For it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer. Here, then, is an exquisite harmony. We have been talking of creation, and now we come to consider the Word of God. And these creative things are to be "sanctified by the Word of God and prayer." Men can talk with God. His fellowship is a test of all our pleasures and companionships and associations - "Would the Bible be out of place here?" It is never out of place in nature's gardens and groves. The best descriptions of nature are in the Bible. It is never out of place in pure festivities. It records the marriage supper, and the music and the dance when the prodigal came home. It is never out of place in children's joys; for it gives the picture of a glad and happy childhood. The prophet says, "The streets of the city shall be full of girls and boys playing;" and Christ took up little children in his arms, and blessed them. It is never out of place in pure human love; for that is poetized in one entire book of the Bible. It is not out of place in the earnest pursuit of secular things; for the proverbs appeal to personal endeavor, and to the right enjoyment of riches and honor. The Bible sanctifies life from the cradle to the grave, and any social economy apart from the Word of God is only a paper defense against tyranny and wrong. "And prayer." For we may speak to God. The neutral face of nature is ghastly without him. "Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth." Can I ask God to be there at all? Can I ask him to aid me in my work? Can I ask him to comfort me if I fail? Can I ask him to quicken my powers and enlarge my opportunities? Can I ask him to sanctify my associations? These are vital questions; for nothing is sanctified without him, and everything is "sanctified by the Word of God and prayer." - W.M.S.
For every creature of God is good.
In meeting the heresy which he foresaw, the apostle asserted one of the noblest principles in our heritage as Christians: "Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer." In other words, a common meal may become a sacrament to us if it be rightly received: and to a true follower of Christ no relationship will prove more saintly than that between husband and wife; nothing more pure than fatherly and motherly love; nothing more promotive of spiritual life than the duties and responsibilities of sons and daughters to their parents. All things and all relationships may become holy to us. This was the teaching of Paul, and of his Lord and ours. You see, then, that Paul wisely meets the error by stating the truth, which must conquer it.
I. THE EXPLANATION OF THIS PRINCIPLE. The apostle maintained a truth, which being received will always save the Church from the old error, in whatever form it comes. He declared that everything was made by God, and that everything God made was good, and only became bad when used in a wrong spirit. Our heavenly Father would have us take His gifts as constituting a holy eucharist, bringing blessing to us and evoking praise and thanks to Him. A truth which condemns alike the ascetic in the Romish Church, and the Plymouth Brother, who thinks that business is worldly, social joys pernicious, and newspapers fatal to one's spiritual welfare. Be brave and be trustful in the use of all that God has given you. It was characteristic of the religious faith of the Hebrews that it maintained the doctrine, that all things were of God; that there was one Creator, all-wise and all-good.
II. THE APPLICATION OF THIS PRINCIPLE.
1. In its application to the natural world it is doubtless generally believed amongst us. Flowers and fruits, and golden corn and waving trees, all originated in God's thought, and are the products of His laws. But do not these words of Paul warrant us in going further? Is not the ever-living, ever-present God, who makes the flowers and rules the world, the ordainer of our lot, the appointer of our circumstances? And if this be so, does not belief in it give sacredness to earthly duties, and dignity to those which are most trivial?
2. Make application of this truth to the occupation of life. There are times when we feel as if we could do better work than falls to our share. In the depressed condition of commerce especially, well-educated men are forced to take up employment which leaves their best and most cultivated powers unused. But we believe that what God has ordained, as well as what He has created, will prove to be good and best in the long run "that drudgery is as Divine as dignity; and that training for the hereafter is more valuable than triumph here. Everything depends on how you receive and do your work. You may go to your office as a grumbling slave, or you may go as Christ's happy servant. No occupation (unless there be sin in it) is to be spurned, no creature of God is to be rejected," but we are to say with the apostle, I know, and am persuaded of the Lord Jesus, 'that there is nothing unclean of itself.'" Evil is not in the thing, but in the spirit which wrongly receives, or uses, the thing.
