October 16th 2 Timothy 1
A. Afflictions of the Gospel
Greetings my Son
1: Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, 2: To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Don’t be shy Timothy
3: I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; 4: Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; 5: When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. 6: Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7: For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 8: Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9: Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10: But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: 11: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12: For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: 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. 13: Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14: That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. 15: This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. 16: The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: 17: But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me. 18: The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.
Paul’s unique teaching was being rejected by believers in the whole of Turkey and Timothy being a shy and retiring needs to be encouraged and strengthened in his faith, So Paul writes to him from Prison. Therefore Paul again emphasises again in this second letter to Timothy his Apostolic authority and divine commission. Paul was not a ‘run of the mill believer’ who has some interesting but obscure ideas. The truth is that he was an Apostle and he was chosen by God for this office and mission. He addresses this letter to Timothy who he describes as my own ‘much loved’ ‘son in the faith’. Paul was very close to Timothy, he loved him, trusted him, taught him and prayed for him. He saw Timothy as one of and perhaps the chief successor of his ministry. He says to Timothy, may God’s grace, mercy and peace rest on you. Then he assures Timothy of his devoted prayer for him. He says l thank God (who l have served in the same spirit and on the same principles as my forefathers - with a clear conscience) And God enables me to pray for you without ceasing whenever l think of you. Paul says, I really want to see you, especially when l remember your tears at our parting, that you will be restored in joy. And when l remember your sincere faith, which was the same as your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, l know that you have the same faith. So, says Paul, l want to remind you to rekindle the gift of God which you received and which others confirmed. Because God has not given to us a demeanour of fear but of Gods strengthening, love and sound thinking. So do not shame yourself by being afraid of association with the Lord or of me his prisoner but join me is suffering for the gospel in the empowering of God, who saved us and called us not because of our good words but according to his own purposes and grace. And this ordination was given us in Christ before the world began but which is now revealed by the appearing of our Saviour Christ. Christ has made death ineffective and has brought light and life to men in the gospel. It is to this ministry that l have been appointed a herald, an apostle, and a teacher of the gentiles. Paul explains to Timothy that it is exactly because he has been called to do this ministry that he suffers for it. And he says l am not ashamed because l know who l have believed in – Christ and l am convinced that Christ is mightily able me to be faithful to my apostolic calling right on to the day when l will meet him. So, says Paul, hold on to the complete treasure of sound doctrine, which you heard from me when l preached to you faith in Christ. This wonderful teaching which is entrusted to you – keep by the enabling of the Holy Spirit who lives in you. I know that you know Timothy that all the churches of Turkey have turned away from my teaching (they have not left faith in Christ but have forsaken Paul and his doctrine.) Paul mentions two key men who have turned against Paul, Phygellus and Hermogenes. And Paul says may the Lord have mercy unto the family of Onesiphorus, because he was like a breath of fresh air to revive me and he was not put off by my chain. In fact when he came to Rome he sought me out very carefully and found me. May the Lord be merciful to him at the rapture because he did many things to serve me when l was at Ephesus; of course you know all this - Timothy. This last part brings up a very sad development in his ministry as Pauls teaching developed and was taught many of the believers bulked at it and broke off association with Paul refusing to countenance his teaching. Yet he was the one who had won them to Christ on his early missionary journeys.
- What can we learn from Paul's prayers for Timothy?
- How does Paul describe the glories of his ministry?
- How had Pauls ministry and christian influence developed over the years?