable circles, who never looks
up, never thinks of what is due God.
In Paul’s sense that is a little woman.
He is about to show how irreligious teachers retain the
form. He says they are „ever learning and never able to come
to the knowledge of the truth.” They claim to have a gnosis,
a knowledge that is a finality, and yet they never come to any
definite result. What is gnosis to them one year may be ex_
ploded in the succeeding year. The revealed word of God is
a fixed standard. It is not different in one country from what
it is in another country; not different in one age from what
it is in another age. The Ten Commandments are applicable
to the world, the world over. But where people set up a sub_
jective standard of knowledge, the standard changes with the
individuals. Even one man may have a standard one week
which he would not acknowledge the next week. All sub_
jective knowledge is ever knowing and never knowing. This
applies to all human philosophies whether by Kant, Aristotle,
Epicurus, or Socrates. Unaided human wisdom cannot evolve
a definite knowledge or determine a fixed standard. Says
Paul, „They are ever knowing, and ever unable to come to
the knowledge of the truth.” The world by its science and
wisdom could never find out God.
He cites a case: „Even as Jannes and Jambres withstood
Moses, so do these also withstand the truth.” Here is the
only place in the Bible where we get the names of the ma_
gicians who simulated the first miracles wrought by Moses.
The question arises: Where did Paul get the names? I answer:
By inspiration.
There was a prevalent philosophy in Egypt in the days of
Moses much like this Gnostic philosophy, a philosophy that
attempted to account for the creation of things; a philosophy

that attempted to account for sin and gave its remedy; a
philosophy that divided the race into sharply distinguished
classes, only a select few to be initiated into the mysteries,
and yet a philosophy that had no moral influence over their
lives. A man could be at the very head of the mysteries in
Egypt, and at the same time be as corrupt morally as hell it_
self. Just as one could be an expert in wisdom at Corinth,
and yet be utterly corrupt in the sight of God: „Men corrupt
in mind and reprobate concerning the faith.”
How squarely against that Paul puts himself, as we have
seen before, and will see again before we are through with the
letter. As an example, he denies having any such record as
that; he appeals to Timothy’s knowledge of him: „Thou didst
follow my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, long_suffering,
love, patience, persecution, sufferings, what things befell me
at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured,
and out of them all the Lord delivered me.” „There is my
life as a teacher of the Christian religion. It has been a life
of great suffering, persecution, patience, endurance. It has
not been corrupt, beastly, animal, devilish.” He puts that
right over against the life of these other teachers.
It is the easiest thing in the world, as well as the most flat_
tering to the human mind, to devise beautiful theories, and
we are amazed to find that some theories as beautiful as the
rainbow come from the lips of men and women who are aa
corrupt as the pit. They are meant just for theories, not to
dominate life. I once saw a young lady crying over a most
beautiful tribute to purity in a novel. She said the author
must have been one of the best men in the world. She was
surprised to learn that he was utterly corrupt in his own life.
Anybody can fix up a thing like that on paper, but that does
not argue internal purity.
Take this law in verse 13: „Evil men and imposters shall
wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” There
is an awful trend from which no man can escape, any more
than he can escape fromthe suction above the Niagara Falls.
A man who lives an animal life, a life of evil desire, a life of
slimy imagination, a life of unholy thoughts, is going down
just as certain as a boat without oars or help will go down
when it strikes the current of the Niagara, or as a boat when
it strikes the circle of the maelstrom. It may seem that the
man is holding his own, but every circle he makes, he goes
deeper, deeper, deeper, and at last he goes under. That is the
law inexorable. They wax worse and worse. It is another
law that there is a tendency in habit to crystallize into char_
acter. In other words, to attain after a while the fixedness of
type. When things get to that stage they are irreformable.
Paul now makes almost pathetic appeal: „Timothy, do you
remember from whom you learned the standard that you are
being guided by? Do you remember your old grandmother
Lois, your mother Eunice; that you from a child were in_
structed in the Holy Scriptures which are able to make one
wise unto salvation? Do you remember the time the apostle
came to your home and held up Christ and him crucified as
your Saviour from sin, and you accepted him?” Now, what
was the standard held up? It is expressed in the Greek: hiera
grammata – the „Holy Scriptures.” That is not subjective
knowledge; we do not evolve that out of our own consciousness.
The question arises: What Holy Scriptures? It means the
sacred books put into the hands of the Jewish people, the Holy
Scriptures which were in the hands of Christ. In other words,
the books of the Old Testament, just as we have them, clearly
defined. Now comes a declaration: Having referred to these
scriptures collectively, hiera grammata, he declares concern_
ing them distributively: pasa graphe; every one of these sacred
scriptures is theopneustos, „God_inspired,” and is profitable
for teaching, conviction, correction, instruction in righteous_
ness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped
for every good work. This makes a fixed and perfect stand_
ard. From inspiration comes power. First, these scriptures
are able to make one wise unto salvation. They are profitable

for teaching what a man ought to believe and what a man
ought to do.
The next point is, they are profitable for reproof, for con_
victing of error. Not only to teach what to believe and to do,
but when one goes wrong in belief or in life, these scriptures
will convict him of error. Next: „for correction.” That
means that having shown wherein one has believed wrong or
done wrong, it will tell him how to correct that wrong.
„For instruction,” or discipline, „in righteousness.” There
the word „instruction” has the idea of training, disciplining.
We see a woman put out a bulb or plant a seed. Even before
it comes up she has a purpose in her mind and fixes a frame
over it. When the vine begins to grow she trains it to run
on that frame, and when it wants to run off at a tangent, she
gently attaches it to the frame and trains it, trains it, trains it,
until it circles all around her window. That is the power of
training. These God_inspired scriptures are profitable in train_
ing one in doing right. A raw recruit does not know whether
to commence buttoning his coat at the top or bottom, does not
know how to „present arms,” „order arms,” „right shoulder,”
„shift arms,” „charge bayonets”; does not know how to keep
step. He has to be trained. He is turned over to an experi_
enced drill sergeant. After he is trained as a unit, he is then
trained as a member of a squad, then of a company, then of
a battalion, then of a brigade, then of a division, so that he
not only knows what to do from a military point of view, but
he knows exactly where his place is when the trumpet calls
to arms.
„In order that the man of God may be complete, furnished
completely unto every good work.” The sum and substance
of the teaching of the word of God is that doctrine must be
transmuted into life. We must not only bloom, but bring
forth fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit
shall be hewn down and thrown into the fire. Herein is the
supreme difference, broad as the ocean and deep as eternity,

between the Christian system of religion and other systems
of religion. It is the effect on life, bringing men nearer to God.

1. What the meaning of „last days” in 3:1?
2. What the present indications as to the fulfilment?
3. Cite a passage similar to this third chapter of 2 Timothy?
4. Why is Paul’s description of ‘men here more terrible than his
description of the heathen in the first chapter of Romans?
5. What the relation of „form” to „godliness”? Illustrate. Which
the more important? Illustrate.
6. What elements of Gnosticism are here condemned?
7. What the meaning of „silly women”?
8. What was Henry Ward Beecher’s position on the necessity of re_
9. Contrast the gnosis of the teachers here referred to with revela_
tion as a standard.
10. What is characteristic of all subjective knowledge?
11. What flashlight here on Old Testament history?
12. What the Egyptian mysteries?
13. What moral influence on its subjects?
14. Does it require purity of character to devise beautiful theories?
15. What law stated in verse 13?
16. What pathetic appeal in verses 14_15?
17. Why is it better to be trained in right ways from childhood than
to sow wild oats?
18. What the „sacred writings” in verse 15?
19. What the meaning of „every scripture” in verse 16T
20. What the value of verses 16_17?

2 Timothy 4:l_22

This chapter concludes the second letter to Timothy. We
commence with chapter 4. This chapter is one of unexampled
solemnity. All the circumstances make it so, as well as the
character of the man who wrote it and the character of the man
to whom it was written. It is Paul’s final word in the form
of a charge.
Nearly everybody who delivers the charge when a preacher
is ordained uses some of this chapter 4, and very appropriately.
I call attention to the significance of the word „charge.”
Sometimes it is used in the sense of „adjure.” The high priest
said to Jesus, „I adjure thee before God.” To adjure means
to put on oath. „I put thee on oath before God, are you the
Messiah?” „I am.” That is the same as if he had sworn
it with uplifted hand. A charge has that signification. „Oh,
Timothy, I put thee on thine oath before God.” It also has
the meaning of enjoining very solemnly.
Now we will see how he charges: „I charge thee in the sight
of God and of Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the living and
the dead and by his appearing and his kingdom.” God, Christ,
Christ’s appearing, Christ’s judgment of the living and the
dead, Christ’s kingdom! What an assemblage of solemnities!
Now do what? Preach the word. The emphasis there is
on „the word.” Preach the word. Over and over again we
have noticed that Paul had a system of truth which he re_
ceived from Christ and which he delivered to Timothy, and
that this system of truth is the most precious deposit in the
world. That is what he must preach. That is the supreme
limitation of the theme of the preacher. I have felt shame,
sorrow, and contempt, all blended, at some things I have heard

from the pulpit. They were nice enough little things, but
nothing from the word of God, nothing to convict a sinner,
nothing to lead a sinner to Christ, nothing to lead a babe in
Christ to maturity in Christian knowledge, nothing to develop
high, holy, and enduring Christian character. Preaching is a
solemn work.
Just here I commend to the reader what Cowper says about
the preacher who gets up in the pulpit to be a mountebank
instead of a herald of the cross. „Imagine Spurgeon before a
mirror practicing the attitudes and postures he will assume
when he goes to preach!”
„I charge thee in the sight of God, and of Jesus Christ, Who
shall judge the living and the dead, by his appearing and his
kingdom, preach the word.” Some call me cranky on the sub_
ject of what I preach. One man, in criticising my first book
of sermons, said, „There is too much scripture in it.” I thanked
him for his criticism. I try to preach sermons that are literally
saturated with scripture.
„Be urgent in season and out of season.” Perhaps a little
better rendering would be: „Be alert,” that is, „keep your
eyes open, do not go through the world sleeping.” To be alert
is to be ready. I traveled once with an old Indian scout, and
the most notable feature about him was his alertness I could
see his eye play over every bush or tree, over the mountains
or plains. Not a thing in the range of his vision escaped his
notice. He was alert. Everything around him was searched
for a token of the presence of an enemy. He slept that way.
I noticed that when he went to bed everything was put right
where he could get it. He could in one minute after sudden
waking be ready for a fight. That is alertness, and that is the
thought here rather than urgency. The thought is: „Be alert
in season and out of season.” Any man can be alert under
some circumstances. They are pregnant with warnings. But
other circumstances lull into a sense of security. Paul urges
alertness at all times, so as not to be taken by surprise.

Now come a number of words which have a special signifi_
cation: „Reprove [or rather, convict], rebuke, exhort.” „If
your brother sin, convict him,” that is, first make him see his
sin. Then, having shown him his sin, rebuke, or admonish
him; then having admonished him, exhort him, and let all of
it be done with all possible forbearance and long_suffering,
line upon line. A pastor should keep in mind John’s vision
of the alert Son of God, moving among the churches, noticing
everything, taking cognizance of all conditions.
He assigned the reason for this solemn charge: „For the
time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine.”
We are to preach the sound doctrine – the word – for a time
will come when our congregations will not endure the sound
teaching; when they will not want it. They will want some_
thing else. What will they do? „Having itching ears,” that
is, ears eager to hear pleasant things, „they will heap to them_
selves teachers after their own desire.” The times do come
when people won’t hear sound doctrines. One of the saddest
instances I know was the case of Jonathan Edwards, who is
regarded, and particularly after his great revival, as one of
the theologians since Paul. He insisted that in order to save
that place the old_time word of God must be preached; that
there is a devil and he must say so; that there is a hell and
he must say so; there is imminent danger of falling under the
wrath of God, into the hands of Satan, into the depths of hell.
He preached that, and a most marvelous revival followed.
Before the close of the series of meetings, which this sermon
originated, 250,000 people were converted. Jonathan Ed_
wards was the oracle of God. But there came a time in that
very community when they would not hear Jonathan Edwards.
They wanted a different sort of teaching, and just about the
unsoundest piece of Christendom today is the section where
Jonathan Edwards was repudiated. If one wants to get a set
of preachers that know just the least part of the gospel, that
is the place to find them. They have heaped up to them_
selves teachers that are according to their own desires. I
have been in places, strategical places, mighty places, and
have groaned in my soul because some mighty man of God
was not in charge of that place. Maybe some preacher is in
charge, and the people want him in charge, who does not care
a snap of his finger for the mission work, for the cause of
Christ, for anything except a good, comfortable, easy pas_
torate. I never wanted to be a bishop in the Methodist sense,
but if I were a bishop I would make some quick removals.
I have seen churches turn away from preachers of real
ability and unquestionable piety, preachers whose history
demonstrated that they were alive with life, glory, and power.
They were shelved, or turned out to make way for some pop_
injay, whose ministrations never instruct, never develop, but
who holds the young people together. The trouble about min_
istrations of that kind is that when the older people of the
congregation die off, the younger people do not know anything
at all about doctrine and would just as soon drift into one
denomination as another, or away from them all.
Old Dr. Lyman Beecher, the greatest of all the Beechers,
saw that illustrated in his own children, and yet he is the man
who stood up and said, „The time will come when the im_
posture of Mohammed will be exposed, when the principles of
Mormonism will receive no favor in an intelligent community.
But I fear the time is also coming when the preachers will
preach a gospel that has no power to awaken a sinner, nor to
save him after awakened, nor to console a broken heart, but
of simply enough power to lull him to sleep until the day
passes and the night of eternal death has come.”
„They will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn
aside unto fables.” What did the apostasy which he predicted
do when it came? It turned aside from the truth to accept
the infallible declaration of the Pope. It condemned the giv_
ing of the word of God to the people. It reared up monasteries
and nunneries where marriage was adjured and where a string
of fables concerning the saints were doled out instead of the
word of God. That time did come when people left the Bible,
the impregnable rock of the Holy Scriptures, to take up some_
thing else.
He exhorts Timothy as to his own conduct. „Be sober in
all things. Suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist,
fulfil thy ministry.” Can we ever get that thought sufficiently
in the minds of our preachers – that the ministerial service is
a hard service and that the preacher has a course to fulfil, so
that whether he lives long or dies soon he ought to be able to
say: „I have finished my course, I have fulfilled what I had
to do”?
This deep concern of Paul arose from his knowledge that
his own day of departure was at hand. The gospel must be
transmitted. It must not die with him. He had fought his
fight and finished his course, but who would be the standard_
bearer when the flag fell from his nerveless hand? „The time
of my exodus has come.” This is the same word in the Greek
that we have in Moses’ time. It means the unmooring of a
ship. The time had come for that ship to go out on an un_
known sea. In view of that fact he takes a backward look at
his life, and this is what he says: „I have fought a good fight;
I have finished the course. I have kept the faith.” There is
not one iota of the revelation made to me that I have swerved
from. I have preserved it inviolate, and I desire to transmit
it intact.
Now we come to a new thought: „Henceforth there is laid
up for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the
righteous judge, shall give to me at that day.” This is a
reward. There are several kinds of crowns mentioned in the
Bible – a crown of victory, a crown of rejoicing, and there is
a crown which Jesus will bestow upon faithful laborers. The
question is, When will he do it? In other words, as soon as
Paul died did he get his reward? He did not; that is not the
doctrine at all. He got his salvation, which was not a reward,
but grace. He went straight to God, for to be absent from the
body is to be present with God. His reward is laid up and
will be bestowed when Jesus comes again. At the second
advent of our Lord is the time for the bestowing of rewards.
Then, according to our fidelity as Christians, will we be re_
warded. As it is said by Paul in I Corinthians 3, where he
compares a preacher to a builder whose foundation is Christ,
and if any man build on this foundation of bad material like
wood, hay, and stubble, he shall suffer loss that day – the day
that tries by fire. But if he has built with enduring material,
gold, silver, precious stones (not jewels, but good building
rock), he will get his reward.
Now I will tell a dream which I had. I am sure that my
study of the subject had something to do with my dreaming
it. It seemed that I was just gliding around. I could lift
myself up without making a step, without wings, and move
with great rapidity by volition. Moving that way I came to
a glorious habitation. I don’t know how I got in, but when
I got inside I saw a vast hall with the most glorious objects
that my eyes had ever beheld or my heart had conceived of,
hanging on the walls: jewels, medals, badges of honor, and
everything on earth I could conceive of. Finally, I came and
stood right under one, by far the most glorious of all, and read
this inscription: „This crown is reserved for Paul.”
When that day comes and every Christian stands before
God, according to his fidelity as a Christian, he will be re_
warded or suffer loss. That does not touch the question of
salvation. He says here that Christ will not only reward him,
but all that have loved his appearing, all who have believed
in his advent. I am sure that when the time for this distribu_
tion comes, it will be an eye_opening time. Many people will
be startled. People who expect their crown to be a brilliant
diadem will get but small reward. Instead of their ship com_
ing in with every flag flying and mast standing, it will have
to be towed in by the tug, Grace. It barely gets in, and is
„saved as by fire.”
I give one more scripture before closing this chapter. The
last book of the Old Testament states that one cannot right
now altogether discern between righteousness and wickedness.
Some sins go before man and some follow after. There are
a great many things that keep us from discerning the righteous
and the wicked now, but when we appear before God on that
day, we shall discern between the righteous and the wicked.
In Malachi 3 he says that in a time of great spiritual dearth,
when it looked like everybody was going astray, there were
some who feared God, and who spake often one with another.
God_fearing men who thought much about heaven, and about
prayer, held their communions with each other. The record
says that God listened, that he heard what was said, and’ com_
manded the angel to write it down. „That is worth keeping.
Put that in a book. That which men count great you may
pass over; it does not amount to anything, but here is some_
thing worthy of record, these God_fearing men and women,
in this awful spiritual dearth, speaking of heaven one to an_
other, put down what they say.”

1. Of what does this last chapter of 2 Timothy consist, and what use
has been made of it?
2. What is the meaning of the word „charge”? Give example.
3. Name the five Solemnities with which he gave this charge.
4. What the charge?
5. What the meaning of „be urgent in season and out of season”?
6. What the reason he assigns for this charge? Give an instance.
7. What danger to the rising generation here pointed out? Give an
8. What did the apostasy which he predicted do when it came?
9. How does Paul exhort Timothy as to his own conduct?
10. Why this deep concern of Paul?
11. What his famous parting words?
12. What Paul’s reward, and when bestowed?
13. What the basis of our rewards? Cite other scripture.
14. Give .the author’s dream relative to this point.
15. What startling facts mentioned here will be brought out at the


This chapter, and the next, will be confined to a glance at
the life of Peter, as set forth in the New Testament. The
material is as follows: The Four Gospels, as arranged in the
Broadus Harmony, the Acts of the Apostles, several chapters
of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, two chapters of Gala_
tians, and the letters of Peter himself.
We have in this account the history of one of the most re_
markable men that ever lived. He was a poor man, though
his partners, James and John, were well_to_do. He was an
uneducated man, and later was reproached with the fact that
he had never had any learning. He was a married man and
had a family to take care of when he was converted, and his
only educational training was under the Lord Jesus Christ
for three years, and under the Holy Spirit later. This case
of Peter illustrates what I have often said: that it is not
essential to the ministerial office, or to ministerial success, that
a man should be a graduate of a college. I must not, however,
be misunderstood. Far be it from me to speak against a col_
lege education on the part of those whose circumstances, age,
environment, and means enable them to get a college education,
and who have the capacity to take it. But I do mean to affirm
that Christ and the original twelve apostles were not school
men, and yet they have impressed the world.
It oftentimes happens that God calls a man to preach in
middle life, after he has a wife and children. It is the folly
of some good people that the ministry should be cut down to
men who have first obtained a college degree and then a semi_
nary degree. The thought is unscriptural, unbaptistic, un_
historical, and it is incalculably mischievous.
Now we take up Peter’s name. His given name was Symeon
in Aramaic (see Acts 15:14; 2 Peter 1:1) or Simon in Greek.
We get his surname from Matthew 16:17, i.e., „Bar_Jonah.”
„Bar” means son; „Simon, son of Jonah” – or the son of John,
as some represent it. His cognomen given by Christ was
Cephas in Aramaic; or in Greek, Petros; in English, Peter,
meaning a stone (John 1:42; Matthew 16:18).
His home was on the border of the Sea of Galilee, Bethsaida
first, then Capernaum. He was living at Capernaum in his
own house when Christ went there. He not only had a wife,
but later on in life when he went out on his apostolic tours,
he took his wife along. There are some preachers who, apart
from the question of cost, don’t particularly care to have their
wives go with them. Sometimes it is much better that the
wife be along. She will at least see that his clothes are prop_
erly brushed, and his neck cloth tied, and she will be sure to
point out any wrong mannerism in the pulpit or in mixing
with the people. He is apt to fret a little at that. Many
preachers are thin_skinned when it comes to criticism, but it
is much better for the preacher to remember that his wife
does not do that for the pleasure of nagging, but it is because
she loves him, and does not like to see him make wrong im_
pressions. Now all of this grows out of the starting point, that
Peter took his wife along with him.
In the next place, Peter took care of his mother_in_law,
however strange that may seem. Notwithstanding all of the
jokes on the subject of mother_in_law, some people have
dearly loved their wife’s mother, the author for one.
We notice his business. He was a fisherman. The Sea of
Galilee has always been famous for its multitude of fishes.
In getting at the character of Peter from his own viewpoint,
we must study Mark’s Gospel, commonly and rightly called
Peter’s Gospel, and Peter’s letters. We should read Mark
through at one sitting, keeping in our mind that this is vir_
tually Peter speaking, and watch for the outcropping of the
author’s view of himself. In the same way read his letters.
In such light Peter shows to much advantage. Then study
the other authorities for the view of him from their standpoint.

Here again, on the whole, Peter shows to advantage, par_
ticularly when we consider our Lord’s estimate of him. Jesus
knew what was in the man. While rebuking Peter often, he
ranked him very high.
It is evident from all these sources of information that he
was a plain, straightforward, sincere, impulsive, and withal a
very curious man. He was a regular interrogation point. In
going over the places in chronological order where Peter’s
name comes into history, we cannot help noticing that Peter
asks more questions than all the rest of the apostles put to_
gether. Generally, he asks his question straight out: „Lord,
what do you mean by that parable of the blind guides?”
„Lord, where are you going?” „Lord) why can’t I follow you
now?” „Lord, look at the temple and these stones” – and
where he cannot ask a question himself, he nudges John to ask
it, as in the case of the Lord’s Supper when he prompted John
to ask Jesus who it was that was going to betray him. David
Crocket once said that he had a hound puppy that he set
great store by on account of his inquisitive disposition; that
he could nose around into more things than any other dog he
ever saw; sometimes he got himself into trouble, but if a dog
did not have an inquisitive disposition he would never jump
a rabbit. A great many people lack knowledge for not asking
questions. A wise man never needs to ask the same question
Peter had a streak of weakness in him arising largely from
his impulsiveness and overconfidence in himself. We might
call it a presumptuous streak; a conceited streak. He had no
idea that anybody in the world could hold onto Christ like
himself. Everybody else might turn loose, but he would not.
He frequently overestimated himself, and underestimated
the power of the devil. The element of presumption in him is
intimated by his rebukes of the Saviour. Jesus, in a great press
of people, says, „Who touched me?” and Peter spoke up at
once – he always says something – „Lord, you see this crowd
all around here pressing us, and say ‘Who touched me?’ Who
could tell? Why should you say that?” Jesus replied to him:
„I know some particular person touched me for a particular
object, for virtue went out from me.” Now, Peter had not
thought of the power of Christ’s consciousness to determine
outgoing virtue in response to silent appeals. We see that
presumption manifested again when he said, „Far be it from
thee, Lord, to suffer and die.” And again when he said, „Lord>
do you wash my feet?” „Lord, you shall never wash my feet.”
And again, „Wash me all over, head, and hands, and feet.”
We see him again in the great vision he had at Joppa correct_
ing the Almighty himself: „Not so, Lord.”
An element of weakness shows itself in Antioch. He is
influenced by certain men who come up from James. Peter
had been eating and drinking with the Gentiles, until through
fear of their censure he is involved in dissimulation, but like
all other impulsive men he is quick to get right and frank to
make full confession of his wrong. His weakness appears
particularly in his denial of the Lord, and that too after being
warned’ beforehand and cautioned the second time, and yet it
came on him so suddenly that he turned loose all hold of Christ
and denied that he ever knew him, and swore like a trooper.
Notwithstanding all this, Peter is one of the most lovable
characters in history.
A distinguished lady once said to me, „I cannot stand Paul;
he never makes any mistakes. But Peter is a great comfort
to me; he is so human in his errors.” He had faults with his
greatness, and it rather comforted her to think that a great
man like Peter would shoot off his mouth so fast sometimes.
That is why she said Peter was a comfort to her.
Now, there is a distinct development in Peter. We can
trace the training; as he gets older he becomes stronger in
character and more mellow in spirit. In all literature we do
not find a document more humble in spirit, more loyal, and
more royal than Peter’s first letter. It is a great document –
the letter we are now going to study.

Now, while I have before me every New Testament passage
which names Peter, and arranged in chronological order, giv_
ing the page in the harmony, and the citation from the New
Testament books, I will cite only a few incidents which made
the greatest impressions on his life. From them we find what
things done and said by our Lord, or what impressions from
the Holy Spirit, most touched Peter’s heart. Just as in the
case of David, we might ask, „What things in David’s life
most impressed him, allowing the Psalms to interpret the im_
pression?” and taking the book of Psalms find out from them
what great impressions had been made upon the mind of
David by the incidents of his life. Now, by taking Peter’s
two letters, and adding to them Peter’s speeches as reported
in Acts, it is an easy thing to determine what experiences
impressed Peter more than the others, and in the same way
we find from John’s Gospel what things particularly fastened
themselves upon his mind. But we are dealing with Peter
now, and the first instance is his conversion, when he was
brought to Christ by his brother Andrew, an account of which
is found on page 19 of the Harmony, and recorded in John
1:40_42. Our Lord recognized the power of the man as soon
as he saw him, and before Peter could say a word he uses the
language that I make a text of in my sermon, found in my
first volume of sermon.8: „Thou art Simon; thou shalt be called
Cephas, or Peter.” That sermon is called „From Simon to
Cephas,” and its object was to trace the development in the
character of Peter. Simon means a hearer or learner, and
Peter means a rock – stability.
It is probable that Peter went with Jesus to the marriage
of Cana in Galilee, and went with him to Capernaum, and
was also with him on his preaching tour in northern Judea
near where John was baptizing in Enon, and was also with
him in passing through Samaria to go to Galilee, but not with
him when Jesus went to Cana a second time and to Nazareth
the first time.

The next great impression on his mind comes from his call
to the ministry. That is on pages 27_28 of the Harmony (Mark
1:16_17). Jesus called to the ministry two pairs of brothers:
James and John, and Peter and Andrew, at the Sea of Galilee.
In close connection with this call comes an incident profoundly
impressing Peter’s mind, found on the same page of the Har_
mony, but told in Luke 5. It was the miraculous draught of
fishes resulting from casting the net according to Christ’s
direction. When they went to draw up the net it was filled
with such a multitude of fishes that the net broke, and the
boat was filled, ready to sink, with the fishes put in it. The
miracle profoundly impressed Peter. Here was either a power
that could bring the fish to a certain point, or the omniscience
that could know where they were in a school and could so give
the direction that just letting down the net would take a great
multitude, and as the miracle worked in on his mind he be_
came conscious that he was in the presence of one holier than
himself. Sin rose up in him, the conviction of sin, and he
knelt down before Jesus and said, „Depart from me, Lord, for
I am a sinful man.” I often use that to illustrate the strange_
ness of conviction of sin.
Most people whose words and actions convict other people
of sin are not conscious at the time that they are convicting
of sin, and many a preacher studies a sermon and preaches
it with a view of conviction of sin, and never convicts a man
in the congregation. But there was that conviction of sin
forced upon Peter’s heart by the consciousness that he was
in touch with divinity. In any kind of meeting as soon as
God’s presence is felt people will be convicted right and left;
convicted quickly in the strangest kind of ways.
The next thing that impressed Peter was to have the Lord
in his own house. Now, hospitable people might rejoice in
having pleasant company or great company, but here was one
of the few humble houses of Galilee that sheltered the Lord,
and as the Lord came in the fever left the mother_in_law.
His power came with him, and Peter’s house became a focus
of power, and his front yard full of supplicants crying for
mercy and healing, and salvation blazed all around Peter’s
house because the Lord was there.
The next look we have at Peter is the impression made upon
his mind by these tremendous miracles of our Lord. His
presumption is excited, and so we find on page 30 of the
Harmony, as recorded in Mark 1:35 and Luke 4:42, that Peter
tries to work a corner on salvation. Christ had gone off to
spend the night in prayer. Peter obtruded upon him in his
private devotion, with a view to keeping him there at Caper_
naum, as if he could dam up salvation in a little town and
not let it outflow to other places. Our Lord rebuked him and
said, „I must go to other towns also; you cannot hold me here;
you cannot dam up this stream of life and limit it to one
Without comment I note the fact that he was one of the
three at the raising of the daughter of Jairus, and that he was
one of the disciples that plucked grain on the sabbath day and
caused a controversy. He was also one of the disciples in the
little boat which Jesus had pushed out into the sea away
from the multitude in order to teach the people.
On page 49 of the Harmony (Mark 3:14_17) is the ordina_
tion of Peter and the other eleven disciples. The call had
preceded and they had learned a good many things in being
with Jesus. But Jesus, after spending the night in prayer,
ordained these men and set them apart to the full work of the
ministry, and designated them as apostles to be witnesses for
him. That ordination was followed by the great Sermon on
the Mount, expanding and expounding the law.
The next impressive thing in his history is on pages 71_76
of the Harmony, as set forth in Matthew 10. The twelve have
been ordained and have heard his preaching, and now he is
going to send them out, and Mark says, „two by two.” Peter
knows that he went with one of them wherever he went. I
suppose John was with him; more than apt to be with John
than with his own brother Andrew. Now, in chapter 10 of
Matthew we have the elaborate instructions given to these men
before they were sent out. This was the first time Peter ever
went off from his Lord to do any work, and they went in every
direction, two together, with instructions as to what to do and
how to do it, and they came back and made a report. There
Mark brings in a new fact again, which he gets from Peter,
and it was just like Peter to make that kind of a report. When
he came back he reported not only what he had done, but
what he had taught. There is the defect in our missionary
reports today; we report the miles traveled, sermons preached,
houses visited, the Sunday schools, prayer meetings, and
churches organized, but we do not say what we have taught.
Now Peter came back and reported what he had taught.
We now come to the next important incident in his life, the
appearance of Christ walking on the water, which shocked all
of them. They thought it was a ghost – an apparition. When
they learned that it was the Lord, that impulsive Peter said,
„Lord, tell me to come to you; I will come if you say, ‘Come.’
I don’t mind the water. If you tell me to walk on the water,
I will do it.” The Lord says, „Come,” and Peter steps out
and walks on the water, and if he had kept his eye on Christ
he would have walked all the way, but he got to looking at the
waves tumbling around him, and at the wind, and began to
sink. But whenever Peter got into trouble he cried out for
help, so now he prays: „Lord help me, or I perish.” Now,
that incident illustrates Peter and his character. The original
character of the man, the impulsiveness of the man, the au_
dacity of the man, and then the shrinking of the man from the
responsibility which he had brought upon himself.
We next come to a more important event. We find it on
page 83 of the Harmony. It is his first confession. Jesus had
preached a sermon on hard doctrine, „the Bread of Life,” and
his main object was to slough off transitory people. He wanted
the right kind to stick to him, but he did not want his body
of disciples to be filled up with unprepared material, and he
preached that sermon with a view to sloughing off and the
crowd sloughed off, and it looked like everybody was going to
leave him. Upon this many of his disciples went back and
walked no more with him. Jesus said therefore unto the
twelve, „Will you also go away?” Simon Peter answered:
„Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal
life, and we have believed and know that thou art the Holy
One of God.” Peter is great there. Nobody else spoke, and
as usual Peter was all_inclusive, he was ready to speak for
others as well as for himself, and he included too many when
he spoke for the whole twelve. Jesus corrected it and said,
„One of you is a devil. You can speak for yourself, but not
for all.” That is the first confession of Peter. „Thou hast the
words of eternal life. There is no one else to go to. We have
believed and know that thou art the Holy One of God.”

1. Where do we find scripture material for the life of Peter?
2. Give an account of Peter: (1) His circumstances. (2) His education and the bearing on an educated ministry. (3) His family relations.
3. What his Aramaic name, his Greek name, his surname, his cog_
nomen in Aramaic, Greek, and English?
4. Where was his home, and what lesson from his taking hia wife
along with him?
5. What his business?
6. What books may one study in order to get at Peter from his own
viewpoint; how does he show up from the viewpoint of other New
Testament writers and what was Jesus’ estimate of him?
7. What noted characteristic of Peter gave him prominence?
8. What his chief weakness and its cause?
9. Give illustrations of his presumption.
10. What ground for comfort in the life of Peter?
11. What the first event of his life that made a great impression on him?
12. What the second thing that impressed him, the incident that led
up to it, and the impression on his mind?
13. What the next event that impressed him?
14. How did Peter try to „corner” salvation?
15. What was Peter’s first missionary work and what in his report
unlike our missionary reports?
16. What was Peter’s first great confession, and what the occasion for it?


