Thursday, July 20, 2023

2023.07.20 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Timothy 3:10–15

2 Timothy 3:10–15

Questions from the Scripture text: Who has Timothy carefully followed (2 Timothy 3:10)? What ten things of Paul’s has Timothy followed (2 Timothy 3:10-11)? Which of these does the apostle especially emphasize, and at which locations (2 Timothy 3:11)? To whom else will this happen (2 Timothy 3:12)? In Whom is a godly life lived? What other sort of man is there (2 Timothy 3:13)? What are they called when they are found in the church? How do they develop over time (cf. 2 Timothy 3:1-9)? How must Timothy develop (2 Timothy 3:14)? What does Timothy know about the origin of these things (cf. 2 Timothy 3:12)? What else has he known, since when (2 Timothy 3:15)? What are these written words able to do Timothy? What does this wisdom obtain? Through what? In Whom? 

What can we expect from those who are in error in the church? 2 Timothy 3:10–15 looks forward to the second serial reading of in morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these six verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that in Christ Jesus is every virtue in this life, with which will always come persecution from the impostors. 

Paul has warned Timothy about the false teachers who spread a so-called “Christianity” that lacks the life-giving, life-changing Christ. It’s a form of religion, but it has no power (2 Timothy 3:5), and they themselves are disqualified concerning the faith (2 Timothy 3:8). These wicked/reprobate impostors cannot get genuinely better, and will in fact get worse (2 Timothy 3:13). Timothy must do the opposite: having followed Paul in following Christ, he must continue in what he has learned (2 Timothy 3:14a). Each will progress/continue according to his nature. 

He must grow in the same doctrine/teaching as the apostle. He must grow in the same way of life as the apostle. He must grow in motivation by the same purpose as the apostle. He must grow in holding to the same faith as the apostle. He must grow in the same patience as the apostle. He must grow in the same love as the apostle. He must grow in the same steadfastness as the apostle. These are the things that grow as those who desire to live a godly life come more and more into that godly life that is in Christ Jesus. They have been qualified by Christ concerning the faith, and they will come into full salvation through Christ Jesus. 

But with Timothy growing in one direction and impostors growing in the other direction, he must expect to follow Paul in one more thing: persecutions, afflictions (2 Timothy 3:11). The persecutions that he saw, right from the beginning of his time with Paul, were great indeed (“what persecutions I endured!” verse 11). Now Timothy has followed in them, and he must expect it to continue. You, too, dear reader must expect persecution if you desire to live godly in Christ Jesus. Surely, He is worth it, and He Himself was persecuted. When those within the church who hold to a powerless form of religion persecute us, it is a sweet fellowship indeed that we have with Paul and Timothy, with all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus, and yes with Christ Jesus Himself!

This is the full meaning of the end of 2 Timothy 3:14. Yes, Timothy has learned from his mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 3:15, cf. 2 Timothy 1:5) as well as from Paul (2 Timothy 3:10), but it is ultimately from Christ Himself that Timothy has learned all these things (verse 10).  What a delicious, encouraging thing to think upon: when Christian parents or Christian ministers teach us from the Scriptures, it is really Christ Himself from Whom we are learning. His Spirit is the One Who writes on our hearts the same truth that is in the Scriptures.

Salvation is in Christ Jesus. Godliness is in Christ Jesus. And the Holy Scriptures have been given us by Christ to guide us into faith in Him and guide us in our faith in Him. If the Holy Scriptures make us wise for salvation, it is because Christ has appointed for them to do so. And here we see that He has appointed for them to do so from babyhood, from infancy. What a marvelous statement of the knowledge of Scripture and knowledge of Himself that Christ begins to give believing children, sometimes even in the first moments of their life!

So, follow Paul and Timothy. Follow your believing parents, if you have them, in God’s providence. Follow whatever faithful minister He has given you. But, ultimately, follow Christ Himself by the Holy Scriptures. And expect that in your fellowship with Him (and all of them), you will get your own sharing in His persecutions. He is worth it!

When did you begin learning the Holy Scriptures? Whom has the Lord given to you to teach them to you? What sort of life do you desire to live? What can you expect to come with this sort of life? Whom has the Lord given to you to teach? What sort of life are you encouraging them to desire? What are you leading them to expect with it?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we thank You for giving us Christ Himself to teach our hearts from His Word by His Spirit. And we thank You for those parents and elders who spoke the word to us, and the outcome of whose faith we may follow. Forgive us for when we have little desire to continue in what we have learned and to live godly in Christ Jesus. And forgive us for when we wish to be popular with all the visible church or expect that we can have godliness and salvation without the persecution that must come from impostors. Grant that Your Spirit would use Your Scriptures to make us wise for Your salvation, we ask in Your Name, Lord Jesus Christ, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP24 “The Earth and the Riches” or TPH466 “My Faith Looks Up to Thee”

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