CLAIM: Only God can ensure salvation –not men (Jn. 6:37-40; 10:27-30; 1 Cor. 1:8; Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:1; 1 Pet. 1:3-5; Eph. 1:13-14). However, this passage states that Timothy could “ensure salvation” for himself and the people in his church.
RESPONSE: The term “salvation” has multiple uses in the Bible (c.f. Phil. 2:12-13). Here, Paul is not referring to justification. He is no doubt referring to sanctification. The context refers to spiritual growth –not spiritual birth (vv. 6-15). In other words, Paul is saying, “If you do these things, you and your church will grow spiritually.”