2 Timothy (Part 13)By Pastor Boffey on Sunday, April 6, 2008.
vs.3-6. 1. In these verses Paul likens the ministry to soldiering, athletic competition and husbandry (care, cultivation and breeding of crops and animals). A. These three comparisons underscore three facts about ministry and Christian life in general: (1) There are fights to be fought. (2) There are rules that must be kept. (3) There is labour that must be done. B. As much as our flesh would like to avoid these, they are part and parcel of genuine Christianity. MAT 7:13-14; ACT 14:22. 2. Soldiering speaks of authority, discipline, arms and engagement. A. A good soldier must both wield and yield to authority. c/w MAT 8:9-10. B. A good soldier must be disciplined in study and under discipline to the word of God. 1TI 4:13-16; 2TI 2:15; JOH 8:31-32. C. A good soldier must be armed defensively and offensively. EPH 6:11-17. D. A good soldier will not run from nor yield prematurely in a necessary battle. JOH 10:12-13 c/w 2SAM 23:10. 3. The most of the verses which speak of Christian warfare apply to the ministry. 1TI 1:18; PHIL 2:25; PHM 1:2 c/w COL 4:17. A. Ministers are warriors. (1) The marginal note of NUM 4:23 offers “war the warfare” as an alternative to “perform the service.” (2) Godly prophets were deemed Israel's military power. 2KI 2:12; 13:14. (3) Ministers of Jesus Christ advance His ideas against an antiChrist world and those ideas have consequences. (4) Secular powers know this very well. The British often referred to the American clergy as The Black Regiment during the Revolutionary Era. B. There is defensive warfare where the minister defends the church and the doctrine against corruption. PHIL 1:17; GAL 2:4-5; TIT 1:9-11. C. There is offensive warfare where the minister strives to win souls to the truth. 2TI 2:14; 2CO 10:3-5. D. The weapons of this warfare are spiritual. 2CO 10:3-4. (1) The field of this battle is in the minds and souls of men. (2) The “compelling” of men (per LUK 14:25) is by the force of argument, not the point of the sword or power of the state. TIT 1:9. (3) It is a bankrupt and desperate theology that resorts to carnal or secular force to silence its opponents. E. Christians in general are as soldiers in warfare. EPH 6:10-17; 1PE 2:11. 4. Paul's exhortation to endure hardness is introduced by the conjunctive adverb, “therefore.” A. As noted in the comments on 2TI 2:1, this grammatical form links the command to endure hardness with the thoughts of the previous verse. (1) Conjunctive adverbs are transition words that define the relationship between independent clauses. (English—Master the Basics, by Jean Yates, p. 186) (2) Conjunctive adverbs like consequently, therefore and thus indicate the consequence of a statement. (Ibid, p.188) (3) Based upon the command to commit Paul's gospel to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also, Timothy should expect hardness that he is to endure. (4) Endure: “To last; to suffer continuously. intr. To last, continue in existence. Also, to persist, 'hold out' in any action, etc.. Formerly also, to continue in a certain state or condition, remain in a certain place (with complement expressing the state or place).” (5) Hardness: “The quality or condition of being hard; difficulty of penetration, solution, apprehension, performance, endurance; inflexibility, rigidity, stiffness, harshness; rigour, severity, cruelty; obduracy, obstinacy; hardiness, etc.” B. One of the great challenges of ministry is getting through to the people under one's care so as to get their thinking and conduct straightened out. (1) Human nature being what it is, the minister will have to endure hardness of heart amongst his listeners. MAR 3:5; 16:14. (2) “Dullness of hearing” makes some doctrine “hard to be uttered...” (HEB 5:11). a. Remember that hardness is difficulty of penetration or apprehension. b. “Is any of this getting through to you?” c. A minister must expect and endure the hardness of getting through to people whose minds are on their work, their family or their play or who are sleeping through the sermon. (3) In committing Paul's gospel to others, it should be noted that his gospel has “...some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest....to their own destruction” (2PE 3:16). (4) Even faithful men who are able to teach others can have their lapses when the word is committed unto them. MAR 16:14-15. C. One of the ways that God manifests men as approved is by allowing heresies to challenge the church and its pastor. DEU 33:8-10 c/w 1CO 11:19. (1) A pastor may have to endure the hardness of agenda-driven members or their hard speeches (JUDE 1:15) against the truth or his person to “separate the men from the boys.” (2) Enduring such hardness can show a potential minister what the work can really be like and how a faithful minister must not waver from the doctrine even though it means great pressure or loss. It also provides an opportunity to show God's forwardness to stand with the right. ISA 54:17; JER 1:8, 17-19. D. In the context of perpetuating the ministry (v.2) a minister may have to endure the hardness that comes from having a trainee go stinko after ordination. ACT 20:29-30. E. The warfare of ministry will give the man of God plenty of opportunities to endure hardness (2CO 7:5). (1) What he must be cautious of is not to allow those things to make him become hardness. (2) God's people are worth enduring hardness for. 2TI 2:10. 5. The soldier minister is to avoid entangling himself with the affairs of this life. v.4. A. Entangle: “To involve, impede, cause to stick fast in coils, network or anything 'tangled' or interlaced. Hence, in wider sense: To involve in surroundings that impede movement, or from which extrication is difficult.” B. Affair: “What one has to do or has ado with; what has to be done; business, operation.” C. This verse does not prohibit a minister from ALL dealing with the affairs of life. (1) A minister may marry, have children or pursue hobbies. 1CO 9:4-6. (2) A minister may work another job if necessary. ACT 20:34. (3) This verse prohibits a minister from being ENTANGLED with the affairs of this life to where he is impeded from doing God's work. D. If possible, he should not have to minister at his own charges. 1CO 9:6-14. E. Mind how this verse likens ministry to being drafted into military service. Woe unto draft evaders! 1CO 9:16. 6. The soldier minister should concentrate on fighting the battles of His Captain's choosing, not those concocted by men or his own fancies. A. He need not preoccupy himself with self-willed engagements where God has not directed. c/w 2CH 35:20-24. B. Neither should he waste his energies on Quixotic missions against phantom enemies. 1TI 1:4; 2TI 2:23; TIT 3:9. C. God will suffer Satan to provide plenty of real enemies and battles that MUST be fought! 7. What applies here primarily to the ministry applies secondarily to believers in general. A. Believers must also endure hardness. 2TI 3:11-12; PHIL 1:29-30. B. Believers must also guard against entanglement with the affairs of this life. LUK 8:14; 21:34; 1CO 7:29-32.
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