2 Timothy 1:15-18
15 You know that everyone in the province of
Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 17 On the contrary, when he was in , he searched hard for me until he found me. 18 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 Rome . Ephesus
2 Timothy 2:1-13
1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. 3 Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs--he wants to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. 8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained. 10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 11 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; 13 if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
1. Paul’s Context:
When Paul wrote his Second Letter to Timothy, he was again a prisoner in
. He was imprisoned in a dungeon in chains for his preaching the gospel (cf. 2 Timothy 2:9). Because of Paul's imprisonment, a number of individuals had deserted him when he needed them the most. All in Asia Minor in the area of Rome , where Timothy was serving as pastor, had turned away from Paul (cf. 2 Timothy 1:15). At Paul's first trial no one had supported him. Everyone had deserted him (cf. 2 Timothy 4:16). A certain Alexander, identified as a metal worker, may have even testified against Paul at his trial (cf. 2 Timothy 4:14,15). Only the Lord himself had stood by Paul and had strengthened him that he might be delivered on that occasion from the lion's mouth (cf. 2 Timothy 4:17). One Christian who did not desert Paul was Onesiphorus. He had come to Ephesus and searched for Paul until he had found him (cf. 2 Timothy 1:16-18). At the time Paul wrote his Second Letter to Timothy only Luke, the physician and Paul's co-worker, was with him. Paul had sent Tychicus to Rome , who seems to have again served as Paul's mail carrier who delivered this second letter to Timothy. Paul appears to also have sent Tychicus to Ephesus Ephesus to relieve Timothy, so Timothy could travel to to be with him. Paul may possibly have written this second letter out of fear that Timothy might not be able to arrive in Rome before his death. By means of this letter Paul wanted to tell Timothy what he hoped to tell him in person. Rome
2. Timothy’s Context:
had burned in July of A.D. 64 and Nero had blamed the Christians, it had become dangerous to be a Christian. It was also dangerous to have contact with leaders of the church such as Paul.1Consequently many believers, including some of Paul's coworkers, had chosen to seek a much lower profile and become less aggressive in their ministries. Timothy faced temptation to do the same. Paul wrote this epistle to urge him to remain faithful to his calling and loyal to his father in the faith. Timothy needed to stand shoulder to shoulder with Paul and the other believers and to continue to "preach the Word" as he had done. Rome
To understand Paul's role with Timothy better, it is helpful to understand the specific issues that Timothy was facing. The pressures that Timothy faced in
were both from inside and outside the church itself. From within the church, Timothy was dealing with false teachers (2 Timothy 2:14-18) which would undermine the faith of believers if left unchecked (Mappes, 1995). From outside the church, Timothy was dealing with a culture that is described by Paul as terrible due to qualities of extreme hedonism and insolence (2 Timothy 3:1-5). It was during Timothy's pastorate that the church experienced its first persecution under Nero, who according to tradition was instrumental in the execution of the Apostle Paul. By many accounts, Nero was considered insane. Under his regime it is recorded that Christians were tortured with great cruelty, which included (a) cladding them in the hides of beasts to be torn asunder by dogs, (b) crucifying some, and (c) setting others on fire to serve as illumination on poles). With the heretical trouble from within the church and the extreme pressures upon the church Paul responds "keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry” (2 Tim. 4:5. Ephesus
In this whole chapter Paul uses seven figures of speech to describe the duty and activity of “endurance in the gospel and the mission of God”.
Endurance in what? - Paul has been imprisoned, persecuted, tortured etc…. for the sake of his stand on Jesus Christ and the gospel. He has endured much from the time of his conversion in Acts 9 to his present condition, where he is “In Chains” Imprisoned in
. He has been abandoned by all except for a few close followers. Rome
He begins his exhortation of “endurance in the Gospel and mission of God” towards Timothy, but we can clearly see how this can apply to all Christians everywhere.
A Son – Follow and Teach. (Son of God, and Son in the faith to Paul) Mentored and Mentor. He should follow the example of Paul, and teach others, so that they might teach others
A Soldier – Endure and Avoid. Endure hardships and avoid the entanglements of the world (Civilian affairs) His eyes, heart, mind, steps are to be focused, on the oders, will, instructions of his commanding officer. (Jesus)
An Athlete – Contend and Abide He is to contend for the reward. He is to abide by the rules. Keeping the finishing tape in his gaze.
A Farmer – Labour and Partake. To do the hard work, but also to share in the harvest (A share of the crops)
There are three other figures of speech that Paul gives Timothy to describe the duty and activity of endurance, which no doubt will be covered in the next passage that you will study.
A Student-- must "rightly divide" the Word of God --v.15
A Vessel or Utensil-- a vessel must be clean to be usable-- v.20-2
A Servant -- a disciple is a servant, gentle, apt to teach, patient -- v.24.
In verse 7 Paul calls Timothy to a time of reflection on what he is saying. Reflection to find insight and instruction.
Starting in v 8 Paul begins to share with Timothy his own focus (Jesus Christ and the gospel of the good news) by saying. Paul reminds Timothy about the truth’s about this gospel, and by reminding Timothy of the truths of the gospel, encourages his endurance in the gospel and mission of God.
1.An Individual Gospel - “This is my gospel”v8 - Paul is incarnating the Gospel, fleshing it out, living it if you like, it’s all that he does, it’s in his vision all of the time.
2. A Liberated Gospel- “God's word is not chained” v9 - The Gospel is free, unbound, it has wings. It cannot be stopped, altered, put down, destroyed. Because it’s Gods.
3. A Gospel of Salvation- “Salvation that is in Christ Jesus”v 10 A Gospel of Salvation,. (What does it mean “for the sake of the Elect?”
4. A Gospel of Resurrection and Transformation – “If we died with him, we will also live with him” there are thoughts here of the resurrection and the transforming of life. In Paul’s other epistles this is one of those abiding themes.
5. The Gospel of God’s faithfulness – “he will remain faithful” Although here Paul is speaking of the faithfulness of God when his people are not faithful. I cannot help see the wider picture of the God of past, present and future and his faithfulness that carries his people into eternal glory.
What can we learn for our Christian life today.
1. What does this passage say to you individually?
2. What message has this passage for God’s church?