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Edited by Glenn Pease
I quote many old and new authors, and one of my primary resources is Preceptaustin. I quote this resource a great deal, but there is far more on this site that you can get by just typing that name into Google. There are literally hundreds of sermons there on this text. I just include a few of their summary comments in the first four verses. If you want the vast information available on the rest of the verses go to http://preceptaustin.org/2_timothy_commentaries.htm If any author does not wish their wisdom to be shared in this way, they can let me know and I will remove it. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org OUTLI E BY MCGEE A. A Son, 2Tim. 2:1-2 B. A Good Soldier, 2Tim. 2:3-4 C. An Athlete, 2Tim. 2:5 D. A Farmer, 2Tim. 2:6-14 E. A Workman, 2Tim. 2:15-19 F. A Vessel, 2Tim. 2:20-23 G. A Servant, 2Tim. 2:24-25
The Appeal Renewed 1You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ
1. Barnes, “Thou therefore - In view of the fact stated in the previous chapter, that many had turned away from the apostle, and had forsaken the paths of truth.
Be strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus; - compare the notes at Eph_6:10. The meaning is, Be strong, relying on the grace which the Lord Jesus only can impart.
2. Clarke, “Be strong in the grace - Though the genuine import of the word grace is favor, yet it often implies an active principle communicated from God; light directing how to act, and power enabling to act according to the light. 3. Gill, “Thou therefore, my son,.... The illative particle, "therefore", shows the connection between this and the preceding chapter; the appellation, "thou, my son", expresses the apostle's tender affection for Timothy, and is the rather used to engage his attention to the advice he was about to give him; which is, that since he had received the true grace of God, and unfeigned faith dwelt in him; and since he had such gifts, qualifying him for the work of the ministry; and since so good a thing as the glorious Gospel of the blessed God was committed to his trust; and since there were so many who had departed from it, and so few that abode by it, he would have him
be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; by which may be meant either the free favour and love of God in Christ, Rom_8:39 which is in itself always strong, immovable, and unalterable; and is the strength and security of the saints, though they have not always the same strong believing views of it; and to be strong in it, is to be rooted and grounded in it, and to have a strong sense and firm persuasion of interest in it, and that nothing can separate from it: or else the Gospel, which is a declaration of grace, and is in Christ, and comes by him; and to be strong in it, is to preach it boldly, to defend it bravely, and courageously oppose every error and heresy, and every abettor thereof; and it also becomes every private believer to hold it fast, stand fast in it, abide by it, and earnestly contend for it; and so the phrase may stand opposed to תקיף באוריתא, or גבר, "one strong in the law", which is so often used by the Jews (d): or rather by grace is meant the fulness of grace which is in Christ, for the supply of his people; for in that grace which is in him, and not in that which is in themselves, should their dependence be. It is very agreeable to be strong in grace received, in point of exercise, but not in point of contentment; so as to rest satisfied with the present measure of it, without growing in it, and going on to perfection; and much less in point of consolation, so as to derive peace and comfort from it; and still less in point of trust and confidence in it; for it is but a creature, though a very glorious one, being the workmanship of God, and very variable as to its exercise, and as yet imperfect; and not that, but the object of it, is to be trusted in: though indeed a person's enjoyment of everlasting glory and happiness may be strongly concluded from the work of grace which is begun in him; that being an immortal seed, and a well of living water springing up into eternal life; and with which glory is inseparably connected. But grace in Christ is what believers should always have recourse unto, and exercise faith on; and not only believe that there is such a fulness of grace in Christ, which they have both heard of and seen, and which they know is laid up for them, and given to them, and is sufficient for them; but they should go forth out of themselves unto it, and draw water with joy out of the full wells of salvation in Christ: and this grace is of a
strengthening nature, both to ministers of the word, to enable them to fulfil their ministry, to bear reproaches, afflictions, and persecution for the Gospel, and the infirmities of weak brethren; and to private believers, to strengthen them against every corruption, temptation, and snare, to exercise every grace, and discharge every branch of duty.
4. Henry, “Here Paul encourages Timothy to constancy and perseverance in his work: Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2Ti_2:1. Observe, Those who have work to do for God must stir up themselves to do it, and strengthen themselves for it. Being strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus may be understood in opposition to the weakness of grace. Where there is the truth of grace there must be a labouring after the strength of grace. As our trials increase, we have need to grow stronger and stronger in that which is good; our faith stronger, our resolution stronger, our love to God and Christ stronger. Or it may be understood in opposition to our being strong in our own strength: “Be strong, not confiding in thy own sufficiency, but in the grace that is in Jesus Christ.” Compare Eph_6:10, Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. When Peter promised rather to die for Christ than to deny him he was strong in his own strength; had he been strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, he would have kept his standing better. Observe, 1. There is grace in Christ Jesus; for the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, Joh_1:17. There is grace enough in him for all of us. 2. We must be strong in this grace; not in ourselves, in our own strength, or in the grace we have already received, but in the grace that is in him, and that is the way to be strong in grace. 3. As a father exhorts his son, so does Paul exhort Timothy, with great tenderness and affection: Thou, therefore, my son, be strong, etc. Observe, 5. Jamison, “2Ti_2:1-26. Exhortations; To faithfulness as a good soldier of Christ; Errors to be shunned; The
Lord’s sure foundation; The right Spirit for a servant of Christ. Thou therefore — following my example (2Ti_1:8, 2Ti_1:12), and that of ONESIPHORUS (2Ti_1:16-18), and shunning that of those who forsook me (2Ti_1:15). my son — Children ought to imitate their father. be strong — literally, “be invested with power.” Have power, and show thyself to have it; implying an abiding state of power. in the grace — the element IN which the believer’s strength has place. Compare 2Ti_1:7, “God hath given us the spirit of power.”
6. MOODY BIBLE I STITUTE, “2 Timothy 2:1 TODAY IN THE WORD Got milk? About 95 percent of Americans recognize this marketing slogan from the ad campaign touting milk's health benefits. Over 200 celebrities, including many sports heroes, have been featured in ads sporting a milk mustache. Dairy farmers want adults and kids to know that milk makes you strong! Got grace? That's the secret of spiritual strength found in today's key verse: “Be strong in grace.” Such instruction sounds simple, but these words convey the paradoxical nature of the Christian life—it requires God's grace and human effort. Without question, God's grace is preeminent. We are saved and called by His grace (1:9). If God hadn't first reached out to us, we never would have been able to reach back. But God's work doesn't erase our responsibility to live in Christ. That's the “be strong” part of verse one. Life in grace is both a gift to receive and a command to follow. Paul explains to Timothy how to be strong in grace by using three different metaphors. First, he tells
Timothy to be a strong soldier for Christ (v. 3). Soldiers expect bad food, bad weather, and danger itself. They are ready to suffer, and they expect to sacrifice. We, too, should expect that the Christian life requires sacrifice because we're living not to please ourselves but our commanding officer, Jesus Christ (v. 4). We must also be strong like the Greek Olympian who “competes according to the rules” (v. 5). Historically, in the ancient Greek Olympic games, in order to participate in the games, these athletes had to complete a ten-month training period and sign an oath that they had done so. We need an athlete's endurance and stamina for the race set before us (cf. Heb. 12:1). When we feel like quitting, we can remember our eternal rewards and continue to the finish. Finally, pastors specifically should be like the hardworking farmer (v. 6). The farmer is able to enjoy produce from his fields. As pastors work hard, they deserve a share of their labors. APPLY THE WORD Have you been surprised by hardship and suffering in your life? Have you often been angry at God for allowing it? Ask God for the strength of the soldier. Do you feel exhausted by the race you're running in the Christian life? Do you feel like slowing down or quitting? Ask God for the stamina of the athlete. Are you serving Christ faithfully and wondering when you'll see the harvest? Ask God for the faithfulness of the farmer. 7. Calvin, “1 Be strong in the grace As he had formerly commanded him to keep, by the Spirit, that which
was committed to him, so now he likewise enjoins him “to be strengthened in grace.” By this expression he intends to shake off sloth and indifference; for the flesh is so sluggish, that even those who are endued with eminent gifts are found to slacken in the midst of their course, if they be not frequently aroused. Some will say: “Of what use is it to exhort a man to ‘be strong in grace,’ unless free-will have something to do in cooperation?” I reply, what God demands from us by his word he likewise bestows by his Spirit, so that we are strengthened in the grace which he has given to us. And yet the exhortations are not superfluous, because the Spirit of God, teaching us inwardly, causes that they shall not sound in our ears fruitlessly and to no purpose. Whoever, therefore, shall acknowledge that the present exhortation could not have been fruitful without the secret power of the Spirit, will never support free-will by means of it. Which is in Christ Jesus. This is added for two reasons; to shew that the grace comes from Christ alone, and from no other, and that no Christian will be destitute of it; for, since there is one Christ common to all, it follows that all are partakers of his grace, which is said to be in Christ, because all who belong to Christ must have it. My son. This kind appellation, which he employs, tends much to gain the affections, that the doctrine may more effectually obtain admission into the heart.
8. Jerry Bridges explains be strengthened this way... Grammatically, Paul’s words be strengthened (be strong in) are in the form of what we may call “a passive imperative.” The passive voiceindicates something done to us, not by us, while the imperative mood is used to command someone to do something. When we want someone to do something, we ordinarily use the active voice, not the passive. For example, when Paul urged Timothy to “preach (present imperative) the word” (2Ti 4:2-note), he used the active imperative.
But Paul’s words be strengthened indicate that something is to be done to Timothy. He’s to be strengthened by something outside himself. That something is “the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” (Ed: How is this grace "distributed" to believers today? Through the effective working of the indwelling Spirit of Christ, the "Spirit of Grace" [Heb 10:29b]) 9. Spurgeon comments on "grace...in Christ" -Christ has grace without measure in Himself, but He hath not retained it for Himself. As the reservoir empties itself into the pipes, so hath Christ emptied out His grace for His people. "Of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." (Jn 1:16) He seems only to have in order to dispense to us. He stands like the fountain, always flowing, but only running in order to supply the empty pitchers and the thirsty lips which draw nigh unto it. Like a tree, He bears sweet fruit, not to hang on boughs, but to be gathered by those who need. Grace, whether its work be to pardon, to cleanse, to preserve, to strengthen, to enlighten, to quicken, or to restore, is ever to be had from Him freely and without price; nor is there one form of the work of grace which He has not bestowed upon His people. As the blood of the body, though flowing from the heart, belongs equally to every member, so the influences of grace are the inheritance of every saint united to the Lamb; and herein there is a sweet communion between Christ and his Church, inasmuch as they both receive the same grace. Christ is the head upon which the oil is first poured; but the same oil runs to the very skirts of the garments, so that the meanest saint has an unction of the same costly moisture as that which fell upon the head. This is true communion when the sap of grace flows from the stem to the branch, and when it is perceived that the stem itself is sustained by the very nourishment which feeds the branch. As we day by day receive grace from Jesus, and more constantly recognize it as coming from Him, we shall behold Him in communion with us, and enjoy the felicity of communion with Him. Let us make daily use of our riches, and ever repair to Him as to our own Lord in covenant, taking from him the supply of all we need with as much boldness as men take money from their own purse. (Spurgeon, C H: Morning and Evening) (Bolding added) 10. In Faith's Checkbook Spurgeon comments on the truth that "The LORD gives grace and glory" (Ps 84:11): "Grace is what we need just now, and it is to be had freely. What can be freer than a gift? Today we shall receive sustaining, strengthening, sanctifying, satisfying grace. He has given daily grace until now, and as for the future, that grace is still sufficient. If we have but little grace the fault most lie in ourselves; for the LORD is not straitened, neither is He slow to bestow it in abundance. We may ask for as much as we will and never fear a refusal. He giveth liberally and upbraideth not. The LORD may not give gold, but He will give grace: He may not give gain, but He will give grace. He will certainly send us trial, but He will give grace in proportion thereto. We may be called to labor and to suffer, but with the call there will come all the grace required; What an "end" is that in the text -- "and glory!" We do not need glory yet, and we are not yet fit for it; but we shall have it in due order. After we have eaten the bread of grace, we shall drink the wine of glory. We must go through the holy, which is grace, to the holiest of all, which is glory. These words and glory are enough to make a man dance for joy. A little while -- a little while, and then glory forever!" (Bolding added) The way upward to the throne of grace to receive grace in the nick of time is downward in our estimation of our abilities and our strength. Spurgeon(Faith's Checkbook) commenting on the fact that "God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6, 1Pe 5:5note, Pr 3:34) that
Humble hearts seek grace, and therefore they get it. Humble hearts yield to the sweet influences of grace, and so it is bestowed on them more and more largely. Humble hearts lie in the valleys where streams of grace are flowing, and hence they drink of them, Humble hearts are grateful forgrace and give the LORD the glory of it, and hence it is consistent with His honor to give it to them. Come, dear reader, take a lowly place. Be little in thine own esteem, that the LORD may make much of thee. Perhaps the sigh breaks out, "I fear I am not humble." It may be that this is the language of true humility. Some are proud of being humble, and this is one of the very worst sorts of pride. We are needy, helpless, undeserving, hell-deserving creatures, and if we are not humble we ought to be. Let us humble ourselves because of our sins against humility, and then the LORD will give us to taste of His favor. It is grace which makes us humble, and grace which finds in this humility an opportunity for pouring in more grace. Let us go down that we may rise. Let us be poor in spirit that God may make us rich. Let us be humble that we may not need to be humbled but may be exalted by the grace of God." Spurgeon adds that "Our troubles have always brought us blessings, and they always will. They are the black chariots of bright grace." "Our LORD will give us grace to follow the most difficult paths of duty without a stumble. He can fit our foot for the crags so that we shall be at home where apart from God we should perish." "It seems that Jehovah's way is to lower those whom He means to raise and to strip those whom He intends to clothe. If it is His way, it is the wisest and best way. If I am now enduring the bringing low, I may well rejoice, because I see in it the preface to the lifting up. The more we are humbled by grace, the more we shall be exalted in glory. That impoverishment which will be overruled for our enrichment is to be welcomed. (Bolding added) Commenting on "My grace is sufficient" (2Cor 12:9,10) Spurgeon writes Our weakness should be prized as making room for divine strength. We might never have known the power of grace if we had not felt the weakness of nature. Blessed be the LORD for the thorn in the flesh, and the messenger of Satan, when they drive us to the strength of God. This is a precious word from our LORD's own lip. It has made the writer laugh for joy. God's grace enough for me! I should think it is. Is not the sky enough for the bird and the ocean enough for the fish? The All-Sufficient is sufficient for my largest want. He who is sufficient for earth and heaven is certainly able to meet the case of one poor worm like me. Let us, then, fall back upon our God and His grace. If He does not remove our grief, He will enable us to bear it. His strength shall be poured into us till the worm shall thresh the mountains, and a nothing shall be victor over all the high and mighty ones. It is better for us to have God's strength than our own; for if we were a thousand times as strong as we are, it would amount to nothing in the face of the enemy; and if we could be weaker than we are, which is scarcely possible, yet we could do all things through Christ. 11. J Vernon McGee adds this pithy comment I love this—be strong in grace. My friend, if you think that you can grit your teeth and go out and live the Christian life on your own, you’re in for a great disappointment. If you feel that you can follow a few little rules or some clever gimmicks to make you a mature Christian, then you have fallen into a subtle trap of legalism. Paul gives no rules, and the Word of God has no rules to tell the child of God how to live the Christian life. We are saved by grace, and now we are to live by the grace of God and be strong in that grace....When I hear Christians say, “I don’t do this,
and I don’t do that, and I am following a set of rules,” I immediately recognize that they know very little about the grace of God. They are trying to live the Christian life in their own strength. Paul says, “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (McGee, J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: ashville: Thomas elson) 12. McGee from another source wrote, “Paul begins with the first figure of speech, "Thou therefore, my son." Timothy was not the son of Paul in a physical way. He was his spiritual son in the sense that it was under Paul's ministry that this young man had turned to Christ. A child of God is born into God's family by means of his faith in Christ. "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" ( IPet. 1:23) . Timothy is in the family of God, and he is a child of God. Because of this very reason, Paul says these words to Timothy: "Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." I love this — "be strong in grace." My friend, if you think that you can grit your teeth and go out and live the Christian life on your own, you're in for a great disappointment. If you feel that you can follow a few little rules or some clever gimmicks to make you a mature Christian, then you have fallen into a subtle trap of legalism. Paul gives no rules, and the Word of God has no rules to tell the child of God how to live the Christian life. We are saved by grace, and now we are to live by the grace of God and be strong in that grace. Let me give you an example from my boyhood. My dad traveled a great deal in his work, and he always put down a few rules for me to follow while he was away. Some of them I obeyed. I had to cut the wood, and I didn't mind that. One time we had a place with a lot of trees on it, and I really enjoyed the exercise of cutting the trees into firewood. But my father had some other rules that I frankly didn't go for. I hate to admit this, but one of those rules was that I should attend Sunday school. The interesting thing is that he never went himself, but he always made me go. Anyway, when he was away from home, I didn't go. One time I was fishing, and he came home suddenly and found me. I had just pulled out a fish, turned around, and there stood my dad. He said, "Son, are you having any luck?" Well, my luck ran out right at that moment! I appealed to him and admitted that I had done wrong, and by grace he was good to me. He said, "I brought home a sack of candy for you and your sister to divide. I wasn't going to let you have it, but I think I will now." I really took advantage of his good nature and the fact that I was his son. My father died when I was fourteen, but now I have a heavenly Father, and I sure do appeal to His grace. When things go wrong down here, I go to Him and appeal to Him. When I fail, I don't run from Him like I used to. I have found that when I am away from Him, the whipping He gives me hurts lots worse. I don't want to get out at the end of that switch where it really stings. I come in close to Him, and the closer I am the less it hurts. I am a son of my heavenly Father. What a marvelous figure of speech! When I hear Christians say, "I don't do this, and I don't do that, and I am following a set of rules," I immediately recognize that they know very little about the grace of God. They are trying to live the Christian life in their own strength. Paul says, "Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."
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 f 2Tim. 2:2 1. Paul was greatly concerned about the future. He wondered, just as we do when we approach the end of our ministry, if other men will come along who will preach and teach the Word of God. Sometimes we develop an Elijah complex. At times when I was a
pastor in Los Angeles, I cried like Elijah, "Oh, Lord, I'm the only one left!" But I found out that was not true. All over the country I've seen the Lord raise up fine young preachers who are standing for the things of God. It is a real concern to us older men that there be young men who will be faithful in teaching God's Word. So Paul was admonishing Timothy to pass along the things he had been teaching him to "faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." And God will raise up men with gifts of teaching — this is the way He moves even today. As sons of God we ought to be concerned about our Father's business. The Lord Jesus in His humanity as a boy said, "I must be about my Father's business." Well, I have become a son of God — not like the Lord Jesus, but I've become a son of God through faith in Christ. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power [the authority] to become the sons of God, even to them that [do no more nor less than] believe on his name" ( John 1:12 ). ow that I am a son of God I am interested in my Father's business. By the way, are you interested in your Father's business? And the main business is getting out the Word of God. But we need to recognize that we need the grace of God to do the business of God — as well as in every facet of our lives as His children. Perhaps you are thinking that you are disappointed with yourself. If you are, that means you must have believed in yourself. You should not have. You are to walk by the grace of God — "We walk by faith and not by sight." Or perhaps you are discouraged. If you are, that means you do not believe God's Word and way of blessing. You really thought you could do it your way, and now you are discouraged. Or you may be saying, "I hope I can do better in the future." Then you do expect to get some good out of the old nature! Oh, my friend, be strong in the grace of God.
13. College Press: the Bible Study Textbook Series, “Lenski cannot see a connecting thought in chapter one, Perhaps this is true, and we should eliminate the word, "therefore." But others feel that the defection of those in Asia could be the connection for the exhortation here, If Phygelus and Hermogenes had been strong in the grace of Christ Jesus, they would not have turned aside. Paul could be saying to Timothy, "Be not
like them, but be strengthened by the grace that is . in Christ Jesus." The term of endearment, "child," comes from the heart of one about to lay down his life for the gospel. Timothy would not only heed the word of Paul, but would be touched by the love and concern Paul had for him, Just how did Paul imagine the grace that is in Christ Jesus would be a source of strength for Timothy? In Christ Jesus is the favor and approval of God, An awareness that we are "in Christ Jesus," and thus in the favor of God, would be a great source of strength to our sometimes fainting heart, Timothy is to receive strength from his keen consciousness of being "in Christ Jesus."
14. HE GIVETH MORE GRACE By Annie Johnson Flint He gives more grace when the burdens grow greater. He sends more strength when the labors increase, To added affliction He addeth His mercy, To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace. When we have exhausted our store of endurance, When our strength has failed 'ere the day is half done When we reach the end of our hoarded resources Our Father's full giving is only begun. His love has no limit, His grace has no measure. His power no boundary known unto men; For out of His infinite riches in Jesus He giveth and giveth and giveth again.
2And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
1. Barnes, “And the things which thou hast heard of me among many witnesses - Margin, “by.” Before, or in the presence of, many witnesses. Perhaps he refers to a solemn charge which he gave him, in the presence of the church, when he was ordained. It is by no means improbable that such a charge was given then to a newly ordained minister, as it is now. On such an occasion, the apostle would be likely to state a summary of Christian doctrine, - (compare the notes at 2Ti_1:13), - and to exhort Timothy to a faithful adherence to it. The same commit thou to faithful men - In the same way as those things have been committed to you. The reference is undoubtedly to ordination to the ministerial office. Timothy was to see that those only were admitted to the ministry who were qualified to understand the truths of religion, and to communicate them to others. This is a clear warrant for ministers to set apart others to the same sacred office. It does not prove that the people are not at liberty to choose their own pastor, but only that those in the ministry are to set apart others to the same office with themselves. There is, doubtless, to be a “succession” of ministers in the church; but the true line of the “succession” is to be found in good men who are qualified to teach, and who have the spirit of Christ, and not merely in those who have been ordained. Who shall be able to teach others also - On the qualifications of ministers, see the notes at 1Ti_3:2-7.
2. Clarke, “The things that thou hast heard of me - Those doctrines which I have preached the most publicly, and which many persons can attest. But he seems to refer here to the doctrines delivered to him when, in the presence of many witnesses, he laid his hands upon him; see 1Ti_6:12. Then the apostle gave him the proper form of sound words which he was to teach; and now he tells him to commit those truths to faithful men in the same way that they were committed to him, that the truth might be preserved in the Church, and holy men appointed successively to preach it. These truths are still continued in the Church, and still there are faithful men who proclaim them. But where is the uninterrupted apostolical succession! Who can tell? Probably it does not exist on the face of the world. All the pretensions to it by certain Churches are as stupid as they are idle and futile. He who appeals to this for his authority as a Christian minister, had best sit down till he has made it out; and this will be by the next Greek kalends.
3. Gill, “And the things that thou hast heard of me,.... Meaning the doctrines of the Gospel, the form of sound words. The Arabic version renders it, "the secrets, or mysteries that thou hast heard of me"; the mysteries of the grace of God, which he had often heard him discourse of, unfold and explain:
among many witnesses; or by them; which some understand of the testimonies out of Moses, and the prophets, with which the apostle confirmed what he delivered; for the doctrines of justification, pardon of sin, &c. by Christ, were bore witness to by the prophets; though rather the many persons, who, with Timothy, heard the apostle preach, and were and would be sufficient witnesses for Timothy, on occasion, that what he preached and committed to others were the same he had heard and received from the Apostle Paul; unless reference should be had here to the time of imposition of hands upon him, when he received some ministerial gifts, or an increase of them; at which time the apostle might deliver to him the form of doctrine he was to preach, and that in the presence of the presbytery, who joined in the action, and so were witnesses of what was said to him: the same commit thou to faithful men; who not only have received the grace of God, and are true believers in Christ, but are men of great uprightness and integrity; who having the word of God, will speak it out boldly, and faithfully, and keep back nothing that is profitable, but declare the whole counsel of God, without any mixture or adulteration; for the Gospel being committed to their trust, they would become stewards, and of such it is required that they be faithful; and therefore this is mentioned as a necessary and requisite qualification in them; and not only so, but they must be such who shall be able or sufficient to teach others also. o man is sufficient for these things, of himself, but his sufficiency is of God; it is he who makes men able ministers of the word, by giving them gifts suitable for such work; so that they have a furniture in them, a treasure in their earthen vessels, an understanding of the sacred Scriptures, a gift of explaining them, and a faculty of speaking to edification; and so are apt to teach men, to their profit and advantage, The Ethiopic version renders it, "who are fit to teach the foolish". 4. Henry, “Timothy must count upon sufferings, even unto blood, and therefore he must train up others to succeed him in the ministry of the gospel, 2Ti_2:2. He must instruct others, and train them up for the ministry, and so commit to them the things which he had heard; and he must also ordain them to the ministry, lodge the gospel as a trust in their hands, and so commit to them the things which he had heard. Two things he must have an eye to in ordaining ministers: - Their fidelity or integrity (“Commit them to faithful men, who will sincerely aim at the glory of God, the honour of Christ, the welfare of souls, and the advancement of the kingdom of the Redeemer among men”), and also their ministerial ability. They must not only be knowing themselves, but be able to teach others also, and be apt to teach. Here we have, 1. The things Timothy was to commit to others - what he had heard of the apostle among many witnesses; he must not deliver any thing besides, and what Paul delivered to him and others he had received of the Lord Jesus Christ. 2. He was to commit them as a trust, as a sacred deposit, which they were to keep, and to transmit pure and uncorrupt unto others. 3. Those to whom he was to commit these things must be faithful, that is, trusty men, and who were skilful to teach others. 4. Though men were both faithful and able to teach others, yet these things must be committed to them by Timothy, a minister, a man in office; for none must intrude themselves into the ministry, but must have these things committed to them by those already in that office.
5. Jamison, “among — Greek, “through,” that is, with the attestation (literally, “intervention”) of many witnesses, namely, the presbyters and others present at his ordination or consecration (1Ti_4:14; 1Ti_6:12). commit — in trust, as a deposit (2Ti_1:14). faithful — the quality most needed by those having a trust committed to them. who — Greek, “(persons) such as shall be competent to teach (them to) others also.” Thus the way is prepared for inculcating the duty of faithful endurance (2Ti_2:3-13). Thou shouldest consider as a motive to endurance, that thou hast not only to keep the deposit for thyself, but to transmit it unimpaired to others, who in their turn shall fulfil the same office. This is so far from supporting oral tradition now that it rather teaches how precarious a mode of preserving revealed truth it was, depending, as it did, on the trustworthiness of each individual in the chain of succession; and how thankful we ought to be that God Himself has given the written Word, which is exempt from such risk.
6. MOODY BIBLE I STITUTE, “TODAY I THE WORD In his book Leadership Is an Art, Max DePree characterizes leadership as a stewardship. “Leadership is a concept of owing certain things to the institution,” he explains. “It is a way of thinking about institutional heirs, a way of thinking about stewardship as contrasted with ownership.” Moses understood this principle. It was a measure of Moses’ humility that he could “walk away” from leadership at the end of his ministry. He knew that God’s blessing would not end with the completion of his ministry and that God’s people were not dependent upon any single leader, no matter how great that leader might be. This doesn’t mean that every leader is the same. Deuteronomy 34:10 says that Moses was unparalleled as a leader. Imagine how intimidated Joshua must have felt following in his footsteps! While it was true that Joshua was no Moses, it was equally true that he had one great advantage. Joshua was empowered by the same Spirit that had enabled Moses to be effective. He did not need to be Moses. Indeed, it is likely that at this stage in Israel’s development as a nation they needed a very different kind of leader. Moses had brought God’s people to the threshold of the land of promise; Joshua would bring them into the land and help them settle it. Moses had been an instrument of divine revelation; Joshua would ensure that Israel remembered all that had been revealed. The stewardship of leadership also means that leaders are responsible for developing other leaders. Moses understood this and trained Joshua to succeed him. If Moses’ graceful handling of leadership succession speaks of his humility, the fact that he did not try to turn Joshua into a carbon copy of himself speaks of it even more. APPLY THE WORD You may not be the leader of an organization or hold a position in the church. Yet it is likely that you have been called to exercise leadership in some area of your life. It may be as a parent, as a committee member for your church, or in your workplace. 7. Calvin, “And which thou hast heard from me. He again shews how earnestly desirous he is to transmit sound doctrine to posterity; and he exhorts Timothy, not only to preserve its shape and features, (as he formerly did,) but likewise to hand it down to godly teachers, that, being widely spread, it may take root in the hearts of many; for he saw that it would quickly perish if it were not soon scattered by the ministry of many persons. And, indeed, we see what Satan did, not long
after the death of the Apostles; for, just as if preaching had been buried for some centuries, he brought in innumerable reveries, which, by their monstrous absurdity, surpassed the superstitions of all the heathens. We need not wonder, therefore, if Paul, in order to guard against an evil of such a nature and of such magnitude, earnestly desires that his doctrines shall be committed to all godly ministers, who shall be qualified to teach it. As if he had said, — “See that after my death there may remain a sure attestation of my doctrine; and this will be, if thou not only teach faithfully what thou hast learned from me, but take care that it be more widely published by others; therefore, whomsoever thou shalt see fitted for that work, commit to their trust this treasure.” Commit to believing men He calls them believing men, not on account of their faith, which is common to all Christians, but on account of their pre-eminence, as possessing a large measure of faith. We might even translate it “faithful men;” 156 for there are few who sincerely labor to preserve and perpetuate the remembrance of the doctrine intrusted to them. Some are impelled by ambition, and that of various kinds, some by covetousness, some by malice, and others are kept back by the fear of dangers; and therefore extraordinary faithfulness is here demanded. By many witnesses 157 He does not mean that he produced witnesses in a formal and direct manner 158 in the case of Timothy; but, because some might raise a controversy whether that which Timothy taught had proceeded from Paul, or had been forged by himself, he removes all doubt by this argument, that he did not speak secretly in a corner, but that there were many alive who could testify that Timothy spoke nothing which they had not formerly heard from the mouth of Paul. The doctrine of Timothy would therefore be beyond suspicion, seeing that they had many fellow-disciples, who could bear testimony to it. Hence we learn how greatly a servant of Christ should labor to maintain and defend the purity of doctrine, and not only while he lives, but as long as his care and labor can extend it. 8. PRECEPTAUSTI , “And links naturally with Timothy's being empowered in grace, enabling him to transmit the precious deposit of the things...heard which in context refers to the Gospel. We cannot pass on something which we don't possess. Timothy was to pass on the things which Paul had poured into him. The fact that these things were heard in the presence of many witnesses indicates that there were others who could testify to the truth, trustworthiness and validity of the things Paul taught. They were not private communications, restricted to an inner group. There is herein a noteworthy principle: One of the tests of trustworthy doctrine is that the teacher is willing to expound it publicly as well as privately. ote for example how most of the cults refuse to do this but rather seek their converts through secret initiations. Witnesses (3144) (martus) describes those who have heard Paul's words and are competent and willing to confirm his statements. The point Paul is making is his teaching was not a matter of private discourse, restricted to some select inner group, but heard by many (polus = much in number or quantity) who could testify to the "soundness" of the doctrines he taught. The apostles had no private esoteric doctrines privately communicated to their successors as was true in many of the "secret cults" of that day and is a characteristic of many of the cults today. Presence of many witnesses - Discipleship may occur in large groups, small groups, or one-on-one encounters and in the use of this passage Paul emphasizes a group setting. The question we must ask ourselves constantly is "Am I being obedient to the Lord's command to make disciples?" (Mt 28:18 19 20). In that famous passage often referred to as the "Great Commission" note the "steps" - (1) Go (2) Make disciples (the only "step" which is an actual command) - learners (3)
Baptize - speaks of true believers where water baptism reflects spiritual baptism (Ro 6:3) (4) Teach - ot to be hearers but doers. How is this possible? He is with us, enabling us by the indwelling Spirit of Christ (cp Acts 1:8, Ro 8:9), until the end of this present age. The implication is that that first 4 steps are taken with a continual, conscious awareness that we are not able to complete the good works created for us to walk in unless we depend on, lean on, abide in, yield to, surrender to, rely upon...Christ Jesus Who promises to be with us to the end! (cp 2Co 3:5, 6). The things...heard refers back to "the good thing committed (entrusted)" (2 Ti 1:14, Young's Literal), specifically the Gospel. Lenski aptly remarks, “The apostle evidently did not expect the future teachers of the Church to produce new or different teaching. The Gospel is changeless in all ages." Have heard (akouo) which means to hear with attention and to hear effectually as to perform or grant what is spoken. In short, this is not a description of "in one ear and out the other!" The aorist tense speaks of a past completed (effective) action and in context sums up as a historic fact the many occasions when Timothy had heard Paul present the standard of sound words in the Gospel (2Ti 1:13- note, e.g. see Acts 20:7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12) in the presence of other witnesses. 9. Dwight Edwards writes that This great verse contains three major sections, each dealing with a different time period. We see the prerequisite for discipleship, the process of discipleship, and the product of discipleship. The prerequisite (past event). "And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses..." We cannot pass on something which we don't possess. Timothy was to pass on the things which Paul had poured into him. These "things" are the approximate equivalent to "the standard of sound words" of 2 Ti1:13 and "the good deposit" of 2 Ti1:14....The significant point is that preparationalways precedes presentation. Every man or woman God has used significantly has undergone a period of intense spiritual preparation. Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, and Paul among many others spent a significant amount of time being prepared by God before He sent them forth into divine service. Thus we also must not neglect the time of our spiritual training and preparation. It is only by allowing the spirit of God to hone and sharpen us that our lives will have the keen cutting edge which God can use in His skillful hand. Timothy is to take what Paul has poured into his life and let it overflow into the lives of others. The Process (Present Event): "commit these to faithful men..." Timothy is to take what Paul has poured into his life and let it overflow into the lives of others... The Product (future event) " who will be able to teach others also." Here is the end product of the process of discipleship. If done properly, it will breed warriors for the faith who will go forth to the battle for men's souls. They themselves will be involved in equipping still other faithful warriors for the conflict. And thus the process of spiritual reproduction and multiplication is set in motion; a process which has the potential to fulfill the first command ever given to man. ""Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it" (Ge 1:28)." This process also is the key to fulfilling the last command given to man before Christ's ascension, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations" (Mt 28:18-20, Acts 1:8)" (Bolding and color added) 10. PRECEPTAUSTI , “To faithful men - What is their chief characteristic? They can be trusted to retain the standard of sound words (2Ti 1:13-note) and guard through the Holy Spirit Who indwells them the treasure that has been entrusted to them (2Ti 1:14-note) and secondly they are adequate, qualified and competent to teach ("pass the baton" to) other trustworthy men (in essence this is the fulfillment of Jesus' great charge to go and make disciples or learners - not just
"smarter sinners" but "learners who obey" [see esp v20 that follows] - Mt 28:18, 19, 20, cp Paul's example in 2Ti 3:10, 11-note, 2Ti 3:12-note). E. K. Simpson writes that... The torch of heavenly light must be transmitted unquenched from one generation to another, and Timothy must count himself an intermediary between apostolic and later ages. Faithful (4103) (pistos [word study] from peitho [word study] = to persuade - induce one by words to believe, have confidence) is something or someone who is worthy of faith or keeps promises and is applied to God, humans, His Word, etc. As used by Paul, pistos is speaking of men who will prove themselves reliable, worthy of trust and dependable in fulfilling the ministry that has been entrusted to them (see Col 4:17-note). As explained below these are men who live up to the acronym F.A.T., Faithful, Available and Teachable. 11. William Barclay observes that The teacher is a link in the living chain which stretches unbroken from this present moment back to Jesus Christ. The glory of teaching is that it links the present with the earthly life of Jesus Christ This is the way to pass on the torch of the light of the knowledge of God in Christ. Paul taught Timothy who will teach others who will teach still others, an endless chain. A dramatic example of the power of the principle of multiplication of faithful men began (as far as we have record) with a Sunday School teacher named Mr. Kimball, who in 1858 was burdened to lead a Boston shoe clerk named D. L. Moody to new life in Christ. Dwight L. Moody became a faithful evangelist and while in England in 1879 God used his message of sound doctrine to awaken an evangelistic zeal in the heart of F. B. Meyer, pastor of a small church, who later visited American and while preaching on a college campus was used by the Spirit to bring a student named J. Wilbur Chapman to saving knowledge of Christ. Chapman, engaged in YMCA work employed a former baseball player, Billy Sunday, to do evangelistic work and while leading a revival in Charlotte, . C. so stirred the hearts of a group of local (faithful) men that they prayed and planned another evangelistic campaign which came to fruition when God brought Mordecai Hamm to preach. During this revival, a young man named Billy Graham heard the Gospel and yielded his life to Christ. It may be that you dear reader are one of the tens of thousands who has been led to Christ through the ministry of Billy Graham. Only eternity will reveal the tremendous impact of that one trustworthy Sunday School Teacher who invested his life in the lives of others. O, that God might grant America more "Mr. Kimball's", "faithful men who will be able to teach others also"! Like seed, God's Word must be continually planted in the hearts of faithful followers of Christ, who in turn will pass it on to others. As they do, the process of sowing and reaping will continue until the Lord of the harvest returns. Someone has taught you the truths of the gospel and helped you to understand the teachings of the Bible. Are you planting seeds for the next harvest? We are to be channels of God's truth, not reservoirs. O teach me, Lord, that I may teach The precious things Thou dost impart; And wing my words, that they may reach The hidden depths of many a heart. --Havergal
3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
1. Barnes, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ - Such
hardships as a soldier is called to endure. The apostle supposes that a minister of the gospel might be called to endure hardships, and that it is reasonable that he should be as ready to do it as a soldier is. On the hardships which he endured himself, see the notes at 2Co_11:23-29. Soldiers often endure great privations. Taken from their homes and friends; exposed to cold, or heat, or storms, or fatiguing marches; sustained on coarse fare, or almost destitute of food, they are often compelled to endure as much as the human frame can bear, and often indeed, sink under their burdens, and die. If, for reward or their country’s sake, they are willing to do this, the soldier of the cross should be willing to do it for his Saviour’s sake, and for the good of the human race. Hence, let no man seek the office of the ministry as a place of ease. Let no one come into it merely to enjoy himself. Let no one enter it who is not prepared to lead a soldier’s life and to welcome hardship and trial as his portion. He would make a bad soldier, who, at his enlistment, should make it a condition that he should be permitted to sleep on a bed of down, and always be well clothed and fed, and never exposed to peril, or compelled to pursue a wearisome march. Yet do not some men enter the ministry, making these the conditions? And would they enter the ministry on any other terms?
