Focal Passage: 2 Timothy 3:1-17
The famous Chinese Christian teacher, author and leader, Watchman Nee, wrote the following story in The Normal Christian Life. While on retreat, Mr. Nee led a husband and wife to a salvation experience with Christ. Nee told the husband that the Holy Spirit would open the scriptures for him so he could live like Jesus. Winter was approaching, however, and Mr. Nee had to return to Shanghai. Now, before becoming a believer, the man’s habit during the long, harsh winter months was drinking substantial amounts of wine with his meals, often leading to drunkenness. As a new Christian, the man was conflicted. Should he continue drinking wine with his meals? As a means of discernment, the man tried to pray before his meal, and no words would come from his mind or mouth. His wife thought him foolish and told him to go ahead and drink the wine. It wouldn’t hurt. The man, however, chose to listen to the Spirit rather than his wife. God was directing the man to the Bible, and when he read the Bible, he was convinced that his former habit of excessive drinking was not good. He told his wife to take the wine away. Some months later the man was able to visit Watchman Nee in Shanghai.
He told the great teacher what he had learned. In Chinese he said, “Brother Nee, Resident Boss wouldn’t let me drink!” Mr. Nee said, “Very good. You always listen to Resident Boss!”
Watchman Nee often wrote about the difference between the natural man and the godly man. The difference is how we listen to and obey God. In verses 1-9 we have an extensive description of the ungodly man. At least 18 characteristics or manifestations are listed. Timothy is warned to avoid such people; don’t let them have leadership in the church. The godly man knows, relies upon and follows scripture. Verse 16 tells us that “all” scripture is God-breathed. The Bible will teach, rebuke, correct and train the Christian in right thinking, believing and living.