Evening Bible Study
Paul’s second letter to Timothy was written around AD 66-67 while Paul was
in prison in Rome, being held in chains in the Mamertine prison.
Paul is just days away from being led out of the city where he will be
These are Paul’s final written words, instructions to Timothy, his “next
2:8-13 God is faithful
:8 Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the
dead according to my gospel,
:8 Remember that …
Paul wants to stop and encourage Timothy to remember something important.
As a pastor like Timothy, I have to confess that
at times it seems a little old and repetitious to share the gospel every week
at church when I know that most of you already “get it”.
I’ve learned over the years that you need to be careful that you never stop
sharing the wonder of the gospel, even if it “seems” old.
:8 Jesus Christ, of the seed of David
Jesus was of the royal line of the kings of Judah, descended from King
David was promised that the Messiah would be through his lineage.
God said this to David:
Samuel 7:12–13 NLT) —12 For when you die and are buried with your ancestors, I will raise
up one of your descendants, your own offspring, and I will make his kingdom
strong. 13 He is the
one who will build a house—a temple—for my name. And I will secure his royal
9:6–7 NKJV) —6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the
government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the
increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the
throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with
judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
The term “Messiah” means “anointed one”, describing the pouring of
anointing oil on a king or a priest, giving them their authority.
The Messiah was to be a “savior”.
Part of that salvation was about saving Israel from their
Jesus will indeed to this when He returns.
Joseph would be told that the baby boy would bring an even
1:21 NKJV) And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from
All this is to say that Jesus was unique.
His coming was prophesied. He had
a special purpose.
Jesus was more than just a teacher or moral values.
He was/is the Savior of all mankind.
:8 raised from the dead according to my gospel
The word “gospel” means “good news”
Paul’s “gospel” was the good news that God had sent him to declare, the
good news that man can become right with God and receive eternal life.
Paul gave a synopsis of his “gospel” when he wrote to the Corinthians:
15:1–8 NKJV) —1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to
you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which
also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless
you believed in vain.
Being saved from eternal condemnation, from hell, comes
from putting your trust in this message.
3 For I
delivered to you first of all that which I also
received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
Central to the gospel is the truth that Jesus died for our
He took the punishment that we deserved.
4 and that He
was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He
was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of
whom the greater part remain to the present, but some
have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of
all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
The resurrection is essential to the gospel because it
proves that Jesus had indeed paid for our sins.
The resurrection is an historical fact proven by the
hundreds of witnesses who saw Him.
Paul is reminding Timothy of these crucial facts.
:9 for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of
chains; but the word of God is not chained.
:9 for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer
Paul was now currently in chains in the Mamertine prison because of this
fact – he preached the gospel.
For this he was considered an “evil doer”.
Isn’t that amazing?
:9 but the word of God is not chained
We can tend to think that God needs certain things in place for things to
Like, the gospel can’t be preached unless you’re a good speaker like Billy
Graham or Greg Laurie.
Could a comedian be funny if he can’t talk?
Video: Britain’s Got Talent – Lost
If a guy who can’t speak can get laughs, do you think God
could use us in this world?
We tend to think that things are limited to what we see, believe, or think
Some in Paul’s day might be tempted to think that since Paul is in prison,
that his ministry was over. But it
Paul wrote to the Philippians while he was in prison:
1:12–14 NKJV) —12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened
to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it
has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my
chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my
chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
Paul found that God actually used
Paul shared the gospel with the “palace guard”, and many
Other believers saw what Paul was doing and became bolder
to share the gospel as well.
Don’t think that the power of God’s Word is limited to whether
or not a person believes that God’s Word is true.
Just share God’s Word.
Suppose you are a teller in a bank, and a bank robber
comes up to your window, points a gun in your face, and demands you empty all
your money into his bag.
If you responded, “But I don’t believe in guns. I don’t believe guns can kill people. I’m not going to do what you say.”
What would happen if that robber pulled the trigger?
Whether you believe in guns or not, they’re still pretty dangerous.
God’s Word is powerful, whether the person believes in it at the moment or not.
One of the most powerful phrases Billy Graham used to
share in his messages was, “The Bible says…”
Here’s what the Bible says about the Word:
(Hebrews 4:12 NKJV)
the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged
sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and
marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
It’s alive. It’s
Here’s what God says about His Word:
(Isaiah 55:11 NKJV)
shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall
accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
You can’t limit the power of God’s Word.
God’s Word, like the gospel, is like a lion. Just let the lion out of the cage and see
what it will do.
(Romans 1:16 NKJV) For I am not
ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for
everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for
:10 Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also
may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
:10 I endure all things for the sake of the elect
endure – hupomeno – to remain; not recede or flee; under
misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one’s faith in Christ
Paul is talking about holding up under the terrible treatment he’s under in
The “elect” are those God has called out to follow Him.
It seems to me there are two possible ideas here:
1) Paul is willing to endure the pains of prison for the chance to share
the gospel with those “elect” who have not yet heard and believed.
