Page 4 - July 2018 - Truth & Tidings
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(Through an error on my part, the pub-  epistle makes very clear, an alarming range
        lication of this series was interrupted. The   of opposition would be arrayed against
        last related article is in the February, 2018   the truth and those who hold it. But the
        issue – Editor)                      man of God does not face this opposition
            n previous articles in this series we   without a weapon, and in chapter 3, Paul
            have thought about the way in which   reminds Timothy of the great resources he
        Ithe pastoral epistles present the won-  had personally enjoyed – and which are
        der of Divine revelation. We have consid-  still available to men and women of God
        ered the revelation of a Divine Person in 1   to the present day.
        Timothy, of a Divine Promise in Titus, and   Paul begins 3:14 with one of the strong
        of a Divine Purpose in 2 Timothy. As we   adversatives that are such a significant
        have seen, each of these passages presents   feature of the pastoral epistles. Here, as
        tremendous truth about the ways in which   elsewhere, the emphatic “but … thou” calls
        God has made Himself known. Each is an   Timothy to stand in total contrast to the
        ample prompt to wonder and to worship.   “evil men and seducers” whose deceit and
        But it is possible these passages might   deception will continue in a downward
        also move us to wistfulness. After all, we   spiral of darkness. In doing so, Timothy is
        were not present when Christ was seen of   to be guided by two things. First of all, he is
        angels. We did not hear the promise of God   to continue “in the things which thou hast
        articulated in the preaching of the apostle,   learned and hast been assured of, knowing
        nor listen with growing excitement as the   of whom thou hast learned them.” These
        searchlight of revelation brought life and   “things” are the teachings of the apostle,
        immortality to blazing, vivid light. God   received from Paul himself, validated by
        has spoken – of that there is no doubt. But   the character of his life and the reality of
        has He spoken to us, or must we make do   his sufferings, and fully known by Timo-
        with the echoes: second-hand accounts,   thy (v10). In teaching Timothy, Paul was
        hand-me-down narratives, rather than the   continuing what others had started, for
        immediate reality of Divine revelation?  “from a child [he had] known the Holy
          Paul addresses this question in 2 Timo-  Scriptures, which are able to make thee
        thy. In this, his final epistle, the apostle is   wise unto salvation through faith which is
        occupied with the theme of succession;   in Christ Jesus.” The term hiera grammata,
        with the preservation of truth and the   “holy writings” is a technical designa-
        maintenance of testimony in the next   tion for all or part of the OT Scriptures.
        generation, and the one after that, and   Paul is reminding Timothy of his time at
        in all the generations that would follow   Lois and Eunice’s knee, when his childish
        throughout the Church age. The successful   fingers first traced the letters of the sacred
        accomplishment of this succession would   Scriptures.
        be neither automatic nor easy, for, as the   Paul then does a most striking thing.

        196 TRUTH kTidings   July  2018
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