III. THE TESTING POWER OF THIS PRINCIPLE. Nothing is to be rejected if it be received with thanksgiving. But that implies that you ought to reject what you cannot receive with thanksgiving to God. Prayer and thanksgiving to God may be to you what the legendary Eastern king found his formula to be, for when a cup of poison was put within his reach, and he took it into his hand, he named the name of God and made the sign of the cross over it, according to his constant custom, and the poisoned chalice was suddenly shattered in his hand and all the poison was spilled. Name God's name over everything doubtful, and no poison of sin shall hurt you.
IV. THE TWOFOLD REASON GIVEN FOR THIS PRINCIPLE. In the fifth verse the apostle explains more fully how common things are made sacred. I say advisedly made sacred, for the word he uses means just that. It does not signify that the things are declared to be holy, but that they are actually made holy by the Word of God and prayer.
1. Now the "Word of God" is not the utterance of His name over food as a sort of talisman. The allusion is to "the Word," or command of God, which expressly gave permission and authority to man to use whatever was suitable for him in the vegetable and in the animal kingdom — "Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things." That Divine ordinance makes all things sacred for the use of man; but man's loyal and grateful acceptance of it must be combined with the ordinance, in order to make his use of things a right and not a usurpation. Hence the apostle says, everything is made sacred by the Word of God.
2. And prayer, and these which God has joined let no man put asunder. In the former phrase you see the top of the ladder which reaches heaven, in the latter you see the foot of it resting on the earth — and to a prayerless man it is only a vision of glory beyond his reach. God's Word to you bestows the gift, but your word to God must appropriate the gift, or else it is not sacred and Divine.
A minister who had lately occupied the pulpit of a brother was dining with the family of the absent minister, when the conversation turned upon the subject of teetotalism. The lady who presided at the table said, "Ah! I do not like your doctrines; you go too far in refusing the good creatures of God." No notice was taken of the remark for some time; the minister kept on with his dinner, but at last he said, "Pray, madam, can you tell me who made this?" pointing to a glass of water that stood before him. The lady replied, "Why, God, I suppose." "Then," said the minister, "Madam, I think you do us an injustice when you accuse us of refusing the good creatures of God." Silence again reigned. By and by he said, "Madam, can you tell me who made yours?" pointing to the glass of beer that the lady preferred. "I can't exactly say I can. "Then, madam, replied he," allow me to say there is some apparent inconsistency in your first remark. You prefer taking a thing man has made to that which God has bountifully provided, and yet you accuse me of rejecting God's creatures, because I prefer water to beer. Madam, I leave the matter to your more serious consideration." The lady has since seen her error, and joined the ranks of the total abstainers. If it be received with thanksgiving. —I.
WHAT THE SCRIPTURES TEACH.
1. That it consecrates food to a holy use (1 Samuel 9:13; Matthew 15:36; 1 Corinthians 10:30, 31; 1 Timothy 4:4, 5).
2. That danger or the need of utmost haste should not interrupt it. Acts 27:35.
3. That it is a religious duty (Romans 14:6; Colossians 3:17; 1 Timothy 4:3).
4. That we do not live by bread alone (Matthew 4:4).
II. REASONS FOR SAYING GRACE.
1. Because we have health.
2. Because we have appetite.
3. Because we have food.
4. Because we depend upon God's bounty for the providential supply of daily food (Psalm 145:15, 16).
5. Because analogy confirms its practice.When we receive presents from friends, it is a pleasure to express our thankfulness; how much more to acknowledge our gratitude to God for food to nourish us and for temporal comforts.
III. WHAT ITS OMISSION SHOWS.
1. That we are unrenewed in heart.
2. Or, that we are thoughtless and ungrateful.How base a thing is ingratitude. How inconsistent in a professor of religion.