In the preceding chapter the question was asked: „What in_
cidents in Peter’s life most impressed themselves upon his own
_life, judging mainly from his literary remains, to wit: His
gospel through Mark, his speeches in the Acts, and his letters?”
In answering that question, the following, out of many inci_
dents, were cited, in the chronological order in the Broadus
1. His first interview with our Lord, and probable conversion
(John 1:40_42; Harmony, p. 19).
2. His call to the ministry (Mark 1:16_17; Harmony, p. 28).
3. The revelation of his sinfulness through a realization of
Christ’s presence and divine power (Luke 5:1_11; Harmony,
P. 29).
4. Christ in his home (Mark 1:29_34; Harmony, p. 29).
5. His ordination as an apostle (Mark 3:14_17; Harmony,
P. 45).
6. His being sent out to preach away from Christ, the ac_
companying instructions, the work, and the report of it (Mark
10:1_42; Mark 6:7_30; Harmony, pp. 71_76).
7. His walking on the water (Matt. 14:22_36; Harmony,
P. 80).
8. His first great confession (John 6:61_71; Harmony, pp.
Out of the many references to Peter in the Gospels, those
eight were particularly discussed as bearing upon his charac_
ter and growth, his own impressions, and the audacity and
weakness of his faith.
Now, this chapter resumes the discussion:
9. His greater confession at Caesarea Philippi (Matt. 16:13_
20, Harmony, pp. 89_90). The reader will note that on the
first interview with Peter our Lord said, „Thou shalt be called
Cephas.” Now, at the conclusion of Peter’s great confession
here, that promise was fulfilled. He became Cephas, a stone:
„Thou art Peter,” and from Peter’s own words as to the real
foundation of the church and of his relation to that foundation
as a living stone, we get a comment in I Peter 2:4_8, where
he makes it very clear that the foundation of the church is
Christ, the rock; he does not understand that the church is
built upon him. He was not bothered as a great many modern
theologians in interpreting that passage in Matthew 16, and
they would have saved themselves a great deal of trouble if
they had allowed Peter, to whom the words were addressed,
to give his own inspired understanding of what Christ meant.
And it seems always to me that there must be disrespect for
the inspiration of Peter when any man says that in Matthew
16:18 the rock upon which the church was built was Peter,
and it is disrespect also for Paul, because he is just as clear
as Peter: „Other foundation can no man lay than that which
is laid, Christ Jesus.” Peter says that he is a living stone in
the Temple, but that Christ is the elect precious stone which
constitutes the foundation, and that is the true conception of
it. Peter does not understand from this passage by the prom_
ise of the keys, that he was to open the door of the church
(that is, to declare its entrance terms) to both Jews and Gen_
This appears in the subsequent history; in Acts 2, Peter,
standing up in Christ’s completed church and his Spirit_filled
church (for the Spirit that day filled it), and under inspiration
opened the door, and from the inside, mark you, to the Jews
– representative Jews from all over the world, and told them
how they could get in. This is evident from Acts 10. There
Peter opened the door to the Gentile world, using these words:
„To Christ all the prophets bear witness that through his
name whosoever believeth in him shall receive forgiveness of
sins.” And in Acts 15 he avows that that privilege was con_
ferred on him. In the discussion that took place in Acts 15
he commences by saying, „Brethren, you remember that how
through me, or in me, the Lord made selection from among
you about opening the door to the Gentiles.” It is also evi_
dent from this passage that Peter held the first place among
the twelve apostles to the circumcision. As a distinguished
Roman Catholic historian puts it, primus inter pares. That
means first among equals, and this appears further from the
fact that in the four lists of the twelve apostles his name is
always first, and from the further fact that in the subsequent
history he invariably took the lead. But Peter did not under_
stand that this priority conferred upon him the papal auto_
cratic jurisdiction claimed by the Roman Catholics, and this
appears from his subsequent conduct in the following in_
stances: In Acts 2 the church at Jerusalem holds him to ac_
count for going in and eating with the Gentiles, and instead
of answering them by authority, he answered them by an
explanation, which was accepted. Then, in Galatians 2 when
the question came up of Paul’s entirely independent gospel
and jurisdiction that occurred at Jerusalem, on that occasion
Peter conceded Paul’s entire independence and his appoint_
ment to be the apostle to the Gentiles) and gave him the right
hand of fellowship.
It further appears from this passage in his first letter: „The
elders therefore among you I exhort, who am a fellow elder
and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, who am also a par_
taker of the glory that shall be revealed. Feed the flock of
God which is among you, exercising the oversight thereof, not
of constraint, but willingly according to the will of God, not
for filthy lucre but of a ready mind. Neither as being lords
over the charge allotted to you, but making yourselves exam_
ples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd shall be
manifested from heaven you shall receive a crown of glory
that fadeth not away.” From this passage we see that while
Peter considered himself an elder, an apostle, and a shepherd,
he puts himself on a level with other apostles and with other
elders and with the Chief Shepherd over all, who is Jesus
Christ himself, and that this oversight which he exercises is
not an oversight by constraint, nor for money, but as an
example. It is impossible for a man to put it any more plainly
than Peter does, how he understood the priority conferred
upon him on account of his great confession in Matthew 16.
10. His great presumption in tempting Christ to shun the
cross and our Lord’s severe rebuke (Mark 8:31 to 9:1; Har_
mony, p. 91). Though Peter had made a confession that Jesus
was the Christ, the Son of the living God, he had not up to
that time got into his mind the necessity for the death of
Christ, as an expiatory sacrifice, and so when our Lord,
after that confession, began to lead them into the new idea
of the Messiah, that he was to be a vicarious offering, Peter’s
presumption manifested itself by tempting Christ to shun the
cross. Now to show what impression that made on Peter’s
mind after Christ corrected him, read what he says in I Peter
1:18_19. Peter does not shun the cross now. He has learned
better, and he tells the people that they are purchased, not
with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ.
11. The next incident that impressed his mind was his wit_
nessing our Lord’s transfiguration (Mark 9:2_13; Harmony,
pp. 92_93). Peter’s witness of that transfiguration showed
himself yet to be a learner. He misconstrued the presence of
Moses and of Elijah, and said, „Let us build here three taber_
nacles, one for Moses [we will still hold on to Moses] and one
for Elijah, and one for Christ.” And he was rebuked by a
voice saying, „This is my beloved Son, hear ye him!” You
can’t associate Moses and Elijah with Christ as equal teach_
Now the true import of that transfiguration Peter did not
get in his mind right then, but he got it later as we see from
2 Peter 1:16_18: „For we did not follow cunningly devised
fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming
of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his
majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and
glory when there was borne such a voice to him by the ma_
jestic Glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well
pleased: and this voice we ourselves heard borne out of the
heavens, when we were with him in the holy mount.” Now,
that transfiguration scene never passed out of Peter’s mind.
He understood it, at last, to be a miniature representation of
the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. In other
words, Christ’s transfiguration is the way in which he will
come in his glory.
In the next place, when he comes in his glory, his power
is manifest in two directions: He raises the dead, represented
by the appearance of Moses there, and he changes the living,
represented by Elijah, who was one of God’s Old Testament
instances of transfiguration. That will be the power of his
second coming, the instantaneous change of the living and the
raising of the dead.
Then again Peter understood it to mean that the law led
up to Christ. It was a schoolmaster unto Christ. That
prophecy foreshadowed Christ as represented by Elijah. Now
Peter got the right idea, at last, of the transfiguration. I am
citing these cases to show what particular instances in his
own life made the deepest impression on his own mind.
12. Now we go to’ the next one, the Temple tax (Matt.
14:24_27; Harmony, p. 97). The facts of the case are these:
The tax_gatherer came to Peter and said, „Does your Master
pay Temple tax?” Now Peter, instead of referring that ques_
tion to Jesus to be answered by him – he always thinks he is
competent to speak for anybody – says, „Yes.” They replied,
„Well, then, pay it.” And he did not have any money. Peter
takes the case to the Lord, and the Lord shows him that his
answer was an answer of ignorance; that there was no obliga_
tion resting upon him to pay that tax, but to get Peter out of
his dilemma, he gives him directions to go cast a hook into the
sea, take out a fish, and find the money in the fish’s mouth to
pay for Peter and Jesus. Now that lesson made an impression
on Peter’s mind, and so when we come to his letters he gives
directions in I Peter 2:13_16 about honoring the powers that
be, and the paying of tribute, and closes by saying substan_
tially, „Even when you waive a right to do it, pay it through
expediency, that ye be not evil spoken of.” Like Paul, he never
would waive duty or principle, but when it was a privilege or
right, personal to himself, and by waiving it he could do some
good, he would waive it. We may always waive a right, as Paul
says, „Meat offered to idols is nothing, nothing to God. I
know that everything that God has made is clean, if you re_
ceive it with thankfulness.” But he says, „If my eating that
meat offered to an idol will cause some weak brother to stum_
ble and fall, I will never eat any meat offered to idols as long
as I live.” „All things are lawful, but not expedient.” Now
that is the great lesson Peter got from the Temple tax business.
13. Let us now take up the lesson on how often to forgive a
penitent brother (Matt. 18:20_35; Harmony, p. 101). A prac_
tical question came up in Peter’s life when the Lord said, „If
thy brother repent, forgive him.” Peter says, „Lord, how often,
seven times?” as if he had an idea there ought to be a limit to
it. „You can’t spend your life forgiving a fellow; now how
often – seven times?” Jesus says, „Seventy times seven.” That
question of Peter’s comes up in our lives. I heard a very dis_
tinguished deacon once make a snarling speech in a church
conference when a certain man came before the church and
asked forgiveness, and Dr. Burleson, with his customary suavi_
ty and with a strict adherence to Scripture, advised the church
to forgive him. This deacon got up and said, „I would like to
know what will be the end of that? We have spent a good
part of our life as a church in forgiving that man, and I don’t
want to dig about him any longer.” To show you how that
thought impresses Peter, when he wrote his letter he says,
„Have fervent love towards each other, remembering that love
covers a multitude of sins.” ”If you love anybody, you can
keep forgiving him.” A father here on earth will forgive his
child for doing wrong, on penitence, a good many times more
than he will forgive another one’s child. He loves his child
more; the relation is dearer. Now, the Lord wanted to teach
Peter that when he got deep into the thought of the heart of
God’s love, there was no limit; that love would be like the two
sons of Noah who took a mantle between them and walked
backward and covered up the sins of their father. Love covers
a multitude of sins.
14. The reward at the earth’s regeneration (Matt. 19:27_30;
Harmony, pp. 133_134). There Peter puts a question on re_
wards: „Lord, we have left all to follow thee, what shall we
have?” „Now, we have given up everything; we are standing
by you while all the world is turning away from you. What
shall we have?” Our Lord replied to him that there should be
a reward in this life equal to a hundredfold. Not in kind, but
in other things. Then he goes on to speak of the true reward
that would come at the regeneration – not the regeneration of
man, but the regeneration of the earth. „You that have fol_
lowed me in the regeneration shall sit on twelve thrones, judg_
ing the twelve tribes of Israel. That is the reward ye shall
have.” But the thing that fastened itself most on Peter’s mind
was that idea of the regeneration, the restoration of all things,
and that the eye of the Christian should be fixed rather upon
rewards that followed that than upon anything that takes place
here in time. Now to show how that impressed him, in his
speech in Acts 3, he refers to it: „Whom the heavens must re_
ceive [referring to Jesus, who is gone into heaven] until the
time of the restoration of all things.” And in 2 Peter 3:7_13,
he unfolds the whole doctrine of the regeneration of the earth.
He says that the earth once passed through a purgation by the
waters of the flood, and shall pass through a purgation by fire,
and that there shall be a new heaven and a new earth, and he
bases a strong exhortation upon the fact that „The heavens
shall be rolled together as a scroll, and the elements shall be
melted with fervent heat. Seeing, then, that all of these things
shall be dissolved, what manner of men ought ye to be in all
holy conversation, and godliness, and walk here in this time.”
15. Our Lord’s great prophecy (Mark 13 and Matt. 24_25).
That prophecy is found in Matthew 24_25, but Peter’s connec_
tion with it is stated in Mark 13:3 and the whole account of it
may be seen in the Harmony, pages 160_168. Peter puts a
question that calls forth that great prophecy, covering two
whole chapters of Matthew, parts of Mark and of Luke, and
made a lasting impression on the mind of Peter. To show
something of the impression that it made upon his mind, I will
cite an occasion. In I Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5; and 3:1_6, that
is, three times he brings out in his letters the reference to our
Lord’s great prophecy.
16. The lesson of Christ washing his feet. We find the ac_
count of that in John 13:7_10; Harmony, page 174. Notice
what the points are: According to the Mosaic law, they had at
their place of residence, or wherever they were abiding, per_
formed the bodily ablution preceding the Passover, but they
had to pass from that to the upper room, where they were to
eat the Passover, and in passing from it they got their feet
dusty, as they had only sandals on their feet, so that when
they got into the house the custom was that at the door the
sandals were taken off and their feet were washed and water
was always provided for that. So that a man who had com_
plied with the regular ablution prescribed by law, needed only
to wash his feet, but as that was not a home where a host would
provide for washing the feet of guests, but an upper room in
which they were to make their preparations, the question came
up: „Who shall do the feet washing?” there being no servant
there to do it for them. „What about it?” Peter would say, „I
cannot do it, because I am first of the apostles – primus inter
pares.” And there was a dispute among them while they were
going there as to who was the greatest. They wanted to make
some one small enough to wash feet.
Christ knew about their contention; it was a little thing on
so great an occasion to cause a disturbance. So they concluded
they would go in and recline at the table and eat the Passover
without washing, whereupon Jesus arose and girded himself,
taking a towel and a basin. They were reclining on their left
elbow with their feet stretched out behind them. Christ walked
around _the horseshoe table and began to wash their feet. No_
body said a word until he got to Peter. Peter said, „Lord, do
you wash my feet?” „Yes.” „Lord, you shall never wash my
feet.” Jesus said, „Well, if I wash thee not, thou hast no part
with me.” „Then, Lord, wash me all over.” The lesson there
needed was the lesson of humility, service, and hospitality.
That was what was needed and they were too proud to do it,
whereupon Jesus, their Lord and Master, took the lowly part
upon himself. Peter never forgot that. In his letter there is
an evident reference to it) I Peter 5:5, where he exhorts against
strife, and that we should gird ourselves with humility to serve
one another.
17. This incident perhaps made more impression on Peter’s
mind than anything, and that was Christ’s warning against
Satan’s sifting of Peter and the other apostles, and of Peter’s
failing, and his promising to pray for Peter that his faith fail
not, and his direction to Peter that when he was converted
from the error that he held that he would strengthen his breth_
ren. That lesson appears in Luke 22:31_33; in Mark 14:29_31,
and we must consider in connection with it the three denials
of Peter that took place afterward. Those denials appear in
Matthew 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 18, and the whole matter
is set forth in the Harmony, pages 176_177; 193_195.
That transaction, that trial of Peter’s faith, that sifting of
Peter by Satan, that intercession of Christ which kept his faith
from failing, the awful bitterness with which he regrets his fall
– we see how it impressed him in the following passages. There
is a reminder of it in the scene described in John 21:1_17. As
Peter had denied Christ three times, Christ asked him the same
question three times over. But we get Peter’s own words in
I Peter 1:6_7. He says, „The trial of man’s faith is more
precious than the trial of gold by fire.” In I Peter 1:3_5 he
strengthens the brethren as Christ commanded him to do. His
error was that he could hold onto Christ himself, hence he says,
„Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salva_
tion.” Before that he thought he was keeping himself. We
see the thought again brought out in I Peter 5:5_10. He be_
lieves in a devil now, and he warns them that „their adversary,
the devil, goeth about as a roaring lion.” He warns them against
overconfidence: „God resisteth the proud but giveth grace to
the humble.” Just as if he had repeated the old proverb:
„Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a
fall,” and urges them to watch themselves.
18. Christ’s resurrection and appearance to Peter. We find
the account of it in Luke 24:33_35, and I Corinthians 15:5,
and in the Harmony, page 224. If we read Peter’s speech, re_
corded in Acts 2:22_36, and his great speech in Acts 3:11_16,
and his great speech, in Acts 10:38_43, we see what a tremen_
dous impression was made upon Peter’s mind by the resurrec_
tion of Christ and his appearance to him.
19. Christ’s words to Thomas, which Peter heard (John 20:
24_29; Harmony, pages 225_226): „Thomas, you believe be_
cause you have seen. Blessed are those who, not seeing, be_
lieved.” Peter quoted that very thing in his first letter (1:8).
This shows what an impression it made on him.
20. The solemn lessons at the Sea of Galilee; Christ’s ques_
tions and Peter’s answers (John 21:1_17; Harmony, pp. 226_
227). First, Peter had gone back to his secular business. Sec_
ond, Christ meant him to be a fisher of men, and not of fish,
and a shepherd of spiritual flocks. Third, Christ wanted proof
of his faith in him, trusting him to take care of him and his
love for him. That great lesson received a reflection in I Peter
21. The prediction of the manner of his death (John 21:18_
19; Harmony, p. 227, reflected in 2 Peter 1:14). In that letter
he tells that the Lord made known unto him how he was to die.
22. The twenty_second incident is his baptism in the Holy
Spirit (Acts 2:1_18), and the reflection of that in full in I
Peter 1:12.
23. A class of incidents: Peter’s suffering for Christ. He was
arrested five times (Acts 4:3; 3:18; 5:26; 12:3; John 21:18). He was in prison four times (Acts 4:3; 5:18; 12:3; John 21:18). He was beaten with stripes one time (Acts 5:40). He was crucified (John 21:19). Those were Peter’s individual sufferings. To see how those sufferings impressed his mind, all we have to do is to read I Peter 1:6_7 and particularly I Peter4:12_19.
24. A class of incidents: His contact with Paul. These con_
tacts were Acts 9:26_30 construed with Galatians 1:18; Acts
15:1_29, construed with Galatians 2:1_10; Galatians 2:11_21.
To see how these contacts with Paul impressed Peter, let us
read 2 Peter 3:15_16.
25. His vision at Joppa. Several times in his letters he refers
to what God has cleansed.
1. What Peter’s second or greater confession?
2. What promise fulfilled here?
3. What Peter’s understanding of the foundation of the church,
and his relation to it? Proof?
4. What did be understand by „the keys of the kingdom”?
5. On what two occasions did he use these keys?
6. What place did he hold among the apostles to the circumcision? Proof?
7. Did he understand that his priority conferred upon him the papal
jurisdiction as claimed by the Catholics? Give proof.
8. For what did Jesus severely rebuke Peter, and how does he show
the impression it made on his mind?
9. How did Peter understand the transfiguration at first? Later?
10. What great lesson did Peter get out of the incident of the Temple tax?
11. How does Peter express his impression of Christ’s teachings on
12. Give Peter’s elaboration of Christ’s teaching on the regeneration
of the earth, and rewards.
13. What reference in his letter to the incident of foot washing?
14. What event probably impressed him most, and what references to
it in his letter?
15. Describe his sufferings for Christ by answering the following questions:
(1) How many times arrested?
(2) How many times imprisoned?
(3) How many times beaten with stripes?
(4) How did he die?
(5) What impressions made on his mind by these sufferings, and where do we find them?
16. What the contacts with Paul, and what their impressions on him?

I Peter 1:1_6

In the general introduction to his first letter, we have de_
voted two chapters to the New Testament life of Peter. So far,
I have had nothing to say of Peter’s life according to tradition
and legend, after giving the accounts in the New Testament.
My reason for not going into that is that the whole business is
so very shaky; there is a vast amount of it we know to be
forgery, but I am impressed that this much of the legend is
true: that Peter did finally go to Rome, and suffered martyr_
dom there.
We now take up the special introduction to I Peter, and
answer the following questions:
1. Who wrote this letter?
2. To whom was it written?
3. Through whom was it written?
4. Where was it written?
5. What is its theme?
6. What is the letter?
7. When was it written?
8. What was the occasion of the letter?
9. What its relations to previous New Testament books?
1. Who wrote this letter? Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.
There are three strong overwhelming arguments in favor of
ascribing this letter to Peter:
(1) The letter so states. (2) The internal evidence is very
strong that Peter wrote it. (3) The universal testimony of
primitive Christendom is that Peter did write it.
Now opposed to Peter’s authorship are some objections by
the radical critics that are hardly worth considering. I will tell
on what ground they base their objections, but I am not going
to discuss it, for I do not honestly think it is worth while. They
first adopt this theory, that there was an antagonism between
the teaching of Peter and the teaching of Paul, and that this
first letter is so manifestly in agreement with Paul that there_
fore Peter did not write it. That is the ground of their objec_
tion, put in a few words. They assume a premise without a
particle of evidence, and then on the ground of that premise
deny Peter’s authorship.
2. To whom was it written?
(1) The letter says: „To sojourners of the dispersion” – Jews
and proselytes. The Greek word diaspora, referring to a dis_
persion of the Jews has a signification in New Testament
literature, and in the literature of the times, that does not ad_
mit of controversy. It means those Jews who were originally
deported from the Holy Land by certain conquerors, as Sen_
nacherib, the king of Babylon, Pompey and others, carried
away into captivity and settled in foreign countries.
(2) Those Jews that for purposes of trade lived out of the
Holy Land – and this constitutes a majority of the Jews. A
certain writer states that they are in the whole world, and on
every ocean; that certainly is not much of a hyperbole. Alex_
ander the Great put a great many of them at Alexandria, and
from that time until now that city has been a particular home
of the Jews. They once had a temple in Africa. There were
large settlements of these Jews in Babylon, from which place
Peter seems to write, and we get an idea of the countries set_
tled by the dispersion from Acts 2, which tells us that devout
men came from every nation under heaven to the Passover and
heard Peter’s great sermon. This is the first item: they were
Jewish sojourners in foreign lands.
(3) This letter is addressed to these sojourners in five prov_
inces of Asia Minor, as follows: Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia,
Asia, and Bithynia. The order, on the map, in which these
places are named, furnishes an argument as to where Peter was
when he wrote this letter; for instance, from Rome we would

have to reverse the order in speaking of it and say, „Bithynia,
Asia, Cappadocia, Galatia, and Pontus.” But as Peter is over
in Babylon when he writes them the order is just as he says:
„Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.”
But we still have not settled the question, „To whom?”
We have found out two points; written to the Jews of the dis_
persion, and written to the Jews of the dispersion in five prov_
inces of Asia Minor; third, written to the Jews who were Chris_
tians, or professed to be Christians. He says, „elect sojourners.”
Now, that settles the question, „To whom?”
3. Through whom was this letter written? I Peter 5:12,
answers the question. By Silvanus or Silas, as he is sometimes
called, which means the same person, and it is that very Silas
who was with Paul on his second missionary tour described in
Acts. He finally traveled with Peter, though he first traveled
with Paul, and noting a little difference in the style of the first
letter and second letter of Peter, we may infer that when it says
that this letter was written by Silas, that Silas was Peter’s
amanuensis, and something of the style of Silas crept into it.
We see how the style of a document may depend somewhat on
the amanuensis.
4. Where was it written? I Peter 5:13 says, „The elect in
Babylon salute you,” that is the elect churches in Babylon sa_
lute you. Here the question arises, Why does Peter say Baby_
lon? In other words, does he use Babylon in its literal sense
or symbolic sense, as John does in the book of Revelation?
There, „Babylon” is a figurative or symbolical form. A great
many of the early fathers – and of the later fathers – hold that,
though Peter says Babylon, he means Rome, and they say,
with all Roman Catholics, that Peter wrote this letter from
Rome and called it Babylon, because at that time a great
persecution was going on by Nero and therefore he used a
symbolical word. If it were not for the great number of dis_
tinguished names that support this theory, I would certainly
say I had no respect for it. This letter of Peter is not an
apocalyptic book. An apocalypse is written in symbolical
language. When it says „woman,” it means something else
not a woman; when it says „sea,” it means something else, not
the sea, etc. And so all the way through it is a symbolical book.
But this is just a plain book of prose, and if Paul, writing near
the same time, could have no hesitation in referring to Rome,
I don’t see why Peter should, and so I don’t believe at all that
it means Rome when it says, „Babylon.” Peter, being an apos_
tle, traveled a good deal. We notice in the Acts of the Apostles
how he left Jerusalem and went to Samaria, and another time
went to Lydda and Joppa and Caesarea, and another expres_
sion says he travelled through all parts. Now, it was a very
natural thing that Peter, being an apostle of the circumcision,
should follow the Jewish migration east among the Semite_
people, and so I take it that Babylon means Babylon. Mark,
who also travelled with Paul, has joined Peter in Babylon.
5. What is the theme of the letter? I Peter 5:12 tells us the
theme: „I have written unto you briefly, exhorting and testi_
fying that this is the true grace of God.” That is his theme –
the true grace of God. There are some people who talk a great
deal about grace and claim to be the subjects of grace, and yet
live a life contrary to the teaching of grace, and so this theme
is a splendid one. There is a false idea of grace, viz: that a
man can have grace and yet live contrary to the principles of
grace. So the object of the letter is to give a true account of
the grace of God.
6. What is the letter, i.e., what is its character? Here it is,
„I have written unto you briefly, exhorting and testifying.”
The style of it is exhortation and testimony. He is going to
speak as a witness of what is the true grace, and then he is
going to deliver an exhortation based upon that true grace,
and that exactly explains the letter.
7. When was it written? About A.D. 65, just after Paul’s last
letter of the first Roman imprisonment was written. In other
words, we would place I Peter right after Hebrews. The order
is: Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, Hebrews,
then I Peter, A.D. 65.
8. What was the occasion of the letter? Two elements, judg_
ing by the letter itself, enter into the occasion. First, those to
whom it is addressed were suffering very great persecution;
and, second, they were much affected by teachers of false doc_
trine, who turned the grace of God into lasciviousness. Now
in writing it his object is to strengthen and comfort these per_
secuted people, and to expose all false notions of the true grace
of God.
9. What are the relations of this letter to previous New Tes_
tament books? The Gospel of Mark was the Second Gospel
written, supposedly about A.D. 60, and as Peter was the virtual
author of that, it is called Peter’s Gospel; it is easy to see the
connection between this letter and Mark’s Gospel. He had
been acquainted with the Gospel of Matthew and of Luke, but
certainly not with the Gospel of John. We do know from the
letter itself that there is a strong relation between this letter
and the letter of James. James was the earliest New Testament
book written. Now there is a very marked relation between
this letter and all those letters of Paul, as follows:
I and 2 Thessalonians. That is the first group.
I and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Romans. That is the second
Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, and Hebrews.
That is the third group.
I am a little doubtful whether he had yet seen the letter to
the Hebrews, but it is certain that he had before him the letter
to the Romans and the letter to the Ephesians, but he had seen
Hebrews before he wrote his second letter. The book is brim_
ful of references to Paul’s arguments to the Romans and the
Ephesians. In 2 Peter, he refers to Paul’s writing to them, the
people to whom he is writing, that is, the Jews of the dispersion
of Asia Minor. I think he makes a reference to Hebrews in his
second letter. He refers to all of Paul’s letters and counts them
scriptures. It is perfectly certain that on every doctrine of
grace he stands squarely with Paul in his letters to the Gala_
tians, Romans, Ephesians, and Colossians.
Now we come to the analysis of his first letter and I give
what is called an expositor’s analysis. The first item of the
analysis is this:
Peter’s doctrine of election illustrating the work of the Trini_.
ty in the salvation of men. I Peter 1:1_2 represents the Trinity_
in the work of salvation: „The elect according to the fore_
knowledge of God the Father in sanctification of the Spirit unto
obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” There
we see he presents the whole Trinity – the Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit. That statement of the doctrine of election in a
few words, when coupled with a part of 2 Peter I, gives Peter’s
whole idea of the doctrine of election. As Peter states election,
what is it? It means chosen to salvation. Who elects? God
the Father. According to what does he elect? According to his
foreknowledge. What does he mean by foreknowledge? The
Greek word is „prognosis”: „nosis” means knowledge, and
„pro” (the „g” being for euphony) means before, or fore_
knowledge, and that word is a noun is used only by Peter in
the New Testament. He uses it three times, as follows: Acts
2:23; the passage here, I Peter 1:1, and in I Peter 1:20. These
are the only places in the New Testament where we have the
word „prognosis,” foreknowledge, which means to know be_
forehand. But both Peter and Paul use the verb „prognosco,”
which means to know beforehand. Peter uses that verb in I
Peter 3:17, and Paul uses it in Acts 26:5; Romans 8:29; 11:2.
Both Peter and Paul use the verb once to talk about a previous
happening, i.e., a happening before the time of which he is
speaking. Paul says that the Jew had known him beforehand,
and Peter uses it in a similar way where it refers to men know_
ing one thing before they know another thing. We have nothing
to do with that foreknowledge. Paul uses that word with ref_
erence to God foreknowing his people, and all the other times
Peter speaks of God’s foreknowledge. Now, then, the question
is: What does foreknowledge mean? Foreknowledge is used
by Peter, and „to foreknow” is used by Paul, referring to God.
My reason for putting that question is, that when I was a
young preacher, a Baptist preacher who was a good man, but
Arminian in his theory, preached a sermon on election; and he
said, „election is according to foreknowledge; God foreknew
that certain men would repent and believe, and having before
seen they would repent and believe, he elected them.” When
he got through I told him that the New Testament use of fore_
knowledge was just about equivalent to predestination, and
that any Greek scholar would tell him so, and that election was
not based upon any foreseen goodness in man or any foreseen
repentance or faith in man, but that repentance and faith pro_
ceed from election, and not election from them. So that what
Paul means by foreknowledge is just about the same as pre_
destination; that in eternity God determined and elected ac_
cording to that predestination.
Now we proceed with Peter’s idea of the election, viz:
1. This election is in sanctification of the Spirit. In other
words, every man that God elects to be saved is renewed in re_
generation and perfected in sanctification by the Holy Spirit.
That is Peter’s idea of election.
2. He says, „elect unto obedience and unto the sprinkling of
the blood of Christ.” Every man who is elected has the blood
of Christ applied to him and has in him the spirit of obedience
to the commandments of God. God never elected a man to
disobedience, but he elected him to obedience, and therefore the
evidences of our election are to be sought for in the following
facts: Have I any reason to believe that I have been regen_
erated, that I have by faith in Jesus Christ, had the blood of
Christ applied to me? Have I in me the spirit of obedience to
Christ? If I have, that is evidence to me that I am one of God’s
elect, because these things are fruits of election. In other words,
the order of the thought is this: The Father, in eternity, deter_
mined and chose those to be saved.
3. He chose them to be saved by the blood of Christ, and to
be renewed and sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
4. He chose them to become obedient, so that election is

evidenced by calling, and by faith in Christ, by regeneration,
by a progress in holiness, and by obedience. Now, that is Peter’s
doctrine of election.
To show you that I am correct in it, in his second letter h
urges Christians to make their calling and election sure. What
did he mean by it? He does not mean to make it sure to God,
for God knows who are chosen, but he means to make it sure
to themselves. „Make your election sure to yourself.” He has
just told them how to make it sure: „Add to your faith virtue,
and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to
temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godli_
ness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity. For
if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye
shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our
Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind,
and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged
of his old sins. Wherefore, make your calling and election
Now by that use of it we can see how Peter could answer a
question put to him on the question of election. Peter, who are
the elect? He says, „I will let God answer that question from
his side, for he knows, but when you ask me from the human
side I will tell you how you may be sure that you are elected.
If you have the evidence of Christian piety, that you have
been converted, been renewed by the Holy Spirit, have in you
the Spirit, and are making progress in holiness, that is evidence
that you are one of the elect.” And we can’t make it sure to
ourselves in any other way in the world. Now, if we could
climb up to heaven and open the book of life and see who are
enrolled up there, we might look at that roll and see whether
our names are on it; but we can’t get up there, and the doc_
trine of election does not say that God chose John Jones and
his wife and one of his daughters and two of his sons. It does
not speak that way, and so our only way of determining
whether we are elected is as I have shown. Now, the doctrine
of election in Pendleton’s Manual, as recorded in the „Baptist
Articles of Faith” is the view of Peter. Now that is the first
item of the argument.
Second item. The effect of Christ’s resurrection on the hope
of his disciples. „Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again
unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the
dead.” And so I make that the second item in the expositor’s
analysis. What was the effect of Christ’s resurrection on the
hope of his disciples? The last chapters of the Four Gospels
show how depressed Christ’s disciples were upon his death.
They all forsook him and fled. They thought that the battle
was lost. The two on their way to Emmaus said, „We had
trusted that this was he that should deliver Israel,” but they
now looked upon that as a dead hope. Now, after Christ rose
from the dead, and they saw him and recognized him by many
infallible proofs, their hope revived and it became a living
hope, meaning a hope to live forever: „He hath begotten us
again unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus
Christ from the dead.” In other words, if Christ had stopped
at his death and burial, Christianity would have been abso_
lutely dead according to his own words, for he gave that as the
sign by which to establish all of his claims – that he would rise
from the dead on the third day. To these depressed disciples
the resurrection of Christ was startling. It had a tremendous
influence. Listen to Thomas: „You tell me he is risen. You
couldn’t make me believe unless I put my fingers in the print
of the nails in his hands, and thrust my hand into his side.”
And yet when he met Jesus and was asked to do just what he
requested, he fell at the feet of Jesus and said, „My Lord and
my God!” And when Jesus stood before Mary, who was weep_
ing, she said to him, „They have taken away my Lord, and I
know not where they have laid him.” And he was already risen
and she turned around and looked at him, and fell at .his feet
saying, „Rabboni,” that is, „My master, my Lord!”
Easter Sunday is the Sunday according to some church
calendars that commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
and all over the Christian world we see and hear on that day
such things as this: „He is risen! He is risen indeed.” If we
were in Russia, where they have a formula when they meet on
this Sunday, we would hear one say to another, „Christ is
risen,” and the other would reply, „He is risen indeed.” And
every Roman Catholic country sets apart a holiday called
Easter Sunday. It is a composite of blended Jewish, Christian,
and heathen elements, but it certainly does exhibit the effect
of the resurrection of Christ upon the hope of his disciples and
upon nobody more than upon Peter. When Christ was risen,
he said, „Go and tell Peter.” Peter had denied him. When he
appeared to James, his brother, James was converted.
Now, the third item is the great inheritance. Here it is:
„Unto an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth
not away, reserved in heaven for you, who by the power of
God, are guarded through a faith unto salvation ready to be
revealed in the last time.”
Now, let us analyze that inheritance; this living hope is unto
an inheritance: First, what is the character of it? There are
three characteristics named: (1) It is incorruptible. (2) It is
undefiled. (3) It is fadeless.
If we inherit money, it is corruptible. Some men refuse to
receive gifts from certain syndicates because they say the
money is tainted, defiled. Riches take to themselves wings and
fly away; but this inheritance is incorruptible, undefiled, and
fadeless. Now, when are they to get it? „Reserved in heaven.”
We have not got there yet. Where are they to get it? „In
Abraham did not get his inheritance here. He sought a city
which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. He_
brews II says that all people of that class, or kind, say they
seek a country, a better country, which is heaven. Jesus said
to his disciples when he left them: „I go to prepare a place for
you, and if I go to prepare a place for you I will come again
and receive you unto myself, that where I am there ye may be
also.” And the letter to the Hebrews describes that place, the
New Jerusalem, the heavenly Jerusalem, and tells of its com_
panionship : human, angelic, and divine.
Now the character of the inheritance, the time of the inheri_
tance, the where of the inheritance, and for whom: „You are
kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” The
inheritance is for those who ar$ preserved unto the second ad_
vent of Christ, and whom he preserves through their faith.
So I make the fourth item, preservation of the heirs. In Luke
22:31_32, Jesus says to Peter, this very man: „Simon, Satan
hath obtained you apostles by asking that he may sift you as
wheat, but I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not, and
when thou art turned from thy error, strengthen thy brethren.'”
Peter’s error was that he could keep himself: „Though all men
forsake thee yet I will not; I hold on.” When the devil went
to sift Peter he shook Peter’s hold loose, and it didn’t take
much to do it, but he did not shake Christ loose from Peter.
Christ didn’t turn Peter loose, and Christ says, „Now when you
are converted from that error, strengthen your brethren.” Here_
he is doing it. „Who kept themselves?” nay verily, „Who are
kept by the power of God through faith.” „I have prayed that
thy faith fail not.” That is what we call the perseverance of the
saints; perseverance explains our continuance through the help
of God, and the preservation shows how God enables us to per_
Fifth item: The next item is the consummation of salvation.
Verse 5: „A salvation ready to be revealed at the last time.”
We say that a man reaches salvation when he is justified, that
he is saved. Well, he is saved from the law, but the work of
salvation has not been completed in him, and it will not be
completed in him until Christ comes again, and hence it is here
referred to as a salvation ready to be revealed; when Christ
comes the salvation is consummated. It is consummated be_
cause then takes place the salvation of the body. That is part
of ourselves. Our bodies are not saved now, but when our
bodies are raised from the dead and glorified, salvation will be

completed. The elevation of our souls is not complete now
because we are not sanctified. I never saw anybody that was.
Sixth item: The next item of the analysis: „Joy in grief,”
in verse 6: „Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a little
while, if need be, ye have been put to grief in manifold trials.”
That is what we call a paradox. Dr. Crawford in that inimita_
ble book of his called Christian Paradoxes, makes this one of
them. „As sorrowing, yet rejoicing,” rejoicing in grief. In the
sufferings which come upon Christians they are put to grief,
tears flow from their eyes many times. They feel their heart_
strings snap; they are bowed down with heavy sufferings, and
yet in all of it there is joy. Paul praised God while his back
was bloody with the stripes received from the lictors of the
Romans. He rejoiced in sorrow.
Take this for example. Suppose one who is a father should
lose a little child. He can stand at the grave of that little child
and weep and rejoice. He rejoices in the hope of meeting him
again; in the assurance of God that he will see him again, and
all around our Christian life there are those two, joy and sor_
row. Joy in grief. There is no way to get around it. It isn’t
best for us that we should get around it in this world. We must
have tribulation.

1. What can you say as to the tradition concerning Peter?
2. Who wrote this letter, and what the arguments?
3. What objection by radical critics?
4. To whom was it written?
5. What the bearing on the „Where written”?
6. Through whom written?
7. Where written, and why do you think so?
8. What the theme of this letter?
9. What the character of the letter?
10. When written?
11. What the occasion?
12. What the relations to previous New Testament books?
13. On Peter’s doctrine of election answer.
(1) What is it?
(2) Who elects?
(3) According to what?
(4) What does he mean by foreknowledge?
(5) In what?
(6) What the meaning of „in sanctification of the Spirit?”
(7) Unto what?
(8) What the evidences of election to the individual?
(9) Restate the work of each of the persons of the Trinity
represented by the doctrine of elects.
14. What the effect of Christ’s resurrection on the hope of his dis-
ciples, and the important of the doctrine involved?
15 The Christian’s inheritance:
(1) What the character of it?
(2) Where?
(3) For whom?
(4) When received?
(5) What the assurance that we shall realize this inheritance?
16 What the meaning of salvation in verse 51
17. Explain the paradox „joy in grief. Illustrate.

