1 Timothy 4* Of departures from the faith that began already to appear.(1-5) Several directions, with motives for due discharge ofduties. (6-16)1-5 The Holy Spirit, both in the Old and the New Testament,spoke of a general turning from the faith of Christ, and thepure worship of God. This should come during the Christiandispensation, for those are called the latter days. Falseteachers forbid as evil what God has allowed, and command as aduty what he has left indifferent. We find exercise forwatchfulness and self-denial, in attending to the requirementsof God's law, without being tasked to imaginary duties, whichreject what he has allowed. But nothing justifies an intemperateor improper use of things; and nothing will be good to us,unless we seek by prayer for the Lord's blessing upon it. 6-10 Outward acts of self-denial profit little. What will itavail us to mortify the body, if we do not mortify sin? Nodiligence in mere outward things could be of much use. The gainof godliness lies much in the promise; and the promises to godlypeople relate partly to the life that now is, but especially tothe life which is to come: though we lose for Christ, we shallnot lose by him. If Christ be thus the Saviour of all men, thenmuch more will he be the Rewarder of those who seek and servehim; he will provide well for those whom he has made newcreatures. 11-16 Men's youth will not be despised, if they keep fromvanities and follies. Those who teach by their doctrine, mustteach by their life. Their discourse must be edifying; theirconversation must be holy; they must be examples of love to Godand all good men, examples of spiritual-mindedness. Ministersmust mind these things as their principal work and business. Bythis means their profiting will appear in all things, as well asto all persons; this is the way to profit in knowledge andgrace, and also to profit others. The doctrine of a minister ofChrist must be scriptural, clear, evangelical, and practical;well stated, explained, defended, and applied. But these dutiesleave no leisure for wordly pleasures, trifling visits, or idleconversation, and but little for what is mere amusement, andonly ornamental. May every believer be enabled to let hisprofiting appear unto all men; seeking to experience the powerof the gospel in his own soul, and to bring forth its fruits inhis life.
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