Scripture Notes


1 Timothy 1:16.

It is very remarkable that Paul should occupy such a large place in the epistles; and that, indeed, he should be presented to us as a pattern in so many aspects. It might be almost said that he was a pattern man religiously in his unconverted state: he was certainly so externally, for he tells us that "touching the righteousness which is in the law" he was "blameless." Then in our scripture we learn that he was a pattern convert: "Paul was a delineation of Christ's ways" in the case of those who should hereafter believe, "even, I doubt not, in the case of the rebellious Jews hereafter. The whole longsuffering was thenceforth in his case, so as to picture every case." This will make clear to the simplest what is meant by his being a pattern convert. Further, he was a pattern Christian, for several times he is led of the Spirit of God to point to himself as an example; for instance, he says in Philippians 3, "Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so ye have us for an example." And, lastly, he was a pattern servant. Thus in 1 Thess. 1 he is enabled to declare that his life-testimony corresponded with what he declared by word of mouth. (Verse 5; see also chapter 2:3-12, etc.) But let us remember that while this is true, it was, as he himself has written, by the grace of God he was what he was. Still it is also true that, though Paul was the subject of an extraordinary call, and of a call to a special and peculiar ministry, the same grace which wrought in him to produce such a devoted Christian life works in all the people of God. If, therefore, he was a pattern Christian, he yet calls upon us to follow in his steps. For this three things are necessary: the eye upon Christ, purpose of heart through His constraining love, and an ungrieved Spirit.


Matthew 21:5.

It has been several times pointed out that, in the quotation of a scripture from the Old Testament, the Spirit of God often leaves out any part which could not be applied at the moment. Thus in this case the prophet's words "just and having salvation" are omitted, because salvation was impossible at that time for the chosen people, seeing they were bent on rejecting their King. So in John 12:15 it is simply, "Behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt." The reader may gather much instruction in comparing the citations from the prophets in the New Testament, and in noticing the way in which they are employed. Only it must not be forgotten that even in such a study as this the guidance and teaching of the Holy Spirit are needed.