Posted by: SandreS | September 19, 2009

The Church in Ruins (Brief Thoughts on II Timothy), Part 13

Teach Faithful Men

And the things that you have heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also (II Timothy 2:2).

Paul’s instruction to Timothy is of a very personal and individual nature throughout this epistle. The believers in Asia were now outside of the teachings and practices of Paul. They had turned away from him. They were now embracing the religious system; a “Christian” religious system – “Christendom.” Without Paul’s message, that is all one has – RELIGION.

Timothy therefore now finds himself on the outside of the activities of the believers. Interestingly enough, Paul never instructs Timothy anywhere in this epistle to “go in” among them and see if he could “turn the tide.” Instead of ministering to “a congregation,” “a church,” “an assembly” or “his parishioners,” Paul tells Timothy to “find faithful men.” Timothy was to seek out men, “faithful men” to whom he could commit Paul’s message.

Paul had no thought of Asia ever being “revived.” Instead, because of the apostasy, his instruction to Timothy concerning the ministry of the Word had now become extremely narrow, intensely individual – “faithful men!”

The importance of faithfulness can be clearly seen in I Corinthians 4:2:

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Paul did not want Timothy to spend his time and energy on “groups” and “congregations” of men who were not faithful to the Lord and His message. Timothy was not instructed to teach the “masses.”

E.W. Bullinger comments on this passage, that there is “No reference to bishops and ecclesiastical organizations” (The Companion Bible, p. 1810).

What a shame to look around at all the so-called “churches” filled with unfaithful men, and see all the energy, money, resources and programs trying to allure them into becoming “regular” attendees. Does this not show us how far we have turned away from Paul?

What was Timothy instructed to commit to these “faithful men?”

Ordination?
Creeds?
Articles of Faith?
Statements of Faith?
Business Meetings?
Church Polity?
Sunday School Administration?
Preparation and Delivery of Sermons?

NO!

He was to commit to these “faithful men” the very things that he had heard from Paul! Once again Paul’s distinct message is being brought to its paramount place. Paul says “the same commit to faithful men” (2:2). He does not say “similar.”

Andre Sneidar has written,

Timothy’s duty now is to seek out faithful men, wherever he may be able to find them, and instruct them individually, and they in turn will go forth doing the same.

(to be continued)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2001, 2009 Bible Student’s Press

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