Today we start 2 Timothy. – This is what God gave me today in his word:
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, (2 Timothy 2:15-17)
Or, in other words: be good and don’t get into trouble, or else you’ll end up like “the bad examples”. A little more specifically, God tells Timothy do to do his best to present himself before God as one approved, and to avoid irreverent babble. Slightly more specifically, he tells Timothy to rightly handle the word of truth. If you’d look back to 1 Timothy with me, we’d find this verse:
O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you. (1 Timothy 6:20-21)
So then, this, “word of truth” seems to also be something a deposit that was entrusted to him. Paul in 2 Timothy says, “But avoid irreverent babble,” Notice the “but” in there, that indicates that the word of truth and irreverent babble could be in contradiction with each other… Let’s skip ahead to the point: Paul’s telling Timothy to “handle rightly” the Gospel of Jesus; which is that he died and rose again to save us. With that established, let’s ask the actual question, “What does it mean to “handle rightly” the Gospel?”
It means doing the opposite of irreverent talk. i.e. It means sharing The Gospel. Which naturally implies that The Gospel should take first importance in everything Timothy did. Again, we see in 1 Timothy:
Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.
Have you ever heard of how to break a bad habit? Part of the process involves replacing the bad habit with another, better one. Thus it seems that by saying (not that Timothy had a habit of babbling irreverently) for him not to do something, while at the same time telling him to guard the deposit that was given him, it’s natural to assume Paul was indeed telling him to spread the Gospel. And, by extension, he was also telling us, it seems, to do the same. We can make this particular assumption in good faith, because we see in this verse here:
Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:21-22)
That it is in fact what Paul is getting at. So then, if Paul is telling Timothy (and by extension, you and I) to share the Gospel, the questions arise, “How? And for that matter, why would we do this?”
- Why share the Gospel? There’s nothing in it for us.
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)
Paul describes the process of why we would quite nicely: first we must believe. Believe in what? The fact that Jesus died and rose again to save us from our sins. But how can we believe? By first hearing Jesus through his word. But how can we hear Jesus, or more accurately, what he did for us in the Bible? By someone first expounding upon the word to and for us. But how can anyone preach or teach to us if their not sent by God? They can’t. Thus leading to us acting like the Bereans did and first looking at what a Pastor said, then looking at scripture for confirmation. – In other words: We hear that Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. Then we understand what exactly that means. Finally, we in turn share that with others.
2. How can we share the Gospel?
Refer to point number one; we’re sent, we teach, they believe.
This whole thing can pretty much be summed up in these few words:
We are to share the Gospel with others. We can only do that, though, if we first have heard the Gospel, which is that Jesus died and rose again to save us from our sin.
You are Loved!