2 Timothy 1:14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
In 2 Timothy One we see the Power of God in view.
(1) Verse 1: The promise of God
(2) Verse 6: The gift of God
(3) Verse 7: God has given us the spirit of power
(4) Verse 8: Be a partaker of the Gospel according to the power of God.
(5) Verse 9: We have a holy calling according to His purpose and grace
(6) Verse 10: He has abolished death
(7) Verse 11: He appoints us
(8) Verse 12: He is able to keep
Our salvation, our ministry, our service and our discipleship is all from a position of God’s Power at work in us!
In 2 Timothy Two we have our responsibilities as disciples in view.
Here Paul is placing demands upon Timothy as if it was left up to him to minister the Gospel. The two chapters seem to be against each other, for if God is the Doer, how could Timothy, or you or I for that matter, be the Doer?
When we are assembled in Heaven, not one of us will sing a song containing the words, “Glory be to the Father, to the Son, to the Holy Spirit and to me!”
I think our eyes will be opened up to see all that the Grace of our Lord has accomplished. But, we must accept the words of Paul as to our commitment and accountability.
When you are given a priceless deposit as a trust, you have a tremendous and serious responsibility to take care of that deposit.
We have each been entrusted with the Word of truth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we must accept that one day we will be held accountable for how we have handled that trust.
The truth is that while Christ has provided the gospel –(vs 8) "Remember Jesus Christ ..." (2:8) -- He has also committed to us a responsibility for the gospel, a ministry that involves more than a casual commitment. (v. 10) "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sake, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus ..."
The eternal plans of God are brought to pass through the sacrificial labors of His servants. It is the work of God to bring the elect to eternal salvation and glory (1:9) but Paul claimed that he was working and travailing in order that the elect might obtain salvation.
Six Pictures of a Disciple
(1) A Soldier (vv.3-4)
(2) An Athlete (v.5)
(3) A Farmer (v.6)
(4) A Workman (v.15)
(5) A Vessel (v.21)
(6) A Servant (v.24).
We already looked at the first three, but I want to point out something which will relate to what we talk about today.
1. The Good Soldier (vv.3-4)
a. The soldier is looks upward.
b. His whole desire is "to please him who has enrolled him".
We need the upward look. We need always to be seeking to please Him who has called us to be His soldiers.
Pleasing our Savior in all we do is the picture of the soldier.
2. The Athlete Contending in the Games (v.5)
a. The athlete looks inward
i. To have himself in the peak of fitness,
ii. In full control of his powers,
iii. In complete readiness for the race
b. Self-discipline governed by obedience
Paul goes on to say that he must contend lawfully if he is to be crowned so, while the athlete looks inward, he must also be governed by obedience to the rules.
Self-discipline expressed in obedience is the picture of the athlete.
3. The Farmer (v.6)
a. His look is outward (upon the fields)
i. the field is the world, which needs the seed of the Word of God.
ii. Requires work, mud on your boots, back ache, rough hands, dirt under your nails.
iii. First to enjoy the crop
That which costs nothing earns nothing: where there are no pains there will be no gains. So this picture of the farmer represents the outward look and
Effort leading to Reward is the picture of the farmer.
4. The Unashamed Workman (vv.14-17)
a. The upward look
i. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved" (v.15).
ii. Looking at his boss to guage his performance
1) Self-care (not to be ashamed)
2) Fulfilling his responsibility (charge them in the sight of the Lord 14)
b. What does God think of this?
c. Your service is always before the sight of God.
2 Timothy 2:15 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Your regard for the Word of God is the standard of your “worth” before God.
Now we can’t all be scholars, but we should all know how to rightly handle the Word of Truth. We can all be grounded in the basics of the Bible, grounded to the point of being a “DISCIPLE” Discipleship is simply that, a commitment to a basic grounding in the Word of God, whereby you are built up into Jesus Christ. In Christ we are approved, but if you do not know the basics of Jesus, who He is to you, what He does for you, what He promises you, how can you even consider calling yourself a workman.
With God, you are either “approved” or “not approved”.
The standard for either is not whether you clean up on Sunday and go to church, not whether you listen to rock n roll or KLUV, not whether you hoard your money or give it generously. God looks at the way you regard His Word, and whether His Word has impacted your life in an “everyday” kind of way.
God will test your mettle
1. Courage and fortitude; spirit: troops who showed their mettle in combat.
2. Inherent quality of character and temperament.
He uses the Word of God to build your mettle-Joshua 1:8-every word. Why is the Word the test of the “mettle”?
