Translations: Chinese GB Big5

2Timothy 1 (web)

Encouragement to Persevere

1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God,
according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus,
1:2 to Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace,
from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
1:3 I thank God, whom I serve as my forefathers did, with a pure conscience.
How unceasing is my memory of you in my petitions, night and day
1:4 longing to see you, remembering your tears, that I may be filled with joy;
1:5 having been reminded of the unfeigned faith that is in you;
which lived first in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice,
and, I am persuaded, in you also.

The Shameless Confidence 
of the Minister of the Word

1:6 For this cause, I remind you that you should stir up the gift of God
which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
1:7 For God didn't give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.
1:8 Therefore don't be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner;
but endure hardship for the gospel according to the power of God,
1:9 who saved us and called us with a holy calling,
not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace,
which was given to us in Christ Jesus before times eternal,
1:10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus,
who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
1:11 For this, I was appointed as a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
1:12 For this cause I suffer also these things.
Yet I am not ashamed, for I know him whom I have believed,
and I am persuaded that he is able to guard that which I have committed to him against that day.

Keep Going

1:13 Hold the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me,
in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
1:14 That good thing which was committed to you,
guard through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
1:15 This you know, that all who are in Asia turned away from me;
of whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.
1:16 May the Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus,
for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain,
1:17 but when he was in Rome, he sought me diligently, and found me
1:18 (the Lord grant to him to find the Lord's mercy in that day);
and in how many things he served at Ephesus, you know very well.

Discussion Questions

  • What things does Paul tell Timothy not to be ashamed of?
  • Why might he have been ashamed?
  • What problems arise from being afraid of what people think of you?
  • How might your spiritual maturity and fruitfulness by affected by such fears?
  • What benefits can you receive by not being afraid of what people think of you?
  • Xref

    Lu 9:26 "For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels."

    Ro 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."


    Paul & Timothy

    vs 1,2
    1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Paul was writing in prison in Rome probably not long after writing Colossians during this same imprisonment as he will mention many of the same individuals in both letters. Typical of his introductions he establishes his authority as an apostle. And it was not by the will of the other apostles that he was made an apostle. For they had chosen another. But the Lord Jesus chose him personally, as He did the other apostles.

    Though Paul had not led Timothy to Christ, as he had first met him as a disciple in Lystra, yet Paul reckons him a son more in an apprentice sense. Timothy was his son in the sense of imitation.
    Php 2:22  But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.
    Therefore he trusts Timothy to be his representative
    1Cor 4:17  For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.

    1Cor 16:10  If Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am.
    And what is Paul's primary prayer for his son - as perhaps should be your primary prayer for your children? That God would deal with him graciously, being merciful, and that Timothy may experience God's peace.

    Minister with a Clear Conscience

    2Tim 1:3-5 I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

    A clear conscience is not the absolute measure of whether something is God's will, as Paul elsewhere said, "My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent." 1Cor 4:4  But for those with a healthy conscience it can act as a guide. So Paul says, "I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man." Acts 24:16 And such is required of those serving in ministry, "They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience." 1Tim 3:9

    To the Corinthians Paul wrote, "I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord." 1Cor 4:17 We know what it is to single out individual's, perhaps even our own children, as those who we especially hold dear. That was Paul's attitude towards Timothy. He wasn't simply a coworker.

    It's interesting that in the passage he mentions both a good conscience and a sincere faith. For in 1Tim 1:5 with regards to his instruction to stop people teaching false doctrine he says, "Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith"

    We first hear of Timothy is Acts 16:1 "He came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek." This kind of implies that his father was an unbeliever, as also does the fact that Paul mentions his mother, but not his father with regards to passing down the faith. This is strange. For if his mother was a believer, then why would she marry an unbeliever? Afterall Paul writes, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?" 2Cor 6:14,15 And the fact that her mother was a believer makes one wonder why she would have endorsed such a marriage. But then again, it happens. Or perhaps they came to faith sometime after the marriage.

    Timothy's Spiritual Gift

    2Tim 1:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

    In 1Tim 4:14 Paul says to Timothy, "Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership."

    Doesn't say what the gift is, but I infer that the gift was a spitual gift associated wth teaching and preaching, seeing as Paul was instructing Timothy along those lines in 1Timothy where he first mentioned the gift and here a few verses later where he alludes to Timothy preaching.

    Some view the gift as simply the idea that Timothy was given the opportunity to minister. There is some precedent for that. For example in Acts 6:6 hands were laid upon some men just for them to take up a ministry regarding providing food to some widows. Also prior to Paul's missionary journeys when he was still called Saul it says, "While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off." Acts 13:2,3 And in 1Tim 5:22 "Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure." Which is to say, don't be hasty in endorsing someone's ministry or handing out ministry opportunities without carefully considering the candidate.

