2 Timothy 2:16-18
But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase to more ungodliness.
But shun profane babblings.
I. THE DUTY OF THE MINISTER TOWARD SUCH BABBLINGS. He is to shun them, because they are profitless - a mere sound of words, without solid meaning; great swelling words of vanity, not only unprofitable, but contrary to the doctrine that is according to godliness. The minister must shun, discourage, and repudiate them in the interests of truth and piety.
II. THE TENDENCY OF SUCH BABBLINGS. "They will proceed further in ungodliness." The allusion is not to the babblings, but to the false teachers.
1. There is a close connection between lax doctrine and a loose life. The error of the false teachers had not yet appeared in its fully developed form, but its true moral tendency was clearly foreseen from the first.
2. There is a tendency in false teachers to carry their principles to their last logical results. They have thrown off the checks of authority and conscience; they have been emboldened, perhaps, by a temporary success; and so they insist on wresting the whole Scripture to their own destruction as well as that of others.
III. THE EFFECTS OF SUCH FALSE TEACHING. "And their word will eat as doth a gangrene."
1. It will spread further and further.
(1) Through the subtlety of seducers;
(2) through the unwary simplicity of Christian professors;
(3) and as a judicial infliction upon such as, possessing no love of the truth, receive delusion to believe a lie.
2. It will have corrupting and destroying effects. The strong figure of the apostle sets the matter in an impressive light.
IV. THE RING LEADERS OF HERESY. "Of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; men who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already, and overthrow the faith of some."
1. The leading apostles of error.
(1) It is a solemn thought that the Spirit of inspiration has given an immortality of infamy to these two names. If they were ambitious of notoriety, they have gained it far beyond the extent of their expectations.
(2) Hymenaeus is evidently the person referred to already (1 Timothy 1:25), whom the apostle had "delivered unto Satan;" but he seems to have profited in no way in the interval by the severe discipline applied to him. Of Philetus nothing is known. It is a Greek name, but it occurs in Roman inscriptions.
2. The nature of their error. Their principal error, which is mentioned, was a denial of the resurrection in its true sense.
(1) They probably perverted the words of the apostle himself when he spoke of a spiritual resurrection (Romans 6:4, etc.; Colossians 2:12), of which they could say truly enough that "it was past already;" but they denied a resurrection of the body, which was just as expressly taught by the same apostle.
(2) The error had its origin in the Greek philosophy, which regarded matter as essentially evil, and as therefore unworthy to share in the ultimate glorification of the redeemed.
3. The injurious effects of their error. "And overthrow the faith of some."
(1) The doctrine of the resurrection is founded on the resurrection of Christ, which is the foundation doctrine of Christianity. Those errorists seem to have touched with unholy hands this cornerstone of Christian hope.
(2) The influence of the errorists, evil as it was, was only partial. It only affected "some;" but even this thought was a sad one to the apostle. - T.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.