John Wesley's Explanatory Notes
Verse 2. The things - The wholesome doctrine, 2 Timothy 1:13. Commit - Before thou leavest Ephesus. To faithful men, who will be able, after thou art gone, to teach others.
Verse 4. No man that warreth entangleth himself - Any more than is unavoidable. In the affairs of this life - With worldly business or cares. That - Minding war only, he may please his captain. In this and the next verse there is a plain allusion to the Roman law of arms, and to that of the Grecian games. According to the former, no soldier was to engage in any civil employment; according to the latter, none could be crowned as conqueror, who did not keep strictly to the rules of the game.
Verse 6. Unless he labour first, he will reap no fruit.
Verse 8. Of the seed of David - This one genealogy attend to.
Verse 9. Is not bound - Not hindered in its course.
Verse 10. Therefore - Encouraged by this, that "the word of God be not bound." I endure all things - See the spirit of a real Christian? Who would not wish to be likeminded? Salvation is deliverance from all evil; glory, the enjoyment of all good.
Verse 11. Dead with him - Dead to sin, and ready to die for him.
Verse 12. If we deny him - To escape suffering for him.
Verse 13. If we believe not - That is, though some believe not, God will make good all his promises to them that do believe. He cannot deny himself - His word cannot fail.
Verse 14. Remind them - Who are under thy charge. O how many unnecessary things are thus unprofitably, nay hurtfully, contended for.
Verse 15. A workman that needeth not to be ashamed - Either of unfaithfulness or unskilfulness. Rightly dividing the word of truth - Duly explaining and applying the whole scripture, so as to give each hearer his due portion. But they that give one part of the gospel to all (the promises and comforts to unawakened, hardened, scoffing men) have real need to be ashamed.
Verse 16. They - Who babble thus will grow worse and worse.
Verse 17. And their word - If they go on, will be mischievous as well as vain, and will eat as a gangrene.
Verse 18. Saying the resurrection is already past - Perhaps asserting that it is only the spiritual passing from death unto life.
Verse 19. But the foundation of God - His truth and faithfulness. Standeth fast - Can never be overthrown; being as it were sealed with a seal, which has an inscription on each side: on the one, The Lord knoweth those that are his; on the other, Let every one who nameth the name of the Lord, as his Lord, depart from iniquity. Indeed, they only are his who depart from iniquity. To all others he will say, "I know you not." Matthew 7:22,23
Verse 20. But in a great house - Such as the church, it is not strange that there are not only vessels of gold and silver, designed for honourable uses, but also of wood and of earth -For less honourable purposes. Yet a vessel even of gold may be put to the vilest use, though it was not the design of him that made it.
Verse 21. If a man purge himself from these - Vessels of dishonour, so as to have no fellowship with them.
Verse 22. Flee youthful desires - Those peculiarly incident to youth. Follow peace with them - Unity with all true believers. Out of a pure heart-Youthful desires, destroy this purity: righteousness, faith, love, peace, accompany it.
Verse 24. A servant of the Lord must not - Eagerly or passionately. Strive - As do the vain wranglers spoken of, verse 23. But be apt to teach - Chiefly by patience and unwearied assiduity.
Verse 25. In meekness - He has often need of zeal, always of meekness. If haply God - For it is wholly his work. May give them repentance - The acknowledging of the truth would then quickly follow.
Verse 26. Who - At present are not only captives, but asleep; utterly insensible of their captivity.
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