The Christian's Titles
2 Timothy 2:1-26
We will discuss the seven distinctive names under which Paul addressed his son in the faith. As a prelude to these seven names, it might be helpful to suggest seven titles of our Lord under which the titles given His children are made possible and forceful.
There is a verse which says: "The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord." We will discuss the disciple, and servant; we will discuss the Lord, and Master.
The word "Master" as found in the New Testament is translated from seven distinctive Greek words. Here they are:
1. Didaskelos Teacher. You find this expression in Matthew 10:24, John 11:28, and elsewhere. When Mary called the Lord, "Master," she used this term, "Didaskelos." She sat at the Master's feet, that is, the Teacher's feet.
It was the Teacher who came and called for her upon the occasion of the dead and buried Lazarus. Jesus Christ, as a Teacher, was indeed the Master Teacher. The words He spoke were truth, apart from all error. He could teach all things because He knew all things. Let us crown Him as our Teacher.
2. Rabboni Great Chief. This was the word which the scribes and Pharisees delighted to be called. Our Lord, however, said; "Be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your Master." In the Garden when Mary Magdalene saw the Risen Christ she said unto Him, "Rabboni." Let us crown Him as our Chieftain.
3. Curios Lord. This is, perhaps, the name most commonly used in reference to our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. In Matthew 6:24, we read: "No man can serve two masters." The Greek word there is "Curios." There is but one Lord. Let us crown Him Lord of All.
However, let us not call Him Lord unless we do the things which He has commanded us.
4. Kathagetes Leader. Here is a name for our Master which we need to consider thoughtfully. In Matthew 23:1-39 we read: "One is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren." Here again does the Lord say, "Neither be ye called masters."
If there is one thing that men covet, it is to be a recognized leader among men. Let us be very cautious, because it is not in a man to direct his own steps, let alone the steps of his fellow men.
5. Epistata Master of the elements. In Luke 8:24 one of the disciples came to Jesus, when the ship was in the storm, and their lives were in jeopardy. It was then that the disciple said, "Master, Master, we perish." Here the word "Epistata" is used. Thank God, that we have such a Master.
6. Despotes Potentate. This word is translated "Master" in 2 Timothy 2:21 . It speaks of a vessel cleansed, sanctified, and made meet for the Master's use. This speaks of the believer's position as one of abject servitude, to One who has absolute authority. Thank God, however, we know our Potentate, our Despot.
The Christian who is not willing to call himself the bondslave of Jesus Christ dare not call his Lord, "Master" (Despotes).
7. Oiko Despotes Potentate, or Despot of the House. It is in Luke 13:25 that our Lord is spoken of as Master-of-the-House. Here is the quotation, "When once the Master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door." The thought here is that the same Lord, who is Master of our lives individually, is also Master of His saints, collectively. Jesus Christ seated at the right hand of the Father and clothed with all authority and with all power, is the Head of the Church and the Master of His house.
I. THE CHRISTIAN AS A SON (2 Timothy 2:1 )
1. A son begotten of the Spirit, born from above. That is the position of the believer. We do not understand our first birth, but we know the fact that we are born. We do not understand our second birth, and yet there is no doubt about the fact that we were just as truly born the second time, as we were born the first time. Here is the statement of Scripture: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."
It was to this birth that Christ referred when He said to Nicodemus, "Ye must be born again," and when He also said: "So is every one that is born of the Spirit."
2. God's call to sons. We read: "As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby." Again we read about our coming into the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. We are urged to be henceforth, "No more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine." The one ambition of the son should be to go on unto full growth, and this let us do, if God permit.
3. The privilege of sons. Here is the way our key verse reads: "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." The privilege of sonship is fellowship. If we are sons, why should we prefer to dwell in the far country, feeding the swine? Why not take up our place in the home? If we are sons, why should we prefer to live under the ban and displeasure of our Heavenly Father? As sons, let us keep in the sunshine of His grace. This is the way it is written in the Book of Jude, "Keep yourselves in the love of God."
II. THE CHRISTIAN AS A SOLDIER (2 Timothy 2:3 )
1. Life is a field of conflict. There is something in the spirit of young men and young women to which the heroic appeals. We have all seen the great groups of young men marching the streets en route to war.
In some circles, preachers seem to have an idea that they must make the Christian life in the eyes of the young people no more than a playhouse, a passing show.
Our conviction is that true Christian youths both male and female want Christ to mean something to them, and they want to mean something to Christ. They count no sacrifice too hard, no call to separation too great, when they realize that Christ is real and that salvation is worth the while.
