“Preach the Word. Teach the Word. Reach the World.” | 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Sermon

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May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my mouth, be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer (Ps 19:14)

18 years. 18 years. Can we just have a round of applause for 18 years? Thanks be to God, Pastor Danny Scotton, Sr. was installed as the undershepherd of Alpha Baptist Church on September 29, 2002.

"Preach the Word. Teach the Word. Reach the World." | 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Sermon

I imagine this was one of the best days of his life. Probably not the best day of his life, which was probably October 11, 1987.

"Preach the Word. Teach the Word. Reach the World." | 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Sermon

But it’s likely in the top 10.

I’ve been to many of his pastoral anniversaries.

"Preach the Word. Teach the Word. Reach the World." | 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Sermon "Preach the Word. Teach the Word. Reach the World." | 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Sermon


"Preach the Word. Teach the Word. Reach the World." | 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Sermon

5th Anniversary 2007

"Preach the Word. Teach the Word. Reach the World." | 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Sermon

10th Anniversay 2012

"Preach the Word. Teach the Word. Reach the World." | 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Sermon

15th Anniversary 2017

"Preach the Word. Teach the Word. Reach the World." | 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Sermon

Some I recall better than others. There have been quite a few. And, thanks be to God, this is the second one I’ve had the opportunity to preach.

2 Timothy 4:1-5 is a common text used for ordination services[1] and pastoral anniversaries. But, it’s a little odd for me to preach this. You see, in context, the Apostle Paul is writing to Timothy – his younger protégé.

But, on second thought, whereas I am 32, a few years ago my father reached the big 06.

"Preach the Word. Teach the Word. Reach the World." | 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Sermon

Sometimes, I like to clown around. I don’t know where I get it from.

"Preach the Word. Teach the Word. Reach the World." | 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Sermon

But the Gospel is serious business. And, I’ll strive to make my father proud today, as I strive to make my heavenly Father proud everyday. We must preach the word, teach the word, and reach the world.

Context: Paul Passes the Baton

Let’s first consider the context.

2 Timothy likely contains some of the last words Paul ever wrote.[2] After 30 years in ministry, he may be weeks if not days from becoming a martyr – being killed for the faith.[3]

Right after this passage, he writes in 2 Tim 4:6:

“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near” (2 Tim 4:6, NIV).[4]

The apostle knows He is at the end of his life.[5] Thus, after years of success (cf. 2 Tim 4:7-8)[6] despite suffering, Paul gives a solemn charge to his successor[7] – as he passes the baton.[8]

Though Young Timothy has a sincere faith, he may have been a bit timid as a leader.[9] This is likely why Paul writes in 2 Timothy 1:6-7:

“6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Tim 1:6-7, NIV).[10]

On top of his youth and timidity, Timothy – as the leader of the church in Ephesus – had to deal with false teachers who had infiltrated their ranks[11] (cf. 1 Tim 1:3-7).[12]

Apparently, in the Ephesian church, heresy was running rampant.[13] So, Paul urges Timothy to speak authoritatively against those who distort the word of God. And Paul tells him from where he should draw his authority. In 2 Timothy 3:14-17, he says:

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim 3:14-17, NIV;[14] cf. 1 Tim 4:13).[15]

Spirit-filled speakers can speak with spiritual authority. And, no matter who the speaker is, the word of God carries the authority of its Author.

So, if one correctly relays God’s word, one can speak with authority. Thus, we should all take Paul’s command in 2 Tim 2:15 to heart. He tells Timothy:

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15, NIV).[16]

Timothy is commanded to correctly teach the true word of God in the midst of false teaching.[17] Paul tells him in 2 Tim 1:13-14:

“13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us” (2 Tim 1:13-14, NIV;[18] cf. 1 Tim 6:20).[19]

You see, the gospel is the only vaccine to combat the consequences of sin. If people try to change the formula, lives hang in the balance. Don’t be deceived, the Gospel involves matters of eternal life and death.[20] Paul is dead serious.

All in all, this passage is essentially the parting advice of a retiring general to his young, timid lieutenant.[21] This is a changing of the guard.[22]

Paul has fought the good fight; now he exhorts Timothy to stay strong in battle.[23] Paul has finished his race; now it’s time for Tim to take his place.[24]

As it’s been said, this is the final charge of a “dying man to his heir apparent.”[25] Nonetheless, the commands to Timothy are applicable to all followers of Christ today.[26]

For we all have been called to the Lord’s service.[27] We all have been saved to serve.

In today’s text, Paul gives Timothy his charge, then explains the reasons for the charge, before reinforcing his charge.[28] In 2 Timothy 4:1, Paul writes:

2 Timothy 4:1

I charge[29] you, in the sight[30] of God and of Christ Jesus – who will[31] judge the living and the dead – and in light of His Coming and His Kingdom: (2 Tim 4:1, AT).

Solemn Charge

As Paul has done before (1 Tim 5:21; cf. 2 Tim 2:14;[32] 1 Tim 6:13;[33] also see Lk 16:28; Ac 2:40, 10:42),[34] he gives Timothy a solemn charge (διαμαρτύρομαι | diamartyromai).[35]

But this time, he not only calls God the Father and Jesus the Son as witnesses[36] (cf. Dt 4:26;[37] Dt 30:19; 2 Ch 24:19 LXX)[38]  (Jewish tradition required two or three witnesses in legal proceedings: Dt 17:6, 19:15)[39] he also mentions three important aspects of the coming Christ:[40]

His Final Judgment, His Second Coming, and His Reign as King.[41]

Jesus’ Final Judgment

Christ came to save from the consequences of sin[42] (Mt 1:21, 20:28; Jn 3:16, 36; Rom 5:6-11; etc.) And He will come again to judge (Jn 5:27; Rom 14:9-12; 1 Cor 3:10-15; Heb 9:27;[43] Jn 5:22).[44]

He’ll judge between those who are with Him, and those who are in sin (cf. Ac 10:42; 1 Pet 4:5;[45] Ac 17:31; Rom 2:16; 1 Cor 4:5;[46] Rom 14:9; 1 Th 4:16-17).[47]

He will separate the wheat from the weeds (Mt 13:24-30, 13:36-43), the sheep from the goats (Mt 25:31-46).[48] Those who follow Him, from those who follow their sinful hearts (cf. Jer 17:9; Jer 17:5-11).

“The living and the dead” refers to the people who are alive on Judgment Day, and those who have already died[49] (cf. 1 Th 4:15-17;[50] 1 Th 4:13-14).[51]

Those who have accepted King Jesus (cf. 1 Tim 1:17, 6:15)[52] will be rewarded, those who have rejected King Jesus will be punished.[53]

Now I’m old enough to remember when restaurants actually let people smoke inside. Now people have to smoke outside – and they always seem to exhale right as I’m walking in the door.

Nowadays, I guess the smoking section is right by the entrance.

In any case, for some, eternity will be full of joy. For many others (cf. Mt 7:13-14), there’ll be fiery judgment (cf. Mt 5:22, 7:19, 13:40, 18:8, 9, 25:41).

Eternity has a smoking section and a non-smoking section. Through the redemption of Christ, let’s make our reservations for the latter.

Second Coming of the King

The Day of Judgment will take place at Christ’s Second Coming[54] (cf. 1 Tim 6:14;[55] Tit 2:13).[56] His Kingdom was inaugurated with His First Coming (cf. 2 Tim 1:10;[57] cf. Col 1:13),[58] and His Kingdom (cf. 2 Tim 4:18;[59] 1 Cor 6:9-10, 15:50; Gal 5:21; Eph 5:5; 1 Th 2:12; 2 Th 1:5;[60] 1 Cor 4:20; Col 4:11;[61] cf. Ac 14:22) [62] will be consummated with His Second Coming[63] (cf. 1 Cor 15:24).[64]

All people and all creation will confess that Christ is King[65] (cf. Rom 8:21f).[66] But, for many, it will be too late: in eternity, only those who’ve been loyal to the King will live with the King.[67]

Yet, whether one has been loyal or not, Philippians 2:10-11 tells us:

“10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Php 2:10-11, NIV; cf. Rom 14:11).

So, we already know how this story ends; we already know how His-story ends. And that should give us peace.

Pastor recently preached on John 16:33, where Christ says to His disciples:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33, NIV).

The victory has already been won! At the end of it all, we know there’ll be cause for celebration.

We Know How This Story/History Ends

Speaking of celebration, who remembers the 2018 Super Bowl? Whether or not you’re an Eagles fan, you have to admit that that was a pretty exciting game. The Eagles would score, then the Patriots would answer right back. It was back and forth until the very end.

We were watching it back in the Fellowship Hall, and it seemed like everyone was on the edge of their seats the whole time. At the end of the game, even though the Eagles had the lead, we knew that Tom Brady had countless 4th quarter comebacks on his resume. So, we were on pins and needles until the clock finally struck zero.

