And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
II Tim 2:24-26
I hope you will consider a few things our Apostle Paul has to say here in his correspondence to Timothy. In these verses Paul instructs teachers to be gentle, patient, meek, and not apt to strive. This is excellent advice. There is a balance to shoot for in instructing others. The balance is to speak the truth “in love.” The balance is to be bold in our stand and in the doctrine we are held accountable to teach by our Apostle and thus Jesus our Savior but yet loving. What I really want you to consider in these verses is the description Paul gives to those Timothy will be teaching. Paul’s description is as pertinent today as it was the day it was penned. Paul tells Timothy that he will be teaching those that “oppose themselves.” I’m sure you have heard the phrase “We are our own worst enemy” Pay close attention to the context of these people that oppose themselves. They are in the snare of the Devil who takes them captive at will. I would challenge you to think about this warning and admonition by Paul. Those that oppose themselves need what Timothy has. Timothy has learned and is supposed to share what Paul taught him. Timothy is also to teach other men this Pauline doctrine so it can be handed down. Churches today are devoid of Paul’s doctrine. Christians today live day by day within the confounds of their “church language.” They utter the slogan phrases as they were taught Sunday after Sunday ignoring the plain and clear divisions scripture teachers us. This church language we all learned and still struggle to clear from our heads is exactly what causes us to oppose ourselves. The tradition we learned from preaching, hymns and praise and worship songs specifically works against a proper understanding of scripture. Satan has used the church itself to hinder Christians at every step, opposing themselves daily through bad doctrine. I implore you to pay more attention to this doctrine that will keep you from being taken by Satan “at his will.” By spending so little time in Paul’s books, Christians are setting themselves up for failure on a daily basis and literally allowing Satan to mislead them. A smart animal can detect where the trapper has been by noticing the scent left behind, the leaves disturbed in and unnatural way, or things that don’t appear to be normal. A Christian grounded and settled in Paul’s doctrine for today can be prepared for Satan’s snares by the knowledge gained by applying scripture as scripture itself instructs us. According to Paul it is possible for them to “recover themselves.” The requirements are to change your mind about what the truth is. Here are the two choices of truth you have: scripture alone, or scripture as taught through man’s agenda. There is a huge difference between these two options. If you cannot believe EVERY VERSE in EVERY CHAPTER in EVERY BOOK exactly AS WRITTEN in scripture then you are trusting in a man’s agenda. Please don’t go on opposing yourself. Paul wrote 13 books to you specifically about recognizing Satan’s snares. Won’t you study them?
Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul