Tuesday, October 2, 2012
2 Timothy 2
Today the Uganda team is taking a quick tour of the Pyramids in Egypt
After reminding Timothy that he should “soldier on” in his ministry and recognize that difficulties are inevitable, Paul quotes (beginning in 11) what many believe to be the text of an early Christian hymn. I have often wondered what the tune sounded like.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved (2:15) – Salvation requires no effort on our part – it is a work of God. Discipleship requires significant effort and for we who lead in the church it is often hard work. There are things we have to give up (like “wrangling over words (14)”) or “profane chatter” (16). There comes a clear choice to “turn away from wickedness (19)” and to more faithfully follow Jesus Christ. We present ourselves as one approved by what we avoid but also by how we choose to engage – with our spiritual gifts rekindled we can preach in season or out, we can be gentle and we can choose to not engage in senseless controversies.
Remember that his letter was written while Timothy was present in Ephesus. Ephesus was a hotbed of Gnosticism and the Gnostics loved nothing more than countless wrangling over words and phrases and meanings. We are to pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace (22).