ENDURANCE AND SEPARATION IN THE MINISTRY
Click chart to enlarge
Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
Second Timothy - Swindoll
|2 Timothy 1:1-18||2 Timothy 2:1-26||2 Timothy 3:1-17||2 Timothy 4:1-22|
Divide the Word
|Dangerous Times for
|Unashamed as a
|Unashamed as a
|Adequate as a
|Awarded as a
|Perseverance of the Gospel Message||Protection of
to Fulfill Ministry
Compiled from Jensen's Survey of the NT and Wilkinson's Talk Thru the Bible
BBE: Do your best to come to me before long:
GWT: Hurry to visit me soon. (GWT)
KJV: Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:
Phillips: Do your best to come to me as soon as you can. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Do your best to come to me quickly
Young's Literal: Be diligent to come unto me quickly,
MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO COME TO ME SOON: Spoudason (2SAMM) elthein (AAN) pros me tacheos :
- 2 Ti 4:21; 1:4
- 2 Timothy 4 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
Other translations - Do your best to come to me before long (BBE)
Make every effort (4704) (spoudazo [word study] from spoude [word study] = earnestness, diligence) means to do something hurriedly, with the implication of associated energy and readiness to expend that energy.
Spoudazo - 11x in 11v - Gal 2:10; Eph 4:3; 1 Thess 2:17; 2 Tim 2:15; 4:9, 21; Titus 3:12; Heb 4:11; 2 Pet 1:10, 15; 3:14. NAS = diligent(6), eager(2), make every effort(3).
Spoudazo speaks primarily of an attitude which is associated with or which leads to action. To hasten to. To hurry to. To do quickly. To use speed, make effort, be prompt, be earnest. To manifest zealous persistence to accomplish an objective. Hurry and get here (Timothy)! Earnestly endeavour (Timothy)!
Like a commanding general to his junior officers, Paul gives this command (aorist imperative), which conveys a sense of urgency. Do this now! Don't delay! Why? From the context we know that Paul is about to die and that he is writing presumably from a cold, dark, dank dungeon in Rome, so that is natural that he would long for the presence of his beloved son (2Ti 1:2-note), his true child in the faith (1Ti 1:2). The immediate reason for Paul's desire to see Timothy is most clearly explained by the preposition for in the next verse.
It is worth noting that while Paul did not depend on others to meet his needs (cp Php 4:11, 12-note, Php 4:13-note), he did desire the companionship and encouragement of other like-minded believers. Timothy especially would be a tremendous source of refreshment to his wearied soul during the last days of his earthly life.
If you've ever been deserted by someone you considered faithful (cp Demas below) you know how Paul must have felt. Seeing Timothy would affirm that he was still fighting the good fight of faith and had not deserted the ranks.
Napoleon Bonaparte was a man who sought greatness, but ended his life imprisoned because the peace of the world demanded it. In prison he had the remembrance of homes and cities that he had wrecked in pursuit of world conquest. His efforts shed rivers of blood. As he came to the end of his life, the saddest words Napoleon ever uttered were...
I wonder if there is anyone in the world who really loves me?
A man is truly fortunate in this life if he has a few friends on whom he can utterly rely. In our day and age this is a rare thing. We are all so rushed, rushing to work and back to family. Our plates are "full", and we often have no time to seek after and cultivate true friendship as we should. But Paul was blessed, for he had men like his beloved son Timothy, his kindred spirit (Php 2:20-note), his "equal soul" and "like mind", one who was activated by the same motives as he was and who was of proven worth having served with Paul in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father. (Php 2:22-note) And so Paul desired to see his precious brother during his last hours on earth.
Wuest has a helpful note writing that...
After his swift glance down the years of his strenuous life, Paul turns to his present circumstances. He is a prisoner in a cold, Roman dungeon, awaiting his second trial before Nero, and death. Great soul that he was, he yet needed and craved human fellowship and sympathy in his hour of trial. How this reminds us of the Man of Sorrows who needed the fellowship and sympathy of the inner circle, Peter, James, and John, in His hour of trial in Gethsemane. How real a Man He was, yet all the time Very God. Paul writes to Timothy, “Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me.” The words, “do thy diligence,” in the Greek have the idea of “make haste, exert every effort,” and can be translated “do your best. (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans or Logos)
Soon (5030) (tacheos gives us our word "tachometer") means quickly, without delay. Paul was eager to see him, which once again counters the criticism that Paul was not a "people person". Once can be a scholar and still love people.
2 Timothy 4:10 for Demas, having loved (AAPMSN) this present world, has deserted (3SAAI) me and gone (3SAPI) to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. (NASB: Lockman)
BBE: For Demas has gone away from me, for love of this present life, and has gone to Thessalonica: Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.
KJV: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
GWT: Demas has abandoned me. He fell in love with this present world and went to the city of Thessalonica. Crescens went to the province of Galatia, and Titus went to the province of Dalmatia. (GWT)
Phillips: Demas, loving this present world, I fear, has left me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus is away in Dalmatia. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: for Demas let me down, having set a high value upon this present age and thus has come to love it. And he set out for Thessalonica, Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: for Demas forsook me, having loved the present age, and went on to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia,
FOR DEMAS HAVING LOVED THIS PRESENT WORLD: agaphesas (AAPMSN) ton nun aiona :
- Col 4:14,15; Philemon 1:24
- Loved = Lk 9:61;62 14:26 27 33; 16:13; 17:32; Php 2:21; 1Ti 6:10; 1Jn 2:15 16; 5:4 5:5
- Timothy 4 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
He fell in love with this present world (GWT),
for Demas let me down, having set a high value upon this present age and thus has come to love it. (Wuest).
The NAS misses Paul's emphasis because the first words in the Greek sentence are "he left me", followed by the explanation of why Demas deserted. But first Paul wanted to emphasize his desertion.
In these last verses, Paul singles out the names of various faithful and unfaithful men. We can always learn from the examples of others, either what to emulate or what to avoid.
Demas is mentioned only three times in the New Testament...
THE TRAGIC DESERTION
|Philemon 1:24||AD 60-62||...Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow workers|
|Colossians 4:14||AD 60-62||Luke, the beloved physician, sends you his greetings, and also Demas|
|2Timothy 4:10||AD 67||Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica|
Demas goes from "fellow worker" to simply "Demas" to lover of "this present world"! The first two mentions were during Paul's first imprisonment and the last here in Timothy during his second imprisonment in Rome.
The lure of the world became irresistible to Demas, and he abandoned both Paul and the ministry. We see here the basic principle taught by our Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry that
"No one (absolutely no one) can serve (present tense = as a lifestyle) two masters (kurios = absolute ownership and control); for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot (as a lifestyle or continually) serve God and mammon (wealth, possessions)." (Mt 6:24-note)
Jesus had His Judas, and Paul had his Demas. Anyone who has been in the ministry long enough has shared in that heartbreaking experience. Isn't it interesting and somewhat comforting to note that even the two greatest leaders the world has ever known had those who failed them. In a similar manner, anyone who has been a Christian long enough has known the heartache and sense of loss when some mentor or leader who for whatever reason chooses to abandon the faith and fall in love with the world.
Every saint, be he pastor or pew member, needs to remember this passage, so he is aware of the potential for those who, while ostensibly steadfast and faithful, choose to forsake in the hour of need. If this has happened to you, beloved, remember that Jesus is able to sympathize, for in His hour of greatest need His disciples all left Him and fled. (Mark 14:50) and
since He Himself was tempted (and tested) in that which He has suffered, He is (continually ready and) able to come to the aid (upon hearing the cry for help) of those who are (continually being) tempted (and tested). (Heb 2:18-note)
Loved (25) (agapao related to noun agape [word study]) speaks of a love not from affection but based on a decision of the will rather than the emotions. When used in a good sense agapao pictures an unconditional, sacrificial type of love. (eg, God's love for sinful mankind - Jn 3:16)
In the present context the object of Demas' agapao love is this present world which elsewhere Paul describes as this present evil age (aion) (Gal 1:4). Agapao is used of husbands who are commanded to love their wives (Eph 5:25- note; present imperative = command to do this continually - Just try to obey this command in your own strength!) -- this demands death to self, denial of self, dependence on the Spirit (Ep 5:18-note; present imperative = command to be continually filled/controlled by the Spirit) -- Demas was unwilling to deny self, instead desiring to gratify self.
Matthew Henry wrote that "The love of this world, is often the cause of turning back from the truths and ways of Jesus Christ. (cp 1Ti 6:9)
Present (3568) (nun) marks a definite point or period of time, the (objective) immediate present in antithesis to something future. Demas chose to live for the present not the future. What "time" are you living for dear reader? It makes an eternal difference!
Literally the Greek says the "now world" -- what a contrast with the "then world" -- the first will pass, the second will last!
World (165) (aion [word study]) has both a time and an ethical connotation. In the present context the meaning of aion is primarily the ethical sense which parallels the ethical/moral use of kosmos ("world") in 1Jn 2:15 (cp Jas 4:4-note)
Present World - This refers to the present sinful age, the world system or the invisible spiritual system of evil dominated by Satan “the god of this world" (2Cor 4:4), and in opposition to God, His Word, and His people. It is a seductive system that appeals to all people, believers as well as unbelievers, and calls for our affection, participation, and loyalty. Satan controls this system, and believers should shun it. Demas did not.
World in context represents the sum of the demonic-human philosophy of life and corresponds to the spirit of the age. It represents the popular culture and manner of thinking that is in rebellion against God and which will try to conform us to its ungodly pattern, and that process must be resisted. Demas could not resist the attraction of the age in which he lived.
Trench has written that aion is
that floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, hopes, impulses, aims, aspirations, at any time current in the world, which it may be impossible to seize and accurately define, but which constitute a most real and effective power, being the moral, or immoral atmosphere which at every moment of our lives we inhale, again inevitably to exhale. (Trench, R. C. Synonyms of the New Testament. Hendrickson Publishers. 2000)
Barton sees a principle and an application in Demas' choice, writing that...
There are two ways to love the world. God loves the world as he created it and as it could be if it were rescued from evil. Others, like Demas, love the world as it is, sin and all. Do you love the world as it could be if God’s justice ruled, the hungry were fed, and people loved one another? Or do you love what the world has to offer—wealth, power, pleasure—even if gaining it means hurting people and neglecting the work God has given you to do?" (Bolding added) (Barton, B. B., et al. Life Application Bible Commentary. Romans: Tyndale House Publishers)
HAS DESERTED ME AND GONE TO THESSALONICA: me egkatelipen (3SAAI)...kai eporeuthe (3SAPI) eis Thessaloniken:
- 2Ti 4:16, 1:15 Mt 26:56; Acts 13:13; 15:38; 2Pe 2:15
- Timothy 4 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
has abandoned me (GWT),
let me down (Wuest)
Deserted (1459) (egkataleipo from en = in + kataleípo = forsake, desert <> kata = intensifies or strengthens the next word + leipo = leave behind) abandon, desert, or leave in straits. It speaks of forsaking someone in a state of defeat or helplessness, even in midst of hostile circumstances.
Demas left Paul in the lurch, utterly forsaking him, letting him down. It was a disappointment but it also must have broken Paul's heart.
The ultimate fate of Demas is debated in the commentaries, some considering his action as the manifestation of an individual who was never a true believer, while others feel that he was a believer who fell in love with the world. Demas ostensibly seems to began well but ultimately shipwrecked upon the shores of worldly affections! Beware of these dangerous reefs!
Although I will not make a dogmatic statement as to Demas' eternal fate (for God alone knows for certain), it is interesting to study several parallel passages.
Paul testified that through the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ
the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal 6:14)
John taught that
James records a parallel truth writing...
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (Jas 4:4-note)
Demas' focus on which he bestowed his agapao love (this present world) is in stark contrast to what Paul had just stated regarding
the righteous Judge, (Who) will award to me (the crown of righteousness) on that day and not only to me, but also to all who have loved (agapao - perfect tense = began to love at point in the past, surely when they were born again, and continue to love) His appearing." (2Ti 4:8-note)
Paul's heart was captivated by Christ and His coming kingdom, while Demas allowed his heart to be wooed and won by the kingdom of this world! One is passing away and the other endures forever! Do not be deceived beloved brethren! This world is not our friend dear saint!
Irregardless of Demas' fate, Paul was clearly impacted by his tragic departure. One of the bitterest experiences in Christian service is to be forsaken by those who were formerly one’s fellow laborers.
Spurgeon comments that...
Demas was once almost a martyr, he was upon the very edge of suffering, but now you see he goeth back to the world again; he is not content to lie in the dungeon and rot with Paul, but will rather seek his own ease. Alas! Demas, how hast thou dishonoured thyself for ever, for every man who reads this passage as he passes by, flings another stone at the heap which is the memorial of one of cowardly spirit who fled from Paul in danger.
Demarest comments that...