Now imagine re-watching the 2018 Super Bowl in 2020. (The Eagles aren’t doing too hot right now so many might want to watch it just to remember better days). But, if we did, do you think we’d be on the same emotional rollercoaster? Probably not.

Why? Because, as I heard a pastor recently say in a sermon, we already know who wins!1

The ups and downs of that game won’t bother us as much because we know the Eagles will emerge victorious. In the same way, the ups and downs of life shouldn’t bother us as much, because we know that Christ will emerge victorious.

We know that, in the end, Christ wins. In fact, He’s already won. And those who are faithful to Him are a part of the winning team.

Knowing this, we (like Timothy) should have great boldness when proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God – the Good News of the Son of God who died for our sins and was raised to life for our justification (Rom 4:25), that all who are faithful to Him on earth, will be faithful to Him in Heaven.

Responsibility and Reward

However, we also should realize that we’ll all have to give an account of our lives – to the Lord who gave us life.[68] As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:10:

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Cor 5:10, NIV).[69]

We will all be evaluated by Christ.[70] The faithless will be punished for their faithlessness (cf. Rev 20:11-15).[71] The faithful will be rewarded for their faithfulness.[72] Thus Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4:7-8:

“7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Tim 4:7-8, NIV).[73]

Paul has dedicated his life to ministry and now anticipates his reward. And he’s likely motivating Timothy to also dedicate his life to ministry, so he can also anticipate his reward[74] (cf. 1 Cor 3:12-15, 4:2-5;[75] cf. 1 Cor 3:1-15).[76]

Both reward and responsibility are motivations for Timothy in ministry[77] (cf. 2 Tim 1:18; 1 Cor 9:27)[78] –not only for his sake, but for those to whom he must minister (cf. 2 Tim 2:24-26).[79]

So, Paul does not speak on his own authority.[80] Rather, with God the Father and Jesus the Son as witnesses, and in light of Christ’s Final Judgment, Second Coming, and Reign as King,[81] Paul gives Timothy nine commands:[82] five in verse 2 (2 Tim 4:2)[83] and four in verse 5 (2 Tim 4:5).[84]

2 Timothy 4:2 says:

2 Timothy 4:2

Preach the word! Be ready[85] in season and out of season. Correct. Rebuke. Encourage — with great forbearance and thorough instruction[86] (2 Tim 4:2, AT).

Preach the Word

The first command is likely the most important:[87] “Preach (κηρύσσω | kēryssō)[88] the word!” (cf. 1 Tim 3:16;[89] cf. 1 Tim 2:7; 2 Tim 1:11; 1 Cor 15:2).[90] Proclaim the Gospel[91] (cf. 1 Tim 4:5;[92] 2 Tim 2:8;[93] Rom 10:14),[94] correctly handling God’s word of truth[95] (cf. 2 Tim 2:9; 2 Tim 2:15;[96] also see Tit 2:5, 8)[97] – which is grounded in the God-breathed Holy Scriptures (cf. 2 Tim 3:15f.).[98]

The remaining commands describe how the word is to be preached.[99]

Be Ready (In Season and Out of Season)

The word translated “be [ready]” (ἐφίστημι | ephistēmi) can also mean be persistent.[100] Timothy is to persistently proclaim the Gospel, always being on duty[101] (cf. Jer 46:14 LXX).[102]

Like a doctor on call has to be ready to give life-saving medical treatment,[103] we have to be on call and ready to give the life-saving message of truth.

“In season and out of season” (εὐκαίρως ἀκαίρως; cf. Mk 6:21, 14:11)[104] refers to when it is “convenient” or “inconvenient”.[105] This can mean that timid Timothy should preach whether he feels up to it or not (i.e., subjective)[106] (cf. 2 Tim 1:6-7).[107]

And/or it can mean Timothy should preach whether things seem “favorable” or not[108] – whether it seems it’ll be popular or not.[109]

Now, sometimes it’s wise to speak and sometimes it’s wise to be silent (cf. Ec 3:7).[110] Moreover, as Jesus says, we shouldn’t throw our pearls before pigs (Mt 7:6).[111]

And once people reject the gospel, we can shake the dust off our feet and move on (cf. Mt 10:14).

But, in every circumstance,[112] we must be prepared to proclaim God’s word – whether people want to listen or not (i.e., objective),[113] whether the timing seems right or not[114] (the objective interpretation likely makes more sense considering what follows).[115]  

For we don’t know how people will respond to the Gospel until we tell them the Gospel![116]

Back then, conventional wisdom said that you had to wait until the right time to make your case (cf. Sir 32:4).[117] But Paul tells Timothy to break such conventional norms of his day;[118] why shouldn’t we?

If we’re always waiting for “the perfect time” to share the Gospel, we might not ever say a word.

It’s been said, “never discuss religion or politics in polite company.”[119] But nowadays, at least for me, it seems like almost every conversation makes it way to politics. It’s like clockwork.

But how much more should we be talking about the pure and faultless religion of Christ? (cf. Jas 1:27).

People aren’t ashamed to steer conversations towards causes they care about; let’s not be ashamed (cf. Rom 1:16) to steer conversations towards Christ who cares for us.

Like the Old Testament prophets, we have to preach God’s word even in the midst of opposition (Ex 6:9-13; Jer 6:11, 20:8-9).[120] For example, Jeremiah had to proclaim God’s word of judgment – and people did not want to hear it. In Jeremiah 20, the prophet says:

7cd “I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. 8 Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long. 9 But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” (Jer 20:7cd-9, NIV).[121]

You see, when we got the word of God in us, we can’t hold it in. Whether people love it or hate it, we have to to communicate it.


Paul then gives three urgent commands in rapid succession:[122] Correct. Rebuke. Encourage.

This wording recalls His description of God’s word that is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness (cf. 2 Tim 3:16).[123]

Here (not the same word as “correcting” in 2 Tim 3:16), the word “correct” (ἐλέγχω | elenchō) often means to correct with a note of disapproval[124] – to convict[125] (verb form of noun (elegmos) translated “rebuking” in 2 Tim 3:16).[126]

Now I know that Pastor Scotton is more than capable when it comes to correction. As I’ve said before, I know firsthand. I also know backhand. When I was growing up, he had to correct me on many occasions.

And, many of us have needed correction once or twice.

Ever seen a dance group where one person is off beat? They need correction. Ever been in a choir and one person is throwing off the harmony? They need correction. [Skit: (Soprano, Alto, Tenor notes)].

One person singing out of tune can throw off the harmony of the whole choir. And one person living out of tune can throw off the harmony of the whole church.

So, in Matthew 18:15, Jesus uses this same word and says:

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault [elenchō], just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over (Mt 18:15, NIV).[127]

Many times, when people do wrong, we’re quick to talk to everyone about it – except them! It’s easy to talk about someone behind their back or take subliminal shots. But, Jesus says to correct them one-on-one, face-to-face.

Now, if they don’t listen, we’re supposed to try to correct them in the presence of two or three witnesses. And, if that doesn’t work, Christ says correct them before the entire church (Mt 18:16-17). Similarly, in 1 Timothy 5:20, Paul says:

“But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove [elenchō] before everyone, so that the others may take warning” (1 Tim 5:20, NIV;[128] cf. Tit 1:13;[129] Tit 2:15).[130]

If private correction doesn’t work, one has to make a public example.

As it’s been said, the first step is admitting that there’s a problem. And the first step towards repentance is admitting that one is doing something from which one needs to repent.[131]

So, when it comes to getting people back on track, correction is fundamental.[132]

When I was younger, my Dad taught me how to drive a stick. As many of you know, driving a stick has a bit of a steep learning curve – especially when you’re on a steep curve (you ever stall out on an incline and start rolling backwards?).

But eventually I got it – and I thought I was hot stuff.

One day, I was driving and my dad was in the passenger seat. We came off the highway and he’s like, “Danny, watch the truck!” And, I’m like, “What truck?” And he’s like, “Danny, watch out for the truck!” And, I’m like, “Dad, I don’t see a tru—“. [He grabs the wheel] – Danny, watch out for TRUCK! He had to reach over and grab the wheel.

You see, correction can save someone’s life. Even if they don’t see that they’re on a road to destruction.


Next Paul commands Timothy to rebuke. This word rebuke (ἐπιτιμάω | epitimaō) is actually the same word used to describe when Jesus rebukes demons (cf. Mk 1:25;[133] Mk 9:25;[134] also see Lk 9:55, 19:39-40;[135] also see Mt 12:16, 16:22; Mk 8:33).[136]

Rebuking someone entails scolding them in order to stop them from doing something wrong.[137] After you’ve corrected someone once – if they don’t listen[138] – sometimes you have to remind them a little more sternly.[139]

In Luke 17:3, Jesus says:

“So watch yourselves. If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them” (Lk 17:3, NIV).[140]

Again, repentance is the goal. Not to act all holier-than-thou, not to make ourselves look better, not to shame them – but to help get them back on track.

