2 Timothy 2:22
Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) Flee also youthful lusts.—But he who would indeed become a “vessel for honour” in that great house of God must do more than merely separate himself from all outward communion and friendship with men who, by their teaching and in their lives, did dishonour to the Master’s religion. There was an inner work to be accomplished, as well as an outer and more public protest to be made. He must fight with and conquer those lusts, passions, and desires which are more peculiarly tempting to those who are still in the meridian of life. That Timothy was not now in early manhood has been already shown. He was at this time, probably, between thirty and forty years of age. These youthful lusts are by no means to be limited to those varied and fatal excesses summed up in the Seventh Commandment. A victory over these, of course, is imperatively necessary for one who would be “of use” in the house of his God: but such a one must train himself to subdue other and far more subtle lusts than are included in these. He must be watchful and stamp down all covetousness, whether of rank or gold; all longing for empty shows; all pride, conceit, readiness to take offence; all the kindred forms of love of self.

But follow righteousness, faith, charity. See Note on 1Timothy 6:11, where the same charge occurs.

Peace.—This last, “peace,” must be joined with the words immediately following: “with them that call on the Lord,” &c. The “peace” here signifies absence of contention: it is well paraphrased by, “that spiritual concord which unites together all who call upon and who love their Lord,” Theodoret thus draws a distinction between “love” and “peace”:—“It is possible to love all, and this the gospel law enjoins us in the words, ‘Love your enemies:’ but to be at peace with all is not possible.” The words “out of a pure heart” contrast those holy and humble men of heart who servo God without any ulterior motive, with those false teachers who dare to make their religion a gain, a source of profit.

2 Timothy 2:22. Flee youthful lusts — Or desires, namely, those peculiarly incident to youth; that is, shun all occasions of exciting or gratifying them, whether, on the one hand, the love of sensual pleasure and the inclination to gratify the appetites and senses of the body, or, on the other, pride, ambition, vain-glory, rashness, contention, obstinacy; vices to which young persons are peculiarly obnoxious; and which some who are free from sensual lusts, are at little pains to avoid; but follow, &c. — That is, instead of making provision for these carnal dispositions, or yielding to their motions when they arise, pursue with the greatest ardour and intenseness of mind, and with all diligence and constancy, righteousness — In all its branches; every part of thy duty toward God and man; faith — Or fidelity; charity — That is, love; peace with them that call on the Lord, &c. — Especially with all the true people of God.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.Flee also youthful lusts - Such passions as youth are subject to. On the word "flee," and the pertinency of its use in such a connection, see the notes at 1 Corinthians 6:18. Paul felt that Timothy, then a young man, was subject to the same passions as other young men; and hence, his repeated cautions to him to avoid all those things, arising from his youth, which might be the occasion of scandal; compare the notes at 1 Timothy 4:12; 1 Timothy 5:2. It is to be remembered that this Epistle is applicable to other ministers, as well as to Timothy; and, to a young man in the ministry, no counsel could be more appropriate than to "flee from youthful lusts;" not to indulge for a moment in those corrupt passions to which youth are subject, but to cultivate the pure and sober virtues which become the ministerial office.

But follow righteousness, ... - compare the notes at Hebrews 12:14. The general meaning here is, that he was to practice all that is good and virtuous. He was to practice righteousness, or justice and equity, in all his dealings with men; faith, or fidelity in his duties; charity, or love to all men (see the notes at 1 Corinthians 13); peace, or harmony and concord with all others. What virtues could be more appropriate for a minister of the gospel?

With them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart - That is, with all Christians, who are often characterized as those who call on the Lord; 1 Corinthians 1:2; compare Acts 9:11. In all his social contact with them, Timothy was to manifest the virtues above recommended. But not with them alone. It would be incumbent on him to exhibit the same virtues in his intercourse with all.

