In the second letter to Timothy, Paul exhorts Timothy to remain faithful in his faith like his mother Eunice, and his grandmother Lois. (1:5) Timothy needs to remain faithful to the word so he is able to with stand against the false teachers. The power to overcome these false teachers comes from God. Paul also says how this will be a fight. He will have to guard the treasure that has been entrusted to him. (1:14)
In Chapter two, Paul compares the Christian life as an athlete competing for a prize, a hard-working farmer getting his share of the crops, and a soldier suffering hardship. Paul tells Timothy to be strong. He should work hard studying so he is able to properly handle the Word of Truth. It is going to take some effort or energy to be an approved workman that is not ashamed. (2:15) The reason Paul is urging Timothy to be diligent in his studies is because if Timothy can handle the Word of God properly, he can handle and discern when false teachers come.
Continuing in chapter Three, Paul tells Timothy that evil and difficult times will increase, especially for the ones who desire to live godly. (3:12) This is all the more reason to diligently study the Word, because it is bad now, but it will get worse. False teachers will continue to slip into the church to teach their heresies. This makes it a great place for the insertion for the inspiration of the Bible. If one diligently studies the Bible, he will know what the bible says. He will be able to discern what he hears. Being familiar with the Bible, one would be able to properly teach, reprove, correct, and or train others in righteousness. This is done so each man can be adequately equipped to discern what is taught to them and to be able to stand up to false teachers when they come.
It is great that one is diligently working hard studying the Bible, but Paul, in Chapter four, takes it one step further. Considering the situation, Paul emphatically charges Timothy to not only to be ready to preach the Word, but to boldly preach it. “The preacher is not to air his own opinions but to proclaim God’s eternal, authoritative Word of truth…The minister has to be on duty constantly, ready for any emergency. ‘In season and out of season’”(1) Preach the Word whether this means by correcting someone who is wayward or rebuking false teachers, or exhorting the discouraged. Again the time is coming when people will not want to hear the Word and false teachers will also come, but despite this, Timothy is to do the work of the evangelist and preach the Word anyway.
In Paul and Timothy’s day, false teachers were very active propagating their distorted beliefs of God. Today is no different. We must constantly study the Bible, so we become so familiar with the truth, that when a lie comes, we can instantly spot it, defend it with truth, and rescue the spiritual immature from it.
1. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 11, General Editor Gaebelein, Frank E. (Grand Rapids: Zonderman, 1978), 411.