1 Tim. 4:10

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Southern, Nov 10, 2004.

  1. Southern

    Southern
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    1 Tim. 4: 10 is often used by Arminians as a supposed refutation of the Doctrines of Grace. The verse reads as follows:

    10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

    If you believe this verse in some way contradicts a Calvinist viewpoint of the scripture, please read my comments, offer a critique of where you believe that I am in error, and present a positive case for what you think it means.

    ------------------------------------

    1.)The first question that I must ask about this text is where in the context do we have mentioned anything pertaining to the cross, blood, forgiveness, Jesus, etc.?
    (in other words, is this verse even dealing with salvation from sin?)

    2.)Notice this is not “potential” salvation, it is actual. Can we tell unbelievers that Jesus “is” there Saviour?

    3.)Thirdly, in the context, Paul is speaking about being "saved" or "preserved" in His ministry despite opposition.
    -------------------------------------------------

    Here are the reasons that I assert this:

    Paul mentioned “suffering reproach” in this same verse, and it was because of His faith in God to preserve His through it that enabled Paul to press on.

    This is the same thought that Paul expresses elsewhere, notice:

    2 Cor. 1:9-10
    9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: 10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

    God is the "saviour" of Paul in the sense of a "deliverer" from persecution. This type of terminology is found elsewhere in the Bible with regard to the phrase "The Living God" which we see in 1 Tim. 4:10.

    Notice the following:

    Acts 14:15-17
    15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:

    Notice the Bible mentions "The Living God" (same as in 1 Tim. 4:10) which does not necessarily specify Jesus but more probably God the Father because it is His "preserving" work of creation and providential control that is in view here, as it is in I Tim. 4 where Paul is speaking about God “saving” or “preserving” him.

    This same root word is found elsewhere in the Bible translated "preserve" and notice the similarity between I Tim. 4 and this text:

    2 Tim. 4:18
    17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

    Here Paul is speaking about temporal salvation and "deliverance". This has nothing to do with salvation from sin and neither does 1 Tim. 4.

    Notice another verse that uses the same Greek root word for “save”:

    James 5:15
    15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick

    Is this talking about salvation or preservation? Obviously preservation. The context should always determine what the word “save” or “saviour” means.

    In conclusion, how should we understand Paul’s statement in I Tim. 4? Given the context, Paul is simply saying that God is the "saviour" of or “preserves” all men. He takes care of all men by virtue of His providential care in sending rain on the good (Matt. 5:45) as well as the bad, by providing food and sunlight for the evil as well as the good. But Paul says "especially" of those who believe. God has a special care for His elect that others do not benefit from, and Paul had seen this throughout His ministry which in the context is described as deliverance from temporal danger.

    For someone to make this text soteriological (dealing with salvation) in nature has missed Paul’s point and will inevitably come to a false conclusion. Paul says that God is the Preserver of "all men" and takes care of them, but those who believe have a "special" care that all do not benefit from. The is what the immediate context and full Biblical witness conveys.

    Look forward to the discussion...
     
  2. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    The Apostle Paul was persecuted, as we read in the New Testament, as he tries to preach the Gospel to everyone. He speaks of his faith saying, ' . . . we trust in the living God.' In the 1960's it was going through seminaries that God is dead. I think one of the authors writing this foolishness was a Dr. Archibald Cox, but I could be wrong. Paul trusted and love not a dead or weak God but One Who is living.
    In this pastoral passage God has Paul write that He ' . . . is the Savior of all men . . . ' Paul uses the Greek word, {soter or sotare} the word meaning: 'the Deliver or Savior.' In theology we speak of Soteriology meaning the Doctrine of Salvation.

    Origen (A.D. 185-254) and Augustine wrongly believed that Christ's shed blood was a ransom paid to Satan. Dr. Paul Enns says in his book, "The Moody Handbook of Theology" 'In response to this view it should be noted that God's holiness, not Satan's was offended, and payment had to be made to God to avert His wrath. Furthermore, Satan did not have the power to free man, God alone had the power. This theory is false because it makes Satan the benefactor of Christ's death. This view has too high a view of Satan; the Cross was a judgment of Satan, not a ransom to Satan.' pg. 319.

