John Calvin Complete Commentary - 1 Timothy 1:10 - 1:10

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - 1 Timothy 1:10 - 1:10


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10For robbers The Latin word plagium was employed by ancient writers to denote the carrying off or enticing the slave of another man, or the false sale of a freeman. Those who wish to obtain more full information on this subject may consult authors on the civil law, and especially on the Flavian Law.

Here Paul glances at several classes, which include briefly every kind of transgressions. The root is obstinacy and rebellion; which he describes by the first two words. Ungodly and sinners appear to denote transgressors of the first and second table. To these he adds the profane and impure, or those who lead a base and dissolute life. There being chiefly three ways in which men injure their neighbors, namely, violence, dishonesty, and lust, he reproves successively those three ways, as may be easily seen. First, he speaks of violence as manifested by manslayers and murderers of parents; secondly, he describes shameful uncleanness; and thirdly, he comes down to dishonesty and other crimes.

If there is anything else that is contrary to sound doctrine In this clause he maintains that his gospel is so far from being opposed to the law, that it is a powerful confirmation of it. He declares that by his preaching, he supports that very sentence which the Lord pronounced in his law, against “ that is contrary to sound doctrine.” Hence it follows, that they who depart from the gospel, do not adhere to the spirit of the law, but merely pursue its shadow.

Sound doctrine is contrasted with frivolous questions about which he says (1Ti_6:3) that foolish teachers are in an unhealthy condition and which, on account of the effect produced by them, are called diseased. (16)



(16) “ vices are contrary to sound doctrine. For what is the advantage to be derived from the Word of God? It is the pasture of our souls; and, next, it is a medicine. We have bread and various kinds of food for the nourishment of our body: the word of God is of the same use for our souls. But it is more advantageous in this respect, that, when we are diseased with our vices, when there are many corruptions and wicked desires, we must be purged of them; and the Word of God serves us for various purposes, for purging, for blood-letting, for drink, and for diet. In short, all that physicians can apply to the human body, for healing its diseases, is not a tenth part of what the Word of God accomplishes for the health of our souls On that account Paul speaks here of sound doctrine. For inquisitive and ambitious persons are always in a diseased state; they have no health in them they are like those unhappy patients who have lost their appetite, and who suck and lick, but cannot receive any nourishment. But when the Word of God is applied in a right manner, there must be a contest; there was a war against every vice; and the Word of God must condemn them in such a manner that the hearts of men shall be touched and pierced — shall be humbled and laid low with sincere repentance to groan before God; and, if there be nothing else, that they shall at least be convinced, that they shall have remorse within themselves, that they may so be an example to all that are not altogether incorrigible. This is the way in which the Lord wishes that his word may be applied to a good use.” — Fr. Ser.