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2 Timothy 2:24 The
And the servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome (fighting and
contending). Instead, he must be kindly to everyone and mild-tempered
[preserving the bond of peace]; he must be a skilled and suitable
teacher, patient and forbearing and willing to suffer wrong. (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
KJV: And the servant of the
Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach,
NLT: The Lord's servants
must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone. They must be able to
teach effectively and be patient with difficult people. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
And the Lord's servant must not be a man of strife: he must be kind to
all, ready and able to teach: he must have patience (Phillips:
And the Lord’s bondslave must not in the nature of the case quarrel
but be gentle to all, skillful in teaching, forbearing, (Eerdmans)
and a servant of the Lord it behoveth not to strive, but to be gentle
unto all, apt to teach, patient under evil,
AND THE LORD'S BONDSERVANT: doulon de kuriou:
(Dt 34:5; Josh 1:1; 2Chr 24:6; Da 6:20; 1Ti 6:11; Titus 1:1; 3:2; James
The concept of
bondservant is not just a New Testament concept...
Dt 34:5 — So Moses the servant of the
LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.
Jos 1:1 — Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the
LORD that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' servant,
Da 6:20 — And when he had come near
the den to Daniel, he cried out with a troubled voice. The king spoke
and said to Daniel, "Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God,
whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver you from the lions?"
Paul is not
calling Timothy (or us) to be something he was not willing to be for in
his opening passage to Titus he wrote...
Titus 1:1 (note)
— Paul, a bond-servant of God, and an apostle of
Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of
the truth which is according to (or leads to) godliness
Even the Lord's
brother James understood the importance of his role as a
James 1:1 — James, a
bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes
who are dispersed abroad, greetings.
comments that in these last section...
We have here laid down, then, the
duty of the Christian minister, and the duty of each Christian, too, and
let us seek, in the Holy Spirit’s grace, to carry it out, being at once
firm, and gentle, and loving of heart, and yet honest for the truth as
it is in Jesus.
word study of
doulos) describes one who is bound
to another or in the state of being completely controlled by another, in
the present context describing one not controlled by the old flesh
nature that desires to quarrel but the new nature that is submitted to
and controlled by the Holy Spirit.
Doulos conveys the picture of the absolute surrender to ones'
master to whom he or she gives total devotion.
Does this definition of a "vessel of
honor" describe you beloved?
doulos described a person who had no personal freedom, one whose
will was totally subordinated to that of another person. Such persons
were forever "on duty," with no free time or personal life.
In the writings of the Stoics doulos was applied to religious
service and sadly many religious slaves were tied to the temple in a
pitiful life of prostitution. Wherever doulos is found in Greek
literature, it speaks of a despised class of slaves, whose lives were
not their own.
When the Hebrew
Old Testament was translated into Greek (Septuagint
word was also used to describe Israel's slavery in Egypt. Though the
Jews had felt the harsh discipline of slavery, they later also held
slaves. However, when Jews enslaved other Jews (for debt), those slaves
had to be released after six years (Ex 21:5)
or in the Year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:30), whichever came
first. Once, believers also were the bondservants of the harsh master,
Sin, but now we are
the slaves of righteousness (Ro 6:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17-see notes
and the source of that righteousness, the Righteous One Himself.
And so like the OT bond-servants in Exodus who were set free...all
believers today can declare
I love my master (Jesus)...I will not go
out as a free man (or woman) (Ex 21:5)
John Calvin claimed that...
No one gives himself freely and willingly to God's service unless,
having tasted His Fatherly love, he [the Christian] is drawn to love and
worship Him in return."
Freedom in Christ is not the right to do as one pleases but the power to
please God by doing what is right -- this is the power His bond-servants
possess. Stated another way, we become really "free" only by subjecting
our own will to the will of another, One Who is always the perfect
Master. And the paradox is that we now as believers achieve self-control by letting
ourselves be Savior controlled!
Are you free indeed?
When the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!
The use of doulos by
the NT writers emphasizes their acknowledgement that they are no longer
their own but that they have been bought at great price (1Cor 6:29).
Paul recognized this new relationship and frequently called himself a
bond-servant of Christ Jesus (Click
However, lest we
be lulled into a sense of false security, we would be wise to remember
that the Lord's bondservants do not have an easy time teaching the Word. Satan opposes and
tries to trap the listeners (2Ti 2:26) and some people are naturally difficult to teach.
Others would rather feed on “foolish and ignorant
speculations” (see note
2 Timothy 2:23) and have
little or no desire to feed on the pure milk
Word (which is the ONLY way spiritual babes grow in grace
and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - 1Pe 2:2-note) Until you have experienced
resistance to His Word, you will have no idea how
difficult it can be to impart spiritual truth. How easy it
would be to ignore those who are resistant! Paul admonished
Timothy to avoid the arguments that create strife, but not to ignore
the people. It is not enough just to expose
error and refute it, for if would seek to imitate our Lord, we must also teach
sound doctrine by which the saints will become firmly established in the faith.
an excellent note on doulos writing that...
(i) To call the Christian the
doulos of God (Ed: Christ) means that he is
inalienably possessed by God. In the ancient world a master possessed
his slaves in the same sense as he possessed his tools. A servant can
change his master; but a slave cannot. The Christian inalienably belongs
(ii) To call the Christian the doulos of God means that he
is unqualifiedly at the disposal of God. In the ancient world the master
could do what he liked with his slave; he had even the power of life and
death over him. The Christian has no rights of his own, for all his
rights are surrendered to God.
(iii) To call the Christian the doulos of God means that
he owes an unquestioning obedience to God. A master’s command was a
slave’s only law in ancient times. In any situation the Christian has
but one question to ask: “Lord, what will you have me do?” The command
of God is his only law.
(iv) To call the Christian the doulos of God means that he
must be constantly in the service of God. In the ancient world the slave
had literally no time of his own, no holidays, no leisure. All his time
belonged to his master. The Christian cannot, either deliberately or
unconsciously, compartmentalize life into the time and activities which
belong to God, and the time and activities in which he does what he
likes. The Christian is necessarily the man every moment of whose time
is spent in the service of God. (Barclay,
W: The Daily Study Bible Series. The Westminster Press
Williamson was a missionary to China who powerfully described the
sacrifice of her
rights to a normal standard of living, ordinary safeguards of
health, private affairs, marriage, and even a home life. She was human
like you and I and thus just like us she struggled with suffering and
self-denial and the fact that she had to give up so many of what
she thought were her “rights”. But she finally came to the
conclusion that part of serving and becoming like her Master Christ was
one who had not rights, as epitomized by the picture of a bond-servant. In her
book Have We No Right? (Chicago: Moody Press, 1958) she wrote the following poem
He Had No
He had no
No right to a soft bed, and a well-laid table.
No right to a home of His own, a place where His own pleasure might be
No right to choose pleasant, congenial companions, those who could
understand Him and sympathize with Him.
No right to shrink away from filth and sin, to pull His garments closer
around Him and turn aside to walk in cleaner paths.
No right to be understood and appreciated; no, not by those upon whom He
had poured out a double portion of His love.
No right even never to be forsaken by His Father, the One who meant more
than all to Him.
His only right was silently to endure shame, spitting, blows; to take
His place as a sinner at the dock; to bear my sins in anguish on the
He had no rights. And I?
A right to the “comforts” of life? No, but a right to the love of God
for my pillow.
A right to physical safety? No, but a right to the security of being in
A right to love and sympathy from those around me? No, but a right to
the friendship of the One who understands me better than I do myself.
A right to be a leader among men? No, but the right to be led by the One
to whom I have given my all, led as is a little child, with its hand in
the hand of its father.
A right to a home, and dear ones? No, not necessarily, but a right to
dwell in the heart of God.
A right to myself? No, but oh, I have a right to Christ.
All that He takes I will give. All that He gives I will take.
He, my only right! He, the one right before which all other rights fade
I have full right to Him.
Oh, may He have full right to me!
Read the following lines again as you
ask yourself, as I am sure Timothy did, "Am I truly a bond-servant of
Jesus? Can I honestly say..."
All that He
takes I will give.
All that He gives I will take.
He, my only right!
MUST NOT BE QUARRELSOME: ou dei (3SPAI) machesthai (PMN):
(Mt 12:19; Acts 15:2; 2Cor 10:4; Phil 2:3,14; 1Ti 3:3; Titus 1:7; Jas
1:19,20; Jude 1:3) (Jn 6:52; Acts 7:26; 23:9; Jas 4:2)
2Co 10:4 (Why should we not be
quarrelsome?) for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but
divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
James 1:19-20 This you
know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to
speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the
righteousness of God.
An argument is the longest distance
between two points of view.
As Spurgeon wrote...
Better keep out
of a quarrel than fight your way
We never do much for truth or
goodness by getting angry about it. Whenever a man debates about the
truth, and loses his temper, he has also lost his cause. I have heard of
one who knew little of true religion, who watched a missionary and a
Brahmin disputing, and he decided that the missionary was in the right;
when he was asked why he thought so, he said, “Because he kept cool,
and the other man flew into a passion.” Although that may not always be
a good test of the truth of the matter in question, it certainly is a
good test of how the dispute is going.
from deo = to bind) means that it is
necessary (binding) or needful. Deí is an obligation out
of intrinsic necessity or inevitability. It describes an action which is
inevitable in the nature of things. To avoid this reaction is a must
for anger is only one letter from danger.
Someone has said
it well that...
An angry man is seldom reasonable; a
reasonable man is seldom angry, because anger is a feeling that makes
your mouth work faster than your mind.
Men can with a few hasty words set
loose a torrent of anger and uncharitableness, and cause the sweeping
away of much good service and sweet fellowship, but who shall rule,
restrain, or call back the raging flood.
Anger does a man more hurt than that
which made him angry. It opens his mouth and shuts his eyes and fires
his heart and drowns his sense and makes his wisdom folly.
calls for the doulos to continually be
inwardly constrained. As a lifestyle the Lord's bondservant must daily,
moment by moment make the volitional choice
- not my will but my Master's) trusting on His empowerment by the Holy
quarrel or fight with words. Note however that Paul is not saying the Lord's bondservant
should allow obvious false teaching to go unopposed.
conveys the meaning of absolute negation. This is never to be a
bondservant's attitude. How
are you doing dear servant of the Most High God?
the Amplified renders it not fighting and contending.
(machomai) means to war, quarrel, dispute fight or strive.
This word describes a serious conflict, either physical (especially
military combat as with armed combatants who engage in a hand to hand
struggle) or non-physical, but clearly intensive and bitter. It was used
of those of those who contend at law for property and privileges.
Machomai in secular Greek is used to describe a wind of such high
intensity that it leveled everything in its path, much like a hurricane.
The servant of the Lord must not engage in a "war of words" and "blow
away" those who block his path in one way or another.
used 4 times in the NASB (John 6:52; Acts 7:26; 2Ti 2:24; Jas 4:2)
and is translated: argue, 1; fight, 1; fighting together, 1;
Jesus' statement that they must eat His flesh
Jews therefore began to argue (machomai) with one
another, saying, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat? (Jn
In the section of
Stephen's sermon describing Moses actions in Egypt, he recalls
On the following day he appeared to
them as they were fighting together, and he tried to reconcile
them in peace, saying, 'Men, you are brethren, why do you injure one
another (Acts 7:26)
You lust and do not have; so you
commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and
quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. (James 4:2)
Warren Wiersbe comments on
this use in James writing that this shows that
The wars among us are caused
by the wars within us. We want to please ourselves, even if it
hurts somebody else. (Wiersbe,
W: With the Word: Chapter-by-Chapter Bible Handbook. Nelson
used 19 times in the
(Gen. 26:20, 22; 31:36; Exod. 21:22;
Lev. 24:10; Deut. 25:11; Jos. 9:18; Jdg. 11:25; 2 Sam. 14:6; 2 Ki. 3:23;
2 Chr. 27:5; Neh. 5:7; 13:11, 17, 25; Song 1:6; Isa. 27:8; 28:20; Jer.
33:5) where the military meaning
Once again the
ministry of the church will have ceased
While we quarrel over the Prince of Peace.
The Lord's servant must not be an
argumentative, pejorative, belligerent type of person who is ready to
come out with guns blazing. There are many people like that who shoot
from the lip, always ready for an argument. But the Lord's servant is
not out to win arguments; he is not out to squash the opposition or
silence dissent by overbearing, heavy-handed approaches. Rather, he is
there to encourage discussion and examination. He does not put down
opponents or resort to name-calling or diatribe. He is not
argumentative, not contentious. (2 Timothy 2:23-26 Guidelines for
Barnes writes the following of
the Lord's bondservant...
He may calmly inquire after truth; he
may discuss points of morals, or theology, if he will do it with a
proper spirit; he may "contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to
the saints," (Jude 1:3;) but he may not do that which is here mentioned
as strife. The Greek word-- machomai --commonly denotes, to fight to
make war, to contend....
The meaning is, that the servant of
Christ should be a man of peace. He should not indulge in the feelings
which commonly give rise to contention, and which commonly characterize
it. He should not struggle for mere victory, even when endeavouring to
maintain truth; but should do this, in all cases, with a kind spirit,
and a mild temper; with entire candor; with nothing designed to provoke
and irritate an adversary; and so that, whatever may be the result of
the discussion, "the bond of peace" may, if possible, be preserved.
Comp. See [see note
(Albert Barnes. Barnes NT Commentary)
Spurgeon warned against being the Lord's bondservant being
one who goes
about with theological revolvers in
their ecclesiastical trousers.
Oswald Chambers wrote that...
No one damns like a theologian, nor
is any quarrel so bitter as a religious quarrel.
Do not quarrel. It is possible to
disagree without quarreling.
Quarrels are the weapons of the weak.
No Time for Kicking
A horse can’t pull while kicking.
This fact we merely mention.
And he can’t kick while pulling,
Which is our chief contention.
Let’s imitate the good old horse
And lead a life that’s fitting;
Just pull an honest load, and then
There’ll be no time for kicking.
--Bits and Pieces
does not mean we are not to defend the integrity for the
Jude 1:3 Beloved, while I was making
every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the
necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the
faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
You can’t effectively correct if you
are antagonistic. The most effective correction takes place when the
other person knows that you love and care for him. If you go to “set him
straight” or “prove that he’s wrong,” but do not show genuine concern
for him, he will probably not adopt the viewpoint that you’re arguing
for, even if it is biblical.
Also, you must determine before you
go to the other person that you will not get into an argument, because
often the one in sin will counter by attacking you or your motives. If
you allow yourself to be drawn into that kind of quarrel, you cannot be
effective in the ministry of correction. You can be firm and unwavering
without raising your voice or losing your temper. This applies also to
husbands and wives. You can talk with your mate about a problem that
concerns his or her behavior without yelling, arguing, name calling, or
attacking. In fact, these things are sin because they do not stem from
biblical love. (Read his entire excellent sermon
2 Timothy 2:23-26 The Gentle Art of
The NIV Application Commentary
Fred Heeren, author of Show Me God,
has engaged in stimulating dialogues with scientists with a secular
viewpoint. He recently said, “If I’ve found any one thing to be key in
getting through to skeptics today, this is it … Have an attitude of
gentleness and respect toward unbelievers and their views. Put
negatively, the greatest single turn-off for skeptics is the Christian
who sets up an us-versus-them argument between Christianity and
John Angell James in his 1828
publication Christian Love (or the Influence of Religion upon
Christian Love would soften the
harshness, and remove the bitterness, of CONTROVERSY. We are not enemies
to well-conducted controversy. As long as the truth is attacked—it must
be defended; and as long as error exists—it must be assailed. To give up
the truth for the sake of peace, is a conspiracy against the Bible, and
establishing a covenant with the enemies of the Lord. Not an iota of
God's Word must be surrendered to error and infidelity. We must "contend
earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints," and resist, if
need be—unto imprisonment, torture, and death. A hollow, fawning,
indulgent spirit—which would conciliate the friendship of men who are in
rebellion to the Scriptures—by giving up, or treating lightly, any of
their contents, has the curse of heaven upon it...
It is highly probable that all
controversy will never cease, until truth stands revealed amid the light
of eternity. But there will come a period, when men will discuss their
differences in the spirit of brotherly affection; when perhaps, there
will be fewer points unsettled, and those few will be debated with
toleration and mutual esteem. Too many, in their disputations about
religion, contend for truth, until they have destroyed love; and even,
in reference to the former, present it in so mutilated a form, as to
deprive it of much of its own engaging beauty.
Luther's prayer should be
presented by all—
From frivolous, fruitless
controversies, good Lord, deliver us!"
It is well observed by an old writer,
Disputations in religion are
sometimes necessary—but always dangerous; drawing the best spirits into
the head from the heart, and either leaving it empty of all, or too full
of fleshly zeal and passion, if extraordinary care be not taken still to
supply and fill it anew with pious affection towards God, and love
There is no case in which good men
are more under the power of the deceitfulness of the heart, than when
engaged in religious controversy; and when, under the idea that they are
only "contending earnestly for the faith," they indulge in all kinds of
unhallowed tempers, dip their pens in gall, deliberately write, as
deliberately print, and no less deliberately justify, the bitterest
sarcasms—the severest irony—the most railing accusations—the grossest
misrepresentations—the most uncharitable surmises. In short, when, as
the controversy is about religion—a circumstance which ought to produce
a spirit directly the reverse—there is no degree of abuse, reviling, and
defamation, to which they do not have recourse. Such has been too often
the tone of religious controversy, and by which it would seem as if the
graces were mere heathen courtesans, in whose company a Christian should
blush to be found; while 'the furies' were so many personifications of
holy zeal, whose assistance is to be solicited in the support of truth.
Oh, what a handle has the spirit of
angry controversy given to infidels against the whole system of
Christianity! They have fought against Christianity with poisoned
arrows, and the gall of furious church squabbles has supplied the venom
in which they have dipped their sarcasms, ironies, and jests. It is high
time that the apostle's exhortation should be practically
remembered—"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and
slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior." All who contend
for the faith should remember Paul's advice to Timothy—
"And the Lord's servant must not
quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not
resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope
that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the
truth." 2 Tim. 2:24-25.
"For man's anger does not bring about
the righteous life that God desires." James 1:20
Let any one read this chapter, and
say if it be possible to justify the spirit in which contentions for the
truth are generally carried on. Let it not be pleaded that we are
commanded to 'rebuke sharply', as if this furnished an apology for
uncharitableness; for duties cannot be in opposition to each other, and
therefore even this must be performed in a manner that is compatible
with meekness and love. Unfortunately, the spirit of harsh embittered
controversy is as popular as it is sinful—those pugnacious disputers, by
whom it is carried on, are generally the leaders of a party, which
thinks itself happy in a representative who with his shield can defend
them, and with his tremendous sword can vanquish their enemies—and thus
lead them on to victory and supremacy. It would be amusing, if it were
not too serious a matter for entertainment, to hear how these people
exult in the exploits of their 'formidable Hercules'; and to see how
securely they repose under the protection of his fearsome and
far-reaching club. What deep disgrace is it upon the professors and
teachers of the religion of the lowly Savior, to suppose that his
doctrines and his precepts require the aid of sinful and unhallowed
passions to give them effect. (John Angell James. Christian Love)
BUT KIND TO ALL: alla epion einai (PAN) pros pantas:
(Isa 40:11; 2Cor 10:1; Gal 5:22; 1Thes 2:7; Titus 3:2; Jas 3:17; 1Pet
Amplified "mild-tempered [preserving the bond of peace]"
is one who is placid (serenely free of interruption or disturbance),
gentle, mild, easy, compliant (like a nursing mother see below in
In fact epios was frequently used by Greek writers as
characterizing a nurse with trying children or a teacher with refractory
scholars, or of parents toward their children. We find epios in a
secular Greek writing which describes "a day
favorable (epios) for beginning a thing".
Epios was used to describe medicines as soothing or assuaging.
Kindness presupposes a peaceable attitude. Such a mindset speaks
and acts in goodness. This does not mean spineless acquiescence to
popular opinion or to those who may oppose us. Kindness must remain
firmly rooted in truth. Epios implies implies gentleness in demeanor, as
prautes, meekness of disposition.
The only other use
of epios is by Paul describing his own behavior writing to his
beloved church at Thessalonica reminding them that...
we proved to be gentle among
you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. (see note
Steven Cole applies this
"definition" of "kind" asking...
Husbands, do you correct your wives
with the tenderness of a nursing mother?
Parents, do you correct your children
with the same kindness you show to a nursing infant? (2 Timothy 2:23-26 The Gentle Art of
The Lord's bondservant must be
“kind” to "all" (pas = everyone, all without exception!). There is
nothing worse then a servant of the Lord who loses their control. The
bond-servant of the Lord
must show by his or her gentleness to others that they are subject
to the commanding power of the life transforming gospel which they are
preaching and teaching.
These qualities Paul is outlining
for bondservants were those very traits that characterized Jesus in His
incarnation Who said
Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for
I am gentle (praus) and humble in heart (Mt 11:29).
No matter if it is a cultist he is
debating, or someone who is very upset about an issue, somebody with an
ax to grind, some difficult person who is obviously out to cause trouble
and create dissension, the Lord's servant is to be kindly to everyone. (2 Timothy 2:23-26 Guidelines for
MacArthur adds that
"As much as
we are to speak boldly for the Lord without compromise, we are to do so
with the attitude of meekness, gentleness, and humility. We are never to
be harsh, abusive, overbearing, unkind, thoughtless, or pugnacious.
There is to be a softness in the authority of a Christian leader..."
(MacArthur, J. 2 Timothy. Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press)
ABLE TO TEACH: didaktikon:
(1Ti 3:2,3; Titus 1:9)
Amplified has "a skilled and suitable teacher"
Able to teach (1317)
from didaktos = pertains to that which
is taught or instructed from
[from dáo= know or teach; see study of related noun
didaskalia]) means to provide
instruction or information in a formal or informal setting. = provide instruction in a
formal or informal setting by imparting positive truth; English =
didactic = designed or intended to teach, particularly in having
moral instruction as an ulterior motive)
word study on related word
didaskalía) is one who is highly skilled in teaching and able to
Heresy flourishes where sound Christian teaching lags.
Inherent in didaktikós is the intent to influence
understanding of the person taught, shaping their will and doing so by
communication of knowledge and/or by the content of what is taught
Didaktikós does not refer so much to possessing vast
knowledge as to one who has the ability to communicate effectively
whatever knowledge and understanding they might have. Though truth can
seem harsh, carrying with it conviction or judgment of sin, it must be
delivered with compassion and kindness because God always works for the
restoration or repentance of the sinner.
This is a specific requirement for
overseers (episkopon) and elders (presbuteron).
Paul writes in his first epistle that
An overseer, then, must be (dei = an obligation out of intrinsic necessity) above
reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable,
hospitable, able to teach. (didaktikós)
An overseer or elder who is not able to teach is like a surgeon
who can’t use a scalpel.
Are the elders in your church able to teach and are they actively
utilizing this gift to edify and equip your local body?
Again Paul instructs Titus that the overseer must be
(again this is obligatory not merely a suggestion)
holding fast (strongly clinging or adhering to) the faithful word
(committed to the authority and sufficiency of God’s Word as the only
source of moral and spiritual truth) which is in accordance with the
teaching, that he may be able both to exhort (giving the saints a
balanced diet of healthy encouraging, edifying teaching) in sound
(healthy, wholesome) doctrine and to refute those who contradict
(literally speak against)." (see note
A bond-servant of God must instruct
those who oppose him, for this is the only way he can rescue them from
Satan’s captivity. Satan "does not stand in the truth, because there is
no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own
nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies" (Jn 8:44) and he captures people by his
lying promises, just as he did Eve telling her "You surely shall not
die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be
opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Ge3:4-5) Paul
spoke of Satan's craftiness writing to the saints at Corinth
"I am afraid, lest as the serpent
deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the
simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ." (2Cor 11:3)
Warren Wiersbe quotes...
Phillips Brooks, famous American
bishop of the 1800s, said,
Apt to teach—it is not something to
which one comes by accident or by any sudden burst of fiery zeal.
A pastor must be a careful student of
the Word of God, and of all that assists him in knowing and teaching
that Word. The pastor who is lazy in his study is a disgrace in the
W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor
describes one "able to teach" as ...
"skillfully dealing with the facts
involved, not with feelings, not with fantasies, but with the facts of
Scripture. There is where we must always return. It is so easy for an
argument to slide off the facts and onto feelings, experiences, and
reactions to things. The Lord's servant must call people back to facts."
(2 Timothy 2:23-26 Guidelines for
who is able to teach does not have as his main purpose to win arguments
but to win the souls of those he is teaching or talking with. He needs
to speak truth to counter the enemies lies so that the deceived person
is brought to repentance and exhibits a godly sorrow for his or her sin,
turning around and going in the opposite direction (which is genuine
repentance), and acknowledging the Truth.
some practical thoughts on "able to teach" writing that...
For this quality our great source
must be the holy Scriptures. As to the mode of teaching, we cannot do
better than observe the characteristics of Christ’s teaching. An
outstanding feature of this was His presentation of even the profoundest
truths in the simplest language. Instead of being mysterious and
incomprehensible, He imparted the great lessons for His hearers by means
of illustrations and details drawn from the most familiar facts of
nature and from the treasury of our household affections.
Jewish teachers and philosophers (like the Stoics) also advised patience
in instructing others, but they carried this out in the power of their
the power of the Spirit (and His fruit gentleness).
Bond-servants must not just expose error and refute it; but must also
teach positive truths and establish the saints in faith. We are not to
be moralists, like the Cynics,
who verbally abused passersby with their “wisdom.”
The sharp edge of
the sword of truth requires the skilled hand of one who relates
compassionately with others.
PATIENT WHEN WRONGED: anexikakon:
(Eph 4:2; Col 3:13)
God’s work often takes time.
Sometimes we can see why it takes so much time, sometimes we can’t - but
God is not in a hurry, and wants us to learn how to patiently trust Him.
Patient when wronged
from anécho = bear, put up with, holding back +
kakós = bad, evil)
is literally “holding back
under bad or evil". It is tolerating difficulties without becoming
out of control or enduring difficulties without becoming angry or upset.
A good synonym is "longsuffering".
Anexíkakos describes the person who is puts up with, patiently
tolerates evil without resentment and so who is marked by their forbearance.
It is enduring patiently what is naturally difficult to bear with in the
attitude and conduct of others. The the Lord’s servant must not be contentious but kindly, apt to teach,
and “forbearing” even with opponents. In secular Greek anexíkakos
was used in medicine to describe enduring pain or evil.
is one aspect of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (cf. notes
and it is the Spirit Who provides the
inner power we need
for bearing this aspect of His fruit. The Spirit controlled bondservant
Ephesians 5:18) does not let
himself or herself be controlled by injustices done against them, does
not harbor these things waiting for an opportunity to take revenge and
is quick to forgive and forget and go on.
Steven Cole wisely warns us
Often when you try to correct others,
they will respond by attacking you. They will falsely accuse you of
wrong motives or they will bring up shortcomings in your behavior to try
to divert matters away from their own sins. If you are impatient when
wronged, you lose the ability to correct effectively.
Patient when wronged is perhaps one of the greatest
challenges to the Lord's bondservant. When we are wronged our old nature
"screams" out "They can't do that to
me...They can't get away with that." You know exactly what I am
saying. We must resist the temptation to
listen to our old MASTER (Sin), submitting to our NEW MASTER, the controlling power
of the Spirit of Christ and ''in everything give thanks" (1Th 5:18-note). If we
practice these things the God of peace will be with us (Php 4:6, 7-see notes
4:7) and we will come
to learn the secret that we can do all things through Christ Who
continually is our source of strength (Php 4:11, 12, 13-see notes
When we are faithfully witnessing and living for the Lord, it is not
easy to graciously accept unjust criticism which is guaranteed to come
all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2Ti
comments that because we are not our own but belong to Christ, when we
are persecuted for His sake, Jesus would remind us that it is...
Because you are attached to Me;
because you are Christians. We are not to seek such things. We are not
to do things to offend others; to treat them harshly or unkindly, and
court revilings. We are not to say or do things, though they may be on
the subject of religion, designed to disgust or offend. But if, in the
faithful endeavour to be Christians, we are reviled, as our Master was,
then we are to take it with patience (Ed: made possible only
through the empowerment of the Spirit of Christ), and to remember that
thousands before us have been treated in like manner. When thus reviled,
or persecuted, we are to be meek, patient, humble; not angry; not
reviling again; but endeavouring to do good to our persecutors and
slanderers. In this way, many have been convinced of the power and
excellence of that religion which they were persecuting and reviling.
They have seen that nothing else but Christianity could impart such
patience and meekness to the persecuted; and have, by this means, been
constrained to submit themselves to the gospel of Jesus. Long since, it
became a proverb, "that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the
church." (Albert Barnes. Barnes NT Commentary)
Dwight Edwards gives the following illustration of patient
when wronged writing that it
"was well demonstrated by John Selwyn, a missionary in the South Pacific
some years ago. While in university, Selwyn became renowned for his
boxing skills and great strength. During his years in the South Pacific,
he had occasion to strongly rebuke a native, and that native struck him
violently across his face. Selwyn responded by folding his arms and
looking intently into the eyes of the native, who realized that Selwyn
could easily have knocked him cold. But Selwyn made not the slightest
effort to retaliate and simply gazed at him with loving concern. The
native fled into the jungles, too ashamed to face this missionary.
Several years after John Selwyn had returned home, that same native came
forward to confess Christ and be baptized by Selwyn's replacement. When
asked what new name he wished to be called by, the native replied, "Call
me John Selwyn, for it was he who taught me what Jesus Christ is like.."
May the same be said of us!" (2 Timothy Call to Completion)
Ray Stedman says that patient when wronged....
means (the Lord's bondservant)
must keep his cool, be unruffled and not respond in kind to what people
are handing him. That is not easy to do. When somebody attacks me
personally in a debate, I want to attack back. I want to start with his
remote ancestry and point out to him what is wrong with that, then bring
it right down to the present, and show him how fouled up he is, and,
furthermore, how much worse he is going to get as he proceeds into the
future! But that is not what a servant of the Lord is to do. He is to
recognize that when he is reviled, if he reviles in return, he has
departed from the example of his Lord, who, "When he was reviled, he did
not revile in return; ... but he trusted to him who judges justly," (1Pe
(2 Timothy 2:23-26 Guidelines for
MacArthur writes that
If the old self is not firmly resisted, we are likely to become more
offended when we ourselves are wronged than when our Lord and His truth
are attacked. When we are faithfully witnessing and living for the Lord,
it is not easy to graciously accept unjust criticism. (MacArthur,
J. 2 Timothy. Chicago: Moody Press
We do have
Jesus as our example and we are called to follow Him
For (we) have been
suffered for (us),
leaving (us) an
example for (us) to
follow in His
steps (1Pe 2:21-note)
Jeremiah tells the story of...
Dr. Hudson Taylor, a great missionary
statesman, was once dressed in Chinese costume waiting for a boatman to
take him across the river in his country. A richly dressed Chinese was
waiting for transportation, too. When the boat came, the man decided to
move up in line. Not seeing Mr. Taylor was a foreigner, he hit him in
the head and pushed him off into the mud. Taylor’s first impulse was to
jump up and lay the man out. But God wouldn’t let him. When the man
discovered that Taylor was not a native, he said,
“Are you a foreigner and you did not
Hudson Taylor said,
“Friend, this is my boat. Get in and
I’ll take you wherever you want to go.”
Dr. Taylor began telling him about
Jesus. By the time they got to the other side of the river, the man had
accepted Christ. (Jeremiah, D. Fruit of the Spirit : Study Guide.
Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson Publishers)
R Kent Hughes has the
following comments on this the importance of being patient when wronged
William Barclay remarks,
There may be greater sins than
touchiness, but there is none which does greater damage in the Christian
Many of us are quick to take offense
and slow to forgive. The great Samuel Johnson once made a
sarcastic remark about an acquaintance that was repeated by a hearer to
the man, but without the accompanying remark that “he was a very good
man.” His biographer Boswell writes that the man
could never forgive this hasty
contemptuous expression. It rankled in his mind; and though I informed
him of all that Johnson said, and that he would be very glad to meet him
amicably, he positively declined repeated offers which I made, and once
went off abruptly from a house where he and I were engaged to dine,
because he was told that Dr. Johnson was to be there. I have no
sympathetic feeling with such persevering resentment.
Indeed God’s Word has no such
sympathy either, because God’s honored servants must bear evil without
being resentful. There are few things more beautiful than a forbearing
spirit in God’s servants, and this is so good for the church. There is
power in a life that refuses to quarrel and is gentle with
detractors—the power of Christlikeness. (Hughes, R. K., & Chapell, B. 1
& 2 Timothy and Titus - Preaching the Word. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway
Winslow in Evening Thoughts (or Daily Walking with God) wrote...
One exercise of Christian love will
be its endeavor to avoid all occasions of offence. These, through the
many and fast-clinging infirmities of the saints of God, will often
occur. But they are to be avoided, and, in the exercise of that love
which proves our Christian character, they will be avoided. The child of
God will desire to "keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
Whatever tends to weaken that bond he will endeavor to lay aside.
Whatever He may discover in his communion with the saints calculated to
wound, to distress, to alienate, to offend, either in his manner or in
his spirit, the healthy exercise of holy love will constrain him to
overcome. He will avoid "giving offence." He will be modest in the
expression of his own opinion, respectful and deferential towards the
opinion of others. He will avoid that recklessness of spirit which,
under the cover of faithfulness, cares not to estimate consequences; but
which, pursuing its heedless way, often crushes beneath its rough-shod
heel the finest feelings of the human heart; saying and doing what it
pleases, regardless of the wounds which, all the while, it is deeply
and, irreparably inflicting. How sedulous, too, will he be to avoid
anything like a dictatorial manner in enunciating his judgment, and all
hard words and strong expressions in differing from authorities of
equal, perhaps of greater, weight than his own. Oh! were this divine
affection but more deeply lodged in the hearts of all those who "profess
and call themselves Christians," what courtesy of manner-what grace of
deportment-what tender regard of each other's feelings-what kindness in
word and in action-what carefulness to avoid inflicting even a momentary
pain-what putting away, as becomes saints, all wrath, anger, evil
speaking, and malice-and what constant remembrance of His solemn words
who said, "Whoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe
in me, it were better that a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and
that he were drowned in the depths of the sea," would each believer
exhibit! Lord, fill our souls more and more with this lovely grace of
Especially in Church communion will the grace of forbearance be called
in requisition. When the providence of God has thrown together a
community of individuals, composed of a great variety of character, of
mind, and of constitutional temperament, although each grade may be more
or less modified by the renewing of the Spirit, there will still be a
broad field for the passive exercise of love. In a Church, necessarily
imperfect, there may exist many things, in which taste as well as
judgment will be found at fault, calculated to engender a feeling of
dislike, and even of disgust, in a mind refined and delicate. But here
Christian forbearance must be exercised. They are the infirmities of the
weak of Christ's flock, and they who are stronger in grace should kindly
and patiently bear them. In pursuing a different course, we may wound
some of the most gracious, humble, and prayerful saints of God. We may
be but little aware with what frequent and deep humiliation in secret
their conscious failings may overwhelm them. And we ought to bear in
mind, that if we sometimes might wish to see in them less that was rough
in speech, abrupt and forward in manner, and fault-finding in
disposition, they may detect in us a loftiness of spirit, a coldness of
demeanor, and an apparent haughtiness of carriage, which may be an equal
trial to them, demanding the exercise on their part of the same grace of
forbearance towards us. How watchful, how tender, how kind, then, should
we be, ever standing with the broad mantle of charity in our hands,
prepared to cast it over the failings of a Christian brother, the moment
it meets the eye!
2Timothy 2:25 with
those who are in
leading to the
knowledge of the
He must correct his opponents with courtesy and gentleness, in the
hope that God may grant that they will repent and come to know the
Truth [that they will perceive and recognize and become accurately
acquainted with and acknowledge it], (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
KJV: In meekness instructing
those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them
repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
NLT: They should gently
teach those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those
people's hearts, and they will believe the truth. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
and the ability gently to correct those who oppose his message. He
must always bear in mind the possibility that God will give them a
different outlook, and that they may come to know the truth. (Phillips:
in meekness correcting those who set themselves in opposition, if
perchance God may grant them repentance resulting in a precise,
experiential knowledge of the truth (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: in
meekness instructing those opposing -- if perhaps God may give to them
repentance to an acknowledging of the truth,
CORRECTING: en prauteti paideuonta (PAPMSA): (Mt 11:29; Gal 6:1;
1Ti 6:11; 1Pet 3:15) (Jer 13:15, 16, 17; 26:12, 13, 14, 15; Jn 5:34;
See related topics
Notes on Galatians 5:23 - Fruit of the Spirit;
Discussion of gentleness (prautes)
- Literally in gentleness (in the sphere of, under the influence of,
"marinated in" gentleness), like Jesus... Who gave this
imperative) My yoke upon you, and learn from
Me, for I am gentle (praus
in NAS; praos in KJV) and humble (tapeinos) in heart; and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR
YOUR SOULS. 30 "For My yoke is easy (chrestos), and My load is light." (Mt
a gentle and quiet spirit…is
precious in the sight of God (see note
1 Peter 3:4)
Gentleness (KJV =
word study on
prautes) or (praiotes - 4236) describes
the quality of not being overly impressed by a sense of one’s
self-importance, gentleness, humility, courtesy, considerateness,
Prautes was used to describe colts that were broken for riding.
In such training, care must be taken to bring the animal’s will into
submission to the rider without breaking its energetic and lively
spirit. It describes the person who is never angry at the wrong time but
always angry at the right time.
notes that this gentleness teaches that the Lord's bondservant...
must learn to speak like the Lord did
to Elijah -- in a "still, small voice." Yet there will be other times
that we must "be angry" without sinning. (Ep 4:26-note). In those
instances, we must learn to speak like the Lord did to Job -- "out of a
whirlwind." The man who is truly "meek" is able to go in either
direction at the proper time. (2 Timothy Call to Completion)
Contrary to the connotation that meekness often carries today,
prautes has no relation to weakness but denotes power that is under
willing control. The godly person possesses a spirit of humility that
does not focus on self but on the Lord and on others (cp our Lord's
example - Php 2:3-note).
nothing to do with impotence or shyness or weakness or cowardice. It is
power supplied by, and willingly put under the control of, the Holy
Spirit, in faithful submission to the Word and will of God. When one is
truly meek, he talks not of himself but of his Lord. The meek person
does not have to fly off the handle because he has everything under
control. Meekness in Scripture is selflessness. Meekness is not letting
yourself get involved; it is not taking things personally, in other
has written that...
Gentleness is an active trait, describing the manner in which we
should treat others.
Meekness is a passive trait, describing the proper Christian
response when others mistreat us. (The Practice of Godliness)
defined gentleness as
mildness in dealing with others … it
displays a sensitive regard for others and is careful never to be
unfeeling for the rights of others.
John Calvin wrote that...
Paul’s meaning is that gentleness
should be shown even to those who least deserve it, and even if at first
there is no apparent hope of progress, still the challenge must be
denotes the humble and gentle
attitude which expresses itself, in particular, in a patient
submissiveness to offense, free from malice and desire for
revenge...controlled strength, the ability to bear reproaches and
slights without bitterness and resentment; the ability to provide a
soothing influence on someone who is in a state of anger, bitterness and
resentment against life...the word indicates an obedient submissiveness
to God and His will, with unwavering faith and enduring patience
displaying itself in a gentle attitude and kind acts toward others, and
this often in the face of opposition. It is the restrained and obedient
powers of the personality brought into subjection and submission to
God’s will by the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:23-note)....the opposite of arrogance...the word stands in
contrast to the term orge (wrath, anger as a state of mind)...It denotes
the humble and gentle attitude which expresses itself, in particular, in
a patient submissiveness to offense, a freedom from malice and desire
for revenge...mildness, patient trust in the midst of difficult
circumstances." (2Cor 10:1)
(Compiled from the "Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek NT")
adds that prautes
describes the man whose temper is
always under complete control. He knows when to be angry and when not to
be angry. He patiently bears wrongs done to himself but is ever
chivalrously ready to spring to the help of others who are wronged. (Barclay,
W: The Daily Study Bible Series. The Westminster Press
Aristotle defined prautes
as the correct mean between being too angry and being never angry at
all. It is the quality of the man whose anger is so controlled that he
is always angry at the right time and never at the wrong time. It
describes the man who is never angry at any personal wrong he may
receive, but who is capable of righteous anger when he sees others
explains that as the Lord's bondservants...
we are not to match the tactics of
those who may oppose us and ridicule our faith. We must keep our cool
all the time, at all costs. One reason for this is very practical: You
can’t argue a person into the kingdom of God. You can’t insult them into
becoming a Christian. You can’t intimidate them into accepting Christ as
Savior. It is quite possible to argue them away from the kingdom, but
you can’t argue them into it. Salvation is a miracle of God that takes
place in the human heart. Only the Holy Spirit can convert the soul.
It’s not our arguments that win the lost. Unless the Lord works on the
heart, all our words will be of no avail...If we lose our temper, we may
win the verbal battle but we will surely lose the war for the soul. (2
Timothy 2:14-26: The Life God Blesses)
Calvin writes that...
Paul’s meaning is that gentleness
should be shown even to those who least deserve it, and even if at first
there is no apparent hope of progress, still the challenge must be
was right when he said...
Gentle words fall lightly, but they have great weight.
Perhaps no grace is less prayed for,
or less cultivated than gentleness. Indeed it is considered rather as
belonging to natural disposition or external manners, than as a
Christian virtue; and seldom do we reflect that not to be gentle is sin.
John MacArthur writes that...
gentleness is essential for
those who want to walk worthy (Ep 4:1,2-see notes
How can you tell if you’re gentle? I’ll give you some practical
questions so you can evaluate yourself honestly.
First of all, are you self-controlled? Do you rule your own
spirit (Pr 16:32), or does your temper often flare up? When someone
accuses you of something, do you immediately defend yourself, or are you
more inclined to consider whether there’s any truth in what’s being
Second, are you infuriated only when God is dishonored? Do you
get angry about sin or when God’s Word is perverted by false teachers?
Next, do you always seek to make peace? Gentle people are
4:3 (note) says
they are “diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of
peace.” If someone falls into sin, do you condemn or gossip about that
person? Galatians 6:1 instructs us to restore sinning brothers “in a
spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be
tempted.” Gossip and condemnation divide believers; forgiveness and
restoration unite them. Gentle people don’t start fights; they end them.
Fourth, do you accept criticism without retaliation? Whether the
criticism is right or wrong, you shouldn’t strike back. In fact, you can
thank your critics, because criticism can show you your weaknesses and
help you grow.
Finally, do you have the right attitude toward the unsaved? Peter
Always [be] ready to make a defense
to every one who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in
you, yet with gentleness and reverence (1Pe 3:15-note)
If we’re persecuted, it’s easy for us
to think, They can’t treat me like that—I’m a child of God. But God
wants us to approach the unsaved with gentleness, realizing that God
reached out to us with gentleness before we were saved (Titus 3:3, 4, 5,
6, 7-see note
Consider carefully your answers to these questions, and commit yourself
to being characterized by gentleness. (Adapted from Strength for Today)
Gentleness is illustrated by the way we would handle a carton of
exquisite crystal glasses; it is the recognition that the human
personality is valuable but fragile, and must be handled with care. Both
gentleness and meekness are born of power, not weakness. There is a
pseudo-gentleness that is effeminate, and there is a pseudo-meekness
that is cowardly. But a Christian is to be gentle and meek because those
are Godlike virtues...
Paul appealed to the Corinthian Christians “by the meekness and
gentleness of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:1). How does the New Testament
describe the gentleness of Christ? A familiar passage provides a picture
of Christ’s gentleness:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you
rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and
humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is
easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28–29)
William Hendriksen says that the Syriac New Testament translates the
word gentle as “restful”; accordingly Jesus’ expression is,
“Come to me
… and I will rest you … for I am restful … and you shall find rest for
Christ’s whole demeanor was such that people were often
restful in His presence. This effect is another outworking of the grace
of gentleness. People are at rest, or at ease, around the Christian who
is truly gentle.
Matthew 12:20 gives us another picture of the gentleness with which
Christ treats us
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering
wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory.
bruised reed and the smoldering wick refer to people who are hurting,
spiritually weak, or of little faith. Jesus deals gently with such
people. He does not condemn them for their weakness; He does not come
down with a “heavy hand”; rather, He deals with them gently until their
true need is exposed and they are open to Him for help. How beautifully
His encounter with the Samaritan woman illustrates His gentleness.
Firmly, yet gently, Jesus continued to probe her need until she
recognized it herself and turned to Him to meet it.
In the very act of his appeal to the Corinthians by “the meekness and
gentleness of Christ,” Paul illustrated that gentleness for us. We could
paraphrase his remarks as,
Acting as Christ would act in this situation
I appeal to you. I do not demand; I do not insist, but I appeal to you.”
Paul could have berated the Corinthians for allowing into their
fellowship those who sought to undermine his apostolic authority, but he
didn’t; instead, he chose to exercise the Spirit-produced fruit of
When Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Your attitude should be the same as
that of Christ Jesus,” he was specifically referring to Christ’s
humility; but we can apply this command to all of Christ’s character
traits. As His followers, we should cultivate the same gentleness that
characterized His life.
A profile of gentleness as it should appear in our lives will first
include actively seeking to make others feel at ease, or “restful,” in
our presence. We should not be so strongly opinionated or dogmatic that
others are afraid to express their opinions in our presence. Instead, we
should be sensitive to others’ opinions and ideas. We should also avoid
displaying our commitment to Christian discipleship in such a way as to
make others feel guilty, taking care not to break the bruised reed of
the hurting Christian or snuff out the smoldering wick of the immature
Second, gentleness will demonstrate respect for the personal dignity of
the other person. Where necessary, it will seek to change a wrong
opinion or attitude by persuasion and kindness, not by domination or
intimidation. It will studiously avoid coercion by threatening, either
directly or indirectly (as Paul, for example, avoided it in his appeal
to the Corinthians).
Gentleness will also avoid blunt speech and an abrupt manner, instead
seeking to answer everyone with sensitivity and respect, ready to show
consideration toward all. The gentle Christian does not feel he has the
liberty to “say what I think and let the chips fall where they may.”
Instead he is sensitive to the reactions of others to his words, and
considerate of how others may feel about what he says. When he finds it
necessary to wound with his words, he also seeks to bind up those wounds
with words of consolation and encouragement.
The gentle Christian will not feel threatened by opposition or resent
those who oppose him. Instead, he will seek to gently instruct, looking
to God to dissolve the opposition, just as Paul taught Timothy to do in
chapter 2 of his second letter.
Finally, the gentle Christian will not degrade or belittle or gossip
about the brother who falls into some sin. Instead he will grieve for
him and pray for his repentance. If it is appropriate for him to become
personally involved with the erring brother, he will seek to restore him
gently, as Paul instructs us in Galatians 6, aware that he himself is
also subject to temptation.
The Christian who truly seeks to obey God through gentle character will
actively pursue gentleness, striving to clothe himself with it (see
Colossians 3:12 and 1 Timothy 6:11). He will place this godly virtue
high on his list of spiritual traits and look to God the Holy Spirit to
produce this fruit in his life. (Ibid)
F B Meyer
in Our Daily Walk, writes the following devotional related to
IT IS not easy to cultivate this
fruit of the Spirit because it has many counterfeits. Some people are
naturally easy-going, devoid of energy and ambition, at heart cowardly,
or in spirit mean. Many of us are characterized by a moral weakness and
decrepitude that make it easy for us to yield rather than contest in the
physical or intellectual arena.
But in gentleness there must be the consciousness of a considerable
reserve of force. The gentleness of God is combined with omnipotence.
The movements of creation, in which there is neither voice nor language,
prove the infinite forces which are at work. When a boy is trying to
lift or carry a heavy beam, as likely as not there will be a great crash
when he reaches the end of his task, and puts it on the ground. His
strength is so nearly exhausted that he is only too glad to get rid of
his burden, anyhow, and at any cost. But if a strong man shoulders the
same burden, and carries it for the same distance, he puts it down
gently, because he has not taxed his strength and has plenty left.
It is the prerogative of great strength to be gentle. Always remember
that you are linked with the Infinite God, and that all things are
possible to you. There must also be infinite pity. We must be tolerant
and pitiful to those who abuse us, or have been embittered by
disappointment, or have been ill-used. It must be our aim to make
allowances for such, and always to be sweetly reasonable towards any
brusqueness, rudeness and bad manners of their behaviour. Let us be
willing to admit that much is due to congenital moroseness. Therefore,
we bear gently with the erring, and with those who are out of the way,
because we also are encompassed with infirmity.
It is necessary also that there should be a deep humility. Thomas a
If thou wilt be borne with, bear also with another.
Endeavour to be patient in bearing with the defects and infirmities of
others, what sort soever they be: for that thyself also hast many
failings which must be borne by others.
Our resentment against others
should be always tempered by our remembrance of our own sins. So shall
we be God's own gentlefolk.
O God, our behaviour has not manifested all the fruits of the
Spirit, or been full of the graciousness and gentleness of Christ.
Forgive us, and enable us so to live that His beauty may be on our
faces, the tone of His voice in our speech, the gentleness of His tread
in our steps, the unselfishness of His deeds in our hands. AMEN. (F B
Meyer. Our Daily Walk)
Correcting (3811) (paideuo
from país = child) (Click
in depth word study of
paideuo) is used of training a child
and means to
provide instruction for informed and responsible living and to assist in
the development of a person’s ability to make appropriate choices &
This "child training" is
to be done “gently” and continually (Present tense).
Paul is talking about training them and showing them another way to
handle the problem. This verb clearly that the Lord's bondservant is not
to be a "spiritual doormat" but in some issues is called to take a stand
against for the purpose of change in the person who is opposed. To be
sure, the Lord's bondservant must be ready to take an authoritative
stand for God's truth against those who would challenge or pervert it,
but his or her stand must be done with Spirit filled balance -- in a
spirit of humility and meekness.
Paideuo originally meant to bring up a child, to educate
and was used of activity directed toward the moral and spiritual nurture
and training of the child, so as to influence their conscious will and
Paideuo conveys the closely related
meanings of teaching, training, discipling, educating, and nurturing and
gives us the English terms "pedagogue" & "pedagogy" which
means to train in accord w proper rules of conduct/behavior, punish for
the purpose of improved behavior.
Education in Christian behavior is seldom a painless process since it
involves the correction of human behavior which by nature stands in
opposition to God.
Paideuo then involves the upbringing and handling of a "spiritual child" who is growing up to
maturity and who thus needs direction, teaching, instruction and a
certain measure of compulsion in the form of discipline or even
Those who oppose the truth are to be instructed for instruction is the
Scriptural method of dealing with the erroneous and is more likely to
convince them of their errors.
forbearance does not require abstention from faithful dealing, where
evil demands correction. It is the meek spirit, however, that wins, and
that spirit is requisite even in circumstances where a rebuke or other
censure is necessary. (2 Timothy 2)
Steven Cole writes that...
Paul says that the Lord’s
bond-servant must be “able to teach.” The word “correcting” (2 Ti 2:25)
is the word for “child training.” It refers to giving instruction,
correction, or discipline to a child. The standard for all such teaching
is God’s Word of truth. In other words, we should never attempt to
correct by saying, “I think,” or, “in my opinion, you’re wrong.” My
opinion carries no weight. God's opinion what matters! You must be
careful here, because it’s easy to mix up your opinions or your way of
doing things with God’s clear commandments. They may not be one and the
same. We sometimes inherit certain views from our upbringing or from
cultural notions about right and wrong.
For example, I’ve heard people say to
children who are rambunctious in a church building, “You shouldn’t
behave that way in God’s house!” But, church buildings are not God’s
house! God’s people are His house, but the building is just a convenient
place where the church gathers. It may be that the children need to be
have in a more subdued manner in a group setting, but God’s house has
nothing to do with it. To view this building as a sacred place is to
confuse a cultural idea with a biblical truth.
The same thing applies to what is
appropriate attire at a church service. The Bible commands us to dress
modestly, but it never says that we must wear a suit or dressy clothes
when we gather with the church. Some argue that if you were going to
meet the President, you would dress up, so you should do the same when
you come to meet with the Lord. If that is so, then you’d better put on
your suit before you have your morning quiet time! I actually heard a
lecture in seminary where the professor used Titus 2:10, which urges
slaves to “adorn the doctrine of God” in every respect, to argue that as
pastors, we should wear a suit even when we went to the local hardware
store! He was misusing Scripture to try to support a cultural value!
Biblical correction must stem from biblical standards of truth and
When you offer correction, emphasize
that obedience to God’s Word is the only path to blessing. I often ask,
“You want God’s blessing in your life, don’t you? You can’t ask God to
bless your life when you are living in violation of His Word.” Your
correction must offer constructive help that shows the other person
practically how to live in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord. As the
one offering correction, you are subject to the same biblical standards.
So you should be able to point to your life as an example and show the
one in sin how to apply the Bible in daily life. Thus correction must be
done wisely and in love. It must be based on and in accordance with
God’s Word of truth. (Read his entire excellent sermon
2 Timothy 2:23-26 The Gentle Art of
THOSE WHO ARE IN OPPOSITION: tous antidiatithemenous (PMPMPA):
Those who are
in opposition (475)
from antí = over against, opposite
to, instead of + diatithemai = to dispose of, arrange, make a
covenant from dia = through or intensifies meaning of +
tithemi = place, put) means literally to set oneself opposite. In
the present passage the picture is of those who are
habitually inclined to argument and are continually (Paul emphasis
continuous attitude/action with the
offer resistance by placing themselves in
opposition to the way, the truth, and the life. They are hostile toward the
truth and personally oppose it in an engaged way. The
opposition involves not only a psychological attitude but also a
Louw and Nida have an
interesting note regarding the translation of antidiatíthemi
in some languages opposition
is often expressed idiomatically as ‘to show a sour face toward,’ ‘to
have a mean heart toward,’ or ‘to turn one’s back on.’ (Louw,
J. P., & Nida, E. A. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based
on Semantic Domains. United Bible societies)
emphasized correcting another person humbly and privately before giving
public reproof, in the hope of restoring that person to the right way.
Those that place them self in opposition to the true servant of the Lord
and to true doctrine are to be dealt with tenderly and considerately.
Ray Stedman comments that...
The King James Version has a very
good translation here. It says, instructing "those who oppose
themselves." That shows what error does to us. When we get stubborn,
when we are sure we are right, when we insist on our own point of view,
and get personal, etc., what we are doing is opposing ourselves. We
stand in our own way, we become our own worst enemy, and we create our
own problems. That is the revelation of this. Until we change ourselves,
we will never solve the controversy. The thing we all know, but so
easily forget, is that the only person we can change in a controversy is
ourselves. You cannot change other people. You can force their behavior
to be different, but you do not change them inside.
We all know about the little boy whose mother tried to get him to sit
down and forced him to do so, but he said, "I may be sitting down
outside, but I'm standing up inside." "A man convinced against his will
is of the same opinion still." And a woman -- well, she is almost as bad
as a man. No, you only can change yourself. We do not think we are
contributing anything to the problem, but we always are. When an
argument exists, and especially when it gets heated, angry, and
personal, then we are definitely contributing to it and we are opposing
ourselves; we are standing in our own way to the blessing God wants to
bring. (2 Timothy 2:23-26 Guidelines for
Strong and Gentle - There was a time in my life when I
enjoyed debating with people who represented religious cults. When they
said that Jesus is not God or that another book has equal authority with
the Bible, I had them read Scripture passages that proved them wrong. I
felt a bit smug when I saw them eager to end the conversation. But I
never led any of them to the Savior.
