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Paul’s Charge to Timothy In 2 Timothy 2:1-7 Paul charges Timothy to trust in God’s grace as he endeavors to deliver the teaching of justification to faithful men.
2 Timothy 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:1 “Thou therefore” Comments - In 2 Timothy 1:3-18 Paul exhorts Timothy to strive on in the ministry despite affliction and hardships, using God’s gifts imparted to him. Therefore 2 Timothy 2:1 begins, “Therefore,” because Timothy has been entrusted with a great calling (2 Timothy 1:11), and seeing how many have abandoned this work of the Gospel (2 Timothy 1:15-18), Paul will exhort him to be a good soldier, athlete, farmer, workman, a clean vessel, and a servant.
2 Timothy 2:1 “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” Scripture References - Note a similar verse:
Ephesians 6:10, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”
2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
2 Timothy 2:2 Comments - Paul has just brought to Timothy’s remembrance some unfaithful men in 2 Timothy 1:15-18.
2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 2:3 Word Study on “endure hardness” Strong says the Greek word “endure hardness” ( κακοπαθε ́ ω ) (G2553) means, “to undergo hardships.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 4 times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “endure hardness 1, suffer trouble 1, endure afflictions 1, be afflicted 1.”
2 Timothy 2:9 Wherein I suffer trouble , as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.”
2 Timothy 4:5, “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions , do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”
James 5:13, “Is any among you afflicted ? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.”
However, some Greek manuscripts replace the word κακοπαθε ́ ω with συγκακοπαθε ́ ω (G4777), which means, “to suffer hardship in company with.” This word is used only one other time in the New Testament (see 2 Timothy 1:8). Modern translations appear to be equally divided over the use of these two words. Goodspeed takes this alternative reading and translates this word in 2 Timothy 2:3 as “Share my hardship.”
2 Timothy 2:3 Comments - A soldier must crucify the flesh. He learns obedience through suffering and self-discipline. Note these insightful words from Frances J. Roberts:
“Thou hast already witnessed the verdure of life that has sprung forth where the waters of My Spirit have flowed. How can any doubt remain? But the flesh dies hard; it is true. Even Jesus learned obedience through suffering and self-discipline. And Paul admonished: ‘Endure hardness as a good soldier.’ All that comforts the flesh weakens the Spirit.” 
 Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King’s Farspan, Inc., 1973), 88.
2 Timothy 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
2 Timothy 2:4 Word Study on “entangleth…with” Strong says the Greek word “entangleth with” ( εμπλε ́ κω ) (G1707) literally means, “to entwine,” and figurative, “to involve with.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used two times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “entangle (one's) self with 1, entangle therein + 5125 1.”
2 Timothy 2:4 Comments - What is the warfare that we must endure? We are daily in spiritual warfare against the kingdom of darkness (Ephesians 6:10-18). We are also in a war against our fleshly desires (1 Peter 2:11).
1 Peter 2:11, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;”
The word “entangle” implies that a person can get into bondage to the cares of this world without really intending to do so. Some habits have a way of getting a grip on a person’s life so that he is not able to get loose and be free to serve the Lord any longer. There are a lot of things that we can do in life, but most of this entertainment and business has no eternal value. The sign of a mature Christian is seen in their interests. They have set their affects on things above, and not on the things of this earth. We should find God's plan for our lives and focus on that plan.
The cares of this world, called here the affairs of life, are like a snare or a trap. Jesus used a similar analogy in the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:18-19).
Mark 4:18-19, “And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.”
2 Timothy 2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
2 Timothy 2:5 Illustration - In the 1972 Summer Olympic games held in Munich, Germany, Frank Shorter was in the lead and entering the stadium for the final leg of his historic win. As he entered to tunnel, a fake runner emerged from the tunnel ahead of Frank, running into the stadium as if he were in the lead. This runner ran on into the stadium and made that last leg of the race by circling the track amidst a standing ovation. Shortly behind him came the real leader of the race, Frank Shorter, who was now a little confused about the man ahead of him. Frank finished the race setting a new world record, but initially believing he had lost to the fake runner ahead of him. The actual leader and winner received very little cheer from the crowd; for they had given it to a runner who had secretly jumped ahead of the race. However, this fake winner was quickly recognized by the coaches and the judges and was denied any glory. Then the proper honour was given to the real winner who had endured the race. 
 Philip Hersh, “Marathon Men: The Dynamic Dozen,” [on-line]; accessed 22 February 2010; available from http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/sports_globetrotting/2008/10/marathon-men-th.html; Internet; “What You See is What is: Part 2,” [on-line]; accessed 22 February 2010; available from http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=87273590&blogId=408640643; Internet. See also John Parker, The Frank Shorter Story (Runner’s World Magazine, 1972).
