II Tim. 3 outline
Dear Dr. Beale,
I am turning in my II Tim. 3 sermon a week late because I was not able to work on it sufficiently last week. I explained the situation when I turned my last report in. I am including what I wrote in that report (see immediately below). I appreciate your understanding.
In His love and by His grace,
Dear Dr. Beale,
I am writing concerning the third 3-page sermon that is due today. I was not able to complete it for a number of reasons. I was asked by my pastor to preach in the Sunday night service on two occasions. I preached on II Tim. 1 on May 28. The second occasion was last Sunday. I believe that God led me to preach II Tim. 2 (to give some continuity to the church and because I believe the message was more applicable to their current situation than II Tim. 3 would have been). Therefore, I spent 30 hours last week preparing/refining the II Tim. 2 message (in addition to the 15 hours that I spent on it before it was due 6-14-05). I did not believe that I should use any of that time for a message that I was not going to preach that Sunday. I am including the sermon. I just wanted to show you that the reason I don’t have my II Tim. 3 sermon ready is not because I was goofing off.
I had full intentions on getting it done Monday and Tuesday, but we were surprised by an unexpected visit from my father-in-law from Massachusetts (he is unsaved). I had to make a judgment call about whether to spend time with him and my wife or to write the sermon. I believe (for the sake of being a good testimony to him and for peace with my wife) that I made the right decision.
Thank you for understanding my “predicament.” I am planning on turning in my II Tim. 3 sermon next Wednesday. I will include a similar note of explanation with it at that time.
In His love and by His grace,
Extension # 006
WHAT TO DO IN PERILOUS TIMES
[Introductory Scripture] Rev. 2:10
[Introduction] We live in sinful times. Our culture is sliding down hill. Murders are on the rise (both in number and in degree of brutality). Sex offenders prowl rampantly (though not a surprise due to the commercialization of sex). According to a survey, most people feel that it is necessary to lie on a daily basis. Men seek only to satisfy themselves. That is why Christians come into direct conflict with unbelievers. We have two different purposes in life. This often results in persecution. Paul tells us how to live in these times.
[Announce and read text] II Tim. 3:1-17
[Prayer for illumination]
[Contextualization] In chapter one God, through Paul, is exhorting Timothy not to be ashamed of the Gospel. He gives him the following three reasons why Timothy needed not to be ashamed: because He has not given us a Spirit of fear but of power (:7), because we can see His work in us (:9), and because of who Christ is (His ability to keep us) (:10, 12). As Paul closes chapter one, he sights a few positive and negative examples of being ashamed of the Gospel. In chapter two we saw how Timothy was to suffer [for suffering would come if he was living a godly life (II Tim. 3:12)]. We noted that Timothy was to be made strong, to commit the doctrine to faithful men, and to take his share in the suffering. Paul closes chapter two by speaking about false teaching. He tells Timothy to remind Christians of the danger of false teaching, to handle the Word correctly, and to avoid the error of false teaching himself. Paul uses an analogy of a clean vessel to further strengthen his point. Timothy was to have the characteristics of a good leader. As we come to chapter three, Paul continues his thought by explaining to Timothy (and to us) what to do in perilous times.
[Fallen Creature Focus] When confronted with evil our tendency is to be affected by it. Without God’s grace we become evil instead of opposing it.
[Theme] We can effectively live (pleasing God) in evil times by knowing what to do with evil men (the unsaved) and by knowing what to do with ourselves.
I. We can live a God honoring life in perilous times by knowing how to deal with evil men (:1-9)
Paul told Timothy that perilous times would come (future), but speaks to him as if they had already come (present tense is used throughout the passage). Similar language is used in Ephesians 6, where Paul tells the Ephesians to put on the armor of God because they would need to withstand in the evil day (6:10). Perilous (same word is used in Mat. 8:28 for an exceedingly fierce demon possessed man) times where upon Timothy. It was his responsibility to know what to do and to lead those under him correctly. What made these times evil was the character of the men.
A. Know Them (:1-5a)
In order to avoid their error, Timothy was to know what characterized ungodly men. Many of the characteristics in this list parallel Rom. 1:28ff.
1. What they love. Paul begins and ends the characteristics section by describing what theses men love. Each of the words he uses begins with the prefix fil- (to love).
a. Themselves (:2) filautoi
b. Money (:2) filarguroi-this adjective is usually translated covetous (Lk. 16:14). In the LXX it was used to describe Eli’s sons going after money (I Sam. 8:3). I Pet. 5:2 makes it clear that ministers of the Gospel must not love money (love of money is a definite characteristic of false teachers-Titus 1:11)
c. Pleasure (:4)-filhdnoi-“Hedonism.”
d. Not God (:4)-filoqeoV-these latter two realities characterize our culture.