2. The appeal to enduring hardness. The Lord Jesus never made the Christian's life easy, in order to get disciples. He asked young men and young women to leave their nets, to leave their seat in the customs, to leave father, mother, brother, sister, houses, lands, everything, to follow Him.
The Apostle Paul said, that we should endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. He threw the tasks, the trials, the testings of the battlefield before Timothy. He lay out in pictorial vision the thunderings of a battlefield, the wounded and the dying lying around, and then he said: "Be a soldier."
III. THE CHRISTIAN AS A WRESTLER (2 Timothy 2:4-5 )
1. The vision of the great crowd. When we think of a wrestler, we cannot think of him apart from the arena, and we cannot think of the arena apart from the crowd of spectators. Let young men and young women know that God is looking down, that the angels are intent as they watch their activities, that men are gathered around. In Hebrews we read these words: "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses."
2. The vision of the preparation for battle. Our key text says, "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life." We know that the runner in the races, as well as the wrestlers in the matches, must all lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset them.
Let young people know, therefore, if they would enter the Heavenly games, they must be willing to pay the price of necessary separation from worldly and carnal things, that they may successfully compete.
3. The vision of the rules of the battle. Our key text says: They must "strive lawfully." No wrestler could throw the rules of the game to the winds. He had to strive lawfully, or else he was counted out. We too must observe the laws and the rules laid down by our Lord.
The laws of our game will include our attitude toward those against whom we wrestle. We must love them; we must be all things to all men; we must preach the message which God gives us to preach, and preach it in the power of the Holy Spirit. Then will the Lord of the games give us our crown.
IV. THE CHRISTIAN AS A HUSBANDMAN (2 Timothy 2:6 )
1. The husbandman, first, knows the sowing of the seed. We might say that prior to the sowing of the seed, the fertile soil must be fully prepared for sowing. Following this, there is the choice of the seed to be sown. Then, there is the correct method in which the seed is to be scattered and covered. All of these things precede the harvesting. It has been rightly said that the tree is in the acorn, the fruit is in the flower, the harvest is in the sowing.
If a young man, therefore, or a young woman would rejoice in the harvesting of their field, they must be cautious in the sowing of their seeds.
2. The husbandman, secondly, is a partaker of the fruit. He is spoken of in our key verse as being the "first partaker of the fruit." This might be stated, the partaker of the first fruits. It is not that all of the fruits do not belong to him. The message is the fact that the first fruits bespeak an assured garner of the harvest which is about ready for the cutting.
2 Timothy 2:7 says: "Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things." This verse, in connection with 2 Timothy 2:8, which follows, concerning "Jesus Christ, of the seed of David was raised from the dead," makes us think of Paul's statement to the Corinthians, "Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." This ail asserts that the resurrection of Christ, the first fruit, assures the resurrection of all saints, when the full harvest is gathered in.
3. The time of the harvest. 2 Timothy 2:7 and 2 Timothy 2:8 which we have just read in the light of the husbandman, and the first fruits, reminds us that the harvest of our service for Christ will be gathered in and garnered at the Second Coming of Christ. It is then, and not till then, that we shall know the fruitage of our labors.
Let us remember how the husbandman, according to James, must have long patience until he receive the early and the latter rain; so must we be patient, because the Coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
V. THE CHRISTIAN AS A WORKMAN (2 Timothy 2:15 )
1. We admire the youth who makes preparation for toil. We showed that there was a preparation necessary for harvesting seed. We find there is also a preparation for a workman. That preparation is disclosed by one word, "Study." The workman must know his tools. He must know how to use them. So, there is, of necessity, a period of preparation which precedes any real work for God. We may first be students, sitting at the feet of Jesus; then we may, next, be apprentices doing the simpler tasks. Afterward, the Lord will be able to send us into the more difficult and intricate service for Him.
2. We admire the youth anxious to get out into Divine service. They must remember, however, that when they do get out, they can accomplish more, having been prepared, than they could ever do without preparation.
Saul of Tarsus was a brilliant youth, thoroughly educated at the feet of Gamaliel. Nevertheless, before the Lord thrust Saul out into his world-task, He gave him fourteen years of instruction in Arabia. It was during those times that Paul received his revelations from God. The Bible definitely says: "Lay hands suddenly on no man." It also warns us against letting a novice undertake the Lord's heavier work.
