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Paul's Exhortations & Instructions to Brother Timothy 2nd Letter Volume 18
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Paul tells Timothy to be a Good Soldier of Christ Jesus Part 5
2 Timothy 2:6-7 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. KJV
Paul further expounds to Brother Timothy and to we true believers today and of every era and generation of what his/our priority, purpose, and passion should be during our sojourn and pilgrimage here on the earth before our Lord, Master, and Savior Jesus Christ returns with these next words, "The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits." (2 Timothy 2:6) (KJV). The English phrase 'the husbandman' is translated by the Greek word geōrgos which means a land worker, that is, farmer: - husbandman. The English phrase 'that laboureth' is translated by the Greek word kopiaō which means to feel fatigue; by implication to work hard: - labour, toil, be wearied. The English phrase 'be first partaker' is translated by two Greek words prōtos & metalambanō meaning to be foremost (in time, place, order or importance): to participate; generally to accept (and use): - eat, have, be partaker, receive, take. The English word 'fruits' is translated by the Greek word karpos which means fruit (as plucked), literally or figuratively: - fruit. In other words, the Apostle Paul is saying two (2) things here: 1) In order for any believer (preacher or layperson) to reap a spiritual harvest in their own lives, they must do as the farmer does in his field working the soil and planting the seeds and watering his field and then waiting patiently for his harvest to emerge, not by wishing or hoping, but by his or her diligence, dedication, and determination in their labor. Likewise must the child of God labor in the Word of God in order to reap a harvest of all the spiritual blessings in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3) that are already ours, not by the Holy Spirit raining down some knowledge of His Word to the believer, but instead by the believer being constantly and continually in the Word of God praying for God the Holy Spirit to give understanding of what he or she reads. 2) If the preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of Grace is diligent in his or her proclamation of the truth of the Gospel and the entire Word of God, then when he or she is faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ and is patient, then will the Holy Spirit take the Gospel preached and regenerate sinners who will then become saints of God and then the faithful preacher will have a flock of sheep to shepherd and will live by the preaching of the Gospel of Grace.
Paul declared to the Corinthian believers this very idea with these words, "Who serves as a soldier at his own wages at any time? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who feeds a flock and does not partake of the milk of the flock? Do I say these things according to man? Or does not the Law say the same also? For it is written in the Law of Moses, 'You shall not muzzle an ox threshing grain.' Does God take care for oxen? Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? It was written for us, so that he who plows should plow in hope, and so that he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown to you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others have a share of this authority over you, rather should not we? But we have not used this authority, but we endured all things lest we should hinder the Gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? And those attending the altar are partakers with the altar. Even so, the Lord ordained those announcing the Gospel to live from the Gospel." (1 Corinthians 9:7-14) (Modern King James Version). Here is what Albert Barnes had to say concerning this verse, "According to the marginal reading, the word 'first' is introduced in connection with the word 'labour' - 'labouring first, must be partaker.' That is, it is a great law that the husbandman must work before he receives a harvest. This sense will accord with the purpose of the Apostle. It was to remind Timothy that labor must precede reward; that if a man would reap, he must sow; that he could hope for no fruits, unless he toiled for them. The point was not that the husbandman would be the first one who would partake of the fruits; but that he must first labor before he obtained the reward. Thus understood, this would be an encouragement to Timothy to persevere in his toils, looking onward to the reward. The Greek will bear this construction, though it is not the most obvious one."
Next Paul instructs Brother Timothy to reflect on the things he has written to him with these words, "Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things." (2 Timothy 2:7) (KJV). The English word 'consider' that begins this verse is translated by the Greek word noieō which means to exercise the mind (observe), that is, (figuratively) to comprehend, heed: - consider, perceive, think, understand. In other words, the Apostle Paul wants Brother Timothy and we true believers today and of every era and generation to exercise our minds or to turn our minds on to understand and comprehend these three (3) examples of the soldier, the athlete, the farmer and how what they do refers to, relates to, and is relevant to our walk of faith with our Lord Jesus Christ and our spiritual growth from babes in Christ to full spiritual maturity. Paul then makes a quick prayer for Timothy and for us that our Lord Jesus Christ give us understanding in this and in all things that are in His Holy Word. Here again is what Albert Barnes had to say concerning this verse, "Consider what I say; - see 1 Timothy 4:15. The sense is 'Think of the condition of the soldier, and the principles on which he is enlisted; think of the aspirant for the crown in the Grecian games; think of the farmer, patiently toiling in the prospect of the distant harvest; and then go to your work with a similar spirit.' These things are worth attention. When the minister of the Gospel thinks of his hardships, of his struggles against an evil world, and of his arduous and constant discouraging toil, let him think of the soldier, of the man who struggles for this world’s honors, and of the patient farmer - and be content. How patiently do they bear all, and yet for what inferior rewards! And the Lord give thee understanding in all things - Enable you to see the force of these considerations, and to apply them to your own case. Such are often the discouragements of the ministry; so prone is the mind to despondency, that we need the help of the Lord to enable us to apply the most obvious considerations, and to derive support from the most plain and simple truths and promises."
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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