Evening Bible Study
The history recorded in the book of Acts ends around AD 60, with Paul being
confined under house arrest in his own apartment in Rome.
We believe that Paul was released after a couple of years, and would travel
to Ephesus, Macedonia, Crete, Nicopolis, and then be rearrested in Troas and
taken back to Rome.
In AD 64 Nero burned Rome, blamed it on the Christians, and kicked off a
period of persecution.
This time, Paul would be confined in the Mamertine Prison.
Everyone has abandoned Paul except for his friend Luke the physician.
(2 Timothy 4:11
NKJV) Only Luke is with me.
It’s from here that Paul writes this letter, his final letter somewhere
around AD 66-67, just prior to his death.
Paul is hoping that Timothy would come to him, but that isn’t going to
Paul will shortly be taken outside the city of Rome where he will be
In three weeks we have a treat for you…
Paul’s second letter to Timothy was written around AD 66-67 while Paul was
in prison in Rome, being held in chains in the Mamertine prison.
These are Paul’s last words, written just days away from being led out of
the city where he will be beheaded.
The account is recorded in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs:
“Paul, the apostle, who before was called Saul, after his great travail and
unspeakable labors in promoting the Gospel of Christ, suffered also in this
first persecution under Nero. Abdias, declareth that under his execution Nero
sent two of his esquires, Ferega and Parthemius, to bring him word of his
death. They, coming to Paul instructing the people, desired him to pray for
them, that they might believe; who told them that shortly after they should
believe and be baptized at His sepulcher. This done, the soldiers came and led
him out of the city to the place of execution, where he, after his prayers
made, gave his neck to the sword.”
(don’t forget this when we get to the end tonight…)
Paul has expressed a concern for doctrinal purity throughout the letter.
Some were teaching strange doctrines.
Timothy needed to be “rightly dividing” the Word.
Timothy, as a servant of God, needed to be able to help those who were
going off track in doctrine.
3:13-17 The Answer to Heresy
:13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and
evil – poneros – full of labors, annoyances, hardships; bad, of a bad
nature or condition; in an ethical sense: evil wicked, bad
will grow – prokopto – to beat forward; to lengthen
out by hammering (as a smith forges metals); metaph. to promote, forward,
further; to go forward, advance, proceed; metaph. to increase, make progress
worse – cheiron – worse; comparative of kakos
imposters – goes – a wailer, a howler; a juggler,
enchanter (because incantations used to be uttered in a kind of howl); a
This is the only place in the NT
that this word is used.
The Greek playwright Euripides (400
BC) used this word in his play “The Bacchae” – and there’s a line spoken by
King Pentheus who is upset at the immorality that has crept into his city
through the worship of Dionysus –
Euripides calls Dionysus a goes, one who entices people into
immoral actions using pious words.
having bound them in iron fetters, I will soon stop them from this ill-working
revelry. And they say that some stranger has come, a sorcerer, a conjuror
from the Lydian land,  fragrant in hair with golden curls, having in his
eyes the wine-dark graces of Aphrodite. He is with the young girls day and
night, alluring them with joyful mysteries. If I catch him within this house,
 I will stop him from making a noise with the thyrsos and shaking his
hair, by cutting his head off.
Paul has been warning Timothy
about the presence of heresy.
Paul has reminded Timothy that
there have been deceivers in the past.
(2 Timothy 3:8 NKJV) Now as
Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses…
Paul has reminded Timothy that
there were men in Ephesus in the present that he needed to be on guard with
(2 Timothy 2:17 NKJV) And their
message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort
He’s also warned of the future –
(2 Timothy 3:1 NKJV) But know
this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
Those perilous times include these
evil men and imposters.
Those perilous times included
(2 Timothy 3:5 NKJV) having a form of godliness but denying its
power. And from such people turn away!
And now he simply warns Timothy
that this is the direction things will go in.
Evil men and imposters will
continue to increase.
As men and women who are trying to
serve the Lord like Timothy, we need to remember Paul’s word to Timothy about
how to deal with these “imposters” –
(2 Timothy 2:24–26 NKJV) —24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all,
able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in
opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know
the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and
escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do
:13 deceiving and being
deceiving – planao – to cause to stray; to lead away
from the truth, to lead into error
Dealing with Deception
Believers are often warned about
being deceived, including us.
(1 Corinthians 15:33 NKJV) Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
What’s this a
Our walk with the
Lord is affected by the kind of people we hang around with.
