Dec. 15. Steadfastness while Facing Evil; All-Sufficiency of the Scriptures

II Tim. 3:1-17

God has dealt with man in three distinct dispensations. In the first, he communed directly with the patriarchs (heads of families), Adam, Abraham, Jacob and others, for example. After using Moses to deliver the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, He instituted the law of Moses to guide His people.

On the first Pentecost after Christ’s resurrection, Peter explained that it was then the last days (Christian dispensation) that the prophet Joel had prophesied many years earlier. These “last days” or third dispensation will continue indefinitely until Christ returns to claim His own.

Paul named a group of serious sins that man would be committing during this period of last days. There would be many who professed to be Christians guilty of these sins. We can personally observe that man continues to be sinful today. He instructed Timothy to turn away from such people. Teach and if necessary, withdraw fellowship.

Hypocrites teaching false doctrines would gain the trust of weak Christians, especially of sinful women who were easy to deceive. False teachers will eventually be shown for who they are by the teaching of the truth and be punished for their wickedness. Paul mentioned two men who resisted Moses as he attempted to free the Israelites from Egypt. They were shown as examples of the folly of resisting God.

Paul reviewed the relationship that he and Timothy had shared from the times of his beatings during his first missionary journey with Barnabas and how he had endured faithfully until the time of this writing. He urged Timothy to remain faithful to the Scriptures that he had learned from early childhood. All who live godly will suffer persecutions either physically or mentally (ridicule). Just as Paul had been delivered by God from his persecutors, Timothy could expect that same deliverance. These Scriptures teach the way to salvation if one will only obey their commandments.

According to Paul, ALL Scripture was given through inspiration from God. Peter also stated that God, “…as His divine power has given to us ALL things that pertain to life and godliness…” All is an inclusive word that excludes everything that man might attempt to add to God’s word. Peter further stated, “…holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

The Scriptures teach God’s commandments; rebuke evildoers; correct error and guide men toward right living. Christians must follow them in order to be complete.