How do you explain 2 Timothy 2:5?

Hello K,

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“And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully” (2 Timothy 2:5).

In this chapter, Paul is describing to Timothy the duties of a Christian minister, and in verse five he compares it to being an athlete. Back in Paul’s day, only the best athletes, those who worked the hardest, were crowned, and Paul exhorts Timothy to do his best as a Christian minister, just as the athletes who get crowned have done their best.

Any athlete who violates the rules of the contest is disqualified. Paul allows Timothy to deduce the intended parallel with the Christian minister. Regardless of the quantity of sermons preached and people visited, if the minister does not teach the truth He is not in line with God “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13).

The minister has to teach of Jesus because Jesus is the truth “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). And the ultimate test  of a sound doctrine is: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).

Also, the minister of the truth  has to live a righteous life “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). The actions of the minster has to match his teaching. The Love of Christ has to shine through his life otherwise all his labors will prove to have been in vain (Matt. 7:22–23).

In His service,

The BibleAsk Team

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