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1. Perilous Times, Treacherous Men 1 - 9
2Ti 3:1 But understand this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
Paul wants Timothy to have a clear understanding concerning what is happening at the present time and what will continue to be until the Lord Jesus Christ returns for His Church. They will be times of great stress and trouble as far as Christians are concerned. Because of this there is the need to have as much fellowship with one another as possible (Heb. 10: 25), to spend time in prayer and meditating on God's Word.
In these verses Paul describes in detail those who do not belong to Christ.
2Ti 3:2 For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,
First of all lovers of self - their whole lives will revolve around themselves in thought, word and deed with no regard for anyone else. ‚ Covetous - this will centre on a love of money (1 Tim. 6: 10) to the extent of a compulsive greedy desire for it. Boasters - they will brag about their so called achievements. „ Proud - their hearts will be filled with pride and their whole attitude one of arrogance (insolence) and defiance. … They will be abusive and irreverent - blasphemers. Disobedient to the command of God to obey their parents in the Lord (Eph. 6: 1). ‡ Unthankful - taking for granted all that they have and all that is done for them. Unholy - having no regard for anything sacred and relating to God.
2Ti 3:3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, opposed to what is good,
Without natural affection - unloving, callous (hard-hearted), inhuman.
Trucebreakers - unforgiving and unwilling to come to terms with other people, merciless. False accusers - making scandalous accusations and thus causing trouble. ‚ Incontinent - not able to control themselves, having loose morals. ƒ Fierce - uncontrollable violence. „ Despisers - haters of anything that is good and wholesome.
2Ti 3:4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God.
Traitors - treacherous in all their dealings, ruthless even to the betraying of family (Mark 13:12). … Heady reckless and rash. Highminded inflated with their own importance.. Lovers of pleasures - they will indulge in sensual pleasures and in empty amusements that become their gods. These they would rather be taken up with rather than be lovers of God.
2Ti 3:5 They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power. So avoid people like these.
A form of godliness - Such people will put on a show of religiousness, it is not real for they deny and reject the transforming power of God in their lives (Titus 1: 16). We are to avoid such people turning away from them, not lending our support or allowing them to influence our lives or the church.
2Ti 3:6 - 7 For some of these insinuate themselves into households and captivate weak women who are overwhelmed with sins and led along by various passions.
Such women are always seeking instruction, yet never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
These kind of people by deceptive means worm their way into the homes of weak-natured woman who have allowed themselves to be overcome by sins and burdened down by the guilt. Thus taking control of their lives and destroying entire families. Because of their spiritual condition they were ready to listen to anyone and believe anything yet never coming to a knowledge of the truth of the gospel.
2Ti 3:8 - 9 And just as Jannes and Jambres9 opposed Moses, so these people — who have warped minds and are disqualified in the faith10 — also oppose the truth. But they will not go much further,11 for their foolishness will be obvious to everyone, just like it was with Jannes and Jambres.12
Jannes and Jambres appear in Jewish tradition they are not mentioned anywhere else in the scriptures except here. Tradition stated that they were the magicians that withstood Moses at the time of the plagues in Egypt. These two fitted the above characteristics of treacherous men. They had depraved and distorted minds and were counterfeits. These men are to be rejected as far as the faith is concerned. We are not to fear people like them for in due time it will become obvious to all what their true nature is just as it was with Jannes and Jambres.
2 The Man of God, The Word of God V10 - 17
In the following verses Paul uses himself as an example of the characteristics of a man of God .
2Ti 3:10 - 12 You, however, have followed my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, my faith, my patience, my love, my endurance, as well as the persecutions and sufferings that happened to me in Antioch, in Iconium, and in Lystra. I endured these persecutions and the Lord delivered me from them all. Now in fact all who want to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
Timothy had carefully and closely followed the example that Paul had set and he now exhorts him to continue to do so that his manner of life will be in complete contrast to that of treacherous men. These characteristics are Doctrine - observing and diligently keeping the teaching of Christ. ‚ Manner of life - living a life that is well pleasing to God and a witness to the life of Jesus Christ. Purpose - in life to love and serve Jesus Christ to "press toward the goal for the prize" at the end of the race " Phil. 3: 14). „ Having faith in God. … Longsuffering - a willingness to put up with the shortcomings of others. Love - for God and for all men everywhere. Patience - persevering in the face of trouble, remaining steadfast in the faith. Persecutions - suffering persecution because of the testimony of Christ and living a godly life. ˆ Afflictions - suffering physical at the hands of those who oppose the gospel as did Paul not only at the places named here but on many occasions (2 Cor. 11: 23 - 27). "Although Paul had to face many persecutions God enabled him to triumph over them. God's grace is always sufficient" (Wesley). Like Paul all who are determined to go on with Christ and to live a devoted and godly life will meet with persecutions.
2Ti 3:13 But evil people and charlatans will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived themselves.
However, wicked, ungodly, men will go from bad to worse. They will be deceived themselves and will deceive others (2 Thes. 2:11).
2Ti 3:14 You, however, must continue in the things you have learned and are confident about. You know who taught you
Their behaviour must not discourage us but we are to continue to hold to the things we have learned and of which we are assured.
2Ti 3:15 and how from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Timothy had been taught the scriptures as a young child and therefore knew all about them. It is the Word of God that instructs and brings us to a knowledge of the saving power of Jesus Christ.
2Ti 3:16 - 17 Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.
All scripture is God-breathed (given by inspiration). The Bible does not just contain the Word of God; but it is the Word of God. It is therefore "profitable" for Doctrine - instructing us in our walk with the Lord. Reproof - convicting us of sin. Correction - when we stray and need disciplining. instruction in righteousness - for training in holy living, in conforming to God's will in thought and purpose, and action (AMP. N.T.) In order that the man of God may be complete and fully equipped for service.