The Book of 2 Timothy Bible Study Chapter 3 Part 2

Our next reading is 2 Timothy 3:10-17

The Apostle Paul had a testimony of having received the faithfulness of G-d in his life and then displaying that faithfulness through his behaviour and through his words. We can be assured that when we behave in faith we are going to be rejected by this world. This is going to become progressively worse as the end days approach. This means that as true believers we are going to need increasing perseverance, patience and the willingness to suffer long. Paul wants young Timothy to know this truth and to apply it to his life that he too has a G-d-pleasing testimony.

v10: But you: In contrast to other individuals. 

  • You have carefully followed: Paul begins this section by praising Timothy. Timothy has displayed wisdom in the way he has listened to and emulated Paul (who in turn is following Messiah – 1 Cor 11:1). 
  • Doctrine: Teachings. Instructions. The revelation that Paul had personally received from Messiah and had taught to Timothy (and others). We need to be people who closely follow Biblical doctrine. When we embrace proper doctrine, it is going to directly impact our behaviour (our manner of life). 
  • Manner of life: Behaviour or conduct. When we behave in a way that is pleasing to G-d, He is going to give us insight into what His purpose for our lives is. When we understand G-d’s purpose for our lives we are going to respond appropriately to it – through faith. 
  • Longsuffering: Patience. When we understand Biblical faith, we are going to be people who are willing to wait – because there are no other options except to wait on what the L-rd is doing, providing, etc (e.g. If only one bus goes to our destination we are willing to wait for it). 
  • Perseverance: Endurance.

v11: Persecutions, afflictions: All of the things mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:10 are necessary characteristics for those who want to walk in a pleasing manner before G-d. However, although they are good and proper we can expect that if we are walking in them, we are going to experience persecution and afflictions. 

  • Out of them all the L-rd delivered me: We can depend on the L-rd. He is faithful and trustworthy. 
  • The L-rd: This name sets this passage into a context of submission. When we submit to Messiah we are going to suffer, we are going to be persecuted. These are the things we can expect as believers. However, when we live in submission to our L-rd and Saviour, He is going to come through for us (John 16:33). 

v12: All who desire: Is this our desire? Do we want to live G-dly lives? 

  • Live G-dly: This does not mean living with a ‘Holier than thou’ kind of attitude. Living G-dly lives means that we live in such a way that the character of G-d is manifested in every aspect of our lives – on a very frequent (if not always) basis (not only every now and then). 
  • In Messiah Yeshua: When this phrase appears, it reminds us that we are in a new covenant relationship with G-d through Yeshua. This covenant is a covenant of forgiveness. It’s a covenant of change, a covenant of promise, a covenant whereby G-d writes His commandments on our hearts so that we think according to righteousness.
  • All … will suffer persecution: There are no exceptions to this – all who live in a G-dly way will suffer persecution. We should expect this as a part of our lives in this world. Suffering for our faith is going to increase in the last days. 

v13: But: In contrast to people of faith who are living G-dly lives and who are being persecuted.

  • Impostors: This word in Greek could be translated in a couple of different ways. It could be speaking of those who do sorcery (those who practice the occult and who open themselves up to demonic influence). This could also be a word that speaks of a court jester/clown – those who will do anything for a financial response. They are people who are insincere and who do what they do for financial gain. 
  • Will grow worse and worse: They are fully committed to evil. Things in this world are not going to get better. Things are going to get much worse – more and more evil. As believers (people of faith) we need to have discernment – aware that this is happening and that the days are getting darker (John 9:4, Luke 21:34-36). 

v14: But… you: In contrast to these evil ones. 