Now repentance often entails people giving up some of their deepest and dearest desires.[141] As it’s been said, sin holds people captive and they develop feelings for their captor. We have spiritual  “[theological] Stockholm Syndrome.”[142]

You see, a flattering tongue likely won’t be enough to get people to part with their guilty pleasures;[143] sometimes you need to raise your voice.

Correcting and rebuking may seem unpleasant at the time.[144] But it’s for their own good. And, one day, people will realize it.

You ever get home after a long day and see that you got eye poop? And you realize that you’ve had crud in the corner of your eyes all day, and no one told you? I get mad like, “Why didn’t anyone tell me?”

People who care about us should let us know when something is off about us.

When I was younger, if I had something on my face, my Mom would lick her thumb and rub it off. And, I be like. “Mom!” But, if we care about people, we can’t be afraid to correct.

Yesterday, we had a drive-by going away party for Mother Edwards. I saw someone try to give her a hug and – without delay – my mother rebuked them with the quickness.

“Uh, uh, uhhh! No hugs! No hugs! Only virtual hugs! Six feet!” If we care about people, we can’t be afraid to rebuke.

One day about six years ago, I had just finished DJ’ing a gig, I had some cash in pocket, and I was feeling pretty good about myself. And, I decided to go to the convenience store for a late-night snack before I called it a night.

When I walked in, I saw a bunch of brothers in suits. They had their bibles with them, and we eventually got into a spiritual conversation. And I didn’t like it.

You see, they started challenging how I was living, how I was making money, even how I presented myself. And they did it by showing me Scripture – which they knew a lot better than I did.

Long story short, I went home that night feeling convicted. I argued with them a few nights later, but still couldn’t shake the feeling of conviction.

So, I vowed to learn the Bible better so I could prove them wrong. And though I still disagree with them on some things, the more I learned, the more I found out they were right.

I couldn’t call myself a Christian – a follower of Christ – if I wasn’t following Christ. If I wasn’t striving to live like Christ.

Not long after, I dedicated myself to putting God’s word in my heart, my girlfriend became my fiancée, I started turning down gigs, and started down the path of full-time ministry.

You see, God can place people in our lives to help convict us and get us back on track.

Are you someone who needs to get back on track? Are you someone who God can use to get someone else back on track?

Don’t be afraid to correct and rebuke people – in the name of Jesus. If they’re wise, they’ll thank us later.

Years later, I went back and thanked those brothers. As Proverbs 28:23 says:

“Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor rather than one who has a flattering tongue” (Pr 28:23 NIV).


Now the word encourage (παρακαλέω | parakaleō) literally means to “call to one’s side”.[145] It can mean to strongly urge someone to do something[146] (i.e., “exhort”)[147] (cf. 1 Tim 1:3, 2:1; 1 Tim 4:13;[148] 1 Tim 5:1, 6:2),[149] or to comfort someone.[150]

Now, if you’ve ever been on a sports team, sometimes the head coach might be the one who gets all in your face, calls you out in front of everyone, and tells you that you’re doing wrong.

Then, afterwards, one of the assistant coaches might pull you to the side and encourage you and say, “Hey, I know it’s tough. But, C’mon, you can do this.”[151]

Perhaps Paul is telling Timothy to fulfill both of these roles. As it’s been said, “there is a combination of severity and gentleness.”[152]

Call people out when they’re doing wrong, but also encourage them to do right.[153]

Like I said, I know my Father is more than capable of correction – since he’s corrected me many times. But I know he is more than capable of encouragement. After a spanking, he used to hit me with that line:

“You know that hurt me, more than it hurt you. But it’s for your own good.”

Years later, I look back, and I still don’t believe it hurt him more than it hurt me. But I do believe it was for my own good.

If it wasn’t for the correcting, rebuking, and encouraging of my father, I likely wouldn’t be here today. Letting fools continue in their foolishness without correction is not loving. Emotionally, physically, and spiritually, it can be detrimental to their health.

Looking back, there’s a lot of correction I thank God I actually listened to. And, I don’t know about you, but there’s a lot of correction I wish I would have listened to.

These three commands may also correspond to three different approaches – “intellectual, moral, and emotional.”[154]

It’s often unwise to give intellectual answers to emotional questions. While some have intellectual doubts that require correction, others have moral relapses that require rebuke, and others have emotional fears that require encouragement.[155]

Great Forbearance

Such correcting, rebuking, and encouraging must be done with great forbearance[156] – with patient long-suffering[157] (cf. 1 Tim 1:16; 2 Tim 3:10;[158] Col 1:11).[159]

Sometimes, people work our last nerves – our patience wears thin. But God is patient with us (1 Tim 1:16; Rom 9:22;[160] 1 Pet 3:20; 2 Pet 3:15);[161] so we should be patient with others.

And though we should be urgent in our proclamation of the Gospel, we can’t force people to make a decision.[162] You can lead a horse to Christ’s living water (Jn 4:10-14); but you can’t make ‘em drink.

Thorough Instruction

Correcting, rebuking, and encouraging must also be done with thorough instruction of the word of God[163] (cf. 2 Tim 3:16;[164] as Paul did: Ac 20:20, 27, 19:8-10).[165] In 1 Timothy 4:16, Paul tells him:

“Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Tim 4:16, NIV)[166]

Telling someone that they’re wrong without explaining why they’re wrong likely does them little good.[167] But thorough instruction in the word can help get to the root of the problem.[168]

In addition, we’re called to make disciples (Mt 28:19-20). Disciples, by definition, are learners.[169] We’re to help people in their life-long learning of the law of the LORD.

Pastors are undershepherds of the flock, and biblical truth should be the main ingredient in the flock’s diet.[170] We need thorough instruction.

Straight Outta Context

Now has anyone ever twisted your words? Just took something you said and made it sound totally different?

-Hey, do you prefer cats or dogs? -Um, well, cat’s are cool but I’m more of a dog person. -Oh, so you hate cats? -No… that’s not what I said. -Hey everyone, this guy doesn’t think cats deserve to live. -Wait, what?

Don’t you hate when people twist your words? Take them out of context? Then, why should we twist God’s words? Take them out of context? This is what Satan does.

While tempting Jesus, he quotes Psalm 91 (Ps 91:11-12) (which is actually a popular psalm during this pandemic). As Matthew 4:5-6 says:

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” (Mt 4:5-6, NIV).

The devil’s like, “Psalm 91 says God will protect you; so, yea, just put yourself in danger. Jump off the roof!” Yea, that makes sense (sarcasm).

So, Jesus responds by quoting Deuteronomy 6:16 in Matthew 4:7, which reads:

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test’” (Mt 4:7, NIV).

When people wrongly interpret Scripture, we should respond by rightly interpreting Scripture.

People are liable to treat Bible verses like fortune cookie one-liners with no context. But, taking Scripture out of context is Satanic.

There’s a difference between reading Scripture and reading into Scripture. Many of us should examine the context of our favorite Bible verses.

For example, Philippians 4:13 does not mean, “I can win all sports games through Him who strengthens me.” Starting at verse 12, Paul says:

“12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Paul is talking about being content in life – whether it feels like we’re winning or it feels like we’re losing.

Even Alpha’s theme verse sounds kind of bad out of context. “Look at us!” –“Look at us, huh? They must think they hot stuff, huh?” But in the context of Acts 3, Peter and John are responding to the lame man who begged them for money.

Starting at verse 4, it says: 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (Ac 3:4-6, NIV).

We might not have all the money in the world, and we might not have healing power like Peter and John, but we can give you something in the name of Jesus. We can give you the Gospel.

Need for Nuance

We live in a culture where there’s little room for nuance. People often think in black and white with no room for gray. We fall for simple slogans that sound good, but have little substance. We often don’t read stories, we skim headlines.

We live in a microwave culture that likes quick answers to complicated questions. But we can’t be superficial with Scripture. We can’t have short-attention spans with God’s redemption plan. We need thorough instruction.

In this verse, Paul tells Timothy something similar to what he’s already told Titus. Concerning the qualifications of church elders, in Titus 1:9, he says:

“He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it” (Tit 1:9, NIV).[171]

Preach the word. Always be ready. Correct. Rebuke. Encourage. Paul gives these five commands to Timothy in rapid succession.[172] In the next two verses, he tells him why.[173] In 2 Timothy 4:3 he says:

2 Timothy 4:3

For a season will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine. Rather, according to their own desires, they will pile up teachers so as to have their ears tickled (2 Tim 4:3, AT).

