the Truth (2:14-18)
Be strong in the
grace that is in Christ Jesus, endure hardship, good soldier, athletics,
hard-working farmer, gospel, died, live, reign, deny, faithful, diligent,
approved to God, rightly dividing the word of truth, depart from iniquity,
vessels, honor, dishonor, flee…youthful lusts, gentle, able to teach, patient,
1. Soldier (3), athlete (5), farmer (6), worker
(15), vessel (20), servant (24).
1. 1. Be strong in the grace that is in
Christ Jesus (1).
2. Commit the things that he has heard
to faithful men who will be able to teach others also (2).
3. Endure hardship as a good soldier
of Jesus Christ (3).
2. In this
context, to be strong means to have the courage and the endurance to face
hardship. This strength is not based on fleshly courage, but on the grace of
Christ Jesus. In other words, it is by depending on the gracious help of the
Lord rather than on self-confidence that we can truly be strong.
3. Apart from
serving God faithfully and fulfilling our ministry, it is important that we pay
attention to searching out faithful men to whom we can entrust the word of God
and the ministry. These faithful men themselves must also be able to teach
others in order to ensure continuity of the word and the ministry. This
principle applies to all areas of church work where we need to consciously
4. A soldier
needs to endure hardship. He has to be absolutely focused on his mission and
not entangle himself with civilian affairs. An athlete needs to push himself to
the limit in training and competition, and he must also exercise
self-discipline and integrity in following rules of the competition. A farmer
has to labor all day, enduring physical fatigue from dawn till dusk. He also
needs to wait patiently for the time of harvest.
metaphors illustrate the physical and mental endurance that a good worker of
God must have. In order to carry out the Lord’s commission, we need to
persevere and not shrink from hardship.
Just as the
soldier, the athlete, and the farmer do not labor without a purpose, our
endurance is not without a purpose, but is achieving for us the heavenly
reward. While pressing on toward this reward, we must be focused, disciplined,
and diligent in the ministry.
5. Just as a
soldier must concentrate on his mission rather than his personal pursuits, we
must also be free from the pursuit of selfish ambitions in life if we want to
wage the good warfare of the gospel. When we are focused on our personal
dreams, we naturally invest our energy and time into reaching these goals and
sacrifice our commitment to preach the gospel. So, instead of setting our
hearts on our own accomplishments, we ought to set our hearts on pleasing our
Commander and completing the mission He has entrusted to us.
6a. 1. Remember that Jesus Christ was raised
from the dead according to the gospel (8). Christ’s resurrection is the
foundation on which the gospel and our ministry stand. Because Christ is risen our faith and our message are not in vain. We are
serving and preaching about the risen Savior, and so our work is most noble.
Christ’s resurrection also signifies the victory that Christians will have
(1Cor 15:51-58). Hence, just as Christ initially endured in suffering but
emerged victorious eventually, we will likewise be victorious if we continue to
2. Recognize that although the
preacher may suffer trouble and be in chains, the word of God is not chained
(9). The power of the gospel is so great that nothing, not even the most severe
persecution, can suppress it. When we feel discouraged by the hardships that
surround us, we ought to remember that God’s will cannot
be frustrated. Paul’s personal example serves as a motivational “success
story.” Although he is in chains, he is not discouraged, but is convinced that
God’s work will be victorious.
3. Endure for the sake of the elect
(10). We suffer for a glorious purpose because through our preaching the gospel
others may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
This great cause should inspire all preachers of the gospel to endure
4. Jesus Christ is faithful, even
though men may be faithless (11-13). If we endure hardship in the ministry, we
shall reign with Christ. Jesus Christ is true. He cannot deny Himself. He will
reward those who are faithful to him. This is a promise we can count on.
6b. Christ Jesus.
Because of His resurrection, glorious salvation, and faithfulness in keeping
His promise, He is the ultimate reason that we preach the gospel and endure
7. 1. Remind and charge the believers and
the teachers “not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the
hearers” (14). Learning the word of God is for understanding the will of God
and for the edification of the listeners. It should not be turned into a debate
2. “Be diligent to present [himself]
approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the
word of truth” (15). A teacher of God’s word should faithfully proclaim the
word of God so that he has no reason to be ashamed when his work is tested. He
needs to have a clear understanding and discernment between truth and error. He
must be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to interpret the truth correctly
(1Cor 2:12-14; Jn 16:13) and the courage to make a clear
stand for what is right. Instead of preaching messages that are both “yes and
no,” he will truthfully and faithfully speak according to God’s will (2 Cor 1:17-20; Mt 5:37).
