2 Timothy 2: Soldier in the Lord’s Army

How bold should we be in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ?

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Acts 4:31 After they had prayed, the room shook and the Holy Spirit filled them all, giving them boldness to speak God’s word.
2 Timothy 2:1 Be strong, my son, even explosive in all that God gives you in Christ Jesus.
King James
Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
2 Timothy 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

A thousand people can be sincerely wrong, so why would Paul’s claim of many supporting witnesses have value?

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2 Timothy 2:2 What you’ve heard from me has been confirmed by many witnesses. Share the good news of Christ with faithful people who will teach others as well.
King James
2 Timothy 2:2 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.

In serving the Lord, how much pain and strain should we anticipate?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 11:29–30 “Take my yoke upon you, and learn to walk my way, for I am gentle and humble of heart. In me, you will find rest for your souls, because my yoke fits and your share of the load is light.”
2 Timothy 2:3 As a committed soldier of Jesus Christ, toughen up, enduring hardships.
King James
Matthew 11:29–30 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

What kinds of distractions are most likely to sidetrack Christians?

Author’s Thoughts
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2 Timothy 2:4 If a soldier wants to please his commander, he can’t allow distractions that would steal his focus on the battle.
King James
2 Timothy 2:4 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.

How can we know when we’re taking steps in the right direction?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to keep my feet from stumbling, a light that shines before me to show the way you want me to go.
Proverbs 3:6 Let the Lord guide everything you do, and he will keep you on the right path.
Proverbs 16:9 People want to map their entire journey, but God shows them only the next step.
2 Timothy 2:5 In striving for excellence, we can’t be successful without taking the right steps.
King James
Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.
2 Timothy 2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

When does a farmer first see benefit from his effort?

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2 Timothy 2:6 The diligent farmer gets the first benefit from the harvest.
King James
2 Timothy 2:6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.

What make meditation helpful? When is it harmful?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 19:14 Let everything I think and everything I say be acceptable to you, O Lord, my strength and redeemer.
Psalm 119:99 I have better understanding than my teachers, because your words are always on my mind.
2 Timothy 2:7 Meditate upon what I’m saying, and the Lord will give you understanding.
King James
Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalm 119:99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

What is the central truth of the good news of Jesus Christ? What makes that message offensive to people?

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2 Timothy 2:8–9 Be mindful of the central truth of my good news, that Jesus Christ, a descendent of King David, was raised from the dead. That fact offends some people, so I am treated like a criminal, beaten and shackled, but the word of God is not bound.
King James
2 Timothy 2:8–9 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.

Why did Paul place so much value on the saving of one soul that he would submit to great suffering?

Author’s Thoughts
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2 Timothy 2:10–12 I will endure any amount of suffering for the hope that people will turn to the Lord, that they might be saved and know eternal glory in Christ Jesus. You can trust this saying: if we suffer and die for Christ, we will live with him forever. If we suffer for Christ’s sake, we will reign with him, but if we deny him, he will deny us.
King James
2 Timothy 2:10–12 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. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

If unbelief doesn’t change God, what does it change?

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2 Timothy 2:13 Even if we choose not to believe, he still loves us, because he cannot deny who he is.
King James
2 Timothy 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

What are some of the trivialities that we should avoid in sharing the truth of Jesus Christ?

Author’s Thoughts
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2 Timothy 2:14 Stress the important points that must be remembered, and don’t trip over trivialities, which not only profit nothing but also obscure the message that needs to be heard.
King James
2 Timothy 2:14 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.

How important is “diligent study”?

Author’s Thoughts
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John 5:38–40 “You do not have God’s message in your hearts, because you have not believed the one he has sent to you. You search the scriptures, thinking you will find eternal life, but those words testify concerning me. Still, you refuse to come and receive life from me.”
2 Timothy 2:15 Diligently study so you will be recognized by God and others as one who correctly interprets Scripture, one who need not be ashamed.
King James
John 5:38–40 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

What kind of focus is needed to promote godly behavior?

Author’s Thoughts
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2 Timothy 2:16 Avoid irrelevant, out-of-focus, unproductive discussions, which do nothing to change godless behavior.
King James
2 Timothy 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

What kinds of discussions might take us away from God altogether?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right but ends in death.
1 Timothy 6:20 Oh Timothy, guard the gifts entrusted to you. Avoid foolish debates with people who oppose God with their expert knowledge that isn’t so smart.
2 Timothy 2:16–18 Avoid irrelevant, out-of-focus, unproductive discussions, which do nothing to change godless behavior. Such practice is a cancer, eating away at our spiritual wellbeing like a cancer. Of such are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who missed the truth, saying the dead in Christ had already risen, destroying some people’s faith.
Hebrews 10:26 If people continue to sin after learning the truth, no further sacrifice is left for them,
King James
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
1 Timothy 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
2 Timothy 2:16–18 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

What makes our foundation in God secure?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 7:24–26 “Everyone who not only hears my words but also puts them into practice is like a wise man who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house on solid rock. When a storm brought torrential rain, flooded streams, and hurricane-force winds, his house did not collapse, because it was well built on an unshakeable foundation. Anyone who hears my words but never acts on them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand, without a foundation.”
2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless, our foundation in God is solid, having this seal: The Lord knows who belongs to him. So everyone who follows Jesus Christ must have no part in anything evil.
King James
Matthew 7:24–26 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
2 Timothy 2:19 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.

Why might the inside condition of a container be more important than its appearance?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 15:11 “You are not defiled by what goes into your mouth. It is what comes out that makes you unclean.”
Matthew 23:27 “How terrible for you Pharisees and teachers of the Law. Hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs that look great on the outside but are full of dead men’s bones and rottenness.”
2 Timothy 2:20–21 In a mansion, containers are not only made of gold or silver but also wood or clay, some for special occasions while others are used for garbage. So cleanse yourselves from the filth. Be a container for the Holy Spirit, without contaminants, made suitable for the special work God has for you.
James 4:8 Move closer to God, and he will move closer to you. Wash your hands of wrongdoing and purify your hearts with good motives. Don’t live a double life, but have a single focus upon what the Lord wants.
King James
Matthew 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
Matthew 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
2 Timothy 2:20–21 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. 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.
James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

What is needed to “pursue righteousness”?

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2 Timothy 2:22 Shun the passions of immature pleasure seekers and pursue righteousness, with pure heart following the Lord in faith, love, and contentment.
King James
2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

What are some of the questions that create strife and profit nothing?

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2 Timothy 2:23 Don’t entertain ignorant and irrelevant questions that create strife and profit nothing.
King James
2 Timothy 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

Given all the turmoil that resulted from his ministry, how could Paul advise Timothy not to stir up trouble?

Author’s Thoughts
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2 Timothy 2:24–26 The Lord’s servants are not called to stir up trouble. They should patiently teach, always being loving and kind, gently pointing out the self-defeating nature of contrary opinions. Because of your kindness, people might surrender their prejudice and recognize God’s truth. They might wake up, recognize Satan’s deception, and no longer be captive to his devices.
King James
2 Timothy 2:24–26 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.