Today we reach a new chapter in 2 Timothy, chapter three. And the first half is a difficult text to find direct relevance for us. Because Paul is continuing his use of the false teachers as a negative example to avoid, launching into a scathing attack. Have a read of it:
The next major section of 2 Timothy deals with faithful teaching. (After all, we’ve just spent the first half of the chapter talking about unfaithful teachers.) Here, Paul reMinds Timothy of his Model in teaching, so that Timothy can iMitate it. (See the introductory post if you’re wondering why the weird capital Ms.)
Teach by example2 Timothy 3:10-13 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
Yesterday, we looked at how to be a faithful teacher, from the example Paul passed down to Timothy. We saw that faithful teachers teach by example; and that faithful teachers teach confidence in the truth.
Teach to impact behaviour
Today, we see that faithful teachers teach to impact behaviour. To change the way people live. Just like our teaching is worthless if we ourselves don’t live it – it’s also worthless if our hearers don’t live it. We teach behaviour, not mere content. Let’s start by looking at verses 15-17: