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2 Timothy

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Power Hungry Wolves

2 Timothy 3:6-9

Although it would be nice to think that everybody has integrity, that is not true.  People who resist the authority of God do not want anybody ruling over them.  Instead, they want to have power and authority over others.  Paul told Timothy to watch out for these people (2 Timothy 3:2-5) and prevent them from spreading their poison in the church.  They may display all kinds of ungodly behaviour and they prey on targets they think are weak, especially people who are emotionally vulnerable and morally compromised.

Suffering Is Part Of The Normal Christian Life

2 Timothy 3:10-13

It seems wrong that godly people are persecuted while the ungodly seem to flourish (Jeremiah 12:1).  It is wrong!  But when Jesus returns, everybody will have to account for their sin (Revelation 20:13).  Until then, Christians will continue to live in a world which is opposed to Jesus.  Paul was a great personal example to Timothy, and to us.  Wonderfully, during his ministry, Paul’s life was protected despite riots, beatings and imprisonments (2 Corinthians 11:23-28).  He had not been killed, as his persecutors hoped, but was preserved alive for more ministries elsewhere, and to encourage

Keep Going!

2 Timothy 3:14-15 

The prospect of persecution, and the stresses of church leadership, might have made nervous Timothy (2 Timothy 1:7) want to step back from his responsibilities as the leader of a gospel church.  However, Paul urged him not to give up (2 Timothy 1:8; 2 Timothy 2:1; 2 Timothy 4:1-5), not just because of duty or personal loyalty to Paul, but because the Word of God is true and the gospel is powerful.  God’s salvation had come uniquely to Timothy through faith in Jesus Christ, and Timothy was to pass it on (2 Timothy 2:2).

The Divine Tool For Everything

2 Timothy 3:16-17

The Bible is more than a book, or a collection of 66 books from around 40 authors.  No; the Holy Spirit personally instructed the Bible’s authors so that what they wrote is certified as God’s Word (2 Peter 1:21).  And that applies to ‘all Scripture’ … that is - every part of the Bible.  Peter recognised that Paul’s writings had the same divine inspiration as the Old Testament (2 Peter 3:16).  We are not at liberty to choose some parts which we like and discard others.

Ministry Priorities

2 Timothy 4:1-2

These words seem very solemn; and they are.  Paul knew that he would soon be killed.  His ministry was almost finished, and he had no way of knowing how the Lord would fulfil His promise of building His church.  However, Paul had not abandoned his responsibility to keep on preaching the truth about Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:8-10), and to urge young Timothy to do the same.  Paul’s ‘charge’ affirms Timothy’s earlier commissioning (1 Timothy 4:14) as God’s call on his life.  It would be Jesus and not Paul who would assess the outcome of Timothy’s ministry.

Keeping A Clear Head Despite Opposition

2 Timothy 4:3-5

Initially the gospel is very attractive, offering forgiveness and eternal life.  But soon people understand that if they follow Jesus, they have hard choices to make as they take up their cross each day (Luke 9:23) (that means: dying to their personal desires) so that they can serve their Saviour.  Paul had seen many back-slide away from the gospel into a pattern of religion or philosophy which suited them (1 Timothy 5:15).  There was no shortage of false teachers.  Those travelling philosophers made their money saying what people wanted to hear … but it was not truth from God.

A Confident Finish

2 Timothy 4:6-8

Paul knew that he would soon be killed because he loved and served Jesus.  However he describes his coming death as a willing sacrifice of praise, like a drink offering.  In the Old Testament, with each of the animal and food sacrifices, strong wine should also be poured out as a drink offering to express joy at the goodness of God who had granted forgiveness through the sacrifices (Exodus 29:38-41).  

Moving With The Gospel

2 Timothy 4:9-13

Paul’s life would soon be cut short by a death sentence (2 Timothy 4:6-8), but there was still much to do for Jesus.  He longed that Timothy would come to see him, bringing a warm cloak and the writing scrolls he had left in Troas.  Paul was anticipating his own death but also the new spiritual life which would come as his assistant preached the gospel of repentance and forgiveness (Luke 24:46-47).  

Spiritually Dangerous People

2 Timothy 4:14-15

We do not know anything more about Alexander except that he was a metal worker and a spiritually dangerous man.  He was not a believer; indeed, he strongly opposed the gospel.  These verses imply that, in order to dissuade people from listening to Paul, he made trouble for the apostle, probably lying about his character or integrity and stirring up people’s hatred.

Deserted But Not Abandoned

2 Timothy 4:16-18

There is no record of all the events of Paul’s imprisonment and trials in Rome; but this episode was clearly dramatic.  The apostle was being tried in a criminal court, and no Christian wanted to stand with him to support or testify in court.  All human fellowship had gone.  Yet like Jesus (Luke 23:33-34) and Stephen (Acts 7:59-60), Paul asked Father God not to hold their sins against them.  Physically he was alone, with the death sentence hanging over him – death by ferocious lions, in an arena watched by jeering crowds who saw it as sport.