2 Timothy 2: Stridently splitting hairs

April 16th, 2007

One of the skills that you learn as a lawyer is the ability to examine all of the facts of a situation with a fine tooth comb. You identify and highlight everything that supports your client’s case. And it’s amazing how in almost any situation you can find at least some facts or features which will support your client’s case. You then present your client’s case in a compelling manner, and anyone who hears only your presentation is sure to conclude that your client is in the right. Quite often you succeed in convincing yourself about the strength of your client’s case. The problem comes when another lawyer undertakes the same exercise on behalf of your client’s opponent…

Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy — Chapter 2

2:1 My child, grow strong in the grace of Christ Jesus. 2:2 You have heard from me the accounts of many eye-witnesses. Pass these on to reliable people, who will be capable of teaching others. 2:3 Participate in our hardships, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 2:4 A soldier on duty avoids entanglement with everyday matters, in order to please the enlisting officer. 2:5 And anyone competing in athletics is not crowned without competing according to the rules. 2:6 A farmer who works should be the first to get a share of the crops. 2:7 Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand everything.

2:8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David. This is my Good News, 2:9 for which I suffer hardship and even imprisonment as a criminal. But God’s word is not imprisoned, 2:10 and I put up with everything for the sake of the chosen ones, so that they can also get salvation in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 2:11 This is a reliable saying: “If we died with him, we will also live with him. 2:12 If we persevere, we will also reign with him. If we deny him, he also will deny us. 2:13 If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful. He cannot deny himself.”

2:14 Remind people about these things, telling them in the presence of God not to argue about words, because it brings no benefit and harms the people who hear.

2:15 Try hard to present yourself in a way that is approved by God, a worker with nothing to be embarrassed about, interpreting the message of truth correctly. 2:16 Stay away from godless gossip, as it leads to greater ungodliness, 2:17 and the words eat away at you like gangrene. Hymenaeus and Philetus do this. 2:18 They have missed the mark concerning the truth, claiming that the resurrection has already happened, and sabotaging the faith of some people. 2:19 However God’s foundation remains firm, stamped with this message: “The Lord knows who belongs to him,” and, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord must stay away from unrighteousness.” 2:20 In a large house there are containers made out of gold and silver, but there are also containers made from wood and clay. Some are for special uses, and some are not. 2:21 People who clean themselves from unrighteousness will be like the containers for special uses, made holy and suitable for the master’s use, ready for every good work.

2:22 Run away from evil desires that appeal to young people. Chase after righteousness, faith, love, and peace, together with other people who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2:23 Avoid stupid and uninformed controversies, knowing that they generate strife. 2:24 The Lord’s servants must not quarrel. They must be gentle towards everyone, able to teach, and patient. 2:25 They should gently correct people who oppose them, and perhaps God will cause such people to repent and come to understand the truth, 2:26 saving themselves from the devil’s snare, in which they have been held captive by him, subject to his will.

Entry Filed under: Legalism

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. choosethecross.com » Sta&hellip  |  August 20th, 2011 at 8:05 am

    […] are not appealing character traits. Gossip is another big problem, as Paul highlights in the second chapter of his second letter to Timothy: Try hard to present yourself in a way that is approved by God, a worker with nothing to be […]

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