Are You Getting Enough Exercise? – 1 Timothy 4:7-10


Summary:

“Profane” (v.7) means anything outside of the Bible, such as profane history. Paul is telling Timothy to shun fables outside the Bible, stories that must deal with “bodily exercise” or Paul wouldn’t say “for bodily exercise profiteth little.” This would agree with “old wives fables,” which are about things old wives know a lot about, things like pregnancy, health, nutrition, and the good effects of exercise.

What could Paul have against exercise? Well, remember he predicted in the last days some would command to abstain from meats (4:3) so they can be healthy enough to survive the persecution they think will come in the last days because they think our last days will be like Israel’s, filled with persecution that demands that you to run or fight. Being in tip top shape helps with that, but exercising yourself to godliness will help in our last days, days that will be filled with “doctrines of devils” (4:1).

How will exercising godliness help you oppose doctrines of devils? Obeying the Word helps you learn the word (Ps. 119:100). You may not think of godliness as an exercise, but “exercise” just means to use or practice something. God exercises godliness (Jer.9:24), and so should we. It will help you prepare for the last days before the Rapture. The hope of the Rapture instilled godliness in Paul (Acts 24:14-16), and it should in us as well (Titus 2:11-13).

Even doctors in Paul’s day knew exercise profits a little (4:8), and I’m sure Dr. Luke told Paul about the benefits of sleeping better, feeling better, thinking better, etc. Paul doesn’t discount the profit of exercise, he just says godliness profits more. Sleeping and feeling and thinking better profit in this life, but godliness profits in this life and in the life to come in heaven. We will be rewarded on the basis of how we built others up in the faith (ICor.3:5-15), and godliness builds men up by giving them a good example

Paul calls our reward a profit, which is the benefit you have after you’ve covered your expenses. The reward we receive in in heaven will more than cover the expenditures of godliness we invest in this life (Rom.8:18). Remember that when you take account of your life to see if you are getting more out of it than what you are putting into it.

But if you think your books don’t balance without that, you may be using Israel’s ledger.Under their accounting system God rewarded them health for godliness (Deut.7:12-15) and wealth (Deut.28:1-11). If you think you’re under that ac-counting system, you’re going to think God is swimming in red ink for the blessings He’s failing to profit you. In reality, even the world knows that virtue is its own reward.

Paul knows some will doubt the profit of godliness, so Paul adds it is a “faithful saying” that there is profit in godliness (4:9). That means you can count on the profit of godliness as much as you can count on the fact that Christ came to save sinners (ITim.1:15). Both parts of that saying are worthy of acceptation, that Christ came, and that He came to save sinners, and both parts of this saying are worthy of acceptation, that godliness profits in this life and the next. If you are not finding godliness profitable in this life, it is only because you haven’t learned that “godliness with con-tentment is great gain” (ITim.6:6). If you still lust after the riches that being dishonest can bring, or if you lust after the flesh that being carnal can bring, you haven’t yet learned to be content with godliness and so don’t see the profit in it.

We should react to the promise of this profit as Paul did, by choosing to “labor” for the Lord (4:10). How hard would you labor at work if you knew every dollar you earned could be spent in this life and saved for your life after retirement? You wouldn’t care if anyone “reproached” you, so don’t worry if you “suffer reproach” for working for the Lord’s profit in this life and in the life to come.

Of course, to believe God can profit you in the next life, you have to believe in “the living God” (4:10), for a dead god can’t profit you in the life to come. Godliness can even profit unbelievers who apply godly principles—but not in the life to come. That’s why Christ is “specially” the Savior of believers, for we are saved the misery of sin in this life (ITim.4:16) and from hell in the life to come.

What Should We Render to God?

When the Lord Jesus Christ said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matt. 22:21), it was clear that He meant that the tax money they had asked Him about (v. 19) should be rendered to the king. But did you ever wonder what He had in mind in speaking of the things that should be rendered unto God?

Well, in the context of being asked about money that God’s people owed the government that ruled over them in civil matters, the Lord was surely thinking of the money they also owed the priests who ministered to them in spiritual matters. Remember, the priestly tribe of Levi was granted no inheritance in the Promised Land, leaving them no source of income other than the tithes that faithful Hebrews had to pay if they wanted to render to God what was God’s.

But I believe the Lord was thinking of something else that people should want to render to God. Let’s not forget how the Lord determined what should be rendered to Caesar. The penny He had asked to see (v. 19) bore the emperor’s image (v. 20), and He rightly concluded that it therefore belonged to the emperor. But by that reasoning, since all men bear the image of God by virtue of creation (Gen. 1:27; 9:6; 1 Cor. 11:7), they belong to Him and owe Him the glory that historically men have refused to give Him (Rom. 1:21).

