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2 Timothy

Route 66: A Road Map Through the Bible  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Again, Who Is Timothy?

Timothy first appears in as Paul’s disciple whose mother “was a Jewish believer; but his father was a Greek” (v 1).
He was a third-generation Christian after his mother Eunice and grandmother Lois (2 Tm 1:5).
The apostle Paul, undoubtedly Timothy’s spiritual father, refers to him as “my true child in the faith” (1 Tm 1:2); he perhaps converted Timothy on his first or second missionary journey.
Timothy, who was “well spoken of by the brethren at Lystra and Iconium” (), became Paul’s companion and assistant on his second missionary journey at Lystra.
Timothy, who was “well spoken of by the brethren at Lystra and Iconium” (), became Paul’s companion and assistant on his second missionary journey at Lystra.
Paul put Timothy in charge of the church at Ephesus and wrote him two pastoral letters addressed with his name to help him perform that responsible task.
Last word’s spoken by someone right before they died.
In times past, people often witnessed the last words of a loved one before he died. Watching at the bedside, the family heard words of advice, or whispers of love, perhaps a few regrets. Of one thing you can be sure, no one talked about their car or business success, or what stocks were on the rise. People who know that the words they speak are possibly their last usually focus on serious matters. They measure their words carefully.
Last will all anxious to see what they might get.
People who know that the words they speak are possibly their last usually focus on serious matters.
They measure their words carefully.
Paul did the same in this, his last letter. His impending execution, by decree of Emperor Nero, stirred within him an urgency to write once again to his dear friend and protegé, Timothy. This impassioned letter, more personal in tone than his first letter to Timothy, depicts a veteran minister eager to bolster the faith of a young pastor. He wanted to ground Timothy firmly in his obligations to Christ and the church.
Paul did the same in this, his last letter.
His impending execution stirred within him an urgency to write once again to his dear friend and protegé, Timothy.
This impassioned letter, more personal in tone than his first letter to Timothy, depicts a veteran minister eager to bolster the faith of a young pastor.
He wanted to ground Timothy firmly in his obligations to Christ and the church.
From his many court trials and his time spent in prison, Paul felt the winds of public and official opinion turning more harshly against Christians. Although the apostle knew it was the Holy Spirit who would guard and preserve the church’s message and mission, he seemed to feel the press of love and duty to do all he could to protect its faith and holiness against the future. On the horizon lay some of the most brutal persecutions of the church.
From his many court trials and his time spent in prison, Paul felt the winds of public and official opinion turning more harshly against Christians.
Although the apostle knew it was the Holy Spirit who would guard and preserve the church’s message and mission, he seemed to feel the press of love and duty to do all he could to protect its faith and holiness against the future.
On the horizon lay some of the most brutal persecutions of the church.
Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, p. 263). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
I’d like to share some of my favorite parts of this letter that have meant a lot to me over the years.
Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Timothy, Timotheus (Person). In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 2, p. 2070). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

Fan the Flame

After his greeting, Paul highlighted Timothy’s heritage of belief in God, he confirmed his conviction that Timothy shared in this genuine faith.
He then encourages Timothy to rekindle the flame
Read vs. 6-8
Every genuine believer receives this gift from God.
Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Timothy, Timotheus (Person). In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 2, p. 2069). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
This is why Paul told Timothy that he was persuaded of his sincere faith.
Timothy had this powerful gift within him, enabling him to perform all that God required.
Even so, Timothy must fan into flame the Spirit’s power. This is a present-tense verb. It might better be translated “keep fanning.” It was not that the Spirit’s flame was weak or needed to be alive by human effort but that the Spirit only works in cooperation with those who desire his enablement. We keep fanning the flame by keeping “in step with the Spirit” (), by disciplining ourselves in godliness to produce the fruit which is his nature
Even so, Timothy must fan into flame the Spirit’s power.
It might better be translated “keep fanning.”
It was not that the Spirit’s flame was weak or needed to be alive by human effort but that the Spirit only works in cooperation with those who desire his enablement.
We keep fanning the flame by keeping “in step with the Spirit” (), by disciplining ourselves in godliness to produce the fruit which is his nature
Last week we shared that Timothy was a timid, shy type of person who was thrust in a large role of leadership in the church at Ephesus.
Paul wanted to counter his timidity by reminding him of the gift of grace, the Holy Spirit.
Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, p. 266). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
Giving him the boldness that should belong to every believer.
A spirit not of fear, but of power, love and sound judgement or self discipline.
We find that like Timothy, that we need God’s strength in our daily living, to endure and make wise choices, to live in patience, producing goodness.
Paul then in vs. 8 commands Timothy to not be ashamed of the gospel.
He has the power of God to do whatever God calls him and us to, power to love God and others, and power to think wisely and clearly.
How do we live out this power in our lives?
On way we do this is through speech and lifestyle—our affirmation of God’s work in us and our agreement with him.
Paul’s charge for us not to be ashamed to testify is a command to openness.
Shame often shows itself through silence.
We simply do not say anything about Christ; we keep everything to ourselves.
We simply go along with the way everyone else lives, with no difference in our ethics, moral positions, values, or ambitions.
Another way we identify with Christ is through solidarity with his people, especially those who suffer on his behalf. The people we associate with often reflect on us. If someone is admired, our ties with that person will grant us acceptance by people we do not even know. Everyone enjoys approval, but we must be careful where we seek it. Avoiding those who are controversial because they take a bold stand for Christ or steering clear of helping Christians are signs that we are ashamed of God’s people. Our first loyalty and duty is to the household of faith.
Another way is with the message, the proclamation of God’s truth and Christ’s life.
The third means of identification is with the message, the proclamation of God’s truth and Christ’s life. To refrain from speaking about God’s truth, to hold back from living it, is to regard the gospel with shame and dishonor.
To refrain from speaking about God’s truth, to hold back from living it, is to regard the gospel with shame and dishonor.
Later in the letter, Paul tells Timothy to be ready to share or preach the gospel at any time.

