Grace and Truth in the Local Church - Draper
2 Timothy 2:14-26 Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness." 20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
Observation: There were and are three kinds of people in every church:
Question: What prompts “negative people” to be so hurtful and harmful?
Answer: An inability to disagree without being ADVERSARIAL. (vv.14,16,18)
- NEUTRALS (Matthew 18:6)
BIG IDEA: Don’t become ADVERSARIAL when confronting negative people.
Helpful Hints For Dealing With Negative People In a God Honoring Way
- State what you want, need, or prefer directly and honestly.
- Take responsibility for your own thoughts and feelings.
- State what you believe to be true without attacking the other person.
- Respect others without having to change them.
- Appreciate something positive about the other person or their point of view.
- Be honest about a weakness in your own argument or knowledge of the matter being discussed.
- Admit how this interaction affects you emotionally.
- Try to negotiate a solution that takes into consideration the perspective of the other person.
The Big Question: How do we DEAL with negative HURTFUL people in the church?
The Big Answer: We should deal with these people with GRACE and TRUTH.
- Positively emphasize what you are FOR not what you are AGAINST. (v.14)
- TEACH the truth, not your OPINION. (vv.15,17-18)
- Remember that the GOSPEL doesn’t win if WE have to win. (vv.15,23-24)
- Pursue what is GOOD for the negative people in your life = KINDNESS (vv.22,24-26)
Final Note: The issue isn’t whether or not we will let each other down. The issue is, HOW WE WILL ACT once that happens?
- Have you ever encountered a “negative” person in church? What happened – how did it all turn out?
- Read and discuss 2 Timothy 2:14-26. What do you think was the most important thing Paul was trying to communicate to Timothy the Pastor?
- Review the helpful hints in dealing with negative people. Which are the most helpful for you in not becoming adversarial while confronting a “negative” person? Why?
- The Apostle Paul gave some specific instructions to Timothy to help him practice grace and truth with “negative” people. Review each nugget of wisdom and discuss why it would be helpful.
- Will you make a pre-decision as to how you will respond to someone at SMCC when they let you down? How is grace and truth going to come into play in that moment?