2 Timothy 3
CONTEXT: The last letter was written by Paul while awaiting execution in Rome. He writes to encourage Timothy who is leading the church at Ephesus. John Gill comments on the Chapter as follows: In this chapter, the apostle delivers out a prophecy of the last days, showing how perilous the times will be, describing the persons that will live in them, and what will be their end; and in opposition to these men, proposes himself an example in doctrine and sufferings; and encourages Timothy to persevere, and highly commends the sacred writings. The prophecy begins 2Ti 3:1 the description it gives of hypocrites, formal professors, and false teachers, that should rise up in the last days, and perilous times spoken of, is in 2Ti 3:2-7. And these are compared to the magicians of Egypt for the corruption of their minds, the badness of their principles, and their opposition to truth, and for their exit, and the issue of things; they will be stopped in their progress, and their folly exposed, 2Ti 3:8,9 and as the reverse of these men, the apostle gives an account of his own doctrine, conversation, and sufferings; which he proposes to Timothy for imitation, as being well known to him, and as also the common state of all godly persons in this life, being a suffering one, 2Ti 3:10-12 nor can it be expected that it should be otherwise, since false teachers, who are wicked and deceitful men, grow worse and worse, 2Ti 3:13. And then the apostle exhorts Timothy to abide by, and continue in the doctrines of the Gospel, from the assurance he had of the truth of them, from the consideration of his having learned them of the apostle, and especially from their agreement with the Holy Scriptures, which he had knowledge of from a child, 2Ti 3:14,15 which Scriptures are commended, partly from the useful effect of them, making men wise unto salvation; and chiefly from the author of them, being by the inspiration of God; and also from the profitableness of them, both for doctrine and manners, and especially to furnish a Gospel minister for the work he is called unto, 2Ti 3:15-17.
I don’t usually do this but today I am going to look at just one word in our main text above. It is pretty hard to miss, EQUIPPED! As I read this in my email it struck me how much time and effort folks will spend getting “Equipped” except when it comes to God. Think about this for a minute when was the last time you:
Bought a car without the right Options (equipment)
Bought a house without all the right features (equipment)
Bought a cell phone without all the latest features (equipment)
Packed your child off for school without all the right supplies (equipment)
You are getting the idea here. We insist on the very best in our personal lives yet often neglect the priority of our Spiritual life.
The original Greek word here is ἐξηρτιομένος, transliterated as exartizo = ex-ar-tid’-zo. Used only one other place in the Bible Acts 21:5, it can denote completeness or accomplishment, also as in our text to provide for that accomplishment or completeness. The King James version renders it thoroughly furnished. I rather like that idea it leaves no doubt that we can be completely ready in our daily walk with Christ.
Thoroughly furnished unto all good works; and be prepared to every work which is good, acceptable and well-pleasing unto God, whether it be a work of piety, or justice and charity. The Scripture, as to all, is so full a direction, that Christians need not go down to the Philistines to whet their tools, nor be beholden to unwritten traditions, or to the writings of pagan philosophers, for directions what to do, how to worship God, or manage any part of their conversation, either as to their general calling, or as to their particular relations.
Like when Paul was writing Timothy I hope this is an encouragement to many readers. The Apostle Peter concurred with Paul when he wrote 2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to[a] his own glory and excellence,[b] Paul also reminds Timothy that we cannot sit on our laurels we must be on guard for those who oppose the Gospel, who pervert the Gospel and constantly training in righteousness.