TEXT: 2 Timothy 2:14-21
READING: Hebrews 4:1-16
SUBJ: The cooperation of Divine Sovereignty and human responsibility in accomplishing separation from error.
AIM: To encourage us to participate and cooperate in the work of Grace in us. Thus, we labor to be of service to the Lord.
1. The pastoral epistles are of great value in that they set forth the expectations for the man of God, but they also, say much concerning the message to be preached – warnings included.
2. The warnings are of especial importance since they address an ever-present threat to the work of the Gospel and the peace of believers.
3. In this text, we are given both admonitions as to what is to be avoided and assurance through faith in action.
THESIS: Preparation and profitability are the result of the application of grace in such a way that the recipient is moved to actively pursue the very ends of God’s Grace and to avoid anything detrimental to that purpose.
I. A Twofold Confrontation of Error (vv. 14-18)
1. Study (or give diligence)
1) To appear as approved before God
2) The metaphor of the “workman” – suggesting one having obtained skill such as a craftsman properly applying his skills (rightly dividing the “Word of Truth.”)
2. Shun the profane and vain
1) Lead to more ungodliness – Canker means “gangrene.”
2) The goal is to attack cardinal truth such as “the resurrection.”
II. A Twofold Seal on the Foundation of God (Certification) (v. 19)
1. “The Lord knoweth them that are His.”
1) Literally they are owned by the Lord in fact and in presentation.
i. Psalms 1:6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. AND Psalms 37:18 The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
ii. Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.
iii. 1 Corinthians 8:3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.
2) Upon the foundation that is Christ: 1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
2. Of everyone that nameth the name of Christ
1) Not merely one who calls upon Him, but rather, one that claims identity with Him.
2) “Let” him depart from iniquity:
i. Proverbs 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
ii. Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
iii. Titus 2:11-12 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
III. A Twofold Case for Diligence (vv. 20-21)
1. Personal Purging as vessels of honor.
1) Of vessels and the capacity given us contain those things of grace or the contrary.
2) And then compare and explain Jeremiah 18:1-6 1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. 3 Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. 4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. 5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
3) Of honor and dishonor: 2 Corinthians 4:7 (earthen vessels) and Romans 9:21-23 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
2. Prepared unto every good work.
1) Of Sanctification – 1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification….
2) And finally see: 2 Timothy 3:14-17 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.