2 Timothy 4:6-22 Transcript
As for Me
As for Me
We left off with Paul giving Timothy 4 directives as pastors the church in Ephesus. He told him to Always be sober-minded, to endure suffering, to do the work of an evangelist, and ultimately for Timothy to fulfill his ministry. Now Paul transitions with an intentional shift to reminding Timothy of himself, his life and mission. He writes in verses 6-8
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
Why would Paul shift from writing to Timothy to now writing about himself?
Paul is passing the torch, he knows he’s done and it’s time for Timothy to run with it, but he’s reminding Timothy of his life and his hope.
I am already being poured out, a figure of speech, meaning what? A drink offering poured out was a form of sacrifice, to God, implying of his impending death. This was the final form of sacrifice in the OT system, implying that Paul’s death was his final offering. His life was a sacrifice offering and now finally fully in his death. And the time of my departure has come. Clearly from this world.
But the word translated departure (analysis in Greek) triumphantly expresses the apostle’s view of the end; it is a ‘loosing, e.g. of a vessel from its moorings or of a soldier striking his tent’ (Abbott-Smith). What might seem the end to Timothy appears to the apostle as a glorious new era when he will be released from all his present restrictions.
In verse 7 Paul gives Timothy a list what he’s done with his life and it brings us back to a list he gave Timothy in chapter 2. He writes that he has; fought the good fight, finished the race, kept the faith, all in the perfect tense indicating finality in action but continuing in results. Paul is done, but the fight, the race and the faith aren’t.
fought the good fight, the fight is over for Paul, in the sense of the soldier in chapter 2, Paul was devoted to his commanding officer, eyes on the battle, executed orders, stayed in the battle and struggle, doesn’t say he won the fight, it’s not a competition for him because Jesus has already won the fight, and the fight continues on for those still fighting, but just that he fought the fight that God gave him to fight, he finished his fight.
finished the race, the race is over for Paul, in the sense of the athlete in chapter 2, he trained, was focused, competed with all he had, and finished the course set before him, the race is over for him, he doesn’t say he won the race, not a competition, he ran the race God gave him, and he stayed the course and completed it.
kept the faith, in the sense of a farmer? he never lost hope, never lost belief, God would do His part, even the “failures” were good bc by God. He cultivated soil, planted seeds, nurtured growth, produced a harvest. He did his part and God did His, he kept the faith. Maybe Paul also means as a guardian of what was entrusted to him, the faith and the gospel.
All three of these metaphors rely on faith, first in your commanding officer and your oath to serve, secondly in the rules given by the man in charge and your commitment to abide by them, lastly in God to do only what He is capable of doing. Also, in the guarding the deposit language and the entrusting of faith and the good deposit, Paul has done it, he hasn’t lost faith and he’s entrusted it to faithful men.
Now in V8 he writes, Now there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, the award is waiting in heaven for Paul, it’s there, Paul isn’t yet. He has accomplished verse 7, now verse 8 looks to the near future. The crown is his award for his honorable service rendered as a dedicated follower of Jesus, but the
Crown of righteousness-the crown of the righteous, it’s for the righteous, we aren’t awarded righteousness for what we do or have done, we are righteous because of what Jesus has done for us, we are followers of Him and therefore awarded. The indication here is that this glorification, Paul’s dying and going to heaven is the final form of righteousness to be attained. This highlights the 3 aspects of salvation, Justification, Sanctification, Glorification.
Justification-Salvation past, getting Christ’s imputed righteousness, His holy and perfect record and all the good He did, and losing our imperfect record. Also, getting Christ’s righteousness within us, imparted to us in the form of the Holy Spirit. Justification is a Legal term, not guilty, just as if I’d never sinned and also as if I’d done all things right, this is a crown of righteousness, or part of the crown of righteousness awarded upon placing faith and lordship in Jesus. It’s a gift of God. ,
Sanctification-Salvation past and present, we are declared holy once and for all, we have been sanctified, it is awarded to us in the part of Christ’s righteousness imparted to us, but also the process of becoming what God has already declared us to be through the power of the Holy Spirit in us. This is ongoing until we leave this earth. , ,
Glorification-Salvation past and future. Once we have placed our faith in Jesus we are now seated with Him in the heavenlies, but not really and fully until we depart from this earth to be with Him in heaven. This is the final crown, or part of the crown, of righteousness awarded to us as we finally finish sanctification and are transformed into the likeness of Jesus. , ,
Not only to me but to all who loved His appearing, the lost will fear Jesus appearing, His second coming because it means judgement, but the saved will long for it, for it means life eternal and rewards for all who believe.
Do your best to come to me soon. For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Do your best to come to me soon, echo’s back to 1:4 and 4:6., Paul knows his time is short.
He then gives some info on certain people:
For Demas has loved this world and deserted (forsake, abandon in a dire situation) me and gone to Thessalonica (possibly a safe haven), this is a personal offense by Demas and Paul is hurt by this. mentions Demas as a close associate of Paul, but maybe by this time, he’s had enough of the beatings and prison sentences. In love with this present world ( , ) this wording could be an indication he’s defected from the faith, left the struggle, left the persecution, maybe he hasn’t completely left the faith, but he has definitely left Paul. It’s a dangerous game to decide completely if someone is or isn’t a believer. But there is a clear contrast to V8. Maybe Demas was never really a true believer?
Paul then gives us the whereabouts of some familiar names, Titus, Luke, and Mark. He also mentions two names we aren’t that familiar with, Tychicus and Carpus. He writes fo Alexander the coppersmith, an opposer of the gospel.
Paul finishes, this section with verses not meant as a guilt trip, but rather reveal his godly character and belief and hope. Even though Paul was deserted and alone, Jesus was with him, He rescued Him, and will do so again. Paul does not mean he will be spared death, but even in death he has already been rescued from the ultimate death, separation from God for all eternity. He knows confidently that his last breath here on earth means shortly after his first breath in the presence of Jesus, and to him be all the glory and honor.