Paul is instructing Timothy (and us) about the destruction and divisions that are caused by debating over doctrines. He is instructing us that our time would be better spent in meditating on God’s Word and doing exactly what it says without adding anything to it. This is what the scribes and Pharisees had done to the Old Testament law. They had added their own interpretations to it and were weighing the people down with useless requirements. Some of us do the same thing today and then wonder why our church attendance is down. The important thing for us to remember is that God made the plan of salvation very simple for a reason. It is not a burden to bear, it is easy to understand and for us, it is free, even though it cost God His only Son. Anyone can do it.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.–John 3:16 NIV
Is there more to the story? Yes, but just believing and repenting is all there is to salvation. Knowing the rest of the story will help you enjoy the journey.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Let’s think back over the last few “discussions over differences” that we have had with a loved one, an acquaintance or someone ever the phone. In what percentage of the statements that we made, did the word “I” come up? Were our thoughts, desires, and words based on “just judgment” or on our fleshly desires? Were we seeking justice or desiring to convince the other person(s) involved that we were right and they were wrong? Or, if we are honest, were we just wanting to have it “our” way? If we just wanted to have it our way, that is pride and we were more than likely wrong and just didn’t want to admit it. When these “discussions over differences” get a little ugly, the flesh desires to kill and we satisfy that desire by using unkind and hurtful words. Those words kill relationships. We covet the approval of our opinions from the other(s) involved in the discussion. so, we try to change their minds with our gift of persuasion. Instead, we should understand our limitations and ask God to change the minds of the ones who are wrong, accepting the fact that that might be us and not the others. If we truly want God to answer our prayers (and He always does), then we need to be ready to accept the answer He gives. Because the passage ends with the words “that you may spend what you get on your pleasures”, we tend to limit it to mean money. But, it applies to more than possessions and money, it also applies to time and talents. Are we using the time, talents and possessions that we have now for the glory of God? We need to remember that all these “things” are really God’s anyway, they are just on loan to us and we could lose them quickly. Before we ask God for anything, we should be sure that what we are desiring will bring glory to His name.
17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.— Col. 3:17 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
14 Remind everyone about these things, and command them in God’s presence to stop fighting over words. Such arguments are useless, and they can ruin those who hear them. 15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. 16 Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior. 17 This kind of talk spreads like cancer, as in the case of Hymenaeus and Philetus. 18 They have left the path of truth, claiming that the resurrection of the dead has already occurred; in this way, they have turned some people away from the faith. 19 But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “All who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil.”-–2 Timothy 2: 14-9 (NLT)
We should set the example of studying God’s Word and meditating on its meaning. Then we won’t have time for these useless arguments and idle gossip. Arguments and gossip lead people away from the truth of the Scriptures and away from salvation. We need to be able to explain the Word of truth and avoid foolish behavior. The world is watching us to see if we are walking out what we are teaching. If we are not, then sinners will not be interested in what we have to say. All this earthly religion will pass away but God’s Word will stand forever. Not the least point will be left undone. It is the foundation of the message we preach. It is not up to us to turn people from evil, God will do that if we use the words He gives us to say. We are the messengers, He is the author and the finisher of our faith.