2. Clarke, “Endure hardness - He considers a Christian minister under the notion of a soldier, not
so much for his continual conflicts with the world, the devil, and the flesh, for these are in a certain sense common to all Christians, but for the hardships and difficulties to which he must be exposed who faithfully preaches the Gospel of Christ.
3. Gill, “Thou therefore endure hardness,.... "Or afflictions"; as in 2Ti_4:5. The same word is
used there as here, and properly signifies, "suffer evil"; and means the evil of afflictions, as persecutions of every kind, loss of name and goods, scourging, imprisonment, and death itself, for the sake of Christ and the Gospel: as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Christ is the Captain of salvation, the Leader and Commander of the people, who are made a willing people in the day of his power; or when he raises his forces, and musters his armies, these are volunteers, who willingly enlist themselves into his service, and under his banners fight his battles; and such who manfully behave against sin, Satan, and the world, are his good soldiers; such are all true believers in Christ, and particularly the ministers of the word, whose ministry is a warfare, and who fight the good fight of faith; and besides the above enemies, which they have in common with other saints, have to do with teachers, who are wolves in sheep's clothing.
4. Henry, “He must endure hardness (2Ti_2:3): Thou therefore, etc. 1. All Christians, but especially ministers, are soldiers of Jesus Christ; they fight under his banner, in his cause, and against his enemies, for he is the captain of our salvation, Heb_2:10. 2. The soldiers of Jesus Christ must approve
themselves good soldiers, faithful to their captain, resolute in his cause, and must not give over fighting till they are made more than conquerors, through him that loved them, Rom_8:37. 3. Those who would approve themselves good soldiers of Jesus Christ must endure hardness; that is, we must expect it and count upon it in this world, must endure and accustom ourselves to it, and bear it patiently when it comes, and not be moved by it from our integrity.
5. Jamison, “hou therefore endure hardness — The oldest manuscripts have no “Thou
therefore,” and read, “Endure hardship with (me).” “Take thy share in suffering” [Conybeare and Howson].
6. John MacArthur adds that It is difficult for Christians in most of the Western world to understand what serious spiritual warfare and suffering for Christ mean. The secular environment in our society is becoming more and more hostile to Christianity and to religion in general. But we are not faced with loss of job, imprisonment, and execution because of our faith. With few exceptions, being a Christian will not keep a student out of college or a worker from getting a good job. But the more faithful a Christian becomes and the more the Lord blesses his work, the more Satan will put roadblocks, hardships, and rejection in the way, the more evident the spiritual warfare will become, and the more frequent and obvious the hardship will become." Chrysostom wrote that "It behooves thee not to complain if thou endure hardness; but to complain if thou dost not endure hardness. (MacArthur, J. 2 Timothy. Chicago: Moody Press or Logos) 7. Calvin, “Do thou therefore endure afflictions Not without strong necessity has he added this second
exhortation; for they who offer their obedience to Christ must be prepared for “enduring afflictions;” and thus, without patient endurance of evils, there will never be perseverance. And accordingly he adds, “as becomes a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” By this term he means that all who serve Christ are warriors, and that their condition as warriors consists, not in inflicting evils, but rather in patience. These are matters on which it is highly necessary for us to meditate. We see how many there are every day, that throw away their spears, who formerly made a great show of valor. Whence does this arise? Because they cannot become inured to the cross. First, they are so effeminate that they shrink from warfare. Next, they do not know any other way of fighting than to contend haughtily and fiercely with their adversaries; and they cannot bear to learn what it is to
“possess their souls in patience.” (Luke 21:19) 8. Felix eff adds that a A Christian without affliction is only like a soldier on parade. Too often Christianity is presented to non-believers as the cure to all anxieties, difficulties, and trials and this so-called "gospel" can result in false disciples and/or false expectations. The essence of Paul's invitation still rings true... Take up your armor and join me in a lifelong struggle against the world, the flesh, and the devil.
A fruitful Christian life, inevitably, is accompanied by intense spiritual warfare and opposition. Paul wanted to encourage young Timothy to stand strong, as he himself had done for so long. Did Timothy obey? Paul answers this himself writing later that you followed (closely, side by side) my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings... (2Ti 3:10,11-note) 9. PRECEPTAUSTI , “Paul is urging Timothy to be a fit, useful soldier (4757) "of Christ Jesus", this latter phrase indicating that Timothy was not his own but belonged to Christ Jesus and was His to engage in spiritual warfare for Him. Roman troops were a model of discipline, and because of that discipline, they were unbeatable. In a greater, grander degree we as Christian soldiers who are obedient to our Commander and empowered by His grace are even more than conquerors through Christ. As a good soldier named Joshua learned, Christ (Messiah) Jesus is the Commander of the army of the LORD (Josh 5:14 KJV) and in recognition of His Commander's authority, Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to Him "What does my Lord say to His servant? Joshua's response should be the attitude of all who would be known by the glorious title "good soldier" -What do You command Your servant, my Lord? ( RSV) Christ Jesus is our Commanding Officer, and we owe total obedience to Him! Paul knew the characteristics of good Roman soldiers. When Claudius Lysias (see Acts 23:1-35) ordered Paul to go to Caesarea for a government trial, two hundred soldiers, two hundred spearmen, and seventy horsemen from the Roman army formed his personal escort! He was also chained to a Roman soldier night and day for two whole years. Paul was also chained to a soldier even as he wrote these words and so he understood how goodsoldiers behaved, and how they obeyed the commanding officer. And thus Paul calls on Timothy and all "recruits" of Christ to endeavor to be good soldiers. 10. PRECEPTAUSTI OTES, “G Campbell Morgan has an interesting note for those of us who have never suffered through a global war: "This word of Paul took on new meaning for many of us during the years of the Great War (WWI). Indeed, today it seems to some of us as though we had never seen it at all before. Of course, we had seen it, and we had given it a certain conventional interpretation. Our thinking, however, of what was included in the phrase "the affairs of this life," was very superficial in many cases. We thought of certain liberties and comforts, which the soldier is denied; and, of course, that thinking was correct so far as it went. We needed the stern and awe-inspiring experiences of those dread years to enable us to apprehend the full content of the phrase. ow we know that nothing is left out. The soldier on active service breaks with everything except the War. We saw them go in millions, leaving father, mother, brother, sister, wife, and lover; we saw them march away from promising careers, loved occupations, high ambitions, and the finest things of responsibility. othing was permitted to entangle them, to hinder them, or in any way to interfere with the one thing. This new understanding has brought a new revelation of the claims which our Lord's campaign makes upon us. He only asks His people to do what the sons of the
commonwealth did, grudgingly. Does not the consideration bring a sense of shame with it? How often those who should constitute the sacramental host of God have played at war! May God forgive us, and give us another chance! And if in His grace He will, may we be worthy of it!" (Morgan, G C: Life Applications from Every Chapter of the Bible. Page 326, 1926) William Barclay commenting on why Paul may have used the metaphor of a soldier writes... The picture of man as a soldier and life as a campaign is one which the Romans and the Greeks knew well. “To live,” said Seneca, “is to be a soldier” (Seneca: Epistles 96:5). “The life of every man,” said Epictetus, “is a kind of campaign, and a campaign which is long and varied” (Epictetus: Discourses, 3, 24, 34). (Barclay, W: The Daily Study Bible Series. The Westminster Press or Logos) Rienecker adds "the Roman soldier -- always ready to faithfully obey his commander without grumbling or complaining; constantly in training whatever hardships must be endured; never leaving his post even if it meant death; working with his company as a unit, carrying out his specific task...received praise from his commander and was rewarded for his service. (Rogers, C L originally by Fritz Rienecker: ew Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek ew Testament. Zondervan. 1998) The respected Jewish historian Josephus noted that each soldier every day throws all his energy into his drill, as though he were in action. Hence that perfect ease with which they sustain the shock of battle: no confusion breaks their customary formation, no panic paralyzes, no fatigue exhausts them. All their camp duties are performed with the same discipline, the same regard for security: the procuring of wood, food-supplies, and water, as required—each party has its allotted task; nothing is done without a word of command. The same precision is maintained on the battlefield; nothing is done unadvisedly or left to chance. This perfect discipline makes the army an ornament of peace-time and in war welds the whole into a single body; so compact are their ranks, so alert their movements, so quick their ears for orders, their eyes for signals, their hands to act upon them. one are slower than they in succumbing to suffering. (Josephus: Wars of the Jews: 3. 72-107 ) A good measure of all worldly activities is... Does it (whatever "it" represents) entangle me? Have you become entangled in "Civilian" Affairs?
Guy King writes that the good soldier... must not allow himself to get entangled with civilian interests, when all his energies are supposed to be devoted to the war. He must, for the time, forswear anything, and everything, that would prejudice his soldiering. A like sacrifice must be seen in the soldier of the Cross. He may find that he will have to give up certain things, certain interests, certain habits, certain amusements, even certain friends - not because any of these are wrong in themselves, but because they are a snare, an entanglement, to him; they get in the way of his success as a soldier. He will not criticise his fellow Christians if they find no harm in such matters - it is not his business to criticize; though, when asked, he is free to give his opinion, and to explain the reason for his own avoidance. Anything that interferes with our being the best that we can be for Him is to be sacrificed - however harmless it may be to others, and however attractive it may be to ourselves; even though it be so darling a possession as a hand, or a foot, or an eye, Matthew 18:8-9. Let it be made clear that there are many things in "this life" that, for the Christian soldier, are plain duty, family things, social affairs, business matters, that must be attended to - and done all the better for the very reason that he is a Christian - but the point lies in that word "entangleth": that is where the emphasis rests. When anything, however otherwise legitimate, becomes an entanglement, it must be severely, and sacrificially, dealt with. (2 Timothy 2:1-7 Some Things Every Christian) A. A. Harmer tells the story... During the Crimean War a young chaplain, newly arrived in camp, inquired of a Christian sergeant the best method for carrying on his work, among the men. The sergeant led him to the top of a hill and pointed out the field of action. " ow, sir," said he, "look around you. See those batteries on the right, and the men at their guns. Hear the roar of the cannon. Look where you will, all are in earnest here. Every man feels that this is a life and death struggle. If we do not conquer the Russians the Russians will conquer us. We are all in earnest here, sir; we are not playing at soldiers. If you would do good, you must be in earnest; an earnest man always wins his way." Such was the advice of Queen Victoria’s servant to the servant of King Jesus." (A. A. Harmer. Biblical Illustrator) Ramsey has the following notation on soldiers writing that... The Roman soldier, marching under the colors of his regiment, was marching under the standard of idolatry, for the standards (signa) were all divine, and worship was paid to them by the soldiers as a duty of the service, and all contained one or more idolatrous symbols or representations; moreover he was frequently required, standing in his place in the ranks, to take part in idolatrous acts of worship. The soldier could not retire and take to some other way of life, for he was bound to the service through a long term of years. Here, again, the rule and practice of the Church seems to have been that in
ordinary circumstances the converted soldier should remain passive, and as far as possible silent, during the ceremony at which he was compulsorily present, but should not actively protest. An Example of a Good Soldier - William Wilberforce's Source of Strength - When wanting to faint after years of fighting against slave trade William Wilberforce leaned upon the Lord for his strength. On his forty-first birthday, as rededicated himself to his calling, he prayed, “Oh Lord, purify my soul from all its stains. Warm my heart with the love of thee, animate my sluggish nature and fix my inconstancy, and volatility, that I may not be weary in well doing.” ( eh 8:10, Isa 40:31, Gal 6:9, Eph 3:16, Col 1:11, 2 Tim 2:1 ) (John Piper, Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce, pg 48) A GOOD SOLDIER OF JESUS CHRIST C H SPURGEO
"Paul does not exhort Timothy to be a common, or ordinary soldier, but to be a "good soldier of Jesus Christ"; for all soldiers, and all true soldiers, may not be good soldiers..." (1) "Must be loyal to his King..." A soldier of Jesus Christ owns the divine Redeemer as his King, and confesses his sole and undivided sovereignty in the spiritual kingdom. (2) "Obedient to his captain’s commands...." Are we doing all the Master’s will?...The soldier who did not take the trouble to read the orders of his superior, might justly be suspected of mutinous intentions. Disobedience rankles in any heart where there is carelessness about knowing the Lord’s will. Be courageous enough always to look Scripture in the face. It is after all nothing more than your bare duty. (3) "To conquer will be his ruling passion..." The passion for victory with the soldier often makes him forget everything else. Before the battle of Waterloo, Picton had had two of his ribs smashed in at Quatre Bras, but he concealed this serious injury, and, though suffering intensest agony, he rode at the head of his troop, and led one of the greatest charges which decided the fortunes of the day. He never left his post, but rode on till a ball crushed in his skull and penetrated to the brains. Then in the hot fight the hero fell." ...To be a good soldier of Jesus Christ, there must be a passion for victory, an insatiable greed for setting up the throne of Jesus in the souls of men. (4) "A good soldier is very brave at a charge."
When the time comes and the orders are given for the good soldier to advance to the attack, he does not wish himself away; though a perfect hail of hurtling shot whistles all around, and the ranks of the army are thinned, he is glad to be there, for he feels the stern joy that flushes the face in the light of battle, and he only wants to be within arm’s length of the foe and to come to close quarters with him. So is it with the genuine Christian when his heart is right with God. If he be bidden to advance, let the danger be what it may, he feels he is honored by having such a service allotted to him. But are we all such? I fear not. How many of us are silent about Jesus Christ in private conversation, how little do we show forth our light before men. If we were good soldiers, such as we ought to be, we should select every favorable opportunity in private as well as in public intercourse with our fellow men, and prudently but yet zealously press the claims of Jesus Christ and his gospel upon them. Oh, do you this, beloved, and good will come of it....My beloved, may you and I be ready for anything, and bold to bear witness for Christ before a scoffing world. In the pulpits where we preach, in the workshops where we labor, in the markets where we trade, in every company amidst which we are called to move; wherever we may be, may we be brave enough to own our Lord and to uphold his cause. (5) "A good soldier is like a rock under attack." So British soldiers have been; they have stood in solid squares against the enemies’ cavalry until their foes have dashed upon them madly, gnashed their teeth, fired in their faces, thrown their guns at them, and yet might just as well have ridden against granite rocks; for our soldiers did not know how to yield, and would not retreat; as fast as one fell another filled up the gap, and there stood the square of iron defying the rush of the foe. We want this kind of fixed, resolved, persevering Godliness in our churches, and we shall have it if we are good soldiers of Jesus Christ. Alas! too many are exhausted by the zeal at first exhibited; for a time they can reach the highest point, but to continue on, and on, and on, this is too difficult a task for them. How many young people will join the church, and for awhile seem very zealous and then grow cold! Alas! it is not always the young, there be some among yourselves who were once most diligent in your various forms of service; what doth hinder you that you are not diligent in your Master’s business now? Has Christ given you leave to retire into inglorious ease? Does he exempt you from service? Take heed lest you are also exempt from reward. o, we must through life still maintain our integrity, still resist temptation, still tread the separated path, and, withal, still seek the souls of men with undying ardor, with indefatigable earnestness, still wrestling with God for men and with men for God. Oh, for more of this stern determination to stand, and having done all to stand! (6) "He derives his strength from on high." This has been true even of some common soldiers, for religious men when they have sought strength from God have been all the braver in the day of conflict....Often has my soul said to her Captain, “My Lord, I will do that work if thou wilt give me a grip of thy conquering right hand.” Oh, what power it puts into a man when he gets a grip of Christ, and Christ gets a grip of him! Fellowship with Christ is the fountain of the church’s strength. Her power did never lie in her wealth, nor in the eloquence of her
preachers, nor in aught that comes of man; the strength of the church is divine, and if she fails to draw strength from the everlasting hills, she becomes weak as water. Good soldiers of Jesus Christ, watch unto prayer, “praying in the Holy Ghost,” for so shall you be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might
Plummer observes that Military service implies vigilant, unwearying and organized opposition to a vigilant, unwearying, and organized foe.... Military service iseither perpetual warfare or perpetual preparation for it. And just such is the Christian life: it is either a conflict, or a preparation for one. The soldier, so long as he remains in the service, can never say, “I may lay aside my arms and my drill: all enemies are conquered; there will never be another war.” And the Christian, so long as he remains in this world, can never think that he may cease to watch and to pray, because the victory is won, and he will never be tempted any more. It is for this reason that he cannot allow himself to be “entangled in the affairs of this life." (Plummer, Alfred: 2 Timothy) (Bolding added) C. Garret says "You cannot be a saint on Sundays and a sinner in the week; you cannot be a saint at church and a sinner in the shop; you can not be a saint in Liverpool and a sinner in London. You cannot serve God and Mammon. You are a soldier everywhere or nowhere, and woe to you if you dishonour your King."
4 o one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.
1. Barnes, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life - Having alluded to the soldier, and stated one thing in which the Christian minister is to resemble him, another point of resemblance is suggested to the mind of the apostle. Neither the minister nor the soldier is to be encumbered with the affairs of this life, and the one should not be more than the other. This is always a condition in becoming a soldier. He gives up his own business during the time for which he is enlisted, and devotes himself to the service of his country. The farmer leaves his plow, and the
mechanic his shop, and the merchant his store, and the student his books, and the lawyer his brief; and neither of them expect to pursue these things while engaged in the service of their country. It would be wholly impracticable to carry on the plans of a campaign, if each one of these classes should undertake to prosecute his private business. See this fully illustrated from the Rules of War among the Romans, by Grotius, “in loc.” Roman soldiers were not allowed to marry, or to engage in any husbandry or trade; and they were forbidden to act as tutors to any person, or curators to any man’s estate, or proctors in the cause of other men. The general principle was, that they were excluded from those relations, agencies, and engagements, which it was thought would divert their minds from that which was to be the sole object of pursuit. So with the ministers of the gospel. It is equally improper for them to “entangle” themselves with the business of a farm or plantation; with plans of speculation and gain, and with any purpose of worldly aggrandizement. The minister of the gospel accomplishes the design of his appointment only when he can say in sincerity, that he “is not entangled with the affairs of this life;” compare the notes at 1Co_9:25-27. That he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier - That is, him who has enlisted him, or in whose employ he is. His great object is to approve himself to him. It is not to pursue his own plans, or to have his own will, or to accumulate property or fame for himself. His will is absorbed in the will of his commander, and his purpose is accomplished if he meet with his approbation. Nowhere else is it so true that the will of one becomes lost in that of another, as in the case of the soldier. In an army it is contemplated that there shall be but one mind, one heart, one purpose - that of the commander; and that the whole army shall be as obedient to that as the members of the human body are to the one will that controls all. The application of this is obvious. The grand purpose of the minister of the gospel is to please Christ. He is to pursue no separate plans, and to have no separate will, of his own; and it is contemplated that the whole “Corps” of Christian ministers and members of the churches shall be as entirely subordinate to the will of Christ, as an army is to the orders of its chief.
2. Clarke, “No man that warreth entangleth, etc. - It is well remarked by Grotius, on this passage, that the legionary soldiers among the Romans were not permitted to engage in husbandry, merchandise, mechanical employments, or any thing that might be inconsistent with their calling. Many canons, at different times, have been made to prevent ecclesiastics from intermeddling with secular employments. The who will preach the Gospel thoroughly, and wishes to give full proof of his ministry, had need to have no other work. He should be wholly in this thing, that his profiting may appear unto all. There are many who sin against this direction. They love the world, and labor for it, and are regardless of the souls committed to their charge. But what are they, either in number or guilt, compared to the immense herd of men professing to be Christian ministers, who neither read nor study, and consequently never improve? These are too conscientious to meddle with secular affairs, and yet have no scruple of conscience to while away time, be among the chief in needless selfindulgence, and, by their burdensome and monotonous ministry, become an incumbrance to the Church! Do you inquire: In what sect or party are these to be found? I answer: In All. Idle drones: Fruges consumere nati, “Born to consume the produce of the soil,” disgrace every department in the Christian Church. They cannot teach because they will not learn.
3. Gill, “No man that warreth,.... Who is a soldier, and gives himself up to military service, in a
literal sense: the Vulgate Latin version, without any authority, adds, "to God"; as if the apostle was speaking of a spiritual warfare; whereas he is illustrating a spiritual warfare by a corporeal one; and observes, that no one, that is in a military state,
entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; with civil affairs, in distinction from military ones. The Roman soldiers might not follow any trade or business of life, or be concerned in husbandry, or merchandise of any sort, but were wholly to attend to military exercises, and to the orders of their general; for to be employed in any secular business was reckoned an entangling of them, a taking of them off from, and an hindrance to their military discipline: and by this the apostle suggests that Christ's people, his soldiers, and especially his ministers, should not he involved and implicated in worldly affairs and cares; for no man can serve two masters, God and mammon; but should wholly give up themselves to the work and service to which they are called; and be ready to part with all worldly enjoyments, and cheerfully suffer the loss of all things, when called to it, for the sake of Christ and his Gospel: that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier; his captain, or general, who has enlisted him, enrolled and registered him among his soldiers; whom to please should be his chief concern; as it should be the principal thing attended to by a Christian soldier, or minister of the Gospel, not to please men, nor to please himself, by seeking his own ease and rest, his worldly emoluments and advantages, but to please the Lord Christ, in whose book his name is written.
4. Henry, “He must not entangle himself in the affairs of this world, 2Ti_2:4. A soldier, when he has enlisted, leaves his calling, and all the business of it, that he may attend his captain's orders. If we have given up ourselves to be Christ's soldiers, we must sit loose to this world; and though there is no remedy, but we must employ ourselves in the affairs of this life while we are here (we have something to do here), we must not entangle ourselves with those affairs, so as by them to be diverted and drawn aside from our duty to God and the great concerns of our Christianity. Those who will war the good warfare must sit loose to this world. That we may please him who hath chosen us to be soldiers. Observe, 1. The great care of a soldier should be to please his general; so the great care of a Christian should be to please Christ, to approve ourselves to him. The way to please him who hath chosen us to be soldiers is not to entangle ourselves with the affairs of this life, but to be free from such entanglements as would hinder us in our holy warfare. 5. Jamison, ““No one while serving as a soldier.”
the affairs of (this) life — “the businesses of life” [Alford]; mercantile, or other than military. him who hath chosen him — the general who at the first enlisted him as a soldier. Paul himself worked at tent-making (Act_18:3). Therefore what is prohibited here is, not all other save religious occupation, but the becoming entangled, or over-engrossed therewith.
6. J. VER O MCGEE, “The Christian is a soldier. How is the child of God a soldier? The last chapter of Ephesians tells us that the believer is fighting a spiritual battle and that he needs to put on the armor of God. Paul said to the Ephesians: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" ( Eph. 6:12-13 ). " o man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life." Imagine a soldier in the midst of battle going to his sergeant or his lieutenant and saying, "Sir, I'm sorry to
have to leave, but I have to go over into the city to see about some business; and then I have a date with a local girl, and I just won't be able to be here for the battle tonight!" A great many Christians are trying to fight like that today! "That he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier." The believer is to establish his priorities. Here he is to endure hardness, which means to suffer hardness, as
Paul was suffering. There are those who interpret this verse to mean that a Christian is not to get married. Well, he is not talking about celibacy, but he is talking about being so entangled in worldliness that one is not able to live the Christian life. Let me give you an example. A lady called me one morning while I was a pastor in Los Angeles. She said, "I was at church yesterday when you asked for those who wanted to accept Christ. Well, I did accept Christ, but I made no move to come forward for a particular reason that I want to tell you about. My husband died recently and left me the operation of our liquor store. I am calling you now because I don't think I can continue operating it. If you say to get a hammer and break every bottle, I'll do it. But tell me what I should do." What would you have said? I'll tell you what I told her, "Don't go in there and break bottles. You won't stop the liquor business by breaking up a few bottles. If you could, I'd be in favor it. But that has been your only income. I would say that you should sell the store and get out of the business." In that way we are not to entangle ourselves in the things of this life. The child of God is to recognize that he is a soldier. And we are to recognize that the Christian life is not a playground; it is a battlefield. It is a battlefield where battles are being won, and where battles are being lost also. There is a real spiritual battle going on.
7. Calvin, “ o man who warreth He continues to make use of the metaphor which he had borrowed from warfare. Yet, strictly speaking, he formerly called Timothy “a soldier of Christ” metaphorically; but now he compares profane warfare with spiritual and Christian warfare in this sense. “The condition of military discipline is such, that as soon as a soldier has enrolled himself under a general, he leaves his house and all his affairs, and thinks of nothing but war; and in like manner, in order that we may be wholly devoted to Christ, we must be free from all the entanglements of this world.” With the affairs of life By “the affairs of life”, 159 he means the care of governing his family, and ordinary occupations; as farmers leave their agriculture, and merchants their ships and merchandise, till they have completed the time that they agreed to serve in war. We must now apply the comparison to the present subject, that every one who wishes to fight under Christ must relinquish all the hindrances and employments of the world, and devote himself unreservedly to the warfare. In short, let us remember the old proverb, Hoc age, 160 which means, that in the worship of God, we ought to give such earnestness of attention that nothing else should occupy our thoughts and feelings. The old translation has, “ o man that fights for God,” etc. But this utterly destroys Paul’s meaning. Here Paul speaks to the pastors of the Church in the person of Timothy. The statement is general,
but is specially adapted to the ministers of the word. First, let them see what things are inconsistent within their office, that, freed from those things, they may follow Christ. ext, let them see, each for himself, what it is that draws them away from Christ; that this heavenly General may not have less authority over us than that which a mortal man claims for himself over heathen soldiers who have enrolled under him. 8. F B Meyer, “It is good to begin, but it is better to keep on steadily to the end. It is much when the young soldier, well equipped for battle, steps out into the early dawn, with the light shining upon his weapons, but it is more important far, if, in the late afternoon, he is found standing in the long thin line, resisting the perpetual onset of the foe. We are told of Daniel, that he "continued" (Da 1:21-note). This, perhaps, is the greatest tribute to him, that through decades he did not swerve from his loyalty to God, or devotion to the high interests which were committed to his charge. The men that are steadfast in their loyalty to truth, in their prosecution of duty, in their holding the post assigned to them by the providence of God, are those which leave the deepest impression on their contemporaries. It is not the flash of the meteor which the world really wants, but the constant radiance of the fixed star. What though the storm beats in your face, and every effort is made to dislodge you, though it seems as if you were forgotten in that lone post of duty, still stand fast: the whole situation may depend upon your tenacity of purpose, the campaign may be decided by your holding your ground without flinching. If the Master has put you as a light on the cellar stair, never desert that post because it is lonely and distasteful, and because the opportunity of service comes rarely. To be found doing your duty at the unexpected moment, when His footfall is heard along the corridor, will be a reward for years of patient waiting." (Meyer, F B: Our Daily Walk) 9. Bernard in his Pastoral Epistles writes that... Singleness of purpose and detachment from extraneous cares are essential conditions of successful service. The Roman code of Theodosius said We forbid men engaged on military service to engage in civilian occupations. John Bunyan (Pilgrim's Progress) would undoubtedly refer to such a soldier as "Mr. Facingboth-ways."
OTES, “Lea writes that
Paul’s appeal shows the importance of developing an ability to distinguish between doing good things and doing the best things. Servants of Christ are not merely to be well-rounded dabblers in all types of trivial pursuits. They are tough-minded devotees of Christ who constantly choose the right priorities from a list of potential selections. Paul prohibited the loss of single-mindedness and the longing for an easy life. (Lea, T. D., & Griffin, H. P. Vol. 34: 1, 2 Timothy, Titus. The ew American Commentary Page 203. ashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers) (Bolding added) Life Application Bible makes the point that...
