2 Timothy Chapter 3 Continued
2 Timothy 3:8 “Now as Janna’s and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.”
Janna’s and Jambres”: Although their names are not mentioned in the Old Testament, they were likely two of the Egyptian magicians who opposed Moses (Exodus 7:11, 22; 8:7, 18-19; 9:11). According to Jewish tradition, they pretended to become Jewish proselytes, instigated the worship of the golden calf, and were killed with the rest of the idolaters (Exodus chapter 32).
Paul’s choice of them as examples may indicate the false teachers at Ephesus were practicing deceiving signs and wonders.
“The truth” (see note on verse 7).
“Reprobate”: The same word is translated “depraved” (in Roman 1:28; see note there), and comes from a Greek word meaning “useless”, in the sense of being tested (like metal), and shown to be worthless.
The Bible does not tell us exactly who this “Janna’s and Jambres” are. The history books say that they were the magicians who withstood Moses. Even though they withstood, as the 10 plagues on Egypt progressed, we see the magicians proclaiming to Pharaoh that Moses’ God was God, and they could not fight against Him.
There will be a time when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. In the last lesson, we were speaking of conditions on the earth in the last days. Now, this is saying, those same people will resist the Truth (Jesus). In the end, they will be like the magicians who realize and believe.
“Reprobate” means reject. These are those who have refused to believe in Jesus, then. Those who have corrupt or evil minds are not looking for the Truth. This is not speaking of an ordinary sinner. This is someone who has opposed God in every way. These would be sinners who have gone almost too far.
2 Timothy 3:9 “But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all [men], as theirs also was.”
“Folly … theirs also was”: Sooner or later, it will be clear that these false teachers are lost fools, as it became clear in the case of “Janna’s and Jambres.”
We know that it did not take God and Moses very long to discredit the magicians, and it will not be hidden forever the evil of these with a reprobate mind either. Truth always wins out.
When the Light of God shines on these deeds of these evil ones, it will be apparent to everyone their error. False doctrines, in a church, may flourish for a while, but when the Truth comes, it reveals the error of the false doctrine.
2 Timothy 3:10 “But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,”
Paul is saying here, that he has not hidden what he believes from anyone. The way Paul had conducted his life spoke for him, as well as the words he spoke. It was no secret to anyone that Paul had totally dedicated himself to the service of the Lord. He had fought hard, even in Jerusalem, for what he believed the doctrine of the church to be.
He had conducted his life in a manner of self-sacrifice. He had endured stoning and many other hardships to bring the message of the gospel to the unsaved world. He said himself, that he would be all things to all people that by all means he might save some. His purpose was to bring as many as possible to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
His faith had been undaunted by the hardships. He suffered long with the stripes, beatings, shipwreck, and the utter hate of his fellow Jews.
He did not ask anyone to support him in the ministry. Most of his ministry, he was a tentmaker, so he would not be a burden to others. Those that did help him, was of their own free will, like the church at Philippi. His patience was demonstrated when he waited for years to even be tried for things he was not guilty of.
2 Timothy 3:11 “Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of [them] all the Lord delivered me.”
“Persecutions”: From a Greek verb that literally means “to put to flight.” Paul had been forced to flee from Damascus (Acts 9:23-25), Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:50), Iconium (Acts 14:6), Thessalonica (Acts 17:10), and Berea (Acts 17:14).
“Antioch … Iconium … Lystra”: As a native of Lystra (Acts 16:1), Timothy vividly recalled the persecution Paul faced in those 3 cities.
“The Lord delivered me” (4:17-18; Psalms 34:4, 6, 19; 37:40; 91:2-6, 14; Isa. 41:10; 43:2; Dan. 3:17; Acts 26:16-17; 2 Cor. 1:10). The Lord’s repeated deliverance of Paul should have encouraged Timothy in the face of persecution by those at Ephesus who opposed the gospel.
The Jews persecuted him the most of any. The Lord was with him in every circumstance. None of the places mentioned here that he suffered were unto the death. That persecution would be reserved for Rome. Paul, not only endured these persecutions, but thought himself honored to endure them for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 3:12 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
“All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution”: Faithful believers must expect persecution and suffering at the hands of the Christ-rejecting world (John 15:18-21; Acts 14:22).
This was true in Paul’s time, and is also true today. Jesus had told Paul that he would suffer for the gospel’s sake. Throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, we find persecutions abound for those servants of God. Paul is saying that he is not alone in the persecution. It comes to all who serve God.
2 Timothy 3:13 “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”
All the dangerous movements of the false teachers (verses 1-9), will become increasingly more successful until Christ comes (2 Thess. 2:11).