3. “Shun profane and idle babblings,
[which] will increase to more ungodliness” (16). This suggests that good
workers of God must refrain from participating in gossip and useless chatter or
proclaiming popular ideologies. He must stay away from everything that is
contrary to sound doctrine and godliness.
8. As workers of
God, we are first and foremost accountable to God. Whether God approves of us
is far more important than what people think of us. Thus, we need to be
diligent, giving ourselves totally to doing the things that please God.
9. The false
message will spread like cancer. This means that destruction will spread
rapidly. Some will stray from the truth and the faith of some will be
overthrown (17-18). Because of the serious influence that false doctrines can
have on believers, Paul “delivered such false teachers to Satan” (1Tim
1:19-20). John also teaches us not to even greet such people or receive them
into our house (2 Jn 10).
10. The false
teachers taught that the resurrection was already past. This probably means
that they denied the bodily resurrection and claimed that the resurrection is
spiritual, which already took place during the believer’s conversion.
11. Honor vs.
dishonor; flee youthful lusts vs. pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with
those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart; quarreling vs. being gentle to
all, able to teach, patient, and humble; opposition vs. repentance; escape vs.
12a. The foundation of God denotes what God has established,
including God’s election, the truth, and the church on which the truth stands
(cf. 1Tim 3:15). The foundation has been sealed, which means it has been
established by a divine decree and therefore cannot be changed.
on this seal are “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who
names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” Just as a shepherd knows his
sheep, the Lord knows who are truly His (Jn 10:14). A
believer who truly belongs to God will be acknowledged and accepted by God,
regardless of how others view him. When Korah and
others challenged God’s election of Moses and Aaron as the leaders, the Lord
showed the assembly of Israel
who belonged to Him. In the same way, the Lord will eventually reveal who are
His. Therefore, we should simply trust that God knows and will keep those who
belong to Him.
On the other
hand, God also commands everyone who names the name of Christ to depart from
iniquity. While God is the ultimate judge of who truly belongs to him, we need
to examine ourselves to see if we can stand before God with a clear conscience.
Our part as people who profess the name of Christ is to make sure that we
depart from iniquity. Everyone who belongs to God is free from iniquity. If we
want to be God’s people, we must flee from all sin.
12b. In the
previous paragraph, Paul commanded the believers and Timothy not to strive
about words and to shun profane and idle babblings (14,16).
Instead, Timothy needs to be diligent to present himself approved to God and be
a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth
(15). Timothy must remain true to the sound doctrine and separate himself from
all false teachings. Unfortunately, some have lost their faith because of these
Hence, in verse
19, Paul encourages the believers that despite the threat of false teachings
and the fact that some have fallen, the truth as well as those in the church
who are on the side of truth will not be harmed. At the same time, everyone who
wishes to belong to Christ needs to separate himself from the evil works of the
13a.1. Depart from iniquity (19).
2. Cleanse himself from the
dishonorable (i.e. iniquity) and become vessels of honor, sanctified and
prepared for every good work (20-21)
3. Flee youthful lusts; but pursue
righteousness, faith, love and peace with those who call on the Lord out of a
pure heart (22)
4. Avoid foolish and ignorant disputes
5. Not quarrel (24)
6. Be gentle (24)—Moses was a good
example (Num 12:1-9 )
7. Able to teach (24; cf 1Tim 3:2)
8. Be patient (24)
9. In humility correct those who are in
13b. When God
uses a person, He does not look at the person’s skills or intelligence because
God can easily grant these to whomever He chooses to use. Instead, God chooses
those who cleanse themselves from iniquity and are pure in heart, who faithfully teach and practice the word of truth.
commands suggests that good workers must be active and
diligent, whether in freeing himself from sins or building godly character. A
Christian who is passive will neither be able to depart from iniquity nor grow
spiritually. Only if we make an effort to please God while asking for God’s
help will we be able to be useful servants.