The tragedy is that here is one who at one time was running well but now has dropped out of the race. Fidelity in Christian life and ministry must be constantly renewed. Yesterday’s trophies do not win today’s races. And I’ve never known any parents who named their children after Demas. How sad." (Demarest, G. W., & Ogilvie, L. J. The Preacher's Commentary Series, Vol 32: 1, 2 Thessalonians / 1, 2 Timothy / Titus. Page 298. Thomas Nelson)
Vance Havner reminds us that...
Demas and all his sort want their crowns now and they will get them in Thessalonica. They have their reward. All who follow Paul will wait for theirs till that day. They have only two days on their calendar, today and that day. The Day shall declare it. (See 1Cor 3:13.) If we are living just for today, we will go with Demas to Thessalonica. If we are living for that day, we will stay with Paul and exchange the old rugged cross one day for a crown.
DEMAS LOST THE "SCENT" - A MAN bought a new hunting dog. Eager to see how the dog would perform, the man took him out to track a bear. No sooner had they gotten into the woods than the dog picked up the trail. Suddenly he stopped, sniffed the ground, and headed in a new direction. He had caught the scent of a deer that had crossed the bear's path. A few moments later he halted again, this time smelling a rabbit that had crossed the path of the deer. On and on it went until finally the breathless hunter caught up with his dog, only to find him barking triumphantly down the hole of a field mouse.
Sometimes Christians are like that hunting dog. We start out on the right trail, following Christ. But soon our attention is diverted to things of lesser importance. One pursuit leads to another until we've strayed far from our original purpose. Apparently this is what happened to one of the apostle Paul's companions, for Paul wrote to Timothy, "Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world."
Every day we must renew our dedication to Christ or we will be drawn away by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life. These worldly influences can divert even the most devout Christian. We easily pick up another scent and follow another trail, perhaps the pursuit of wealth, power, prestige, or pleasure. When we realize that has happened, we must admit our waywardness and ask God to get us back on the right trail. —D J De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Pastor Steven Cole has the following thoughts on Demas...
Demas was formerly committed, but deserted the cause of Christ for the world. Paul was probably more disappointed over Demas than with any of the others. When he had written to Philemon (Philemon 1:24) a few years before, Paul included Demas among his “fellow workers.” He had been a part of Paul’s team (see Col 4:14). But now, when identifying with the apostle may have meant death, Demas had deserted him. Rather than loving the Lord’s appearing (2Ti 4:8), Demas had loved this present world. Paul was left shivering without even a warm coat, while Demas took off to pursue “the good life.”
We don’t know whether Demas later came to his senses and, like Peter after his denials, repented. I do know that the world’s enticements are strong. I live very comfortably, and yet there are times when I see how the wealthy live and I think, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have all those things!” But as you face death, having the things of this world won’t matter much anymore. If you can join with Paul in saying, “I have been committed to the cause of Jesus Christ,” you will also join him in facing life’s winter well. It’s never too late, by the way. I read of a woman who became a Christian at 100. She devoted her last three years to working with a mission, stuffing envelopes! So to face life’s winter well, commit yourself to the living Lord and His eternal cause. (Read the full sermon - his messages read like verse by verse commentaries!)
Vance Havner on Demas...
1. Who was Demas?
Two . . . references (Col 4.14, Philemon 1:24) tell us that he was an associate and fellow worker with Paul.
2. What about Demas?
" . Demas hath forsaken me."
3. Why did Demas forsake Paul?
He loved this Present world this world which, if a man love, he is the enemy of God, and the love of the Father is not in him; this world which hated my Lord and will hate us; this world which knows us not/ because it knew Him not; this world whose wisdom is foolishness with God; this world that our Lord died to save.
4. One question remains: Where did Demas go?
"Demas hath forsaken me and is departed unto Thessalonica. " I do not know why he went there or what he did when he arrived. There was a good church in Thessalonica. It was the first gospel broadcasting station: "For from you sounded out the word of the Lord . ." we read in I Thessalonians [[1:8|bible.73.1.8]], but I do not think Demas went there to preach. The devil always has a Thessalonica for a Demas when he is trying to escape the reproach of a Roman prison and a
Pauline Christianity. If you have a king other than Caesar, Rome is a hot spot to live and preach in.
Demas and all his sort want their crowns now and they will get them in Thessalonica. They have their reward. All who follow Paul will wait for theirs till that day. They have only two days on their calendar, today and that day. The Day shall declare it. (See 1Corinthians 3:13. If we are living just for today, we will go with Demas to Thessalonica. If we are living for that day, we will stay with Paul and exchange the old rugged cross one day for a crown.
CRESCENS [HAS GONE] TO GALATIA TITUS TO DALMATIA: Kreskes eis Galatian, Titos eis Dalmatian:
- Acts 17:1,11,13 Acts 16:6; 18:23; Gal 1:2, 2Co 2:13; 7:6; 8:6,16; Gal 2:1, 2, 3; Titus 1:4
- Timothy 4 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
Crescens - See brief notes on Crescens
Has gone - Not in the Greek, but added for continuity of the sentence. So literally the Greek text reads "Crescens into Galatia (click map), Titus into Dalmatia (on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea)" but without any criticism or negative inference as with Demas.
Thomas Guthrie used to say:
If you find yourself loving any pleasure better than your prayers, any book better than the Bible, any house better than the house of God, any table better than the Lord’s table, any person better than Christ, any indulgence better than the hope of heaven—take alarm.”
How will you finish the race? Like Paul or like Demas? Moody's Today in the Word gives us an illustration of a once fruitful life that ended in barrenness and futility...
One cold January morning in 1864 a man was found lying in a heap in the seedy Bowery section of New York, bleeding from a slashed throat. He had staggered to a wash basin, which fell and shattered. A doctor at the scene used black sewing thread somebody found to suture the wound. The man—an almost penniless drunkard—was admitted to Bellevue Hospital, where he languished unknown for three days before dying. Later, someone seeking him was directed to the local morgue. The friend knew that the man he sought was much more than a derelict. He was a genius whose songs captured the hearts of generations of Americans: “Swanee River,” “Camptown Races,” “Oh, Susanna,” “Beautiful Dreamer,” and two hundred more. His name? Stephen Foster.
2Timothy 4:11 Only Luke is (3SPAI) with me. Pick up (AAPMSN) Mark and bring (2SPAM) him with you, for he is (3SPAI) useful to me for service. (NASB: Lockman)
BBE: Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and take him with you; for he is of use to me in the work.
GWT: Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you. He is useful to me in my work. (GWT)
KJV: Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
Phillips: Only Luke is with me now. When you come, pick up Mark and bring him with you. I can certainly find a job for him here. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Luke alone is with me. Mark pick up and be bringing him with you, for he is profitable to me for ministering work.
Young's Literal: Lukas only is with me; Markus having taken, bring with thyself, for he is profitable to me for ministration;
ONLY LUKE IS WITH ME: Loukas estin (3SPAI) monos met' emou:
- 2Ti 1:15, Acts 16:10; Col 4:14; Philemon 24
- Timothy 4 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
Luke is with Paul now in Rome just as he had been during Paul's first Roman imprisonment. In two of the "prison epistles" written during that first imprisonment Paul wrote that...
Luke, the beloved physician, sends you his greetings, and also Demas. (Col 4:14-note)
Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow workers. (Philemon 1:23, 24)
Luke is first seen associated with Paul in (Acts 16:10)
"And when he [Paul] had seen the vision, immediately we [Luke now writing in the first person] sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. [those in Philippi]"
Luke accompanied Paul on his last trip to Jerusalem (Acts 21:15)
And when it came about that our days there were ended, we departed and started on our journey, while they all, with wives and children, escorted us until we were out of the city. And after kneeling down on the beach and praying, we said farewell to one another.
We lose sight of Luke until he identifies himself again at Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast as Paul departs for Rome (Acts 27:2)
And embarking in an Adramyttian ship, which was about to sail to the regions along the coast of Asia, we put out to sea, accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica.
Dr Luke not only accompanied Paul to Rome but he appears to remain at Paul's side through both imprisonments as suggested by the Scriptures quoted above. Luke in fact is the only companion who remained with Paul ("only Luke is with me"). It is clear that an especially tender relationship had developed between the two men over the years ("the beloved physician").
What a marked contrast: Luke, the faithful physician whose affection for Paul continued to the end, and Demas whose affection failed under pressure.
PICK UP MARK AND BRING HIM WITH YOU: Markon analabon (AAPMSN) age (2SPAM) meta seautou:
- Acts 12:12 25; 15:39; Col 4:10; 1Pe 5:13; Hos 14:4
- Timothy 4 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
Pick up (353) (analambano [word study] from aná = up + lambáno = take) means literally to take up, to assume. Depending on the context analambano can mean to cause to go up, to lift up and carry away as in the Ascension of Christ (Acts 1:2, 11, 22), to take up in order to carry (Acts 7:43, Eph 6:13, 16), to pick up (someone to take along on a journey - 2Ti 4:11), to take aboard a ship (Acts 20:13, 14).
TDNT notes that analambano in the LXX has such senses as
“to load,” “to set on the feet,” “to raise” (a song), “to lift up” (in prayer), “to receive” (instruction), and “to keep upright.” It can also become a term for rapture. (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament)
Analambano - 13x in 13v - Mk 16:19; Acts 1:2, 11, 22; 7:43; 10:16; 20:13, 14; 23:31; Ep 6:13, 16; 1Ti 3:16; 2Ti4:11 NAS = pick(1), received(1), take(1), take...on board(1), taken(5), taking(1), took(2), took...on board(1).
Bring (71) (ago) means to carry, lead, conduct. This instruction is imperative mood or in the form of a command.
A separation occurred between Paul and Barnabas because of a sharp disagreement over Mark:
Mark returns home from Paul's First Missionary Journey: "Now Paul and his companions put out to sea from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John (Mark) left them and returned to Jerusalem." (Acts 13:13)
Paul and Barnabas had a sharp disagreement over Mark prior to Paul's Second Missionary Journey: "And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us return and visit the brethren in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are. 37 And Barnabas was desirous of taking John, called Mark, along with them also.38 But Paul kept insisting that they should not take him along who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work.39 And there arose such a sharp disagreement (paroxusmos: paroxysm = stirring up anger, sharp contention) that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus.40 But Paul chose Silas and departed, being committed by the brethren to the grace of the Lord.41 And he was traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches." (Acts 15:36-41)
Mark is restored to Paul's favor by the time of his first imprisonment in AD60-62 (2 Timothy being about 5 years later during Paul's second imprisonment) for he writes "Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, sends you his greetings; and also Barnabas' cousin Mark (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him)." (Col 4:10-note)
Paul's request for John Mark reveals that a reconciliation between the two had transpired since the conflicts of the first and second missionary journeys (cf. Acts 13:13; 15:36-41). What an interesting contrast Mark makes with Demas, who started out well and then jumped ship in favor of the world. One became useless, the other became useful.
Spurgeon comments - That is one of the prettiest verses in the Bible, because you will remember that the Apostle Paul quarreled with Barnabas about this very Mark, because John Mark would not go into Bythinia to preach the Word, but left Paul and Barnabas, therefore Paul would not have Mark with him any more, because he had turned in the day of trouble. But now Paul is about to die, and he wishes to be perfectly at peace with everyone. He has quite forgiven poor John Mark himself for his former weakness; he sees grace in him, and so he is afraid lest John Mark should be under some apprehensions of the Apostle’s anger, and so he puts in this very kind passage, without seeming to have any reference at all to the past, but he gives him this great praise — ”for he is profitable to me for the ministry.”
Failure - Get Mark, ... for he is useful to me (2Ti 4:11). Although we can never undo a failure, we can learn from the experience and profit by it. A baseball pitcher who loses a game because he throws a fastball right where the batter wants it may come back four days later and hurl a shutout. He'll never erase the lost game from his record, but his failure can teach him valuable lessons that will help him to chalk up more wins than losses.
In Acts we read that John Mark accompanied Paul and Barnabas when they started their first missionary journey (Acts 13:5), but he soon departed from them (Acts 13:13). While he was at home, he apparently regretted what he had done, so he asked to be included the next time his older friends set out. Barnabas wanted to give him another chance, but Paul didn't, so they parted company and formed two teams—Barnabas taking Mark, and Paul taking Silas. Young Mark couldn't erase his first failure, but he must have learned from it because he became a respected Christian leader of his clay. Further-more, God used him to write one of the four gospels; and Paul, in his second prison epistle to Timothy, asked for Mark, saying, "He is useful to me for ministry."
It doesn't do any good to brood about what went wrong. Wishing we could do something over is an exercise in futility. Each day is new. With God's help we can succeed, if we learn from yesterday's failure. Christians live in "the land of beginning again." —H. V. Lugt (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Failure doesn't mean you'll never succeed.
It will just take longer.
FOR HE IS USEFUL TO ME FOR SERVICE: gar moi euchrêstos eis diakonian:
- Mt 19:30; 20:16; Lk 13:30
- Timothy 4 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
for he is profitable to me for ministering work (Wuest)
Useful (2173) (euchrestos from eú = well + chráomai = furnish what is needful) means easy to make use of and so pertaining to being of positive or good use - valuable, helpful, serviceable, beneficial.