I Peter 1:7_25

We have considered in two chapters the New Testament life
of Peter, all the passages referring to Peter in their chronologi_
cal order, and we have had a chapter on the special introduc_
tion to the first letter of Peter, and in addition have proceeded
in the expository analysis of that letter down to verse 6.
That brings us to the seventh item of the expository analysis.
The preceding items were these:
1. Peter’s doctrine of election.
2. The effect of Christ’s resurrection on the hope of the dis_
3. The great inheritance to which that hope points.
4. The preservation of the heirs of that inheritance.
5. The consummation of the salvation.
6. Joy in grief – that paradox.
The seventh item of the expository analysis, the one which
we are to discuss in this chapter, is suggested by the following
words: „Ye have been put to grief in manifold trials that the
proof of your faith being more precious than gold that perish_
eth, though it is proved by fire, may be found unto praise and
glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” That decla_
ration introduces the value and purpose of the Christian’s un_
deserved suffering in this life. Peter makes some references to
the Christian’s suffering where it is deserved through his faults.
But the problem is that of undeserved Christian suffering in
this life. This is the problem of the book of Job, also the prob_
lem of Psalm 73. It is the old story of the burning bush and of
the fiery furnace of Nebuchadnezzar. But I Peter throws more
light on it than all the books of the Old Testament put together.

The following passages in this letter continue to bring up the
subject: I Peter 2:20; 3:14, 17; 4:1; 4:12_18; 5:10. So that in
every chapter of this letter there is a discussion of the prob_
lem of undeserved suffering. If we were to gather all the state_
ments in the letter bearing upon that subject, we would reach
the following results:
1. One object of undeserved Christian suffering is to try our
faith, and his illustration is „like gold that is tried in the fire.”
By fusing gold in the crucible the pure metal is separated from
the alloy; the gold is not destroyed by being fused, but it is
cleansed and purified. We find the same thought in the book
of Malachi, where he says, „Jesus will sit as a refiner of silver.”
The refiner puts the silver in the crucible and keeps increasing
the heat and watching it, and as soon as it is thoroughly melt_
ed, then there is a separation of the dross from the silver. Let us
fix the thought in our mind that God’s object, or one of his ob_
jects, in permitting or sending undeserved trouble, is to refine
us. It is the fiery trial of our faith. Peter did not understand
that when he was subjected to the sifting trial at the request
of the devil: „Simon, Satan hath obtained you apostles by
asking that he may sift you as wheat.” He could not have got_
ten the permission for another purpose, but he did get it for
that purpose, for wheat ought to be sifted; it does not hurt it
even if the devil shakes the sieve. We thereby get rid of the
2. These trials, no matter who the immediate agent, are by
the will of God. The will of the devil was indeed in that trying
of Peter, but so was the will of God. In other words, the devil’s
will in the matter was permissive and limited. We may be
slandered and the man or demon who slanders us may be
prompted by envy, hatred, or malice, but if we are submissive
to the dominant and benevolent divine will, great good accrues.
3. „Beloved brethren, think it not strange concerning this
fiery trial that has come upon you.” That is the first impres_
sion of the average Christian. He is amazed at what has come
upon him. A strange, a very strange providence!
There are several reasons why he should not think it strange.
One reason is that such trials are common to all of God’s peo_
ple; always have been and always will be. Paul says, „No
temptation hath come to you but such as is common to man.”
In other words, „It isn’t worth while to try to make a martyr
out of yourself by supposing that you are a special case.”
Another reason why we should not think it strange is that that
is the only way to accomplish certain good results – results
that are intensely beneficial. A good sister in the church in
Waco when I was pastor, wanted me to join with her in prayer
that she might have patience, and I asked her how she wanted
that patience to come, handed down in a sealed package from
heaven, or by God’s method? She said of course God’s method.
„Then, my dear sister,” I said to her, „there is only one mill
that I know of that grinds the grist of patience, and that is
tribulation.” „Tribulation worketh patience,” and desiring
patience we must not complain of the antecedent and necessary
If we want permanent relief from an incorrigible tooth, we
must endure the ordeal of extraction.
4. Our patient endurance of affliction is a powerful means of
convicting sinners of sin. A Christian who meekly endures,
without murmuring, what God puts on him, and goes right on
saying in his heart and in his life that the Judge of all the earth
doeth right, that man convicts sinners. They know they can’t
do that and that he has something they have not. And not only
is it a way of convicting sinners, but it is an evidence, a token
of our salvation, that we belong to the elect, that we belong to
God’s people.
5. This endurance of undeserved affliction is acceptable with
God. No matter what it costs us to bear a thing patiently, we
have this consolation: „It hurts me, but it is acceptable with
6. The next thought he sets forth is, that we are called unto
these things. Every man that is a Christian in some way re_
ceived a call. Just as Jesus met Paul in the middle of the road,
and said, „Saul! Saul!” So in a way through the gospel we are
called. There was a time when we felt that call. Now that
very first intimation to us that God’s Holy Spirit sent us,
called us unto suffering. When Jesus called Saul he spoke to
Ananias and said, „I will show him how great things he must
suffer for my sake.”
7. The next thought that Peter presents with very great force
is the example of Christ. The servant should not seek to be
better than his master; to be exempt from things that his mas_
ter has to bear; it was in the mind of Christ to be a sufferer.
It was a joy to him, as he looked to the recompense of the re_
ward, and so Peter says that Christ suffered that he might put
before us an example. True, there are some things in which the
sufferings of Christ are not an example to us. We can’t follow
Christ as a vicarious expiation for sin. But we can follow Christ
in most of the sufferings that came upon him when he was in
the flesh. „Can you be baptized with the baptism that I am to
be baptized with?” And he answers the question: „Ye shall
indeed be baptized with that baptism. The waves roll over
Then Peter makes this point that looks like it is too simple
for a statement, yet when we keep turning it over in our minds,
we get something out of it. He says, „It is better to suffer
wrongfully than justly.” Everybody in the world suffers; there
is no escape from that. Some people suffer justly; they deserve
it; and some suffer wrongfully. Peter says of the two, it is bet_
ter to suffer wrongfully than to suffer justly. He then makes
this capital point that whenever we have a trial as a Christian,
when something that we didn’t deserve has come upon us, we
then share with Christ; a partnership is established between us
and the Lord.
When he was on his way to the cross, and it was heavy, and
he had been subjected to great maltreatment and was hungry
and weary and wasted, as he staggered under his burden, „Si_
mon, a Cyrenian, they compelled to bear the cross” of Jesus.
I don’t suppose Simon did it voluntarily, but somebody laid
hold of this passer_by and compelled him to share that burden
with Christ. And though unwilling to suffer voluntarily as a
Christian, somebody will compel us to bear the cross of Christ;
some outsider will take a hand in it, and so we might as well
volunteer. Peter says that whenever we thus suffer, it is an
evidence that the Spirit of glory and of God resteth on us.
Frequently he makes this point: That judgment must com_
mence at the house of God. That is where it has to commence
and there is a judgment in this world and a judgment in the
world to come, and if the righteous scarcely be saved, where
shall the sinner and the ungodly appear? We must take our
choice: The judgment now or hereafter. Where will we have
ours? We are wise to let the hand of God rest on us as heavy
as it may in this life; that makes it easier in the time to come.
They are exceedingly foolish who dodge suffering in this life;
who shut their eyes to the fact that somewhere, some time,
every man must render an account of himself to God and must
be a burden_bearer. Let us take it as heavy as we can stand
it in this life, and it will be all the better in the next.
Take the case of David to illustrate it: In that case it was
deserved. God says to him, „I have put away thy sin,” that is,
80 far as the future’s concerned. „When you get to heaven
there won’t be the weight of a pin against you up there; but
you sinned down here on earth and you must be chastened.”
But that is different from the problem we are considering here.
He says, „If any man suffer, let him not suffer as a wrongdoer,
for if when you are buffeted for your faults, what glory is it
if you take it patiently? But if ye suffer as a Christian, the
Spirit of glory and of God resteth on you.” He winds up his
letter with a climax on that problem. It is a precious text to me,
and it was to Spurgeon: „The God of all grace” – grace in the
daytime and at night; in sickness and in health; in good and
evil report; in this world and in the world to come. „The God
of all grace, after that ye have suffered a while, will perfect you
himself; himself strengthen you; himself establish you, himself
perfect you.”
The eighth item of the expository analysis is based on this
scripture: „Whom having not seen, ye love; on whom, though
now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice greatly with joy
unspeakable and full of glory; receiving the end of your faith,
even the salvation of your souls.” What a theme for preaching!
I have it this way in my analysis: Loving, believing, rejoicing,
and receiving without seeing. In the first chapter on the life of
Peter we were examining those experiences or observations on
his own life that made the most impression on his own mind.
and one of the things so noted was Peter’s presence when
Thomas said, „Except I put my fingers in the print of the nails
in his hands, and thrust my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
Peter was also present when Jesus came into the assembly and
said, „Thomas, behold my hands, reach hither your fingers,
thrust your hand in my side.” And Thomas believed, but Jesus
said, „Blessed are they who not seeing, yet believe.”
That saying made a great impression on Peter, believing
without seeing. Andrew Fuller in his works, has a sermon on
what faith is contrasted with. He says faith is not contrasted.
with frames and feelings. If we feel good today and felt bad
yesterday, that is what he means by frames and feelings, but
faith is contrasted with sight. „We walk by faith, not by sight.”
Faith takes hold of the invisible. Moses endured as seeing him
who is invisible. In other words, faith is the eye to the soul. Our
carnal eye cannot see heaven, invisible to natural sight. To give
an illustration: If we step out at night and throw our eyes up
toward heaven, we see a splash across the sky called the Milky;
Way. The natural eye cannot discern between the parts of the
whiteness, but when we look at it through the big telescopes in
the observatory, that splash of whiteness differentiates; it sep_
arates into millions of distinct worlds. What the telescope is
to the natural eye, so faith is to the soul. It brings distant
things near and outlines them so we can take hold of them.
Peter says not only are we called on to believe without seeing,
but we are to love without seeing, and we are to rejoice with
joy unspeakable without seeing, and we are to receive the sal_
vation of our souls without seeing. It is all visible by faith.
Faith gives substance to things hoped for, and is the evidence
of the things not seen.
The ninth item of the analysis is the unity and glory of the
plan of salvation based on I Peter 1:10_11: „Concerning which
salvation the prophets sought and searched diligently, who
prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching
what time or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which
was in them did point unto, when it testified beforehand the
sufferings of Christ and the glories that should follow. To
whom it was revealed that not unto themselves, but unto you,
did they minister these things, which now have been announced
unto you through them that preached the gospel unto you
by the Holy Spirit sent forth from heaven, which things angels
desire to look into.” Analyzing that compound sentence we get
the following thoughts:
1. The unity of the two testimonies; they strike hands. What
these Old Testament prophets foretold, our New Testament
apostles proclaimed as facts and proclaimed them with the
Holy Spirit sent down from heaven. The two parts fit into each
other; one is the development of the other, so that there is a
unity in the plan of revelation.
2. Wherever a revelation comes from God in the form of a
prophecy, it becomes a subject of inquiry to the receiver of it.
Imagine Isaiah, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, look_
ing upon that mysterious suffering servant of the Lord revealed
to him: „Who hath believed our report? To whom is the arm
of the Lord revealed? His visage was marred more than that
of any of the sons of men. He was esteemed stricken and af_
flicted of God. All our sins were put on him.” Immediately the
question came up in his mind: „What time and what manner
of time will this be?” Those prophets searched diligently.
Searched on what point? As to the time and manner of time
that the things they foretold would take place. But not only
the prophets tried to look into it, but the angels tried to look

into it. It attracted the attention of the angels: „Which things
the angels desire to look into.”
3. When they so searched, it was revealed unto them that
these things which they were foretelling were not for them_
selves, but for us, to come long after they had passed away.
God let them see that these wonderful things about Christ’s
sufferings and those marvelous glories that would follow his
sufferings, would not come in their time. Observe the analogy
of the New Testament prophecy and notice how now, as well
as then, men want to get at the time and manner of time of
the second advent. When Christ predicted the destruction of
the temple and the end of the world, Peter, with others, asked,
„Lord, when shall these things be?” Notice that he had that
inquiring spirit which the old prophets had, the curiosity to
look into the question of time and circumstance, and every one
of us is an interrogation point on the same things. A brilliant
lady in the days of Queen Anne made this remark about
Alexander Pope, the great poet: „Why is Pope like an interro_
gation point? Because he is a little crooked thing that asks
questions.” The witticism was brutally cruel in its reference
to his small, malformed body. But every one of us is an in_
terrogation point on the time and the manner of the second
coming of Christ. „Lord, wilt thou at this time restore the
kingdom?” „Lord, will it be next week?” „Lord, can’t we
figure it out as we do an eclipse, and make it known to the
people, the day that all these things take place?” But how
foolish, for when the wheels of time roll around they grind into
powder all their mathematical calculations.
Our Lord would not answer that question. He would answer
us just as he answered the prophets. He can reveal to us as he
revealed to them, that these things are certain, that they are
coming and that they are for somebody, but not for us. Peter
was one of them. He knew the second advent was not for him,
because Christ had told him that he would die by crucifixion;
so he knew it would not come in his time. So the Thessalonians
went wild until corrected by Paul. It is one of the most curious
things in psychology – a man’s curiosity to know the very
things of the least concern to him. Wouldn’t one rather be
saved than to know the time of salvation? Wouldn’t we rather
be sure of our salvation than of the time of it? „When Thou,
home. 0! how can I bear the piercing thought, what if my
my righteous Judge, shall come to take thy ransomed people
name should be left out?” Had we not rather be sure of the.
fact that we will not be left out than to be sure of the day?
Let me assure you solemnly that the great power of the sec_
ond advent, just like the first, is not in the day of its coming,
but it is in the fact of its coming and what follows.
I once took up this line of thought: „Which things the angels
desire to look into,” and I followed it all through the Bible.
When we get on an angel’s_trail, we are on a good trail. I fol_
lowed it up all through the Bible to see, just as far as revela_
tion would show, about the angels. I found them intensely
interested in the affairs of this world from away back yonder
when God made the world, and the sons of God shouted for joy.
I found that from the time that he made it angels above,
and angels below, angels of love, and angels of woe, concen_
trated their attention on the problems of man’s earthly and
eternal life, and therefore, in those symbolical representations
in Solomon’s Temple, the cherubim were carved as bending
over the mercy seat and looking down there where the blood
falls, intently looking down (that is what the word means).
They were investigating the question of salvation by the shed_
ding of blood.
Then their figures were represented on the veil, and when we
come to the New Testament we find that they take stock in
everything from the announcement on. They are not only at
the cradle, but at the tomb, and a shining angel announced the
resurrection. Paul says that whenever God’s people come to_
gether let the women have covering on their heads because of
the angels; they are there. There are angels hovering round.
They are students. They have not omniscience – they have to
learn by studying, by looking, therefore, Paul says that the
church is the instructor of angels. „It shall be made known
unto the angels the manifold wisdom of God by the church.”
Newt here we have this plan of salvation with the angels
studying about it and the prophets studying about it.
This brings us to the first exhortation in the book: „Where_
fore,” that is, the „wherefore” looks back at every preceding
thing, „girding up the loins of your mind, be sober and set your
hope perfectly on the grace that is to be brought unto you at
the revelation of Jesus Christ.” In other words, „That is the
thing to think about. Don’t you set your mind on the time
when, but on the grace that is to be brought at the revelation
of Jesus Christ.” „As children of obedience, not fashioning
yourselves according to your former lusts in the time of your
ignorance, but like as he who called you is holy, be ye your_
selves also holy in all manner of living, because it is written,
‘Ye shall be holy; for I am holy.’ ”
That is his first exhortation. Peter does not let the taste get
out of our mouth when giving a doctrine until he has a practical
use for it. Doctrine is not something to be debated about, but
assimilated in the life. A man may be go sound in doctrine that
he is nothing but sound. Doctrine must be applied. We must
so apply every revelation of God; every truth of God. Peter
was a practical man.
The next point in my analysis I call, „What prayer entails.”
„And if ye call on him as a Father who, without respect of
persons, judgeth according to each man’s work, pass the time of
your sojourning in fear.” If we pray, what follows? Let us pass
the time of sojourning here in fear. In other words, Christian
prayer is a lot of foolishness if it is like school children slip_
ping along down the street, running up to the front door and
ringing the bell, then running off before anybody comes. If we
ring the bell, if we pray, there is an obligation entailed when we
pray. If we call on him as Father, we should pass the time of
our sojourning here in fear. That covers his thought so well
we will go to the next.

Our next division is „The Cost of Redemption,” and it covers
a great deal of space. Let us read it: „Knowing that ye are
redeemed, not with corruptible things) with silver or gold, from
your vain manner of life, handed down from your fathers; but
with precious blood, as of a lamb without blemish and without
spot, even the blood of Christ.”
So, in discussing redemption, the first thing presented is its
cost. What does it mean? To redeem is to buy back. It is the
buying back of a lost soul. What did it cost? He says, „You
were bought back, not with money, silver or gold, but with the
precious blood of Christ”; that is the price he paid for it. He
then says, following his thought on redemption, „Who was
foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was
manifested at the end of the times for your sake.” This was the
redeemer who, on the cross, paid the price of our redemption.
But that was not the beginning of it. He was foreknown from
the foundation of the world.
What took place on Calvary was the result of what took
place before the world was made. It was not accidental, it was
not an emergency prompted by the startled and surprised mind
of God, seeing the devil had gotten away with the human race.
At the beginning, and before God ever said, „Let the world be,”
Christ knew all about it, and Christ, the Redeemer, was then
in covenant with the Father. While he was foreknown before
the foundation of the world, he was manifested in those last_
times, the fullness of time. Think of it, four thousand years I
That will give us some conception of God. A thousand years
are with God as one day, or like a watch in the night. Four
thousand years that purpose of the Redeemer seemed to be
slumbering. Every now and then a star would flash out a
prophetic light, coming yet nearer and nearer to the truth:
through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Joseph, etc., he must
come; he must be born in Bethlehem of Judea. Getting nearer
and nearer, at last he was manifested. God was manifested.
The Redeemer came. And so will be the next advent.

Continuing the thought of redemption, he says, “Who
through him are believers in God.” We should stop to think
where our faith came from, and how utterly unknowable God
is without Christ; now we can get hold of him. My own heart
leaped for joy at the revelation of God the Father, when my
soul by faith_took hold on Jesus Christ the Son. I never before
had understood God. Jesus revealed God to me. It was through
him that I believed in God. I saw God now to be loving and
near, tender, and compassionate.
The redemption proof. The next thought that Peter pre_
sents is, „God the Father who raised him from the dead and
gave him glory.” How calm was he at the last, when the three
hours of darkness passed! Our Lord Jesus Christ, the only un_
disturbed soul in the universe, lifts up his eyes and prays,
„Father, I have done what you told me to do; I have finished
the work that you told me to do. Now, Father, glorify me with
the glory which I had with you before the world was.” And
he went down to death in unshaken faith that God would raise
him and take him back to glory.
The next thought on redemption is its method of applica_
tion, as presented in this verse: „Seeing ye have purified your
souls in your obedience to the truth unto unfeigned love of the
brethren, having been begotten again, not of corruptible seed,
but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which liveth and
abideth.” Now the application of the redemption – „having
been begotten again” – we were begotten once of our earthly
fathers and their seed, corruptible seed. That birth introduces
us to the depravity of our sires. But when we get in touch with
redemption we have a new birth, a birth from above and of a
different seed, a different sire; the next time our sire is God. In
the other case it was man, and since God is our sire in this re_
generation we are born, not of corruptible seed, but of incor_
ruptible seed, and the instrumentality employed is the word of
God. „Of his own will he brought us forth with the words of
truth,” says James. Peter himself adds: „having been begotten,
not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word
of God, which liveth and abideth.” ‘Tor all flesh withereth,
and the flower falleth, but the word of the Lord abideth for_
ever.” Some old_time Baptists contended that the word was not
the seed, but the instrument of seed_planting, that the seminal
principle of life was communicated through the word.

1. What the problem of the book of Job, of Psalm 73, and of this
2. What two symbolic representations of this problem in the Old
3. How does the discussion in this book compare with the Old Testa_
ment light on the subject?
4. On the undeserved suffering of the righteous answer’.
(1) What one of the objects?
(2) By what are they permitted?
(3) What usually the first impression made by them, and why
should the Christian not think it strange?
(4) What the effect of the patient endurance of them on the
(5) What the consolation of undeserved affliction?
(6) How is this subject related to the purpose of God?
(7) What encouragement by way of example?
(8) What distinction does Peter make on the subject of human
5. What great text for preaching? Give the author’s analysis.
6. What incident in Peter’s life brought forth this statement from him?
7. With what is faith contrasted, and what sermon cited?
8. Give an analysis of I Peter 1:10_11.
9. What is a more important question than the question of time?
10. What interest displayed in man’s salvation?
11. What the first exhortation in the book?
12. What does prayer entail?
13. What did our redemption cost?
14. What the meaning of „foreknown,” v. 20?
15. How are we through Christ believers in God?
16. What is the redemption proof?
17. What the method of the application of redemption?

I Peter 2:1 to 4:6

This section commences at I Peter 2:1: What to put away,
and on what to be nourished. The Christian should put away
wickedness, guile, hypocrisies, and evil speaking. The nourish_
ment is „the sincere milk of the word, which is without guile,
that ye may grow thereby.” No man can grow in the Christian
life without feeding upon Christian food, and therefore men
who preach the word are said to break the Bread of life to the
This brings us to a new and emphatic item of the analysis:
„The spiritual temple,” (2:4_10), as follows: „Unto whom
coming, a living stone, rejected indeed of men, but with God
elect, precious, ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual
house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices,
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Because it is contained
in Scripture.
Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious:
And he that believeth in him shall not be put to shame.
For you therefore that believe is the preciousness: but for such
as disbelieve,
The stone which the builders rejected,
The same was made the head of the corner; and a stone of
stumbling, and a rock of offence;
For they stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto
also they were appointed.
But ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a
people for God’s own possession, that ye may show forth the
excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his own
marvelous light: who in time past were no people, but now are
the people of God: who had not obtained mercy, but now have
obtained mercy.”
Consider first the foundation of the spiritual house. The
characteristics of this foundation are first, that it is a living_
stone, not a dead one. The foundation of Solomon’s Temple
was inert matter. The foundation stone of the spiritual
house of which Peter speaks was the Lord Jesus Christ him_
self; not dead, but living. This foundation is not only alive,
but the stone which constitutes it was elected. That means it
was chosen. God selected that foundation. As it is God’s house,
it is for him to say what substructure shall uphold the super_
structure. For this purpose he elects his only begotten Son.
Not only elect, but it is precious. The word precious there has
the sense of costly. We say a precious stone in contradistinc_
tion from a stone of no particular value. Precious Christ. From
that word we get our word „appreciate.” To appreciate any_
thing is to put it at its value. To depreciate it is to put it
below its price. So it is not only an elect stone, but a costly
The next thing in this spiritual building is that all of the
material that goes into this spiritual house must be living ma_
terial. We also are living stones. No man can be put into the
temple of God who is not made alive by the Spirit of God. The
apostle Paul in I Corinthians 3, referring to the foundation,
says, „There can be but one foundation.” The building is
God’s building, and that he, a preacher, is a co_laborer with
God in putting up that building. Now he says that if in put_
ting up that temple this human laborer shall put in material
that will not stand the first test, all that material is lost, and
the man who puts it in suffers loss in the day that tries his
work by fire. He refers then to the building material used.
Some people use hay, wood, and stubble for thatching a
house; they put that on the roof, and some build the walls of
wood. Combustible material will perish in the fire. ~here is
a passage in Jeremiah which refers to the same thing, that in
putting up the spiritual temple we should not daub with un_
tempered mortar. Mortar must be such that when it is dry
it will hold together. Now the thought is the same here, that

this spiritual house of which Christ is the foundation (and he
is the only foundation) must be made of spiritual, living ma_
terial. That distinguished Christ’s house from Solomon’s house.
This passage interprets Matthew 16:18. It shows that Peter
never supposed himself to be the rock on which the church is
The next thing in connection with the spiritual house is that
its members (here he changes the figure, no longer speaking of
them as the component parts of the wall, but speaking of them
as servants in the house) constitute a priesthood. Every mem_
ber of God’s true flock is a priest without regard to age or sex.
They are all priests – a spiritual priesthood. In the Old Testa_
ment the priesthood was a special class. In the New Testament
God’s people constitute a kingdom of priests. Every one of
them is a priest.
The next thing is the kind of sacrifices that this priesthood
offers. In the Old Testament the sacrifices were symbolical.
Here they are spiritual. Praise is spiritual; prayer also is, con_
tribution is, when given from the right motive. The entire
family of God are priests, offering sacrifices unto God.
The next thought (here the figure is changed again) is: There
was an old nation deriving its descent from Abraham. Now
Christians belong to a new nation. That is clearly expressed
here in the passage. It says, „Ye are an elect race,” that is,
„you derive your descent from the spiritual seed, Christ being
the head of the race.” The old_time Israel was a national peo_
ple made up of those who by fleshly descent constituted its
members. Now we are a spiritual nation. The people of God
are conceived of as a nation as well as a race.
Now we come to the purpose, and that is expressed in these
words: „That ye may show forth the excellencies of him who
called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” That is
the purpose. That is really the purpose of every Christian
organization, of every Christian life, that the Christian should
show forth the excellency of God, his Saviour.

We have in I Peter 2:11_17 some general exhortations that_
do not particularly need any exposition, and in verses 18_22.
we have some exhortations based on the fact that a large num_
ber of the Christian people in that day were slaves, servants,
and he starts out with that idea. He speaks to slaves: „Be in
subjection to your masters with all fear, not only to the good
and gentle, but also to the froward, for this is acceptable, if for
conscience toward God a man endureth griefs, suffering wrong_
fully. For what glory is it, if, when ye sin, and are buffeted for
it, ye take it patiently? But if, when ye do well and suffer for
it, ye shall take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.” All
this bears on the hard condition of the slave at that time; that
the slave would be put to grief wrongfully; that he would be
buffeted wrongfully; that he would be reviled wrongfully. Now
what are these slaves to do if they are Christians? He does not
preach as a member of an abolition society. He doesn’t propose
to introduce any revolutionary measures. But he tries to fix
the minds of those slaves upon better things: First, that they
can as slaves illustrate the truth and the power of the Christian
religion, and can show forth the excellencies of God. That if
they are buffeted, so was Christ. If they are reviled, so was
Christ. If they are maltreated, so was he. „The thing to do,
whatever your lot) is in it to illustrate the power of the Chris_
tian religion, and you will do more good that way than by try_
ing to organize a slave insurrection.”
I have a Texas friend who wishes me to quit preaching the
gospel and preach socialism. He says that I am wasting my
time and gifts. I tell him that I am following in the footsteps
of our Lord. I go through the world seeing many things that
are wrong – wrong politically, wrong economically, wrong in a
thousand other ways. If I enter into this political arena, try
to revolutionize the world as a politician, I will certainly fail
as a preacher. Other men before me have tried it and failed.
I do a better thing; I can preach a gospel whose principles will
reform society, whose principles will ultimately bring about
the greatest good to the greatest number in all things.
In I Peter 3:1_7 he discusses the relation of husband and
wife, and very much as Paul discusses it in his letters. In every
letter Paul writes, he takes up the case of the slave, the hus_
band, the wife, the citizen, the child, the parent. Peter does the
same thing, and shows that real Christianity in the heart of a
good woman will prompt her to honor and respect her husband,
to be obedient, and will prompt the husband to love and cherish
the wife, and that a married state blessed by the power of reli_
gion will do more toward reforming society than all the divorce
courts in the world. That is his way of dealing with social,
domestic, economic, and political questions.
He calls attention to the fact that Christian women, like all
other women, like adornment. That is characteristic of the sex,
and he is not depreciating a woman wearing nice apparel – that
is not the thing with him – but in the method of the New Testa_
ment teaching, he is showing a higher kind of adornment when
he says this: „Whose adorning let it not be the outward adorn_
ing of braiding the hair, and of wearing jewels of gold, or of
putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart,
in the incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit, which
is, in the sight of God, of great price.” There are many teach_
ings of the New Testament that, taken on their face, seem to
condemn external adornment altogether.
Dr. Sampey in a judicious article calls attention to the power
of contrast in certain Hebraisms, and shows how that principle
goes all through the New Testament. When God says, „I will
have none of their offerings,” he does not mean that he would
not accept the offerings which he had commanded them to
make, but he means when compared to what they signify they
are but the chaff of the wheat. If a woman lives merely for
dress, and her adornment is merely jewels and silks and rib_
bons and things of that kind, then it is a very poor kind of
external beauty. But over against that he puts the true adorn_
ment of the soul, and virtues and graces of the Christian re_
ligion, and that gives her in the true idea of dress, the most
shining apparel in the world. That is his thought.
In 3:10, we reach a new idea in the analysis: The way of a
happy life. Let us see what it is: „He that would love life and
see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips
that they speak no guile. Let him turn away from the evil and
do good. Let him seek peace and pursue it.”
Here are three directions for a happy life, summed up as
follows: „Watch out what you do; watch out about what you
pursue.” Now if a man goes around talking evil and doing
evil and pursuing fusses, it is impossible for him to have a
happy life. The reason is expressed in verse 12: „For the eyes
of the Lord are upon the righteous and his ears are open to
their supplications; but the face of the Lord is against them
that do evil.” That is the reason. God is above man, his
eye is on us all the time, his ears listen. We are under his
jurisdiction, his face is against them that do evil. His favor
is toward them that do well. Now the question comes up
about a happy life. I am to do these three things: Keep my
tongue from evil, turn away from doing evil, and live in peace
and not fusses. And the reason that those directions will
bring happiness is that God is against the bad and for the
good. That constitutes the way of a happy life.
At the beginning of a great meeting in Caldwell, a good
many years ago, the old pastor preached the opening sermon
from that text: „The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous,
and his ears are open unto their supplications, but the face
of the Lord is against them that do evil”; and his theme was
the government of God. It was a fine introduction to a re_
Continuing the thought, he says, „Who is he that will harm
you if ye be zealous of that which is good?” That is, take the
general run of things. If one moves to a community, and while
living in it he does not speak evil of his neighbors, he does
good and not evil, and he avoids fusses and cultivates peace,
now who is going to harm him? Now as a general rule (there
are exceptions to it) he will be liked in the community.

That is the rule; now the exceptions: „But even if ye should
suffer for righteousness’ sake, blessed are ye; fear not their
fear, neither be troubled.” Suppose as an exception that one
moves into a community and lives right and talks right, but
on account of his religion he is subjected to ill_treatment –
and that may happen, has happened, there is always a pos_
sibility of that exception coming in – now what if he does
suffer, he is blessed in it; nobody can take anything away
from him that God cannot restore to him a thousandfold, or
give him something better in the place of it.
The spirits in prison: This is a hard passage. Let us look
at it carefully: „Christ being put to death in the flesh but
made alive in the spirit; in which he also went and preached
unto the spirits in prison that aforetime were disobedient,
when the long_suffering of God waited in the days of Noah
while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls
were saved through water; which also after a true likeness
doth now save you, even baptism, not the putting away of
the filth of the flesh, but the interrogation of a good conscience
toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ; who is
on the right hand of God, having gone into heaven; angels
and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.”
I call attention first to the textual difficulty. The version
that I have before me reads this way: „being put to death in
the flesh, and made alive in the spirit.” This translation con_
trasts Christ’s soul with Christ’s flesh, and says that he was
put to death in his body, but made alive in his soul. The same
translators take the passage in Timothy 3: „was manifested
in the flesh, justified in the spirit,” and there they again make
the spirit refer to Christ’s soul as opposed to Christ’s body.
I take the position unhesitatingly that they are in error
in both places – that there is no reference in either place to
the soul of Christ. Christ was put to death in the flesh, and
that flesh was made alive by the Holy Spirit. That is what
it means. He was declared to be the Son of God with power
by his resurrection) and in other places he was manifested in
the flesh, and so manifested he was justified by the Holy
Spirit. „The Spirit” refers not to Christ’s soul in either pas_
sage, but refers to the Holy Spirit. That with me is a capital
point. It is the later modern radical critics that insist on
making „spirit” in both of these passages refer not to the Holy
Spirit, but to Christ’s soul, and hence their teaching of this
passage is that Christ died as to his body, but was made alive
as to his soul, and hence in his soul he went and preached to
the other spirits.
My first objection to their view is this: That Christ was
not made alive in his soul at the time he was put to death in
his flesh – nothing was the matter with his soul. The question
is whether it means the Holy Spirit or Christ’s soul. I say
it means the Holy Spirit.
The second thought is: „being put to death in the flesh, but
made alive by the Holy Spirit.” His body that was put to
death was revived by the Holy Spirit, made alive, in which
Holy Spirit he went (in past tense) and preached to those
that are now disembodied spirits and in prison. But when
he preached to them, they were not disembodied. Christ
preached through the Holy Spirit to the antediluvians while
the ark was preparing, as Genesis 6:30 says, „My Spirit will
not always strive with man.” Through the Holy Spirit, Christ
was preaching to those people while the ark was preparing.
The very same Holy Spirit, when Christ’s body died, made it
alive in the resurrection. So in answering the question: „To
whom did he preach?” I say that he preached to the antedilu_
vians. When did he preach to them? When they were dis_
obedient, in the days of Noah. How did he preach to them?
By the Holy Spirit. Where are those people now? They are
in prison, shut up unto the judgment of the great day; they
are the dead now, and in the next chapter he will say the gos_
pel was preached to them that are dead for this cause. They
are dead now, but when they were living they had the gospel
preached to them, but they rejected it.

