John Wesley's Explanatory Notes
Verse 1. But the Spirit saith - By St. Paul himself to the Thessalonians, and probably by other contemporary prophets. Expressly - As concerning a thing of great moment, and soon to be fulfilled. That in the latter times - These extend from our Lord's ascension till his coming to judgment. Some - Yea, many, and by degrees the far greater part. Will depart from the faith - The doctrine once delivered to the saints. Giving heed to seducing spirits - Who inspire false prophets.
Verse 2. These will depart from the faith, by the hypocrisy of them that speak lies, having their own consciences as senseless and unfeeling as flesh that is seared with an hot iron.
Verse 3. Forbidding priests, monks, and nuns to marry, and commanding all men to abstain from such and such meats at such and such times. Which God hath created to be received by them that know the truth - That all meats are now clean. With thanksgiving - Which supposes a pure conscience.
Verse 5. It is sanctified by the word of God - Creating all, and giving it to man for food. And by prayer - The children of God are to pray for the sanctification of all the creatures which they use. And not only the Christians, but even the Jews, yea, the very heathens used to consecrate their table by prayer.
Verse 7. Like those who were to contend in the Grecian games, exercise thyself unto godliness - Train thyself up in holiness of heart and life, with the utmost labour, vigour, and diligence.
Verse 8. Bodily exercise profiteth a little - Increases the health and strength of the body.
Verse 10. Therefore - Animated by this promise. We both labour and suffer reproach - We regard neither pleasure, ease, nor honour. Because we trust - For this very thing the world will hate us. In the living God - Who will give us the life he has promised. Who is the Saviour of all men - Preserving them in this life, and willing to save them eternally. But especially -In a more eminent manner. Of them that believe - And so are saved everlastingly.
Verse 12. Let no one have reason to despise thee for thy youth. To prevent this, Be a pattern in word - Public and private. In spirit - In your whole temper. In faith - When this is placed in the midst of several other Christian graces, it generally means a particular branch of it; fidelity or faithfulness.
Verse 13. Give thyself to reading - Both publicly and privately. Enthusiasts, observe this! Expect no end without the means.
Verse 14. Neglect not - They neglect it who do not exercise it to the full. The gift - Of feeding the flock, of power, and love, and sobriety. Which was given thee by prophecy - By immediate direction from God. By the laying on of my hands - 2 Timothy 1:6; while the elders joined also in the solemnity. This presbytery probably consisted of some others, together with Paul and Silas.
Verse 15. Meditate - The Bible makes no distinction between this and to contemplate, whatever others do. True meditation is no other than faith, hope, love, joy, melted down together, as it were, by the fire of God's Holy Spirit; and offered up to God in secret. He that is wholly in these, will be little in worldly company, in other studies, in collecting books, medals, or butterflies: wherein many pastors drone away so considerable a part of their lives.
Verse 16. Continue in them - In all the preceding advices.
on the Whole Bible