Euchrestos was a a common term in Greco-Roman secular term in the description of service that has special social value.
Paul used euchrestos in his description of the man God can use writing that
if a man (thoroughly) cleanses himself from these things (from what is ignoble and unclean, who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences), he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful (euchrestos) to the Master, prepared for every good work." (2Ti 2:21-note)
What does this use of euchrestos teach us about Mark?
Edwards comments that "The life of Mark stands as a testimony to the grace of God, Who is ever "The God of the Second Chance." Many of God's greatest servants failed miserably at the start of their course, but returned to finish the race in a God-honoring fashion. When David Livingstone attempted to preach his first sermon, he went blank and told the audience, "I have forgotten all that I had to say." He left the pulpit in utter shame and discouragement. But through the encouragement of Robert Moffat, he went on to be an accomplished preacher and doctor. God ever provides a second chance to the man who is willing to get back on his feet and run the race set before him. "Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 'Arise, go . . . preach . . . '" Jonah 3:1,2"
Service (1248) (diakonia is probably derived from dioko = to pursue, "to be a follower of a person, to attach one's self to him:" - note on origin is from Vincent.) means the rendering or assistance or help by performing certain duties, often of a humble or menial nature serve, including such mundane activities as waiting on tables or caring for household needs—activities without apparent dignity. Diakonia is related to diakonos, a servant, not in his relation (like doulos) but more in regard to his activity. The term covers both slaves and hired servants.
MacArthur "The basic idea in both words always had to do with humble, submissive, personal service, not simply with an office or a particular function."
A diakonos (deacon) does diakonia (service - Php 1:1, 1Ti 3:8, 12, Ro 16:1) Diakonia can refer to serving food or serving the Word of God (Acts 6:1,4)! Diakonia can refer to the ministry of the Spirit (2Cor 3:7) and to angels in their service to saints (Heb 1:14). Paul's dying words testify to the importance of diakonia, as he charges his disciple Timothy to fulfill his ministry (diakonia).
Barclay - the main idea which lies behind diakonia is that of practical service. It is from its kindred word diakonos (1249) that we get our English word deacon. It may be that a man will never have the privilege of standing forth in public and proclaiming Christ; but there is no man who cannot every day show the love of Christ in deeds of service to his fellow men.
Richards - A similar word, doulos (127 times in the NT) can mean either "slave" or "servant," and it focuses attention on our subjection to Jesus. But these ministry words call us to look at our fellow human beings as objects of the loving services we extend to them for Jesus' sake.
Wuest - The word diakonia which has the same root as diakonos and means “service, ministering,” used especially of those who execute commands. The word diakonia means “service, ministering.” This Greek word could have been used in the last war when speaking of the Armed Services. It speaks of a branch of activity in which the individual renders service. Here it is Christian service. The word “ministry” today is used of the ordained clergy. Paul thought of the sphere of Christian service as a whole. God placed him in the service....“Ministry” is diakonia. This is one of the Greek words for a servant. Trench says that this word represents the servant in his activity. The word therefore refers to one who serves. The words “let us wait on our” are also absent. The word “ministry” is in the locative of sphere. The exhortation is that the one who renders service should render service in the realm or sphere in which God placed him and for which He gave him that gift. Moule says of this word, “Almost any work other than that of inspired utterance or miracle-working may be included in it here.” Godet says; “An activity of the practical nature exerted in action, not in word.” As to teaching, it is aimed at the understanding, with reference to exhortation, at the heart and will (Vincent). Both words are in the locative of sphere, the idea being that the one who is given a teaching gift should remain within the exercise of that gift, and the one who has been given the gift of exhortation, within the exercise of that gift. It is a wise man who stays within the sphere of service for which God the Holy Spirit has fitted him, and does not invade some other field of service for which he is not fitted.
Diakoneo is the word for service, as distinct from douleuo (to serve as a slave), therapeuo (to serve willingly), latreuo (to serve for wages), and leitourgeo (to do public service), carries the basic nuance of personal service.
Diakonia, ministry, represents service of whatever character, and specially voluntary service, in contrast to bondservice.
Friberg (Summary) (1) generally service (Heb 1.14); (2) as charitable giving aid, support, arrangement for provision (Acts 6.1); (3) as preparing meals serving, preparation (Luke 10.40); (4) as the role or position of one serving God in a special way task, office, ministry (Ro 12.7; 1Ti 1.12)
Vine — (Strong's #1248 — Noun Feminine — diakonia — dee-ak-on-ee'-ah ) "the office and work of a diakonos", "service, ministry," is used (a) of domestic duties, Lk 10:40; (b) of religious and spiritual "ministration," (1) of apostolic "ministry," e.g., Acts 1:17,25; 6:4; 12:25; 21:19; Ro 11:13 , RV (AV, "office"); (2) of the service of believers, e.g., Acts 6:1; Ro 12:7; 1Cor 12:5 ,RV, "ministrations" (AV, "administrations"); 1 Corinthians 16:15; 2Cor 8:4; 9:1,12 , RV, "ministration;" 2Cor 9:13; Eph 4:12 , RV, "ministering" (AV, "the ministry," not in the sense of an ecclesiastical function); 2Ti 4:11 , RV, "(for) ministering;" collectively of a local church, Acts 11:29 , "relief" (RV marg. "for ministry"); Revelation 2:19 , RV, "ministry" (AV, "service"); of Paul's service on behalf of poor saints, Ro 15:31; (3) of the "ministry" of the Holy Spirit in the Gospel, 2Cor 3:8; (4) of the "ministry" of angels, Heb 1:14 , RV, "to do service" (AV, "to minister"); (5) of the work of the Gospel, in general, e.g., 2Cor 3:9 , "of righteousness;" 2Cor 5:18 , "of reconciliation;" (6) of the general "ministry" of a servant of the Lord preaching and teaching, Acts 20:24; 2Cor 4:1; 6:3; 11:8; 1Ti 1:12 , RV, "(to His) service;" 2Ti 4:5; undefined in Col 4:17; (7) of the Law, as a "ministration" of death, 2Corinthians 3:7; of condemnation, 2Cor 3:9. (Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words)
Diakonia - 34x in 32v - NAS translates: ministries, 1; ministry, 19; mission, 1; preparations, 1; relief, 1; serve, 1; service, 7; serving, 2; support, 1. Diakonia is not found in the non-apocryphal Septuagint. Study the uses to observe what is associated with diakonia and the Spirit will give you a better "sense" of the meaning and use in Scripture. And then pray that we would all be willing to perform humble, God glorifying diakonia in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Luke 10:40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me."
Acts 1:17 "For he was counted among us and received his share in this ministry."
25 to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place."
Acts 6:1 Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food.
4 "But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word."
Acts 11:29 And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea.
Acts 12:25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their mission, taking along with them John, who was also called Mark.
Acts 20:24 "But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.
Acts 21:19 After he had greeted them, he began to relate one by one the things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
Romans 11:13 But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,
Romans 12:7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;
Romans 15:31 that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints;
1 Corinthians 12:5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.
1 Corinthians 16:15 Now I urge you, brethren (you know the household of Stephanas, that they were the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves for ministry to the saints),
2 Corinthians 3:7 But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was,
8 how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory?
9 For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory.
2 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart,
2 Corinthians 5:18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,
2 Corinthians 6:3 giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited,
2 Corinthians 8:4 begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints,
2 Corinthians 9:1 For it is superfluous for me to write to you about this ministry to the saints;
12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.
13 Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all,
2 Corinthians 11:8 I robbed other churches by taking wages from them to serve you;
Ephesians 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
Colossians 4:17 Say to Archippus, "Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it."
1 Timothy 1:12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service,
2 Timothy 4:5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
11 Only Luke is with me. Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service.
Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
Revelation 2:19 'I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.
Since service associated with the word diakonia necessarily involved dependence, submission, and constraints of time and freedom, the Greeks regarded diakonia as degrading and dishonorable. Service for the public good was honored, but "voluntary giving of oneself in service of one’s fellow man is alien to Greek thought. The highest goal before a man was the development of his own personality. (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan)
That last sentence is strikingly contemporary, and is mindful of the fact that a culture that is focused on self-actualization and self-fulfillment will find little value in servant hood. (This speaks volumes about Paul's assessment of Mark).
In Greek eyes, diakonia service is not very dignified. Ruling and not service is proper to a man. The formula of the sophist expressed the basic Greek attitude: “How can a man be happy when he has to serve someone?” expresses the basic Greek attitude. For the Greek in his wisdom and freedom there can certainly be no question of existing to serve others.
Judaism had no philosophy of ministry involving diakonia. Judaism, however, adopted a philosophy of service not unlike that of the Greeks. If service was rendered at all, it was done as an act of social obligation or as an act to those more worthy. A superior would not stoop to become a servant! Such an attitude, which conforms so closely to man’s natural prejudices, causes the Lord’s example and teaching to stand out in brilliant contrast. By our Lord's own testimony (uses the verb form diakoneo) "the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. (Mt 20:28)
Though Judaism in the time of Jesus knew and practiced its social responsibilities, e.g., to the poor, this was done mainly by alms, not by service (cf. Lk 10:30-35). Lowly service such as waiting at table, was beneath the dignity of a free man (cf. Lk 7:44ff). Sometimes, the "greater" would wait at table, but this was unusual. Jesus' example and the NT introduced a radically new attitude toward diakonia.
Diakonia is not the activity of a lesser to a greater, but is the lifestyle of a follower of the Lord Jesus. “Serving” in the form of diakonia pervades the NT, not merely in the frequency of the word’s usage but in the constant recurrence of attitudes and examples of service.
Luke records that in the early period of the newly born church "while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving (diakonia) of food. (Acts 6:1)
Diakonia is modeled on the pattern and command of the Savior and represents the practical outworking of God’s love, especially toward fellow believers.
Ministry (including "mission" as shown in the reference below) is not the activity of an elite class, but the mutual caring of a band of brothers. Luke records that "Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their mission (diakonia), taking along with them John, who was also called Mark. (Acts 12:25)
Such service is personal and practical, rather than institutional. A diakonos is one who by choice and position has come to be under the authority of his Master and who therefore serves others in love and gratitude. Paul had been called and set apart to be a servant, Luke quoting Paul who testified. "I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry (diakonia) which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24)
Martha is an example of service of a menial nature but without the proper attitude, Luke recording that "Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him, and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving (diakonia) alone? Then tell her to help me. (Lk 10:40)
Diakonia involves compassionate love towards the needy within the Christian community. Paul and Luke in the Acts use the word to designate those who preach the gospel and have care of the churches, even as Paul instructed Timothy to "be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry (diakonia) (2Ti 4:5-note)
Therefore, diakonia is an office or ministration in the Christian community viewed with reference to the labor needed for others.
- Having studied the NT nuances of diakonia, can you see how much more meaningful Paul's statement was that Mark (who previously had not been useful to Paul) was now "useful...for diakonia"?
- Is there a "Mark" in your life, who you might have discounted in the past for right or wrong reasons, but whose "ministry" you now need to re-evaluate?
- And possibly whom you need to restore?
- Would you classify your service in your local body as "diakonia"?
Mark Hepner states that...
Given the highly suggestive basic meaning of diakoneo (click for Hepner's discussion of this basic meaning of diakoneo), it comes as no surprise that the nominalized form of the verb becomes in the New Testament the standard term to denote the act of providing to God’s people that which creates and sustains both their physical and spiritual life “in Christ.” Indeed, this word, used to refer to the distribution of food in Acts 6:1, is just as easily applied to the distribution of God’s word to the members of the church a few verses later (Acts 6:4). It is in this extended sense that the word is used to designate the evangelistic program of Barnabas and Saul in Acts 12:25. Similarly, in Acts 20:24 Paul refers to the proclamation “of the gospel of God’s grace” as the “service” the Lord has given him to do.
Ministry as diakonia provides what is necessary for each member of the body of Christ to stay alive, to grow to maturity, and to “discharge all the duties” (2Ti 4:5) of their divinely assigned tasks. Ministry is expressed in a variety of forms (1Co 12:5) all of which are aimed at helping every member of the body in every way possible to arrive at the goal of their faith. As 2Co 6:3 makes clear, ministry is the opposite of causing people to stumble. In other words, ministry makes it easier, not harder, to keep believing in Jesus and following him as Lord. This is because ministry is service to the saints (2Co 8:4) received from the Lord (Col 4:17) who intends by it the building up of his body (Ep 4:12)...