We see this in:
Romans 1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
The word for depraved or reprobate is “Adokimos”. It is the antonym of “Dokimos”. One who does not acknowledge God in their life is ADOKIMOS, or rejected after examination. The basic meaning of adokimos is that not standing the test or failing to meet the test and hence worthless, base or unqualified.
a counterfeit coin that fell below the standard weight,
a cowardly soldier who failed the test in the hour of battle,
a candidate for office who the citizens regarded as useless
a sword or knife, that once the blacksmith had completed, would place it on his anvil and hit it with his hammer to test whether it was tempered correctly.
a stone rejected by builders because of a flaw which made it unfit for construction,
the rejected stone being clearly marked by a capital “A”.
The end result is: ”they refused to have God in their knowledge (ASV) so God gave them up to a reprobate, or depraved mind. They did not acknowledge the Word of God for their lives, so God rejected them and gave them up to an unfit mind, or a mind devoid of God’s presence or influence.
Paul is saying that the mind that finds God worthless becomes worthless itself.
The rejecting mind becomes a rejected mind and thereby becomes spiritually depraved, worthless and useless!
d. An unapproved Workman ministers catastrophe to the hearers
If we do not maintain a mind engaged upon the Word of God, then we will deal in words that are a catastrophe to the hearers: (v 14)remind them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers and (v 17) will spread like gangrene.
katastrophé; gen. katastropés, fem. noun from katastréphō , to overthrow, overturn, ruin. A catastrophe, overthrow, destruction, as of cities (2 Pet. 2:6).
What a tremendous responsibility we have! When we stray from this precious deposit of the Word of God, these three forces will go into operation:
i. Words to no profit
ii. Words that are a catastrophe to those who hear
iii. Words that eat like a cancer.
The only safeguard from this is rightly handling "the word of truth "
Must have diligence.
Will be unashamed, regardless of what happens
The Dokimos Workman "handles aright" the word of truth.
The word means 'holding a straight course' or 'making a straight road' and suggests a sort of Roman road that went like an arrow to its goal. That is the picture given of how God's workman handles His Word, he takes that Word in its plain straightforward meaning, driving, as it were, a straight highway from one end of it to the other, so that the simple Word of God is plainly and directly driven into the hearer’s heart.
From ὀρθός straight and τέμνειν to cut. Hence, to cut straight, as paths; to hold a straight course; generally, to make straight; to handle rightly. Vulg. recte tractare. The thought is that the minister of the gospel is to present the truth rightly, not abridging it, not handling it as a charlatan (see on 2 Corinthians 2:17), not making it a matter of wordy strife (verse 14), but treating it honestly and fully, in a straightforward manner. Various homiletic fancies have been founded on the word, as, to divide the word of truth, giving to each hearer what he needs: or, to separate it into its proper parts: or, to separate it from error: or, to cut straight through it, so that its inmost contents may be laid bare. Others, again, have found in it the figure of dividing the bread, which is the office of the household steward; or of dividing the sacrificial victims; or of cutting a straight furrow with the plow.
Do not sugar coat it, do not bend it to be easy in the ears, do not selectively handle just the good verses…
5. The Vessel unto Honour (vv.20-21)
As the athlete was disciplined and purged of unhealthy things, so is the vessel of honor. Once again we are:
a. The Vessel looks inward
i. What must be purged
ii. Then the vessel can be used by the Master for His honor
iii. Know your Name-Name of the Lord
19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”
iv. Know where you are-the Great House of God
20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable.
Remember the Example of Abraham and his men
When Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued as far as Dan." Genesis 14:14
"His trained men, born in his house." The reference is really to a household, and it is in this connection that the word is used in the New Testament with regard to God's house. We have been born into a household (Hebrews 3:6), and this household is meant, above all other things, to be a place of spiritual training and education.
Whatever else Abram's men were trained in, they were certainly trained for war. We also have to learn that the House of God is the place of training for spiritual conflict. The household of God is the relationship and fellowship of believers: it is not a place, but the relationship in the Holy Spirit into which we are born again. It is the sphere of our training, so that we do not live our lives in the realm of mere theories, but are subject to the disciplining work of the Holy Spirit.
According to Paul, one of the great purposes of the Scriptures is that we may know "how men ought to behave themselves in the house of God, which is the church of the living God" (1 Timothy 3:15)
v. Do House Cleaning
21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
We are "in a great house" (2 Timothy 2:20-21). Let us so respond to the Spirit's training and sanctifying work that we may be vessels unto honour, sanctified, meet for the master's use, prepared unto every good work.
b. We must place our stake in the holiness that God wants for our life
i. The Holy Spirit can’t do for us what we are unwilling to do ourselves
1) If you constantly surround yourselves with pigs, or eat pig slop, or play in pig filth, don’t count on the Holy Spirit to magically transform you into Cinderella or Cinderfella Christian
2) The prodigal at least had to step out of the pig sty and make his way for home
ii. There is no box of instant holiness
1) There is only the daily call to mortify the deeds of the flesh
2) Then we can grow in holiness by daily depending upon the righteousness of Christ.
c. Holiness fits us for service.