"Christian workers, whether pastors or laymen, must watch their outside involvements carefully. Business ventures, serving on committees or boards, volunteer assignments, and/or home projects can eat up valuable time and energy"... (and goes on to add the caution that) "Some have taken Paul’s advice to mean that Christians should do nonstop Christian work. While the image of the soldier presents helpful insights about endurance, even soldiers need rest. Wise commanders know their soldiers need breaks from the action. Even when there have been no wounds, the soldier needs relief from the stress of the battle. We must maintain a healthy balance in our lives between spiritual activity and spiritual rest. Pastors, teachers, and other ministers cannot function without times of refreshment. Do you give yourself permission to take time away from work? (Barton, B, et al: The IV Life Application Commentary Series: Tyndale or Logos) Where would an army be if every soldier had part-time work that took him away from his military duties! Our main task is to please our Commander and Lord—not others and not ourselves. It was disobedient double-mindedness of one (bad) soldier (Achan) that led to Israel’s defeat at Ai after their great victory at Jericho (Joshua 7:1-26). Joshua had given a clear command to the soldiers to dedicate to God all the spoil from Jericho, but Achan who failed to guard the "eye gate" of his heart, saw among the spoil a beautiful mantle from Shinar and two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold fifty shekels in weight, then" he "coveted them and took them” (Josh 7:21) Achan (and his entire family) were stoned and then burned with fire. Israel also reaped a bitter defeat in their first attempt to conquer Ai including the loss of 36 Israelites. Why such tragedy? All because of one unfaithful selfish soldier unwilling to remain unentangled. The Roman soldier was to avoid all preoccupation with the daily affairs of the marketplace in order to be free to obey without hesitation or hindrance the commander's order. Engaged in a continual spiritual war, the Christian soldier likewise must ever concentrate on his Lord's work and must not devote his time and interests to a business on the side which hinders his faithful performance of his primary responsibility. Paul is not saying that a Christian soldier should have no contact at all with his former friends and surroundings, but that he is not to become caught up and enmeshed in them. Furthermore, Paul does not mean that the Christian worker must never engage in any secular work, for Paul himself was engaged in "tent making" for a living, but it was only a means toward furthering his passion of preaching Christ crucified. What Paul is saying is that the "good soldier" must not allow ordinary affairs of life to become the main object of existence. Instead, the active service for Christ must always occupy the prominent place, while the things of this life are kept in the background. The active soldier must be on guard against becoming so involved in such pursuits that he no longer feels free to give himself fully to the call of Christian service. Stated another way, a believer's life is not to be wrapped up in the passing pleasures and non-essentials of this life. Because we live on the battlefront continually, all things are to be subservient to winning the battle, remembering that "the battle is the Lord's". (1Sa 17:47) Christians like soldiers in the field must avoid anything that hampers their effectiveness in battle. Christian soldiers should be so consumed with their duties that they are oblivious to the passing pleasures and enticements of the world like God's servant Moses (He 11:24, 25, 26note, He 11:27-note).
11. COLLEGE PRESS, “Continuing the metaphor, Paul reminds Timothy of the complete dedication required by army service. When there is a choice of activities, all that would hinder obedience to orders from the superior officer, must be eliminated. The expression, "on service," can also be translated , "warring." The preacher is in a holy war! He must give his part in the battle priority over all else. How very many perfectly legitimate "affairs of this life" have taken up the time, thought and energy (to say nothing of money) that should have been given in winning the battle for King Jesus! Someone immediately thinks of Paul's "making tents" as a hindering alliance with the affairs of this life. We do not know just how extensive such "tent making" was, or just what he did when working at such a task. But one thing we do know, it did not encumber him from warring the good warfare. Another thing we can know is that much "tent making" today does hinder and entangle God's soldier — how much time, thought, energy and talents can we devote to our captain when it has been spent elsewhere? Please do not forget that our captain is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, both for good and for evil (Heb. 4:12). He is pleased or hurt by our service. The use of the term "enrolled," as here used, is of one who has mustered an army and is calling for volunteers; for those who will enlist, We have enlisted at the call of our Commander, Let's give Him a full measure of service — He deserves it.
5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.
1. Barnes, “And if a man also strive for masteries - As in the Grecian games. See this favorite illustration of Paul explained in the notes at 1Co_9:24 ff. Yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully - In conformity with the rules of the games. See Grotius, in loc. o one could obtain the prize unless he had complied with all the laws of the games, and had thus given to those with whom he contended, a fair opportunity to succeed. “In those contests, he who transgressed the rules in the least matter, not only failed of the prize, even though the apparent victor, but was sometimes disgraced and punished.” Pictorial Bible. So the apostle here represents the Christian minister as engaged in a struggle or conflict for the crown. He says that he could not hope to win it unless he should comply with all the laws by which it is conferred; unless he should subdue every improper propensity, and make an effort like that evinced by the combatants at the Olympic games; compare the notes at 1Co_9:26-27.
2. Clarke, “If a man also strive for masteries - Εαν δε και αθλῃ τις· If a man contend in the public games - the Olympic or Isthmian games among the Greeks, so often alluded to and particularly explained in the notes on 1Co_9:24-26, to which the reader is referred for a full illustration of this verse. Is he not crowned - Though he may have conquered, except he strive lawfully - unless he enter according to the rules of the athlete, and act as these direct. o man, however zealous he may have been, is to expect the Well done, good and faithful servant, from Jesus Christ, unless he have labored in the word and doctrine, preached the truth as it is in Jesus, and built up the Church upon Him who is its only Foundation.
3. Gill, “And if a man also strive for masteries,.... In the Olympic games, by running, wrestling, leaping, &c. yet is he not crowned; with a corruptible, fading crown, a crown made of herbs and leaves of trees, as parsley, laurel, &c. except he strive lawfully; according to the laws and rules fixed for those exercises; so no man that calls himself a Christian, minister, or any other, can expect the crown of life, the prize of the high calling of God, except he runs the race set before him, in the right way; looking to Christ, the mark, pressing through all difficulties, towards the prize, and holds on and out unto the end. 4. Henry, “He must see to it that in carrying on the spiritual warfare he went by rule, that he observed the laws of war (2Ti_2:5): If a man strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. We are striving for mastery, to get the mastery of our lusts and corruptions, to excel in that which is good, but we cannot expect the prize unless we observe the laws. In doing that which is good we must take care that we do it in a right manner, that our good may not be evil spoken of. Observe here, 1. A Christian is to strive for masteries; he must aim at mastering his own lusts and corruptions. 2. Yet he must strive according to the laws given to him; he must strive lawfully. 3. Those who do so shall be crowned at last, after a complete victory is obtained.
5. Jamison, “And — “Moreover.” strive for masteries — “strive in the games” [Alford]; namely, the great national games of Greece. yet is he not crowned, except — even though he gain the victory. strive lawfully — observing all the conditions of both the contest (keeping within the bounds of the course and stript of his clothes) and the preparation for it, namely, as to self-denying diet, anointing, exercise, self-restraint, chastity, decorum, etc. (1Co_9:24-27).
6. J. VER O MCGEE, “Here Paul is comparing the Christian to an athlete. "Strive" refers to contending in the game. He wants to win, and he is doing everything he can to be the winner. Someone has said in a very succinct manner, "The only exercise some Christians get is jumping to conclusions, running down their friends, sidestepping responsibility, and pushing their luck." That is not the kind of exercise Paul is talking about. He spoke of the Christian life as being a racecourse, and he said, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" ( Phil. 3:14 ). Paul also said that he wanted to keep his body under control (see ICor. 9:24-27 ). Paul's goal was to run the Christian race in such a way that the One who is at the end of the race — the Lord Jesus — would be able to reward him and be able to say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" ( Matt. 25:21) . A child of God is to "strive"; God intends that he win the race. Every child of God needs to recognize this. He is to "strive lawfully." That is, he has to play by the rules. There is no shortcut toward living the Christian life. Forget the gimmickry today that condenses Christianity into a little course or a few rules and regulations. God gave us sixty-six books, and each one of them is very important. It takes the composite picture to give us the mind and the Word of God. We are to study the whole Bible. An athlete can't cut the corner of a racetrack. either can a baseball player run by second base without touching it; he has to touch all the bases to score. A child of God has to do that, too. If you're going to win, you can't take any shortcuts.
7. Calvin, “And if any one strive He now speaks of perseverance, that no man may think that he has done enough when he has been engaged in one or two conflicts. He borrows a comparison from wrestlers, not one of whom obtains the prize till he has been victorious in the end. Thus he says: “In a race all run, but one obtaineth the prize; run so that ye may obtain.” (1 Corinthians 9:24.) If any man, therefore, wearied with the conflict, immediately withdraw from the arena to enjoy repose, he will be condemned for indolence instead of being crowned. Thus, because Christ wishes us to strive during our whole life, he who gives way in the middle of the course deprives
himself of honor, even though he may have begun valiantly. To strive lawfully is to pursue the contest in such a manner and to such an extent as the law requires, that none may leave off before the time appointed. 8. COLLEGE PRESS, “The element of reward is the point of emphasis in this illustration for Christian service. The connective is the reference to the rules. There are rules in the army and there are rules in athletics. The prize is given to those who keep the rules. This thought pre-supposes the contender would excel in the contest. But even when excelling, rigid rules must be observed. How does this relate to the preacher? There are three qualities of character to be found in the man of God: (1) as a soldier, willingness to suffer; (2) as an athlete, willingness to discipline himself; (3) as a farmer, patience for the harvest, Absolute self-discipline is taught by the example of the Greek athlete, Instances have been produced where the athlete swore under oath that he had practiced ten months before the games (Lock). Please notice that there is only one participator in this contest, Each is contending by himself, against himself, and the established record, What are the rules for the contest of the faith? They are set up by the Lord Jesus. Our Lord "condemned sin in the flesh" (Romans 8:3); i.e,, He demonstrated perfect self-discipline, The weapons used by our Lord, in His self-control, are open to all of us, Prayer, meditation, and fasting are yet the greatest needs of the present day self-indulgent, instead of self-disciplined, minister.
6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.
1. Barnes, “The husbandman that laboureth - The margin is, “labouring first, must be partaker.”
The idea, according to the translation in the text, is, that there is a fitness or propriety (δει dei) that the man who cultivates the earth, should enjoy the fruits of his labor. See the same image explained in the notes at 1Co_9:10. But if this be the meaning here, it is not easy to see why the apostle introduces it. According to the marginal reading, the word “first” is introduced in connection with the word “labour” - “labouring first, must be partaker.” That is, it is a great law that the husbandman must work before be receives a harvest. This sense will accord with the purpose of the apostle. It was to remind Timothy that labor must precede reward; that if a man would reap, he must sow; that he could hope for no fruits, unless he toiled for them. The point was not that the husbandman would be the first one who would partake of the fruits; but that he must first labor before he obtained the reward. Thus understood, this would be an encouragement to Timothy to persevere in his toils, looking onward to the reward. The Greek will bear this construction, though it is not the most obvious one.
2. Clarke, “The husbandman that laboureth - That is: The husbandman must first till his ground
before he can expect a crop; and he must till it according to the proper rules of agriculture, else he cannot have a crop. The combatant must fight and conquer, and fight according to the laws of the agones, before he can be crowned; so the Christian minister must labor in the spiritual vineyard, and labor too under the eye and according to the direction of his Master, before he can expect that crown of righteousness that fadeth not away.
3. Gill, “The husbandman that laboureth,.... In manuring his ground, in ploughing, in sowing, in weeding, in reaping, &c.
must be first partaker of the fruits; of his labour, before others; and the design may be to observe that the ministers of the word ought first to be partakers of the grace of God, the fruits of the Spirit, and of the Gospel, and rightly and spiritually understand it, before they preach it to others; or that such who labour in the word and doctrine, ought in the first place to be taken care of, and have a sufficient maintenance provided for them, 1Co_9:7 or that as they shall have in the first place some seals and fruits of their ministry, in the conversion of souls, so they shall shine in the kingdom of heaven as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars for ever and ever. Though the words may be rendered, and which seems more agreeable to the context, and to the apostle's argument, "the husbandman must first labour before he partakes of the fruits"; so a minister of the Gospel must first labour, and endure hardships in this life, before he sits down in the kingdom of heaven, and takes his rest, and enjoys the crown of glory, which fades not away, which the chief Shepherd shall give unto him.
4. Henry, “He must be willing to wait for a recompence (2Ti_2:6): The husbandman that laboureth
must be first partaker of the fruits. Or, as it should be read, The husbandman labouring first must partake of the fruits, as appears by comparing it with Jam_5:7. If we would be partakers of the fruits, we must labour; if we would gain the prize, we must run the race. And, further, we must first labour as the husbandman does, with diligence and patience, before we are partakers of the fruit; we must do the
will of God, before we receive the promises, for which reason we have need of patience, Heb_10:36.
5. Jamison, “must be first partaker — The right of first partaking of the fruits belongs to him who is laboring; do not thou, therefore, relax thy labors, as thou wouldest be foremost in partaking of the reward. Conybeare explains “first,” before the idler.
6. MCGEE, “The fourth description of a believer is a husbandman or farmer, the one who tills the field and sows the seed of the Word of God. We hear a great deal today about "laying sheaves at the feet of Jesus." I certainly hope that we will be able to put a few there, but also there has to be the sowing and laboring in the field. After the farmer has done that, there will be a harvest. This is the reason I don't cooperate with the great movements abroad that are going to convert the world by evangelism. My feeling is that the Word of God has to be sown, and I take the position that the total Word has to be sown before there can be a harvest.
7. Calvin, “The husbandman must labor before he receive the fruits I am well aware that others render
this passage differently; and I acknowledge that they translate, word for word, what Paul has written in Greek; but he who shall carefully examine the context will assent to my view. 161 Besides, the use of (κοπιῶντα) to labor instead of (κοπιᾷν) to labor, is a well-known Greek idiom; for Greek writers often make use of the participle in place of the infinitive.162 The meaning therefore, is, that husbandmen do not gather the fruit, till they have first toiled hard in the cultivation of the soil, by sowing and by other labors. And if husbandmen do not spare their toils, that one day they may obtain fruit, and if they patiently wait for the season of harvest; how much more unreasonable will it be for us to refuse the labors which Christ enjoins upon us, while he holds out so great a reward?
8. COLLEGE PRESS, “Continuing the thought of reward, Paul uses the illustration of the farmer. Is the emphasis upon the effort, or work, of the farmer, or upon the reward he receives from this labor? There is a good deal of discussion among Commentators as to which thought should receive the emphasis. It is comparatively easy to say, with the soldier, the point is endurance. In the case of the athlete, it is discipline, or compliance with the rules for the crown. It would seem that both thoughts of hard labor and reward are here used with the farmer, as self-control and reward are used with the athlete.
The faithful minister will work . as , hard as a hard-working farmer. When he does, he has the assurance that he will be, the first to share, in the benefits of his labor. What are these benefits? The preacher who does not first preach his sermon to himself js not worthy of the name. "Thou that teachest another, teachest thou not thyself?" The preacher should become the first '■ Convert to every sermon. Thus he is first to partake of the 'benefit of his labors. In another sense, the preacher is to "live of the Gospel" which he preaches. As he sows spiritual things, he can expect a return in material things. This same thought is emphasized several times by Paul elsewhere, .
7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
1. Barnes, “Consider what I say; - see the notes at 1Ti_4:15. The sense is “Think of the condition of
the soldier, and the principles on which he is enlisted; think of the aspirant for the crown in the Grecian games; think of the farmer, patiently toiling in the prospect of the distant harvest; and then go to your work with a similar spirit.” These things are worth attention. When the minister of the gospel thinks of his hardships, of his struggles against an evil world, and of his arduous and constant discouraging toil, let him think of the soldier, of the man who struggles for this world’s honors, and of the patient farmer - AND be content. How patiently do they bear all, and yet for what inferior rewards! And the Lord give thee understanding in all things - Enable you to see the force of these considerations, and to apply them to your own case. Such are often the discouragements of the ministry; so prone is the mind to despondency, that we need the help of the Lord to enable us to apply the most obvious considerations, and to derive support from the most plain and simple truths and promises.
2. Clarke, “Consider what I say - Apply my metaphors and similitudes in a proper manner.
And the Lord give thee understanding - But instead of δሩη, may he give, ACDEFG, several others, besides versions and fathers, have δωσει he will give. Consider thou properly, and God will give thee a proper understanding of all things that concern thy own peace, and the peace and prosperity of his Church. Think as well as read.
3. Gill, “Consider what I say,.... The advice given by the apostle to Timothy, to be strong in the grace of Christ; to commit the doctrines of the Gospel to faithful and able men; and to endure hardness for the sake of it: as also the characters which he bore as a soldier, a runner in a race, or a wrestler, and an husbandman; and therefore must not expect ease and rest, but war, difficulties, toil, and labour; and likewise under what titles Christ was to be regarded; as his General, and Captain of salvation, that commanded him; as the righteous Judge, that held the prize and crown for which he was running; and the chief Shepherd, who would reward all his labours; and moreover, the glorious reward of grace itself, he might expect, as eternal life, when he had fought the good fight the crown of righteousness, when he had finished his course, or run his race; and a crown of glory that fades not away, when the chief Shepherd should appear: and by putting him upon the consideration of these things, he suggests, that they were matters of moment and importance, and would be of great use to him in assisting and encouraging his faith, amidst all trials and exercises; and whereas they were expressed in figurative terms, taken from the soldier, the runner in a race, and the husbandman, they might not at first view be so easy to be understood; and therefore he would have him think of them, and meditate upon them, and weigh them in his mind; as well as he would not have him take things upon trust from him, but examine them whether they were right or not; though he doubted not but that they would be found to be agreeable to the standard of truth: wherefore he prays as follows,
and the Lord give thee understanding in all things; in all the above things, and in all others; in all the doctrines and mysteries of grace, and in all the rules of conduct in life. No man has of himself an understanding in spiritual things; this is the gift of God; and where it is given there is need of an increase of it, and always of such a prayer for it. The Alexandrian copy, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions, read, "the Lord will give thee", &c, and so the words are a promise, an encouragement to Timothy, to consider well of these things; for he might assure himself, that, in so doing, God would give him more understanding in them.
4. Henry, “The apostle further commends what he had said to the attention of Timothy, and expresses his desire and hope respecting him: Consider what I say, and the Lord give thee understanding in all things, 2Ti_2:7. Here, 1. Paul exhorts Timothy to consider those thing about which he admonished him. Timothy must be reminded to use his considering faculties about the things of God. Consideration is as necessary to a good conversation as to a sound conversion. 2. He prays for him: The Lord give thee understanding in all things. Observe, It is God who gives understanding. The most intelligent man needs more and more of this gift. If he who gave the revelation in the word does not give the understanding in the heart, we are nothing. Together with our prayers for others, that the Lord would give them understanding in all things, we must exhort and stir them up to consider what we say, for consideration is the way to understand, remember, and practise, what we hear or read. 5. Jamison, “Consider the force of the illustrations I have given from the soldier, the contender in the games, and the husbandmen, as applying to thyself in thy ministry.
and the Lord give, etc. — The oldest manuscripts read, “for the Lord will give thee understanding.” Thou canst understand my meaning so as personally to apply it to thyself; for the Lord will give thee understanding when thou seekest it from Him “in all things.” Not intellectual perception, but personal appropriation of the truths metaphorically expressed, was what he needed to be given him by the Lord.
6. K&D, “
7. Calvin, “Understand what I say 163 He added this, not on account of the obscurity of the comparisons
which he has set forth, but that Timothy himself might ponder, how much more excellent is the warfare under the direction of Christ, and how much more abundant the reward; for, when we have studied it incessantly, we scarcely arrive at a full knowledge of it. The Lord give thee understanding in all things The prayer, which now follows, is added by way of correction. Because our minds do not easily rise to that “incorruptible crown” (1 Corinthians 9:25) of the life to come, 164 Paul betakes himself to God, to “give understanding” to Timothy. And hence we infer, that not less are we taught in vain, if the Lord do not open our understandings, than the commandments would be given in vain, if he did not impart strength to perform them. For who could have taught better than Paul? And yet, in order that he may teach with any advantage, he prays that God may train his disciple.
8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel,
1. Barnes, “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead Or rather, perhaps, “Remember Jesus Christ; him who was raised from the dead.” The idea seems not to be, as our translators supposed, that he was to reflect on the fact that he was raised from the dead; but rather that he was to think of the Saviour himself. “Think of the Saviour, now raised up from the dead after all the sorrows of this life, and let this encourage you to bear your trials.” There is nothing better fitted to enable us to endure the labors and trials of this life, than to think of the Saviour. On the phrase “seed of David,” see the notes at Rom_1:3.
According to my gospel - The gospel which I preach; see the notes at 2Th_2:14.
2. Clarke, “Remember that Jesus Christ - The apostle seems to say: Whatever tribulations or deaths may befall us, let us remember that Jesus Christ, who was slain by the Jews, rose again from the dead, and his resurrection is the proof and pledge of ours. We also shall rise again to a life of glory and blessedness.
According to my Gospel - The false teaching of Hymeneus and Philetus stated that the resurrection was past already. Paul preached the resurrection from the dead; and founded his doctrine on the resurrection and promise of Christ. This was his Gospel; the other was of a different nature.
3. Gill, “ Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David,.... This is said either as an
encouragement to suffer hardness in the cause of Christ; since he, who though he was of the seed of David, of the blood royal, and heir to his crown, yet suffered and died; and whereas he rose again from the dead, those who suffer for his sake shall rise also, and live and reign with him for ever: or else as a specimen of the form of sound words, or of the things which Timothy had heard of the apostle; for this, with what follows, is a summary of them: Christ being of the seed of David, according to the flesh, or human nature, is expressive of his incarnation; shows that he was really come in the flesh, and was truly man; and that he assumed human nature with all its frailties and infirmities, excepting sin, and was, like David, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with griefs; and it includes his whole life, and his righteousness, and obedience to the law of works, and points him out as the true Messiah, who was
well known to the Jews by the name of the son of David. And now the apostle puts Timothy in mind, that he was raised from the dead; which implies that he died; and so includes all the doctrines relating to his death; as that he died to make reconciliation, atonement, and satisfaction for the sins of his people, and to procure peace for them, and the full remission of all their iniquities; and to obtain redemption for them, from sin, Satan, the law, and its curses; as well as it expresses his resurrection from the dead, for their justification: and this being his first step to glory, has connected with it his ascension to heaven, session at the right hand of God, intercession for the saints, and his second coming to judgment; and is therefore particularly mentioned, because it is an article so comprehensive, and is a fundamental one, and of the greatest importance to faith, and was what was struck at in those times: the apostle adds, according to my Gospel; meaning not the Gospel of Luke, in which there is a clear account given of the resurrection of Christ, said to be written by him, at the instigation, and under the direction of the apostle, and published with his approbation, as some think; but the doctrine of the Gospel, and which he calls his, not because he was the author, or the subject of it; for in these respects it is the Gospel of God, and of Christ; but because it was committed to him, and he was intrusted with it, and fully and faithfully preached it; and in distinction from another Gospel, that of the false teachers; and agreeably to this doctrine, which the apostle everywhere taught, Christ was raised from the dead; so the Ethiopic version renders it, "as I have taught".
4. Henry, “To encourage Timothy in suffering, the apostle puts him in mind of the resurrection of Christ (2Ti_2:8): Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead, according to my gospel. This is the great proof of his divine mission, and therefore a great confirmation of the truth of the Christian religion; and the consideration of it should make us faithful to our Christian profession, and should particularly encourage us in suffering for it. Let suffering saints remember this. Observe, 1. We are to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despised the shame, and has now sat down at the right hand of the throne of God, Heb_12:2. 2. The incarnation and resurrection of Jesus Christ, heartily believed and rightly considered, will support a Christian under all sufferings in the present life. 5. Jamison, “Rather as Greek, “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead.” Remember Christ risen, so as to follow Him. As He was raised after death, so if thou wouldest share His risen “life,” thou must now share His “death” (2Ti_2:11). The Greek perfect passive participle, implies a permanent character acquired by Jesus as the risen Savior, and our permanent interest in Him as such. Christ’s resurrection is put prominently forward as being the truth now assailed (2Ti_2:18), and the one best calculated to stimulate Timothy to steadfastness in sharing Paul’s sufferings for the Gospel’s sake (see on 2Ti_2:3).
of the seed of David — The one and only genealogy (as contrasted with the “endless genealogies,” 1Ti_1:4) worth thinking of, for it proves Jesus to be the Messiah. The absence of the article in the Greek, and this formula, “of the seed of David” (compare Rom_1:3), imply that the words were probably part of a recognized short oral creed. In His death He assured us of His humanity; by His resurrection, of His divinity. That He was not crucified for His own sin appears from His resurrection; that He was crucified shows that He bore sin, on Him, though not in Him. my gospel — that which I always taught.
6. K&D, “
7. Calvin, “Remember that Jesus Christ, being raised from the dead. He expressly mentions some part of
his doctrine, which he wished to go down to posterity, entire and uncorrupted. It is probable that he glances chiefly at that part about which he was most afraid; as will also appear clearly from what follows, when he comes to speak about the error of “Hymenaeus and Philetus,” (2 Timothy 2:17;) for they denied the resurrection, of which we have a sure pledge in this confession, when they falsely said that it was already past. How necessary this admonition of Paul was, the ancient histories shew; for Satan put forth all his strength, in order to destroy this article of our faith. There being two parts of it, that Christ was born “of the seed of David,” and that he rose from the dead; immediately after the time of the Apostles, arose Marcion, who labored to destroy the truth of the human nature in Christ; and afterwards he was followed by the Manichaeans; and even, in the present day, this plague is still spreading. So far as relates to the resurrection, how many have been employed, and with what diversified schemes, in laboring to overthrow the hope of it! This attestation, therefore, means as much as if Paul had said, “Let no one corrupt or falsify my gospel by slanders; I have thus taught, I have thus preached, that Christ, who was born a man of the seed of David, rose from the dead.” According to my gospel He calls it “his gospel,” not that he professes to be the author but the minister of it. Now, in the resurrection of Christ we all have a sure pledge of our own resurrection. Accordingly, he who acknowledges that Christ has risen affirms that the same thing will take place with us also; for Christ did not rise for himself, but for us. The head must not be separated from his members. Besides, in the resurrection of Christ is contained the fulfillment of our redemption and salvation; for it is added, from the dead. Thus Christ, who was dead, arose. Why? and for what purpose? Here we must come to ourselves, and here too is manifested the power and fruit of both, namely, of his resurrection and of his death; for we must always hold by this principle, that Scripture is not wont to speak of these things coldly, and as matters of history, but makes indirect reference to the fruit. Of the seed of David This clause not only asserts the reality of human nature in Christ, but also claims for him the honor and name of the Messiah. Heretics deny that Christ was a real man, others imagine that his human nature descended from heaven, and others think that there was in him nothing more than the appearance of a man. 165 Paul exclaims, on the contrary, that he was “of the seed of David;” by which he undoubtedly declares that he was a real man, the son of a human being, that is, of Mary. This testimony is so express, that the more heretics labor to get rid of it, the more do they discover their own impudence. The Jews and other enemies of Christ deny that he is the person who was formerly promised; but Paul affirms that he is the son of David, and that he is descended from that family from which the Messiah ought to descend.
9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.
1. Barnes, “Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil-doer - as if I were a violator of the laws. That is,
I am treated as if I were a criminal. Even unto bonds - As if I were one of the words kind of malefactors; see the notes at Eph_6:20. During the apostle’s first imprisonment at Rome, he was permitted to “dwell in his own hired house,” though guarded by a soldier, and probably chained to him; see the notes at Act_28:16, Act_28:30. What was his condition in his second imprisonment, during which this Epistle was written, we have no means of knowing with certainty. It is probable, however, that he was subjected to much more rigid treatment than he had been in the first instance. The tradition is, that he and Peter were together in the Mamertine prison at Rome; and the place is still shown in which it is said that they were confined. The Mamertine prisons are of great antiquity. According to Livy, they were constructed by Ancus Martius, and enlarged by Servius Tullius. The lower prison is supposed to have been once a quarry, and to have been at one time occupied as a granary. These prisons are on the descent of the Capitoline Mount, toward the Forum. They consist of two apartments, one over the other, built with large, uncemented stones. There is no entrance to either, except by a small aperture in the roof, and by a small hole in the upper floor, leading to the cell below, without any staircase to either. The upper prison is twenty-seven feet long, by twenty wide; the lower one is elliptical, and measures twenty feet by ten. In the lower one is a small spring, which is said at Rome to have arisen at the command of Peter, to enable him to baptize his keepers, Processus and Martianus, with 47 companions, whom he converted. No certain reliance can be placed on any part of this tradition, though in itself there is no improbability in supposing that these prisons may have been used for confining Christians, and the apostle Paul among others. Dr. Burton says that a more horrible place for the confinement of a human being can scarcely be conceived. But the word of God is not bound - This is one of Paul’s happy turns of thought; compare the notes at Act_26:29. The meaning is plain. The gospel was prospered. that could not be lettered and imprisoned. It circulated with freedom. even when he who was appointed to preach it was in chains; see Phi_1:13-14. As this was the great matter, his own imprisonment was of comparatively little consequence. What may befall us is of secondary importance. The grand thing is the triumph of truth on the earth; and well may we bear privations and sorrows, if the gospel moves on in triumph.
2. Clarke, “Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer - This verse contains one of the proofs that this epistle was written while St. Paul was a prisoner the second time at Rome. See the preface, where this is particularly considered.
3. Gill, “ Wherein I suffer trouble as an evildoer,.... As a malefactor, as if guilty of some capital crime; an enemy to the law of Moses, a pestilent fellow, a mover of sedition everywhere, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes, Act_24:5. The Ethiopic version renders it, "as a thief". The "trouble" he suffered were reproaches, persecutions, whipping, beating, stoning, imprisonment: for he adds,
even unto bonds; for he was now a prisoner, and in chains; nor was it the first time, he was in prisons frequent; and all this for the sake of the Gospel, which he preached, concerning the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ: but the word of God is not bound; for the apostle, while a prisoner at Rome, had the liberty of dwelling by himself, in his own hired house, though held in chains, and guarded by a soldier, and of receiving his friends, and of preaching the Gospel to as many as would come to hear him, Act_28:16 as well as of sending letters to the churches; for several of his epistles were written by him when a prisoner, as those to the Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians; and this to Timothy, and also that to Philemon: so that the Gospel was not restrained, or the apostle restrained from publishing it, both by
word of mouth, and by writing; which was a great support to him under his troubles. Moreover, the Gospel was the more spread through the bonds of the apostle, and met with great success; it became known in Caesar's palace, and was the means of the conversion of some of his household; and many of the brethren, through his bonds, became bolder to preach the Gospel of Christ; so that it had a free course, and was glorified: and sometimes so it is, that persecution is a means of the greater spread of the Gospel; which was an effect that followed upon the persecution raised against the church at Jerusalem, upon the death of Stephen, Act_8:1. And indeed, when God opens an effectual door, none can shut it, though there be many adversaries; and when he gives the word a commission, there is no stopping it; when it comes in power, it bears down all before it; it cannot be fettered and bound by men, though men may be fettered and bound for the sake of it.
4. Henry, “Another thing to encourage him in suffering was that he had Paul for an example. Observe,
1. How the apostle suffered (2Ti_2:9): Wherein I suffer as an evil-doer; and let not Timothy the son expect any better treatment than Paul the father. Paul was a man who did good, and yet suffered as an evil-doer: we must not think it strange if those who do well fare ill in this world, and if the best of men meet with the worst of treatment; but this was his comfort that the word of God was not bound. Persecuting powers may silence ministers and restrain them, but they cannot hinder the operation of the word of God upon men's hearts and consciences; that cannot be bound by any human force. This might encourage Timothy not to be afraid of bonds for the testimony of Jesus; for the word of Christ, which ought to be dearer to him than liberty, or life itself, should in the issue suffer nothing by those bonds. Here we see, (1.) The good apostle's treatment in the world: I suffer trouble; to this he was called and appointed. (2.) The pretence and colour under which he suffered: I suffer as an evil-doer; so the Jews said to Pilate concerning Christ, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up to thee, Joh_18:30. (3.) The real and true cause of his suffering trouble as an evil-doer: Wherein; that is, in or for the sake of the gospel. The apostle suffered trouble unto bonds, and afterwards he resisted unto blood, striving against sin, Heb_12:4. Though the preachers of the word are often bound, yet the word is never bound.
5. Jamison, “Wherein — in proclaiming which Gospel.
suffer trouble — literally, “evil.” I am a sufferer of evil as though I were a doer of evil. bonds — (2Ti_1:16). word ... not bound — Though my person is bound, my tongue and my pen are not (2Ti_4:17; Act_28:31). Or he alludes not merely to his own proclamation of the Gospel, though in chains, but to the freedom of its circulation by others, even though his power of circulating it is now prescribed (Phi_1:18). He also hints to Timothy that he being free ought to be the more earnest in the service of it.