To sum up, this survey of the diakonia word group indicates that the core idea of ministry is supplying what people need to keep on living as Christ’s body in the world. Christian ministry is fundamentally a practical activity, consisting of acts of service to others for the purpose of sustaining their life as a community of faith, promoting their maturity and growth in Christ-likeness, and enhancing their ability to carry on the mission of Christ. Ministry is obedient service done on behalf of the Master for the benefit of his people. Ministry is making the needs of fellow believers equivalent to the command of the Lord himself and willingly distributing to them what the Master has placed in their hands to meet those needs. (Ashland Theological Journal Volume 37:51ff. 2005)
There are several synonyms used in the NT to describe service or ministry.
(1) Diakonos - a minister, waiter, attendant, servant (applied to a teacher, pastor or deacon), and speaks of service or ministry to other men and women "as objects of the loving services we extend to them for Jesus' sake". (Richards)
(2) Doulos - one who is in bondage and thus a servant related to the master as a slave who must at all times be subservient. In the NT doulos often speaks of a believer's submission to their Master Jesus, whereas diakonos (diakonia, diakoneo) speaks more about the "loving action on behalf of a brother or sister or neighbor" (Richards) a motif concerning which Jesus set the premier example (cp Mk 10:45, Mt 20:28).
(3) Huperetes - literally an under-oarsman (originally an under–rower in a galley ship) and so a subordinate servant, a subordinate official waiting to accomplish the commands of his superior (Mt 5:25, Lk 4:20, Jn 18:36, Acts 13:5)
(4) Leitourgos - in Classic Greek one who performed public duties (Ro 13:6) but used most often in NT of a servant or minister of God (Ro 13:6, Ro 15:16 Php 2:25 Heb 1:7 Heb 8:2)
(5) Therapon - a menial attendant who serves voluntarily. Trench says therapon conveys "the sense of one whose services are tenderer, nobler, freer than those of the doulos." (Only used in Heb 3:5)
(6) Oiketes- a household or domestic servant (Lk 16:13; Ac 10:7; Ro 14:4; 1Pe 2:18)
(7) Misthios and misthotos (see root misthos) - a hired servant, a hireling (in both good and bad sense) (misthios - Lk 15:17, 19) (misthotos - Mk 1:20; Jn 10:12, 13)
LEARNING FROM THE PAST - We all have some regrets about the past and try to forget our sins and mistakes. We feel a lot like the Peanuts comic strip character Linus, who said, "Maybe we should think only about today." Charlie Brown disagreed, "No, that's giving up. I'm still hoping yesterday will get better."
We know that we can't change what happened yesterday. But we can learn from yesterday's sins and mistakes, and with God's help we can use that knowledge to make a better tomorrow.
That's what John Mark did. He had started on a missionary journey with Paul and Barnabas, but when they entered Asia Minor he abandoned them and went back home (Acts 13:13; 15:38). We're not told why he left, but the apostle Paul saw it as a shameful desertion.
Later, Mark became a co-worker with Barnabas (15:39). We don't know the details, but at some point Mark must have changed and reconciled with Paul (Colossians 4:10, 11). When Paul was in prison awaiting execution, he asked Timothy to come and to bring Mark with him. He indicated that Mark was "useful to me for ministry" (2Timothy 4:11).
We cannot erase yesterday, but we can learn from it. When we take our sins and mistakes to the Lord and seek His help, we can be better today and tomorrow.— Herbert Vander Lugt (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
For Further Study
How do we know that God forgives us? (1Jn 1:9, 10, 2:1).
Read the online version of the booklet When We Don't Measure Up
Failure is never final if you begin again with God.
2Timothy 4:12 But Tychicus I have sent (1SAAI) to Ephesus. (NASB: Lockman)
BBE: Tychicus I sent to Ephesus.
GWT: I'm sending Tychicus to the city of Ephesus as my representative. (GWT)
KJV: And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.
Phillips: (I had to send Tychicus off to Ephesus.) (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: But Tychicus I sent off on a mission to Ephesus.
Young's Literal: and Tychicus I sent to Ephesus;
BUT TYCHICUS: Tychikon de:
- Acts 20:4; Eph 6:21; Col 4:7; Titus 3:12
- Timothy 4 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
But Tychicus - Where is Paul? In prison (2Ti 1:8-note, 2Ti 1:16-note, 2Ti 2:9-note) about to be martyred (2Ti 4:6-note) and yet in what endeavor is he still engaged (cp 1Co 4:1, 2, Lk 12:42)? The work of service (Ep 4:11-note, Ep 4:12-note)! Ministry of and for the Lord! He is still about His Father's business.
THOUGHT - What a great example Paul presents to Timothy and to us to imitate (1Co 11:1 4:16 Php 3:17-note) >>> Keep on keeping on to the very end of the good fight of faith . In contrast to the unbeliever's end, Paul's (and our) end is not a "bitter end", but a "blessed end" because we enter into the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (cp Php 1:21-note). Hallelujah!
Tychicus (5190) (Tuchikos from tugchano  = meet by chance, fortuitous, chance, fortunate - As an aside, in the sovereignty of God there is no "chance meeting" only providential meeting!) was Paul’s disciple whose name means "Chance", a name we occasionally encounter even today. However Tychicus was not "by chance" Paul's disciple and beloved brother, but "by choice" (God's sovereign choice of a man named Chance, who exercised his free will choice! Mysterious, amazing grace indeed! And all that just from one man's name!)
Paul described Tychicus as...
As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant (diakonos - see discussion of diakonia in discussion of Mark above) and fellow bond-servant (sundoulos = sun/syn + doulos) in the Lord, will bring you information. 8 For I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts" (Col 4:7, 8-note)
The term brother brings to mind the idea of a family and in most families brothers are very close because share a lot in common, including kinship or blood ties. There is something about being a brother, about being in a family. Paul of course is referring to a spiritual brother, a brother in Christ. Beloved is a term of endearment and is someone that you love, and are deeply devoted to. Paul did not call everyone beloved. Beloved means that the other person has struck a "chord" in your heart. There is a bond of love, a bond of faith that drew Tychicus and Paul together. Paul would not call someone "beloved" who did not genuinely love him. He would not call someone beloved who he did not trust or who did not have common spiritual interests and goals. But when you find somebody who loves you that way and you can love them that way, the two of you to each other are beloved and that's the way Paul felt about Tychicus. There are people out front, but how we need the people who are coming alongside, those we can truly call beloved brothers, those who love the work of Christ the same as we love it, and yet are gifted differently (cp 1Pe 4:10, 11-note), people who are willing to do the work and be willing never receive applause (at least in this present earthly life!), people who are willing be behind the scenes so that God's work might be done through the body of Christ, the church (cp 1Co 12:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25). When we get to heaven and the rewards are passed out (cp 1Co 3:4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15), Tychicus is going to be blessed as much as Paul, because his heart was the same (cp "kindred spirit" Php 2:20-note). His heart's desire was first to devote himself to God (worship) and then to devote himself to God’s work (Worship should always proceed work!). If follows that Paul and Tychicus were a perfect "God ordained" match for accomplishing God's work.
Paul also refers to Tychicus as a fellow bond-servant, a sundoulos, where "sun" means together with, and "doulos" means a slave. Anytime you see the word slave in connection with a Christian it is always a bond-servant or "love slave", one who has chosen to be a slave to the will and the ways and the Word of the Lord Jesus Himself. Paul says that Tychicus is a bond-servant with me. In other words, Paul is saying that he and Tychicus come out of the same heart. This is the bottom line. Do you want to see where Paul’s heart is?
Look in Acts 20:24...
But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, [here is a bond-servant] in order that I may finish my course (dromos [word study] - "race"), and the ministry (diakonia [word study]) which I received [not achieved or sought!] from the Lord (kurios) Jesus, to testify solemnly (diamarturomai [word study]) of the gospel (euaggelion) of the grace (charis) of God."
Comment: Paul is saying, "I want everything about me to bring testimony to the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ, both living in me and motivating me to do what I do. I want my life to count for Christ." (cp John Piper's book Don't Waste Your Life @ Desiring God Christian Resource Library) Paul goes on to add that "Tychicus is a fellow bond-servant and shares the same attitude which I have. He and I share the same heart." May "Tychicus' tribe" increase in the modern church in America! Parenthetically, is this not a great description of the good news as "the gospel of the grace of God"! How thankful we should be that it does not read "the gospel of the works we must perform to please God", for indeed that would be the antithesis of "good news"!
In Ephesians Paul speaks of Tychicus in "glowing terms"...
But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may (parakaleo) console and cheer and encourage and strengthen your hearts. (Amplified Version - Ep 6:21, 22-notes)
Tychicus was one of Paul’s disciples and was first mentioned as a companion of the apostle during a portion of Paul’s return journey from the third missionary tour (Acts 20:4) where Paul identifies him (with Trophimus) as a native of Asia. Tychicus was with Paul when the apostle wrote the prison epistles from Rome (during his first imprisonment), and he was with him for a time when he wrote in a later imprisonment to Timothy (2Ti 4:12-note).
In Paul's letter to Titus, the apostle clearly expresses his confidence in the ability of Tychicus to take over for Titus in Crete which would allow the latter to come spend time with Paul:
When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, make every effort to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. (Titus 3:12-note )
I HAVE SENT TO EPHESUS: apesteila (1SAAI) eis Epheson:
- Acts 20:16 17 25; 1Ti 1:3
- Timothy 4 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
I have sent to Ephesus - See note above regarding Paul's perseverance even in the face of persecution, pain and peril to his very life.
THOUGHT - What a great example and high standard Paul sets, one which should serve to motivate each of us to live life in the light of eternity and not just time! May Paul's tribe increase to the glory of God. Amen.
Sent (649) (apostello from apo = from + stello = appoint to position or literally to send forth - see study of related word apostolos) means to send off, send forth or send out. The idea is that one is sent forth on a certain mission. To cause someone to depart for a particular purpose. To dispatch someone for the achievement of some objective, in this instance mentioning only who was sent, where he was sent to but not specifically stating the purpose.
Ephesus (2181) (Ephesos - thought to mean desirable or beloved) (Click for map scroll down) (see Acts 18:19-20:17) was the most important city of the Roman province of Asia, and as noted above Tychicus was a native of Asia. Ephesus was built on a natural harbor whose waves, according to the Roman writer Pliny the Elder, “used to wash up to the temple of Diana.”
Ephesos - 16x in 16v - Acts 18:19, 21, 24; 19:1, 17, 26; 20:16 17; 1 Cor 15:32; 16:8; Eph 1:1; 1 Tim 1:3; 2 Tim 1:18; 4:12; Rev 1:11; 2:1.
Ephesus was described by Strabo, an early Greek geographer, as the largest commercial center west of the Taurus Mountains and was also well known as the “guardian” of the temple of Artemis (Acts 19:24), or as the Romans called her, Diana. With an artificial harbor accessible to the largest ships, and rivaling the harbor at Miletus, standing at the entrance of the valley which reaches far into the interior of Asia Minor, and connected by highways with the chief cities of the province, Ephesus was the most easily accessible city in Asia, both by land and sea. At its zenith Ephesus had a population of over half a million inhabitants.
What was Paul's purpose for sending Tychicus to Ephesus? We can only speculate that perhaps Tychicus was sent to relieve Timothy, thus allowing him to come to be with Paul.
As Wiersbe notes "What a blessing it is to have people who can replace others! A relief pitcher may not get all the glory, but he may help win the game! (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)
2 Timothy 4:13 When you come (PMPMSN) bring (2SPAM) the cloak which I left (1SAAI) at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments. (NASB: Lockman)
BBE: The coat which I did not take from Troas and which is with Carpus, get when you come, and the books, specially the papers.
GWT: When you come, bring the warm coat I left with Carpus in the city of Troas. Also bring the scrolls and especially the parchments. (GWT)
KJV: The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.
Phillips: And please bring with you the cloak I left with Carpus at Troas, and the books, especially the manuscripts (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: My cloak which I left behind at Troas in the care of Carpus, when you are coming, be carrying along, and my papyrus rolls, especially my parchments.
Young's Literal: the cloak that I left in Troas with Carpus, coming, bring thou and the books -- especially the parchments.
WHEN YOU COME BRING THE CLOAK WHICH I LEFT AT TROAS WITH CARPUS: ton phailonen on apelipon (1SAAI) en Troadi para Karpo erchomenos (PMPMSN) phere (2SPAM):
- 1Cor 4:11; 2Cor 11:27) (Acts 16:8,11; 20:5-12
- Timothy 4 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
Paul issues a command to bring (phero) the cloak. In this section we see even the great apostle was a normal human being with very real needs - friends, physical comfort and the "Bread of Life", the living word as food for his soul. What a remember that even the Lord's apostles never become saturated with the living and active word, but in this present life are ever in need of daily nourishment found only in His Word taught by His Spirit (Mt 4:4, Lk 4:4, Dt 8:3, 1Pe 2:2-note, He 5:14-note). Are you hungry?
Cloak (5341) (phelones) is a mantle or traveling cloak, used for protection against stormy weather. This may refer to the ancient cloak which was generally a large, heavy wool garment that served as both coat and blanket in cold weather, which Paul would soon face. In the economy of that day, especially for Christians under Roman persecution, such clothing was extremely expensive.
