2 Timothy 2:14-26
1. Know the Scriptures- vv. 14-18
a) Vv. 14, 16-18- Donít get involved in useless discussions which speculate on all sorts of things that we donít know but never get around to applying the things we do know.
b) V. 15- Instead prepare yourself to meet God by devoting yourself to His word. This verse calls us to a zealous pursuit of the approval of God. It is this desire which is the bedrock basis of being found faithful. Our chief goal, our greatest ambition should be to please God, to know that He is pleased with what we have done, to hear on the final day, ĎWell done, my good and faithful servant.í This was Paulís ambition (see 2 Corinthians 5:9; Philippians 1:20; Paul also prayed this for others, Colossians 1:10).
If, then, we desire to be approved by God, we must study His word in order to find out what pleases Him and what displeases Him.
2. Pursue Holiness- vv. 19-23
a) v. 19a- The stability of Godís church- Some may turn away, but do not be over anxious. The Lord know those who are His. God is in control and He will guard His own. We may fret but God does not.
b) Vv. 19b-23- The distinction of Godís people- Those who really know God should be recognizable by the fact that they avoid sin. They continue to struggle with it, but they hate it and they make progress in avoiding it.
The illustration of vessels- The question is do you want to be a golden goblet or a bedpan? Both are vessels, and both are used; but one for honor and one for dishonor. Which you will be depends on cleansing- in this context both moral and doctrinal cleansing. This passage promises that if you cleanse yourself you can be a choice instrument of God! Wow! What a promise! So, what will it be? The pleasures of sin for a season or the hand of God upon you to advance His kingdom?
In order to cleanse ourselves, Paul gives to principles:
1) Flee youthful lusts- Like Joseph ran from the temptation of Potipharís wife, so we too should run from temptation. Donít hang around to talk, donít play with temptation but run because it will sting you!
2) Pursue godliness with the godly- We need help in the race and we are strongly influenced by those we spend time with (Proverbs 13:20; 2 Corinthians 6:14-15; Proverbs 4:14-19), so spend time with others who are seeking the Lord. We need each other (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
3. Reach out to the Lost- vv. 24-26
Not with quarrelling but with patience and gentleness, desiring their salvation.
Note the description of those without Christ:
- Caught in the snare of the devil
- Held captive to the devil to do his will
This should arouse within us pity, and we should, when we have opportunity, clearly point out to lost people the seriousness of their condition.