Zero Tolerance

After commanding Timothy to preach the word in season and out of season, he tells Timothy that a season[174] (cf. 1 Tim 2:6;[175] 2 Tim 3:1, 4:6;[176] 1 Tim 4:1)[177] will come when people will not “put up with”[178] (cf. Mk 9:19; 2 Cor 11:1, 4, 19-20; Heb 13:22;[179] Mt 17:17; Eph 4:2;[180] Lk 9:41)[181] or “accept”[182] sound doctrine.

Though grammatically this is in the future tense, Paul is likely describing a season that was already a reality in the present[183] (cf. 1 Tim 4:1-2; 2 Tim 3:1-5).[184]

But Paul’s words apply to many seasons since the 1st century – even today. Many times, the response to the Gospel is not anger, but apathy.[185] As it’s been said, “the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference”.[186]

Many people don’t hate Christ; they just don’t care. There’s no promise that when we preach the Good News, people will eagerly accept it.[187] But we gotta preach it anyway.

The apathy of others should not make us preach less, it should motivate us to preach more![188]

Sound, Healthy Doctrine

And, Paul has already talked about what is and what isn’t sound doctrine. In Timothy 1:9-11, echoing the Ten Commandments, he writes:

“9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me” (1 Tim 1:9-11, NIV;[189] cf. 1 Tim 6:3;[190] cf. 2 Tim 1:13; Tit 1:9, 13, 2:1-2)[191]

Unfortunately, many churches have split over teaching that is clearly contrary to the sound doctrine in Scripture.

Sound doctrine is opposed to the wicked ways of the world and the sinful desires of our hearts (cf. 2 Tim 2:22; Tit 2:12).[192] It conforms with the Gospel that the Lord entrusted to Paul (cf. 1 Cor 4:1; Gal 2:7; 1 Th 2:4; Tit 1:3),[193] which he entrusted to Timothy (cf. 1 Tim 6:20; 2 Tim 1:14)[194] – and which has also been entrusted to us.[195]

And sound doctrine is more literally translated “healthy”[196] doctrine. It comes from the Greek term from where we get the word “hygiene”.[197]

You ever come across someone with bad hygiene? They start talking to you with stank breath and your nose hair starts to curl? And you gotta try to keep a straight face?

And I’m like: “How can I smell your breath through the mask? These things are supposed to stop the coronavirus, but can’t stop your halitosis?

And, some people got some B.O. that makes you want to G-O. They likely have bad hygiene. Sound doctrine has good hygiene; false doctrine stinks.

In my foolish college days, I went through a phase where I just stopped wearing socks. I think I was just lazy and didn’t feel like carrying a bag in the snow to another building to do laundry.

I was out of clean ones because we all know that washing machines and dryers eat socks.

Then one day, I was with some friends in a small room. And they’re, “Bro, what is that smell? Is that your feet? Why are you not wearing socks?”

Sometimes we think we smell like roses, and someone else needs to tell us that we stink.

Suffice it to say that I started wearing socks again. Sometimes they even match. See, correction is a good thing. Especially for idiots.

Idiotic Desires

I was an idiot. I followed my own idiotic desires. And the word “idiotic” actually comes from the Greek word found in this passage (ἴδιος | idios) that means “one’s own”.[198] It’s idiotic to follow one’s own sinful desires (cf. 1 Tim 6:9;[199] 2 Tim 2:22; 3:6;[200] 2 Tim 3:3)[201] instead of the desires of the Father.

It’s idiotic to follow our hearts, instead of God’s heart. As we see in Scripture (cf. 1 Tim 5:13, 15),[202] following your fancies[203] leads to forsaking the faith.

Everything we desire – everything in creation – comes from God. But if we desire what’s been created more than the Creator, our desires are out of order.

We can’t put our happiness over holiness. We can put our pleasure before the Potter. We can’t put games over God. We can’t put fun over faith.

Tons of Ear-Ticklers

Now this word translated “pile up” refers to “heap[ing] one thing upon another”.[204] Metaphorically, these people stockpile[205] a great number of teachers who will say what they want to hear.[206]

Rather than listening to one teacher of the truth like Timothy, they’ll assemble 101 teachers of falsehood to suit their own desires.[207]

Yet, theology is not a democracy; you can’t outnumber or outvote God!

Often, people don’t want to believe the truth; they want to believe what they want to be the truth![208] They like to hear what they want to hear, not what they need to hear.

Often, people don’t listen and then decide whether or not something is true; they first decide what they believe to be true and then listen to those who confirm their bias.[209]

Their god is their stomach (cf. Php 3:18-21). They don’t want their hearts challenged; they want what their heart chooses.[210] They want to have their “ears tickled”.[211]

Good News vs. The “New”

And you can make a killing by giving people what they want to hear. Singers, rappers, entertainers – they all make money by giving people what they want to hear.

But we all know that songs, shows, and movies all go out of style. They fall out of fashion. People eventually crave something new, and shop for something that suits their desires.[212]

Now we’ve been live streaming online-only services and studies for over six months now. And almost every week since March, I tell my wife, “I think I just need to get one more thing for the live stream set up. Then we’ll be all set.”

And she’s like, “Mmmm Hmmph. Sure”. She’s wise to the game now. She knows there’s going to some new gadget that I have my eyes on the next week.

Don’t we love shopping around for new stuff? The iPhone 11 is cool, but I can’t wait for the iPhone 12. PS4 was nice, but now people are going crazy for the PS5.

We want the new fashion, the new tech, the new games. We consumers love to shop around. And if we don’t like it at one store, we’ll go to another.

You ever walk into a store and you know they see you… but it takes them a while to acknowledge your presence? Sometimes I gotta hit ‘em with the jingle [jingles keys]. If they don’t see me, I know they hear me.

One day, my wife and I walked into a restaurant and no one welcomed us. No one even said, “Hey, we’ll be right with you.” So, after a few minutes, we looked at each other and was like: “Well, I guess they don’t want our business!”

You see, if one place isn’t pleasing to us, we’ll quickly shop elsewhere. And, apparently, something like this was taking place in Ephesus.

In Timothy’s context, instead of putting up with the sound, unchanging doctrine of Christ, the Ephesians may have been shopping elsewhere.

They were likely itching to hear something new[213] (perhaps that the resurrection of believers had already taken place)[214] (cf. 2 Tim 2:18).[215] And the (previously-mentioned)[216] false teachers (cf. 1 Tim 1:3-7)[217] were scratching that itch.[218]

People are often intrigued by some shiny, new teaching. But these phony philosophies won’t last. All these fads fade away. Unlike the Good News, one day they’ll all be old news. Even if they sound good to our ears now.

Pleasing People vs. Pleasing God

Like the false prophets in the Old Testament, false teachers tell people what they want to hear (Jer 6:14, 8:11; Eze 13:10, 16; Mic 3:5).[219]

How many prosperity preachers told people that 2020 was going to be their year for health and wealth? That might’ve sounded good in January. And people love to hear what sounds good to them.

If you’re always preaching that people should repent from their sins and follow the LORD, a lot of people will dislike you. But if you’re tickling people’s ears, they’ll love you. As Jesus tells His disciples in Luke 6:26:

“Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets” (Lk 6:26, NIV).[220]

Our aim is not to please people. As Paul writes in Galatians 1:10: Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ (Gal 1:10, NIV).

We’re all going to have to give an account of our lives one day. Not in the court of public opinion, but in the court of the Prince of Peace. So, we have to be focused on following the Christ, not following the crowd.

Preaching is not about spreading our personal opinions, promoting our personal agendas,[221] or pushing our personal causes.

We are to proclaim the sacred word of God, which has been entrusted to us.[222] We’re not authors, we’re not editors; we’re just the messengers.

Jesus said that He spoke not on His own, but only as the Father directed (Jn 7:17, 8:28, 12:49).[223] In John 12:49, He says:

“For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken” (Jn 12:49, NIV).[224]

In John 7:18, He says:

Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him” (Jn 7:18, NIV).[225] 

We have to strive to be men and women of truth, who only proclaim God’s message for God’s glory.

People can make a killing by giving people what they want to hear. But in doing so, they might be killing – by leading people away from the soul-saving gospel.

Like unhealthy food, unhealthy doctrine might look good to you in the short-run, but it’ll be bad for you in the long-run.

Paul continues in 2 Timothy 4:4:

2 Timothy 4:4

And they will turn away [their] ear from the truth, and turn aside[226] to myths (2 Tim 4:4, AT).

They can’t handle the truth, so they turn aside to legends,[227] fables,[228] and fairy tales[229] (cf. 1 Tim 1:4; 2 Pet 1:16;[230] 1 Tim 4:7;[231] cf. 1 Tim 1:6).[232]

Yes, people in the first century knew how to distinguish between fact and fable.[233]

People will turn away from the truth of the Gospel[234] (cf. 1 Tim 6:5; Tit 1:14; 2 Tim 2:18, 3:7-8;[235] cf. 2 Tim 2:25)[236] and wander away to falsehoods.[237] People will leave the Christian faith for counterfeits.

