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1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 25: Of Marriage - Commentary

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Chapter 25: Of Marriage

What is Marriage? Between how many persons is it? Is it only between a man and a woman? For what purposes did God institute Marriage? May Christians marry unbelievers? Who may we marry?

§1 Monogamy Between One Man and One Woman

  1. Marriage is to be between one man and one woman; neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband at the same time. 1
    1. Gen. 2:24 with Matt. 19:5-6;1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6; Mal 2:15[1]

Marriage is a life-long covenant between one man and one woman (Matt. 19:5-6) and only that. It is neither lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband at the same time. Monogamy is essential to Marriage as defined by the Creator. The question of homosexuality, as it hot now, never crossed the minds of the framers of the Confession as it was obvious that the Bible was against it.

Marriage is a life-long covenant between a man and a woman wherein God is a witness (Mal. 2:15). It is a life-long vow (see chapter 23 on oaths and vows). In Marriage, the man and the woman call upon God as a witness to the vows that they make to each other and bind themselves by the vow, in presence of God, to be faithful to each other. Marriage was instituted by God in the Garden, before the Fall on day six. The Lord wanted to find for Adam a mate, so He brought to him all the animals, yet “for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:20). Therefore, the LORD put Adam to sleep and made a woman from his side. The Lord created a human with the same nature as Adam’s, yet, different character and with different parts which complement each other. Then we read:

Gen. 2:22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 

Herein we have the institution of Marriage. Adam had finally found someone like him and yet, at the same time, not exactly like him. The mate of Adam was to be “a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:18, 20). She was to help and assist Adam, completing him. The various translations of this phrase all communicate the idea that Eve was not inferior in being to Adam, but was created to compliment him and complete him. In a sense, Adam was not yet whole without Eve. Verse 20 is translated as follows:

ESV a helper fit for him
NIV suitable helper
ISV companion corresponding to him
NET companion who corresponded to him
NASB a helper suitable for him
LXXE a help like to himself
HCSB his complement
KJV an help meet for him
YLT an helper -- as his counterpart

Adam and Eve were equal in nature, value, and being. Adam was not superior in being or value to Eve. But authority was given to Adam even before the Fall over Eve, yet this authority was not because Adam was superior in being. Albert Barnes notes on this phrase that it meant “an equal, a companion, a sharer of his thoughts, his observations, his joys, his purposes, his enterprises.”[2] Matthew Henry’s observation is well-known:

That the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved. Adam lost a rib, and without any diminution to his strength or comeliness (for, doubtless, the flesh was cl...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 29: Of Baptism - Commentary and in a sense part of the community of the people of God insofar as the local church is regarded as “the community of the people of God.” But their membership in that community does not place them in the New Covenant. They see the blessings and glories of the New Covenant, yet they have no part in it because it is a spiritual covenant not made with those who are only born of the flesh

The significance of baptism argues for believers’ only baptism. The ordinance should be administered only to those who profess to have experienced what the ordinance signifies, regeneration, remission of sins, and union with Christ. A. H. Strong wrote:

As Marriage should never be solemnized except between persons who are already joined in heart and with whom the outward ceremony is only the sign of an existing love, so baptism should never be administered except in the case of those who are already joined to Christ and who signify in the ordinance their union with him in his death and resurrection.[44]

Dr. Wayne Grudem notes that “the outward symbol of beginning the Christian life should only be given to those who show evidence of having begun the Christian life.”[35] Essentially, each of the things which we argued that water baptism signifies, could not be applied to infants, therefore, baptism must mean something very different for infants and for those who profess faith. But about a distinct meaning of baptism for infants only, Holy Writ knows nothing. Therefore, a “baptism” which is not in accord with our Lord’s will cannot be a proper baptism. 

The Covenantal Argument

Then there is the Reformed Baptist covenantal argument for the proper subjects of baptism. We have very briefly argued above for the understanding that baptism and the Lord’s Supper are signs of the New Covenant, therefore, this argument is basically that only those who belong to the covenant should be subjects of its signs. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper ought only to be given to those who are in the New Covenant. From a human point of view, we must judge with the knowledge which we have of the person and of the profession of that person whether they belong to the New Covenant or not. But we should not knowingly administer the ordinances and signs of the New Covenant to those we have no reason to believe that they’re members of the New Covenant.

