II Timothy: Chapter 2
As we begin our reading in chapter two, note the progression of the letter from a position of defense to offense as Paul encourages Timothy to “fan into flame”, “guard the deposit entrusted”, in chapter one, to an offensive position in chapter two. Paul went from reminding Timothy of the tools he had and then moved into a plan of action. Paul not only encourages Timothy in his own personal walk with Christ; he also reminds him of his responsibility to lead others to do the same. Timothy, who was considered young in years, was called to lead the Church of Ephesus - a daunting task especially given his age and life experience.
Read 2 Timothy 2:1-13
Imagine living in a time where there was total chaos around you and the only stability or confirmation you received of doing right was through relying on the Holy Spirit and the encouragement received through discipleship. Imagine a time when there were no libraries, bookstores (OK, I’m dating myself here!), or a completed Bible to study and refer to - or even worse, no google!
Timothy had little to read besides Paul’s personal letters. The early Christians may have had a form of the Gospels recorded and the Old Testament Scriptures in contrast to today’s Believer armed with books and CDs and more study materials than we know what to do with!
What resources are available today that encourage you and bring you strength in your daily walk with Him?
While today’s Believer has many resources that help and encourage our walk with Christ, in Paul’s day, they relied on the letters received, not as a biblical cannon, but individual letters. You can also find a lot of imagery used in the letters written that help to paint a picture.
In verses 3-8, what forms of imagery did Paul use, and how they were used to encourage Timothy?
Not only was imagery used, but Paul also consistently reminded Timothy of the work of our Savior. He wanted to ensure that no matter what, we don’t lose sight of the real message - the point of our faith. Everything we do must lead to the Gospel message.
Write out verse 8 below:
Perhaps the greatest resource used in the early church was discipleship. The greatest form of passing the baton of faith was done through discipleship. In today’s world, we need more Pauls and Timothys. Those that are passionate enough in their call to pass the baton of faith to the next generation. Not just to the masses, but in one on one relationships.
Read verse 2 again - how did Paul pass the baton to Timothy?
Read 2 Timothy 2:14-26
From the words of encouragement for Timothy in 2:1-10 to the hymn of 2:11-13, we come back to the theme of the heretical teachers of the Ephesians Church. Paul starts out softly to “remind them” but follows up with the charge to “warn them” to show the severity of the the situation.
Paul urged Timothy to focus on what was important and not to get drawn into worthless pursuits or discussions. In other words, to hold true to God’s truth and purposes. As we continue in our reading of verses 20-26, Paul makes that purpose very clear...focusing on God will speak louder than speaking judgment on others. However, verse 25 instructs Timothy on how to deal with those that are argumentative and speaking an incorrect doctrine.
Write verse 25 below...
As we conclude chapter 2, write out a summary of Paul’s message for Timothy and how this message applies to you today.
“In a large house there are many articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some for noble and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” 2 Timothy 2:20-21