Paul continues to give practical advice to Timothy. He emphasizes holiness and dealing with various types of people.

My translation and notes on 2 Timothy 2:20-26

Be God’s Servant

20 Now in a mansion there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and earth, some for honorable uses and some for dishonorable uses.

[Paul is not referring to some Christians as being gold and silver and other Christians as wood and earth. He is giving an illustration in this verse. The application is in the next verse. Others understand this to refer to wheat and tares in Matthew 13:24-30].

21 Therefore, if anyone completely cleanses himself from these [dishonorable things], he will be a vessel for honor, made holy and useful for the master’s use, and ready for every good work.

[Those who are continuing to live the same before believing in Christ are not being diligent in holiness. This holiness is the work of sanctification, but we must be alert to when the Holy Spirit prompts us, warns us, or encourages us. These promptings might be remembering a passage of Scripture or even a message/sermon given in the congregation. We do not cleanse ourselves for some spiritual honor but for spiritual service to God. Compare Psalm 66:10, Proverbs 17:3, and 2 Corinthians 6:17. There is also reference to Hymenaeus and Philetus. We separate from them (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). Pulpit commentary has this note on Proverbs 17:3: That which fire does for the metals, the Lord does for men’s hearts; he purifies them from dross, brings forth the good that is in them, purged from earthly infirmities. God’s process is the application of sorrow, sickness, temptation, that, duly meeting these, the soul may emerge from the trial as pure gold, fit for the Master’s use. See also 1 Peter 2:11 and 2 Thessalonians 3:6].

Dealing With Stupid Arguments

22 Flee the evil desires of youth, instead follow righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call upon the Lord out of a purified heart.

[Another list of what we must NOT do and some we must do. The evil desires of youth include some works of the flesh found in Galatians 5:19-21 and 2 Timothy 3:1-4. These evil desires are initiated by our sin nature (Ephesians 2:2-3 and 1 John 2:16). These evil desires corrupt the inner core of our being (the heart), so compare Matthew 15:18-19. Some things of righteousness are found in Galatians 5:22-23, Colossians 3:12-17, and 2 Peter 2:1-5 These things are initiated by our new nature (Ephesians 4:24 and Romans 13:14 [‘Put on the Lord Jesus Christ’ refers to our wearing the communicable character traits that Jesus lived by in His 33+ years on earth]. We need to decide our choice (Matthew 12:33). ‘Call upon the Lord’ refers to asking God for wisdom and strength as well as pray in general. Our prayers must be pure (sincere with godly motives)].

23 Avoid foolish and stupid questions, knowing that they breed hostilities.

[For foolish and stupid questions, compare Proverbs 26:4-5 (some stupid people do not want an answer, so we give no answer (Luke 11:53-54 and Mark 12:13-17—in both situations note how Jesus gets to the truth). Other stupid people do want an answer, so give an answer, so they will not be as stupid as they were (Mark 4:10 and Acts 1:6)). In both cases, we do not know until we start talking with them. These types of questions often lead to arguments, hurts, bitterness, and worse. A pastor must avoid these things].

24 Also the Lord’s servant must not get into angry arguments but be gentle to all, ready to teach, forbearing,

[It’s easy to fall into the trap of responding angrily but we must remember that we are ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) and evangelists for Christ (Romans 10:13-14). Compare Proverbs 15:1, Proverbs 25:15, and James 1:19].

25 Calmly explaining to those who are actively antagonistic, if perhaps God may give them repentanceN4 into acknowledging the truth,

[The Greek word for ‘calmly’ is (G4236) πρᾳότης praotes, which means gentleness, so here I chose calmly in response to the angry speech in verse 24. God the Holy Spirit is the person who initiates salvation and if a Christian sin, He initiates guilt. He bothers them, chastening them, in hopes they repent. God is the giver, the initiator (John 16:8). Whedon adds: That is, the power, [ability—ed] not the act, of repentance; namely, from their guilty error, which becomes a conversion to the acknowledging of the truth. By opening their hearts and minds, God leads them to recognize the truth rather than stuck in the blindness of believing lies (see next verse)].

26 And that they may return to sober thinking out of the Devil’s snare, who are ensnared by him to do his will.

[When dealing with these types of people, we need to remember we are witnessing Jesus Christ and His Gospel to them. Pray for patience towards them. God will help. In order to answer questions and state positions of Christian beliefs, we need to know them. We must know the truths of Christianity—God’s beliefs, worldview, lifestyle, and rules. Basic doctrine must be known. The best way to know doctrine is to read and study the Bible. The Bible must be read and studied. Seminary is not needed. Open the Bible, read the passage, think about the passage, then read more about it elsewhere. We all need to know Bible interpretation skills, doctrine, Christian worldview, Christian lifestyle, the Law of Christ (Galatians 6:2), and apologetics. Pastors should be teaching basic doctrine to all believers and reminding them].

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *