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No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

2:3 endure hardness. “Endure hardness” is one word in the Greek (kakapatheo), the same word as in “suffer trouble” and “endure afflictions” (II Timothy 2:9; 4:5). A fruitful Christian life is inevitably accompanied by much opposition from the world, the flesh, and the devil, and Paul wanted to encourage young Timothy to stand strong, as he himself had done for so long.

2:3 soldier. The Christian is often compared in Scripture to a soldier, engaged in spiritual warfare with the hosts of darkness (II Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:10-18; I Thessalonians 5:8).

2:4 affairs of this life. The Greek word translated “affairs” (pragmateia) is used only this one time in the New Testament. However, a similar word (pragmateuomai), also used only one time, is translated “occupy” in Luke 19:13 (“Occupy till I come”). Our word pragmatic is derived from such words. As Christian believers, it is pragmatic for us to be active in our daily responsibilities while waiting for Christ, but it is also spiritually pragmatic not to be so involved with these pragmatic activities as to hinder our service to our Commander. In fact, even our daily occupations should be carried out in His name and in ways that please Him (Colossians 3:23; I Corinthians 10:31).

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