H. V. Morton (In the Steps of St Paul) describes the type of cloak Paul seems to be referring to noting them on shepherds in Cilicia. These cloaks were stiff outer garments (that they would even remain standing upright when taken off!) that were impervious to wind and water. Remember that Paul was in a Roman prison, which was likely damp and cold and thus he would have needed such a garment
Troas (map) (pictures of) (5174) (troas = the Troad or region about Troy) (Click to read more about Troas in the NW region of Modern Day Turkey) is a city on the coast of Mysia (map), in the NW aspect of ancient Asia Minor and named after ancient Troy, which was at some little distance from it (about 4 miles) to the north. Troas was strategically located on the Hellespont (Dardanelles), it was involved in various struggles to control the straits. Troas was the scene of the events of the Iliad and was an ancient center of Aegean civilization. It marked the launching point for the spread of the gospel to Europe as described below!
At Troas Paul (Second Missionary Journey) experienced his famous Macedonian vision, Luke recording that "passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a certain man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Therefore putting out to sea from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and on the day following to Neapolis and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia, a Roman colony; and we were staying in this city for some days." (Acts 16:8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
Carpas (2591) (karpos) is the name of an otherwise unknown acquaintance of Paul whose name means “fruit.” Although somewhat speculative, it seems fair to say that Carpus was a believer with whom Paul may have lodged and for whom Paul had considerable confidence since he committed to his care not only the “cloak,” but especially his priceless “books and parchments.” It is noteworthy that even such so-called menial tasks as faithfully taking care of another's valuables represents a ministry (diakonia refers to menial tasks and duties) to the Lord. One might say that Carpas (fruit) will be likely be rewarded with "fruit" at the Judgment Seat of Christ (cp 2Co 5:10-note)
THOUGHT: No "divine" task should be "beneath the dignity" of any believer and no such task dutifully and faithfully performed will go unnoticed or unrewarded by our Lord, the Righteous Judge.
AND THE BOOKS: kai ta biblia:
- Timothy 4 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
Books (975) (biblion from bublos = the writing material made from the papyrus plant, which was generally distributed in the Greek world from Bublos [whence the name] in Phoenicia) refers more properly to a roll or a scroll (Hebrew = megilla = 04040) which was the form of ancient books. Biblion is the diminutive of biblos (976) (eg, in Mt 1:1, Rev 22:19) and literally means "a little book," in Latin a libellus, which is from the word libel which was a written accusation. And so biblion was primarily a scroll made of parchment formed from papyrus. Biblion may mean a book, also a letter or document, such as a writing (certificate, record) of divorcement (Mk 10:4, Mt. 19:7).
It is fitting that Jesus begins His 3+ year ministry by opening the Biblion in Luke 4:17, 20, where He the Living Word read the Prophetic Word written on the scroll of Isaiah (Isa 61:1-2). Notice that Jesus read only the first half of Isa 61:2 which spoke of the "good news," the last half speaking of the "bad news" at His Second Coming for all who refuse to receive Him as Savior and Lord (However notice that in the bad news comforting for the mourning gives us an allusion to the salvation of a remnant of Jews during the 3.5 year Great Tribulation - read Zech 12:10, 13:7-8, Ro 11:26-27-note)! As an aside Jesus Himself gives precedence to the principle that there can be long gaps of time in a particular Bible passage(s) (e.g, see study of Da 9:24-27-note where there seems to be a clear historical "gap" between the 69th and 70th weeks. See Daniel's Seventieth Week)
Biblion is important because it not only gives us our English word Bible, but also speaks of the final judgment of all humanity who has not been written in the Book of Life, these individuals being judged by their deeds recorded in the books, presumably to determine the depth of "hell" so to speak, to which they will be eternally consigned (see Mt 11:21-24, Lk 10:12-16). There are 8 occurrences of the phrase "Book of Life" (sometimes Biblion, sometimes Biblos) - Ps 69:28; Phil 4:3; Rev 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27 (See What is the Book of Life? and Is there a difference between the book of life and the Lamb's book of life?)
Biblion is by far most commonly found in the Book of the Revelation, describing for example the Scroll (which is interesting in that it was written "on the inside and the back" = Rev 5:1) which Jesus alone has the right to open (Rev 5:1-5-note), and which in this context probably (many conservative commentators agree) represents the "Title Deed to the Earth." (See discussion) When Adam sinned, he forfeited his right to and it was temporarily given to Satan, but the Devil is a squatter so to speak and only has possession for a time, actually just the age in which we now live. But at the dawn of the New Age, the Millennium of Christ's reign, the King takes the Scroll and opens it which begins the "Seal Judgments" which "telescope" so to speak into the "Trumpet" judgments and then the "Bowl" judgments, which are abruptly brought to their consummation and end by the triumphant return of Messiah (Rev 19:11-16-note). The "Last Adam" will then establish His 1000 year reign and demonstrate how life should have been lived under the first Adam who failed!
Biblion - could be in the form of a scroll (roll) or a codex (bound book or notebook) and could have been made of either papyrus (made from pressed strips of the papyrus plant; a paper-like material) or parchment (membrana, translated here as “papers”) made of animal skin, which is more durable than papyrus. (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, Vol17: 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, and Hebrews)
Collins English Dictionary has an interesting entry - Bible 1 a the. the sacred writings of the Christian religion, comprising the Old and New Testaments. Bible is from Old French, from Medieval Latin biblia = books, from Greek, plural of biblion book, diminutive of biblos, papyrus, from Bublos Phoenician port from which Greece obtained Egyptian papyrus.
Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words - The Greek terms biblion and biblos were used by the New Testament writers to denote: a scroll (Luke 4:17, 20); a specific book of the Old Testament such as the book of Psalms (Luke 20:42) or the book of Isaiah (Mark 1:2); a New Testament book such as John’s Gospel (John 20:30) or Revelation (Rev. 22:18);
The Papyrus was a tall, aquatic reed that grew in the Nile Delta of Egypt and was made into a writing material of the same name. Papyrus was the main writing surface throughout the Mediterranean world from the fourth century BC to the seventh century AD. The earliest NT Greek manuscripts were written on papyrus. The English word paper is derived from the Greek papyros and the Latin papyrus. The plural biblia provided the origin of the word “Bible.”
Biblion - 34x in 29v - NAS = book(27), books(4), certificate(2), scroll(1).
Matthew 19:7 They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?"
Comment: One example is, "I divorce and release of my own free will today you who had been my wife before this time. You are free on your part to go and become the wife of any Jewish man you wish. This is for you a writ of release and bill of divorce." (Discoveries in the Judean Desert) See What does the Bible say about divorce and remarriage-
Mark 10:4 They said, "Moses permitted a man TO WRITE A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY."
Luke 4:17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
John 20:30 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;
John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.
Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM."
2 Timothy 4:13 When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments.
Hebrews 9:19-note For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,
Hebrews 10:7-note "THEN I SAID, 'BEHOLD, I HAVE COME (IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME) TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.'"
Revelation 1:11-note saying, "Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea."
Comment: John was commanded to write down his visions. They are the self disclosures of Deity. They are not for John’s personal benefit, but for the Church. One characteristic of apocalyptic literature is that it was a highly structured written genre, not given orally, like OT prophecies. This book or scroll occurs repeatedly in Jewish apocalyptic literature as a way to pass on the message for future readers. (Utley, R. J. D. Hope in Hard Times - The Final Curtain: Revelation)
Revelation 5:1-note I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.
2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?"
3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it.
4 Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it;
5 and one of the elders said to me, "Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals."
8 When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
9 And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
Revelation 6:14-note The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Comment: The heavens are here described as spread out, and their passing away is represented by the idea that they might be rolled up, and thus disappear.
Revelation 10:8-note Then the voice which I heard from heaven, I heard again speaking with me, and saying, "Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land."
Revelation 13:8-note All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.
Revelation 17:8-note "The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.
Revelation 20:12-note And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.
Revelation 21:27-note and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
Revelation 22:7-note "And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book."
9 But he said to me, "Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God."
10 And he said to me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.
18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;
19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.
Biblion - 154v in the non-apocryphal Septuagint -
Ex 17:14; 24:7; Num 5:23; 21:14; Deut 17:18; 24:1, 3; 28:58, 61; 29:20f, 27; 30:10; 31:9, 24, 26; Josh 18:9; 23:6; 24:26; 1 Sam 10:25; 2 Sam 1:18; 11:14f; 1 Kgs 8:12; 11:41; 14:29; 15:7, 23, 31; 16:5, 14, 20, 27f; 21:8f, 11; 22:39, 45; 2 Kgs 1:18; 5:5ff; 8:23; 10:1f, 6f, 34; 12:19; 13:8, 12; 14:6, 15, 18, 28; 15:6, 11, 15, 21, 26, 31, 36; 16:19; 19:14; 20:12, 20; 21:17, 25; 22:8, 10f, 13, 16; 23:2f, 21, 24, 28; 24:5; 1 Chr 9:1; 27:24; 2 Chr 13:22; 16:11; 20:34; 25:26; 27:7; 28:26; 32:17, 32; 34:14ff, 18, 21, 24, 30f; 35:12, 19, 27; 36:8; Ezra 4:15; 6:18; 7:11, 17; Neh 7:5; 8:1, 3, 5, 8, 18; 9:3; 12:23; 13:1; Esth 9:20; 10:2; Job 19:23; Ps 40:7; 139:16; Eccl 12:12 (But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body); Isa 29:11f, 18; 30:8; 34:4; 37:14; 50:1; Jer 3:8; 25:13; 29:29; 30:2; 32:10ff, 14, 16, 25, 44; Jer 36:2 (“Take a scroll and write on it all the words which I have spoken to you concerning Israel and concerning Judah, and concerning all the nations, from the day I first spoke to you, from the days of Josiah, even to this day), Jer 36:4, 8, 10f, 18, 32; 45:1; 51:60, 63; Ezek 2:9; Dan 12:1-note (“Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued), Da 12:4-note; Nah 1:1; Mal 3:16-note;
The first use of Biblion in the Septuagint is significant for it speaks of the origin of the Bible, "(Ex 17:14) Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this in a book as a memorial and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” And the second use speaks of the solemn ceremony having to do with the ratifying of the First Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant = (Ex 24:7, cf Ex 24:8 = sealed with "blood" even as was the New Covenant = Heb 9:11-15) Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!” (See Sefer Torah = Torah Scroll) The law (torah) of Moses is also referred to in the NT as a biblion (Gal 3:10; Heb 9:19).
The New Unger's Bible Dictionary adds that papyrus was "A plant growing along the Nile in Egypt during the biblical period. It no longer is found in the Nile marshes of Lower Egypt, but it grows in the Sudan. It is also found in the region around Lake Huleh in Galilee. In the ancient world papyrus, Lat. cyperus papyrus... was a common writing material. To prepare the writing product the outer covering of the stem of the plant was removed and the inner fibers were cut into thin strips. Some of these were placed vertically. Superimposed upon them were soaked fibers laid horizontally. These two layers were stuck together with an adhesive substance, pressure applied, and the strips dried. The result was a yellowish piece of papyrus paper. Often the exterior was rubbed smooth to accommodate a finer type of writing with ink. Papyrus rolls were used in ancient Egypt during the Old Kingdom (c. 2800–2250 b.c.) and perhaps even earlier. Egyptian papyrus rolls are still in existence from the end of the third millennium b.c." (The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Chicago: Moody Press)
Eerdman's Bible Dictionary - Although scrolls might be of various lengths, a standard length was twenty sheets (about 9 m. [30 ft.]); this standard length is the reason for the division of the Pentateuch into five books and, when the unvocalized Hebrew text was translated into Greek, for the division of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles into two books each.
Bible Formation and Canon Holman Bible Dictionary
Timothy is here requested to bring some papyrus documents which are distinguished from the vellum manuscripts below.
We should all be convicted by the truth that even in face of his impending certain death and his miserable conditions in prison, Paul is ever the student. Are you convicted? I am as I set at my computer in an air conditioned house and ponder how often I fritter away valuable moments on vain pursuits. O God save me from self and sanctify me for Savior. Amen!
Find The Book By Marvin Williams (Our Daily Bread) - One Sunday at the church where I pastor, I invited three children to find several scrolls with Bible verses written on them that I had hidden in our worship center. I told them that once they found them and read the words aloud, I would give them a prize. You should have seen those kids! They ran, moved chairs, and looked under plants and in purses (with permission). Their search for the scrolls was intense, but exciting. Their diligent search and subsequent discovery of the scrolls led to joy in the children, affirmation from our congregation, and a renewed sense of the importance of God’s Word. In 2 Kings 22–23, we read how King Josiah and the people of Judah rediscovered the joy and importance of God’s Word. During the repairing of the temple, Hilkiah the high priest found the Book of the Law. It must have been lost or hidden during the reign of Manasseh. Then when the scroll was read to King Josiah, he listened and responded to it (2Ki 22:10-11). He sought further understanding of it (2Ki 20:12-20), and he led the people to renew their commitment to its importance in their lives (2Ki 23:1-4). Many today have unprecedented access to God’s Word. Let’s renew our commitment to “find” it every day and by our lives show its prominence.