Train Others

Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, pp. 267–268). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
Paul, in chapter two reminds Timothy of the false teaching and growing apostasy, he urges him to be strong.
Timothy must not only guard the gospel; he must take the gospel and the apostolic instructions (things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses) and entrust [them] to reliable men.
Unlike the false teachers who claimed special revelation or secret knowledge, Paul’s message stood in accord with all Scripture and in agreement with the apostles.
Unlike the false teachers who claimed special revelation or secret knowledge, Paul’s message stood in accord with all Scripture and in agreement with the apostles. What he received from the Lord he passed on in an open manner (). Likewise, Timothy received no inside information from Paul. The message was widely known, spoken of freely and before many witnesses.
What he received from the Lord he passed on in an open manner ().
Likewise, Timothy received no inside information from Paul.
The message was widely known, spoken of freely and before many witnesses.
In his assignment to entrust the gospel to other people, Timothy needed to observe in these believers the quality of adherence to God’s truth. Reliability and trustworthiness in remaining true to the gospel were prerequisites.
In his assignment to entrust the gospel to other people, Timothy needed to observe in these believers the quality of adherence to God’s truth.
Reliability and trustworthiness in remaining true to the gospel were prerequisites.
Timothy must also seek those who evidenced a knowledge and ability to teach others. Paul warned to establish people of godly character who possessed the aptitude for relating divine truth to everyday life, for clarifying ideas, and for maintaining purity in their instruction.
Timothy must also seek those who evidenced a knowledge and ability to teach others.
Paul warned to establish people of godly character who possessed the aptitude for relating divine truth to everyday life, for clarifying ideas, and for maintaining purity in their instruction.
FAT - faithful able to teach, reproducible.

