Fidelity Verses Apostasy (2:22-4:8)
2:22 Not only is Timothy to separate himself from wicked men, but he is to separate himself from the evil desires of the flesh. Evil desires of youth may refer not only to physical appetites but also to the lust for money, fame and pleasure. They may also include self- will, impatience, pride, etc.
Timothy was probably about 35 years of age at this time. Therefore, evil desires of youth do not necessarily mean such lusts as would be particularly characteristic of a teenager but would include all the unholy desires that would present themselves to a young servant of the Lord and seek to devert him from the path of purity and righteousness.
Not only is Timothy to flee; he is also to follow. There is the negative and the positive.
He should pursue righteousness. This simply means that his dealings with his fellow men, saved and unsaved, should always be characterized by honesty, justice and fairness.
FAITH – fidelity to both God and man.
Hiebert defines it as “sincere and dynamic confidence in God.”
LOVE – cannot be limited here to love to God alone, but must also include love for the brethren and for the world of lost sinners. Love always considers others; it is essentially unselfish.
PEACE – carries the idea of harmony and compatibility.
These virtues are to be followed with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Just as in verse 21 Timothy was warned to separate himself from wicked men, so here he is taught to associate himself with Christians who are walking in purity before the Lord.
A true believer must not walk the Christian life in isolation, but rather he must take his place as a member in the Body and seek to work with his/her fellow members for the good of the Body.
2:23 In the course of his Christian ministry and walk, Timothy would often be faced with foolish and stupid questions that would have no real benefit connected with them. Such arguments should be refused because they only produce quarrels.
2:24 Although the Lord’s servant must content for the truth, yet he must not be contentious or argumentative. Rather, he must be kind to everyone and approaching men with the purpose of instructing them rather than of winning an argument. He must be patient with those who are slow to understand and even with those who do not seem to accept the truth of God’s Word initially.
2:25 The Lord’s servant must gently instruct, those who oppose him, in the hope that God will help them understand the truth.
That God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth. At first, this might seem to suggest that there is some question as to God’s willingness to grant repentance to these people. That, however, is not the case. The fact of the matter is that God is waiting to forgive them if only they will come to Him in confession and repentance. God does not withhold repentance from anyone, but men are so often unwilling to admit that they are wrong.
2:26 The servant of the Lord should so deal with erring men that they may come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.