Many church-goes are like this fake runner. They want all the glory and praise, but do not want to pay the price of running the race of a real, genuine Christian. “Lord bless me,” they say, but they do not do the things required to receive God’s blessings.
Luke 6:46, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”
Romans 13:14, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” Making provision for the flesh is being carnal minded.”
Ephesians 4:24, “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Colossians 3:10-12, “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;”
2 Timothy 2:6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
2 Timothy 2:6 Comments - We find a similar illustration of the farmer and his harvest in James 5:7. However, James places emphasis upon the farmer’s patience, while in 2 Timothy Paul places emphasis upon the certainty of the reward of farmer’s labours.
James 5:7, “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.”
2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
2 Timothy 2:7 “The Lord give thee understanding in all things” Comments - My experience has shown me that the Lord daily quickens things to me using inspired ideas, words of wisdom and words of knowledge. So the Lord can and will give us understanding, even supernaturally, in every area of our lives.
2 Timothy 2:7 Comments - The way the Lord will often reveal things to us is when we are meditating on His Word. This is why Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:7 to first consider what he has said. Paul will then give him some things to consider in the following verses (2 Timothy 2:8-13), things that will help him understand how to continue in a position to be a recipient of God’s grace. Paul will say that Timothy must remember the Gospel (2 Timothy 2:8), be willing to suffer as Paul has suffered (2 Timothy 2:9), and to endure all things without giving up (2 Timothy 2:10).
2 Timothy 2:4-7 Comments - Paul’s Encourages Timothy to Endure Hardships - When we first read 2 Timothy 2:4-7 we realize that Paul is speaking in allegories in order to explain a divine truth to Timothy; that it, we know that there is a hidden meaning that can only be revealed when we “consider” these things and mediate upon them. While meditating upon this passage of Scripture on day while driving I saw the order of events that Paul was figuratively speaking about. We can see in 2 Timothy 2:4 that Paul is referring to the calling and office of a minister being compared to the enlistment of a soldier; for neither can complete their office if they become sidetracked with the affairs of this world. They must remain faithful to this office. Paul then refers to perseverance in this calling by comparing it to an athlete running a race in 2 Timothy 2:5. Perseverance is achieved when one follows the course and the rules of the course. As a minister of the Gospel Timothy had a course to follow, a course given to him through Paul’s charges. Then, after the calling is received, and the course is run faithfully, there is a reward. Paul chooses to use a farmer in 2 Timothy 2:6 to illustrate this aspect of receiving our eternal rewards, which is also called glorification; for a farmer understands the need for patience if he is to receive a harvest. Lastly, Paul tells Timothy to “consider” these things, and that if he will do so (by meditating upon them), then the Lord would give him understanding.
The reason that Paul deals with these three aspects of our Christian journey is because Timothy had already been saved and justified through the blood of Jesus Christ. He had already been indoctrinated, which is the first phase of our sanctification. What was left for Timothy was his need to fulfill his calling and persevere to the end so that he might obtain his glorification. This was Paul’s exhortation in 2 Timothy 2:1-2 for Timothy to endure as a soldier through the grace available through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sanctification by Holy Spirit: Indoctrination Paul then approaches Timothy’s calling based upon his calling to deliver sound doctrine to others. Paul exhorts him to be strong in the Lord in order to deliver sound doctrines to faithful men. It is through Christ that Timothy has received the grace to become a servant of Christ and hand down sound doctrine to other faithful men (2 Timothy 2:1-2). Paul explains that he must lay aside the cares of this life (2 Timothy 2:3-4), strive for masteries of his profession (2 Timothy 2:5) in order to obtain his eternal reward (2 Timothy 2:6). Paul uses himself as an example of one who is faithfully preaching sound doctrine (2 Timothy 2:8-9). It is in his faithfulness that many others will obtain their salvation in Heaven (2 Timothy 2:10-14). Timothy is to respond to this exhortation and example by being strong in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:1).
