Paul’s imperative to Timothy in this section is to Remind them
- Who is them?
- The faithful men (2:2) that he is charged to instruct
The reminder that Timothy was to deliver is written in 7 imperatives: remind them (14), be diligent (15), shun (16), depart (19), flee (22), pursue (22), avoid (23). It is noteworthy that after the initial instruction to remind, four of the next six instructions are in the negative (shun, depart, flee, and avoid). They are the things that Timothy is to remind the faithful believers from which they were to abstain.
The thing (“These things”) that Timothy was to remind them of reflects back to 2:11 – “The faithful saying”
- If we died with Christ, we will live with Him!
Next, the instructions build on that admonition. Paul began the previous section (2:3–6) with three metaphors of Christian faithfulness. He will conclude the pericope with three more metaphors (a worker, a vessel, and a servant). These final three images are the outline of the charge Timothy was to bring to the people.
Timothy was to admonish those faithful believers not to “wrangle about words.” The verb here is the same root as the noun with the same meaning in 1 Tim. 6:4. Paul gave a similar instruction two verses later is 2:16. The two-fold emphasis of useless talk suggests that a specific need that Timothy was to address.
There is danger in what we say. Note the Consequences:
- Useless (14)
- It Leads to ruin (14)
- It leads to further ungodliness (16)
- It spreads (17)
- Be diligent (vs. 15)
- Word carries the idea of being zealous; making great effort;
- Keep at something until it is accomplished
- Rightly handling the WORD
- One of the marks of a vessel of honor is someone who rightly handles the Word. So, the antidote to the useless words of 2:14 and 2:16 is the correct use of God’s Word
- Be diligent to be a worker …
- Your JOB is to handle the Word accurately
- Not the only job of a minister, but certainly one of his primary responsibilities
2:17 – Hymenaeus and Philetus – Here, Paul used an illustration of those whose “words” were unholy and caused sickness
- Their words will “spread” (lit. “have pasture) like a debilitating disease.
- That word, “gangrene” (some translations use “cancer”) refers to a kind of disease causing death to the tissues of the body.
- See 1 Tim. 1:20 for a similar use of Hymenaeus, of whom Paul said he delivered him over to Satan.
2:18 – the phrase “gone astray” suggests those who have “missed the mark.”
- The impact of their heresy was felt throughout the church
2:19 – The sin of the ungodly cannot shake the foundation God has established. That foundation is sealed with two truths:
- The Lord knows those who are His
- Those who confess the Name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness
- God’s servants must practice holiness
2:21 – How to be a vessel of honor – Cleanse yourself from the false teaching that was causing sickness in the body.
- Those who become vessels of honor will
- Be made holy
- Be useful to the Master
- Be prepared for every good work
- A vessel of honor is marked by usefulness to the Master. The value is NOT in the type of vessel, but in its sanctified use.
2:22 – Thus, there are some things that must be avoided. The two imperatives here instruct believers to “flee” and to “pursue.” Believers are to pursue holy things WITH those who call on the name of the Lord
2:24 – Here are strong words for “the Lord’s Servants”
- We may instruct others for purpose of leading them to repentance
- But, we must not be quarrelsome, but instead be kind.
- So that:
- They may Come to their senses (sin makes people nonsensical)
- They may Escape the snare of the devil
You might title this message: Remind them!
Here are the charges that Paul gave Timothy to entrust to those “faithful men”
NOTE – with each of these challenges, there is an audience
- Be an Approved Worker (14–18)
- Audience of our words – those who hear them (14)
- Be a Vessel of Honor (19–23)
- Audience – the Lord (20–21)
- Be a Servant of the Lord (24–26)
Audience – the Lost (26)