418. On 2 Timothy 1:1-14. Faithful Ministry In A Hostile World. For Sun 02 October 2022

Greeting. 1-2.

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

This greeting is similar to those in the other Pauline epistles except for the mention of the word “mercy.” This is found in the greetings only in the 2 epistles to Timothy. It may be that because this is a personal message to his friend in ministry he includes it knowing that the judgment for ministers of the gospel will be more serious than on other believers.  They have a God-given opportunity to lead their people to a deeper commitment to Jesus or they might fail to do so. For that, they are accountable to God.

Thanksgiving To God For The Faith In Timothy’s Family. 3-5.

3 “I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. [Note 1].

His thinking about Timothy reminded him of a time when Timothy had shed tears, probably at their last parting, “As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy.“ 4. 

Paul was also reminded of Timothy’s sincere faith which had come through the influence of his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.” 5. What a godly family, showing the influence that godly people can have on those near and dear!

Fan Into Flame The Gift Of God In You. 6-10

Paul now encourages Timothy to become what God wanted him to be. 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.” {Note 2]. He was to rekindle some gift of God that Timothy received through the laying on of Paul’s hands. It may have been a reference to the commissioning for ministry as Paul set him apart for that ministry. So Timothy should have been strong in the ministry God gave him through Paul. Paul explained, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 7. There may also have been a reference here to the Holy Spirit who was associated with the power of God and among whose fruit were both love and self-control. Galatians 5:22,23. 

Paul bid Timothy to be strong and to be willing to suffer for his faith

 “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God.” 8. This was a time when there was much persecution against the church and it was more than possible Timothy would be among those persecuted. But he would be able to face that opposition by the power of God.

Paul reminds Timothy of the purpose of God he was serving, “who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.” 9. That purpose “now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,.” 10. [Note 3]. 

Paul’s faithfulness to Christ the Faithful One. 11-12.

11 “for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. “

Paul once again affirms his credentials as an apostle and as a preacher and teacher of the gospel which had brought suffering to him. Having commanded Timothy not to be ashamed of “the testimony about our Lord” he tells him why he himself is not ashamed. It is because “I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.“ He had come to know God through trusting in Jesus Christ and believed that God would protect him and his witness until that day. He does describe what “that day” is but it is probably a reference either to the day of his death or the day when Christ returns at His second coming.

In the final words in this passage we see Paul instructing Timothy to follow the example he had set in his faithful preaching of the gospel. 

Follow and guard the truth. 13-14.

13 “Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.” Follow my teaching Paul is telling Timothy, with the same attitudes I had, in faith and love. [Note 4].

Finally, Timothy was to guard “the good deposit.” The gospel message is a deposit of truth to be guarded against all who would spoil or destroy it. He could do it “by the Holy Spirit.” That probably means that as Timothy kept on being filled with the Holy Spirit he would have the courage and conviction to stand for the truth of the gospel message. 

SUMMARY

In this passage, we see the heart of St Paul as he instructs a younger colleague to remain faithful in the spreading of the gospel. Not only does he call him “My beloved child” but he told him that he was always praying for him. His instructions which follow, show the heart of an older pastor helping a younger colleague whom he valued, to remain faithful to his calling as a preacher and teacher of the gospel.

Paul does not try to lessen the responsibility Timothy held as a minister of the gospel and in fact urges him to be willing to suffer for the sake of the gospel.

In the final verse in this passage, he encouraged him by reminding him that he would be able to guard the gospel message by the Holy Spirit. God by His Spirit would help him remain faithful to his ministry and to the truth of the gospel. That is true for every minister of the gospel, even today, as they remain open to the guidance, leading and empowering of the Holy Spirit. 

—————————————————————————————————————

NOTES:-

[Note 1]. [Literally “As I hold [echo; ἔχω] you constantly in remembrance [mneia; μνείαν] in my prayers night and day.”

[Note 2]. “Fan into flame” is from [anazōpyreō; ἀναζωπυρέω] from [ana; ἀνά] up, [zōē; ζωή] life and [pyr; πῦρ] a fire. To kindle or stir up, hence “re-enkindle” or “fan into flame” the gift [charisma; χάρισμα] of God. We are not told what this gift was but Timothy would have known, for he was to rekindle something he already possessed.

[Note 3]. “Appearing” is from [epiphaneia; ἐπιφάνεια ] from which we get the English word “epiphany.” It means a manifestation or the appearing of Christ on earth in human form. Paul used this word here and in 4:8 to refer to Jesus’ first coming as a human and in 4:1 to refer to His second coming. 

[Note 4]. “Sound” is from [hygiainō; ὑγιαίνω] meaning to have sound health, to be healthy or whole. The gospel was full of sound, healthy, uncorrupt words and Paul had preached that wholesome message in the faith and the love that is in Jesus.

Posted on Wednesday 24 August 2022.

About Jim Holbeck

Once an Industrial Chemist working for the Queensland Government but later an Anglican minister in Brisbane, Armidale and Sydney. Last position for eighteen years before retirement in 2006 was as the Leader of the Healing Ministry at St Andrew's Cathedral Sydney.
This entry was posted in BIBLE PASSAGE OUTLINES, Bible verses. Comments, Evangelism, Faithfulness, Forgiveness, Glorification, Holy Spirit, Judgement, Justification, Lectionary Readings Year C 2019, Prayer, Salvation, Sanctification, Second coming of Jesus, Temptations and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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