Learning from 2 Timothy
1:1-2:7 - God’s Word is not to be kept to ourselves. Paul was called by God to be a ‘preacher’ of the ‘Gospel’ (11). He passed God’s Word on to Timothy, encouraging him to share the message with ‘faithful’ people who would pass it on to others’ (13; 2:2). Everyone has their part to play. Things didn’t come to a standstill when Paul wasn’t around. Timothy was to make sure that everything didn’t revolve around himself. There were others who were to carry the work of God forward. We must not make too much of certain individuals. The work of the Lord is always much more than the work done by any one person. God is always looking for more people who will take up the challenge of seeing that His work is not left undone. Serve the Lord in the ‘power’ of ‘the Holy Spirit’. Trust Him - His work is ‘safe in His hands’ (1:7,14,12).
2:8-3:9 - ‘Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead’ (2:8). God’s servants become part of our past. Christ remains the heart of our future. He is the risen Christ, the living Lord. When God’s servants become a distant memory, we must remember Him. Keep your eyes fixed on the Lord Jesus Christ. If we are to ‘avoid godless chatter’ and ‘stupid, senseless controversies’, we must keep Him at the very centre of our lives (16,23). If we are to be ‘lovers of God’ rather than ‘lovers of self’, we must keep on saying from the heart, ‘I must decrease. Christ must increase’ (3:4,2; John 3:30). We may face problems - from those who ‘oppose the truth’, people of ‘corrupt mind and counterfeit faith’. Don’t be afraid of such opposition - ‘they will not get very far... their folly will be plain to all’ (3:8-9). Keep your eyes on Jesus!
3:10-4:22 - What is the greatest thing that the Lord’s servants can pass on to the Lord’s people? - ‘The Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus’ (3:15). They are to ‘preach the Word’ in the power of ‘the Holy Spirit’ (2; 1 Peter 1:12). When the preaching has ended, one thing remains - ‘the living and abiding Word of God’ (1 Peter 1:12). When all the words have been spoken, the ministry of the Spirit continues. Through the ongoing work of ‘the Spirit of the living God’, the Word of God is ‘written’ in the ‘hearts’ of those who have heard the Word preached (2 Corinthians 3:3). What kind of preaching do we need? Do we need ‘teachers who will tell us what we want to hear’ (3)? No! We need preachers who will say ‘what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Revelation 2:7,11,17, 29; 3:6,13,22).