1. It sets a good example and lets others know that we are the Lord's.
2. It promotes gratitude.
3. It promotes morality and religion in the family.
King Alphonso X., surnamed "The Wise," succeeded to the throne of Leon and Castile in 1252. On learning that his pages neglected to ask the Divine blessing before partaking of their daily meals, he was deeply grieved and sought diligently to point out to them the evil of this omission. At length he succeeded in finding a plan. He invited the pages of his court to dine with him. A bountiful repast was spread, and when they were all assembled around the table the king gave a signal that all was in readiness for them to begin. They all enjoyed the rich feast, but not one remembered to ask God's blessing on his food. Just then, unexpectedly to the thoughtless guests, entered a poor, ragged beggar, who unceremoniously seated himself at the royal table, and ate and drank undisturbed, to his heart's content. Surprise and astonishment were depicted on every countenance. The pages looked first at the king, then gazed upon the audacious intruder, expecting momentarily that his majesty would give orders to have him removed from the table. Alphonso, however, kept silence; while the beggar unabased by the presence of royalty ate all he desired. When his hunger and thirst were appeased he rose, and without a word of thanks departed from the palace. "What a despicable, mean fellow!" cried the boys. Calmly the good king rose, and with much earnestness said: "Boys, bolder and more audacious than this beggar have you all been. Every day you sit down to a table supplied by the bounty of your heavenly Father, yet. you ask not His blessing, and leave it without expressing to Him your gratitude. Yes, each and all of you should be heartily ashamed of your conduct, which was far worse than was the poor beggar's."
TopicsAddressing, Consecrated, Freely, God's, Holy, Intercession, Prayer, Sanctified
Outline1. He foretells that in the latter times there shall be a departure from the faith.6. And to the end that Timothy might not fail in doing his duty, he furnishes him with various precepts.
Dictionary of Bible Themes1 Timothy 4:5
1690 word of God
1 Timothy 4:1-5
8237 doctrine, false
1 Timothy 4:1-6
7025 church, unity
8028 faith, body of beliefs
1 Timothy 4:1-7
7756 preaching, content
1 Timothy 4:1-8
1 Timothy 4:2-5
5773 abstinence, discipline
1 Timothy 4:4-5
4019 life, believers' experience
'Exercise thyself unto Godliness.'--1 TIM. iv. 7. Timothy seems to have been not a very strong character: sensitive, easily discouraged, and perhaps with a constitutional tendency to indolence. At all events, it is very touching to notice how the old Apostle--a prisoner, soon to be a martyr--forgot all about his own anxieties and burdens, and, through both of his letters to his young helper, gives himself to the task of bracing him up. Thus he says to him, in my text, amongst other trumpet-tongued …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Practice of Piety
The Practice of Piety Directing a Christian How to Walk, that He May Please God. by Lewis Bayly, D.D. Bishop of Bangor (with a biographical preface by Grace Webster) "Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." 1 Timothy 4:8 Soli Deo Gloria Publications ...for instruction in righteousness... Soli Deo Gloria Publications P.O. Box 451, Morgan, PA 15064 (412) 221-1901/FAX (412) 221-1902 * This edition of The Practice of Piety was taken …
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety
Epistle ii. To Anastasius, Bishop of Antioch.
To Anastasius, Bishop of Antioch. Gregory to Anastasius, Patriarch of Antioch. I have received the letters of your most sweet Blessedness, which flowed with tears for words. For I saw in them a cloud flying aloft as clouds do; but, though it carried with it a darkness of sorrow, I could not easily discover at its commencement whence it came or whither it was going, since by reason of the darkness I speak of I did not fully understand its origin. Yet it becomes you, most holy ones, ever to recall …
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great
Epistle cxxiii. To Venantius and Italica .
To Venantius and Italica  . Gregory to the lord Venantius, Patrician, and Italica his wife. I have taken care, with due affection, to enquire of certain persons who have come from Sicily about your Excellency's health. But they have given me a sad report of the frequency of your ailments. Now, when I say this, neither do I find anything to tell you about myself, except that, for my sins, lo it is now eleven months since it has been a very rare case with me if I have been able now and then to …
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great
Appendix. An Ordination Charge.
I should like to connect what I have to say with a text of Scripture, which you may remember as a motto for this occasion. Take, then, that pastoral exhortation to a young minister in 1 Tim. iv. 16: "Take heed unto thyself, and to the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee." There are three subjects recommended in this text to one in your position--first, yourself; second, your doctrine; third, those that hear you. I. Take heed unto …
James Stalker—The Preacher and His Models
How Intent the Ruler Ought to be on Meditations in the Sacred Law.