Now, there’s a lot of knockoffs out there. And we know knockoffs usually cost less and don’t have lasting quality. In the same way, knockoff gospels cost less and lack everlasting quality.

Jesus demands our wholehearted loyalty (cf. Mk 8:34-38; Lk 9:23, 14:27, etc.), and promises everlasting life (Jn 3:16, 5:24, etc.). As we’ve said, the cost is high, but the benefits are out of this world.

Now Paul had already been abandoned by several people in ministry – people who had turned away (cf. 2 Tim 1:15).[238] Many had been led astray by false teachers (cf. 1 Tim 4:1-2, 5:15, 6:5; 2 Tim 3:6-7, 13;[239] 1 Tim 1:6).[240]

You see, on this Christian journey, not everyone who starts with us, will finish with us. Fairweather fans fall away.

Also, since saving faith comes through hearing the message (Rom 10:17; Gal 3:2, 5; 1 Th 2:13; cf. Dt 6:4),[241] turning away one’s ear from the Gospel is a recipe for disaster.[242]

People often want to put their heads in the sand. But, as Jesus repeatedly says: whoever has an ear, had better hear (cf. Mt 11:15; Mk 4:9; Lk 14:35; Mk 4:23).[243]

Considering the presence of false teachers and weak believers in Ephesus, Paul continues his charge[244] with four more commands. In verse 5, he says:

2 Timothy 4:5

But [as for] you,[245] be sober-minded in all situations. Endure hardship. Do the work of an evangelist. Fulfill your ministry (2 Tim 4:5, AT).

Be Sober(-minded)

This word translated “be sober-minded”[246] literally means “be sober”[247] – as opposed to being drunk.[248] Metaphorically, it refers to be self-controlled and clear-headed[249] (cf. 1 Th 5:6, 8;[250] 1 Pet 1:13, 4:7, 5:8;[251] also see cognate in 1 Tim 3:2, 11[252] and Tit 2:2; 2 Tim 2:26)[253] in one’s speech and conduct.[254]

You know, things that drunk people are not.

Now, Paul is likely not telling Timothy to abstain from alcohol completely since in 1 Timothy 5:23 he says:

“Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.”[255]

Mind you, back then, wine was watered down – about two parts water to one part wine.[256] And, wine was used to settle stomachs and to disinfect water.[257]

In any case, drinking is not necessarily sinful; drunkenness is (cf. Eph 5:18).

Now I’ve never had an alcoholic beverage. I’m actually afraid of how I would act if I were to drink. My wife knows I’m crazy enough on the dance floor as it is.

But, I was a DJ for like 10 years (I was a pro at giving people what they wanted to hear), and I saw how alcohol can loosen people up.

And we know there’s different types of drunk people. Some get angry and are ready to fight. Some get emotional and are ready to cry.

But we have to continually (Greek present-tense command)[258] be sober-minded – not overly angry or emotional. In all situations, we have to keep our composure.[259]

Without clear thinking, one can easily buy into false teaching. Intoxicated with the glitz and the glamor of what’s “new”, we take our gaze off God.

Inebriated with heresy, people forsake the truth.[260] “Drunk with the wine of the world we forget thee.”

Endure Hardship

Especially when following Christ entails enduring hardship (cf. Jas 5:13)[261] (something false teachers[262] and false believers aren’t willing to do).

Scripture virtually guarantees that those who faithfully follow Christ will suffer for Christ. As it’s been said, “Christian ministry is no bed of roses.”[263]

And Suffering is a theme that runs throughout this entire letter (cf. 2 Tim 1:8;[264] 2 Tim 1:12, 3:11).[265] In 2 Timothy 3:12, Paul writes:

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim 3:12, NIV).[266]

Earlier, in 2 Timothy 2:8-9, Paul writes:

“8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained” (2 Tim 2:8-9, NIV).[267]

In 2 Timothy 2:3, he also says:

“Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2 Tim 2:3, NIV).[268]

We sing, “I am on the battlefield for my Lord…” But how many of us are really ready to be good soldiers for Christ? How many of us are ready to proclaim the gospel – in spite of persecution? In the midst of opposition?

It’s tempting to skip over those Scriptures that are bound to offend people.[269] But we can’t be ashamed of the word of our Lord (cf. Mk 8:38). We can’t water it down; we can’t sugarcoat it.

We have to proclaim God’s message, even though they’ll try to shoot the messenger. Even though the message is Good News.

Do the Work of an Evangelist

Now, in general, an evangelist (εὐαγγελιστής | euangelistēs) (cf. Eph 4:11; Ac 21:8)[270] is a proclaimer of the Good News,[271] a preacher of the Gospel[272] (εὐαγγέλιον | euangelion: 1 Tim 1:8, 10, 2:8).[273]

Doing the work of an evangelist likely implies proclaiming the Gospel to nonbelievers[274] – that they might repent and believe in Jesus Christ our Lord.[275]

And though we all have different gifts[276] (cf. Eph 4:11),[277] this is something every Christian is commissioned to do (cf. Mt 28:19-20)[278] – whether we sit in the pulpit or the pew.

You see, preaching or proclaiming is not confined to pulpits on Sundays.[279] We must preach the word,[280] we must teach the word, and we must reach the world.[281]

It’s easy to talk about Jesus in front of people who already follow Jesus. It’s a little harder talk about Jesus with those who may reject Him.

Yet, with the power of the Holy Spirit, as Christ’s ambassadors (cf. 2 Cor 5:18-20), we must urge others to be reconciled to God the Father through Christ the Son.

Fill-Full Your Ministry

Finally, tying it all together,[282] Paul commands Timothy to fulfill his ministry. “Fulfill” (πληροφορέω | plērophoreō) (cf. Col 4:17;[283] Ac 12:25)[284] means to fill full, “to fill completely.”[285]

Think of a cup being filled full to the brim. In all his various services to God,[286] Timothy should work to the fullest[287] – as should we.

Don’t let up until God says our service is complete.[288] “Leave nothing undone.”[289]

And the word “ministry” (διακονία | diakonia)[290] (cf. Col 4:17; 1 Tim 1:12, 3:8, 10, 12f.; 2 Tim 1:18, 4:11)[291] is related to the word from where we get the term deacon (διάκονος | diakonos)[292] (also translated minister cf. 1 Tim 4:6).[293]

Ministry refers to various kinds of service to God and His Gospel[294] (cf. Ac 21:19; Rom 11:13; 2 Cor 4:1, 6:3;[295] cf. 2 Cor 5:18-20).[296]

And though our responsibilities and callings may differ, all true Christians are ministers and servants of Christ (cf. Eph 4:1-16;[297] esp. Eph 4:12).


Therefore, this charge is not just for Timothy; it’s not just for Pastor Scotton. Though our audiences may differ, we all must preach the word, teach the word, and reach the world. So, in conclusion:

1 I charge you, in the sight of God and of Christ Jesus – who will judge the living and the dead –and in light of His Coming and His Kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Correct. Rebuke. Encourage – with great forbearance and thorough instruction. 3 For a season will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine. Rather, according to their own desires, they will pile up teachers so as to have their ears tickled. 4 And they will turn away [their] ear from the truth, and turn aside to myths. 5 But [as for] you, be sober-minded in all situations. Endure hardship. Do the work of an evangelist. Fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5 AT)

And make your heavenly Father proud. Congratulations, Dad for 18 years! Glory to God! May the LORD bless you and keep you all.

Bibliography & Footnotes

  • Arichea, Daniel C., and Howard Hatton. A Handbook on Paul’s Letters to Timothy and to Titus. UBS Handbook Series. New York: United Bible Societies, 1995. [UBS]
  • Arndt, William, Frederick W. Danker, Walter Bauer, and F. Wilbur Gingrich. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. [BDAG]
  • Balz, Horst Robert, and Gerhard Schneider. Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1990–. [EDNT]
  • Fee, Gordon D. 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus. Understanding the Bible Commentary Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011.
  • Guthrie, Donald. “2 Timothy.” In New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, edited by D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, and G. J. Wenham, 4th ed., 1304–11. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994. [Guthrie NBC]
  • Guthrie, Donald. Pastoral Epistles: An Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 14. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1990. [Guthrie]
  • Keener, Craig S. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. Second Edition. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014.
  • Kidd, Reggie M. in Burge, Gary M., and Andrew E. Hill, eds. The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2012.
  • Köstenberger, Andreas. “2 Timothy.” In The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition), edited by Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland, Vol. 12. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2006.
  • Knight, George W. The Pastoral Epistles: A Commentary on the Greek Text. New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 1992.
  • Laansma, Jon C. “Commentary on 2 Timothy.” In Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, and Hebrews, Vol. 17. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2009.
  • Lea, Thomas D., and Hayne P. Griffin. 1, 2 Timothy, Titus. Vol. 34. The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992.
  • Liefeld, Walter L. 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus. The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1999.
  • Louw, Johannes P., and Eugene Albert Nida. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. New York: United Bible Societies, 1996. [LN]
  • Merriam-Webster, Inc. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003.
  • Mounce, William D. Pastoral Epistles. Vol. 46. Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 2000.
  • Silva, Moisés, ed. New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014. [NIDNTTE]
  • Stott, John R. W. Guard the Gospel the Message of 2 Timothy. The Bible Speaks Today. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1973.
  • Towner, Philip. 1–2 Timothy & Titus. Vol. 14. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994. [Towner IVP]
  • Towner, Philip H. The Letters to Timothy and Titus. The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2006. [Towner]
  • Yarbrough, Robert W. The Letters to Timothy and Titus. Edited by D. A. Carson. Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI; London: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Apollos, 2018.
  • Wall, Robert W. “2 Timothy.” In The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Acts–Philemon, edited by Craig A. Evans and Craig A. Bubeck, First Edition., 663–75. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2004.

