SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- In the first section Paul warns Timothy about people who claim to follow God but betray Him by their lives. Some even use their supposed faith to take advantage of people. Paul tells Timothy to have nothing to do with such people.
- Paul says that Timothy knows all about how he lives his life. Paul hid nothing. He let other people see him for who he was.
- Timothy is encouraged to continue following Jesus, and promised that he will be persecuted for it. In fact, Paul says every follower of Jesus should expect to be persecuted for their faith.
- Paul also talks about "Scripture" (what we have today as the Bible) which is: able to make one wise for salvation through Jesus, God-breathed, and useful for teaching, correcting, and training in righteousness.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- As followers of Jesus, we shouldn’t hang around “Christians” who continuously choose to live a life that dishonors God.
- As followers of Jesus, we should expect to face some persecution. Persecution can take many forms. Some are talked about negatively for their faith, while others are shunned from their families. Still others, especially in other countries, are imprisoned or killed for their faith.
- The Bible is "God-breathed." The idea is that God inspired the Bible's writers, so God is the ultimate source of what we have in the Bible. It is God's Word. And it is powerful in shaping our lives if we let it.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- In what ways have you experienced persecution for your faith? Did you go to God for the strength to stand up under it? And if you've never faced persecution, why? Is it possible you're not living out your faith in a clear enough way for others to really notice? What do you need to do about that?
- How seriously do you take the Bible? Do you need to make it a higher priority and give it more authority to shape your life? Paul says the Bible is able to thoroughly equip us for every good work (verse 17). If we study the Bible we will be prepared to love others when the opportunity arises. How have you found that to be true?