Paul comes to the close of his letter to Timothy and turns Timothy’s focus so that it is not on “pointless chatter” of those that oppose but instead, guide “the word of truth along a straight path”. And he will do this as he orders his own life by being kind, and tolerant and skillful in teaching. Paul encourages Timothy, and it is a good word also for us, to follow the example of those that have gone before us as they have have demonstrated revelation and experience in the things of God. But in the end, 2 Timothy 3:16–17 “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable” and it is God’s Word that we follow. And now comes Paul’s final charge in
2 Timothy 4:2 “preach the word, be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all patience and instruction.
Present Yourself Approved to God
2 Timothy 2:14–26
In 2 Timothy 2:15 Paul says to “make every effort to present yourself approved to God” and by this he specifically means that we should guide “the word of truth along a straight path”. And in 2 Timothy 2:16-17 he also says “avoid pointless chatter” because:
- “it will progress to greater ungodliness”
- “their message will spread like gangrene”
- and from 2 Timothy 2:14 “leads to the ruin of the hearers”
There is an admonition for us in
2 Timothy 2:21 Therefore, if someone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
And this is the initial step in preparing ourselves. Then in 2 Timothy 2:23-25 “avoid foolish and uninformed controversies”, “be kind”, “skillful in teaching”, “tolerant”, “correcting”. But this “correcting” is not the shaking of the finger in someones face that comes with a religious condemnation. This “correcting” recognizes that people that oppose the things of God are in 2 Timothy 2:26 in “the trap of the devil, being held captive by him to do his will” and if there is any hope for them, they must come in 2 Timothy 2:25 “repentance to a knowledge of the truth” and our skillful teaching, tolerance, and kindness are the only way to reach them.
In the Last Days Difficult Times Will Come
2 Timothy 3:1–9
All Scripture is Inspired by God and Profitable
2 Timothy 3:10–17
Paul commends Timothy because “you have faithfully followed my teaching, way of life, purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance” in 2 Timothy 3:10 and admonishes him in 2 Timothy 3:14 “continue in the things which you have learned and are convinced of, because you know from whom you learned them”. And it is right and good for us to learn from elders in the faith who have revelation and experience in the things of God.
But Paul does not leave this only to the teaching of an elder, even one as Paul, an apostle. Paul reminds Timothy that it is the word of God that is unerring, unchangeable, the way and truth that in 2 Timothy 3:15 “you have known the holy writings that are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” and in
2 Timothy 3:16–17 All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, 17 in order that the person of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
Preach the Word, Be Ready in Season and Out
2 Timothy 4:1–8
Paul gets serious and gives a charge to Timothy in
2 Timothy 4:1–2 I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom, 2 preach the word, be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all patience and instruction.
because there is coming a time when in 2 Timothy 4:4 “they will turn away from the hearing of the truth”. But even in this time when others are turning away, Timothy is to:
- “be self-controlled”
- “bear hardship patiently”
- “do the work of an evangelist”
- “fulfill your ministry”
And for Timothy, as for Paul and for in 2 Timothy 4:8 “all who have loved his appearing”, “the crown of righteousness is reserved” for those that can say as Paul does in
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have completed the race, I have kept the faith.
The Lord Helped Me and Strengthened Me
2 Timothy 4:9–22
- 2 Timothy 2:14–26 Present Yourself Approved to God
- 2 Timothy 3:10–17 All Scripture is Inspired by God and Profitable
- 2 Timothy 4:1–8 Preach the Word, Be Ready in Season and Out
- 2 Timothy 2:14-26
- 2 Timothy 3:1-17
- 2 Timothy 4:1-22