2 Timothy 2

2:1 You then, my son, be strong in [rely upon the Lord’s strength] the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2:2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses [various groups of people] entrust [place or deposit in the care of] to reliable [faithful] men who will also be qualified to teach [disciple] others.

2:3 Endure hardship [opposition and obstacles] with us [all who serve Christ must “endure hardship”] like [Paul used three images to illustrate Christian faithfulness and endurance…] [1] a good soldier [represented a disciplined and faithful individual] of Christ Jesus.

2:4 No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs [soldiers do not allow the concerns of everyday life to distract them from their main purpose]—he wants to please his commanding officer [or the one who enlisted him].

2:5 Similarly, if anyone competes as [2] an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown [an evergreen wreath] unless he competes according to the rules.

2:6 The [3] hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops [as a faithful Christian worker will receive rewards in heaven].

2:7 Reflect on [consider] what I am saying [the images of the soldier (2:3-4), athlete (2:5), and farmer (2:6)], for the Lord will give you insight [understanding to make right judgments or to comprehend correctly] into all this.

2:8 Remember Jesus Christ [our model of endurance; He completed the work He came to do], raised from the dead [death and resurrection of Jesus comprise the essence of the gospel], descended from David [cf. Matt. 1:1; Rom. 1:3; Jesus fulfilled God’s promise to David that his descendant would forever be on the throne (2 Sam. 7:12-16; Lk. 1:31-33)]. This is my gospel,

2:9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal [this word is also used to refer to the thieves who hung on the crosses beside Jesus (Lk. 23:32)]. But God’s word is not chained [God’s truth can never be chained or imprisoned].

2:10 Therefore I endure [cf. 2 Cor. 6:3-10; 11:23-33] everything [note the reason for Paul’s diligent perseverance and willingness to endure suffering…] for the sake of the elect [all who respond to God’s call to salvation; cf. terminology in Deut. 7:6], that they too may obtain the salvation [so that others might have the opportunity to hear the gospel] that is in Christ Jesus [the source of salvation], with eternal glory [a benefit of salvation].

2:11 Here is a trustworthy saying [the following could have been part of a Christian confession of faith used at baptism or part of a Christian hymn]: If we died [either the death symbolized by baptism (dying to sin) or martyrdom; cf. Rom. 6:1-11; Col. 2:20; 3:1] with him, we will also live with him;

2:12 if we endure [endure persecution, hatred, rejection; Paul believed that those genuinely saved would endure; cf. Matt. 24:13], we will also reign with him. If we [those who are not saved] disown [deny; the kind of denial rooted in unbelief] him, he will also disown us [cf. Matt. 10:33];

2:13 if we [Christians] are faithless [at times], he [God] will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

2:14 Keep reminding [reminding people of the truth is one way to combat error] them [the entire church; the faithful teachers of 2:2; false teachers] of these things [likely refers to the “trustworthy saying” in 2:11-13]. Warn them before God [emphasizes that we all are accountable to God for our actions] against quarreling about words; it is of no value [not profitable; such useless quarreling causes division], and only ruins those who listen.

2:15 Do your best [“be diligent” (NKJV) or be zealous] to present yourself to God as one approved [one who has stood the test; term commonly used for metals which had been tested by fire and proved to be genuine], a workman [a laborer for God] who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles [Gr. “orthotomounta” means “to cut straight” (as in accurately cutting a stone to fit into a wall or cutting a piece of cloth with straight edges)] the word of truth [another designation for the gospel].

2:16 Avoid [because the threat of heresy was constant, Timothy was to remain continually alert] godless chatter [cf. 1 Tim. 6:20; 2 Tim. 2:14; false doctrine], because those [the chatterers (or false teachers)] who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly [will advance in ungodliness].

2:17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are [note two of the false teachers in Ephesus…] Hymenaeus [cf. 1 Tim. 1:20] and Philetus,

2:18 [note three things about these men…] [1] who have wandered away from the truth. [2] They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and [3] they destroy the faith of some [the disastrous impact of their false teaching on others].

2:19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his [cf. Num. 16:5],” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away [from Gr. verb meaning “to apostatize” which means to depart, withdraw, or stand aloof from someone or something] from wickedness [cf. Num. 16:26].

2:20 In a large house [implies a degree of wealth] there are articles [implements and vessels such as jars, dishes, pots] not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some [the gold and silver articles] are for noble [as in the case of entertaining guests] purposes and some [the wood and clay articles] for ignoble [as in everyday use].

2:21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter [from false teachings and the godlessness associated with them], he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy [set apart], useful [of practical help] to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

2:22 Flee [cf. 1 Tim. 6:11] the evil desires [sexual lusts and other expressions youthful immaturity] of youth, and [Paul followed negative warning with positive alternative] pursue righteousness [morally upright behavior], faith [confidence in God; cf. 1 Cor. 13:13], love [affection for others; cf. 1 Cor. 13:13] and peace [living in harmony with others], along with those [we need one another] who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

2:23 Don’t have anything to do [don’t get drawn into…] with foolish and stupid arguments [“silly and ill informed” (Phillips); the kind of false teachings that divide the church], because you know they produce quarrels [verbal battles].

2:24 And the Lord’s servant [Gr. doulon = slave; Timothy] must not quarrel [cf. 1 Tim. 3:3]; instead [note four positive traits…], he must [1] be kind to everyone, [2] able to teach [cf. 1 Tim. 3:2], [3] not resentful [toward those who oppose you or treat you wrong].

2:25 Those who oppose him [4] he must gently instruct [correct wrong ideas], in the hope that [note two outcomes…] [1] God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth [that they would understand he gospel and turn to faith in Christ],

2:26 and [2] that they will come to their senses [become sober in their thinking] and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive [cf. “capture” in Lk. 5:10] to do his will.

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