2. How they carry themselves. Paul continues his description by describing how these men act.
a. Boasters (:2)-Prov. 21:24 and Hab. 2:5 describe how a boaster acts.
b. Proud (:2)-uvperhfanoi-this is a compound word meaning to show oneself above another person. Many of us enjoy making ourselves look good by showing how much better we are. But, God delights in humbling the proud (Prov. 3:34; Lk. 1:51; James 4:6; I Pet. 5:5; Psa. 118:21; Isa. 13:11)
c. Blasphemers (:2)-Paul considered himself a former blasphemer (I Tim. 1:13)
d. Traitors (:4)-this is the same word used for Judas Iscariot in Lk. 6:16. In Acts 7:52, Stephen calls the Jews traitors for what they did to the prophets and to Christ.
e. Headstrong (:4)
f. Haughty (:4)-I Tim. 3:6 warns against novices who tend to be high-minded. This is a sign of immaturity. The verb comes from “to wrap in smoke.” People, especially the immature, usually glory in their stupidity (their words betray them).
3. What they are against. The following characteristics all start with the prefix a-. This makes it the direct opposite of the word to which it is attached. It is very much like our “un-” or “dis-.”
a. Unobedient [misspelled on purpose] (Disobedient) (:2)-Titus 1:16 states that they profess to know God but their disobedient (among other things) works deny Him. Titus 3:3 states that we were once disobedient. Deut. 21:18 describes the penalty of a disobedient child. Israel is described as a disobedient people (Num. 20:10; Jer. 5:23).
b. Unthankful (:2)-can also mean ungracious. Christ commands us to be kind because He is kind to the unthankful (Lk. 6:35).
c. Unholy (:2)-The law was made for the unholy (I Tim. 1:9).
d. Unloving (:3)-Rom. 1:31 describes unbelievers as “without natural affection” (same word).
e. Unforgiving (:3)-this can also mean without libation or truce.
f. Undisciplined (:3)-literally this means without power (impotent).
g. Untame [misspelled on purpose] (brutal) (:3)
h. Unloving of good (:3)-this word combines our “a-” and “fil-” prefixes to state that these men do not love good.
4. Who they imitate-Slanderers (:3)-devils-Jn. 8:44 states that unbelievers are of their father, the devil.
5. How they appear (:5). They look good on the outside, but deny everything by what is on the inside. They are hypocrites. They look like what we should look like (I Tim. 3:16; 4:7, 8; 6:6; II Pet. 1:3, 6). But, they deny the power by which we are to live this way.
[Illustration] “Johannesburg, South Africa: A crowd of over 2,000 people gathered downtown as a young African perched on the 6th floor balcony ready to jump. “Jump, jump,” the crowd yelled. After 2 hours, he jumped to his death. The spectacle provided a real afternoon’s entertainment for the feverish crowd. Officials tried talking him out of jumping, but the crowd kept on screaming for him to get on with it. In the end, he felt he had to jump to appease the crowd.”
B. Turn from Them (:5b-9)
After we have identified what evil men look like, we are to turn from them (2nd command of this chapter).
1. The character of their followers gives us reason (:6, 7) (Rom. 12:20)
2. The audacity of their “fathers” gives us reason (:8a)
a. They “stood against” (withstood) theGod-ordained authority (Rom. 13:2; Acts 13:8)
b. They “stand against” (withstand) the truth
3. The corruption of their mind gives us reason (:8b)
Their mind is totally destroyed. This goes back to the utter sinfulness of man before the flood (Gen. 6:12ff-same word used in LXX). Rom. 1:28 speaks of God giving them over to a reprobate mind.
4. The disapproval of their ways gives us reason (:8c)
5. The end result of their path gives us reason (:9, 13)
II Timothy 2:16 speaks of their going forward in ungodliness. There is no hope for these men without divine intervention. They continually go down hill (Rom. 1). They are deceiving and are deceived. Modern day cults exemplify this type of false teachers very well.
[Application] Though this passage does not directly describe Christians, it is easy to see many of these characteristics in one’s own life. Which of these characteristics describe you? Do you look like an evil man?
