2 Timothy 2
To Be a Workman Approved of God.
SUMMARY.--Training Other Evangelists.
Warring as a Good Soldier.
Suffering with Christ.
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth.
Purity of Life.
1, 2. Thou, therefore, my son. Since his son, Timothy, should
follow his example, and seek to be strong through the grace of
2. And the things that thou hast heard of me. The instruction
that I gave thee to fit thee for preaching Christ, do thou impart to
other men, faithful, in order that they may
be able to teach others also. As Paul prepared Timothy to preach
the gospel, so he is to prepare other men.
Among many witnesses. This probably refers to Timothy hearing Paul
teach these things before many congregations.
Faithful men. Trustworthy men.
3-6. Thou, therefore, endure hardness. Timothy was a soldier of
the cross. It is the part of a soldier to suffer as well as to
4. No man that warreth. The soldier to do good service must
devote himself entirely to the soldier's life, giving up worldly
affairs. So the soldier, like Timothy, engaged as a minister, should
have no other business.
5. And if a man also strive. In the various athletic games of
the Greeks. Unless he complies with the regulations, no prize will be
assigned to him in any contest. So one, striving for the Christian
crown, must seek to please the Master.
6. The husbandman that laboreth. The farmer has the first right
to the fruits. Three illustrations, that of the soldier, the athlete,
and the farmer are here given.
They all bear on the life of Timothy. "All three must deny themselves
and suffer, in order to receive the reward. The soldier denies himself
world; the athlete obeys rigid laws; the husbandman labors and waits
for a reward. So you must be content to deny yourself, to suffer, and
to wait for your reward."
7-10. Consider what I say. Reflect, and take in its meaning.
8. Remember. This is spoken for encouragement in suffering.
That Jesus Christ of the seed of David. Even as the prophets had
predicted that he should be.
Was raised from the dead. He suffered, died, but was not holden
of death, and was exalted.
My gospel. The gospel I preach everywhere.
9. Wherein I suffer trouble. For this gospel. For it I am now a
prisoner as an evil doer.
The word of God is not bound. Its great preacher was, but the
Word could not be. It was being preached abroad by thousands of
10. Therefore I endure. Since the work goes on, I endure
For the elect's sakes. All came upon him on account of his
devotion to the church. He suffered that others, God's chosen ones,
11-13. It is a faithful saying. A true saying. Some think that
11th and 12th verses
were part of an early hymn.
If we be dead with him. Rather, as in the Revision, "Died with
Rom. 6:4, 5, 8, and Col. 2:12.
The reference is to death to the old life, and burial into the death of
Christ at baptism.
12. If we suffer. We die in order to live. So our suffering with
Christ "works out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of
Rom. 8:17, and Matt. 19:27, 28.
If we deny him. See
13. If we believe not. If we prove faithless, he will still be
faithful to keep every promise he has made.
14-18. Put them in remembrance. Those to whom you minister.
Charging . . . that they strive not about words. We
see proofs in both letters to Timothy that the idle speculations which
did the church such damage a little later had already begun.
15. Study to show thyself. To this end the utmost diligence must
Approved unto God. Such a preacher that his work will please the
A workman that needeth not to be ashamed. Whose life and work
are such as to honor Christ and the gospel. This requires a pure life
as well as judicious work.
Rightly dividing the word of truth. The Revision reads,
"Handling aright." The Greek word
means, literally, "cutting straight." The thought, probably, is to
present the truth clearly, truthfully, without
blunders, and with an exactness which cannot be gainsaid.
16. But shun. Preach the truth. Shun foolish speculations.
17. And their word. The profane and vain babblings.
Eat as doth a canker. Eat deeper and deeper, like a gangrene.
Of whom is Hymenæus. See
1 Tim. 1:20.
18. Who concerning the truth have erred. Their speculation is
stated. They preached, as some do in our own times, that the
resurrection which Christ teaches is only a moral resurrection, a
resurrection of the soul to a better life. This error was taught also
(1 Cor. 15:12),
and found some currency in the second century.
19. Nevertheless. Notwithstanding the faith of some is
God's firm foundation stands. It stands unshaken. His promises
Having this seal. On seals were often inscriptions, and the
thought here is of the inscription. Upon this seal are two
inscriptions. The first cheers with the assurance that the Lord knows
his own, and will not forget them; the second shows who are his. The
Lord knows his people, and his people obey him. Thus they may know that
they are known of God.
20-22. But in a great house. As in a house there are vessels of
honor and dishonor, gold and earthen, so in the house of God, the
church, there are even some earthy materials.
21. If a man therefore purge himself from these. If a man wishes
to be a noble vessel, of gold, for honorable uses in the Lord's house,
let him cleanse himself from earthly lusts.
22. Flee also youthful lusts. Hence, let youthful passions be
controlled. Flee these, and
follow righteousness, etc. See note on
1 Tim. 4:12.
23-26. Foolish and unlearned questions avoid. Such unprofitable
questions and speculations as the false teachers raise.
24. The servant of the Lord must not strive. Hence, should not
engage in these profitless discussions.
25. In meekness correcting. Opposers must be corrected, but not
rudely; rather gently, kindly, humbly.
If God . . . will give them repentance. God gives
repentance often by providences which lead to repentance.
26. And that they may recover. They are in "the snare of the
devil," taken captive at will. The only hope is that in the providence
of God they "may recover" themselves (the idea is, to "return to
soberness." See margin of Revision), repent,
and acknowledge the truth. Men are commanded to Repent,
Matt. 3:2; Acts 2:38,
etc., but here God is alluded to as "peradventure" giving repentance.
The meaning is made clear by comparing with
"Then hath God also the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." The
meaning there is that God has granted to the Gentiles the privilege of
repentance, even as unto the Jews. So Paul's idea here is that God,
peradventure, may grant these, though sinning so grievously,
opportunities for repentance, instead of delivering them over to
hardness of heart.