EGW SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7


Chapter 4

1-5 (ch. 2:14-18, 23-26; Romans 1:25; Colossians 2:8). Turning the Truth Into a Lie—No one is to put truth to the torture by cheap imaginings, by putting a forced, mystical construction upon the Word. Thus they are in danger of turning the truth of God into a lie. There are those who need in their hearts the touch of the divine Spirit. Then the message for this time will be their burden. They will not search for human tests, for something new and strange. The Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the test for this time....

There is among young men a burning desire to get hold of something new, even though it be of the cheapest quality. The Lord would not have the mind dwell on unprofitable nothings, seeking for what it will never find. He desires us to seek for a pure, clean soul, a soul washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. It is the white robe of Christ's righteousness that gives the sinner admittance into the presence of the heavenly angels. Not the color of his hair, but his perfect obedience to all God's commandments, opens to him the gates of the Holy City (Letter 207, 1899). 7BC 920.3

1-7 (ch. 2:1-4). Faithfulness in Ministry—Paul has almost finished his course, and he desires Timothy to take his place, guarding the churches from the fables and heresies with which Satan and his agents would endeavor to lead them from the truth. He admonishes him to shun temporal pursuits and entanglements, which would prevent him from giving himself wholly to God's work. He is to endure with cheerfulness the opposition, reproach, and persecution to which his faithfulness would expose him. He is to make full proof to his ministry, employing every means of doing good to his fellow men (The Youth's Instructor, July 10, 1902). 7BC 920.4

3, 4. See EGW on Acts 20:30; Colossians 2:8; 1 John 4:1. 7BC 920.5

6-9. See EGW on ch. 1:1, 2. 7BC 920.6

7, 8. See EGW on Revelation 14:13. 7BC 920.7

13, 14 (Acts 19:33). Alexander Effects Paul's Final Arrest—At the house of a disciple in the city of Troas, Paul was again seized, and from this place he was hurried away to his final imprisonment. 7BC 920.8

The arrest was effected by the efforts of Alexander the coppersmith, who had so unsuccessfully opposed the apostle's work at Ephesus, and who now seized the opportunity to be revenged on one whom he could not defeat (Sketches from the Life of Paul, 305). 7BC 920.9

13, 16-21. Paul Faces Death Courageously—Paul concludes his letter with various personal messages, and again and again repeats the urgent request that Timothy use all diligence to come to him soon, and if possible to come before winter. He describes his loneliness from the desertion of some friends and the necessary absence of others, and lest Timothy should still hesitate, fearing that the church at Ephesus demanded his labors, he states that he has already dispatched Tychicus to fill the place of Timothy in his absence. And then he adds the touching request, “The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.” 7BC 920.10

At his second arrest, Paul was seized and hurried away so suddenly that he had no opportunity to gather up his few “books” and “parchments,” or even to take with him his cloak. And now winter was coming on, and he knew that he would suffer with cold in his damp prison cell. He had no money to buy another garment, he knew that his end might come at any moment, and with his usual self-forgetfulness and fear to burden the church, he desired that no expense should be incurred on his account (Sketches from the Life of Paul, 327). 7BC 921.1

16, 17. Paul and Nero Face to Face—Paul and Nero face to face!—the countenance of the monarch bearing the shameful record of the passions that raged within; the countenance of the prisoner telling the story of a heart at peace with God and man. The result of opposite systems of education stood that day contrasted—a life of unbounded self-indulgence and a life of entire self-sacrifice. Here were the representatives of two theories of life—all-absorbing selfishness, which counts nothing too valuable to be sacrificed for momentary gratification, and self-denying endurance, ready to give up life itself, if need be, for the good of others (The Youth's Instructor, July 3, 1902). 7BC 921.2