1 Timothy 4:4
For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) For every creature of God is good.—To teach that anything created was unclean would be an insult to the Creator. The very fact of its being His creation is enough. If made by God, then it must be good.

And nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.—Every kind of food and drink may become hateful in the eyes of the all-pure God if misused, if partaken of without any sense of gratitude to the Divine giver. But nothing which can be made use of as food ought to be regarded as unclean or as polluted; every kind of food is intended for man, the only condition being that whatever is partaken of should be gratefully received by him as a gift.

4:1-5 The Holy Spirit, both in the Old and the New Testament, spoke of a general turning from the faith of Christ, and the pure worship of God. This should come during the Christian dispensation, for those are called the latter days. False teachers forbid as evil what God has allowed, and command as a duty what he has left indifferent. We find exercise for watchfulness and self-denial, in attending to the requirements of God's law, without being tasked to imaginary duties, which reject what he has allowed. But nothing justifies an intemperate or improper use of things; and nothing will be good to us, unless we seek by prayer for the Lord's blessing upon it.For every creature of God is good - Greek, "all the creatures, or all that God has created" - πᾶν κτίσμα pan ktisma: that is, as he made it; compare Genesis 1:10, Genesis 1:12, Genesis 1:18, Genesis 1:31. It does not mean that every moral agent remains good as long as he is "a creature of God," but moral agents, human beings and angels, were good as they were made at first; Genesis 1:31. Nor does it mean that all that God has made is good "for every object to which it can be applied." It is good in its place; good for the purpose for which he made it. But it should not be inferred that a thing which is poisonous in its nature is good for food, "because" it is a creation of God. It is good only in its place, and for the ends for which he intended it. Nor should it be inferred that what God has made is necessarily good "after" it has been perverted by man. As God made it originally, it might have been used without injury.

Apples and peaches were made good, and are still useful and proper as articles of food; rye and Indian-corn are good, and are admirably adapted to the support of man and beast, but it does not follow that all that "man" can make of them is necessarily good. He extracts from them a poisonous liquid, and then says that "every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused." But is this a fair use of this passage of Scripture? True, they "are" good - they "are" to be received with gratitude as he made them, and as applied to the uses for which he designed them; but why apply this passage to prove that a deleterious beverage, which "man" has extracted from what God has made, is good also, and good for all the purposes to which it can be applied? As "God" made these things, they are good. As man perverts them, it is no longer proper to call them the "creation of God," and they may be injurious in the highest degree. This passage, therefore, should not be adduced to vindicate the use of intoxicating drinks. As employed by the apostle, it had no such reference, nor does it contain any "principle" which can properly receive any such application.

And nothing to be refused - Nothing that God has made, for the purposes for which he designed it. The necessity of the case the "exigency of the passage" - requires this interpretation. It "cannot" mean that we are not to refuse poison if offered in our food, or that we are never to refuse food that is to us injurious or offensive; nor can it anymore mean that we are to receive "all" that may be offered to us as a beverage. The sense is, that as God made it, and for the purposes for which he designed it, it is not to be held to be evil; or, which is the same thing, it is not to be prohibited as if there were merit in abstaining from it. It is not to be regarded as a religious duty to abstain from food which God has appointed for the support of man.

If it be received with thanksgiving - see the 1 Corinthians 10:31 note; Ephesians 5:20 note; Philippians 4:6 note.

4, 5. Translate as Greek, "Because" (expressing a reason resting on an objective fact; or, as here, a Scripture quotation)—"For" (a reason resting on something subjective in the writer's mind).

every creature … good—(Ge 1:31; Ro 14:14, 20). A refutation by anticipation of the Gnostic opposition to creation: the seeds of which were now lurking latently in the Church. Judaism (Ac 10:11-16; 1Co 10:25, 26) was the starting-point of the error as to meats: Oriental Gnosis added new elements. The old Gnostic heresy is now almost extinct; but its remains in the celibacy of Rome's priesthood, and in its fasts from animal meats, enjoined under the penalty of mortal sin, remain.

if … with thanksgiving—Meats, though pure in themselves, become impure by being received with an unthankful mind (Ro 14:6; Tit 1:15).

