“Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:14–26, ESV)
God’s solid foundation stands, and it is secured by the truth that the Lord knows who are his. It is not just those who only confess the name of Jesus, but it is that confession accompanied by repentance shown by holy living. Paul illustrates the point through the metaphor of a house and its contents. If one is to be an instrument for noble purposes in God’s household, they must set themselves apart from what is dishonorable. They should keep themselves from the contamination through false teaching or sinful practices. Timothy must mortify the flesh and seek the things of God. He should not be characterized by unbridled passions. Instead, he should pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace from the new heart that God has created. The Lord's servant should not seek controversy or be quarrelsome, but kind, able to teach, and exhibit patient endurance. Accountability and discipline must not be pride driven or exercised without genuine love and concern for the one in sin. They should gently correct those that are trapped and suffering in the hopes of repentance. When a minister seeks to correct someone walking in error, it should be motivated by love and gentle. The desired result the minister seeks should not be to win an argument; rather it should be for repentance and reconciliation. The enemy snares people with the hope of destruction, let the minister come to the aid of those in need of rescue with the balm of Gilead.