6. GUY KI G, “"The word of God is not bound," says Our verse 9 - this phrase is just another name for "my gospel," which, in the strictest sense is not Paul's word, but GOD's word. In I Corinthians 2:1, he himself describes it as "the testimony of God." It is true to call it Paul's word, with all its human and personal qualities and characteristics; but it is not the whole truth: the ultimate fact is that it was given to Paul by "revelation of Jesus Christ", as he confesses in Galatians 1:12, and was GOD's word for sinful men. For the dissemination of that mighty word. the brave apostle was now brought "even unto bonds," never
again should he be free to broadcast the soul-saving, the life-changing, message as he had so loved to do, and so "suffered" for doing. He was now "bound" - but even yet "the Word of God was not bound." It is true to say that (a) Age cannot bind it. On the one hand it is, in itself, both ancient and modern - immensely old, yet extraordinarily up-to-date: age does not tie it to an arm-chair, nor condemn it to a somnolent impassivity. It is as vigorous as ever it was. early nineteen hundred years have run their Course since Paul dictated these words to his son, but the Word, the Gospel, has not lost one iota of its pristine virility. On the other hand, its message is valid for both old and young - those with life behind them, and those with life before them, find in it alike their way to GOD, their way with GOD, their way for GOD. o wonder that the apostle elsewhere exclaims (Romans 1:16), "I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is (still, in spite of its age] the power of God unto salvation to everyone [of whatever age] that believeth," (b) Language cannot bind it. We take up our Bible, and find the Authorized Version so throbbing with life, so instinct with power. Whether the Word as a whole, or the Word of the Gospel in particular, it retains the original power of the original tongue. The Hebrew, the Aramaic, the Greek - these were the vehicles of the inspiration; but the something like a thousand languages into which it has been translated possess the same power of conviction, conversion, compulsion, and comfort. Read, for example, the Annual Report, for any year, of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and you will see how remarkably true it is that, in the myriad speech of mankind, the Word retains its freshness and freedom of mighty influence language cannot impede that. (c) Persecution cannot bind it. The enemy has tried to stamp it out. In our own country he has caused it to become a forbidden book, and ardent souls have had to read it in secret places, in peril of their very lives: He has engineered great bonfires for its burning, when thousands of copies were consigned to the flame; but some were hidden, to break forth again in due time. It is like a little seed dropped by chance into the soft earth of some roadway. The local authority has been paving the street, and very soon a great, heavy stone has been laid and hammered down upon our little seed, to its utter destruction. But wait: is it destroyed? In course of time, the very paving stone is moved by the life-power that was in the seed. In modern Russia the hard, cold, dead stones of atheism were dumped down upon all religion, in the full expectation that the Word would be stifled; but we have lived to see that the plot has failed, and that the stones themselves have started to be lifted off.
(d) Deficiency cannot bind it. The great power has evidenced itself even upon those who might scarcely have been expected to understand it. There is no profounder book in circulation, and there are parts of it likely to baffle the keenest minds; yet quite uneducated folks have come to a wonderful grasp of its truths and its secrets. For it is ever true that GOD's things, as I Corinthians 2:14 reminds us, "are spiritually discerned," and that, not by natural intellect but "by faith we understand", Hebrews 11:3. 7. Calvin, “ In which I am a sufferer This is an anticipation, for his imprisonment lessened the credit due to
his gospel in the eyes of ignorant people. He, therefore, acknowledges that, as to outward appearance, he was imprisoned like a criminal; but adds, that his imprisonment did not hinder the gospel from having free course; and not only so, but that what he suffers is advantageous to the elect, because it tends to confirm them. Such is the unshaken courage of the martyrs of Christ, when the consciousness of being engaged in a good cause lifts them up above the world; so that, from a lofty position, they look down with contempt, not only on bodily pains and agonies, but on every kind of disgrace. Moreover, all godly persons ought to strengthen themselves with this consideration, when they see the ministers of the gospel attacked and outraged by adversaries, that they may not, on that account, cherish less reverence for doctrine, but may give glory to God, by whose power they see it burst through all the hindrances of the world. And, indeed, if we were not excessively devoted to the flesh, this consolation alone must have been sufficient for us in the midst of persecutions, that, if we are oppressed by the cruelty of the wicked, the gospel is nevertheless extended and more widely diffused; for, whatever they may attempt, so far are they from obscuring or extinguishing the light of the gospel, that it burns the more brightly. Let us therefore bear cheerfully, or at least patiently, to have both our body and our reputation shut up in prison, provided that the truth of God breaks through those fetters, and is spread far and wide.
10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
1. Barnes, “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes; - see the notes at 2Co_1:6. The sense is, What I suffer is in the cause of the church, spoken of here, as it is often, as chosen, or elected; see the notes at Eph_1:4.
That they may also obtain the salvation, ... - Their salvation, though they, were elected, could not be secured without proper efforts. The meaning of the apostle here is, that he was willing to suffer if he might save others; and any one ought to be willing to suffer in order to secure the salvation of the elect - for it was an object for which the Redeemer was willing to lay down his life.
2. Clarke, “For the elect’s sake - For the sake of the Gentiles, elected by God’s goodness to enjoy
every privilege formerly possessed by the Jews, and, in addition to these, all the blessings of the Gospel; the salvation of Christ here, and eternal glory hereafter.
3. Gill, “Therefore I endure all things for the elects' sakes,.... There is a certain number of
persons whom God has chosen in Christ from everlasting unto salvation, who shall certainly be saved; for these Jesus Christ suffered and died; and on their account is the Gospel sent, preached, and published to the world; for their sakes are ministers fitted and qualified for their work, and have their mission and commission to perform it, and suffer what they do in the execution of it; and since it was for the sake of such, whom God had loved and chosen, that the apostle endured all his reproaches, afflictions, and persecutions, he was the more cheerful under them; and the consideration of it was a support unto him: that they may also obtain; as well as himself, and other chosen vessels of salvation, who were called by grace already; for the apostle is speaking of such of the elect, who were, as yet, in a state of nature: the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory; salvation is only by Christ Jesus, and in him; and this is only for the elect of God; and it is published in the Gospel, that they might obtain it; and in all ages they do obtain it, or enjoy it: the thing itself is obtained by Christ for them, through his obedience, sufferings, and death; and it is published in the everlasting Gospel, that they might come to the knowledge of it; and in the effectual calling it is brought near by the Spirit of God, and applied unto them; and they have now both a meetness for it, and a right unto it, and shall fully enjoy it in heaven; for it has "eternal glory", or "heavenly glory", as the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions read, "annexed to it"; or rather the full enjoyment of it will consist in an eternal and heavenly glory, which will be put upon the saints, both in soul and body, and remain to all eternity.
4. Henry, “ Why he suffered cheerfully: I endure all things for the elects' sake, 2Ti_2:10. Observe, (1.)
Good ministers may and should encourage themselves in the hardest services and the hardest sufferings, with this, that God will certainly bring good to his church, and benefit to his elect, out of them. - That they may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus. Next to the salvation of our own souls we should be willing to do and suffer any thing to promote the salvation of the souls of others. (2.) The elect are designed to obtain salvation: God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation, 1Th_5:9. (3.) This salvation is in Christ Jesus, in him as the fountain, the purchaser, and the giver of it; and it is accompanied with eternal glory: there is no salvation in Christ Jesus without it. (4.) The sufferings of our apostle were for the elects' sake, for their confirmation and encouragement.
5. Jamison, “Therefore — Because of the anxiety I feel that the Gospel should be extended; that anxiety being implied in 2Ti_2:9.
endure — not merely “I passively suffer,” but “I actively and perseveringly endure,” and “am ready to endure patiently all things.” the elect’s sakes — for the sake of the Church: all the members of Christ’s spiritual body (Col_1:24). they ... also — as well as myself: both God’s elect not yet converted and those already so. salvation ... glory — not only salvation from wrath, but glory in reigning with Him eternally (2Ti_2:12). Glory is the full expansion of salvation (Act_2:47; Rom_8:21-24, Rom_8:30; Heb_9:28).
So grace and glory (Psa_84:12).
6. COLLEGE PRESS, “Because the Word of God is not bound and will accomplish its glorious purpose in the elect, Paul was ready to bear up under whatever hardships came his way. Paul felt his remaining steadfast even in prison, was necessary for "the elect's sake"; i.e., he wanted to present the best possible example so as not to discourage a single one. If he could, in any way, help the least or the last of "the elect" to obtain what he was confident awaited him, he would suffer anything ero wanted to bring upon him. On the other hand, this sentence, "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sake, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory," could look backward instead of forward, Paul could have reference to what he had suffered, as well as what he is suffering. He could mean that he stood up under the sufferings described in II Cor. 11:1 6-33 and Rom, 8:35-39 because he knew his labor was not vain in the Lord. The use of the word, "elect," reminds us of the need to understand the teaching of the ew Testament on election. It is not our purpose to develop it here, but suffice it to say, no Bible student worthy of the name' will fail to search the Scriptures diligently on this important subject. It should be pointed out that salvation is "in Christ Jesus'," and that there is no salvation outside of Christ. How does one come "into Christ Jesus"? Read Gal. 3:27 for an inspired answer from Paul. The "eternal glory" of our salvation is here anticipated, and is
certain of the fulfillment. Something of the power of the age to come should be reflected in the lives of those who will share it. 7. Calvin, “Wherefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect From the elect he shews, that his
imprisonment is so far from being a ground of reproach, that it is highly profitable to the elect. When he says that he endures for the sake of the elect, 167 this demonstrates how much more he cares for the edification of the Church than for himself; for he is prepared, not only to die, but even to be reckoned in the number of wicked men, that he may promote the salvation of the Church. In this passage Paul teaches the same doctrine as in Colossians 1:24, where he says, that he
“fills up what is wanting in the sufferings of Christ, for his body, which is the Church.”
Hence the impudence of the Papists is abundantly refuted, who infer from these words that the death of Paul was a satisfaction for our sins; as if he claimed anything else for his death, than that it would confirm the faith of the godly, for he immediately adds an exposition, by affirming that the salvation of believers is found in Christ alone. But if any of my readers wishes to see a more extended illustration of this subject, let him consult my Commentary on the chapter which I have just now quoted — the first of the Epistle to the Colossians. With eternal glory This is the end of the salvation which we obtain in Christ; for our salvation is to live to God, which salvation begins with our regeneration, and is completed by our perfect deliverance, when God takes us away from the miseries of this mortal life, and gathers us into his kingdom. To this salvation is added the participation of heavenly, that is, divine glory; and, therefore, in order to magnify the grace of Christ, he gave to salvation the name of “eternal glory.”
11 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him;
1. Barnes, “It is a faithful saying - Or, rather, that which he was about to say was worthy of entire credence and profound attention; see the notes at 1Ti_1:15. The object is to encourage Timothy to bear trials by the hope of salvation.
For if we be dead with him - see the notes at Rom_6:8. We shall also live with him - This was a sort of maxim, or a settled point, which is often referred to in the Bible; see the Rom_6:3-5 notes; Joh_11:25 note; 1Th_4:14 note.
2. Clarke, “If we be dead with him - That is: As surely as Christ rose again from the dead, so surely
shall we rise again; and if we die for him, we shall surely live again with him. This, says the apostle, is πιστος ᆇ λογος, a true doctrine. This is properly the import of the word; and we need not seek, as Bp. Tillotson and many others have done, for some saying of Christ which the apostle is supposed to be here quoting, and which he learned from tradition.
3. Gill, “It is a faithful saying,.... This may refer either to what goes before, that all things, all
reproaches and sufferings, through the ministration of the Gospel, are endured for the elects' sake; and that shall certainly obtain salvation in Christ, and eternal glory, to which they are predestinated: or to what follows, which being of moment and importance, and difficult to be believed, as that death led to life, and sufferings were the way to the kingdom; the apostle prefaces it in this manner, affirming the truth of it, that it was sure and certain, and to be believed, and depended on as such. For if we be dead with him; with Christ, as all his people are, by virtue of union to him; they are dead with him, he and they being one, in a legal sense; when he died, they died with him; being crucified with him, as their head and representative, their old man, their sins, were also crucified with him, being imputed to him, and laid upon him; and through the efficacy of his death, they became dead to sin, both to its damning and governing power, and so are planted together in the likeness of his death; so that as he died unto sin once, and lives again to die no more, they die unto sin, and are alive to God, and shall live for ever. Moreover, this, agreeably to what follows, may be understood of the saints dying for Christ's sake, and the Gospel, whereby they are conformed unto him, and feel the fellowship of his sufferings, and so may be said to be dead with him: and such may assure themselves of the truth of what follows, we shall also live with him; as many as were crucified with Christ, and buried with him, rose with him from the dead, and were justified in him, as their head and representative; the free gift came on them to justification of life; and they that are dead to sin, through the efficacy of his death, live a life of sanctification, which they have from him, and is maintained and supported by him, and is to his glory; and they live a life of communion with him, in whose favour is life; and though they die, and for his sake, they shall rise again; and because he lives, they shall live also, even a life of glory, happiness, and endless pleasure. And this is part of the faithful saying, and to be believed, and is believed by the saints: see Rom_6:8. Moreover, since the word "him" is not in the original text, and the elect are spoken of in the preceding verse, what if the sense should be this, this is true doctrine, and a certain matter of fact, if we and the elect of God die together in the same cause, and for the sake of Christ, and the Gospel, we shall live together in everlasting bliss and glory?
4. Henry, “Another thing with which he encourages Timothy is the prospect of a future state.
1. Those who faithfully adhere to Christ and to his truths and ways, whatever it cost them, will certainly have the advantage of it in another world: If we be dead with him, we shall live with him, 2Ti_2:11. If we be dead with him, we shall live with him, 2Ti_2:11. If, in conformity to Christ, we be dead to this world, its pleasures, profits, and honours, we shall go to live with him in a better world, to be for ever with him. Nay, though we be called out to suffer for him, we shall not lose by that. Those who suffer for Christ on earth shall reign with Christ in heaven, 2Ti_2:12. Those who suffered with David in his humiliation were preferred with him in his exaltation: so it will be with those who suffer with the Son of David.
5. Jamison, “Greek, “Faithful is the saying.”
For — “For” the fact is so that, “if we be dead with Him (the Greek aorist tense implies a state once
for all entered into in past times at the moment of regeneration, Rom_6:3, Rom_6:4, Rom_6:8; Col_2:12), we shall also live with Him.” The symmetrical form of “the saying,” 2Ti_2:11-13, and the rhythmical balance of the parallel clauses, makes it likely, they formed part of a Church hymn (see on 1Ti_3:16), or accepted formula, perhaps first uttered by some of the Christian “prophets” in the public assembly (1Co_14:26). The phrase “faithful is the saying,” which seems to have been the usual formula (compare 1Ti_1:15; 1Ti_3:1; 1Ti_4:9; Tit_3:8) in such cases, favors this.
6. COLLEGE PRESS, “Here is the fifth and last "faithful saying." We like the thought of Hendriksen that this is probably a part of an "early Christian hymn, a cross-bearer's or martyr's hymn." He says, with good effect: " ow the word 'for' indicates that in the hymn, something preceded." The probability is that the unquoted
line which preceded, was something like; "We shall remain faithful to our Lord even to death," or "We have resigned ourselves to reproach and suffering and even to death for Christ's sake." (Ibid pp. 254,255) The quoted lines are: "For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him: if we endure, we shall also reign with Him: if we shall deny Him, He also will deny us: if we are faithless, He abideth faithful; for He cannot deny Himself." Please do not miss the point of quoting this hymn (if indeed it is). This is a conclusion to the thought that without a cross there is no crown; without a thorn there is no throne. We shall take up a discussion of each phrase as it appears: // we died with Him When did this take place? We died when Christ died. Please read Rom. 6:8 and II Cor. 5:14 for a confirmation of this. Remember that this is applicable to all Chris-
tians. It was written to Timothy ' and the saints in Ephesus to offer them strength and challenge, but it is just as applicable to us. Paul said of himself, "I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me." (Gal. 2:20) (We have read the discussions which link this phrase, "If we died with Him" with a martyr's death, but we much prefer the above interpretation and can see no conflict with the context. ) When Christ died, we died. This identification of ourselves with Christ is a powerful motive for holy living. Such a motive was needed in this day of intense persecution. We shall also live with Him This is the joyous advantage in dying with Him. We are as truly identified with His Resurrection as we are with His death. We have been raised together with Christ in this life, and j it is but a foretaste of the life to come. If we do not live like Christ here, how can we hope to live with Him for eternity? If we do not live like Him, we cannot live with Him. The blessed thought is, He deigns to live with us and in us through the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9). if we endure, we shall also reign with Him "Endurance" is more than begrudgingly bearing difficulties. "Endurance" is remaining steadfast amid all manner of trials. "Endurance" is a positive quality, not a negative one. Please associate this endur-
ance with Christ; we are to endure or suffer with Him, "They who suffered with David in his humiliation were preferred with him in his exaltation; so it will be with the Son of David" (Henry). Reigning with Christ is more than an offer of the hope of
heaven. It is true right here and right now: "if we endure, we shall reign with Him," If we are willing to bear the reproaches and accusations found in fellowship with Jesus, we can also share in the triumph of overcoming evil with good, One day, all the daily trials and difficulties will be past, and we shall reign with Him forever in the new heaven and new earth, if we shall deny Him.;, He also will deny us These words seem almost a quotation of Matt, 10:33 or Mark 8:38. Indeed, some commentators feel they are. What is meant by denying Christ, and how could it be done? Commentators have read "final denial," "fatal denial," "hypocritical faith," etc., into these simple words, "deny Him." Did Peter deny Him? Did Jesus deny Peter? When we reject Him, we are rejected by Him. We are well aware that the final judgment day is inferred by the text, but please remember, that judgment day arrives every day for thousands of persons in the form of a visit from Death. Every time we please ourselves instead of Jesus, we have denied Him. To remain in this state and die in such a state is to be forever denied by Him. When we are ashamed of Him or His Word in this wicked and adulterous generation, we have denied Him. Who is to say that such a person never owned Him in the first place? if we are faithless, He abideth faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. This is a conclusion to all that has been said in vss. 11-13. This is not intended to be a discouragement, but an encouragement. If we fail, God remains faithful, We can always return to the solid rock; we have forever a norm of truth that does not change. If we turn aside, it is only because we choose to do so; it is not that God wants us to, or that there is some ad-
vantage in it. Like the disillusioned prodigal, we can be sure there is a warm house, a loving father, and a cleansing bath awaiting our return from the pig-pen of the world. 7. Calvin, “ A faithful saying He makes a preface to the sentiment which he is about to utter; because
nothing is more opposite to the feeling of the flesh, than that we must die in order to live, and that death is the entrance into life; for we may gather from other passages, that Paul was wont to make use of a preface of this sort, in matters of great importance, or hard to be believed. If we die with him, we shall also live with him The general meaning is, that we shall not be partakers of the life and glory of Christ, unless we have previously died and been humbled with him; as he says, that all the elect were
“predestinated that they might be conformed to his image.” (Romans 8:29.)
This is said both for exhorting and comforting believers. Who is not excited by this exhortation, that we ought not to be distressed on account of our afflictions, which shall have so happy a result? The same consideration abates and sweetens all that is bitter in the cross; because neither pains, nor tortures, nor reproaches, nor death ought to be received by us with horror, since in these we share with Christ; more especially seeing that all these things are the forerunners of a triumph. By his example, therefore, Paul encourages all believers to receive joyfully, for the name of Christ, those afflictions in which they already have a taste of future glory. If this shocks our belief, and if the cross itself so overpowers and dazzles our eyes, that we do not perceive Christ in them, let us remember to present this shield, “It is a faithful saying.” And, indeed, where Christ is present, we must acknowledge that life and happiness are there. We ought, therefore, to believe firmly, and to impress deeply on our hearts, this fellowship, that we do not die apart, but along with Christ, in order that we may afterwards have life in common with him; that we suffer with him, in order that we may be partakers of his glory. By death he means all that outward mortification of which he speaks in 2 Corinthians 4:10.
8. SPURGEO , “"It is a faithful saying."
Paul has four of these "faithful sayings." The first occurs in 1 Timothy 1:15, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." The next is in 1 Timothy 4:6, "Godliness is profitable unto all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation." The third is in 2 Timothy 2:12, "It is a faithful saying-If we suffer with him we shall also reign with him"; and the fourth is in Titus 3:3, "This is a faithful saying, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works." We may trace a connection between these faithful sayings. The first one lays the foundation of our eternal salvation in the free grace of God, as shown to us in the mission of the great Redeemer. The next affirms the double blessedness which we obtain through this salvation-the blessings of the upper and nether springs-of time and of eternity. The third shows one
of the duties to which the chosen people are called; we are ordained to suffer for Christ with the promise that "if we suffer, we shall also reign with him." The last sets forth the active form of Christian service, bidding us diligently to maintain good works. Thus we have the root of salvation in free grace; next, the privileges of that salvation in the life which now is, and in that which is to come; and we have also the two great branches of suffering with Christ and serving with Christ, loaded with the fruits of the Spirit. Treasure up these faithful sayings. Let them be the guides of our life, our comfort, and our instruction. The apostle of the Gentiles proved them to be faithful, they are faithful still, not one word shall fall to the ground; they are worthy of all acceptation, let us accept them now, and prove their faithfulness. Let these four faithful sayings be written on the four corners of my house.
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us;
1. Barnes, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him - The meaning is, that the members will be treated as the Head is. We become united with him by faith, and, if we share his treatment on earth, we shall share his triumphs in heaven; see the notes at Rom_8:17. If we deny him, he also will deny us; - see the notes at Mat_10:32-33.
2. Clarke, “If we suffer - with him - These are other parts of the true doctrine, which the apostle mentions above.
3. Gill, “If we suffer,.... With him, with Christ, as in Rom_8:17 all the elect suffered with Christ when he suffered; they suffered in him the whole penalty of the law, all the righteousness, strictness, and severity of it; and they are partakers of the benefits of his sufferings, as peace, pardon, righteousness, redemption, and everlasting salvation. And such being called by grace, and having made a profession of Christ, they suffer shame and reproach, loss of credit and reputation, and sometimes loss of goods, and corporeal punishment, and even death itself: but though they do, and if they should, they may be satisfied of the truth of this, we shall also reign with him; they reign with him now in the kingdom of grace; grace reigns in their hearts, where Christ, the King of glory, has entered, and has set up his throne, and where he dwells by faith, they being made kings and priests unto God by him; and they shall reign with him in his kingdom here on earth, for the space of a thousand years; and they shall reign with him in glory to all eternity: this is certain, for this kingdom is prepared for them, it is given to them, they are called unto it, and have both a right unto, and meetness for it; see Rom_8:17,
if we deny him, he also will deny us: there is a denying of Christ in words; so it is denied by the Jews that Christ is come in the flesh, and that Jesus is the Messiah; and some that have bore the Christian name, though very unworthily, have denied his true deity, his real humanity, proper sonship, and the efficacy of his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, for pardon, justification, and atonement: and there is a denying of him in works; so some that profess to know him, and do own him in his person and offices, yet in works deny him; their conversation is not becoming their profession of him; they have the form of godliness, but deny the power of it: there is a secret and silent denying of him, when men are ashamed of him, and do not confess him; and there is an open denying of him, by such who set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh throughout the earth; there is a partial denying of Christ, which was Peter's case, though his faith in him, and love to him, were not lost; and there is a total denying of him, a thorough apostasy, and from which there is no recovery; and if there be any such apostates among those who have named the name of Christ, he will deny them, he will not own them for his another day; he will set them at his left hand; he will declare he knows them not, and will banish them from his presence for evermore. This is another branch of the faithful saying; this will certainly be the case; Christ himself has said it, Mat_10:33. 4. Henry, “ Those who suffer for Christ on earth shall reign with Christ in heaven, 2Ti_2:12. Those who suffered with David in his humiliation were preferred with him in his exaltation: so it will be with those who suffer with the Son of David. 5. Jamison, “suffer — rather, as the Greek is the same as in 2Ti_2:10, “If we endure (with Him)” (Rom_8:17). reign with him — The peculiar privilege of the elect Church now suffering with Christ, then to reign with Him (see on 1Co_6:2). Reigning is something more than mere salvation (Rom_5:17; Rev_3:21; Rev_5:10; Rev_20:4, Rev_20:5). deny — with the mouth. As “believe” with the heart follows, 2Ti_2:12. Compare the opposite, “confess with thy mouth” and “believe in thine heart” (Rom_10:9, Rom_10:10). he also will deny us — (Mat_10:33).
6. MOODY BIBLE I STITUTE, “TODAY I THE WORD When Alexander the Great captured the Indian king Porus, he asked the defeated monarch how he would like to be treated. Porus replied, “Like a king.” Alexander asked the ruler if he had any additional requests. Porus replied that he did not, “for everything is comprehended in the word ”˜king.' ” Alexander was so impressed with this reply that he restored Porus's lands to him. James and John shared a similar desire to be treated like kings. But instead of waiting to be asked, they took their request to Christ. Actually, according to Matthew's Gospel, it was the mother of the two sons of Zebedee who made the initial request that the two brothers be granted a seat on Jesus' right and left hands (Matt. 20:20). It was considered an honor to be seated at someone's right hand. To sit on the right and the left suggests an even greater honor. Perhaps the two envisioned a kind of co-regency with Christ. Furthermore, their naïve response to Jesus' probing question suggests that they believed they were prepared for the task. Although they were warned that the cross must come before the crown, the two sons of Zebedee glibly overestimated their ability to face the storm that was about to engulf the Savior and His
disciples. The places at Jesus' right and left hands were not to be their destiny, but they would eventually reign with Christ. This is true of every believer. In Romans 8:17 the apostle Paul promises: “ ow if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” There is glory promised to those who follow Jesus, but it is a glory that can only be attained by humility. Those who would share in the glory of Christ must first embrace Him as Lord and Savior and then take up the cross and follow after Him. APPLY THE WORD James and John were not the only ones who struggled with self-centered ambition. The reaction of the other ten disciples indicates that the desire for pre-eminence is a universal temptation. One way to fight against it is to practice the spiritual discipline of secrecy. Find ways to serve others without drawing attention to yourself. Write an anonymous note of encouragement or quietly perform a task in the church that often goes undone. Pray, give, or serve in secret, trusting that the One who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 7. Calvin, “If we deny him, he will also deny us A threatening is likewise added, for the purpose of shaking off sloth; for he threatens that they who, through the dread of persecution, leave off the confession of his name, have no part or lot with Christ. How unreasonable is it, that we should esteem more highly the transitory life of this world than the holy and sacred name of the Son of God! And why should he reckon among his people those who treacherously reject him? Here the excuse of weakness is of no value; 169 for, if men did not willingly deceive themselves with vain flatteries, they would constantly resist, being endued with the spirit of strength and courage. Their base denial of Christ proceeds not only from weakness, but from unbelief; because it is in consequence of being blinded by the allurement of the world, that they do not at all perceive the life which is in the kingdom of God. But this doctrine has more need of being meditated on than of being explained; for the words of Christ are perfectly clear, “Whoever shall deny me, him will I also deny” (Matthew 10:33.) It remains that every one consider with himself, that this is no childish terror, but the judge seriously pronounces what will be found, at the appointed time, to be true. 8. MCGEE, “"If we suffer, we shall also reign with him." I personally believe that not all believers are going to reign with Him. I believe that this verse narrows it down to those who have suffered for Him. I'd be embarrassed if I were put on the same par with the apostle Paul in heaven, because I haven't suffered as he did. I would be apologizing to him constantly for being placed beside him. I believe this verse is referring to a definite group of Christians who have really suffered for Christ. In the Roman world of Paul's day there were many Christians who were martyred — five million of them, according to Fox — because they refused to deny Christ. "If we deny him, he also will deny us." This is very strong language. It reveals, however, that Paul believes that faith without works is dead (see James 2:17 ). You see, Paul and James never contradict each other. James is talking about the works of faith, and Paul is saying that genuine faith will produce works. Calvin put it like this: "Faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is not alone." 9. SPURGEON, “"If we suffer, we shall also reign with him."
We must not imagine that we are suffering for Christ, and with Christ, if we are not in Christ. Beloved friend, are you trusting to Jesus only? If not, whatever you may have to mourn over on earth, you are not "suffering with Christ," and have no hope of reigning with him in heaven. Neither are we to conclude that all a Christian's sufferings are sufferings with Christ, for it is essential that he be called by God to suffer. If we are rash and imprudent, and run into positions for which neither providence nor grace has fitted us, we ought to question whether we are not rather sinning than communing with Jesus. If we let passion take the place of judgment, and self-will reign instead of Scriptural authority, we shall fight the Lord's battles with the devil's weapons, and if we cut our own fingers we must not be surprised. Again, in troubles which come upon us as the result of sin, we must not dream that we are suffering with Christ. When Miriam spoke evil of Moses, and the leprosy polluted her, she was not suffering for God. Moreover, suffering which God accepts must have God's glory as its end. If I suffer that I may earn a name, or win applause, I shall get no other reward than that of the Pharisee. It is requisite also that love to Jesus, and love to his elect, be ever the mainspring of all our patience. We must manifest the Spirit of Christ in meekness, gentleness, and forgiveness. Let us search and see if we truly suffer with Jesus. And if we do thus suffer, what is our "light affliction" compared with reigning with him? Oh it is so blessed to be in the furnace with Christ, and such an honour to stand in the pillory with him, that if there were no future reward, we might count ourselves happy in present honour; but when the recompense is so eternal, so infinitely more than we had any right to expect, shall we not take up the cross with alacrity, and go on our way rejoicing?
13if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
1. Barnes, “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful - This cannot mean that, if we live in sin, he will certainly save us, as if he had made any promise to the elect, or formed any purpose that he would save them; whatever might be their conduct; because:
(1) He had just said that if we deny him he will deny us; and, (2) There is no such promise in the Bible, and no such purpose has been formed. The promise is, that be that is a believer shall be saved, and there is no purpose to save any but such as lead holy lives. The meaning must be, that if we are unbelieving and unfaithful, Christ will remain true to his word, and we cannot hope to be saved. The object of the apostle evidently is, to excite Timothy to fidelity in the performance of duty, and to encourage him to bear trials, by the assurance that we cannot hope to escape if we are not faithful to the cause of the Saviour. This interpretation accords with the design which he had in view. He cannot deny himself - Implying that it would be a denial of his very nature to save those who are unfaithful. He is holy; and how can he save one who is unholy? His very nature is purity; and how can he save one who has no purity? Let no one, then, suppose that, because he is elected, he is safe, if he lives in sin. The electing purpose of God, indeed, makes salvation sure; but it is only for those who lead righteous lives. Nothing would be mere dishonorable for God than to resolve to save a man that lived habitually in sin; and if that were the doctrine of election, it would deserve all the opprobrium that has ever been heaped upon it.
2. Clarke, “If we believe not - Should we deny the faith and apostatize, he is the same, as true to his
threatenings as to his promises; he cannot deny - act contrary to, himself.
3. Gill, “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful,.... The Syriac and Ethiopic versions read, "if
we believe not him". This may be understood, either of such who are altogether destitute of faith, who do not believe in Christ at all; and particularly do not believe what was just now said concerning his denying such that deny him, but mock and scoff at his coming, and at a future judgment: this unbelief of theirs will not make void his faith or faithfulness; see Rom_3:3, he will abide faithful to his word of threatening; and what he says in Mar_16:16 will be found to be an everlasting truth: or it may be understood of true believers, whose faith sometimes is very low, as to its exercise on Christ, and with reference to their future glory and happiness; but Christ is faithful to all his, covenant engagements for them, to bring them to glory, and to every word of promise concerning their happiness, and to every branch of the faithful saying above mentioned; and he is ever the same in his love to them, and in the efficacy of his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice; and his salvation is an everlasting and unchangeable one; nor do the saints' interest in it, and security by it, depend upon their acts of believing, or their frames, but upon the firmness and unchangeableness of Christ, the object of faith. He cannot deny himself; he cannot go contrary to his word; that would be to act contrary to his nature and perfections, and would be a denying of himself, which is not possible; wherefore his faithfulness will never fail, even though, the faith of his people does, as to the exercise of it.
4. Henry, “ It is at our peril if we prove unfaithful to him: If we deny him, he also will deny us. If we deny him before man, he will deny us before his Father, Mat_10:33. And that man must needs be for ever miserable whom Christ disowns at last. This will certainly be the issue, whether we believe it or no (2Ti_2:13): If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself. He is faithful to his threatenings, faithful to his promises; neither one nor the other shall fall to the ground, no, not the least, jot nor tittle of them. If we be faithful to Christ, he will certainly be faithful to us. If we be false to him, he will be faithful to his threatenings: he cannot deny himself, cannot recede from any word that he hath spoken, for he is yea, and amen, the faithful witness. Observe, (1.) Our being dead with Christ precedes our living with him, and is connected with it: the one is in order to the other; so our suffering for him is the way to reign with him. You that have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel Mat_19:28. (2.) This is a faithful saying, and may be depended on and ought to be believed. But, (3.) If we deny him, out of fear, or shame, or for the sake of some temporal advantage, he will deny and disown us, and will not deny himself, but will continue faithful to his word when he threatens as well as when he promises.