This false doctrine had already started then, and the church was just a few years old. The only thing that would break this deadly chain of getting worse and worse would be to come in direct contact with the Truth.
A false doctrine does not get better as it is told. It comes from Satan in the first place, and gets worse and worse every time it is told. When a person is evil, his conscience gets where it is not working. Each sin gets a little worse until he is totally consumed with sin.
Verses 14-17: “Continue” literally means “remain.” “The things which thou has learned” were his oral instruction in the “holy scriptures” (the Old Testament, here), by his mother (Eunice), and grandmother (Lois). “Inspiration of God” (Greek theopneustos, literally, “God-breathed”) describes the unique character of Scripture. It is not only written by men, but authored by God.
“For doctrine” means to tell one what to believe. “For reproof” means to tell one what is wrong. “For correction” means to tell one how to correct wrong. “For instruction in righteousness” means to tell one how to live. “Perfect” (Greek artios, “proficient, capable”) is having everything needed to do what God wants. “Thoroughly furnished” means “thoroughly equipped.” God’s inspired Word, properly used and applied, provides all we need for life and ministry.
2 Timothy 3:14 “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them];”
“Which thou hast learned” (see note on 1:13). To further encourage Timothy to stand firm, Paul reminds him of his godly heritage. The plural form of the pronoun “whom” suggests Timothy was indebted not just to Paul, but to others as well (1:5).
Paul is saying; do not let your head be turned by all of these false doctrines. Stay with the good news of the gospel that was first presented to you. Apply the things you have learned more and more. Grow in the grace that God has provided for you.
Paul reminds Timothy here, that not only are the things he learned true, but Paul was truthful, as well. He is saying to Timothy, you know I teach the truth. Paul knows also, that Timothy’s mother and grandmother had taught Timothy the Scriptures all of his life. He needed to rely on the truths he had learned through them.
2 Timothy 3:15 “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
“From a child”: Literally “from infancy”. Two people whom Timothy was especially indebted to were his mother and grandmother (see note on 1:5), who faithfully taught him the truths of Old Testament Scripture from his earliest childhood. So that he was ready to receive the gospel when Paul preached it.
“Thou has known the holy scriptures”: A common designation of the Old Testament by Greek-speaking Jews.
“Wise unto salvation”: The Old Testament Scriptures pointed to Christ (John 5:37-39), and revealed the need for faith in God’s promises (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:1-3). Thus, they were able to lead people to acknowledge their sin and need for justification in Christ (Gal. 3:24).
Salvation is brought by the Holy Spirit using the Word (see notes on Rom. 10:14-17; Eph. 5:26-27; 1 Pet. 1:23-25).
“Faith which is in Christ Jesus”: Though not understanding all the details involved (1 Pet. 1:10-12), Old Testament believers including Abraham (John 8:56), and Moses (Heb. 11:26), looked forward to the coming of the Messiah (Isa. 7:14; 9:6), and His atonement for sin (Isa. 53:5-6). So did Timothy, who responded when he heard the gospel.
All of the books of men pale by comparison to the Holy Word of God. It seems that even when he was a child, his mother and grandmother had taught him of Jesus. It was part of his very fiber. They had taught him that salvation is in none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. He had accepted Jesus for himself when he came to the age of accountability.
Paul is saying to Timothy, do not let these teachings fade from your memory. Keep them ever before you. They were good enough to save you, they are also good enough to live by.
Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ, and that alone. We remember here, that Timothy was preaching where the Judaizers were trying to put him back under the law. Paul reminds him of what saved him.
2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
“All scripture” Grammatically similar Greek constructions (Rom. 7:12; 2 Cor. 10:10; 1 Tim. 1:15; 2:3; 4:4), argue persuasively that the translation “all Scripture is inspired”, is accurate. Both Old Testament and New Testament are included (see notes on 2 Pet. 3:15-16), which identify New Testament writings as Scripture.
“Inspiration of God”: Literally “breathed out by God,” or “God-breathed.” Sometimes God told the bible writers the exact words to say (e.g., Jer. 1:9), but more often He used their minds, vocabularies and experiences to product His own perfect infallible, inerrant Word (see notes on 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 1:1; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).
It is important to note that inspiration applies only to the original autographs of Scripture, not the bible writers; there are no inspired Scripture writers, only inspired Scripture. So identified is God with His Word that when scripture speaks, God speaks (Rom. 9:17; Gal. 3:8).
Scripture is called “the oracles of God” (Rom. 3:2), and cannot be altered (John 10:35; Matt. 5:17-18; Luke 16:17; Rev. 22:18-19).