Of course, while many Christians glorify their Creator, all of them should, since we who are saved bear God’s image spiritually as well. You see, when God saved you, you were “conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29), and you “put on the new man” which bears “the image of Him that created him” (Col. 3:10). So if we render money to Caesar because it bears his image, we should also yield ourselves to God “as those that are alive from the dead” (Rom. 6:13).

In addition, your physical body also belongs to Him (1 Cor. 6:19,20), so it too is among the things that are His that should be rendered to Him. That means that while you will no doubt want to render to God financially to support the ministries that minister to you (1 Cor. 9:11; Gal. 6:6), you should also consider following the lead of the Macedonians, who “first gave their own selves to the Lord” (2 Cor. 8:5).

King Hezekiah “rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him” (2 Chron. 32:25), but in light of the endless love and amazing grace that God has bestowed on us, let’s you and I render unto God the things that are God’s!

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.


Two Minutes with the Bible lets you start your day with short but powerful Bible study articles from the Berean Bible Society. Sign up now to receive Two Minutes With the Bible every day in your email inbox. We will never share your personal information and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Let’s Do Something…

…even if it’s wrong. Have you ever heard that platitude? In every dispensation, God has always had well-meaning children who served Him sincerely, but without an understanding of His rightly divided Word, and so did and taught things that were dispensationally wrong. But in every dispensation there have also been men like “the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do…” (1 Chron. 12:32), dispensationalists who knew where they stood in the program of God, and so knew how to do what is dispensationally right.

We are not shy to unabashedly proclaim that in the present dispensation of grace, grace believers are the modern day men of Issachar! We have an understanding of the times. We know what the Body of Christ ought to be doing. But with great knowledge comes great responsibility! Why not get in the battle for truth? After all, it’s not what you know that counts, it’s what you “do” (Phil. 4:9) with what you know. Let’s do something now that we know that what we are doing is right.

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.


Two Minutes with the Bible lets you start your day with short but powerful Bible study articles from the Berean Bible Society. Sign up now to receive Two Minutes With the Bible every day in your email inbox. We will never share your personal information and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Doctrine of Devils – 1 Timothy 4:3-6


Summary:

Only grace believers have “the faith,” so only they can “depart” from it (v.1). In the last days one of the “doctrines of devils” they’ll teach is “forbidding to marry” (v.3). Devils will want grace leaders teaching this in the last days to limit the number of grace believers through children right before the Rapture to limit the amount of accurate grace literature we’ll leave behind. Most Christian literature doesn’t even know that faith plus works should be preached in the Tribulation.

Satan is always working ahead to oppose what God plans to do. When God announced the Savior would be the seed of the woman, he worked ahead of His birth to pollute her seed with seducing spirits (Gen.6:1,2), then again with Noah’s new race (Gen.6:4). Satan directed the new crop of giants to the promised land when he heard God send Abram there (Gen. 12:1) to be there to oppose God when he got there (v.6).

That’s what Satan will do in the last days, get seducing spirits to work ahead to pollute accurate Tribulation literature that will be left behind at the rapture. But why will grace leaders forbid the institution that usually generates more church members through children? Men who are “seduced” do many things contrary to their own best interests. What men find seductive varies, but grace believers find Pauline doctrine seductive, and Paul discouraged marriage (ICor.7:27) because he thought he’d live to see the Rapture and so he thought the “distress” he was going through (v.26) was the last days. It doesn’t make sense to have babies in times of distress (cf.Lu.21:23). So to be like Paul, grace believers will forbid to marry when the last days finally do arrive

This shows Paul hadn’t yet learned our last days won’t be distressed with persecution like Israel’s will be (Lu.21:16-24). His later descriptions of the last days say nothing about persecution. Muslims killing Christians isn’t a sign of the last days, persecution has been going on since the first days (Rom. 8:36).

Since Antichrist will reinstate Judaism after the Rapture, the seducing spirits will also command to abstain from meats to get the world ready for Leviticus 11. Grace believers will swallow it because many believe it is a healthier diet and they also believe Muslims killing Christians is a sign of the last days and so want to be healthy to enter that time of distress. But the Jews weren’t healthy in the wilderness (Ps.105:36,37) because of their diet as some say, they ate manna (Ex.16:35) but because of the promise of God (Deut.7:12-15). They didn’t conquer the Canaanites because they were healthy but also because of God’s promise (Deut.7:12,24).

God gave that diet only to remind them to stay separate from unclean Gentiles (Lev.20:24,25). Those “who believe and know the truth” (ITim.4:3 cf. 2:4) that we are not under the law of Leviticus 11 should receive all foods. Every creature of God is “good” (v.4 cf. Gen.1:20,21). That diet isn’t healthier or God wouldn’t have told Noah he could eat all animals to start the human race over (Gen.9:3). Now the foods God set apart as unclean are clean, just as the people He set apart as unclean are now clean. Both are “sanctified” (ITim.4:5 cf. Rom.15:16).

