|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:22-26 The more we follow that which is good, the faster and the further we shall flee from that which is evil. The keeping up the communion of saints, will take us from fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness. See how often the apostle cautions against disputes in religion; which surely shows that religion consists more in believing and practising what God requires, than in subtle disputes. Those are unapt to teach, who are apt to strive, and are fierce and froward. Teaching, not persecution, is the Scripture method of dealing with those in error. The same God who gives the discovery of the truth, by his grace brings us to acknowledge it, otherwise our hearts would continue to rebel against it. There is no peradventure, in respect of God's pardoning those who do repent; but we cannot tell that he will give repentance to those who oppose his will. Sinners are taken in a snare, and in the worst snare, because it is the devil's; they are slaves to him. And if any long for deliverance, let them remember they never can escape, except by repentance, which is the gift of God; and we must ask it of him by earnest, persevering prayer.
Verse 25. - Correcting them for instructing those, A.V.; peradventure God for God peradventure, A.V.; may for will, A.V.; unto the knowledge for to the acknowledging, A.V. Correcting (παιδεύοντα), παιδεύειν means properly to "educate," "bring up," or "train" a child. Hence sometimes the idea of teaching predominates, sometimes that of correcting or chastising. Here the context shows that the idea of teaching is pre-dominant - partly because the word suggests something contrary to the ἀπαίδευτοι ζητήσεις of ver. 23, and partly because the end of this παιδεία is to bring them to the knowledge of God's truth. The A.V. "instructing" is therefore the right word here. Them that oppose themselves (τοὺς ἀντιδιατιθέμενους); only here in the New Testament or the LXX., or in classical Greek. Literally, those who arrange or set themselves in opposition; or, in one word, "opponents," referring, no doubt, chiefly to such ἀντιλέγοντες as are mentioned in the very similar passage, Titus 1:9 (see too Titus 2:8). If peradventure (μήποτε). "Μήποτε, in later Greek, loses its aversative meaning ('lest at any time'), and is almost equivalent to εἴποτε (Alford, in loc.) - equivalent to "in case God should," etc. Repentance (μετανοία); such a change of mind as shall lead them to embrace the truth. Knowledge (ἐπίγνωσις); almost invariably used of the knowledge of God or of God's truth (ch. 3:7; Romans 1:28; Ephesians 1:17; Ephesians 4:13; Colossians 1:9, 10; Colossians 3:10; Titus 1:1; Hebrews 10:26, etc.). The truth; that truth which before they set themselves to oppose, disputing against it and resisting it. The servant of the Lord must never despair of any one, never throw an additional obstacle in any one's way by roughness or harsh speech, and never allow unkind feelings to be roused in his own breast by the perverseness or unreasonableness of them that oppose themselves to him.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves,.... To the truth; resist it and deny it; or contradict some other tenets and principles of theirs, or the Scriptures, which they themselves allowed to be the word of God, and the rule of faith and practice, and so are self-convinced and self-condemned. These are to be instructed, being ignorant, and in a tender and gentle manner, though very perverse and obstinate.
If God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth: repentance here designs a repentance of errors in principle, a change of mind upon conviction, and such as issues in a free and ingenuous confession, and acknowledgment of the truth before opposed; and such a repentance is the gift of God: it is he that opens the eyes of the understanding, and works conviction in the mind, and leads into all truth, as it is in Jesus; and induces men to repent of their errors, confess their mistakes, and own the truth; even as repentance of evil practices is not owing to the power of men, nor to the bare influence of means, but to the efficacious grace of God, it being a grant from him. And though this is not certain, that God will give repentance to such contradictors and blasphemers of his Gospel; yet as it is his will, that all his chosen ones should come to repentance, and that some of all sorts should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth; and seeing these things have been brought about under and by the ministry of the word, it is an encouragement to the ministers of the Gospel to continue their instructions in the manner here directed.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
2:25 In meekness - He has often need of zeal, always of meekness. If haply God - For it is wholly his work. May give them repentance - The acknowledging of the truth would then quickly follow.
2 Timothy 2:25 Parallel Commentaries
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