2:14-21 Those disposed to strive, commonly strive about matters of small moment. But strifes of words destroy the things of God. The apostle mentions some who erred. They did not deny the resurrection, but they corrupted that true doctrine. Yet nothing can be so foolish or erroneous, but it will overturn the temporary faith of some professors. This foundation has two writings on it. One speaks our comfort. None can overthrow the faith of any whom God hath chosen. The other speaks our duty. Those who would have the comfort of the privilege, must make conscience of the duty Christ gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, Tit 2:14. The church of Christ is like a dwelling: some furniture is of great value; some of smaller value, and put to meaner uses. Some professors of religion are like vessels of wood and earth. When the vessels of dishonour are cast out to be destroyed, the others will be filled with all the fulness of God. We must see to it that we are holy vessels. Every one in the church whom God approves, will be devoted to his Master's service, and thus fitted for his use.
14. them—those over whom thou dost preside (Tit 3:1).
charging—Greek, "testifying continually": "adjuring them."
before the Lord—(1Ti 5:21).
that they strive not about words—rather, "strive with words": "not to have a (mere) war of words" (2Ti 2:23, 24; 1Ti 6:4) where the most vital matters are at stake (2Ti 2:17, 18; Ac 18:15). The oldest manuscripts put a stop at "charging them before the Lord" (which clause is thus connected with "put them in remembrance") and read the imperative, "Strive not thou in words," &c.
to no profit—not qualifying "words"; but Greek neuter, in apposition with "strive in words," "(a thing tending) to no profit," literally, "profitable for nothing"; the opposite of "meet for the master's use" (2Ti 2:21).
to the subverting—sure to subvert (overturn) the hearers: the opposite of "edifying" (building up) (2Co 13:10).