The theory of the translation before us is open to these
insuperable objections:
(1) It fails to explain how he was „made alive in his own
spirit when his body died.”
(2) It teaches a probation after death which is opposed to
all the trend of the Scriptures.
(3) It provides a work for Christ’s disembodied soul con_
trary to the work elsewhere assigned to him in that state,
namely, his going to the Father (Luke 23:46) to make im_
mediate atonement by offering his blood shed on the cross
(see Lev. 16; Heb. 9:24ff.). He was elsewhere and on quite a
different work.
(4) It fails to explain why, if his disembodied soul went on
such a mission, it was limited to antediluvians only.
(5) It robs him of his Old Testament work through the
Holy Spirit.
(6) It leaves out the making alive of Christ’s dead body by
the Holy Spirit (Rom. 1:4), so powerfully described by Peter
elsewhere (Acts 2:22_36).
I believe that Jesus entered into hell, but when? Not as
a disembodied soul between the death and resurrection of his
body, nor after he arose from the dead. We have clearly be_
fore seen what he did while disembodied, and what he did
after his body was raised. He entered into hell, soul and body,
on the cross, in the three hours of darkness, when he was for_
saken of the Father, and met the dragon and his hosts, and
triumphed over them, making a show of them openly.
To show that the Spirit here is the Holy Spirit, and that
the Holy Spirit made alive Christ’s body that was put to death
in the flesh, he is now going to bring in the subject of the
resurrection. The Holy Spirit made Christ’s body alive in
the resurrection, and the illustration used is the waters in the
flood – that the waters of the flood, in a certain sense, saved a
few. The very waters that destroyed man saved a few; that
is, those that obeyed God and got into the ark, eight of them,
they were saved by the water. Now he says in like figure,
or the antitype of the flood, is baptism, and that baptism now
saves us; that is what it says. The only question is how does
it save us? He answers both positively and negatively. .Nega_
tively he says it does not put away the filth of the flesh. That
is what it does not do. It doesn’t mean that. There, flesh
means the carnal nature, and not the dirt that is on the out_
side of the body. If we take the word, „flesh,” and run it
through the New Testament, we will see what he refers to
there, that baptism does not cleanse the carnal nature. So
the salvation referred to is not an internal, spiritual cleansing
of the nature. When we talk about baptism saving us, we
must be sure that it does not accomplish that salvation. Well,
what salvation does it accomplish? It accomplishes a salva_
tion by answering a good conscience through the resurrection
of Jesus Christ from the dead. Well, what is that?
Let us get at the precise thought. We want to see how bap_
tism saves. It saves us in a figure, not in reality. It does not
put away carnal nature. It saves us in a figure – the figure of
the resurrection. Now that is exactly what it does. It gives
us a picture of salvation, a pictorial, symbolical resurrection.
In baptism we are buried, and in baptism we are raised. Now
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which that baptism
memorializes – that is salvation. Not a real one, but a figura_
tive one – that pictorial representation of salvation. That as
we have been buried in the likeness of Christ’s death, so shall
we be in the likeness of his resurrection. It is likeness, not
the thing itself – a picture. It is true that baptism washes
away sin, because Ananias says to Paul, „Arise, and wash
away thy sins.” But it does not actually wash away sins,
because it is the blood of Christ that cleanses us from all sin.
It does wash away sin symbolically and in no other way.
Baptism saves, not actually, by change of the carnal nature,
but in a figure. It is the figure of the resurrection. That is
the way it saves.
The literature upon that passage in Peter is immense, and
there are a great many people in the Church of England today
who hold that in the interval between the death and the
resurrection of Christ he spent the time visiting lost souls and
preaching to them. We have already shown what he was
doing between his death and the resurrection: that his spirit
went to the Father; that it went with the penitent thief into
the paradise of God; that he went there to sprinkle his blood
of expiation on the mercy seat in order to make atonement,
and then he came back. And when he came, there took place
what this text says, „He who was put to death in the flesh
and made alive by the Holy Spirit,” as to his body. The Holy
Spirit raised his body. The text has not a word to say about
what Christ’s spirit did between his death and his resurrec_
tion – not a thing. But this text does say that in the Holy
Spirit, before he ever became manifest in the flesh, he used to
preach, but not in person. In other words, he is Jesus Christ,
the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that through the
Holy Spirit the gospel was preached in Old Testament times.
That Abraham was able to see Christ’s day and rejoiced; that
Abel was enabled by faith to take hold of Christ. All these
people back yonder in the old world had the gospel preached
to them. They had light, and it was spiritual light.

1. On the thought in I Peter 2:2, that the soul needs a healthful and
nutritious diet as well as the body, what things must be put away as
poisonous, and what must be used as nourishing?
2. In the figure of a spiritual house (2:4_10), show what is the Christian temple, what the foundation and chief cornerstone, what the priest_
hood, what the sacrifices, what the object, contrasting each point with the Jewish type.
3. In Matthew 16:18 Christ says to Peter, „On this rock I will build
my church,” and evidently here (2:4_7) there is a reference to our
Lord’s words, hence the question: Who is the foundation rock on which the church is built as Peter himself understood Christ’s words, and who the rock as Isaiah understood it (Isaiah 28:16), which Peter quoted, and as Paul understood it (I Corinthians 3:9_16)?
4. In 2:9 state the points of contrast between Israel after the flesh
and the spiritual Isaiah.
5. In 2:11_3:7 are exhortations to Christiana as pilgrims, aa subjects
of human government, as slaves, as husbands, and wives, parents and children. (1) Show, how by the exhortations Christianity is not revolutionary in its teachings on citizenship, slavery and society, and how they correspond with other New Testament teachings on the same points. (2) Show the meaning of such Hebraisms as 3:3_57.
6. What the force of „bare our sins in his body upon the tree,” or
in other words, what the scriptural meaning of „to bear sins”?
7. What Peter’s rule of a happy life?
8. On 3:18_21, with 4:6, answer:
(1) Does „spirit,” the last word of verse 18, mean Christ’s own
human spirit, or the Holy Spirit?
(2) How did Christ preach to the antediluvians, i.e., in his
own person or by another, and if another, what other?
(3) When did he BO preach, while the antediluvians were living
and disobedient while the ark was preparing and by the
Holy Spirit (Gen. 6:3), or to them in prison after death,
either between his death and resurrection, or between his
resurrection and ascension, and if to them after their death
and imprisonment, what did he preach?
(4) Did Christ, as the sinner’s substitute, enter the pangs of
hell, when, in the body or out of it, and what the proof?
(5) On 4:6, was the gospel preached to the dead before they
died, or afterward?
(6) Show the difficulties and heresies of interpreting „spirit” in
verse 18 as Christ’s own spirit and his preaching to men
after their death, either between his own death and resur_
rection, or between his resurrection and ascension.
(7) On 3:21, what the meaning of „filth of the flesh,” is it dirt
of the body, or the defilement of the carnal nature? And
then how does baptism now save us?

I Peter 4:7 to 5:14

This section commences with I Peter 4:7: „But the end of
all things is at hand.” It is an important thing to notice how
every apostolic writer dwells upon the second advent, the end
of the world, and the Judgment as contemporaneous. Some
people place the advent a long ways this side of the end of
the world and of the general judgment. But it is not so placed
in the Bible. Certain things come together – Christ’s advent,
the resurrection of the just and the unjust, the general judg_
ment, the winding up of earthly affairs.
Peter, like all others, makes an argument upon the end of
all things as at hand, so that our next thought is: What does
he mean by saying „at hand”? To teach that there is but a
little period of time from his utterance of this saying until
Christ comes again? We can’t find that to be his meaning,
because in his second letter, where he discusses this subject
elaborately, he shows that it will be quite a long time, so long
that men will begin to say: „Where is the promise of his com_
ing?” What he means, then, by „at hand,” and by „a little
time,” is not in our sight, but in God’s sight. As he explains
it in his second letter, a thousand years are with the Lord as
one day and one day is as a thousand years.
Having established his meaning of „at hand,” we see how
that form of expression is used elsewhere in the New Testa_
ment. Paul says in precisely the same way in Philippians
4:5: „The time is at hand,” and James 5:8 says: „It draweth
nigh.” And we have already seen in Hebrews 10:37 it says:
„Yet a little while and he that cometh shall come and will
not tarry.” When we get a little further on, we will see that
I John 2:8 says: „It is the last hour.” And yet in his book
of Revelation he shows a long series of events that must
precede the advent, the end of the world, and the judgment.
But on the second advent Peter says, „Therefore, be ye of
sound mind.” If any theme on earth calls for sanity of mind,
it is the theme of the second advent. That is the very theme
upon which people become unsound of mind. Take for exam_
ple the church at Thessalonica. Paul preached there and
spoke of the coming of Christ, and of that coming drawing
near and how they should watch, whereupon they went wild,
and were so sure that it was only a few days until Christ’s
coming that it was not worth while to attend to the ordinary
affairs of life, so they quit work and went around discussing
the second advent. He had to rebuke them in his second
letter, and tell them they misunderstood. We know that in
the Reformation days the Mad Men of Munster became of
unsound mind in regard to the doctrine of the second advent.
They went to such extremes that the government of Central
Europe called out their forces and almost destroyed them in
what is known as the Peasant War. A similar case of affairs
arose in the days of Oliver Cromwell and the English revolu_
tion. They were called Fifth Monarchy Men. Going back to
Daniel’s prophecy about the four monarchies, and then the
monarchy of God following it, they took up the idea that the
time was at hand for establishing the Fifth Monarchy here
upon earth. They were great enthusiasts and fanatics, and
did a vast deal of harm.
In the United States there have been several periods of that
unsoundness of mind upon the subject of the second advent –
the Millerites, for example. Eggleston wrote a great romance,
The End of the World. He vividly portrays this great excite_
ment. They set the day when the world was coming to an
end, and made all their preparations for it. Many gave away
their property, some beggared themselves, wives and children,
deeding away everything they had, and according to an old
saying, „Got their ascension robes ready.” Nothing to do but

put on their white robes and glide up to heaven. When the
predicted day came, a crowd of them assembled to go up to_
gether, but Christ did not come, and they went down just as
fast as they had come up, and of course a wave of infidelity
followed. They said, „You can’t believe anything that is said
in the Bible upon the subject.” And so from fanaticism in
one direction they turned to infidelity in another.
Peter says, „Be ye, therefore, of sound mind.” In every
community there are excitable people whose thoughts lead
them to despise the common everyday things of life and seek
out novelties; they bite at things of this kind. The Seventh
Day Adventist drops his hook among them and catches some;
the Mormon comes along and catches others. About the sec_
ond advent of our Lord, the important things are its certainty
and purposes, not its time. We are sure it will come, but it
cannot come until all the antecedent things shall take place,
and our attitude toward it should be to be sure in our hearts
of the fact that it will come, and not that the power of the
advent consists in its suddenness.
He shows in what respect this soundness of mind should
be manifest: „Be sober unto prayer.” „Drunk” is opposite to
„sober.” One can be drunk unto prayer as well as he can be
sober unto prayer. I remember once that an old lady came
to me during a meeting I was holding, and said, „You will
never get a feeling in you in this meeting, until you appoint
a sunrise prayer meeting.” I said, „It is certainly a good
thing to have prayer at sunrise or sunset, but you don’t mean
to say that it is essential to the outpouring of the power of
God that we should lay special stress upon any particular
hour?” She said, „Yes, I do. You appoint a prayer meeting
at midnight, another at sunrise, and you will see that the
blessings will come.” That is superstition. God is ready to
hear his children at any time.
I have seen the same fanaticism manifested with reference
to prayer in a preacher insisting that one could not be con_
verted, that his prayers would not be answered, and that God
would not answer the prayers of his people for him, if he did
not come up to the „mourner’s bench.” Whenever people make
a fetish out of anything they ar½e sure to go to the extreme.
I believe very heartily that it does good in a meeting to call
for expressions from the people, to take some step of some
kind, and I have seen cases of those who came up to be prayed
for and be instructed and were benefited by coming together,
coming out of the congregation and taking a front seat (they
may call it a mourner’s bench if they want to; it makes no
difference), but whenever one takes the position that salvation
is limited to a special spot, or to certain conditions, then he
is getting fanatical. I would say to the man who limits God’s
mercy to arbitrary conditions prescribed by himself that he
had better surrender those conditions, and every other con_
dition. One can go to an extreme in that way. „Be of sound
mind, even in prayers, and above all things, be fervent in your
love among yourselves.”
Christian sanity is manifested in brotherly love as well as
upon any other point. A man who goes off half_cocked, at a
tangent, upon some particular subject, and yet shows that he
has no love for the brethren, has already advertised that he
is a crank. The modest, most humble, and sweetest everyday
Christians are the best. This applies to Christians as stew_
ards of the manifold grace of God. One man has the gift of
speaking with tongues. If he gets mentally unbalanced, he
will want to be all the time speaking with tongues without any
reference to the propriety of the case. Paul gives an account
of that kind of people in I Corinthians 14, where they turned
the assembly into a bedlam. He says, „What is this, brethren?
Everyone of you hath a tongue, a psalm, hath an interpreta_
tion,” which was well enough if exercised to edification. But
all commence at once, here one speaking in Aramaic, another
in German, another in Latin, and another in Greek, one sing_
ing a psalm, one offering a prayer, and the whole becomes a
jumble of confusion. But „God is not the author of confu_
sion.” Nothing that promotes discord is from God. „If any
man speak, let him speak as the oracle of God. You show
your sanity as a Christian. When you speak, let what you
say in the name of God harmonize with the teaching of God’s
Book.” There are many people who want to be „new lights.”
They have gotten an entirely new theory about a great many
things, and they are very anxious to put off these particular
things upon an audience. „Remember,” says Peter, „to be of
sound mind, and if you speak, speak as the oracle of God.”
Let what we say be not noted for its novelty, but for its con_
formity to the general rule of the Scriptures, interpreting one
scripture by another scripture.
In a previous chapter I have already discussed I Peter 4:12_
19 in connection with sufferings, but call attention to verse 18:
„If the righteous is scarcely saved, where shall the ungodly
and the sinner appear?” It has oftentimes been the theme of
sermons. The old Dr. T. C. Teasdale, a great revivalist in
his day, made that one of his favorite texts, that the righteous
man is barely saved – just saved, not a thing over. Peter’s
thought here is that Christians are judged in this world and
sinners in the world to come, and that on Christians in this
life, in this world, God visits the judgment for sins, and the
judgment is so heavy at times, that even life itself passes away
under the afflictions of the judgment. It is a good deal like
our Saviour said, that if these things be done in a green tree,
what shall be in a dry one? If the fire is so hot it will make
a green tree blaze, how quickly will it kindle a dead tree?
Judgment, he says, must commence at the house of God; it
commences there, but it does not end there. The preceding
verse says, „And if it begin first at us, what shall be the end
of them that obey not the gospel of God?” The thing is this,
that our salvation comes through our Lord, so that we our_
selves are full of faults, infirmities; we commit sin, we have
to be chastised for it, and this judgment comes on us in this
world. This is precisely Peter’s thought.
I will give an incident originally quoted by a great author
in his book on infidelity. An old man, a very pious, true
Christian, was deeply concerned because his two boys were
infidels, and all through his life he had tried to illustrate the
truth and power of the Christian religion before those boys,
and it seemed to have no effect on them. They would not
heed his precepts, nor follow his example. Finally, he got
the idea in his head that he ought to pray God to make his
death powerful in leading these boys to Christ, so when the
time came for him to die, to his surprise, instead of every_
thing being bright and he as happy as an angel and singing
like a lark, he was in the most awful distress of mind. It was
all dark to him. Promises, which, when he was well, seemed
as bright as stars, were now darkness, and instead of being
able to show his children the triumphant glory of a dying
saint, he was showing his children that he was groping as he
came to pass away, and so he died. The boys observed it
very carefully. They had expected the old man to die a very
happy death. They thought he was entitled to it. But when
they saw a man that lived as righteously as he had, who when
he came to pass away, had to go through deep water, one said
to the other, „Tom, if our father had such a time as that,
what kind of a time do you reckon we are going to have?”
And it influenced their conversion. They had the thought of
Peter: „If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the
sinner and the ungodly appear?” If he had died very happy,
they would have taken it as a matter of course, and would
not have been disturbed in mind at all, but when they saw
him go through such an ordeal as that, it began to shake them
as to what would become of them.
He gives directions about how to shepherd the flock (5:1_4).
His exhortations are to those who have charge of the church.
Let us look at every point, commencing with verse 2: „Tend
the flock of God which is among you, exercising the over_
sight, not of constraint.” The first thought is to give atten_
tion to the flock. „If you are the pastor of the church, no one
else is under such an obligation. Take care of that flock.”
The shepherd that does not take care of his sheep, will find
them scattering. I don’t care what the cause is, if he is so
continually away from them and his mind upon other matters
that he does not thoughtfully consider the needs of his con_
gregation, then he has failed to attend to the flock. In Eze_
kiel 33 what is meant by tending the flock is fully explained.
If any have wandered away, they should be brought back; if
any are weak, they should be protected from the strong; if
any are wounded, they should be healed; if any are sick, they
should be ministered unto. That is attention.
I sometimes read over again a book that is a romance, and
which is worth anybody’s reading. I regard it as one of the
greatest books ever written – Lorna Doone. In that book there
is an account of the greatest cold spell that had come within
the knowledge of men up to the year 1640. The frost was
terrific. Every night from the middle of December, or near
the end of December, to the first of March, was a hard freeze.
It froze until the trees would burst open with a sound like
thunder. Millions of cattle died, and birds and deer. Deer
would come right up to the house and eat out of the hand.
In showing how to take care of the flock in such weather as
that, we have a very felicitous account. John Ridd gets
up and finds the whole world snowed under, and he goes out
and can’t even find his flock of sheep at all. He goes to where
they were placed and begins to dig down into the snow. He
has his sheepdog looking for his lost sheep, and as be gets away
down under the snow, he hears a sheep, „baa I” and he digs
until he uncovers the whole flock, and he carries one under
each arm, sixty_six times, carrying two at a time, through
that deep snow to a place of safety. Now, that is tending
the flock. That kind of concern must be in the heart of the
pastor. If one has charge of a church and there come dangers
to the congregation when they are likely to be swept away,
then he ought to be there at the time, moving among his peo_
ple, ministering unto them. As our Lord said to Peter, „Lovest
thou me? Then, if you do, shepherd my sheep; take care of
my sheep.” So Peter hands down the advice. He says, „The
elders therefore among you I exhort, who am a fellow elder,
a witness of the sufferings of Christ, also a partaker of the
glory that shall be revealed, tend the flock.”
His next thought is: „exercising the oversight.” From that
word, „oversight,” we get bishop, overseer, episcopos, bishopric;
exercising the bishopric, or the oversight, not by constraint.
When I was in Paris, Texas, holding a meeting, a Methodist
preacher said to me, „You seem to be a good man, and just
because I am a Methodist preacher, you won’t refuse to ad_
vise me?” I asked him what the trouble was. „Well, it is
this: I am forced on this congregation. I know I ought not
to stay any longer, and they don’t want me any longer, and
they won’t pay me any longer, and my family is actually suf_
fering. Now, what would you do under those circumstances?”
I said, „Well, beloved, I wouldn’t be under those circumstances.
You are put over these people by constraint. You don’t want
to stay and they don’t want you to stay, and the Bishop is
mad, and in order to show them that they nor you have a voice
in things of this kind, he has sent the same man back over
the double protest to show his authority.” I went among the
Methodists and took up a collection for that preacher. I told
him that if I had the power to correct his position, I would.
In other words, when we take charge of a flock, we should
not go by constraint; never go except willingly. That is a
thing above all others in the world, that calls for voluntary
action. I had a Baptist preacher once, to bring this trouble
to me. He says, „I feel impressed of God to do so and so,
but I am just simply impelled to go home.” I said, „Who is
compelling you?” „Well,” he says, „the people.” I said,
„Who is the greater, the people or God?” and I quoted this
very scripture to him and said, „Don’t take the oversight any_
where by constraint. If you go, go with your will, because
you are willing to go there, only see to it that your will co_
incides with God’s will, and not the people’s will. Not of
constraint, but willingly, according to the will of God, not for
filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.”
We have the same thought presented from another point
of view. First, it is an external constraint; now it is an in_
ternal constraint: „I don’t want to go to that place, but I
have a very large family and they are at an expensive stage
just now, and that church pays twice as much as this other
place.” I said to him, „Which place now do you feel the
easiest in when you get up to preach? In which place does
your mind act more readily?” He answered, „That place,
yonder.” „Well,” I said, „don’t go to the other place for filthy
lucre’s sake.” I don’t say that one can’t have a ready mind in
going to the church that pays him what he ought to have, but
I do say that whenever two places are before him, and on the
one side the argument is the amount of salary, and on the
other side is the readiness of his mind, he might as well be
constrained by a Methodist bishop as by the almighty dollar.
„Neither as lording it over the charge allotted to you, but
making yourselves ensamples to the flock.” When we take
the oversight, we don’t take it as a lord, as we are not boss
and master. That is opposed to the principle of Christian
logic. Some preachers are imperious in disposition, impatient
at suggestions from anybody else, wanting to run things with
a high hand, and revolting against any mind but their own
mind, in the way a thing is to be done. Peter says, „Don’t do
it that way. God made you the leader; no other man can be
the leader but the pastor. You are the leader, but don’t you
lead like an overseer of slaves. Be sure to lead by a good
Now comes the reward of the pastor: „And when the Chief
Shepherd shall be manifested, ye shall receive a crown of
glory that fadeth not away.” The Chief Shepherd is the Lord
himself: „I am the Good Shepherd.” He has gone up to
heaven, and he is coming back. When he shall appear, we
will receive our reward. We won’t get it until then, but we
will get it then.
In verses 5_7 is the exhortation to humility. Here the ques_
tion is asked: What is the difference between „ensamples”
and „examples”? None, materially. Those words are used
interchangeably. Let us read over at least what he says about
humility: „All of you gird yourselves with humility, to serve
one another.” That carries us back to the foot_washing les_
son. „For God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the
humble.” „Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty
hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time, casting all
your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you.” It is not
very difficult to become humble before God. Sometimes I am
proud, but I get down off that ladder mighty quick. But
here is a hard thing for me to do: „Casting all your anxiety
upon him, because he careth for you.” The thing that eats a
man up is anxiety. It seems to me to be the hardest precept
in the Bible: „Be anxious for nothing; be not anxious for
the morrow; be not anxious what ye shall eat or what ye shall
wear, in everything he careth for you.” That is a very hard
thing to do. Some people can do it beautifully.
I have already called attention to verse 8: „Be sober, be
watchful; your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion walketh
about, seeking whom he may devour, whom withstand stead_
fast in your faith, knowing that the same sufferings are ac_
complished in your brethren who are in the world.” Now,
Peter, after that sifting process, never doubts about a per_
sonal devil. There are some people who think there is no
such thing as a personal devil, and just as long as the devil
can make one think that, he has him just where he wants him.
He has his goods, keeping them in peace, but it is when one
begins to get out from under his influence that he stirs himself
and lets him know he is there.
The most beautiful thing in the letter is verse 10, which I
have discussed under the question of suffering.

1. On I Peter 4:7, what the meaning of „the end of all things is at
hand,” comparing with other New Testament passages?
2. Cite historical examples of „unsound mind” on Christ’s final ad_
vent and the end of the world.
3. Cite examples of the necessity of being “sober unto prayer.”
4. What the meaning and application of: “If the righteous scarcely
be saved….”? Illustrate
5. State Peter’s several points of exhortation on shepherding the
flock, Explain and illustrate each.
6. When, and from whom, does the faithful under-shepherd receive
his reward?
7. What Peter’s lesson on humility? Illustrate.
8. What Peter’s experience with the devil and what his lesson here?

2 Peter 1:1_15

An introduction to 2 Peter. First of all, I call attention to
the fact that from the middle of the second century to the
end of the fourth century certain New Testament books had
not attained so wide a circulation and general acceptance as
others. Generally speaking, these were the smaller books,
including the letter of James, Peter’s second letter, the letter
of Jude, the two short letters of John, and the two longer
books, Hebrews and Revelation. These were called Antilego_
mina, that is, some people somewhere expressed doubt as to
the place that these books should have in the New Testament.
The book which more than any other was doubted was this
second letter of Peter. I mean to say that the historical
evidence for the canonicity of this letter is less satisfactory
than that of any other, so that if it can be shown that the
evidence is sufficient for this book, we need not question that
of any other.
I next call attention to a well_known fact of history which
accounts for the lack of more evidence than is obtainable.
This fact was the persecution under the emperor Diocletian,
which extended from A.D. 303 to 311. The decree of Diocletian
was universal, that all church buildings should be razed to
the ground and all the Holy Books burned.
We have in Eusebius, the father of church history, who
lived from A.D. 270 to 340, two books, Vols. 8 and 9, devoted
to this persecution. The famous sixteenth chapter of the
Decline of the Roman Empire, by the infidel Gibbon, tells
much of the rigor of this persecution. This decree was exe_
cuted with great rigor in the Roman provinces of Africa, Egypt,

Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, Italy, and Spain. Thus thou_
sands of manuscripts of the New Testament, or parts of it,
were destroyed under this decree.
In this connection I wish to commend to the reader Me_
Garvey’s Text and Canon of the New Testament as an ex_
ceedingly able but terse presentation of the main facts of
historical introduction, from which as a matter of convenience
I cite most of the testimony below.
The first testimony is the catalogue of the New Testament
books, and the declarations concerning them, issued by the
council of Carthage in the Roman province of North Africa.
This council was held A.D. 397. They issued a catalogue of all
of the New Testament books as we have them, accompanied
with two declarations: First, „It was also determined, that be_
sides the canonical Scriptures, nothing be read in the churches
under the title of divine Scriptures.” Second, „We have re_
ceived from our fathers that these are to be read in the
The oldest manuscript we now possess of the New Testa_
ment is the Sinaitic, discovered by Tischendorf in the convent
on Mount Sinai. He estimates the date of this manuscript at
A.D. 350, and thinks it to be older than that. This manuscript
has the entire New Testament in it – every book.
I next cite the testimony of Athanasius, who lived between
the dates A.D. 326 and 373. He also gives a complete list of
all our New Testament books, and says, „These books were
delivered to the fathers by eyewitnesses and ministers of the
word; I have learned this from the beginning, and that they
are the fountains of salvation; that he who thirsts may be
satisfied with the oracles contained in them. In them alone
the doctrine of religion is taught; let no one add to them, nor
take anything from them.”
The next testimony is that of Cyril, a noted pastor of the
church at Jerusalem, living from A.D. 315 to 388. In one of his
catechetical lectures to candidates for baptism he gives a list
of the books to be read as inspired Scriptures. This list

includes all our New Testament books except the book of
The next witness is Eusebius, the father of church history,
who lived from A.D. 270 to 340. He passed through the Dio_
cletian persecution, which destroyed the church buildings and
burned the sacred writings. He recites by name every New
Testament book that we have, but calls attention to the fact
that some have questioned Hebrews, James, Jude, 2 Peter,
2 and 3 John, and Revelation.
The next witness is Origen, whom Dr. Broadus classes as the
greatest Christian scholar of the fathers, the man who pr~
pared the Hexapla, or six_column New Testament. He him_
self suffered martyrdom, living from A.D. 185 to 254. In his
Greek works he cites the New Testament books, but like
Eusebius, refers to certain questionings of some of them. In
the Latin version of his Homily on Joshua, he distinctly at_
tributes two letters to Peter, and gives all our New Testament
The next witness is Clement, of Alexandria, who was Ori_
gen’s teacher, living from A.D. 165 to 220. His testimony is
much the same as that of Origen’s.
The next point that I make is that every book in the world
must be older than any translation of it into other languages.
We have two translations into the Coptic language, one for
lower Egypt and one for upper Egypt. These translations,
called the Memphitic and Thebaic translations, or at least
portions of them, were made before the close of the second
century, and both of these versions contain all of the books
of the New Testament, including 2 Peter. Revelation, how_
ever, is usually in a separate volume.
So far the evidence has been virtually a testimony of cata_
logues, whether in manuscripts, versions, decrees of councils
or authors, and this evidence for the New Testament books
to the last quarter of the second century, two full centuries,
always includes 2 Peter.

Another kind of evidence is derived from quotations. The
extant writings of the early Christian authors bear testimony
to Bible books by quotations, direct or indirect, or by allu_
sions. This evidence is not nearly so strong for 2 Peter as for
other New Testament books. Many citations, pro and con,
are given by modern Christian scholars. What one considers
a quotation or evident allusion others question. The author
has read them all. Those that in his judgment have evidential
value are the following:
Origen, A.D. 185_254, whose catalogue testimony has been
cited, quoted 2 Peter 1:4 with the formula, „Peter said,” and
3 Peter 2:16 with the formula, „As the Scripture says in a
certain place.” (See Westcott, Canon of New Testament.)
Melito, bishop of Sardis, A.D. 170, in the region addressed by
Peter, in writing of both a water flood and a fire flood evi_
dently alludes to 2 Peter 3:5_10.
Theophilus, bishop of Antioch, A.D. 168_180, in a treatise,
and Hippolytus, bishop of Portus, A.D. 220, both allude to 2
Peter 1:20_21.
Firmilian, bishop of the Cappadocian Caesarea, in a letter
to Gypuian of Carthage referring to Peter and Paul as blessed
apostles, says that in their epistles they „execrated heretics
and warned us to avoid them,” but it is in his second letter
alone we find Peter’s „execrations of heretics and warnings to
avoid them.”
Irenaeus, A.D. 135_200, born about forty years after the death
of John, the last apostle, in two instances uses almost the exact
words in 2 Peter 3:8: „One day is with the Lord as a thousand
Justin Martyr wrote about A.D. 146, and as in Irenaeus
above, uses Peter’s words of „the day of the Lord as a thousand
years.” In another place commenting on the delay to send
Satan and those who follow him to their final punishment as_
signs the precise reasons given in 2 Peter 3:9.
Clement, pastor at Rome, a man of apostolic times, in his
epistle to the Corinthians, twice refers to Noah as a preacher:
(1) of „repentance,” (2) of „regeneration to the world through
his ministry.” But nowhere in the Bible is Noah called a
preacher except in 2 Peter 2:5.
We now must consider what the writer of the letter says of
1:1: He expressly calls himself Simon Peter, the apostle,
using the Aramaic name „Symeon” as James does in Acts 15.
1:14: He claims that the Lord Jesus had shown him how
he was to die. This is confirmed in John 21:18_19, which
gospel was written after this letter.
1:16_18: He claims to have been an eyewitness of the
transfiguration of our Lord recorded in Matthew 18; Mark 9;
Luke 9, and gives the clearest import of the transfiguration to
be found in the Bible.
3:15_16: He claims acquaintance with all of Paul’s epistles,
classes them as Scriptures, and says that Paul wrote to the
Hebrews whom he is addressing.
Making these claims the letter is a barefaced forgery if
the author was not the apostle Peter. There is no escape from
this conclusion. Hebrews may be canonical, even if Paul did
not write it – but not so this letter if the apostle Peter did not
write it. But, utterly unlike the many forgeries attributed to
apostolic authors, there is nothing in the subject_matter of
this letter unworthy of an apostle and out of harmony with
indisputable New Testament books.
The author accepts 2 Peter as apostolic according to its

1. The Address, 2 Peter 1:1 and 3:1: „Simon Peter, a
servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have ob_
tained like precious faith with us. . . . This is now, beloved,
the second epistle I write unto you,” evidently referring to
these words of I Peter: „Peter an apostle of Jesus Christ, to
the elect who are sojourners of the dispersion in Pontus) Cap_
padocia, Asia, Galatia, and Bithynia.” In this address he
calls himself „Symeon,” the Aramaic form of which, „Simon,”
is Greek. We find the same Aramaic form used by James in
Acts 15.
2. The Greeting, contained in verses 2_4 inclusive: „Grace
to you, and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God and
of Jesus Christ our Lord.” The third verse tells how the mul_
tiplication takes place: „Seeing that his divine power hath
granted unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness
through a knowledge of him that calls us through his own
knowledge and virtue, whereby he hath granted unto us his
precious and exceeding great promises that through these ye
may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped
from the corruption that is in the world by lusts.” The grace
and the peace, these are to be multiplied through the promises.
3. The Heavenly Progress by Additions (1:5_11) with the
abundant entrance.
4. The Need of Remembrance (1:12_15).
5. The Prophecy of the Manner of Peter’s Death (1:14).
6. The Import of the Transfiguration of Jesus (1:16_18).
7. The Surer Word of Prophecy, how it came, and how to
interpret it (1:19_21).
8. The Foretold False Teachers, their heresies and condem_
nation (chap. 2).
9. The Second Advent and Its Lesson (chap. 3).
Now let us expound item three, a heavenly progress, or a
progress by a series of heavenly additions, and is thus ex_
pressed: „Yea, and for this very cause adding on your part all
diligence, in your faith supply virtue, and in your virtue
knowledge, and in your knowledge self_control, and in your
self_control patience, and in your patience godliness, and in
your godliness brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kind_

ness love. For if these things are yours and abound, they
make you to be not idle nor unfruitful unto the knowledge of I
our Lord Jesus Christ. For he that lacketh these things is
blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing
from his old sins. Wherefore, brethren, give the more diligence
to make your calling and election sure, for if ye do these things
ye shall never stumble.”
Here we have the grace part in the exceeding great and
precious promises, and then what we are to add on our part.
Peter, no more than Paul, ever had the idea of a converted
man remaining a babe in Christ. Both of them urge a leaving
of the foundations and going onward to maturity, growing in
grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When I was a school boy at Baylor University at Inde_
pendence I heard old Father Hosea Garrett, the President of
the Board of Trustees of Baylor University, preach a sermon
on this heavenly addition of Peter. It was delivered in an ex_
ceedingly homely, quaint, and simple style. He commenced
by saying: „I am President of the Board of Trustees of Baylor
University. I have very little education, but I have been
through the rule of three in Smiley’s Arithmetic and I do not
forget that the first rule in that arithmetic is addition. But in
this text we have some spiritual arithmetic, adding one spirit_
ual thing to another, and we have the sum or result in two
ways: ‘He that lacketh these things is blind, having forgotten
the cleansing of himself from his old sins, but if you add these
things you reach this sum: Thus shall be supplied unto you the
entrance to the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus
Christ.’ ” Pointing his finger at different persons in the audi_
ence, he would say: „Have you faith?” Then, „Have you
added virtue or courage? If you have added courage, have you
also added knowledge; and if knowledge, have you added self_
control, are you able to control your own spirit? He that ruleth
his own spirit is greater than one that taketh a city.” I sat
there and looked at the old man, in his quaint way discussing
spiritual multiplication and addition) and witnessed the effect
on the audience. The personality of the man stood behind his
sermon. It was very unlike a sermon by a sophomore preacher.
A young man wants to scrape down the star dust and cover
himself, and gild himself with its glitter, but not so with this
When I was a young preacher I preached a sermon on that
„abundant entrance,” and took for an illustration two ships
sailing from the same port, and bound to the same port across
the ocean. The captain and sailors of one of them added every_
thing that was necessary on their part to co_operate with the
ocean winds and tides in reaching their destination in safety.
One of them got to the port with every mast standing, every
sail set, and with the cargo unimpaired and the passengers all
safe. It was welcomed with a salute of the batteries from the
shore) and the waving of flags, crowds of people came down to
see the ocean voyager reach its destination in safety, with
everything entrusted to it preserved.

On the other ship neither the captain nor crew added on their
part the things necessary to a safe and prosperous voyage.
They did indeed reach the destination after a while, but dis_
masted, shrouds rent to tatters, towed in by a harbor tug, al_
most a wreck. „He that lacketh these things is dim_eyed, he
cannot see things afar off.” Point to a beacon and ask him if
he sees it. „No, I cannot see that far.” Point to the tall moun_
tains of grace that mark the shore between this world and the
next: „Do you see the light on those mountaintops?” „No,
I cannot see that far.” „Do you see that rift in the eternal
heavens through which the light shines down and bathes you
in glory? Do you see Jesus standing at the right hand of the
Majesty on high ready to welcome you? Do you see the angels
poised on wings of obedience interested as to your outcome? Do
you see the redeemed who have passed on before, and are wait_
ting and watching for you?” „No, I cannot see any of these.”
Faith is the eye of the soul, and its hand, and its heart. It
sees things invisible to the natural eye, it apprehends what can_
not be touched by the human hand. It feels what the natural
heart cannot feel. Yea, faith is the imagination of the soul.
Imagination is a painter; it can create and reproduce; as a
divine element it can outline things, and follow up the outline
and put in the coloring and make it appear before us with all
its blossoms, fruits, and foliage. A man that is dim_eyed has
no vision; the powers of the world to come do not take hold
upon him; he seems to have forgotten that he was purged
from his old sins; he doubts his acceptance with God; he fails
in his heavenly additions.
In this connection also is the appeal of Peter to memory. It
is that faculty of the mind by which we recall former things.
He says, „As long as I am in this tabernacle I must stir you
up by putting you in remembrance.” Memory survives death.
When the rich man in hell appealed to Abraham, that patri_
arch replied: „Son, remember that in yonder world you had
your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things.” Indeed,
memory united with conscience constitutes the very eternity
of hell.

1. What New Testament books were latest in receiving general ac_
ceptance as canonical?
2. Which of these most and longest doubted?
3. Tell about the great persecution which destroyed so much evidence not now attainable and where you find a history of the persecution.
4. Give the testimony of the Council at Carthage and its declara_
tions concerning all the New Testament books.
5. What famous manuscript gives them all and what its date?
6. What early versions give them all and their date?
7. Give the evidences of the Catalogue of Athanasius, its date and
8. Give the evidence and date of Cyril’s Catechism.
9. Give summary of evidence on quotations and allusions.
10. What does the letter itself say of the author?
11. Why is this letter a forgery if the author was not the apostle Peter?
12. Give outline.
13. Give the heavenly „addition.”