    Dr. Berrian says, 'God simply wants us to know that He died for all sinners, [I Timothy 2:6; 4:10; Hebrews 2:9; II Peter 3:9; I John 5:1, 10, 13; Revelation 3:20] but His grace is only effective in those who believe. And please, don't waste your time explaining to me that John was speaking to the church in Revelation 3:20. I know He was speaking to a backslidden church. The idea is still the same; God was on the outside of the human heart's door, knocking for admission once again. He does no less for the penitent sinners who never knew Him.

    Anyone without faith in Jesus Who died on the Cross cannot please the Lord. The person 'coming to God must believe who He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.' [Hebrews 11:6]

    No one is ever saved without willing their salvation, though we will say 'up front' that God the Spirit is drawing sinners to Himself. The sinner is to earnestly seek God. Here is where the person's volition and will comes into play.

    'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him {Jesus} will not perish but have everlasting life.'

    The provision of atonement has been made; [Hebrews 9:26b] only believe in Christ. [Acts 16:31]'
     
  3. Ray Berrian

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    The meaning of I Timothy 4:10 is that this living God is the 'soter' the salvation of all men, especially those who believe in Him. The plan of salvation was settled at the Cross, not only for us, but for the sins of the whole world. [I John 2:2]

    The dividing lines is this. 'He who believes in Him is not condemned; those who refuse to believe are condemned already . . . ' [John 3:18]
     
  4. Southern

    Southern
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    Ray,
    Let me repost my original questions:

    Someone correct me if I am wrong, but your post seemed to totally dismiss my specific questions and did not provide any contextual argumentation for you interpretation that this should be taken in a salvific sense, let alone interact with the major proofs of my post.

    The closest you came was the following:
    But you did not back your interpretation up with any other reason than your own authority. I provided plenty of Biblical evidence for my view and I think anyone with an open mind can see that. If you think this verse teaches Arminianism, then please show where I am in error and why this verse should be taken in a salvific sense.

    In Christ
     
  5. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    Southern,

    'If I am recalling correctly from my research on the word, 'Savior' it is the Greek word, 'sotar' meaning salvation. Read on the subject of Soteriology. To you who is inferred in the words, ' . . . specially of those who believe.? Believe in Who? Jesus.

    Salvation, to me, encompasses everything including faith, regeneration, justification, sanctification and glorification in His Presence above, plus some other things. Some of these events happen all at the same time while others follow.'

    'The words, ' 'who is the Savior of all men' cannot be actual, as you say, otherwise the Bible would be teaching Universalism. God does not say that all people will be saved, but He does say, ' . . . specially of those who believe.' The believers are the elect and are the actual receivers of His grace. Yes, we can tell sinners that Jesus is their Savior, IF they are willing to turn from their sins and believe and trust in Christ for their ultimate salvation and glorification in His Presence above.' God does help sinners to turn from their old life of sin.

    I Timothy 4:10 has zero to do with being 'preserved in His ministry despite opposition.' The Apostle Paul was in a higher level of spirituality than most of us. He said, 'For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.' To the apostle Paul, sudden death meant sudden glory so he was not worried about martyrdom. He wanted to live only to preach and as I recall he had three missionary journeys in his life-time. He 'rolled with the punches' because Paul 'believed and trusted in the living God.' [vs. 10] This is salvation. Verse sixteen suggests that Paul's message did have a 'salvic' message to it, a doctrinal teaching as to eternal salvation. Remember, the word 'Savior' is the word for {Gr.} 'soter' meaning the Doctrine of Salvation.
    :cool:
     
  6. Southern

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  7. Southern

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    Southern, quote: '1.)The first question that I must ask about this text is where in the context do we have mentioned anything pertaining to the cross, blood, forgiveness, Jesus, etc.? (in other words, is this verse even dealing with salvation from sin?)'


