2 Timothy (Part 30)

9. Against the inevitability and the aftermath of apostates, Paul commands Timothy to watch, endure, work, and prove his ministry. v.5. A. Regardless of the waywardness of others, he must stay the course. EXO 23:2. B. Gospel work must go on in spite of desertions and disappointments. (1) There is a tendency in ministry to think one is failing at the work if some abandon the truth. (2) That some saints abandon the truth is not so much a sign that the minister is failing at the work as it is that he has been doing the work properly! JOH 6:63-66. (3) The loss of many church members in the gainsaying of Korah did not disprove Moses and Aaron's leadership but served as an opportunity for God to reaffirm it. NUM 17. C. Timothy is to watch in all things. c/w ACT 20:31. (1) Watch: “To be or remain awake. 3a. To be on the alert, to be vigilant; to be on one's guard against danger or surprise.” See 1TH 5:6; 1TI 3:2. (2) The end of a “woe” does not mean others may not follow. REV 9:12; 2CO 11:27. (3) God's ministers are His watchmen to warn and to tend His flock. EZE 33:6-7; HEB 13:17. (4) The watchman who is consumed with greed and self-service will not see trouble coming. ISA 56:9-11. (5) The watchman who bolts at the sign of trouble is only a hireling. JOH 10:12-13 c/w ZEC 11:17. (6) The watchman who warns his flock about the dangers that departers represent is a good watchman. 1TI 4:1-6. (7) Timothy must watch himself. 1TI 4:16; 1PE 5:8-9. (8) He must watch for the coming of Christ. MAR 13:34-37. (9) A singularly important aspect of watching is prayer. MAT 26:38-41. D. Timothy is to endure afflictions. c/w 2TI 1:8; 2:3. (1) Affliction: “The action of inflicting grievous pain or trouble. 2. The state of being afflicted; sore pain of body or trouble of mind; misery, distress.” (2) One of the afflictions to be endured is the opposition and departure of saints who won't endure sound doctrine. v.3 c/w ACT 20:30-32. (3) Those who greatly oppose the truth are the cause of much evil to ministers as well as to the church. 2TI 4:14-15. (4) It is especially afflicting when opposers have lingering sympathizers or when they drag others into their errors. NUM 16:41; GAL 2:12; 2TI 2:17-18. (5) Enduring affliction is one of the ways by which Timothy would make full proof of his ministry. c/w 2CO 6:4. (6) Paul had recently used himself as a good example of enduring affliction. 2TI 3:11. E. Timothy is to do the work of an evangelist. (1) By definition, an evangelist is one who preaches the gospel. (2) Philip was an evangelist. ACT 21:8. (3) An example of his work is found in ACT 8. (4) This work involves preaching the gospel to the unconverted, baptizing those who believe the gospel, and thereby starting churches. F. Timothy is to make full proof of his ministry. (1) A pastor must discharge his ministry so as to remove any reasonable doubt as to its authenticity. PHIL 2:19-23; 2CO 8:22-23. (2) He must show himself to be a studied man. 2TI 2:15 c/w 1TI 4:15. (3) He is approved by the measure of 2CO 6:4-10. (4) He makes FULL proof of his ministry by fulfilling all that Scripture requires in the realm of ministry that God delegates to him. (5) He must make full proof of his ministry, not another's. COL 4:17; 2CO 10:13-16; ROM 15:18-20; GAL 6:4. (6) Church members need to know the proof of a minister; they ought not to blindly follow any man. 1TH 5:21; 1JO 4:1. a. Ephesus was commended for trying some who claimed to be apostles. REV 2:2. b. The Bereans were commended for proving an apostle. ACT 17:11. c. Paul instructed Corinth to judge what he said. 1CO 10:15. d. Paul called for men to follow him as he followed Christ. 1CO 11:1. e. Even Christ discouraged faith in Himself in the absence of proof. JOH 10:37-38. f. The gullible are prey to deception. PRO 14:15; ROM 16:17-18. g. A. W. Pink observed, “Two extremes are to be guarded against: slavery to human authority and tradition; the spirit of self-will and pride. On the one hand we are to avoid blind credulity, on the other hand an affectation of independence or the love of novelty, which disdains what others believe, in order to obtain a cheap notoriety or originality. Private judgment does not mean private fancy, but a deliberate conviction based on Holy Writ.” G. This exhortation for Timothy to hold fast and faithful both in the expectation and aftermath of defectors is especially poignant in view of v.6: Timothy was likely going to be flying solo soon.
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