    But given the phrase "in you" others view the gift as an attribute imparted to the Timothy, like a greater capacity to teach and preach. We don't really know. I don't presume he's referring to the baptism with the Holy Spirit. All believers have that, as it is written, "For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body— whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free— and we were all given the one Spirit to drink." 1Cor 12:13 whereas it seems Paul is referring to some more unique to Timothy in particular.

    Ministry is not for Cowards

    2Tim 1:7  For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

    In fact courage is so characteristic of those born of God due to the effect of the Holy Spirit in the believer that cowards are characterized as the first to be thrown into the Lake of Fire memtioned in Revelation 21:8.

    But it's interesting here that timidity is not simply contrasted with courage but rather with a spirit of power, love and self-discipline. Apparently you can't be both be timid and be characterized by one who loves. We cannot be both timid and be a person characterized by self-controlled, or more precisely the Greek word used here indicates "moderation" or being "sober-minded". Or conversely, it takes courage to love God and others. It takes courage to exercise self-controlled, which implies that the timid characteristically give into the flesh, they tend to comply with the influences of the world, the flesh, and the devil rather than resisting them.

    "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." 1Pet 5:8

    And love takes courage in a number of ways, one being to be willing to take initiative. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear" 1Jn 4:18a

    Minister Shamelessly

    2Tim 1:8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God

    Jesus spoke in even stronger terms saying, "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." Mr 8:38 Paul introduces the gospel in Romans saying, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes" Rom 1:16a

    Courage communicates conviction, which also affects how the message is received. When the Bible is preached it should be preached with conviction. Thus Paul requested of the Ephesians, while he was in prison, "Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should." Eph 6:19,20

    There's an inevitability to suffering if one is involved in the ministry of the gospel. And Paul later states in this letter, "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" 2Tim 3:12 

    Saved and Called to a Holy Life

    2Tim 1:9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life— not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.

    Being saved, though it is free, is not like signing a life insurance policy. It's more like freely joining the US Marines. Those who have done so have pledged to comply their behavior to their commanding officers, which is in Christian's case is Jesus.

    But this is not to say that a person's membership into the New Covenant, one's membership into the family of God, is contingent upon their behavior. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit." Titus 3:5 Rather one's behavior reflects the attitude one had upon one's allegedly entry into the kingdom.  Indeed, one's behavior can be used to diagnose whether one has indeed been born of God. For "no one who has been born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother." 1John 3:9,10

    But entry into that state is by faith alone apart from works, as Paul also said in Romans 4. "David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 'Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.'" Rom 4:6-8 Thus he said of the Ephesian Christians, "it is by grace you have been saved, through faith— and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." Eph 2:8,9

    For those who come to faith in Christ, this grace was in the cards. For the "Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world." Rev 13:8 From the beginning God made provision for those who are believers.

    Death Destroyed, Immortality Revealed

    2Tim 1:10  but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

    While this grace was always available through faith, as the way of righteousness was always by faith and not by law, as Paul said, "Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, 'The righteous will live by faith.''' Gal 3:11, yet now the basis for such justification has been revealed in the atoning work of Christ. For "God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished- he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." Rom 3:25,26

    "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work" 1John 3:8b And, "the last enemy to be destroyed is death." 1Cor 15:26 Christ, having died, this was in the cards to such an extend that Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." John 5:24

    Paul, a Herald, Apostle and Teacher

    2Tim 1:11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.

    It was not simply that he took on these roles out of his own initiative. Though I do encourage people to take initiative in seeking an effective role in the body in conformity to their level of spiritual maturity and giftedness, but to do so in concert with the body and in compliance with the Spirit in accordance with the Word of God.

    Consider these roles:

    The lexicon gives the definition of a "herald" or "preacher" as "messenger vested with public authority, who conveyed the official messages of kings, magistrates, princes, military commanders, or who gave a public summons or demand, and performed various other duties." The Greek word is "kerux" used 3 times, first is 1Tim 2:7 where again he had mention these three roles, "I was appointed a preacher and an apostle——I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying——a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth." 1Tim 2:7 And Peter also mentions it of Noah whom he characterizes as "a preacher of righteousness" 2Pet 2:5

    "Apostle" is literally "he who is sent". Paul is an official ambassador for Christ, chosen specifically by Jesus Christ personally for that task. And as an apostle, his word is infallible, take to be the very words of God. "When you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe." 1Th 2:13

    A "Teacher" is one who explains things. The bulk of the New Testament letters were written by Paul in which he explains the gospel and the Christian life. There he explains things explicitly, and as such all other passages, such as historical sections as in Acts and the Old Testment as well as the gospels, and the parables and other such content in the gospels are to be interpreted in light of Paul's teachings. For as the New Testament enlightens the meaning of the Old, so also Paul's writings enlighten the meaning of the gospels and Acts and other such content.