22. Flee—There are many lusts from which our greatest safety is in flight (Ge 39:12). Avoid occasions of sin. From the abstemious character of Timothy (1Ti 5:23) it is likely that not animal indulgences, but the impetuosity, rash self-confidence, hastiness, strife, and vainglory of young men (1Jo 2:14-16), are what he is here warned against: though the Spirit probably intended the warning to include both in its application to the Church in general.

also—Greek, "But"; in contrast to "every good work," 2Ti 2:21.

youthful—Timothy was a youth (1Ti 4:12).

righteousness—the opposite of "iniquity," that is, unrighteousness (2Ti 2:19; compare 1Ti 6:11).

peace, with, &c.—rather, put no comma, "peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (1Ti 1:5; Eph 6:5; Col 3:22). We are to love all men, but it is not possible to be at peace with all men, for this needs community of purpose and opinion; they alone who call on the Lord sincerely (as contrasted with the false teachers who had only the form of godliness, 2Ti 3:5, 8; Tit 1:15, 16) have this community [Theodoret]. (Ro 12:18).

Flee also youthful lusts: by youthful lusts he means such sinful desires, propensities, and inclinations of mind as are most incident to youth, whether they be lusts of the flesh, or spiritual lusts, such as are the vices of the mind ambition, ostentation, pride, vain-glory, contempt of others, &c.

But follow righteousness; follow justice, or innocency, which wrongeth none, but rendereth to every one his due; or, the righteousness of a holy life.

Faith, which teacheth a soul to receive Divine revelations steadily, without perverse disputings.

Charity, which is kind, envieth not, vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, 1 Corinthians 13:4-6.

Peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart; a union, not with men of corrupt minds and practices, but with all such as serve and worship God purely and sincerely. Flee also youthful lusts,.... Meaning not lusts of uncleanness, lasciviousness, and filthiness; nor any of those follies and vanities which the youthful age usually lusts and desires after, to which Timothy was not inclined; but such lusts as are apt to prevail with young ministers of the Gospel, such as vain glory, popular applause, seeking to have the pre-eminence, contentions with, and contempt of others, and the like.

But follow righteousness; the righteousness of Christ; or doing that which is just between man and man, and as one man would choose another should do to him; or rather integrity and faithfulness, in the ministry of the word, without seeking honour from men:

faith; both as a doctrine and grace; or veracity and truth in preaching the Gospel, striving for that, and not through ambition, and for the pre-eminence:

charity; or love, to God and Christ, and to his people; without which all gifts and works are of no avail; and which will engage a man to bear much, and to hope and believe all things:

peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart; peace is to be pursued and followed after with all men, as much as possible, but especially with the saints, the true worshippers of God; who draw nigh to him with true hearts, and call upon him in the sincerity of their souls: great care should be taken that peace be maintained with them; for they have great interest at the throne of grace; and God is nigh unto them, and hears their prayers. The Alexandrian copy reads, "with all that love the Lord".

{13} Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, {14} peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

(13) Returning to the matter from where he digressed in 2Ti 2:16, he warns him to exercise himself in serious matters, and such as pertain to godliness.

(14) The sixth admonition: we must above all things avoid all bitterness of mind, both in teaching all men, and also in calling those back who have gone out of the way.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Timothy 2:22. Timothy is exhorted to Christian behaviour; it is impossible to overlook the connection with what precedes.

τάς δὲ νεωτερικὰς ἐπιθυμίας] νεωτερικαί is ἅπ. λεγ., juveniles, quibus juvenes indulgent, not cupiditates rerum novarum. Chrysostom and Theophylact rightly remark that the meaning is not to be limited too closely to πορνεία. Theodoret: τρυφὴν, γέλωτος ἀμετρίαν, δόξαν κενὴν καὶ τὰ τούτοις προσόμοια. Hofmann supposes that the desires are meant which are found in younger members in contrast with those advanced in years, e.g. the desire for brilliant gifts and offices; but neither the context nor the expression supports his interpretation. This reference is rather a pure importation into the text, and is adopted by Hofmann that it may agree with his erroneous view of 2 Timothy 2:20; it is opposed, finally, by the δίωκε δικαιοσύνην κ.τ.λ.

