Evening Bible Study
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
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
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
(Titus 1:5 NKJV) For this
reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are
Paul’s next stop was Nicopolis in Achaia (southern Greece) and wrote to
(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
(A.T. Robertson, Epochs In The Life Of Paul, pp. 316-317).
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
:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the
promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
:1 an apostle of Jesus Christ
Paul reminds Timothy that his own ministry, his apostleship, was based on
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.
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
: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
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
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
pure – katharos – 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
I remember you
Literally, “I have concerning you a memory”
remember – mneia
– 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
:4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be
filled with joy,
:4 being mindful of your tears
being mindful – mnaomai – 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
: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
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
(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
:5 I call to remembrance the genuine faith
remembrance – hupomnesis –
a reminding; remembrance
That “remember” thing ought to be sounding familiar about now.
genuine – anupokritos (“not” + “hypocritic”) –
unfeigned, undisguised, sincere
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!!”
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
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.
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.
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
They built stone memorials to remember crossing the
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.
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
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
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
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”.
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
Demons can indeed be behind disease.
Yet Jesus doesn’t rebuke a demon to heal the woman, He releases her from
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.
fear – deilia – timidity,
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
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.
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
love – agape – good will,
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
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
He gives us the love and self-control we need to keep ministering to those
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
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
This is God’s call to every believer.
-- Donald Grey
Barnhouse, Let Me Illustrate, (Fleming H. Revell Co., 1967), p. 33.