2 Timothy 3:10 (NIV) 10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance,
On verse 10: The false teachers disturbing Timothy’s church were known for their immoral character (see verses 1-9). In contrast, Paul sought to show Timothy what a true man of God and a true leader in God’s kingdom looks like — not just in his teaching, but in his lifestyle (“my way of life”), his character (“my…faith, patience, love, endurance”) and his ambition and his reason for living (“my purposes”).
What can we learn from this? It’s important to teach the Word of God correctly to those in our care. But just as important as teaching correctly, we need to model Christ for those around us through our lifestyle, our character and the goals we pursue.
2 Timothy 3:11-13 (NIV) 11 persecutions, sufferings–what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
On verses 11-13: Another way that Paul was set apart from the false teachers was in how much persecution and suffering Paul endured. Paul confirms that not just him, but everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (v12). In contrast, the false teachers claimed to know something about God, but their lifestyles pointed to the contrary. In so doing they continued to deceive themselves and others (v13).
What can we learn from this? The sincerity of your faith can be measured by how willing you are to suffer for it. Rarely will fake Christians endure persecution. That’s because they’re living not for God, but for themselves. When following Jesus is not convenient, the fake Christian will drop their faith like yesterday’s garbage. In contrast, those who truly believe and who truly want to please God with their lives will endure persecution and suffering, understanding that it’s part of following Jesus. Just as Jesus suffered and gave His life for us, may we not be afraid to do the same for Him.
2 Timothy 3:14-15 (NIV) 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
On verses 14-15: Paul tells Timothy not to be influenced by the false teachers that threaten his church. Rather he is to continue in his faith, remembering (1) whom he learned it from (v14) and (2) the Word of God that has been Timothy’s help, foundation and guide since his youth and is able to give him wisdom and salvation through Jesus Christ (v15).
What can we learn from this? When you’re not sure what to believe, fall back on two things: (1) the example of Christian leaders whom you truly respect; and (2) the Word of God. God’s Word is able to give us wisdom and salvation. But that’s not all. Keep reading verses 16-17.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV) 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
On verses 16-17: These two verses are worth memorizing. They tell us 3 things about Scripture:
1. The Scriptures of the Bible are not simply writings by people, but are God-breathed (that is, divinely inspired) (v16).
2. Not only do the Scriptures give us wisdom and salvation (v15), but they are also useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training us to be more like Jesus (v16). You can’t become the person God made you to be without allowing the Word of God to teach, rebuke, correct and train you.
3. The whole reason God gave us His Scriptures was ultimately “to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (v17). This is the purpose of God’s Word. God’s Word is not simply for our information, but for our transformation. God gave us His Word so that we can be prepared and equipped for the destiny God has for us.
So if you want to become the person God made you to be and do the things God designed you to do, get into the Scriptures and let them teach you, rebuke you, correct you, train you, equip you and prepare you.
Heavenly Father, thank You for my Bible, these Scriptures which are God-breathed. Today I submit to the authority of Your Word. I invite You Holy Spirit to use Your Word which You inspired to teach me, rebuke me, correct me, and train me in righteousness. Use Your Word to equip me, prepare me and make me into the person You made me to be. And use Your Word to mould my life, my way of living, my purpose, and my faith into the image of Your Son. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.