August 19, 2015
I Timothy 4:7-11
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
I know it is not proper English – A Done Deal! – but it is a common saying that means something that is already finished and sure. You can then count on it! This is the idea Paul had in mind when he wrote his protégé young Timothy in I Timothy 4:7 through 11:
…exercise yourself…to godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but
godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now
is and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of
all acceptance. For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, be-
cause we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially
of those who believe. These things command and teach.
I want to concentrate on what the apostle said in verse 10: “…the living God…is the Savior of all men….”
In December 1998 then-president Bill Clinton was being questioned by independent counsel Kenneth Starr concerning sexual misconduct with Monica Lewinsky. He was asked about a statement by his lawyer, Robert Bennett who had denied the president had any sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, stating there was “…no sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form, with President Clinton.” Starr said the lawyer’s statement – based on Clinton’s previous testimony – “…was an utterly false statement. Is that correct?”
The president’s answer has become a classic:
It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the–if he–if ‘is’ means is
and never has been, that is not–that is one thing. If it means there is none, that
was a completely true statement….Now, if someone had asked me on that day,
are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked
me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have
been completely true.
Wow! How one can twist the meaning of words! “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” Well, the meaning of “…the living God…is the Savior of all men….” is quite clear! Salvation for all mankind is A Done Deal! And the tragedy of the meaning then becomes evident: If salvation for all men has been purchased by what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross, then why are not all men saved?
That salvation has been purchased for universal mankind – past, present and future mankind – was accomplished at Calvary. It was there that the Son of God voluntarily (see John 10:17, 18) laid down His perfect life (see I Peter 2:22) for the sin of mankind (see II Corinthians 5:21). Jesus paid in full measure the cost of sin – death before the Holy God (see Ezekiel 18:4, 20) – both physical and eternal (see Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:14; 21:8). This is the fact of the great gift of God through Jesus Christ – “…the living God…is the Savior of all men….”
But the fact remains that although the price has been paid, it must be received (actuated in individual lives) by faith believing (see Ephesians 2:8, 9). And the tragedy is magnified by the great number of people who reject God’s gift of grace – and the relatively few who accept it. Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 7:13 and 14 (Modern King James Version):
Go in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way
that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in through it. Be-
cause narrow is the gate and constricted is the way which leads to life,
and there are few who find it.
If, as it says in Luke 5:7 (International Standard Version), “…that there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who don’t need to repent.” – if one sinner coming in faith to Jesus Christ causes joy in heaven, then I surmise that the many who choose the broad way to destruction cause sorrow in heaven! After all, the Father’s desire is plainly revealed in Ezekiel 33:11:
“As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “I have no pleasure in the death of the
wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn
from your evil ways! For why should you die….”
So be sure to actuate this Done Deal in your own life! Open your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ and invite Him in to be your Savior! It’s all been paid for! We just have to accept God’s payment on our behalf!