2 Timothy 2:14–26 (NIV84)
A Workman Approved by God
14 Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as
one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene.
Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed
with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes,
made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and
peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead,
he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their
senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
Paul reminds Timothy that he and his
fellow pastors must remain focused on their task of proclaiming God’s Word. They must not get bogged down in quarrels or give in to the temptations of the flesh (such as temper), but be generous and kind to all. When we keep a tight rein on our tongues,
not allowing ourselves to quarrel or to fall into petty arguments, we also avoid dishonoring Christ’s name with our selfish words. When God’s Word is front and center in our minds and on our tongues, it acts powerfully to create ongoing repentance
and faith. By giving His gift of repentance to us through His Word, our Lord Jesus Christ snatches us from “the snare of the devil.”
I pray: Guard my tongue,
O Lord, that it may be an instrument of Your praise. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2083.