2 Timothy 3 – Godly Life in Christ = Persecution?

19 Nov

Paul continues to give instruction to Timothy about how to handle the church after he has left. We live in a culture that pushes more and more for tolerance and acceptance. While there is a lot of need for that in our culture, there isn’t much room for it in our churches. Don’t hear me wrong. We are tolerant of people who struggle with sin but Paul is strict on those who have the form of godliness but deny its power. These people are cancerous to the church and we should have nothing to do with them. Does this seem harsh? Shouldn’t we love everyone? Again…we need to be careful here and not let this verse be turned into a verse to kick “sinners” out of the church. On the other hand, we need to take the problem of sin seriously and have nothing to do with people who have become a cancer amongst the church. All that being said, it appears that Paul is addressing specific people. These people are going into homes to gain control over gullible women. These men are opposed to the truth though they are always learning. They will never come to knowledge.

Paul then turns his focus to Timothy to encourage him to continue in what he has learned from infancy and to continue on in it. After talking about the different things that he has experienced in his life, Paul then makes this comment in verse 12 that makes me uncomfortable, “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” This doesn’t seem like a “probably statement.” Paul is convinced that persecution comes to those who are living a godly life in Christ Jesus. Christians are called to live counter culturally. When you live drastically different from the world, you will be persecuted. If we are not being persecuted, we need to stop and ask ourselves if we look more like the culture around us or the gospel found in Christ.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that all God’s people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – This Scripture Paul is talking about is not the New Testament though there might be some thought that Paul might think of some of the things he is writing as Scripture since he feels the need to differentiate between when God is talking and when he is talking. Nonetheless, Scripture is to be used for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. Who is Scripture to be applied to though? Christians or nonChristians? Scripture is used to teach, rebuke, correct, and train those who belong to God. How quick are we to attack nonChristians with Scripture? Scripture is there to equip us for every good work and not to be used as a weapon to attack others with.

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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in 2 Timothy, Bible Blog, Pauline Epistles


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