(Galatians 6:7 NKJV) Do not be
deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
What’s this a
Our sinful actions
(1 John 1:8 NKJV) If we say
that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
What’s this a
We can’t ignore
the fact that we are still sinners and we sin.
We can sometimes find ourselves
getting mad at those who are in the cults, focusing only on the fact that they
are leading others astray.
We forget the fact that they too
have been deceived.
(Galatians 6:1 NKJV) Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass,
you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness,
considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
Sometimes we can be that gal with
the nail. We don’t want to acknowledge the problem in our life and we live
We need compassion on those who
are deceived, because we know what it’s like, we too can be deceived in other
things, and we are simply learning to live our lives in real truth.
:14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been
assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
:14 continue in the things which you have learned
continue – meno – to
learned – manthano – to
learn, be appraised
been assured of – pistoo –
to make faithful, render trustworthy; to be firmly persuaded of; to be assured
Almost all the translations translate this as “continue”, which is good,
but the word is used in other places in ways we don’t always grasp.
(John 15:7 NKJV) If you abide
in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be
done for you.
For years I used to think there was something magical about this word
“abide”, as if I am achieving some sort of cosmic power level that makes me a
It’s all about “continuing”, staying put, keep going in the same direction.
:14 knowing from whom you have learned them
Who has Timothy learned about the Lord from? Paul.
(2 Timothy 3:10
NKJV) But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life,
purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance,
:15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are
able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
:15 from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures
holy – hieros – sacred,
consecrated to the deity, pertaining to God
scriptures – gramma – a
letter; any writing, a document or record; the sacred writings (of the OT)
childhood – brephos – an
unborn child, embryo, a fetus; a new-born child, an infant, a babe
Teach the kids
Timothy had been taught about the Lord from an early age.
Luke tells us that Timothy’s father was Greek, and his mother was a Jewish
woman who believed. (Acts 16:1)
(Acts 16:1 NKJV) Then he came
to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the
son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek.
It doesn’t sound as if Timothy’s father may have been a believer.
Paul mentions his grandmother Lois and mother Eunice (2Tim. 1:5) being the
ones that knew the Lord first.
(2 Timothy 1:5
NKJV) when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which
dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded
is in you also.
Lois and Eunice were the ones who taught Timothy the Scriptures.
The Scriptures they taught young Timothy was what we call
the Old Testament.
Kids can learn and be used.
They may not always get the story straight the first time.
Nine-year-old Joey, was asked by his mother what he had
learned in Sunday school. “Well, Mom, our teacher told us how God sent Moses
behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
When he got to the Red Sea, he had his engineers build a pontoon bridge and all
the people walked across safely. Then he used his walkie - talkie to radio
headquarters for reinforcements. They sent bombers to blow up the bridge and
all the Israelites were saved.” “Now, Joey, is that really what your teacher
taught you?” his mother asked. “Well, no, Mom. But if I told it the way the
teacher did, you’d never believe it!”
Elkanah and his wife Hannah dedicated their young baby
Samuel to the Lord. When he was weaned, they left him at the Tabernacle with
the high priest to be taught and serve the Lord.
Samuel 3:1 NKJV) Now the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread
Then came the day that God first spoke to little Samuel.
Samuel 3:4 NKJV) that the Lord called
Samuel. And he answered, “Here I am!”
Samuel didn’t understand what was happening, but the high
priest finally figured out that God had been speaking, and the high priest
taught Samuel what to do.
It was the beginning of an amazing lifetime of ministry.
Naaman’s servant girl
The Syrian army had been raiding the land of Israel and
making slaves of the prisoners they took, including a young girl who was given
the job of serving General Naaman’s wife.
This little girl knew God and what he could do. When
Naaman became ill with leprosy, she spoke up.
Kings 5:3 NKJV) Then she said to her mistress, “If only my master were with
the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.”
It’s an amazing story how God would use the prophet Elisha
to heal Naaman, but it all started with a little servant girl who was taught
God uses kids that are taught about Him.
(Psalm 8:2 NLT) You have
taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies
and all who oppose you.
Listen to little Mary Margaret tell the story of Jonah running from the
You know, Mary Margaret didn’t learn to do this all on her
own. She was taught.
Whether it’s your own kids, your grandkids, or helping out in the
Children’s Ministry – it’s very important to God’s heart that kids are taught
about the Lord.
:15 able to make you wise for salvation through faith
are able – dunamai – to be
able, have power whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources, or of a
state of mind, or through favourable circumstances, or by permission of law or
custom; to be able to do something; to be capable, strong and powerful
make … wise – sophizo – to
make wise, teach; to become wise, to have understanding
Paul is talking about the Old Testament Scriptures.
They tell the story of salvation.
We are sinners.
14:3 NKJV) They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who
does good, No, not one.
The Messiah would pay for our sins.
53:5 NKJV) But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for
our iniquities; The
chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
We find salvation life through faith.
15:6 NKJV) And he believed in the Lord,
and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
2:4b NKJV) But the just shall live by his faith.
And now for the greatest tool for Timothy in his fight against heresy…
:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God
all – pas – individually;
each, every, all, the whole, everything
Paul doesn’t say “some Scripture” is given by inspiration, but ALL.
A phrase you will hear some liberal theologians use is, “The Bible contains
the Word of God.”
This might sound okay, but what they’re really saying is,
“Not all of the Bible is the Word of God.”
Paul says, “ALL” Scripture.
If I am going to claim that “some” things are inspired,
then I’m going to face a problem. How do
I know what is inspired and what isn’t?
I find myself at the mercy of the “scholars” (so-called).
scripture – graphe – a
writing, thing written; the Scripture
Paul had in mind the Old Testament when he’s writing this.
Yet at the time that Paul is writing this, Peter wrote,
(2 Peter 3:15b–16
NKJV) —15 …as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to
him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in
which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people
twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the
Did you catch how Peter was describing Paul’s
writings? He’s calling them “Scripture”.
It wouldn’t be long before the Church realized that the writings of what we
call the “New Testament” were Scripture.
Some would say this didn’t happen until the Council of Nicea (AD 325), but
that’s just when it became official.
Yet within a few short years after Paul’s writing, the early church fathers
recognized the New Testament writings as inspired and authoritative.
given by inspiration of God – theopneustos
(“God” + “breathed”) – inspired by God
(2 Peter 1:21 NKJV)
prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they
were moved by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit worked through the individual human authors, taking
advantage of their individual unique personalities, but moving in such a way to
make sure the message was transmitted without error.
There is one exception, that inerrancy is “in the original
We don’t have the original manuscripts in Paul’s handwriting. We just have copies of copies. And there are some small discrepancies between
the copies, attributed to copyist errors.
But we believe we can get pretty close to the original, and in these
there is no error.
How can I know that God is behind this book, and it’s not just written by a
bunch of crazy fanatics?
One of the things that sets the Scripture apart from any other set of
religious texts is the fulfillment of prophecy.
No other religious document contains the size and scope of the prophecies
in the Bible.
The first coming of the Messiah alone is a subject that spans over 300
prophecies, including such specific things as:
The place of his birth – Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2)
5:2 NKJV) “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you
shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From
Being preceded by a messenger (John the Baptist) (Is.
40:3 NKJV) The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the
way of the Lord; Make
straight in the desert A highway for our God.
His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a donkey (Zec. 9:9)
9:9 NKJV) “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your
King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and
riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.
Betrayal by a friend (Ps. 41:9)
41:9 NKJV) Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my
bread, Has lifted
up his heel against me.
Death by crucifixion (Ps. 22)
22:16 NKJV) For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced
My hands and My feet;
His resurrection (Ps. 16:10)
16:10 NKJV) For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You
allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
There are many other prophecies in Scripture – predictions of things to
take place, hundreds and thousands of years before they would. Such as …
Abraham’s descendants being slaves in Egypt for 400 years
before being delivered. (Gen. 15:13)
15:13 NKJV) Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will
be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they
will afflict them four hundred years.
The unbelievable fall of the city of Tyre to the
Babylonians (Eze. 26:4)
26:4 NKJV) And they shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers;
I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock.
The Jews being taken to Babylon for 70 years (Jer. 25:11)
25:11 NKJV) And this whole land shall be a desolation and an
astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
The name of the Persian king who would allow the Jews to
return – Cyrus (Is. 44:28)
44:28 NKJV) Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, And he shall
perform all My pleasure, Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” And to the
temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.” ’
Only God knows the future, and only God gives us hints of things to come.
(Isaiah 48:3 NKJV) “I have
declared the former things from the beginning; They went forth from My mouth, and I
caused them to hear it. Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.
:16 profitable for doctrine
profitable – ophelimos –
profitable, useful, beneficial
Paul gives Timothy four things that the Scriptures are beneficial for.
doctrine – didaskalia –
Doctrine isn’t limited to fancy theological words like “supralapsarianism”
(the incorrect teaching that God had decreed both the election and damnation of
all prior to creation)
It’s simply the subject of what’s being “taught”.