While it may sound strange to modern Baptist ears that we make a covenantal argument here for professors baptism, yet the historical evidence is undeniable that this is how our forefathers argued. They did not merely point to the texts in Acts and the order of first believing then being baptized. They certainly did that as we did that. But they also combined this with a rigorous covenantal defense for the subjects from the nature of the New Covenant. They also engaged their paedobaptist brethren on this ground. Both the paedobaptists and our forefathers argued from covenantal grounds. Whether you look at John Spilsbury, John Norcott, Benjamin Keach, Nehemiah Coxe, Hercules Collins, or Thomas Patient, they all incorporated covenantal arguments.

Reformed Baptist in general, both 1689 Federalists and others, hold that the New Covenant is a perfect salvific covenant which has only regenerate, justified, and Spirit-dwelt believers as its members. The New Covenant, unlike the Old Covenant(s), is not a mixed covenant of believers and unbelievers. There are no Isaac’s and Ismael’s, or Jacob’s and Esau’s in the New Covenant. The N...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 31: Of the State of Man after Death and Of the Resurrection of the Dead - Commentary

.../td But also in the one to come 1Tim. 6:17, 19 As for the rich in this present age… treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future… Titus 2:12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age  

From the above passages we may say that the present age is said to be an age in which:

These passages describe qualities or characteristics of the Present Age which are temporal in nature. This Present Age is explicitly defined as “evil” (Gal. 1:4), this means that evil will remain the characteristic and quality of this age until it is over. On the other hand, we have the Age to Come. The Age to Come is an age in which:

Clearly, in contrast to the qualities and characteristics of the Present Age, the Age to Come is described in non-temporal ways. The parallel account of Matthew 12:32 about the sin against the Holy Spirit says that the blasphemer would be guilty of “an eternal sin” (Mark 3:29). This means that Mark is equating the Age to Come with eternity. Moreover, eternal life is the reward of the Age to Come, and thus the age is eternal (Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30). The Present Age is an age when people get married, but in contrast, the Age to Come is an age where there will be no Marriage, but believers will be like angels. Moreover, the Age to Come is an age in which the resurrection has already happened, i.e., it is after the resurrection (Luke 20:34-36). Most importantly, the Age to Come is said to be an age in which believers no longer die (Luke 20:36), which undoubtedly refers to a time after Christ’s coming and the New Heavens and New Earth (1 Cor. 15:23-28, 53-55; Rev. 21:4). In contrast to the Present Evil Age, the Age to Come is an eternal age identified with the New Heavens and New Earth.

These are the only two ages with their characteristics and qualities which the New Testament teaches. There is here nothing said of a Millennium neither anywhere else in the Bible except the symbolical Revelation 20. But what is it that marks the end of the Present Age and the beginning of the Age to Come? It is the Second Coming of Christ. The implication from Titus 2:12-13 is that “the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” marks the end as we seek to live “godly lives in the present age”. We will no longer have to strive for godliness and against ungodliness, as our redemption in body and soul will be complete and all the wicked will be destroyed. We will no longer be able to sin and we will live in perfect righteousness with the Savior.

1 Corinthians 15:23-24 teaches that the resurrection of the saints (and by good and ne...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 22: Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day - Commentary
The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 22 Christian Sabbath Sabbath The Lord's Day Fourth Commandment Day Of Worship Day Of Rest Sunday Religious Worship Church

...ians supposed to keep the Sabbath?

The Institution of the Sabbath

We will deal here with the fact that the Sabbath was instituted on the seventh day of creation as a day of rest for man. It was not something newly introduced on Mt. Sinai, but it is as old as the Creation. If it could be demonstrated that the Sabbath was not instituted at Sinai, but at the Creation, then arguments used against the Sabbath in connection with the passing away of the Mosaic Covenant are useless, since then the Sabbath would transcend the Mosaic Covenant and is not a unique and new part of it. Joseph A. Pipa writes:

Along with work (Gen 1:28; 2:15) and Marriage (Gen 2:18-25), God instituted the Sabbath to govern the lives of all mankind. Just as the ordinances of work and Marriage are permanent, so is the ordinance of the Sabbath.[41]

Let’s see if this statement is true and biblical. Our discussion of the Sabbath as a creation ordinance, a blessing and a commandment given to man at Creation will center around three texts: Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11 and Mark 2:27-28.