3. What preparation includes. Preparation includes the rightly dividing of the Word of Truth. It is necessary for the one who is to preach the Word, to know the Word. He must know the Word in its right relationships, correctly presenting God's message concerning the Church, its call, its sphere of activity, and its final rewards.
It is for this cause that we have our Young People's meetings that we may learn to know God and His testimony.
There is a negative thing that should not be overlooked, the young man is not only to rightly divide the Word of Truth, but he is to shun profane and vain babblings. Let him never imagine that a workman is to become a proficient storyteller, or a juggler of crowds. He is commanded to preach the Word.
VI. THE CHRISTIAN AS A VESSEL (2 Timothy 2:20-21 )
The various kinds of vessels are set forth in 2 Timothy 2:20 . We read: "But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth."
1. Various kinds of vessels. Let no young person imagine that God can use only the cup of "gold." We do not all have the same abilities, neither do we all have the same calling. Shall the hand, therefore, say of the foot, because it is not a hand it is not of the body? The eye is as much of the body, as is the ear; the mouth has as definite a part to play in the body, as does the nose. God tempers the body as it pleases Him.
2. The one necessity for all vessels. 2 Timothy 2:21 says: "If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour." Mark you, the Spirit did not say, if a man, therefore, is a vessel of gold, he will be unto honor; nor did He say, if he be a vessel of earth, he will be unto honor. The vessel unto honor, is the vessel that is purged, that is clean. This statement is enforced by 2 Timothy 2:22, which says: "Flee also youthful lusts."
VII. THE CHRISTIAN AS A SERVANT (2 Timothy 2:24-26 )
1. Servants are bondslaves. We must not for one moment imagine that the servant of the Lord is anything less than one who has had his ears bored as a slave. We must not buck or vault our will, against the will of the Master.
2. Servants are given instructions.
(1) They must not strive. We may contend for the faith; we may not do it contentiously. Debating, arguing, is entirely out of the realm of God's servants.
(2) They must be gentle unto all men. The fruit of the Spirit is gentleness. A preacher cannot please God by driving his audience, by bitter denunciations.
(3) They must be apt to teach. If we would serve the Lord, we must be ready to open up the Scriptures, to teach men the way of life, to set forth the matchless story of Christ Crucified, Risen, and Coming Again.
(4) They must be patient. Here is something that belongs to servants. The servant must not give up, and quit under every stress of circumstance, he must plod along. It is written: "In due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
(5) He must be meek. 2 Timothy 2:25 speaks thus: "In meekness instructing those who oppose themselves." We must not instruct as a "know it all." We must think of ourselves as the voice of one that crieth in the wilderness. We are not to lord it over God's heritage.
Rev. F. B. Meyer once said, "We (Christians) are either Bibles or libels."
The professed Christian is the only Bible the average American sinner will read, and the question is, What sort of doctrine or precept is he learning from your life? That unconverted neighbor of yours is reading a chapter from your thoughts every day, for "as (a man) thinketh * *, so is he"; what is your neighbor's conclusion as to your thoughts by what he sees of you practically?
That person under your own roof, whether close relative or friendly visitor, is judging your life Scripture by the spirit you show and the words you speak. What is his verdict likely to be of yourself as a walking Bible? H.
Our Guide among the Wreckage
2 Timothy 1:3-5 ; 2 Timothy 2:15-17 ; 2 Timothy 3:14-15 ; 2 Timothy 4:1-2 ; 2 Timothy 4:16-17
One of the outstanding marks of spirituality is soundness of mind, soundness in wisdom, in words, in doctrine, in faith.
There are some people who are forever mocking Christianity with the words that, "So and so went crazy on religion." It is not true. People may go crazy when they turn aside to fads and fancies and fanaticism, but not when they walk in the Spirit. People who go crazy, may talk wildly about religious conceptions and spiritual things, but it was not the Spirit nor spiritual life which made them crazy.
A real Spirit-taught and Spirit-led believer will be recognized by the sanity of his statement, and the strength of his word. Carnality gives birth to a great many things which are erratic, and which are classed by some people under the realm of spiritualities.
Whenever there is disorder in the churches, and confusion in the house of God, we may be sure that God Is not supreme, as He is the God of order. God's universe moves in a rhythmic order, that knows no jar and feels no uncanny sense of confusion.
Let us look at the words which mark spiritual life.
1. A sound speech. Young people need to show themselves a pattern in good works, and in gravity and sincerity. They need to use sound speech that cannot be condemned. Paul wrote to Timothy that young men should be sober-minded, that young women should be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, and obedient to their own husbands.