    What Have You Entrusted to God?

    2Tim 1:12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.

    That is, he is suffering persecution as a natural consequence of taking on these three roles, which is inevitable as he mentions later in the letter, "Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." 2Tim 3:12 But his attitude concerning such opposition is reflected in Jesus' sermon on the mount, "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Mt 5:10-12

    Conversely Jesus said, "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." Mr 8:38 Yet there are those who are not rooted in their convictions but merely have a "faith" reflected of wishful thinking (of whom I would argue never genuinely believed) who upon suffering some sort of trouble due to the Word, fall away. "The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away." Mt 13:20-21

    The Lord has entrust to us the ministry of the gospel and in turn we have entrust to Him, our dignity, our desires, our hope, and our eternal soul, which is more than a fair exchange. Committing yourself to God involoves trusting God with that which you've entrust to Him.

    Paul's Writings the Standard

    2Tim 1:13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.

    Paul's writings are the standard up to which all Christian doctrine must be held. Therefore if any are serious about the Christian life they are to study Paul's letters as the standard by which they are to measure their own Christian life. And such is the case not only with regards to Paul's doctrine, but also his practice. For elsewhere he writes, "Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern." Php 3:17 Thus the measure of a man is not simply his doctrine but his practice as also he says to Timothy, "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." 1Tim 4:12

    In fact the particular word used here for "pattern" (hupotuposis) is used only one other time. That's in 1Tim 1:16 "for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern <5296> to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life."

    But getting back to doctrine, to be noted is that not just the ideas, but also the rhetoric Pauls uses, the emphasis, are patterns to follow in teaching.  Indeed actually memorizing and quoting sections of what Paul actually said I find to be often superior to many a sermon these days which largely neglects what the Bible actuallys says.

    Guard the Ministry of the Word

    2Tim 1:14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you— guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

    I take that the "deposit" was the ministry role and responsibility he was entrusted with, which primarily dealt with the role of teaching. The Spirit helps to discern false doctrine, as Jesus said, "the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you." John 14:26 But as Jesus alludes to here, and as Paul just said, the primary way to discern false doctrine is by comparing it with what the Bible already says. Thus John writes, "We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error." 1John 4:6  For many today will claim their teachings are inspired by the Holy Spirit while neglecting and discouraging to compare it against what the Bible actually says.

    Corruptibiliy in teaching can come in many ways. By neglecting personal Bible study, or simply reading commentaries or such, one can be jaded by the opinions of man or by the culture of the world itself, which then become part of one's teachings. One can likewise become corrupted if one is financially dependent upon one's teaching role, which affects one's sincerity. Thus Paul writes, "Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God."  2Cor 2:17 And "You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed— God is our witness." 1Th 2:5

    And then there's the pride of instutional elitism which desensitizes one from criticisms or from scrutinizing one's teachings in light of scripture, which is also reflected in the history of much of instituionalized post-Biblical Christianity.

    Faithfulness Revealed in Troubling Times

    2Tim 1:15-18 You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.

    He'll mention others who had abandoned him in chapter 4. His experience is much as the Lord's. "Then everyone deserted him and fled." Mr 14:50 For when things get tough, the weak in faith show their unreliability. "Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble." Pr 25:19 And Paul was feeling the pain.  And recall the sheep/goat judgment of Mt 25 in which the Lord said, "I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me." Mt 25:36 This should be characteristic of the Christian life.

    In contrast what we read of Onesiphorus you would think came right out of Jesus' parable of the good Samaritan. Even more so. For didn't simply run across a man in trouble, but rather seached hard for him. And perhaps we should ask ourselves whether there are those who have been overlooked because we have not sought for them.

    His prayer for Onesiphorus sounds very much that he's referring to a similar context as the sheep/goat judgement of Mt 25. Interesting that it's in the optative - a wish - verses the indicative - a statement of fact. For he wishes the Lord to grant him mercy rather simply declaring that the Lord will show him mercy. It implies there being some uncertainty in this regards. For assurance of salvation is not an absolute thing, but rather assurance of salvation is relative to the degree to which one behaves as a child of God should. And thus there's always some uncertainty, even though at times Paul speaks confidently with regards to one's salvation status from time to time. But neither Mt 25 nor Paul here are referring to a sort of salvation by works idea.

    The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources

    Jul 29,2015