2 Peter 1:16 to 2:21

This discussion commences with 2 Peter 1:16, and the item
of the analysis is the import of the transfiguration of Jesus. The
reader will find the historical account of the transfiguration in
Matthew 17; Mark 8; and Luke 9, and he should very care_
fully study (the better way is as it is presented in Broadus’
Harmony) the account of the transfiguration.
I will refer very briefly to the history. Just after the great
confession of Peter recorded in Matthew 16, when Christ said,
„Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell
shall not prevail against it,” he began to show plainly to his
disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and be put to death,
whereupon Peter protested. He was not yet ready to accept the
idea of Christ dying. In order to fix the right view of the
death of Christ upon the minds of these disciples that were
still clinging to the Jewish notion of the kingdom, Christ took
three of the disciples, Peter, James, and John, and went upon
a mountain. Before he went he stated that there were some
of them standing there who would never taste death until they
should see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
It has always been a difficult thing with commentators to
explain how it was that he could say that some people that
heard him would never taste of death until they saw him com_
ing in his kingdom. The transfiguration, according to Peter,
was the fulfilment of that promise. Peter says here in this
connection, „We did not follow cunningly devised fables when
we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord
Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he
received from God the Father honor and glory, when there was
borne such a voice to him by the majestic glory, This is my
beloved Son) in whom I am well pleased. And this voice we
ourselves heard borne out of heaven, when we were with him
in the holy mount.” Mark it well, Peter says that when he
preached the final advent of Christ, he was not following
cunningly devised fables. He was preaching something of
which he had, in a certain sense, been an eyewitness. The
question, then, is in what sense was the transfiguration a sec_
ond coming of Christ? The answer to it is that it was a minia_
ture representation, or foreshadowing, of the majesty and
power of the second advent. In other words, there passed over
Christ’s person a transfiguration, a manifestation of his glory,
such glory as he will have when he comes again. That glory
radiates from Christ. It was the kind of glory in which he will
come to judge the world.
In the next place, when he comes he will come exercising
two great powers: One will be resurrection power, and the
other will be the changing of the living saints in a moment, in
the twinkling of an eye, and so that transfiguration scene pre_
sented those two thoughts in miniature, in that, Moses ap_
peared to them, who died, and Elijah appeared to them who did
not die but was changed in a moment. So that Moses repre_
sents the class who died and who, at the second coming of
Christ, will be raised from the dead; and Elijah represents the
class at the second advent of Christ, who will, in the twinkling
of an eye, be changed and fitted for their heavenly estate.
It is remarkable that, while Peter looked upon the death of
Christ with abhorrence, Moses and Elijah appeared there to
talk with him about his death. It was the most significant
event of the world, the death of Christ. Moses was the law_
giver, and Elijah the prophet. Now, in that sense the trans_
figuration represented the final coming of our Lord, and Peter
quotes it for that purpose.
Now we come to verse19: „And we have the word of prophe_
cy made more sure; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed,

as unto a lamp shining in & dark place, until the day dawn,
and the daystar arise in your hearts.” That describes the
nature and value of prophecy. Prophecy foreshows a coming
event, and its value is compared to a lamp shining in a dark
place and to the morning star which heralds the coming dawn.
That lamp is a long ways better than nothing. If one were, in
the night, in an unknown country, he would like very much to
have a lantern. The lantern would not illuminate the whole
landscape, but it would illumine a small space right near about.
It would not illumine all the course at one time, but would
show the one how to take the next step. And as the lantern
moves with him would guide him step by step. So the morning
star, while not the day itself, foretells its speedy approach and
only pales in the brighter light of the dawning. Now, as that
lamp ceases to be valuable after the day comes, so when the
fulfilment of the prophecy comes, then what was dimly under_
stood is thoroughly understood.
Peter’s precise thought seems to be this: „I was an eyewit_
ness of the majesty and power of the final advent. But prophe_
cy is surer than sight, though its light be but as a lantern in
the night, or as the daystar. You do well to take heed to
prophecy.” It is on a line with the thought of Abraham, in
speaking to the rich man: „Moses and the prophets are better
testimony than Lazarus, risen from the dead.”
In other words, Peter’s idea was this: „It is true I saw the
second advent unfolded in the transfiguration, but you are not
dependent on what I saw. You have for your guidance the
unerring word of God. Prophecy now holds the right of way.
It is all the light we have. But its fulfilment is coming, which
is perfect light. Then you will not need my testimony of what
I saw, nor prophecy itself. The dawn is better light than lan_
terns and morning stars.”
In verses 20_21, the closing paragraph of this chapter, he
sets forth the reason of the present value of prophecy and how
alone it is to be interpreted.
1. It never came by the will of man.
2. Men wrote or spoke as they were moved by the Holy
3. It is not of man to interpret it. Only the illumination of
the Holy Spirit, its author, can bring out its meaning.
This is one of the best texts in the Bible on inspiration. We
have already seen that the prophets, under the influence of the
Holy Spirit, foretold things to come, and then would search
what time or manner of time these things would be, the date
of it, and the circumstances of the date. They were moved to
tell it just that way. They did not thoroughly understand it.
It was a subject of their own contemplation and investigation,
and was so to the angels. They can’t interpret the promises
and the prophecies of God. They can only look into them, and
as the church, in carrying out the will of God, unfolds his pur_
poses, they can learn them by the unfolding, but they cannot
know them beforehand.
Chapter 2 of this letter is devoted to false teachers. The
teachers here referred to are the Gnostics, and in the letter to
the Ephesians and Colossians I have already explained the
Gnostic philosophy; that, as a philosophy, it attempted to ac_
count for the creation, and for sin; that it claimed to have a
subjective knowledge and was more reliable than the written
word of God. That it made Christ a subordinate eon or emana_
tion from God, and that inasmuch as sin resided in matter,
one form in which this philosophy shaped itself was that there
was no harm in any kind of sensual indulgencies. That the
soul could not sin, and that the body was just matter, and so
it made no difference if one did get drunk, or if he did go into
all forms of lasciviousness and sensuality. Inasmuch as he is
a child of God, he will be saved. One might do just whatever
he pleased to do, since he is not under law at all, but free.
Now, that was the philosophy, and, as explained in the other
discussions, the method of this philosophy was not by public
teaching, but by private teaching. They would come to families
or to individuals and say to them: „Gnosticism is only for a
cultured few, and we will initiate you into its mysteries at so
much a head. Let the great body of common people come to_
gether in assemblies if they want to. You don’t need to go to
church. You don’t need anything of that kind.” That philoso_
phy started in Proconsular Asia, and Peter is addressing his
two letters to that section of the country. He says there were
false prophets in the old times, and that there were false teach_
ers among them, and in this letter and in Jude we have a very
vivid description of these teachers and the errors of their
teaching, and the most vivid description setting forth their
doom. In chapter 2, then, we have these false teachers pre_
sented as follows:
1. What they teach is false.
2. In their character they are lascivious or sensual.
3. They are covetous, they are teaching things in order to
make money.
4. They despise dignities or dominion. They set at naught
the apostolic offices of Paul and Peter; they disregard church
government. A pastor doesn’t amount to anything; they are
just like beasts that have no reason.
In other words, as a wolf follows his own blood lust, these
men follow their instincts. They revel in the daytime. Then he
sets them forth in pictures. He says they are wells or springs
without any water in them. They are mists driven by the
storm. They are like the dog that returneth to his vomit, and
the sow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire. These
are very powerful descriptions. Nowhere in the Bible is such
language used to describe the false teachers as in 2 Peter and
in Jude. He then tells us about their methods. They come in
privily. These are the abominable heresies they teach: the
denial of the Lord, the subordinate place in which they put
him, and his word, it makes no difference how one lives. They
come offering liberty, when they themselves are the slaves of
corruption. The whole chapter is devoted to them.
He replies to their teaching and of the life that follows such
teaching by citing certain great facts. The first fact is that

God has demonstrated in the history of the past that whosoever
goes into heresy and teaches abominable doctrines shall cer_
tainly be punished, and fearfully punished, and he takes as his
first example: „If God spared not angels when they sinned,
but cast them down to hell and committed them to pits of
darkness to be reserved unto judgment; if the angels, the bright
shining spirits that stand around his throne, cannot escape
sharp eternal and condign punishment, how can these men
expect to escape?”
The next example that he cites is the case of the antedilu_
vians. These people lived before the flood. They would not
hear Enoch, they would not hear Methuselah, they would not
hear Noah. They gave themselves up to this world. There
were giants among them. The whole earth was filled with
violence. There was no purity left upon the earth. Homes
were defiled, honor lost. Woman’s name was held as an out_
cast thing, and they lived like wild beasts, and God swept that
world away.
The next fact that he cites is the case of Sodom and Gomor_
rah. We find the account of it in Genesis, and reference to it
in a number of the prophets, particularly Isaiah. Sodom and
Gomorrah had a preacher, Lot. His righteous soul was vexed
by the fearful crimes that he witnessed every day. They paid
no attention to his warning. All of the cities of the plains were
given up to the most abominable vileness of life, so shameful
that I cannot speak about it. It would make a man blush to
read it off by himself. It won’t do to talk about, even when
men are talking to men. He says those cities were swallowed
up in the wrath of God, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire,
and on those three great facts – the punishment of the angels,
the punishment of the antediluvians, the punishment of Sodom
and Gomorrah, we do know that God can take care of his peo_
ple and punish the wicked. He saved Noah, and he saved Lot.
The others perished.
There is one other thought in the chapter that needs to be
brought out. It is presented in verses 10_11: „Daring, self_
willed, they tremble not to rail at dignities: whereas angels,
though greater in might and power, bring not a railing judg_
ment against them before the Lord.” Peter seems to refer to
this remarkable passage in Zechariah 3: „And he showed me
Joshua, the high priest, standing before the angel of Jehovah,
and Satan standing at his right hand to be his adversary. And
Jehovah said unto Satan: Jehovah rebuke thee, 0 Satan;
yea, Jehovah that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee: is not
this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed
with filthy garments, and was standing before him saying:
Take the filthy garments off of him. And unto him he said,
Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I
will clothe thee with rich apparel. And I said, let them set a
clean mitre upon his head, etc.”
There the high priest, Joshua, and Zerubbabel were endeav_
oring to rebuild the Temple and the case came up before God.
The devil appeared as an accuser, and reviled the high priest,
saying that those people were not worthy of restoration. The
angel of the Lord says, „The Lord rebuke thee, Satan.” He
did not bring a railing accusation against him like the devil
had brought against Joshua, but he says, „God rebuke thee.”
Now, says Peter, when the angel would not rail at Satan, not
assuming to judge Satan, but said, „God rebuke thee, Satan,”
these men that he is discussing here, they rail at dignities.
Here were these apostles whom God had appointed; here were
these pastors of the church whom they disregraded, the disci_
pline of the church that they set aside. They had no reverence
for official position of any kind.

1. Where the history of the transfiguration?
2. What Peter’s interpretation of its meaning?
3. What thing in. the transfiguration represented the majesty of the final advent?
4. What two things represented its power?

5. Elijah appeared in his glorified body. Did the appearance of
Moses imply that he, too, was in a glorified body like Elijah’s, i.e.,
Never having tasted death, or in a risen body, and if neither, why?
6. What does Peter hold as surer and better evidence of the final
advent than what he saw at the transfiguration?
7. In our Lord’s parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the word of God
and prophecy is said to be better than what other thing?
8. In Psalm 19 why is the same word of God declared to be better
than the light of nature?
9. What illustration does Peter employ to show the value of
10. Did the prophets themselves always understand their prophecies?
11. Why is prophecy not of private interpretation?
12. How alone can it be interpreted?
13. Who the false teachers of chapter 2?
14. What their heresies, (1) about our Lord? (2) about creation?
(3) about sin? (4) what the effect of this teaching on the life? (5) what their method of teaching and motive? (6) what did they mean by „knowledge,” and how did this supersede the word of God?
15. What great historic examples did Peter cite as proofs that God
could punish the wicked and save the righteous?
16. Where alone do you find proof that Noah was a preacher?
17. To what historic occasion does Peter refer in 2:11?
18. What was „the way of Balaam” which these heretics followed
19. With what natural things does Peter compare these heretics?
20. How is their presence at the Christian feasts illustrated?
21. How will you show that 2:21 does not teach the final apostasy of
real Christians?

2 Peter 3:1_18

We come now to the last chapter of 2 Peter. This chapter is
on the second advent and the judgment which follows. Chap_
ter 2 showed that these false teachers, by their doctrine and
their disciples in their lives, held that judgment could not come
upon men in this life, if they were Christians, by any kind of
bad living, their theory being that sin resided in matter and
not in the soul and that one could live just as wickedly as he
Now, men who hold that theory as to this life are very apt
to hold the theory that they will never come into judgment,
neither in this world nor in the world to come. They have no
faith in the coming of the Judge who will summon them before
his bar for a final verdict on the deeds done in the body. Their
view of Jesus Christ, that he was just a man and that an eon,
or emanation, entered him at birth and left him on the cross,
would prevent them from having any true faith in the second
advent of our Lord, and as they would not believe in his sec_
ond coming, they would not believe in the certainty and the
eternity of the judgment that would follow his second advent.
Now, that is what Peter is going to meet here. He says that
he wants to stir up their sincere minds by putting them in re_
membrance of words spoken before by the holy prophets of
the Old Testament and of the commandments of the Lord and
Saviour through their apostles. The Old Testament prophets
believed in a judgment to come; the Lord Jesus Christ himself
preached a judgment to come, and the apostles of Jesus Christ
preached a judgment to come. Peter says, „I want to stir up
your minds now to remember that,” and then he gives the
reason: „Knowing this first, that in the last days mockers
shall come with mockery, walking after their own lusts and
saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for from the day
that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were
from the beginning of the creation.”
In other words, men would mock at the idea of human ac_
countability to God at the second advent; that Jesus is dead
and gone and there is no coming back. One may go where he
is, but he is not coming back here. And they based their argu_
ment – what they called a scientific argument – on the course
of nature, natural law, the succession of events, i.e., „Since
the fathers fell asleep everything continues just as it has done
since the world was created.” „The order of nature is an
argument,” says Hume, „stronger than any miracle.” „The
sun rose yesterday and will rise tomorrow as it has been rising
every day since the creation, and this idea of the destruction
of the material universe is unscientific and you need not be
afraid of any such thing as that taking place.”
Now that is what Peter is going to reply to and it is the most
masterful argument that I ever heard or ever read. He says,
first, that they wilfully forget that the world was created and
dry land appeared compacted by the water and yet there did
come a cataclysm by which the world that was, perished, a
deluge over the whole earth over sixteen hundred years after
the creation and those men rebuked Noah, saying, „You talk
about the destruction of the world; why since the world was
made there has just been a regular succession of events and the
ocean has its barriers; ‘here shall thy proud waves be staid,’
and what is the use to try to scare people by talking about a
rain? It is unscientific. There can’t be a submersion of the
whole world.”
Some foolish people tell us that now; that there can be no
such thing as a universal deluge. Peter refers to how there
came to be an earth. Everything was in a chaotic, liquid state
and God separated the waters, the waters above from the
waters below by the firmament, that is, the atmosphere. All
water turned into vapor, being lighter than air, rose as clouds

and before it turned into vapor it was below the clouds. Now,
in that way was brought about the appearance of dry land and
God brought it about, by which means he says, being reversed
or by a reversal of those means, he could bring about the del_
uge. If, when he stored up the waters in the seas and gathered
the waters above the clouds, causing dry land to appear, by
a reversal of that principle he c&n reduce the whole thing to a
liquid mass again and the earth can be submerged as it once
was. The whole of the earth was under water originally in the
chaotic period.
Now, Peter says that event took place, notwithstanding _the
scientific argument based on the law of nature and the con_
tinuity of events, i.e., the regular order of events. Peter ad_
mits that God promised that it should never any more be
destroyed by water, but he says that the word of God that
prophesied its destruction by water the first time, prophesied
its destruction by fire the second time, and as water was stored
up, so that when the time came the windows of heaven were
opened and all the water above came down and the fountains
of the great deep were broken up and all the waters in the
earth’s system rose up and submerged the world, so God has
stored up fire for the destruction of the earth the last time.
And we have the same word of God for the one as we have for
the other, and, as there was a universal deluge of water, 60
there will be a universal deluge of fire.
He goes on to show that the elements shall melt with fervent
heat; that the ocean itself will be an ocean of flame. God has
only to make one chemical change and fire will leap at once
out of the bosom of the earth and out of the air and out of the
water. Now, there is nothing in the word of God that is more
abundantly taught than that this earth shall undergo a purga_
tion of fire. The old prophets taught it. Malachi describes
how, at the second advent, when the saints are caught up and
God gathers his jewels and there is no longer any salt – spirit_
ual salt – left upon the earth to preserve it, no longer any
spiritual light to illuminate its darkness, no longer any mis_
sionaries interceding that the wicked may be spared. Just at
that instant the whole earth will be wrapped in fire and the
wicked shall become ashes under the feet of the righteous and
while every living Christian will be changed, every living sin_
ner, at that time, will be burned to death, physical death, but
there will be a resurrection. That will be the day that tries
by fire.
Now, having affirmed that doctrine he proceeds with his next
argument. They say, „Where is the promise of his coming?”
They have made their second argument on the time of the
second advent. As an Old Testament prophet says, „Because
sentence against an evil deed is not speedily executed the
hearts of the children of men are set in them to do evil.” Or,
as a lawyer tells us, that what gives power to human law is,
first, the certainty of punishment and, second, the speediness
of it. Now, they apply that thought to a divine judgment.
When a man first commits an offense he is a coward, he is
afraid of a storm. He thinks, perhaps, God has commissioned
some bolt of lightning to strike him. If a leaf falls he thinks it
is the footstep of an enemy; if a man comes to meet him, he
thinks he comes to bear him evil tidings. „The wicked flee when
no man pursueth.” But after a while when nothing catches
him and he just goes on, he begins to draw breath and says,
„There is nothing after me. I am all right. Surely if there was
a God he would strike a murderer down, he would strike an
adulterer down, he would not allow the innocent to be trampled
upon,” and he concludes from the tardiness of the second ad_
vent, the protracting of the time beyond human expectation,
that it is not coming at all.
Now, Peter is going to meet that. He admits that the Lord
said he would come quickly, and, that humanly speaking, he
has not come quickly. Now what the explanation of it? The
explanation is that he will come quickly as God means „quick_
ly,” and not as we understand „quickly.” With God a thou_
sand years are as one day, and one day is as a thousand years.
He is not slack about the promise as men count slackness, but
there is an explanation of the long_deferred second advent and
the general judgment, and he proceeds to give that explana_
He says that the reason of it is that God willeth not the
death of men and desires that all men should come to a knowl_
edge of repentance, and he postpones the day of judgment
through his long_suffering, merely to give opportunity for more
people to be saved, and that is the construction one must put
upon the long_suffering of God. He must count that the long_
suffering of God means salvation.
Here he refers to the letters of Paul. He says, „As brother
Paul hath written you.” Peter is writing to the Hebrews of
the dispersion in Asia Minor and says, „Brother Paul hath
written you a letter and as in all of his letters he bears out the
view which I am presenting to you) and you must put that
construction upon it.”
And how profoundly this is brought out in Paul’s letter to
the Hebrews! There Paul says, „Though he tarry) he will come
and not tarry.” Because he didn’t come to avenge them of
their adversaries, some of them wanted to quit and turn loose.
Now Peter quotes Paul and includes all of Paul’s letters, and
some of the letters were written to that class of Jews, and one
letter most particularly, namely, Hebrews. He says, „Even
as our beloved brother Paul also) according to the wisdom
given to him, wrote unto you,” and he admits that in Paul’s
letter there are some things hard to be understood, and we will
agree to that, because he was the most profound philosopher
of the gospel dispensation. He considered every aspect of sal_
vation. He carried it out from its incipiency in the love of
God before the foundation of the world and in the foreknow-
ledge, predestination, and election of God to its consummation
in glorification, and in dealing with these vast mysteries there
are some things hard to be understood, which they that are
not steadfast or are unlearned wrest to their own destruction.
For instance, in speaking to the Galatians he said, „Stand
fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made you free.” Now,
the Antinomian says, „You see that? That means liberty. You
are not under bondage to the law. Christ nailed the law to the
cross, therefore you can lie and steal and do anything you
please.” Now that is wresting the Scriptures to their own de_
struction. Paul spoke of the second advent to the Thessalonians
and they concluded that if that was so, it was not worth while
to do any more work, just quit work and deed away all their
property. All that anybody would need was about three days’
rations and an ascension robe. So they wrested the Scriptures.
We now come to the most important part of the chapter. He
says, in verse 10, „But the day of the Lord will come as a
thief; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great
noise and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat and
the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
Seeing that these things are thus all to be dissolved, what man_
ner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness,
looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of
God.” That is the exhortation and practical application.
But now that climax thought that I referred to is verse 13:
„But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and
a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” Paul takes up
the same thing in his letter to the Romans. He says, „The
whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain until now, being
made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him
who subjected the same in hope,” and that on that day of the
redemption of our bodies, the earth itself shall be redeemed and
out of the fires that burn up the world (not annihilate it any
more than the flood annihilated it) there shall come a new
world, and new heavens bending above us and upon that new
earth no wicked man will ever put his foot and no slimy ser_
pent will leave his trail, but the saints shall inherit the earth
and from one end of the earth to the other it shall be full of
the knowledge of the Lord and as holy as heaven is holy.
In the book of Revelation we have the account of the condi_
tion after the judgment is over, after the fire has taken place.
John says, „I saw a new heaven and a new earth, and I saw
the holy city, the new Jerusalem, as a bride adorned for her
husband, coming down,” the redeemed people coming down
to the new, purified earth to be the abode of the righteous for_
ever, not that they are to be restricted to living upon the earth,
but he means to say that this very earth which has been the
abode of wickedness and stained with crimes and whose oceans
which have engulfed their thousands and millions shall give
up their dead and the earth shall belong to the people of God
and the saints shall inherit the earth. God will redeem the
physical earth as well as the people upon the earth.
Now he closes this letter by stating: „Therefore, beloved,
knowing these things beforehand, beware lest being carried
away by the error of the wicked, ye fall from your steadfast_
ness. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ.” That is one of the greatest texts of the
Bible: „Grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord
Jesus Christ.” Spurgeon, in his sermon on that text, says, „You
grow in grace as you grow in knowledge. Every new thing
you learn about the grace of God, not theoretically, but in your
heart experimentally, and apply it in your life, that knowledge
enables you to grow in grace.”

1. What the connection between 2 Peter 3 and the preceding chapter?
2. What the views of the Gnostic teachers which bear on the second
advent of our Lord?
3. What appeal does Peter make here and what the teaching of these
different authorities?
4. What reason does he assign?
5. What the argument of the mockers and on what did they base
their argument?
6. What Hume’s statement on this point?
7. What Peter’s argument in reply?
8. What theory here advanced as to God’s method of bringing the
9. What the Old Testament testimony on this point?

10. What the second argument of these mockers and on what Old
Testament teaching may it be based?
11. How does Peter meet it?
12. What Peter’s reference to Paul here, what the point involved and
what does he say of Paul’s writings?
13. Why might we expect Paul’s writings to be hard to understand?
14. What the attending events of the second advent according to
Peter here?
15. What his exhortation based thereon?
16. What the climax thought of all this discussion by Peter and what
the corroberative testimony of Paul and John?
17. What his second exhortation (3:14)?
18. What his final exhortation, what great sermon cited on it and
what the line of thought in it?


This letter is by far the strangest of the New Testament
books, whether we consider the external evidence of it, its can_
onicity) or the subject matter. It is surprising, not only that
the external evidence in its favor is stronger than for the earlier
letter of his more illustrious brother James and for the second
letter of Peter, which it strikingly resembles, but also that this
evidence, unlike that in the case of the James letter, should
be so much stronger in the West than in the East.
The strangeness of its subject matter consists of five par_
ticulars, all of which must be carefully considered in the ex_
1. Its likeness to 2 Peter: This likeness is startling enough,
without unduly multiplying and magnifying the points of re_
semblance, as does Canon Farrar in his usual extreme way.
There is enough of the indisputable resemblance to raise two
questions, both of which must be answered, later, to wit: (1)
Which borrowed from the other? (2) Is the borrowing out_
right plagiarism?
2. Its alleged endorsement of a variant Septuagint rendering
of Genesis 6:1_4, making the great sin leading to the deluge
to consist of unnatural relations between angels and women,
resulting in a monstrous progeny.
3. Its alleged quotation from and endorsement of an
apochryphal book, The Assumption of Moses, in the reference
to the contention of Michael and Satan for the body of Moses.
4. Its alleged quotation from and endorsement of the apoc_
ryphal book of Enoch.
5. In being the only New Testament book containing the
word Agapae, i.e., love feasts.
The author is frank to say that if the letter clearly endorses
the alleged cohabitation of angels and women, and the doctrine
of the Assumption of Moses (that the dead body of Moses
was raised and glorified without seeing corruption), and en_
dorses the apocryphal book of Enoch, or any one of the three,
then it is in such palpable conflict with unmistakable, abun_
dant, and indisputable Bible teachings, that its own claim to
inspiration is, in his judgment, nullified. There is a canon, or
rule, of faith which tests every doctrine of a book. Bible truths
are homogeneous and congruous. A sound doctrine may be run
through every book of the Bible without collision with any
other doctrine of the system, as all the bones of a human skele_
ton may be articulated without distortion or displacement of
others. But the bones of a brute skeleton will not fit into the
human frame. If we try to pass any one of the three teachings
named above through the Bible books, we are knocking other
teachings over right and left, or lodging in a cul_de_sac, or
butting against a wall. This characteristic of Bible books and
doctrines is the highest proof of inspiration. A trend proves
the course of a river more than a bend here or there.
We now consider, in order, the usual questions on introduc_
tions: Who the author? On the face of the letter, the answer
is clear: „Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of
James” (v. 1), but not an apostle: „But ye, beloved, remember
ye the words which have been spoken before by the apostles
of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they said unto you, In the last
time there shall be mockers, walking after their own ungodly
lusts” (w. 17_18).
The James here named is doubtless the great first pastor of
the church at Jerusalem, and author of the New Testament
letter of that name. Then, as the New Testament gives ac_
count of only one pair of brothers named „James and Jude”
(Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3), the brother of our Lord, we ought
to be done with this question.
2. But what one purely gratuitous and artificial difficulty has
foisted itself upon the otherwise simple problems of identifying
this Jude and caused endless complications and controversies?
The baseless theory of the perpetual virginity of Mary, the

mother of our Lord. Apart from this theory, a mere glance at
eight groups of pertinent passages in the New Testament, to be
cited below, with the observance of the commonest of princi_
ples, grammatical construction and interpretation, would not
only suffice to settle the question forever, but to excite amaze_
ment that any critic should dare to advocate a different con_
3. What two distinct classes advocate the theory of the
perpetual virginity of Mary? Non_Romanists and Romanists.
4. In what way has the first class muddled a simple ques_
tion? Non_Romanists, on sentimental grounds, have been un_
willing to believe that Mary bore children to Joseph after the
birth of our Lord. They have felt constrained, therefore, to set
aside the prima_facie and common_sense meaning of many
scriptures, (1) by a mere conjecture, based on no shred of evi_
dence, that Joseph was a widower with a large family of chil_
dren when he married Mary. We know the names of four sons
besides the sisters, number not given. If, then, we allow for a
decent interval between the death of the alleged first wife and
marriage with Mary, and for the usual interval between chil_
dren, this would make James about fifteen years older than OUT
Lord, a condition at war with all the scriptural facts.
Or (2) they have put forward another guess that the brothers
and sisters of our Lord were only cousins, children of Clopas
and Mary’s sister. Just why these children lived with their aunt,
instead of their own parents, they fail to explain. But having
guessed this much, they must guess more, and identify Clopas
with Alpheus in order to number two of these nephews with the
twelve apostles.
5. And how do Romanists muddle the question? They, too,
advocate the second guess above, and make the perpetual vir_
ginity of Mary a part of an extensive Mariology, which devel_
ops into a blasphemous Mariolatry, deifying a woman, and
changing the gospel into another gospel. She and not her Son
bruised the serpent’s head (see their Latin version of Genesis
3:15). Her own conception is declared immaculate as well as
her Son’s (see decree of Pius IX on the immaculate conception
of the virgin Mary, Dec. 8, 1845). In an encylical letter, Febru_
ary, 1849, preparing the way for this declaration, this Pope
writes: „The whole ground of our confidence is placed in the
most Holy Virgin . . . God has vested in her the plenitude of all
good, so that henceforth, if there be in us any hope, if there be
any grace, if there be any salvation, we must receive it solely
from her, according to the will of him who would have us pos_
sess all through Mary” (quoted in Schaff’s Creed of Christen_
dom) . Her assumption into heaven without death, there to be
the queen of heaven and mediatrix between men and Jesus, is
also affirmed. She must be adored.
6. What sets of scriptural passages bear on these two theories
of the brothers of our Lord? Eight groups of passages bear on
this matter. That the series may be considered in the time
order, they are cited from one of our textbooks, Broadus’ Har_
mony of the Gospels, so far as the gospels cover them, and are
so numbered:
(1) Harmony, page 7, Sec. 6, Matthew 1:18_25. The section
commences thus: „Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this
wise: When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph,
before they came together she was found with child of the Holy
Ghost.” Then follows the account of the purpose of Joseph to
put her away privily, until assured by the angel of the Lord:
‘Tear not to take unto thee Mary, thy wife.” The section
closes thus: „And Joseph . . . did as the angel of the Lord com_
manded and took unto him his wife; and knew her not until she
had brought forth a Son.” All we are asked to do is to put on
this passage the most natural construction, and determine for
ourselves whether Joseph and Mary lived together as man and
wife after the birth of Jesus.
(2) Harmony, page 20, Sec. 20, John 2:12: „After this he
went down to Capernaum, he and his mother and his brethren
and his disciples.” Here observe that Joseph had disappeared
from the history, not to appear again. The last notice of him
was when Jesus was twelve years old. He and Mary had lived
together as man and wife for many years at Nazareth, until Be
died. Consequently Jesus, the first_born, is the head of the
family and following him are his mother and his brothers
(Greek, adelphoi). The primary and natural meaning of this
word is „brothers,” in this case, children of the same mother.
Where the context demands it, the word may be applied to
kindred of a remoter degree, though the Greek has quite a dif_
ferent word for „cousins,” never applied in the New Testament
to these „brothers.” In like manner the word is often applied to
those who are spiritual brothers. Yet the primary, natural
meaning of adelphoi, „sons of a common parent,” must be re_
tained unless the obvious context demands another sense. We
do well, also, to note that this passage distinguishes his broth_
ers from his disciples.
(3) Harmony, pages 59_60, Sec. 50, Matthew 12:46_50;
Mark 3:31_35; Luke 8:19_21. Here his mother and his broth_
ers intrude on his work, seeking to interrupt a public service.
Indeed, we may safely gather from Mark’s preceding words
(3:20_21), that his family, according to the flesh, are but fol_
lowing up what his friends sought to do, i. e., „lay hold on him,
for they said, he is beside himself.” Their conclusion that he
was „beside himself” was drawn from hearing that his spiritual
duties were so pressing that „they could not so much as eat
bread.” The restraint they sought to put on him was almost
tantamount to what we would call „serving a writ of lunacy.”
It was this intrusion that he sternly rebuked by saying, „Who
is my mother and who are my brothers? And he stretched forth
his hand toward his disciples and said, Behold my mother and
my brothers,” sharply discriminating between brothers accord_
ing to nature and according to the Spirit. The whole lesson not
only implies that these were his brothers in the common and
natural sense, but also that they were not disciples.
(4) Harmony, pages 70_71, Sec. 54, Matthew 13:54_58;
Mark 6:1_5. This is an account of his second reception at
Nazareth, his own city, where he had lived for about thirty
years, where all the people knew the entire family. And it is
the Nazarenes, familiar with every event of the family history
who say, „Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and
brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon? And are
not his sisters here with us?” Here for the first time we come
on the names of his four brothers, including „James and Jude.”
The people of this village, intimate with the family for thirty
years, know nothing of a cousin theory. They know nothing
of Mary’s having adopted a houseful of nephews and nieces.
Neither does the New Testament. Nothing but the pressing
need to save a theory could ever have so distorted this simple
straightforward narrative from its obvious meaning.
(5) Harmony, page 102, Sec. 73, John 7:2_9. We have only
to read this section, describing an event late in his history, to
see how far apart in spirit is our Lord from his four younger
half brothers. Indeed, the inspired John expressly says, „For
even his brothers did not believe in him.” If we consider that
this incident occurred after the long Galilean ministry was
ended, and that his twelve apostles were ordained at the begin_
ning of this ministry, before the Sermon on the Mount was
preached, or the first great group of parables were delivered
(see Harmony, page 44f.), we see how straitened that theory
must be to make his unbelieving brothers, always so far dis_
tinguished from his disciples, identical with the two apostles,
James the son of Alpheus, and James and Jude, otherwise
called Thaddeus and Lebbeus. There is no evidence whatever
that any of his four brothers was a believer, until after his
resurrection, and usually their conversion is attributed to his
appearances after his resurrection (see I Cor. 15: 7: „He ap_
peared to James”). We now take up Acts instead of the Har_
(6) Acts 1:13_14, telling what followed his ascension forty
flays after his resurrection, gives by name all the twelve apos_
tles, closing thus: „These all [referring to the apostles just
named] with one accord continued steadfastly in prayer, with
the women, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with his breth_
ren.” Here again they are expressly distinguished from the
twelve apostles, though now believers, and who were ten days
later, with the apostles, baptized in the Holy Spirit.
(7) I Corinthians 9:5. Years later _Paul referred to them as
married men, but again distinguished them from the twelve
apostles, also married men. No man) with unprejudiced mind,
can read these seven scriptures,, in their natural context, and
observing fair principles of grammatical construction and in_
terpretation, and avoid these conclusions: That Joseph and
Mary, after the birth of Jesus, lived together as any other man
and wife; that there were born to them sons and daughters;
that after the death of Joseph, Jesus was head of the house, the
mother and younger children following him; that none of these
younger brothers were converted until after his resurrection;
that from their conversion, however, all these brothers were
faithful Christians; that two of them became authors of New
Testament letters, and James early became pastor of the Jeru_
salem church, and was held in high esteem; that in the nature
of the case, none of them were of the twelve apostles to the
circumcision; that there is no evidence at all that Joseph was
a widower with a large family of sons and daughters.
(8) As the final scriptural argument, I now submit the four
lists of the twelve apostles to the circumcision, which I ask the
reader to examine carefully in both the Greek and the English.
These lists appear at Matthew 10:2_4; Mark 3:14_19; Luke
6:13_16; Acts 1:13. Neither from these lists nor from any other
passage in the New Testament can it be proved that there was
among the twelve a pair of brothers named „James and Jude.”
On the contrary, the preponderance of the evidence is decidedly
the other way. It is clear from the lists and other scriptures
that Simon Peter and Andrew were brothers, sons of Jonah or
John, and that James and John, sons of Zebedee, were brothers,
but there the proof stops on the pairs of brothers. To save
time, it is conceded that the „Thaddeus” of Mark’s and Mat_
thew’s list is the same with the first „Jude” of Luke’s list. The
„Lebbeus” given in some of the manuscripts of Matthew and
Mark. is only a marginal explanation of Thaddeus, both being
terms of endearment, which might well be applied to Jude, the
real name.
Neither Matthew nor Mark make Thaddeus a brother of
James, the son of Alpheus, which is the more remarkable in
Matthew’s case, since he so particularly notes that Simon and
Andrew are brothers, and James and John, sons of Zebedee,
are brothers. In neither of Luke’s lists are James, the son of
Alpheus, and Jude paired; Simon, the zealot, in both lists, pairs
with James, the son of Alpheus. Luke’s list alone gives the
name of Jude, and in neither list is the word „brother” used.
In his gospel list, where the construction demands the accusa_
tive case, the Greek is Joudan Jacobou, literally „Jude of
James,” or „James’ Jude.” In the Acts list, nominative form,
it is Joudas Jacobou, meaning as before „Jude of James,” or
„James’ Jude.” But what is more remarkable in the Acts list,
we have an exactly similar form, Jacobos Alphaiou, which no
scholar hesitates to render „James the son of Alpheus.” Then
why hesitate to render Joudas Jacobou, „Jude, the son of
James”? This would not mean that Jude was the son of either
James in the apostolic list. It is every way improbable that
there were a father and son among the apostles, but merely that
Jude’s father was named James, as John’s father was named
Zebedee, and Peter’s father named Jonah, or John. It is not
necessary that we should know that James was Jude’s father
any more than that John was Peter’s father. Accordingly, the
American Standard Revision in both of Luke’s lists says,
„Jude, the son of James,” as we find in the textbook. This
rendering is not merely defensible, but is the better gram_
matical rendering where there is nothing in the context or else_
where in the New Testament that supplied the word „brother.”
In verse I of the letter to Jude, we have Joudas Adelphos
Jacobou, which, of course, means „Jude, the brother of James.”
But when we come to prove that this Jude, brother of James,
The Adelphos settles it, as it settles Andrew’s relation to Peter.
is identical with the Jude in Luke’s list of the twelve apostles,
then we confront the Latin proverb: Hic labor, hoc opus est.
Certainly the Jude of this letter not only makes no such claim,
but in verses 17_18 teaches the contrary, clearly distinguishing
himself from the apostles. Nor does James, his brother, make
such claims in his letter. The whole muddle comes from a
strained effort to sustain the baseless theory, the perpetual vir_
ginity of Mary.
To all these scriptural testimonies, only two passages can be
even seemingly opposed, and they have no real force, but I
cite them:
First, it is objected that if Mary had sons of her own, Jesus
on the cross would not have commended his mother to the care
of John, the son of Zebedee (see John 19:26_27). The reply is
obvious. (1) Mary and her sons were very poor. The family
had always been poor. Even when Jesus, forty days old, was
presented in the Temple as a first_born, holy unto God, the
family could offer as a sacrifice only a pair of turtledoves, or
two young pigeons, the minimum offering of extreme poverty.
He was only a carpenter, the son of a carpenter, doing com_
mon, crude work for a pitiful compensation. Later on, his life_
work absorbed his time and labor without compensation, ex_
cept only that the first Ladies’ Aid Society ministered unto him
of their substance. Jesus says of himself, „The foxes have holes,
and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not
where to lay his head.” But John was well_to_do. Jesus wanted
his mother to have a settled home. Her sons had nothing.
Second, at this time her sons were unbelievers, and out of
sympathy with Jesus and his work. The Lord wanted her to
have a sympathetic Christian home where Christian influence
would be exerted over her younger children. The provision he
thus made accomplished all the objects he contemplated, and
thus justified itself.
As far as history throws its light of these brothers of our Lord
and their descendants, they remained extremely poor. Eusebius
preserves an illustration, a fragment of Hegesippus. The story
goes that Domitian was apprehensive of the descendants of
David. The grandsons of this very Jude were brought before
him. But when he saw how poor they were, their hands horny
with hard labor, and heard their explanation that the kingdom
of our Lord was spiritual, he dismissed them in contempt, no
longer fearing a rival in any kingdom of our Lord.
The second objection is based on Galatians 1:19, which says,
„I tarried with Cephas fifteen days, but other of the apostles
saw I none, save James, the Lord’s brother.” It is claimed that
Paul here calls James an apostle, and impliedly one of the
The reply is: A fair rendering of the Greek is, „Other of the
apostles saw I none, but only James the Lord’s brother.” Which
means, I saw Peter only of the apostles, but I saw James, the
Lord’s brother. Apart from this, a number were called apostles
in the etymological, but not official, sense of the word. Jesus
himself was called an apostle, and so was Barnabas. In the
same way, Jesus was called a deacon, and was one etymo_
logically, though not officially.
The conclusion of the author is that the writer of this letter
is Jude, a younger half_brother of our Lord, a son of Joseph
and Mary, and a full brother of that James who wrote the New
Testament letter of that name and was pastor of the church
at Jerusalem) and whose martyrdom, according to Josephus,
was one of the causes of the downfall of Jerusalem.
Our next question is, To whom addressed? The letter itself
says, „To them that are called beloved in God, the Father, and
kept for Jesus Christ,” but as its argument so closely follows
Peter’s letter, which was addressed to Christian Jews of Asia
Minor, and as both attack certain phases of the Gnostic phi_
losophy originating and prevailing in Proconsular Asia, we may
safely infer that wavering Christian Jews of Asia Minor are
addressed. Jude’s own statement is indefinite, but the whole
argument is Jewish.
What the likeness between 2 Peter and Jude? Second Peter
is very much like Jude’s verses 4_16 in the following particu_
1. Both warn against heretics who are denying the Lord that
bought them (2 Peter 2:1; Jude 4).
2. These heretics, in both cases, turn the grace of God into
lasciviousness (Jude 4; 2 Peter 2:2).
3. They crept into the churches privily, and worked privily
(2 Peter 2:1; Jude 4).
4. In both, their motive is covetousness (Jude II; 2 Peter
5. In both, these heretics despise government, or rail at dig_
nities (2 Peter 2:10; Jude 8).
6. In both, they employ swelling words of vanity (2 Peter
2:18; Jude 16).
7. In both, they are described as ignorant, following neither
reason nor gospel, but are like the brutes in instincts and pas_
sions (2 Peter 2:12; Jude 10).
8. In both, they are described as marring the Christian
feasts, „spots and blemishes revelling in their deceivings while
they feast with you” (2 Peter 2:13). „Hidden rocks in your
love_feasts, when they feast with you, shepherds that without
fear feed themselves” (Jude 12).
9. In both, they are compared to Balaam (2 Peter 2:5; Jude
10. In Peter (2:17) they are „springs without water, and
mists driven by storms,” and in Jude, „clouds without water
carried along by winds” (v. 12).
11. Both Peter and Jude cite three historical examples to
show the certain judgment on such evildoers, which in two in_
stances are the same in both, to wit: the punishment of sinning
angels, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
These are not all the resemblances, but they are quite suffi_
cient to show that whichever was the later copied much from
the other. But this leads to the question: Who wrote first? In
the absence of historical proof we have only internal evidence
to guide our conclusion. As in all other conclusions dependent
on internal evidence alone, anything approaching unanimity is
impossible. Criticism on the internal evidence is not a science.
Men equally disinterested and scholarly reach opposite conclu_
sions. The historical evidence of two competent witnesses, if
we had them, would be worth more than the volumes of criti_
cism based on comparison of the two letters.
Canon Farrar is infallibly sure that Jude wrote first. The
author, with all of Farrar’s argument before him, and the argu_
ments of even greater men agreeing with him, reaches, but not
so dogmatically, the opposite conclusion, viz: that Peter wrote
first. In his judgment the heresies denounced are older and
riper when Jude writes. There is more expansion of the points
common to both in Jude. Peter refers to fallen angels; Jude
does the same, and specifies their sin. Peter refers to unfallen
angels who rail not at dignities; so does Jude, and adds an
example. Peter cites the case of Balaam; so does Jude, and
adds the case of Cain and Korah. Peter refers to the evil of the
presence of these heretics at the Christian feasts and describes
them in vivid images. Jude does the same and names the feasts
and adds to the vivid images.
To the author, it seems more probable that Jude would ex_
pand the teaching of an apostle, than that an apostle would
depend on Jude for his ideas and lines of thought, condensing
from an inferior. In verses 17_18, Jude seems to quote from 2
Peter 3:3. This quotation and testimony of Peter’s apostolic
office amount to a confession of Jude’s knowledge of 2 Peter
and dependence on it, proper enough in his case, but highly im_
probable if reversed. The dependence confessed amounts to
a defense against the charge of outright plagiarism. There
would be no like defense for Peter if he wrote later than Jude.
He nowhere even indirectly acknowledges dependence on
another. If Peter wrote later than Jude, he is convicted of
While Jude derives much from Peter, and seems to confess it,
the dependence, if confessed, is not slavish. He not only con_
tributes new matter to every fact or thought he copies, but
manifests both individuality and originality in his use of the
ratter copied. He writes with a pen of fire and proves himself
a master in rhetorical images.
The reader must note particularly the characterstic which
most distinguishes Jude from 2 Peter, to wit: his threes. Not
only his three historical examples agreeing with Peter in verses
5_7, but also the three offenses of verse 8, the three evil exam_
ples of verse 11, the three characteristics of verse 19, the three-
fold remedy of verses 20_21, and the threefold discipline
verse 22.