We must be willing to be set apart for His use.
2 Timothy 2:21 set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
d. Here is Paul’s exercise plan for Godliness
Paul now gives us four items in a program of practical holiness:
i. There is something to set behind us.
"flee youthful passions”
The word for passion or lust (KJV) simply means “desires”. It can be wrong desires, or good desires. With youthful attached we think of teenagers and their fleshly desires. But the verse actually means “childish desires.” We must constantly put those things behind us that belong to immaturity. As a mature believer, you leave behind childish indulgences or immature ways. Godliness requires us to grow up and seek maturity.
ii. There is something to set before us.
“pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace”
Paul lists these virtues as a “holy string of pearls”, strung together without conjunctions between them. They present a beautiful cluster.
1) Righteousness means all that is right in the sight of God.
2) We must pursue that righteousness in a spirit of absolute belief (faith) in the promises of God.
If God has given us a command, then it is right to obey it; if He has given us a promise it is right to believe it. These first two speak directly to us about ourselves.
3) The next two, love and peace, indicate our behavior towards others;
We must pursue the aim of loving one another. It must not be a case of sometimes loving and sometimes hating; not half-loving nor barely tolerating or being satisfied provided we do not actually fall out or speak harshly.
In addition to love, we must live in peace with others, even those who would be our enemy.
Love and peace should be ever before us.
iii. There is something to set alongside us.
"along with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (v.22).
Godliness is never achieved in isolation. Nor is it achieved without others praying for you. We are called to pursue Godliness with a praying fellowship.
iv. There is something to avoid entirely
V 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.
6. The Servant of the Lord (vv.24-26)
a. The servant looks outward and moves toward people around him.
i. he must not strive but be gentle to all.
ii. he must be "apt to teach, forbearing, in meekness instructing those who oppose themselves".
iii. He is after a crop.
Because, "God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth." He is going out to those who have not yet repented in order that they may be rescued from the snare of Satan and be brought home to God.
This title "The Servant of the Lord" is precious because it was the one which Isaiah chose as he looked forward to the Lord Jesus.
Isaiah 42:1 1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.
Here, then, we are called to model ourselves upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are six things said here about the Lord's servant:
b. How he Acts & Reacts to others
i. 1) (24) He does not strive, or He is not quarrelsome (RSV). The Greek is very dramatic -- "He does not go to war".
The Lord's servant must not be a person spoiling for a fight, anxious to pick a quarrel; he is not a controversial person, he does not go to war.
ii. 4) He is "patient or forbearing".
If the first tells us how he acts this word describes how he reacts: he is tolerant and takes everything that is thrown at him. The word seems to have a basic meaning of acceptance of hostility. He accepts it. He obviously does not run from it; he does not give ground; but neither does he hit back.
c. His Attitude to others and himself
i. 2) He is gentle, and this matches up with
ii. 5) which speaks of his meekness.
Both of these concern our attitude. The first is towards others, to whom he maintains an attitude of gentleness and kindness, ever seeking the other's welfare.
The second speaks of his attitude about himself. It is an attitude of meekness. He will always put the other person first and himself second. I can only express this idea of meekness by inventing a word, which is 'unselfassertive'. That is what meekness really means. So the servant of the Lord will assert the rights of others in kindness and gentleness but maintain a non-assertive attitude towards himself.
d. His Methods with others
i. 3) He is apt to teach ( a concerned teacher) and he
ii. 6) correcting his opponents
God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,
He also corrects hose whom he serves. He is devoted to the task of communicating the truth. His sole and over-riding preoccupation is to share the truth with others. He is apt to teach. The word "correcting" relates to the bringing up of a child and suggests the sharing of the truth appropriately to the condition of the person to whom the testimony is being made.
So is it the work of the Lord or is discipleship up to the servants of the Lord?
but here in Chapter 2 we find the answer, for the chapter which has begun with grace, now ends also with grace.
a. There is grace received (v.1)
2 Timothy 2:1 1 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,
b. There is grace bestowed (v.26).
While there is considerable doubt as to what in fact is the correct detailed translation of verse 26, there can be no doubt about the main meaning, which is that as the servant of the Lord reaches out with the truth to the unconverted, these receive the grace of repentance and so are recovered out of the snare of the devil.
If we empower ourselves with the grace that is in Christ Jesus and so become fashioned in His likeness, we then become the people through whom that grace may be bestowed on the needy and unconverted.
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