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2 Timothy

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Free From Fear Of Death

2 Timothy 2:8-10

Naturally we live until we die, and so we think that death is the end of our ambitions. But the Apostle Paul, chained in a cold dungeon, rejoiced even though he knew that his execution was close (2 Timothy 4:6-7). His confidence was not in his own life but in the resurrection life of Jesus Christ. Paul saw beyond suffering and death to the fullness of salvation in Christ, and the ongoing power of the gospel long after his death.

God's Faithfulness Outweighs Our Failure

2 Timothy 2:11-13

This may have been an early hymn or baptismal liturgy. Whatever it was, Paul affirms the statements as being true for the true believer, while allowing for the possibility that some who once claimed to be trusting in Christ could walk away from the Saviour of the world. Apart from those (and those who continue to disown Christ have no eternal confidence), Christ’s identification with people who follow Him is complete. Even martyrdom carries the assurance of eternity in His presence; and hardship endured will bring its reward.

Words To Heal And Destroy

2 Timothy 2:14

Words are important. They communicate with a precision unknown in other art forms. They should be the means of sharing truth and building relationships, and not a mechanism to destroy people and truth. This is especially true in the church. Unless the church is founded securely on the teaching of Jesus and the Apostles, the fellowship can become a market-place of ideas and arguments based on personal passions and preferences.

A Trustworthy Workman

2 Timothy 2:15

God’s servants are not only His children who love Him and subjects who worship Him; they are also the people who work for Him and with Him. Like all workers, they need training, practice and experience to ensure that their work is consistently of the highest quality. Paul urged Timothy to work hard at being a servant of God, so that the Lord would approve his work and he would have no reason to be ashamed.

Godless Talking Is Cancerous

2 Timothy 2:16-18

We either talk about what is true or false. Truth reflects God’s mind and is therefore godly; falsehood is like cancer - it spreads undetected until it becomes unstoppably destructive. It is also addictive; it creates a compulsive habit of mind and heart which enjoys playing with lies and spreads them to others. The gospel is uncompromising. So, to talk about Jesus, God’s Word and the gospel falsely offers all sorts of attractions to rebellious hearts.

God Knows The Motives In Every Heart

2 Timothy 2:19

Paul had just written in sadness about the spiritual defection of two former leadership colleagues, but wanted to encourage Timothy that the Lord knows which of His people remain true to Him. Paul referred to the rebellion of Korah and his followers during the Israelites’ journey through the wilderness (Numbers 16 – do read the whole chapter).

Useful To God

2 Timothy 2:20-21

Paul likens the church to the home of a rich merchant. In that house, gold bowls and silverware were for serving food at the table; they were valuable and intended to last. By contrast, wooden and pottery containers were used for dirty jobs: they were contaminated and had no lasting value. Which of those would the Master of the house like brought to the table? Obviously - only the gold and silver containers. They would please the Master and be useful to feed his family and guests.

Move Quickly In The Right Direction

2 Timothy 2:22-23

It is easy to stay the same; changing in a godly way can be difficult. It is easy to be distracted by the agendas of other people and pulled by our inner desires. So Paul urged Timothy to keep thinking about how he needed to change; what he should run away from, and what he should run towards. Youth is a time of rapid social, physical, and emotional change – a time when many make mistakes. But they must not be allowed to become permanent: ‘Run away from those wrong desires, and foolish arguments’, wrote Paul.

The Gentle Persuasion Of Truth

2 Timothy 2:24-26

Truth has its own persuasive power, because Jesus Christ is the Truth. Truth is embedded in the character of God. Unlike the Greek philosophers of Paul’s day, who aggressively argued their convictions, God’s servants had no need to do that. Teaching the gospel and disciplining believers is not a personal contest; it is the unveiling of God’s mind and heart through the Scriptures. A true response cannot be forced. Those who recognise the truth and want to obey it, will receive it. Oratorical trickery is unnecessary.

Christless Society Is Terrible

2 Timothy 3:1-5

These are the Last Days; that is, the time before the Lord Jesus comes back again. Paul wanted Timothy to be under no illusion that when people reject Christ they also forfeit God’s blessings in their society. In God’s mercy, He has arranged for the worse excesses of social disorder to be restrained by governments and laws; but no law can ever change perverse human hearts. Without Christ, human nature will express itself in increasingly wicked ways.