5. Jamison, “believe not — “If we are unbelievers (literally, ‘unfaithful’), He remains faithful” (Deu_7:9, Deu_7:10). The oldest manuscripts read, “For He cannot (it is an impossibility that He should) deny Himself.” He cannot be unfaithful to His word that He will deny those who deny Him, though we be not faithful to our profession of faith in Him (Rom_3:3). Three things are impossible to God, to die, to lie, and to be deceived [Augustine, The Creed, 1.1], (Heb_6:18). This impossibility is not one of infirmity, but of infinite power and majesty. Also, indirectly, comfort is suggested to believers, that He is faithful to His promises to them; at the same time that apostates
are shaken out of their self-deceiving fancy, that because they change, Christ similarly may change. A warning to Timothy to be steadfast in the faith. 6. MOODY BIBLE I STITUTE, “f we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. - 2 Timothy 2:13 TODAY I THE WORD We have been celebrating God's faithfulness this month, and finding out what it takes on our part to fully enjoy this blessing. Before we finish our study we need to answer this question: when our faithfulness to Christ is lacking, what can we do to restore it? The words of Bible commentator Matthew Henry, written well over two centuries ago, speaks to this need: ""Those who have lost their first love must compare their present with their former state, and consider how much better it was then than now....They must repent. They must be ashamed for their sin and humbly confess it in the sight of God. They must revive and recover their first zeal [and] tenderness."" Repenting and returning is the biblical prescription for the Christian who has slipped from being devoted to Christ (Rev. 2:5). Verses 11-13 of our reading were probably an ancient creed that the church recited, much as the Apostles' Creed is recited in many churches today. It is a ringing confirmation of God's eternal faithfulness which no situation on earth can shake. This early creed can sometimes be confusing to the modern reader. Therefore, to understand Paul's hymn it is important to notice the change in tenses he makes from verse to verse. Verse 11 looks at a past-tense action when believers first believed in Christ. The first part of verse 12 has a present-tense action that shows the benefits of continually enduring persecution. But in the last portion of verse 12, Paul refers to a possible future event when one might continually live in denial of Christ's atoning work. If that should happen Christ would then, and only then, deny such an unbelieving person entrance into eternity. Verse 13 returns to the present, showing that believers may have times of faithlessness; but Christ will still be faithful to love us in spite of our spiritual lapses. But since we are convinced your deepest desire is to be faithful to the Lord, let's look back to 2 Timothy 2:1-10 and see what is required of a faithful believer. First, we need to be strong (vv. 1-2). We can do this because we learned just yesterday that God is faithful to provide all the strength we need to be spiritually successful. Second, we need to be focused and ready to endure trials (vv. 3-4). Here is another command we can fulfill because of God's promise that we can do anything in the strength Christ gives (Phil. 4:13). Third, we must keep our focus on Christ (v. 8) and remember that nothing can stop God's Word. There is no doubt that God is faithful to keep us. Let's decide to be faithful to Him. APPLY THE WORD Paul told Timothy, ""Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this"" (v. 7). That's good advice for us on a holiday weekend. After the activities of Thanksgiving,
we hope this is a quiet, fall Saturday for you--a good time to take a walk or spend some time alone, reflecting on God's faithfulness to you and your desire to live for Him. Give yourself a mini retreat if possible today, sharing with the Lord what is on your heart and mind. 7. MOODY BIBLE I STITUTE, “TODAY I THE WORD In his book, Peculiar Treasures, Frederick Buechner (refer to June 1) includes a vivid personality sketch of the apostle Peter. After noting that Jesus had prophesied Peter’s three-fold denial, Buechner writes, “That’s the way it was, of course--Peter sitting out there in the high priest’s courtyard keeping warm by the fire while, inside, the ghastly interrogation was in process, and then the girl coming up to ask him three times if he wasn’t one of them and his replying each time that he didn’t know what in God’s name she was talking about.” By the end of this awful evening, Peter was ready to put himself under all kinds of curses and to swear an oath that he didn’t even know Jesus. This was certainly a defining mom-ent in Peter’s life--and without Jesus’ own intervention on Peter’s behalf in prayer (Luke 22:31-32), it would have been the end of the apostle’s ministry. Peter did just about everything wrong that night. Earlier, in the Garden of Gethsemane, he had tried to defend Jesus and maimed a man named Malchus (John 18:10-11). But the Savior rebuked Peter and healed the wounded man (Luke 22:51). ext, Peter unwisely left the other disciples and joined strangers at the fire outside the high priest’s residence while Jesus was being tried inside. Being among this hostile crowd left Peter open to accusations that caught him off guard and led to his quick denials. But there is one very important thing Peter did right on the night he denied Jesus Christ. Immediately after hearing the rooster and realizing that Jesus had correctly predicted his actions, Peter “broke down and wept” (v. 72). APPLY THE WORD We all fail, and we are so much like Peter on that night. But our failure is never final, because Jesus remains eternally faithful and He is holding us in His hand (John 10:28). That means we can do anything He asks us to do and declare with Paul: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13). 8. Calvin, “ If we are unbelieving, he remaineth faithful The meaning is, that our base desertion takes
nothing from the Son of God or from his glory; because, having everything in himself, he stands in no need of our confession. As if he had said, “Let them desert Christ who will, yet they take nothing from him; for when they perish, he remaineth unchanged.” He cannot deny himself This is a still stronger expression. “Christ is not like us, to swerve from his truth.” Hence it is evident, that all who deny Christ are disowned by him. And thus he drives away from wicked apostates the flatteries with which they soothe themselves; because, being in the habit of changing their hue, according to circumstances, they would willingly imagine that Christ, in like manner, assumes various forms, and is liable to change; which Paul affirms to be impossible. Yet, at the same time, we must firmly believe what I stated briefly on a former passage, that our faith is founded on the eternal and unchangeable truth of Christ, in order that it may not waver through the unsteadfastness or apostasy of men.
Dealing With False Teachers 14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.
1. Barnes, “Of these things put them in remembrance - These great principles in regard to the kingdom of Christ. They would be as useful to others as they were for Timothy, to whom they were specially addressed.
Charging them before the Lord - In the presence of the Lord, implying that it was a very important matter; see the notes at 1Ti_1:18. That they strive not about words to no profit; - see the notes at 1Ti_1:6; 1Ti_6:4. But to the subverting of the hearers - Turning them away from the simplicity of faith. It is rare, indeed, that a religious controversy does not produce this effect, and this is commonly the case, where, as often happens, the matter in dispute is of little importance.
2. Clarke, “That they strive not about words - Words, not things, have been a most fruitful source of contention in the Christian world; and among religious people, the principal cause of animosity has arisen from the different manner of apprehending the same term, while, in essence, both meant the same thing. All preachers and divines should be very careful, both in speaking and writing, to explain the terms they use, and never employ them in any sense but that in which they have explained them.
The subverting of the hearers - This is the general tendency of all polemical divinity and controversial preaching, when angry passions are called in to support the doctrines of the Gospel.
3. Gill, “ Of these things put them in remembrance,.... Meaning either his hearers, or those to whom he was to commit the things he had heard of the apostle, and who must expect to suffer afflictions, and endure hardships, for the sake of Christ, and his Gospel; wherefore to remind them of the above sayings might be of use and comfort to them. This clause is wanting in the Arabic version.
Charging them before the Lord; the omniscient God, as in his sight, as they will answer it to him another day; see 1Ti_5:21, that they strive not about words; it became them to strive and contend for the form of sound words, for the wholesome words or doctrines of our Lord Jesus, but not about mere words, and especially such as were
to no profit; to no advantage to truth, nor to themselves nor others; were not to edification, to spiritual edification, to godly edifying, which is in faith: but to the subverting of the hearers; the confounding of their minds, misleading their judgments, and overthrowing their faith; and therefore were not only unprofitable, but hurtful and pernicious, and by all means to be avoided.
4. Henry, “Having thus encouraged Timothy to suffer, he comes in the next place to direct him in his work. I. He must make it his business to edify those who were under his charge, to put them in remembrance of those things which they did already know; for this is the work of ministers; not to tell people that which they never knew before, but to put them in mind of that which they do know, charging them that they strive not about words. Observe, Those that are disposed to strive commonly strive about matters of very small moment. Strifes of words are very destructive to the things of God. That they strive not about words to no profit. If people did but consider of what little use most of the controversies in religion are, they would not be so zealous in their strifes of words, to the subverting of the hearers, to the drawing of them away from the great things of God, and occasioning unchristian heats and animosities, by which truth is often in danger of being lost. Observe, People are very prone to strive about words, and such strifes never answer any other ends than to shake some and subvert others; they are not only useless, but they are very hurtful, and therefore ministers are to charge the people that they do not strive about words, and they are most likely to be regarded when they charge them before the Lord, that is, in his name and from his word; when they produce their warrant for what they say. 5. Jamison, “them — those over whom thou dost preside (Tit_3:1). charging — Greek, “testifying continually”: “adjuring them.” before the Lord — (1Ti_5:21). that they strive not about words — rather, “strive with words”: “not to have a (mere) war of words” (2Ti_2:23, 2Ti_2:24; 1Ti_6:4) where the most vital matters are at stake (2Ti_2:17, 2Ti_2:18; Act_18:15). The oldest manuscripts put a stop at “charging them before the Lord” (which clause is thus connected with “put them in remembrance”) and read the imperative, “Strive not thou in words,” etc. to no profit — not qualifying “words”; but Greek neuter, in apposition with “strive in words,” “(a thing tending) to no profit,” literally, “profitable for nothing”; the opposite of “meet for the master’s use” (2Ti_2:21). to the subverting — sure to subvert (overturn) the hearers: the opposite of “edifying” (building up) (2Co_13:10).
6. MCGEE, “"Strive not about words" means disputes of words. God's people need to stick to essentials. We don't need to argue about empty words or philosophies or our little differences. The pastor of an Assembly of God church wrote to me saying that he appreciated our ministry and that he recommends our notes and outlines to his church, although we don't agree on everything. And we don't — I can't see his point of view on some matters and he can't see mine. Perhaps when we get to heaven, we will find it true
that there are three sides to every question: your side, my side, and the right side. Maybe the Lord will have to straighten out both of us. But the important thing is that he and I ought not to argue since we agree on the essentials. And that is the away we both want it. I think we waste a lot of time in a negative approach and trying to correct other believers. Instead of doing that, let's try to stay on the positive side and enjoy each other's fellowship in the gospel.
7. Calvin, “Remind them of these things. The expression (ταῦτα) these things, is highly emphatic. It means that the summary of the gospel which he gave, and the exhortations which he added to it, are of so great importance, that a good minister ought never to be weary of exhibiting them; for they are things that deserve to be continually handled, and that cannot be too frequently repeated. “They are things” (he says) “which I wish you not only to teach once, but to take great pains to impress on the hearts of men by frequent repetition.” A good teacher ought to look at nothing else than edification, and to give his whole attention to that alone. 170 On the contrary, he enjoins him not only to abstain from useless questions, but likewise to forbid others to follow them. 171
Solemnly charging them before the Lord, not to dispute about words. Λογοµαχεῖν means to engage earnestly in contentious disputes, which are commonly produced by a foolish desire of being ingenious. Solemn charging before the Lord is intended to strike terror; 172 and from this severity we learn how dangerous to the Church is that knowledge which leads to debates, that is, which disregards piety, and tends to ostentation; of this nature is the whole of that speculative theology, as it is called, that is found among the Papists. For no use, On two grounds, λογοµαχία, or “disputing about words,” is condemned by him. It is of no advantage, and it is exceedingly hurtful, by disturbing weak minds. Although in the version I have followed Erasmus, because it did not disagree with Paul’s meaning, yet I wish to inform my readers that Paul’s words may be explained in this manner, “That which is useful for nothing.” The Greek words are, εἰς οὐδὲν χρήσιµον, and I readχρήσιµον in the accusative case, and not in the nominative. The style will thus flow more agreeably; as if he had said, “Of what use is it, when no good comes from it, but much evil? for the faith of many is subverted.” Let us remark, first, that, when a manner of teaching does no good, for that single reason it is justly disapproved; for God does not wish to indulge our curiosity, but to instruct us in a useful manner. Away with all speculations, therefore, which produce no edification! But the second is much worse, when questions are raised, which are not only unprofitable, but tend to the subversion of the hearers I wish that this were attended to by those who are always armed for fighting with the tongue, and who, in every question are looking for grounds of quarreling, and who go so far as to lay snares around every word or syllable. But they are carried in a wrong direction by ambition, and sometimes by an almost fatal disease; which I have experienced in some. What the Apostle says about subverting is shown, every day, by actual observation, to be perfectly true; for it is natural, amidst disputes, to lose sight of the truth; and Satan avails himself of quarrels as a presence for disturbing weak persons, and overthrowing their faith.
8. COLLEGE PRESS, “Paul turns from a discussion of Timothy, to discuss those with whom Timothy is working, The great eternal truths of the Gospel, stated in verses 8-13, are to be implanted in the minds and hearts of the saints at Ephesus and surrounding area, Particularly should such truths be appreciated by the elders of the several churches, Such persons had heard from Paul the same truths he has written to Timothy; therefore, he is but to "put them in remembrance." It is so easy to forget, How involved some people become in discussions about some fine point of the law, The "word battles" here being held were not about the law of God, but related to the "endless genealogies, the myths and fables of the traditions of the Jewish fathers," When Timothy came upon a group of Christians gathered around two or three or more of the church leaders, listening to a heated discussion about some point of Jewish tradition, he was to stop such a meeting. He was to rebuke the leaders for starting such an argument, He was to remind them that such arguments carried no profit even if they came to a perfect agreement, and as it stood it'was upsetting the faith of some of the newer converts. Some of the new converts would say, "If the church leaders cannot come to an agreement, who are we to hope to attain a knowledge of God's will?" We have imagined a situation which we feel is close to the reality of Paul's day. The word, "subverting," comes from the word from which we have "catastrophe." Such a situation as just described is indeed a catastrophe.
15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
1. Barnes, “Study to show thyself approved unto God - Give diligence 2Pe_2:10, or make an effort so to
discharge the duties of the ministerial office as to meet the divine approbation. The object of the ministry is not to please men. Such doctrines should be preached, and such plans formed, and such a manner of life pursued, as God will approve. To do this demands study or care - for there are many temptations to the opposite course; there are many things the tendency of which is to lead a minister to seek popular favor rather than the divine approval. If any man please God, it will be as the result of deliberate intention and a careful life. A workman that needeth not to be ashamed - A man faithfully performing his duty, so that when he looks over what he has done, he may not blush. Rightly dividing the word of truth - The word here rendered “rightly dividing,” occurs nowhere else in the ew Testament. It means, properly, “to cut straight, to divide right;” and the allusion here may be to a steward who makes a proper distribution to each one under his care of such things as his office and their necessities require; compare the notes at Mat_13:52. Some have supposed that there is an allusion here to the Jewish priest, cutting or dividing the sacrifice into proper parts; others, that the allusion is to the scribes dividing the law into sections; others, to a carver distributing food to the guests at a feast. Robinson (Lexicon) renders it, “rightly proceeding as to the word of truth;” that is, rightfully and skillfully teaching the word of truth. The idea seems to be, that the minister of the gospel is to make a proper distribution of that word, adapting his instructions to the circumstances and wants of his hearers, and giving to each that which will be fitted to nourish the soul for heaven.
2. Clarke, “Study to show thyself approved unto God - Endeavour so to cultivate and improve thy heart and mind, that thou mayest not be a reproach to him from whom thou professest to receive thy commission.
Rightly dividing the word of truth - It is generally supposed that the apostle alludes here to the care taken to divide the sacrifices under the law; the priests studied, in dividing the victim down the spine, to do it so scrupulously that one half of the spinal marrow should be found on each side the backbone. Probably nothing was much farther from the apostle’s thoughts than this view, which is now commonly taken of the subject. Indeed this scrupulously dividing does not appear to have been any original ordinance among the Jews; much stress was laid upon it in later times, but from the beginning it was not so. The word ορθοτοµειν signifies, 1. Simply to cut straight, or to rectify. 2. To walk in the right way; it is thus used by Gregory azianzen, who, in Orat. Apol. fugae, opposes ορθοτοµειν to κακως ὁδευειν, walking in a right way to walking in a bad way. Thus, καινοτοµειν signifies to walk in a new way, and κατευθυνειν to walk in a straight way. See Kypke. Therefore, by rightly dividing the word of truth, we are to understand his continuing in the true doctrine, and teaching that to every person; and, according to our Lord’s simile, giving each his portion of meat in due season - milk to babes, strong meat to the full grown, comfort to the disconsolate, reproof to
the irregular and careless; in a word, finding out the necessities of his hearers, and preaching so as to meet those necessities.
3. Gill, “Study to show thyself approved unto God,.... The Alexandrian copy reads, "to Christ"; see
Rom_16:10. ot unto men, as pleasing them; for such who study to please men, are not the servants of Christ; and sometimes those that are approved to and by men, are disapproved of by God and Christ: but unto God, showing all fidelity and uprightness; speaking out the Gospel openly, and freely, with all sincerity, as in the sight of God; commending themselves to him, and to every man's conscience, by manifestation of the truth; and such will hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant" another day. A workman that needeth not to be ashamed; the ministry of the word is a work, and it is a good work; and those that perform it aright are worthy of honour and esteem; and it requires industry, diligence, and application, and for which no man is sufficient without the grace of God; and those who are employed in it are workmen, workers together with God, and labourers in his vineyard: and such who are faithful and diligent ones, "need not to be ashamed"; such do not cause shame, neither in themselves nor in others, as false teachers do, who foam out their own shame, and as negligent ministers of the word, and such whose lives are not agreeable to the doctrines they preach; nor have they any reason to be ashamed, neither of the Gospel, which they preach, nor of their sufferings, which they endure for the sake of it, nor of their upright ministrations of the word; and as they are not afraid to suffer shame for the sake of Christ now, they will not be ashamed before him at his coming. rightly dividing, or "cutting" the word of truth; that is, the Scriptures of truth, Dan_10:21 which come from the God of truth, are concerning Christ, who is the truth, and are dictated and led into by the spirit of truth, and contain in them nothing but truth: to divide the word, is not merely to divide the text into its proper parts, though care should be taken that this be done aright; and some think that the allusion is to the verses of the Hebrew Bible, which are called פסוקים, "divisions", sections, or cuttings, from the word פסק, "to cut" or "divide", being cut or divided one from another; hence those that were employed in the law, and were conversant with the sacred writings, and exercised therein, were called פוסקים בתורת, "cutters", or "dividers of the law" (e); and so בעל פסוקis one that is well versed in the Bible, and knows every part of it, and readily uses it, in speaking or writing; and such an one was Timothy, 2Ti_3:15 though I rather think the apostle refers to a wrong way of dividing the Scriptures by the Jews, to which he opposes the right dividing of them. They had used not only to take away a letter out of one word, and add it to another, and so expound the text, but to remove words in it, and make that which went before to go behind, and that which was behind to go before; and this they call a sharp knife, which חותך ומפסיק הכתוב, "cuts and divides the Scriptures" (f): but this way, which his countrymen used, the apostle would not have Timothy, and other Gospel ministers, make use of; for this is not rightly to divide, but to mangle and tear in pieces the word of truth. Moreover, to divide the word of truth, or to cut it, is to cut it open, and dissect its several parts, and search and look into the inside and bottom of it, for to find out every truth contained in it, and lay them open to others; and may be, as some have thought, an allusion to the cutting open the sacrifices, and laying the parts of them aright, and in a decent manner: to which may be added, that since ministers of the Gospel are stewards, and who, when wise and faithful, give to everyone of the household their portion of meat in due season; the metaphor may be taken from such, and from masters and governors of families, who cut up the food, and distribute it to each, according to their age and appetite; and so the ministers of the Gospel are to distribute the spiritual food of the word to babes in Christ, and to grown Christians, according to their capacities, and suitable to their cases and circumstances, dividing to everyone what is proper for him: in short, one that divides the word of truth rightly, is, as the Vulgate Latin version renders it, one that "rightly handles"; or, as the Syriac version, that "rightly preaches the word of truth"; who gives the true sense of Scripture, does not pervert and wrest it, and take from it, or add to it; who points out the truth in it, and shows unto men the way of salvation, and plainly and
faithfully preaches the Gospel contained in it, without keeping back anything that is profitable, but declares the whole counsel of God. This same Greek word is used by the Septuagint in Pro_3:6 where it answers to the Hebrew word ישר, which signifies to direct the way, and make it plain; and may here design a plain and open interpretation of the word of God: and to answer these several characters in the text should be the studious concern of every Gospel minister; and study is necessary thereunto; it requires great care that a man take heed to himself, and to his doctrine; and great industry, diligence, and application, and much reading, meditation, and prayer.
4. Henry, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, 2Ti_2:15. Observe, The care of ministers must be to
approve themselves unto God, to be accepted of him, and to show that they are so approved unto God. In order thereunto, there must be constant care and industry: Study to show thyself such a one, a workman that needs not be ashamed. Ministers must be workmen; they have work to do, and they must take pains in it. Workmen that are unskilful, or unfaithful, or lazy, have need to be ashamed; but those who mind their business, and keep to their work, are workmen that need not be ashamed. And what is their work? It is rightly to divide the word of truth. ot to invent a new gospel, but rightly to divide the gospel that is committed to their trust. To speak terror to those to whom terror belongs, comfort to whom comfort; to give every one his portion in due season, Mat_24:45. Observe here, 1. The word which ministers preach is the word of truth, for the author of it is the God of truth. 2. It requires great wisdom, study, and care, to divide this word of truth rightly; Timothy must study in order to do this well.
5. Jamison, “Study — Greek, “Be earnest,” or “diligent.”
to show — Greek, “present,” as in Rom_12:1. thyself — as distinguished from those whom Timothy was to charge (2Ti_2:14). approved — tested by trial: opposed to “reprobate” (Tit_1:16). workman — alluding to Mat_20:1, etc. not to be ashamed — by his work not being “approved” (Phi_1:20). Contrast “deceitful workers” (2Co_11:13). rightly dividing — “rightly handling” [Vulgate]; “rightly administering” [Alford]; literally, cutting “straight” or “right”: the metaphor being from a father or a steward (1Co_4:1) cutting and distributing bread among his children [Vitringa and Calvin], (Luk_12:42). The Septuagint, Pro_3:6; Pro_11:5, use it of “making one’s way”: so Bengel here takes Paul to mean that Timothy may make ready a straight way for “the word of truth,” and may himself walk straight forward according to this line, turning neither to the right nor to the left, “teaching no other doctrine” (1Ti_1:3). The same image of a way appears in the Greek for “increase” (see on 2Ti_2:16). The opposite to “rightly handling,” or “dispensing,” is, 2Co_2:17, “corrupt the word of God.” truth — Greek, “the truth” (compare 2Ti_2:18).
6. MOODY BIBLE I STITUTE, “TODAY I THE WORD Learning in ancient cultures frequently relied on memorization. People would pay close attention to the stories as they were verbally recounted, committing large portions to memory. Few people had access to personal copies of Scripture and had to listen closely to public readings. Many of the ew Testament books circulated as letters that would be read aloud in the churches. The ability to remember was vital for absorbing information, and God's people must remember the gospel if they are to have any hope of pleasing God in ministry. Because the gospel is a historical truth, not one subject to change, church leaders must preserve the revealed truth of Jesus Christ. And not only that, they must “remind” the church to remember the gospel. Paul's
short poem in verses 11 through 13 provides an easy method of remembering the essence of the gospel. First, the gospel begins with death. The death of Jesus Christ made it possible that we, too, die to sin's power over us. And when we identify with Christ in His death, the power and reward of His resurrection are also ours (cf. Rom. 6:1-10). ext, the gospel is a call to endure. If we're truly saved, we'll make it to the finish line. People like Hymenaeus and Philetus, by “wandering away from the truth,” forfeited an incredible reward (cf. Phil. 3:14). Then, the gospel is a call to confession. Faith isn't a private matter of the heart but a public proclamation of allegiance. If we disown Christ and disavow His ownership over our lives, thus despising His grace, we have nothing to expect but fierce judgment (Heb. 6:4-6). Finally, the gospel is a reminder of God's faithfulness. When we lapse into sin for a season, even cowardly refusing to name Christ as our Lord for a moment, we, like Peter, can expect Him to remain faithful even in the face of our faithlessness. This is the solid foundation of the gospel. TODAY ALO G THE WAY Our remembrance of the gospel is vital for our spiritual health. Do you abuse God's grace by allowing patterns of sin in your life? Remember that confessing Christ means turning from wickedness. Meditate on and memorize Romans 6:1-2. On the other hand, maybe you constantly doubt your salvation, worrying that every personal misstep might mean a loss of God's grace. Take courage that once you're in God's family, He will never disown you (v. 13). Memorize John 1:12. 7. MOODY BIBLE I STITUTE, “TODAY I THE WORD In his book entitled Jesus the Pastor, John Frye observes that today’s church is often tempted to look to models other than Jesus to guide its leaders. “I am not saying that Jesus has been totally neglected, rather, he has been relegated to other dimensions of Christian and local church experience,” he explains. “Jesus is shoved into our shadows as we read our management books, do our cultural surveys, attend our leadership seminars, and applaud or criticize one another’s endeavors.” In many ways the problem that Frye identifies is not a new one. Israel’s new-found freedom brought the challenge of establishing corporate leadership structures that reflected God’s value system. Immediately, they faced the challenge of selecting judges capable of handling the inevitable problems that come when people live in community and are responsible for governing themselves. There were also religious questions and disputes that had to be settled by the priests and Levites. What’s more, God’s people would face an even graver leadership challenge in the future. Moses warned that Israel would not always be satisfied with the leadership structure God had established for them. Like today’s church, the time would come when they would be tempted to turn to secular examples. Moses warned that in that day they would want to choose a king who was “like all the nations” around them (Deut. 17:14). In view of these temptations, it was critical that God’s Word should be their ultimate point of reference. Israel’s leaders may have looked like those of the surrounding nations in certain respects, but they were not to be like them.
APPLY THE WORD Think of the most effective leader you know. What parallels do you see between that person’s leadership style and the leadership of Christ? Why not take a moment to write a quick note to them today sharing your observations and thanking them for their effort? Don’t forget that the church is not the only context where Christ-like leadership is needed. Jesus should be our leadership model whether the context is the church, the home, or the workplace. Where do you need to lead like Jesus today? 8. Calvin, “Study to shew thyself to be approved by God Since all disputes about doctrine arise from this
source, that men are desirous to make a boast of ingenuity before the world, Paul here applies the best and most excellent remedy, when he commands Timothy to keep his eyes fixed on God; as if he had said; “Some aim at the applause of a crowded assembly, but do thou study to approve thyself and thy ministry to God.” And indeed there is nothing that tends more to check a foolish eagerness for display, than to reflect that we have to deal with God. A workman that doth not blush Erasmus translates ἀνεπαίσχυντον “that ought not to blush.” I do not find fault with that rendering, but prefer to explain it actively, “that doth not blush;”, both because that is the more ordinary meaning of the word as used by Greek writers, and because I consider it to agree better with the present passage. There is an implied contrast. Those who disturb the Church by contentions break out into that fierceness, because they are ashamed of being overcome, and because they reckon it disgraceful that there should be anything that they do not know. Paul, on the contrary, bids them appeal to the judgment of God. And first, he bids them be not lazy disputants, but workmen. By this term he indirectly reproves the foolishness of those who so greatly torment themselves by doing nothing. Let us therefore be “workmen” in building the Church, and let us be employed in the work of God in such a manner that some fruit shall be seen then we shall have no cause to “blush;” for, although in debating we be not equal to talkative boasters, yet it will be enough that we excel them in the desire of edification, in industry, in courage, and in the efficacy of doctrine. In short, he bids Timothy labor diligently, that he may not be ashamed before God; whereas ambitious men dread only this kind of shame, to lose nothing of their reputation for acuteness or profound knowledge. Dividing aright the word of truth. This is a beautiful metaphor, and one that skillfully expresses the chief design of teaching. “Since we ought to be satisfied with the word of God alone, what purpose is served by having sermons every day, or even the office of pastors? Has not every person an opportunity of reading the Bible?” 173 But Paul assigns to teachers the duty of dividing or cutting, 174 as if a father, in giving food to his children, were dividing the bread, by cutting it into small pieces. He advises Timothy to “cut aright,” lest, when he is employed in cutting the surface, as unskillful people are wont to do, he leave the pith and marrow untouched. Yet by this term I understand, generally, an allotment of the word which is judicious, and which is well suited to the profit of the hearers. Some mutilate it, others tear it, others torture it, others break it in pieces, others, keeping by the outside, (as we have said,) never come to the soul of doctrine. 175 To all these faults he contrasts time “dividing aright,” that is, the manner of explaining which is adapted to edification; for that is the rule by which we must try all interpretation of Scripture.
9. MCGEE, “"Rightly dividing the word of truth" means to handle rightly the Word of God. To rightly divide the Word the Christian is to be a skilled workman like an artisan. The student of the Word must understand that the Word of God is one great bundle of truth and that it has certain right divisions. The Bible is built according to a certain law and structure which must be observed and obeyed as you go through the Word of God. You can't just lift out a verse here and a verse there and choose to ignore a passage here and a passage there. It is so easy to do this, but the Bible is not that kind of Book. This is the reason I maintain that the Bible is to be taught in its entirety. Here is a quotation that reveals the ignorance of a man who failed to recognize that the Word of God is one great unity that needs to be rightly divided to be understood. I'm quoting from an article: "In short, one way to describe the Bible, written by many different hands over a period of three thousand years and more, would be to say that it is a disorderly collection of sixty-odd books which are often tedious, barbaric, obscure, and teeming with contraditions and inconsistencies. It is a swarming compost of a book, an Irish stew of poetry and propaganda, law and legalism, myth and murk, history and hysteria." That man really spoke a mouthful. His verbiage is quite verbose and reveals a woeful ignorance of the Bible. And he reveals the result of not rightly dividing the Word of God. ow what is meant by rightly dividing the Word of truth? Well, there are certain dispensations in the Word of God, different methods whereby God dealt with man. The basis of salvation always remains the same. Man is saved only by believing in the atoning death of Christ. But man expresses his faith in God in different ways. For example, Abel and Abraham brought little lambs to sacrifice to the Lord. But I hope you don't take a lamb to church next Sunday morning, because you would be entirely out of order. It's all right for Mary to have a little lamb that follows her to school, but your little lamb should not follow you to church. The reason is that the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world has already come. That Lamb is Jesus (see John 1:29 ). You see, Abel and Abraham looked forward to the Lamb of God, and we look back to His death. That is an illustration of rightly dividing the Word of truth. I wish that the man who wrote the article I quoted knew a little bit about the Bible. In his article he says that the Bible is the Book nobody reads, and obviously he belongs in that class. Before any person can speak authoritatively on any subject he has to know the subject. I would certainly recommend that this man study the Bible before he attempts to write about it! 10. There is a very well-known story told of a young boy in Austria giving his first violin recital. He had studied hard for years under the guidance of one of the greatest masters in all of Europe. The boy had tremendous talent, and he had learned his lessons well. As he stood on the stage before an audience of hundreds of lovers of good music, he performed with confidence and skill. Following each piece, the crowd cheered loudly. He was one of the finest young performers they had ever had to pleasure of hearing. And yet the boy seemed not to notice their expressions of approval. In fact, some later commented that he almost seemed annoyed by the applause. At the conclusion of the recital, the entire audience rose as one to give the young performer a standing ovations. They shouted “Bravo” and “Encore!” and other words of praise and appreciation. However, the young musician seemed not even to hear them. Instead, he stood looking up into the balcony where an old, withered man sat looking back down at him. Finally, the old gentleman
smiled and nodded his head in approval. Only then did the lad seem to relax, and his face beamed with joy. You see, the cheers of the crowd meant nothing unless he had the approval of the master! It was only the latter that this young performer sought! This is a principle the Apostle Paul understood very well. At Lystra he was hailed as a god, and the people sought to offer up sacrifices to him (Acts 14:11–13). Even to this day, disciples of Christ often refer to this man as “the greatest Christian who has ever lived!” When we realize, as did Paul, that it is the Master whom we serve and seek to please, both the acclaim and criticism of mere men will pale in comparison! “Be diligent to present yourself approved unto God” (2 Tim. 2:15).—Al Maxey The Aloha Spirit 11. SPURGEO , “This is a metaphor taken from the action of the priest at the sacrifice. The priest cut up the bullock, and then laid it in its different pieces according to order. Or, as some think it is taken from the part of the father at the table, when he carves the meat and gives to every child its portion. Old Master Trapp says that “there are some ministers who are only fit to be Gibeonites and certainly not to be Levites, for they hardly understand the cutting of wood, much less the art of cutting up the sacrifice of God.” Brethren, it is well so to handle the word as to be able to give rebuke when rebuke is wanted, exhortation when it is needed, and comfort when consolation is required, for otherwise we do mischief. As it is said in the old fable of the simpleton, that he gave to the ass a bone and to the dog hay, so there are some who give wrong exhortations, not because they are wrong in themselves, but because they are wrong in their application.
16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
1. Barnes, “But shun profane and vain babblings, - see the notes at 1Ti_6:20.
For they will increase unto more ungodliness - Their tendency is to alienate the soul from God, and to lead to impiety. Such kinds of disputation are not merely a waste of time, they are productive of positive mischief. A man fond of contention in religious things is seldom one who has much love for the practical duties of piety, or any very deep sense of the distinction between right and wrong. You will not usually look for him in the place of prayer, nor can you expect his aid in the conversion of sinners, nor will you find that he has any very strict views of religious obligation.
