Those who have work to do for Christ must stir themselves up as soldiers to do it, and strengthen themselves for it in His power. They must count upon suffering, even unto death, and therefore must carefully train up others in the faith to succeed them who will approve themselves good soldiers.
II Timothy 2
1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
II Timothy 2:1 – J. Vernon McGee
II Timothy 2:2 – J. Vernon McGee
II Timothy 2:3-4 – J. Vernon McGee
II Timothy 2:5 – J. Vernon McGee
II Timothy 2:6-12 – J. Vernon McGee
II Timothy 2:13-14 – J. Vernon McGee
II Timothy 2:15 – J. Vernon McGee
II Timothy 2:16-19 – J. Vernon McGee
II Timothy 2:20-26 – J. Vernon McGee
2 Timothy 2:1-9 – ”A Good Soldier of Jesus Christ.”
Soldier (v. 1-4): There is grace enough in Jesus for every need, but we must avail ourselves of it. We can expect nothing less than hardship, since life is a battlefield. Our one aim should be to please him who chose us to be soldiers. In order to be all that he would have us be, we must avoid entangling ourselves in the conditions around us. We must resemble a garrison in the town where it is quartered, and from which it may at any hour be summoned away. The less encumbered we are, the more easily shall we be able to execute the least command of our Great Captain. How high an honor it is to be enrolled among his soldiers!
Athlete (v. 5): Life is an amphitheater, filled with celestial spectators. Probably our worst antagonist is found in our own heart. If we win the crown, we must observe regulations as to diet, exercise, purity (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). Husbandman (v. 6): We ought to be working for God in his vineyard or harvest-field; but we are allowed to partake of the fruits. It is imperative that we should be nourished while we labor. In all these positions we must remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead. We must draw upon the power of his resurrection, and to do this, we must live on the heavenside of the Cross. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live” (Galatians 2:20). (Meyer)
2 Timothy 2:1 – Grace is the ladder to glory, and on every step of it man must die to self or he can never reach its summit. (Whitfield)
2 Timothy 2:3 – Of all work that produces results, nine-tenths must be drudgery. (Bishop of Exeter)
2 Timothy 2:3 – Do not let the warmth by the camp-fire, or the pleasantness of the shady place where your tent is pitched, keep you there when the cloud lifts. Be ready for change, be ready for continuance, because you are in fellowship with your Leader and Commander; and let Him say, Go, and you go; Do this, and you gladly do it, until the hour when He will whisper, Come; and, as you come, the river will part, and the journey will be over. And the fiery, cloudy pillar that guided you all your journey through, will spread itself out an abiding glory, in that higher home where “the Lamb is the light thereof.” (McLaren)
2 Timothy 2:3 – It is the daily drill which makes the battle hero. (Punshon)
2 Timothy 2:10-18 – ”Approved unto God.”
The elect (vs. 10-13): The Apostle sketches the experiences of the elect soul. It must endure, suffer, and die with Christ, that out of its surrender may come the truest, richest life (John 12:25). There is no path to lasting success save that of the cross and grave of Christ. It has been allotted to the redeemed in the divine program; each must tread it separately and with resolute purpose. But there is no doubt as to the sequel of a true life. The world of men may count it a failure, but God pledges himself that as the pendulum swings here in the dark, it shall swing equally in yonder world of light. Three things are impossible with God – to die, to lie, and to fail the soul that trusts him. Even when we cannot muster faith enough, his word of promise cannot be frustrated in the case of those whose faith is weak and trembling as the smoking flax.
The workman (vs. 14-18): The one anxiety with us all should be to stand approved before God. We must hold a straight course in the word of truth. Our testimony should resemble an undeviating furrow. Let us construct in our life something which will be a permanent addition to the well-being of the world, so that at the last the Master may say that he is satisfied. (Meyer)
2 Timothy 2:12 – The highest bidder for the crown of glory is the lowliest bearer of the cross of self-denial. (Gordon)
2 Timothy 2:12 – Bless God for the wilderness; thank God for the long nights; be thankful that you have been in the school of poverty and have undergone the searching and testing of much discipline. Take the right view of your trials. You are nearer heaven for the graves you have dug if you have accepted bereavements in the right spirit; you are wiser for the losses you have bravely borne, you are nobler for all the sacrifices you have willingly completed. Sanctified affliction is an angel that never misses the gate of heaven. (Parker)
2 Timothy 2:19-26 – ”A Vessel unto Honor.”
Two men had been named whose teachings had overthrown the faith of some; but in contradistinction to this lamentable defection, Paul turns with thankfulness to the firm foundations of faith on which the Church is built. They stand firm, because they rest on incontestable facts, and are authenticated by the Christian experience of centuries. Medallion inscriptions were often placed on foundation stones. Here are two affixed to those of the Church – one between God and the believer, the other between the believer and the world. What a privilege to be known by God! What a responsibility to work worthily of him before men!
From the house the Apostle proceeds to the vessels within. Each of us stands on one of those four shelves. But those to be honored and which are most often in the Master’s hands are not necessarily the gold vessels, but the clean ones, of whatever material. Cleanliness counts more with God than cleverness. Do not be anxious about your service; be ready for the Master to use you. Lie like a silver cup in the trough of the fountain (v. 25). Repentance is God’s gift, but there is a peradventure in it. Men are drunk with the world’s drugs; they need to be recovered. Notice that we may rescue for God men whom the devil has entrapped. (Meyer)
2 Timothy 2:19 – This is said with reference to some that appear unto men to be the children of God and afterward fall away. Christians have no promise that they shall be kept from misconception on this point; and they are sometimes greatly shocked to find the court of God’s house strewn with columns. God is the architect of His temple, and is cognizant of His own plans; He allows stones and pillars to be placed in the edifice which He knows do not permanently belong to it; but for the places they temporarily occupy, there are other materials known to him; and no chasms, no unlovely vacancies shall after all appear. Let this console us. The Lord knoweth them that are His. These pseudo-Christians that figure for a while upon the platform, and then pass away in the whirlwind of sin, amid the triumphs of a scoffing world, were never known to Him for anything but what they really were. (Bowen)
2 Timothy 2:21—Meet for the Master’s use.
This I would be, O Lord, clay though I am. Be Thou my potter. Make of me what Thou canst and by what process Thou wilt, only let me be what Thou canst use.
Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? (Mark 10:38)
By thy grace I am able. Let me die with Thee; lie in the grave of obscurity and neglect; be counted as the off-scouring of all things; be broken on the edge of thy wheel; pass through the fire of thy hottest kiln — only let me be one whom Thou choosest and usest, constantly in thy hand; dipped down often into the brimming well, and back to thy dear lips, or to the lips of whom Thou lovest.
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41).
I know it, I know it, Lord. But I desire to die to the weakness of the flesh, its ache, its tears, its faintness, that I may live in the Spirit. Is not thy grace sufficient? Is not thy strength perfected in weakness? Is not the residue of the Spirit with Thee, to give without measure? Heed not my weak cryings, but perfect that which concerneth me. Only make me a vessel that Thou canst use.
He that is greatest…let him be…as he that doth serve (Luke 22:26).
I understand thee, Master. Thou wouldst winnow my heart, and rid me of all that is proud and selfish. It is true that in the time past I have sought great things for myself: but that is gone now: I am but a weaned babe: my only desire is for Thee, for thy glory, for the magnifying of thy name: my one cry to be often, always, in thy hand. (Meyer)