Where the world comes to study the Bible

Lesson 5: Faith-Building Words (2 Timothy 2:14-26)

Related Media

Day One Study—Get the Big Picture

What does the Bible say?

Ask the Lord Jesus to teach you through His Word.

Read 2 Timothy 2:8-26, (including verses from the last lesson). Ask the Lord Jesus to teach you through His Word.

If possible, print out the verses we are studying. Use your own method (colored pencils, lines, shapes) to mark 1) anything that grabs your attention, 2) words you want to understand, and 3) anything repeated in this passage. Draw arrows between thoughts that connect. Put a star  next to anything you think relates to being faithful or staying faithful.

1. What grabbed your attention from these verses?

2. What verses or specific words do you want to understand better?

3. What topics are repeated in this passage or continue an earlier discussion in this letter?

4. What verses illustrate or help you understand what staying faithful looks like?

5. From this lesson’s passage, choose one verse to dwell upon all week long. Write it in the space below. Ask God to teach you through this verse.

Respond to the Lord about what He’s shown you today.

Day Two Study

Read 2 Timothy 2:2-6 and 14-26. Ask the Lord Jesus to teach you through His Word.

What does it mean?

Historical Insight: The wording of vv. 14-16 could be referring to an early form of Gnosticism (interpreting the resurrection allegorically, not literally, because the Greeks thought the physical body was evil). Paul dealt with the same issue in 1 Timothy and Titus (1 Timothy 1:3-4, 6-7). Hymenaeus (see 1 Timothy 1:20) and Philetus may have been leaders of this heresy denying the bodily resurrection. Gnosticism interpreted the resurrection allegorically, not literally. From a study of Ephesus, we learn that it was a center of magic in the Roman world. The residents there held to 6 nonsensical words that had magical power. Perhaps Paul is referring to that infiltrating back into the church.

Paul continues to deal with the issue of false teachers. These people caused strife and division within the new church by their meaningless quarreling over their own ideas. Paul reemphasizes to Timothy not to be “drawn in” to debates with these people. Remember that the context of this whole chapter 2 is to stay faithful and not become faithless.

6. In the following verses, note the instruction that Paul gives to Timothy regarding what kind of “conversation” to avoid and why. Note: The “them” in v. 14 is the same as the reliable people teaching others in v. 2.

Avoid what?


Verse 14

Verse 16

Verse 23

From the Greek: The Greek words translated “godless chatter” means profane, empty discussion of vain and useless matters.” “Foolish and stupid arguments (v. 23)” refers to speculations, hypotheticals, and useless debates. To “quarrel” means to contend about words, wrangle about empty and trifling matters.

7. What is the difference between quarreling about vain and useless matters and standing up to false teaching? Consider the reasons Paul gives in vv. 14, 16, and 23 for discerning when to speak up.

8. What kind of talk in the church today would be considered quarreling about vain and useless matters? Again, consider the effect on those listening.

Think About It: Sometimes the translations we use can cause us to quarrel. Why should we not let this happen?

  1. Although Paul instructs Timothy and the reliable teachers in the church to not engage in quarrelsome talk, he realizes that it will surface within the church. Looking at verses 24-26:
  • Under whose influence are quarrelsome people operating?
  • What attitude is the Lord’s servant to have towards the opposition?
  • What actions should she take?
  • What is the goal of adopting such an attitude? What is God’s desire for them? (See also 1 Timothy 2:3-4 and Titus 2:14.)

From the Greek: The emphasis in the word translated “able to teach” (v. 24) in the Greek (didaktikos) is on the teacher’s ability to bring out the best in his students rather than the teacher’s knowledge. … The Lord’s servant must seek to communicate this truth in such a way that opponents embrace it and abandon their error with proper remorse. God’s servant thus seeks to be the instrument through whose efforts God brings them to himself. (Dr. Constables Notes on 2 Timothy 2017 Edition, pp. 27-28)

What application will you make to stay faithful to God?

10. Consider your conversations. Do you have a tendency to quarrel or argue with people (spouse, neighbor, co-worker, family member, child, someone at church)? Quarreling is sin, plain and simple. When you find yourself getting caught in a quarrel or argument, stop. Do not continue. Ask the Lord to help you with this.

11. In a group setting, women may say things that are controversial or simply untrue. What questions do you ask yourself (or should you ask yourself) to determine whether you need to stand up to false teaching or divert attention away from the comment and focus the group back to the lesson or main discussion?

Respond to the Lord about what He’s shown you today.

Day Three Study

Read 2 Timothy 2:14-26. Ask the Lord Jesus to teach you through His Word.

What does it mean?

12. In 2 Timothy 2:15, how are we to present ourselves to God?

13. What does Paul’s use of the phrase “do your best (NIV)” or “make every effort (NET)” imply?

14. How can any Christian (including you) handle God’s Word…?

  • Correctly —
  • Incorrectly —

15. In vv. 17-18, Paul gives two examples of incorrect teaching. What are they teaching and with what results?

16. Paul is in prison, but “God’s Word is not chained” (2:9). Continuing this confidence in spite of some who are teaching lies, what truths does Paul assert in 2:19?

Scriptural Insight: The first passage assures that God differentiates between His faithful servants (“those who are His”) and those who are unfaithful. The second calls on those who choose to identify themselves with (“everyone who names the name of”) “the Lord” to “abstain from wicked behavior.” Seals in New Testament times indicated ownership, security, and authenticity. (Dr. Constables Notes on 2 Timothy 2017 Edition, p. 25)

17. Paul illustrates these truths in the next 2 verses. Read 2 Timothy 2:20-21. What types of “articles / vessels” are present together in a large house, and what purposes do they serve?

Focus on the Meaning: The large house is the Body of Christ. The context is still faithfulness versus faithlessness (vv. 12-13). Paul is adding to the soldier, athlete, and farmer examples given in the first part of chapter 2. The vessels belong to the master of the house yet have decision-making power about how they can be filled. Vessels for common use would be chamber pots, slop buckets, and refuse containers and would definitely not be used for eating, drinking or display. Every Christian is set apart (sanctified) for God’s special use at the moment of salvation—cleansed and made holy in our position before God. However, we are also being sanctified daily (set apart from sinful behaviors) as we choose to yield to God’s Spirit working in us. What is clean and set apart for special use can easily get contaminated and rendered unusable through contact with wickedness. Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord can choose to fill their “cleansed vessel” with the holiness of God or the wickedness of the world. The issue here is not salvation but staying faithful and useful to God. In our heavenly future, we will be completely sanctified, never to get dirty again. Woohoo!

18. According to verse 21, what three qualities characterize such a “vessel” that stays away from any wickedness that would contaminate it?

What application will you make to stay faithful to God?

19. Think of someone you know who knows how to correctly handle the Word of Truth. How did he/she cultivate this ability? (If you don’t know, you might ask.) Discuss at least one step you can take to bring you closer to the goal of correctly handling God’s Word.

20. Keeping in mind 2 Timothy 2:19, 22, how can you be a vessel faithful to Jesus that stays “set apart” and used for his noblest purposes?

21. If your life has NOT been one used for God’s noble purposes, maybe you are feeling worthless. Remember you belong to the Lord. He knows it. He still welcomes you with open, loving arms. If you haven’t done so already, repent (turn away) from your independence from God and offer Him your life. He will take your willing heart and renew you through the Holy Spirit, redirect your life, and use it for His glory and honor!

Respond to the Lord about what He’s shown you today.

© 2019.

Related Topics: Curriculum

Report Inappropriate Ad