One of the things Jesus did in the “Sermon on the Mount” was to quote Old
Testament Scripture, and then elaborated upon it.
NKJV) —27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not
commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has
already committed adultery with her in his heart.
At the end of the Sermon…
NKJV) —28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people
were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
We could just as easily say they were astonished at His
There are lots of things you could hear pastors teaching from at church.
I remember as a child going to a church where the pastor based his messages
on the songs of Simon and Garfunkel.
The Scriptures are profitable for “teaching”. This is why we don’t spend too much time
talking about psychology or self-help methods – we teach the Scriptures.
They are also profitable for…
:16 for reproof
reproof – elegchos – a
from – elegcho – to
convict; generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted
; by conviction to bring to the light, to expose
Jesus said that people doing bad things don’t like to be “convicted”
(John 3:20 NKJV) For everyone
practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds
should be exposed.
Jesus used this word in talking about what to do when someone has sinned
NKJV) “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him
his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your
NKJV) And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but
rather expose them.
The Scripture is profitable for “reproof”, to bring conviction in those who
need to make a change in their life.
The issue of them changing their life is not about your opinion, or about
what offends you.
When they argue with what you’re saying, it’s not your opinion, it’s what
The issue is about learning to get your life into align with God’s
The Bible is also profitable for…
:16 for correction
correction – epanorthosis (“upon”
+ “straighten”) – restoration to an upright or right state; correction,
improvement of life or character
The root of this word (orthos)
means “straight”, and we see it used in:
(Acts 14:8–10 NKJV)
—8 And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was
sitting, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked. 9 This man
heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith
to be healed, 10
with a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” And he leaped and
Just like the word “reproof”, this is about helping people to “stand
straight” in their lives, in their character.
The writer to the Hebrews uses the root orthos
to show how the Scripture can be profitable for correction.
NKJV) —12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble
knees, 13 and make straight
paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but
rather be healed.
Sometimes people are walking down paths that AREN’T “straight”, and
instead of seeing healing in their lives, they end up more lame than before.
I believe what follows next elaborates on this – and it’s from the
14 Pursue peace
with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking
carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of
bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16 lest there be
any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his
birthright. 17 For you know
that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he
found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.
Esau was at constant odds (not peace) with his brother Jacob.
His life was filled with bitterness, and that bitterness defiled many.
If we want to have “straight” paths for our feet, if we want to “straighten
up”, then we need to learn to deal with things like bitterness and fornication.
We learn these things from the Scriptures.
The Bible is also profitable for …
:16 for instruction in righteousness
in righteousness – dikaiosune –
in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the
condition acceptable to God
instruction – paideia –
the whole training and education of children, discipline
(which relates to the cultivation of
mind and morals, and employs for this purpose now commands and admonitions, now
reproof and punishment) It also includes the training and care of the body;
whatever in adults also cultivates the soul, esp. by correcting mistakes and
curbing passions.; instruction which aims at increasing virtue; chastisement,
chastening, (of the evils with which God visits men for their amendment)
This is the word that the writer to the Hebrews calls “chastening”, the
difficult times God allows us to go through to help us mature.
NKJV) Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful;
nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those
who have been trained by it.
The point of this word is about maturity.
It’s about growing up. It’s about
the journey from being a “child” to being an “adult” when it comes to areas of
“righteousness”, or doing the right things for God.
Those of us who are a little “older” in the Lord have a responsibility to
help those who are “younger” to grow up.
Kind of like a dad. What’s
important is just how you do it…
God’s Word is really good to help others grow up.
:17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good
:17 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work
complete – artios –
fitted; complete, perfect; “special aptitude for given uses”; specially
adapted; able to meet all demands
The word for “thoroughly equipped” is a related word, just a more intense
thoroughly equipped – exartizo
– to complete, finish; to furnish perfectly; to finish, accomplish, (as it
were, to render the days complete)
God has good works for us to be doing.
NKJV) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Our “blessing in Hebrews uses a related word for “complete”:
NKJV) —20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the
dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting
covenant, 21 make you
complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well
pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever
and ever. Amen.
How can we be ready to do all the good things God has planned for us?
It’s kind of like Iron Man “suiting up”.
How do we “suit up” for what God has for us?
Through His word.
It’s how He “equips” us.