II Tim. 2:1-26
In view of the dangers of falling away due to persecutions, Paul gave his son in the faith some fatherly advice. He urged Timothy to be strong in the faith and to continue to preach the true gospel to others who in turn would also teach others.
Paul pointed out that in pleasing God, a soldier of Christ will suffer hardships. As in a military army, he must direct his efforts toward warfare instead of being involved with the cares of the world. Athletes must train and compete according to the rules of the game. Loyal soldiers and athletes receive their reward just as the farmer partakes of his crops after a period of hard work. The faithful soldier of Christ will receive his reward after the judgment.
As Paul continued his letter, he reminded Timothy that Jesus was of the lineage of David as had been prophesied and that the main point of the gospel is His resurrection from the dead in order that the elect (those who obey its commands) may obtain eternal salvation. If He was willing to suffer for mankind, man must be willing to suffer for Him. He stated that even though he was in prison because of his preaching of the gospel, the word of God cannot be chained. It will continue to influence men for good.
If one will die to himself and to sin and will endure with Christ, he will reign and live with Him in heaven. When one denies Christ, he will also be denied. A person’s lack of faith will not change the fact that Christ did indeed die to save the faithful.
After pointing out the hardships that Timothy would suffer, Paul turned his attention toward instructing him on the message that he must preach.
Timothy must avoid lost time and confusion involved with useless arguments over issues of no importance. False teachers were trying to inflict the Jewish law upon Christians. It is necessary for one to use care as he studies God’s word in order to separate the commands of the Jewish law (law of Moses) or any false religion from the gospel (law of Christ).
Paul mentioned two men who had misled others by teaching that the resurrection had already passed. He compared the effects of false teaching with the devastating effects of gangrene or cancer. It not only destroys those who teach it, but it also destroys those who believe its lies. False teaching however will not destroy the truth of the gospel. God will save those in the judgment who remain faithful.
As he continued, Paul pointed out that the church, the spiritual house of God has honorable members and dishonorable members just as one’s physical house has both honorable and dishonorable furnishings. It is the personal responsibility of each Christian to maintain his position as an honorable member of the house of God.
The young preacher, Timothy was admonished to guard his life by fleeing youthful lusts and avoiding foolish conflicts with others. Instead, he must pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace. Correcting error in others must be done patiently and in humility.