Stick with the Bible

In chapter 3, Paul is aware that difficult times were coming for the church.
He warns Timothy of what is to come and how the world will get worse as people move farther away from God in the last days.
Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, pp. 280–281). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
He tells him to “Flee youthful passions” arising out of the flesh and live according to God’s way that is found in God’s word.
Two elements are necessary for faithful living
We must possess knowledge of the truth
Secondly is conviction or belief as expressed in the daily decisions we make and the behaviors we engage.
Where do we get that?
For Timothy it was he Godly mother and grandmother.
Knowing and learning the scriptures
Been discipled and taught by Paul
He was given knowledge and witnessed Godly lives
In every case that person had staked his or her life on the revelation of the Scriptures.
The power of the Bible to affect change and demand obedience resides in the fact that all Scripture is God-breathed.
The Bible originates with God.
Claims of origins carry great significance because authority lives in the Creator.
This is why people invest such Herculean efforts in trying to disprove God as the earth’s Creator and in questioning the authenticity of the Bible.
Admitting to God’s authorship is an acceptance of his authority over every aspect of life.
By stating that Scriptures are God breathed, Paul established the Bible’s claim as God’s authoritative Word over all people.
The Scriptures were written by men “as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (). The picture is that of a sailboat being moved along by the wind. Indeed, men wrote the Bible, but the words and substance of what they wrote came from God. This makes the Bible useful. Paul listed four main uses of Scripture, all of which intertwine with one another.
The Scriptures were written by men “as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” ().
The picture is that of a sailboat being moved along by the wind.
Indeed, men wrote the Bible, but the words and substance of what they wrote came from God.
This makes the Bible useful.
Paul listed four main uses of Scripture, all of which intertwine with one another.
Teaching involves instruction. Since Timothy was feeling the attacks of false teachers, Paul encouraged the young pastor to continue in teaching correct doctrine and correct living. The Scriptures must be known so people will grasp their need of salvation and so the confessing community will adhere to its instructions on proper Christian conduct.
Teaching involves instruction.
Since Timothy was feeling the attacks of false teachers, Paul encouraged the young pastor to continue in teaching correct doctrine and correct living.
The Scriptures must be known so people will grasp their need of salvation and so the confessing community will adhere to its instructions on proper Christian conduct.
Rebuking and correcting are the disciplinary authority of Scripture. Because the Bible is God’s Word and because it reveals truth, it exercises authority over those who deviate from its standard. “Rebuking” points out sin and confronts disobedience. “Correcting” recognizes that a person has strayed from the truth. Graciously, lovingly, yet firmly, we should try to guide the errant individual back into obedience.
Rebuking and correcting are the disciplinary authority of Scripture.
Because the Bible is God’s Word and because it reveals truth, it exercises authority over those who deviate from its standard.
“Rebuking” points out sin and confronts disobedience.
“Correcting” recognizes that a person has strayed from the truth.
Graciously, lovingly, yet firmly, we should try to guide the errant individual back into obedience.
Many times the Old Testament relates Israel’s disobedience to God, how the people suffered God’s chastisement for their rebellion, and how God corrected their sinful habits. The New Testament continues with stories and instructions, warnings regarding disobedience, disciplinary actions for those who fail to heed God’s revelation, and teachings on proper conduct.
Training in righteousness is the counterpoint to correction.
Training in righteousness is the counterpoint to correction. The Scriptures give us positive guidance for maturing in faith and acceptable conduct.
The Scriptures give us positive guidance for maturing in faith and acceptable conduct.
The goal of all this instruction, discipline, and training is not to keep us busy.
God intends that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
We study the Bible, we rely upon God’s Spirit, his revelation, and the community of the faithful to keep us on track—obedient and maturing in faith.
Continuing in this commitment will enable us to do whatever God calls us to do.
Timothy could withstand the attacks of false teachers, the abandonment of professing believers, and the persecution that surrounded him because God had equipped him for the task.
God never calls us to do something without first enabling us through his Spirit and the power of his truth to accomplish the task.
We neglect the Scriptures at our own peril. Through them we gain the ability to serve God and others. The Scriptures not only point the way; through the mysterious union of God’s Word and faith, they give us the ability to serve.
We neglect the Scriptures at our own peril.
Through them we gain the ability to serve God and others.
The Scriptures not only point the way; through the mysterious union of God’s Word and faith, they give us the ability to serve.

