In this chapter the apostle foretells a dreadful apostasy which should
happen in the last times, the particulars of which he gives; and on
occasion of one branch of it, discourses of Christian liberty in
eating all sorts of food fit for use; and delivers out exhortations
to Timothy to various duties relating to himself, his doctrine, and
his charge. The prophecy is in \\#1Ti 4:1-3\\, the author of this
prophecy is the Spirit of God; the manner in which it was delivered
was very clear and express; the time when it should be fulfilled, the
last days; the thing itself, a departure of some from the faith; the
means whereby it would come about are, some giving heed to seducing
spirits, and doctrines of devils, and the hypocrisy and hardened
consciences of others, who would forbid marriage, and order an
abstinence from certain meats; the evil of which last is exposed by
their being the creatures of God, and by their being made for this
purpose to be received with thankfulness by all believers, and who
know the truth: and the reasons why they should be received and used
follow; because they are all good, as they are the creatures of God;
and because there is nothing to be refused, provided it be received
with a thankful heart; and because every creature is sanctified by
the word of God, and prayer, \\#1Ti 4:4,5\\. And then Timothy is
exhorted to put the brethren in mind of those things, by which he
would show himself to be a faithful minister of Christ, and
well instructed in the doctrines of the Gospel, \\#1Ti 4:6\\, and to
reject things profane and fabulous, but use himself to internal and
powerful godliness, since outward worship signifies little, but the
former has the promise of this, and the other world annexed to it;
which is a true saying, and to be depended on, \\#1Ti 4:7-9\\ and
which is confirmed from the practice and experience of the apostles, and
therefore should be taught with authority, \\#1Ti 4:10,11\\. And then
the apostle gives Timothy some advice, which being taken, would prevent
his being despised, on account of his youth; as with respect to his
life and conversation, so to behave as to be a pattern to others,
\\#1Ti 4:12\\, and with respect to the exercise of his ministry, to make
use of such means, as reading and meditation, that his profiting
might be manifest to all, \\#1Ti 4:13-15\\ and with respect to the
doctrines he preached, to abide by them, whereby he would be a means
of saving himself, and others, \\#1Ti 4:16\\.