Words will never hurt (2 Timothy 2 v 14-19)
NOTE: Tomorrow is the last day that this series on 2 Timothy is available on Biblestudytools.com. To get the rest of the series, get a set of Explore devotional, either as an app or as a paper copy, here—details of a great deal below this study.
As a child I was taught: “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but names will never hurt you”. It isn’t true! Words can actually do great harm— and they can, of course, do great good, too. And these verses are all about words.
Read 2 Timothy 2:14
• What were people quarrelling about?
• When do words become useless and even dangerous?
False teaching and damaging words are not just blatant denials of the gospel. The ruinous words of verse 14 refer to splitting hairs over obscure points of interpretation. It is very damaging when churches, or individuals, make a rule where the Bible doesn’t: dress codes, Bible translations, hymn books, music etc.
There are, of course, more obvious deviations, and these are referred to in verses 16-18. It seems that these teachers used to teach the truth, but at some point went off track. Specifically, they denied the final resurrection. They put all their hope in this life.
Whatever the wrong teaching is, these verses remind us that it will inevitably lead to wrong living, whether in terms of pride, selfishness or immorality.
• Why do we need to take this threat seriously (v 16-18)?
Read 2 Timothy 2:15
• What does verse 15 tell us about good Bible teaching?
• Who should a Bible teacher be aiming to please?
• What does verse 19 tell us about God’s word?
The health of a church is directly linked to the quality of its Bible teaching. Every Bible teacher, whether teaching the whole church, Sunday school, youth, or any other group, should pay careful attention to 2 Timothy 2 v 15!
If a builder were hired to build a wall and he built it crooked, he should be ashamed to call himself a builder! In the same way, Bible teachers need to set a high standard, making sure that they teach clearly and accurately. It is a wonderful, as well as a sobering, fact that unlike any other book in the world, every time the Bible is read the author is present! And it is what He thinks that counts.
There is much wrong teaching that claims to be biblical, and we need to be careful to avoid it. But isn’t it reassuring to know that a church built on God’s word rests on a solid foundation (v 19)?
Pray for those in your church who have the wonderful, awesome responsibility of teaching and preaching the Bible.
NOTE: Tomorrow is the last day that this series on 2 Timothy is available on Biblestudytools.com. To get the rest of the series, get a set of Explore devotional, either as an app or as a paper copy, here—details of a great deal below.
This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.
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