CORRECTION and NOT QUARRELSOME. II Timothy 2:23-26. #8, Oct 30, 2022.
23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
1. Avoiding futile arguments
a. Paul warns Timothy to avoid (turn away from) vain and ill-informed disputes
a1. Not to be sucked into useless discussions
a2. There is a difference in dialoguing with a seeker versus a scorner
b. Can only witness to those open to hearing truth
a1. The disputer and mocker is not ready to listen to gospel (I Corinthians 14:38)
a2. Argumentation doesn’t lead people to Lord
c. Paul labels disputers as foolish and ignorant
a1. Foolish = the English word “morons” (those who promote folly over wisdom)
a2. Ignorant = literally, peculiar to oneself (English words idiot, idiosyncrasies, idiocy)
d. Often it is hard to avoid the disputer, but you can avoid disputing with the foolish (Proverbs 26:1-12)
e. Several types of foolish and ignorant people:
a1. PRIDEFUL – believes he knows all things and possesses all wisdom
a2. SPECULATOR – one who expresses opinions without facts and makes assertions
a3. TOPPER – tries to demonstrate that he has superior knowledge, experience, and wisdom
a4. DOMINATOR – shouts down opposition and talks over others, not allowing discussion
a5. SCORNER – seeks to mock, tear down, and disparage any witness presented them
f. Disengage from scorners, the prideful, and disputer
2. The gentle witness
a. Believers are not to be quarrelsome or combative
a1. Our witness needs to be gentle, kind, patient, instructive, and humble
a2. We discuss and not argue; teach and not berate; testify and not badger
b. Persuasiveness is not confrontational
a1. We lead people to Christ, not drive them to Christ (testifying, not arguing)
a2. The Spirit, not our arguments bring people to the Lord
c. A combative witness is counterproductive
a1. People are not brow-beaten into the kingdom or shamed into it
a2. An aggressive witness turns more people away than draws them (boldness is not the same as aggression)
3. God grants repentance
a. Timothy was not likely to be aggressive
a1. He was likely to be reluctant
a2. Timothy had to teach those who were more direct than him how to witness winsomely
b. Paul describes unbelievers as the opposition
a1. Until we come to Christ, we oppose God
a2. Some who learn the truth are led by God to repent and come to the truth
c. Some will “come to their senses” (recognize truth that is both rational and reasonable)
a1. The gospel is reasonable and demonstrable
a2. God opens the eyes of men to truth
d. Satan attempts to keep people ignorant of truth
a1. To enslave them by many untenable lies (evolution, Marxism, hedonism, superstition)
a2. The Holy Spirit and not our persuasiveness frees men from Satan and error (John 8:31-36)
e. Our job is to present the truth that corrects errors taught be godless men
a1. The Spirit convicts and draws to Christ
a2. The divine partnership wins souls
Key Verse: Proverbs 26:1-12
1 As snow in summer and rain in harvest,
So honor is not fitting for a fool.
2 Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow,
So a curse without cause shall not alight.
3 A whip for the horse,
A bridle for the donkey,
And a rod for the fool’s back.
4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest you also be like him.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest he be wise in his own eyes.
6 He who sends a message by the hand of a fool
Cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
7 Like the legs of the lame that hang limp
Is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
8 Like one who binds a stone in a sling
Is he who gives honor to a fool.
9 Like a thorn that goes into the hand of a drunkard
Is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10 The great God who formed everything
Gives the fool his hire and the transgressor his wages.
11 As a dog returns to his own vomit,
So a fool repeats his folly.
12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.