Summary: God's People - True and Authentic (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

Reading: 2 Timothy chapter 3 verses 10 to 17


• Four high school boys were late to their morning classes one day.

• It was a day they were supposed to take an important test.

• They entered the classroom and made their excuses;

• They were late because of a flat tire that they had to help their mum repair.

• The experienced teacher, who knew the boys,

• Was not too impressed with their answer.

• She gave them each a piece of paper and a pencil;

• And sent them to four corners of the room.

• Then she told them they would pass if they could answer just one question:

• Which tire was flat???


• The teenager who brought home a report card heavy with poor grades.

• His mother asked, "What have you to say about this?"

• The boy replied, "Well, one thing is for sure, you know I ain't been cheating!"

Follow those who are true (verses 10-12):

• In the previous verses (I assume you looked at last week);

• Paul has warned about false leaders.

• Now in these verses he reminds Timothy that he did not follow false teachers;

• But instead he followed Paul’s teachings.

• In verse 10 there is a sharp contrast “You” (Greek there is great emphasis on this pronoun),

• Others may be led astray but not you!

Question: How can you tell who is right and who is wrong?


• Paul gives us a check-list.

• He mentions 9 characteristics of a true teacher of God.

• Characteristics that were not found in the false teachers;

• But were found in Paul and Timothy.

(1). OPEN lives FOR ALL TO SEE (verse 10).

“You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance”.

• Timothy had lived and worked with Paul and knew him well.

• Some translations of verse 10 say:

• Message: “You've been a good apprentice to me”.

• Barclay: “You have been my disciple”.

• NEB: “You have followed me step by step”.

Paul reminded Timothy that he knew him ‘inside out’ (true in at least three ways):

• They spent time together physically.

• They experienced good times and bad times, they were together through thick and thin,

• They also spent times together emotionally.

• They were good friends.

• They also spent times together spiritually;

• Paul was a spiritual Father to Timothy.

Paul could say to Timothy in these verses you know my character.

Quote: Charles Swindoll:

“Ministry is a character profession.

To put it bluntly, you can sleep around and still be a good brain surgeon.

You can cheat on your mate and have little trouble continuing to practice law.

Apparently, it is no problem to stay in politics and plagiarize.

You can be a successful salesperson and cheat on your income tax.

But you cannot do those things as a Christian or as a minister and continue enjoying the Lord’s blessing. You must do right in order to have true integrity.

If you can’t come to terms with evil or break habits that continue to bring reproach to the name of Christ, please, do the Lord (and us in ministry) a favour and resign”.

• Paul and Timothy had open lives for all to see!

• When examined they passed the test of Christian character.

(2). They Taught TRUE DOCTRINE (verse 10).

“You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance”.

• "My teaching" in Paul's case meant the true faith, that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

• Which message had bought them both into a living relationship with Jesus Christ.

• Timothy had been taught by Paul and Paul was consistent in what he taught;

• Because he himself had been taught by God himself:


• The father of Scottish historian and essayist Thomas Carlyle;

• Was discussing the kind of minister his parish needed,

• He said: “What this parish needs is a man who knows Christ other than second hand”

• Unlike the false teachers that were trying to influence the Church;

• Paul had met the risen Christ face-to-face on the road to Damascus;

• On that day he was commissioned to be an apostle.

• And guided by the Holy Spirit he taught and wrote many books of the New Testament.

As we have mentioned already, Timothy had received his teaching direct from Paul:

• Message: “You've been a good apprentice to me”.

• Barclay: “You have been my disciple”.

• NEB: “You have followed me step by step”.

True doctrine is based on what God has taught us through his apostles:

• Today we would say;

• “What God has taught us in this book”.

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