Genesis 2

Gen. 2:1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

God, the Sovereign Lord and Creator, after finishing His work of creation took a rest. This rest was not needed because He was tired, for God does not get tired (e.g. Isa. 40:28). But this rest consisted in enjoying His “very good” creation, which He had made. Joseph Pipa observes, “By resting on the Sabbath, God reflected on the beauty and glory of His completed work, taking joy in it.”[42] God didn’t need the rest because He was tired, rather His rest consisted in joy and delight. This at the outset shows us that our Sabbath rest does not consist merely in physical rest because of weariness, but rather upon meditating on the work and things of God. Furthermore, what was the purpose of God in creating in six days? Was there just too much to do so that He needed some time? Obviously not. “For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm” (Ps. 33:9). Rather, as many, including Archibald Alexander, observe, in doing this God was “thus setting an example to his creature man; for He not only rested on the seventh day, but sanctified it; that is, set it apart to a holy use — to be employed, not in bodily labour or converse with the world, but in the contemplation of the works and attributes of God, and in holding delightful communion with his Maker.”[43] 

Although, the noun “Sabbath” is not present Genesis 2:1-3, yet we clearly see the Sabbath there. Dr. Sam Waldron remarks:

The relevance of this text for the subject of the Sabbath is made explicit by the statement in verse 2 that God “rested” in which word the verbal form meaning `to sabbath’ is used.[44]

Therefore, we basically have God sabbathing on the seventh day of creation. What we basically have in the Creation week are: six days of work by God and then a day of rest on which no work of creation was done. God entered His Sabbath rest on the seventh day. He stopped His work of creation, but the work of providence by which He upholds the Universe is never ceasing (e.g. Heb. 1:3; Eph. 1:11).

Yet, some still contend that there is no command for the Sabba...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 26: Of the Church - Commentary
The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 26 Church Church Government Elders Deacons Members Universal Church Local Church Congregationalism Polity

...ion of man and members of our body (hand, ear, nose, eye) and then moves to make the point for the church as a body with many members. His conclusion is that we “are the body of Christ and individually members of it” (1 Cor. 12:27). Therefore, we should conduct ourselves in such a way that the members within the body have their place and perform their function. Each member in the body is important. No member is disposable.

Bride of Christ

The church is also described as the bride or wife of Christ (Eph. 5:22-32; Rev. 19:7-9; 21:2, 9; John 3:29). Christ’s love for her was so great that He gave His life for her! Ephesians 5:25 draws a parallel between human Marriage and our relationship with Christ: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”. His love for her is so great is that it costs Him His life. The apostle then goes on to say the following:

Eph. 5:28-30 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 

Christ’s work for us is used as the example to be imitated in Marriage. As He nourishes us and prepares us to be presented “in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing” (Eph. 5:26), so the husband should take care of his wife. Our beloved Husband, not only loved us even unto death, but He was raised to life and now “nourishes and cherishes” us.

This image will be consummated in the New Heavens and New Earth where we will celebrate the Marriage of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-9). In the New World, she is called the New Jerusalem which is “the Bride, the wife of the Lamb” (Rev. 21:9) who is “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev. 21:2). Oh, how beautiful an image and what an indescribable future for you saints!

This image shows the intimate relationship which we have with Christ. There is no intimate human relationship greater than Marriage. But even Marriage was designed to be a picture of Christ and His church (Eph. 5:32). Even this, is a picture of His relationship and love for the church. How vast and unmeasured is His love for her then?!