[1] Liefield, 290

[2] Köstenberger, 592; Stott, 105

[3] Stott, 105; cf. Liefield, 286

[4] Wall, 673; Lea, 245; Mounce, 572; Liefield, 286

[5] Guthrie NBC, 1309; Köstenberger, 592; Laansma, 199, 205; Mounce, 576 ; Liefield, 286

[6] Wall, 673

[7] Wall, 673; Fee, 283; Köstenberger, 592; Towner IVP; Towner, 594; Laansma, 201; Mounce, 572

[8] Fee, 283; Lea, 242; Liefield, 295

[9] Wall, 673

[10] Wall, 673; Fee, 284; Lea, 243

[11] Liefield, 291

[12] Mounce, 575

[13] Lea, 241

[14] Keener, 622; Fee, 285; Köstenberger, 593; Stott, 106; Yarbrough, 435; Mounce, 571

[15] Keener, 622

[16] Köstenberger, 593; Laansma, 202; Liefield, 291

[17] Liefield, 291

[18] Mounce, 572; cf. Fee, 284; Köstenberger, 593; Yarbrough, 438

[19] Yarbrough, 438; Mounce, 572

[20] Stott, 107

[21] Guthrie, 184

[22] Fee, 283

[23] Lea, 246

[24] Laansma, 205

[25] Fee, 283

[26] Stott, 105; Mounce, 572

[27] Towner IVP

[28] Lea, 241; cf. Stott, 105

[29] “② to exhort with authority in matters of extraordinary importance, freq. w. ref. to higher powers and/or suggestion of peril, solemnly urge, exhort, warn” (BDAG, 233; cf. NIDNTTE, 234).

[30] ἐνώπιον, “before,” in the sense of “in the sight of, in the presence of,” reminds Timothy that this responsibility is laid upon him and is to be carried out before none other than “God and Christ Jesus.” Knight, 452.

[31] More literally: “Is about to” (τοῦ μέλλοντος). “① to take place at a future point of time and so to be subsequent to another event, be about to…” (BDAG, 627). Could refer to an imminent return of Christ but likely… “β. in a weakened sense it serves simply as a periphrasis for the fut.” (BDAG, 627; cf. UBS, 239).

[32] UBS, 238; Fee, 283; Köstenberger, 592; Mounce, 571; cf. Guthrie, 184; Towner IVP; Towner, 595; Lea, 241; Laansma, 199; Knight, 451; Yarbrough, 433; Liefield, 286

[33] Fee, 283; Köstenberger, 592; Towner IVP; Towner, 598; Lea, 241; Knight, 452; Mounce, 571; Liefield, 286

[34] Laansma, 199

[35] Fee, 283; Mounce, 571

[36] Towner IVP; Towner, 594; Knight, 451.

[37] Towner, 595; Yarbrough, 434

[38] Yarbrough, 434

[39] Yarbrough, 434

[40] UBS, 238

[41] UBS, 238; Guthrie NBC, 1309; Towner, 595; Stott, 110; Laansma, 201; Knight, 451

[42] UBS, 238

[43] Köstenberger, 593; cf. Laansma, 201; Knight, 452; Mounce, 572

[44] Knight, 452; Mounce, 572; Liefield, 286

[45] UBS, 238; Fee, 283; Köstenberger, 592; Lea, 241; Laansma, 199; Mounce, 572

[46] Guthrie, 184; Kidd, 1474; cf. Fee, 284; Laansma, 201; Knight, 452; Mounce, 572; Liefield, 286

[47] Köstenberger, 592; Mounce, 572; cf. Laansma, 199

[48] Laansma, 199

[49] UBS, 239; Fee, 284

[50] Köstenberger, 593; Lea, 241 ; Knight, 452

[51] Towner, 596; Knight, 452

[52] Yarbrough, 435

[53] UBS, 239; Towner, 597

[54] Cf. Keener, 622

[55] UBS, 239; Fee, 284; Köstenberger, 392; Towner IVP; Towner, 597; Lea, 241; Laansma, 199; Knight, 452; Mounce, 572

[56] Fee, 284; Köstenberger, 592; Lea, 241; Mounce, 572

[57] Towner IVP; Towner, 597; Lea, 241; Knight, 452

[58] Lea, 242; Mounce, 572

[59] Towner, 598; Knight,452; Yarbrough, 434; Mounce, 572; Liefield, 287; cf. Laansma, 199

[60] Knight, 452; Mounce, 572

[61] Mounce, 572

[62] Yarbrough, 434

[63] UBS, 239; Towner IVP; Towner, 598; Stott, 110

[64] Towner, 598; Mounce, 572

[65] UBS, 239

[66] Towner, 600

[67] See Philippians 2:10-11: “The hymn brings the future into view by describing the culmination of history, when all persons will acknowledge Jesus’ lordship. No evidence states that such acknowledgment will bring salvation, however. That must be cared for in the present, before Jesus conquers his enemies.” Melick, 108.

[68] Stott, 110

[69] Kidd, 1474; Fee, 284; Lea, 241; Laansma, 201; Knight, 452; Mounce, 572; cf. Köstenberger, 592; Liefield, 287

[70] Liefield, 287

[71] Lea, 242; Laansma, 199; Liefield, 287

[72] Wall, 674

[73] Wall, 674; Fee, 283; Towner IVP; Towner, 596; Lea, 245; Stott, 105, 110; Laansma, 199; Knight, 452; Mounce, 572; Liefield, 286

[74] Wall, 674; Knight, 453

[75] Towner IVP; cf. Liefield, 287

[76] Lea, 242

[77] Towner IVP; Towner, 598; Knight, 453; cf. Liefield, 287

[78] Towner, 598

[79] Towner, 598

[80] Stott, 110

[81] Guthrie NBC, 1309

[82] UBS, 239; Lea, 241; Knight, 457

[83] UBS, 239; Guthrie, 185; Kidd, 1474; Fee, 283; Köstenberger, 593; Lea, 241; Knight, 453; Liefield, 287

[84] UBS, 239; Kidd, 1474; Fee, 283; Lea, 241; Mounce, 576

[85] “⑤ to be present in readiness to discharge a task, fix one’s mind on, be attentive to (Eur., Andr. 547; Demosth. 18, 60) ἐπίστηθι stand by = be ready, be on hand, be persistent 2 Ti 4:2.

“ (BDAG, 418; cf. EDNT, 92). Can also mean “to continue, to persist in” (LN, 655)

[86] More lit. “all patience and teaching”. Could be a hendiadys, in which patience simply describes the way in which teaching ought to be done (UBS, 241). However, “The addition the Greek adjective ‘all’ (probably to be distributed to both nouns in the prepositional phrase) strengthens both the attitude of patience and the activity of instruction: ‘with great patience and careful instruction.’” Towner, 602.

[87] UBS, 240; cf. Towner IVP; Lea, 242; Stott, 106; Knight, 453

[88] “The word appears in the PE only one other time (1 Tim 3:16). Paul and those associated with him preached “the message concerning faith” (Rom 10:8), “Christ crucified” (1 Cor 1:23; cf. 15:11; 2 Cor 11:4; Gal 2:2), “Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’s sake” (2 Cor 4:5), and “the gospel of God” (1 Thess 2:9). “The word” (from logos) Timothy is to preach should in Paul’s intention no doubt hew to the lines Paul has already established over decades of missionary and church planting activity.” Yarbrough, 436

[89] UBS, 240; Köstenberger, 593; Knight, 454; Yarbrough, 435

[90] Köstenberger, 593; cf. Towner IVP; Towner, 600; Stott, 106; Knight, 453. On 2 Tim 1:11 – “Although it may be artificial to distinguish rigidly between proclamation to the church and to those outside the faith, this language is the sort associated with the Pauline mission to the Gentiles (1:11; 2 Tim 1:7), which suggests its scope is not limited solely to the church (4:5). Timothy is stepping into Paul’s place in the worldwide mission.” Towner, 600.

