These verses are a charge from the apostle Paul to Timothy his son
in the faith. There’s something very powerful that happens when a father speaks
to his child. The Scriptures teach us that death and life are in the power of
the tongue. With our tongues we can speak deadly hurtful words that wound
people unnecessarily. Likewise, with our tongues we can speak life-giving words
that challenge and encourage and motivate people.
Teach and urge these things. Some have wandered away from the
faith. These phrases act as bookends to everything that Paul says in verses 3 –
10. In our study of 1st Timothy, Paul has consistently drawn our
attention to the issue of false teachers, shipwrecked believers, departed
disciples and now wandering heretics. And he says: teach and urge these things.
Paul’s message to us in this letter regarding those who apostatize from the
faith is an urgent matter.