God Confirms His Called Leaders: 2 Timothy 2:19
“19) Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”” 2 Timothy‬ ‭2:19‬
This verse stands in stark contrast to the previous two verses that mentioned the devious work of Hymenaeus and Philetus. They had gone astray from the truth and were teaching heresy. They were actively upsetting the faith of sincere believers.
But make no mistake, if you talked to them they would try to convince you that they knew God and were serving Him. Many false teachers are sincere, but they are deceived.
So how do you know who you can trust and who you should follow? That is a very important question, especially in our day. Let me give you some practical advice I follow in my own life.
First, make Jesus Christ and His Word your primary foundation. Follow the example of those in Berea and confirm all teaching through the personal study of Scripture. (See Acts 17:11-12)
Second, be patient and look for the confirmation of God on His approved workmen. There is a strong connection between 2 Timothy 2:15 & 19. On the one hand, those who are called, gifted and anointed by the Holy Spirit are diligent to please and serve God. They are God centered and not self centered.
On the other hand, God knows and confirms those who are His. His favor and anointing rests on their life and ministry. They may endure personal trials and suffering, but the fruit of the Spirit will shine through the storm clouds.
Finally, in Matthew 7:15-23 Jesus said you will know them by their fruits. That’s what Paul also said at the end of 2 Timothy 2:19; “… and, Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness.” Examine the fruit of their lives.
If a pastor or spiritual leader is angry, condescending, controlling, abusive, greedy, carnal, immoral or self-centered… then stand aside and be very cautious. Something is tragically wrong! Jesus Christ is not Lord in their life and they have not crucified the flesh.
By contrast, when you find a humble Christian leader who is well grounded in the Scriptures and consistently manifests the fruit of the Spirit, take note. Look at the wake they leave behind them. Can you see the fingerprints of God on their past ministry. This is most likely the confirmation of God on their calling and anointing.
I’m not impressed with Bible college degrees or Seminary graduation. These can helpful and give valuable academic tools, but they are no indication of spiritual maturity, personal godliness, calling for ministry or the anointing of the Holy Spirit on a persons life. If Jesus Christ is not Lord and they are not sensitive to the Holy Spirit, they are not qualified for ministry.
God gave very wise counsel to Samual when looking for a King to replace Saul. It is recorded in 1 Samual 16:7. He was about to make the mistake of many pastoral search committees today. He focused on all the external qualifications of Davids older brothers. But God rebuked him because he had the wrong values system. God looks inwardly at the heart and not the outward facade or resume.
They were good men, but they were not called or anointed. Why? Because they had dismal personal relationships with God. They were carnal. David was far from perfect, but he had an amazing personal walk with God! That was the key difference that made the big difference.
This story captures the heart of 2 Timothy 2:14-26 and how to discern godly and called leadership. Run from men like Hymenaeus and Philetus, but welcome godly men and women as mentors in your life.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global