For every creature of God is good; not only good in itself, as all was which God made, Genesis 1:1-31, but lawful to be used, pure, Titus 1:15, there is no uncleanness in it.

And nothing to be refused; and therefore nothing upon that account is to be refused, as unclean and defiling.

If it be received with thanksgiving; only it must be made use of in such a manner as in and by the use of it we may glorify, and express our thankfulness to, God. For every creature of God is good,.... For food; and should be taken and used for that purpose, at all times, without distinction; even every creature which is made for food, and which is easy to be discerned by men:

and nothing to be refused; or rejected as common and unclean, or to be abstained from at certain times:

if it be received with thanksgiving: if not, persons are very ungrateful, and very unworthy of such favours; and it would be just in God to withhold them from them; and this they may expect at his hands, who reject them with contempt, or receive them with unthankfulness, or abstain front them in a religious way he never enjoined.

{7} For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

(7) He sets an apostolic rule for taking away the difference of meats, against that false doctrine.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Timothy 4:4. Ὅτι πᾶν κτίσμα Θεοῦ καλόν] This verse gives the ground of the preceding thought, which Hofmann denies. Bengel wrongly takes it to be in apposition to ἀλήθειαν.

κτίσμα, which does not occur elsewhere in Paul, means here of course the creatures of God destined for nourishment. On the principle here expressed, comp. Romans 14:14 : οὐδὲν κοινὸν διʼ αὐτοῦ, and Romans 4:20 : πάντα καθαρά; Acts 10:15 : ἃ ὁ Θεὸς ἐκαθάρισε, σὺ μὴ κοίνου.

καὶ οὐδὲν ἀπόβλητον] comp. Iliad, iii. 65: οὔτοι ἀπόβλητʼ ἐστὶ θεῶν ἐρικυδέα δῶρα; and the scholiast’s remark: ἀπόβλητα· ἀποβολῆς ἄξια· τὰ ὑπὸ θεῶν, φησὶ, διδόμενα δῶρα οὐκ ἔστι μὲν ἀρνήσασθαι. Here the thought stands in contrast with the idea of defilement caused by partaking of certain meats. Going back to the μετὰ εὐχαριστίας in 1 Timothy 4:3, the apostle defines it more precisely, though not by mentioning an accessory point merely: μετὰ εὐχαριστίας λαμβανόμενον (Ephesians 5:20 : εὐχαριστοῦντες πάντοτε ὑπὲρ πάντων), because God wishes His gifts to be enjoyed with thankful heart, and the purpose of creation is therefore fulfilled only by him who partakes with thankfulness.1 Timothy 4:4. ὅτι πᾶν κτίσμα: This is the proof of the preceding statement, consisting of (a) a plain reference to Genesis 1:31, (b) a no less clear echo of our Lord’s teaching, Mark 7:15 (Acts 10:15), also re-echoed in Romans 14:14, Titus 1:15.

λαμβανόμενον: This verb is used of taking food into one’s hand before eating (in the accounts of the feeding of the multitudes, Matthew 14:19 = Mark 6:41; Matthew 15:36 = Mark 8:6, also Luke 24:30; Luke 24:43) as well as of eating and drinking. See reff. Perhaps it is not fanciful to note its special use in connexion with the Eucharist (1 Corinthians 11:23; Matthew 26:26 (bis) 27; Mark 14:22-23; Luke 22:19).

καὶ οὐδὲν ἀπόβλητον: The statement of Genesis 1:31 which is summed up in Every creature of God is good might be met by the objection that nevertheless certain kinds of food were, in point of fact, to be rejected by the express command of the Mosaic Law. St. Paul replies that thanksgiving disannuls the Law in each particular case. Nothing over which thanksgiving can be pronounced is any longer included in the category of things tabooed. It is evident, from the repetition of the condition, μετὰ εὐχαριστίας λαμβ., that St. Paul regarded that as the only restriction on Christian liberty in the use of God’s creatures. Is it a thing of such a kind that I can, without incongruity, give thanks for it?

Field regards οὐδὲν ἀπόβλητον here as a proverbial adaptation of Homer’s saying (Il. Γ. 65): οὔτοι ἀπόβλητʼ ἐστὶ θεῶν ἐρικυδέα δῶρα.

