Paul continues his second letter to Timothy in chapter 2 by reminding Timothy that his ministry is going to require hard work and effort, we can consider ourselves being followers of Christ as being farmers spreading God’s Word with Paul emphasising the hard work, love, care and attention required when we’re witnessing to non-followers of Christ but are asking us questions. You may note that I’ve stated ‘followers’ of Christ and not ‘believers’, Tony Campolo stated in an interview that churches throughout the world are filled with believers of Christ but not as many followers of Christ, as we know Satan believes in Christ but he’s not a follower of Christ.
At the time of writing Paul is clearly imprisoned, chained but still rejoices in the knowledge of the good news which is Jesus was crucified and was raised from the dead; and even though he may be chained up; the Word of God cannot be bound up. Paul quotes Jesus in Matthew 10:22-23 “22 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” [ESV]
Paul goes on to remind Timothy (see 1 Timothy 6:4) and ourselves that we shouldn’t waste our time in futile arguments over wording of Scripture, as this causes division and upset within the church; but we should make every effort to make ourselves acceptable to God remaining faithful to His Word and proclaim it to the lost.
We need to stay on our guard for those within a congregation who speak false truths, twist doctrine to suit ‘their’ preferred lifestyle(s) as Paul correctly says it will spread around a congregation “like gangrene”. In order for us to be able to defend the Scripture we need to know Scripture so we can refute the false words being spoken. When Timothy mentions in verse 20 and 21 “20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honourable use, some for dishonourable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonourable,[c] he will be a vessel for honourable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” [ESV] some scholars think that the dishonourable vessels resemble the false teachers within the church who are destined for eternal punishment.
At the end of this chapter Paul warns Timothy against the temptations of the flesh and to pursue ‘faith, love and peace’.
Does your life reflect you as a follower of Christ or a believer of Christ?
Bible verse quotes and links have been taken from http://www.biblegateway.com