2 Timothy 2:19 – NAS – Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”
You would never buy a house if you found, upon inspection, that the foundation was damaged. This is common sense. However, we have many in Christianity who are trying to sell a gospel with a cracked foundation. They are trying to sell to a compromising church the idea that we, as Christians, can live any way we want to. There are no boundaries, because Christ said, “it is finished” on the cross. They say that we are not to worry about any of our behavior because we are not “to feel guilty” about anything.
The Greek word for foundation themlios means exactly the way it is translated. The first principles, the beginning, etc. and the greek word sphragis (seal) means that by which anything is authenticated. The word aphistemi, abstain, is an action word which means to withdraw oneself from, to stand aloof.
So, Paul here is saying that the very first principles that we are to learn as a Christian and causes the building to stand sure are these: We can feel secure in our salvation because the Lord knows which people are his. And we can feel secure in our salvation because every one who names the name of the Lord abstains from wickedness.
Now what you have to ask yourself: Am I abstaining from wickedness? I even had one of the people who are trying to sell the other gospel ask me, “Which sins are we talking about?” I was taken aback by this because this person was setting themselves up as a teacher and did not even know the sins that are listed in the New Testament. It is a further concern seeing that this verse says that this IS THE BEGINNING of what we should know. He went on to say that we can not get to heaven by works of righteousness.
I have seen that this group is getting “works of righteousness” confused with “abstaining from wickedness.” If you will look at the verses which talk about not of works, (Eph. 2) you will find circumcision mentioned in the chapter. So, of course we can not do works of righteousness to get to heaven. (I.e. circumcision, walking up steps on our knees, giving to the poor, etc.) but none of these things classify as sin. This is a separate group of actions where you are trying to earn your way.
This is not the same as abstaining from wickedness BECAUSE you are saved. We must be sure to abstain from wickedness because we have been delivered. If you are not abstaining from what the Bible defines as wickedness, then you should check your salvation. Jesus came to save us from our sins, not in our sins.