Posted by: missionventureministries | June 30, 2016

THE LORD’S BOND-SERVANT MUST NOT BE QUARRELSOME BUT KIND TO ALL – (2 Timothy 2:24-26)

2 Timothy 2 vs 24-26

The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 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 2:24-26) 

Paul is giving Timothy, who is a young pastor, this wonderful advice. “The servant of the Lord” in this passage refers to a pastor, a minister of the Word, as Timothy was. However; as born again Christians this quality should be reflected in all of us.  

The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome: The most important advice we see Paul giving Timothy is to instruct these quarrelsome false teachers without becoming like them; because it is not the job of the Lord’s servant to pick fights and to start arguments. Some pastors and lay people however, only feel energized and motivated when they start and maintain a dispute. We are to remember that as the Lord’s servant we need to approach quarrelsome and divisive people in a different manner. Pastors as well as all believers are to be humble and mild mannered as they approach difficult, divisive and abusive people.  

Every true believer is a “priest unto God,” (Revelation 1:6) and has been anointed, appointed and called by God to humbly minister the love and compassion of Jesus to hurting people around them.  

The opposite of quarrelsome is peace-loving. Sadly, we see that many proud and abusive religious leaders elevate their status to that of a “Religious Dictator,” so that they can put down everyone who refuses to be controlled and manipulated by their unyielding, legalistic theories. They are exactly like the proud, abusive hypocritical Pharisees whom Jesus, exposed and condemned so many times in Matthew chapter 23. This is what Timothy is being warned of by Paul.

But be 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.

Able to teach: This next characteristic involves a skill in teaching. We must be able to communicate effectively the truths in Scripture to others. This refers to not just the ability but also the willingness to teach. We must be able to teach what is true doctrine to those who are misinformed or don’t understand. We must be kind and willing to instruct others in the truth, but never in a quarrelsome manner. This will require preparation and courage with the motivation and readiness to go teach. To do this, we must first be clear about biblical truths, and then willing to go with the right attitude. 

Patient when wronged: We must stand for God’s truth even when under attack and evil treatment. That means that we need to have patience in the presence of the opposition. It is not easy to accept unjust criticism; but as Peter quoted, we need to follow Christ’s example: For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.” – (1 Peter 2:21-23)

Having patience does not mean that Timothy is to never confront those who need to be confronted; but he must do it humbly and under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. 

With gentleness correcting those who are in opposition: Paul instructs Timothy to carry out this work of teaching with gentleness and meekness, not weakness.

Gentleness is also referred to as “meekness”, 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 God’s Word.

If perhaps God may grant them repentance. Trusting God to do the work is the final characteristic that Paul teaches Timothy. Instead of doing this in our own strength, we are to teach and correct in the hope that God will “grant them repentance leading them to knowledge of the truth, 26 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)

All true repentance is the work of God. The purpose of kindness and gentleness in teaching and correcting is to lead those in opposition to the truth so that they would hopefully be led to a right understanding of God’s Word resulting in repentance; causing a change of mind and direction.

Our motivation in correcting with gentleness is so that God would awaken repentance and the desire for truth in people’s minds.

Leading to the knowledge of the truth. Repentance leads people out of their sin and deceit and into a “knowledge of the truth”. The word for knowledge doesn’t refer to just factual information, but to a deep spiritual understanding of God’s truth. God is the One who gives this kind of knowledge and understanding that we all must seek. Only God’s Word will bring clarity and truth to foolish speculations and we must know Scripture and submit to it. 

Come to their senses. The hopeful result would be a return to sober thinking about what is true. Falsehood and sin can produce a sort of a spiritual inebriation resulting in a loss of judgment and proper control of one’s mental faculties. The destructive effect of false teaching and sin is that it anesthetizes our conscience, confuses our mind, erodes conviction and paralyzes the will.(1)

Escape from the snare of the devil . Satan is working behind the scenes to manipulate, scheme and seduce hearts and minds of men and women – (Ephesians 6:12). Deception is always Satan’s trap. That’s why it is so important that leaders in the church can and will stand firm on the truth of God’s Word and gently correct those who are held captive to the devil’s will. From the very beginning of time, Satan has been clever in his lies to trap people with subtle deception. The best antidote for false teaching and a sound thinking is found in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” And Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:3, “But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” We must return to soberness and true understanding which enables a believer to escape the devil’s snare. 

Held captive by him to do his will. A believer can be held captive by Satan to do his will. This is how a vessel of honor becomes a vessel of dishonor and a pawn of Satan to work his evil will within the body of the church through lies and deception. We must always remember that the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation if we turn to Him – (2 Peter 2:9). God is faithful and will not allow us to be tested beyond what we are able – (1 Corinthians 10:13). And if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us of all unrighteousness – (1 John 1:9).

So what does God require of those who are entrusted with teaching and guarding the truth? We must be persistent without being unkind. We must be firm without being harsh; because when we faithfully and humbly 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 places in our life.

 

References:

(1) MacArthur, John Jr., MacArthur Commentary on 2 Timothy. Moody Press: Chicago, 1998. Pg.98, 100, 102

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