“But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions . ..”2 Timothy 3:10, 11
Yesterday I heard a young person say it is a shame about a particular politician that had been preaching in the political arena the fidelity in marriage, and lambasting others for their infidelity, especially that politicians rivals. All the while this politician, himself, was involved in an extramarital affair. We was not walking his talk.
Here in Paul’s letter to Timothy, we hear Paul say that he was indeed living the Gospel life. The example he set is in concert with his message. Matthew Henry comments:
The more fully we know the doctrine of Christ and the apostles, the more closely we shall cleave to it; the reason why many sit loose to it is because they do not fully know it. His manner of life was of a piece with his doctrine and did not contradict it He did not pull down by his living what he build up by his preaching. Timothy fully knew Paul’s good character, which he might gather from his doctrine, manner of life and purpose; for he gave proofs of his faith (that is, of his integrity and fidelity or his faith in Christ, his faith concerning another world by which Paul lived), his long-suffering toward the churches to which he reached and presided over, his charity towards all men, and his patience. These were the graces that Paul was eminent for, and Timothy knew it. He knew that he had suffered ill for doing well.
G-d’s grace is always sufficient. Paul hand many persecutions (Acts 13:49, 14:1-6, 19), but the Lord delivered him out of them all. . . He tells Timothy, “Let it be no surprise to you if suffer hard things, it is no more than I have endured before.”
Point One: “The more fully we know the doctrine of Christ and the apostles, the more closely we shall cleave to it.” There are actually churches today advocating the Buddhist and New Age practice of meditation. No, not meditating of the Word of G-d, but clearing our minds so that we can become enlightened. Nowhere does the Bible say that’s an approved method of prayer. In fact, there are many, myself included, that believe meditation is demonic, and brings demonic influences into the meditator’s life. So we are not going to go out into a field and absorb the good vibrations of nature, thus being transformed into a holy vessel. No! What we are going to do is to study the written Word of G-d often enough that it is infused into our being. It is through study of the Word that the Spirit will find easiest access to speak with us, and that the Lord will find to change us.
Point Two: Pauls manner of life were “ proofs of his faith.” We become more like Y’shua the more we spend time with Him. We spend time with Him in prayer, in study, in our fascination of Him—adoring Him. The proof of the faith we express, is the manner of our lives. It is the manner of our lives that bring us to. . .
Point Three: “Let it be no surprise to you if suffer hard things, it is no more than I have endured before.” Y’shuaJesus, our Lord, our Saviour, suffered during his Earthly tour of humanity. Paul suffered as he lived Gospel life. And so shall we suffer. Paul mentions it to Timothy that it come as no surprise. And it would already be know by Timothy anyway. So perhaps it is written to Timothy so that we shall hear this message, that suffering for living the Good Life come as no surprise, either.
Lord, enable us in this knowing of Your Gospel that we might “cleave to it.” Grant us grace in our living and in our suffering. Be glorified in our lives. Amen.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine.