Saturday, August 20, 2011


 "Shun youthful lusts and flee from them, and aim at and pursue righteousness-all that is virtuous and good, right living, conformity to the will of God in thought, word and deed. [And aim at and pursue] faith, love [and] peace-which is harmony and concord with others-in fellowship with all [Christians], who call upon the Lord out of a pure heart.
  But refuse-shut your mind against, have nothing to do with-trifling (ill-informed, unedifying, stupid) controversies over ignorant questionings, for you know that they foster strife and breed quarrels.
  And the servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome-fighting and contending. Instead he must be kindly to every one and mild-tempered-preserving the bond of peace; he must be a skilled and suitable teacher, patient and forbearing and willing to suffer wrong.
 He must correct his opponents with courtesy and gentleness, in the hope that God may grant that they will repent and come to know the Truth-that is, they will perceive and recognize and become accurately acquainted with and acknowledge it, 
 And that they may come to their senses [and] escape out of the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him, [henceforth] to do His [God's] will." (2 Timothy 2:22-26).

  The last of the three "contrasts in the church" is that between kind people and quarrelsome people (vv.22-26). Unfortunately, both types are often in the visible, organized church.

22 Timothy was still a rather young man, probably in his early thirties, and so the aged apostle warns him: "Flee the evil desires of youth." The implication is that he must keep on fleeing youthful lusts and pursuing positive virtues instead. It is not enough to run away from wrong; we must run after what is good. This is the only way to escape temptations to evil (cf. Rom 12:21).

    Timothy must pursue four things: "righteousness, faith, love and peace" (see also 1 Tim 6:11). Although Timothy must purge the church of false teachers, he had to be careful to promote "love and peace" among the Christian believers committed to his care. "Faith" may also be translated "faithfulness", both ideas fit well here.

23 Paul goes on to instruct Timothy again to avoid and even refuse to get involved in senseless and ignorant "arguments". If such questions are brought before Timothy, he should refuse to discuss them. Sometimes the wise pastor has to do this, because they only produce fights. These tend to divide the church and so destroy it.

24 "The Lord's servant"-i.e., every Christian, but particularly the pastor of a church-must not "quarrel." Rather, they must be "kind" (1 Tim 3:2), and "not resentful." Christians must have this sort of attitude towards those who oppose them.

25-26 At the same time, a good minister must "gently instruct" such people, the hope that God will give them "repentance" (lit., "a change of heart"), leading to a full "knowledge" of the truth, and that "they will come to their senses" and be set free from the snare of the devil.

[NIV BIBLE COMMENTARY Volume 2: New Testament]. {}.


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