    Ray, No one denies that the word ‘sotar’ means to save or deliver and often means salvation from sin when referring to God’s people. But are you denying that this word is used in “just” the physical sense without any respect to salvation? Surely you are not saying that the word “always” means this (James 5:15).

    For those who are reading, please look at my conclusion at the bottom to see the error of asserting that “save” always involves salvation from sin. You do not attempt to prove that Paul is using this term in this way and hence your entire argument is based on an unproven and unBiblical assumption.


    So you did not answer my question,
    1.)On what basis in the “context” do you take this to refer to salvation from sin?
     
  8. Southern

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    quote: 2.)Notice this is not "potential" salvation, it is actual. Can we tell unbelievers that Jesus "is" there Saviour?


    But this is missing my point, it says He “is” the Saviour of all men, and if you take this in a soteriological sense then He “is” speaking about salvation and how can they be anything but saved if He “is” their saviour?

    But again, this is “not” what the text says. It doesn’t say “if you believe”. This has to be inserted. The salvation here (whatever it is) is actual.
     
  9. Southern

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    Then you attempted to answer my third question:


    quote: 3.)Thirdly, in the context, Paul is speaking about being "saved" or "preserved" in His ministry despite opposition.


    You say that He wanted to live only to preach, well that is exactly why God was a Saviour (deliverer, preserver) to Him in a special way, because obviously God wanted Paul to preach too and so brought him through all his trials!
     
  10. Southern

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    Ray, No one denies that Paul ‘preached’ salvation from sin! This has nothing to do however with what the word “saviour” means in I Tim. 4:10. I say that it means God is the Saviour or preserver (as the KJV translates this same Greek word in 2 Tim. 4:18) of all men by His common grace. The only reason infidels and Peagans get supper on there table at night is because of Gods preservation, but He preserved Paul in a different way given the fact that He was a “believer” which no doubt involved forgiveness of sin, but the point of the passage is that He watches over believers and preserves them in a special way as opposed to unbelievers. This is the reason Paul could and did face persecution In His ministry.

    In Conclusion, you have yet to prove that ‘soter’ always includes salvation from sin. This is an unBiblical assertion and cannot be defended from the scriptures. Notice these words from the “Theological Dictionary of the New Testament”:


    Apart from religious usage σæζω and σωτηρία occur in the only in relation to an acute danger to physical life. The meaning “preservation” or “maintaining” of the natural constitution of a person or thing is not found. The verb and noun denote the saving of the shipwrecked crew and passengers in the account of Paul’s shipwreck in Ac. 27:20, 31, 34. σæζω has the same sense in the story of the stilling of the storm (Mt. 8:25) and that of Peter walking on the water (Mt. 14:30.

    In Christ...
     
  11. Ray Berrian

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    The Apostle Paul labored and accepted the reproach of Christ because he trusted and had met the living God. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, explains that Jesus is willing to save all men, ' . . . specially of those who believe.' [I Timothy 4:10] The Greek word for 'specially' is the word {malista} meaning, (in the greatest degree, most of all, or chiefly, or effecutally in those who believe in the Lord Jesus.

    The Apostle John in I John 2:2 takes the same line of theological defense. The Redeemer's atonement has reached all sinners, and is made a reality in those who receive the Son of God, our Savior.

    Jesus has provided the 'soter' (Greek) for salvation for all the lost sons of Adam, He has become our Second Adam. [I Corinthians 15:45] When we receive Christ, God the Spirit quickens our human spirit and soul and we become His new creations. [II Corinthians 5:17] Just as God created the world and universe, He by His Spirit causes the sinner to become His ' . . . new creation.' The Greek word for creature means, (Greek) 'ktisis' suggesting a renewal to 'our original, (spiritual) formation,' as Adam experienced in the Garden before the Fall.

    No one can experience the 'Savior' [I Timothy 4:10] 'soter' salvation except though faith in Jesus Christ who then cleanses us from our sins. [I John 1:9] The blood of Jesus is our salvation which in theology is called the Doctrine of the Atonement.

    Berrian, Th.D.
     