Outline Here is a proposed outline:
1. Paul’s Charge To Timothy 2 Timothy 2:1-7
2. Paul’s Example of a Preacher of the Gospel 2 Timothy 2:8-14
Paul Explains Timothy’s Spiritual Journey to Those in Divine Service - After giving Timothy a warm greeting (2 Timothy 1:1-2) Paul immediately begins to exhort Timothy to fulfill his divine calling while using himself as an example of a faithful minister of Christ Jesus. He does this by basing his exhortation and charges upon the spiritual journey that every minister of God must complete. This spiritual journey begins with the foreknowledge of God the Father, justification through Jesus Christ the Son, and the sanctification of the Holy Spirit that will one day bring us into glory in Heaven. Timothy’s spiritual journey began before his birth with the foreknowledge of God the Father, who called him, saved him and imparted into him spiritual gives that must be stirred up (2 Timothy 1:3-18). Paul then exhorts him to be strong in the Lord in order to deliver sound doctrines to faithful men (2 Timothy 2:1-14). Paul next reflects upon Timothy’s divine calling from the perspective of being a faithful servant of Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:15-26). Paul then reflects upon the part of the journey called perseverance, in which Timothy is exhorted to continue in what he has been taught (2 Timothy 3:1-17). Finally, Paul focuses upon the future glorification that awaits every faithful minister when they enter into Heaven. Based upon this future hope Timothy is exhorted to preach the Word in all seasons (2 Timothy 4:1-8).
Thus, Paul begins this charge to Timothy by having him look back on the faithfulness of his mother and grandmother in training him up in the Holy Scriptures. Paul will conclude by having him look towards eternity as he describes the crown of righteousness for those who are faithful. Thus, Paul draws a broader picture of Timothy’s life in which his temporal earth-life is but a moment.
Outline - Note the proposed outline:
1. Justification by Faith thru Divine Foreknowledge 2 Timothy 1:3-18
2. Sanctification by Holy Spirit: Indoctrination 2 Timothy 2:1-14
3. Sanctification by Holy Spirit: Divine Service 2 Timothy 2:15-26
4. Sanctification by Holy Spirit: Perseverance 2 Timothy 3:1-17
5. Glorification 2 Timothy 4:1-8
Analogies of a Minister of Christ - Note the illustrations used by Paul to Timothy in this passage of Scripture: the soldier (2 Timothy 2:3), an athlete (2 Timothy 2:5), the husbandman (2 Timothy 2:6), the workman (2 Timothy 2:15), a vessel (2 Timothy 2:21), a servant (2 Timothy 2:24).
Paul’s Example of a Preacher of the Gospel After charging Timothy to be strong in the grace of God as he teaches God’s Word and lays aside the cares of this world, Paul gives himself as an example of a servant who had done the same.
2 Timothy 2:8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
2 Timothy 2:8 “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead” - Comments - Paul’s description of Jesus Christ as the “seed of David” in 2 Timothy 2:8 is followed by a poetic statement of those who are faithful one day ruling and reigning with Christ Jesus in Heaven (2 Timothy 2:11-13). Since King David prophesied of the Messiah as a descendent who would rule forever, we can see how Paul had this picture in the back of his thoughts as he linked Jesus Christ back to King David in this verse.
2 Timothy 2:8 “according to my gospel” Comments - Eusebius (A.D. 260 to 340) tells us that because of Paul's close companionship with Luke, he is referring to the Gospel of Luke in the phrase “according to my gospel.”  Note the other times when Paul used this phrase:
 Eusebius writes, “But Luke, who was of Antiochian parentage and a physician by profession, and who was especially intimate with Paul and well acquainted with the rest of the apostles, has left us, in two inspired books, proofs of that spiritual healing art which he learned from them. One of these books is the Gospel, which he testifies that he wrote as those who were from the beginning eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered unto him, all of whom, as he says, he followed accurately from the first. The other book is the Acts of the Apostles, which he composed not from the accounts of others, but from what he had seen himself. And they say that Paul meant to refer to Luke's Gospel wherever, as if speaking of some gospel of his own, he used the words, ‘according to my Gospel.’” ( Ecclesiastical History 3.4.7)
Romans 2:16, “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel .”
Romans 16:25, “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel , and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,”
2 Timothy 2:9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
2 Timothy 2:8-9 Comments Paul Summarizes His Ministry - 2 Timothy 2:8-9 can summarize Acts 13-28, which deals with Paul’s missionary journeys in that we see how Paul preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ and suffered as an evil doer because of it.
2 Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
2 Timothy 2:10 Comments - I attended a dinner with my wife’s family tonight (July 22, 2004). During the course of the dinner, I sensed that these family members looked to me as a leader who could give wisdom and guidance, both spiritually as well as financially. I became aware of how important the office of a leader because it is his influence becomes far-reaching. As I was meditating upon these thoughts later that night, the Lord quickened to me 2 Timothy 2:10 where Paul saw this same burden as a leader. He understood the need to endure hardships knowing that he was doing it for the sake of those who were under the sphere of his influence and responsibility, and because he realized that his influence will determine whether some of those souls will go to heaven or to hell.