δίωκε δὲ δικαιοσύνην κ.τ.λ.] very similar to 1 Timothy 6:11.

εἰρήνην, “i.e. inner fellowship and harmony” (de Wette).

μετά should not be construed with δίωκε, but with εἰρήνην; comp. Hebrews 12:14.

μετὰ πάντων τ. ἐπικαλουμένων τὸν κύριον] This expression occurs somewhat frequently as a name for Christians; comp. Acts 2:21; Acts 9:14; Romans 10:12. The passage in 1 Corinthians 1:2 shows that Christ is meant by κύριος.

ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας] belonging not to δίωκε but to ἐπικαλουμένων, stands here in special contrast to the heretics who did also call Christ their Lord, but not from a pure heart. Chrysostom’s remark: μετὰ τῶν ἄλλων οὐ χρὴ πρᾷον εἶναι, goes too far, since in 2 Timothy 2:25 there is an express appeal for πρᾳότης towards the ἀντιδιατιθέμενοι; still the believer can only keep peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart, the others he must oppose. Εἰρήνη is mentioned last, because the apostle is thinking of it specially; comp. the next verses.2 Timothy 2:22. νεωτερικὰς ἐπιθυμίας: “Every inordinate desire is a youthful lust. Let the aged learn that they ought not to do the deeds of the youthful”. (Chrys.). This is sound exegesis; yet it is reasonable to suppose that Timothy was still of an age to need the warning in its natural sense. See 1 Timothy 4:12. He has just been cautioned against errors of the intellect; he must be warned also (δὲ) against vices of the blood.

φεῦγε· δίωκε δὲ, κ.τ.λ.: See note on 1 Timothy 6:11.

εἰρήνην: to be joined closely with the following words, cf. Hebrews 12:14. While avoiding the company of evil men, he is to cultivate friendly relations with those who are sincere worshippers of the same God as himself. οἱ ἐπικαλούμενοι τὸν Κύριον, i.e., Christ, is almost a technical term for Christians. See reff. It comes ultimately from Joel 2:32 (2 Timothy 3:5).

ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας is emphatic. See Titus 1:15-16.22. Flee also youthful lusts] Here, as in 2 Timothy 2:16, and again below 2 Timothy 2:23, the article has a certain emphasis, bringing forward again and again the different parts of the old theme ‘the false teachers, their errors of doctrine, their viciousness of life.’ ‘Be a different man yourself, flee the lusts of the younger men.’ On Timothy’s age see note 1 Timothy 4:12.

but follow] Rather and, not because the conjunction does not express an opposite to the preceding clause; but because the verbs are placed so as to have the main emphasis together, and ‘but’ here would draw us away from this. We may render: ‘Beware their bad life—those lusts of life’s prime—flee from them, and follow after righteousness.’

follow] Add after, in order to give the proper force of active pursuit. The whole passage is a reminiscence of 1 Timothy 6:11, where see note on the virtues named. ‘Peace’ seems added here to the three selected because the immediate context is different. Here the strife arising from the false teachers’ words and ways is already in St Paul’s mind, and suggests the turn given to what follows. The comma after ‘peace’ of R.V. has been inserted rightly; its omission (as in A.V. of a.d. 1611, though many printed copies have inserted it,) unites ‘peace’ entirely with what follows, and denotes, as Ellicott puts it, ‘not merely “peace” in the ordinary sense but “concordiam illam spiritualem” (Calvin) which unites together all who call upon (1 Corinthians 1:2) and love their Lord’; but it makes an unbalanced and ugly sentence; and loses the very significance of the clause as following on 2 Timothy 2:21. It is the whole, life of the man of God, in his pursuit of each virtue, which is to be lived apart from sinners and in the communion of saints. See also notes on 1 Timothy 1:5; Titus 1:15.2 Timothy 2:22. Νεωτερικὰς, youthful) in which young men indulge; 1 John 2:16, note; and which are hurtful to the purity of heart, spoken of presently in this ver. and 2 Timothy 2:21. Paul had formerly warned Timothy against old wives’ fables and against the drinking of water, 1 Timothy 4:7; 1 Timothy 5:23 : now he warns him against the other extreme, youthful lusts.—δικαιοσύνην, righteousness) This is put in the first place, in opposition to iniquity, 2 Timothy 2:19.—μετὰ, with) Construed with peace.[9] Zeal for party, where that party is holy, is holy zeal; Romans 12:9; 3 John 1:11.—τῶν ἐπικαλουμένων, them that call upon) Comp. note on 2 Timothy 2:19 (Every one that nameth, etc.), Acts 9:14.—τὸν Κύριον, the Lord) Christ.—καθαρᾶς, pure) 2 Timothy 2:21, ἐκκαθάρῃ. Lusts are hostile to this purity; its attendants are righteousness, faith, love, peace.

