Listen To Most Current
Grace Notes Archive
June 2021 (1)
May 2021 (5)
April 2021 (4)
March 2021 (5)
February 2021 (4)
January 2021 (5)
December 2020 (4)
November 2020 (4)
October 2020 (5)
September 2020 (4)
August 2020 (5)
July 2020 (21)
June 2020 (29)
May 2020 (28)
April 2020 (31)
March 2020 (5)
February 2020 (4)
January 2020 (5)
December 2019 (5)
November 2019 (3)
October 2019 (5)
September 2019 (4)
August 2019 (5)
July 2019 (4)
June 2019 (5)
May 2019 (4)
April 2019 (4)
March 2019 (4)
February 2019 (6)
January 2019 (4)
December 2018 (4)
November 2018 (5)
October 2018 (4)
September 2018 (4)
August 2018 (4)
July 2018 (3)
June 2018 (4)
May 2018 (4)
April 2018 (4)
March 2018 (4)
February 2018 (5)
January 2018 (4)
December 2017 (4)
November 2017 (5)
October 2017 (4)
September 2017 (5)
August 2017 (4)
July 2017 (4)
June 2017 (5)
May 2017 (4)
April 2017 (5)
March 2017 (3)
February 2017 (4)
January 2017 (3)
December 2016 (5)
November 2016 (4)
October 2016 (4)
September 2016 (5)
August 2016 (3)
July 2016 (4)
June 2016 (5)
May 2016 (4)
April 2016 (5)
March 2016 (4)
February 2016 (4)
January 2016 (5)
December 2015 (4)
November 2015 (4)
October 2015 (3)
September 2015 (4)
August 2015 (5)
July 2015 (5)
June 2015 (4)
May 2015 (5)
April 2015 (2)
March 2015 (4)
February 2015 (4)
January 2015 (5)
December 2014 (4)
November 2014 (5)
October 2014 (4)
September 2014 (4)
August 2014 (4)
July 2014 (5)
June 2014 (4)
May 2014 (5)
April 2014 (4)
March 2014 (4)
February 2014 (4)
January 2014 (5)
December 2013 (4)
November 2013 (5)
October 2013 (4)
September 2013 (4)
August 2013 (5)
July 2013 (4)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (5)
April 2013 (4)
March 2013 (4)
February 2013 (5)
January 2013 (4)
December 2012 (4)
November 2012 (5)
October 2012 (4)
September 2012 (4)
August 2012 (5)
July 2012 (4)
June 2012 (4)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (4)
March 2012 (5)
February 2012 (4)
January 2012 (4)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (4)
October 2011 (4)
September 2011 (5)
August 2011 (4)
July 2011 (4)
June 2011 (5)
May 2011 (4)
April 2011 (5)
March 2011 (4)
February 2011 (4)
January 2011 (5)
December 2010 (4)
November 2010 (4)
October 2010 (4)
September 2010 (5)
August 2010 (4)
July 2010 (6)
June 2010 (4)
May 2010 (4)
April 2010 (4)
March 2010 (5)
February 2010 (4)
January 2010 (5)
December 2009 (5)
November 2009 (3)
October 2009 (6)
September 2009 (3)
August 2009 (5)
July 2009 (4)
June 2009 (4)
May 2009 (5)
April 2009 (4)
March 2009 (4)
February 2009 (4)
January 2009 (5)
December 2008 (4)
November 2008 (5)
October 2008 (4)
September 2008 (5)
August 2008 (4)
July 2008 (3)
June 2008 (4)
May 2008 (5)
April 2008 (4)
March 2008 (5)
February 2008 (1)
Grace Notes

Current Articles | Categories | Search | Syndication

"BE THOU WARE ALSO"
by Philip Owen

            One of the remarkable features of inspiration is that no God-breathed Scripture is strictly personal nor limited in its application to a particular time.  Paul’s final pastoral epistle, for example, was addressed to a specific individual, Timothy, with whom Paul had had long and direct personal acquaintance.  As we might expect in such a personal letter, there are allusions to particular events and individuals known to them both.  But as specific and pertinent as were these allusions by the Apostle Paul to his protégé Timothy, they still remain applicable to us though we are reading them nearly two thousand years later.

            A case in point is Paul’s warning to Timothy regarding “Alexander the coppersmith.”  Paul told Timothy that this man “did me much evil . . . for he hath greatly withstood our words” (II Tim. 4:14a, 15b).   Consequently, Paul instructed Timothy to “be thou ware [“be on guard,” be wary] also” (v. 15a).  Now we do not know this man; we cannot even be sure of whom Paul was speaking.  Clearly, he poses us no danger today.  Nevertheless, these inspired words are not wasted on us:  they convey a message that is as relevant as anything that is happening today, reminding us of what we must guard.

            Paul invokes wariness, not against physical danger, but rather against the spiritual danger that those who reject the Word pose.  That is not to suggest that Paul was superhuman or oblivious to physical danger or suffering.  We know that when occasion permitted, Paul was not loath to escape physical difficulties.  For example, when Paul so angered the Jews in Damascus by preaching the gospel that they sought to kill him, “the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket (Acts 9: 25).  When Paul and Barnabas preached at Iconium, they stirred up a mob of Jews and Gentiles who hoped to stone them.  We read that when Paul and Barnabas were “ware of it,” they “fled” (Acts 14:6).  When the Jews stirred up the people against Paul’s preaching in Berea, “then immediately the brethren sent away Paul” (Acts 17:14).  That having been said, Paul’s successful avoidance of harm was not motivated by personal fear or reluctance to suffer but by a sense or knowledge of God’s continued purpose for him to declare the gospel.  Personal safety and comfort were never Paul’s priorities. 

            His warning to Timothy, then, is not a warning to guard his physical safety but his spiritual safety and the spiritual well-being of his flock.  Paul understood that the consequences of being jailed or beaten, though sometimes exceedingly unpleasant, were temporary, and ultimately of no great moment.  But the consequences of permitting doctrinal error to go unchecked would be loss of eternal reward for some and even eternal damnation for others.

            The government, through agencies such as the FDA and the CDC, constantly warns us about dangers to our health.  Law enforcement authorities warn us about the dangers of breaking various laws, such as drinking and driving.  We are warned about the dangers of failing to pay our taxes or of neglecting our civic responsibility to vote.  Parents warn their children to behave, to be nice, not to engage in dangerous behavior.  And on and on.

            But where are the watchman crying out against the spiritual danger of false doctrine, of teaching that actively opposes or merely flirts with Scripture?  Where are those who would echo the words of the Lord Jesus:

“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer . . . be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Rev. 2:11).

            We should not be careless about natural dangers, but we must truly be wary and sound a warning regarding the eternal consequences of doctrinal error.                                                                  

 

 

Listen to Grace Note

Actions: E-mail | Permalink

Previous Page | Next Page