[91] UBS, 240; Towner, 600; Lea, 243; Mounce, 573. “As virtually always in Paul, “the word” here stands for the message about Jesus, which was the divine message, as the Law and the Prophets were (3:16)” (Keener, 622).

[92] Fee, 284

[93] Wall, 674

[94] Guthrie NBC, 1309; Knight, 453

[95] Stott, 106

[96] Köstenberger, 593; Towner, 600; Laansma, 202; Knight, 453; Liefield, 287

[97] Laansma, 202

[98] Köstenberger, 593; Stott, 106; Laansma, 202

[99] Lea, 242; Yarbrough, 435

[100] UBS, 240; Fee, 284; Stott, 106

[101] Guthrie, 185; Lea, 243; Mounce, 573. “There is contemporary evidence for the verb translated be prepared to be a military metaphor. Thus the NEB margin translates, “Be on duty at all times.” While that is a distinct possibility, there is no need from the context itself to see the verb as a metaphor here” (Fee, 287)

[102] Towner, 600; Liefield, 287

[103] Towner IVP

[104] Köstenberger, 593

[105] BDAG, 407; NIDNTTE, 590; EDNT, 78; UBS, 240; Towner, 600; Lea, 243; Knight, 453

[106] UBS, 240; Fee, 284; Lea, 243; Stott, 107; Mounce, 573; contra Köstenberger, 593

[107] Lea, 243; Knight, 453; Mounce, 573

[108] LN, 727; Laansma, 202; Yarbrough, 436; Mounce, 573; cf. UBS, 240

[109] Köstenberger, 593

[110] Köstenberger, 593. “Conventional Greco-Roman rhetoric held similarly that a speaker must carefully discern whether or not certain forms of address are opportune in a given situation” (Köstenberger, 593).

[111] Lea, 243

[112] Wall, 674; Köstenberger, 593; Yarbrough, 436

[113] Keener, 622; Fee, 284; Laansma, 202; Knight, 453; Mounce, 573

[114] Towner, 600

[115] Mounce, 573

[116] “Judging by the book of Acts, this was also Paul’s own practice. In the end, it is not the preacher’s task to predict his audience’s response, only to be faithful to his calling” (Köstenberger, 593).

[117] Towner, 601

[118] Laansma, 202

[119] Mark Twain?

[120] Keener, 622

[121] Keener, 622

[122] Laansma, 203

[123] “The four main imperatives (“Preach! Confront! Rebuke! Exhort!”) loosely parallel the four prepositional phrases in 3:16 (“profitable for teaching, reproof [ἐλεγμόν; cf. variant reading ἔλεγχον], correcting [ἐπανόρθωσιν], training in righteousness”), especially if “exhort” is encouragement to live out the gospel (i.e., “righteousness”).” Mounce, 573

[124] BDAG, 315; NIDNTTE, 166; EDNT, 427; Laansma, 203

[125] Towner, 601

[126] Yarbrough, 436

[127] NIDNTTE, 166; Towner IVP; Knight, 454

[128] UBS, 240; Guthrie, 185; Towner IVP; Knight, 454; Mounce, 574

[129] Guthrie, 185; Köstenberger, 593; Towner IVP; Knight, 454

[130] Fee, 285; Köstenberger, 593; Knight, 454; Mounce, 574

[131] Towner, 601

[132] Yarbrough, 436

[133] Towner IVP

[134] Mounce, 574

[135] Mounce, 574

[136] Laansma, 203; cf. Mounce, 574

[137] BDAG, 384; UBS, 240; cf. Guthrie, 185; Knight, 454

[138] Mounce, 574

[139] Towner IVP; Knight, 454

[140] Towner, 601; Yarbrough, 436

[141] Cf. Stott, 107

[142] Dr. Tom Long

[143] Stott, 107

[144] Towner IVP

[145] BDAG, 764

[146] BDAG, 765; NIDNTTE, 601; EDNT, 23

[147] Guthrie, 185; Laansma, 203; Knight, 454; Mounce, 574

[148] UBS, 240; Fee, 285; Towner IVP; cf. Towner, 602; Yarbrough, 437

[149] Fee, 285; Köstenberger, 593; Towner IVP

[150] NIDNTTE, 601; EDNT, 23; UBS, 240; Guthrie, 185; contra Fee, 285

[151] Cf. Towner IVP

[152] Guthrie NBC, 1309

[153] UBS, 240; cf. Yarbrough, 437

[154] Stott, 107; cf. “intellect, conscience, and will”. Lea, 243. “Kelly (206) says that these final three imperatives are often viewed as referring to reason, conscience, and the will, but he doubts that this is the case here.” Mounce, 572-574

[155] Stott, 107

[156] “It appears that the final prepositional phrase modifies not just παρακάλεσον, ‘exhort,’ but rather the final three imperatives or perhaps all five.” Mounce, 574

[157] BDAG, 612; NIDNTTE, 209; EDNT, 380-381

[158] UBS, 240; Yarbrough, 437; Mounce, 574; cf. Köstenberger, 593; Towner, 602; Knight, 454

[159] Guthrie, 185

[160] Towner, 602

[161] Towner IVP

[162] Stott, 108

[163] Laansma, 203

[164] Wall, 674

[165] Stott, 108

[166] Cf. Mounce, 572

[167] Guthrie, 185; Lea, 243

[168] Guthrie, 185

[169] Yarbrough, 437

[170] Liefield 293

[171] Köstenberger, 593; Towner IVP; Stott, 108; Laansma, 202; Knight, 454; Yarbrough, 437; Mounce, 574; Liefield, 287

[172] Lea, 242

[173] UBS, 241; Fee, 283, 285; Towner IVP; Towner, 594; Mounce, 574

[174] Mounce, 573, 574

[175] UBS, 242

[176] Towner, 603; cf. Knight, 454

[177] Knight, 454

[178] BDAG, 78; NIDNTTE, 298; Köstenberger, 593; Mounce, 574

[179] Köstenberger, 593; cf. Laansma, 199; Knight, 455; Yarbrough, 438; Mounce, 575; Liefield, 287

[180] Laansma, 199; Yarbrough, 438

[181] Yarbrough, 438

[182] NIDNTTE, 296; EDNT, 98; UBS, 242

[183] Stott, 110

[184] UBS, 241; Kidd, 1474; Fee, 285; Köstenberger, 593; Towner IVP; Towner, 602; Mounce, 574; cf. Laansma, 204; Yarbrough, 437; Liefield, 287. “Although the verse is not stated as a prophecy of the increase of evil as the final day approaches, it is within that context that it should be understood, as 3:1–9 and 1 Tim 4:1–5 show. There too the prophecy is stated as a future reality but a future that has now been realized in Timothy’s present.” Mounce, 574

[185] Cf. Towner, 603; Lea, 246

[186] Elie Wiesel

[187] Fee, 285

[188] Stott, 112

[189] Cf. Fee, 285; Köstenberger, 593; Towner IVP; Towner, 603; Knight, 455; Yarbrough, 438; Mounce, 574; Liefield, 287

[190] Fee, 285; Köstenberger, 593

[191] Köstenberger, 593; Yarbrough, 438; cf. Knight, 455; Mounce, 572; Liefield, 287

[192] Towner IVP

[193] Yarbrough, 438

[194] Yarbrough, 438

[195] Stott, 106

[196] NIDNTTE, 515; EDNT, 380

[197] “[French hygiène & New Latin hygieina, from Greek, neuter plural of hygieinos healthful, from hygiēs healthy;” (Merriam-Webster).

[198] “id•i•ot \ˈi-dē-ət\ noun [Middle English, from Anglo-French ydiote, from Latin idiota ignorant person, from Greek idiōtēs one in a private station, layman, ignorant person, from idios one’s own, private;” (Merriam-Webster). “ἴδιος G2625 (idios), one’s own, distinctive of (or peculiar to) a person, subst. masc pl. associates, neut. pl. possessions, property” (NIDNTTE, 499).

