2 Timothy 2:22 ESV
“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to flee sinful passions. They are to no longer be part of our lives. For, Jesus Christ died to put sin to death in our lives so that we would no longer be slaves to sin but so we would now be slaves to God and to his righteousness.
We are not supposed to live any longer like we did before we believed in Jesus. We are not to engage in all manner of evil and wickedness, and we are not to be sexually immoral or adulterous or idolatrous. And we are not to be liars but truth tellers.
For, when we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith in him, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Now we walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh.
And instead of pursuing what is of the flesh, we now are to pursue righteousness (what is right in the eyes of God), faith (divine persuasion as to God’s holiness and righteousness), love (to prefer what God prefers), and peace (with God). And we are to have pure (unadulterated) hearts.
[Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21]
2 Timothy 2:23-25 ESV
“Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.”
If you are on any kind of discussion site or on social media or in the blogging world, where people share their beliefs and their thoughts about various subjects, you are likely to run across political discussions where people argue with each other regarding the political right vs. the political left.
Christians should not engage in such discussions, for they are fruitless, and they most always end up in fights and in the participants insulting one another. For one, Jesus is our commanding officer, and we are not to get involved in civilian affairs. And fighting over who is right, the left or the right, accomplishes nothing.
In addition to this, Christians end up fighting with each other, usually publicly, and they end up insulting each other, and this is not how Christians should treat anyone, let alone one another. Therefore, they are a poor witness for Jesus Christ, and they are not leading anyone to Jesus Christ by their fighting and quarreling, either.
Also, what are we called to do as Christians? What are we to be passionate about? And what message are we to be spreading throughout the world? It isn’t a political one, I guarantee you. We all are to be passionate about sharing the full gospel of Jesus Christ with the world around us.
So, what if we open up a discussion which is not political in nature, but our responders turn it into a political discussion, and they begin to argue and fight with one another and to insult one another as they each blame the right or the left for the problems in the world? What should be our response?
Well, first off, this Scripture says we are to have nothing to do with such discussions. So, if the discussion is on a site over which we have some say as to what is posted or not posted, then we are responsible to curb that discussion so that it does not continue on our watch.
But we shouldn’t get nasty or hateful in how we handle this. Yet, that doesn’t mean we are weak and say nothing and let things get out of hand, either. We must speak the truth in love, but it must be in love. And gentleness means controlled strength, not weakness.
For kindness is also not weakness, and it is not letting things get out of hand and allowing others to insult one another and to be unkind to one another just because we are trying to not upset anyone. Kindness never lies, but kindness always tells the truth, but the truth in love.
And if we are insulted, we do not insult back. We don’t trade “tit for tat.” But this doesn’t mean we don’t set reasonable boundaries for what we will allow or not allow on something for which we have responsibility for the content. For, God sets boundaries for us to follow, and we should thus follow them.
And so we focus our attention on sharing the word of God with others and on leading others to the truth of the Scriptures, and we have nothing to do with fruitless discussions which end in heated arguments and people insulting one another, for that accomplishes nothing good, but only bad.
He’ll Grant Them Repentance
2 Timothy 2:25-26 ESV
“God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”
Our faith to believe in Jesus Christ originated with Christ and is perfected by Christ and is a gift to us from God. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God first draws us to Christ, and he persuades us to turn our lives over to Jesus Christ and to follow him in obedience to his ways.
Thus, even repentance is granted (gifted) to us by God because repentance and obedience and submission to Christ as Lord are all part of believing faith in Jesus Christ. And repentance is turning away from our sinful lifestyles and turning to the Lord to follow him in surrender and in obedience to him.
But we must apply these gifts of faith and repentance to our lives, by faith, and in the power and working of God’s Spirit in our lives. And we must walk (in conduct) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, by the Spirit, and we must be living for the Lord, doing what he commands.
So, we don’t get involved in foolish arguments where we end up destroying our faith and witness for Jesus Christ. We keep our focus on Jesus Christ and on his word and on getting his word out to the people of the world so that they can believe in Jesus and live for him, too.
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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