2 Timothy 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
2 Timothy 2:11 “It is a faithful saying” Comments - Paul will use the same phrase ( πιστο ̀ ς ο ̔ λο ́ γος ) on five occasions within the Pastoral Epistles in the phrases “This is a faithful saying,” or “This is a true saying.” (1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 4:9, 2 Timothy 2:11, Titus 3:8). In 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 4:9 he makes the same statement, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.”
2 Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
2 Timothy 2:12 Comments - If persecution or affiliation comes, we have a choice to make; to be faithful to God's Word or to deny Jesus and His Word. If we deny Jesus, He will deny us now in this life, as well as in the Day of Judgment (Matthew 10:33, Mark 4:16-17; Mark 8:38, Revelation 12:11).
Matthew 10:33, “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”
Mark 4:16-17, “And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.”
Mark 8:38, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Revelation 12:11, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
2 Timothy 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
2 Timothy 2:13 Comments - We can note two truths from 2 Timothy 2:13. First, God is always faithful, and man is often unfaithful. So, the problem is not ever with God, but always with man. God will never deny what He said He will do. Paul makes a similar to His faithfulness in 2 Timothy 2:19 by saying, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure…” He will never change and deny a promise He made to you. As a growing believer, I had to shoulder up to my responsibility that the problem is with me, not God, when things did not work out.
Even if great leaders of God fall away in sin, God Himself still keeps His promises. God’s Word abides true and faithful. The Lord once said to me, “I want tell you something. My faithfulness is true. Don’t you ever doubt it!” Note:
Numbers 23:19, “ God is not a man, that he should lie ; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”
Titus 1:2, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie , promised before the world began;”
Since God could not swear by any higher, He ware by Himself:
Hebrews 6:13-14, “For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.”
Genesis 22:15-18, “And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
2 Timothy 2:11-13 Comments - Paul’s Hymn of Redemption to Those Who are Faithful In 2 Timothy 2:11-13 Paul utters a hymn that expresses God’s faithfulness to those who endure as Paul has endured. This poem is structured in Hebrew parallelism: 2 Timothy 2:11 b on dying and living parallels 2 Timothy 2:12 a on suffering and reigning, 2 Timothy 2:12 b on denying Him and being denied by Him parallels 2 Timothy 2:13 a on unbelief and His faithfulness, with 2 Timothy 2:13 b forming a tristitch with 2 Timothy 2:13 a. Regarding the faithful saints, by dying with Him we receive eternal by Him (2 Timothy 2:11 b), and by suffering with Him (2 Timothy 2:12 a); however, regarding those unfaithful who have accepted Him but turn and deny Him (2 Timothy 2:12 b), they do not alter God’s character (2 Timothy 2:13 a), for He is faithful to His promises (2 Timothy 2:13 b).
Sanctification of the Holy Spirit: Divine Service (Be a Vessel of Honour) In 2 Timothy 2:15-26 Paul reflects upon Timothy’s divine calling from the perspective of his preparation for service, which requires a daily process of sanctification by the Holy Spirit. Timothy is to allow to work sanctification in himself as a vessel of God. He is to avoid vain words which corrupt men’s souls (2 Timothy 2:15-18). Paul uses the examples of a placard on the foundation of a building and the articles contained in a house to help Timothy understand that he is to purge himself as a vessel of God (2 Timothy 2:19-22). His is to avoid striving with men as he offers them the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:23-26). Timothy is to respond to this exhortation and example by being a vessel of honor (2 Timothy 2:21).
2 Timothy 2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
2 Timothy 2:14 Comments - Paul was speaking from years of experience in Jewish synagogues and Greek cities. He understood the futility of quarrelling over words to those hearts were hard; for Paul says shortly, “the Lord knows those who are His,” (2 Timothy 2:19).
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God” - Word Study on “Study” The Greek word “study” ( σπουδάζω ) (G4704) carries much more of a meaning than just a classroom kind of study or private Bible study. It involves every area of a man’s life: his work or job, his conduct or lifestyle, his affairs with men, his religious duties, etc. Everything a man does in life should be done with diligence and done to one's best to find God’s approval. The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 11 times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “endeavour 3, do diligence 2, be diligent 2, give diligence 1, be forward 1, labour 1, study 1.”
A. “to be diligent” - It mean, “to be diligent, to do one's best, to hurry or hasten.” This idea is translated in other uses of this same Greek word (2 Timothy 4:9; 2 Timothy 4:21, Tit 3:12 , 2 Peter 1:5; 2 Peter 1:10; 2 Peter 1:15; 2 Peter 3:14).
2 Timothy 4:9, “ Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:”
2 Timothy 4:21, “ Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren.”
Titus 3:12, “When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.”