Idle chatter and giddy talk should not be the assets of a believer. We recognize that a hearty laugh doeth good like medicine, but a hearty laugh and a clean joke is not contrary to "sound speech." Sound speech is speech that is sane on the one hand, and clean and incorrupt on the other. Sound speech is not polluted. It dwells upon the things that are pure, holy, clean, and of good report.
2. Sound Doctrine. A sound doctrine is a doctrine that is true to the Faith. It carries a tenet which is builded upon the Word of God. It is free from error. It is based upon the positive Word of Scripture.
People who are sound in doctrine, are ready to give a reason for the hope that is in them, with fear and trembling. They do not follow after every strange doctrine that may arise; they do not care to put forth the dreams of their own heads, as a basis for their Faith. They are unwilling to follow a creed or statement of faith, merely because it voices the convictions of some certain sect or class. Sound doctrine, must be based on a "thus saith the Lord."
3. Sound mind. A sound mind is, of necessity, an instructed mind, that is, a mind that knows the Truth. It is a mind that is taught of God, inasmuch as no other mind can be sound in the Faith, or sound in speech, or sound in wisdom.
A sound mind is one that is well balanced in the Faith. Not only a mind rightly taught, but fully taught. A mind that does not run off on hobbies, placing stress on one phase of Truth, to the neglect of other just as important Truth.
A sound mind is a mind that is not erratic, and not given to excesses in statements. A sound mind neither goes beyond, nor lags behind that which is written. A sound mind places the emphasis where God places it. Let young; people seek to be "sound" in all things.
I. THE GLORY OF UNFEIGNED FAITH (2 Timothy 1:3-5 )
1. The faith of Timothy was passed down from his mother and grandmother. The Bible does not teach that the faith of a parent will save the child. It does teach that the child will imbibe the spirit of faith which their parents held. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house," is a promise which is true to facts.
Joshua said, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Abraham was approved of God because God said, "I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord." We cannot over-emphasize the value and the power of child-training in the home.
2. The admonition to "hold fast" to the form of sound words. Paul knew that there would be efforts made to swerve Timothy from the Faith, therefore, he urged upon him the necessity of holding the pattern which had been delivered unto him, by his mother Eunice, his grandmother Lois, and by Paul himself.
When God commits the Truth into the keeping of His saints, He wants them to guard that Truth through the Holy Ghost who dwelleth in them. The Truth is a sacred trust and we must keep our tryst.
3. The warning of some who had turned away. The Apostle warns Timothy how all they who were in Asia had turned away from him, and he specifies Phygellus and Hermogenes. This warning is particularly needed today. We are living in the times of the great apostasy, and we need to be rooted and grounded in the Word of God. We would not ask young people to cling tenaciously unto decadent dogmas, but we would urge them to remain faithful to the Faith which has been given by holy men, as they were breathed upon by the Holy Ghost. We would urge them to hold fast to sound words words which are wholesome and established; words which are true and God-given.
II. THE STUDY OF THE WORD OF TRUTH (2 Timothy 2:15-17 )
4. Knowing the Truth is pre-requisite to holding to the Truth. They who leave the Truth and turn aside to fables, are they who have never known the Truth in any vital way.
The Apostle was not afraid to advise young Timothy to delve into the depths of the things of God. The Bible is not a book which cannot live through the glaring light of research. The more we study it, the more we realize its eternal verities. The more we delve into the depths of its message, the more we discover that it was written by the finger of God.
2. Rightly dividing the Truth is pre-requisite to an approved workman. Of course, we cannot rightly divide the Truth until we have studied the Truth, and have known the Truth. However, having studied the Word, and proved ourselves diligent in the acquiring of the knowledge of the Word, we want to set ourselves to the dispensing of the Word. We do not study merely to obtain knowledge, but to impart that knowledge unto others. For this cause we should be workmen who need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. We must give to every one his portion.
We must know the message of God in its relationship to various classes to the Jew, to the Gentile, and to the Church of God. We must be able, for example, to divide the prophetic Scriptures, showing that portion of Scripture which refers to Christ's first coming, and that which anticipates His Second Coming. We must understand that there are various ages, to each of which God had a special and fitting message.
In doing all of this, however, we must not fail to remember that all Scripture is profitable, and that all Scripture has a message for everybody.
