2 Timothy 2

* The apostle exhorts Timothy to persevere with diligence, like

a soldier, a combatant, and a husbandman. (1-7) Encouraging him

by assurances of a happy end of his faithfulness. (8-13)

Warnings to shun vain babblings and dangerous errors. (14-21)

Charges to flee youthful lusts, and to minister with zeal

against error, but with meekness of spirit. (22-26)

1-7 As our trials increase, we need to grow stronger in that

which is good; our faith stronger, our resolution stronger, our

love to God and Christ stronger. This is opposed to our being

strong in our own strength. All Christians, but especially

ministers, must be faithful to their Captain, and resolute in

his cause. The great care of a Christian must be to please

Christ. We are to strive to get the mastery of our lusts and

corruptions, but we cannot expect the prize unless we observe

the laws. We must take care that we do good in a right manner,

that our good may not be spoken evil of. Some who are active,

spend their zeal about outward forms and doubtful disputations.

But those who strive lawfully shall be crowned at last. If we

would partake the fruits, we must labour; if we would gain the

prize, we must run the race. We must do the will of God, before

we receive the promises, for which reason we have need of

patience. Together with our prayers for others, that the Lord

would give them understanding in all things, we must exhort and

stir them up to consider what they hear or read.
8-13 Let suffering saints remember, and look to Jesus, the

Author and Finisher of their faith, who for the joy that was set

before him, endured the cross, despised the shame, and is now

set down at the right hand of the throne of God. We must not

think it strange if the best men meet with the worst treatment;

but this is cheering, that the word of God is not bound. Here we

see the real and true cause of the apostle's suffering trouble

in, or for, the sake of the gospel. If we are dead to this

world, its pleasures, profits, and honours, we shall be for ever

with Christ in a better world. He is faithful to his

threatenings, and faithful to his promises. This truth makes

sure the unbeliever's condemnation, and the believer's

salvation.
14-21 Those disposed to strive, commonly strive about matters

of small moment. But strifes of words destroy the things of God.

The apostle mentions some who erred. They did not deny the

resurrection, but they corrupted that true doctrine. Yet nothing

can be so foolish or erroneous, but it will overturn the

temporary faith of some professors. This foundation has two

writings on it. One speaks our comfort. None can overthrow the

faith of any whom God hath chosen. The other speaks our duty.

Those who would have the comfort of the privilege, must make

conscience of the duty Christ gave himself for us, that he might

redeem us from all iniquity, #Tit 2:14|. The church of Christ is

like a dwelling: some furniture is of great value; some of

smaller value, and put to meaner uses. Some professors of

religion are like vessels of wood and earth. When the vessels of

dishonour are cast out to be destroyed, the others will be

filled with all the fulness of God. We must see to it that we

are holy vessels. Every one in the church whom God approves,

will be devoted to his Master's service, and thus fitted for his

use.
22-26 The more we follow that which is good, the faster and the

further we shall flee from that which is evil. The keeping up

the communion of saints, will take us from fellowship with

unfruitful works of darkness. See how often the apostle cautions

against disputes in religion; which surely shows that religion

consists more in believing and practising what God requires,

than in subtle disputes. Those are unapt to teach, who are apt

to strive, and are fierce and froward. Teaching, not

persecution, is the Scripture method of dealing with those in

error. The same God who gives the discovery of the truth, by his

grace brings us to acknowledge it, otherwise our hearts would

continue to rebel against it. There is no "peradventure," in

respect of God's pardoning those who do repent; but we cannot

tell that he will give repentance to those who oppose his will.

Sinners are taken in a snare, and in the worst snare, because it

is the devil's; they are slaves to him. And if any long for

deliverance, let them remember they never can escape, except by

repentance, which is the gift of God; and we must ask it of him

by earnest, persevering prayer.

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