Do not wrangle about words
2 Timothy 2:1-21 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. 7 Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, 9 for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. 10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. 11 It is a trustworthy statement:
For if we died with Him, we will
also live with Him;
12 If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
14 Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”
20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
In today’s text it says: It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will
also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. Many today do not want to die to live. They want the abundant life of Christ so that they can live in prosperity and blessing in and of the world. They don’t want to endure to reign. They want to walk in the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit but are unwilling to endure as Christ Himself endured and said that we would. In Matthew 24:9-13 Jesus says: “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” Certainly today, many wrangle about words. Wrangling about words is debating and arguing over details in scripture. It is trying to reinterpret scripture by arguing over words or phrases taken out of context. Paul says this is useless and ruins hearers. Surely today there are many who would rather debate scripture than obey it. Paul says: Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. There are many who mishandle the word of truth, twisting the word to make it conform to today’s society and culture. Romans 12:2 says: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. God’s word reveals God’s will. Our society and culture should be transformed to conform to Him. Those who mishandle the truth, to make it conform to the world, are false prophets who mislead many.
Paul says: If anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. We are to walk in this life according to the rules established by God. In the text Paul says: The firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.” Jesus Himself, in Matthew 5:17-20 says: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus did not come to change the rules concerning sin and righteousness; between life and death. He came to fulfill the requirements of the rules for us. Jesus did not suffer and die on the cross to justify sin in God’s eyes. He paid the price for our sin so that we could live free from sin, abstaining from wickedness, having a righteousness that exceeds all human righteousness; the righteousness of Christ.
Remenber what the text says:
If we deny Him, He also will deny us. In Luke 9:26 Jesus says: “Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of
the Father and of the holy angels.” Here is the thing though: If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. In Psalm 37:3-9 the psalmist says:
Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your
way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently
for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land. Faithfulness does not grow naturally or easily in our hearts. We need to cultivate our faithfulness, trusting the Lord, doing good (what He says is good). We need to delight in Him and commit our way to His way. Then He will bring forth our righteousness, the righteousness of Christ, as we wait and rest in the Lord. In Matthew 11:28-29 Jesus says: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit; for Your faithfulness, that as I trust in You and conform to Your word and Your will, You transfom me, into Your image and likeness. Resting in You, I am confident that I can endure whatever is necessary so that I can reign with You. Amen.