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II Timothy Chapter 2

Memory verses for this week:  Psa 121:5  The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand  Psa 121:6  The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. 

Introduction:  In chapter 1 last week, we saw Paul urge Timothy to stir up the gift that God had given him and to stand strong in the faith.  He reminded Timothy of the great love that some had shown to Paul (such as Onesiphorus).  Some of these men had been a great blessing to Paul, particularly after being imprisoned there in Rome.  This week we get into Chapter 3 where we are instructed to become a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

I.  The Word of God is to be Passed on to Others who will Teach

2 Tim 2:1  Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 Tim 2:2  And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

As we mentioned last week, Timothy was Paul’s son in the faith.  He urges Timothy to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  Only by God’s grace will any of us truly be strong.   And those things Paul had taught, the truths of God’s Word and the doctrines, they were to be committed to faithful men who will be able to teach others.

II.  The Path of a Good Soldier of Jesus Christ

2 Tim 2:3  Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

2 Tim 2:4  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

Enduring hardness is not something  most people want to do… but as a soldier of the Lord, we need to be able to do this.   When you think of a strong and capable soldier who prepares for battle, you have an image of a strong individual who has been properly trained and is physically fit.  We as Christians need to be properly trained, and that is knowing the whole word of God and being able to properly divide it.  A man that is a soldier in God’s army is in a battle against Satan.  And believe me, Satan knows all the tricks and will fire everything he has in his arsenal against us.   We should not be surprised when the fiery darts come.  And the question is not IF they will come, it is just WHEN will they come.

1 Pet 4:12  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

1 Pet 4:13  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

1 Pet 4:14  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Eph 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

A good soldier is dedicated… he does not entangle himself with the affairs of this life.  There is a battle for the mind going on everyday, and we need to keep our minds on the things of God.  When we do that, we please the Heavenly Father.  We were chosen by God to show forth the praises of God.

1 Peter 2:9   But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:   

2 Tim 2:5  And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

2 Tim 2:6  The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.

2 Tim 2:7  Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

Verse 5 tells us that is we want to be crowned, we must strive according to the Word of God.  This means that many may do a lot of works and actually see results, but may not be crowned to doing man’s way versus doing things God’s way.  We are truly not a liberty to just do things as we please.  Man has many gimmicks in the business world that work, but God does not intend for us to use worldly ways to bring in people to God’s House.  We are to go out and Compel people to come in.

J. Vernon McGee says that Paul is relating us to an athlete in this verse.

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 1 Cor. 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. Neither 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.  [1]

Verse 6 says the husbandmen that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.   In other words, we have to be saved before we can lead others to the Lord.  One day when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, many will lose rewards for not following God’s plan.  When we consider that Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land due to failing to consecrate the Lord before the people, we see that God wants things done exactly the way He lays them down.  If you remember that study, Moses was told to speak to the rock the second time rather than smiting the rock to bring forth water for the people of Israel to drink.  But Moses was upset and smote the rock, marring the typification of Jesus on the Cross.  Christ was smitten on the cross, but it was once and He will never be smitten again.  By marring that type, God did not allow Moses to cross over Jordan with the people.  If this small mistake cost Moses, it is certainly not hard to believe we could lose rewards for doing things man’s way.

Verse 7 was given under the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and Paul says that we should carefully consider what he is saying, and let God give us understanding in all things.  One of our newest bible study members wrote me this week, and told me how that at 67 years of age, she was finally in tune with the Lord and doing His will in her life.  She had a background in multiple churches, from the Catholic, to the Pentecostal, even into the Mormon Church for a while, but she was determined to find the truth.  And once she found Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, He has guided her unto total truth.  I praise the Lord for the promises of God and how He will provide for us when we truly seek the truth.

Mat 7:7  Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

Mat 7:8  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

III.  Paul Preached the Resurrection of Jesus

2 Tim 2:8  Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:

2 Tim 2:9  Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.

Jesus was from the lineage and seed of David.   And as we know, he was raised from the dead according to the gospel.  Paul made it his business to preach the resurrection of Jesus.