[9] “Peace with them who call on the Lord.” Not as Engl. Vers., putting a comma after peace; i.e. “Along with them who call, etc., follow peace.”—ED.Verse 22. - But flee for flee also, A.V.; and follow after for but follow, A.V.; love for charity, A.V. Youthful (νεωτερικάς); of or belonging to νεώτεροι, young men; "cupiditates adolescentiae" (Tacit., 'Hist.,' 1:15). The word only occurs here in the New Testament, never in the LXX., but is found in Josephus, who speaks of αὐθαδεία νεωτερική, "youthful arrogance," and is common in classical Greek. Lusts (ἐπιθυμίαι) include, besides the σαρκικαὶ ἐπιθυμίαι of 1 Peter 2:11, all those ill-regulated passions to which youth is peculiarly liable, such as intem perance, love of company, arrogance, petulance, ambition, love of display, levity, vehemence of action, wilfulness, and the like. Timothy at this time was probably under forty (see note on q Timothy 4:12, and Ellicott on ditto). Follow after (δίωκε); as 1 Timothy 6:11, where, as here, it is in contrast with φεῦγε. Eagerness in pursuit, and difficulty in attainment, seem to be indicated by the word. With them, etc. (μετὰ τῶν ἐπικαλουμένων κ.τ.λ..). "With them" may mean either pursue righteousness, etc., in partnership with all who call upon the Lord; i.e. make the pursuit of righteousness, etc., your pursuit, as it is that of all who call upon the Lord; or it may be construed with εἰρήνην, so as to limit the exhortation to peace to those who call upon the Lord, εἰρήνην μετὰ τῶν ἐπικαλουμένων "peace with those that call," etc., which is the construction in Hebrews 12:14 and Romans 12:18. It is, however, remarkable that in both these passages, which are referred to for the grammar, the inference from the doctrine goes rather the other way, as they teach "peace with all men." So does the balance of the sentence here. Youthful lusts (νεωτερικὰς ἐπιθυμίας)

Νεωτερικὸς youthful, N.T.o. For ἐπιθυμία desire, lust, see on Mark 4:19; see on 1 Thessalonians 4:5. Such counsel from Paul to Timothy seems strange.

Follow (δίωκε)

Pursue. Stronger than follow. A favorite word with Paul to denote the pursuit of moral and spiritual ends. See Romans 9:30, Romans 9:31; Romans 12:13; 1 Corinthians 14:1; Philippians 3:12.

Peace (εἰρήνην)

Not a distinct virtue in the list, but a consequence of the pursuit of the virtues enumerated. Const. with with them that call, etc. For peace with διώκειν pursue, see Romans 14:19; Hebrews 12:14, and Psalm 34:14, cit. 1 Peter 3:11.

Call on the Lord (ἐπικαλουμένων τὸν κύριον)

A Pauline phrase, only here in Pastorals. See Romans 10:12, Romans 10:13, Romans 10:14; 1 Corinthians 1:2. See also Acts 2:21; Acts 9:14; Acts 22:16.

Out of a pure heart (ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας)

Const. with call on the Lord. The phrase, 1 Timothy 1:5; 1 Peter 1:22. Comp. Matthew 5:8.

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