Temple of God

Another image which the Bible employs for the church is that of a temple (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:21-22; 1 Pet. 2:5). The church is the temple not of idols, but of the living God. The reason that she is the temple is because the Holy Spirit lives in her. The apostle Paul assumes that believers should have known that they are God’s temple since the Holy Spirit indwells them (1 Cor. 3:16). The fact that they are the temple of God calls for ethical action: to be holy (1 Cor. 3:17; 2 Cor. 6:16-18). Because believers are the temple of God, they have received the command to “go out from their midst, and be separate from them” (2 Cor. 6:17; cited from Isa. 52:11). Believers are a temple that is still being built. Ephesians 2:21 speaks of believers “being joined together” and growing “into a holy temple in the Lord.” That they are the temple of God means that God has made His dwelling among us (Eph. 2:22). This is also a point made in the Corinthian letters (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16). Peter speaks of believers as stones who belong to the “living stone rejected by men” (1 Pet. 2:4), and we are like Him as “living stones” (1 Pet. 2:5). As living stones, we “are being built up as a spiritual house, to ...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 19: Of the Law of God - Commentary
The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 19 Law Of God Law Of Moses Law Of Christ Moral Law Decalogue Ten Commandments Thomas Watson John Calvin Robert Dabney Westminster Standards Catechism Civil Law Judicial Law Ceremonial Law Threefold Division Of The Law speaks about the responsibility of parents not to provoke them to anger and wrath, but rather to bring them up in the fear of the Lord. How can parents do this? Dr. John Gill notes:

And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath,.... Neither by words; by unjust and, unreasonable commands; by contumelious and reproachful language; by frequent and public chidings, and by indiscreet and passionate expressions: nor by deeds; preferring one to another; by denying them the necessaries of life; by not allowing them proper recreation; by severe and cruel blows, and inhuman usage; by not giving them suitable education; by an improper disposal of them in Marriage; and by profusely spending their estates, and leaving nothing to them: not but that parents may, and ought to correct and rebuke their children; nor are they accountable to them for their conduct; yet they should take care not to provoke them to wrath, because this alienates their minds from them, and renders their instructions and corrections useless, and puts them upon sinful practices; wrath lets in Satan, and leads to sin against God; and indeed it is difficult in the best of men to be angry and not sin; see Col 3:21. Fathers are particularly mentioned, they being the heads of families, and are apt to be too severe, as mothers too indulgent.[8]

And lest we forget, the command to children is to obey their parents “in the Lord” (Eph. 6:1) for that is the obedience which pleases the Lord (Col. 3:20). On this point, Calvin notes:

It ought to be observed by the way, that we are ordered to obey parents only in the Lord. This is clear from the principle already laid down: for the place which they occupy is one to which the Lord has exalted them, by communicating to them a portion of his own honour. Therefore the submission yielded to them should be a step in our ascent to the Supreme Parent, and hence, if they instigate us to transgress the law, they deserve not to be regarded as parents, but as strangers attempting to seduce us from obedience to our true Father. The same holds in the case of rulers, masters, and superiors of every description.[34]

Albert Barnes expands upon the phrase “in the Lord” with these words:

In the Lord - That is, as far as their commandments agree with those of God, and no further. No parent can have a right to require a child to steal, or lie, or cheat, or assist him in committing murder, or in doing any other wrong thing. No parent has a right to forbid a child to pray, to read the Bible, to worship God, or to make a profession of religion. The duties and rights of children in such cases are similar to those of wives (see the notes on Eph 5:22); and in all cases, God is to be obeyed rather than man. When a parent, however, is opposed to a child; when he expresses an unwillingness that a child should attend a particular church, or make a profession of religion, such opposition should in all cases be a sufficient reason for the child to pause and re-examine the subject. he should pray much, and think much, and inquire much, before, in any case, he acts contrary to the will of a father or mother; and, when he does do it, he should state to them, with great gentleness and kindness, that he believes he ought to love and serve God.[6]

See Matthew 15:1-8 (parallel in Mark 7:1-13) concerning the Lord Jesus’ accusation of how the Pharisees twist this passage. See also Matthew 19:19; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; Romans 1:30; Colossians 3:20; 2 T...

1689 Second Baptist Confession of Faith Highlighted
1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Creed Calvinist Reformed Baptist

...Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation
  • Of the Law of God
  • Of the Gospel and the Extent of Grace thereof
  • Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience
  • Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day
  • Of Lawful Oaths and Vows
  • Of the Civil Magistrate
  • Of Marriage
  • Of the Church
  • Of the Communion of Saints
  • Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
  • Of Baptism
  • Of the Lord’s Supper
  • Of the State of Man after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead
  • Of the Last Judgement
  • (More) Scriptural references have been added from Sam Waldron’s excellent Modern Exposition of 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.

