In 2 Timothy 2, Paul continues his instruction to Timothy. One of Timothy’s tasks is to make sure he remembers Jesus Christ, risen from the dead. He is to remind those he preaches and teaches of the resurrection. This is important because some are already spreading lies about it and these lies are upsetting the faith of some. Timothy is to gently but firmly oppose the error that our resurrection has already come. It hasn’t. We will rise when Jesus comes again (1 Corinthians 15:23). The danger of denying or misrepresenting the resurrection is clearly laid out in 1 Corinthians 15.
How he opposes this error is critical. He must handle the Bible accurately (2 Timothy 2:15). He must avoid irreverent, foolish talk and quarrels. And he must pursue holiness, gently, faithfully teaching the truth, praying that God will grant people repentance.
There is an important and delicate balance here. We are to oppose error and lies. But, we are not to do it by entering every argument and discussion. Timothy is told to “have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.” (2 Timothy 2:23). Instead, Timothy, and we, should focus on accurate consistent teaching of God’s Word. We are to focus on patiently teaching God’s word, gently correcting error, and waiting on God to turn peoples’ hearts to the truth.