I may have won an argument, but that's all. I'm afraid they saw me as
arrogant, not the gentle and humble man I should have been as a servant
of the Lord (2 Tim. 2:24). I really don't blame them. I find myself
annoyed when a know-it-all tries to force his views on me.
We are not to be weak, though, bending to the winds of error. We can be
firm in our convictions without coming across with an
I'm-better-than-you attitude. We can communicate the truth without
beating the other person over the head with it.
By dealing gently with people who have been caught up in religious
error, I have seen some of them come to know Jesus Christ as their
personal Savior. When we humbly try to correct those who are deceived,
we open the door for God to lead them to repent and to acknowledge the
truth. --H V Lugt (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
What wisdom lies in gentleness!
What force true meekness holds!
As truth combines with Christlike love,
God's wondrous grace unfolds. --DJD
The Good News shouldn't be shared in bad taste.
Hiebert sums up this section
The demeanor...is presented both
negatively and positively. Negatively, "the Lord's servant must not
strive." Instead of continuing in the second person, - Paul now uses
the third person, thus including himself and any other man who holds a
position as "the Lord's servant." As the Lord's "bondservant,"
carrying out his Master's will, he must not yield to the temptation to
engage in worthless controversy with others.
"But," on the contrary, he
must be characterized by a very different demeanor, which is is given a
First, he must be "gentle toward
all," the opposite of harsh and irritable. He must be mild,
benevolent, and approachable "to all," even those who are
antagonistic to him.
Second, he must be "apt to teach."
He must possess not only the ability but also that readiness which leads
him to impart counsel and instruction as opportunity arises.
The third requirement is that he be "forbearing."
His gentleness will not always be reciprocated but will be met with
hostile scorn and ridicule; then he must be "forbearing," patient
under injuries, putting up with the evil without loss of temper.
The final requirement is, "in
meekness correcting them that oppose themselves." The false teachers
and those led astray by them may "oppose themselves" and
reveal their hostility, but they are to be met with "meekness,"
without pride or an air of superiority, while he aims at "correcting
them." The word rendered "correcting" is literally "child
training," and implies instruction, correction, and discipline. In
meekness he must instruct the uninstructed, correct the erring, and
discipline the undisciplined. For this difficult task a spirit of
meekness is indispensable. (2 Timothy by D. Edmond Hiebert) (Bolding
IF PERHAPS GOD MAY GRANT THEM REPENTANCE
: mepote doe (3SAAS) autois ho theos
metanoian: (Jer 31:18,19,33; Ezek 11:19; 36:26,31; Zech 12:10;
Acts 5:21; 11:18; Jas 1:17; 1Jn 5:16) (Acts 8:22; 1Ti 2:4) (2 Ti 3:7; Mt
21:32; Mk 1:3,4,15; Acts 2:38; 20:21; Titus 1:1)
(didomi) means to give and is based on a decision of the
will of the giver (God in this case) with no merit in the recipient. The
fact that repentance is a gift reminds the Lord's bondservant that it is
only the hand of God which can untangle the twisted thoughts of men. We
cannot make them repent. God
may use our reasonings and exhortations, but He is in no way dependent
upon them. We are utterly dependent upon Him to show the "kindness of
God which leads them to repentance" (see note
Romans 2:4). God is the Agent of change while we are but a channel through
which He dispenses His life-changing grace. Therefore, it is crucial
that we be clear channels, who do not obstruct what He would send
This hope for their repentance is
stated hesitatingly--"if peradventure"--not because God is
unwilling to give them repentance but because the habit of the errorists
to contradict the truth has made it hard for them even to listen to the
truth. Only God can effect the change in them. He must "give" it
to them as a gift, using Timothy's efforts as the means to work the
needed "repentance" in them. What they need is a definite change
of heart and will. Their doctrinal perversions rooted in a moral
perversity. Vital religious error has its roots in sin, and its removal
demands not merely a change of mind but a change in the moral nature as
well. The needed repentance is "unto the knowledge of the truth,"
the full apprehension and realization of (the) truth. (2 Timothy by D.
Only through a change in the moral
disposition do men attain to the full knowledge, the believing
apprehension, of the Gospel (Harvey).
(metanoia from meta = after + noieo = perceiving clearly with the mind)
means a change of mind which results in an action of the will. If a
sinner honestly changes their mind about sin, the result is that they
will turn from it. If they sincerely change their mind about Jesus
Christ the result is that they will turn to Him, trust Him, and be
is a change of attitude toward sin which leads to a desire to change our
behavior accordingly. The way you can tell that repentance has been
granted is that the opposers begin to agree with the Scripture. They
accept it, they know it to be true, and though it may involve painful
adjustments on their part, they are committed to it, they follow it.
Repentance is a change in one’s mind and is not the same as
regret which is “being sorry I got caught.” Repentance is not
remorse or a hopeless attitude that can lead to despair. True repentance
is a godly sorrow for sin, and involves a decisive act of turning around
and going in the opposite direction. This type of repentance leads to a
fundamental change in a person's relationship to God.
A W Tozer wrote
I think there is
little doubt that the teaching of salvation without repentance
has lowered the moral standards of the Church and produced a multitude
of deceived religious professors who erroneously believe themselves to
be saved when in fact they are still in the gall of bitterness and the
bond of iniquity. God will take nine steps toward us, but He will not
take the tenth. He will incline us to repent (see note
but He cannot do our repenting for us.
This is surprisingly the only use of this great word
in the Pastoral epistles.
Repentance is a gift to undeserving sinners granted by a
merciful, kind God. This does not deny human decision in repentance but
rather points to the fact that even our repentance is rooted in God’s
act and the opportunities granted by God.
The goal, when the “Lord’s
bondservant” instructs or corrects, is never to get even.
The motivation of such correction should be the sincere desire that
perhaps God may grant them repentance. That is always the motivation of
a humble and compassionate heart. Paul told the immature, worldly
believers in Corinth,
I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful,
but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you
were made sorrowful according to the will of God, in order that you
might not suffer loss in anything through us” (2Cor 7:9).
Even when those who are corrected are resentful of us and unrepentant,
as some in Corinth were in regard to Paul, there is never a place in
godly correction for personal animosity or judgmental self
Repentance leads disobedient believers out of their sin and falsehood
into the knowledge of the truth.
The Shaw Pocket Bible Handbook
defines conversion as
The decisive act in which a sinner turns away
from sin in genuine repentance and accepts the salvation that
Christ offers. The imagery in conversion is that of turning. A person is
going along a road and realizes that he or she is on the wrong track.
They will never reach the destination if they continue in that
direction. So the person “turns,” or “is converted.” He or she ceases to
go in the wrong direction and begins going in the right one. Conversion
changes the direction of one’s course of life from the wrong way to the
right way, the way that God wants.
The Presbyterian Shorter Catechism says
"Repentance is a saving grace whereby a sinner out a true
sense of his sin and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ doth
with faith and hatred turn from it to God with full purpose of an
endeavor after new obedience.''
Here are some other quotes on
repentance from Puritan writers...
"Repentance with man is the changing of his will; repentance
with God is the willing of a change." (John Trapp)
"Whoever delays his repentance does in effect pawn his soul
with the devil" (Thomas Manton)
"By delay of repentance, sin strengthens, and the heart
hardens. The longer ice freezeth, the harder it is to be broken."
cannot repent too soon, because you do not know how soon it may
be too late." (Thomas Fuller)
"Though true repentance is never too late, yet late
repentance is seldom true." (Thomas Brooks)
"It is an old saying, Repentance is never too late; but it is
a true saying, Repentance is never too soon." (Henry Smith)
If thou hast fallen into sin through violent temptations, seek
speedily for repentance for it, recovery out of it, and
reformation from it.
Charles Spurgeon wrote that
Repentance is the inseparable
companion of faith. All the while that we walk by faith and not by
sight, the tear of repentance glitters in the eye of faith. That is not
true repentance which does not come of faith in Jesus, and that
is not true faith in Jesus which is not tinctured with repentance. Faith
and repentance, like Siamese twins, are vitally joined together.
... Faith and repentance are but two spokes in the same wheel, two
handles of the same plow. Repentance has been well described as a
heart broken for sin and from sin, and it may equally well be spoken of
as turning and returning. It is a change of mind of the most thorough
and radical sort, and it is attended with sorrow for the past and a
resolve of amendment in the future... Repentance of sin and faith
in divine pardon are the warp and woof of the fabric of real conversion.
Repentance adds nothing to faith but is rather an integral part of it.
Saving faith is repentant faith. “Repentance toward God and faith
in [the] Lord Jesus Christ” are inseparable (Acts 20:21). Because
they are inseparable, Scripture sometimes refers to salvation as
repentance. Paul declares that “the kindness of God leads you to
repentance” (Ro 2:4-note), and Peter that God does not desire
“for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2Pe 3:9-note).
Thomas Brooks (1608-1680) in
his book Precious Remedies Against Satan has the following
thoughts related to repentance...
DEVICE 6. By persuading the soul that
the work of repentance is an easy work; and that therefore the soul need
not make such a matter of sin. Why! Suppose you do sin, says Satan, it
is no such difficult thing to return, and confess, and be sorrowful, and
beg pardon, and cry, 'Lord, have mercy upon me!' and if you do but this,
God will forgive your debt, and pardon your sins, and save your souls.
By this device Satan draws many a
soul to sin, and makes many millions of souls servants of sin, or rather
slaves to sin.
Remedy (1). The first remedy is,
seriously to consider, That repentance is a mighty work, a difficult
work, a work that is above our power. There is no power below that power
which raised Christ from the dead, and which made the world—which can
break the heart of a sinner, or turn the heart of a sinner! You are as
well able to melt adamant, as to melt your own heart; to turn a flint
into flesh, as to turn your own heart to the Lord; to raise the dead and
to make a world, as to repent. Repentance is a flower which does not
grow in nature's garden! 'Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the
leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing
evil.' (Jer. 13:23). Repentance is a gift that comes down from above.
Men are not born with repentance in their hearts, as they are born with
tongues in their mouths: (Acts 5:31): 'Him has God exalted with his
right hand to be a Prince and a Savior—to give repentance.' Those who
oppose him he must gently instruct, 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." (2Timothy 2:25, 26) It is not in the
power of any mortal to repent at pleasure. Some ignorant deluded souls
vainly conceit that these five words, 'Lord! have mercy upon me,' are
efficacious to send them to heaven; but as many are undone by buying a
counterfeit jewel, so many are in hell by mistake of their repentance.
Many rest in their repentance, which caused on to say, 'Repentance damns
more than sin!' It was a vain brag of king Cyrus, that caused it to be
written upon his tombstone, 'I can do all things!' So could Paul,
too—but it was 'through Christ, who strengthened him.'
LEADING TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH
(eis) is the preposition of motion into any place or
thing. In this context into the devil's will. So the idea is literally
"into" or "unto" the full knowledge of truth.
(epignosis from epí = upon, gives force of
“fully” + ginosko = to know) (Click
in depth word study of
epignosis) means more than mere factual information. It is
deep, thorough spiritual knowledge of God’s truth, which, as with
repentance, only He can supply. Epignosis is precise, experiential
always describes moral and religious knowledge in the NT and
especially refers to full and comprehensive knowledge of God’s will that
rests on the knowledge of God and of Christ found today in His Word.
