2Timothy Chapter 3

16 All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

In the verses 10 through 13 Paul recounts persecutions and sufferings, that took place at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra. He points out to Timothy that the Lord rescued him from all of them and notes the fact that Timothy had been his disciple through it all. He reminds Timothy that those who wish to live a holy life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Timothy should however be aware that evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving themselves and deceiving others. Paul makes note of the conduct of others with their false messages and their continued efforts to harm the Church. Paul points out the service of his loyal disciple Timothy, the word itself cannot even began to express the depth of its meaning as a single English word. Here are just a few of the values that expand and add to the depth of this word.

The Greek word parakolouthein, literally means to follow alongside. It means to follow someone physically through any and all difficulties. To mentally follow and  pay careful attention to that person’s teaching and fully to understand the meaning of what is being said. Simply put to be a disciple one must remain loyal at all times, a friend that understands what is being said and follows in complete obedience. There is much here between the lines and Paul shares a list of things in which Timothy as his disciple has been a part of. An apostle has duties, two of which are teaching and training. Real teaching comes out of real experience. Taking that teaching and training others in its value requires the fact that you have lived it. These two duties require that you know Christ and have striven to live in his way. You truly are training for life. Paul had an aim in life. From that moment on that road to the restoration of his sight he saw nothing but Christ on the cross and took the message of salvation to all he could. As members of the Christian community we should always have a goal, the focus of our aim so to speak. Is our goal Christ centered and faith driven or do we just bend which ever way the wind blows? We must have faith in our God and patience toward others allowing love to guide us to two major requirements of christian living. God forgives and cares and only God enables us to do that. Paul completes these verses by addressing the experiences of an apostle. First in his mind is endurance, not a passive endurance but one of spirit filled faith which faces evil in a way that some good will come out of it. It is not a spirit that takes things as they are but a spirit that through faith takes control of life. That kind of endurance is necessary if we are to conquer the persecutions that will come our way because of our Christian faith. Persecution and hardships will come. Paul is sure God will rescue those who put their faith in God. For those who believe there will always be a future but there is no future for those who refuse to accept the way of God.

These last three verses of chapter three Paul speaks to the value of scripture.

-Scriptures give the wisdom which will bring salvation.

-The Scriptures are of use in teaching.

The Scriptures are valuable for reproof.

The Scriptures are of use for correction.

The scriptures instill in us the burning desire to save others and equips us to do that which we have been called to do.

It was my intention to continue on through 2nd Timothy. After some study and thought I think it best to leave that final chapter to another time. If you have made it to this point I hope you take away with you something that will strengthen your faith and give you the endurance to defend the faith by living the faith each and every day.

Life is Good