Summary: SUMMARY OF PAUL’S CHARGE TO TIMOTHY: FIGHT TO PROTECT SOUND DOCTRINE
SUMMARY OF PAUL’S CHARGE TO TIMOTHY:
FIGHT TO PROTECT SOUND DOCTRINE
I. THE GOOD GUYS -- THE RESPONSIBILITY TO MAINTAIN SOUND DOCTRINE FALLS TO DIVINELY APPOINTED LEADERS
A. The Responsibility (to Maintain Sound Doctrine) is a Sacred Trust
"This command I entrust to you …"
speaking about the charge laid out in vs.3 that Timothy remain on at Ephesus and "instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines" -- and since it is Pres. Tense may also refer to instructions yet to come in this epistle (3:14; 4:6, 11; 6:2)
Guthrie: "As often in military contexts … it conveys a sense of urgent obligation. Timothy is solemnly reminded that the ministry is not a matter to be
trifled with, but an order from the commander-in-chief."
B. The Responsibility Must be Passed Along to Trusted Leaders
"to you, Timothy, my son"
Spiritual leaders must receive this charge and view it as their personal responsibility
C. The Responsibility Must be Fulfilled by Those Whom God has Sovereignly Appointed to the Task
"in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you"
Wiersbe: "Paul also reminded Timothy that God had chosen him for his ministry. Apparently some of the prophets in the local assemblies had been led
by the Spirit to select Timothy for service."
Guthrie: "… the words testify not only to the complete confidence of Paul that Timothy was God’s choice as his successor, but to the endorsement of that
choice by the Christian communities with which Timothy was associated."
D. The Responsibility is Clear (Transition to the next point)
"Fight the good fight"
II. THE BATTLE -- MAINTAINING A GOOD CONSCIENCE WITH RESPECT TO.THE TRUTH IS WHERE THE BATTLE LINES ARE DRAWN
A. Timothy is Charged to be Faithful in This Area
"keeping faith and a good conscience"
Guthrie: "We need not restrict faith here to ’right belief’ as Easton does, although that aspect is undoubtedly included. It appears to epitomize the
spiritual side of the Christian warrior’s armour."
Stedman: "I find a great deal of misunderstanding, even among Christians, on what the conscience is. Many feel that the conscience is given to us to teach us
the difference between right and wrong. But nothing could be further from the truth. No, the conscience is given to us, rather, to resist any deviation from the
truth, from the right and the wrong that we know. If you think it is given to us to indicate what is wrong or what is right, you will begin to rely upon your feelings to determine right and wrong. That is where many go astray -- many young Christians, especially. They think their conscience is their feelings; and if they feel something is right then they do it…
The conscience is given to us so that when we know what is right and what is wrong, it insists that we do the right and avoid the wrong. But it is the Word of
God that teaches us what is right and what is wrong. Conscience is like a gyroscope, set in a certain direction, which resists any tendency to deflect it.
Conscience, however, can be set in a wrong direction, then it will guide us,wrongly. Revelation, the Word of God, is what tells us what is right and what is
wrong. Conscience is given to us to help us know when we are beginning to fail, or fall away from that right path. In other words, a good conscience is s synonym for an obedient heart which wants to do what God says is right. That is what Paul is talking about. Wherever
God speaks, and you know what he tells you to do, regardless of what your flesh or your feelings say, obey; do what God says. That is the way to maintain a
good conscience. If you fail, correct it instantly by the provision that God has made: confess, repent, set it straight, then go on with God."
B. False Teachers are Exposed as Having Proved Unfaithful in This Area
"which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith"
Campbell: "The word ’faith’ is used here with the article ’the’ preceeding it. This is very
significant for it means that Paul has in mind the faith, the body of truth which is believed, the Gospel of the Grace of God …"
Our faith is centered around the faith
III. THE BAD GUYS -- SEVERE DISCIPLINE MUST BE ENFORCED AGAINST.FALSE TEACHERS
A. Who are They and What False Doctrine Did they Teach?
1. Hymenaeus - apparently taught that the resurrection was already past;
denial of the reality of the bodily resurrection for believers
2 Tim. 2:16-18
2. Alexander -- very common name in that day (cf. 2 Tim. 4:14)
B. What was the Nature of the Severe Discipline?
"whom I have delivered over to Satan" (cf. 1 Cor. 5:5)