Pastoral teaching on Christian suffering, persecution, deception, faithful in doctrine, and importance of the inspiration of the Bible (inspiration, infallibility, and sufficiency).

My translation and notes on 2 Timothy 3:10-17

Christians Suffer

10 In contrast, yous have firsthand knowledge of my doctrine, lifestyle, [my] purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance,

11 Persecutions, hardships which happened to me at Antioch, Iconium, [and] Lystra—what persecutions I had to put up with! But the Lord delivered me out of all [of them].

12 Indeed, all who choose to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

[What is to live godly? Paul writes that Timothy knows Paul’s doctrine, lifestyle, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, and hardships. The first 7 things are the definition of living godly. The last 2 are the results of those who reject the Gospel and so persecute those who accept. The more we live a godly life, the more we may suffer persecution. Persecution can reveal who is a real Christian from one who claims to be one. God uses persecution to develop our character, loyalty, and perseverance. Paul imitated Christ. See 1 Corinthians 4:16, 1 Corinthians 11:1, Ephesians 5:1, and 2 Thessalonians 3:7. Doctrine is the teaching of what Christians need to know. Lifestyle is exactly that. It is a ‘manner of life’ (G72) ἀγωγή agoge. ‘Purpose’ is (G4286) πρόθεσις prothesis, which means ‘planned in advance’ and ‘way of thinking’ (BDAG). Faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance are godly character traits. Persecutions and hardships are because the sin nature hates God and His ways (John 3:19-20). Persecutions in Antioch—Acts 13:50, in Iconium—Acts 14:5-6, and Lystra—Acts 14:19. Compare Jesus’s rebuke of certain Jews in John 8:44 Youp are of [yourp] father, the Devil, and youp want to do the lusts of yourp father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he has not continued in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he tells [it] from himself, because he is a liar and the father of it].

13 But evil people and seducers will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

[Paul lives in reality. As time advances, societies become more evil and corrupt until they are destroyed. The reason evil people and seducers grow worse and worse is their love for sin (2 Timothy 3:4 and James 5:5) and pride (Psalm 73:6). Frequently, the punishment for sin is allowance to sin even more (Romans 1:18-32). This punishment is allowed in hopes that people will realize the utter foolishness and worthlessness of sin which will lead to repentance and finally faith in Jesus Christ. The Greek word for ‘seducers’ is (G1114) γόης goes. It means originally orig. ‘sorcerer, conjurer’ to swindler and cheat (BDAG). Most likely, it refers to those who do false miracles to win converts and to prove they are inspired by ‘god.’ See Exodus 7:11, Exodus 7:22, Exodus 8:7, Exodus 8:18-19, and Exodus 9:11. Those who reject the Gospel do so because of pride (“I’m a good person,” or “I’m good enough”) and/or the love of sinful pleasures. Rejecting the Gospel leads to greater darkness and less awareness of reality. Compare Isaiah 44:20, Ezekiel 14:9-10, and 2 Thessalonians 2:11. J. H. Bernard (CAMBRIDGE GREEK TESTAMENT FOR SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES) writes:

πλανῶντες καὶ πλανώμενοι, deceiving and being deceived. The two generally go together. Few men admit to themselves that they are deliberate impostors; the practice of deceit is intolerable unless it be partly hidden from the actor by self-deceit. And, further, πλανώμενοι is strictly passive, not middle; the deceivers may have themselves been deceived by the teachers who seduced them from the middle way of truth. Cp. Titus 3:3].

Importance of Scripture

14 But yous continue in the things, which yous learned and know for certain, knowing from whom yous learned [them],

[Here is a call to steadfastness. Timothy had been taught and had firsthand knowledge of true doctrine, worldview, and lifestyle. He is to teach others the same without deviation].

15 And because from a child yous have known the Sacred Scriptures, which are able to give yous the wisdom yous need for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

[The term ‘sacred’ is the Greek word (G2413) ἱερός hierós, which means the greatest purity and holiness. The term ‘Scriptures’ is the Greek word (G1121) γράμμα gramma, which means a letter and groups of letters forming words and books. The book of greatest purity is the ‘Sacred Scriptures’ or what we term the Bible. Compare Psalm 19:8. The Hebrew word for ‘pure’ is (H1249) בַּר bar, which means free from all contaminants. The whole universe is under God’s curse because of sin (Genesis 2:16-17 with Genesis 3:19, Ezekiel 18:4, and Romans 6:23). What God is and says is not under the curse, sin, death, or defect. God’s word is pure—Proverbs 30:5. The Greek word for ‘wisdom’ is (G4679) σοφίζω sophizo. It means to know how to utilize knowledge for God’s mission and blessing. Barclay (beware) writes (DAILY STUDY BIBLE): A. M. Chirgwin in The Bible in World Evangelism tells the story of a ward sister in a children’s hospital in England. She had been finding life, as she herself said, futile and meaningless. She had waded through book after book and laboured with philosophy after philosophy in an attempt to find satisfaction. She had never tried the Bible, for a friend had convinced her by subtle arguments that it could not be true. One day a visitor came to the ward and left a supply of gospels. The sister was persuaded to read a copy of St. John. “It shone and glowed with truth,” she said, “and my whole being responded to it. The words that finally decided me were those in John 18:37: ‘For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice.’ So, I listened to that voice, and heard the truth, and found my Saviour”].

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is beneficial for doctrine, convicting, correction, and for instruction in righteousness,

[Many if not most understand ‘all Scripture’ to refer only to the Old Testament, yet that would imply that the writers believed they were only writing their uninspired words. The writers of the Old and New Testament were prophets from Moses to Ezra and from Matthew to Jude. The Apostles were all prophets commissioned by God to speak God’s message (John 14:26, John 16:13-14, 1 Corinthians 2:10, and 2 Peter 3:15-16). The Holy Spirit would not bring a corrupted version into memory but a holy, pure version into their memory. Human memory is corrupted, but God’s mind is not corrupted. ‘God-breathed’ refers to God spoken. The Greek word for ‘doctrine’ is (G1319) διδασκαλία didaskalia), which means what is taught, the teachings. The Greek word for ‘convicting’ is (G1650) ἔλεγχος elegchos, which means revealing truth which brings conviction. The Greek word for ‘correction’ is (G1882) ἐπανόρθωσις epanorthosis, which means restoration to an upright or a right state; correction, improvement (Thayer). Thus, it is not preaching, words, rituals, authorities, government, education, etc. that brings these things. What brings truth into our life is God using the Scriptures. Compare Psalm 119:99 on which Barnes comments: All this knowledge he had obtained by meditation [active thinking, not being passive or in stillness—ed] on the law of God; by the study of divine truth. The effect of that constant study was seen in the knowledge which he now possessed, and which seemed to surprise even himself as compared with the brightest anticipations of his early years].

17 So that God’s people may be complete, fully equipped for all good works.

[Scripture is the final authority to judge true Christianity from false. Reason is important, but nothing, but nothing, can have a higher authority than Scripture. The Greek word for ‘complete’ is (G739) ἄρτιος artios. It has the idea of being perfectly adapted for specialized service. The Greek word for ‘fully equipped’ is (G1822) ἐξαρτίζω exartizo. It means the person who is ready for service and has been equipped with everything needed for carrying out the mission that God has for them].

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