2 Peter 1:5, “And beside this, giving all diligence , add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;”
2 Peter 1:10, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”
2 Peter 1:15, “Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.”
2 Peter 3:14, “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”
Regarding the topic of diligence, Jesus worked hard and in haste, because His time in the earthly ministry was so short to prepare twelve disciples and because the needs of mankind were so great. (So, Matthew 9:31-38) (Luke 10:12).
John 9:4, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”
John 21:25, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”
Luke 10:2, “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Same as Matthew 9:37-38)
Note the diligence as a group working together:
Ephesians 4:3, “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Note Colossians 2:19; Colossians 3:14.
Colossians 2:19, “And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.”
Colossians 3:14, “And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.”
Note other Scriptures on this theme of diligence:
1 Corinthians 9:24-27, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
Philippians 3:14, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
When a lot of work is laid before a man, he becomes a person of seriousness. His mind is not on a lot of foolishness, neither is his mind occupied with a lot of play. He has his mind on the job, not on horseplay. A child who is working with his dad many times has his mind on the job for a while, and also on play for a while. But, the man on the job knows that if he gets his mind occupied with day dreaming, he will foul up the job, have to do it again, and waste much time. But deep in the man’s mind is the drive behind this hastiness. He knows that the responsibility given to him will require him to stand before his supervisor at the end of the day and give an account of his workday. He must answer and explain why it took the length of time it did or answer why he was careless. The man knows that trouble awaits, if the job is not finished. A good boss knows how long a job should take, and what causes loss of time and careless errors. A smart worker knows that his boss is aware of this fact. A good worker realizes that his boss knows the job and that he knows how long it should take to complete it.
One day we are going to have to give account of our conduct and work that we accomplished here on this earth (Hebrews 4:13). We are going to have to reckon with God. He will judge us and He knows our faithfulness. Just like on the job, when we are careless because we do not know any better, God will have compassion. However, when we know certain things, and do not do them, just like a boss, God will be more severe with us in those areas of willful wrong.
Hebrews 4:13, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”
Illustration - While driving roll-off trucks for a waste management company, I realized that the boss knows how long the job should take. When the truck breaks down, the boss can tell if the problem was caused by carelessness or by wear and tear on the truck. I tried to work in haste each day, anxious to get the job done.
Illustration - While helping build the Alethia Fellowship Church building, there were times that certain jobs had to be completed before nightfall, such as floor decking. We had to pray, believe no rain would ruin the floor, and work hard at the same time.
B. “To be eager” - It means, “to be eager or willing.” This idea is used in several New Testament passages (2 Corinthians 8:8; 2 Corinthians 8:17).
2 Corinthians 8:8, “I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.”
2 Corinthians 8:17, “For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward , of his own accord he went unto you.”
C. “To work hard” - It means, “to work hard.” This idea is found in several New Testament verses (Romans 12:11, Hebrews 4:11).
Romans 12:11, “Not slothful in business ; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;”
a. “when earnestness is needed, never be indolent [to avoid work, lazy]” ( BDAG) (see ὀκνηρός 1)
c. “not lagging behind in diligences” ( NASB)
d. “Do not be lazy but work hard, serving the Lord with all your heart” ( NCV)
d. “never be lacking in zeal” ( NIV)
b. “Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.” ( NLT)
Hebrews 4:11, “ Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”
Illustration - Even in the world, hard workers always get promoted ahead of those around them. Only in the dictionary does “success” come before “work”.
Illustration - Paul, as a Pharisee, strove hard and excelled in this area.
Galatians 1:14, “And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.”
D. “To study and learn” - It means, “to study and learn correctly,” due to the context of this passage in 2 Timothy 2:15, and since it is one of the themes of 1 and 2 Timothy.
E. “Urgency - It means, “urgency,” because many souls are going to hell.
Word Study on “to shew” Strong says the Greek word “shew” ( παρίστημι , or παριστάνω ) (G3936) literally means, “to stand beside,” and “to exhibit, proffer, recommend, substantiate, to be at hand (ready), aid.”
A. While on earth:
Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
2 Corinthians 5:9, “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.”
B. In heaven:
Romans 14:10, “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”
2 Corinthians 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
Word Study on “approved” Strong says the Greek word “approved” ( δόκιμος ) (G1384) means, “acceptable, approved.”
Comments - This approval requires the testing of faith and the enduring through that test to be approved as true, genuine (Isaiah 48:10, Zechariah 13:9).
Isaiah 48:10, “Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.”
