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Summary: THE FAITHFUL MINISTER OF GOD’S WORD PROMOTES TRUTH AND PURSUES GODLINESS AS A DILIGENT WORKMAN, A VESSEL PURIFIED FOR HONOR, AND A GENTLE BONDSERVANT

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BIG IDEA:

THE FAITHFUL MINISTER OF GOD’S WORD PROMOTES TRUTH AND

PURSUES GODLINESS AS A DILIGENT WORKMAN, A VESSEL PURIFIED FOR HONOR, AND A GENTLE BONDSERVANT (IN THE FIGHT AGAINST ERROR – AS OPPOSED TO FALSE TEACHERS)

INTRODUCTION:

I. (:14-19) STAND FOR THE SHARP KNIFE OF THE WORD OF TRUTH

(WHICH PROTECTS AGAINST UNGODLINESS) – A DILIGENT WORKMAN

A. (:14) Avoid Semantical Debates

1. Major on the Important Issues – “Remind them of these things”

2. Maintain God’s Perspective – “and solemnly charge them in the presence of God”

3. Don’t Quibble Over Semantics – “not to wrangle about words” – Why?

Don’t make mountains out of molehills; Don’t look to pick a fight

a. “useless’

b. “leads to the ruin of the hearers”

B. (:15) Work Hard at Accurately Handling the Scriptures

1. Diligent – “Be diligent”

2. Accountable – “to present yourself approved to God”

not a man-pleaser; not swayed by popular opinion

3. Faithful – “as a workman who does not need to be ashamed”

4. Competent – “handling accurately the word of truth”

C. (:16) Avoid Meaningless Chatter

“But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness.”

Stedman: ‘empty babblings’ – “That refers to people who shoot off their mouths, who talk off the top of their heads and display a lot of emotionalism.”

D. (:17-18) Warning Against Heretical Teachers

1. Diseased Expansion – “and their talk will spread like gangrene.”

Stedman: Re gangrene – “It smells bad, it spreads quickly, and a whole congregation can be infected by it.”

Hiebert: “Error is a diffusive poison which, unless effectively checked, spreads rapidly through the whole body and leads to sure destruction.”

2. Detailed Examples – “Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus”

3. Doctrinal Deviation – “men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place”

Stott: “The word of truth is a target. As he shoots at this target, he will either hit it or miss it. The word of truth is a road. As he cuts this road through the forest, he will make it either straight or crooked. As a result of what he does, that is,

how he teaches, others are bound to be affected, for better or for worse. If he cuts the road straight, people will be able to follow and so keep in the way. If, on the other hand, he misses the mark, the attention of the spectators will be distracted from the target and their eyes will follow the arrow however widely astray it has gone.”

4. Destructive Influence – “and thus they upset the faith of some”

1 Cor. 15 shows that the doctrine of the bodily resurrection of believers is critical to our faith

E. (:19) Encouragement to Remain Standing on the Foundation of Truth

1. Solid Foundation – “Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands”

Campbell: “Even though the doctrinal beliefs of some may be perverted, yet the foundation of God stands solid.”

2. Divine Seal – “having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are His’”

Seal indicated ownership, security and authenticity;

The Lord’s knowledge looks at the hearts rather than mere outward profession

3. Human Responsibility – “and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickednes’”

Hiebert: “True trust in God for security must reveal itself in a life of effective separation from unrighteousness.”

II. (:20-23) SEPARATE YOURSELF WITH THE FORK OF DISCERNMENT.(FROM CORRUPTING INFLUENCES AND UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS)

-- A VESSEL FOR HONOR

A. (:20) Discern Good from Evil – Recognizing the Reality of Both

Stott: “the two sets of vessels in the great house … represent not genuine and spurious

members of the church but true and false teachers in the church. Paul is still, in fact,

referring to the two sets of teachers he has contrasted in the previous paragraph, the

authentic like Timothy and the bogus like Hymenaeus and Alexander. The only difference is that he changes the metaphor from good and bad workmen to noble and

ignoble vessels.”

B. (:21) Separate from Corrupting Teachers

C. (:22) Separate from Corrupting Temptations

D. (:23) Separate from Corrupting Thoughts

III. (:24-26) STIR YOUR WORD OF CORRECTION WITH THE SPOON OF GENTLENESS (VS. PICKING A FIGHT) – A GENTLE BONDSERVANT

A. Manner of Offering Words of Correction --

Five Fingers Holding the Spoon:

1. “Not Quarrelsome”

2. “Kind to All”

3. “Able to Teach”

4. “Patient when Wronged”

5. “With Gentleness Correcting those who are in opposition”

B. Goal of Offering Gentle Words of Correction

1. “God may grant them repentance”

2. “leading to the knowledge of the truth”

3. “they may come to their senses”

4. “and escape the snare of the devil”

C. Helplessness of the Heretics

1. “having been held captive by him”

2. “to do his will”

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