Nepaug Bible Church -
Men's Leadership Support Group Meeting notes -

Part XI: Functioning Effectively As A Leader Under Pressure - 2 Timothy
D. Staying Holy As A Leader Under Fire
3. Staying Orthodox In Belief Over Deceptive Apostates
(2 Timothy 3:6-17)
  1. Introduction
    1. Deception abounds today, and with it comes a great tendency even for Christians to fudge on their beliefs to their harm! John H. Armstrong's book, The Coming Evangelical Crisis in which 14 key evangelical leaders detailed this problem, emphasizes how real and all-encompasing this challenge is for us today!
    2. Paul wrote to Timothy about HOW to stay upright in belief (orthodox) over the influence of deceptive, spiritually dangerous apostates in 2 Timothy 3:6-17, and we view his words for our good (as follows):
  2. Staying Orthodox In Belief Over Deceptive Apostates, 2 Timothy 3:6-17.
    1. After Paul had warned about the arrival of dangerously evil people at the end of our era (2 Timothy 3:1-5), he gave a description of what such men would DO so we might identify them by their activity: (3:6-8)
      1. Dangerously evil people would initially bypass local church leaders who might impede their efforts to worm their ways into homes and gain a following from weak-willed, sinful, lustful women, 2 Tim. 3:6.
      2. Such women would typically always learn but never be able to acknowledge the Bible's truth, 3:7 NIV.
      3. Once they had a following, such evil men would oppose godly church leaders like Pharaoh's magicians did Moses, seeking to undermine their credibility so as to control their naive followers, 2 Timothy 3:8a.
      4. Such dangerously evil people would be men of corrupt minds who fail the truth, 2 Timothy 3:8b,c.
    2. Having described what such evil men would do in ministry, Paul wrote on the right response to their evil:
      1. Timothy was not to attack such men directly, but let their folly backfire, exposing their character, 3:9.
      2. Timothy was not be intimidated by such dangerously evil men if they directly confronted him:
        1. Recalling the life of Paul (3:10), Timothy was to recall how Paul once had a man try to pervert his words, but that Paul had brushed off his feet against his foes the Spirit's power, Acts 13:8-12.
        2. Timothy was to recall how Paul had faced envy and abusive talk against his teaching, Acts 13:45, but how Paul had been bold in the Holy Spirit's power to separate from the godless, Acts 13:46.
        3. Timothy was to recall how Paul had seen foes poison the minds of his disciples against him, but that Paul had stayed long there letting God do miracles in his life to counter the subversion, Acts 14:2-3.
        4. Timothy was to recall how a plot had arisen to stone Paul to death, Acts 14:5, and that it had been carried out in Acts 14:19, but that Paul had tried to flee it in Acts 14:6 and then was raised from the dead by God's power to continue his ministry regardless of his foes' opposition, Acts 14:20-27.
      3. Timothy was to realize that he would suffer for righteousness' sake from such evil men, and that they would only go from bad to worse, so that he was to brace himself for their assault against him, 3:12-13.
      4. Finally, Timothy was to protect his own mind from deceptive error promoted by these men as follows:
        1. Timothy was to continue in what he had learned, realizing God had let him learn what truths he had learned no matter what the attacking opponents said to the contrary, 2 Timothy 3:14a.
        2. Timothy was to heed what God had already led him to become convinced was the truth, 3:14b.
        3. Timothy was to recall the credibility of the lives of the men who had taught him these truths to stay convinced they were right in the face of the opposing views of evil apostates, 2 Timothy 3:14c.
        4. Timothy was to stick with Scripture as his ultimate, sufficient source of insight for all godly living and service in the face of contradictions to Scripture by dangerously apostate foes, 2 Tim. 3:15-17.
Lesson and Application: We stay orthodox in belief over dangerously evil men by (1) identifying them by their efforts to (a) gain followers among the weak apart from godly leaders, (b) only to oppose these leaders when they get a foothold by undermining the credibility of the godly. (2) In response, godly leaders are not to attack such opponents, but give time to let their own evil works be discerned by others in due time to be evil. (3) If directly opposed by such men, (a) the godly must not be intimidated, but stand firm in their life and work assigned to them by God in His power; (b) they must stick to what they had learned (c) and had become convinced was God's truth (d) from what other proven godly men had taught, (e) and to use Scripture as their final authority in life and service throughout the Church era!