Cutting straight with God’s Word – a sermon on 2 Timothy 2:14-19 by Rev. Colin Pretorius.
I have a family member who just loves to stir. At times it seems as if he rejoices in making people uncomfortable. At other times it appears he just wants to impress everyone with his knowledge – for he seems to know everything about everything. You might have a family member who does the same. But it isn’t only in our families where this happens – it also happens in our churches, in our Christian fellowship. And very often, in fact almost always, that can lead to division. And it certainly did happen in the early church as Paul’s letters confirm.
In his letter to Timothy, Paul has been encouraging his young protégé. His encouragement included a reminder to keep fanning the flames of his gift of ministry, and to pass on the glory of the gospel of power, grace and eternal life. But in the sections following our text today, Pauls spells out how bad things will get, with false teachers preaching a different gospel and people not wanting to listen to biblical teaching but instead looking for words that will soothe their itching ears. And in-between these two sections of the letter is where we find ourselves today, where Paul sets out to strengthen Timothy’s spiritual strength by reminding him of his role in the church. In verse 14 he talks about quarrelling about words, then he goes on to speak about handling the Word of God properly before concluding with a warning to avoid irreverent babbling:
• quarrelling about words(14);
• handling the word properly (15); and lastly,
• avoiding irreverent babble (16-19).