The “brethren” who needed to be reminded of this in Ephesus where Timothy was pastoring were those teaching the law (ITim.1:6,7). Under the law, a “good minister” (ITim.4:6) reminded people of the words of Leviticus 11, now he reminds people we are not under that law. Under the law, Leviticus 11 was “good doctrine” (ITim.4:6), but today grace is good doctrine. Under the law commanding to abstain from meats was the doctrine of God, today it is a doctrine of devils.

Finally, foods today are sanctified by the Word (ITim.4:5) because the Word through Paul says you can eat all foods, but it is also sanctified by “prayer” (v.5) as you give thanks for it as Paul did (Acts 27:18-35), even amid the storms of life as he did, even when it doesn’t look like there’s anything to be thankful for as he did.

Whatsoever Is Not of Faith

“What does Paul mean when he says that whatsoever is not of faith is sin”?

“And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23).

We know that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). The Word of God through Paul says that we can eat all things (1 Tim. 4:4), but he who is “weak in faith” (Rom. 14:1) doubts this and limits himself to eating “herbs” (v. 2). His faith has not yet matured to believe Paul when he says he can eat meat, so “he that doubteth… if he eat…he eateth not of faith.”

But if he wouldn’t eat it “of faith,” why would he eat it? Well, in this passage, he might eat meat trying to follow the example of his stronger brother. This is why Paul encourages strong brethren not to eat meat in front of a weaker brother (v. 15), which might make “the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat” meat (cf. 1 Cor. 8:10). If he eats meat to try to walk in the footsteps of his stronger brother, rather than eating it because “of faith” in God’s Word, it will cause him to stumble (Rom. 14:13,21) by doing something that bothers his conscience.

Back to our question. How come “whatsoever is not of faith is sin”? It is because “to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean” (v. 14). God actually adjusts the definition of what is unclean to agree with a weak brother’s conscience. Since his faith does not yet believe that he can eat meat, “he eateth not of faith,” and whatsoever is not of faith is sin to him.

Why would a weak brother “be damned if he eat”? Well, the word “damnation” doesn’t always refer to eternal damnation in Hell. If all damnation was eternal, the Lord was being redundant in speaking of “eternal damnation” (Mark 3:29). Likewise, if all damnation was to Hell, He would not have had to add the words “of Hell” when He spoke of “the damnation of Hell” (Matt. 23:33). The word “damnation” simply means condemnation or judgment of any kind. Those who resist the government “shall receive to themselves damnation” (Rom. 13:1,2), the judgment and condemnation of the government. So when a weak brother eats meat that he believes is unclean, it is sin for him, and he is condemned by his own conscience, since he judges what he has done to be sinful.

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.


Two Minutes with the Bible lets you start your day with short but powerful Bible study articles from the Berean Bible Society. Sign up now to receive Two Minutes With the Bible every day in your email inbox. We will never share your personal information and you can unsubscribe at any time.

A New Body

The older we get, the more our bodies wear out and are filled with aches and pains. It reminds us of our heavenly home, and helps prepare us for the time when we step into eternity. In the fall of 2013, a dear saint in our assembly was having increasingly severe health problems. One day he stood and said to us all: “Enjoy your aches and pains now because one day soon we will be with the Savior in heaven. There we will be given new heavenly bodies. We will have no pain, no sorrow and no death. A glorious future awaits us. Rejoice in this.”

The above expectation is right on target. When John the Apostle explained the physical eternal state, he wrote, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (I John 3:2). Gospel accounts of our resurrected Savior describe Him with a body similar in appearance to His previous state. We would surely expect that as God Himself, the Savior no longer experienced any pain. Revelation 21:4 confirms this when it refers to the eternal state of the kingdom saints. John wrote, “And God shall wipe away all tears…there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” The Apostle Paul explains there will be vast differences in our new eternal body. It will be a “celestial” body (I Cor. 15:38-40), meaning it will fitted by God to thrive in the atmosphere of the heavens. In contrast to our physical bodies that are weak, degenerating and eventually corrupt, our new bodies will be “raised in incorruption…glory…power…[and as] a spiritual body” (I Cor. 15:42-44). Paul continues his explanation by saying: “…flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God…behold I show you a mystery…we shall all be changed” (I Cor. 15:50-51). To summarize our change he says, “…as we have born the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (I Cor. 15:49).

Whenever you get weighed down with physical pain, remember, one day our Lord is going to give us new bodies without weakness or pain. Believe it, rejoice in it and look forward to it with thanksgiving. Keep looking up for His return in expectation and faithfulness until He comes.

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.


Two Minutes with the Bible lets you start your day with short but powerful Bible study articles from the Berean Bible Society. Sign up now to receive Two Minutes With the Bible every day in your email inbox. We will never share your personal information and you can unsubscribe at any time.