1. The author and his greeting (vv. 1_2).
2. The purpose of the letter (v. 3).
3. The occasion of the letter (v. 4).
4. The three historical examples to prove God’s punish_
ment of heresy and rebellion (vv. 5_7).
5. The three offenses against the light of this history com_
mitted by these heretics, which make them unlike holy angels,
and like unreasoning brutes (vv. 8_10).
6. Woe denounced on them for following the examples of
three great historic sinners (v. II).
7. The evil influence of their presence at the Christian love
feasts (vv. 12_13).
8. The prophecy of Enoch against them (w. 14_16).
9. Their coming foretold by the apostles (w. 17_19).
10. A threefold preventive against becoming like them (w.
11. A threefold treatment of discipline prescribed (vv. 22_
12. Benediction (w. 24_25).

1. What things make this the strangest of the New Testament books?
2. What does the author of the book say of himself?
3. What baseless theory needlessly complicates the question of iden_
tifying the author?
4. What two classes advocate the theory and what the grounds of
the advocacy in. each case?
5. In what two ways, one or the other, do Non_Romanists in advo_
cating this theory account for the brothers and sisters of our Lord ill
Matthew 9:55 and Mark 6:3?
6. What your reply to the first?
7. Which of the two advocated by the Romanists, and why?
8. Cite in order, the eight groups of passages, with the argument of
each, disproving the theory.
9. Cite and reply to the two passages seemingly supporting the
10. What the points of likeness to 2 Peter?
11. Who the later writer and why?
12. What one characteristic distinguishes Jude most from 2 Peter?
13. What the outline?

Jude 1_25

In the introduction to this letter we have found the author to
be, not an apostle, as we see from verse 17 of the letter itself,
but to be Jude, the brother of James, a younger half brother of
our Lord. And from its general agreement in subject matter
with 2 Peter 2, and its evident reference to the Gnostic philoso_
phy of the Lycus Valley, the probable conclusion was reached
that it was addressed to Christian Jews of Asia Minor. And
as there is no evidence in the Bible or out of it that this Jude,
or any of the younger children of Joseph and Mary ever left
the Holy Land, it was concluded that the letter was written
from Jerusalem, and that it was written before the downfall of
that city. Jerusalem was taken by Titus in A.D. 70, and this
book was written probably A.D. 68. Indeed, the author regards
the book of Jude as the latest book of New Testament litera_
ture, except the writings of John – his three letters, his gospel
and Revelation, which were all much later than other New Tes_
tament books.
The occasion and purpose of this letter, appear in verses 3_4:
„Beloved, while I was giving all diligence to write unto you of
our common salvation, I was constrained to write unto you,
exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was
once for all delivered unto the saints, for there are certain men
crept in privily, even they who were of old written of before_
hand unto this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace
of our God into lasciviousness, and denying our only Master
and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
There are both the occasion and purpose of the letter. We
distinguish between the occasion and the purpose in this way:
Certain men, whose heresies come under two heads – their de_
nial of Jesus Christ and their turning of the grace of God unto
lasciviousness, occasioned the letter. The purpose of the letter
is an earnest exhortation to contend for the faith which was
once for all delivered unto the saints.
We see from these two verses that Jude was already con_
templating writing concerning the common salvation, but be_
fore he had put that general purpose into execution, the
occasion arose that called upon him to write on a specific part
of that common salvation.
Look at certain words in these verses: „The common salva_
tion.” Just exactly what does he mean by that? The thought
is that the salvation of the gospel is not local, provincial, or
divergent, but like its universal gospel applies alike to all its
subjects everywhere, whether in Judea, or in the land of the
dispersion, and brings them into a common brotherhood. Jude’s
expression, „our common salvation,” is in line with Paul’s ex_
pression, in his letter to Titus – „our common faith.” Common
salvation; – common faith. That is, faith which lays hold on
salvation is as common as the salvation itself. Saving faith is
the same in Judea, in Samaria, and in the uttermost parts of the
earth. That is what is meant by common salvation and by
common faith. He says that the purpose of his book is to urge
that they shall contend earnestly for the faith which was once
for all delivered to the saints, which is strictly in line with the
preceding thought about the common salvation. As to be saved
means the same thing all over the world, and as faith which
lays hold of that salvation 1S the same all over the world, so
the faith, or the body of truth proclaimed by our Lord himself,
and which was committed to his apostles as a deposit of truth,
and which they in turn committed to the churches, is the same
everywhere and always. It simply means that this body of
doctrine so delivered, was all_sufficient for all time to come
without addition or subtraction.
The question arises, where else in the New Testament is this
idea of „the faith” as referring to the body or system of truth
taught? In Paul’s letter to Timothy the same expression is

used – „the faith” as standing opposed to Gnosticism, and like
Paul, Jude puts over against the teaching of the Gnostics „the
faith,” the sacred deposit of truth. This faith, or the body of
truth, he says, was delivered. It was not originated by man –
it was delivered. Paul says, „I have delivered unto you that
which I also received,” and then he begins to give his summary.
First, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scrip_
tures ; second, that he was buried; third, that he rose again the
third day; fourth, that he was recognized as risen. And we
find in Paul’s letters quite a number of the summaries of the
faith once for all delivered to the saints.
In his Gospel, Luke refers to the same thought. He was anx_
ious for Theophilus to know of „the certainty of the things
which are commonly believed among us.” One of the best books
of modern times on this subject is Faith and The Faith, by T.
T. Eaton. He distinguished rightly between faith as an act of
the man taking hold of salvation, and THE faith, or body of
truth that was delivered. Every preacher ought to carefully
read Dr. Eaton’s little book. It is a fine discussion. What a
great pity that all who claim to be Baptists in the United States
do not read that little book.
I must call attention just here to the importance of this tre_
ble idea. Salvation is common; it is not different in England
from what it is in France, nor in Egypt from what it is in Sama_
ria, nor in any one part of the earth from what it is in any other
part. In every part of the earth salvation is the same.
Second, the faith which takes hold of salvation, or the exer_
cise of faith, is the same thing. A man does not become a Chris_
tian one way in Germany, and another way in France.
Whenever and wherever a man is saved, there and then it is a
common salvation, a common faith, „like precious faith.”
So the things preached in order to salvation are the same.
The things to be preached, without any addition, without any
subtraction, in their fullness or sufficiency, are the same. When_
ever a man claims that he has a new truth to preach, we may
know it is false. The truth was delivered once and for all to
the saints, and if I never make any other impression than the
impression concerning the common salvation and the common
faith that lays hold of salvation, the common system of truth
that is preached in order to salvation, that is a big lesson. I
am hoping and praying continually that there shall never go
out from our Seminary any heretic on any one of these three
Here a question arises: Would this mean that no new light
is to break out of God’s Word? It does not mean that at IB.
That old Puritan who entered the emigrant ship in Holland to
come to the United States, struck fire from the rock when he
said: „Brethren, there is yet more light to break out of God’s
Word.” The light is there; it simply means that we have not
yet seen all the light that is in there. It is not a new light, but
it is newly discovered by the student. When I say, then, that
a new truth is a falsehood, I do not mean that a new interpre_
tation or perception of the truth is necessarily a falsehood. A
thousand times since I began the study of the Bible new light
has broken out of the gospel to me. We may let down our buck_
ets into the well of salvation 10,000 times, and so may 10,000
people after we are gone, and yet every man may draw up
fresh water from the inexhaustible springs of joy in the Word
of God. But we do not want any more additions, nor to retire
any part as obsolete.
We recur to the occasion of Jude’s letter. Those men in the
Lycus Valley (it really came from one man, but it spread until
it threatened the gospel of Jesus Christ more than any other
error that has ever been preached in the world, and it is yet
alive), commenced first by trying to account for the universe,
and in accounting for the universe, they discounted Christ’s
part in the universe. They took the position that God would
not concern himself with such a thing as matter, and therefore
he must shade himself down to eons, low enough to touch mat_
ter, that Jesus was one of the lowest emanations from God.
This necessarily reflected upon Jesus Christ, as the Creator of
the world, and hence all the later letters of the Bible bear on
the person of Christ, and on the offices of Christ against this
They taught that sin resided in matter, that the soul or spirit
could not sin, that the escape of the soul from the body at
death, or the quickening of the soul in regeneration was the
resurrection. There was no salvation for the body, and inas_
much as the body returned to nothingness when the soul was
raised from it, therefore it was immaterial what you did in the
body. Hence the turning of the grace of God into lascivious_
ness. It was a teaching of impurity, and the most beastly, brut_
ish kind that the world has ever known.
The question arises: How could such men get into the
church? And Jude answers: „Certain men crept in privily.”
They did not unmask themselves when they joined the church.
They joined the church, but they were not converted men, and
they kept secret their real belief. They were the worst of all
hypocrites, and having crept in privily, as Jude says, they
taught privily. The gospel is daylight work; we preach it on
the housetops. These people who sneaked into the church,
sneaked in their teaching. They would not dare come up be_
fore a public congregation and teach that lust, adultery, dis_
regard of woman’s honor, and the sanctity of the family were
harmless matters. They would not dare to teach that openly,
but they would teach it privily.
The next thing in this heresy was its motive. Its motive was
gain. Peter says they followed the way of Balaam, and Jude
repeats that statement, „for the wages of unrighteousness.”
How could they make a gain out of such teachings? They
could not do it publicly; men would not pay money for that
sort of public instruction. They would go around to people pri_
vily and say, „Here, it is respectable for you to belong to the
church; we do not want you to quit. But there is no need for
you to attend its services. You may forsake the assemblies,
but you should belong to a special inner class who know more
than the uncultured masses. Let the plowmen and slaves, the
common people, respect all these details, but advanced people
do not need any such doctrine as that. Pay us so much, and
we will initiate you secretly.” So there would be separation of
classes in the church, but not withdrawals – separations in the
body of the church, one class distinguished from another class.
When Jude understood this he saw that the only remedy
was to „contend earnestly for the faith, which was once for all
delivered to the saints.” „You must not let these people side_
track you from the person and offices of our Lord Jesus Christ.
You must not let them creep into your home; you must hold
on to the truth of God.” Like Peter, he cites three historical
examples to show that no matter how secretly a man may work,
God brings sure and condign punishment upon the wicked. Who
teaches a heresy does a moral wrong. „I put you in remem_
brance that ye know these things, that the Lord, having saved
a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them
that believed not.” He had saved that nation, and yet out of
the great body of men able to bear arms, 600,000 that left
Egypt, only two of them got to the Promised Land. Why?
God destroyed those that believed not. They were willing
enough to observe the ritual of religion, willing enough to of_
fer the sacrifices, but were not willing to live the religion. They
did not want God to rule in the heart, the imagination, in the
life, and hence they were unbelievers, and every one of them
died under the judgment of God. When the providence of God
executes a half million men for violation of his law, the vio_
lation coming through their unbelieving, then these Gnostic
teachers certainly may not expect to escape.
The next case that he cites_is this: „And the angels that kept
not their own principality, but left their proper habitation, he
hath kept in everlasting bonds under darkness unto the judg_
ment of the great day.” Here Jude tells us of the fall of the
angels and the question naturally comes up: How many falls
of the angels have there been? Does this refer to the time when
Satan, through pride, fell, and certain of the angels followed
him, and are called his angels from that time, or his demons?
Or has there been since that time two other falls of the angels
besides that? There certainly would be a second fall if that
variant Septuagint rendering is true, that angels cohabitating
with women brought about the flood. That would be a second
fall. Then if Nephelim means angels there was a third fall,
after the flood. Is this true? Jude refers to only one fall of the
angels. He says „they left their proper habitation, kept not
their own principalities.” In other words, there is an heirarchy
among the angels. They had their place in heaven, each one or
each class having its principality and powers. Certain angels
did not keep their principality, but left their proper habitation
and followed the devil in that great rebellion. That is every
thing that Jude says about the angels. We would be curious
to know how then some contend that Jude charges that Gene_
sis 6:4 teaches the cohabitation of angels with women, as the
occasion of their fall. We find the basis of their contention in
verse 7: „Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about
them, having in like manner with these . . .” Look at that word,
„these.” There is our word – what is its antecedent? The
radical higher critics say the antecedent is „angels” in the
preceding verse, and they read it this way: „Even as Sodom
and Gomorrah, and the cities about having in like manner
with these angels given themselves over to fornication and
gone after strange flesh.” Toutois, that Greek pronoun, what
is its antecedent? Many commentators think that the ante_
cedent of „these” is the angels that kept not their first estate,
and therefore that Jude teaches that the angels committed
the same offense that is attributed to Sodom and Gomorrah.
And they cite some manuscript of the Septuagint which trans_
lates „sons of God” in Genesis 6:1_4 by „angels.”
In reply I give my discussion on this subject. There I
raised the question: What caused the deluge? The discussion
cites two evil theories of the cause of the deluge. The first
evil theory answers that the Adamites, or the white race, were
guilty of miscegenation with Negroes, the pre_Adamite race.
In favor of that evil theory, there is a book circulating all over
Texas. I knew personally the writer. But with that first theory
we have nothing to do now. The second evil theory gives at)
the cause of the deluge miscegenation between angels and
women_. According to this theory the sons of God, angels,
married the daughters of men because they were fair, and
the scriptural arguments on which that theory rests are these:
First, the angels in the Bible are often called the sons of God.
Second, some manuscripts of the Septuagint have angels in the
context of Genesis 6:4, and instead of reading „the sons of
God took to themselves wives of the daughters of men because
they were fair,” read: „the angels of God, etc.” Just here I
call attention to the fact that the Septuagint was not made –
the Genesis part of it – until about 200 years before Christ,
long after the Old Testament revelations had ceased, and the
Jews had come in contact with heathen nations where old
legends were full of examples of cohabitation between men
and goddesses, and gods and women, and that is where the
idea originated – it came from the heathen.
Their second argument claims that verses 6_7 of Jude show
that the sin of the angels was giving themselves over to strange
flesh. That the monstrous men, the Nephilim, of Genesis 6:4
were angels. The monstrous character of the offspring from
this unnatural cohabitation is cited in support of the theory.
See the latter clause of Genesis 6:4, and also a recent work of
tiction, Man of Seraph. My reply to that, is as follows:
1. It is conceded that sometimes in the Scriptures angels
are called the „sons of God,” but never in Genesis.
2. The rendering, „angels,” instead of „sons of God” in some
Septuagint manuscripts is not a translation of the Hebrew,
but an Alexandrian interpretation substituted for the original.
3. The whole argument in Jude is based upon the assumption
that the pronoun, „these,” in verse 7 has for its antecedent the
noun, „angels,” in verse 6, though a nearer antecedent may
be found in verse 7, namely, „Sodom and Gomorrah.” With
this nearer antecedent, Jude 7 would read: „Even as Sodom
and Gomorrah, and the cities about them, with these,” i.e.,
with Sodom and Gomorrah, not with the angels. Moreover,
the offense in Jude 7 is not the offense in Genesis 6:2. The
latter is marriage – legal marriage.
4. „Nephilim,” or „giants,” neither here nor in Numbers
13:33 means angels. This would be to have another offense
of the angels after the flood.
5. The offspring of the ill_assorted marriage in Genesis 6:4
are not monsters in the sense of prodigies resulting from cross
of species, but „mighty men,” men of renown.
6. „Sons of God” means the Sethites, or Christians, men
indeed by natural generation, but sons of God by regeneration.
In Genesis 4:26, directly connected with this scripture, we
have the origin of the name: „Then began men to be called
by the name of the Lord.” This designation of Christians
is common in both Testaments. I cite particularly Psalm
82:6_7, where we have precisely the same contrast between
the regenerate and the unregenerate as in the text here. „All
of you are sons of the most high. Nevertheless, ye shall die
like men.”
7. The inviolable law of reproduction within the limits of
species – „after their kind” – forbids unnatural interpretation
of this second theory.
8. According to our Lord himself the angels are sexless,
without human passion, neither marrying nor giving in mar_
riage (Luke 20:35).
„Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities, about them,
having in like manner with these,” that is, Sodom and Go_
morrah. There were three other cities – at least three of them
are named in the Bible. Once when I took this position my
critic said, „But you see, the gender of toutois does not agree
with Sodom and Gomorrah. Angels are masculine – so is
toutois. Sodom and Gomorrah are neuter. They cannot
agree.” My reply was toutois, dative plural of toutos, is
either masculine or neuter. So the objection fails. Why
should I run over a near_by antecedent, and hook it on to
one in the preceding verse? I do not expect radical critics to
accept my judgment on the antecedent of toutois, but I stand
on it. In the case of two possible antecedents, both gram_
matically possible, I select the nearer one, which harmonizes
all the Bible teaching, rather than the more distant one which
contradicts the whole trend of Bible teaching. The scripture
must be interpreted in harmony with itself where possible.
That nearer and better antecedent does harmonize with all
other scriptures. Moreover, Jude has already specified the
sin of the fallen angels and has nothing more to say about
them. Their sin was „they kept not their own principality,
but left their proper habitation.” There is no hint of „co_
habitation with women.”
The Bible knows nothing of several falls of the angels, but
only one. We must do one of two things: Either reject this
theory which makes Jude teach the cohabitation of angels
with women, or reject the inspiration of the book. Both can_
not stand.
Jude’s third historical example is the doom of Sodom and
Gomorrah, on account of unnatural sins. They are set forth
as an example of eternal fire, that is, not eternal fire, but a
shadow looking to or presaging eternal fire, as the valley
of Tophet suggests, in a figure, eternal fire. Jesus says it will
be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the judgment
than for the cities which heard and rejected him, indicating
that the punishment passed upon Sodom and Gomorrah was
not the worst punishment man could receive.
In verse 8, „Yet in like manner these,” we come to that
pronoun again. What „these” is this? It is the teachers of
evil in verse 4 who turn the grace of God into lasciviousness.
„These in their dreaming defile the flesh, and set at naught
dominion, and rail at dignities.” Three things – defile the
flesh, set at naught government, rail at dignities.
We now come to another strange thing in Jude. It is
alleged that verse 9 teaches that Jude quotes from an apocry_
phal book called „The Assumption of Moses.” One of the
fathers held that Jude got this idea of the contention of
Michael and the devil from „The Assumption of Moses.” The
book is not extant now – nobody living now has ever seen a
copy of it, but there are some allusions in writers after apos_
tolic days to such a book. These vague allusions accredit
this apocryphal book as teaching that Moses did not die as
other men die, or at least was not allowed to see corruption;
that his body without corruption was taken up to heaven like
Elijah’s body. That is the alleged assumption of Moses which
is exactly what some Romanists teach about the virgin Mary.
They teach that Mary never died, that she never saw cor_
ruption, and that her body was glorified and taken up into
heaven. „The Assumption of Mary” means just that. It is
one of their Romanist doctrines. But the Bible says nothing
about either assumption except to flatly contradict both in its
general teachings.
But „Michael, the Archangel,” who was he? The name ap_
pears first in Daniel 10:21 and 12:1 where he is called the
prince or guardian angel of the Jewish nation. Archangel
means chief or captain of the angels. The name reappears
in the book of Revelation (12:7_9), where as leader of the
unfallen angels he wars with and conquers Satan and his
angels. In a previous discussion I have called your attention
to this distinction between Michael and Gabriel – whenever
there is a fight on hand, Michael is sent; whenever it is a
mission of mercy, Gabriel is sent. Michael is the fighter. He
is the leader, the archangel, the chief angel.
Two questions naturally arise: What was the difficulty
between Michael and the devil about the body of Moses, and
how did Jude know about it? For there is no reference in
the Old Testament to a fight between Michael and the devil
about the body of Moses.
Taking the second question first, to wit: In the absence of
Old Testament light, from what source came Jude’s informa_
tion? A large class of commentators refuse to consider any
source of information but some Jewish tradition. ‘Hinc illae
lachrymae: Hence their trouble in two directions:

1. Which one of the many Jewish traditions? For there
are many prior to the late apocryphal book, called „The As_
sumption of Moses,” some of them very silly, some beautiful
in thought.
2. Where does this reliance on and endorsement of variant
and uninspired tradition land Jude?
My answer is, Jude’s information came from inspiration –
the same source from which many other New Testament ref_
erences come, not given in Old Testament. For example,
Paul’s giving the names, Jannes and Jambres, to the Egyptian
priests who opposed Moses (2 Tim. 3:8). Does inspiration
fall unless buttressed by tradition? Why should I assume
the unnecessary burden of verifying Scripture by Jewish
legend? One of the great offices of inspiration is to guide in
the selection of material and to bring to remembrance.
It is a characteristic of inspiration that it brings to mind
unrecorded things of the past. Jesus speaks of unrecorded
things; Stephen does the same. So does Paul. Why not Jude?
This leaves unanswered the other question, What the con_
tention between Michael and the devil about the body of
Moses? I don’t know. In the absence of scriptural light on
it I cannot say. There was a contention we know, just what
we may modestly suggest as possible or even probable, but
may not affirm.
God himself, according to the record, buried Moses when
he died and no man knoweth just where the place of burial.
For some wise purpose, not disclosed, God kept that place of
sepulture hidden from men. It possibly may have been his
purpose to forestall Jewish pilgrimages to the place which
might result in deifying Moses. There is a tendency to worship
relics. These Jews did worship the brazen serpent until
Hezekiah broke it to pieces saying Nehushtan, i.e., „It is only
a piece of brass.” Romanists today worship relics. Europe
went crazy to rescue the empty tomb of Jesus. Knowing this
superstitious trend in man, and desiring to minister to it,
Satan may have attempted to locate the buried body of Moses
and was successfully resisted by Michael, the guardian angel
of the Jewish people.
Or, as Moses had sinned, and died, Satan who has the
power of death, may have claimed the death_stricken body
as his, which Michael resisted, because it was the body of a
redeemed man, committed to him till God would raise and
glorify it. He would put his brand on all the bodies of the
saints except for the fact that „they sleep in Jesus” and are
angel_guarded until the resurrection. I repeat: Moses sinned;
Moses as a sinner died. The devil has the power of death.
But because his people were partakers of flesh and blood Jesus
partook of the same, that he might destroy him that had the
power of death, that is, the devil. I have the picture in my
mind this way that when Moses died the devil claimed the
body – „that is mine; he is dead.”
Wherever there is death, though we may not see him, and
our friends may not see him, yet he, Satan, is there. He will
be in the room when we die, and if we die out of Christ he
will claim our body.
But when he went to claim the body of Moses, Michael met
him: „You cannot touch the body of a son of God. That is
in the keeping of the angels of God until it is raised from the
dead.” It is certainly a beautiful thought.
Or, yet again, by the body of Moses may be understood his
institutions. So, after the downfall of the Jewish monarchy,
Satan resisted the restoration and re_establishment of the
hierarchy under Joshua, the high priest and Zerubbabel, but
was rebuked of the Lord. This supposition has this merit:
There is an Old Testament record of its containing the very
words which Jude quotes: „The Lord rebuke thee.” (See Zech_
ariah 3:1_2).
Consider next verse II, the woe pronounced on a threefold
sin. „Woe unto them I For they went in the way of Cain,
and ran riotously in the error of Balaam for hire, and per_
ished in the gainsayings of Korah.” What the way of Cain,
the error of Balaam, the gainsayings of Korah? These three
sins are distinct in class, but all heinous. Cain’s way was to
reject an expiatory gin offering. Willing enough was he to
offer thank offerings, but not sin offerings. He denied the
need of atonement. Thousands today walk in his way. Ba-
laam’s error was to suggest to Balak a way by which Israel
could be separated from God, for until separated they could
not be cursed. He suggested that they be corrupted and so
alienated from God, through the women of the idolaters. He
knew this counsel was evil, but offered for hire the wages of
unrighteousness. Thousands today go astray from the same
motive. Korah’s gainsaying was rebellion against properly
constituted authority. God himself had given Aaron and
Moses their authority. Korah railed at them as no better
than himself. This Lycus Valley heresy partook of all these
sins: blasphemy, infidelity, impurity, anarchy, and covetous_
Verse 12: „These are they that are hidden rocks in your
love feasts” – agapae, that is the only place in the Bible where
that word occurs. But in 2 Peter 2 we find ‘feasts – not love
feasts. Now a word on those love feasts, of which so much
is written in ecclesiastical history. In Acts 2 it is evident
there is a distinction between the Lord’s Supper and the ordi_
nary meal of the Christians. The Lord’s Supper is in verse
42, „breaking of bread” – „they ate their meat from house to
house with gladness of heart,” the common meal (v.46). In
Acts 6 there is evidence of a common fund out of which the
majority of the disciples at that big meeting were fed. That
money was provided by the richer class; that is, they bought
the provisions for the daily ministration. In the letter to
Corinthians, there is evidence of a common meal at which
some ate like gluttons and drank like drunkards. That is
not the Lord’s Supper at all, but the fact remains that they
confused these feasts with the Lord’s Supper. Peter says that
they had these feasts. Jude alone gives the name – love feasts.
The author dissents from the published views of Norman Fox.
The Lord’s Supper was one thing – these feasts were charity
feasts. And in those countries where many of the congrega_
tion were slaves and poor people, they were marvelous acts
of charity – real love feasts, until perverted. The Methodists
have experience meetings which they call „love feasts” – not
food for the body, but food for the soul.
Jude says, „these heretics are hidden rocks in your love
feasts.” Any man who comes to a Christian love feast having
eyes full of lust is a hidden rock in that love feast: „Shem_
herds that without fear feed themselves”; „clouds without
water carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit,
twice dead, plucked up by the roots; wild waves of the sea
foaming out their own shame.” These vivid illustrations show
that this man had rare descriptive powers.
The last thing that I call your attention to is in verse 14:
„And to these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied,
saying: Behold, the Lord came with ten thousand of his holy
ones [that is past tense but prophetic future] to execute judg_
ment upon all, and convict all the ungodly of all their works
of ungodliness which they have ungodlily wrought, and of all
the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against
him.” This is claimed to be a direct quotation from the
Apocryphal book of Enoch. What about that book?
About three years before the Revolutionary War the book
of Enoch was found. It was translated into the Coptic lan_
guage, and three years before I was born it was translated
into English. I have a copy in English. So from 1773 to the
present the modern world has had the book. There are ref_
erences to such a book that extend back to the third century,
but none of them go back as far as Jude goes, and there is
no historical evidence as to when the book was written, but
the statements in the book show to my mind as clear as a
sunbeam that it was written after Jude was written. It was
written by a Jew, and the Jew, whoever he was, was either
a Christian, or was so imbued with the ideas of the Messiah
and of the general judgment as taught in New Testament, that
the Jews rejected the book and won’t claim it. In no Old
Testament book is there such a vivid description of the gen_
eral judgment. Its judgment ideas and Messiah ideas are bor_
rowed from New Testament writers. One sentence only in
the book of Enoch to some extent parallels Jude (w. 14_15).
The last clause of Jude 15 is not in the book of Enoch, to wit:
„and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken
against him.” The question is: Which quoted from the other?
If indeed either quoted from the other. There is no historical
evidence whatever that the author of the book of Enoch wrote
before Jude. The development of late Jewish ideas on angels,
on the judgment, on the Messiah found in the book of Enoch,
all point to postapostolic times. There was much similar Jew_
ish literature after the apostolic days.
The author believes that Jude was written before the book
of Enoch. It is quite probable that whoever wrote the book
of Enoch got his conception from Jude and not Jude from
the other. Some say that this book was written at different
times by different authors – that the first part of it was written
about seventy years before Christ, and the latter part was
written in the middle of the second century. While they bring
no historical evidence, they base their idea upon their internal
criticism. The author has little respect for the assumed power
of higher critics to dissect a book, relegating its fragments to
different authors and different ages. Their exploits on many
Old Testament books and on I Corinthians do not incline him
to accord them the infallibility they assume in partitioning
Before we concede that Jude quoted from that book let us
wait until they prove when that book was written. Where
then did Jude get his information that Enoch prophesied?
He got it from the same source that informed Peter that Noah
was a preacher and of Lot’s state of mind in regard to the
iniquities of the Sodomites and informed Paul of the names of
the Egyptian magicians – from inspiration.
The other matters in this letter are not difficult of interpreta_
1. What the occasion of the letter?
2. What its purpose?
3. Explain „common salvation.”
4. Explain Paul’s „common faith.”
5. Explain Jude’s „The faith once for all delivered to the saints.”
6. Combine the three ideas and show their importance as related.
7. Cite other New Testament references to „the faith.”
8. Who wrote a valuable book. Faith and The Faith?
9. What the teachings of the heretics against whom Jude writes?
10. What three historical examples showing that God punishes here_
sies and sins?
11. What the sin of the angels as given by Jude expressly?
12. Give the argument against „The sons of God” in Genesis 6:1_4,
meaning angels.
13. When was the Septuagint translation made?
14. What the rendering of „sons of God” in Genesis 6:1_4 in some
Septuagint manuscripts?
15. From whom did the later Jews get their idea of heavenly beings
mating with human beings?
16. What the antecedent of the pronoun „these,” Greek toutois, m
Jude 7?
17. In what books of the Bible appears the name of Michael, and how
do the Scriptures distinguish his mission from Gabriel’s?
18. What three possible explanations of the contention for the body
of Moses, and which, if any, do you prefer?
19. Distinguish between the sins of Gain, Balaam, and Korah.
20. Distinguish between the Lord’s Supper and love feasts.
21. What do you know of the Apocryphal book of Enoch?
22. What one sentence of that book parallels Jude 14 and the first
clause of 15?
23. Is there any historical evidence of the date _of the writing of this
24. Was there a considerable Jewish post_apostolic literature similar
to this book?
25. What things in this book point to a post_apostolic date of com_
26. Why is it probable that its author quoted from Jude?

