Thursday, March 31, 2011

2 Timothy Chapter 2

As I have already shared before, I am now the Sunday school teacher at my church so whenever I get a chance I'd like to share some of what I plan to teach. Our lesson this week will be coming from 2 Timothy 2:8-15 . This lesson will hopefully bless someone.

Verse 8. "Remember that Jesus Christ" - The apostle seems to say: Whatever tribulations or deaths may befall us, let us remember that Jesus Christ, who was slain by the Jews, rose again from the dead, and his resurrection is the proof and pledge of ours. We also shall rise again to a life of glory and blessedness.

"According to my Gospel" - The false teaching of Hymeneus and Philetus stated that the resurrection was past already. Paul preached the resurrection from the dead; and founded his doctrine on the resurrection and promise of Christ. This was his Gospel; the other was of a different nature.

Verse 9. "Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer" - This verse contains one of the proofs that this epistle was written while St. Paul was a prisoner the second time at Rome. See the preface, where this is particularly considered.

Verse 10. "For the elect's sake" - For the sake of the Gentiles, elected by God's goodness to enjoy every privilege formerly possessed by the Jews, and, in addition to these, all the blessings of the Gospel; the salvation of Christ here, and eternal glory hereafter.

Verse 11. "If we be dead with him" - That is: As surely as Christ rose again from the dead, so surely shall we rise again; and if we die for him, we shall surely live again with him. This, says the apostle, is pistov o logov, a true doctrine. This is properly the import of the word; and we need not seek, as Bp. Tillotson and many others have done, for some saying of Christ which the apostle is supposed to be here quoting, and which he learned from tradition.

Verse 12. "If we suffer-with him" - These are other parts of the true doctrine, which the apostle mentions above.

Verse 13. "If we believe not" - Should we deny the faith and apostatize, he is the same, as true to his threatenings as to his promises; he cannot deny - act contrary to, himself.

Verse 14. "That they strive not about words" - WORDS, not things, have been a most fruitful source of contention in the Christian world; and among religious people, the principal cause of animosity has arisen from the different manner of apprehending the same term, while, in essence, both meant the same thing. All preachers and divines should be very careful, both in speaking and writing, to explain the terms they use, and never employ them in any sense but that in which they have explained them.

"The subverting of the hearers." - This is the general tendency of all polemical divinity and controversial preaching, when angry passions are called in to support the doctrines of the Gospel.

Verse 15. "Study to show thyself approved unto God" - Endeavour so to cultivate and improve thy heart and mind, that thou mayest not be a reproach to him from whom thou professest to receive thy commission.

"Rightly dividing the word of truth." - It is generally supposed that the apostle alludes here to the care taken to divide the sacrifices under the law; the priests studied, in dividing the victim down the spine, to do it so scrupulously that one half of the spinal marrow should be found on each side the backbone. Probably nothing was much farther from the apostle's thoughts than this view, which is now commonly taken of the subject.

Indeed this scrupulously dividing does not appear to have been any original ordinance among the Jews; much stress was laid upon it in later times, but from the beginning it was not so. The word orqotomein signifies, 1. Simply to cut straight, or to rectify. 2. To walk in the right way; it is thus used by Gregory Nazianzen, who, in Orat. Apol. fugae, opposes orqotomein to kakwv odeuein, walking in a right way to walking in a bad way. Thus, kainotomein signifies to walk in a new way, and kateuqunein to walk in a straight way. See Kypke. Therefore, by rightly dividing the word of truth, we are to understand his continuing in the true doctrine, and teaching that to every person; and, according to our Lord's simile, giving each his portion of meat in due season-milk to babes, strong meat to the full grown, comfort to the disconsolate, reproof to the irregular and careless; in a word, finding out the necessities of his hearers, and preaching so as to meet those necessities.

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