2 Timothy 2: 14Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarrelling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
- What happens when people quarrel over words?Anger, offence, division, broken relationships, loss of direction, confusion, loss of truth, ruins people.
We can and must discuss some things through – but without the destructiveness of striving, quarrelling.
E.g.: climate change, abortion, euthanasia are current, difficult questions.
- The Pharisees often tackled Jesus with tricky questions.
Eg Luke 20: Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; then the second and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her.”
- 2 Thessalonians 2:
As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here.
- Want some other examples? – not if I am going to avoid quarrelling!!
- The advice to Timothy and to us is not only to avoid quarrelling about words but to be positively presenting the common truth about which we don’t quarrel & which Paul was writing to Timothy about.
In verses 8-13 we are reminded of some wonderful, very straightforward facts.
- Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendent of David. => 2 clear, unarguable facts in one brief phrase.
- Jesus was a real, historical person who lived in Palestine.
- He was crucified and raised from the dead.
- This brings us wonderful consequences
- We die with him – baptism/deny yourself/take up your cross/eternal life
- He lives with us – Holy Spirit
- We persevere – endure
- We will reign with him – adopted/co-heirs/
- We declare our faith in him – do not deny him
- He will acknowledge us before God – not deny us
- Even if we find it hard to have faith consistently
- He remains faithful to us.
- This means we have forgiveness, cleansing and acceptance by God – salvation.
- Because this is such wonderful news Paul set an example
- Hardship, chains, treated as a criminal
- But it was so important to him to make sure that Timothy and we know these truths he endured everything for the sake of the elect – that’s us.
- So that we may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus
- And thence eternal glory.
- Do your best to present yourself, to work for God’s approval as workers who have nothing to be ashamed of, explaining the word of truth – truth which is beyond dispute and quarrelling; a truth which is good news to others of the salvation that is in Christ Jesus.