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.
26. recover themselves—Greek, "awake to soberness," namely from the spiritual intoxication whereby they have fallen into the snare of the devil.
the snare—(Eph 6:11, "the wiles of the devil": 1Ti 3:7; 6:9).
taken captive by him at his will—so as to follow the will of "THAT" (the Greek emphatically marks Satan thus) foe. However, different Greek pronouns stand for "him" and "his"; and the Greek for "taken captive" means not "captured for destruction," but "for being saved alive," as in Lu 5:10, "Thou shalt catch men to save them unto life"; also there is no article before the Greek participle, which the English Version "who are taken captive," would require. Therefore, translate, "That they may awake … taken as saved (and willing) captives by him (the servant of the Lord, 2Ti 2:24), so as to follow the will of HIM (the Lord, 2Ti 2:24, or "God," 2Ti 2:25)." There are here two evils, the "snare" and sleep, from which they are delivered: and two goods to which they are translated, awaking and deliverance. Instead of Satan's thrall comes the free and willing captivity of obedience to Christ (2Co 10:5). It is God who goes before, giving repentance (2Ti 2:25); then the work of His servant following is sure to be crowned with success, leading the convert henceforth to "live to the will of God" (Ac 22:14; 1Pe 4:2).