2 Timothy 3
In a Nutshell: Christians must not be alarmed or discouraged by the breakdown of society. God still reigns. Even so, we must steel ourselves against the lure of sin and pessimism, proclaiming and living the nature and purposes of God. In turbulent and stressful times, it becomes easy to lose heart, to feel weary and hopeless. Paul, wanting Timothy to refocus, offered Timothy a reflection on his own life of godliness in the midst of persecution. Paul referred to Timothy’s heritage and reminded him of the unshakable source of truth for life and holiness—the Scriptures.
Pray: Pray that the Spirit will guide and empower your discussion today. Ask Him to speak clearly to your group.
Opening Group Discussion Questions: As you reflect on the sermon this week, how did the Holy Spirit speak to your heart? Was there a verse/passage that stood out to you? Share why the verse or passage struck you.
Terry opened with 1 Peter 4:12-14. Is this a real possibility for people in Wichita Kansas to suffer like this? What do we do with this passage? How does this fit with our passage for today?
Read and discuss vv. 1-5
- Terry described verses 1-5 as a “head’s up” for Timothy. He’s telling Tim that his life and ministry will take place in some terrible times and around some terrible people. Paul is likely telling Timothy that what seems crazy and abnormal is “normal” for these times. How does this still apply to us today?
- When discussing these passages, Terry said Timothy was “Not to check out, hideout, or flake out, but to fully engage and bring transformational change during times that will often be terrible, and around some people who are up to no good.” This applies to us too. Discuss the ways it applies to you.
- Terry said, “See this as good intel. To fight and function effectively, you need to know what is true and real around you.” Is this helpful intel for you?
- What can we do when we are wary of people who exhibit these qualities yet remain hopeful and encouraged by Paul’s words?
Read and Discuss vv. 6-9
- Verses 6-9 illustrate how toxic people can gain leadership in people’s lives. (Note: Paul is not saying women are gullible, he’s going after men who are trying to control influence over women) They are on the offensive to win others over to their way of life. They are destroying lives and homes in the process. How are we to respond to people like this? What practical guidance does Paul give?
- Read verses 8-9. Who were Jannes and Jambres? Where was Paul’s confidence? (Think of Lt Col. Moore—Paul is saying here, “Nah Tim, we are going to win this fight.”)
Read and Discuss vv. 10-16
- Before going to these verses Terry asked, “How can we glance at the problem, but gaze at the resources?”
There are three encouragements/resources for Timothy in this passage:
- 1. The Power of Example—look at my example—the facts of my life and the implications for your own life.
- 2. The Power of Conviction—Stay faithful to what you know to be true about the gospel—live decided, not deciding, continue in what you have become convinced of.
- 3. The Power of Truth—you have all you need for your life and work in God’s word. What is it’s value/impact?
Discuss these three points and their application to your own life.
- Note: Think about how you’ve seen these points play out in your own life and the life of others.
APPLICATION: Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted in some way. We must have a “’Nothing held back’ commitment to Christ.” Be faithful.
*How has the Holy Spirit spoken to your heart today? What personal implications can you make from today’s discussion? Ask yourself, “What do I need God to do in me or through me due to today’s discussion?”