Posted by: missionventureministries | January 12, 2011

TEACHING QUARRELING PEOPLE WITHOUT BECOMING QUARRELSOME – 2 Timothy 2:24-26

2 Timothy 2 vs 24-25

Here are the words that describe the mission for whom Paul is preparing Timothy. The most important thing is that he is to instruct these quarrelsome false teachers without becoming like them.

  1. Kind to all. Meaning gentle, as this word is also found in another of Paul’s letters: “We were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children” – 1 Thessalonians 2:7. In other words, our teaching doesn’t need to have an edge of anger or an attitude of trying to score points against the opposition.
  2. Able to teach: This next characteristic involves a skill in teaching. Teaching in the face of controversy requires skill and finesse.
  3. Patient when wronged: Lacking resentfulness or having patience is difficult in the presence of the opposition. Here we see Peter instructing us as Christ being our example: “When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.” – 1 Peter 2:23
  4. With gentleness correcting: The (KJV) reads “in meekness instructing”, which means, the quality of not being overly impressed by a sense of one’s self-importance, but correcting with humility and gentleness.  We need to be very sensitive to the Lord and make sure that when we correct opponents, our ego is not involved. We need to realize that we are not the ones changing the person, but rather God is using us to soften hearts and change minds through Scripture.
  5. If perhaps God may grant them repentance. Trusting God to do the work is the final characteristic. Instead of doing this in our own strength, we teach and correct in the hope that God will “grant them repentance leading them to knowledge of the truth.” Instead of believing that our teaching will accomplish this, we are firmly trusting that God will do this by His Spirit, through the instructions of the Word He has given us to teach, which contains the power in itself to bring about change:

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” – Hebrews 4:12-13

Our job is to teach the truth of God’s Word with a pure heart and with a clear spirit. It is God’s job to change the heart of our opponents, not ours. We see the same kind of attitude that Paul is talking about, in Peter’s epistle: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” – 1 Peter 3:15-16

What allows us to teach opponents in the right spirit is a right understanding of the One who must bring about the change. “If perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will” – 2 Timothy 2:25-26.

        6. God may grant them repentance: In Greek repentance literally  means, “a change of mind,” with the hint of “remorse.” According to this verse God is the one who gives or grants repentance.

People are so used to a humanistic theology that centers on self-action and self-will, that they easily forget God’s sovereignty. Everything we have is a gift, not the product of our seeking and accepting God, but first of Him seeking and accepting us. “We love because He first loved us” – 1 John 4:19.

When we faithfully preach and teach the Word, this is one of the means by which God uses to open the heart and transform the soul of those He has placed in our lives.

 

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