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Shipwrecked Faith

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator

    Jun 30, 2000
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    Hymenaeus and Alexander. 1 Timothy 1:19-20 tells us that they their faith suffered shipwreck and that they were delivered to Satan so that they may learn not to blaspheme.

    Questions asked by a seeker to me:</font>
    • Were they true believers?</font>
    • Can a believer's faith suffered shipwreck and lose his salvation (or other consequence of such shipwreck)?</font>
    • Can a true believer be delivered to Satan?</font>
    • Is it possible for a believer to blaspheme God?</font>
    The floor is open . . [​IMG]
  2. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Feb 9, 2004
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    Great question. Now contemporary scholarship is slightly divided on the matter of whether these two were Christians.

    I suggest that they could have been saved and the statements used by Paul in 1 Tim 1:19f, and also in 2 Tim 2:17f with Hymenaeus again and Philetus, are reflecting of an overal doctrinal assertion by Paul that these have turned away from orthodox, thus proper, Christian belief. This is not to say they have lost their salvation, since justification is punctiliar and complete through imputation of Christ's righteousness at the time of salvation, rather that they are wayward Christians who are leading the flock astray.

    Paul's turning them over to Satan is, in my opinion (whatever that is worth), metaphorical language for excommunicating them from the local body in Ephesus and leaving them to fend for themselves in the world. Also I believe it is wholly possible for a believer to blaspheme insofar as they teach and preach false doctrines (such as the denial of either the resurrection or the virgin birth.)

    Now it is wise to note that, I believe, Fee disagrees with me here in his commentary...but I think I'm right with Marshall and Knight in their positions. But its been about a year since I've exegeted from the Pastorales in a major study mode.

    Great thread.
  3. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
    Site Supporter

    May 4, 2001
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    As to their spiritual status, I think they were unbelievers, but leave the question open since we do not know how they responded. There does seem to be a willful repudiation of a good conscience, meaning that they know better and are going astray anyway. That is why I am inclined to say they were unbelievers, but with Kent, leave it open to see how they respond.

    As to the second, No. A believer's faith is secure though not always correct. What they will not do is repudiate the truth knowingly and will respond to the correction of the truth. The "shipwreck" metaphor is not entirely clear in this passage. At the very least, their "in the faith"-ness is suspect.

    As to being delivered to Satan, yes. 1 Cor 5 records a man who was delivered to Satan for the destruction of hte flesh so that the spirit might be saved. It is a description of church discipline to be carried out by the body.

    As to the last, not intentionally, I don't believe, or at least not persistently intentional. Someone may do it and not know it, becuase they are unsound in their theology and practice. Some one may do it in a moment of frustration or anger, but will soon repent.
  4. David Mark

    David Mark New Member

    Jul 11, 2003
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    I don't know any of those answers but it teaches me to examine myself closely.

    I think that is just one of the things that makes this "way" so narrow. Examining myself and finding fault with me all the time.

    They apparently had to learn a lesson the very hard way. I've been there and I want to learn lessons easier for a change.
  5. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Mar 17, 2002
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    Were they true believers ?

    Each one considers himself a true believer, the Arminian, the Calvinist, the Adventist. On this board, there is none who will say he is not a true believer. We don't know, really, do we ? Neither can we judge that they were not true believers. Only God can do that.

    Can a believer's faith suffered shipwreck and lose his salvation (or other consequence of such shipwreck)?

    Yes to the first part, no to the second IF he is a true child of God. A true believer can drift away from the faith and from his faith for many reasons, among them, in today's world of 'Christendom' the immaturity to fix their eyes on the lives of others, instead of on Christ, or because the very person they thought would be their guide in church, turns out to be the one that hurts them.
    But the true child of God will never be lost, because he is preserved in Jesus Christ (Jude 1d).

    Can a true believer be delivered to Satan?

    As pastors, how many times have we done the same thing, 'deliver unto Satan, that they may.....(put your reasons here). I know I have done that to at least one member in the Philippines, when I was there, that is, we, as a body, cut him and his family off from membership, fellowship with the church, and prayers from the church, because of serious doctinal and practical infractions.
    In both instances, the two men mentioned by Paul and our former church member, the issue was conscience . They all three continously ignored what their consciences told them was right and relentlessly walked in wrong.

    The phrase 'delivered to Satan', I believe, does not actually mean that we have revoked their salvation, since even God will not do that to one His Son redeemed with His blood.

    I believe it means removing from one the protection that he gets as part of the church of the living God here on earth. From the intercession of saints. From Godly instruction. He learns things the hard way instead of the easy way, just as the believer in the Corinthian church did, who married his father's wife.

    Is it possible for a believer to blaspheme God?

    Yes. And believers do that every Sunday when their bodies go to church every Sunday, and their minds stay elsewhere. When their lips sing praises, and their voices come out automatically from their larynxes without knowing what they are singing about because their spirits are elsewhere. When they pray in the name of Jesus, and their prayers are at best selfish or at worse hypocritical. When they say, "Thus saith the Lord", and the Lord said it not.