[199] Fee, 285; Knight, 455; Mounce, 575

[200] Towner, 603; Knight, 455

[201] Knight, 455

[202] NIDNTTE, 379; cf. Mounce, 575

[203] NIDNTTE, 379

[204] BDAG, 383; cf. LN, 600-601; EDNT, 41; UBS, 242; Laansma, 199; Knight, 455

[205] Towner, 604. “At the same time, this verb (episōreuō) sets up an echo, which, when followed back to its source in 3:6 (sōreuō), provides the perfect example in the foolish susceptible women burdened by their sins.” Towner, 604; cf. Laansma, 199

[206] Guthrie NBC, 1310; Guthrie, 186; Kidd, 1474; Köstenberger, 593, 594 ; Lea, 244 ; Stott, 111

[207] Cf. Mounce, 574, 575

[208][208] Stott, 111

[209] Stott, 111

[210] Cf. Liefield, 291

[211] BDAG, 550; EDNT, 301; LN, 289; Keener, 622; Guthrie, 186; Köstenberger, 594; Laansma, 204; Mounce, 574, 575; cf. Liefield, 288. “… as if what they heard merely scratched their eardrums without penetrating further.” Guthrie, 186

[212] Yarbrough, 439

[213] Towner, 604; Lea, 244; Stott, 111; Knight, 455; Yarbrough, 438; Mounce, 574. “Their desire is not spiritual growth but the satisfaction of their curiosity (cf. Ac 17:20–21)” (Köstenberger, 594)

[214] Kidd, 1474

[215] Laansma, 200

[216] This is Paul’s final warning about the false teachers. (Guthrie NBC, 1310)

[217] UBS, 242

[218] Towner, 604; Stott, 111; Mounce, 574. “Fig. of curiosity, that looks for interesting and juicy bits of information. This itching is relieved by the messages of the new teachers” (BDAG, 550; cf. UBS, 242).

[219] Keener, 622; Yarbrough, 439

[220] Keener, 622

[221] Köstenberger, 593

[222] Köstenberger, 593; Stott, 106

[223] Yarbrough, 438.

[224] Yarbrough, 438

[225] Yarbrough, 438

[226] “The verb translated “turn aside” is a strong term used medically to describe wrenching a limb out of joint.” Lea, 244

[227] BDAG, 660

[228] EDNT, 445

[229] Cf. BDAG, 660

[230] UBS, 242; Knight, 456; cf. Keener, 622; Fee, 286; Köstenberger, 594; Towner IVP; Towner, 605; Lea, 245; Laansma, 200; Mounce, 574; Liefield, 288. “The use of the definite article before ‘myths’ suggests that Timothy is aware of such myths.” Liefield, 288

[231] Fee, 286; Köstenberger, 594; Towner, 605; Laansma, 200; Liefield, 288

[232] Knight, 456; Mounce, 575

[233] Wall, 674; Yarbrough, 439

[234] UBS, 242

[235] Fee, 286; cf. Köstenberger, 594; Towner IVP; Towner, 605; Lea, 244; Laansma, 200; Knight, 456; Mounce, 575; Liefield, 288

[236] Köstenberger, 594

[237] Guthrie, 186; Kidd, 1475; Lea, 244; Stott, 111; Mounce, 574

[238] UBS, 242; Towner, 605; Laansma, 200; Knight, 456

[239] Fee, 285; cf. Lea, 244; Laansma, 200; Mounce, 575

[240] Laansma, 200

[241] Yarbrough, 439

[242] Yarbrough, 439

[243] Yarbrough, 439

[244] Towner IVP

[245] Lit. “But you” (UBS, 243). Cf. 2 Tim 2:1, 3:10, 14; 1 Tim 6:11 (Fee, 286; Towner, 606; Knight, 456; cf. Stott, 111; Laansma, 200; Yarbrough, 440; Liefield, 288)

[246] Köstenberger, 594

[247] BDAG, 672; NIDNTTE, 389; EDNT, 467; Guthrie, 186; Kidd, 1474; Fee, 286; Towner, 606; Stott, 111; Laansma, 200; Knight, 456; Mounce, 576; Liefield, 288; cf. Wall, 674

[248] UBS, 243; Towner, 606; Yarbrough, 440

[249] BDAG, 672; NIDNTTE, 389; EDNT, 467; Guthrie, 186; Fee, 286; Köstenberger, 594; Towner, 606; Stott, 111; Knight, 456; Mounce, 576; Liefield, 288

[250] Guthrie, 186; Knight, 456; Mounce, 576

[251] Köstenberger, 594; Knight, 456

[252] Towner, 606; Laansma, 200; Mounce, 576; cf. Knight, 456

[253] Laansma, 200; cf. Towner, 607

[254] UBS, 243; Towner, 606

[255] Liefield, 288

[256] Keener, 612

[257] Keener, 612

[258] Lea, 245; Yarbrough, 441

[259] Yarbrough, 441

[260] Cf. Stott, 111; Mounce, 576

[261] Köstenberger, 594; Laansma, 200; Knight, 457

[262] Laansma, 205; cf. 2 Tim 1:3-8; Towner IVP; cf. 2 Tim 2:8-13; Towner, 607

[263] Guthrie NBC, 1310

[264] UBS, 243; Fee, 286; Köstenberger, 594; Towner IVP; Towner, 607; Lea, 245; Laansma, 200; Yarbrough, 441; Mounce, 576; Liefield, 288

[265] Towner IVP; Towner, 607; Laansma, 200; cf. Liefield, 288

[266] Fee, 286; Towner IVP; Lea, 245; Laansma, 200; Yarbrough, 441

[267] EDNT, 238; UBS, 243; Wall, 674; Köstenberger, 593, 594; Towner IVP; Towner, 607; Laansma, 200; Knight, 457; Yarbrough, 441; Mounce, 576

[268] EDNT, 238; UBS, 243; Guthrie, 186; Kostenber, 594; Towner IVP; Towner, 607; Lea, 245; Laansma, 200; Mounce, 576

[269] Stott, 112

[270] BDAG, 403; EDNT, 70; UBS, 243; Guthrie, 186; Fee, 286; Köstenberger, 594; Towner IVP; Towner, 607; Lea, 245; Stott, 112; Laansma, 200; Knight, 457; Yarbrough, 441; Mounce, 576; Liefield, 288. “The word evangelist is used of Philip in Acts 21:8, no doubt to distinguish him from Philip the apostle, and also in Ephesians 4:11 where it seems to denote an order of workers midway between apostles and prophets on the one hand and pastors and teachers on the other. There was probably a good deal of fluidity in the use of these terms describing various offices and there is no need to suppose that the terms were uniformly used.” (Guthrie, 186-187; cf. Towner, 608). “Paul wants Timothy to continue to evangelize even though he is working in a more settled situation and is not in a new and unevangelized territory as Philip was. This use of εὐαγγελιστής may indicate that Timothy is the ‘evangelist’ or ‘missionary’ for Ephesus and that Paul is encouraging him to continue that work. Or it may indicate that in whatever capacity Timothy serves he must continue doing the work of an evangelist.” Knight, 457. “The emphasis of the word is on the task of one so gifted; it does not describe a church office… The word occurs elsewhere as a description of Philip the evangelist (as distinguished from the apostle Philip; Acts 21:8), whose task was to preach the gospel (εὐαγγελίζεσθαι; Acts 8:4, 12, 35, 40) as was Paul’s (1 Cor 1:17).” Mounce, 576

[271] Yarbrough, 441; cf. NIDNTTE, 306; UBS, 243; Towner, 608

[272] NIDNTTE, 306; Guthrie NBC, 1310

[273] Yarbrough, 441

[274] UBS, 243; Köstenberger, 594; cf. Towner, 608; Stott, 112; Yarbrough, 442. “While the area around Ephesus has already been evangelized in a general sense (Ac 20:31), Timothy must continue to proclaim the gospel to those who have not yet heard or responded” (Köstenberger, 594).

[275] UBS, 243; Stott, 107; Knight, 457

[276] Lea, 245

[277] Liefield, 294

[278] Lea, 245. “…the example of the Book of Acts make clear that witnessing is not simply a responsibility for ordained leaders but for all believers.” Lea, 246

[279] Lea, 242

[280] This imperative echoes the first command, “Preach the word!” (Fee, 286; cf. Yarbrough, 441)

[281] Towner, 600.

[282] Towner, 608; Laansma, 200

[283] Knight, 457; Mounce, 576; Liefield, 288

[284] Mounce, 576

[285] EDNT, 107 cf. BDAG, 827; NIDNTTE, 784

[286] Guthrie NBC, 1310; Guthrie, 187

[287] Towner IVP

[288] Mounce, 576; cf. Guthrie, 187; Stott, 112

[289] Yarbrough, 442

[290] “διακονία, ας, ἡ   diakonia   service, ministry; office” (EDNT, 302)

[291] EDNT, 303-304; cf. NIDNTTE, 704; UBS, 243; cf. Köstenberger, 594; Towner, 608; Knight, 457; Yarbrough, 442; Mounce, 576

[292] UBS, 244; Mounce, 576

[293] “διάκονος, ου, ὁ (ἡ) diakonos servant” (EDNT, 302)

[294] Lea, 246

[295] BDAG, 230; cf. NIDNTTE, 704

[296] NIDNTTE, 704

[297] NIDNTTE, 704


  1. Pastor Matt Cohen of Citylight Church in Manayunk, PA
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