Paul’s First Letter to Timothy
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Introduction to Paul’s First Letter to Timothy
The Pastoral Letters. The term pastoral is frequently used in connection with Paul’s Epistles to Timothy and Titus. Originally the word had reference to shepherds and their activities, but later was used in connection with Christian ministers and their congregations. Thus, the Pastoral Epistles are to be recognized as letters from the Chief Shepherd (Paul) to his under-shepherds (Timothy and Titus), and dealing with matters relating to their congregations. These Pastoral Epistles make interesting and helpful reading, especially where recognition is given to their background. Many statements given in these Epistles are frequently quoted, and they have practical application to modern conditions.
Timothy had been installed as minister of the church at Ephesus. It will be readily recognized that this ministry was no easy task. The church had been in existence for several years, and some of the officials there had assisted Paul in the early struggles toward establishment. However things were not going well at Ephesus, and therefore Paul had decided to put Timothy in charge of affairs. But Timothy was a young man, and he found it difficult to secure the full cooperation of the church officials. Some of these officials were much older than Timothy, and apparently they resented Paul’s action in placing him at the head of affairs. Timothy therefore wrote an urgent letter to Paul—who was then starting out upon his missionary journey in North Africa—seeking advice regarding this unpleasant situation at Ephesus.
Paul’s reply was intended to put fresh heart into Timothy. The apostle urged his young friend to hold fast to “sound doctrine” (I Tim. 1:10),to “wage the good warfare” (I Tim. 1:18), to exercise great care in appointing new church officials, and to maintain Christian discipline (I Tim. 3:1-13). Explicit directions were given regarding church activities, and then Paul urged Timothy to “Command and teach these things. Let no one despise your youth ... Do not neglect the gift you have . . . Practice these duties . . . Take heed to yourself and your teaching; hold to that, for by so doing you will save yourself and your hearers” (I Tim. 4:11-16).
Metaphysically, the name Timothy is said to mean “worshiping God, honoring God” (MBD/Timothy). This indicates that there is something in our consciousness which recognizes and honors God; and, at the same time, this something is also recognized and honored by God. This “something” may be readily identified through a careful study of the New Testament passages relating to Timothy. Paul mentions that “sincere faith . . . dwells in you” (II Tim. 1:5). Paul also recognized that Timothy possessed what may be termed executive ability. Hence Timothy was selected by Paul as a trusted messenger to the converts at Philippi (See Phil. 2:22-23); and later on Paul placed Timothy in charge of the church at Ephesus (I Tim. 1:3). However, the indications are that Timothy’s faith and ability became somewhat ineffective because of an inherent timidity, or fear. Timothy did well when Paul was close at hand, but when left to work on his own account he was far from successful. Thus we find Paul urging Timothy to “fight the good fight of the faith” (I Tim. 6:12); to “rekindle the gift of God that is within you” (II Tim. 1:6); and then Paul sought to reassure Timothy by reminding him that “God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control” (II Tim. 1:7). Timothy, therefore, may be interpreted in terms of inspiration, and also of warning. Our spiritual and physical powers are to be used to honor God; but we shall be honored by God only as we overcome timidity and “aim at righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness” (I Tim. 6:11).
Introduction to Paul’s First Letter to Timothy by Herbert J. Hunt, former Dean of Bible Studies for the Unity School of Christianity.
An Acknowledgement of Christ in Me
1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and Christ Jesus our hope;1 1:2 to Timothy,2 my true child in faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
- our hope. Hope is the expectation of good in the future, but because hope is a quality (good as far as it goes) of sense mind, it is subject to time. On the other hand, faith is the certain knowledge that our good is ours right now. Faith is of God and goes beyond time and space. (RW/hope)
- Paul ... to Timothy. Paul is our Spirit-inspired or regenerated will. Timothy is our inspired reason united with faith, also zeal. (MBD/Timothy). [As metaphysicians, we interpret the entire Bible and its Holy Scriptures as unfolding within our own consciousness. Thus, the conversations taking place between Paul and Timothy (our will and our zeal for God) are conversations we have with ourselves, within ourselves. Such self-talk is especially important during times of challenge and the onset of negative thoughts (false teachers), when we most need to encourage and recommit ourselves to continue in the Word and Spirit.]