Zechariah 13:9, “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”
2 Corinthians 5:9 is close to giving an overall meaning of 2 Timothy 2:15.
2 Corinthians 5:9, “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.”
It requires endurance in hard times. Many people are not going to do this, i.e., meet God’s standard, even though they are mindful of the Lord (Matthew 7:22-23).
Matthew 7:22-23, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Thus, 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
Testing times in life:
Job 23:10, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”
Psalms 66:10, “For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.”
Proverbs 17:3, “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.”
James 1:3, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”
1 Peter 1:6-7, “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”
Only faith pleases God Almighty. This is what brings His approval.
Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
“unto God”- It is carnal to meet and strive towards man’s standard of acceptance. This requires no faith in God.
John 5:44, “How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?”
Comments - The context of this passage of Scripture in 2 Timothy is about enduring, or striving, to be a “soldier and athlete.” It also included the need to teach others to endure as well. However, this passage is not in the context of studying books.
2 Timothy 2:15 “a workman that needeth not to be ashamed” Comments - This statement in 2 Timothy 2:15 about a workman that does not need to be ashamed implies that there will be many servants ashamed on the Day of Judgment because they missed the mark. A worker is ashamed when he has not done his part of labour and has to face the boss with this fact. One boss said that a hard worker does not have to back up to the paycheck (that is, in shame). He can face his boss with confidence of having earned those wages.
Scripture Reference - Note:
Titus 2:7-8, “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”
2 Timothy 2:15 “rightly dividing the word of truth” Word Study on “rightly dividing” - Strong says the Greek word “rightly dividing” ( ὀρθοτομέω ) (G3718) literally means, “to make a straight cut, to dissect (expound) correctly.” The NIV says, “one who correctly teaches the message of truth.”
Comments - Paul is telling Timothy to guide the word along a straight path. Note the context of this passage: Many people are missing the purpose of teaching God’s word, which is the love walk (1 Timothy 1:5). Timothy’s charge was to commit Paul’s instructions from the Lord to faithful men. Timothy had a course to follow, from which he is exhorted not to deviate. Paul will follow this charge of guiding faithful men on a straight path by reminding Timothy of two men who have deviated from the path named Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Timothy 2:16-18).
1 Timothy 1:5, “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:”
2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
In the phrase “rightly dividing the word of truth,” Paul is literally telling Timothy to guide the word of God along a straight path. This path is the foundational theme of the Scriptures, which is God’s plan of redemption for mankind, a path that is described here as “straight.” This means that the Holy Bible has a path that we are to follow, that is, a structure with a thematic scheme. This straight path not only refers to our spiritual journey that leads us to glorification in Heaven, but to the structure of the Holy Bible and the individual books of the Bible. This thematic scheme of the Scriptures is built around God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit’s plan of redemption (predestination, calling, justification, glorification) of man’s spirit, soul, and body. This structure is described in the introductions of each book of my study notes.
2 Timothy 2:15 Illustration - I was painting a small, clay sculpture and trying to be as detailed as possible with my brush. The Lord then quickened to me the phrase, “a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) I understood the analogy immediately. We must strive to study God’s Word and deliver it to others with accuracy and detail. His Holy Word is not ours to “peddle” and misinterpret for personal gain, as some do. A person who peddles bad merchandise will find eventually himself in trouble, though he may make some profit initially. In the same way, a minister of the Gospel should give himself to detail and accuracy to God’s Word. This is the only way to rightly divide it amidst so many controversial doctrines that churches have embraced over the centuries.
2 Timothy 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
2 Timothy 2:16 Word Study on “shun” Strong says the Greek word “shun” ( περιΐστημι ) (G4026) literally means, “to stand all around, to be a bystander,” and, “to keep away from.”
2 Timothy 2:16 Word Study on “profane” Strong says the Greek word “profane” ( βέβηλος ) (G952) literally means, “accessible (as by crossing the door-way),” and figuratively, “heathenish, wicked.”
2 Timothy 2:16 Word Study on “vain babblings” Strong says the Greek word “vain babblings” ( κενοφωνία ) (G2757) literally means, “empty sounding,” and by implication, “fruitless discussion.”
Comments - How grievous is worldly and idle chatter to those whose hearts are filled with the joy of God’s presence and are eager to share about Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:16 Word Study on “increase” - Strong says the Greek word “increase” ( προκόπτω ) (G4298) literally means, “to drive forward,” and figuratively, “to advance, to grow, to be well along.”
2 Timothy 2:16 Comments - Let your mind be on heavenly things or else vanity increases unto more ungodliness. We begin to err from the straight path of the Word of God when our words begin to err. In other words, our tongue sets our course in this life. If our tongue deviates from the path, then our life will follow.