The End Is Near

Paul had already provided Timothy with sound reasons to stay faithful to the ministry: God’s certain return, the increase of falsehood and wickedness, and his own commissioning.
Now Paul gave Timothy another compelling reason to stay with the hard work of ministry: the time has come for my departure.
Paul would die soon, and Timothy must carry on the work.
Paul referred to his coming death in terms of a willing sacrifice to God, reminiscent of . He stated, I am already being poured out like a drink offering. His imagery came from his Jewish heritage and the biblical rites of devotion given to the sanctified community of faith. In , God defines for Israel some of the burnt offerings “made by fire … as an aroma pleasing to the LORD” (). A drink offering of wine was to accompany the sacrifice of animals or grain. Just as Christ, the Lamb, was sacrificed to remove our sin guilt, so we are called to offer our lives in service as expressions of worship. Paul’s offering was a literal offering of blood (often symbolized as wine) as he gave himself to the executioner’s sword.
He states, I am already being poured out like a drink offering.
His imagery came from his Jewish heritage and the biblical rites of devotion given to the sanctified community of faith.
In , God defines for Israel some of the burnt offerings “made by fire … as an aroma pleasing to the LORD” ().
A drink offering of wine was to accompany the sacrifice of animals or grain.
Just as Christ, the Lamb, was sacrificed to remove our sin guilt, so we are called to offer our lives in service as expressions of worship.
Paul’s offering was a literal offering of blood (often symbolized as wine) as he gave himself to the executioner’s sword.
4:7–8. Paul offered three statements as a short review of his life. He meant to inspire Timothy, and all Christians, to continued faithfulness.
Paul offered three statements as a short review of his life.
First, Paul declared, I have fought the good fight.
First, Paul declared, I have fought the good fight. Athletic competitions were as popular in the ancient world as in our own. Most people were familiar with the training and discipline necessary to succeed in athletic contests. Paul described his life in similar terms, except that the focus and discipline he employed were for the good fight of faith. He gave his life to the only cause worthy of devotion. He stayed with the rigors, the sacrifices, and the deprivations in order to receive the victor’s reward.
Athletic competitions were as popular in the ancient world as in our own.
Most people were familiar with the training and discipline necessary to succeed in athletic contests.
Paul described his life in similar terms, except that the focus and discipline he employed were for the good fight of faith.
He gave his life to the only cause worthy of devotion.
He stayed with the rigors, the sacrifices, and the deprivations in order to receive the victor’s reward.
Then Paul stated, I have finished the race. He viewed the successful completion of his life before God; he endured to the end. He remained true to the gospel despite terrible opposition. It was the very thing he asked of Timothy. Jesus gave a similar sentiment in : “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.”
Then Paul stated, I have finished the race.
He viewed the successful completion of his life before God; he endured to the end.
He remained true to the gospel despite terrible opposition.
It was the very thing he asked of Timothy.
This is all any of us can do.
There were still lepers to heal and blind people who could not see. There were many who did not believe. But both Jesus and Paul had submitted their wills to the will of God and had done what God called them to do.
We can finish our own race.
This is all any of us can do. We can finish our own race. God’s call upon each life is different in details and specifics, but he desires faithful endurance from all of us. We finish the race one step at a time, choosing to testify of God’s goodness and grace and living rightly every day.
God’s call upon each life is different in details and specifics, but he desires faithful endurance from all of us.
We finish the race one step at a time, choosing to testify of God’s goodness and grace and living rightly every day.
Paul concluded, I have kept the faith. This summarized what all the other phrases had described. In life and in doctrine, he had stayed the course with integrity.
Paul concluded, I have kept the faith.
This summarized what all the other phrases had described.
In life and in doctrine, he had stayed the course with integrity.
4:8. As Paul awaited death, he stood on the threshold of a more glorious life to come. He knew what was ahead: the crown of righteousness. He knew who would confer it: the Lord, the righteous Judge. He knew when he would receive it: on that day.
As Paul awaited death, he stood on the threshold of a more glorious life to come.
He knew what was ahead: the crown of righteousness.
He knew who would confer it: the Lord, the righteous Judge.
He knew when he would receive it: on that day.
Biblical writers often used the metaphor of a crown to describe the conferring of honor or reward. Paul used this metaphor in reference to the reward of righteousness that believers will receive when Christ returns. Though an individual receives the righteousness of Christ when he trusts in him as Savior, this righteousness is not fully realized until the day of his appearing. Legally, before the holy God, we are righteous. Practically, we await Christ’s return when we will experience the reward of his total righteousness.
Paul used this metaphor in reference to the reward of righteousness that believers will receive when Christ returns.
Though an individual receives the righteousness of Christ when he trusts in him as Savior, this righteousness is not fully realized until the day of his appearing.
Legally, before the holy God, we are righteous.
Practically, we await Christ’s return when we will experience the reward of his total righteousness.
This great future urged Paul on through the persecutions, the loneliness, the disappointments.
This great future urged Paul on through the persecutions, the loneliness, the disappointments. He looked ahead to the sweep of eternity, the bliss of living in God’s presence, and wrote, “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” ().
This future exists, not for Paul alone, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
This future exists, not for Paul alone, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. To set our hopes on Christ’s appearing qualifies us as children of God. The unbeliever cannot look forward to the day of Christ’s return. It means nothing to him. But to those who have staked their lives upon his coming, that day promises a uniting with the Lord. There is joy in anticipation of seeing him.
To set our hopes on Christ’s appearing qualifies us as children of God.
The unbeliever cannot look forward to the day of Christ’s return.
It means nothing to him.
But to those who have staked their lives upon his coming, that day promises a uniting with the Lord.
There is joy in anticipation of seeing him.
Salvation
Prayer
Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, pp. 321–322). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, pp. 306–307). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, p. 306). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
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