Beware of Error/Negative Thoughts
1:3 As I urged you when I was going into Macedonia, stay at Ephesus that you might command certain men not to teach a different doctrine, 1:4 neither to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which cause disputes, rather than God's stewardship, which is in faith-- 1:5 but the goal of this command is love, out of a pure heart and a good conscience and unfeigned faith; 1:6 from which things some, having missed the mark, have turned aside to vain talking; 1:7 desiring to be teachers of the law, though they understand neither what they say, nor about what they strongly affirm.1
1:8 But we know that the law2 is good, if a man uses it lawfully, 1:9 as knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 1:10 for the sexually immoral, for homosexuals,3 for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and for any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine; 4 1:11 according to the Good News of the glory of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
- affirm. to hold steadfast in mind or to speak aloud a statement of Truth. (RW/affirm). [As teachers of Truth (to ourselves as well as to others), we must apply ourselves to gain understanding about what we affirm as well as the process of affirmation, in and of itself.]
- the Law. The Law of God is the orderly working out of the principle of Being, or the Divine ideals, into expression and manifestation throughout creation. The law of mind action may be described in three steps: mind, idea, manifestation. First, there must be mind; second, everything exists first as an idea in mind; third, the inherent power and intelligence in the idea causes it to act or express, and when it is expressed we have the manifestation. (MBD/law)
- for the sexually immoral, for homosexuals. “The orientation of the libido is not the determining factor, rather, it is the mode or the effect it will have on your life.” (Ed Rabel, 1975 Old Testament Lectures, Sodom and Gomorrah, Sodom and Gomorrah
- contrary to the sound doctrine. [Reminding ourselves and affirming the Law of God is always beneficial, but especially for anything contrary to the sound doctrine.]
Thank Goodness for Mercy!!
1:12 And I thank him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he counted me faithful, appointing me to service; 1:13 although I was before a blasphemer,1 a persecutor, and insolent. However, I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 1:14 The grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 1:15 The saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 1:16 However, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first, Jesus Christ might display all his patience, for an example of those who were going to believe in him for eternal life. 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
1:18 This instruction I commit to you, my child2 Timothy, according to the prophecies which led the way to you, that by them you may wage the good warfare; 1:19 holding faith and a good conscience; which some having thrust away made a shipwreck concerning the faith; 1:20 of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I delivered to Satan,3 that they might be taught not to blaspheme.
- a blasphemer. Impious or irreverent thoughts toward God, such as sickness, poverty, death. (RW/blasphemy) [Such thoughts make us feel “cut off” rom our Source, and so as with Paul, because it is “out of ignorance and unbelief” that we think in these ways, it is only by the mercy of God that we are restored back to right thinking.]
- my child. As God joins parent and child in a bond that cannot be broken, so we are joined with Divine Mind in a union that cannot be denied, disproved, or annulled. (Second Timothy Unity Bible Lessons, June 1939)
- Satan. The deceiving phase of mind in man that has fixed ideas in opposition to Truth. From egotism to self-deprecation, Satan assumes various forms in our human consciousness (MBD/Satan). [However, our Spirit-led will (Paul) delivers us from negative thoughts (Hymenaeus and Alexander) belonging to deceiving states of mind (Satan), in order that these error thoughts which oppose the Truth may be “taught not to blaspheme” (disciplined to not oppose the Truth).]
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mary Salama.
