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A Passion Daily Journey Through 2 Timothy

2 Timothy 3:6-9 // Round 13 // Ben Stuart

Ben Stuart
8 min

Alright, we’re in round 13 of 20 days in 2 Timothy and I got to be real with you. This is a weird one, folks. So let’s just jump into it. 2 Timothy chapter three, beginning in verse six. Paul says, for among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women burdened with sins and led astray by various passions. Always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposes Moses, so these men also oppose the truth. Men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far for their folly will be plain to all as was that of those two. 

It’s interesting, a book came out years ago called 10 Percent Happier by Dan Harris. Dan Harris worked in the news media and had a mental breakdown and began to search out, why did my mind break? Why did I freak out online? And he started to investigate all kinds of spiritualities. And he knew something was wrong with his life, and so he was going to spiritual teachers. And he was basically going to ones that were popular. And as he would study them as a researcher and a journalist, he realized a lot of them are winsome, tend to have sort of these displays of sort of like a spiritual prowess. He said, but the more I get to know them, their logic doesn’t make sense. And at the end of it all, they’re not really helping people. And you see in his book, his struggle with with charlatans until finally, he just kind of backs up and does some simple meditation. And my hope is he’ll move even further into that to the person of Jesus. But the idea is there’s going to be people that have an external form of godliness but deny its power. That’s what Paul warned Timothy about. 

There’s going to be people who present spirituality out there in the world, but it’s not anchored to truth. And you want to avoid that. You want to get away from that. 

And so, that’s what he’s talking about here. And he’s talking about these guys. And he says they’ll creep into households and capture weak women. What is that about and why say that about women? Well, again, Paul isn’t degrading women. The bad guys here are men. So it’s possible for men and women to go astray. So this isn’t a shot at women, it’s a shot at men and women who will be deceived. 

I think specifically here, Paul mentioned in his first letter to Timothy, 1 Timothy, that there were teachers in Ephesus where Timothy is located, who were going to homes while the husband’s gone and trying to convince these women of some of these spiritual ideas and so it’s not so much that women are uniquely gullible, it’s that these guys were manipulating these people at home. But what was making them manipulated and making them manipulators? I want you to notice. It says the people that they are manipulating are burdened with sin and led astray by various passions. 

In my experience, what has opened people up to a lot of spiritualities that are sort of intriguing but never actually help them advance. Often it’s people who don’t feel good about their life, because if they’re honest, they’re burdened by some sin. They’ve given purchase in their life, or they’re led astray by various passions. They’ve been locked up and in some besetting sin in their life. And rather than getting some accountability from some friends that love them, fleeing youthful passion, pursuing righteousness, love, and peace. Rather than that, they sort of look for a spiritual cure because they don’t feel good about their own integrity. 

And so Paul warns him here, hey, the people that are going to be susceptible to bad teaching are the people who have some real compromised morality. 

It’s good to consider in your life. Where am I entertaining sin? Because Sin isn’t content to just be a pet in my house. It is an animal that will consume me. So if you have some pet sins, you be careful. The burdens of these women’s sins are opening them up to some bad thinking. And part of this bad thinking being presented to them is always learning, kind of reading mystical documents, but never able to arrive at the knowledge of the truth. That’s the problem. Rather than focusing their mind on what’s true about who God is and what he’s doing in the world, they’re sort of locked up in some vague spiritualism that never really helps them advance in their maturity as believers. 

And then here in verse eight, Paul compares these false teaching guys to Jannes and Jambres. You remember those guys. They opposed Moses. They were the magicians in Pharaoh’s court. They looked magic, and they could do some things Moses could do. Moses staff becomes a snake? Their staffs become snakes. And so there’s people that they will have external presentations of spiritual power at their retreats and things like that. But, he says their problem is they oppose the truth. If you look at how the believer’s meant to live, it is the scripture. And it is the spirit of God. The spirit of God is in me. And that same spirit of God we’ll find out later, breathed out these words. So if there’s ever a spirituality that’s not anchored to truth, you be careful. And here these guys have a picture of spirituality, but they’ve lost the tether of the word of God. And so it’s corrupted their mind and they’re disqualified regarding the faith. They have wandered away. 

But then, he says in verse nine to Timothy, and it’s a way of comfort. Don’t get too freaked out, Timothy. As you see people teaching that way. He they won’t get far for their fallen will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. These two magicians in the Old Testament, they were following Moses miracle to miracle. But that fakery can’t exist derivatively. It will eventually fail. It can’t keep up. And it’s the same with so many cults that have risen and fallen throughout history. People that take aspects of the scripture and distort them to come up with some unique presentation. They tend to not last long. They tend to come apart. It’s hard to fake spirituality over time. 

But, if you’re walking with Christ, what happens? He sanctifies you over time. As you endure, he’s making you more and more like him. How does he do it? Through the basics Paul has been offering Timothy. Grip the word of God, along with the community of God, by the power of the Spirit of God, and be more and more formed in his image as you stay anchored to his truth. And so let me tell you, friend. You want the power of a spiritual life. Praying for God to do amazing things in your midst. But you be careful that spirituality is never separated from the word of truth. That’s dangerous. And anybody who wants to present you something that’s novel, spiritually, you just check it by this word because Paul will warn Timothy, there’s going to be teachers out there, and they want to slowly pull up people’s anchor from the truth and drift them away into myths. At the end of the day, it won’t help them advance. And we made for better things. 

So, man, I challenge you again. Stay anchored in the word of truth. If you’re with us so far here, I’m so proud of you for staying locked into this. I hope you’ll get involved with the believing community where you’ll continue to study the word of God together so that you can be strongly anchored in the truth and able to hold it out to a world that desperately needs it. And we’ll be here cheering you on. So ask what that might look like in your life, of how to get rid of some besetting sins that are starting to mess with your vision of who God is in your life, and then talk to him a bit about what it’s like to be someone who dwells deeply in the truth, to be anchored deeply in it so you can see the power of God working in your life with endurance. Love you guys. Praying for you. See you next time.

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