2 Timothy 3:10-17 (NIV2011)
10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 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. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Having shown what the character of the apostate teacher is, Paul then tells Timothy how to combat them. Paul cites three things that Timothy needs to maintain in his life to insure faithfulness to sound teaching. The three things are:
- Follow the example of faithful people. (Verses 10-14)
- Remember what you have learned and hold fast to those truths. (Verse 15)
- Make the scripture part of your life and use it’s truth to dictate your beliefs. (Verses 16-17)
Timothy was very familiar with Paul so he is reminded of the type of life that every Christian should expect if they are living in harmony with God. It is a life filled with all kinds of joy as well as suffering. Anyone who desires to follow God will suffer persecution. The world is no friend to the godly and will try to silence them. Persecution is a mark of a true believer and godly man, a sign of the truth they hold. The apostate does not suffer persecution, but rather receives rewards and blessings from the world. It is by their fruit that you will know if they speak the truth or a lie.
The true child of God starts with the truth of the Gospel. Every Christian is brought to faith by the Scripture.
1 Peter 1:23 (NIV2011)
23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
It is the acceptance of the truth in the Scripture that every believer starts with. We are to continue in that word of truth. Timothy had a mother and grandmother who raised him in the truth of scripture. Timothy had a foundation from his youth that he could rely on. Not everyone has faithful parents, but they should have those who led them to the truth and can disciple them to maturity. Paul tells Timothy to hold fast to those basic truths through which he came to faith in Christ. Surround yourselves with those who are trustworthy and can impart further revelation. In Timothy’s case that is Paul. There are many Godly men in the world today that we can trust with the truth and who will not willingly deceive us.
The final way that we can avoid apostate teaching is to understand the scripture and continue in it, and only in it. The Bible is profitable for every decision we make, and every belief we hold. If anything is contrary to what it teaches then it is apostasy. If you do not know what the Scripture say’s then you will not be able to recognize the lie. There are many lie’s and perversions of scripture out there, and the only defense we have in recognizing them is to know the Scripture so well that a lie becomes instantly recognizable for what it is. We measure every belief, thought, and action against the only truth available to anyone.