3. The warning against missing the mark concerning the Truth. Verses sixteen to eighteen tell us to shun profane and vain babblings. It tells us that such babblings eat as doth a canker. It gives us the example of Hymenaeus and Philetus, who, concerning the Truth, erred missed the mark. It tells us of how these two men failed to rightly divide the Word of Truth, saying, "That the resurrection is passed already," and how they overthrew the faith of some.
Let us be just as careful in shunning error, as we are in conserving Truth. When error begins to grip the mind and to take root in the life, there is no telling to what extent it may grow, to what vagaries it may lead, and what harm it may accomplish.
The statement of verse seventeen is very graphic: "Their word will eat as doth a canker." The only thing to do with false doctrine is to immediately cut it off, as soon as it shows its head.
III. THE FAITHFUL CONTINUANCE IN THE TRUTH (2 Timothy 3:14-15 )
1. A lifelong knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. The Apostle reminds Timothy that from a child he had known the Holy Scriptures, which were able to make him wise unto salvation. He reminds him that all Scripture is God-inspired and is profitable; that the Word of God not only makes one wise unto salvation through faith in Christ, but that it also throughly furnishes him unto all good works. Timothy, from a child, had known these Scriptures. He had been taught them and was therefore well versed, at least, in the letter of the Word.
2. A plea to continue in what he had learned, and in that of which he had been assured. The Apostle reminds Timothy from whom he had obtained his knowledge of the Truth. It had come to him not only from his mother and grandmother, but it had come to him through holy men of God, and from the Apostle Paul, a peer of preachers.
Apostates need to consider how they are turning away, not only from God, and from Truth, but also from saints whose faithful lives and testimony stand unimpoverished by the march of years. Apostates are leaving the paths of light, to wander in the darkness of an impenetrable night; they are leaving Truth, for error; Christ, for the antichrist; the only hope of eternal life, for the certainty of eternal death.
Let us continue in what we have learned, not because we learned it, but because of them from whom we learned it.
3. A warning concerning the last days. The third chapter, from which we take our theme, begins with warnings of conditions which shall prevail in the last days. These conditions are now upon us. It seems almost impossible that a more accurate detailment of present-day world-attitudes could have been delineated; yet, when we remember that this detailed delineation of our day was written down in the Word of God nineteen centuries ago, we are amazed, and wonder. We know that God must have spoken.
The things written, that we want to note just now, are these:
(1) A warning of "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." This is just what we have today. Old-time creeds are still left on the books, and in many places they are still memorized in old-time creedal fashion, however, the old-time power is lacking.
The Spirit is emphasizing that it is not enough to merely hold the Truth, or even to merely rightly divide the Word of Truth: we must also hold the power of the Truth a Truth that effectually worketh in those who believe.
It is not when the Word of Truth is intellectually gripped by us, that the victory is reached; it is when the Word grips us, molds us, leads us, vitalizes us in word, and testimony, that victory ensues.
(2) A warning against resisting the Truth. The Spirit brings forth an example of two men, Jannes and Jambres, to illustrate his warning. He says, "Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these men resist the Truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the Faith." Heretofore we have seen no more than a passive denial of the Faith, or, a languid failure to know the power of the Faith. Now, we have an active resistance to the Faith.
The age is fast passing by mere denials of God and of His Word; it is sweeping on toward an aggressive warfare against the Faith. The enemy is girding himself for war, and a war to the finish.
In Russia the battle against God is on in all of its fury. The State is saturated with atheism, and is setting itself, at any cost, to wipe Christianity from the face of the Russian empire, and from the world, if that is possible. It will prove to be all but possible. Christ said, "When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?"
Antagonism to truth will finally head up in the antichrist, who will exalt himself above God, and all that is called God. They who follow with him will not receive the love of the Truth; and, for this cause, God will send them a strong delusion that they may believe a lie.
IV. THE PREACHING OF THE WORD OF TRUTH (2 Timothy 4:1-2 )
1. A solemn charge. Paul had instructed Timothy to study the Truth, and to continue in the Truth; now he tells him to preach the Truth.
The Gospel of God is not a Gospel to be hid away, or wrapped in a napkin; it is a Gospel to be preached, Paul did not shun to declare the whole counsel of God, and so he had a right to urge Timothy to follow in his steps.
(1) The preaching of the Word should be accomplished in the light of the Coming of the Lord, and of the preacher's appearance before the Lord Jesus Christ who shall judge the raptured living and the raised dead.
