John Wesley's Explanatory Notes
Verse 1. In the last days - The time of the gospel dispensation, commencing at the time of our Lord's death, is peculiarly styled the last days. Grievous - Troublesome and dangerous.
Verse 2. For men - Even in the church. Will be - In great numbers, and to an higher degree than ever. Lovers of themselves - Only, not their neighbours, the first root of evil. Lovers of money -The second.
Verse 3. Without natural affection - To their own children. Intemperate, fierce - Both too soft, and too hard.
Verse 4. Lovers of sensual pleasure - Which naturally extinguishes all love and sense of God.
Verse 5. Having a form - An appearance of godliness, but not regarding, nay, even denying and blaspheming, the inward power and reality of it. Is not this eminently fulfilled at this day?
Verse 6. Of these - That is, mere formalists.
Verse 7. Ever learning - New things. But not the truth of God.
Verse 8. Several ancient writers speak of Jannes and Jambres, as the chief of the Egyptian magicians. Men of corrupt minds -Impure notions and wicked inclinations. Void of judgment -Quite ignorant, as well as careless, of true, spiritual religion.
Verse 9. They shall proceed no farther - In gaining proselytes.
Verse 12. All that are resolved to live godly - Therefore count the cost. Art thou resolved? In Christ - Out of Christ there is no godliness. Shall suffer persecution - More or less. There is no exception. Either the truth of scripture fails, or those that think they are religious, and are not persecuted, in some shape or other, on that very account, deceive themselves.
Verse 13. Deceiving and being deceived - He who has once begun to deceive others is both the less likely to recover from his own error, and the more ready to embrace the errors of other men.
Verse 14. From whom - Even from me a teacher approved of God.
Verse 15. From an infant thou hast known the holy scriptures - Of the Old Testament. These only were extant when Timothy was an infant. Which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith in the Messiah that was to come. How much more are the Old and New Testament together able, in God's hand, to make us more abundantly wise unto salvation! Even such a measure of present salvation as was not known before Jesus was glorified.
Verse 16. All scripture is inspired of God - The Spirit of God not only once inspired those who wrote it, but continually inspires, supernaturally assists, those that read it with earnest prayer. Hence it is so profitable for doctrine, for instruction of the ignorant, for the reproof or conviction of them that are in error or sin, for the correction or amendment of whatever is amiss, and for instructing or training up the children of God in all righteousness.
Verse 17. That the man of God - He that is united to and approved of God. May be perfect - Blameless himself, and throughly furnished - By the scripture, either to teach, reprove, correct, or train up others.
on the Whole Bible