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2 Tim 3:1-17

February 12, 2009
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2 Tim 3:1-16

 1 BUT UNDERSTAND this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].

1.       Sometimes extended in its signification to the destruction of Jerusalem, as this was properly the last days of the Jewish state. But the phrase may mean any future time, whether near or distant.

2 For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.

1.       [Unthankful] Acharistoi. Persons without grace, or gracefulness; who think they have a right to the services of all men, yet feel no obligation, and consequently no gratitude

3[They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.

1.       [Without natural affection] Astorgoi. Without that affection which parents bear to their young, and which the young bear to their parents. An affection which is common to every class of animals; consequently, men without it are worse than brutes.

2.       [Truce-breakers] Aspondoi. From a, the alpha negative, and spondee, a libation, because in making treaties libations both of blood and wine were poured out. The word means those who are bound by no promise, held by no engagement, obliged by no oath; persons who readily promise anything, because they never intend to perform.

3.       [False accusers] Diaboloi. Devils; but properly enough rendered false accusers, for this is a principal work of the Devil. Slanderers; striving ever to ruin the characters of others.

4.       [Incontinent] Akrateis. From a, the alpha negative, and kratos, power. Those who, having sinned away their power of self-government, want strength to govern their appetites; especially those who are slaves to uncleanness.

5.       [Fierce] Aneemeroi; From a, the alpha negative, and heemeros, mild or gentle. Wild, impetuous, whatever is contrary to pliability and gentleness.

6.       [Despisers of those that are good] Aphilagathoi. Not lovers of good men. Here is a remarkable advantage of the Greek over the English tongue, one word of the former expressing five or six of the latter. Those who do not love the good must be radically bad themselves.

4[They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.

1.       KJ Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

2.       [Traitors] Prodotai. From pro, before, and didomi, to divide up, or give up. Those who deliver up to an enemy the person who has put his life in their hands; such as the Scots of 1648, who delivered up into the hands of his enemies their unfortunate countryman and king, Charles the First; a stain which no lapse of ages can wipe out.

3.       [Heady] Propeteis. From pro, forward, and piptoo, to fall; headstrong, precipitate, rash, inconsiderate.

4.       [High-minded] Tetuphoomenoi. From tuphos, smoke; the frivolously aspiring; those who are full of themselves, and empty of all good.

5.       [Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God] This is nervously and beautifully expressed in the Greek, phileedonoi mallon ee philotheoi, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; i.e. pleasure, sensual gratification, is their god; and this they love and serve; God they do not.

5 For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].

1.       KJ: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

2.       [Having a form of godliness] The original word morphoosis : formation, a fashion, an appearance, and will apply well to those who have all their religion in their creed, confession of faith, catechism, bodies of divinity, etc., while destitute of the life of God in their souls; and are not only destitute of this life, but deny that such life or power is here to be experienced or known. They have religion in their creed, but none in their hearts. And perhaps they even add a decent round of religious observances. From such turn away-not only do not imitate them, but have no kind of fellowship with them; they are a dangerous people, and but seldom suspected, because their outside in fair.

6 For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate silly and weak-natured and spiritually dwarfed women, loaded down with [the burden of their] sins [and easily] swayed and led away by various evil desires and seductive impulses.

1.       False teachers and their insinuating manners practice upon weak women.

2.       These women see in them a semblance of piety, yet eagerly entertain them.

7[These weak women will listen to anybody who will teach them]; they are forever inquiring and getting information, but are never able to arrive at a recognition and knowledge of the Truth.

1.       These false teachers had a form of godliness, which gave them a sort of authority to teach, but could never bring their listeners to the knowledge of the saving power of Christianity.

2.       These false teachers even though they heard the teaching of the apostle Paul, could not hear or meditate the truth to which they could allow the Spirit to touch their hearts; they had another agenda.

8 Now just as Jannes and Jambres were hostile to and resisted Moses, so these men also are hostile to and oppose the Truth. They have depraved and distorted minds, and are reprobate and counterfeit and to be rejected as far as the faith is concerned. [Ex 7:11.]

1.       Josephus calls the daughter of Pharaoh Thermuthis.

2.       Ex. 2;10 Abul Farajius (ancient writings which preserves the original words) says that thermuthis delivered him, Moses, to the wise men Janees and Jimbrees to be instructed in wisdom.

3.        Jannas & Jambres refers to the history of the Egyptian magicians given in Ex. 7

a.       Their names are preserved in the ancient Jewish record.

b.      The Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel they are called Janis & Jambris.

c.       In the Babylonian Talmud they are name Joanne & Mambre, and are represented as chiefs of the sorcerers of Egypt, and as having ridiculed Moses and Aaron for pretending to equal them in the magical arts.

d.      Numenius, a Pythagorean philosopher, mentioned by Eusebius, names these magicians Jamnes & Jambres, and mentions their opposition to Moses.

e.      There was a tradition among the Asiatics that Pharaoh’s daughter had Moses instructed by the wise men Jannes and Jambres.