But all this is duly executed by a ruler, if, inspired by the spirit of heavenly fear and love, he meditate daily on the precepts of Sacred Writ, that the words of Divine admonition may restore in him the power of solicitude and of provident circumspection with regard to the celestial life, which familiar intercourse with men continually destroys; and that one who is drawn to oldness of life by secular society may by the aspiration of compunction be ever renewed to love of the spiritual country. …
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great
Grace Before Meat.
O most gracious God, and loving Father, who feedest all creatures living, which depend upon thy divine providence, we beseech thee, sanctify these creatures, which thou hast ordained for us; give them virtue to nourish our bodies in life and health; and give us grace to receive them soberly and thankfully, as from thy hands; that so, in the strength of these and thy other blessings, we may walk in the uprightness of our hearts, before thy face, this day, and all the days of our lives, through Jesus …
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety
The Daily Walk with Others (ii. ).
If Jesus Christ thou serve, take heed, Whate'er the hour may be; His brethren are obliged indeed By their nobility. In the present chapter I follow the general principles of the last into some further details. And I place before me as a sort of motto those twice-repeated words of the Apostle, TAKE HEED UNTO THYSELF. These words, it will be remembered, are addressed in both places to the Christian Minister. [Acts xx. 28; 1 Tim. iv. 6.] At Miletus St Paul gathers round him the Presbyters of Ephesus, …
Handley C. G. Moule—To My Younger Brethren
Answer to Mr. W's Fifth Objection.
5. The consideration that none of these raised persons did or could, after the return to their bodies, tell any tales of their separate existence; otherwise the Evangelists had not been silent in this main point, &c. p. 32. None of these persons, Mr. W. says, told any tales of their separate existence. So I suppose with him. As for the two first: How should they? being only, as Mr. W. says, an insignificant boy and girl, of twelve years of age, or thereabouts. Or if they did, the Evangelists were …
Nathaniel Lardner—A Vindication of Three of Our Blessed Saviour's Miracles
INTRODUCTORY. BY D.W. WHITTLE. To recognize God's existence is to necessitate prayer to Him, by all intelligent creatures, or, a consciously living in sin and under condemnation of conscience, because they do not pray to Him. It would be horrible to admit the existence of a Supreme Being, with power and wisdom to create, and believe that the creatures he thought of consequence and importance enough to bring into existence, are not of enough consequence for him to pay any attention to in the troubles …
Various—The Wonders of Prayer
Lastly, Let us Hear the Lord Himself Delivering Most Plain Judgment on this Matter. ...
23. Lastly, let us hear the Lord Himself delivering most plain judgment on this matter. For, upon His speaking after a divine and fearful manner concerning husband and wife not separating, save on account of fornication, His disciples said to Him, "If the case be such with a wife, it is not good to marry."  To whom He saith, "Not all receive this saying. For there are eunuchs who were so born: but there are others who were made by men: and there are eunuchs, who made themselves eunuchs for …
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.
"But Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God, and his Righteousness, and all These Things Shall be Added unto You. "
Matth. vi. 33.--"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." The perfection even of the most upright creature, speaks always some imperfection in comparison of God, who is most perfect. The heavens, the sun and moon, in respect of lower things here, how glorious do they appear, and without spot! But behold, they are not clean in God's sight! How far are the angels above us who dwell in clay! They appear to be a pure mass of light and …
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning
Prefatory Scripture Passages.
To the Law and to the Testimony; if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.-- Isa. viii. 20. Thus saith the Lord; Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.--Jer. vi. 16. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. But …
G. H. Gerberding—The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church
Perfect in Parts, Imperfect in Degrees.
And the very God of peace sanctify, you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. -- 1 Thess. v. 23. The Scriptural doctrine that sanctification is a gradual process perfected only in death must be maintained clearly and soberly: first, in opposition to the Perfectionist, who says that saints may be "wholly sanctified" in this life; secondly, to those who deny the implanting of inherent holy dispositions in God's children. …
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit
Of the Trinity and a Christian, and of the Law and a Christian.
