This will be the last post till 12/31
Difficult Times and the Defense – 2 Timothy 3:14-17
Timothy is to commit the Gospel message to faithful men who will teach the same Gospel message to the third generation of preachers and teachers (2 Tim. 2:2). In chapter 3, Paul gives characteristics of this ungodly age, including false teachers, and tells Timothy what to do in defense of the truth. Let’s feed on God’s word…
Simply put, Paul tells Timothy to Follow the Scriptures – 3:14-17. The primary tool of defense against deceitful false teachers is a dedication to the Scriptures…
Verse 14 begins with an emphatic “you” and has the last command in this chapter: “Continue.” Timothy is to continue what he had seen and heard in the apostle Paul, just as he had said to the Philippians (4:9).
How can I emphasize that what Paul taught is a pattern for what we are to do and teach today? To give one illustration among many… Paul taught the churches in Ephesus, Colossae, and Corinth, to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs without the accompaniment of mechanical instruments of music. It is a matter of historical record that the people used instruments in worship when they were pagans. They used instruments when they were Jews. But when they became Christians, they left their instruments behind in their former unenlightened religion and began singing only, teaching and admonishing one another acapela.
Paul tells Timothy here to continue in what he had learned and “firmly” believed, knowing from whom he had learned it. That’s why Paul calls himself an apostle in 1:1. Timothy, of course, had also learned it from his mother and grandmother as well as others we have mentioned before, such as Barnabas and Silas.
Verse 15 shows this Gospel message that Paul taught was consistent with what Timothy had been taught from childhood. Timothy had become acquainted with the “sacred writings,” which are able to make him, you, and me – all of us – “wise for salvation” (cf. Psalm 19:7) through faith/trust/commitment to Jesus Christ.
Verses 16 and 17 give a tremendous amount of information about the Sacred Writings, to which we will dedicate an extra Bible class lesson. The basis of the profitability of the Scriptures is its divine nature.
First, Paul says Scripture is “inspired” of God or, as the ESV translates it: “All Scripture is breathed out by God.” That’s what the word “inspiration” means. Observe the two words: “in” and “spire:” “Breathe into.” The Greek word is a combination of “God” and “wind/Spirit.” The Romanian word for “word” is “cu” (with) “vânt” (wind). That means Scripture was given by the Holy Spirit of God to the apostles in words.
This inspired, guided message of God is profitable/fruitful/useful (cf. Rom. 15:3-4; 1 Cor. 9:10; 10:6, 11) for: Teaching; Reproof – “exposing”; Correction; Training in righteousness.
Finally, verse 17 gives us the purpose of the inspired writings – “that” the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. This shows that we need nothing else than God’s holy word to be complete and perfect in the eyes of God and to combat false teaching.