2. Clarke, “Shun profane and vain babblings - This is the character he gives of the preaching of the false teachers. Whatever was not agreeable to the doctrine of truth was, in the sight of God, empty and profane babbling; engendering nothing but ungodliness, and daily increasing in that.
3. Gill, “But shun profane and vain babblings,.... The ministry of false teachers is mere babbling; a voice, and nothing else, as the man said of his nightingale; a sound of words, but no solid matter in
them; great swelling words of vanity, like large bubbles of water, look big, and make a great noise, but have nothing in them; contain nothing but vain, empty, idle, and trifling stuff; what is unprofitable and unedifying, yea, what is profane, contrary to the nature and perfections of God, and not agreeable to the doctrine which is according to godliness; and being palmed upon the Holy Scriptures, is a profanation of them. And all such wicked and empty prate, and babbling, is to be shunned, avoided, and discouraged, refused, and rejected; and, as much as can be, a stop should be put to it, both by ministers and hearers of the word. For they will increase unto more ungodliness meaning either that such babblings, if used and encouraged, will grow more and more profane and wicked; or the persons that use them, the unruly and vain talkers, will grow more daring, bold; and impudent, will wax worse and worse, and from one error will proceed to another, for such seldom stop; and having abused one passage of Scripture, will go on to attack another, and will not cease, till they have wrested the whole Scripture to their own destruction, and that of others.
4. Henry, “He must take heed of that which would be a hindrance to him in his work, 2Ti_2:16. He
must take heed of error: Shun profane and vain babblings. The heretics, who boasted of their notions and their arguments, thought their performances such as might recommend them; but the apostle calls them profane and vain babblings: when once men become fond of those they will increase unto more ungodliness. The way of error is down-hill; one absurdity being granted or contended for, a thousand follow: Their word will eat as doth a canker, or gangrene; when errors or heresies come into the church, the infecting of one often proves the infecting of many, or the infecting of the same person with one error often proves the infecting of him with many errors.
5. Jamison, “shun — literally, “stand above,” separate from, and superior to.
vain — opposed to “the truth” (2Ti_2:15). babblings — with loud voice: opposed to the temperate “word” (Tit_3:9). increase — Greek, “advance”; literally, “strike forward”: an image from pioneers cutting away all obstacles before an advancing army. They pretend progress; the only kind of progress they make is to a greater pitch of impiety. more ungodliness — Greek, “a greater degree of impiety.”
6. COLLEGE PRESS, “What shall be done with those teachers who persist in discussing the profitless points of. Jewish tradition?. Shun them; ignore them; when they approach you, with a question,, or, attempt an audience with you,, turn away. from. them.. Be gentle and kind about it, but be positive and firm. It is not that Timothy or Paul were not interested in the concerns of others, for they were, but when divine truth was the issue, everyone except such persons as here described, knew God had revealed Hi's Word through His inspired apostles and prophets, and anything else was "profane," or empty. Such action is an imperative, for such teach-
ings have within them the germ of Satan. Do not allow their presence. To do so is to ask for an overthrow of the cause of Christ. Error has a terrifying ' potency for progress. Stop it before it starts! . The basic error of such teachers, as here mentioned, is that they felt the traditions of men were of equal value with the Word of God. Our Lord has something to say about such persons; read Matt. 15:7-9. . . ■ Somehow, in their study and argument concerning profane questions, these false teachers came to believe that the resurrection was already past. If this Word was allowed to be taught,
it would grow like gangrene. This term is medical in background; it means, literally, "to find pasture." The spread of false teaching in the body of Christ is like the spread of gangrene in the physical body, and just as destructive, Two examples of such false teachers are Hymenaeus and Philetus. We have heard of Hymenaeus before, in I Timothy 1:20; we cannot be positive that this is the same man, but it does appear more than likely, Of Philetus we know nothing, 7. Calvin, “But avoid profane and unmeaning noises My opinion as to the import of these words has been stated in my commentary on the last chapter of the First Epistle to Timothy; and my readers will find it there. 176 For they will grow to greater ungodliness. That he may more effectually deter Timothy from that profane and noisy talkativeness, he states that it is a sort of labyrinth, or rather a deep whirlpool, from which they cannot go out, but into which men plunge themselves more and more. 8. SPURGEO , “ ow, there are some people who can never be content except they make their religion a sort of wrangling match. They get a-hold of a word in, Scripture, and away they go with it. Here shall be another opportunity for finding fault with all the church of God; here shall be another occasion for railing against all the preachers of the truth. How delighted they are when they can do this! Shun profane and vain babblings. Martin Luther said that there were
some in his day so nice and precise about the letter of: Scripture that when one of them had delivered an exposition upon the Book of Job, Luther said that by the time the man had got to the tenth chapter Job had been a thousand times more plagued by the expositors than he had ever been by the losses which he suffered upon the dunghill, and doubtless there are many truths of Scripture which are turned to mischief because men will be for ever making them opportunities for strife, and not bonds of love. Brethren, hold the five points of the Calvinistic doctrine, but mind you do not hold them as babbling questions. What you have received of God do not learn in order to fight with it, and to make contention and strife, and to divide the church of God, and rail against the people of the Most high, as some do. But, on the contrary, love one another as brethren, and hold the truth in love, and seek after the unity of the Spirit and the perfect bond of charity. The word of those who raise these questions will eat as doth a cancer, which eats till it gets to the bones, and turns the sound flesh into rottenness. Oh! there are many contentions which have done this mischief in the church of Christ.
17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,
1. Barnes, “And their word - The word, or the discourses of those who love vain and idle
disputations. Will eat as doth a canker - Margin, “gangrene.” This word - γάγγραινα gangraina - occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It is derived from γραιω graiō, γραινω grainō, to devour, corrode,” and means “gangrene” or “mortification” - the death of a part, spreading, unless arrested, by degrees over the whole body. The words rendered “will eat,” mean “will have nutriment;” that is, will spread over and consume the healthful parts. It will not merely destroy the parts immediately affected, but will extend into the surrounding healthy parts and destroy them also. So it is with erroneous doctrines. They will not merely eat out the truth in the particular matter to which they refer, but they will also spread over and corrupt other truths. The doctrines of religion are closely connected, and are dependent on each other - like the different parts of the human body. One cannot be corrupted without affecting those adjacent to it, and unless checked, the corruption will soon spread over the whole. Of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus - In regard to Hymenaeus, see the notes at 1Ti_1:20. Of Philetus nothing more is known. They have gained an undesirable immortality, destined to be known to the end of time only as the advocates of error.
2. Clarke, “Their word will eat as doth a canker - ᆦς γαγγραινα· As a gangrene; i.e. as a
mortification in the flesh, where the circulation is entirely stopped, and putrefaction takes place, which continues to corrupt all the circumjacent flesh, spreading more and more till death takes place, unless stopped by a timely and judicious application of medicine. Such is the influence of false doctrine; it fixes its mortal seed in the soul, which continues to corrupt and assimilate every thing to itself, till, if not prevented by a timely application of the word of life, under the direction of the heavenly Physician, it terminates in the bitter pains of an eternal death. To such a gangrene the apostle compares the corrupt doctrines of Hymeneus and Philetus.
3. Gill, “And their word will eat as doth a cancer,.... Or "gangrene", which gnaws and feeds upon
the flesh, inflames and mortifies as it goes, and spreads swiftly, and endangers the whole body; and is therefore to be speedily taken notice of, and stopped. It is better rendered "gangrene", as in the marginal reading, than "cancer". "The word "gangrene" is Greek (g), and is derived by some authors from the Paphlagonian "gangra", a goat; it being the character of a goat to browse the grass all around without shifting. It is more correct, perhaps, to derive it from the Greek word γραω, γραινω, "manduco", "consumo", I eat, I consume. The "gangrene" is a disease in the flesh of the part which it corrupts, consumes, and turns black, spreading and seizing itself of the adjoining parts, and is rarely cured without amputation. By the microscope, a gangrene has been discovered to contain an infinite number of little worms engendered in the morbid flesh; and which continually producing new broods, they swarm, and overrun the adjacent parts: if the gangrene proceed to an utter sphacelation (or mortification), and be seated in any of the limbs, or extreme parts, recourse must be had to the operation of amputation'' And so the errors and heresies of false teachers worm and spread, and feed upon the souls of men, and eat up the vitals of religion, or what seemed to be such, and even destroy the very form of godliness; and bring destruction and death, wherever they come; and when they get into Christian churches, threaten the ruin of them; and therefore are to be opposed in time, and those infected with them to be cut off. Of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; these were some of the principal among the false teachers, the chief authors and spreaders of error and heresy: the former of these is mentioned before in 1Ti_1:20 along with Alexander, as guilty of blasphemy, and as delivered up to Satan for it. Philetus is a Greek name as well as the other, though it is sometimes found in Roman inscriptions (h): it is very likely that these were both in Asia, and probably in Ephesus, or near to it, since the apostle mentions them by name to Timothy, that he might beware of them.
4. Henry, “Upon this occasion the apostle mentions some who had lately advanced
erroneous doctrines: Hymeneus and Philetus. He names these corrupt teachers, by which he sets a brand upon them, to their perpetual infamy, and warns all people against hearkening to them.
5. Jamison, “will eat — literally, “will have pasture.” The consuming progress of mortification is the
image. They pretend to give rich spiritual pasture to their disciples: the only pasture is that of a spiritual cancer feeding on their vitals. canker — a “cancer” or “gangrene.” Hymenaeus — (See on 1Ti_1:20). After his excommunication he seems to have been readmitted into the Church and again to have troubled it.
6. K&D, “ 7. Calvin, “And their word will eat as a gangrene I have been told by Benedict Textor, a physician, that this
passage is badly translated by Erasmus, who, out of two diseases quite different from each other, has made but one disease; for, instead of “gangrene,” he has used the word “cancer.” Now Galen, in many passages throughout his writings, and especially where he lays down definitions in his small work “On
unnatural swellings,” distinguishes the one from the other. Paul Aegineta, too, on the authority of Galen, thus in his sixth book defines a “cancer;” that it is “an unequal swelling, with inflated extremities, loathsome to the sight, of a leaden color, and unaccompanied by pain.” Next, he enumerates two kinds, as other physicians do; for he says that some “cancers” are concealed and have no ulcer; while others, in which there is a preponderance of the black bile from which they originate, are ulcerous. Of the “gangrene,” on the other hand, Galen, both in the small work already quoted, and in his second book to Glauco, Aetius in his fourteenth book, and the same Ægineta in his fourth book, speak to the following effect; that it proceeds from great phlegmons or inflammations, if they fall violently on any member, so that the part which is destitute of heat and vital energy tends to destruction. If that part be quite dead, the Greek writers call the disease σφάκελος the Latins sideratio, and the common people call it St. Anthony’s fire. I find, indeed, that Cornelius Celsius draws the distinction in this manner, that “cancer “is the genus, and “gangrene” the species; but his mistake is plainly refuted from numerous passages in the works of physicians of high authority. It is possible, also, that he was led astray by the similarity between the Latin words “cancer“ and “gangræna.” But in the Greek words there can be no mistake of that kind; for κάρκινος is the name which corresponds to the Latin word “cancer,” and denotes both the animal which we call a crab, and the disease; while grammarians think that γάγγραινα is derived ἀπο τοῦ γραίνειν which means “to eat.” We must therefore abide by the word “gangrene,” which Paul uses, and which best agrees with what he says as to “eating” or “consuming.” We have now explained the etymology; but all physicians pronounce the nature of the disease to be such, that, if it be not very speedily counteracted, it spreads to the adjoining parts, and penetrates even to the bones, and does not cease to consume, till it has killed the man. Since, therefore, “gangrene” is immediately followed by (νέκρωσις) mortification, which rapidly infects the rest of the members till it end in the universal destruction of the body; to this mortal contagion Paul elegantly compares false doctrines; for, if you once give entrance to them, they spread till they have completed the destruction of the Church. The contagion being so destructive, we must meet it early, and not wait till it has gathered strength by progress; for there will then be no time for rendering assistance. The dreadful extinction of the gospel among the Papists arose from this cause, that, through the ignorance or slothfulness of the pastors, corruptions prevailed long and without control, in consequence of which the purity of doctrine was gradually destroyed. Of the number of whom are Hymenaeus and Philetus He points out with the finger the plagues themselves, that all may be on their guard against them; for, if those persons who aim at the ruin of the whole Church are permitted by us to remain concealed, then to some extent we give them power to do injury. It is true that we ought to conceal the faults of brethren, but only those faults the contagion of which is not widely spread. But where there is danger to many, our dissimulation is cruel, if we do not expose in proper time the hidden evil. And why? Is it proper, for the sake of sparing one individual, that a hundred or a thousand persons shall perish through my silence? Besides, Paul did not intend to convey this information to Timothy alone, but he intended to proclaim to all ages and to all nations the wickedness of the two men, in order to shut the door against their base and ruinous doctrine
18 who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.
1. Barnes, “Who concerning the truth have erred - To what extent they had erred is unknown.
Paul mentions only one point - that pertaining to the resurrection; but says that this was like a gangrene. It would certainly, unless checked, destroy all the other doctrines of religion. No man can safely hold a single error, any more than he can safely have one part of his body in a state of mortification. Saying that the resurrection is past already - It is not known in what form they held this opinion. It may have been, as Augustine supposes, that they taught that there was no resurrection but that which occurs in the soul when it is recovered from the death of sin, and made to live anew. Or it may be that they held that those who had died had experienced all the resurrection which they ever would, by passing into another state, and receiving at death a spiritual body fitted to their mode of being in the heavenly world. Whatever was the form of the opinion, the apostle regarded it as a most dangerous error, for just views of the resurrection undoubtedly lie at the foundation of correct apprehensions of the Christian system; compare the notes at 1Co_15:12-19. And overthrow the faith of some - That is, on this point, and as would appear on all the correlative subjects of Christian belief; compare 1Ti_1:19-20.
2. Clarke, “Who concerning the truth have erred - They had the truth, but erred or wandered from it, saying the resurrection was already past, and thus denying the resurrection of the body, and, by consequence, future rewards and punishments; and this necessarily sapped the foundation of all religion: and thus the gangrene had, in reference to their unhappy votaries, a rapid and unchecked operation.
3. Gill, “ Who concerning the truth have erred,.... That is, the two persons just mentioned; they fell from the truth, wandered and departed from it; they did not keep to the Scriptures of truth, but deviated from them; they missed that mark, and went astray into gross errors and mistakes; rejected the Gospel, the word of truth, in general, and particularly in
saying, that the resurrection is past already; and no other is to be expected; or that there was no future resurrection of the dead: their error was, as some think, that there is no other resurrection than that of parents in their children, who, though they die, live in their posterity; or than the resurrection of Christ, and of the saints, that rose at the same time; or rather, that there is no other resurrection than the spiritual one, or regeneration, which is a quickening of dead sinners, or the resurrection of them from the death of sin, to a life of grace; which seems to be the truest account of their principle, seeing this is what has been received and propagated by others since; though some have thought that they gave into the Palingenesia of the Pythagoreans, who supposed that when men die, their souls go into other bodies; and that these men imagined, that this is all the resurrection that will be: and others have been of opinion, that their notion was, that whereas the deliverance of the Jews out of the
Babylonish captivity is signified by a resurrection of them, in Eze_37:1 that this is the resurrection they meant was past, and no other to be looked for; but that which has been fixed upon seems to be the truest account: and overthrow the faith of some; the Ethiopic version reads, "of many"; that is, of nominal professors of religion; not of true believers, for true faith cannot be overthrown. Hence it follows,
4. Henry, “They have erred concerning the truth, or concerning one of the fundamental articles of the Christian religion, which is truth. The resurrection of the dead is one of the great doctrines of Christ. Now see the subtlety of the serpent and the serpent's seed. They did not deny the resurrection (for that had been boldly and avowedly to confront the word of Christ), but they put a corrupt interpretation upon that true doctrine, saying that the resurrection was past already, that what Christ spoke concerning the resurrection was to be understood mystically and by way of allegory, that it must be meant of a spiritual resurrection only. It is true, there is a spiritual resurrection, but to infer thence that there will not be a true and real resurrection of the body at the last day is to dash one truth of Christ in pieces against another. By this they overthrew the faith of some, took them off from the belief of the resurrection of the dead; and if there be no resurrection of the dead, nor future state, no recompence of our services and sufferings in another world, we are of men the most miserable, 1Co_15:19. Whatever takes away the doctrine of a future state overthrows the faith of Christians. The apostle had largely disproved this error (1 Cor. 15), and therefore does not here enter into the arguments against it. Observe, 1. The babblings Timothy was to shun were profane and vain; they were empty shadows, and led to profaneness: For they will increase unto more ungodliness. 2. Error is very productive, and on that account the more dangerous: it will eat like a gangrene. 3. When men err concerning the truth, they always endeavour to have some plausible pretence for it. Hymeneus and Philetus did not deny a resurrection, but pretended it was already past. 4. Error, especially that which affects the foundation, will overthrow the faith of some. 5. Jamison, “erred — Greek, “missed the aim” (see 1Ti_6:21).
is past already — has already taken place. The beginnings of the subsequent Gnostic heresy already existed. They “wrested” (2Pe_3:16) Paul’s own words (Rom_6:4; Eph_2:6; Col_2:12) “to their own destruction,” as though the resurrection was merely the spiritual raising of souls from the death of sin. Compare 1Co_15:12, where he shows all our hopes of future glory rest on the literal reality of the resurrection. To believe it past (as the Seleucians or Hermians did, according to Augustine [Epistles, 119.55, To Januarius, 4]), is to deny it in its true sense. overthrow — trying to subvert “the foundation” on which alone faith can rest secure (2Ti_2:19; compare Tit_1:11).
6. K&D, “ 7. Calvin, “Who, concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is already past After having
said that they had departed from “the truth,” he specifies their error, which consisted in this, that they gave out that “the resurrection was already past.” In doing this, they undoubtedly contrived a sort of allegorical resurrection, which has also been attempted in this age by some filthy dogs. By this trick Satan overthrows that fundamental article of our faith concerning the resurrection of the flesh. Being an old and worthless dream, and being so severely condemned by Paul, it ought to give us the less uneasiness. But when we learn that, from the very beginning of the gospel, the faith of some was subverted, such an example ought to excite us to diligence, that we may seize an early opportunity of driving away from ourselves and others so dangerous a plague; for, in consequence of the strong inclination of men to vanity, there is no absurdity
so monstrous that there shall not be some men who shall lend their ear to it.
19 evertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
1. Barnes, “ evertheless the foundation of God is sure - Margin, “steady.” The meaning is, that though some had been turned away by the arts of these errorists, yet the foundation of the church which God had laid remained firm; compare Eph_2:20, “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone.” As long as this foundation remained firm, there was no reason to be troubled from the few instances of apostasy which had occurred; compare Psa_11:3. It is not uncommon to compare the church to a building erected on a solid foundation; Eph_2:20-21; 1Co_3:9-10; Mat_16:18. Having this seal - Or rather a seal with this inscription. The word “seal” is sometimes used to denote the instrument by which an impression is made, and sometimes the impression or inscription itself. A seal is used for security Mat_27:66, or as a mark of genuineness; Rev_9:4. The seal here is one that was affixed to the foundation, and seems to refer to some inscription on the foundation-stone which always remained there, and which denoted the character and design of the edifice. The allusion is to the custom, in rearing an edifice, of inscribing the name of the builder and the design of the edifice on the cornerstone. See Rosenmuller, Alte undneue Morgenland, o. 405. So the church of Christ is a building reared by the hands of God. Its foundation has been firmly and securely laid, and on that foundation there is an inscription always remaining which determines the character of the edifice. The Lord knoweth them that are his - This is one of the inscriptions on the foundation-stone of the church, which seems to mark the character of the building. It always stands there, no matter who apostatizes. It is at the same time a fearful inscription - showing that no one can deceive God; that he is intimately acquainted with all who enter that building; and that in the multitudes which enter there, the friends and the foes of God are intimately known. He can separate his own friends from all others, and his constant care will be extended to all who are truly his own, to keep them from falling. This has the appearance of being a quotation, but no such passage is found in the Old Testament in so many words. In ah_1:7, the following words are found: “And he knoweth them that trust in him;” and it is possible that Paul may have had that in his eye; but it is not necessary to suppose that he designed it as a quotation. A phrase somewhat similar to this is found in 1 um_16:5, “the Lord will show who are his,” rendered in the Septuagint, “God knoweth who are his;” and Whitby supposes that this is the passage referred to. But whether Paul had these passages in view or not, it is clear that he meant to say that it was one of the fundamental things in religion, that God knew who were his own people, and that he would preserve them from the danger of making shipwreck of their faith.
And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity - This is the other seal or inscription which is made on the foundation which God has laid. The foundation has two inscriptions - the first implying that God knows all who are his own people; the other, that all who are his professed people should depart from evil. This is not found in so many words in the Old Testament, and, like the former, it is not to be regarded as a quotation. The meaning is, that it is an elementary principle in the true church, that all who become members of it should lead holy lives. It was also true that they would lead holy lives, and amidst all the defections of errorists, and all their attempts to draw away others from the true faith, those might be known to be the true people of God who did avoid evil.
2. Clarke, “The foundation of God standeth sure - The word θεµελιος signifies literally a foundation, and especially the foundation of a building; and metaphorically, the building itself, and often a noble mansion or palace. In this place the apostle compares the religion of Christ to a great or noble mansion. See 2Ti_2:20. And as this religion is founded on the authority and power of the Almighty, it necessarily must stand sure and be permanent. This house has an inscription on it, for so σφραγις, seal, is frequently understood; and this is evidently an allusion to the ancient temples. Above the door of the temple of Delphi there was the Greek word ει thou art, on which Plutarch has written an express treatise. In many of the Mohammedan mosques the walls are covered with inscriptions, which are ordinarily sentences taken from the Koran, relative to the majesty of God, or the nature of his worship. And we know that there was an inscription on the mitre of the high priest among the Jews, viz.: קדש ליהוהkodesh laihovah, “Holiness to the Lord;” Exo_28:36; Exo_39:30. See also Zec_14:20. And this inscription may here be represented as being made with the seal of God, for he stamps this on all things belonging to himself and his worship. But some suppose θεµελιος here to signify a contract or covenant by which two parties are bound to fulfill certain conditions and duties, the obligation to which, each takes on him by sealing the instrument with his seal. Among the Asiatics, these seals have scarcely ever any image or figure on them, but always some very expressive inscription. I have seen many of these, and several of them are now before me. The twofold inscription, i.e. one on the seal of each party, may be here alluded to; that on God’s seal is, Εγνω Κυριος τους οντας αὑτου· The Lord approveth of them that are his. That on the seal of his followers is, Αποστητω απο αδικιας πας ὁ ονοµαζων το ονοµα Κυριου. Let every one who nameth the name of the Lord (every Christian) depart from iniquity. Thus each has his peculiar inscription. Κυριου, Lord, instead of Χριστου, Christ, is the reading of almost all the MSS. of importance, and the principal versions. The Lord knoweth - i.e. Approves, watches over, and provides for, them that are his true followers. To this his followers most cheerfully subscribe, and say: Let every one that nameth this Lord avoid every appearance of evil.
3. Gill, “ evertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure,.... That faith, which is the faith of God's elect, is of the operation of God, and is the gift of his grace, and of which Christ is the author and finisher, is firm and immovable as a foundation; it is solid and substantial; it is the substance of things hoped for; and it is permanent and abiding; it stands sure, being supported by the power of God, and prevalent mediation of Jesus Christ; and so cannot be overthrown by false teachers, when an historical faith, or the faith of temporary believers may: or the doctrine
of the resurrection of the dead is here meant, which was said to be past by the above false teachers; which is a fundamental doctrine of the Gospel, without which the preaching of it is vain, and faith is vain; and which is a doctrine of God, of pure revelation; and this will be effected by his power: this stands sure upon the testimony of the patriarchs, prophets, and of Christ, and his apostles; upon the sure word and writings both of the Old and ew Testament; and will stand its ground against all opposition, and will have its certain effect; for the Lord Jesus knows who are his distinctly and perfectly; nor will he lose them, nor anything that belongs to them; not their bodies, any more than their souls, nor any dust of theirs, but will raise it up at the last day. Or else the doctrine of eternal election may be here designed; which is the foundation of all spiritual blessings, of faith and of holiness, of joy and comfort here, and happiness hereafter, and even of complete and everlasting salvation; and is of God's laying, and is owing to his sovereign pleasure and free rich grace; and stands sure, not on the foot of works, but upon the unchangeable and unfrustrable will of God; and this secures from a final and total deception by false teachers: and also into the account may be taken the persons of God's elect themselves; who are of God's founding, and are as immovable as the firmest foundation whatever, even as rocks and mountains, and stand sure upon the rock of ages, Christ Jesus, and shall never perish; nor can they be deceived by false Christs and false prophets, but will remain safe and sound, when the faith of ever so many is subverted by them. Having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his: faith is sealed and insured to God's elect, by his foreknowledge and predestination of them; so that they certainly have it, and shall never lose it: and their election is according to God's foreknowledge of them; which designs not a foresight of their faith, holiness, and good works, as the motives of his choosing them; nor a bare prescience of their persons; but such a foreknowledge as includes special love to them, which is distinguishing, unchangeable, and everlasting; and this being a seal affixed to all the elect, shows the distinguishing grace of God in their election, the secrecy of it, and its firmness and irrevocableness, and also the safety of the chosen ones; things being sealed, to distinguish one thing from another, and to keep things secret, or to render them firm and authentic. So, among the Jews, seals were used in buying and selling, that it might be known what was bought, and to confirm the purchase (i). The inference from this comfortable doctrine is, and let everyone that nameth the name of Christ; "or of the Lord", as the Alexandrian copy, and others, the Complutensian edition, the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions read; that is, whoever either are called by the name of Christ, or Christians, or whoever call upon his name: let them depart from iniquity; both from doctrinal iniquity, the errors and heresies of the above false teachers, which increased to ungodliness, and ate as a gangrene, and were the subversion of the faith of some; and from all practical iniquity, which those men, and their followers, especially the Gnostics, were guilty of; and, generally speaking, when men make shipwreck of faith, they put away a good conscience: and the apostle may also mean, that all such should depart from iniquitous men, from men whether of bad principles or practices, or both, and have no fellowship with them, it being unworthy of the name by which they were called. Some reference seems to be had to um_16:5 and so the false teachers, and their followers, may be compared to Korah, and his company, and the elect of God to Moses, and the Lord's people, who were bid to depart from the tents of those wicked men; and who stood firm, sure, and safe, when the earth opened, and swallowed up the others.
4. Henry, “Here we see what we may comfort ourselves with, in reference to this, and the little errors and heresies that both infect and infest the church, and do mischief. I. It may be a great comfort to us that the unbelief of men cannot make the promise of God of no effect. Though the faith of some particular persons be overthrown, yet the foundation of God standeth sure (2Ti_2:19); it is not possible that they should deceive the elect. Or it may be meant of the truth itself, which they impugn. All the attacks which the powers of darkness have made upon the doctrine of Christ cannot shake it; it stands firm, and weathers all the storms which have been raised against it. The prophets and apostles, that is, the doctrines of the Old and ew Testament, are still firm; and they have a seal with two mottoes upon it, one on the one side, and the other on the other, as is usual in a broad seal. 1. One expresses our comfort - that the Lord knows those that are his, and those that are not; knows them, that is, he owns them, so knows them that he will never lose them. Though the faith of some be overthrown, yet the Lord is said to know the ways of the righteous, Psa_1:6. one can overthrow the faith of any whom God hath chosen. 2. Another declares our duty - that every one who names the name of Christ must depart from iniquity. Those who would have the comfort of the privilege must make conscience of the duty. If the name of Christ be called upon us, we must depart from iniquity, else he will not own us; he will say in the great day (Mat_7:23), Depart from me, I never knew you, you workers of iniquity. Observe, (1.) Whatever errors are introduced into the church, the foundation of God standeth sure, his purpose can never be defeated. (2.) God hath some in the church who are his and whom he knows to be his. (3.) Professing Christians name the name of Christ, are called by his name, and therefore are bound to depart from iniquity; for Christ gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, Tit_2:14. 5. Jamison, “ evertheless — otwithstanding the subversion of their faith, “the firm foundation of God standeth” fast (so the Greek ought to be translated). The “foundation” here is “the Church” [Alford], “the ground” or basement support “of the truth” (1Ti_3:15), Christ Himself being the ultimate “foundation” (1Co_3:11). In the steadfast standing of the Church there is involved the steadfast certainty of the doctrine in question (2Ti_2:18). Thus the “house” (2Ti_2:20) answers to the “foundation”; it is made up of the elect whom “the Lord knoweth” (acknowledgeth, recognizes, Psa_1:6; Mat_7:23; Joh_10:14; 1Co_8:3) as “His,” and who persevere to the end, though others “err concerning the faith” (Mat_24:24; Joh_10:28; Rom_8:38, Rom_8:39; 1Jo_2:19). Bengel takes “the foundation” to be the immovable faithfulness of God (to His promises to His elect [Calvin]). This contrasts well with the erring from the faith on the part of the reprobate, 2Ti_2:18. Though they deny the faith, God abates not His faithfulness (compare 2Ti_2:13). having — seeing that it has [Ellicott]. seal — “inscription”: indicating ownership and destination: inscriptions were often engraven on a “foundation” stone (Rev_21:14) [Alford]. This will agree with the view that “the foundation” is the Church (Eph_2:20). If it be taken God’s immovable faithfulness, the “seal” will be regarded as attached to His covenant promise, with the inscription or legend, on one side of its round surface, “The Lord knoweth (it is ‘knew’ in the Septuagint, um_16:5, to which Paul here alludes, altering it for his purpose by the Spirit) them that are His”; on the observe side, “Let every one that nameth (as his Lord, Psa_20:7, or preacheth in His name, Jer_20:9) Christ.” depart — Greek, “stand aloof.” from iniquity — (Isa_52:11). In both clauses there may be an allusion to um_16:5,
um_16:26, Septuagint. God’s part and man’s part are marked out. God chooseth and knoweth His elect; our part is to believe, and by the Spirit depart from all iniquity, an unequivocal proof of our being the Lord’s (compare Deu_29:29; Luk_13:23-27). St. Lucian when asked by his persecutors, “Of what country art thou?” replied, “I am a Christian.” “What is your occupation? ... I am a Christian.” “Of what family? ... I am a Christian.” [Chrysostom, Orations, 75]. He cannot be honored with the name Christian, who dishonors by iniquity, Christ, the Author of the name. Blandina’s refreshment amidst her tortures was to say, “I am a Christian, and with us Christians no evil is done” [Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 5.1]. Apostasy from the faith is sure soon to be followed by indulgence in iniquity. It was so with the false teachers (2Ti_3:2-8, 2Ti_3:13).
