2 Timothy 3


But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also.

1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.

Paul continues on the theme of false teaching by turning to an attack on the false teachers themselves, noting their impact upon the church at Ephesus, but concluding with the affirmation that they will not succeed in the end. The era inaugurated by Christ’s First Advent and completed by His second.

Cross References: 1 Timothy 4:1

2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,

Cross References: Philemon 2:21; Luke 16:14; 1 Timothy 3:3; 6:10; Romans 1:30; 2 Peter 2:10-12; Romans 1:30; Luke 6:35; 1 Timothy 1:9

3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,

Cross References: Romans 1:31; 1 Timothy 3:11; Titus 1:8

4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

Cross References: Acts 7:52; 19:36; 1 Timothy 3:6; Philemon 3:19

5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

What makes the false teachers so dangerous is that they appear to be Christians.

Cross References: 1 Timothy 4:7; 5:8; Matthew 7:15; 2 Thessalonians 3:6

6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses,

Paul’s point is not that all women are this way, but that some have been especially vulnerable to deception. The false teachers at Ephesus had been especially successful in deceiving women.

Cross References: Jude 1:4; 1 Timothy 5:6; Titus 3:3

7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Cross References: 2 Timothy 2:25

8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith.

In Jewish tradition, these names were given to two Egyptian magicians who opposed Moses before Pharaoh.

Cross References: Exodus 7:11; Acts 13:8; 1 Timothy 6:5

9 But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’ and Jambres’ folly was also.

Cross References: Luke 6:11; Exodus 7:11-12; 8:18; 9:11

10 Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance,

With the problem of the false teachers fully in view, Paul once more turns to exhorting Timothy to faithfulness, first in terms of the example which Paul has set, and then as obedience to Scripture. Once again Paul appeals to his own life as an example for Timothy.

Cross References: Philemon 2:20, 22; 1 Timothy 4:6; 6:11

11 persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me!

Three cities in the Roman province of Galatia where Paul preached the gospel on his first missionary journey. Against significant opposition, Paul succeeded in establishing a church in each city. Paul mentions these cities, including Timothy’s home of Lystra, in order to appeal to the roots of Timothy’s faith.

Cross References: 2 Corinthians 12:10; 1:5, 7; Acts 13:14, 45, 50; 14:1-7, 19; 14:8-20; 2 Corinthians 11:23-27; Romans 15:31

12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

The New Testament teaches that Christians should expect persecution.

Cross References: John 15:20; Acts 14:22; 2 Corinthians 4:9

13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Cross References: 2 Timothy 2:16; Titus 3:3

14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,

A reference to Timothy’s mother and grandmother; as well as, to Paul himself.

Cross References: 2 Timothy 1:13; Titus 1:9

15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

According to custom, the Jewish parent was to begin instructing a child in the law when the child reached five years of age. The false teachers have been misinterpreting the Old Testament. Timothy needs to remember the proper instruction he received at the hands of his mother and grandmother. The sacred writings here are the books of the Old Testament. The New Testament did not yet exist as a collection. Indeed, some of the New Testament books had probably not yet been written. The Old Testament, interpreted properly, leads one to understand the central role of Jesus Christ in God’s overall plan for His Creation.

Cross References: 2 Timothy 1:5; John 5:47; Romans 2:27; Psalm 119:98; 1 Corinthians 1:21; 2 Timothy 1:1

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

This is one of the most important expressions in the New Testament of the doctrine of the divine inspiration of Scripture. The Bible has been breathed out by the Spirit of God. God is the source and ultimate Author of Scripture. Though written by human authors, Scripture nevertheless has the full weight of His authority.

Cross References: Romans 4:23; 15:4; 2 Peter 1:20

17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Cross References: 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:21; Hebrews 13:21