~ Word Pictures of the Effective Christian in 2 Timothy 2 ~
In this single chapter of the Scriptures we find five specific analogies of things to which an effective Christian is similar.Then we have a passage of application of the qualities of those word pictures.Finally we have three general analogies of an effective Christian.In each of the eight images, or word pictures, there are characteristics which should be present in the life of a child of God.
Son~“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (verse 1).A son belongs to a family.Key aspects of family relationships are affection and love.
Teacher~“And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (verse 2). Teachers faithfully impart knowledge and wisdom.
Soldier~“You therefore must endurehardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier” (verses 3-4). Soldiers speak of subjection to authority and endurance even in tough circumstances.
Athlete~“And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules” (verse 5).An athlete must possess well-developed skills and follow the rules.
Farmer~“The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops” (verse 6).Farmers are faithful and are compensated for their work.
application:“Consider what I say, and maythe Lord give you understanding in all things.Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel,for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. This is a faithful saying: for if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.If we deny Him,He also will deny us. If we are faithless,He remains faithful;He cannot deny Himself.Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers” (verse 7-14).
Worker~“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort,who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christdepart from iniquity’” (verse 15-19).Key characteristics of an effective worker are accuracy and diligence.
Vessel~“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife” (verses 20-23).There are good and bad vessels.The Christian is encouraged to be a good conduit that is clean and ready for use.
Servant~“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (verses 24-26).Key qualities of an effective servant are humility and obedience.
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