6. MOODY BIBLE I STITUTE, “TODAY I THE WORD When Marc and Karen purchased their dream house, they pulled out all the stops. Young and successful, they both had high-paying jobs in the film industry. They could afford to pay more for their house than most of us make in a lifetime. Their home’s huge windows provided a 360-degree panorama of the San Fernando Valley, their favorite feature and one that made visitors gasp. All that changed when an earthquake sent their dream house tumbling down the cliff into the valley below while the couple slept. “They never knew what hit them,” Marc’s brother later said. “They loved that house.” Marc’s house was well-built. It was just built on the wrong foundation. Because of that, he and his wife both lost their lives. In His conclusion to the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus used a similar picture to describe a spiritual disaster of even greater proportions. In this case the loss is not of a house and a life, but of a soul. Jesus used this terrifying picture to describe two possible ways of responding to His teaching. One is to take Jesus at His word and build your life upon it. The other is to ignore what Jesus has said. Those who are building their lives on something other than Christ and His word are setting themselves up for a terrible fall. Throughout the Sermon on the Mount Jesus emphasizes both grace and obedience. These do not contradict each other. People who have experienced the grace of God in Christ are called to live a life of obedience to His word. APPLY THE WORD In 2 Timothy 2:19 the apostle Paul describes the foundation upon which the Christian life is built as a solid one with two inscriptions: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” If you were to write an inscription for the foundation stone of your spiritual life, what would it say? 7. Calvin, “ evertheless the foundation of God standeth firm. We know too well, by experience, how much scandal is produced by the apostasy of those who at one time professed the same faith with ourselves. This is especially the case with those who were extensively known, and who had a more brilliant reputation than others; for, if any of the common people apostatize, we are not so deeply affected by it. But they who in the ordinary opinion of men held a distinguished rank, having been formerly regarded as pillars, cannot fall in this manner, without involving others in the same ruin with themselves; at least, if their faith has no other support. This is the subject which Paul has now in hand; for he declares that there is no reason why believers should lose heart, although they see those persons fall, whom they were wont to reckon the strongest. He makes use of this consolation, that the levity or treachery of men cannot hinder God from
preserving his Church to the last. And first he reminds us of the election of God, which he metaphorically calls a foundation, expressing by this word the firm and enduring constancy of it. Yet all this tends to prove the certainty of our salvation, if we are of the elect of God. As if he had said, “The elect do not depend on changing events, but rest on a solid and immovable foundation; because their salvation is in the hand of God.” For as “every plant which the heavenly Father hath not planted must be rooted up,” (Matthew 15:13,) so a root, which has been fixed by his hand, is not liable to be injured by any winds or storms. First of all, therefore, let us hold this principle, that, amidst so great weakness of our flesh, the elect are nevertheless beyond the reach of danger, because they do not stand by their own strength, but are founded on God. And if foundations laid by the hand of men have so much firmness, how much more solid will be that which has been laid by God himself? I am aware that some refer this to doctrine, “Let no man judge of the truth of it from the unsteadfastness of men;” but it may easily be inferred from the context, that Paul speaks of the Church of God, or of the elect. Having this seal The word signaculum (which denotes either “a seal” or “the print of a seal”) having led into a mistake some people who thought that it was intended to denote a mark or impress, I have translated it sigillum (a seal,) which is less ambiguous. And, indeed, Paul means, that under the secret guardianship of God, as a signet, is contained the salvation of the elect, as Scripture testifies that they are “written in the book of life.” (Psalm 69:28; Philippians 4:3.) The Lord knoweth who are his This clause, together with the word seal, reminds us, that we must not judge, by our own opinion, whether the number of the elect is great or small; for what God hath sealed he wishes to be, in some respect, shut up from us. Besides, if it is the prerogative of God to know who are his, we need not wonder if a great number of them are often unknown to us, or even if we fall into mistakes in making the selection. Yet we ought always to observe why and for what purpose he makes mention of a seal; that is, when we see such occurrences, let us instantly call to remembrance what we are taught by the Apostle John, that “they who went out from us were not of us.” (1 John 2:19.) Hence arises a twofold advantage. First, our faith will not be shaken, as if it depended on men; nor shall we be even dismayed, as often happens, when unexpected events take place. Secondly, being convinced that the Church shall nevertheless be safe, we shall more patiently endure that the reprobate go away into their own lot, to which they were appointed; because there will
remain the full number, with which God is satisfied. Therefore, whenever any sudden change happens among men, contrary to our opinion and expectation, let us immediately call to remembrance, “The Lord knoweth who are his.” Let every one that calleth on the name of Christ depart from iniquity As he formerly met the scandal by saying, “Let not the revolt of any man produce excessive alarm in believers;” so now, by holding out this example of hypocrites, he shews that we must not sport with God by a feigned profession of Christianity. As if he had said, “Since God thus punishes hypocrites by exposing their wickedness, let us learn to fear him with a sincere conscience, lest anything of that kind should happen to us. Whoever, therefore, calleth upon God, that is, professeth to be, and wisheth to be reckoned, one of the people of God, let him keep at a distance from all iniquity.” 177 For to “call on the name of Christ” means here to glory in Christ’s honorable title, and to boast of belonging to his flock; in the same manner as to have “the name of a man called on a woman” (Isaiah 4:1) the woman is accounted to be his lawful wife; and to have “the name of Jacob called on” all his posterity (Genesis 48:16) means that the name of the family shall be kept up in uninterrupted succession, because the race is descended from Jacob. 8. MCGEE, “"Having this seal." The seal was a mark of authentication and ownership. "The Lord knoweth them that are his." Back in Deuteronomy 6:8-9 , God told His people to take His commandments, "And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates." The Israelite was to use his house as a billboard for the Word of God. That identified him as a worshiper of God. ow how about the believer today? How does he advertise the fact that he is a child of God? "Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." That is how the people are going to know who belongs to God. This is what separation is: separation from evil and separation unto Christ. If you name the name of Christ, be sure you're not living in sin. Unfortunately, there are some who assert fundamental doctrines and faith, and then it turns out that they have had an affair with a woman or have been proven dishonest. The Lord knows those who are His because He can discern the heart, but all that the world can look at is the outward life. My friend, the world certainly makes sin look attractive by clever advertisements on billboards. How do we as believers compare? Are our lives an attractive advertisement for Christ? 9. This morning our desires go forth for growth in our acquaintance with the Lord Jesus. This was most blessedly perfect long before we had the slightest knowledge of Him. Before we had a being in the world, we had a being in His heart. When we were enemies to Him, He knew us, our misery and our wickedness. When we wept bitterly in despairing repentance and viewed Him only as a judge and a ruler, He viewed us as His well-beloved brothers. He never mistook His chosen but always beheld them as objects of His infinite affection. “The Lord knoweth them that are His” (2 Tim. 2:19).
Christ will be master of the heart, and sin must be mortified. If your life is unholy, your heart is unchanged; you are an unsaved person. If the Savior has not sanctified you, renewed you, given you a hatred of sin and a love of holiness, the grace which does not make a man better than others is a worthless counterfeit. Christ saves His people, not in their sins but from them. Without holiness “no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:19). If not saved from sin, how can we hope to be counted among His people? Lord, save me even now from all evil, and enable me to honor my Savior. (Spurgeon, C H: Daily Help)
10. “Sermons on worldliness are rare these days. The new word is "secularism." Billy Sunday used to say that the term "worldly Christian" was a misnomer. Of course, Billy didn't put it that way. He said, "You might as well talk about a heavenly devil!" That is in line with the ew Testament definition that the friend of the world is the enemy of God. I am convinced that many people we call worldly Christians are not Christians at all. Our Saviour said, "My sheep hear my voice. . . . and they follow me" (John 10:27). A sheep may fall into a mudhole but is not satisfied to stay there. A hog is at home in a mudhole, and Peter tells us that false teachers who revert to their evil ways belong in that category. It is true that we are not to judge people. "The Lord knoweth them that are his" (2 Timothy 2:19), and I am glad that He does, otherwise some of them would be pretty hard to identify! That same verse goes on to declare that all who claim to be the Lord's should depart from iniquity. . . . "Birds of a feather flock together," and where we feel most at home is where we belong. "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren" (John 3:14). (Vance Havner) 11. SPURGEO , “This morning our desires go forth for growth in our acquaintance with the Lord Jesus. This was most blessedly perfect long before we had the slightest knowledge of Him. Before we had a being in the world, we had a being in His heart. When we were enemies to Him, He knew us, our misery and our wickedness. When we wept bitterly in despairing repentance and viewed Him only as a judge and a ruler, He viewed us as His well-beloved brothers. He never mistook His chosen but always beheld them as objects of His infinite affection. “The Lord knoweth them that are His” (2 Tim. 2:19). Christ will be master of the heart, and sin must be mortified. If your life is unholy, your heart is unchanged; you are an unsaved person. If the Savior has not sanctified you, renewed you, given you a hatred of sin and a love of holiness, the grace which does not make a man better than others is a worthless counterfeit. Christ saves His people, not in their sins but from them. Without holiness “no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:19). If not saved from sin, how can we hope to be counted among His people? Lord, save me even now from all evil, and enable me to honor my Savior. (Spurgeon, C H: Daily Help)
12. SPURGEO , “"The foundation of God standeth sure."
The foundation upon which our faith rests is this, that "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them." The great fact on which genuine faith relies is, that "the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us," and that "Christ also hath suffered for sin, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God"; "Who himself bare our sins in his own body on the tree"; "For the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed." In one word, the great pillar of the Christian's hope is substitution. The vicarious sacrifice of Christ for the guilty, Christ being made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, Christ offering up a true and proper expiatory and substitutionary sacrifice in the room, place, and stead of as many as the Father gave him, who are known to God by name, and are recognized in their own hearts by their trusting in Jesus-this is the cardinal fact of the gospel. If this foundation were removed, what could we do? But it standeth firm as the throne of God. We know it; we rest on it; we rejoice in it; and our delight is to hold it, to meditate upon it, and to proclaim it, while we desire to be actuated and moved by gratitude for it in every part of our life and conversation. In these days a direct attack is made upon the doctrine of the atonement. Men cannot bear substitution. They gnash their teeth at the thought of the Lamb of God bearing the sin of man. But we, who know by experience the preciousness of this truth, will proclaim it in defiance of them confidently and unceasingly. We will neither dilute it nor change it, nor fritter it away in any shape or fashion. It shall still be Christ, a positive substitute, bearing human guilt and suffering in the stead of men. We cannot, dare not, give it up, for it is our life, and despite every controversy we feel that "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure."
13. COLLEGE PRESS, “ What is "the firm foundation of God"? Is it the Gospel or the Church? If we are going to carry the figure of a workman in the house of God (the church), we would refer it to the church. Timothy is not to. become discouraged in the face of apostacy, for the Lord's Church will stand though all Hell oppose it! Why refer to the Church as a foundation? In a basic sense, all members of Christ's Church are built upon the apostles and prophets (i.e., their teaching and preaching), Christ Jesus Himself being the chief cornerstone. In another figure we can say we are builded in and upon one another. We believe Paul is saying here that a remnant or foundation will always be in the world. A solid core will always remain. There shall be two distinguishing marks of this foundation. One mark relating to God, "the Lord knoweth them that are His," i.e., God does have His people in every age. When there are apostates and when there are not. The second mark relates to man, "Let every one that nameth the name of the Lord depart from unrighteousness." In every age there have been those who loved the beauty of holiness and departed from the "spirit of the
present age," Timothy could look about him in Ephesus and read this inscription in the conduct of a good number. When the fruit of the Spirit is present in the conduct of men, it is reasonable evidence that they belong to Christ (Cf. Rom. 8:9). To see the one, is to believe the other.
20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.
1. Barnes, “But in a great house - Still keeping up the comparison of the church with a building.
The idea is, that the church is a large edifice, and that in such a building we are not to expect entire uniformity in all the articles which it contains. There are not only vessels of gold and of silver, ... - You are not to expect to find all the articles of furniture alike, or all made of the same material. Variety in the form, and use, and material, is necessary in furnishing such a house. And some to honour, and some to dishonour - Some to most honorable uses - as drinking vessels, and vessels to contain costly viands, and some for the less honorable purposes connected with cooking, etc. The same thing is to be expected in the church. See this idea illustrated at greater length under another figure in the notes at 1Co_12:14-26; compare the notes, Rom_9:21. The application here seems to be, that in the church it is to be presumed that there will be a great variety of gifts and attainments, and that we are no more to expect that all will be alike, than we are that all the vessels in a large house will be made of gold.
2. Clarke, “But in a great house - Here the apostle carries on the allusion introduced in the preceding verse. As the foundation of God refers to God’s building, i.e. the whole system of Christianity, so here the great house is to be understood of the same; and the different kinds of vessels mean the different teachers, as well as the different kinds of members. In this sacred house at Ephesus there were vessels of gold and silver - eminent, holy, sincere, and useful teachers and members, and also vessels of wood and of earth - false and heretical teachers, such as Hymeneus and Philetus, and their followers. There are also in such houses vessels employed, some in a more honorable, others in a less honorable, office. To these he seems also to compare the same persons.
3. Gill, “But in a great house,.... This simile the apostle makes use of, to show that it need not seem
strange, nor should it be distressing to anyone's mind, to hear that men of such wicked principles and practices should be in the church of God, who are before mentioned; since in every great house or palace, the house of a nobleman, or palace of a king, there is a variety of vessels of different matter, and for different uses, and some are mean, despicable, and dishonourable; and so it is in the church of God: for by this great house, in the application of the simile, is not meant the world, as some think; for though that is a house built by God, who built all things; and is a very large one, and full of inhabitants,
comparable to vessels; and there are in it both good and bad, as always have been; yet it is no startling thing to any man, that there should be bad men in it; rather the wonder is, that there should be any good; but by this house is meant the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth, 1Ti_3:15; see Gill on 1Ti_3:15. There are not only vessels of gold and of silver; persons who are members of the visible church, who are comparable to gold and silver, for their worth and value, and preciousness in the sight of Christ, who accounts them his jewels, and peculiar treasure; and for their excellency and usefulness in the church, by reason of those differing gifts bestowed upon them; and for their lustre and purity, both of doctrine and of life; and for their solidity and duration: but also of wood, and of earth: there are others in a visible church state, who are like to dry wood, destitute of the grace of God, and are fit matter for Satan to work upon, and by them raise and increase the flames of contention and division, and will be fit fuel for everlasting burnings; and there are others who are sensual, and carnal, and worldly, who mind earth, and earthly things, and have no spirituality, nor spiritual mindedness in them: and some to honour; who are designed for honourable service, and behave honourably, and are worthy of honour in the church; are honourable officers, or members in it; and are to the honour of Christ, and the Gospel; and shall at last enjoy honour, glory, immortality, and eternal life. And some to dishonour; who are to the disreputation of the church, the dishonour of religion, and scandal of the Gospel; by them God is dishonoured, his ways evil spoken of, his doctrines blasphemed, and his name reproached; and who are themselves dishonourable among men now, and will be covered with shame and everlasting contempt hereafter.
4. Henry, “ Another thing that may comfort us is that though there are some whose faith is
overthrown, yet there are others who keep their integrity, and hold it fast (2Ti_2:20): In a great house there are not only vessels of gold, etc. The church of Christ is a great house, a well-furnished house: now some of the furniture of this house is of great value, as the plate in a house; some of small value, and put to mean uses, as the vessels of wood and earth; so it is in the church of God. There are some professors of religion that are like the vessels of wood and earth, they are vessels of dishonour. But at the same time all are not vessels of dishonour; there are vessels of gold and silver, vessels of honour, that are sanctified and meet for the Master's use.
5. Jamison, “in a great house — that is, the visible professing Christian Church (1Ti_3:15). Paul is speaking, not of those without, but of the [visible] family of God [Calvin]. So the parable of the sweepnet (Mat_13:47-49) gathering together of every kind, good and bad: as the good and bad cannot be distinguished while under the waves, but only when brought to shore, so believers and unbelievers continue in the same Church, until the judgment makes the everlasting distinction. “The ark of Noah is a type of the Church; as in the former there were together the leopard and the kid, the wolf and the lamb; so in the latter, the righteous and sinners, vessels of gold and silver, with vessels of wood and earth” [Jerome, Dialogue against the Luciferians, 302] (compare Mat_20:16).
vessels of gold ... silver — precious and able to endure fire. of wood and earth — worthless, fragile, and soon burnt (1Co_3:12-15; 1Co_15:47). some ... some — the former ... the latter. to dishonour — (Pro_16:4; Rom_9:17-23).
6. K&D, “ 7. Calvin, “ In a great house He now goes farther, and demonstrates by a comparison, that when we see
some who, for a time, made a show of distinguished piety and zeal, fall back shamefully, so far from being troubled on account of it, we ought rather to acknowledge that this arrangement is seemly and adapted to the providence of God. Who will find fault with a large house, in which there is abundance of every kind of furniture, and which accordingly contains not only those articles which are fitted for purposes of display, but likewise those which are of a meaner sort? This diversity is even ornamental, if, while the sideboard and the table glitter with gold and silver, the kitchen is furnished with vessels of wood and of earthenware. Why then should we wonder if God, the head of the family, so rich and so abundantly supplied with everything, has in this world, as in a large house, various kinds of men, as so many parts of furniture? Commentators are not agreed, however, whether the “great house” means the Church alone, or the whole world. And, indeed, the context rather leads us to understand it as denoting the Church; for Paul is not now reasoning about strangers, but about God’s own family. Yet what he says is true generally, and in another passage the same Apostle extends it to the whole world; that is, at Romans 9:21, where he includes all the reprobate under the same word that is here used. We need not greatly dispute, therefore, if any person shall apply it simply to the world. Yet there can be no doubt that Paul’s object is to shew that we ought not to think it strange, that bad men are mixed with the good, which happens chiefly in the Church.
21Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
1. Barnes, “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour - If a man “cleanse” or “purify” himself; compare the notes on Joh_15:2. The word “these” refers, here, to the persons represented by the vessels of wood and of earth - the vessels made to dishonor, as mentioned in the previous verse 2Ti_2:20. The idea is, that if one would preserve himself from the corrupting influence of such men, he would be fitted to be a vessel of honor, or to be employed in the most useful and honorable service in the cause of his Master. On the word “vessel,” see the notes at Act_9:15.
And meet for the master’s use - Suitable to be employed by the Lord Jesus in promoting his work on earth.
2. Clarke, “If a man therefore purge himself from these - He that takes heed to his ways and to his doctrines, and walks with God, will separate himself, not only from all false doctrine, but from all wicked men, and thus be sanctified and proper to be employed by the Master in every good word and work. The apostle has not made the application of these different similes, and it is very difficult to tell what he means.
3. Gill, “ If a man therefore purge himself from these,.... That is, if a man clears himself, and
keeps himself clear from such men as Hymenaeus and Philetus, who are comparable to wooden and earthen vessels, and are dishonourable ones; if he shuns their defiling company, and polluting principles; if he keeps clear of their heresies, and is not carried away with the errors of these wicked men, and is not drawn aside by them into immoral practices, but stands fast in the faith, and departs from iniquity: he shall be a vessel unto honour; he will be made manifest, and appear to be a vessel chosen to honour; and will be an honourable member of the church here, and will be honoured by Christ hereafter: sanctified: he will appear to be one that is set apart by God the Father, and whose sins are purged away by the blood of Christ, and who is sanctified internally by the Spirit of God; for external holiness springs from internal holiness, and is, an evidence of it: and meet for the master's use: the use and service of Christ, who is the master of the house; either for the ministry of the word, the administration of ordinances, or for some service or another, which he calls him to, and employs him in. And prepared unto every good work; which an unregenerate man is not; he is to every good work reprobate; he is not capable of performing good works; he is not prepared for them, nor ready at them; but a true believer, one that is regenerated, and sanctified by the Spirit of God, he is created in Christ Jesus unto good works; and has in the performing of them right principles, aims, and ends, as well as a supply of grace, by which he is enabled to do them.
4. Henry, “ When we are discouraged by the badness of some, we must encourage ourselves by the consideration of the goodness of others. Now we should see to it that we be vessels of honour: we must purge ourselves from these corrupt opinions, that we may be sanctified for our Master's use. Observe, 1. In the church there are some vessels of honour and some of dishonour; there are some vessels of mercy and other vessels of wrath, Rom_9:22, Rom_9:23. Some dishonour the church by their corrupt opinions and wicked lives; and others honour and credit it by their exemplary conversation. 2. A man must purge himself from these before he can be a vessel of honour, or meet for his Master's use. 3. Every vessel must be fit for its Master's use; every one in the church whom God approves must be devoted to his Master's service and meet for his use. 4. Sanctification in the heart is our preparation for every good work. The tree must be made good, and then the fruit will be good. 5. Jamison, “If a man ... purge himself from these — The Greek expresses “If one (for example,
thou, Timothy) purify himself (so as to separate) from among these” (vessels unto dishonor). sanctified — set apart as wholly consecrated to the Lord. and meet — Some oldest manuscripts omit “and.” the master’s — the Lord’s. Paul himself was such a vessel: once one among those of earth, but afterwards he became by grace one of gold. prepared unto every good work — (2Ti_3:17; Tit_3:1). Contrast Tit_1:16.
6. MCGEE, “In these verses a believer is pictured as a vessel. If a vessel is to be usable, it must be clean. For example, imagine you are walking across a desert, and you come to an oasis.
You are parched and almost dying of thirst. You find two cups there. One is made of gold and highly ornamented, but it's dirty. The other is an old crock cup. It will just barely hold water because it is cracked, but it is clean. Which one would you use? ow give God credit for having as much intelligence as you have. He too uses clean vessels; He does not use dirty vessels. Remember in the second chapter of John's gospel we read of the Lord Jesus making wine at a wedding. He had the servants drag out the old beat-up crocks (which the Jews used for purification) and had them filled with water. He took those old unattractive crocks and used them for His glory. And today God is looking for clean vessels to use — not beautiful, but clean.
7. Calvin, “ If any man shall cleanse himself from these If the reprobate are “vessels for dishonor,” they have that dishonor confined to themselves, but they do not disfigure the house, or bring any disgrace on the head of the family, who, while he has a variety of articles of furniture, appropriates each vessel to its proper use. But let us learn, by their example, to apply them to better and worthier uses; for in the reprobate, as in mirrors, we perceive how detestable is the condition of man, if he do not sincerely promote the glory of God. Such examples, therefore, afford to us good ground for exhortation to devote ourselves to a holy and blameless life.
There are many who misapply this passage, for the sake of proving that what Paul elsewhere (Romans 9:16) declares to belong “to God that sheweth mercy,” is actually within the power of “him that willeth and him that runneth.” This is exceedingly frivolous; for Paul does not here argue about the election of men, in order to shew what is the cause of it, as he does in the ninth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans (Romans 9); but only means that we are unlike wicked men, whom we perceive to have been born to their perdition. It is consequently foolish to draw an inference from these words, about the question whether it is in a man’s power to place himself in the number of the children of God, and to be the author of his own adoption. That is not the present question. Let this short warning suffice against those who bid a man cause himself to be predestinated; as if Paul enjoined men to do what they must have done before they were born, and even before the foundations of the world were laid. Others, who infer from these words that free-will is sufficient for preparing a man, that he may be fit and qualified for obeying God, do not at first sight appear to be so absurd as the former, yet there is no solidity in what they advance. The Apostle enjoins that men who desire to consecrate themselves to the Lord cleanse themselves from the pollution of wicked men; and throughout the Scriptures God gives the same injunction; for we find nothing here but what we have seen in many passages of Paul’s writings, and especially in the Second Epistle to the Corinthians,
“Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.” 178
Beyond all controversy, we are called to holiness. But the question about the calling and duty of Christians is totally different from the question about their power or ability. We do not deny that it is demanded from believers that they purify themselves; but elsewhere the Lord declares that this is their duty, while he promises by Ezekiel that he will send
“clean waters, that we may be cleansed.” (Ezekiel 36:25.)
Wherefore we ought to supplicate the Lord to cleanse us, instead of vainly trying our strength in this matter without his assistance. A vessel sanctified for honor means, set apart for honorable and magnificent purposes. In like manner, what is useful to the head of the family is put for that which is applied to agreeable purposes. He afterwards explains the metaphor, when he adds, that we must be prepared for every good work. Away with the wild language of fanatics, “I will contribute to the glory of God, as Pharaoh did; for is it not all one, provided that God be glorified?” For here God explicitly states in what manner he wishes us to serve him, that is, by a religious and holy life.
8. Meet for the Master’s use. This I would be, O Lord, clay though I am. Be Thou my potter. Make of me what Thou canst and by what process Thou wilt, only let me be what Thou canst use. Art thou able to drink the cup that I drink of, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? By thy grace I am able. Let me die with Thee; lie in the grave of obscurity and neglect; be counted as the off-scouring of all things; be broken on the edge of thy wheel; pass through the fire of thy hottest kiln — only let me be one whom Thou choosest and usest, constantly in thy hand; dipped down often into the brimming well, and back to thy dear lips, or to the lips of whom Thou lovest. The spirit is willing, my child, but the flesh is weak. I know it, I know it, Lord. But I desire to die to the weakness of the flesh, its ache, its tears, its faintness, that I may live in the Spirit. Is not thy grace sufficient? Is not thy strength perfected in weakness? Is not the residue of the Spirit with Thee, to give without measure? Heed not my weak cryings, but perfect that which concerneth me. Only make me a vessel that Thou canst use. He that would be great, let him be as he that doth serve. I understand thee, Master. Thou wouldst winnow my heart, and rid me of all that is proud and selfish. It is true that in the time past I have sought great things for myself: but that is gone now: I am but a weaned babe: my only desire is for Thee, for thy glory, for the magnifying of thy name: my one cry to be often, always, in thy hand. (Meyer, F. B. Our Daily Homily)
9. COLLEGE PRESS, “From what is a man to purge himself? Before we> answer this question, please attempt to understand the figure here' used. There are two types of vessels: one honorable — represented by those of silver and gold; the other dishonorable- — represented by those of wood and earth. All Christians are in one class or the other. We are either honorable or dishonorable; we are : either silver and gold or wood and earth. In the church at Ephesus
were Hymenaeus and Philetus and their followers, as well as Timothy and certain faithful men.' Timothy and those who were faithful to Christ were riot to be contaminated by certain filthy members; they must purge' themselves, or wash themselves, of them. In so doing they will become vessels unto honor: Set apart for the Master's use. On the other hand, if any one of the dishonorable Vessels chose to follow in the way of truth instead of error, they could, and -would become vessels of honor. By their own choice 'they set themselves aside as useable in the Lord's House. We realize how abrupt. is the Change in the figure and also how the analogy is ; pressed beyond logic, but we honestly feel this is the meaning of the inspired writer.
22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
1. Barnes, “Flee also youthful lusts - Such passions as youth are subject to. On the word “flee,” and
the pertinency of its use in such a connection, see the notes at 1Co_6:18. Paul felt that Timothy, then a young man, was subject to the same passions as other young men; and hence, his repeated cautions to him to avoid all those things, arising from his youth, which might be the occasion of scandal; compare the notes at 1Ti_4:12; 1Ti_5:2. It is to be remembered that this Epistle is applicable to other ministers, as well as to Timothy; and, to a young man in the ministry, no counsel could be more appropriate than to “flee from youthful lusts;” not to indulge for a moment in those corrupt passions to which youth are subject, but to cultivate the pure and sober virtues which become the ministerial office. But follow righteousness, ... - compare the notes at Heb_12:14. The general meaning here is, that he was to practice all that is good and virtuous. He was to practice righteousness, or justice and equity, in all his dealings with men; faith, or fidelity in his duties; charity, or love to all men (see the notes at 1 Cor. 13); peace, or harmony and concord with all others. What virtues could be more appropriate for a minister of the gospel? With them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart - That is, with all Christians, who are often characterized as those who call on the Lord; 1Co_1:2; compare Act_9:11. In all his social contact with them, Timothy was to manifest the virtues above recommended. But not with them alone. It would be incumbent on him to exhibit the same virtues in his intercourse with all.
2. Clarke, “Flee also youthful lusts - Not only all irregular and sensual desires, but pride,
ambition, and, above all, the lust of power, to which most men will sacrifice all other propensities, their ease, pleasure, health, etc. This is the most bewitching passion in the human heart. Both in Church and state it is ruinous; but particularly so in the former. Timothy was now between thirty and forty years of age, the very age in which ambition and the love of power most generally prevail. Carnal pleasures are the sins of youth; ambition and the love of power the sins of middle age; covetousness and carking cares the crimes of old age. Follow righteousness - Flee from sin, pursue goodness. Righteousness - whatever is just, holy, and innocent. Faith - fidelity both to God and man, improving that grace by which thy soul may be saved, and faithfully discharging the duties of thy office, that thou mayest save the souls of others. Charity - love to God and man. Peace among all the members of the Church, and as far as possible with all men; but especially among those who invoke the Lord out of a pure desire to glorify his name.
3. Gill, “Flee also youthful lusts,.... Meaning not lusts of uncleanness, lasciviousness, and filthiness; nor any of those follies and vanities which the youthful age usually lusts and desires after, to which Timothy was not inclined; but such lusts as are apt to prevail with young ministers of the Gospel, such as vain glory, popular applause, seeking to have the pre-eminence, contentions with, and contempt of others, and the like.
But follow righteousness; the righteousness of Christ; or doing that which is just between man and man, and as one man would choose another should do to him; or rather integrity and faithfulness, in the ministry of the word, without seeking honour from men: faith; both as a doctrine and grace; or veracity and truth in preaching the Gospel, striving for that, and not through ambition, and for the pre-eminence: charity; or love, to God and Christ, and to his people; without which all gifts and works are of no avail; and which will engage a man to bear much, and to hope and believe all things: peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart; peace is to be pursued and followed after with all men, as much as possible, but especially with the saints, the true worshippers of God; who draw nigh to him with true hearts, and call upon him in the sincerity of their souls: great care should be taken that peace be maintained with them; for they have great interest at the throne of grace; and God is nigh unto them, and hears their prayers. The Alexandrian copy reads, "with all that love the Lord".
4. Henry, “ Paul here exhorts Timothy to beware of youthful lusts, 2Ti_2:22. Though he was a holy
good man, very much mortified to the world, yet Paul thought it necessary to caution him against youthful lusts: “Flee them, take all possible care and pains to keep thyself pure from them.” The lusts of the flesh are youthful lusts, which young people must carefully watch against, and the best must not be secure. He prescribes an excellent remedy against youthful lusts: Follow righteousness, faith, charity peace, etc. Observe, 1. Youthful lusts are very dangerous, for which reason even hopeful young people should be warned of them, for they war against the soul, 1Pe_2:11. 2. The exciting of our graces will be the extinguishing of our corruptions; the more we follow that which is good the faster and the further we shall flee from that which is evil. Righteousness, and faith, and love, will be excellent antidotes against youthful lusts. Holy love will cure impure lust. - Follow peace with those that call on the Lord. The keeping up of the communion of saints will take us off from all fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness. See the character of Christians: they are such as call on the Lord Jesus Christ, out of a pure heart. Observe, Christ is to be prayed to. It is the character of all Christians that they call upon him; but our prayers to God and Christ are not acceptable nor successful except they come out of a pure heart.
5. Jamison, “Flee — There are many lusts from which our greatest safety is in flight (Gen_39:12).
Avoid occasions of sin. From the abstemious character of Timothy (1Ti_5:23) it is likely that not animal indulgences, but the impetuosity, rash self-confidence, hastiness, strife, and vainglory of young men (1Jo_2:14-16), are what he is here warned against: though the Spirit probably intended the warning to include both in its application to the Church in general. also — Greek, “But”; in contrast to “every good work,” 2Ti_2:21. youthful — Timothy was a youth (1Ti_4:12). righteousness — the opposite of “iniquity,” that is, unrighteousness (2Ti_2:19; compare 1Ti_6:11). peace, with, etc. — rather, put no comma, “peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (1Ti_1:5; Eph_6:5; Col_3:22). We are to love all men, but it is not possible to be at peace with all men, for this needs community of purpose and opinion; they alone who call on the Lord sincerely (as contrasted with the false teachers who had only the form of godliness, 2Ti_3:5, 2Ti_3:8; Tit_1:15, Tit_1:16) have this community [Theodoret]. (Rom_12:18).
6. COLLEGE PRESS, “In order to be of honorable use in the great House of God, Paul admonishes Timothy to run away from youthful desires, Just what are those desires and why are they called "youthful"? We must not confine them to the lust of the flesh or sins of sex, although we should not exclude such. Mark once again that Paul does not say to fight and oppose such desires; to do such is not to win by overcoming them, but to lose by being overcome by them, The victor's crown belongs to the one who runs away, This is psychologically sound, for when we turn to run away, we transfer our attention and interest and thus break the hold of our previous interest. However, mark well that we are to have something from which to run. Pride, anger and prejudice are as much a part of youthful lusts as passion, Paul has given almost the same advice to Timothy in his first letter. Read I Timothy 6:11. We discussed those virtues at length in the first letter. "Peace" is the only additional virtue here specified. Perhaps it is included because of the need for this quality in face of the strife certain persons were attempting to bring into the church, There are others in this pursuit after holiness of character.
They are those who call upon the Lord out of a pure heart. What a beautifully descriptive phrase. This is that profitable, valuable, pure company: those in whose hearts insincerity has no place. 7. Calvin, “Flee youthful desires. This is an inference from what goes before; for, after mentioning useless
questions, and having been led by this circumstance to censure Hymenaeus and Philetus, whose ambition and vain curiosity had led them away from the right faith, he again exhorts Timothy to keep at a distance from so dangerous a plague, and for this purpose he advises him to avoid “youthful desires.” By this term he does not mean either a propensity to uncleanness, or any of those licentious courses or sinful lusts in which young men frequently indulge, but any impetuous passions to which the excessive warmth of that age is prone. If some debate has arisen, young men more quickly grow warm, are more easily irritated, more frequently blunder through want of experience, and rush forward with greater confidence and rashness, than men of riper age. With good reason, therefore, does Paul advise Timothy, being a young man, to be strictly on his guard against the vices of youth, which otherwise might easily drive him to useless disputes. But follow righteousness He recommends the opposite feelings, that they may restrain his mind from breaking out into any youthful excesses; as if he had said, “These are the things to which thou oughtest to give thy whole attention, and thy whole exertions.” And first he mentions righteousness,that is, the right way of living; and afterwards he adds faith and love, in which it principally consists. Peace is closely connected with the present subject; for they who delight in the questions which he forbids must be contentious and fond of debating. With all that call on the Lord Here, by a figure of speech, in which a part is taken for the whole, “calling on God” is taken generally for worship, if it be not thought preferable to refer it to profession. But this is the chief part of the worship of God, and for that reason “calling on God” often signifies the whole of religion or the worship of God. But when he bids him seek “peace with all that call upon the Lord,” it is doubtful whether, on the one hand, he holds out all believers as an example, as if he had said, that he ought to pursue this in common with all the true worshippers of God, or, on the other hand, he enjoins Timothy to cultivate peace with them. The latter meaning appears to be more suitable.
