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2 Timothy

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Isolated But Still Trusting

2 Timothy 1:1-2

Paul was in a prison somewhere in Rome.  He was not under house arrest, as he was when he wrote his first letter to Timothy; he was now chained as a common criminal (2 Timothy 2:9) in a cold cell (2 Timothy 4:13).  Although Paul was lonely (2 Timothy 4:16), his heart was for the Lord, and for the ministry in Ephesus under Timothy’s leadership.  He knew that he would not come out of prison alive (2 Timothy 4:6-8) but wanted to finish his life and ministry well – and to urge Timothy to stay strong and firm in the faith, and also to train others for Gospel ministry (2 Timothy 2:1-2).

Praying For The Family

2 Timothy 1:3-5

Paul chose Timothy to be his mission apprentice and then spiritual associate who would help grow the churches Paul had established (Acts 16:1-5).  Before his conversion, Timothy had the great blessing of a godly mother and grandmother who had prepared him to trust in Jesus.  Even though, initially, they did not know about Christ, they believed in God’s promise of the Messiah.  

Don't Be Frightened To Use God's Gifts

2 Timothy 1:6-7

Timothy had some great spiritual privileges: a godly mother and grandmother, fatherly mentoring by the Apostle Paul, and their prayers (2 Timothy 1:3-5).  Also, Timothy had been commissioned for gospel ministry by the apostle.  But there was a risk that all of that would have no spiritual result if Timothy did not choose to actively engage with what God wanted to do in him and through him.

Don't Be Ashamed To Suffer For Christ

2 Timothy 1:8-9

Paul was in prison because he preached Christ Jesus, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world and the judge of everybody (Colossians 4:3).  Instead of telling Timothy that everything would be all right in Ephesus, Paul told him that there was no shame in suffering for Christ and the gospel.  Godly people are not liked by the world and those who stand up for Jesus may find that they are persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12).

Jesus Christ Destroys Death And Defines Life

2 Timothy 1:9b-10

God’s grace has been uniquely focussed and expressed through Jesus Christ, and it is now available to everybody.  Paul previously described God’s salvation, and the calling to be holy like Jesus, as being God’s free gift which is given to repentant sinners without demanding that they do anything to earn it (2 Timothy 1:9).  

Appointed To Share Christ And Suffer

2 Timothy 1:11-12

Today’s title does not seem very appealing!  Most of us will do anything to avoid suffering.  But the Apostle Paul knew that faith in Christ and suffering are linked (Philippians 1:29).  Jesus Himself was flogged and crucified (Matthew 20:18-19): and before his conversion, Paul had persecuted the church, throwing men and women into prison, and approving their execution (Acts 22:19-20).

Guard The Truth

2 Timothy 1:13-14

We might think that truth will be self-evident and will protect itself.  In one way, that is so: God’s truth can never change.  On the other hand, our understanding of truth and how we respond to it can change.  The world, our own fleshly appetites and the devil’s scheming are constantly seeking to distort everybody’s perception of the truth.  Wickedness suppresses truth (Romans 1:18).  So, when a teacher does not hold fast to the truth, the effect will corrupt many people.  Jesus said that false teachers will deceive even those who think they are spiritually secure (Matthew 24:24).

Faith, Courage And Real Love

2 Timothy 1:15-18

Rome, under Nero’s rule, was a dangerous place for Christians.  Many were being imprisoned and killed.  Paul was being held secretly somewhere away from the main prison and Onesiphorus had to search hard to find him – and was not afraid to identify himself as another believer in Jesus.  However it was costly: Paul’s prayer for God’s mercy to be on Onesiphorus’ family, and Paul’s special greeting to them (2 Timothy 4:19) indicates that he died serving the Lord because of his compassion to Paul.

Grace Multiplied

2 Timothy 2:1-2

Timothy had a hard job (2 Timothy 4:1-5).  Appointed by Paul and inspired by the Holy Spirit, Timothy preached the truth about Jesus publicly, and taught the church – preparing God’s people for greater persecution (2 Timothy 3:12).  It was vital that the young man stayed strong in the truth.  If he looked to his own inner resources, he would fail (2 Timothy 1:6-7): but if he kept on trusting the Lord Jesus, he would receive enough strength for every circumstance (Philippians 4:13).  Other believers would look to Timothy, so his own life of faith was the example for the church and was equall

Disciplined Service

2 Timothy 2:3-7

For some people, the Christian faith is a nice way to be comforted and feel better about yourself.  Certainly God brings us real comfort as we trust in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 1:3-5), and those whose hope in Christ is firm have a confidence to move forward in obedience.  But Paul is suffering in prison.  His faith was not about feeling good about himself, but being confident that Jesus would be with him in the suffering and would meet him the other side of death (2 Timothy 4:6-8).