O Book divine, supreme, sublime
Entire, eternal, holy, true;
Sufficient for all men and time—
We pledge our faith to thee anew.
To know Christ, the Living Word,
is to love the Bible, the written Word.
See simple inductive Bible study on The Power of God's Word
Warning: Inductive Bible study can be habit-forming. Putting the principles into practice can cause loss of anxiety, decreased appetite for lying, cheating, stealing, hating and "symptoms" of growing sensations of love, peace, joy, compassion.
Puritan Papers and Quotes related to the Word of God (Brethren - This is a veritable "Treasure Trove" with over 100 papers lifting high the Word of Life. Glory!) - The Scriptures!
C H Spurgeon's Sermon - Matthew 12:3-7: How to Read the Bible
Joseph Parker's interesting discussion on How To Read the Bible (from The People's Bible, Luke 10:26)
Leave not off reading the Bible till you find your hearts warmed. Let it not only inform you but inflame you. -- Thomas Watson
Word of God - Click for descriptions of how God describes His Own Word
Luke records that "No Word (rhema) from God shall be void of power (adunateo ~ "without power" [also used in Lxx of Ge 18:14) - see study on related word adunatos)." Lk 1:37ASV (See simple study on the Power of God's Word)
The ultimate goal of Inductive Bible study is not to merely inform you but to radically transform you (see metamorphoo). (Ro 12:2-note)
Men do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts them. - E. Paul Hovey (cp "Reproof" [elegchos - Word Study] in 2Ti 3:16-note)
The Old Covenant is revealed in the New, and the New Covenant is veiled in the Old. - Augustine (Ed: I would add that the New Covenant supersedes the Old - cp Heb 8:13-note; See also Covenant: Why the New is Better)
The new is in the old contained, and the Old is in the New explained. - Graham Scroggie
God's Word is its own best argument. - Vance Havner
The best evidence the Bible's being the Word of God is found between its covers. -- Charles Hodge
The family Bible is more often used to adorn coffee tables or press flowers than it is to feed souls and discipline lives. - Charles Colson
The Old Testament altar points to the New Testament Cross. (cp the bronze serpent Nu 21:4 5 6 7 8 9 pointing to the Cross Jn 3:14 15 16 17 18)
We find the Bible difficult because we try to read it as we would read any other book, and it is not the same as any other book. -- A. W. Tozer
The Bible is meant to be bread for daily use, not cake for special occasions. (Dt 8:3, Mt 4:4 Lk 4:4)
The Bible is the best "TV guide". (Ps 101:3 -Spurgeon on Ps 101:3)
When the Bible is put on the shelf the church will surely follow it. (Corollary Question - Does your pastor preach the Word of God as if it were the only source sustenance for your soul...for it is!)
It is for the Bible to form and reform the church... it is for the church to keep and keep to the Bible. -- J. I. Packer
The Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible is the religion of Christ's church. -- C. H. Spurgeon
When you open your Bible, ask the Author to open your heart. (Ps119:18-note, Lk 24:44 45, Ep 1:16-note Ep 1:17-note Ep 1:18 -note)
We glory most in the fact that Scripture so commends itself to the conscience, and experience so bears out the Bible, that the gospel can go round the world and carry with it, in all its travel, its own mighty credentials. - Henry Melvill (See intrinsic life giving power of Gospel - Col 1:5-note, Col 1:6-note)
Make it the first morning business of your life to understand some part of the Bible clearly, and make it your daily business to obey it in all that you do understand. -- John Ruskin
If a Christian is careless in Bible reading, he will care less about Christian living. (Definition of careless = having no care; unthinking; inattentive; unmoved by; indifferent toward; unconcerned for; done with insufficient attention; negligent; heedless; - Beloved do any of these describe your heart's attitude? See F B Meyer's thoughts on the Bible as Our Food - scroll down to "How to Create an Appetite for the Word")
As a medical doctor I know that loss of appetite is a sign of serious illness, possibly even impending death, and just as serious is one's loss of appetite for the spiritual food found only in God's Word of Life! Beware if you are losing your appetite for God's Word, the real (only) "soul food"!
To understand the supernatural Word of Truth, rely on the Spirit of Truth (Jn 14:26 1Co 2:13 1Jn 2:27).
You can't enjoy the harmony of Scripture if you play just one note of truth. (Acts 20:27)
To hear God speak in His Word, Read it carefully, Study it prayerfully.
Backsliders begin with dusty Bibles and end with filthy garments. -- C H Spurgeon (See quotes on Backsliding or Drifting)
The devil is not afraid of the Bible that has dust on it.
We cannot bear fruit without the water of God's Word. (Luke 8:15)
The highest goal of learning is to know God. (John 17:3)
The Holy Scriptures tell us what we could never learn any other way: they tell us what we are, who we are, how we got here, why we are here and what we are required to do while we remain here. -- A. W. Tozer
The Scriptures were not given to increase our knowledge but to change our lives. -- D. L. Moody
When we look into the mirror of God's Word, we see ourselves more clearly. (Jas 1:23, 24, 25-note)
The most learned, acute, and diligent student cannot, in the longest life, obtain an entire knowledge of the Bible. The more deeply he works the mine, the richer and more abundant he finds the ore; new light continually beams from this source of heavenly knowledge, to direct the conduct, and illustrate the work of God and the ways of men; and he will at last leave the world confessing, that the more he studied the Scriptures, the fuller conviction he had of his own ignorance, and of their inestimable value. -- Sir Walter Scott
A text taken out of context becomes a pretext. Or to quote one of my students "Any text taken out of context is a pretext for a proof text!"
A T Pierson on the importance of context - As in any organism, no member or part, however minute, can be fully understood aside from its relation to the whole; so, in Scripture, every paragraph and sentence is part of its totality, and must be studied in relation to all the rest. The text will be illumined by the context, or scripture immediately preceding and following. Every occurrence and utterance should be studied in its surroundings. How, why, when a word was spoken or an act done, helps to explain it, is its local coloring. Hidden relationships must be traced like underground roots and subterranean channels.
Here is a quote I at first did not want to add because it is so painfully true (I fear) - The Bible is a Book that has been read more and examined less than any book that ever existed - Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
Let God's Word fill your mind, rule your heart, and guide your tongue. (Col 3:16-note, Ep 5:18, 19, 20-see notes)
The Bible: The more you read it, the more you love it; the more you love it, the more you read it.
How precious is the Book divine,
By inspiration given!
Bright as a lamp its doctrines shine,
To guide our souls to heaven.
The best protection against Satan's lies is to know God's truth. (Ep 6:14-note, cp Jn 17:17)
Like a compass, the Bible always points you in the right direction. (Deut 28:13, 14, Joshua 1:7, 8, 9-note)
Those who only sample the Bible never acquire a taste for it. (Jer 15:16, Job 23:12-note, Ps 19:10-note)
While other books inform, and some few reform, this one book transforms. -- A. T. Pierson
Other books were given for our information—the Bible was given for our transformation.
If you're too busy to read the Bible, you're too busy!
Oh how the world needs to hear this one = The authority of Scripture is not one that binds, but one that sets free. --W N Clarke (cp Jn 8:31, 32, 36)
The Word of God is either absolute or obsolete. - Vance Havner
It is impossible to practice godliness without a constant, consistent and balanced intake of the Word of God in our lives. -- Jerry Bridges
People say they’re going to make the Bible “relevant.” But if the Bible is not already relevant, nothing you or I do will help. The Bible is relevant because it is revealed. It’s always a return to reality. -- Howard Hendricks
Do not try to make the Bible relevant; its relevance is axiomatic. -- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Whatever keeps me from my Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to me. -- A W Tozer
God feeds the birds, but He doesn't throw the food into their nests. (Ed: Does this help you understand why the extra work of Inductive Bible Study might be worth it?)
We lose the joy of living in the present when we worry about the future. And we lose the joy of living for the future when we focus on the present. (cp Col 3:1, Col 3:2)
Opening your Bible can be a real eye-opener.
A well-read Bible is a sign of a well-fed soul.
It is not possible to be full of Scripture and full of carnality.
The source of all our troubles is in not knowing the Scriptures. --Chrysostom
The Bible breaks hard hearts and heals broken hearts. (Ps 147:3-note)
A Bible that's falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't.
Sin will keep you from the Bible or the Bible will keep you from sin.
It's better to live one verse of the Bible than to recite an entire chapter.
We must study the Bible more. We must not only lay it up within us, but transfuse it through the whole texture of the soul. -- Horatius Bonar
The Bible: read it through, work it out, pass it on!
The jewel of the Word should not hang in our ears, but be locked up in a believing heart. -- William Jenkyn
The Word is both a glass to show us the spots of our soul and a laver to wash them away. -- Puritan Thomas Watson (Jas 1:22, 23, 24-note, Jas 1:25-note)
One proof of the inspiration of the Bible is that it has withstood so much poor preaching. - A. T. Robertson
It is impossible to practice godliness without a constant, consistent and balanced intake of the Word of God in our lives. -- Jerry Bridges (1Ti 4:7, 8, 9, 10-note)
The Bible is none other than the voice of him that sitteth upon the throne. Every book of it, every chapter of it, every syllable of it, every letter of it, is the direct utterance of the Most High. -- John William Burgon
Apply yourself to the Scriptures and the Scriptures to yourself.
The man who reads on the surface will live on the surface—and a superficial Christian is apathetic parody of the truth. -- John Blanchard
The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold on me. - Martin Luther (He 4:12, 13-note)
I hold one single sentence out of God's Word to be of more certainty and of more power than all the discoveries of all the learned men of all the ages. -- C. H. Spurgeon
Reading the Bible without meditating on it is like eating without chewing. (Ps 119:15-note, Ps 119:23-note, Ps 119:27-note, Ps 119:48-note, Ps 119:78-note, Ps 119:97-note, Ps 119:99-note, Ps 119:148-note)
Psalm 119:102 (note) I have not turned aside from Thine ordinances, For Thou Thyself hast taught me.
God speaks through His Word--take time to listen. (Ps 95:7, Pr 8:6, Isa 55:3, Re 3:20-note)
If my sermons kept people from reading the Bible for themselves, I would like to see the whole stock in a blaze and burned to ashes. But if they serve as fingers pointing to the Scriptures and saying, “Read this and this and this,” then I am thankful to have printed them. - C H Spurgeon
The value of the Bible is not knowing it, but obeying it. (1Sa 15:22, Ho 6:6, Mt 5:24-note, Mt 12:22)
When you have read the Bible, you will know it is the Word of God, because you will have found it the key to your own heart, your own happiness and your own duty. -- Woodrow Wilson
He that reads his Bible to find fault with it will soon discover that the Bible finds fault with him. - C H Spurgeon
It is not the Word hidden in the head but in the heart that keeps us from sin. - Vance Havner (Ps 119:9, 10, 11)
The Bible is a letter God has sent to us; prayer is a letter we send to him. -Matthew Henry
A Bible in hand is worth two on the shelf.
The Holy Scripture, as it is a rule both of our duty to God and of our expectation from him, is of much greater use and benefit to us than day or night, than the air we breathe in, or the light of the sun. -- Matthew Henry
It is not commentaries, councils or creeds that should mould our Christian beliefs, however valuable some of them may be, but the Word of God. -- Brian Edwards
The shortest road to an understanding of the Bible is the acceptance of the fact that God is speaking in every line. --Donald Grey Barnhouse
Had I the tongue of angels, I could not sufficiently set forth the excellency of Scripture. -- Thomas Watson
The study of God's Word for the purpose of discovering God's will is the secret discipline which has formed the greatest characters. -- James W.Alexander
Born in the East and clothed in Oriental form and imagery, the Bible walks the ways of all the world with familiar feet, and enters land after land to find its own everywhere. It has learned to speak in hundreds of languages to the heart of man. It comes into the palace to tell the monarch that he is a servant of the Most High, and into the cottage to assure the peasant that he is a son of God. Children listen to its stories with wonder and delight, and wise men ponder them as parables of life. It has a word of peace for the time of peril, a word of comfort for the time of calamity, a word of light for the hour of darkness. Its oracles are repeated in the assembly of the people, and its counsels whispered in the ear of the lonely. The wicked and the proud tremble at its warnings, but to the wounded and the penitent it has a mother's voice. The wilderness and the solitary place have been made glad by it, and the fire on the hearth has lit the reading of its well-worn pages. It has woven itself into our dearest dreams; so that love, friendship, sympathy and devotion, memory and hope put on the beautiful garments of its treasured speech, breathing of frankincense and myrrh.— Henry van Dyke
A Red Letter Bible is fine, but one that is Read is far better!
When the Bible becomes a part of you, you'll be less likely to come apart.