Instructions concerning Prayer
2:1 I exhort therefore, first of all, that petitions, prayers,1 intercessions, and givings of thanks,2 be made for all men: 2:2 for kings and all who are in high places; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and reverence. 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; 2:4 who desires all people to be saved and come to full knowledge of the truth. 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 2:6 who gave himself as a ransom for all;3 the testimony in its own times;4 2:7 to which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth in Christ, not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
2:8 I desire therefore that the men in every place pray, lifting up holy hands without anger and doubting. 2:9 In the same way, that women also adorn themselves in decent clothing,5 with modesty and propriety; not just with braided hair, gold, pearls, or expensive clothing; 2:10 but (which becomes women professing godliness) with good works. 2:11 Let a woman6 learn in quietness with all subjection. 2:12 But I don't permit a woman to teach, nor to exercise authority over a man, but to be in quietness.7 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 2:14 Adam wasn't deceived, but the woman, being deceived, has fallen into disobedience; 2:15 but she will be saved through her childbearing,8 if they continue in faith, love, and sanctification with sobriety.
- petitions, prayers. Prayer is our communion with God and, as such, is the most highly accelerated mind action known. It steps up mental action until our consciousness synchronizes with the Christ Mind. (RW/prayer) [In prayer, we bring forth our urgent appeals to the Father and make ourselves open to receive the exchanging of our personal desires and ideas for the Desires and Ideas of the Christ Mind. We do well to cultivate the habit of referring all things, in the moment they arise, to God in prayer.]
- intercessions, and giving of thanks. Everyone who depends upon the enabling power of the Holy Spirit learns through prayer that we gain what we seek, when our desire is toward God and the direction of God's thought is inclined toward what is right. Every prayer that is in harmony with Truth (“according to the will of God”) is an intercession of the Holy Spirit become active in us. (MBI/Romans 8) True thanksgiving may be likened to rain falling upon ready soil, refreshing it and increasing its productiveness. (RW/thanksgiving) [Thanksgiving is the necessary accompaniment of prayer; it ought never be absent from our devotions. Thankful words, prayed in faith, will eventually produce a change in our minds and hearts.]
- who gave himself as a ransom for all. [Ransom to the devil, never to God. God is all good, everywhere present and He has no need to be paid. However the devil, our lower consciousness, needs to be sacrificed. Christianity has no consensus about how atonement works. New Thought Christianity rejects the satisfaction theory (Jesus is my substitute) and embraces the moral influence theory]
- the testimony in its own times. Time is the limitation of our human consciousness of space. Time is the measure we give to passing events. The only power in time is what we impart to it. When we get into the understanding of the Absolute, we will be liberated from all bondages and limitations of time. (RW/time).
- women also adorn themselves in decent clothing. A warning to not allow our feelings to be preoccupied with frivolous and external matters (indecent clothing and adornments), but rather, to ensure that our emotional capacities are always adorned with words of Truth (decent clothing).
- Let a woman. Every department of our being has its distinct thought center, so we are made up of many men and many women (MBD/woman). When Paul speaks about “women” and “the woman,” metaphysically, these words are describing the feminine phase of our being. In the Greek, “woman” signifies the intuitive perception of Truth reflected into the intellect from the soul. (RW/woman) We know that Adam is the basic ability to think; and from this basic ability to think, the Lord God or the Lord of our Being has extended or expanded another dimension of the ability to think, and it is now woman, or the ability to feel. These two components shall cleave together and become one. (Ed Rabel, Old Testament Lectures, Man and Woman).
- be in quietness. Jim Lewis says, "Be very, very careful of being involved in group (or personal) emotional experiences. [Our very own emotional experiences can be very deceptive – limiting us when it would be best to move forward, at other times urging us to rush in before prayerful consideration. We must learn to recognize and discern these inner fluctuations and bring them under the authority of the Word of Truth, lest they get us into difficulty faster than anything else (fall into disobedience)." Mystical Teachings of Christianity, Speaking in Tongues.
- she will be saved through her childbearing. [If men and women are our thoughts and feelings, then children are our afterthoughts and meta-feelings, and when our emotions (women) “continue in faith, love and the conscious putting on of the nature of God,” they are able to bring forth the thoughts and will of the Spirit (childbearing).]
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mary Salama.
