In our final word of the series, Paul uses an illustration in 2 Timothy 2:24-26 which is his most used expression. Paul taught in Romans 6:16-17 that we must be someone’s servant. You cannot simply refuse to choose! The “form of doctrine” in Romans 6:17 is the teaching of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. We must be obedient to it because it is how we come in contact with the blood of Christ (Romans 6:3-6), and therefore have our sins forgiven (cf. Romans 3:23).
The “servant of the Lord” — i.e., every Christian, but particularly those who labor as evangelists — must not “strive.” Rather, they must be “gentle” to everyone, “apt to teach” (cf. 1 Timothy 3:2) and “patient.” Christians must have this sort of attitude toward those who oppose them. Although refuting false doctrine must be done, it cannot be done with an ugly mentality.
At the same time, a good servant must gently instruct such people, in the hope that God will give them “repentance” (lit., “a change of heart”), leading to a full “acknowledging” of the truth, and that they may “recover themselves” and be set free from the snare of the devil. Are you ready to be instructed and repent? In Hebrews 4:2, the Israelites had “the gospel preached, … but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” The word did not profit them, but if you have reached a point in your life where you recognize your need for God, please contact us for a Bible study.