Matthew 1:1  The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 

1 Cor 15:3  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

1 Cor 15:4  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Because Paul did preach the resurrection, he suffered many things for the cause of Christ.   He said he suffered much trouble, even unto bonds.   This was written as Paul was in prison there in Rome.  But Paul said while he might be bound, thank God the gospel was not bound.

Acts 13:44-46  And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. 

Acts 17:18  Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.  

Acts 23:6-10  But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. 7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided. 8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both. 9 And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees’ part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God. 10 And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.

IV. Why Paul was Willing to Suffer for the Gospel

2 Tim 2:10  Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

2 Tim 2:11  It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:

Paul had a mind that was determined to serve God first and foremost.  He says that he endured all things for the elect’s sakes.   There is salvation in none other name than Jesus Christ..   When we are saved, we are crucified with Christ.  If we die with Him, then we shall also live with Him.

Acts 4:10  Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

Acts 4:11  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Galatians 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 

2 Tim 2:12  If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

2 Tim 2:13  If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

If we have been born again, then we will live with Christ.  If not, we will not live with him.  Verse 12 says that if we deny him, he will deny us.   Thank the Lord that if we are truly saved, Christ will never forsake us.  Verse 13 says even if we believe not, yet he abides faithful because he cannot deny himself.

Psalm 89:34   My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.

2 Tim 2:14  Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

We are to put sound words forth for remembrance, and charge Christians to not strive about words that do not profit.  You will find unbelievers that love to try and lead you away from the Lord with unprofitable (and sometimes unanswerable) questions.  Those we should ignore and put our faith and trust in the Lord.

V.  Study the Word of God

2 Tim 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Tim 2:16  But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

Verse 15 is one of the more important commands that we have in the New Testament.  This is one of the greatest needs of every Christian, and that is to study.   We can spend the rest of our days in study, and we will never master God’s Word.  I love that fact that the more you study, the more knowledge and wisdom you obtain, it just grows and grows.  But you never get it fully mastered which sure keeps you humble.

Verse 16 says we should shun profane and vain babblings.   We hear much babbling on so called Christian programs on television and radio many times.   We see these do not make us grow, but lead unto more ungodliness.  God’s Word strengthens and prepares us for the battle ahead.

2 Tim 2:17  And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

2 Tim 2:18  Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

2 Tim 2:19  Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

These that babble were like these two mentioned, Hymenaeus and Philetus who had erred from the faith.  They taught that the resurrection was already past, and it overthrew the faith of some.   But we can rest assured as verse 19 promises, that he foundation of God is sure, and it can not be overthrown.  Jesus is the rock that can’t be moved, and His desire is to see every child of God depart from iniquity.

2 Tim 2:20  But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.

2 Tim 2:21  If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.

God has vessels of honor and some to dishonor.  We might ask ourselves which are we?  God’s desire is for every Christian to be a vessel of honor to the glory of Jesus Christ.  To be a vessel mete for the Master’s use, we have to live a separated life from the world.

2 Tim 2:22  Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

2 Tim 2:23  But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

The child of God is to follow righteousness and all these other fruits of the spirit.   We should turn from the lusts that will destroy us, and seek after God’s ways.   He warns Timothy to avoid foolish and unlearned questions that cause strife.  Some things are beyond the capacity of man’s understanding, and those need to be put aside and our faith needs to be in the Lord.

2 Tim 2:24  And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

2 Tim 2:25  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

2 Tim 2:26  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

God’s servant is to be a man or woman of a meek spirit that does not strive.  We should be known as honest and gentle people.   With a humble heart and a meek spirit we need to teach those that go astray.   Verse 25 puts it so vivid… “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves.”   Truly we can be our own worst enemy if we give Satan a foothold in our life.  But we are to try and reach those that have been taken captive by the Devil and try and rescue and deliver them.


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.





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