“Doctrine”: The divine instruction or doctrinal content of both the Old and New Testaments (2:15; Acts 20:18, 20-21, 27; 1 Cor. 2:14-16; Col. 3:16; 1 John 2:20, 24, 27). The Scripture provides the comprehensive and complete body of divine truth necessary for life and godliness (Psalm 119:97-105).
“Reproof”: Rebuke for wrong behavior or wrong belief. The Scripture exposes sin (Heb. 4:12-13), that can then be dealt with through confession and repentance.
“Correction”: The restoration of something to its proper condition. The word appears only here in the New Testament, but was used in extra-biblical Greek of righting a fallen object, or helping back to their feet those who had stumble. Scripture not only rebukes wrong behavior, but also points the way back to godly living (Psalm 119:9-11; John 15:1-2).
“Instruction in righteousness”: Scripture provides positive training (originally used in reference to training a child), in godly behavior, not merely rebuke and correction of wrong behavior (Acts 20:32; 1 Tim. 4:6; 1 Pet. 1-2).
“Inspiration” (3:16). This refers to the supernatural guidance of the writers of Scripture by the Spirit of God, so that what they wrote was the divine Word of God, transcribed accurately, reliably, and without error in the original manuscripts (“autographs”). The word “inspiration” itself pictures God breathing out His Word to men.
Not everything written by an apostle or a prophet was necessarily inspired. Paul wrote at least three epistles to the Corinthians, but apparently only two were an inspired record (1 Cor. 5:9). Samuel, Nathan and Gad each wrote accounts of David’s life; only one of these prophets produced an inspired record (1 Chron. 29:29).
Since the Scriptures are given to help Christians grow in maturity, they should rely upon them for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (right living; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21).
My own opinion of the Bible, Word of God, or Scriptures, whichever you decide to call them, is that they are like looking into the face of Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God. The word inspired” means God breathed. I prefer to say that God is the author of the Bible and people like Paul are the penman.
2 Peter 1:21 “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.”
God has always brought messages to His people through the mouth, or pen of men. I like to think of the Bible as God’s instruction to man for living victorious lives. You might think of it as a road map which guides us at every intersection of life. If we stick with the guide, it will keep us from taking the wrong turn.
If the Bible says something, there is a reason. We may not understand the reason at the time, but if it says it, it has a purpose. We can learn from other’s experiences in the Bible.
1 Corinthians 10:11 “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”
If it were not for the Scriptures, we would not know how to be righteous. Righteousness is received, not earned. We are clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
2 Timothy 3:17 “That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
“Man of God”: A technical term for an official preacher of divine truth (see note on 1 Tim. 6:11).
“Perfect”: Capable of doing everything one is called to do (Col. 2:10).
“Thoroughly furnished”: Enabled to meet all the demands of godly ministry and righteous living. The Word not only accomplishes this in the life of the man of God but in all who follow him (Eph. 4:11-13).
The word that was translated man in the verse above is not someone of the male gender, but a human being, man or woman.
Acts 9:36 “Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.”
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
1 Timothy 6:11 “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”
Whoever you are, if you are called to work for God, you must set an example for others in the way you live. The most important thing in working for God is the fact that you turn your will over to the Father. You must let the Holy Spirit teach you the Truth of the Word of God, that you might bring the Truth to others.
Learn all you can about the Word of God, share with others what you know.
2 Timothy Chapter 3 Continued Questions
- Who were Jannes and Jambres, probably?
- What were they?
- Did they change their minds?
- How many plagues did God send on Egypt?
- Who is the Truth?
- What does “reprobate” here, mean?
- Their folly shall be known to all ______.
- What reveals the error of these reprobates?
- What did Paul say, that Timothy knew about him in verse 10?
- What kind of hardships had Paul faced?
- What had Paul dedicated himself to?
- Why was Paul all things to all people?
- How had Paul made his living while he preached?
- What church helped Paul?
- Who persecuted Paul the most?
- Name some of the places where Paul was persecuted?
- Where did Paul die, reportedly?
- What attitude did Paul have about the persecutions?
- Evil men and seducers shall wax ________ and _______.
- What did Paul tell Timothy to continue in?
- Who, besides Paul, had taught Timothy the Scriptures?
- How long had Timothy known the Scriptures.
- The Holy Scriptures will make you wise unto __________.
- Where was Timothy teaching?
- All Scripture is given by _________ of God.
- It is profitable for _________, for _________, for __________, for ____________ in righteousness.
- What is the authors opinion of the Bible?
- What does “inspired” mean?