The Pastoral Epistles: 2 Timothy 3 (5)
Pray Psalm 2.7-9.
“I will declare the decree:
The LORD has said to Me,
‘You areMy Son,
Today I have begotten You.
Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’”
Read and meditate on 2 Timothy 3.14, 15.
1. What does Paul mean by “continue”?
2. What does the phrase, “wise for salvation”, mean?
Paul has been painting a picture of a world changing for the worse. The temptation is to resist change for a while, then to go with it. This is as true for Christians as for anyone else. When Christians “go with the flow” of culture and morality, they drift from the Word, usually either by ignoring or downplaying parts of it, and rationalizing their wayward interpretations of others.
The result is always bad. The only way to keep from such drifting is to continue in the Word of God and the sound teaching of the apostles and prophets (v. 14). We continue in these by learning and relearning them, seeking new and more personal applications of the Word to our daily lives, encouraging our fellow believers in the truth of Scripture, and standing firm on the Word in the face of deniers and detractors.
Doing so will make us wise for salvation. That is, standing firm in the Word will allow us to grow in our great salvation and to become wise for righteous living in a world of ever-increasing unrighteousness. Salvation is not just a gift bringing forgiveness and the hope of heaven. It is a gift bringing new life, a completely transformed way of living, that stands firm against contrary winds of doctrine and resists the shifting spiritus mundi with the unchanging Spirit and Word of God.
They truly have faith in Christ Jesus who continue in His Word and grow in His salvation (v. 15).
Look to the apostles and prophets (v. 14) – how they lived, what they sacrificed, their boldness and holiness, their faithfulness, even unto death. Let their example confirm their teaching; and so continue in the things you have learned, since learning Christ first began to be your calling in life. This is the way to wisdom and salvation.
1. What signs do you see that some Christians today are drifting with the moral and cultural winds of our secular age?
2. How can you fortify yourself against such false teaching?
3. Growing in salvation means growing in wisdom. Why?
Read the divine Scriptures constantly. Never, indeed, let the sacred volume be out of your hand. Learn what you have to teach.… Do not let your deeds belie your words. Jerome (347-420), Letters 52.7
Keep me in Your Word today, Lord, and help me to resist false teaching, so that I…
Pray Psalm 2.7-10.
Renew your commitment to seek the Kingdom and righteousness of God today as you go forth into your Personal Mission Field as a witness for Christ.
Sing Psalm 2.7-10.
Psalm 2.7-10 (Agincourt: O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High!)
Proclaim the message far and wide, that God has exalted the Crucified!
From heav’n He sent us His only Son, Who has for us salvation won!
To Christ the Lord be given all who humbly embrace Him and on Him call.
Be wise, be warned: His judgment comes to break the prideful, sinful ones.
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).