8. SPURGEO , “Run away from them; it is no use contending with them. Fight with the devil. Resist the devil, and make him flee, but never fight with the flesh. Run away from that. The only way to avoid the lust of the flesh is to keep out of its way. If you subject yourself to carnal temptations and fleshly lusts, remember it is almost certain that you will be overcome by them. “Flee youthful lusts”, and as you must keep going and have something after which to follow. What would you think of a man who went as near as he could to burning his house down, just to test how much fire it would stand? Or of one who cut himself with a knife to see how deep he could go without mortally wounding himself? Or of another who experimented as to how large a quantity of poison he could take? These are extreme follies, but not so great as that of a man who tries to see how much sin he may indulge in and yet be saved. I pray you, do not attempt such perilous experiments.
Sins of the flesh are never to be reasoned or parleyed with. There is no more reasoning with them than with the winds. Under-standing is nonplused, for lust, like a hurricane of sand, blinds the eyes. We must fly. It is true valor in such a case to turn the back.
23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.
1. Barnes, “But foolish and unlearned questions avoid; - see the notes at 2Ti_2:16; compare the notes at 1Ti_1:4, 1Ti_1:6; 1Ti_4:7. The word “unlearned,” here, means “trifling; that which does not tend to edification; stupid.” The Greeks and the Hebrews were greatly given to controversies of various kinds, and many of the questions discussed pertained to points which could not be settled, or which, if settled, were of no importance. Such has been the character of no small part of the disputes which have agitated the world. Paul correctly says that the only effect of such disputes is to engender harsh contention. Points of real importance can be discussed with no injury to the temper; but people cannot safely dispute about trifles.
2. COLLEGE PRESS, “Such advice as given in vs. 23 must have been very much needed, for it was given twice before. Cf. I Tim. 1:4 and 4:7; also II Tim. 2:16. Do not dignify such foolish and ignorant questions with your attention. Avoid them in any way you can that will not bring reproach upon the cause of Christ. Titus was given the same admonition. Cf. Titus 3:9. "Such questionings, while having no useful end, tend to mere empty controversy, arousing the worst passions and breeding bitter enmities." (Harvey) 3. Gill, “But foolish and unlearned questions avoid,.... Such as have no solid wisdom in them, and are foreign from the Gospel, the wisdom of God in a mystery, and are not useful and unedifying; such ought to be avoided, publicly and privately; they should not be started in the public ministry, nor attended to in private conversation; as being unworthy of the notice of a minister of the Gospel wise and learned, and useless to the church, and to his hearers.
Knowing that they do gender strife; about words, and contentions, which break the peace of churches, and hinder the profit of souls, and the progress of the Gospel.
4. Henry, “He cautions him against contention, and, to prevent this (2Ti_2:23), cautions him against foolish and unlearned questions, that tend to no benefit, strifes of words. Those who advanced them, and doted upon them, thought themselves wise and learned; but Paul calls them foolish and unlearned. The mischief of these is that they gender strifes, that they breed debates and quarrels
among Christians and ministers. It is very remarkable how often, and with what seriousness, the apostle cautions Timothy against disputes in religion, which surely was not without some such design as this, to show that religion consists more in believing and practising what God requires than in subtle disputes
5. Jamison, “unlearned — Greek, “undisciplined”; not tending to promote the discipline of faith and
morals (Pro_5:23). “Uninstructive”; in contrast with “instructing” (2Ti_2:25), and “wise unto salvation” (2Ti_3:15). avoid — “decline.”
6. K&D, “ 7. Calvin, “But avoid foolish and uninstructive questions He calls them foolish, because they
are uninstructive; that is, they contribute nothing to godliness, whatever show of acuteness they may hold out. When we are wise in a useful manner, then alone are we truly wise. This ought to be carefully observed; for we see what foolish admiration the world entertains for silly trifles, and how eagerly it runs after them. That an ambition to please may not urge us to seek the favor of men by such display, let us always remember this remarkable testimony of Paul, that questions, which are held in high estimation, are nevertheless foolish, because they are unprofitable. Knowing that they beget quarrels Next, he expresses the evil which they commonly produce. And here he says nothing else than what we experience every day, that they give occasion for jangling and debates. And yet the greater part of men, after having received so many instructions, do not at all profit by them.
24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
1. Barnes, “And the servant of the Lord - Referring here primarily to the Christian minister, but
applicable to all Christians; for all profess to be the servants of the Lord. Must not strive - He may calmly inquire after truth; he may discuss points of morals, or theology, if he will do it with a proper spirit; he may “contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints” Jud_1:3; but he may not do that which is here mentioned as strife. The Greek word - µάχεσθαι machesthai - commonly denotes, “to fight, to make war, to contend.” In Joh_6:52; Act_7:26; 2Ti_2:24;, it is rendered “strove,” and “strive;” in Jam_4:2, “fight.” It is not elsewhere used in the New Testament. The meaning is, that the servant of Christ should be a man of peace. He should not indulge in the feelings which commonly give rise to contention, and which commonly characterize it. He should not struggle for mere victory, even when endeavoring to maintain truth; but should do this, in all cases, with a kind spirit, and a mild temper; with entire candor; with nothing designed to provoke and irritate an adversary; and so that, whatever may be the result of the discussion, “the bond of peace” may, if possible, be preserved; compare the notes at Rom_12:18. But be gentle unto all men; - see the notes at 1Th_2:7. The word rendered “gentle,” does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. It means that the Christian minister is to be meek and mild toward all, not disputatious and quarrelsome. Apt to teach; - see the notes at 1Ti_3:2.
Patient - Margin, “forbearing.” The Greek word here used does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It means, patient under evils and injuries. Robinson, Lexicon. Compare the Eph_4:2 note; Col_3:13 note.
2. COLLEGE PRESS, “Christ's bondservant must not become embroiled in strife over words, In contrast, he should have the following four qualities : ( 1 ) Gentle toward all. He must be possessed of that heavenly judgment or wisdom, which is "first pure, then gentle, easy to bs entreated" (Jas, 3:17). This does not mean weak or flabby. He is approachable and reasonable with all who come to him, (2) Apt to teach, i.e., having the ability and desire to do so. Instruction is a great part of his work for Christ. If he does not have a sincere, eager desire to communicate the message, he will not do much for Christ. (3) Forbearing. "Let your forbearance be known unto all men, the Lord is at hand" (Phil. 4:5). Unless we are aware of the presence of the Lord, we will not be very forbearing, especially to those who oppose us. This is such a needed quality; it indicates unselfishness and understanding. The forbearance of God is intended to lead man to repentance (Rom. 2:3,4), ans so should this quality enable us to assist God in this accomplishment. 3. Gill, “ And the servant of the Lord must not strive,.... By "the servant of the Lord" is not meant any believer in common, but a minister of the word, as Timothy was; such an one ought not to strive about words to no profit, about mere words, and in a litigious, quarrelsome manner, and for mastery and not truth; though he may, and ought to strive for the faith of the Gospel; this is praiseworthy in him:
but be gentle unto all men; not only to troubled minds, and wounded consciences, by supplying them with the precious promises and truths of the Gospel; and to backsliders, by restoring them in a spirit of meekness; but even to those who contradict the truth, and themselves, by mild and kind instructions. Apt to teach, showing a willingness to instruct the ignorant and obstinate, and making use of abilities given for that purpose, notwithstanding all discouragements; for it follows, patient, or "bearing evil"; not only the infirmities of weak brethren in the church, and the reproaches and persecutions of profane men in the world; but also the contradictions and oppositions of the adversaries of truth, so as not to be irritated and provoked, or to be discouraged, and desist from the defence of the Gospel.
4. Henry, “The servant of the Lord must not strive, 2Ti_2:24. Nothing worse becomes the servant of
the Lord Jesus, who himself did not strive nor cry (Mat_12:19), but was a pattern of meekness, and mildness, and gentleness to all, than strife and contention. The servant of the Lord must be gentle to all men, and thereby show that he is himself subject to the commanding power of that holy religion which he is employed in preaching and propagating. - Apt to teach. Those are unapt to teach who are apt to strive, and are fierce and froward.
5. Jamison, “not strive — “The servant of the Lord” must imitate his master in not striving
contentiously, though uncompromising in earnestly contending for the faith (Jud_1:3; Mat_12:19). gentle unto all men — “patient” (Greek, “patient in bearing wrongs”) in respect to adversaries. He is to be gentle so that he may occasion no evils; patient so that he may endure evils. apt to teach — implying not only solid teaching and ease in teaching, but patience and assiduity in it [Bengel].
6. MCGEE, “Finally, a believer is like a servant, and he is to be gentle to all men. It may seem like we have a contradiction here. The soldier was to fight, but the servant is not to fight. Is this a contradiction? o, it is a paradox. When you are standing for the truth, you are to be definite and let people know where you stand. Don't be a coward! Someone has put it this way, "It is said that silence is golden, but sometimes it is just yellow!" My friend, stand for the truth. However — "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves." If you are trying to win a person to Christ, don't argue with him. If he disagrees with you, let him disagree with you. Just keep on giving him the Word of God.
7. Calvin, “ But the servant of the Lord must not fight Paul’s argument is to this effect: “The servant of God must stand aloof from contentions; but foolish questions are contentions; therefore whoever desires to be a ‘servant of God,’ and to be accounted such, ought to shun them.” And if superfluous questions ought to be avoided on this single ground, that it is unseemly for a servant of God to fight, how impudently do they act, who have the open effrontery of claiming applause for raising incessant controversies? Let the theology of the Papists now come forth; what else will be found in it than the art of disputing and fighting? The more progress any man has made in it, the more unfit will he be for serving, Christ. But gentle towards all, 179 qualified for teaching When he bids the servant of Christ be “gentle,” he demands a virtue which is opposite to the disease of contentions. To the same purpose is what immediately follows, that he be διδακτικός, “qualified for teaching.” There will be no room for instruction, if he have not moderation and some equability of temper. What limit will be observed by a teacher, when he is warmed for fighting? The better a man is qualified for teaching, the more earnestly does he keep aloof from quarrels and disputes. Patient to the bad 180 The importunity of some men may sometimes produce either irritation or weariness; and for that reason he adds, “bearing with them,” at the same time pointing out the reason why it is necessary; namely, because a godly teacher ought even to try whether it be possible for him to bring back to the right path obstinate and rebellious persons, which cannot be done without the exercise of gentleness.
8. IT IS not easy to cultivate this fruit of the Spirit because it has many counterfeits. Some people are naturally easy-going, devoid of energy and ambition, at heart cowardly, or in spirit mean. Many of us are characterized by a moral weakness and decrepitude that make it easy for us to yield rather than contest in the physical or intellectual arena. But in gentleness there must be the consciousness of a considerable reserve of force. The gentleness of God is combined with omnipotence. The movements of creation, in which there is neither voice nor language, prove the infinite forces which are at work. When a boy is trying to lift or carry a heavy beam, as likely as not there will be a great crash when he reaches the end of his task, and puts it on the ground. His strength is so nearly exhausted that he is only too glad to get rid of his burden, anyhow, and at any cost. But if a strong man shoulders the same burden, and carries it for the same distance, he puts it down gently, because he has not taxed his strength and has plenty left. It is the prerogative of great strength to be gentle. Always remember that you are linked with the Infinite God, and that all things are possible to you. There must also be infinite pity. We must be tolerant and pitiful to those who abuse us, or have been embittered by disappointment, or have been ill-used. It must be our aim to make allowances for such, and always to be sweetly reasonable towards any brusqueness, rudeness and bad manners of their behaviour. Let us be willing to admit that much is due to congenital moroseness. Therefore, we bear gently with the erring, and with those who are out of the way, because we also are encompassed with infirmity. It is necessary also that there should be a deep humility. Thomas a Kempis says: "If thou wilt be borne with, bear also with another. Endeavour to be patient in bearing with the defects and infirmities of others, what sort soever they be: for that thyself also hast many failings which must be borne by others." Our resentment against others should be always tempered by our remembrance of our own sins. So shall we be God's own gentlefolk. PRAYER - O God, our behaviour has not manifested all the fruits of the Spirit, or been full of the graciousness and gentleness of Christ. Forgive us, and enable us so to live that His beauty may be on our faces, the tone of His voice in our speech, the gentleness of His tread in our steps, the unselfishness of His deeds in our hands. AME . (F B Meyer. Our Daily Walk)
25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,
1. Barnes, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves - That is, those who
embrace error, and array themselves against the truth. We are not to become angry with such persons, and denounce them at once as heretics. We are not to hold them up to public reproach and scorn; but
we are to set about the business of patiently “instructing them.” Their grand difficulty, it is supposed in this direction, is, that they are ignorant of the truth. Our business with them is, “calmly to show them what the truth is.” If they are angry, we are not to be. If they oppose the truth, we are still calmly to state it to them. If they are slow to see it, we are not to become weary or impatient. Nor, if they do not embrace it at all, are we to become angry with them, and denounce them. We may pity them, but we need not use hard words. This is the apostolic precept about the way of treating those who are in error; and can any one fail to see its beauty and propriety? Let it be remembered, also, that this is not only beautiful and proper in itself; it is the wiseST course, if we would bring others over to our opinions. You are not likely to convince a man that you are right, and that he is wrong, if you first make him angry; nor are you very likely to do it, if you enter into harsh contention. You then put him on his guard; you make him a party, and, from self-respect, or pride, or anger, he will endeavor to defend his own opinions, and will not yield to yours. “Meekness” and “gentleness” are the very best things, if you wish to convince another that he is wrong. With his heart first, and then modestly and kindly show him “what the truth is,” in as few words, and with as unassuming a spirit, as possible, “and you have him.” If God peradventure will give them repentance, ... - Give them such a view of the error which they have embraced, and such regret for having embraced it, that they shall be willing to admit the truth. After all our care in teaching others the truth, our only dependence is on God for its success. We cannot be absolutely certain that they will see their error; we cannot rely certainly on any power which argument will have; we can only hope that God may show them their error, and enable them to see and embrace the truth; compare Act_11:18. The word rendered “peradventure,” here - µήποτε mēpote means, usually, “not even, never;” and then, “that never, lest ever” - the same as “lest perhaps.” It is translated “lest at any time,” Mat_4:6; Mat_5:25; Mat_13:15; Mar_4:12; Luk_21:34; “lest,” Matt, Luk_7:6; Luk_13:29; Luk_15:32; “et al.: lest haply,” Luk_14:12; Act_5:39. It does not imply that there was any CHance about what is said, but rather that there was uncertainty in the mind of the speaker, and that there was need of caution LesT something should occur; or, that anything was done, or should be done, to prevent something from happening. It is not used elsewhere in the New Testament in the sense which our translators, and all the critics, so far as I have examined, give to it here - as implying A hope that God would give them repentance, etc. But I may be permitted to suggest another interpretation, which will accord with the uniform meaning of the word in the New Testament, and which will refer the matter to those who had embraced the error, and not to God. It is this: “In meekness instructing ‘those that oppose themselves’ (ᅊντιδιατιθεµένους antidiatithemenous) ‘lest’ - µήποτε mēpote - God should give them repentance, and they should recover themselves out of the snare of the devil,” etc. That is, they put themselves in this posture of opposition so that they shall not be brought to repentance, and recover themselves. They do it with a precautionary view that they may not be thus brought to repentance, and be recovered to God. They take this position of opposition to the truth, intending not to be converted; and this is the reason why they are not converted.
2. Clarke, “Those that oppose - Αντιδιατιθεµενους. This seems to refer to those who opposed the
apostle’s authority; and hence the propriety of the allusion to the rebellion of Korah and his company. See observations at the end of the chapter. If God peradventure - He was to use every means which he had reason to believe God might bless; and the apostle intimates that, bad as they were, they were not out of the reach of God’s mercy.
3. Gill, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves,.... To the truth; resist it and
deny it; or contradict some other tenets and principles of theirs, or the Scriptures, which they
themselves allowed to be the word of God, and the rule of faith and practice, and so are self-convinced and self-condemned. These are to be instructed, being ignorant, and in a tender and gentle manner, though very perverse and obstinate. If God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth: repentance here designs a repentance of errors in principle, a change of mind upon conviction, and such as issues in a free and ingenuous confession, and acknowledgment of the truth before opposed; and such a repentance is the gift of God: it is he that opens the eyes of the understanding, and works conviction in the mind, and leads into all truth, as it is in Jesus; and induces men to repent of their errors, confess their mistakes, and own the truth; even as repentance of evil practices is not owing to the power of men, nor to the bare influence of means, but to the efficacious grace of God, it being a grant from him. And though this is not certain, that God will give repentance to such contradictors and blasphemers of his Gospel; yet as it is his will, that all his chosen ones should come to repentance, and that some of all sorts should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth; and seeing these things have been brought about under and by the ministry of the word, it is an encouragement to the ministers of the Gospel to continue their instructions in the manner here directed.
4. Henry, “Ministers must be patient, bearing with evil, and in meekness instructing (2Ti_2:25) not only those who subject themselves, but those who oppose themselves. Observe, 1. Those who oppose themselves to the truth are to be instructed; for instruction is the scripture-method of dealing with the erroneous, which is more likely to convince them of their errors than fire and faggot: he does not bid us kill their bodies, under pretence of saving their souls. 2. Such as oppose themselves are to be instructed in meekness, for our Lord is meek and lowly (Mat_11:29), and this agrees well with the character of the servant of the Lord (2Ti_2:24): He must not strive, but be gentle to all men, apt to teach, patient. This is the way to convey truth in its light and power, and to overcome evil with good, Rom_12:21. 3. That which ministers must have in their eyes, in instructing those who oppose themselves, must be their recovery: If God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. Observe, (1.) Repentance is God's gift. (2.) It is a gift with a peradventure in the case of those who oppose themselves; and therefore, though we are not to despair of the grace of God, yet we must take heed of presuming upon it. To the acknowledging of the truth. (3.) The same God who gives us the discovery of the truth does by his grace bring us to the acknowledging of it, otherwise our hearts would continue in rebellion against it, for we are to confess with our mouths as well as to believe with our hearts, Rom_10:9, Rom_10:10. And thus sinners recover themselves out of the snare of the devil; see here, 5. Jamison, “instructing — Greek, “disciplining,” instructing with correction, which those who deal
in “uninstructive” or “undisciplined questions” need (see on 2Ti_2:23; see on 1Ti_1:20). those that oppose themselves — Greek, “oppositely affected”; those of a different opinion. if ... peradventure — Greek, “if at any time.” repentance — which they need as antecedent to the full knowledge (so the Greek for ‘acknowledgment’) of the truth” (1Ti_2:4), their minds being corrupted (2Ti_3:8), and their lives immoral. The cause of the spiritual ignorance which prompts such “questions” is moral, having its seat in the will, not in the intellect (Joh_7:17). Therefore repentance is their first need. That, not man, but God alone can “give” (Act_5:31).
6. COLLEGE PRESS, “"in meekness correcting them that oppose themselves." A man in sin is actually fighting himself. He is opposing all that is for his own best interests. But to cause him to see this
is no easy task. It requires that quality of strength under control, defined as "meekness." It is such a comfort and strength to know that the man in sin or error is not himself; he is not living and enjoying life like God wants him to, and like he wants to himself. The man of God must be able to approach such a one with the truth that will give the errorist a vision of reality; this requires meekness. The hesitancy in the expression, "if peradventure God may give them repentance unto the knowledge of the truth," reminds us immediately of Simon, the sorcerer, who was also taken captive by Satan (Acts 8:18-24). There is never any hesitancy on the part of God, for He is always ready to forgive us. But we are not always willing to admit our captivity. The truth comes from God: through His servant. If we want to change our minds about our belief and conduct, then we shall have been given from God the gracious gift of repentance. Somehow,' error and sin becomes a part of: man, and to change requires the power of God. ..".7. Calvin, “ If sometime God grant to them repentance This expression, “If sometime,” or “If perhaps,” points out the difficulty of the case, as being nearly desperate or beyond hope. Paul therefore means that even towards the most unworthy we must exercise meekness; and although at first there be no appearance of having gained advantage, still we must make the attempt. For the same reason he mentions that “God will grant it.” Since the conversion of a man is in the hand of God, who knows whether they who today appear to be unteachable shall be suddenly changed by the power of God, into other men? Thus, whoever shall consider that repentance is the gift and work of God, will cherish more earnest hope, and, encouraged by this confidence, will bestow more toil and exertion for the instruction of rebels. We should view it thus, that our duty is, to be employed in sowing and watering, and, while we do this, we must look for the increase from God. (1 Corinthians 3:6.) Our labors and exertions are thus of no advantage in themselves; and yet, through the grace of God, they are not fruitless.
To the knowledge of the truth We may learn from this what is the actual repentance of those who for a time were disobedient to God; for Paul declares that it begins with “the knowledge of the truth.” By this he means that the understanding of man is blinded, so long as it stands out fiercely against God and his doctrine.
26and that they will come to their senses and escape from
the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
1. Barnes, “And that they may recover themselves - Margin, “awake.” The word which is
rendered “recover” in the text, and “awake” in the margin - ᅊνανήψωσιν ananēpsōsin - occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It properly means, to become sober again, as from inebriation; to awake from a deep sleep, and then, to come to a right mind, as one does who is aroused from a state of inebriety, or from sleep. The representation in this part of the verse implies that, while under the influence of error, they were like a man intoxicated, or like one in deep slumber. From this state they were to be roused as one is from sleep, or as a man is recovered from the stupor and dullness of intoxication. Out of the snare of the devil - The snare which the devil has spread for them, and in which they have become entangled. There is a little confusion of metaphor here, since, in the first part of the verse, they are represented as asleep, or intoxicated; and, here, as taken in a snare. Yet the general idea is clear. In one part of the verse, the influence of error is represented as producing sleep, or stupor; in the other, as being taken in a snare, or net; and, in both, the idea is, that an effort was to be made that they might be rescued from this perilous condition. Who are taken captive by him at his will - Margin, “alive.” The Greek word means, properly, to take alive; and then, to take captive, to win over Luk_5:10; and then, to ensnare, or seduce. Here it means that they had been ensnared by the arts of Satan “unto (εᅶς eis) his will;” that is, they were so influenced by him, that they complied with his will. Another interpretation of this passage should be mentioned here, by which it is proposed to avoid the incongruousness of the metaphor of “awaking” one from a “snare.” It is adopted by Doddridge, and is suggested also by Burder, as quoted by Rosenmuller, “A. u. n. Morgenland.” According to this, the reference is to an artifice of fowlers, to scatter seeds impregnated with some intoxicating drugs, intended to lay birds asleep, that they may draw the snare over them more securely. There can be no doubt that such arts were practiced, and it is possible that Paul may have alluded to it. Whatever is the allusion, the general idea is clear. It is an affecting representation of those who have fallen into error. They are in a deep slumber. They are as if under the fatal influence of some stupefying potion. They are like birds taken alive in this state, and at the mercy of the fowler. They will remain in this condition, unless they shall be roused by the mercy of God; and it is the business of the ministers of religion to carry to them that gospel call, which God is accustomed to bless in showing them their danger. That message should be continually sounded in the ears of the sinner, with the prayer and the hope that God will make it the means of arousing him to seek his salvation.
2. Clarke, “And that they may recover themselves - The construction of this verse is extremely difficult, though the sense given by our translation is plain enough. I shall set down the original, and the principal English translations: Και ανανηψωσιν εκ της του διαβολου παγιδος, εζωγρηµενοι ᆓπ’ αυτου εις εκεινου θεληµα. And thei rise agein fro snaaris of the debyl, of whome thei ben holde captyffis at his wille. - Wiclif. First translation into English, 1378. And to turne agayne from the snare of devell, which are holden in prison of him at his will. Coverdale. First printed English Bible, 1535.
That they may come to themselves agayne out of the snare of the devyll, which are now taken of him at hys will. - Edward VIth’s Bible, by Becke, 1549. And they may recover their senses to perform his will, after being rescued alive by the servant of the Lord out of the snare of the devil. - Wakefield; who refers αυτου, him, to the servant of the Lord, 2Ti_2:24. And being caught alive by him out of the snare of the devil, they may awake to do his will. Macknight; who remarks that αυτου, the relative, means the servant of the Lord; and εκεινου, the demonstrative, refers to God, mentioned 2Ti_2:15. I leave these different translations with the reader. I Have referred, in the preceding notes, to inscriptions which appear on the buildings and coins of the Asiatics; such inscriptions are, in general, very curious, and carry with them a considerable show of piety to God, in the acknowledgment of his providence and mercy. I shall quote one merely as a curiosity, without supposing it to be immediately applicable to the illustration of the text. There is extant a gold circular coin of the Great Mogul Shah Jehan, struck at Delhi, A. H. 1062, a.d. 1651, five inches and a half in diameter; on each side of this coin is a square, the angles of which touch the periphery; within this square, and in the segments, there are the following inscriptions: 1. Within the square, on one side, The bright star of religion, Mohammed (a second Sahib Kiran) Shah Jehan, the victorious emperor. 2. In the segment on the upper side of the square, The impression upon this coin of 200 mohurs, was struck through the favor of God. 3. On the lateral segment to the left, By the second Sahib Kiran, Shah Jehan, the defender of the faith. 4. On the bottom segment, May the golden countenance from the sculpture of this coin enlighten the world. 5. On the lateral segment to the right, As long as the splendid face of the moon is illuminated by the rays of the sun! 1. On the reverse, within the square, There is no god but God; and Mohammed is the prophet of God. Struck in the capital of Shah Jehanabad, A. H. 1062. 2. On the top of the square, Religion was illuminated by the truth of Abu Beker. 3. On the left hand compartment, The faith was strengthened by the justice of Omar. 4. On the bottom compartment, Piety was refreshed by the modesty and mildness of Othman. 5. On the right hand compartment, The world was enlightened by the learning of Aly.
On these inscriptions it may be just necessary to observe that Abu Beker, Omar, Othman, and Aly, were the four khalifs who succeeded Mohammed. Abu Beker was the father of Ayesha, one of Mohammed’s wives. Othman was son-in-law of Mohammed, having married his two daughters, Rakiah, and Omal-Calthoom. And Aly, son of Abi Taleb, Mohammed’s uncle, was also one of the sonsin-law of Mohammed, having married Fatima, the daughter of his favourite wife, Ayesha. The Ottoman empire was not so called from Othman, the third khalif, but from Ottoman, the successful chief, who conquered a small part of the Grecian empire in Asia, and thus laid the foundation for the Turkish. Grotius and others have supposed that the apostle alludes to the custom of putting an inscription on the foundation stone of a city or other building, giving an account of the time in which it was founded, built, etc. Sometimes engraved stones were placed over the principal gates of cities and fortresses, particularly in the east, specifying the date of erection, repairs, etc., and containing some religious sentiment or verse from the Koran. But I do not think it likely that the apostle refers to any thing of this kind. There appears to be an allusion here to the rebellion of Korah and his company against the authority of Moses, Num_16:5, where, it is said: The Lord will show who are his: here the words of the Septuagint are nearly the same that the apostle uses in this verse, εγνω ᆇ Θεος τους οντας αᆓτου· God knoweth or approveth of them that are his. And the words in Num_16:26, Depart from the tents of these wicked men, are similar to those of the apostle, Let every one that nameth the name of the Lord depart from iniquity. We may therefore take it for granted that those false teachers, the chief of whom were Hymeneus and Philetus, had risen up against the authority of St. Paul; and he, in effect, informs Timothy here that God will deal with them as he did with Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and their company. And as the true Israelites were to separate themselves from the tents of those wicked men, so he and the believers at Ephesus were to hold no sort of communion with those workers of iniquity. This subject he farther illustrates by a contract between two parties, each of which sets his seal to the instrument, the seal bearing the motto peculiar to the party. This I conceive to be the meaning; but the common mode of interpretation will, it is probable, be most commonly followed.
3. Gill, “And that they may recover themselves,.... Or "awake", and come to themselves, and
appear to be sober, and in their right mind: the metaphor is taken from drunken men, who are overcharged, and are not in their senses, and being stupified fall asleep; and like these are persons intoxicated with errors and heresies, who when their minds are enlightened, and they are convinced of their evil tenets, repent of them, come to themselves, and acknowledge the truth, and so escape out of the snare of the devil; for as carnal lusts and pleasures are the snares and nets, in which Satan, who may be compared to a fowler, catches some; so errors and heresies are those with which he ensnares others: "who are taken captive", or "alive", by him at his will; such are taken in his nets and snares, as creatures are taken alive, by fowlers, and huntsmen; and they are held fast, and become his captives, and his slaves, and do his will, being led by him to whatsoever he pleases; he works powerfully in them, and they readily comply with him, and obey his lusts. Though some understand this, not of the will of the devil, but of the will of God; and that the sense is, that such persons are held captive by Satan, as long as it is the pleasure of God, and no longer; when the prey is taken from the mighty, and the lawful captive is delivered; and so it is an encouragement to the ministers of the word to go on in instructing, hoping this may be the case. Others connect this phrase, "to his will" or "according to his will", as they differently render it, with the word, "recover": and then the meaning is, that such, repenting of their errors, might escape out of the snare of Satan, in which they were taken alive; that so they might do the will of God, by professing and holding fast his truths; or that their repentance, recovery, and escape out of Satan's snare and captivity, are according to the will of God, and his sovereign good pleasure.
4. Henry, “The misery of sinners: they are in the snare of the devil, and are led captive by him at his
will, 2Ti_2:26. They are slaves to the worst of task-masters; he is the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience, Eph_2:2. They are taken in a snare, and in the worst snare, because it is the devil's; they are as fishes that are taken in n evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare. Further, They are under Ham's curse (a servant of servants shall he be, Gen_9:25), they are slaves to him who is but a slave and vassal. [2.] The happiness of those who repent: they recover themselves out of this snare, as a bird out of the snare of the fowler; the snare is broken and they have escaped; and the greater the danger the greater the deliverance. When sinners repent, those who before were led captive by the devil at his will come to be led into the glorious liberty of the children of God, and have their wills melted into the will of the Lord Jesus. The good Lord recover us all out of the snare.
5. Jamison, “recover themselves — Greek, “awake to soberness,” namely from the spiritual
intoxication whereby they have fallen into the snare of the devil. the snare — (Eph_6:11, “the wiles of the devil”: 1Ti_3:7; 1Ti_6:9). taken captive by him at his will — so as to follow the will of “THAT” (the Greek emphatically marks Satan thus) foe. However, different Greek pronouns stand for “him” and “his”; and the Greek for “taken captive” means not “captured for destruction,” but “for being saved alive,” as in Luk_5:10, “Thou shalt catch men to save them unto life”; also there is no article before the Greek participle, which the English Version “who are taken captive,” would require. Therefore, translate, “That they may awake ... taken as saved (and willing) captives by him (the servant of the Lord, 2Ti_2:24), so as to follow the will of HIM (the Lord, 2Ti_2:24, or “God,” 2Ti_2:25).” There are here two evils, the “snare” and sleep, from which they are delivered: and two goods to which they are translated, awaking and deliverance. Instead of Satan’s thrall comes the free and willing captivity of obedience to Christ (2Co_10:5). It is God who goes before, giving repentance (2Ti_2:25); then the work of His servant following is sure to be crowned with success, leading the convert henceforth to “live to the will of God” (Act_22:14; 1Pe_4:2).
6. COLLEGE PRESS, “God has provided the prescription, but you must fill it and take the medicine. It is possible (and surely desirable) to recover ourselves from the captivity of Satan. Timothy was going to have a joyful experience of helping some to do this very thing. The recovery is effected by a "return to soberness,,'? or by "coming to your, senses." When we can convince ourselves and others that sin, and error do not make sense; that they do not match reality, we are on the road put. It is sad to be in bondage to Satan, but it is worse not. to know it. , Paul was discussing certain church members who had been "captured alive" by the Enemy. Satan does not want, nor does he have, any dead captives. We follow Satan to become his slaves. The deep sense of tragedy and futility, which has characterized man for ages, is but an indication that he has been working a long time in the slave camp of
the devil. Man's freedom to choose is in choosing who will be his master. We understand the little phrase, "having been taken captive by him unto his will," poses a. problem as to whom the last pronoun, "he," refers. Is, this the devil or God? We believe the easiest solution is to refer it to Satan; the context seems to support this understanding. 7. Calvin, “And deliverance from the snare of the devil Illumination is followed by deliverance from the
bondage of the devil; for unbelievers are so intoxicated by Satan, that, being asleep, they do not perceive their distresses. On the other hand, when the Lord shines upon us by the light of his truth, he wakens us out of that deadly sleep, breaks asunder the snares by which we were bound, and, having removed all obstacles, trains us to obedience to him. By whom they are held captive A truly shocking condition, when the devil has so great power over us, that he drags us, as captive slaves, here and there at his pleasure. Yet such is the condition of all those whom the pride of their heart draws away from subjection to God. And this tyrannical dominion of Satan we see plainly, every day, in the reprobate; for they would not rush with such fury and with brutal violence into every kind of base and disgraceful crimes, if they were not drawn by the unseen power of Satan. That is what we saw at Ephesians 2:2, 181 that, Satan exerts his energy in unbelievers. Such examples admonish us to keep ourselves carefully under the yoke of Christ, and to yield ourselves to be governed by his Holy Spirit. And yet a captivity of this nature does not excuse wicked men, so that they do not sin, because it is by the instigation of Satan that they sin; for, although their being carried along so resistlessly to that which is evil proceeds from the dominion of Satan, yet they do nothing by constraint, but are inclined with their whole heart to that to which Satan drives them. The result is, that their captivity is voluntary.
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