For κτίσμα see reff. κτίσις is found in Rom. (7), 2 Cor. (1), Gal. (1), Col. (2); but in these places creation is the best or a possible rendering. κτίσμα means unambiguously thing created.4. every creature of God is good] Creation in all its parts is meant, everything made by God; for this use of the word ‘creature’ from Lat. creatura compare the Communion Office in the Prayer-Book, ‘receiving these Thy creatures of bread and wine.’ All God’s workmanship ‘is good, and was so pronounced by God Himself at the moment of creation.’ Fairbairn.

‘We read in Genesis 8:21, “I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake;” and the Psalms always speak of this earth and of all created things as if there was no curse at all on them; saying that “all things serve God, and continue as they were at the beginning;” and that “He has given them a law which cannot be broken;” and in the face of those words let who will talk of the earth being cursed, I will not; and you shall not if I can help it.’ Kingsley, Good News of God, p. 35.

‘Oh the yearning when one sees a beautiful thing to make someone else see it too! Surely it is of Heaven!… Every creature of God is good if it be sanctified with prayer and thanksgiving! This to me is the master truth of Christianity! I cannot make people see it, but it seems to me that it was to redeem man and the earth that Christ was made man and used the earth.’ Kingsley, Letters, Abr. ed., 1. p. 72.

nothing to be refused] The form of the Greek favours the making this a separate sentence as R.V., nothing is to be rejected.1 Timothy 4:4. Καλὸν, good) Genesis 1—καὶ, and) The particle connects the two propositions, of which the second has this subject, every thing which is received with thanksgiving; the predicate, is not to be refused.—μετὰ ευχαριστίας, with thanksgiving) This includes a good conscience. Romans 14:6, “He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks.”Verse 4. - Is to be rejected for to be refused, A.V. Nothing is to be rejected. The A.V., "nothing to be refused," manifestly uses "nothing" in its adverbial sense ("in no degree," "not at all," Johnson's 'Dict.'), as οὐδέν in Greek is also commonly used (Liddell and Scott). In fact, it is very difficult to construe the passage as the R.V. does. To say "nothing is to be rejected if it is received," is scarcely sense. But to say that every creature of God is good (and on that account not to be rejected) if it is received with thanksgiving is very good and edifying sense. Creature (κτίσμα). The form commonly used by St. Paul is κτίσις (Romans 8:20, 21, 22; 2 Corinthians 5:17, etc.). But κτίσμα stands by the side of κτίσις, like βρῶμα by the side of βρῶσις ὅραμα by the side of ὅρασις πόμα by the side of πόσις, and many more. The form κτίσμα ισ found in James 1:18; and twice in Revelation. Good (καλόν); with reference to Genesis 1:10, 12, etc. To be refused (ἀπόβλητον); only here in the New Testament, but found in classical Greek, and not uncommon in the LXX. and other Greek versions, for that which is "unclean," or "abominable." If it be received with thanksgiving. This clearly refers to "every creature of God," and is the condition on which it is good in relation to the receiver. Nothing can be clearer or more certain than that the apostle is not arguing against the Manichean doctrine of the evil of matter, or the works of the Demiurge, but against Jewish scruples about meats. "Every creature of God," he says, "is good" - words which would have no force if the creatures in question were not admitted to be the works of God, but thought to be the works of the Demiurge. But applied to the Jewish scruples, the words are perfectly relevant. Every creature of God is good, and on no account to be treated as common or unclean (Acts 10:15, 28), provided only that it be received with thanksgiving. Creature (κτίσμα)

Not in Paul. See James 1:18; Revelation 5:13; Revelation 8:9. A created thing. For κτίσις creation or creature, frequent in Paul, see on Romans 8:19; see on 2 Corinthians 5:17; see on Colossians 1:15. Κτίσμα in lxx, Wisd. 9:2; 13:5; 14:11; Sir. 38:34; 3 Macc. 5:11.

Refused (ἀπὸβλητον)

Lit. thrown away. N.T.o. In ecclesiastical writings, excommunicated. On the whole verse, comp. Acts 10:15; Romans 11:15; 1 Corinthians 10:25, 1 Corinthians 10:26, 1 Corinthians 10:30, 1 Corinthians 10:31.

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