2 Timothy 2:16 Scripture References - Note similar verses:
Matthew 12:36-37, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
1 Timothy 6:20-21, “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.”
2 Timothy 2:17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
2 Timothy 2:17 Comments - Paul illustrates his point in 2 Timothy 2:16 of how our words cause us to deviate from the straight path of God’s word by comparing it to the disease of gangrene, which grows in man’s body and eats its flesh, gradually destroying the physical body. Paul then illustrates this verse to Timothy by reminding him of two men they both know that fell into this error.
2 Timothy 2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
2 Timothy 2:18 Word Study on “erred” Strong says the Greek word “erred” ( ἀστοχέω ) (G795) means, “to deviate.”
2 Timothy 2:18 Word Study on “overthrow” - Strong says the Greek word “overthrow” ( ἀνατρέπω ) (G396) means, “to overturn.”
2 Timothy 2:18 Comments After Paul tells Timothy to guide the word along a straight path (2 Timothy 2:16), he reminds him of two men who have deviated from the path of God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:17). The words Paul uses in this passage of Scripture describe our spiritual journey as a path of following God’s Word, with a sober reminder of some who err from this straight and narrow path, resulting in destruction, both physical and spiritual.
2 Timothy 2:18 Scripture Reference Note the following verse:
1 Corinthians 15:12, “Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?”
2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
2 Timothy 2:19 “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure” - Comments The context of this passage in 2 Timothy is sound teaching. So, those like Hymenaeus and Philetus cannot change the truth and the doctrine and the Word laid down by God.
1 Corinthians 3:11, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
The teachings laid down by the apostles and prophets:
Ephesians 2:20, “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets , Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;”
Hebrews mentions the foundation of the basic doctrines of Christ:
Hebrews 6:1-2, “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”
2 Timothy 2:19 “having this seal” Comments Strong says the Greek word “seal” ( σφραγίς ) (G4973) literally means, “a signet,” and figuratively, “the stamp impressed.” In other words, God has place His royal stamp, his signet upon His Word to authenticate its divine nature.
2 Timothy 2:19 “The Lord knoweth them that are his” Scripture References - Note similar verses:
Numbers 16:5, “And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will shew who are his , and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him.”
Nahum 1:7, “The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.”
John 10:14, “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.”
John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:”
1 Corinthians 8:3, “But if any man love God, the same is known of him.”
2 Timothy 2:19 “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” - Scripture References - Note a similar verse:
Isaiah 26:13, “O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name .”
John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:”
2 Timothy 2:19 Comments 2 Timothy 2:19 reveals both sides of divine election. God, in His divine foreknowledge, knows who will go to Heaven before the foundation of the earth. Yet, He gives mankind the opportunity to choose his destiny by calling upon the name of Christ
2 Timothy 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
2 Timothy 2:20 Illustration - I grew up in a house that I was ashamed of. I did not want my friends to come over and see my house, because it did not look pleasing, or honorable. Some of us have houses that are pretty, and some of us live in houses that are not pretty. Some of us are proud of our houses and the furnishings in our houses, and some of us are ashamed of our houses and furnishings. God wants a pretty house to show off, a house that He can use as an example. He wants a person who is living a Godly life, so He can raise that man or woman up as an example for others to see and follow. Note:
Philippians 3:17, “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.”
Illustration - In the USA, a developer will build a subdivision of homes, an entire neighbor of houses. In order to sell these houses, they will build one house near the entrance to this subdivision and fix it up beautiful with furnishings. This model house will inspire many other people to come and buy in this particular neighborhood.
Illustration - When I was sent oversees to Africa, my pastor wanted me to represent the ministry well. My wife and I purchased new clothes. We were given a nice car and a nice place to live. We were prayed for 24-hours a day so that we would live a godly lifestyle representing this great missionary work. Our pastor wanted to be proud of us, for us to be an example of excellence. God wants His children to do the same. He wants us to clean up our lives so that we are presentable to others as an example of godliness. If we will do so, He will surely use us as examples in this world.
2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
2 Timothy 2:21 “If a man therefore purge himself from these” Comments - The Greek word “from these” is the “immediate demonstrative” pronoun (ôú τος ) (G5130), which is intended to refer to that which is immediately present to the thinking of the writer. In this case, it would be the things of dishonour, which were most recently mentioned in the previous verse, while the things of honor were mentioned earlier, so are further removed from the writer’s thoughts. Thus, we see this reflected in many modern translations, which attempt to add the writer’s thoughts in the place of this demonstrative pronoun.
ESV, “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable , he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
ISV, “ Therefore, if anyone stops associating with these people, he will become a special utensil, set apart for the owner's use, prepared for every good work.”
