Father in heaven, as I come to you now, fill me with your spirit. Help me to live each moment of this day in ways that bring you glory. May the love of Christ be faithfully expressed in my words and actions.
Read 2 TIMOTHY 2:14-19
Dealing With False Teachers
14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever had to defend yourself against someone’s false accusation? Or listen to someone speaking confidently—but in complete error—about something? How should we respond in these situations?
At the heart of this passage there is another striking image—an unpleasant, corruptive, decaying image—gangrene (v 17). An internet search will show how gangrene affects the body. Should you look it up, be warned, there are some really horrible pictures.
This awful image gives us an insight into how very serious Paul considered ‘godless chatter’ (v 16) and false teaching to be (vs 17,18), and how important it was, therefore, to encourage Timothy to ‘correctly handle the word of truth’ (v 15). Like gangrene, false teaching eventually kills off faith, and Paul wanted the body of Christ to be healthy. More specifically, the teaching by the two named individuals that the resurrection—here referring to the future bodily resurrection of all believers—had already happened was destroying some people’s faith (vs 17,18). Timothy’s responsibility was to keep declaring what he knew was the truth; to keep standing on the solid foundation of the church (1 Timothy 3:15), in the knowledge of God’s protection as he did so.
Today, there are contentious issues under discussion in the church; issues that can and do cause division and distress. Pray today that those participating would seek to ‘correctly handle the word of truth.’
Loving Lord, thank you for your truth that changes lives; may that truth reign in my heart, my words, and my actions. Give me wisdom to share your truth without compromise, boldly, and with love.
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