Need for endurance (2:1-13)
Like Onesiphorus, Timothy must persevere for the sake of Christ and endure hardship. He must push on vigorously with his task of passing on the truth Paul has taught him. He should do this wisely and carefully, by instructing people who are trustworthy and have the ability to teach others (2:1-2).
In dealing with the difficulties in Ephesus, Timothy must realize that he is a soldier of Jesus Christ. He must expect suffering and endure it. A soldier is not concerned with civilian affairs, but concentrates on the battle before him. In the same way Timothy must give his full attention to the task before him (3- 4). He must have the strict self-discipline of an athlete if he is to gain the heavenly prize (5). He must have the patient hard-working attitude of a farmer if he wants to see worthwhile results from his work (6). If he thinks carefully about these matters, he will understand more fully what is involved in working for God (7).
The example of the risen Christ is a source of encouragement to Christians. Christ endured even to death, but in the end he triumphed (8). No hardship is too great when it is the means of bringing blessing to those whom God has chosen (9-10).
Through their death with Christ, believers have new life. Because God is consistent in his character, he will be faithful to his promises and reward those who are loyal to him. But the same divine consistency of character means that he will show no pleasure to those who deny him (11-13).
2:14-4:5 AN APPROVED WORKER AND FALSE TEACHERS
Teach essentials; avoid quarrels (2:14-26)
Paul repeats the advice of his previous letter that Timothy should not waste time discussing fanciful theories (cf. 1 Tim 1:3-11; 4:6-10). Christian teachers build up their hearers by presenting the truth of God clearly and honestly, not by allowing the imagination to control their preaching (14-16).
Foolish speculation and self-invented theories were what caused Hymenaeus and Philetus to depart from the faith. They denied the future resurrection of the body, apparently by asserting that the resurrection was the spiritual awakening experienced at conversion (17-18; cf. 1 Tim 1:19-20). But false teaching does not shake the firm foundation of God’s truth. God protects those who belong to him, though they on their part must turn away from wrongdoing (19).
The presence of good and bad in the visible church is compared to the presence of many types of articles in a large house. Some articles are precious, but others are of little value and are unfit for honourable use (20). If believers are to be clean and fit for God’s use, they must avoid sinful desires and foolish arguments, and seek instead the company of those who strive for the truly Christian virtues (21- 23). By wise and patient instruction, the servants of God may be able to release wrongdoers from Satan’s grip and lead them into the freedom that comes from knowing God’s truth (24-26).