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The Pentecostal Bible Commentary

1 Corinthians

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Chapter 2

 

1.   Be Bold, Be Strong V1 - 13

 

2Ti 2:1 So you, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

 

Following what Paul had said to Timothy in chapter one he now exhorts him to be strengthened by might in the inner man (Eph. 3: 16 & 6: 10).   This he cannot do of himself but only by the grace that is in Christ and given through Him.  The need is to draw deeply on God's enabling power.

 

2Ti 2:2  And entrust what you heard me say in the presence of many others as witnesses to faithful people who will be competent to teach others as well.

 

The things concerning God that had been taught to Timothy by Paul along with many other witnesses he was to pass on to those who he could trust would faithfully teach others.

 

2Ti 2:3 - 6  Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one in military service gets entangled in matters of everyday life; otherwise he will not please the one who recruited him. Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he will not be crowned as the winner unless he competes according to the rules. The farmer who works hard ought to have the first share of the crops.

 

In these verses Paul gives three different illustrations of  the life of a Christian.  

 

A Soldier   The Christian is a member of the army of Christ and is in a continually battle with the forces of sin and darkness.  Therefore he is called to endure the hardships of a soldier on the battle field.   He must be completely committed to the one who enlists him, that is, Jesus Christ, and not get caught up with the things of the world (Gal. 5: 1,2 Pet. 2: 20).  

 

An Athlete   The person who enters a competition must abide by the rules otherwise he is disqualified and cannot receive the victor's crown.   So the child of God must not walk according to this world but follow after the things of God in order to obtain the prize of the high calling of God (1 Cor. 9: 24).  

 

A Farmer    The hardworking farmer must first plough the ground in order to sow and then he reaps in the harvest and is able to eat of it.   So the Christian must labour for the Lord for in doing so he will reap the rewards in that day when Christ comes (Col. 3: 20).

 

2Ti 2:7  Think about what I am saying and the Lord will give you understanding of all this.

 

These things are to be thought about deeply and are to be considered seriously that we might understand, take a firm grip of and apply them.   The Lord will give us an understanding by His Holy Spirit (John 14: 26).

 

2Ti 2:8 - 10  Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David; such is my gospel, for which I suffer hardship to the point of imprisonment as a criminal, but God's message is not imprisoned! So I endure all things for the sake of those chosen by God, that they too may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus and its eternal glory.

 

We are to constantly keep in mind that we serve a risen Saviour and that this fact is central to the Gospel message.   It is for the Gospel's sake that Paul is suffering and being treated as an evil man.   Even to the point of being put in chains like a criminal.   The Word of God however is not and cannot be chained !   He bears all this in order to bring salvation to others, the elect, those whom God in His foreknowledge knows will response to the Gospel message.   Paul judges his temporal situation in the light of eternal glory.   Do we ? (2 Cor. 4: 16 -18).

 

2Ti 2:11 - 13 This saying is trustworthy: If we died with him, we will also live with him. If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we deny him, he will also deny us. If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, since he cannot deny himself.

 

These verses are most probably a quote from an early Christian hymn that is full of Divine truth.   If we have died to sin and self then we will share in the life of Christ, both now and throughout eternity (WESLEY). If we endure, stand fast, we shall reign with Him. If we deny or disown Him, then he will deny and reject us (Math. 10: 23).   If we become untrue, unfaithful, He remains true, faithful to His Word and His righteous character (Amp. N.T.)   It is impossible for Him to deny Himself.

 

2.   Approved and Disapproved Workers 14 - 26.

 

2Ti 2:14  Remind people of these things and solemnly charge them before the Lord not to wrangle over words. This is of no benefit; it just brings ruin on those who listen.

 

Paul tells Timothy that he is to remind the people about these facts.   The seriousness of  doing this is underlined when Paul says he is to do so "in the presence of the Lord".   The reason for this is that they would not get caught up in useless  arguments that would only bring destruction and undermine the faith of the hearers.

 

2Ti 2:15 - 18  Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately. But avoid profane chatter, because those occupied with it will stray further and further into ungodliness, and their message will spread its infection like gangrene. Hymenaeus and Philetus are in this group. They have strayed from the truth by saying that the resurrection has already occurred, and they are undermining some people's faith.

 

On the contrary,  he was to     Study the Word of God so that he might have a correct understanding of it and able to give it in simplicity and truth.   ‚   The true teacher of God does not seek for the approval of man but must be eager to present himself before God as a worker with nothing to be ashamed about.   ƒ   He is to avoid at all cost getting involved in or using any gross or foolish talk (empty chatter) for they will only  lead people into more ungodliness.    The message of those who do so will spread like cancer and thus eventual kill, that is spiritually.   He names Hymenaeaus and Philetus of being this kind of people.   These two were going around arguing that the resurrection of the saints had already happened.   They were weakening the faith of some.

 

2Ti 2:19  However, God's solid foundation remains standing, bearing this seal: "The Lord knows those who are his," and "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from evil."

 

In spite of what they or anyone else tries to do the church of Christ has a firm foundation in God (Eph. 2: 20).   He has set His seal upon it, declared His ownership for "He knows those who are is" A Christian is a person who does not follow after false teachers and should not be doing wrong things.

 

2Ti 2:20 - 21  Now in a wealthy home there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also ones made of wood and of clay, and some are for honorable use, but others for ignoble use. So if someone cleanses himself of such behavior, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart, useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

 

Paul again uses an illustration, this time of a great house where  different utensils made of different materials are used.   Those of value are used for noble and honourable purposes while those of poorer material for base and unhonourable ones.   The great house is the church, in which there are true and false teachers.   The mark of the vessel of honour, the true, is the person who separates himself from contact  with contaminating and corrupting influences (Amp. N.T.).    He is set apart, sanctified, and is used by the Lord  to do every good work.

 

 

 

2Ti 2:22 - 26  But keep away from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faithfulness, love, and peace, in company with others who call on the Lord from a pure heart. But reject foolish and ignorant controversies, because you know they breed infighting. And the Lord's slave must not engage in heated disputes but be kind toward all, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance and then knowledge of the truth and they will come to their senses and escape the devil's trap where they are held captive to do his will.

 

These final verses are instructions on how an approved worker should behave.

 

Flee youthful lust - remember Timothy was a young man.   Apart from sexual temptations  what other things can you think off that Paul was referring to ?  (how about Gal. 5: 19 - 21 as a help).  These are to be turned from and instead we should

 

Pursue, practice - righteousness, faith, love, peace ( see Gal. 5: 22 - 23) as we fellowship with God's people.   ƒ   Shut our up our mind against any foolish, trivial, conversations because they bring strife and breed quarrels.   „   A servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome.   Instead he must be kind to everyone dealing with them gently.   He must have the ability to teach the things of God, be patient be willing to suffer wrong.   …   He must correct those who are in opposition with humility, courtesy and gentleness in the hope that God will grant them repentance and come to know the truth.   That they might come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil.   For it is he has taken them captive to do his will.