Qualifications for our Inner Overseers
3:1 This is a faithful saying: if a man seeks the office of an overseer,1 he desires a good work. 3:2 The overseer therefore must be without reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, modest, hospitable, good at teaching; 3:3 not a drinker,2 not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 3:4 one who rules his own house well, having children in subjection with all reverence; 3:5 (but if a man doesn't know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the assembly of God?) 3:6 not a new convert, lest being puffed up he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 3:7 Moreover he must have good testimony from those who are outside, to avoid falling into reproach and the snare of the devil.
- an overseer. [This is our judgement faculty, which is always at work within us, providing the appropriate guiding of our attention to ensure our alignment with and receptivity to “visitations” of Spirit]
- ... not a drinker. [Spending time with God in study and prayer strengthens our good judgement (overseer), keeping us free from inner criticism (without reproach), singularly committed (husband of one wife), temperate, sensible, modest, hospitable to the Word of Truth; not drunk on negative thoughts (not a drinker), not violating the Truth (not violent), and so on.]
Qualifications for our Inner Deacons
3:8 Servants1, in the same way, must be reverent, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for money; 3:9 holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.2 3:10 Let them also first be tested; then let them serve if they are blameless. 3:11 Their wives in the same way must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 3:12 Let servants be husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 3:13 For those who have served well gain for themselves a good standing, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
- Servants. Here specifically referring to deacons. In the Greek, a deacon is “one who [speedily] executes the commands of another, especially of a master” (www.biblehub.com), but in consciousness, servants are the elemental forces of Being, ever at hand to carry out our demands. (MBD/servants). [Our “deacon” energies and capacities serve us best when they are reverent, stable, not wasteful in repetition or deceit (not double-tongued), free from being distracted by manifestations (much wine), and are free to hold the mystery of the Truth in our consciousness. By these measures, we can test and refine our inner deacons, servant energies.]
- a pure conscience. [Taken at its surface level, conscience is that] accusing state of mind that refuses to remit past sins and keeps one in a state of self-condemnation and remorse. However, whoever has felt the prick of conscience has been spoken to by the Holy Spirit, and whoever has sat at the feet of his own inner convictions has been aware of God's presence, [and so in that regard, this “inner accuser” is our very best friend and “serves us well”.] (RW/conscience)
Our Inner Church: the Secret Assembly Line Behind our Conviction
3:14 These things I write to you, hoping to come to you shortly; 3:15 but if I wait long, that you may know how men ought to behave themselves in the house of God, which is the assembly of the living God,1 the pillar and ground of the truth. 3:16 Without controversy, the mystery of godliness is great:
God was revealed in the flesh,
justified in the spirit,
seen by angels,
preached among the nations,
believed on in the world,
and received up in glory.2
- the assembly of the living God. Assembly, in other versions, “church.” The true or inner church is an aggregation of spiritual ideas in individual consciousness. The church of God begins its activity within us as a mental perception which must go through certain processes before it is established in the whole consciousness. Its work is subjective first; that is, it is a silent interior planting of spiritual ideas, which do not make themselves manifest at once, but work like leaven, and in time transform the individual. (MBD/church) [Seen this way, “the church” can be seen as a process; a verb and not a noun. We are always in the process of “churching” or “assembling” a new state of consciousness.]
- flesh, spirit, angels, nations, world, glory. God is revealed to us through apparent or materialized conditions (flesh). These appearances are corrected by the Mind of God within us (justified in the Spirit), discerned by our spiritual perceptive faculties, which ever dwell in the presence of the Father (seen by angels). The Divine Truth is then proclaimed throughout our aggregations of thoughts held in mind (preached among the nations) and a deposit of faith (belief) is made into our current state of consciousness which has been formed through the belief in the reality of things external (the inner world). The process of our inner churching is made complete with our attaining a realization of Divine unity (glory); the blending and merging of our mind with God-Mind. (RW/flesh; MBD/spirit, angel; RW/world, nation, glory)
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Remedy for Unnecessary Abstinences: The Word of God and prayer
4:1 But the Spirit says expressly that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons,1 4:2 through the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron; 4:3 forbidding marriage and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4:4 For every creature of God is good,2 and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with thanksgiving. 4:5 For it is sanctified through the word of God and prayer.3
- demons. Demons or evil spirits, are conditions of mind or states of consciousness that have been developed because our creative power having been misused in an unwise or ignorant way. If in thought or in word we use our creative power ignorantly, we bring forth an ego or a personality of like character. The mind builds states of consciousness that become established in brain and body. Both good and evil are found in the unregenerate man, but in the new birth, evil and all its works must be cast out. [Demons are powerless thoughts that oppose our Christ nature and Its plan and unfolding in us, therefore], the work of every overcomer is to cast out of him or herself the demons of sin and evil, through the power and dominion of their indwelling Christ. (MBD/demons)
- every creature of God is good. See Genesis 1:31: “God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.”
