V7: The word fear used in most translations of this verse doesn’t just mean fear when it comes to the Gospel but all fear. Fear is the opposite of faith. If we fear, we can’t operate in God’s power and the love He commands us to have for people.
The last of the three opposite traits of fear is not self-control but instead a sound mind. There is more than enough evidence fear can literally drive one crazy.
V4: If someone is going to serve in the military, they don’t do so only on the condition that they can come home to their families, their nice, warm house, their warm bed, and a good homecooked meal every night, or on condition they don’t have to do anything that could put their life or physical well-being at risk. Though, as Christians, we must make the welfare of our families a priority as they are our first responsibility and our first ministry, we must also carry out this duty to our spouses and children in light of obedience to God and the following of Jesus Christ to which we are called.
V8-10: No matter how we suffer for the sake of Christ and His Gospel, no matter how we are persecuted, no matter what man thinks, no matter how the world feels, no matter what people feel comfortable in believing, the Gospel is and will always be true. “Let Christ be true and every man a liar.”
V14-18: Verse 14 puts me in mind of, for instance, the Seventh-day Adventist teaching (also believed by others and known as the anihiliation theory) that the word in the Bible translated forever doesn’t actually mean forever.
Once, I studied so that I might be able to answer the Jehova’s Witnesses and Mormons who came to the door. Now, upon further study of the Word, I realize there is no point in trying to rebut such people and their teachings face to face. As verse 14 says, disputing about words with those who want to twist the Scriptures doesn’t profit anything. They aren’t going to listen to you and you aren’t going to listen to them. In the case of the Jehova’s Witnesses, they’re not even allowed to intellectually consider anything that contradicts their doctrine, and in the case of Mormons, most of them literally shut off their critical thinking ability at the age of twelve or so when they are baptized.
Fruitless theological arguments, such as the exact nature of predestination, only increase ungodliness. A young Christian can join a church, be a member for forty years and end up with not much more actual knowledge of God and His Word than when they first started attending precisely because most of the preaching and Bible study in that church has been mainly concerned with vain theological babblings as described in this verse.
Similarly, doctrines that are not only incorrect, but even cheapen the Good News of Christ Jesus to a nearly (or completely) blasphemous level only sidetrack and increase ungodliness in Christians because they take valuable time away from the study of Christ’s truths and the truths concerning our relationship with Him. Such profane babblings include the more extreme examples of the prosperity gospel as well as easy believeism.
V20: In ancient times, common everyday plates, cups and such things were made of earthenware or wood, while “fine china” was made of gold and silver. This verse pictures a rich family who, when they are hosting important people, use their gold and silver plates and goblets; but when it’s just the family by themselves, they eat off wooden plates and drink from earthenware mugs like everybody else. Thus, we are to present our life to God as though it was a meal set before an important and special person.
V24-26: The reason there is so much forcing the Gospel down people’s throats these days, in direct contradiction to how Paul instructs Timothy here, is because we’ve made the church into an institutional organization operated upon worldly principles. Thus, we must use whatever it takes, the soft soap or the hard stuff, the good cop or the bad cop, to make the sale and get someone to join the church. However, this approach only leads to false converts, or genuine converts who don’t get properly parented in the faith and thus fall away in blasphemous bitterness to God and His (real and false) people when the church’s behavior modification techniques don’t work on them.
V1-6: In a Godly community of believers, the humble should get ahead and the proud should bring up the rear, but this is the exact opposite way the modern church functions. This is at least partially because we have made the church into an organization and thus it now functions like any other worldly institution. The stories are numerous of the person who was an abusive, self-centred person at home and to people (especially the vulnerable) of the church but was thought of as a wonderful man of God and able minister of the Gospel due to their ability to talk the talk around the other Christians.
V7: Those described in verse 6, the metaphorical silly women, are expounded upon in this verse. They spend all their time going to conferences, reading Christian books and periodicals, listening and watching Christian media, but they never actually grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. They only want to hear what sounds good to them and backs up, that is, gives value to, the three dollars worth of God they already possess. They don’t want to grow in their knowledge or in their relationship with God.
V13: These people who want to be deceived and, in turn, in their zeal without wisdom or knowledge, deceive others, will just sink deeper and deeper into deception. That’s what happens when you evaluate everything on whether or not it appeals to you emotionally.
Based on “Chained to the Gospel” by Michael Baughen.