2 Timothy 2
-Timothy is instructed to be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and to entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also what he had heard from Paul in the presence of many witnesses (2 Timothy 2:1-2). He was encouraged to share in the sufferings of Christ as a good soldier and not be entangled by the affairs of this world pleasing only the Father in Heaven who enlists His army (2 Timothy 2:3). Paul uses two more illustrations to depict the way in which to live. He compares the believers’ walk to an athlete who competes according to the rules and a hard-working farmer who should enjoy the first benefits of the crops (2 Timothy 2:5-6). At the end of this paragraph, Paul advises Timothy and all of us to “think over” what has been said (good advice, right?) so that the Lord will give understanding in EVERYTHING (2 Timothy 2:7). *Application* First, it is only by God’s grace that we can be strengthened and be set free from the bondage and guilt of sin that has infected our mortal beings. God’s grace is sufficient for every aspect of His healing and deliverance. Praise Him for that! Secondly, we have here in this section an important principle for effective discipleship in our ministry with people. Entrust your teaching and efforts to faithful people that exhibit a willingness and passion for the things of God to impart what you teach to others also. Don’t waste too much time with people who don’t what a Spirit-filled life and Godly growth. Don’t cast your pearls before the swine or give what is holy to dogs (Matthew 7:6). Suffering is part of the Christian experience whether we like it or not. The Word tells us to “consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).” Compete by the rules God lays out and expect all His benefits of blessing in the final analysis. Don’t worry in the interim (having temporary effect).
-Christ Jesus was again our example of suffering and enduring for obtaining of salvation for the world in eternal glory. “If we have died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us; if we are faithless, He remains faithful because He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:8-13).” *Application* We must keep our eyes focused on the Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:1-2). Nothing will make sense to us in this world if we don’t. Keep your eyes lifted up and do not despair or falter. The Lord holds us in our desperate times and faithfully cares for the weary. He will not let you down!
-This next section speaks of the fruitless discussions over controversial matters that rip and tear the body of Christ apart. Paul’s advice is to present yourself as an approved worker who does not need to be ashamed because you can rightly divide (handle, interpret) the truth, which is the Word of God , a strong and firm foundation (2 Timothy 2:13-19). The Lord knows who are His, and our responsibility is to depart from iniquity if we call on His Name (2 Timothy 2:19). Paul takes up the point that we are to be honorable vessels of God by His cleansing power, set apart as holy and useful to our Master ready for every good work (2 Timothy 2:20-21). Therefore, we are to flee youthful passions and instead pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace and a pure heart leaving behind the foolish, ignorant controversies that breed quarrels. Instead, we must be kind to everyone with able teaching as we patiently endure evil correcting our opponents with gentleness in hopes that God will grant repentance based on their humility and coming to know the truth in their senses so as to escape from the snare of the enemy (the devil) (2 Timothy 2:22-26). *Application* This is the tried and true method of overcoming evil with good (Romans 12:21). It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another even as God in Christ Jesus has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32). This is what the righteousness of Christ is all about! Quit arguing over things that may be unclear from the Scriptures and divide and resolve to enjoy the love of the Lord more in the unity of His saints.
Verses to Memorize- 2 Timothy 2:2, 13, 15