Topic: Discipleship Scripture: 2 Timothy 3:1–3:9
Discipleship in the church
2 Timothy 3:1-9
Difficult times come when some appear godly but love themselves and oppose the truth
1) But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty, 3:1.
How does this section connect with what Paul said in 2:22-26? What are the “last days”? (Acts 2:16-17; Hebrews 1:2).
2) For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3:2.
How do verses 2-5 explain what causes the “times of difficulty”? Why does Paul have “lovers of self” at the front of the list of the characteristics of the times of difficulty? What does Paul mean by “lovers of self”? What are ways people are lovers of self?
Why does Paul list “lovers of money” next on the list of vices? “Abusive” means “abusive speech.” Talk about ways the other vices listed in this verse are manifested.
3) heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 3:3-4.
“Heartless” means “without natural affection” and often relates to family love. “Unappeasable” means “irreconcilable.” Comment on ways we see these vices occurring. What is the significance of bracketing this vice list with between “lovers of self” and “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God”?
4) having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people, 3:5.
What does it mean for the truth opponents to have the outward form of godliness but denying its power? Compare Titus 1:16. Timothy is to avoid them, and not give them access to the church.
5) For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 3:6.
Describe these truth opponents to be avoided. “Weak” means “foolish, frivolous, unstable.” Why are the women they target vulnerable?
6) always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth, 3:7.
Why are people who are “weak” and loaded with sins always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth? Why is it vital to have worldview grounded in God’s word?
7) Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith, 3:8.
Explain Paul’s illustration of the truth opponents. (The Egyptian magicians are not named in scripture, but they show up in Exodus 7-9.) Why are those who oppose the truth necessarily corrupted in mind?
8) But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men, 3:9.
Why is Paul sure their foolish rejection of God’s truth will be obvious to all and that they won’t make more progress? (See John 10:1-5, 14, 27-29, for example).