    Chapter 1: Of the Holy Scriptures [Return] [Commentary]

    1. The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience 1, although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable 2; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will which is necessary unto salvation 3. Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in divers manners to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church 4; and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary 5, those former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased. 6
      1. Isa. 8:20; Luke 16:29; Eph. 2:20; 2 Tim. 3:15-17
      2. Ps. 19:1-3; Rom. 1:19-21, 32; 2:12a, 14-15
      3. Ps. 19:1-3 with vv. 7-11; Rom. 1:19-21; 2:12a, 14-15 with 1:16-17; and 3:21
      4. Heb. 1:1-2a
      5. Prov. 22:19-21; Luke 1:1-4; 2 Peter 1:12-15; 3:1; Deut. 17:18ff; 31:9ff, 19ff; 1 Cor. 15:1; 2 Thess. 2:1-2, 15; 3:17; Rom. 1:8-15; Gal. 4:20; 6:11; 1 Tim. 3:14ff; Rev. 1:9, 19; 2:1 etc.; Rom. 15:4; 2 Peter 1:19-21
      6. Heb. 1:1-2a; Acts 1:21-22; 1 Cor. 9:1; 15:7-8; Eph. 2:20
    2. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these: 
      Genesis Matthew
      Exodus Mark
      Leviticus Luke
      Numbers John
      Deuteronomy Paul’s Epistle to the Romans
      Joshua  I Corinthians & II Corinthians
      Judges Galatians
      Ruth Ephesians
      I Samuel & II Samuel Philippians
      I Kings & II Kings Colossians
      I Chronicles, II Chronicles I Thessalonians & II Thessalonians
      Ezra I Timothy & II Timothy
      Nehemiah To Titus
      Esther To Philemon
      Job The Epistle to the Hebrews
      Psalms Epistle of James
      Proverbs The first and second Epistles of Peter
      Ecclesiastes The first, second, and third Epistles of John
      The Song of Solomen The Epistle of Jude
      Isaiah The Revelation

    1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 23: Of Lawful Oaths and Vows - Commentary
    The 1689 Second Baptist Confession Of Faith Confession Commentary Reformed Baptist Chapter 23 Oaths Vows Swearing Allegiance

    ...ed by His Word (see chapter 22 especially paragraphs 1 and 5). A lawful oath is an element and a part of God’s holy religious worship. What is a lawful oath? It is wherein the person swearing in truth, righteousness, and judgement, solemnly calleth God to witness (2 Chron. 6:22-23; 2 Cor. 1:23). An oath is a call upon God to be the witness to something or a “transaction” between men. A most basic example of this is in Marriage when God is called to be the witness along with the people present. The Confession speaks specifically of a lawful oath. This means that there are unlawful oaths, namely those which contradict the descriptions given here. A lawful oath is taken when a person realizes the solemnity of such an act. The Scriptures warn us against being rash with our words and oaths (Eccl. 5:2; Jas. 5:12). We call upon God with hearts purified and realizing what we are calling God to do in this situation. We are calling Him to be the knower of our heart and intentions. may deceive people, we can never deceive God. We are calling Him to judge us according to the truth or falseness (2 Chron. 6:22-23) of our oath. We are to something and calling God to be the arbiter of the truthfulness of what we have sworn.

    An oath is something honorable. It is something that is solemn. an oath, a person swears by the name of God that they are telling the truth and nothing but the truth. This is what is often done in court when a person places their hand on the Bible and pledges that they are telling the truth and at the same time, calls upon God to be a witness that they are indeed telling the truth. Therefore, when a liar and a deceiver takes an oath by the name of God, he is taking the Lord’s Name in vain and he is bringing judgment upon himself (Ex. 20:7).

    An oath is considered a part of worship because in an oath we are calling upon the God Whom we worship to witness to the things which we are saying. We are actually calling upon Him to examine us and judge us “according to the truth or falseness” of the oath and the words which we have spoken. Therefore, the Bible warns us to not be “rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God” (Eccl. 5:2). We should not be quick to swear an oath on every occasion, but only wherein we are necessarily called to do so and without violating our conscience. For if we rashly make oaths and not fulfill them, then we are calling the judgment of God upon us.

    §2 The Name Of God Only Is That By Which Men Ought To Swear

    1. The name of God only is that by which men ought to swear; and therein it is to be used, with all holy fear and reverence; therefore to swear vainly or rashly by that glorious and dreadful name, or to swear at all by any other thing, is sinful, and to be abhorred; yet as in matter of weight and moment, for confirmation of truth, and ending all strife, an oath is warranted by the word of God; so a lawful oath being imposed by lawful authority in such matters, ought to be taken. 2
      1. Deut. 6:13; Exod. 20:7; Jer. 5:7
      2. . 6:13-16; Gen. 24:3; 47...

    1 Timothy 4:10, 'Savior of all men'
    Calvinism Limited Atonement Election Sovereignty ESV Study Bible ESV MacArthur Study Bible HCSB Study Bible Bob Utley Matthew Henry

    ...s="greek"σωτήρ, G4990) has the meaning of ‘savior, deliverer, preserver’[7] it occurs 24 times in the New Testament mostly in the sense of personal Savior (Lk 2:11; Jn 4:42; Act 5:31; Tit 2:13; 2Pe 2:20 etc…). But it is important to note the context. I’m going to argue that it means soter as in the sense of a preserver, deliverer.

    Let’s take a look at 1 Timothy 4. First we see in the first paragraph of 1 Timothy 4, in verses 1 through 5 Paul warns Timothy against false teachers who will teach doctrines of demons, who will lead many astray, who will forbid Marriage and require abstinence from (certain) foods. Food which is given by God and made holy by His word and prayer and should be received with thanksgiving. We see here that Paul is warning Timothy against those who want to forbid certain foods (perhaps some Jews who want to follow the Torah concerning ceremonially clean foods, or some other group which I am not aware of). Here we see clearly that Paul is talking about regular life (Marriage, food) and not discussing things concerning salvation of the lost with Timothy or how God has saved them from His wrath, though salvation from wrath is mentioned in verses 10b and perhaps in 16.

    In the next portion of 1 Timothy 4, specifically in verses 6 through 10, Paul tells Timothy to keep this teaching, that he should not follow the false teaching, and have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Next Paul tells him that bodily training is good, but godliness is much better because it has value for this current life, but also the life to come. This is good (v9). Next we come to our ‘problem’ verse. In verse 10 we’re told that God " is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” What does that mean? Does it mean that He wants to save everyone from His righteous wrath? Why doesn’t He then? If that is so, why does the last part of the verse says “especially of those who believe” and what does that mean?

    We saw that the context of 1 Timothy 4 is (mostly) concerned with physical life. Things like food and Marriage. Then we come to verse 10 and some of our brothers want to get the idea that God really wants to save everyone, but they don’t freely choose Him, they just won’t come to Him, although He has given them grace. But that is not the idea here. As I have argued above the word soter can be used in the sense of a preserver or deliverer. And it is best to understand the phrase “Savior of all people” to refer to the idea that God is the one who gives food to the wicked and the just, He is the one who gives us our jobs, our promotions, He is the one who brings us up and throws us down, he cares for the wicked and just, His mercy is over all His creation (Mt 5:45; Phil 4:19; 1Sm 2:6-8, Ps 145:9, etc…).

    The last phrase is very interesting, “especially of those who believe”. The Greek word for especially in the Greek is the word malista (μάλιστα, G3122) which means “especially, chiefly, most of all, above all.[8]” Well, if our non-Calvinist brothers and sisters want to assert that God tries to save everyone or wants to save everyone in what way is He especially saving those who believe then? It seems very clear to me, that in the first part of verse 10 “Savior of all people” means that He preserves and cares for the wicked as well as the redeemed, and that is made clear by the last part of verse 10 by saying that He’s the Savior “......

    Welcome To The Staunch Calvinist
    Calvinism Absolute Sovereignty Of God Reformed Theology Reformed Baptist 1689 Baptist Confession Calvinist Baptist

    ...iberty of Conscience
  • Of Religious Worship And the Sabbath Day (A case for the Regulative Principle of Worship and the Christian Sabbath)
  • Of Lawful Oaths And Vows
  • Of The Civil Magistrate
  • Of Marriage
  • Of The Church
  • Of the Communion of Saints
  • Of Baptism And The Lord’s Supper
  • Of Baptism
  • Of The Lord’s Supper
  • Of The State Of Man After Death And Of The Resurrection Of The Dead (Intermediate State Hades, Sheol, Heaven; A Case for Amillennial Eschatology; critique of Premillennialism)
  • Of The Last Judgment (Endless punishment in Hell contra Annihilationism)
  • ...