I John 1:1 to 5:21

We now come to the writings of John, the last surviving
apostle, having already considered his gospel in connection
with Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The work before us is his
three letters and Revelation. The author believes that John
wrote nothing before the fall of Jerusalem and the death of
all the other New Testament writers. Certainly Peter, Paul,
and James, the Lord’s brother, have all suffered martyrdom.
Of all the mighty hosts, upon whom the Spirit of God rested
in attesting and inspiring power, John stands alone. It is his
office to supplement all their inspired writings and to close
up forever the Bible canon. For more than fifteen centuries,
from Moses to John, men have been moved by the Holy Spirit
to speak and write for God. This man’s writings put the final
seal to the faith once for all delivered to the saints. As I
have said before, new light may indeed break out from that
word, but when this man died the word itself receives no
more additions. In John the language of Paul is fulfilled;
prophecies are done away; tongues have ceased; authoritative
knowledge ends. And the words of Daniel are fulfilled, the
vision is sealed up, and all that will be needed henceforth
until Jesus comes will be the illumination of the Spirit to
enable us to understand what is written, no word of which is
of private interpretation.
John himself is now an old man. We have considered his
New Testament history in the introduction to his gospel. His
writings are varied: Gospel, Epistles, and Apocalypse. The
variety appears even in the epistles. The first one is general
and is an epitome of theology. The second one is addressed to

a Christian woman concerning her children, and the third one
to a Christian brother concerning missions and the strife in
the church between the antimissionary and the missionary.
So this first letter of his is his first New Testament book.
Its date is not earlier than A.D. 80, and may possibly be as late
as A.D. 85. He writes from Ephesus, the scene of Paul’s labors,
the scene of the Gnostic philosophy which originated in the
Lycus Valley, in the same Roman province, and not very far
from Ephesus, and which is now more developed than when
it called forth the later letters of Paul and the second letter
of Peter, and Jude.
There has never been a serious question of the authenticity
or the canonicity of this first letter. We call a letter authentic
when it was written by the one to whom it is attributed,
whether the name is given or not; we call it canonical when
the evidence shows it to be the word of God. Polycarp, one
of his own disciples, Ignatius, Papias, Irenaeus, all living close
to the apostolic times, with abundant North African testimony,
including Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian,
and Athanasius, so witness to this book that the historical evi_
dence, apart from its inclusion in manuscripts and versions,
it is not worth our while just now to consider the matter fur_
ther. The subject matter of the letter is all congruous with
what we know of the writer, and with all his other writings.
Evidently whoever wrote this book wrote the Gospel. So that
apart from the historical or external evidence, by the internal
evidence alone the question of the authenticity and the canon_
icity of this letter is settled.
The persons addressed are evidently, from the context, the
Christians of Asia Minor. The occasion of the letter .is the
prevalence and development of the Gnostic philosophy, which
now contests both the humanity and dignity of our Lord, and
contests all of his offices and all of the New Testament doc_
trines concerning sin. The letter is a standing witness to the
Holy Trinity, the personality of Satan, the nature and origin

of sin, and of the conflict between the powers of good and evil
for the supremacy over man and over the world.
From the most ancient Christian times, John is called the
theologian, and in no other document on earth of the same
space is such profound theology as is in this letter. So if the
reader does not like deep water, he had better get in his little
boat and seek the shore. We strike deep water in this letter
of John.
To the integrity of this book, there is only one exception.
The integrity of a book is established when it comes to us in
the shape it was originally delivered, it has not lost anything
out of it, and nothing has been added to it. Now, as to the
integrity of this book, there is one exception. In the King
James Version, John 5:7_8 reads: „For there are three that
bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy
Ghost, and these three are one.” Now look at verse 8, two
words of the second line, „in earth” – „there are three that
bear witness in earth.” Let us take out of the King James
Version all verse 7 and the words, „in earth,” of verse 8. They
are unquestionably an interpolation. They do not appear in
any of the ancient manuscripts, and our Standard Version
leaves them out. So our Standard Version reads: „For there
are three who bear witness” – it does not say anything about
any three in earth or in heaven – „the Spirit, and the Water,
and the Blood, and the three agree in one.”
With the exception of verse 7 and the words „in earth” of
verse 8 of the common version, which certainly are an inter_
polation by a much later writer (probably a copyist put them
in to fill out his ideas, – they do not show in any reputable
authentic text – the book is strictly authentic.
It is somewhat difficult to construct an orderly outline of
this letter, but we give this as a substantial analysis:

1. In John 1:1 to 3:3, arguing from the nature and offices
of the three persons of the Holy Trinity as exhibited in the
plan of salvation, the apostle exhorts to a holy life as the
purpose of redemption.
2. From 3:4 to 9:4 and 5:15_18 we have a definition of sin
– that the devil is its author, and that he opposes the work
of the Trinity in the salvation of man, and we are told when
gin is unpardonable.
3. In 3:10_24 and then 4:7_21 and 5:12, we have the evi_
dences which distinguish between God’s children and the devil’s
4. In 4:1_6, we have the evidences which discriminate be_
tween God’s preachers and the devil’s preachers.
5. In 5:13_21 we have the purpose of the letter, „that we
may know” – in other words, that we may distinguish between
the gospel knowledge and the gnosis of the heretics, and be_
tween the gospel knowledge and the agnosis of the modern
That is a very fair analysis of the book. There is, however,
another way to analyze this letter, and I will follow this other
plan in the exposition of the letter that will not follow the order
of its words. So we will commence the analysis of I John
according to my second analysis, which will reveal itself as
it progresses.

1. The first item of this second analysis is a view of a lost
world. Let us see what that view is. In 5:19, we have this
picture: „We know . . . that the whole world lieth in the
evil one.” We commence on theology right there, that the
whole of this world lieth in the evil one. In some way he has
pushed aside the man God made, the ordained ruler of this
world, and has usurped the dominion which God originally
bestowed upon man. That takes a leap back to Genesis, and
when we go to preach it, we must not exempt any part of this
world that is under the dominion of Satan.
The world under Satan’s dominion is in spiritual darkness
and death. Over and over again in this letter we have these
words: „darkness and death.” Of course it means spiritual
darkness; it means that there is a privation of spiritual light;
that its inhabitants are blinded; it means that they are in a
state of spiritual death or privation of any part of the true
life. They are dead, and they are in darkness. Let us recall
in connection with this thought the commission of Paul: „I
send you to the Gentiles to turn them from darkness into light,
from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive an
inheritance, among them that are sanctified by faith in me.”
The whole letter of John is based upon this deplorable view
of the condition of the lost world as being under the power
of Satan.
Let us consider 2:16: „For all that is in the world, the lust
of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the vainglory of life,
is not of the Father, but is of the world.” That gives us the
spirit which is rampant in the world: everything that may
be summed up under animal appetite – the lust of the flesh,
and flesh means much more than that in the Scriptures. Flesh
is not confined to the body, but is the entire carnal man. It
includes enmity, hate, malice, evil thinking, evil imagination.
Let us never forget that the dominating lust of the world,
speaking with reference to the physical or inner man, is of
that kind. We may whitewash it, and civilization does white_
wash it; we may make it look respectable, but inwardly it
is full of rottenness and dead men’s bones.
Look at the second item: „Lust of the eyes.” That refers
to covetousness or the desire for the things seen. James, in
his letter, refers to it when he describes the development of sin
thus: „Each man is tempted when he is drawn away by his
own lusts, and enticed. Then the lust, when it hath conceived,
beareth sin, and the sin, when it is full grown, bringeth forth
death.” Or, as Achan expresses it: „I saw a goodly Babylonish
mantle and desired it and took it,” or, „When Eve saw that
the fruit of the tree was good, or seemed to be good, she de_
sired it and tools, it.” That is the lust of the eyes.

He adds: „Vainglory of life”; everything that ministers to
human vanity; the ambition to be a ruler; the desire to have
a more excellent automobile than our neighbor; that our wife
and daughter shall have prettier spring bonnets; that our
floors shall have more elegant carpets; that our house shall
be more palatial. Just think of that world that lieth in the
power of the evil one! It is in spiritual darkness and death,
and raging through it is the lust of the flesh and the desire
of the eyes and the vainglory of life.
This world necessarily adopts its own maxims of pleasure,
of amusement, and of business according to its spirit or genius.
It is away from God, away from righteousness, and away
from the right. It does not mean in its business to look after
our interests, but its own. We have to be wide awake to keep
from being crushed. The men in Wall Street, or in Fort Worth,
or Galveston, or Dallas, or San Antonio, following their busi_
ness interests, will run their juggernaut over every other in_
terest to promote their own.
Now when we look at that view of a lost world the question
comes up: Who did it? Who brought about all this? We
do not have to go far to find out. Let us look at I John 3:8
in which we get at the author of a lost world: „To this end
was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the
works of the devil.” There he is, the devil. The whole world
lieth in the evil one, that is, the devil.
This evil one has several names in the Bible, and each name
has a special import. The name here given, devil – diabolis –
means slanderer, accuser. He slanders God to man, and he
accuses man to God. He went to Eve and said, „God did
not say you should not eat this fruit,” and then when he gets
the poor woman into trouble, he goes to God and says, „Just
look at that woman; she is violating your law and deserves
death.” He is an accuser. He is the one that entices to do
wrong. He tells us that God is not love; that God hates us;
that God is a long way off from us, and when he gets us to
hating God he goes straight up to God and accuses us. After
we know that to be so, why on earth do we give way to him?
In another place, James says, „Resist the devil.” It is the
devil who brings evil to us and to the world.
How was the loss of the world brought about? This letter
answers it in every chapter. It was lost by sin. Then, ac_
cording to this letter, what is sin? Whenever one masters
the doctrine of sin as taught in I John, he is a theologian on
this subject. Let us look at John’s definition of sin.
What is sin? Just one word in the last clause in 3:4 tells us;
the Greek, anomia, English, „lawlessness.” „Sin is lawless_
ness.” Sin is anything that does not agree with nomos, „law.”
Lawlessness is the privative „a” put before the word nomos.
That expresses the thought of sin. Sin is lawlessness. In
preaching on salvation, I always commence with a definition
of sin and of law. If sin is lawlessness, what is law? At the
last analysis, law is that intent or purpose in the mind of the
Creator when he brought beings into existence. That is the in_
herent law of the Creator. Whether it is ever expressed in
statutes or not is immaterial. What God intended when he
brought a being into existence is the law of that being, and
lawlessness is anything that fails of the original intent of God.
A certain Methodist preacher defined sin thus: „Sin is the
wilful transgression of a known law.” But there can be sin
without any wilfulness; there can be sin without transgression.
Transgression means to go across the law. But we may sin
without going across the law. We may sin by doing nothing,
or by failing to do. We can sin by falling short of the law,
or sin by going beyond it. „Who hath required this at your
hands?” We may sin, not by transgressing the law, but by
deviating a hair’s breadth to the right hand or the left hand.
Sin in its deepest from is not the over act, but the state of
the mind and heart out of which the overt act proceeds.
Sin is lawlessness. To illustrate: I once found a den of
rattlesnakes. Some of them were no longer than my hand.
They had no fangs, no rattles, no poison. If I had taken one
of the little fellows away from his parents and environment
and carried him home and fed him on the milk for babies,
before long his rattles would have grown, his fangs would
have formed, his poison would have secreted, and if I should
have taken him up to heaven he would have thrown himself
into a coil and struck at an angel passing by.
But we are not done with the definition yet. The last clause,
4:6: „By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of
error,” Greek, „plane.” Sin is whatever is opposed to truth,
i.e., error, falsehood, in whatever form. Again 5:17: „every
unrighteousness is sin.” There we have another Greek word:
adikia – every act of unrighteousness. Righteousness is a law
term. Whatever is in conformity with the law is right; what_
ever does not quadrate with law is not right, and every case
of unrighteousness is sin. We thus have a definition in three
words: lawlessness, as opposed to the law; error, as opposed
to truth; unrighteousness, as opposed to righteousness – that is
The next question is: What is the spiritual relation of every
member of this lost world to the devil? See 3:8_10: „And
whosoever doeth unrighteousness is of the devil,” and then in
verse 10: „children of the devil.” So the members of the
world are children of the devil.
Now the next item: What is the characteristic of the mem_
bers of the world? It is the opposite of what God is, and since
God is love, the chief characteristic of the world is hate, that
is, hate toward God, hate toward anything that is godlike –
God’s standard, God’s people. Hate toward these is the char_
acteristic of the citizens of this world.
Thus I have given a view of the lost world, who caused it
to be lost, what the means by which he brought about its loss,
and what the import of that means.

1. What the place, time, and conditions of John’s first letter?
2. What the object, as to other writings and the canon?
3. What the variety of his writings?
4. Tell about the canonicity of this letter.
5. Who addressed?
6. What exception to the integrity of this letter?
7. Give an outline.
8. hat kind of analysis followed m the exposition and what ita
9. In the letter’s view of a lost world, answer:
(1) Who caused the loss?
(2) Through what means?
(3) Give the letter’s definition of sin in three words
(4) State the condition of the world as lost and its dominant


The last chapter closed with giving a view of a lost world,
who brought about this ruin, how he brought it about, and
what is the essence of sin through which he brought it about.
Now, this chapter is to continue the thought by showing a
world saved, who saved it and how it was saved. I commence
by giving a view of each person of the Triune God – Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit, the three parties involved in the salva_
tion of the world.
So far as this first letter of John is concerned, what is the
view of the Father? „God is light” (I John 1:5). We saw
the world when it was lost, wrapped in darkness. But „God
is light.” „God is love” (I John 4:15). We saw the world
under the dominion of hate. We advance in this view, and
show how that love and that light are manifested in the sal_
vation of man. In I John 4:14 the record says that the Father
sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world; sent his Son to
save that world which was lost through Satan; that the Son
is to save the world by being its light; he is to bring the dark
world in touch with God and light, and hence in his gospel
and teachings Jesus Christ is said to be the „true light that
lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
This leads us to the next question in the view of the Father:
How was his Son to save the world, since he sent him to be
the Saviour of the world? He certainly has some plan of
salvation. What is it? „Herein was the love of God mani_
fested that God hath sent his only begotten Son into the
world that we might live through him” (I John 4:9). See
the state of the world: It was in darkness; it was also in
death, death the penalty of sin. He sent his Son into the
world that we might live through him. „Herein is love; not
that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to
be the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4:10).
That is a strong word, „propitiation.” It is that word which
is used to describe the mercy seat, and it is the blood sprinkled
upon that mercy seat that propitiates – makes atonement. He
sent his Son into the world to save the world by becoming a
propitiation for the sins of the world. That was his object in
sending him.
I note that many modern teachers say that he saves by his
example, and not otherwise. Or, that he saves by living and
not dying. But a propitiation is a sacrifice that has been of_
fered unto death, in order to placate the wrath of God against
sin. He sent his Son to be a propitiation. That is a vital
doctrine. We should not receive a man into the church, nor
ordain a man to the ministry, who denies the expiation of sin
through the propitiation of Christ.
We are now looking to see how this world is saved. We have
seen that back of it is the Father’s love, and that this love
prompts him to send his only Son to be a propitiation, or, as
Paul puts it: „Being justified freely by his grace through the
redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God set forth to be
a propitiation, through faith, in his blood” (Rom. 3:24_25).
That is the precise thought of John here.
We continue our study of the view of the Father in 3_1:
„Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon.
us that we should be called the children of God.” We have
found the world’s inhabitants to be the children of the devil.
God’s love proposes to save them by sending his Son to be
a propitiation for their sins, and to make a propitiation by
the application of which these children of the devil shall be_
come the children of God. John does not go on here to dis_
cuss the adoption, as Paul does, that we are to become the
children of God by adoption. I will show directly how we
are to become his children, but just now let us get a view of
the Father, in relation to the salvation of the world, as pre_
sented in the first letter of John.
We next consider the view of the Son, the second person
in the Trinity. Let us see what is said about him in verse I:
„That which was from the beginning.” What was from the
beginning? The last part of the verse answers: „The Word
of life.” That is the first view we have of the Son. That in
the beginning, that is, before there was any world – „In the
beginning,” as John says in his gospel, „was the Word, and
the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” What
Word? The Word of Life. It is easy to see that whoever
wrote the first verse of this letter wrote the first verse of the
Gospel of John.
That Word of life, existing from the beginning, invisible to
the world centuries after it was created, is at last manifested.
Manifested means to make plain – to make visible. How was
that done? Let us look at 4:2: „Jesus Christ is come in the
flesh.” That is the way he was manifested. This parallels
chapter I of the Gospel of John: „In the beginning was the
Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was mani_
fested and became flesh.” This one now, that God sends into
the world to be its Saviour, must take upon himself human
nature; he must come in touch with the people whom he is
to save.
That leads to the next question in the view of the Son: How
was his coming in the flesh manifested? Let us look at that
first verse again: „That which was from the beginning, that
which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes,
that which we have handled.” When Jesus was manifested in
the flesh he was so manifested that the natural senses took
hold of him. „He was audible, for we heard him; he was
visible, for we saw him; he was palpable, for we touched him,
handled him.” So that manifestation was real and recogniz_
able by the senses and not merely apparent.
The Gnostics taught that Jesus Christ in the flesh was not
a reality, but was a mere appearance, something that looked
like a man, but it was not really a man. Jesus met that very
doubt in the minds of one of his apostles when he said
„Thomas, reach hither thy fingers and put them into the prints
of the nails in my hands. Reach thy hand here and thrust it
into my side. A spirit hath not flesh and bones, such as you
see me have; handle me and see.” John, therefore, in this
letter, teaches that the incarnation of Jesus Christ was not a
mere appearance, but was something actual. He could see him,
hear him, eat with him, handle him, every possible proof that
the human senses can determine.
The incarnation is a vital, fundamental doctrine without
whose acceptance one cannot be a Christian.
The Son was sent into the world in such a way that we can
know by the senses. But for what purpose? Why did he
come into the world? I have shown that the Father sent him
to be the Saviour of the world. He was manifested in the
flesh that he might become the Saviour of the world. How
does his incarnation save men? „And he is the propitiation
for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole
world” (2:2). He is to save the world by becoming a pro_
pitiation for sin, and thereby taking sin away.
How else was he to save the world? „To this end was the
Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of
the devil” (3:8). There are two things he must do if he is
to save the world. „The whole world lieth in the wicked one”,
so he must overcome that wicked one some way and destroy
his works. „The whole world lieth in sin”; he must in some
way take away sin. As Jesus himself explained: „When a
strong man armed, keepeth his goods, his goods are in peace;
but when a stronger than he is come, he strips him of his armor
in which he trusted and despoils him of his goods.” The devil
is the strong man armed keeping his goods in peace; they
cannot recover themselves from the snares of the devil. But
God sends Jesus to be the Saviour of the world; he saves the
world by destroying the works of the devil. As Paul puts it
in Hebrews 2: „Because the children were partakers of flesh
and blood, he likewise partook of the same, that through his
own death he might destroy him that had the power of death,
that is, the devil.”
The conflict between the devil and the incarnate Son of
God was the most personal and real battle ever fought in the
world. Indeed, Jesus calls its culmination the crisis of this
world. Men talk about a crisis in very little things) but that
was the world crisis when for the redemption of the world,
the seed of the woman bruised the serpent’s head. Hence
Paul writes that on the cross „He overcame principalities and
powers, and made a show of them openly.” When I preached
my sermon on the „Three Hours of Darkness on the Cross”
in Richmond, Virginia, some people said that the thoughts in
it were too horrible, that it was too realistic. It is an ex”
ceedingly real thing that the world lies in the evil one, in
darkness, and in order to save the world Christ had to enter
into that realm of darkness, and fight and overcome the prin_
cipalities of darkness, else the world would never be saved.
We are not theologians if we do not have correct views
of a personal devil, between whom and our Saviour occurred
the conflict of the ages on the cross.
See further 3:5: „And ye know that he was manifested to
take away sins; and in him is no sin.” This sinless one was
manifested to take away sin. John the Baptist, on seeing
Jesus approaching, pointed at him and said, „Behold the Lamb
of God, that taketh away the sin of the world!” A lion could
not take away the sin of the world, but a Lamb could take
it away, because the Lamb was the propitiation for sin.
We are still considering a view of the Son, as presented
here, and we have gone to the cross. We have seen how he
conquered the devil on the cross, and we have seen his life
laid down as a propitiation for sin. How is that propitiation
to be further secured to us after justification? The answer
is in 2:2: „And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the
Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Here he comes before
us, not as a sacrifice, but as an advocate – a high priest to
make intercession for us, having died as a sacrifice. As a
high priest he enters heaven and pleads the merits of his own
sacrificial blood) and makes intercession for us on the strength
of it.
We are tracing the process of salvation, but the salvation
is not yet complete. In 2:28 we have another view of the
Saviour: „Now, my little children, abide ye in him that if he
shall be manifest, that we may have boldness and not be
ashamed at his coming.” This is a second manifestation of
him. This is not his incarnation. It is his manifestation at
his second advent. He is to come a second time, not as a sin
offering, but as a judge) and at his coming he will raise the
dead and glorify their bodies, and he will change the living.
In 3:2 we have an added thought: „Beloved, now are we the
children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall
be; we know that if he be manifested we shall be like him,
for we shall see him even as he is.” So at his second advent
there takes place a change in our bodies that makes them like
his risen and glorified body. But how is his incarnation and
propitiation attested? „This is he that came by water and
blood, even Jesus Christ. Not with water only, but with water
and with the blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness
because the Spirit is the truth. There are three who bear
witness, the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and the three
agree in one” (5:6). Whatever one testifies, the three testify.
Now, what does that mean? What the testimony of that
coming by water, and the testimony of that coming by blood,
and the testimony of the Spirit, all to a single fact, the testi_
mony to agree in one? How was the incarnate one to be
identified? John the Baptist answers. See John 1:30_34.
Evidently his coming by water refers to his baptism by John.
In his baptism he was identified by the Father and the Holy
How did he come by blood? He came by blood on the
cross. How did his baptism, and his crucifixion, and the Spirit_
witness all agree? His baptism symbolizes his death, burial,
and resurrection; his blood was his actual death, followed by
his burial, and resurrection, which the baptism symbolized.
The Spirit’s testimony agrees with both in this, that when he
was baptized, with that mapped out before him as his mis_
sion, the Spirit of God descended upon him in the form of a
dove. The descent of the Spirit upon Christ just after his
baptism is the witness of the Spirit to the fact that he cornea
to save the world by his death, burial and resurrection, which
are symbolized in his baptism.
Now, let us get to the blood, and the Spirit witness on that,
and see if it agrees with the blood. Paul says, „Who, through
the eternal Spirit, offered himself as a sacrifice for sin.” When
the blood was offered as a sacrifice for sin it was offered
through the Spirit. And when the church was commissioned
to preach salvation through the blood, it was the outpoured
Spirit that endued it with power. And when the blood is ap_
plied by the Spirit to the individual, the Spirit bears witness
of its efficacy with our spirit. Now, here we have three wit_
nesses: Not only the baptism of Christ as it actually took
place, but its perpetuity. Christ was buried in baptism. We
were buried in baptism with Christ. And so water still speaks.
Wherever a creek or a river flows, wherever are pools, lakes,
gulfs, bays, or oceans, their yielding waves are parted in bap_
tism. This witness still stands.
How does the witness of his death still stand? He instituted
a memorial of that death in the Lord’s Supper. He said, „This
cup is the New Testament in my blood shed for the remission.
of sins. As often as ye do this ye show forth my death until
I come.” That witness is still standing. And inasmuch as
the Holy Spirit was sent to abide with us forever, that witness
is standing. So right now the three witnesses are speaking –
the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit. Such the view of
the Saviour as presented in this letter. The titles given him
in the letter are, „The Word of Life,” „Jesus Christ, the Son
of God,” and „Jesus Christ the Messiah.” We have seen him

in this letter as the sacrifice, the priest, the judge. What a
marvelous piece of theology is this letter!
The letter’s view of the Holy Spirit is the salvation of the
lost world. In general terms the office of the Spirit is to apply
and make efficacious to the individual the salvation wrought
by the Son for the world. This is done in such a way as to
bring the lost sinner into saving touch with Christ, through
faith, thereby in justification overcoming the guilt of all
sin, and by the application of the atoning blood cleansing
him from the defilement of all past sins; renewing his nature,
thereby overcoming his love of sin and bringing him into filial
relations with the Father and securing him forever from
Satan’s power to destroy; anointing him, thereby giving him
assured knowledge of his acceptance with Christ and con_
sciousness of availing prayer; perfecting his Spirit in holiness,
thereby destroying the dominion of sin and fitting him for his
heavenly estate and its associations and service, and com_
pleting his spiritual likeness to Christ; raising and glorifying
his mortal body, thereby completing its likeness to the glori_
fied body of the Lord.
These general views of the Spirit’s work appear particularly
in the following passages of the letter:
1. Deliverance through faith from the guilt of sin (1:9),
first clause.
2. Cleansing from the defilement of sin (1:9), last clause.
3. Renewing of his nature, delivering from the love of sin
and bringing him into filial relations with the Father and se_
curing him forever from Satan’s power to make him commit
the unpardonable sin (3:2, 9; 5:1, 18). The nature imparted
at this new birth is imperishable because it comes from an
indestructible seed, as Peter also explains it. See I Peter
It disposes to obedience of all God’s commands, and im_
parts new affections of love toward God and man. Its faith
is a fighting force conquering the world (5:4).

4. Through the Holy Spirit the regenerate man is led to
repentance and confession of all sins committed after justifi_
cation, and to commit them to the intercession of the Advo_
cate or high priest (1:9; 2:1). Concerning these sins also,
none of which is unto death, God is pleased to grant forgive_
ness at the intercession of his people (5:16). The sin unto
death – that is the unpardonable sin – no child of God can
commit. So far as that sin is concerned it is a case of non
posse pecarri – not able to sin (5:17_18).
5. The Spirit’s anointing of the Christian, conferring assured
knowledge of acceptance with God and consciousness of power
in prayer appears in the following passages: 2:20, 27; 5:9_10,
6. The Spirit’s sanctifying power perfecting the soul in holi_
ness unto complete spiritual likeness to our Lord, appears at
3:3. This is a progressive work, going on from strength to
strength, from grace to grace, from glory to glory, even as
Paul so graphically put it. See 2 Corinthians 3:18.
7. The Spirit’s work in the glorification of our bodies at the
final advent, completing the likeness to our Lord’s glorified
body, appears at 3:2.

1. He was a sinner: „If we say that we have not sinned, we
make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1:10). The
Bible knows nothing of a man who never sinned except our
Lord himself.
2. He is a pardoned man: „I write unto you, my little chil_
dren, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake”
(2:12). Every Christian is a justified man. He is also a
regenerate man. The great blessing of the New Covenant is
the forgiveness of sin. That comes to us the very moment
that, by faith, we accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour. That
is justification.
3. Yet this regenerate man, this justified man, will sin until
sanctification has perfected him in holiness.
Now, here is a regenerated man and a forgiven man. „If
we say [1:8] that we have no sin” that is different from „if
we say we have not sinned.” „If we say we have no sin, we
deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us,” that is, in the
regenerated man there is sin of some kind; there are remnants
of depravity; so when a man in this life says, „I am perfect,
I am sinless,” he contradicts God. What, then, is the remedy
for sins committed after justification and regeneration? Let
us look at chapter 2: „If any man sin, we have an advocate
with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous.” Then at verse
9: „If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us
our sins.” The sins committed after justification, what about
them? We confess them. We put them in the hands of the
advocate, the great high priest. They are not the sins of the
unconverted man, of a lost man, or the sins of a child of
the devil, but are the sins of a child of God. So we confess them
and put them in the hands of the advocate, and he makes
intercession for us, and through the intercession of Christ we
receive forgiveness for the sins committed after justification.
Even Paul said this of himself. See Philippians 3:12_14.
In confirmation of this point I appeal to the Christian ex_
perience. We know how we felt when we were first converted,
that all our sins were taken away and that we would never sin
again. After awhile we did something wrong, and whatever is
wrong is wrong – our conscience told us it was wrong. We said,
„I know I have sinned.” Yet that was after justification. If
a man has never had that experience, then I do not believe that
he has ever had any experience. Sometimes, perhaps, it took a
long while to get ready to do the right thing, but ultimately we
do get off to ourselves and say, „Father, I have sinned against
thy love, against thy grace. My sins pain me; I am distressed.
I confess my sins. God forgive me for Christ’s sake,” and
peace comes to us. Not the peace of justification, but the peace
of a forgiven child.
4. But this saved man progresses to a goal of perfection
I have now presented so far five views in order to an under_
standing of this letter, as follows:
1. The view of the lost world.
2. The view of the Father, and what he does in saving the
3. The view of the Son, and what he does in the saving of
the world.
4. The view of the Spirit, and what he does in the saving of
the world.
5. A view of the saved sinner himself.
That far only have we gone, and yet we have gone to the
very heart of the letter.
1. On this letter’s view of the Father, answer:
(1) What two words express his nature?
(2) How was his love manifested toward the lost world?
(3) In what way did he intend his Son to save the world?
(4) What relation, toward himself did he provide for sinners?
2. On the view of the Son, answer:
(1) What was his name in eternity before the world was?
(2) How was he manifested to the world?
(3) Was this a real assumption of human nature or only an appearance?
(4) How was this incarnation demonstrated to human sense?
(5) What, the importance of this doctrine of his incarnation?
(6) In his incarnation in what 2 ways did he effect salvation of the world?
(7) In what one act were both accomplished?
(8) Explain „This is he that came by water.”
(9) Explain „This is he that came by blood.”
(10) Show the Spirit’s witness that he came both ways.
(11) Show how the witness of the Spirit, the water and the blood do now agree in their testimony to the one act of salvation.
(12) How is that propitiation made available for sins after justification?
(13) In what way is it made available at the end of the world in the perfecting of salvation?
3. On the view of the Holy Spirit, answer:
(1) What in general terms is the office work of the Spirit in salvation?
(2) In seven distinct particulars show what the Spirit accomplishes, citing passages in the letter for proof.
4. On the letter’s view of the saved man, cite at least four distinct
stages of this man, citing passages from the letter for each.


