by Ajay Chakravarthy (based on RLCF Bible Study on January 27, 2016)
“Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.” 2 Timothy 2:19
Teaching that is manifest in Life
When Paul wrote to Timothy, he exhorted that his primary focus to be his life and then his teaching/doctrine, and both are essential to his salvation and the salvation to all those heard him. (1 Tim. 4:16). The order is important, first life and then teaching/doctrine.
The same word of God can bring death, condemnation and a knowledge that puffs up (2 Cor. 3:6, 9; 1 Cor. 8:1). We need not be discouraged, but rather seek the example of Jesus where the same word had become manifest in His life (John 1:14) and was His sustenance (Matt. 4:4, Jn. 12:49). We see that the apostle John described the fellowship he experienced was around words that bring forth life (1 John 1:1-3) and not merely the exchange of words (Luke 24:17).
Paul recognized that there were different distractions to side track us for the primary goal of partaking of the divine nature (life) and so he told Timothy to lay hold of that which is life indeed (1 Tim. 6:19)
Teaching that results in obedience
As we seek to understand doctrine, we may think that we need to understand teaching intellectually, but we see how Jesus said it was not by study but a desire to do His will He will know whether the doctrine is of God or not. (John 7:17) We see the parable of a man who found a treasure, which is a picture of a prophetic word or the secret of the Lord (Ps. 25:14) and then pays any cost buying the land (exercise of the will to obey the word) for that treasure to be His own. (Matt. 13:44).
Teaching that is not in isolation
We see that even Jesus was tempted by the devil to look at only aspect of truth in isolation (Matt. 4: 6). If we want to be approved to God, it is important that we rightly divide the word. (2 Tim. 2:15). And God’s desire is that we mature in our understanding (1 Cor. 13: 11; 1 Cor. 14:20) so that we have a renewing that we increasingly think more as Christ thinks. (Rom. 12:2, 1 Cor. 2:16)
Teaching that is repeated
As Peter was nearing his death, he was not hesitant to repeat exhortations of partaking of the divine nature and how to have abundant entrance into God’s kingdom. Even though they had heard this and had been established in these teachings. (2 Pet. 1:12)
Just one example, comparing scripture with scripture, we know from 2 Timothy 2:21 that we must cleanse ourselves to be a vessel of honor that God can use. But it is also written in Rom. 9:21 that God is the one who makes a person a vessel of honor. It is in the balance of both scriptures working together in our life that we come to true life and understanding of Christ (2 Peter 1:3). Let us press on to a greater maturity in Christ (Col. 1:28) in every aspect of Christ’s life and His word.