Lesson # 2

We are the Family of God

Lesson # 2
Copyright © 2002
D. S. Briggs, BA; ThM; D. Min.,

2 Timothy 2:14 - 17
Background Scripture: Deuteronomy 6:6-12
Memory Verse: Ephesians 4:14-15

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind and doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive…but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ”


Listen carefully and you can hear the desperate cries for assistance coming from the young preacher we have come to know as timothy. After spending some time in the ministry there at Ephesus, Timothy undoubtedly was shaken at how pervasive false doctrine had entrenched and entwined itself with the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Public worship of the true and living God had been “mixed” in with worship from the Temple of Artemis (Diana). There was an absence of qualified family members to entrust with the leadership responsibilities of this new ministry. The church’s initial excitement and efforts to evangelize their community for Christ has given way to discouragement. The dreams of following faithfully in the footsteps of his father in the ministry have been turned into nightmares by what he has seen and heard. I can almost hear Timothy screaming, ”they need Jesus, but they don’t want Jesus!”

His cry is the cry of many preachers and pastors, evangelists and teachers, leaders and laity alike 2000 years later. The ever rising frustration of trying to preach and teach Christ in a culture and sometimes within a church that either minimizes his influence and teachings, or water them down because they can not bear the full strength of the gospel. The inability to cultivate sound, consistent, and systemic spiritual leadership because the vast majority of leadership models that has been produced in the church and practiced by the church have been carnal in nature. Particularly offensive is the combining of two or three different theological teachings or platforms, so as not to offend anybody and yet please everybody. This buffet line approach to the gospel (I’ll take a little bit of this… a lot of that…I don’t want none of that…maybe I’ll come back and get that later if I still have room…etc.) is nothing new, for this is the same problem that Timothy faced. It is to these problems, Paul shares of his wisdom to encourage and empower Timothy for ministry there at Ephesus.

The apostle Paul writes to his son in the ministry Timothy, who has
been given the first charge of pastoring the fledgling church at Ephesus. Paul gives great wisdom on the practice, purpose, and primacy of studying the word of God. Written from a prison cell, awaiting the sound of the footsteps that would eventually lead Paul to his death, the aged apostle writes this epistle of encouragement to this young pastor. Although it seems to be tucked away midway through his letter, it’s physical position in the letter does not diminish the power of Paul’s words. The key thought of Paul to Timothy seems to be one of perseverance.

Throughout the second chapter of second Timothy, Paul lists several characteristics of a faithful servant/minister. These are…
· Discipling teacher…………………………………………………….verses 1-2
· Single minded soldier……………………………………...…..…….verses 3-5
· Enduring husbandman………………………...…………………...verses 6-13
· Diligent workman………….…………………………..….……….verses 14-19
· Sanctified vessel…………………………….……………….……verses 20-23
· Gentle servant……………………………………………………..verses 24-26

Let’s look at the diligent workman aspect of second Timothy chapter two.

2 Timothy 2:14 – 19

Ø vs# 14… of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
Ø Vs# 15…Study to shew thyself approved unto god, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Ø Vs# 16…but shun profane and vain babblings for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
Ø Vs# 17 …and their word will eat as doth a canker, of whom is hymenaeus and philetus.

I.) Our Responsibility before the Lord
A.) Hold onto sound teaching and doctrine
1.) Psalm 119: 93
2.) St. Matthew 4:4
3.) 2 Timothy 3:16-17
B.) Avoid subversive teaching and doctrine
1.) St. Matthew 7:15-20
2.) Jeremiah 11:18 –19
3.) 2 Timothy 2:18-19
4.) Jude 17 - 21

How does one accurately know which doctrines(s) are of God? Which preacher or teacher is telling us the truth? Which church or ministry truly points the way to God? 2 Timothy 2:15 gives us the requirement and responsibility of every believer.


The word in the greek language of the text is the word “spoudazo.” Translated it means to be prompt, earnest, endeavor… To give diligent attention to not only the scriptures but to self. This is an intensive approach to the scriptures and not a mere skimming over the surface. It is going to the depth of the item of study and discovering where its roots lie, and in what type of ground does the roots reside. Simply put, it is asking the following of every text…

¨ Who?
¨ What?
¨ Where?
¨ When?
¨ Why?
¨ How does this apply to me?

To relinquish this aspect of our personal study of the word of God off onto the preacher/pastor and to accept at face value what he/she says without any research of our own has undeniably increased the proliferation of religious misinformation that pervades our churches today. Almost to the point we will not hear the truth, because we will rather believe a lie because of who we heard the lie from.

Shew thyself…

This has an implication of inspection in it. The only way to properly shew one’s self truly competent in any area is to actually do it. It is not just quoting and toting the Scripture but living it out in our daily lives. Our Verbal Expressions of Christianity mean absolutely nothing without our Vital Example. To not just talk the talk but to walk the walk. All else is sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.

Approved unto God…

The purpose of our study is not to show off the amount of knowledge that we have attained, not to demonstrate to others that we have been studying. Rather it is to be drawn into a more intimate relationship with God, and to seek his approval of this mark of our stewardship concerning his word. The Lord alone gives the affirmation of his approval, and this to his children, not to others.

Workman that needeth not to be ashamed…

A workman (ergates) is one that has not only competence but confidence. His confidence comes not only in the tools of his trade, but also in his ability to use them in an appropriate manner. One that is sure of himself that he can adeptly handle whatever comes his way, concerning his vocation because he has been trained, and seeks continued training day by day.

Rightly dividing the word of truth…

There is a point of dissemination that must occur with the word of God. There is both a right way and a wrong way to divide it. One that has been elevated to the status of a workman does not wrest the scriptures to his destruction, nor to the downfall of others. (cf: 2 peter 3:16) They have learned to read and study the text in the context of what has been written. To do otherwise makes it a pre text to say whatever one desires and to advance any agenda as a biblical one.

Concluding thought:

It is the responsibility of the one who has studied the word of God, not to enter into discussions of deception, distraction, and determent. (vs # 17) with those that seek to undermine the great work of God. If given the platform to sow their seeds of deception, it will take root and grow in the life of the believer and the church like a cancer. This will always happen until we as the family of God become grounded in the word of God, and it alone becomes the foundation for every ministry and outreach. There is only one preventive medicine out here for this type of deception; study the word of God!!!

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee”
Psalm 119:11

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