2 Timothy 2:14-26

2 Timothy 2:14-26: The author warns Timothy against wasting time in conversations that don’t go anywhere. He says that despite the things people say, the Lord’s foundation is solid. The author also warns Timothy to avoid the temptations of youth. Instead he should seek community with those who can help him live in God’s way.

Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

One example of the “profane and foolish discussions” mentioned in 2:16 was the teaching of Hymenaeus and Philetus, who said that the dead had already been raised to life. They may have been teaching that new life in Christ was not physical, but only spiritual. This was not in agreement with Paul’s teachings about new life. What kinds of conversations feel unproductive to you? How do you discern the difference between a difficult but important conversation and an unproductive one?

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