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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: December 6th
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”
1 Timothy 1
Hitherto we have only read portions from Paul’s letters to churches; we now turn to one of his four epistles to individual Christians. It was written to Timothy, who was very dear to the apostle as one of the most affectionate, faithful, and gifted of his spiritual children.
1 Timothy 1:3 , 1 Timothy 1:4
Jewish “teachers of the law” introduced into the churches a kind of mystic philosophy, made up of foolish legends, spiritualizings, and ascetical precepts, which Paul did not hesitate to call “old wives’ fables” and “profane babblings.” Timothy was stationed at Ephesus, to do battle with these mischief-makers, and to set the church in order. In these times there are tendencies to absurdities of the same kind, and we should be upon our guard against them. That which pretends to be wiser, deeper, or holier than the word of God must come from the father of lies.
1 Timothy 1:5-7
Some teachers of our own day are for ever raising questions upon points of no practical value. Such vain jangling let us keep clear of, and follow the simple teachings of our Lord Jesus.
1 Timothy 1:8-15
This is a Christian proverb, an axiom of our creed, “familiar in our mouths as household words,” and right well does it deserve to be repeated and received by all mankind.
1 Timothy 1:17
At thought of the grace which saved him, Paul broke forth into a doxology, and well he might.
1 Timothy 1:18-20
Perhaps they were left to follow out the natural tendency of their doctrines under the influence of Satan until they should see by actual experience where their teachings would land them, and would then have grace to repent. May the Lord keep us free from all false doctrine lest we come under the like condemnation.
Now to the God of victory,
Immortal thanks be paid,
Who makes us conquerors while we die,
Through Christ our living Head.
“Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine.”
1 Timothy 4
In this letter to Timothy Paul denounces many of those forms, of error which have been the plague of the Christian church in all ages. Those who deal with spirits, or profess to do so, those who multiply forms and ceremonies, those who make religion to lie in meats and drinks, and those who attach importance to legends and traditions, are all heavily censured, as they deserve.
1 Timothy 4:1
leading on to the worship of angels, fear of demons, and attempts at commerce with the dead. In every age some deceivers and deceived ones have wandered in this direction. Far from us be such darkness.
1 Timothy 4:2
As a hot iron deadens the part which it burns, so is their conscience no longer sensitive, and they can utter falsehood unblushingly.
1 Timothy 4:3
How well this describes the Church of Rome, which combines both superstitions. Other sects also have decried marriage, and issued laws as to eating and drinking, making that to be sin which is no. sin.
1 Timothy 4:6
To hold fast the true faith is one of our first duties. To be for ever chopping and changing is a most unhappy and dangerous condition.
1 Timothy 4:8
For bodily exercise profiteth little: or a little; it may, when rightly used, promote bodily health, but that is all
1 Timothy 4:9 , 1 Timothy 4:10
All men derive some benefit from Jesus death. They are spared, they enjoy the common blessings of providence, and they are placed under mediatorial rule; yet redemption has its special design and effect, and these have to do only with believers. The Saviour has bought some good things for all men, and all good things for some men. Are we believers? Then, in a special sense, Jesus is our Saviour.
1 Timothy 4:14
Even when the miraculous gifts of the Spirit were in the church the most favoured ministers were to study and meditate: how much more then is it now their duty! Those who speak without thinking seldom say anything worth thinking of.
1 Timothy 4:15 , 1 Timothy 4:16
Or “be thou wholly in them.” Be absorbed in thy work,
Care as to our doctrine will both preserve the teacher himself from serious error, and keep his hearers from the same evil. This should lead us to be very prayerful, and careful as to what we receive, and what we communicate to others. Doctrines are not to be trifled with, they are life and death matters. Lord teach us thy truth.
Make me to understand
Thy precepts and thy will;
Thy wondrous works on every hand,
I’ll sing and talk of still.
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