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God's Dynamic Difference-Maker (2 Timothy 3:10-17)
Sermon Notes
Sunday, 09 December 2012 00:00

Today we talked about how Timothy had collected Paul’s “baseball card!”
Timothy had carefully followed (3:10) Paul’s life and ministry since the day of that first exposure in Lystra (Acts 14:8-23). Some of the “stats” Timothy revered from Paul’s “career” included following Paul’s doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions and afflictions, which had endured at stops in Antioch (Acts 13:14-50), Iconium (14:1-7), and in Lystra (Acts 14:8-23).
Would a younger believer find these kind of ‘spiritual stats’ on the back of my personal ‘card’ attractive and admirable?

We noted that the word translated “persecute” literally means “to pursue,” and was illustrated in Lystra when the Jews from Antioch and Iconium pursued Paul and Barnabas to Lystra and turned the pagan crowd from wanting to worship and sacrifice to Paul as a god to stoning him and leaving him for dead! Paul’s sweeping statement in 3:12 is consistent with his own experience. The same word translated “persecute” in 3:12 is translated “pursue” in the context of 2 Timothy 2:22. Here Paul commands Timothy (and us!) to flee youthful lusts, but to “pursue” righteousness, faith, love and peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

In other words, if I “pursue” a godly life in Christ Jesus (3:12), then I will be “pursued/persecuted” by the enemy. All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. This is our lot if we continue to follow Christ. We should accept it, even embrace it, and not shrink back from it. Blessed are we when men persecute us and revile us on account of Christ (Matthew 5:11-12)!

3:13 gives the reason why 3:12 is true. Evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse deceiving and being deceived. But we should and can be strong in (be empowered by) the grace that is in Christ Jesus (2:1).

In 3:14 we meet only the second command of chapter 3. [The first was: “Turn away from these (3:5)”]. Here (3:14) it is: But you must continue [mene = abide; remain] in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,

The word “salvation” (3:15) refers to successful “deliverance” through persecution.
In other words, Timothy would be victorious in this life and its persecutions if he continued to live by faith in Christ. Notice that the Holy Scriptures are able to make Timothy wise for salvation. Paul does not say that Timothy is already wise for salvation, but that he might become wise for salvation. This is an ongoing issue. Timothy needed the Word of God daily to handle persecution from the wicked. In 4:18 the verb form is used to refer to God delivering Paul from his persecutions.

The only other use of noun form is 2:10 referring to deliverance of Israel (elect) from her enemies and ultimately to her glorification.] {elect = Israel {ultimately) context of 2:8-13 “Jesus … son of David”)
The only other use of noun form is 2:10. Note in the context of 2:8-13 the terms “saved – suffer – endure” are all used. Based on their usage in this context, I would suggest that “salvation” here refers to “deliverance from failing to endure through sufferings, and thus deliverance from failure to reign with King Jesus in His kingdom administration.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 are famous verses which are great on their own, but which are even better if understood in context!
Here (3:16) Paul asserts that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God [literally, “is God-breathed”].
Note the change from 3:15 where Paul spoke of “the Holy Scriptures,” that is, the OT.
Thus, all Scripture is more that “the Holy Scriptures.”
Paul here is thinking of the OT AND the NT.
By this time nearly the entire NT had already been written. The entire Bible is God-breathed. Every word of it! There are NO errors in the Bible. Not on theology. Not on science. Not on history. Not on any detail. The Bible is inerrant since it is God’s Word and God does not err.
 
The entire Bible is profitable (beneficial, helpful, serviceable) for:
(1) doctrine (show what is right)
(2) reproof (show what is not right)
(3) correction (show how to get right)
(4) (child-)training in righteousness (show how to stay right)

The intended result of all Scripture in our lives is that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (3:17). “Completed” (maturing) Christians are thoroughly equipped for every good work.

One is equipped for good works not by commitment, desire, or determination.
A believer is equipped – indeed thoroughly equipped – not just for some, but for every good work, by means of the profitable intake and application of God’s Word.

The Spirit of God takes the Word of God and by the grace of God thoroughly equips the man of God for every good work to the glory of God!
So, don’t be full of folly (3:9), instead be carefully following (3:10-11).
Don’t be disapproved (3:8); instead, desire to live godly and experience the deliverance of the Lord (3:11-12).
Don’t cave in under pressure of persecution (3:11-12); instead continue (3:14) and become complete (3:17) in your walk of faith.
 
The key is the power of God’s Word in our lives!
God’s Word is the Divine Difference-Maker!


 

 

 

 

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