The Berean Expositor
Volume 34 - Page 208 of 261
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II Tim. 1: 14); he was to shun those who failed "rightly to divide the word of truth"
saying "the resurrection is past already" (II Tim. 2: 16-18); he was "to purge himself"
from those who held such things.  We find it utterly impossible to construe such
instruction, with having fellowship with all, whatever their doctrines, provided they
subscribe to the basic doctrine of inspiration. It may be narrow, but so is the truth. We
must now return to our theme, this time to take more particular note of what the believer
is to shun and avoid.
We have already noted the word translated "vain babblings" used in II Tim. 2: 16,
and so pass on to the next exhortation. The apostle tells Timothy that the great seal upon
the one foundation includes the departing from "iniquity". This word adikia includes the
unrighteousness of such abandoned men as those described in Rom. 1: 29 to the "wrong"
confessed by the apostle in II Cor. 12: 13.  Its primitive meaning is anything that is
"Not right";  and one of its usages is to indicate that "unrighteousness" which is
associated with an anti-christian attitude to the truth (Rom. 1: 18; II Thess. 2: 10, 12). It
is the word used by John of the believer who, in order to be maintained in his fellowship
with the Father, needs cleansing from all "unrighteousness" (I John 1: 9). No believer
needs to be told to withdraw from positive iniquity, but he needs continually to withdraw
from everything that he sees to be "Not right", and this will exercise all the grace at his
disposal, for the more he grows in grace and in knowledge, the more will he become
sensitive to the "unrighteousness" of things around or within. He is to "purge himself
from these", not merely "purge himself". "These" refer to the vessels of wood and earth,
which in their turn indicate those who hold and teach doctrines contrary either to
godliness or to the good deposit. He is to "flee" youthful lusts, and none who knows
anything of the law of sin in his members will need a printed list here. Suffice it for the
moment to realize that even a Man of God like Timothy was not strong enough to trifle or
palter with youthful lusts, and neither are we, whatever our age may be; and finally, from
a "form of godliness" that denies "the power thereof" Timothy was enjoined to "turn
away". One word has recurred in this examination, which we have not noted, that word
is "godliness". It is of such evident importance that we propose carrying over this study
into our next article so that we may give all the attention and space possible to its
investigation. Meanwhile let us remember that no solicitations to "keep the unity" can
ever excuse us from full obedience to this sevenfold injunction to shun and avoid
fellowship with either doctrine or practice that is contrary to the truth we have received
through the ministry of the apostle Paul.