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2Timothy 1:1-12

Thursday Evening Bible Study

April 5, 2018


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Target 3300 words Video = 75 wpm

Paul’s second letter to Timothy was the last New Testament letter written by the apostle. We believe it was written around AD 66, just prior to his death.

The history recorded in the book of Acts ends around AD 60, with Paul still being confined to an apartment, under house arrest, in Rome. Church tradition has it that Paul was soon afterwards released from arrest and allowed to travel.

We can piece together some of what happened to Paul from the last letters that he wrote.

After having been released from imprisonment in Rome, Paul visited Ephesus (1Tim. 1:3), and left Timothy there to run the work.

(1 Timothy 1:3 NKJV) As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus …

Paul then went on to Macedonia (northern Greece), and writes his first letter to Timothy.

Then Paul went on to the island of Crete, leaving Titus in charge there. (Titus 1:5)

(Titus 1:5 NKJV) For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking…

Paul’s next stop was Nicopolis in Achaia (southern Greece) and wrote to Titus either from Macedonia while on the way to Nicopolis, or from Nicopolis (Tit. 3:12).

(Titus 3:12 NKJV) …be diligent to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.
We’re not sure about whether Titus met with Paul in Nicopolis, but we do know that Titus would go on to Dalmatia (Serbia) where he would raise 101 dogs (just kidding) before eventually heading back to Crete.
(2 Timothy 4:10 NKJV) for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.

Paul then went to Troas (2Tim. 4:13), where he was rearrested.

Then Paul was sent to Rome, and imprisoned. Paul would write to Timothy who was in Ephesus:

(2 Timothy 4:13 NKJV) Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments.

It was in AD 64 that Nero burned Rome, blamed it on the Christians, then a period of persecution began.

For Paul, instead of being under house arrest, this time Paul was most likely held in the Mamertine Prison.

It’s from prison in Rome that Paul writes his second letter to Timothy.

Video: Paul’s prison and death map

Paul would then be tried, led out the Ostian Way (the road to the port of Ostia), west of Rome, and beheaded two miles outside Rome.

His death occurred somewhere around AD 66-67.

Here’s the account of Paul’s death from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs:

Paul, the apostle, who before was called Saul, after his great travail and unspeakable labors in promoting the Gospel of Christ, suffered also in this first persecution under Nero. Abdias, declareth that under his execution Nero sent two of his esquires, Ferega and Parthemius, to bring him word of his death. They, coming to Paul instructing the people, desired him to pray for them, that they might believe; who told them that shortly after they should believe and be baptized at his sepulcher. This done, the soldiers came and led him out of the city to the place of execution, where he, after his prayers made, gave his neck to the sword.

Here’s an account by the Greek scholar A.T. Robertson:

“The details are all wanting. Tradition supplies only a few, which may be true or not. The story is that Paul was beheaded on the Ostian Road. In Rome it was customary for criminals of prominence to be executed several miles out of the city so as to avoid the crowds. We may picture the event in a possible manner. One day in late spring or early June the executioners came to Paul’s dungeon and led him out of the city. One is reminded of Jesus as he bore his cross along his Via Dolorosa. Paul, as a condemned criminal, would be the victim of the rabble’s sport. He would have no defender. We do not know if Luke was with Paul to the very last. We may at least hope so. If he could, he would surely walk along as near Paul as would be allowed. But no band of Christians followed with him now. He was going out of Rome on his way to the true Eternal City. He knew Rome well, but his eyes were fixed on other things. Outside the city the busy, merry life of the time went on. The crowds flowed into town. Some were going out. Paul was only a criminal going to be beheaded. Few, if any, of the crowds about would know or care anything about him. At a good place on the road some miles out the executioners stopped. The block was laid down. Paul laid his head upon it. The sword (or axe) was raised. The head of the greatest preacher of the ages rolled upon the ground. Tradition says that a Roman ‘matron named Lucina buried the body of St. Paul on her own land, beside the Ostian Road.’ Be that as it may, no Christian can come to Rome, especially by the Ostian Road, without tender thoughts of Paul, the matchless servant of Jesus.”

(A.T. Robertson, Epochs In The Life Of Paul, pp. 316-317).

In 2002, an 8 foot marble sarcophagus inscribed with the words “Paulo Apostolo Mart” (“Paul Apostle Martyr”) was discovered in excavations around the “Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls”.