- sanctified through the word of God and prayer. [It is the Word of God combined with words of thankfulness, spoken or prayed out of our own mouths, that has the power to make holy and pure any situation or condition that lies before us. We are most like our heavenly Father when we label (call) all things: “This too, is very good!”]
A Good Minister of the Word of Truth
4:6 If you instruct the brothers of these things, you will be a good servant1 of Christ Jesus, nourished in the words of the faith, and of the good doctrine which you have followed. 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables. Exercise yourself toward godliness.2 4:8 For bodily exercise has some value, but godliness has value in all things,3 having the promise of the life which is now, and of that which is to come. 4:9 This saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance. 4:10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we have set our trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.4 4:11 Command and teach these things.
4:12 Let no man despise your youth; but be an example to those who believe, in word, in your way of life, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity. 4:13 Until I come, pay attention to reading, to exhortation, and to teaching. 4:14 Don't neglect the gift that is in you,5 which was given to you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the elders. 4:15 Be diligent in these things. Give yourself wholly to them, that your progress may be revealed to all. 4:16 Pay attention to yourself, and to your teaching.6 Continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
- a good servant. We are good servants and ministers of Christ Jesus when we keep and practice the Word of Truth and principles of faith to ourselves. When we prove the Word of Truth in our own experience, we are then qualified and able to present It to others with conviction, zeal, and understanding.
- exercise yourself toward godliness. We do this by keeping our mind fixed on the good, regardless of appearances, and by expressing what is good in words and deeds.
- godliness has value in all things. Because godliness is the consciousness of the spiritual nature back of all things, thus, a consciousness of godliness helps the person who has it to be able to see the true reality beneath surface appearances.
- especially of those who believe. The life principle that animates all men is the living God. Those who recognize this principle as Divine and entrust themselves to it in all things are saved from the evils that befall those who, lacking this faith, have no ground upon which to base their confidence.
- Don’t neglect the gift that is in you. To be effective, a natural or innate gift must be cultivated. When we are diligent in cultivating our inner gift, which is Christ in us, our “progress may be revealed to all.”
- Pay attention to yourself, and to your teaching. [As teachers of Truth to ourselves and to others, we cannot afford to look upon our personal progress] or teaching as a matter of routine. Relaxing our interest and teaching from the old springs of inspiration is fatal to the success of a teacher of Truth. The way of Truth is the living way. “Continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” The result of our meditating profoundly on Truth is that we become so in harmony with It, that our life reveals it, to all.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mary Salama.
Guidelines for Refining our Inner Church
5:3 Honor widows who are widows indeed.2 5:4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them learn first to show piety towards their own family, and to repay their parents, for this is acceptable in the sight of God. 5:5 Now she who is a widow indeed, and desolate, has her hope set on God, and continues in petitions and prayers night and day. 5:6 But she who gives herself to pleasure is dead while she lives. 5:7 Also command these things, that they may be without reproach. 5:8 But if anyone doesn't provide for his own, and especially his own household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.
