The Book of 2 TIMOTHY
James J. Barker


Lesson 1
INTRODUCTORY MESSAGE TO II TIMOTHY

Text: 2 TIMOTHY 1:1-10


INTRODUCTION:


  1. This epistle was written about AD 66 (see Scofield's introduction).
  2. Scofield wrote, "The touching letter was written by Paul to his 'dearly beloved son' shortly before his martyrdom (II Timothy 4:6-8), and contains the last words of the great apostle which inspiration has preserved."
  3. "Second Timothy (in common with Second Peter, Jude, and Second and Third John) has to do with the personal walk and testimony of a true servant of Christ in a day of apostasy and declension."
  4. Interestingly, apostates attack these books, primarily because these books warn of false teachers and apostasy.
  5. When Paul wrote this epistle he was a prisoner in Rome (cf. 1:8, 16, 17; 2:9).
  6. This is not the same imprisonment recorded in Acts 28 -- this is a second imprisonment.
  7. The emperor Nero blamed the burning of Rome in AD 64 on Christians, and consequently outlawed Christianity. Paul's enemies set him up and had him arrested. Nero died in AD 68, and most scholars believe Paul died somewhere between 66 and early 68.
  8. Because of Paul's arrest, and the persecution of Christians, many of his former friends abandoned him (1:15; 4:16).
  9. While both of Paul's letters to Timothy are pastoral, II Timothy is more personal. Twenty-three people are mentioned in this epistle.

 

I. PAUL'S GREETING

  1. The custom in Paul's day was to begin a letter with the writer's name. They did not sign their name at the end like we do today.
  2. Paul was not an apostle by his own choosing, but "by the will of God" (1:1). Paul begins the epistle to the Galatians by saying, "Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)."
  3. In I Timothy 1:2, Paul addressed Timothy as "my own son in the faith." Here his greeting is even warmer (1:2).
  4. Paul prayed "without ceasing...night and day" (1:3). There is a strong emphasis on prayer in Paul's epistles. "Pray without ceasing" (I Thess. 5:17); "continuing instant in prayer" (Rom. 12:12), etc.
  5. The reason why Timothy cried is not mentioned. It is possible that Timothy wept when he and Paul were separated. Perhaps Timothy was in tears because of Paul's arrest, imprisonment, and imminent execution (1:4).
  6. Timothy's faith was "unfeigned" (1:5), i.e., real, undisguised, sincere, not phony, not hypocritical. The word "unfeigned" is found four times in the New Testament.
  7. In II Corinthians 6:6, Paul refers to "love unfeigned."
  8. In I Timothy 1:5 and here in II Timothy 1:5, Paul refers to unfeigned faith.
  9. First Peter 1:22 refers to the "unfeigned love of the brethren."
  10. The same Greek word is translated as "without dissimulation" in Romans 12:9. "Let love be without dissimulation."
  11. The same Greek word is translated as "without hypocrisy" in James 3:17 -- "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy."
  12. Timothy's mother and grandmother were Jewish Christians (II Tim. 1:5; cf. Acts 16:1; II Tim. 3:14-17).

 

II. PAUL'S ENCOURAGING WORDS (1:6)

  1. On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
  2. Peter refers to "the gift of the Holy Ghost" again in Acts 10:45.
  3. Therefore, "the gift of God" (1:6) which Timothy had received was the power of the Holy Spirit, the power which effectively enabled him to preach and defend the truth of God's Word.
  4. The Greek word translated "stir up" (1:6) denotes the kindling of a fire. In Scripture, fire is an emblem of the power of the Holy Spirit.
  5. John Wesley told young preachers, “Catch on fire and others will come watch you burn.” Large crowds came to hear his fiery messages, and many souls were saved.
  6. Paul reminded Timothy of the time God called him to preach, and how Paul laid hands on him. There were probably others who laid hands on Timothy at that time. First Timothy 4:14 says, "Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery" (group of elders).
  7. These Scriptures are behind the practice of ordination. When elders or preachers and deacons lay hands on a man, they are recognizing what God has already done.
  8. The laying on of hands signifies partnership. The laying on of hands is symbolic and does not necessarily impart any special gifts to them.
  9. Acts 13:3 says, "And when they (the church in Antioch) had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them (Paul and Barnabas), they sent them away" (on Paul's first missionary journey).
  10. "A sound mind" (1:7) comes with the fullness of the Holy Spirit, with Christian character, with discipline, with self-control, etc.
  11. "Be not thou therefore ashamed" (1:8; cf. vss. 12 and 16).
  12. Romans 1:16 says, "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."
  13. We seldom hear preachers refer to "the afflictions of the gospel" (1:8) -- at least not here in affluent America -- but the Bible has much to say about it (cf. II Tim. 3:12).
  14. Our Lord said in Matthew 16:24, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."
  15. Our Lord said in John 15:18, "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you."
  16. Our Lord said in John 16:33, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

 

III. PAUL'S EMPHASIS -- SALVATION (1:9).

  1. Many people are unsure about their salvation. Paul says in verse 9, "Who (God -- verse 8) hath (past tense) saved us."
  2. First John 5:13 says, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life..."
  3. Many people think one is saved by good works or baptism or church membership, etc. Paul says in verse 9, "not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace." Ephesians 2:8 and 9 says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
  4. Titus 3:5 says, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us..."
  5. Our Lord "hath abolished death" (1:10) by His redemptive death on the cross. In this context, "abolished" means, "deprived of its power, and deprived of its terrors."
  6. Hebrews 2:14 says that "through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." "Abolish" and "destroy" are English translations of the same word in the Greek.
  7. The word means, "to render harmless." Oftentimes the police will discover a bomb before it explodes. They carefully take the pin out of the unexploded bomb, or they cut some of the wires, etc. to make the bomb of none effect.
  8. Christ "abolished death" (II Tim. 1:10). He took away its sting, so that I Corinthians 15:55 says, "O death, where is thy sting?

 

CONCLUSION:

Charles Haddon Spurgeon preached a message from II Timothy 1:6. He said this, "Stir yourselves, for God is stirring us! And remember, there will be a great stir by-and-bye. Business will all end, politics will be done with and all the matters in which you are concerned will be eternally closed. What a stir there will be in that day! Fallen we shall stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ to give an account of the deeds done in the body!"



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