  12. Wes Outwest

    Wes Outwest
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    Southern,

    You are plucking at straws, Not recognizing the effect and affect of atonement. Instead you prefer that atonement be selective, and not universal as God intended it...a ONCE for ALL, Payment in full for the penalty of SIN, all sins in ALL times. Atonement is NOT OF SINNERS (man), it is of sin (What men do). In otherwords, no one man is atoned for, but rather ALL Sins are atoned for. Therefore Sins are not a factor in the salvation of man. Man is not saved from sin, only from the penalty of sin, before Christ (BC). Since the Atonement for sin, No man has died in, or of, his sins. It is false doctrine to continue to impose the wage of sin on man, when God lifted that penalty from us. No that does not mean we can continue in sin unabated, because it is by "our fruits" that we are known. If unbelievers see us sinning, they have no incentive to become believers, because that can see that we're no different than they.

    So What does Paul mean by
    The Jews were known as "the believers in God", their whole existance from the beginning has been on the basis of belief in the One true and living God. And scriptures declare that the Jews will be saved. But Paul makes it clear that it is not only the Jews that are being saved, but believers out of all mankind. Like Ray said, God knows that NOT ALL out of mankind are going to believe, so he made the provision that those who do believe, Pass from death unto life without being judged, while unbelievers judge themselves by their unbelief. The unbeliever's names are not written in the book of life, and those who were at one time believers who had their name written in the book, but who subsequently lost or denied their faith, have had their names blotted from the book of life. The only time that matters is when we pass from this natural life into the next life, because that is when it becomes set in concrete. Your name cannot be written in the book of life after that passage.

    First, get rid of your connection between sins and salvation! It does not exist!

    Second, Realize that God is God of ALL mankind, and not just the Jews.

    Third, Recognize that our salvation is through FAITH ALONE, and nothing else.

    Fourth, Understand, that God's behavior toward ALL mankind is GRACE. His grace prevails thus enabling us to learn of Him, and to come to faith. There will be a time when He removes his grace long enough for his Justice to prevail. Woe to the unbeliever.
     
  13. Ray Berrian

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    Wes,

    Yes, the older I become I am realizing that most Christians, including myself, do not understand the awesome holiness and justice of the Lord. The Great White Throne Judgment of all sinners [Revelation 20:11] will be make the German war criminal trials after W.W. II appear as a 'cake walk.' Who can fathom what it will mean for a person to be escorted to Hell for eternity?

    This is why we are commanded to preach Jesus' salvation to all sinners. [Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15; John 1:29; John 3:16; John 5:24; Acts 16:31; Acts 17:30-31; Romans 2:11; II Cor. 5:17; I Tim. 2:6; Heb. 2:9; Heb. 11:6; I John 2:2; I John 5:13; Revelation 3:20; Rev. 22:17]

    The cosmos/world/earth does not need personal, human redemption but all sinners need cleansing through faith in Jesus. Our responsibility is to witness and preach Christ's deliverance from the bondage of sinning. Praise be to the Lord!
     
  14. padredurand

    padredurand
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    Could you be more specific? What Arminians and where?


    Again, could you be more specific as to what Calvinist viewpoint is presented in this verse?


    We derive context from the surrounding text and not from a preconceived point of view i.e. Calvin, Arminius, etc.. What is Paul discussing?

    1 Timothy 4:1-3a Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats,

    The context is a warning to a young pastor of a future departure from the faith characterized by spirits, doctrines of devils and to refrain from eating meat, etc.

    1 Timothy 4:3b-5 which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

    In other words, don't fall for that nothing with a mommy, nothing with a face garbage. Beef, It's what's for supper. Matthew 15:11 "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man."


    1 Timothy 4:6-9 6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. 7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. 8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.

    Paul continues to admonish Timothy to resist being consumed by "old wives' fables". Instead (amidst mixed metaphors) nourish himself in words of faith and good doctrine and exercise in godliness. Why is godliness profitable? It is profitable because it has the promise of the life that now is (actual salvation?) and what is to come. That's the context. Verse 10 cannot not stand alone.