EDITOR'S ADVERTISEMENT. These two short treatises were found among Mr. Bunyan's papers after his decease. They probably were intended for publication, like his 'Prison Meditations' and his 'Map of Salvation,' on a single page each, in the form of a broadside, or handbill. This was the popular mode in which tracts were distributed; and when posted against a wall, or framed and hung up in a room, they excited notice, and were extensively read. They might also have afforded some trifling profit to aid …
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3
The Clergyman and the Prayer Book.
Dear pages of ancestral prayer, Illumined all with Scripture gold, In you we seem the faith to share Of saints and seers of old. Whene'er in worship's blissful hour The Pastor lends your heart a voice, Let his own spirit feel your power, And answer, and rejoice. In the present chapter I deal a little with the spirit and work of the Clergyman in his ministration of the ordered Services of the Church, reserving the work of the Pulpit for later treatment. THE PRAYER BOOK NOT PERFECT BUT INESTIMABLE. …
Handley C. G. Moule—To My Younger Brethren
Seed Scattered and Taking Root
'And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. 3. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. 4. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts
"We must Increase, but I must Decrease. "
(JOHN III. 30.) "Where is the lore the Baptist taught, The soul unswerving and the fearless tongue? The much-enduring wisdom, sought By lonely prayer the haunted rocks among? Who counts it gain His light would wane, So the whole world to Jesus throng?" KEBLE. The Moral Greatness of the Baptist--Thoughts on Envy--Christian Consecration--The Baptist's Creed--The Voice of the Beloved From the Jordan Valley our Lord returned to Galilee and Nazareth. The marriage feast of Cana, his return to Jerusalem, …
F. B. Meyer—John the Baptist
"But Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God," &C.
Matt. vi. 33.--"But seek ye first the kingdom of God," &c. O "seekest thou great things for thyself," says God to Baruch, (Jer. xlv. 5) "seek them not." How then doth he command us in the text to seek a kingdom? Is not this a great thing? Certainly it is greater than those great things he would not have Baruch to seek after, and yet he charges us to seek after it. In every kind of creatures there is some difference, some greater, some lesser, some higher, some lower; so there are some men far above …
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning
It is not only without any warrant of Scripture that matrimony is considered a sacrament, but it has been turned into a mere mockery by the very same traditions which vaunt it as a sacrament. Let us look a little into this. I have said that in every sacrament there is contained a word of divine promise, which must be believed in by him who receives the sign; and that the sign alone cannot constitute a sacrament. Now we nowhere read that he who marries a wife will receive any grace from God; neither …
Martin Luther—First Principles of the Reformation
To The Reader: Nothing but the strongest conviction, not only that what is here advanced is "the truth as it is in Jesus," but also that I am indispensably obliged to declare this truth to all the world, could have induced me openly to oppose the sentiments of those whom I esteem for their work's sake: At whose feet may I be found in the day of the Lord Jesus! Should any believe it his duty to reply hereto, I have only one request to make, -- Let whatsoever you do, be done inherently, in love, and …
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions
Meditations of the Blessed State of the Regenerate Man after Death.
This estate has three degrees:--1st, From the day of death to the resurrection; 2d, From the resurrection to the pronouncing of the sentence; 3d, After the sentence, which lasts eternally. As soon as ever the regenerate man hath yielded up his soul to Christ, the holy angels take her into their custody, and immediately carry her into heaven (Luke xvi. 22), and there present her before Christ, where she is crowned with a crown of righteousness and glory; not which she hath deserved by her good works, …
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety
Of Bearing the Cross --One Branch of Self-Denial.
The four divisions of this chapter are,--I. The nature of the cross, its necessity and dignity, sec. 1, 2. II. The manifold advantages of the cross described, sec. 3-6. III. The form of the cross the most excellent of all, and yet it by no means removes all sense of pain, sec. 7, 8. IV. A description of warfare under the cross, and of true patience, (not that of philosophers,) after the example of Christ, sec. 9-11. 1. THE pious mind must ascend still higher, namely, whither Christ calls his disciples …
Archpriest John Iliytch Sergieff—On the Christian Life
Third Sunday in Lent
Text: Ephesians 5, 1-9. 1 Be ye therefore imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for an odor of a sweet smell. 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as becometh saints; 4 nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, or jesting, which are not befitting: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know of a surety, that no fornicator, nor unclean …
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II
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