                                                                           i.      We see that remarkable these ancient characters have been preserved by a sort of universal tradition.

f.        It was necessary that these magicians would exert the utmost of their power against Moses, so both the Hebrews and the Egyptians would know that and believe God’s power as much more superior than the best Satan could use, therefore confirming that Moses was God’s man.

g.       It’s interesting that Paul compares these men that oppose the truth.


9 But they will not get very far, for their rash folly will become obvious to everybody, as was that of those [magicians mentioned].

--Such teaching & teachers will never ultimately prevail against the truth.

--As the Scriptures shall always be preserved, so sooner or later, all doctrines shall be tried by them.

--As long as the Scriptures is read and studied, false doctrine will be exposed and religion that fears the Bible is not the religion of God.

--Error only prevails where the book of God is withheld from the people.


10 Now you have closely observed and diligently followed my teaching, conduct, purpose in life, faith, patience, love, steadfastness,

11 Persecutions, sufferings — such as occurred to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra, persecutions I endured, but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

1.       The Antioch mentioned was in Pisidia, where Paul & Barnabas made their first missionary journey, where Paul delivered that sermon in Acts 13:16-43.

2.       The Jews stirred up the people and raised persecution against them & expelled them out of their coasts.

3.       They shook the dust off their feet & came to Iconium, Acts 13:50-51.

4.       Here both Gentiles & Jews made an assault on them & tried to stone them & they fled to Lystra & Derbe.

5.       There certain Jews stirred up the people, stoned Paul, & left him for dead; Paul was miraculously restored, came to Derbe, and afterward returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch where they had been so viciously persecuted.

6.       Timothy must have know these things because they happened in his own neighborhood; and have such a religious education could not be unacquainted with these persecutions.

a.       Especially as we may believe that his mother and grandmother had been converts to Christianity at that time.

12 Indeed all who delight in piety and are determined to live a devoted and godly life in Christ Jesus will meet with persecution [will be made to suffer because of their religious stand].

1.       This is so opposite to the spirit and practice of the world.

2.       The Christian who gives himself entirely up to God, making the Scriptures the rule of his words and actions will be reviled & persecuted.

13 But wicked men and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and leading astray others and being deceived and led astray themselves.

1.       These will, by continuing to deceive themselves and others will eventually, by their folly, become manifest to all. (2 Tim 3:9)

2.       Seducers: Greek: goeetes; signifies jugglers, pretenders to magical arts, probably persons dealing in false miracles, these have been a problem in the Church in all ages.

14 But as for you, continue to hold to the things that you have learned and of which you are convinced, knowing from whom you learned [them],

1.       No man, however well instructed in the things of God is out of the reach of temptation, apostasy, and final ruin.

2.       I t is necessary to continue to examine ourselves to see if we’re in the faith, so that we will persevere to the end.

15 And how from your childhood you have had a knowledge of and been acquainted with the sacred Writings, which are able to instruct you and give you the understanding for salvation which comes through faith in Christ Jesus [through the leaning of the entire human personality on God in Christ Jesus in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness].

1.       The early religious education of Timothy was mentioned in 2 Tim 1:5.

2.       Paul introduced this again for the confirmation of Timothy’s faith.

3.       Timothy had learned the doctrines of Christianity earlier, and as Christianity is founded on the law and the prophets, he was able to compare its doctrines which had been predicted and consequently was assured that the Christian religion was true.

4.       Paul is talking about the Jewish Scriptures, and by the simple use of the Old Testament, he knew that Christ is the end of the law for the justification of all that believe.

a.       (No soul of man can be wise unto salvation just by the O.T. Obviously it’s through faith in Jesus) 

16 Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God's will in thought, purpose, and action)

1.       God breathed: Obviously Paul was talking about the O.T. ; even though the N.T. came also by divine inspiration as the Old, yet at that time it wasn’t complete, therefore the Paul could have not referenced it.

2.       Profitable for instruction: To teach the will of God, and to point out Jesus Christ until he should come.

3.       Rebuking: reproof: To convince men of the truth; and to confound those who deny it, particularly the Jews.

4.       For correction: for restoring things to their proper uses & places, correcting false notions & mistaken views.

5.       Training in righteousness: Training or education that is to be found in the way of righteousness, or in “the faith”  

17 So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.

1.       Original Greek: May be perfect: Artios: to fit or adapt. It signifies a whole number in arithmetic, to which nothing needs to be added to make it complete.

2.       Thoroughly equipped: Not only complete in himself as to his integrity, religious knowledge, faith in Jesus, and love to God and man; but that he should have all the qualifications necessary to complete the character of the man of God and be to others a pattern of good works.

3.       Here he is referring to Timothy, the Minister, but this also applies to any Christian.

a.       As for a minister of the Gospel, the man should be of the soundest sense, the most cultivated mind, the most extensive experience, one who is deeply taught of God, a man, or woman, who has studied deeply, has prayed much, read much and studied much, and one who abides under the inspiration of the Almighty, and who has hidden the word of God in his heart.


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