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2 Timothy 2:16-19

Talks for Growing Christians

A Strong Warning About False Teaching and Its Effects

2 Timothy 2:16-19

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Lesson Number 10

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. False teaching can devastate the faith of believers.
  2. False teaching cannot destroy the church of God.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s practice preventive medicine.

Questions

  1. What was the brand of false teaching pointed out by Paul?
  2. Name some of the identifying elements of this false teaching.
  3. How can false teaching devastate the faith of believers?
  4. What is meant by profane and idle babblings?
  5. Can false teaching destroy the church of God?
  6. The true church, which is the whole body of genuine believers, has a seal on it with two inscriptions. What are these two inscriptions?
  7. How does a true worshipper give evidence of his faith?

Answers

  1. Gnosticism
  2. Gnosticism was a mixture of Christian teaching with some of the ideas coming out of the Greek philosophy and other pagan philosophies. Gnostic teaching denied the bodily resurrection because to the Gnostics material was evil; only the spiritual world was good. Furthermore, the body was considered a temporary prison for the soul, so any idea of a bodily resurrection was unthinkable in this philosophy. The resurrection was spiritualized and allegorized.
  3. It can lead to disappointment in the faith, and to disorder, distortion and ungodliness.
  4. Godless talk, worldly and empty chatter. It has to do with talking about sacred, holy things in a worldly way.
  5. No. It can devastate the faith of believers, but it cannot destroy the church of God. In spite of false teachers and false teaching, the solid foundation of Christ stands sure.
  6. The first inscription is from the divine side, “The Lord knows those who are His.” The other inscription is from the human side, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19).
  7. By departing from iniquity. If someone says that he is a Christian, but does not depart from iniquity, it may be an indication that he is only a professing Christian.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Have you been exposed to a Christian heresy? If so, how did you handle it? Did it have an impact on the church?
  2. How can you guard against false teaching?
  3. Are you constantly on guard against profane and idle babblings?

Challenge

  1. Memorize 2 Timothy 2:19, and meditate on it. Become acutely aware of both God’s side and yours. Let this be your guide for assurance and for holy living.

Key Verses

  • “…shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.” 2 Timothy 2:16
  • “…the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.’” 2 Timothy 2:19

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