5:9 Let no one be enrolled as a widow under sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, 5:10 being approved by good works, if she has brought up children, if she has been hospitable to strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, and if she has diligently followed every good work. 5:11 But refuse younger widows, for when they have grown wanton against Christ, they desire to marry; 5:12 having condemnation, because they have rejected their first pledge. 5:13 Besides, they also learn to be idle, going about from house to house. Not only idle, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. 5:14 I desire therefore that the younger widows marry, bear children, rule the household, and give no occasion to the adversary for reviling. 5:15 For already some have turned aside after Satan. 5:16 If any man or woman who believes has widows, let them relieve them, and don't let the assembly be burdened; that it might relieve those who are widows indeed.
5:17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and in teaching.3 5:18 For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle the ox when it treads out the grain."4 And, "The laborer is worthy of his wages."
5:19 Don't receive an accusation against an elder, except at the word of two or three witnesses. 5:20 Those who sin, reprove in the sight of all,5 that the rest also may be in fear. 5:21 I command you in the sight of God, and Christ Jesus, and the chosen angels, that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing by partiality. 5:22 Lay hands hastily on no one, neither be a participant in other men's sins. Keep yourself pure.6 5:23 Be no longer a drinker of water only, but use a little wine7 for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities.
5:24 Some men's sins are evident, preceding them to judgment, and some also follow later. 5:25 In the same way also there are good works that are obvious, and those that are otherwise can't be hidden.
- older, elder. Our “elders” are all of the intelligent, directive powers of our spiritual self. The refining of our “elder” directive powers is a process that may take place without our conscious mind's understanding its import. Like a chemical solution, the directive powers of our spiritual self go through changes (being rebuked and exhorted) on the subjective side that are observed in their outer appearance only, and but dimly understood. (MBD/elders)
- Honor widows who are widows indeed. Widows represent half-truths. These half-truths see the external of Truth but reject the real or inner spirit of it; thus they are in lack. Half-truths are bereft of worldly protection and power, [therefore, Paul’s encouraging us to “honor them,” is to restore them to the full Truth.] It is our own responsibility to correct the errors or half-truths in our consciousness (MBD/widow)
- elders ... who labor in the word and in teaching. [The intelligent, directive powers of our spiritual self (our elders) are ceaselessly at work within us, doing the work of regenerating our consciousness.]
- You shall not muzzle the ox See (Deut 25:4): the minister, who treads out the grain of Truth, should be supported by the ministry.
- Those who sin, reprove in the sight of all. When we become aware that we have departed from the Truth, Spirit encourages us to offer a sincere repentance (in the sight of all) in order that our entire consciousness (the rest also) may remain in positive fear.
- Keep yourself pure. To be pure in consciousness is to be completely free from all anxiety, resentment, selfishness, lust, and every other form of antichrist thought and feeling. (RW/pure, purity)
- but use a little wine. [If we wish to regenerate the body, we must listen to the wisdom of the body and allow its essence to blend with our thinking and feeling nature.] Metaphysically, wine is the vitality that forms the connecting link between soul and body. It represents an all-pervading, free essence that is generated from the nerve substance, or water of life. The wine of life, or vitality of the organism, must be available before a blending of thoughts, or of soul and body (wedding), can be made successfully. When the new Christ life comes into a mind where old beliefs concerning the body have been held, the body is transformed into its innate spiritual perfection. (RW/wine)
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Honor the One, True Master
6:1 Let as many as are bondservants under the yoke count their own masters1 worthy of all honor, that the name of God and the doctrine not be blasphemed. 6:2 Those who have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brothers,2 but rather let them serve them, because those who partake of the benefit are believing and beloved. Teach and exhort these things.
- their own masters. Jesus Himself tells us, “Neither be called masters, for one is your master, the Christ” (Matthew 23:10). The more we allow ourselves to be mastered by our indwelling Christ, the more we demonstrate mastery and dominion in our ability to persistently think thoughts of power and strength in the absolute principle of Truth. (RW/mastery)
- they are brothers. The five seemingly material avenues of sense expression. (MBD/brethren) [Our energies, faculties, and capacities are our brothers and bondservants. Heretofore we may have allowed them to take us captive, but we now know that they can serve us in our journey of spiritual regeneration.]