The Bible is a corridor between two eternities down which walks the Christ of God; His invisible steps echo through the Old Testament, but we meet Him face to face in the throne room of the New; and it is through that Christ alone, crucified for me, that I have found forgiveness for sins and life eternal. The Old Testament is summed up in the word Christ; the New Testament is summed up in the word Jesus; and the summary of the whole Bible is that Jesus is the Christ. — Bishop Pollock
In regard to this great book I have but to say it is the best gift God has given to men. All that the good Saviour gave to the world was communicated through this book. --Abraham Lincoln
The Bible is simple enough for a child to read and too deep for a scholar to master. (1Co 2:14)
We should always be chewing and sucking out the sweetness of this cud (the Word)...What we take in by the Word we digest by meditation and let out by prayer. -- Thomas Manton
Devout meditation on the Word is more important to soul-health even than prayer. It is more needful for you to hear God's words than that God should hear yours, though the one will always lead to the other. --F. B. Meyer
A Bible that has frayed edges usually has an owner that doesn't.
The reading of Scripture is intended to awaken our minds, not to send them to sleep. -- J. I. Packer
Be walking Bibles. -- C. H. Spurgeon
Beloved, is your faith fainting? Then be encouraged and stimulated by Martin Luther's words that your "Faith is not an achievement, it is a gift. Yet it comes only through the hearing and study of the Word." (Ro 10:17-note - Get in the Book so the Book can get in you and thereby the Spirit might fan the embers of your faith to full glow.)
The Word generates faith and regenerates us. -- Joseph Alleine
Where the Scripture hath no tongue we must have no ears. -- John Trapp
Doers of the Word are the best hearers. -- Thomas Watson
The more reverence we have for the Word of God the more joy we shall find in it. -- Matthew Henry
If you believe what you like in the Bible, and reject what you like, it is not the Bible you believe but yourself. -- Augustine
The best thing to do with the Bible is to know it in the head, stow it in the heart, sow it in the world, and show it in the life.
Devout meditation on the Word is more important to soul-health even than prayer. It is more needful for you to hear God's words than that God should hear yours, though the one will always lead to the other. -- F. B. Meyer (Ge 24:63, Josh 1:8, Ps 1:2, 3, Ps 38:12; 63:6; 77:3, 6, 12; 119:15, 23, 27, 48, 78, 148; 143:5; 145:5)
The Christian is bred by the Word and he must be fed by it. --William Gurnall
The best way for Christians to grow is to eat the Bread of Life. (Jn 6:48, 51, 58, Mt 4:4, Lk 4:4)
The Word of God is the candle without which faith cannot see to do its work. (Pr 6:23, Ps 19:8)
The true Christian church is the work of the Word communicated by every available means. -- Martin Luther
The Bible is like a compass—it always points the believer in the right direction.
The Bible is like the ocean. You can wade in it, feed from it, live on it--or drown in it. But those who take the time to learn its truths and practice them will be changed forever.
With God's Word as your map and His Spirit as your compass, you're sure to stay on course. (Pr 3:5, 6, Pr 16:9 Ps 25:8,9, 32:8 Isa 30:21, 48:17 Jer 10:23, Jas 1:5-note)
When you study the Bible "hit or miss," you MISS more than you HIT.
The Scriptures teach us the best way of living, the noblest way of suffering and the most comfortable way of dying. -- John Flavel
When the Word of God dwells in you, the love of Christ shines through you.
Oh, to have "the word of Christ" always dwelling inside of us;—in the memory, never forgotten; in the heart, always loved; in the understanding, really grasped; with all the powers and passions of the mind fully submitted to its control! --C. H. Spurgeon.
Beware! Error often rides to its deadly work on the back of truth! --Spurgeon (2Cor 11:13, 14, 15)
There is no devil in the first two chapters of the Bible and no devil in the last two chapters. Thank God for a book that disposes of the devil! -- Vance Havner
Spiritual growth requires the meat of God's Word. (He 5:14-note, 1Pe 2:2-note)
Be diligent in your study of the Word of God. Then, instead of falling into error, you will stand firmly on the truth.
God’s Word is like the wheat in the hand of the mummy, of which you have often heard. It had lain there for thousands of years, but men took it out of the hand and sowed it, and the bearded wheat, which has now become so common in our land, sprang up. So you take a divine promise, spoken thousands of years ago, and lo, it is fulfilled to you! It becomes as true to you as if God had spoken it for the first time this very day, and you were the person to whom it was addressed. - Spurgeon
Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the word of God or by the strong arm of man: either by the Bible or by the bayonet. -- Robert Winthrop
The Bible in the memory is better than the Bible in the book-case....Be walking Bibles. --Spurgeon.
If you hear a man rail at the Bible, you can usually conclude that he never reads it. -- Spurgeon.
Study the Bible to be wise; believe it to be safe; practice it to be holy. (cp Ezra 7:9, 10 - Note why Ezra experienced "the good hand of the Lord"! And you can too!)
The Word of the Lord is a light to guide you, a counselor to counsel you, a comforter to comfort you, a staff to support you, a sword to defend you, and a physician to cure you. The Word is a mine to enrich you, a robe to clothe you, and a crown to crown you. - Thomas Brooks
Your life will run smoother if you go by "The Book."
Some people like to read so many chapters every day. I would not dissuade them from the practice, but I would rather lay my soul asoak in half a dozen verses all day than rinse my hand in several chapters. Oh, to be bathed in a text of Scripture, and to let it be sucked up into your very soul, till it saturates your heart! Set your heart upon God’s Word! Let your whole nature be plunged into it as cloth into a dye! - C H Spurgeon
If you wish to know God, you must know His Word. If you wish to perceive His power, you must see how He works by His Word. If you wish to know His purpose before it comes to pass, you can only discover it by His Word. -- Anonymous
If we want our life to run well, even through stormy situations and rough circumstances, we must take the time to study the "Owner's Manual."
A man who loves his wife will love her letters and her photographs because they speak to him of her. So if we love the Lord Jesus, we shall love the Bible because it speaks to us of him. -- John R. W. Stott
Mark 4:4 - Click for interesting Illustration from nature!
Many people store the Bible on the shelf instead of in their heart.
Some people make the Bible say what they want to hear
To be a healthy Christian, don't treat the Bible as snack food.
A well-read Bible is the companion of a well-fed believer.
I never knew all there was in the Bible until I spent those years in jail. I was constantly finding new treasures. -- John Bunyan
Do you know a book that you are willing to put under your head for a pillow when you are dying? Very well; that is the book you want to study when you are living. There is only one such book in the world. -- Joseph Cook
Scripture knowledge is the candle without which faith cannot see to do its work.
A Christian is the world's Bible—and some of them need revising. -- D. L. Moody
One proof of the inspiration of the Bible is that it has withstood so much poor preaching. --A. T. Robertson
What the Bible says, God says. -- Benjamin B. Warfield
The Bible is a rock of diamonds, a chain of pearls, the sword of the Spirit; a chart by which the Christian sails to eternity; the map by which he daily walks; the sundial by which he sets his life; the balance in which he weighs his actions. -- Thomas Watson
Remember that our Bible is a blood-stained book. The blood of martyrs is on the Bible, the blood of translators and confessors. The doctrines which we preach to you are doctrines that have been baptized in blood—swords have been drawn to slay the confessors of them. And there is not a truth which has not been sealed by them at the stake or the block, where they have been slain by hundreds. - Spurgeon (Related Resource - See one of the most incredible DVD's [about 4 hours long] you will ever watch - The Indestructible Book - How We Got our English Bible - It will make you weep!)
I never saw a useful Christian who was not a student of the Bible. - D. L. Moody
We must approach God's Word as if our lives depended on it--because they do.
If your life depended on knowing the Bible, how long would you last?
We must align ourselves with the Bible, never the Bible with ourselves.
Lay hold on the Bible until the Bible lays hold on you. -- Will H. Houghton
One who uses the Bible as his guide never loses his sense of direction.
The branches of growing trees not only reach higher, but their roots grow deeper. It's impossible for a strong tree to have high branches without having deep roots. It would become top-heavy and topple over in the wind." The same is true with Christians. It's impossible for us to grow in the Lord without entwining our roots around His Word and deepening our life in His commands." - Joni Eraeckson Tada
The roots of stability come from being grounded in God's Word.
The Bible is a vein of pure gold, unalloyed by quartz or any earthly substance. This is a star without a speck; a sun without a blot; a light without darkness; a moon without its paleness; a glory without a dimness. O Bible! It cannot be said of any other book that it is perfect and pure; but of thee we can declare all wisdom is gathered up in thee, without a particle of folly. This is the judge that ends the strife, where wit and reason fail. This is the book untainted by any error; but is pure, unalloyed, perfect truth. -- C H Spurgeon
Bible study demands pondering deeply on a short passage, like a cow chewing her cud. It is better to read a little and ponder a lot than to read a lot and ponder a little."
Unless God's Word illumine the way, the whole life of men is wrapped in darkness and mist, so that they cannot but miserably stray. -- John Calvin
Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet-anchor of our liberties; write its precepts on your hearts and practise them in your lives. To the influence of this book we are indebted for the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look for our guide in the future. Ulysses S. Grant
If you wish to know God, you must know his Word. If you wish to perceive his power, you must see how he works by his Word. If you wish to know his purpose before it comes to pass, you can only discover it by his Word. - Spurgeon
The Christian is bred by the Word and he must be fed by it. -- William Gurnall
There’s no better book with which to defend the Bible than the Bible itself. - D. L. Moody
The study of God’s Word brings peace to the heart. In it, we find a light for every darkness, life in death, the promise of our Lord’s return, and the assurance of everlasting glory. - D. L. Moody
No one ever graduates from Bible study until he meets its Author face to face. - Everett Harris
No diligence or success in Bible study will really profit us unless it makes us humbler, holier men. In all our use of Holy Scripture this must be definitely our main objective. (Andrew Murray in The inner chamber and the inner life
Martin Luther on the Word of God - "I had then already read and taught the sacred Scriptures most diligently privately and publicly for seven years, so that I knew them nearly all by memory" (LW 34:334)...There I began to understand [in Romans 1:17-note] that the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous lives by a gift of God, namely by faith . . . Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered the gates of paradise itself through open gates. There a totally other face of the entire Scripture showed itself to me. Thereupon I ran through the Scriptures from memory. I also found in other terms an analogy, as, the work of God, that is, what God does in us, the power of God, with which he makes us strong, the wisdom of God, with which he makes us wise, the strength of God, the salvation of God, the glory of God (LW 34:337)...For some years now, I have read through the Bible twice every year. If you picture the Bible to be a mighty tree and every word a little branch, I have shaken every one of these branches because I wanted to know what it was and what it meant (LW 54:165)...The neglect of Scripture, even by spiritual leaders, is one of the greatest evils in the world. Everything else, arts or literature, is pursued and practiced day and night, and there is no end of labor and effort; but Holy Scripture is neglected as though there were no need of it. Those who condescend to read it want to absorb everything at once. There has never been an art or a book on earth that everyone has so quickly mastered as the Holy Scriptures. But its words are not, as some think, mere literature (Lesewort); they are words of life (Lebewort), intended not for speculation and fancy but for life and action... May Christ our Lord help us by His Spirit to love and honor His holy Word with all our hearts. Amen (LW 14:46)....You should diligently learn the Word of God and by no means imagine that you know it. Let him who is able to read take a psalm in the morning, or some other chapter of Scripture, and study it for a while. This is what I do. When I get up in the morning, I pray and recite the Ten Commandments, the Creed, and the Lord's Prayer with the children, adding any one of the psalms. I do this only to keep myself well acquainted with these matters, and I do not want to let the mildew of the notion grow that I know them well enough. The devil is a greater rascal than you think he is. You do as yet not know what sort of fellow he is and what a desperate rogue you are. His definite design is to get you tired of the Word and in this way to draw you away from it. This is his aim (WA 32, 64f.). You are so to deal with the Scriptures that you bear in mind that God himself is saying this....Every word in the Bible points to Christ.
Dwight L Moody on Study of the Bible - All the men who have been very much used of God have been well versed in the Scriptures. Moses rehearsed God’s dealings with the children of Israel; Peter told it out on the day of Pentecost, and Stephen did the same. Christ conquered Satan by the sword of the Word. “How am I to know the Word of God?” By studying it with the help of the Holy Ghost. As an American bishop said, not with the blue light of Presbyterianism, nor the red light of Methodism, nor the violet light of Episcopacy, but with the clear light of Calvary. We must study it on our knees, in a teachable spirit. If we know our Bible, Satan will not have much power over us, and we will have the world under our feet....
