An Expositional Sermon
2 Timothy 3:1-9
“Avoid Those Who Oppose the Truth”
Theme/Big Idea: Understand that we live in days of difficulty, turn away from haters of truth
Aim/Appropriation/Application: Find your protection in the fact that God has burned a back fire that is powerful enough to meet the fiery trials His people face in this life.
Introduction: The Annual Fires of Early Iowa Emigrants
(1) Understand; We are in a Settled Fire (2 Timothy 3:1)
A. We are in the “last days”
B. Understand that these are “times of difficulty” or as Peter describes times of “fiery trials”
(2) A Fire Fueled by Disordered Loves (2 Timothy 3:2-4)
A. “Love” in vv. 2 and 4 “love of self” “love of money” “love of pleasure/hedonism” opposed to “love of God”
B. The fruit of sins of the inner man both in heart and mind: pride, arrogance, abusive/blasphemous, treacherous/betrayers, impulsiveness, conceited.
C. The fruit of sins of the outer man in behavior of what a person is against or “anti”: against parents, against grace, against holiness, against natural affection, against peace, against self control, against civility (brutal), against good.
D. The main/operative adjective giving indication to the influence of the Devil (cf. 2 Timothy 2:26) – slanderous “diaboloi” [διάβολοι]
E. Do you see any of this in your life? Do you see any of this coming against you in your life?
(3) A Fire Disguised as Peace; Labor to identify fire in disguise (2 Timothy 3:5, 8-9)
A. First, the love money.
B. Second, unwilling to sacrifice self-love and love of pleasure for the sake of their love of God.
C. Third, trail of wreckage left in their relationships and responsibilities in the past from the fire of their sin.
D. Fourth, avoids growth in godliness, and the mystery of godliness which is the gospel and Christ Himself.
(4) A Fire that Exploits & Spreads through the Immature (2 Timothy 3:6-7)
A. In the church (likely Ephesus) false teachers were preying on women (maybe the same group as the widows under 60 from 1 Timothy 5).
i. This is not a general reference to any and all women.
ii. There is wider application to all of us when we are in circumstances when our “passions” may lead us away from Christ
iii. What areas of our individual lives, and in the life of our church do we have immaturity, or souls who are struggling and may be particularly susceptible targets of error and sin?
(5) Our Hope in the Midst of the Fire; Setting Backfires
A. First, hold fast to God’s Word; this is where Paul has been and is going in a few verses 2 Tim. 3:16-17
B. Second, God has given us His Spirit and His Word to understand this. Don’t be naive about what we face.
C. Third, beg God to crush the weak disordered loves of your heart with His magnificent love displayed in Jesus Christ.
D. Fourth, the fires we face will come to an end at the return of Christ. Let this promise fuel perseverence.
E. Fifth, our hope isn’t in our ability to set back fires, but in the fact that God has burned a circular backfire around us on Calvary. God is a consuming fire, which is greater than the fires of sin and persecution that we face. And He has burned a backfire of protection around His people by consuming His Son as a substitute. So, now we can face the fires of this life with joy that the eternal fire of His just wrath against us for our sin is satisfied. Our protection isn’t in back fires that we create, but in His sovereign protection.