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Questions to Consider
1 . Examine the phrase, “You, then, my child…” in verse 1. Who is “you/my child”? Notice how the word “then” in this phrase makes it very similar to phrases like, “Therefore…,” “So then…,” or “Because of this…”. What is our rule of hermeneutics when a chapter or verse starts with this kind of transitional phrase? (Hint: see question 6 in lesson 9, link above). Where should you look next?
How do the themes of suffering for the gospel, not being ashamed of the gospel, and guarding the deposit from chapter 1 relate to what Paul is about to tell Timothy? Trace the line of entrusting the deposit of the gospel, beginning with Christ entrusting it to Paul. To whom did Paul entrust it? To whom is Timothy to entrust it? (2)
2. “Think over what [Paul] says” (7) in the illustrations he uses in verses 3-6, asking the Lord to “give you understanding in everything.” Who do the soldier, the athlete, and the farmer represent? (1-2) What is Paul’s admonition to Timothy and these men in each of these illustrations? Do these admonitions apply only to pastors and elders? How might they apply to the average Christian today?
3. In verses 8-13, we have our repeated motif of Paul summarizing the gospel in the middle of instructing Timothy. What impact has it had on you to see the Holy Spirit continually driving home the gospel in these epistles regardless of what instruction He’s giving pastors and the church? Does your pastor help your church to center on the gospel in everything – sermons, music, worship service, Bible study classes, fellowship, church business, programs, evangelism, missions, and the church member’s daily life? What is the significance of the word “remember” at the beginning of verse 8 and “remind them of these things” at the beginning of verse 14?
4. Explain the significance of the themes of “suffering” (as carried over from chapter 1) in 1-13 and “quarreling” in 14-26.
5. Examine each of the times a form of the word “quarrel” is used in 14-26. (14,23,24) Does this mean that disagreement, controversy, and confrontation are always to be avoided in the church regardless of the issue? Recall the examples of controversy we have already seen in 1 Timothy. What issues did these controversies have to do with? Do they seem to be the same issues of “quarreling” Paul is talking about in this passage? What do “quarrel about words” (14, 1 Tim. 6:4) and “foolish, ignorant controversies” (23) mean? What is the difference between these types of controversies and quarrels and the necessary factions Paul describes in 1 Corinthians? Considering how Paul has already warned Timothy about quelling false doctrine in the church, is rebuking false teachers taking part in “quarrels about words” and “foolish, ignorant controversies” or being “quarrelsome”?
6. Examine verses 15-19. List the things in verses 16-18 that can bring chaos and disorder to the church. Explain the instructions and precepts in verses 15 and 19. Notice how these instructions and precepts bring stability and unity to the church, and how these two verses “bookend” or contain the chaos in verses 16-18. What does this tell you about the church, and you as an individual, walking in obedience to God?
7. Examine verses 20-21 in light of verses 22-25a (note the “So” at the beginning of verse 22). How do verses 22-25a describe how someone may “cleanse himself from what is dishonorable”? What are the characteristics of someone who is “a vessel for honorable use”?
8. Who is “the Lord’s servant” in verse 24? Compare verses 24-25a with the qualifications for pastors and deacons we saw in 1 Timothy 3. What are the similarities and differences? How could you walk out the instructions in 24-25a as a mother, leader, Bible teacher, while evangelizing, or while defending the faith? Verses 25b-26 tell us why pastors, teachers, and, yes, even a mom or a woman sharing the gospel should exhibit these characteristics. What is that reason? How do verses 25b-26 point back to the gospel-centrality of the church, pastors, and individuals we looked at in #3?
How do we know which controversies are “foolish and ignorant” and which ones are important biblical issues that must be settled according to Scripture? Give 2-3 examples of each kind of controversy that you’ve experienced or witnessed in your church or with other Believers. What would have been the biblical way to handle each of these controversies? Take some time in prayer to ask God to help you avoid foolish, ignorant controversies but to stand firmly in controversies over the truth of His Word, and the wisdom to discern the difference.
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