Vine rightly observes that...
refusal to accept and obey the truth
is a sure way to induce the blinding deception of error and of the evil
one, who seeks ever to spread it. Only the mercy of God can produce the
spirit of repentance in such cases, and the Lord may be pleased to use
one of His servants to bring this about where the opposition is met with
in the spirit of meekness. (2 Timothy 2)
Trench writes that concerning
epígnōsis, as compared with
gnosis, it will be sufficient to say that epí must be
regarded as intensive, giving to the compound word a greater strength
than the simple possessed." He goes on to explain that "Paul, it will be
remembered, exchanges the ginóskō, which expresses his present
and fragmentary knowledge, for epignosomai when he would express his
future intuitive and perfect knowledge (1Cor 13:12 "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to
face; now I know (ginóskō) in part, but then I shall know
fully (epiginóskō) just as I also have been fully known
Trench explains that the idea in
epígnōsis is that
It is bringing me better acquainted
with a thing I knew before; a more exact viewing of an object that I saw
before afar off. That little portion of knowledge which we had here
shall be much improved, our eye shall be raised to see the same things
more strongly and clearly.’ All the uses of epígnōsis which St.
Paul makes, justify and bear out this distinction (Ro 1:28; 3:20; 10:2;
Eph 4:13; Phil. 1:9; 1Ti 2:4; 2Ti 2:25; cf. Heb 10:26 --see notes
2Ti 2:25; cf.
Heb 10:26; this same intensive use of epígnōsis is borne
out by other similar passages in the NT (see notes
2:20) and in the Septuagint (Proverbs
2:5; Hosea 4:1; 6:6); and is recognized by the Greek Fathers." (Trench, R. C.
Synonyms of the New Testament. page 285)
Marvin Vincent says
Clear and exact knowledge. Always of
a knowledge which powerfully influences the form of the religious life
and hence containing more of the element of personal sympathy than the
simple gnósis knowledge, which may be concerned with the
intellect alone without affecting the character." Vincent goes on to
comment on Paul's use of epígnōsis in
Ro 3:20 (note) ("...by the works of the Law no
flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the
knowledge of sin.") noting that "the knowledge of sin here (Ro 3:20)
is not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward
repentance, faith, and holy character." (Vincent, M. R. Word studies in
the New Testament. Vol. 3, Page 1-40)
(aletheia from a = without + lêthô
= that which is hidden) in this context is whatever God says, for when
He speaks in His Word, there is always a correspondence between what He
says about any subject and what is the actual reality concerning that
subject. In other words, God's truth is a declaration which has
corresponding reality or a reality which is correctly set forth. Since
God is Himself the great reality, that which correctly sets forth His
nature is pre-eminently the Truth, the Word of God.
2 Timothy 2:26
and they may
come to their
and escape from the
snare of the
devil, having been
by him to do his
And that they may come to their senses [and] escape out of the snare
of the devil, having been held captive by him, [henceforth] to do His
[God's] will. (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
KJV: And that they may
recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken
captive by him at his will.
NLT: Then they will
come to their senses and escape from the Devil's trap. For they have
been held captive by him to do whatever he wants. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
They may come to their senses and be rescued from the power of the
devil by the servant of the Lord and set to work for God's purposes. (Phillips:
and that they may return to soberness out of the snare of the devil,
having been held captive by him, [returning to soberness so as to
serve] the will of that One [God]. (Eerdmans)
and they may awake out of the devil's snare, having been caught by him
at his will.
AND THEY COME TO THEIR SENSES: kai ananepsosin
(3PAAS): (Lk 15:17; 1Co
15:34; Ep 5:14)
Come to their senses - be
restored to (spiritual) soberness!
Come to...senses (366)
from aná = again + nepho
= be sober) is literally to become sober again, regaining one's senses
and describing one who comes out from a drunken stupor (in the present
context spiritually speaking which in some ways is even worse than an
Satan makes people drunk with his lies, and the servant’s task is to
sober them up and rescue them. The enemy intoxicates his victims with the
vintage wines of
the lust of the flesh (pleasure), the lust of the eyes (possessions),
and the boastful pride of the life (power and position)." (1Jn
, 1Jn 2:16-note)
The victim will
forfeit their spiritual senses by drinking of any one of these wines,
and only divine intervention is capable of sobering and reviving them
from Satan's grip. The truth is that unless God reaches down and
supernaturally revives the drunken, slumbering victim (granting them
repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth), our words and
warnings will fall on deaf ears.
ananepho, rendered “recover
themselves” denotes to return to soberness, as from a state of delirium
or drunkenness (see the R.V. marg). The suggestion therefore is that
the reception of error produces a state of insensibility to the will of
God. The devil is ever seeking to capture the believer in his snare and
prevent him from doing the Lord’s will. (2 Timothy 2)
The destructive effect of false
teaching and sin numbs the conscience, confuses the mind, erodes
conviction, and paralyzes the will. (2 Timothy. Moody)
Barnes writes that ananepho...
means to become sober again, as from
inebriation; to awake from a deep sleep; and then, to come to a right
mind, as one does who is aroused from a state of inebriety, or from
sleep. The representation in this part of the verse implies that while
under the influence of error, they were like a man intoxicated, or like
one in deep slumber. From this state they were to be roused, as one is
from sleep, or as a man is recovered from the stupor and dullness of
intoxication. (Barnes Notes on the NT)
They were mentally intoxicated, drunk with the cup of the great harlot's
abominations, full of her immorality. Lies, half-truths, falsehoods,
worldly chatter, foolish and ignorant speculation produce spiritual
inebriation, a stupor resulting in loss of judgment and proper control
of one’s faculties. The destructive effect of false teaching and sin
numbs the conscience, confuses the mind, erodes conviction, and
paralyzes the will.
This word may refer to a practice in which sowers scattered seeds
impregnated with drugs intended to put birds to sleep that a net might
be drawn over them to capture them.
Kent adds that
These persons who have been trapped
by the Devil were not the same type as those described in 2 Timothy 2:21
or Titus 3:10
From such, the minister is to remove himself. Those in 2Timothy 2:25,
26 are to be dealt with kindly in order to bring about a return to sober
thinking. They are captured alive by Satan. There is at least an
inference that these persons may be true believers who have become
ensnared. If they are, the repentance and recovery may be expected, and
the offenders may yet be restored to the will of God.” (From Paul Apple
2 Timothy 2 Passing the Torch of Leadership - 67
AND ESCAPE FROM THE SNARE OF THE DEVIL: ek tes tou
diabolou pagidos: (Ps 124:7; Isa
8:15; 28:13; Act 26:18; 2Cor 2:11; Col 1:13; 2Th 2:9, 10, 11, 12; 1Ti
3:7; 6:9,10; Rev 12:9; 20:2,3)
This passage more
and they may awake out of the devil's
Escape from translates the preposition ek (1537)
which means out of or from.
As Dean Alford
These people have, in a state of
intoxication, been entrapped; and are enabled, at their awaking sober,
from pegnumi = set up, fix) is a trap (as that
which is fixed or fastened by a noose or notch) and which can fall
unexpectedly or suddenly (so that wild animals and birds are caught by
Pagis was used in Greek for a “net” (a piece of
equipment for a bird-catcher), a “snare” or a “mousetrap.”
In short a pagis is that which causes one to be suddenly
endangered or unexpectedly brought under control of a hostile force.
Who is the one
ensnared? Paul does not clearly distinguish the "victim" which leaves
the interpretation open to either believers or unbelievers. While we
might naturally favor the latter, we would be remiss to ignore fact that
Sin is powerful and even believers can be entangled in this wicked
web, and then becoming so deceived that they don't even see their grave
condition and they can do it all while still being actively involved in
church activities! Both groups of "victims" are in desperate need of the
gift of repentance, which alone will enable them to escape the
intoxicating power of Sin and Satan and this World System.
Dearly beloved, potential vessel of
honor, are you ensnared and so deceived that you don't even recognize
your tragic condition?
The snare of the Devil into which
they have fallen was the error by which they have become intoxicated; in
awakening to soberness they will escape the intoxicating snare.
"The devil's method of taking men
captive is to benumb the conscience, confuse the senses, and paralyze
the will" (Horton).
As men who are drunken, they are
unable to free themselves from the snare of the Devil. (2 Timothy by D.
found 5 times in the NT (Luke 21:35; Ro 11:9; 1Ti 3:7; 6:9; 2Ti 2:26)
and is translated snare (4x) and
trap (1x) in the NASB.
describes a trick or stratagem (temptation). It pictures that which
comes unexpectedly, suddenly even as a snare entices birds or beasts who
are caught unaware. This describes that which fastens or holds one fast.
Pagis here in 2
Timothy shows that those who resist the gospel are still in the snare of
the devil; deluded by him and trapped into doing his will. The idea of
gods and demons being equipped with traps and nets was ancient and
widespread. The devil is not just an accuser but an active opponent who
is at work to capture and destroy people.
pagis was often used in Greek in connection with seductive women,
Solomon writing of the lad who follows the seductress...
Until an arrow pierces through his
liver. As a bird hastens to the snare, so he does not know that
it will cost him his life. (Proverbs 7:23)
The Trojan horse
was called a “wooden pagis.” A religious phrase is “to be
caught in the net of Ate” (delusion or perdition or guilt).
found much more frequently (48 times) in the
where it is snares both literally and
figuratively (Psalms 69:22 "May their table before them become a
snare; and when they are in peace, may it become a trap", ).
stresses the crafty or destructive element of the trap and the emphasis
is often on the suddenness of the destruction.
frequently describes as a snare...
If you have been snared with
the words of your mouth, Have been caught with the words of your mouth,
3 Do this then, my son, and deliver yourself; Since you have come into
the hand of your neighbor, Go, humble yourself, and importune your
neighbor. (Proverbs 6:2)
An evil man is ensnared by the
transgression of his lips, But the righteous will escape from trouble. (Proverbs
Sin is a
By transgression (rebellion) an evil
man is ensnared, but the righteous sings and rejoices. (Proverbs
sometimes the source of snares, the psalmist recording that...
Upon the wicked He will rain
snares; Fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of
their cup. (Psalm 11:6) (Spurgeon's
delivers the righteous from snares:
I will say to the LORD, "My
refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!" 3 For it is He who
delivers you from the snare of the trapper, And from the deadly
pestilence. (Psalm 91:2-3) (Spurgeon's
note v2 ;
"My eyes are continually toward the
LORD, for He will pluck my feet out of the net. (what is man's
responsibility from this verse?)" (Psalms 25:15) (Spurgeon's
pictured as snare:
The cords of Sheol surrounded me; The
snares of death confronted me. (Psalm 18:5) (Spurgeon's
They have prepared a net for
my steps; My soul is bowed down; They dug a pit before me; They
themselves have fallen into the midst of it. Selah. (Psalm 57:6)
lay snares for the righteous:
Thou wilt pull me out of the net
which they have secretly laid for me; For Thou art my strength. (Psalm
They hold fast to themselves an evil
purpose; They talk of laying snares secretly; They say, "Who can see
them?" (Psalm 64:5) (Spurgeon's
Below are all the
NT uses of pagis...
