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13In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15which he will bring about at the right time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. 16It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.


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13. quickeneth all things—that is, "maketh alive." But the oldest manuscripts read, "preserveth alive"; as the same Greek means in Ac 7:19; compare Ne 9:6. He urges Timothy to faithfulness here by the present manifestation of God's power in preserving all things, as in 1Ti 6:14, by the future manifestation of God's power at the appearing of Christ. The assurance that "eternal life," 1Ti 6:12, will be the result of "fighting the good fight," rests on the fulness and power of Him who is the God of all life, present and to come.

witnessed—It was the Lord's part to witness, Timothy's part to confess (or "profess," 1Ti 6:12) "the good confession" [Bengel]. The confession was His testimony that He was King, and His kingdom that of the truth (see on 1Ti 6:12; 1Ti 6:15; Mt 27:11). Christ, in attesting, or bearing witness to this truth, attested the truth of the whole of Christianity. Timothy's profession, or confession, included therefore the whole of the Christian truth.

14. keep this commandmentGreek, "the commandment," that is, the Gospel rule of life (1Ti 1:5; Joh 13:34; 2Pe 2:21; 3:2).

without spot, unrebukeable—agreeing with "thou." Keep the commandment and so be without spot," &c. "Pure" (1Ti 5:22; Eph 5:27; Jas 1:27; 2Pe 3:14).

until the appearing of … ChristHis coming in person (2Th 2:8; Tit 2:13). Believers then used in their practice to set before themselves the day of Christ as near at hand; we, the hour of death [Bengel]. The fact has in all ages of the Church been certain, the time as uncertain to Paul, as it is to us; hence, 1Ti 6:15, he says, "in His times": the Church's true attitude is that of continual expectation of her Lord's return (1Co 1:8; Php 1:6, 10).

15. in his timesGreek, "His own [fitting] times" (Ac 1:7). The plural implies successive stages in the manifestation of the kingdom of God, each having its own appropriate time, the regulating principle and knowledge of which rests with the Father (1Ti 2:6; 2Ti 1:9; Tit 1:3; Heb 1:1).

he shall show—"display": an expression appropriate in reference to His "APPEARING," which is stronger than His "coming," and implies its visibility; "manifest": make visible (compare Ac 3:20): "He" is the Father (1Ti 6:16).

blessed—in Himself: so about to be the source of blessing to His people at Christ appearing, whence flows their "blessed hope" (1Ti 1:11; Tit 2:13).

only—(Joh 17:3; Ro 16:27; Re 15:4).

King of kings—elsewhere applied also to Jesus (Re 1:5; 17:14; 19:16).

16. Who only hath immortality—in His own essence, not merely at the will of another, as all other immortal beings [Justin Martyr, Quæst. ad Orthod., 61]. As He hath immortality, so will He give it to us who believe; to be out of Him is death. It is mere heathen philosophy that attributes to the soul indestructibility in itself, which is to be attributed solely to God's gift. As He hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (Joh 5:26). The term used in the New Testament for "immortal," which does not occur, is "incorruptible." "Immortality" is found in 1Co 15:53, 54.

dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto—After life comes mention of light, as in Joh 1:4. That light is unapproachable to creatures, except in so far as they are admitted by Him, and as He goes forth to them [Bengel]. It is unapproachable on account of its exceeding brightness [Theophylact]. If one cannot gaze steadfastly at the sun, which is but a small part of creation, by reason of its exceeding heat and power, how much less can mortal man gaze at the inexpressible glory of God [Theophylact, To Autolycus] (Ps 104:2; 1Jo 1:5).

no man hath seen—(Ex 23:20; Joh 1:18; Col 1:15; Heb 11:27; 1Jo 4:12). Perhaps even in the perfect state no creature shall fully see God. Still the saints shall, in some sense, have the blessedness of seeing Him, which is denied to mere man (Mt 5:8; 1Co 13:12; 1Jo 3:2; Re 22:4).




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