So far, in the logical, not chronological, exposition of this
great feat of theological discussion, we have considered:
1. Its view of a lost world – the agent, means, and condition
of its downfall.
2. Its view of the Father, in the salvation of the lost world.
3. Its view of the Son, in the salvation of the lost world.
4. its view of the Holy Spirit, in the salvation of the lost
5. Its view of the sinner after his salvation, and in what the
salvation consists.
We now consider:
6. Its evidences which discriminate between a child of God
and a child of the devil. The legal, or external, difference has
been considered somewhat, and consists of two particulars:
(1) The child of God has been forgiven for all past sins on
account of the Saviour’s propitiation, or vicarious sacrifice,
accepted by faith.
(2) Forgiveness of his sins after justification is secured by
confession, and putting the case in the hands of the advocate,
or high priest, who makes intercession for him on the ground
of the same propitiation which avails for sins after justifica_
tion as well as for sins before justification. The legal ground
for forgiveness is the same in both cases. On the same meri_
torious ground it is provided that sins after justification may
be forgiven at the intercession of the saints, here on earth.
The spiritual, or internal, difference has also been considered
somewhat in the work of the Holy Spirit, which consists:
(a) In the new birth which gives a holy disposition to the
mind, and makes its subject a child of God by regeneration.
(b) In the cleansing from the defilement of sin by the Spirit’s
application of the atoning blood.
(c) In the progressive work of the sanctification of the soul
after the new birth.
(d) In the redemption of the body into its final likeness to
our Lord’s body at his final advent.
But we are now to consider the discriminating evidences sub_
jectively and practically, i.e., the evidences as knowable to the
roan himself in his own experience, and as manifested to others
in his life. If a man be acquitted in God’s sight, and if he be
forgiven time and again after justification, and if he be born
anew, and if he be cleansed from the defilement of sin, and if
the progressive work of the sanctification be going on in him,
we may expect to find some consciousness and realization on
his part of these great changes, and we have a right to expect
some differences in his life, observable to all men acquainted
with his life.
These are the matters discussed, not exclusively, but partic_
ularly in I John 3:10_24; 4:7_21. While the two distinct things
are mingled in the apostle’s discussion, yet because of this dis_
tinction we consider them separately.
Subjective knowledge of salvation. „We know that we have
passed out of death into life because we love the brethren”
(3:14). Love is an affliction of the heart of which we may be
conscious. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Or, as expressed in
4:7_8: „Love is of God; and every one that loveth is begotten
of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not
God; for God is love.” This love is set forth in opposition to
the passion of hate. „Cain was of the evil one, and slew his
brother.” „Whoso hateth his brother is a murderer.” Love is
unselfish. The Father’s love was manifested in sending his
only begotten Son into the world that we might live through
him (4:9). The Son’s love was manifested in that he laid down
his life for us (3:16). So if we love God in his Son, in his peo_
ple, in his cause, it will manifest itself, not merely in profes_
sion, but in deed and truth (3:18).
How easy to understand the apostle’s question: „But whoso
hath this world’s goods, and beholdeth his brother in need, and
shutteth up his compassion for him, how doth the love of God
abide in him?” And how unequivocal the declaration: „If a
man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for
he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen cannot love
God whom he hath not seen.”
That love is a matter of consciousness is further evident
from its effect on our consciences. Conscience is the inward
monitor which passes judgment on matters of right and wrong.
This judgment is according to the light it has. Even in the case
of the heathen with only the light of nature and of dim tradi_
tion, it accuses or else excuses. Its verdict against us is very
painful; its verdict of acquittal gives peace.
The standard of our letter will not accept mere words, but
deeds: „My little children, let us not love in word, neither with
the tongue; but in deed and truth. Hereby we shall know that
we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him,
because if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart,
and knoweth all things.” Again, faith differentiates between
the child of God and the child of the devil. This letter says,
„Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is begotten of
God; and whosoever loveth him that begat loveth him also
that is begotten.”
One convicted in conscience of sin realizes „a sense of guilt
and condemnation,” but when justified by faith, there comes
instead peace and rest. This is a matter of consciousness.
Moreover, under conviction of sin we fear – we are conscious
of that fear – but this letter says, „There is no fear in love:
perfect love casts out fear because fear hath punishment; and
he that feareth is not made perfect in love” (4:18).
But another question arises: It is true I may know that I
have passed out of death into life if I love the brethren) but
how may I know that I love the brethren? „Hereby we know
that we love the children of God, when we love God and do
his commandments. .For this is the love of God, that we keep
his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous.”
In other words, we know it by being conscious of the spirit of
obedience. „Whereupon, 0 King Agrippa, I was not disobe_
dient to the heavenly vision.” The saved soul puts itself under
divine orders: „Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” The
concern is not: Why must I do this thing? nor, may not some
other thing do just as well? but simply to know what God has
The spirit of faith, the spirit of love, the spirit of obedience,
felt in our souls) approved in our consciences attest the Chris_
tian to himself. And there is yet another test: „Beloved, now
are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what
we shall be. We know that if he shall be manifested, we shall
be like him; for we shall see him even as he is. And every one
that hath this hope set on him purifieth himself even as he is
pure.” This is the progress of grace in the soul; we call it
sanctification. It is the doctrine taught also by Paul: „But we
all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of
the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to
glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit.” We ought to be able
to know whether we are making progress in holiness.
There is also a final test in relation to the world. We have
seen in the preceding chapter a view of the whole world lying
in the wicked one, and opposed to grace. This furnishes us an
additional double test. If we love God in his Son and people
and cause, then it follows that we cannot love the world as
dominated by Satan and swayed by its worldly passions, but
will conquer it. Hence this letter declares: „Love not the
world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man
love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all
that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the
eyes and the vainglory of life, is not of the Father, but is of
the world. . . . For whatsoever is begotten of God overcometh
the world, and this is the victory that hath overcome the world,
even our faith. And who is he that overcometh the world but
he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”
But there is a practical side attesting the Christian to the
outsider. The outsider cannot know our inner experiences of
faith, hope, love, joy, and peace. He hears our professions, and
holds them credible only so far as manifested in the life. Our
Lord himself fixed that standard: „A tree is known by its
fruits.” So, of professed children of God it may be said, „By
their fruits shall ye know them.” Hence our letter says, „My .
little children, let no man lead you astray. He that doeth right_
eousness is righteous, even as he is righteous; he that doeth sin
is of the devil. . . . Whosoever is begotten of God doeth no sin,
because his seed abideth in him; and he cannot sin, because
he is begotten of God. In this the children of God are mani_
fest, and the children of the devil: whosoever that doeth not
righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his
Evidences which differentiate God’s preachers from the
devil’s preachers. As God is light, and the devil is darkness;
as God is love and the devil is hate; as God would save the
world which the devil has destroyed; as God sends a Saviour
of the world to be a propitiation for sin and the devil resists
him; as Father and Son send the Holy Spirit to make effective
the propitiation; we ought to be able to discriminate between
God’s preachers and the devil’s preachers. We would naturally
expect the devil to influence his agents to deny the incarnation
by which the Son is manifested, his being a propitiation for sin
in that incarnation, that propitiation effected by his vicarious
death on the cross, the miracles which attested him, the witness
of the Spirit, and the necessity of the Spirit’s work of regenera_
tion, sanctification, resurrection, and glorification.
And quite naturally we would expect God’s preachers to be
influenced to preach and insist on all those vital things which
the devil’s preachers deny. The great issue would necessarily
center on the nature, person, and offices of the Saviour. Know_
ing also the wiles of the devil, we would expect him to influence
his preachers to creep privily into churches, and into the minis_
try, and into professors’ chairs in Christian schools, instructed
from headquarters to praise Christ as a man, while denying
his deity and pre_existence, throw bouquets at his morality
while denying his vicarious propitiation, command his exam_
ple while denying his expiation; in other words, as saving us in
any other way than by his death on the cross.
On this point this letter says) „Little children, it is the last
hour: and as ye heard that antichrist cometh, even now hath
there arisen many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the
last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us;
for if they had been of us they would have continued with us;
but they went out that they might be made manifest that they
all are not of us. And ye have an anointing from the Holy One,
and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because
ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and because
no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he that denieth that
Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, even he that de_
nieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the
same hath not the Father; he that confesseth the Son hath
the Father also. . . . Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove
the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false proph_
ets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of
God: Every Spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in
the flesh, is of God.” God became incarnate. The highest ob_
ject of the incarnation was to expiate sin as a propitiatory
offering. On these two points we may expose the antichrists.
To the bitter end they fight the doctrine that God, the pre_
existing Son, was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the
virgin Mary. See John 1:1, 14; I John 1:1; Luke 1:31_35;
I John 1:7; 2:2, 22; 3:16; 4:10; 5:6_8.
This letter stresses the incarnation, the propitiation, the
blood, the obedience, and it is precisely by these that we are
to test all professors of the Christian religion, showing who are
for Christ and who are antichrists. If preacher or teacher hold
not these vital doctrines, whatever other merit, they are not of
us and should go out from us. Hence the injunction:
Believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits.
1:1_2: „From the beginning was . . . the Word of life, and
the life was manifested.” This attests his deity and incarna_
4:2_3: „Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come
in the flesh is of God; and every spirit that confesses not Jesus
is not of God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist.”
3:22: „Who is the liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the
Christ? This is the antichrist, even he that denieth the Father
and the Son.”
4:14_15: „The Father hath sent the Son to be the Saviour
of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son
of God, God abideth in him.” This attests the purpose of his
4:9_10: „God hath sent his only begotten Son into the world
that we might live through him. . . . God sent his Son to be the
propitiation for our sins.”
2:21: „He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours
only, but also for the whole world.” This attests the way he
3:5: „He was manifested to take away our sins.”
3:16: „He laid down his life for us.”‘ This attests the way
propitiation is accomplished.
5:6: „This is he that came by water and blood.”
5:8: „There are three who bear witness – the Spirit, and the
water, and the blood; and the three agree in one.”
1:7: „The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from
all sin.”
3:2, 7_8: „If he shall be manifested [second advent] we
shall be like him . . . and every one that hath this hope set on
him purifieth himself, even as he is pure . . . Let no man lead
you astray; he that doeth righteousness is righteous. . . . He
that doeth sin is of the devil.”
4:18_19: „Let us not love in word, neither with the tongue;
but in deed and truth. Hereby shall we know that we are of the
truth and shall assure our heart before him.”

3:10: „In this the children of God are manifest; and the chil_
dren of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of
God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”
The author would most solemnly impress these passages on
the reader’s heart. They constitute the touchstone which ex_
poses all lying spirits, false prophets, false preachers, false
teachers in Christian schools, false professors of religion. From
these passages it is evident that no man should be fellowshiped
as a preacher, or even retained as a church member, who de_
nies the essential deity of Jesus Christ, his incarnation, his
vicarious death as a propitiation for sin; nor one whose pro_
fession of these doctrines does not bear fruit unto love and
A mere verbal orthodoxy is hyprocisy, and is more hateful to
God and more hurtful to man than avowed infidelity. I am
quite sure that a strict application of this test would empty
thousands of pulpits, hundreds of professors’ chairs in Christian
schools, and deplete thousands of church rolls. This emptying
and depleting would not be deplorable but helpful. It would
amount to a great revival. As they depart from us, we could
say with this letter: „They went out from us, but they were
not of us, for if they had been of us they would have continued
with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest
that they all are not of us.”
Knowledge of the Holy Spirit vs. the Gnosis of the Lycus
Valley philosopher, and the Agnosis of the modern philosopher.
This letter is the secret of certain positive knowledge, and at_
tributes the subjective knowledge or assurance of our accep_
tance with God, and all other positive knowledge of theological
matters to the witness and unction of the Holy Spirit: „And
as for you, the anointing which ye received abideth in you,
and ye need not that any one teach you; but as his anointing
teacheth you concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie,
and even as is taught you, ye abide in him. . . . And it is the
Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is the truth. For
there are three who bear witness – the Spirit, the water, and the
blood: and the three agree in one. If we receive the witness of
men, the witness of God is greater; for the witness of God is
this: that he hath borne witness concerning his Son. He that
believeth not God hath made him a liar, because he hath not
believed in the witness that God hath borne concerning his
Son. And the witness is this: That God gave unto us eternal
life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath the
life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not the life. These
things have I written unto you that ye may know that ye have
eternal life, even unto you that believe on the name of the Son
of God.”
It is written against the Lycus Valley Gnosticism. That
philosophy ignored the word revealed and inspired by the Holy
Spirit, and denied any illumination by him for its interpreta_
tion and claimed instead an intuitive subjective human knowl_
edge that claimed to serve all the purposes of a portable Bible.
Each man became his own standard, and found in himself an
answer to all questions of life and doctrine. All concerning
Christ and salvation that appealed to his inner man he ac_
cepted – all else he rejected. While he might admit some tem_
porary educational good in the Spirit’s illumination, yet all
this would become antiquated as man progressed into a new
religion. In modern times the philosopher affects agnosticism,
which rejects all supernaturalism, and accepts nothing not
demonstrable by unaided human science. The vital elements
of the gospel they declare unknowable.
It was the precise object of this letter to lead its readers out
of all misty incertitude, and into positive, definite, assured
knowledge. „I know,” „we know,” „that ye may know,” is its
distinguishing mark. And this knowledge extends into the realm
of prayer, and unto the unpardonable sin: „These things have
I written unto you that ye may know that ye have eternal life,
even unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God.
And this is the boldness which we have toward him: that if we
ask anything according to his will, he heareth us. And if we
know that he heareth us whatsoever we ask, we know that we
have the petitions which we have asked of him. If any man
gee his brother sinning a sin not unto death, he shall ask and
God will give him life for them that sin not unto death. There
is a sin unto death; not concerning this do I say that he should
make request. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin
not unto death.
„We know that whosoever is begotten of God sinneth not;
but he that was begotten of God keepeth himself, and the evil
one toucheth him not. We know that we are of God, and the
whole truth lieth in the evil one. And we know that the Son
of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we
know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in
his Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”
The source of the knowledge is unmistakable: „And ye have
an anointing from the Holy One, and ye know all things. . . .
And as for you the anointing which ye received of him abideth
in you, and ye need not that any one teach you; but as his
anointing teacheth you concerning all things, and is true, and
is no lie, and even as is taught you, ye abide in him.”
These passages are in full accord with our Lord’s words, as
reported by this same John in his Gospel: „And I will pray the
Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may
be with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world
cannot receive, for it beholdeth him not) neither knoweth him,
for he abideth with you and shall be in you. . . . But the Com_
forter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my
name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remem_
brance all that I said unto you. . . . But when the Comforter is
come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the
Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall
bear witness of me. . . . Howbeit when he, the Spirit of Truth,
is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not
speak from himself; but what things ever he shall hear, these
shall he speak; and he shall declare unto you the things that
are to come.”

And now before we pass away from this great letter we must
answer a very serious question, not without difficulty. What
is the exact meaning of 3:9, „Whosoever is begotten of God
doeth no sin, because his seed abideth in him, and he cannot sin
because he is begotten of God?” Or, as expressed in a preceding
verse: „Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not; whosoever sin_
neth hath not seen him, neither knoweth him?” Or, in other
words, does the apostle mean that every regenerate man is ab_
solutely impeccable, not posse non pecari, i.e., „able not to
sin,” but non posse peccari, i.e., „not able to sin”?
Those who adopt the view that the regenerate man is ab_
solutely impeccable must take one or the other of the following
positions, none of which is satisfactory to the author:
(1) When a man accepts Christ, he is no longer under law,
but under grace, and where there is no law there is no sin. This
is antinomianism,. it hides behind a fallacy. Christians are not
indeed under the law as a means of life, i.e., by a perfect obe_
dience. But the Christian is under law to Christ. To violate
any rule of right is sin, no matter by whom committed.
(2) The Christian united to Christ stands sinless in him. As
Christ stood for the sinner, all his offenses are charged to
Christ’s account. This explanation is foreign to the apostle’s
whole line of thought. He is not discussing the imputation of
(3) A much more plausible explanation is borrowed from
Romans 7:17_21. The explanation is that the renewed nature
does not and cannot sin, but this man in the renewed life pos_
sesses another nature, from which the Christian’s sins outflow.
There are two „egos” – the „I” that would not, and the „I” that
yet does. The author is quite sure that the apostle John has not
in mind this refinement.
(4) Some who reject the absolutely impeccable interpreta_
tion understand the word thus: „Whosoever abideth in him sin_
neth not as a rule of life – sinneth not habitually.” This view
is better expressed by Sawtelle in the American Commentary on
I John 3:6: „Now, what is the interpretation of John’s lan_
guage? We answer by saying that in this and in similar cases
he looks to an ideal or principle. He presents what the divine
union involves in its fulness that will be when our union with.
Christ shall be developed in experience and actual life to its
normal and perfected state. Abiding in Christ in its fulfilled
degree will involve a partaking in full of the holiness of Christ.
This ideal had not yet been fully reached by John, and his
brethren, though the union had richly commenced and was
going on. But he looks forward to their perfected union with
the Lord, and predicates of it complete purity; nay, he even
speaks of it as if it were present, since the beginning in all
grace involves the ending, the germ, the full unfolding; as the
New Testament calls every Christian a saint, not because he
has reached that ideal, but with reference to the perfection.
which is yet to be. John gives us the law or principle of union.
_with Christ. Purity characterizes this union, and so far as the
union is realized and fulfilled, so far there will be purity, until
the ideal becomes fully real, and then by the very law of the
_union, there will be utter sinlessness. The union is a holy prin_
ciple, and the more it is developed the more it bears personal
holiness with it. The Christian, therefore, by the very law of
his union with Christ, is one who is reaching on to moral purity;
and if not approaching the ideal, he may doubt his spiritual
state. Purity is the law, the tendency of divine union.”
The author has much respect for this view of Dr. Sawtelle,
but it fails to meet the words „doeth no sin.” Hence he sub_
John’s own explanation (3:6, 9), must be interpreted in har_
mony with the rest of his letter. He must not be interpreted as
inconsistent with himself and put in square contradiction with
both previous and subsequent statements. Let us look at some
of these statements:
In 1:8 he says, „If we say we have no sin, we deceive our_
selves and the truth is not in us.” This is said of the Christian
He is not referring to our state before regeneration, for that is
separately expressed in 1:10: „If we say we have not sinned,
we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” He is telling
what to do with sins committed after justification. „If we con_
fess ours sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our
sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. . . . My little
children) these things write I unto you that ye may not sin.
And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous.”
We have already seen his treatment of the progress in sanc_
tification (3:3). In 5:17 he declares every act of unrighteous_
ness to be sin, no matter by whom committed) regenerate or
unregenerate. And he specifically exhorts us to pray for the
forgiveness of a sinning brother (5:16).
It would contradict every book in the Bible, and the ex_
perience of every Christian that ever lived to affirm that no
regenerate man ever sins at all. It would deny the need of the
continuous intercession of the high priest, our Advocate with
God. It is suggested for due consideration that John explains
himself in 5:13_18. Here we have the object of the whole let_
ter, that we may know we have eternal life. While every act
of unrighteousness is sin, not every one excludes from eternal
life. A Christian may sin, but not unto death, the opposite of
the eternal life. These sins are pardonable, and are pardoned
even at the intercession of the saints. There is a sin unto death.
It is unpardonable and not the subject of intercession.
And now to put the matter beyond doubt, he repeats his
former words: „We know that whosoever is born of God sin_
neth not,” i.e., sinneth not unto death, as the context demands.
Which is further evident from what he continues to say: „but
he that was born of God keepeth himself, and the evil one
toucheth him not.”
This is the author’s answer to the question raised. It means
that no regenerate man sinneth in a way, or to the extent, that
his eternal life is disturbed. He sinneth not unto death.
John’s idea of the unpardonable sin agrees with our Lord’s
teaching at Matthew 12:32; Mark 3:29_30, and Paul’s teach_
ing in Hebrews 10:26_29. It is rejection of the Spirit’s witness
to our Lord, I John 5:8_11.

1. Give the legal grounds which distinguish the child of God from the
child of the devil, and why and how attained in three particulars.
2. Give the spiritual grounds in four particulars.
3. What parts of this letter discuss the difference as apprehended by
the Christian in. subjective knowledge and as evidenced to an outsider in practical life, i.e., How may he know and how may they know?
4. Subjectively, then, how may a Christian know that he has passed
out of death into life?
5. How is this known through his conscience?
6. How may a Christian know that he loves the brethren?
7. How may the Christian know his state by applying this test to
the world?
8. How is the Christian’s salvation evident to an outsider?
9. Why should we naturally expect a discernible difference between.
Christ’s preachers and the devil’s preachers?
10. In trying the spirits whether they be of God, cite the passages in
this letter which constitute the test.
11. What should be our attitude toward preachers, teachers in Chris_
tian schools and church members who fail under this test?
12. What would be the result of a faithful application of this teat?
13. Which the more hurtful, hypocrisy or avowed infidelity?
14. How would this console us if the test were rigidly applied when
we saw such members leaving us?
15. Who the source of all the Christian knowledge?
16. What question is raised by I John 3:6, 9, and what four unsatis_
factory answers, and then what John’s own explanation?

2 and 3 John

We take up now the second letter of John, and follow with
the third letter of John. By way of introduction to both books.
I have these few words to say:
First, what does the author of these two books say of him_
self? In both he calls himself „the elder” (Greek – presbute_
ros), which is a designation of office; and not presbutes, mean_
ing an old man. All of the apostles were elders. Peter calls
himself an elder. He says to the elders: „I, who am an elder,
Second, to whom do some attribute these two letters? To a
„John the Presbyter,” who is said to have lived in the second
century at Ephesus.
Third, what the reply to this?
(1) There is no trustworthy evidence that there was any
such man as John the Presbyter living in the second century at
Ephesus; it is very doubtful.
(2) The historical evidence is in every way sufficient to
show that John the apostle is the author of both of these letters.
I will not cite this historical evidence, but I will include among
those who refer to it, Irenaeus, who was a disciple of Polycarp,
who was a disciple of John, and Clement of Alexandria, and
Tertullian of Africa, and quite a number of others all testify
that the apostle John wrote both these books.
(3) The internal evidence is equally conclusive. In these
letters are these expressions: „Live in the truth,” „walk in the
truth,” „love one another,” „and this is love, that ye walk in
his commandments,” every word of verses 7, 9, and others
equally characteristic in the third letter are all Johannine, that

is expressions of John. Certainly whoever wrote I John wrote
both of these letters.
(4) It is characteristic of the apostle John to refer to him_
self indirectly. Even in his Gospel he says, „That disciple
whom Jesus loved.” In his first letter he does not mention his
own name. Here he says, „the elder,” and that is just like him.
Only in the book of Revelation does he give his own name.
(5) There is a clear reference in 3 John 10 to the power ex_
ercised by the apostles only – the judgment power.
(6) It is quite natural that short letters addressed to indi_
viduals about local or personal matters should more slowly re_
ceive general recognition.


To whom is this letter addressed? This answer consists of
four parts:
1. The author confesses himself unable to appreciate the
mystical sense imported by some into the very plain language
of a letter not apocalyptic on its face, so as to render the Greek
word „kuria” in verse I, as „lady,” and then claim that „lady”
means a church. And then construe the Greek word tekna
„children,” as members of the church. And yet again at the
end of the letter to so construe the Greek word adelphes, „sis_
ter,” to make it mean „church,” is to him too farfetched for
serious consideration. And yet all through the ages, and partic_
ularly among our Hard_shell brethren, is this theory held. They
say, „The elder to the elect lady,” meaning some elect church
called lady, but it all sounds silly to me.
2. The word Kuria, English „Cyria,” is a proper name like
„Gaius,” „Timothy,” „Titus,” „Philemon,” and so this should
be rendered, „The elder to the elect Cyria.” That is a woman’s
3. While kuria literally means „lady,” yet, etymologically,
every Bible name means something: „Jacob” means „sup_
planter,” „Israel” means „One who prevails with God,” „Jesus”
means „Saviour.” All the proper names of the Bible have literal
meanings, yet we would be foolish to render these proper names
by the etymological meaning of the word.
4. It is utterly foreign to New Testament usage to call a,
woman „a lady.” The Bible does not call a woman „a lady.”
We do not find this word kuria anywhere else in the New Testa_
ment, but we find „woman” in many places. And the Bible
never calls a church a lady. Now, in the book of Revelation
a woman (not a lady) symbolizes the church. That is an
apocalyptic book, confessedly symbolic) but in the Bible the
females are women – not ladies. This good sister’s name was
Cyria. „Kuria” and „Cyria” mean the same thing.
So this letter is addressed to a good woman, and her name is
Cyria, and I am glad that one book of the Bible is addressed to
a woman.
5. What is the occasion of this letter? The apostle seems to
be stopping with the children of Cyria’s sister. The sister is sup_
posed to be dead, and from her children he gets some informa_
tion about Cyria, who was one of his converts, and hence he
was well acquainted with her. She did not live at the same
place, of course, but he gets some information from these chil_
dren about Cyria, and the information is mixed. He says, „I
have found that certain of thy children are walking in the
truth.” Now that implies that certain others of them are not
walking in the truth, so it is mixed information. Apparently
from these Christian children he hears a good report of some
of Cyria’s children, and this gives him great joy, and prompts
him in love and courtesy to write a note to their aunt Cyria,
sending greetings from the nephews and nieces. I have done
that many a time. I have gone to a place and found people
that were acquainted with some old friend of mine, and from
them I learn the latest information about that old friend, and
as a matter of courtesy, while in their house, I write a letter or
note to that old friend, and extend the family greeting.
In this note he commends her fidelity and the righteous walk
of some of her children. But this letter is not merely a formal
courtesy. Cyria seems to be living where the Gnostic philoso_
phy prevails. Its traveling advocates claim to be preachers of
the gospel, and he solemnly warns her not to receive them into
her house, nor to bid them God_speed, lest she become a par_
taker of their sins. Their method was not to propogate their
heresy from the pulpit) but by private household visitation, and
this danger was real and great to Cyria’s household. Hence
his words in verses 7_8) which are as follows: ‘Tor many de_
ceivers are gone forth into the world, even they that confess
not that Jesus Christ cometh in the flesh. This is the deceiver
and the antichrist. Look to yourselves that ye lose not the
things which we have wrought, but that ye receive a full
reward.” The letter assumes that the present Christian at_
tainment of herself and family is the result of his labors: „Lose
not the things which we have wrought.” I taught you certain
things and you accepted them. These deceivers come around,
these antichrists, and deny what I so plainly taught, that
Christ was come in the flesh.” This implies a personal ac_
quaintance with Cyria on John’s part, and accounts for the
familiarity, tenderness, and earnestness of his letter.
As I have said before, there is a possible implication that
some of her children are already affected by this error – certain
of her children were not walking in the truth, for if he had
meant all of her children he would not have put it that way.
It implies that others of them did not walk in the truth, and
that implies a situation that accounts for the earnestness and
solemnity of the letter. The wolf has already been prowling
around that family fold. It is very probable that these anti_
christs in the guise of Christian preachers have already been
guests in Cyria’s house. He says, „Do not receive them into
your house.” And already there are premonitions of a divided
household, and the danger of a further lapse from what the
apostle had taught.
Verse 9, when taken with verses 5_6, throws additional light
on the situation. It declares that the very plea of these heretics
is that they seem to have assured Cyria that she need not give
up her love for her old teacher, nor break away from what the
apostle had wrought, but only to go on somewhat beyond it
follow new commandments, not denying the old, but confirming
the new ones – new interpretations, new light. They were „pro_
gressives.” Hence the earnest words: „I beseech thee, Cyria
not according to any new commandments which these people
give you, or any new interpretations about love, but according
to the old commandments, I beseech thee let us love one
another. The old commandments interpret and identify love
as walking in God’s commands, and not in any new orders. That
is love that you walk in his commandments. If you do follow
the new, you do surrender what we apostles have taught, and
you do lose your reward.”
And now comes the greatest text against the progressives
in the whole Bible: „He who abides not in the teachings of
Christ, but goes onward into something new, hath not God.
Even to receive into your house these deceivers, and bid them
God_speed, makes you a partaker of their sin.” I say that this
verse 9 is a golden text, a New Testament jewel against the
progressives, who seek to reinterpret or go beyond the faith
once for all delivered to the saints. I preached on it once for
a solid hour. My heart was never more inflamed. I first quoted
Jude’s words: „The faith once for all delivered to the saints,”
and then took up newspaper notices from men esteemed great
that these old notions are obsolete – we need a new religion, we
need to go on. Now, says the apostle: „Whosoever abideth not
in the teachings of Christ, but goeth onward, he hath not
God.” If there is any fire in us, we ought to be able to preach
a sermon from that text. And here let me say that all of the
short books of the New Testament are exquisite gems that
justify their insertion in the canon. Verse 9 justifies putting
this letter in the Bible. We do not get that thought anywhere
else. The fact that this is written to a woman, a hospitable
woman, who has unwittingly received into her house as guests
men claiming to be preachers, but who undermine the faith
of some of her children, and who tell her: „You need not give
up what you believe, you can go on loving your apostle John,
but we have a new interpretation of love, according to new
commandments, and you can stand on what he taught and
what he wrought, but do not stay there, take a step farther;
there are new things to be received,” renders it all the more
remarkable. Why, I imagine I ‘can hear them. They are the
children of the devil. President Eliot, of Harvard, is nothing
but an atheist and is worse than Tom Paine, for Tom Paine
was at least a deist.
John says, „And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I
wrote to thee new commandments, but that which we had
from the beginning, that we love one another.” It is love
that we keep his commandments, and not walk after new


It is evident from the comparison of the characteristic ex_
pressions common to this and the first letter, that one man
wrote both, and it is equally evident that whoever wrote the
first paragraph of the first letter wrote also the first para_
graph of John’s Gospel.
It is further evident from verse 10 of this letter that its
author possessed the apostolic power to punish by extraordi_
nary judgment resistance to inspired authority. We may
accept it, therefore, without hesitation, that the apostle John
wrote this letter.
Though written to an individual about local matters con_
cerning a particular church, it is of permanent kingdom value,
because of the light it throws on New Testament missionary
operations, and because of its revelation of the subjection of
a New Testament church to the evil domination of one am_
bitious and unscrupulous man – a prototype of thousands since
his day.
There cannot be a clearer teaching on the evil possible
to a particular church, under bossism, and on the invalidity
of church decisions which violate fundamental New Testament
Jaw. This is at least one clear, authoritative, apostolic de_
cision that such outrageous church action is entitled to no
respect within the kingdom.
A church is under law to Jesus Christ, and never inde_
pendent of his paramount authority. Mere church authority
cannot set aside the authority of our Lord. It is true that
what a church decides on matters of discipline binds or looses
in heaven (Matt. 18:17_18), but only when Christ is with
them (Matt. 18:19_20), and his will is followed under the
guidance of the Holy Spirit. It was Christ’s law that his
apostles be received as himself (Matt. 10:40), but here is a
man who rejects an apostle, maliciously slanders him and
rebels against his authority. It was Christ’s law that mis_
sionaries should be sent to all the nations (Matt. 28:18_19),
but here is a man who rejects them coming in Christ’s „name,”
and duly accredited by apostolic letter. Christ prescribed the
steps of procedure in the disciplining of a brother by the
church who sins, and who will not yield to either private labor
or church authority (Matt. 18:15_17). But this man counts
obedience to Christ a sin, and utterly disregards our Lord’s
own words as to methods of procedure in discipline, and forces
the subservient church to reject his accredited messengers, and
to arbitrarily exclude those whose only offense was obedience
to the Lord. It was a glaring instance of devilish usurpation
of power, of unmistakable high treason and rebellion. A
thousand times in ecclesiastical history has this great lesson,
nowhere else so clearly taught as here, been needed to show
that merely getting a majority of a particular church to vote
a certain way is not per se a righteous verdict in God’s sight.
This one great lesson alone forever justifies the incorporation
of this short letter into the accepted canon of the Holy Scrip_
But let us analyze the great little book, presenting an order
of thought both logical and chronological:


1. In verses 5_8 we find the New Testament law of foreign
(1) For the sake of the name they go forth.
(2) They take nothing of the Gentiles, who are as yet un_
saved, and so not appreciating labors in their own behalf,
may not be counted on to pay the expenses of their own
(3) Those already evangelized, whether individuals or
churches, should welcome, entertain, and set forward these
men worthily of God on their way to their field, and sustain
them there until the heathen field becomes itself not only self_
sustaining, but a new center of support to the fields beyond.
This was Paul’s method of taking wages of other churches
to preach the gospel in heathen Corinth (2 Cor. 11:8), and as
he says, „Having hope that, as your faith groweth, we shall
be magnified in you according to our rule unto further abun_
dance, so as to preach the gospel to the parts even beyond you”
(2 Cor. 10:15_16).
(4) In this co_operation, in aid to the missionary, the helper
shared the honor of the missionary’s labor, becoming a fellow
helper to the truth.
(5) It needs to be particularly noted that it was not the
plan for each church to send out its own missionaries, limiting
its obligations to only its own missionaries. If this had been
the plan, the particular church to which Gaius and Diotrephes
belonged was within its rights in refusing to receive and help
these missionaries sent out by the Ephesian church.
The churches of Macedonia that helped Paul preach at
Corinth did not send him out, but the far_off church at Antioch
in Syria. All the churches are equally related to the kingdom,
and are bound, as opportunity offers, to co_operate in kingdom
activities, without regard to the fact that only some one pan.
ticular church ordains a man and sends him out.
This is exceedingly important law of New Testament mis_
sions. The whole New Testament condemns the idea that
obligation on a particular church to help missions is limited.
to the missionaries sent out by itself. Thus in five distinct
particulars this short letter gives us the law of New Testament
2. In accordance with this law, certain missionaries are
sent out from Ephesus to go to the Gentiles. To accredit
them and provide help on the way to their field the apostle
John writes a letter to a church situated on the way to their
3. Unfortunately this church is (1) under the domination of
an ambitious, unscrupulous, anti-mssionary, one Diotrephea,
Whether he was a preacher, or long_horned deacon, or merely
an unofficial boss is immaterial. There have been thousands
like him, eager for pre_eminence in the church, insisting on
having his own arbitrary way, following „a rule or ruin pol_
icy.” Cursed is the church that is ridden by such „an old man
of the sea.” (2) This man forced the church to reject the
apostolic letter, „prating against the apostle with wicked
words.” (3) He forced the church to refuse to receive the
missionaries apostolically accredited. (4) This did not content
him; he forbade any individual member of the church to re_
ceive them. (5) Gaius did receive them in spite of this un_
lawful interdict. (6) The missionaries came before the church
and bore grateful testimony to the loving hospitality of Gaius.
(7) Whereupon Diotrephes forced the church to exclude Gaius
and his sympathizers. (8) Brethren who knew all the facts
reported the case to John, bearing witness to the fidelity of
4. Whereupon John writes this letter to Gaius, thoroughly
endorsing his course and condemning the course of Diotrephes,
and sends it by Demetrius, whom he highly commends: „De_
metrius hath the witness of all men arid of the truth itself;
yea we also bear witness; and thou knowest our witness is
true.” Demetrius doubtless goes to the scene of the strife as
an apostolic delegate, with full powers to dispose of the case,
just as Paul sent Titus to Crete to set in order irregularities
there (Tit. 1:5), and as he exhorted Timothy to tarry at Ephe_
gus (I Tim. 3,3:14) to regulate affairs there. In this letter,
as Paul did to the Corinthians, he threatens to come with
apostolic judgment in case Diotrephes refuses to yield to the
authority of his accredited delegate. It would gratify our nat_
ural curiosity to know positively the issue of the case in the
hands of Demetrius, as we do know the issue at Corinth in the
hands of Titus. Judging from other New Testament cases we
may infer a favorable issue here, that Diotrephes was divested
of power to do further harm, that Gaius and his friends were
restored to the church fellowship, that the missionaries were
worthily helped on their way. We may even charitably hope
that Diotrephes, like the incestuous man at Corinth and the
rebels there against apostolic authority, repented of his sins;
yet seldom does a man repent who goes to the lengths this
man did. He was perilously near to the sin against the Holy
Spirit, which is an eternal sin, and hath never forgiveness,
neither in this world nor in the world to come.
5. Apart from the valuable law of missions and the history
of this remarkable case, which is a priceless legacy to the
churches, there are yet to be considered three valuable lessons:
(1) This letter answers clearly a great question, to wit:
Just how rich does the New Testament allow a Christian to
become? Or, what is the New Testament’s limit to the amount
of wealth a Christian may lawfully acquire?
In my early pastorate at Waco I put this very question to
my Sunday school, to be answered the following week. There
chanced to be present a millionaire from Newark, New Jersey,
who had made his money in Texas, Morgan L. Smith. He
approached me when the school was dismissed saying that
the question interested him personally, and as he would leave
before the following Sunday, would take it as a favor if I would
give him the answer in advance. I read to him this passage from
3 John: „Beloved, I pray that in all things thou mayest pros_
per and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth,” which I
thus interpreted: John would not pray for unlawful things. He
did pray that Gaius might prosper financially just as far as
was consistent with his prosperity of soul. Therefore, it was
lawful to acquire a million, ten millions, any number of mil_
lions, if the acquisition did no harm to the soul. But in many
cases wealth as gained or as used starved and sickened the
soul. To them any amount was unlawful that worked such
result. It was good for such men that God kept them poor;
if he allowed to them an increase of wealth at the expense of
the soul, it was in anger and as a judgment. Prosperity makes
fools of many. The same law applied to health. Some could
be well all the time and the soul the better for it. Others, like
Jeshurun, kicked when they waxed fat. Many may echo the
Bible statement: „Before I was afflicted I went astray.” An
old mother said: „You have to break the legs of some children
to raise them.”
(2) The second lesson is one of solemn warning to church
bosses. A church is the temple of God: „Him that destroyeth
the temple of God, will God destroy,” quotes Paul to the
Corinthians. Along the shores of history lie the wrecks of
many once useful churches: along the same shores are the
wrecks of their destroyers.
(3) There remains the lesson arising from the emphatic use
of the word „name” in verse 7: „For the sake of the name they
went forth.” Already that word stood for all that Christ was
and taught and did. It went into ecclesiastical history just
as John here starts it. In the dark ages it was the Christian’s
password in dangerous places, acting as an introduction and
a protection, like the Masonic grip and password. When the
hounds of persecution pursued the martyr, and when heathen
or papal interdict closed against him the door of sympathy,
shelter, and help, he would knock at doors and say, „In the
Name.” The brother Christian within, though a stranger, and
it may be of another nation, would recognize the password,
and give shelter and help at the risk of his own life. In this
way also they safely distributed their literature.
„For the sake of the Name” should be OUT watchword and

1. What does the author of these letters say of himself?
2. To whom have some attributed their authorship and your reply
3. Who the author according to historical evidence?
4. How does the internal confirm the historical?
5. Why not render Kuria, „lady,” and then construe lady to mean
a church, and „sisters” a church and „children” church members? Give the argument of the author.
6. To whom then addressed?
7. State the occasion of the letter.
8. What words of the letter indicate John’s previous knowledge of
9. What words may imply that some of her children were not walking in the truth?
10. What, from the implications of the letter, was the plea of these
11. How does the letter reply?
12. What the golden text of the letter?
13. Why this letter a valuable part of the inspired canon of Scripture?
14. Quote and apply the New Testament law as violated by Diotrephes.
15. What the New Testament law of foreign missions in verses 5_8?
16. Prove the violation of New Testament law and precedent when a
church limits its foreign mission obligation to missionaries sent out by itself.
17. What Texas plan recommends this error?
18. State the history of this case conforming to that law.
19. Give, in eight particulars, the reception of these missionaries by
the church of which Gains and Diotrephes were members.
20. How does John answer the appeal of the case to him?
21. Show from similar cases under Paul that Demetrius was sent as
apostolic delegate, with the threat of the apostle’s own coming in judgment, if the delegate be not heard.
22. What great question does this letter answer and how? Illustrate.
23. What the second lesson?
24. What the third?
25. What two great texts in this letter?

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