This sermon was based on 2 Timothy 2:14-26
A Worker Approved by God
14Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. 19But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”
20Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable.
21Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
22So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
Rightly Handle the Word of Truth
- Be selective about what conversations you get into.
- Quarreling. Avoid Taking the bait. If we are going to be mature and effect, we need to be comfortable with the fact that sometimes people will be wrong about stuff – and that’s fine. Things to consider 1) Is this issue worth it? 2) Am I the right person? 3) Is this the right forum?
- Irreverent babble. ‘Empty Sound’ – Talking a lot and saying nothing good, speculation, crass talk – Leads to ungodliness.
- Come back to the foundations. The specific foundations mentioned here: ‘The Lord knows those who are his’ and ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity’. Application – What do you consider to be the foundational truths (and on what basis)?
- Approach the issues gently. Not ducking the issues. But how to have the conversation. The objective is that they ‘come to their senses’ – winning the person (rather than winning the argument).
Don’t Count Yourself Out
- This is for all of us. When I read John J’s book I realise I am not like him – it seems like Timothy had a similar feeling about Paul.
- Application – Do you see it as for ‘other people’? E/g. Planting/pioneering – Just Colin’s thing? Sharing Jesus with your friends – I don’t know how (that’s okay) – Are you in?
- Flee from: Youthful passions. We tend to think of sexual immorality/drunkenness etc (of course flee from that too). Really about quarreling/argumentation.
- Pursue: Righteousness, faith, love, peace. The Godly Life – We try to set the world to rights when we often need to start with our own hearts. (‘Send revival, start with me’ – ‘I’m starting with the man in the mirror’). This is not separate from our witness. If it’s only life but not words …If it’s only words but not life …