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Bible Commentaries
2 Timothy 2

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

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Verses 1-26

2 Timothy had been with the apostle in Rome, whence he was probably sent to Philippi ( Php_2:19 ). The most loving and intimate relations existed between them, and Paul continually refers to him as his own child in the faith. His father was a Greek, but his mother was a Jewess ( Act_16:1 ). His grandmother Lois and his mother were believers and he seems to have inherited their faith. He was constantly associated with the apostle in his labors, often being sent on some mission which Paul himself could not fulfill. His name is joined with Paul's in the salutation of six of his epistles ( 2Co_1:1 ; Php_1:1 ; Col_1:1 ; 1Th_1:1 ; 2Th_1:1 , Phm_1:1 ). He seems to have suffered imprisonment for a time but was set at liberty ( Heb_13:23 ). Paul gives him the highest possible praise, so that he himself is given as an example of true service and the letters sent to him are most important to all who wish to engage in a like service.

6 The apostle's prolonged imprisonment, and the growing evils which were creeping into the ecclesias, seem to have had the effect of dampening and discouraging Timothy. To counteract this tendency the apostle reminds him that God's calling is not dependent on men's acts but on His own purpose and grace, and this cannot be disturbed or hindered by the flood of evil, for it was given us in Christ Jesus before eonian times. The eons are the times of evil. Before the times of the eons there was no evil, neither will there be any after they have run their course. As a result, God's purpose is before and above evil, and we should not be unduly moved by its presence. Death is sin's ultlmate. The crucifixion of Christ is the furthest limit to which sin can go. The vivification of Christ is the first step in the abolition of death. He can die no more. At His coming advent the saints will triumph over death and receive eonian life. Its final abolition, however, is at the end of the eons, called the consummation.

10 The abolition of death is put in the indefinite or aorist tense, as He has done it in His own case and will do it for all in the future.

12 The transcendent truths committed to the apostle Paul always meet with opposition and bring suffering on their exponents. But God Himself guards them and revives them from time to time even though the vast majority of His saints hardly know of their existence.

13 The pattern of sound words is one of the most serious needs for the student of the Scriptures. If it was necessary for Timothy to cling to the particular Greek expressions used by the apostle, how much greater is the need for some definite pattern on which to model the words of aversion? How can the English reader hope to fulfill this exhortation when the translations which he uses publicly proclaim their avoidance of any uniformity or pattern in their production? The constant and consistent use of correct terms is one of the greatest possible aids in assimilating and teaching truth. The greatest hindrance is the inconsistent use of inexact terms which have their force nullified by use in incorrect contexts.

1 "The grace which is in Christ Jesus" is a most comprehensive expression including all the infinite favor associated with a present acknowledgment of Christ's exaltation in the heavens. Salvation, justification, reconciliation and every spiritual blessedness among the celestials is surely enough to invigorate all who appreciate their possession even in a feeble measure.

3 To inflict evil is the object of the world's soldiers. All their training is to this end. To suffer evil is the duty of the ideal soldier in the ranks of faith.

5 A most important principle, almost unheeded. Effort and endeavor is of no avail in God's service unless it be in strict conformity to the rules. Hence it is of prime importance to acquaint ourselves first of all with God's instructions and adhere to them closely. Otherwise the most pretentious effort, which seems to meet with most success, may be utterly rejected at the judge's stand. Do not attempt to work for God until you know the will of God.

Verses 8-26

8 The literal resurrection of Christ as the Seed of David seems to be the apostle's answer to the theory of a spiritual resurrection. The Seed of David can be nothing less than a literal Man.

10 'The salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eonian glory" is a most apt description of the grace shown to us.

11 This faithful saying shows that our life and all that comes to us by His grace is immutable-it depends on His faithfulness. Service ,

however, has two sides, reward and loss. Endurance will be recognized by a place of authority in His celestial realm. If we disown Him we cannot expect Him to give us a public place of power in the future. This does not infringe in the least degree on our salvation or life or anything which is ours by His grace.

15 Translators have found great difficulty in rendering the phrase "correctly cutting." While desiring to improve on the common rendering "rightly dividing", the Revisers have translated it very loosely "handling aright". This is very vague. The meaning is clear from the illustration which follows. Hymeneus and Philetus did not deny the resurrection, like the Corinthians ( 1Co_15:12 ), but they misplaced it. They made it past , when it was future . So all truth has its appropriate place, out of which truth itself becomes the most insidious error, because it seems to have the support of Scripture. We must not transfer the truth of one eon into another, nor of one economy into another. We should leave truth concerning Israel to them and that for us should not be mixed with it. In no other way can we really have the truth.

19 God's solid foundation still stands. The "pillar of the truth" ( 1Ti_3:15 ) has fallen under the flood of false teaching, which is found in the Bible, but through misplacement has become distorted into error. But the foundation is fixed. The Lord Himself is never at a loss to recognize His own. We, on our part, may demand that those who take His name upon them should act accordingly.

21 The figure of a "great house" is most appropriate in the present day. The struggling, persecuted, unrecognized ecclesia of the early days has become great, but with its greatness it has lost its primitive purity and power. Like the utensils needed in the service of a mansion, it harbors two classes. Some, like gold and silver plate. are fit for honorable uses: others, like the pots and buckets of the scullery, are for degraded service. The method of transforming ourselves into holy and desirable utensils, fit for honorable uses, is very simple. We are to purge ourselves from the unclean utensils. It is personal individual heart cleansing that is needed rather than outward reforms.

22 On the positive side, we are to confine our fellowship to those who call upon the Lord out of a clean heart. This is the true basis of fellowship in the midst of the failure in which we find ourselves. It is not doctrine, however desirable it is that we should agree. It is not church government. It is not the knowledge of the truth, but the motive which underlies it. We should not exclude from our fellowship anyone who calls on the Lord out of a clean heart, however much his person or his doctrine may repel us. Every creed, man-made, is crude and full of error. No one should subscribe to aught but the Word of God.

24 The Lord's slave must not fight, for his object is not destruction, but salvation. He does not aim to wound or disable, but to capture his antagonists alive and subject them to God's will.

1 We who are living in these last days will bear witness to the truth of the Scriptures, for no one today could give a more accurate indictment of the times than is given in this passage. The whole list from selfishness to self-gratification is characteristic, yet nothing more so than the form of devoutness which is devoid of its vital power. We are not asked to correct this condition, but to shun those who are involved in it.

6 The diminutive, "little women", expresses contempt.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 2 Timothy 2". Concordant Commentary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/aek/2-timothy-2.html. 1968.
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