  • Continue in: To remain in. Do not change course. We must not allow these things to influence us. 
  • Things which you have learned: Paul taught Timothy these things. Even though Paul has been dead for over 1900 years, he is still teaching us today. Paul was submissive to the will of G-d and G-d is still using his writings to make a great impact upon our lives.
  • Knowing from whom you have learned them: Paul is not operating out of pride. He is simply operating out of a confidence and an assurance that what he shared with Timothy did not originate within himself. Paul received his teachings from G-d and that gave him confidence to say this to Timothy. Paul wanted Timothy to be committed to these truths that Paul had received from G-d and passed on to Timothy. 

v15: The Holy Scriptures: In this section Paul emphasises Scripture – the Word of G-d. The Scriptures are foundational for truth – for understanding G-d’s plan and purposes. If our lives are not based upon the Word of G-d, we are behaving very foolishly. If we make decisions based upon how we feel or based on our own thoughts or intelligence, rather than the revelation of G-d, then we are making foolish decisions. 

  • Wise for salvation: Timothy is saved – he has already received salvation (i.e his sins have been forgiven, and he has received an assurance that he will be in the Kingdom of G-d – he has eternal life). He is a faithful disciple who was being used by G-d. Here, therefore, Paul is using the word ‘salvation’ as a synonym for living a victorious life. The Scripture teaches us how to grow in our salvation, how to wisely live a victorious life (even in the midst of persecution and suffering) after we have received our initial (the starting point of) salvation. 
  • Through faith… in Messiah Yeshua: The foundation of everything is Messiah Yeshua. If we are not standing upon His truth, led by His Spirit, doing His will, if our lives are not hidden in Him then we are heading for failure (the opposite of victory). 

v16: All Scripture is given by inspiration of G-d: Literally: G-d breathed.

  • Doctrine: Instruction (i.e. the truth we base our lives upon). 
  • Reproof: Conviction. Often when we read the Word of G-d it works to convict us of things that we should or should not be doing. As we read, we are confronted with the will of G-d, and it convicts us. This is good, because it gives us the mindset and the truth needed for repentance. At times we need to confess our sins and seek forgiveness. Although our sins are forgiven at the point of salvation, there is sin that clings to us and attempts to follow us around as we continue to grow in our salvation, as we are attempting to lead a victorious life. It is appropriate for us to confess these sins to each other (James 5:16). Confession is a significant act that can have a significant spiritual benefit in our lives. Confession helps us in our quest to live victorious lives.  
  • Correction: Conviction and correction work hand in hand. Falling under conviction is a catalyst that leads to seeing which things need to be straightened out and corrected in our lives. 
  • Instruction (training) in righteousness: This is one of the main objectives of Scripture – to train us in righteousness – G-d’s definition of righteousness. When we are saved, we are declared righteous by faith (“Declarative righteousness”). That never changes. But, like as with working (walking) out our salvation, righteousness doesn’t stop at the point of salvation. We walk and we grow (throughout our saved lives) in the righteousness that we have been given. Righteousness in our lives is evidence or gives testimony to the fact that we are saved (“Performance righteousness”).

v17: Man: Referring to males and females – human beings. Scriptural truth is applied equally to all individuals – male and female, Jew and Gentile. Truth is for all of humanity. 

  • May be complete: If we apply the Word of G-d to our lives this is going to be our reality – we will be complete, lacking nothing, brought into the fullness of G-d. There is power in the Word of G-d to change us. 
  • Thoroughly equipped for every good work: We are made complete for this purpose – so that we are able to do good works. We are called to do good deeds. This is G-d’s objective for our lives. We are not saved by our good deeds, but once we are saved, we do them as they are a fruit that (super)naturally springs out of salvation. 

Note: Some questions to ponder: Why does the L-rd place such a high value on good works? And why does He go to such great lengths to make sure that we are thoroughly equipped to do them? (Eccl 12:14, Matt 5:16, Matt 25:40, 2 Cor 5:10, Gal 6:9-10, Col 3:23-24, Eph 2:10, Titus 2:7, Titus 3:8, Heb 10:24, Heb 13:16, James 2:14-17, Rev 19:7-8, Rev 22:12)

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