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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, his heart was for the Lord, and for the ministry in Ephesus under Timothy’s leadership.

Praying For The Family

2 Timothy 1:3-5

Parents’ prayers matter. Paul thanks God for the prayers of his parents and grandparents for him; even though they did not know about Christ, they were trusting in God’s promise of the Messiah. Although there is no evidence that Paul was ever married (1 Corinthians 7:7 states that he had the gift of celibacy), nor had children by birth - he counted Timothy as his son and prayed for him constantly.

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. 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. 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. It was an important hurdle for Timothy to get over; once he had accepted that he might well be imprisoned or even killed for his faith, he could then get on with the task of church leadership and evangelism without internal constraints. The future was in God’s hands and not his.

Jesus Christ Destroys Death And Defines Life

2 Timothy 1:9b-10

God’s grace has been uniquely focussed and expressed through Jesus Christ; it is now available to everybody. The idea which was hidden in God’s heart and prophesied in the Old Testament Law has now been fully revealed. When Christ Jesus rose from the dead, He destroyed the principle that ‘death is the end’.

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. Jesus Himself was flogged and crucified: and before his conversion, Paul had persecuted the church, throwing men and women into prison and approving their execution. Now he was in prison because he kept on preaching that Jesus Christ is God the Son, and that people can only know the true God through Him.

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: 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. So, when a teacher does not hold fast to the truth, the effect can corrupt many people.

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 - identifying 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. Appointed by Paul and inspired by the Holy Spirit, Timothy taught the truth about Jesus publically and to the church which needed to be prepared for greater persecution. It was vital that the young man stayed strong. If he looked to his own inner resources, he would fail: but if he kept on trusting the Lord Jesus, he would receive enough strength for every circumstance. Other believers would look to Timothy, so his own faith was the example for the church.

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 our faith is not about us feeling good about ourselves; the goal of our faith is that we will be pleasing to our commanding officer, Jesus Christ. And that will involve disciplined, sacrificial service.