Montgomery, “If then a man keeps himself clear of these latter , he will be a vessel for honor, consecrated, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.”
NCV, “All who make themselves clean from evil will be used for special purposes. They will be made holy, useful to the Master, ready to do any good work.”
NET, “So if someone cleanses himself of such behavior, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart, useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.”
NKJV, “Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.”
RSV, “If any one purifies himself from what is ignoble , then he will be a vessel for noble use, consecrated and useful to the master of the house, ready for any good work.”
TCNT, “If, then, a man has escaped from the pollution of such errors as I have mentioned , he will be like a thing kept for better use, set apart, serviceable to its owner, ready for any good purpose.
Weymouth, “If therefore a man keeps himself clear of these latter , he himself will be for specially honourable use, consecrated, fit for the Master's service, and fully equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 2:21 “and prepared unto every good work” Comments - Thus, verse 15 says that the workman does not need to be ashamed because his works are good.
2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed , rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:21 Comments - A man can prepare himself to be used of God by laying aside everything that brings dishonor to the Lord. It is the desire of every Christian to allow God to use him. But not everyone prepares himself so that God can use him.
2 Timothy 2:21 Scripture References - Note a similar verse:
Hebrews 12:1, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us , and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”
2 Timothy 2:20-21 Comments - Paul Uses the Analogy of a House to Explain the Work of Sanctification in the Life of a Minister of the Gospel - Within the passage of 2 Timothy 2:20-21, in which Paul uses an analogy of a house with vessels to honor and to dishonour, note his statements before and after: We are to “depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19), “flee sins,” and “follow holiness” (2 Timothy 2:22). Thus, Paul is describing the process of a believer’s sanctification.
2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
2 Timothy 2:22 Comments - The previous verse has told young Timothy to purge himself from anything that dishonors God. 2 Timothy 2:22 now tells him how to go about this challenging task. He is to associate himself with men and women of God who have a pure heart and avoid running carelessly with those who pursue the carnal things of this world. It is not enough to separate himself from temptations. He must actively pursue a godly lifestyle with the support of a local fellowship of believers. Therein lies the strength to overcome temptation during the course of a lifetime of ministry. Many young men have separated themselves from the world and gone into the ministry; and many ministers have been overcome with moral failures because they grew weary in the pursuit of holiness and found themselves at a distance from men of God who were able to lift him up.
2 Timothy 2:22 Scripture References - Note a similar verse:
1 Timothy 6:11, “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”
2 Timothy 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
2 Timothy 2:23 Scripture References - Note a similar verse:
1 Timothy 4:7, “But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.”
2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
2 Timothy 2:25 Word Study on “instructing” Strong says the Greek word “instructing” ( παιδεύω ) (G3811) means, “to train (up a child), to educate, to discipline.” Thus, this word carries the idea of correcting or giving guidance in someone’s life.
2 Timothy 2:25 Word Study on “those that oppose themselves” - Comments - The Greek word “those that oppose themselves” ( ἀντιδιατίθεμαι ) (G475) is translated in the middle voice in the KJV, “those that oppose themselves.” The NASB, RSV, NIV and BDAG translate this Greek word in the passive voice, “those in opposition,” or “opponents.” Acts 18:6 is given the same translation using the Greek word α ̓ ντιτα ́ σσομαι (G498).
Acts 18:6, “And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.”
2 Timothy 2:25 Comments - God is long suffering to us as sinners, but he will not change His Word to please any man.
2 Timothy 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
2 Timothy 2:26 “ And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil ” - Word Study on “recover” Strong says the Greek word “recover themselves” ( ἀνανήφω ) (G366) means, “to become sober again,” to regain (one’s) senses.”
2 Timothy 2:26 “who are taken captive by him” Comments - Satan’s temptations have a way of capturing, or captivating, a person’s heart and they become driven to fulfill those passions. This captive person will yield his members (the captivated one) and work towards fulfilling those drives, almost spell bound (Galatians 3:1) and overriding good common sense. He will even override his understanding in God’s Word, knowing God’s will (Hebrews 10:26). This can happen when one falls in love. One can be spellbound. The word “captive” is a very good descriptive word for Satan’s works and resulting effects in human lives.
Galatians 3:1, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?”
Hebrews 10:26, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,”
James 1:14, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”
2 Timothy 2:26 “at his will” - In the phrase “at his will,” the Greek word “his” is singular in the Greek text, and in this context it is referring to the devil. If this personal pronoun were referring to “the opposers” of verse 25, it would be plural.
2 Timothy 2:26 Scripture References - Note a similar verse:
2 Corinthians 4:4, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
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Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 2". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29