    1 Timothy 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

    "For therefore" For therefore what, Paul? Paul just said there is life in godliness, both present and future -and- that assertion is faithful and worthy of all acceptance.
    No. In its context it is dealing with integrity in the faith. Paul's labor and the suffering of reproach come from the next phrase " because we trust in the living God".
    The inference to salvation is that Paul is writing a young man who is already saved. At the risk of starting a different C vs.A discussion the context speaks more to (dare I say it?) sanctification following justification.

    "who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. If, in context, verse 10 cannot stand alone; it would be even more dangerous to have this superscription stand alone as a point of doctrine. The emphasis is Living God. The remaining attributes are almost parathetical.

    Henry implies the "all men" to mean men like Paul and Timothy that strive toward godliness and not men consumed by profane fables.

    Do you mean the possessive "their". Yes, we can tell unbelievers that Jesus is their Saviour, but not here. I see neither potential nor actual salvation being declared or advanced here.

    That is a statement, not a question. If you meant Is Paul speaking about being "saved" or "preserved" in His ministry despite opposition? I'd say neither. There is no apparent emphasis on suffering reproach over merely laboring. Paul is speaking about being sustained in spite of opposition and also sustained as a result of his work. Keep it all in context. Remember Paul's metaphors for exercise and nourishment? They apply in both the physical effort and the emotional exertion of maintaining sound faith.
     
  15. Southern

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    Ray,
    You did not address the specific points that I made. Let me just state one for example:

    1.)Can the word "save" be used in a sense not dealing with eternal salvation?

    2.)If not, please explain the verses I provided. If so, then on what basis do you say this is dealing with eternal salvation and comment on the evidence that I provided that showed that it is "not" speaking of eternal salvation from sin?

    In Christ
     
  16. Southern

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    Padre,
    If you do not use this text in the sense that Bro. Ray is using it, then it is irrelevant to your position. You are obviously not using it as an Arminian proof text unlike Bro. Ray who is using it in that way.

    In Christ
     
  17. Wes Outwest

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    Seems to me Paul is pointing out to Timothy the truth that the one in whom they have placed their trust is the only one who can save men, ALL mankind, and that he saves those who believe in Him. Therefore, Timothy, reject what is not truth, Keep your heart attuned to the truth. Preach the truth!
     
  18. padredurand

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    That's what I said, I thought. Paul is talking about two different groups of people Christians and what appears to be Gnostics. First, Paul isolates the discussion to two groups: those who place their trust in fables and those who place their trust in the Living God. I think we all agree that fables don't save; trust (faith) in the living God does. The "all" here must apply to Christians because the other group has already been eliminated because of their false beliefs. That is neither Cavlinistic nor Arminian. It is the only conclusion that could be derived from what is plainly spoken.

    In what respect is the text irrelevant to what I said? I don't see where this text could be used to establish any position -Calvinistic nor Arminian - without divorcing it from its context or proof texting? The context is Paul's warning of a coming falling away from the faith by some and an admonishment to stand firm in truth. To use a single verse, phrase or word to support anything else would be unmerited.

    When my boys were little they had one of those games where you had to pass blocks of different shapes through corresponding holes. The younger discovered you could get any block through any hole if you jammed it into the hole and beat on it. We cannot do that in textual criticism. You can get square pegs in round holes, but not without distorting either the peg or the hole.

    As for my dear Brother Ray, I am confident that he is capable of standing on his own merit without my input. [​IMG]
     
  19. Southern

    Southern
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    Padre,
    I don't use it to teach any tenet that is particular to Calvinism or Arminianism. I think that it is irrelevant to the any divisive issue in the debate. I was only trying to show that exact point, thanks for your agreement.

    In Christ
     
  20. padredurand

    padredurand
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    "If your heart is as my heart; give me your hand" John Wesley

    Had a professor who described "rightly dividing the Word" this way. Rightly divided a cow can become many roasts. Rightly divided a roast can become many steaks. There comes a time where even the steaks have been divided to the extent where they're are no longer distinguishable as meat. When that occurs; one can only make bologna.

    blessings
     

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