Spurgeon - A great many fail in their work for God because they neglect their Bibles. You must get something into a man before you can get anything out of him. You may put the pump into the well, and pump as long as you like; but if there is no water, it is no use pumping. Search the Scriptures, and when you get something good pass it around. (Arrows and Anecdotes)
Anonymous - A description of the Bible - This book contains: the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrine is holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be saved, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter. Here heaven is open, and the gates of hell are disclosed. Christ is the grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, health to the soul, and a river of pleasure. It is given to you here in this life, will be opened at the judgment, and is established forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and condemn all who trifle with its contents. — Anonymous (found on the flyleaf of an old Bible)
The Bible is like a telescope. If a man looks through his telescope, then he sees worlds beyond: but if he looks at his telescope, then he does not see anything but that. The Bible is a thing to be looked through, to see that which is beyond; but most people only look at it; and so they see only the dead letter.” Phillips Brooks
I would rather speak five words out of this book than 50,000 words of the philosophers. If we want revivals, we must revive our reverence for the Word of God. If we want conversions, we must put more of God’s Word into our sermons. - Spurgeon
Reader, remember this: if thy knowledge do not now affect thy heart, it will at last, with a witness, afflict thy heart; if it do not now endear Christ to thee, it will at last provoke Christ the more against thee; if it do not make all the things of Christ to be very precious in thy eyes, it will at last make thee the more vile in Christ's eyes. -- Puritan Thomas Brooks
The Bible was not written to satisfy your curiosity, but to make you conform to Christ’s image. Not to make you a smarter sinner, but to make you like the Savior. Not to fill your head with a collection of biblical facts, but to transform your life.” --Howard Hendricks in Living by the Book
The Bible redirects my will, cleanses my emotions, enlightens my mind, and quickens my total being. -- E. Stanley Jones
To me the Bible is not God, but it is God's voice, and I do not hear it without awe. -- C. H. Spurgeon.
If lips and life do not agree, the testimony will not amount to much - Harry Ironside
It has been said that the Bible is so deep that theologians cannot touch the bottom, yet so shallow that babes cannot drown.
Old-fashioned believers could give you chapter and verse for what they believed; but how few of such remain! -- C. H. Spurgeon.
D = Daily Devotions The Soul-Secrets of Sacred Reading - Robert Morgan
J. I. Packer once said that..."If I were the devil, one of my first aims would be to stop folk from digging into the Bible.
In the midst of that period of intellectual history called The Enlightenment, a philosophy known as deism was sweeping Europe. In the midst of this development, the famous skeptic, Voltaire, proclaimed that within 25 years, the Bible would be forgotten and Christianity would be a thing of the past. However, 40 years after Voltaire’s death in 1778, the Bible and other Christian literature were being printed in what had once been Voltaire’s own house!
Precious book! I would say of you what David said of Goliath’s sword: “There is none like that; give it me” (1Sa 21:9). You are marrow and fatness, honey and wine. Yes, manna of angels and water from the Rock, Christ Jesus. Of all soul medicines you are the most potent. Of all mental dainties you are the sweetest. And of all spiritual food you are the most sustaining. - Spurgeon
My rule for Christian living is this: anything that dims my vision of Christ, or takes away my taste for Bible study, or cramps my prayer life, or makes Christian work difficult is wrong for me, and I must, as a Christian, turn away from it. - Dr. Wilbur Chapman
The Bible is God’s chart for you to steer by, to keep you from the bottom of the sea, and to show you where the harbor is, and how to reach it without running on rocks or bars. - Henry Ward Beecher
Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.
- Samuel Smiles
Leave not off reading the Bible till you find your hearts warmed...Let it not only inform you, but inflame you. - Thomas Watson
Never let good books take the place of the Bible. Drink from the Well, not from the streams that flow from the Well . -- Amy Carmichael
Vance Havner said "The storehouse of God’s Word was never meant for mere scrutiny, not even primarily for study but for sustenance. It is not simply a collection of fine proverbs and noble teachings for men to admire and quote as they might Shakespeare. It is ration for the soul, resources of and for the spirit, treasure for the inner man. Its goods exhibited upon every page are ours, and we have no business merely moving respectfully amongst them and coming away none the richer.
Gipsy Smith told of a man who said he had received no inspiration from the Bible although he had “gone through it several times.” “Let it go through you once,” replied Smith, “then you will tell a different story!”
John Mason on the Bible "The word of God must be . . .nearer to us than our friends, dearer to us than our lives, sweeter to us than our liberty, and pleasanter to us than all earthly comforts.
Take the candle of God's word and search the corners of your heart.
We speak to God in prayer; God speaks to us in His word.
All arguments against the word of God are fallacies; all ideas against the word are delusions; all derision against the word is folly; and all opposition against the word is madness.
When God threatens, that's a time to repent; when He promises, that's a time to believe; when He commands, that's a time to obey.
If a man believed the threatenings of the word of God, he would tremble and fly to the promises for refuge.
C H Spurgeon in his sermon on Hosea 2:23 exults in the authority and efficacy of God's holy Word...
To my mind, it is very instructive to notice how Paul quotes from the Prophets. The revelation of the mind of God in the Old Testament helps us to understand the gospel revealed in the New Testament. There is no authority that is so powerful over the minds of Christian men as that of the Word of God. Has God made known any truth in his Word? Then, it is invested with divine authority. Paul, being himself inspired by the Holy Spirit, and therefore able to write fresh revelations of the mind of God, here brings the authority of God’s Word in the olden times to back up and support what he says: “As he saith also in Osee (Hosea).”
Beloved friend, if you are seeking salvation, or if you want comfort, never rest satisfied with the mere word of man. Be not content unless you got the truth from the mouth of God. Say in your spirit, “I will not be comforted, unless God himself shall comfort me. I want chapter and verse for that which I receive as gospel.” Our Lord’s reply to Satan was, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Give me, then, but a word out of God’s mouth, and I can live upon it; but all the words out of man’s mouth, apart from divine inspiration, must be as unsatisfying food as if men tried to live on stones.
Notice, again, how Paul teaches that the very essence of the authority of the Scriptures lies in this, that God speaks through his revealed Word:
“As HE saith also in Osee (Hosea).”
It is God speaking in the Bible whom we ought to hear. The mere letter of the Word alone will hill; but when we hear God’s voice speaking in it, then it has power which it could not possess otherwise. It is a blessed thing to put your ear down to the promises of Scripture, till you hear God speaking through them to your soul. It is truly profitable to read a gospel commandment, and to listen to its voice until God himself speaks it with power to your heart. I pray you, do not regard anything that is preached here unless it agrees with what is written there in the Bible. If it is only my word, throw it away; but if it is God’s truth that I declare to you, if God Himself speaks it through my lips, you will disregard it at your peril.
I will make only one other observation by way of introduction. Is it not wonderful how God’s Word is preserved century after century? There were seven or eight hundred years between Hosea and Paul; and it is remarkable that the promise to the Gentiles should lie asleep all that time, and yet should be just as full of life and power when Paul was quoting it after all those centuries. God’s Word is like the wheat in the hand of the mummy, of which you have often heard. It had lain there for thousands of years; but men took it out of the hand, and sowed it, and there sprang up the bearded wheat which has now become so common in our land. So you take a divine promise, spoken hundreds or thousands of years ago, and lo, it is fulfilled to you! It becomes as true to you as if God had spoken it for the first time this very day, and you were the person to whom it was addressed.
O blessed Word of God, how we ought to prize thee! We cannot tell yet all that lies hidden between these covers; but there is a treasury of grace concealed here, which we ought to seek until we find it. (See full message on Hosea 2:23 God's People, or Not God's People)
ESPECIALLY THE PARCHMENTS: malista tas membranas :
Parchments (3200) (membrana from a Greek transliteration of the Latin pergamena = that which pertains to Pergamum; see also Latin = membrana; English "membrane" = a thin pliable sheet of material forming a barrier or lining) describe manuscripts written on parchment or vellum (this term describes the finest parchment from calf skin) and made originally from the skin of a sheep, goat or calf.
This verse represents the only NT use of membrana (no uses in the Septuagint).
In preparation of parchment, the animal hide was soaked in lime to remove the hair, then shaved, dried and smoothed out with stones. It follows that parchment was generally extremely expensive and were therefore used for only the most important documents.
Moulton and Milligan note that parchment or membrana is "a Grecized form of the Lat. membrana, “parchment,” said to be so called from Pergamum in Mysia, where it was first manufactured
The ISBE entry says that "Parchment is made from the skins of sheep, goats or young calves. The hair and fleshy portions of the skin are removed as in tanning by first soaking in lime and then dehairing, scraping and washing. The skin is then stretched on a frame and treated with powdered chalk, or other absorptive agent, to remove the fatty substances, and is then dried. It is finally given a smooth surface by rubbing with powdered pumice. Parchment was extensively used at the time of the early Christians for scrolls, legal documents, etc., having replaced papyrus for that purpose. It was no doubt used at even a much earlier time. The roll mentioned in Jeremiah 36 may have been of parchment. Scrolls were later replaced by codices of the same material. After the Arabs introduced paper, parchment was still used for centuries for the book bindings. Diplomas printed on “sheepskins,” still issued by many universities, represent the survival of an ancient use of parchment. See following article. (Orr, J., M.A., D. D. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: 1915 edition)
Smith's Bible Dictionary has an interesting note that "Parchment was used for the MSS of the Pentateuch in the time of Josephus, and the membrana of 2 Tim. 4:13 were skins of parchment. It was one of the provisions in the Talmud that the law should be written on the skins of clean animals, tame or wild, or even of clean birds.
A T Robertson writes that membrana refers to "The dressed skins were first made at Pergamum and so termed “parchments.” These in particular would likely be copies of Old Testament books, parchment being more expensive than papyrus, possibly even copies of Christ’s sayings (Luke 1:1-4).
Ralph Earle in his commentary on 2 Timothy notes that "there is an interesting historical parallel to Paul’s request. William Tyndale, who translated the first NT printed in English, was imprisoned in Vilvorde Castle near Brussels before his execution in 1536. In the year preceding his death he wrote to the governor, begging for warmer clothing, a woolen shirt, and above all his Hebrew Bible, grammar, and dictionary."
John Wesley told the preachers under his care to read or get out of the ministry! The great men of God have notoriously been great prayers and great readers!
Hiebert draws a challenging conclusion from Paul's requests writing that "Even as an old man facing certain death, the apostle has not lost his interest for study and mental pursuits. It presents a standing challenge to the minister to be an indefatigable student, especially of the Word of God. (Hiebert, D. Edmond, Second Timothy, p. 120, 1957)
Alexander Whyte comments regarding Paul's desire for the books and parchments noting that he belongs to "That elect, and honorable, and enviable class of men that we call students of New Testament exegesis. Surely they are the happiest and the most enviable of all men, who have been set apart to nothing else but to the understanding and the opening up of the hid treasures of God’s Word and God’s Son. (The Walk, Conversation, and Character of Jesus Christ our Lord)
BOOK FRIENDS - The apostle Paul sat alone in a Roman prison facing his final weeks on earth. The wet cold of the dungeon must have pierced his bones as he penned a letter to his young friend Timothy, urging him to come before winter (2Ti 4:21). He asked Timothy to bring a cloak with him, which would shield him from the gnawing chill, and to bring the scrolls, and especially the parchments.
The parchments, made of animal skins, may have been copies of parts of the Old Testament. The “books,” made of papyrus, were probably scrolls. Clearly, Paul did not plan to write another weighty theological letter like the book of Romans. Nor was he about to prepare more sermons. He needed those books to warm his heart and to keep his mind alert.
A famous French author has written
“The wise men who have written before our time are travelers who have preceded us in the paths of misfortune, and who reach out to us their hands to invite us to join their society when all others have abandoned us. A good book is a good friend.”
We need to cultivate good reading habits. The Bible, of course, is number one. But God also uses good book friends to encourage our heart and stimulate our mind.— Haddon W. Robinson (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Immortal words of truth we’ve read,
So powerfully penned, so filled with grace,
Will follow us through all our days
And spur us on to win life’s race. —DJD
A good book—like a good friend—
is always there in your time of need.
READING AND REMEMBERING - My elderly aunt was having difficulty with her memory. She tried to recall Scripture verses she had learned earlier in life, but they weren't coming to mind. This bothered her. I told her that God understands our weaknesses. He remembers His promises even when we can't. It's more important that we rest in His faithfulness.
Author Lillian Helm learned that lesson too. At 91 she spent an hour each day reading her Bible and Christian literature. Her friends asked, "What good does all that reading do if you can't remember much of it?" She replied by recounting her blessings and saying, "My cup runneth over. I'm not concerned about my memory. I just do my reading and God does the remembering."
Paul was in prison awaiting execution when he wrote to Timothy, "Bring . . . the books, especially the parchments," (2Ti 4:13). He knew the importance of keeping his mind filled with God's truth. All of us need to do that every day of our lives.
But Paul's confidence wasn't in his books. It was in God, who would lovingly care for him and preserve him for His heavenly kingdom (2Ti 4:18). That's true for all of us, even if we can no longer read or remember. — Dennis J. De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
I'll trust in God's unchanging Word
Till soul and body sever;
For though all things shall pass away,
His Word shall stand forever. --Anon.
Memory may fail, but never God's promises.