Thursday, October 11, 2012


1 Tim 1:17

Morning Meditation 10/12/2012

This is what is called a doxology, i.e., an outburst of ecstatic praise to the Lord. And it came in the middle of a verse. “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

First of all, Paul had just given a testimony of what grace had done for him (verses 14-16). He had just said in verse 15: “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” Paul saw himself as the chiefest of sinners. That means the number one sinner. It is in the present tense: “I am.” The emphasis is on “I” because the personal pronoun I (ego) is used. The verb eimi does not need the personal pronoun ego to say “I am.” This is a strong testimony of Paul pointing his finger to himself as he says, “I am the chief of sinners.” Then he gives the reason why God saved the chief of sinners: verse 16 says, “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” Paul says God did this for him that he might demonstrate his “longsuffering” and set forth a “pattern” or a model for those who “should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” Someone says, “I have gone too far. God would not save me.” Paul’s answer is that God has already saved the chief. Therefore, you are no problem for him.

Now after Paul had gotten that out in the open and written it down by inspiration of God, I think he must have said, “Pardon me while I stop and praise the Lord.” I have to do that myself every once-in-a-while. Just stop, in the middle of it all, and have a little private camp meeting spell. And then come back to my computer, or reading the Word and say, “Now where was I”?

The words “Now unto the King” (basileus) is defined by Strong: “leader of the people, prince, commander, lord of the land, king.” Some people have a problem believing that Jesus is King now. I understand that he is not on David’s throne ruling in his Millennial kingdom. But what do you do with a statement like this? Paul said, “Now unto the King.” I believe he knew what he was talking about, don’t you? I learned an important lesson from a preacher a long time ago. He is now in heaven. He would say, “Don’t put your finger on a verse or a word in a verse and say, ‘that doesn’t mean what it says.’” The verse says “Now.”

The word “eternal” (aion) means “for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity.” Some translate it “King of the ages.” It means “for ever and ever.” This is speaking of the eternity of God. When you think of an “age” you think of a beginning and an end. So this word cannot mean this. God possesses endless being in the ultimate sense of the word. God never had a beginning and will never have an end. One of the best ways for me to understand this concept is to think of an eternal now totally separated from time as we know it. Time is something that God created and marked off for the purpose of working out a plan of which we are a part. Tozer said, “When time words occur in the Scriptures they refer to our time, not to His.” He says when commenting on the eternity of God: “That God appears at time’s beginning is not too difficult to comprehend, but that He appears at the beginning and the end of time simultaneously is not so easy to grasp; yet it is true.” Copied from The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer, p. 40. That will give you an itch where you can’t get to it to scratch it! I hate to leave you there but that is as far as I’ve ever gotten with that. In the midst of that thought I find myself in space with the astronauts begging for a safe reentry.

The word “immortal” (aphthartos) means “uncorrupted, not liable to corruption or decay, imperishable.” All these words describe mortality. I just read an interesting book by a respected Bible scholar where our body replaces every cell every seven years. I have known that for years. They say it is a scientific fact. What they don’t explain is why I’m over seven years old!!! Well, that is not the only thing that is true yet unexplainable. Everything we know in this world is getting old and is in the process of decay. It is corruptible. That means it is mortal. Well, Paul just puts an “im” on the front of “mortal” and says “this describes God.” God is not older. He is not even old. Neither is Jesus. Heb. 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”Mal. 3:6 says, “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Heb. 1:12 says, “And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” God does not age. There is no decay. This makes him so different from us and the creation that all we can do when we are introduced to the concept is bow and worship.

The word “invisible”(aoratos) means “unseen, or that which cannot be seen, e.g. invisible.” Jesus said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth,” (John 4:24). Paul says of Jesus, “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person...” (Heb. 1:3). God is unseen because he is Spirit. The perfect representation of his invisible being is Jesus. Jesus is called the “express image of his person.” That means if God-Spirit could be seen, He would look exactly like Jesus. Because Jesus is His exact likeness. Therefore, God is known by faith. He is beyond sight and all the physical senses. Heb. 11:27 says, “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” God is. And the way we know the God who is, is faith. The God who is invisible was known and experienced by Paul to the extent that he had to stop in the middle of a chapter after he had given personal testimony of his salvation by grace and praise Him who alone is God.

Then Paul says, “the only wise God.” The word “only” (monos) means “alone (without a companion), forsaken, destitute of help, alone.” God is totally alone in the matter of wisdom. There is no other god. Satan is the god of this world (2Cor 4:3-4) but this is only in a relative sense. Isa 45:22: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” Isa. 46:9: “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me.”

Then he concludes with “Be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” The word “honour” means “to place a proper value upon.” The word “glory” is that in anything that solicits or calls for praise. The words “for ever and ever” mean that this is not an “hour long service.” We are not going to be dismissed. There will be no benediction. In Paul’s heart this is an eternal doxology and what he is doing now will not change with the ending of time.

This has been good for me. I hope God can use it to encourage you.

In Christ

Earl White

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