The Book of 2 TIMOTHY
James J. Barker

Lesson 2

Text: 2 TIMOTHY 1:11-18


  1. The apostle Paul had an important work to do. He was "appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles" (1:11).
  2. Paul speaks of "the gospel, whereunto I am appointed," (1:10b, 11).
  3. Several times in the New Testament Paul explained that God called him to preach, and that he was committed to preaching the Gospel.
  4. In Romans 1:1, Paul says he was "separated unto the gospel of God."
  5. In Galatians 1:15 and 16, Paul says, "But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen..."
  6. Every Christian has the privilege and the responsibility to proclaim the Gospel, and to carry the Gospel to the regions beyond.

In the harvest field now ripened
There’s a work for all to do;
Hark! the voice of God is calling
To the harvest calling you
-- Kittie Suffield

  1. Our Lord said in Mark 13:34, "For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work..."
  2. Guy King said, "The apostle is our example in that: He had a zeal for it. He did not do his work because he supposed he ought to, or because he must: quite obviously he reveled in it, and never dreamed of slackening up. He was always at it...Don't you think that enthusiasm in Christian service is a quality that is becoming more rare amongst us?" (II Timothy).



  1. "For which cause I also suffer these things..." Paul was in prison. He suffered persecution; nevertheless he was "not ashamed" (1:12; cf. 1:8, 16).
  2. Paul says in Romans 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."
  3. The Lord had entrusted the Gospel to Paul (1:12b, 14; cf. I Tim. 6:20).
  4. Paul was "persuaded" that God was able to keep that which Paul had committed to Him until "that day" (the judgment seat of Christ).
  5. Major Whit¬tle wrote the words to that beautiful hymn:

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.

But I know Whom I have believèd,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.

  1. "Keep that" would include Paul's message, his ministry, his life, his soul, and his future rewards at the judgment seat of Christ. Certainly this verse reinforces the doctrine of the eternal security of the believer.
  2. When Sir James Simpson, the discoverer of chloroform, was on his deathbed, a friend asked him, “Sir, what are your speculations?”
  3. Simpson replied: “Speculations! I have no speculations! For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”



  1. "Sound words" (1:13) refers to sound doctrine (cf. I Tim. 1:10; Titus 1:9; 2:1). Sound doctrine is the theme of the Pastoral Epistles.
  2. The Greek word translated "sound" means, "to be well, to be in good health." Sound doctrine is healthy, but the wrong doctrine can make you sick.
  3. Today, worldly churches and worldly preachers are getting away from sound doctrine, and that is why there are so many problems. They are getting away from good Bible words like "saved, born again, justification, sanctification, repentance," etc.
  4. The new Bible translations have omitted many of these great doctrinal words. They have taken out many references to the blood of Christ; they have changed "hell" to "Hades."
  5. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, "We are told that the Bible must be put in such simple terms of language that anybody taking it up and reading it is going to understand it right away. My friends, this is sheer nonsense. What we must do is educate the masses of the people up to the Bible not bring the Bible down to their level. One of the greatest troubles today is that everything is being brought down to the same level; everything is cheapened. The common man is made the standard of authority; he decides everything, and everything has to be brought down to him…we need to do is not to replace it...we need to reach and train people up to the standard and the language, the dignity and glory of the old Authorized Version."
  6. What Dr. Lloyd-Jones was saying is that previous generations of Christians believed in educating people up to the Bible, not bringing the Bible down to their level.
  7. The other night in Connecticut, several people called 911 to complain that their cable television was not working! How could we possibly consider bringing the Bible down to such a low level?
  8. Leland Ryken said this, "Instead of lowering the Bible to a lowest common denominator, why should we not educate people to rise to the level required to experience the Bible in its full richness and exaltation? Instead of expecting the least from Bible readers, we should expect the most from them. The greatness of the Bible requires the best, not the least. ... The most difficult of modern English translations -- the King James -- is used most by segments of our society that are relatively uneducated as defined by formal education. ..research has shown repeatedly that people are capable of rising to surprising and even amazing abilities to read and master a subject that is important to them. ... Previous generations did not find the King James Bible, with its theological heaviness, beyond their comprehension. Nor do readers and congregations who continue to use the King James translation find it incomprehensible. Neither of my parents finished grade school, and they learned to understand the King James Bible from their reading of it and the preaching they heard based on it. We do not need to assume a theologically inept readership for the Bible. Furthermore, if modern readers are less adept at theology than they can and should be, it is the task of the church to educate them, not to give them Bible translations that will permanently deprive them of the theological content that is really present in the Bible" (Leland Ryken, The Word of God in English, pp. 107, 109).
  9. "That good thing" (1:14), literally “the good deposit," refers to the Gospel. Timothy was to "keep" it, not alter it, or add to it, or try and improve upon it, etc.



  1. Verse 12 teaches that Paul looked to God for the preservation of the Gospel. We see the same word "keep" in verse 14 (cf. I Tim. 6:20).
  2. The indwelling Holy Spirit would enable Timothy to be a good custodian of the truth of the Gospel (1:14). And it is only through the Holy Spirit that Timothy or any of us can guard God's deposit.
  3. Matthew Henry said, "Even those who are ever so well taught cannot keep what they have learned, any more than they could at first learn it, without the assistance of the Holy Spirit. We must not think to keep it by our own strength, but keep it by the Holy Ghost."
  4. The Holy Spirit indwells all true believers. Romans 8:9 says, "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."
  5. First Corinthians 3:16 and 17 says, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."
  6. First Corinthians 6:19 says, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"
  7. In this epistle Paul mentions many people -- some good and some bad. Phygellus and Hermogenes have gone done in history as defectors who turned away from the apostle Paul (1:15).
  8. Onesiphorus is mentioned as a faithful and loyal co-laborer of Paul (1:16; cf. 4:19).



I will conclude with another quote from Matthew Henry:
"The Christian doctrine is a trust committed to us...It is committed to us to be preserved pure and entire, and to be transmitted to those who shall come after us, and we must keep it, and not contribute any thing to the corrupting of its purity, the weakening of its power, or the diminishing of its perfection."

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