II. We can live a God-honoring life in perilous times by knowing how to deal with ourselves (:10-17)
Paul now contrasts how Timothy should act with the way evil men act. He uses “but you” or “you, therefore” (ou de) twice (:10, 14).
A. Continue to Follow (:10-13)
Paul uses the word for “to follow closely” or “to investigate.” It is not simply a haphazard following. It requires a diligence.
1. The teaching (:10)-used fifteen other times in the Pastoral Epistles to describe doctrine.
2. The leading (:10)-Paul had been faithful in leaving an example.
3. The setting forth (:10)-this speaks of purpose. Timothy followed God’s purpose (the same word was used in 1:9 for God’s purpose in calling us to be holy (Acts 11:23, 27:13; Rom. 8:28, 9:11).
4. The faith (:10)-Timothy was to follow what he had believed from the beginning.
5. The patience (:10)-this can also be translated longsuffering. This was exemplified by Christ (II Pet. 3:15). Christ’s followers have always demonstrated long-suffering (II Pet. 5:10; Heb. 6:12; II Tim. 4:2; Gal. 5:22).
6. The love (:10)-probably speaks of Christ’s love.
7. The patience (:10)-this is a virtue (see especially Revelation).
8. The persecutions and sufferings (:11-12)
a. Happened to Paul (:11)-Acts 13:50 gives us a good example of Paul’s suffering, which he rejoiced in (II Cor. 12:10; II Thes. 1:4). He was not afraid that these persecutions would keep him from Christ (Rom. 8:35). These sufferings (from the word which we get passion from) are not to be compared with the coming glory (Rom. 8:18).
b. Happen to all who live a godly life (:12)-this suffering happens to believers because they live a godly life. This is not the sufferings that unbelievers experience. The word used is used only in the context of persecution or pursuing something. In John 15:20, Christ promised His followers persecution. In Mat. 5:10, 11, 12, Christ blesses the persecuted.
B. Continue to Remain (:14-17)
1. Remain in what you learned because it brought you to salvation (:14, 15) (see also II Pet. 1:6)
2. Remain in what you learned because it is reliable (:16, 17) (Rom 15:4; II Tim. 3:10; 4:3)
a. It is God-breathed
b. It is profitable for teaching
c. It is profitable for reproof
d. It is profitable for correction
e. It is profitable for training (Heb. 12:5, 7, 8, 11)
f. It fits the man of God to all good works
[Application] Does your life match up with what is spoken of above? Are you continuing to follow and remain?
[Illustration] Poem in The Book on Leadership, John MacArthur, p. 120.
[Conclusion] Paul has given us a full-proof way of living in perilous times with success. We must avoid evil men and their teaching and fully rely on the Word of God. It is reliable. Though we were not able to develop the last two verses to the extent that they deserve, we can see that the Word of God is totally trustworthy. We must continue in what we know to be right though it bring persecution.
But all through life I see a cross
Where sons of God yield up their breath;
There is no gain except by loss,
There is no life except by death,
And no full vision but by faith,
Nor glory, but by bearing shame,
Nor justice, but by taking blame;
And that Eternal Passion saith:
Be emptied of glory, right and name.
-The Book on Leadership, John MacArthur Jr., p. 120.
II Tim. 3:15x
“The story is told of a simple-minded man who presented himself before the elders of a great city church and asked to be admitted as a communicant member. He was unable to memorize the statements found in the catechism, and he was unable to state the doctrine with any degree of clarity. The elders were about to dismiss him when one of them asked, ‘Why did you come to apply for membership if you cannot explain your faith?’ At this tears came to the eyes of the simple-minded man and, with genuine earnestness, he said, ‘I’m a poor sinner and nothing at all, but Jesus my Saviour is all in all.’ He was accepted and went on to live a simple but radiant Christian life.” [sic.]
-James Buswell, A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion, 2:72-73
The reason we don’t suffer is because we don’t see the “but you.” We look so much like these men.
I am going to take the train of truth that we have been pushing uphill, crushing evil men, and turn it against us. We are living like this. Some of these characteristics are our characteristics.
-4 robberies at the Greenville mall last weekend.
-Stephen Green and 3 or 4 other men raped a young lady (they had seen her at the boarder station in Iraq) and slaughtered her father and mother and younger sister
ARE WE LIVING IN THE LAST DAYS-in perilous times?
Are men around us this evil?
States that modernists (and Stoics, Pelagians, Erasmus, and Enlightenment) believe that the heart of man is not truly evil, but that evil merely clings to man’s hear, “as barnacles to the ship’s hull” (17).