(2) The preaching of the Word should be carried on in season and out of season, with all long-suffering and doctrine. Nothing should deter the one who labors in the Truth, from pressing home his mission to a happy conclusion.
2. A noble example. Paul, after urging Timothy to preach the Word under all conditions, set forth how he had, himself, fought a good fight, kept the Faith, and finished his course.
3. A prophecy of a coming time. Timothy is urged to fidelity to the Faith in view of the fact that the time will come when men will not endure sound doctrine. That time has come in many large and influential churches.
Moreover, the time will come, says the Spirit, when men will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; who will turn their ears from the Truth, and unto fables. That time has also come. The pew is given to saying, "Prophesy unto us smooth things."
Throwing of bouquets, scented with flattery, is the fad of the hour in many circles. Darkness is called light; and light, darkness. Preachers with oiled lips are prophesying peace, when there is no peace. With their mouths they speak great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration. They walk in the imagination of their hearts, saying, "No evil shall come upon you."
It is a sad day when prophets prophesy lies, and when the people love to have it so, willingly following after their pernicious ways.
V. THE LORD STOOD WITH ME (2 Timothy 4:16-17 )
We have come to the final word for today. It is a word of encouragement for young Timothy. Paul has delivered his charge to this Christian youth; he has fully warned him of the dangers in the way. In all of this the Spirit was speaking forcefully to young men and women of today.
By way of encouragement the Apostle recounts how God had stood by him in the hour of his trouble, and had strengthened him, so that through him the Gospel might be made known to the Gentiles.
Paul related how God had delivered him out of the mouth of the lion. Then, with an eye of faith, the great preacher cried, "And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His Heavenly Kingdom."
There are just a few conclusions we would like to offer:
1. How many from among our young people will this day consecrate themselves to a faithful service for God?
2. Who will make plain the fact that they are distinct from those who deny the Faith?
It is more than interesting to note in the two Epistles addressed to Timothy, how the expressions are used differentiating between Timothy and those who swerve from the Faith. We will give you one or two examples of this.
"Men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith" (2 Timothy 3:8 ).
"Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse" (2 Timothy 3:13 ).
"They will not endure sound doctrine"; * * "they * * shall be turned unto fables" (2 Timothy 4:4 ).
"But thou hast fully known my doctrine" (2 Timothy 3:10 ).
"But continue thou in all the things which thou hast * * been assured of" (2 Timothy 3:14 ).
"But watch thou in all things; * * make full proof of thy ministry" (2 Timothy 4:5 ).
The above contrast suffices to establish our thought. The more that others drift from the Faith, the more we should stand strong and secure and aggressive for the Faith.
3. Why should we fear? God has given us His promise that He will-stand with us and preserve us, even as He did the Apostle Paul.
Paul, having obtained help of God, continued unto the end of his journey, expounding and testifying "The Kingdom of God," and persuading men concerning the Lord Jesus.
THIRSTY MEN DRINKING WITHOUT LOOKING
"As men in a deep thirst swallow their drink before they know the nature of it, or discern the taste of it; so when we are under a great thirst, or under great famishment as to spiritual comfort, and have great troubles upon us, we take up with comfortable notions of Christ and salvation by Him, and easily drink in these and other truths, catching at them without looking into the grounds or reasons of them. Afterwards we see the need of care and watchfulness of soul, to strengthen our assent and fortify ourselves against these doubts of mind which shake us. Then we desire to settle our hearts in those supreme truths which in our necessity we accepted without discussion." "This is a very natural figure. See how the thirsty man turns up the cup and drinks the contents at a draught; he cares little what it is, so that it quenches his raging thirst. 'Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.' But now, mark him in cooler moments! He is careful of his drinking, lest he be made top-heavy, or become nauseated. A simple, receptive faith is a fine thing for the speedy removal of the soul's thirst; but if it were not soon qualified by spiritual discernment it would lead to credulity, and the man would be ready to take in anything which might be set before him. The rapid believer would soon become the victim of superstition. The more study of the Scriptures, and testing of doctrines thereby, the better. Careful investigation may save the mind from being injured by poisonous teaching, and it will certainly endear the Truth to us, and strengthen our confidence in it.
"What a draught was that which some of us had at the first! Little enough we know; but our enjoyment of what we did know was intense! Lord, thou hast now revealed to us the ingredients of that Divine cup; grant that this may give us a new and deeper joy; but do not allow us to forget the bliss of satisfied thirst because we are gifted with fuller knowledge. Such a gain would be a loss most serious."
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on 2 Timothy 2". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany