Living an Approved Life
2 Timothy 2:14-26
Pastor Taylor Mendoza
Overview: After encouraging Timothy to share in suffering as a good soldier, athlete, and farmer in God’s kingdom, Paul now moves to contrast Timothy with the power group in the church. These false teachers have not only challenged Timothy’s leadership but also his approval before God and the congregation. Timothy must remain faithful even in the middle of hostility from those in the church who ultimately have a worthless ministry. Paul exhorts Timothy not to be drawn into sinful desire and needless controversy and counsels him on how to handle his opponents.
01. An approved life turns away from bad theology and sets its mind on good theology.
02. An approved life flees ungodly desires and sets its heart on godliness.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. What are some of the ways that you pursue approval? From others? For yourself? From God?
2. Which motivation stood out to you the most? (1) The consequences of bad theology are deadly to others, and good theology prepares you for every good work; (2) Good theology reminds us of the truth that “I know my God, and he knows me.”
3. What do you think of the phrase, “Everyone is a theologian”
4. How are you currently growing in your pursuit of godliness?
5. Out of the self-examination questions below, which ones convict, challenge, or even encourage you?
a. Are you generally righteous, upright, honest, and a person of integrity, or are you manipulative and quick to show favoritism?
b. Do you find yourself growing in faith, that is, depending upon Christ in all areas of your life, or do you find yourself increasingly more independent, autonomous, and expressive about your freedom?
c. Are you characterized as someone who is loving, always ready to sacrifice your wants and desires for the sake of another, or are you a selfish person, lacking in acts of service, who loves your friends but doesn’t think about others outside of your group?
d. Are you a peaceful person, quiet in demeanor, patient in suffering, or are you loud, the first one to speak, combative, never concerned about others, unable to overlook minor offenses, and never able to let anything go?
e. Are you pure in heart, are you marked by an inward undivided devotion to the Lord, unstained by the lusts of this world, or is your heart full of envy, greed, anger, lust, and selfish gain?
f. Are you kind, nurturing to others, gentle with your opponents, or are you harsh, tone deaf, closed off, and always the first person to complain on social media through posts or retweets?
6. Which of these two motivations stood out to you? (1) Becoming godly is the most reasonable thing you can do because you get rid of that which is dishonorable and will be useful to God and others; (2) Godliness reminds us of the truth that “God’s sovereignty always works alongside godly agents.”
For Theology – Everyone is a Theologian: An Introduction to Systematic Theology by R. C. Sproul (Reformation Trust, 2019)
For Godliness – The Godly Man’s Picture by Thomas Watson (Puritan Paperbacks, Banner of Truth, 1992)