Relationship between True Children of God and those who Oppose theTruth – 2 Timothy 2:23-26

How a True Child of God deals with Opposition to the Truth

23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.
Word Study: The words “Have nothing to do with” is one word in the Greek which also means to avoid, to refuse, to reject. The word foolish simply means stupid. Ignorant means untrained or uneducated. Controversies refers to profitless disputes or debates. Breed means to give birth to and quarrels means conflict.
Comment: Just from the word study one can already see what this verse is actually saying to us. A true child of God is able to identify stupid, untrained, uneducated and profitless debates, and avoid them. He avoids them because HE KNOWS that they only lead to conflict. The first characteristic is
that of the ability to IDENTIFY AND AVOID stupid, uneducated and profitless debates.
Message: This is an indictment to me and most of us who find ourselves having failed to identify these types of debates, and finding ourselves involved in stupid, uneducated and profitless debates. An example of these kinds of debates are those based on speculation and subtle questions that do not relate to or tries to undermine the truth of salvation.

24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness.
Word Study: A servant is a slave who serves in total obedience to another’s will. Correcting relates to the upbringing of children, who need direction, teaching, instruction and discipline. It also means to morally discipline an adult.
Comment: The Lord’s servant refers to one who is in total obedience to His will. 2nd characteristic of a true child of God is that he must be totally obedient to Jesus Christ. 3rd characteristic is that as a true child of God, he must not be quarrelsome, meaning he must not like conflict. The 4th, 5th and 6th characteristics are that as a true child of God, he must be kind to all, able to teach, in other words, have skills in teaching and, able to patiently endure evil. Lastly, a true child of God must be able to correct those who oppose the faith with gentleness. A true child of God must be able to reprimand, to admonish. Paul says in 2 Tim 4:2 that we must reprove, rebuke and exhort. This means to reprimand with an intention to cause learning to take place.
Therefore a true child of God, is able to IDENTIFY AND AVOID stupid, uneducated and profitless debates, he is in total obedience to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, he does not like conflict, he is kind, skilled in teaching, patiently endures evil and reprimands those who oppose the truth.
Message: This is another indictment on me and all of us who like conflicts, since we do not avoid them, who are not kind to all, who teach even if we cannot and who are quick to act when facing evil. No patience whatsoever. What’s worse is that we deliberately choose not to reprimand because we say it is unloving and when we do reprimand, we do it with a lot of arrogance. How can we then call ourselves true children of God.
God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,
Comment: The first characteristic of the opponent referred to in the first part of verse 25, is someone who is in opposition to the truth. Who is opposing the truth that Timothy has been taught by Paul. Meaning that this is the person who is in opposition to the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is why he is called an opponent. The second characteristic is that, this opposer, does not have correct information since he needs to be corrected. Thirdly, the main purpose of this correction or the main reason why he needs to be corrected, it is so that God may grant them repentance. This means that the opposer not only does not have correct information but he also has not repented. Now we know that the opposer is an unbeliever. Notice that it is God who grants repentance and the correction gives no guarantee that God will grant it to those who are being corrected. The word says, so that God may and not will.
Fourthly we know that this opposer does not have the knowledge of truth hence when the correction is done, it is with the hope that God MAY grant them repentance LEADING to a knowledge of truth. Notice that the knowledge of truth comes only after having been granted repentance.
Therefore we know that the opposer is an unbeliever who opposes the truth, does not have the correct information, has not repented and does not have the knowledge of truth.
Message: This is a clear definition of an unbeliever who opposes the truth. Paul is helping us to better know who our opponents are so that we may better be able to contend for the faith as Jude indicated in Jude 1. 
26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
Comment: Continuing with his description of the opposer who is an unbeliever who opposes the truth, does not have the correct information, has not repented and does not have the knowledge of truth, Paul further says that this opposer is not in his senses. That is, he is not thinking straight. The words means to become sober again. Paul says this opposer is also trapped by the devil and doing his will.
Therefore we know that the opposer is an unbeliever who opposes the truth, does not have the correct information, has not repented, does not have the knowledge of truth, is not thinking straight, he is trapped by the devil and he is doing the will of the devil.
Message: It is firstly very important to notice that only when God has granted repentance, will one gain the knowledge of truth. An unbeliever does not need the knowledge of truth to repent but needs to be corrected, reprimanded, shown that he is at fault, and only then may God give him repentance. We always do it wrong because we bombard unbelievers with the truth hoping they will repent and they throw it back on our faces all the time because unless they repent, they will not accept the truth 1 Cor 2:14. Instead what we need to do is use the law to reprimand and show them their faults as Rom 3:19 indicates. Once their mouths have been stopped and once they realize that they are accountable to God, then God may grant them repentance leading the to the knowledge of truth. 
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Posted in 2 Timothy, 2 Timothy 2, Acts of Hell, Christian Attitude and Behaviour, Discernment, Preaching The Word.

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  1. Pingback: "The Bible Doesn’t Make Sense", Repent! • God's Word Undiluted Ministries

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