The sarcophagus contained pieces of incense, purple and blue linen, and small bone fragments. The bones were radiocarbon dated to the 1st or 2nd century.

Here’s an overview of what’s ahead for us the next month or so…

Video: The Bible Project – 2Timothy

1:1-2 Greetings

:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,

willthelema – what one wishes or has determined shall be done; will, choice, inclination, desire, pleasure

promiseepaggelia – announcement; promise; the act of promising, a promise given or to be given

life zoe – life; the state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate; of the absolute fulness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God, and through him both to the hypostatic “logos” and to Christ in whom the “logos” put on human nature; life real and genuine, a life active andvigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last for ever.

:1 an apostle of Jesus Christ

Paul reminds Timothy that his own ministry, his apostleship, was based on two things.

1) God’s will

God was the one who chose Paul and sent him out.

2) The Promise of Life

Eternal life is found only in Jesus Christ.
(1 John 5:12 NKJV) He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Paul’s life was all about leading people into a relationship with Christ, leading them into the promise of life.

:2 To Timothy, a beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

belovedagapetos – beloved, esteemed, dear, favorite, worthy of love

We’ve seen in 1Timothy how Paul was a spiritual father to Timothy.

1:3-7 Timothy’s Heritage

:3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day,

from my forefathers – Paul had learned about the True God from his Jewish forefathers. After coming to Jesus, Paul was now able to serve with a pure conscience.

forefathersprogonos – born before, older; of ancestors

without ceasingadialeiptos – unintermitted, unceasing, continual

prayersdeesis – need, indigence, want, privation, penury; a seeking, asking, entreating, entreaty to God or to man

:3 I remember you in my prayers

Paul may have been from the tribe of Benjamin, but he is using very “Levitical” language here (the Levites were from the tribe of Levi).

The language he uses that describes his prayer time parallels that of the Jewish priests.
whom I serve
serve latreuo – to render religious service or homage, to worship; to perform sacred services; of priests, to officiate, to discharge the sacred office

This isn’t the “serving” of a slave, but the worship of a priest.

He “serves” God, in the same manner as the priests and Levites serve God by offering up sacrifices and prayers for worship.
with a pure conscience
purekatharos – clean, pure; in a Levitical sense clean, free from corrupt desire, from sin and guilt
His conscience is “clean”, something that a priest had to keep current with.
I remember you
Literally, “I have concerning you a memory”

remembermneia – remembrance, memory, mention

He “remembers” Timothy in his prayers, as a priest wore the names of the tribes of Israel on his garments, as a “memorial” to God, reminding God of the people he represents.
Like Paul, we aren’t descendants of Aaron or the Levites, but we can certainly learn lessons about life, ministry, and prayer from the Old Testament principles.

:4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy,

greatly desiringepipotheo – to long for, desire; to pursue with love, to long after; the word is even used in a negative way at times: to lust, harbor forbidden desire

:4 being mindful of your tears

being mindfulmnaomai – to be recalled or to return to one’s mind, to remember; be mindful of

Paul knows about Timothy’s tears.

Timothy may have had an idea about Paul’s soon coming death.

Yet when Paul remembers Timothy, he has joy…

:5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.

faithpistis – conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it

persuadedpeitho – persuade; be persuaded

The verb is a perfect tense, something that’s happened in the past and continues on to the future.

dwelt inenoikeo – to dwell in

grandmothermamme – mother (the name infants use in addressing their mother); grandmother

LoisLois – “agreeable”

EuniceEunike – “good victory”

:5 your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice

On Paul’s very first missionary journey, he and Barnabas had traveled to the city of Lystra after being run out of town in Iconium.

They healed a man who had been crippled since birth, were worshipped as gods, rejected that worship, were run out of town and were stoned and left for dead.
They moved on to the city of Derbe …
(Acts 14:21 NKJV) And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch,

It was while Paul had been in that region of Derbe and Lystra that Timothy’s mother and grandmother had apparently become believers.

Yet it’s not until Paul’s second trip through that region that he meets Timothy.

(Acts 16:1–2 NKJV) —1 Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek. 2 He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium.
Timothy had come to faith and been discipled in Jesus through his believing family.

:5 I call to remembrance the genuine faith

remembrancehupomnesis – a reminding; remembrance

That “remember” thing ought to be sounding familiar about now.

genuine anupokritos (“not” + “hypocritic”) – unfeigned, undisguised, sincere


Real faith

Paul had seen the real deal in Timothy’s mom and grandma, and he knows he’s seen it in Timothy as well.
We are saved from hell when we have put our “faith” in Jesus Christ.
(John 3:16 NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Some people don’t mind living with fake things.
You might prefer fake fur to the real thing. Can you even tell the difference? (the real is on the right)

A guy bought his wife a beautiful diamond ring for Christmas. A friend of his said, “I thought she wanted one of those pretty 4-Wheel drive vehicles.” “She did,” he replied, “But where in the world was I going to find a fake jeep!!”

There is “real” faith, and there is “phony” faith.
I’m not sure I can always tell them apart.
Phony faith might be when a person is trying to pretend to trust the Lord, usually in order to impress someone.
Perhaps some people think that since they are constantly playing games and pretending to be this or that, that everyone must be playing games.
They assume that there is no such thing as a God in heaven, and that we’re all just pretending. In order to fit in, they act like we do, but without the real reasons for doing what we do.
Real faith is when a person has come to the place where they truly trust that God is going to help them in their life.
They worship because they love God, not because everyone else is singing songs.
They obey the things of Scripture, not because they want to fit in with the crowd at church, but because they truly love God and want to please Him.
They will see God’s power at work in their life because God will respond to their faith. The phony is only going to be able to pretend so far.

It’s like Moses and the magicians of Egypt. The magicians were able to copy the first couple of miracles that Moses performed. But after awhile they couldn’t keep up with the things that God was doing.

Don’t play games with God. We’re not here to play games.

:6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

:6 Therefore I remind you

remind you anamimnesko – to call to remembrance, to remind; to remember

There’s connection between verses 3-6 that you see in the Greek, but not so much in the English.
Up to this point, Paul has been talking about his own “memories”, in how “without ceasing I have remembrance of you” (vs.3), “being mindful of your tears” (vs.4), “call to remembrance the genuine faith” (vs.5), and now Paul tells Timothy to do his part, to “remember” what God has given to him.


Don’t forget

Sometimes we can get so sidetracked by trying to seek “new” things from God that we forget the value of remembering.
Over and over in the Old Testament, the Israelites were commanded to do things to “remember” what God had done.

They sang songs to remember the Exodus.

They celebrated the Passover to remember God’s deliverance.

They built stone memorials to remember crossing the Jordan.

Even in the New Testament, Jesus gave us the practice of celebrating communion to “remember”.

“Do this in remembrance of me”

:6 through the laying on of my hands

Paul is reminding Timothy of a spiritual “gift” (charisma) that he had received when Paul laid his hands on Timothy.

laying onepithesis – a laying on, imposition; The imposition of hands was a sacred rite transmitted by the Jews to the Christians, and employed in praying for another, or in conferring upon him divine blessings, especially bodily health, or the Holy Spirit (at the administration of baptism and the inauguration to their office of the teachers and ministers of the church).

gift charisma – a favor with which one receives without any merit of his own; the gift of divine grace

Spiritual gifts are not things you “earn”, but they are works of God’s grace in your life.

Gifts can be received several ways.

God can give you a spiritual gift when someone lays their hands on you and prays, as Paul did with Timothy.
God can give it to you without the laying on of hands, by you simply receiving it.
The apostles were all together in the Upper Room when the Spirit came upon them and they spoke in tongues. (Acts 2)

No one laid hands on them.

:6 stir up the gift of God

stir up anazopureo (“again” + “living” + “fire”) – to kindle up, inflame one’s mind, strength, zeal.

The picture is that of stirring up coals where the fire has died down. When you begin to stir up smoldering embers, the flames come back to life.
Timothy already had all he needed for his ministry. All he needed to do was to stir it up.
Some people need further equipping for ministry, but some already have what they need.


Tend the fire

A fire can go out if you don’t tend to it.
Philip Henry’s advice to his daughter: “If you want to keep warm in this cold season (January, 1692), take these four directions:

1) Get into the sun; under his blessed beams there are warmth and comfort.

2) Go near the fire. ‘Is not my word like a fire?’ How many cheering passages there are!

3) Keep in motion and action—stirring up the grace and gift of God that is in you.

4) Seek Christian fellowship. ‘How can one be warm alone?’”

-- Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990)

:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

:7 God has not given us a spirit of fear

givendidomi – to give

Aorist active indicative

spirit pneuma – spirit; the Holy Spirit; human spirit; spirit being; attitude; the disposition or influence which fills and governs the soul of any one

I’ve heard some suggest Paul is talking here about some type of demonic spirit. People will take this verse and try to “cast out the demon of fear” in people. The word “spirit” can indeed be used to describe a demonic being, but it seems in the context that Paul is talking about human attitudes.
Paul is putting “fear”, “power”, “love”, and “sound mind” all on the same plane. These are not spiritual entities but human attitudes.

There’s another passage that is also impacted by how you view “spirit”.

(Luke 13:11–13 NKJV) —11 And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. 12 But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” 13 And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
It may be that this woman had a demonic spirit that made her sick and bent over.

Demons can indeed be behind disease.

Yet Jesus doesn’t rebuke a demon to heal the woman, He releases her from her “weakness”.

This woman had been consumed with an attitude of weakness.

Maybe this is like the man at Bethesda where Jesus asked, “Do you want to be healed?” He addressed the man’s attitude.

I think Paul is talking about a human attitude of “fear”, and this isn’t something that comes from God.

feardeilia – timidity, fearfulness, cowardice
Paul doesn’t use the general word for “fear” (phobos) nor the word for “respect” (eulabeia)
This is a word that always has a negative connotation.
This kind of fear keeps us from doing the right things.



Perhaps Timothy was having a problem being a little timid.
Personally I find a little comfort in that because I don’t always feel so “brave”.
Timothy didn’t stay timid. Some thirty-five years after Paul wrote this letter, Timothy was still the pastor in Ephesus:
From Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, chapter II:

Timothy was the celebrated disciple of St. Paul, and bishop of Ephesus, where he zealously governed the Church until ad 97. At this period, as the pagans were about to celebrate a feast called Catagogion, Timothy, meeting the procession, severely reproved them for their ridiculous idolatry, which so exasperated the people that they fell upon him with their clubs, and beat him in so dreadful a manner that he expired of the bruises two days later.

From history’s pages we learn of a cowardly young soldier in the army of Alexander the Great. Whenever the battle grew fierce, the young soldier would yield. The general’s pride was cut because this timid soldier also bore the name Alexander. One day Alexander the Great sternly addressed him and said, “Stop being a coward or drop that good name.”
The call to all Christians is the same today. May we faithfully live up to all the name Christian implies. “Lord, what will You have me to do?”

-- George Sweeting, Great Quotes & Illustrations (Word, 1985), p. 50.

Some people can come off brave or even scary at first, but the longer you’re with them you realize it’s just an act.
Video: Wizard of Oz – The Cowardly Lion

Coward … no brains … no heart …

Jesus isn’t the “wizard”, but look what He gives…

He has a whole different batch of attitudes to give us.

:7 of power and of love and of a sound mind

power dunamis – strength, power, ability

loveagape – good will, love, benevolence

sound mind sophronismos – an admonishing or calling to soundness of mind, self-control, moderation.

Other forms of this word are translated “sober”, “restore one to his senses”
The word comes from sophron (“safe” + “mind”) – of a sound mind, sane, in one’s senses; curbing one’s desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate


God’s Work in me

God gives us the strength we need to keep going.
(Acts 1:8 NKJV) But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
He gives us the love and self-control we need to keep ministering to those around us.
(Galatians 5:22–23 NKJV) —22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

He gives us the ability to curb our own desires and obey Him.

An uneducated miner in Scotland began to preach among his fellow workmen with great power. Soon his witness took him far beyond the confines of the mining towns. Someone asked him how he had received his call to preach. He replied thus: Oh, I had such a burden on my soul for those who did not know the gospel, I argued with the Lord that I had no education and no gift. But He said to me, “Jamie, you know what the sickness is, don’t you?” I answered, “Yes, Lord, the sickness is sin.” “And you know what the remedy is, don’t you, Jamie?” I answered, “Yes, Lord, the remedy is the Lord Jesus Christ.” And He said to me, “Jamie, just take the remedy to those who are sick.” That is my call to preach.
This is God’s call to every believer.

-- Donald Grey Barnhouse, Let Me Illustrate, (Fleming H. Revell Co., 1967), p. 33.