Temporary versus True Riches
6:3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine, and doesn't consent to sound words,1 the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, 6:4 he is conceited, knowing nothing, but obsessed with arguments, disputes, and word battles, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 6:5 constant friction2 of people of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. Withdraw yourself from such.
6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 6:7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we certainly can't carry anything out. 6:8 But having food and clothing, we will be content with that. 6:9 But those who are determined to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful lusts, such as drown men in ruin and destruction. 6:10 For the love of money3 is a root of all kinds of evil. Some have been led astray from the faith in their greed, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
- Sound words. Sound words are an indication of sound judgment, reasonableness and impartiality; they inspire trust and confidence in the one who hears them and give them a desire to express their convictions.
- constant friction. [There are thoughts that cause constant friction within us. When such thoughts arise, we are to gently but quickly “withdraw yourself from such” and return our attention to “sound words, the words of our Lord Jesus Christ.”]
- the love of money. Love of money shows that personality is in control of the life, whereas true prosperity is founded on a consciousness of the unfailing riches of the inner realm. A person may have great material wealth and still feel poor, as does the miser, but no one who is conscious of All-Good as omnipresent feels otherwise than rich. No one can love money for its own sake and at the same time possess the true riches.
The Good Fight of Faith: Keep Focused on Your True Purpose
6:11 But you, man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith.1 Lay hold of the eternal life2 to which you were called, and you confessed the good confession in the sight of many witnesses. 6:13 I command you before God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate testified the good confession, 6:14 that you keep the commandment without spot,3 blameless, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; 6:15 which in its own times he will show, who is the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 6:16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and eternal power. Amen.
- the good fight of faith. The ceaseless effort to transform the lower nature into the higher through the power of the Christ.
- lay hold of the eternal life. When we allow our will to support our understanding that the life of the Christ is hidden in our soul and that it can be called forth by our faithfully following the urge to lift up our minds to the standard of the perfect.
- keep the commandment without spot. A reference to the expression of the Divine idea of God’s perfect human within each individual, as each one of us succeeds in laying hold of the life eternal. That it does not refer to a physical reappearance of Jesus is evident in the description of the glorified Jesus Christ as “King of kings, and Lord of lords ... whom no man hath seen, nor can see.” Jesus Christ is no longer visible to the eye of sense. “Even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know Him so no more.”
Feeling Heavy? Renounce!
6:17 Charge those who are rich in this present world that they not be haughty, nor have their hope set on the uncertainty of riches,1 but on the living God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy; 6:18 that they do good, that they be rich in good works, that they be ready to distribute,2 willing to communicate; 6:19 laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold of eternal life.
- the uncertainty of riches. [True richness is having what we need when we need it, and the very knowing of this Truth is also a source of great enrichment for our minds and souls.] Our own Spirit-led will (Paul) charges and reminds us to beware of setting our hope on uncertain and temporary things, but that we should rather set our minds upon God, “who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.”
- be ready to distribute. The apostle urges those who have wealth to “be rich in good works,” also to distribute their riches. [In consciousness, when our will is led by the Spirit of God, it prompts us of what we need to let go of, renounce, distribute, in order that we may move forward more easily and joyfully on our journey of spiritual regeneration.]
Guard Your Guard
6:20 Timothy, guard that1 which is committed to you, turning away from the empty chatter and oppositions of the knowledge which is falsely so called; 6:21 which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with you.2 Amen.
- Timothy, guard that. Our zeal for God is our enthusiasm and commitment to Truth. This zeal is a strong protector for the Truth that is within us. We support and protect our zeal for God by turning our attention “away from the empty chatter and oppositions” of negative thoughts that if otherwise left to roam about freely, would corrupt our minds.
- Grace be with you. On our journey of regeneration, we have with us the favor and aid of God (RW/grace). By our meditating on the truth of life as it is in Divine Mind and attempting to give that truth expression in all that we do, the gift of grace stirs our zeal for God (Timothy). Keeping the spiritual side of life in our minds arouses in us the power and desire to express the best that is in us, and such expression increases as we continue to practice it. (MBI/2 Timothy 1)
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
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