christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

2 timothy 2, faithful ministers of a faithful God

Read 2 Timothy 2 at Bible Gateway.

This chapter forms a complex and elegant chiastic structure (please see the teaching tools of scripture if you are unfamiliar with chiastic structures):

2 Tim 2:1-26
1a) 2 Tim 2:1, You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus;
1b) 2 Tim 2:2, Commit what you have learned to faithful men who will be able to teach others also;
1c) 2 Tim 2:3-10a, Exhortation to Timothy: endure hardship as Christ’s faithful servant:
— 1a) 2 Tim 2:3-7, You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ;
— 1b) 2 Tim 2:8, Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel;
— central axis) 2 Tim 2:9a, For which I suffer as an evildoer, even in chains;
— 2b) 2 Tim 2:9b, But the word of God is not chained;
— 2a) 2 Tim 2:10a, I endure all for the elect;
1d) 2 Tim 2:10b-12a, The elect: obtain salvation, died with Christ, enduring, to live + reign with Him;
1e) 2 Tim 2:12b-13: Faithlessness but faithfulness of God:
— 1e.1) 2 Tim 2:12b, if we deny Him, He also will deny us;
— 1e.2) 2 Tim 2:13, If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself;
1f) 2 Tim 2:14, Charge them not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers;
central axis) 2 Tim 2:15, Be approved to God, not ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth;
2f) 2 Tim 2:16, Shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness;
2e) 2 Tim 2:17-19a, Faithlessness but steadfastness of God:
— 2e.1) 2 Tim 2:17-18, Hymenaeus + Philetus strayed from the truth, overthrowing the faith of some;
— 2e.2) 2 Tim 2:19a, Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands;
2d) 2 Tim 2:19b, “The Lord knows who are His,” (the elect);
2c) 2 Tim 2:19c-23, Exhortation to Timothy: purify yourself to be a vessel of honor:
— 1a) 2 Tim 2:19c, “Let all who name Christ depart from iniquity;”
— 1b) 2 Tim 2:20, In a great house there are vessels of gold + silver/ wood + clay, for honor + dishonor;
— central axis) 2 Tim 2:21a, If anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor;
— 2b) 2 Tim 2:21b, Sanctified + useful for the Master, prepared for every good work;
— 2a) 2 Tim 2:22-23, Flee youthful lusts + avoid ignorant disputes;
2b) 2 Tim 2:24-26, A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach;
2a) 2 Tim 2:25-26, In patience + humility correcting, so that they may know the truth.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

Ultimately this chapter is about the steadfast faithfulness of God, who is able to keep all who are His. That some men are faithless does not change His faithfulness. Therefore Paul encourages Timothy to be a faithful servant as God is a faithful God. To endure hardship without giving up, to run the race according to the rules (God has rules, or commandments, the rules of His house. It is NOT true that His rules have passed away now that Christ has come, Mat 5:17-19). To rightly divide the word of truth and to teach the truth, no matter what opposition that garners you from the enemy or those who are misguided by him. The faithful servant of God not only lives a sanctified life, cleansed from dishonor to be a vessel of honor, but he also emulates Jesus in another way: he is gentle and lowly in heart, patient toward all, treating others with humility and gentleness. He does not quarrel or get involved in useless disputes over words. One short chapter which is long on wisdom that I and all of us need to keep in front of our eyes!

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