(Jesus to His disciples) "Be on
guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation
and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day (the day of
Christ's return which Jesus invariably enjoins with watchfulness) (Lk
21:34). Nashville: Word Pub.) will not come on you suddenly like a
And David says, "LET THEIR TABLE
BECOME A SNARE AND A TRAP, AND A STUMBLING BLOCK AND A
RETRIBUTION TO THEM. (Ro
11:9) (J Vernon McGee
explains that... "The table has reference to feasting, which is
representative of material prosperity. The children of Israel had great
feasts at which they were actually guests of God—they did not invite God
to their feasts as the pagans did—rather, God invited them. The Passover
was a notable example. The thought here is that they were feasting in a
conceited confidence which was entirely pagan. Their carnal security
deceived them as to their true spiritual ruin. They trusted the things
they ate without any true confidence in God. My friend, this is the
condition at the present moment of multitudes of church members. They
come to the Lord’s Supper without a spiritual understanding." (McGee, J.
V. Thru the Bible commentary. Vol. 4, Page 722. Nashville: Thomas
(Paul warns overseers that bad
conduct will bring them into disrepute and make them easy victims of the
devil’s wiles, so that they will be unfit for further service) And he
must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he
will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (1Ti
But those who want to get rich fall
into temptation and a snare (such people are tempted strongly and
often caught in painful, debilitating sin) and many foolish and harmful
desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. (1Ti
Guy King rightly laments...
How many are all unconsciously
ensnared in that trap: they would be greatly surprised, and highly
incensed, if they were told they were told they were, and it is only
when they try to escape that they become really aware of their
imprisonment. How cleverly the devil lures us, working with, and working
upon, the thing that fascinates us. Mice don't like traps; but they do
like cheese - and there lies the tragedy. There is a passage (James
1:14), where we are given what one might call the physiology of
temptation - "every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own
lust, and enticed." That is the way Satan lures us, draws us away: he
plays upon our lust, our particular strong leaning or liking - that's
the cheese! So he gets us. How did these people of Timothy's get into
that undesirable situation? Why, they were just bemused. (2 Timothy 2:22-26 Meet Three Groups)
from diabállo = accuse <> in turn
from dia = through + ballo = throw) (Click
in depth study of
is one who literally "throws between", picturing what the devil does. In the
beginning he "threw" lies to Eve and Adam to create a gap between God
and man which resulted almost immediately in a "gap" between Adam and
his wife Eve. That's the devil's game plan...to wreak havoc in
relationships (and churches) by "throwing between"!
Paul's point is
that if men will not be the servants of God they inevitably become the
captives of the Devil.
Wuest has an
interesting comment that the literal meaning of "to throw through" means
“to riddle one with accusations.” (Wuest, Kenneth. Golden Nuggets from
the Greek New Testament: p.104. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans)
describes not only those one who brings a false charge against others,
but also who maliciously, insidiously and with hostility disseminates
statements about others.
used 16 times in the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation of the
Hebrew OT, several of the uses recorded below. Note that it is not
surprising that 10 of the 16 uses of diabolos are in
applied 34 of 37 times to Satan, the god of this world, and in
each case has the definite article in the Greek ("the" = defining
a specific entity) and is never in the plural (the three uses below in
the pastoral epistles are all plural) as when applied to men who, by
opposing the cause of God, may be said to act the part of the devil or
to side with him.
The diabolos is a false accuser, slanderer (one who
utters false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage
another’s reputation), backbiter (malicious comment about one not
present), given to malicious gossip or a calumniator (one
who utters maliciously false statements, charges, or imputations about,
this term imputes malice to the speaker and falsity to the assertions).
There's victory for you over sin and its shame:
Look only to Jesus, there's power in His name.
The devil can't harm you nor cause you to sin;
By trusting the Savior the victory you'll win. --Anon.
Satan's ploys are no match
for the Savior's power.
HAVING BEEN HELD CAPTIVE BY HIM
TO DO HIS WILL: ezogremenoi (RPPMPN) hup autou
eis to ekeinou
(Isa 42:6,7; 49:25,26; 53:12; Mt 12:28,29; Lk 11:21; 2Pet 2:18, 19, 20)
(Job 1:12; 2:6; Lk 22:31,32; Jn 13:2,27; Acts 5:3; 1Ti 1:20)
Held captive (2221)
from zoós = alive + agreúo
= catch or entrap) means literally to catch alive as hunters or
fishermen do their game. The idea is to bring under control and to
continue to restrain. Strong's Lexicon says it means to make a prisoner
of war, a good play on words since these poor individuals are indeed
victims of a spiritual war in the heavenlies! It is used figuratively (or spiritually) to
describe those who become live captives of the devil in a moral sense.
indicates that the captivating influence or power comes from an source
outside the one who is captivated, in this case the devil. Those who are
in opposition to God’s work, whether they know it or not, are bound in a
demonic deception, and are doing the devil’s work and need to be set
perfect tense speaks of past
completed action with continuing present effect or result. In other
words, these individuals were captured alive at some point in time in
the past and are still ensnared, held as a prisoner of spiritual warfare
by the deceiver himself. This tense conveys the idea that the devil's
intention is to keep them permanently captive. The devil snares people
through clever arguments, fear, and appeals to selfish pride and
ambition (appealing to our fallen sin nature). Christians should exercise a healthy awareness of (but
not a preoccupation with) the participation of the Devil in the thinking
of those who oppose us in the spiritual realm. We must be alert to the
fact that contending for truth involves contending with spiritual
powers. It follows that we must not be so naive as to think we can confront
such opposition on purely human
terms. On the other hand, as the Lord's bondservants we must maintain a
healthy balance and not become so preoccupied with the devil's role that
we lose sight of the Lord's sovereignty and omnipotence. Remember this
is not a power struggle but a struggle over truth. Remember also that
this verse does not instruct us to go off on "witch hunts", seeking
demons behind every spiritual problem we encounter. Seek first His
kingdom and His righteousness and the proper discernment and adequate
empowerment will be supplied by the King, so that we are prepared for
every good work.
Zogreo is used figuratively (spiritually) by Jesus in
Luke's gospel where it refers to catching men by preaching of gospel. After
showing the disciples His miraculous ability to bring about an
incredible catch of fish, He said to Simon,
Do not fear, from now on
you will be catching (zogreo = winning people for God's
kingdom) men. (Lk
God's program is to catch men alive and turn them into fishers of men;
Satan's program is also to catch men alive, but then to turn them into
destroyers of men. It is a rather sobering thought to realize that none
of us can escape being used, whether by the Prince of peace or by the
Prince of darkness. All of us are playing a part on the stage of human
history, and our performance will promote either good or evil, light or
darkness, Christ or Satan. There is no comfortable middle ground; no
haven for the complacent and mediocre saint, though many would vainly
imagine that there is. (2 Timothy Call to Completion)
Guy King rightly laments...
One is reminded of the prodigal, in
Luke 15:17, who "came to himself." He had not been himself for a long
time. Benjamin Disraeli once said of W. E. Gladstone that he was
"intoxicated with the exuberance of his own verbosity"; well, that
prodigal, it seems, was intoxicated with the exuberance of his own
conviviality - he had completely lost himself. But "when he came to
himself" - he saw his utter folly, and found his way back home again. So
he recovered himself; and so these parishioners of Ephesus. (2 Timothy 2:22-26 Meet Three Groups)
To do (1519)
(eis) is the preposition of motion into any place or
thing. In this context into the devil's will.
from thelo = to will with
the "-ma" suffix indicating the result of the will = "a thing
willed") generally speaks of the result of what one has decided. One sees
this root word in the feminine name "Thelma." In its most basic form,
thelema refers to a wish, a strong desire, and the willing of some
event. (Note: See also the discussion of the preceding word
for comments relating to thelema).
says that thelema is the...
Will, not to be conceived as a
demand, but as an expression or inclination of pleasure towards that
which is liked, that which pleases and creates joy. When it denotes
God's will, it signifies His gracious disposition toward something. Used
to designate what God Himself does of His own good pleasure.
S. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament. AMG
both an objective meaning (“what one wishes to happen” or what is
willed) and a subjective connotation (“the act of willing or desiring”).
The word conveys the idea of desire, even a heart’s desire, for the word
primarily expresses emotion instead of volition. Thus God’s will is not
so much God’s intention, as it is His heart’s desire.
62x in 58v - Mt 6:10; 7:21; 12:50; 18:14; 21:31; 26:42; Mark 3:35; Luke
12:47; 22:42; 23:25; Jn 1:13; 4:34; 5:30; 6:38, 39, 40; 7:17; 9:31;
Acts 13:22; 21:14; 22:14; Ro 1:10-note;
1Cor 1:1; 7:37; 16:12; 2Cor 1:1; 8:5; Gal 1:4; Ep 1:1-note,
Ep 6:6-note; Col
Col 4:12-note; 1Th 4:3-note;
1Th 5:18-note; 2Ti 1:1-note;
2Ti 2:26-note; He 10:7-note,
He 13:21-note; 1Pe 2:15-note;
1Pe 4:19-note; 2Pe 1:21-note; 1Jn 2:17; 5:14; Rev
4:11-note. NAS = desire(1), desires(1), will(57).
How were they captured? A trap? Yes a trap of sorts...absolutely ANY
DEVIATION from the PLUMBLINE of God's Holy Word results in WRONG
THINKING & if not soon corrected will CORRUPT CHARACTER and result in
WRONG BEHAVIOR. TRUTH (here EPIGNOSIS) RENEWS THEIR MIND, EXPOSING LIES
& ERROR in one's thinking and thus setting the captive free (Isa 61:1,
Luke 4:18) as God grants them the repentance so that they can even turn
from their sin. Lord give REPENTANT HEARTS TO WES, MEREDITH, LAUREN.
It is a fearful thing
that, because of sin and unfaithfulness, the devil can actually snare
and hold a person captive...to do his will (see Jn8:44, 59). The vessel
of dishonor becomes a pawn of Satan to work his evil will within the
body of Christ. Such is the terrible & tragic power of sin.
Note that this verse literally read "having been taken captive by him
unto the will of that one" and thus suggests several
(1) That the victims are delivered from the snare of the devil who took
them captive to do his will, the interpretation that one is led to from
a natural reading of most of the Bible versions.
(2) That they are taken captive by God’s servant to do God’s will, where
the pronoun "that one" is interpreted as God's servant.
(3) they are delivered out of the snare of the devil, who took them
captive, to do God’s will, where the pronoun "that one" is interpreted
as God Himself.
explains that ....
The last part of this verse is a bit
difficult to interpret. The difficulty arises in the differences
between the pronouns "captive by him (autou) to do his (to ekeinou)
will." Many take these pronouns to refer to the same person, the
devil. This certainly is possible and makes for an easy interpretation.
These men have been taken captive by the devil to do the will of the
devil. The problem with this interpretation arises in the marked
difference between the two personal pronouns. We would have expected
Paul to maintain the same words if he was referring to the same person.
With the change of pronouns there arises another possibility. The last
pronoun ("his will") may refer to the next nearest antecedent, "God"
(vs. 25); and so the interpretation would then be that the men have been
taken captive by the devil to do God's will. In this case, Paul would be
emphasizing God's divine sovereignty in the affairs of man and Satan.
Satan's dealings with the Lord's people is always bound within the will
of God. (2 Timothy Call to Completion)
Guzik sums up this
To be a servant of the Lord - a
vessel of honor for Him - we must be empty, clean, and available. If we
refuse to empty ourselves, clean ourselves, and make ourselves available
to the Lord, we will find ourselves captive to the devil in one sense or
another. May it never be!
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