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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, was rejoicing 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, his eternal home with Jesus, and the ongoing power of the gospel long after his death.

God's Faithfulness Outweighs Our Failure

2 Timothy 2:11-13

Paul was facing his own death, and probably a violent end.  But his faith in Jesus enabled him to look beyond the end of this short life to the certainty of eternal life.  He believed the words of Jesus that all who look to Him for salvation will be raised on the Last Day (John 6:40).  Jesus was quite clear in Matthew 24:9-14 that believers would be persecuted and killed, that false prophets would deceive God-fearing people but that those who endure to the end will be safe in their Lord.

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 (Ephesians 2:20), 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 (2 Corinthians 6:1).  Like all workers, they need training, practice and experience to ensure that their work is consistently of the highest quality.  Handling the word of truth is a uniquely precious responsibility.  It is God’s truth and so must not be changed, misrepresented or spoiled in any way.  Truth is God’s sword (Ephesians 6:17) with which He defeats all error and judges all who teach falsely.  Paul urged Timothy to work hard at being a servant

Godless Talking Is Toxic

2 Timothy 2:16-18

Talking is one of the unique distinctive characteristics of being human.  While many other creatures make sounds and communicate sufficiently through them, only human beings have recognisable vocabularies and the ability to use words to express their thoughts and describe their feelings - definitively, intelligently and creatively.  The reason for that is that we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and He has chosen to use words to explain what is seen and to reveal what has not been seen (Exodus 19:5-6).  

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 (2 Timothy 2:16-18) but wanted to encourage Timothy that the Lord knows who truly belongs to Him.  Paul referred to the rebellion of Korah and his followers during the Israelites’ journey through the wilderness.  Moses declared that God knew who were true to Him and whose hearts had been deceived (Numbers 16:5).  In the end, Korah and all his followers died as the ground opened up and swallowed them alive.  Paul was making the point to Timothy that, despite pastoral disappointments and spiritu

Useful To God

2 Timothy 2:20-21

Paul likens the people in the church to the contents of 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 personally 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 which can never build godly relationships’, wrote Paul, in the same way that he

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 by believers who are willing to lay down their rights and even their lives to share the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:5-11).  A true response cannot be forced.  Those who recognise the truth and want to obey it, will r

Terrible Times Ahead

2 Timothy 3:1-5

Like Paul and Timothy, we are living in the Last Days - the period between the death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus, and when He physically returns to rule as King and Judge.  That time started by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, causing many to call out to the Lord for mercy (Acts 2:17-21), and will culminate in the peaceful reign of Christ (Isaiah 2:2).  But it is also a time of spiritual turmoil in which evil grows to challenge the faith of believers.  Without Christ, human nature will unpredictably express itself in ways that are destructive to other people.