2) Paul is willing to endure the pains of prison to set an example to those
who have already believed, that they to will endure and not stop following
Because of what follows in context, I tend to think this is the better
In a minute Paul will write about why we all need to endure:
Timothy 2:12 NKJV) If we endure, We shall also reign with Him.
Paul is setting the example of enduring, which leads to
“reigning” (or in this verse, “eternal glory”)
:11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him.
:11 This is a faithful saying
We’ve already seen Paul use this phrase several times in his writings to
(1 Timothy 1:15
NKJV) This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
(1 Timothy 3:1
NKJV) This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of
a bishop, he desires a good work.
(1 Timothy 4:8–9
NKJV) —8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable
for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to
come. 9 This is
a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance.
Paul seems to use this phrase as a way of highlighting the things he wants
Timothy to pay attention to.
Paul will now give a collection of four more “faithful sayings”. Some have suggested these too might have been
part of an early church “hymn”, a lesson put to music to help the congregation
remember the message.
:11 For if we died with Him, We shall
also live with Him.
The word “die” and “live” have the prefix “with” attached to them.
The emphasis is doing these things “with” Christ.
The issue is about identifying with the death of Jesus, and if we have
connected with Christ through His death, then we have access to the power of
His life and power over sin.
Baptism gives a picture of this.
(Romans 6:4 NKJV) Therefore we
were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised
from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in
newness of life.
We have power in our life because of our living connection “with Christ”.
Yet the power of His life begins with connecting to His death, learning to
“die” to sin.
:12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
:12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him.
The word “endure” is the same word Paul used to describe what he was doing
while he was in chains. He was enduring.
(2 Timothy 2:10
NKJV) Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they
also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
I think the “eternal glory” is related to “reigning with” Him.
There is a sense in which our salvation is connected to our endurance –
sticking with Christ to the end, even if it means dying for Him.
This principle is called the “perseverance of the saints”.
NKJV) But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
One example of this is what takes place after the Tribulation period when
Jesus returns and those who have been martyred are given new bodies:
NKJV) And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
:12 If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
NKJV) —32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess
before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My
Father who is in heaven.
deny – arneomai – to deny; not to accept, to reject
This is the same word used to describe Peter denying Jesus:
NKJV) But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!”
In Paul’s letter to Timothy, it’s a present tense, meaning continuous
It’s not a one-time denial (or three times like Peter), but a life of continually
:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful
There will be times like Peter when we struggle with our doubts and we do
stupid things, even at times denying Jesus.
Does this mean that God will respond by dropping us?
Even when we at times struggle with our faith, He remains faithful.
While we may struggle at times to believe He exists and loves us, He’s not
going to struggle because He knows who He is, and He will continue to help us.
Some people have a notion that God can only exist if there are enough
people to “believe” in Him.
It’s like the old TV version of Peter Pan, where Peter encourages the
children watching to “clap their hands” so Tinkerbell won’t die.
Video: Tinkerbell – Clap if you
Our lack of faith doesn’t hinder God as much as it hurts us.
Our lack of faith keeps us from receiving all that God has for us, but it
doesn’t keep Him from being God.
I like the truth that even when I have a moment of faithlessness, God stays
2:14-26 The Good Worker
:14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the
Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.
:14 Remind them of these things
These “faithful sayings” are important, and need
to be remembered.
:14 not to strive about words to no profit
There are some things that aren’t worth arguing over. You end up simply hurting everyone who is listening
to the arguing.
The church has not done very well with this over the years.
In the middle ages, church scholars used to argue over things like the
number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin.
What’s hard here is to know where to draw the line.
What is worth arguing over and what is not?
We get passionate about our favorite pet subjects and the argument of the
day. Some are important, others not.
:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not
need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God
be diligent – spoudazo – to hasten, make haste; to exert one’s
self, endeavor, give diligence
We might think of “diligence” as the guy who gets things done no matter
what, but it carries the idea of “speed” in it as well.
In other words, be “quick” about it being a good “workman” with God’s Word.
approved – dokimos – accepted, particularly of coins and
money; accepted, pleasing
In the ancient world there was no banking system as we know it today, and
no paper money. All money was made from metal, heated until liquid, poured into
molds and allowed to cool. When the coins were cooled, it was necessary to
smooth off the uneven edges. The coins were comparatively soft and of course
many people shaved them closely. In one century, more than eighty laws were
passed in Athens, to stop the practice of shaving down the coins then in
circulation. But some money changers were men of integrity, who would accept no
counterfeit money. They were men of honor who put only genuine full weighted
money into circulation. Such men were called “dokimos” or “approved”. (Donald
Paul is encouraging Timothy to be an honorable man when it comes to how he
handles the Word of God.
:15 a worker who does not need to be ashamed
Correctly interpreting the Word can take work (like a “worker”).
Paul wants Timothy to work hard at it so he won’t
:15 rightly dividing the word of truth
rightly dividing –
orthotomeo (“straight” + “cutting”) – to cut
straight, to teach the truth directly and correctly
If a Bible teacher isn’t careful, he can cut “around” his favorite passages
and make them mean what he wants to, instead of what they actually
Handle with care
Know what the Bible really says.
Many people don't know what the Bible really says. It's good to check up on our knowledge. For example, which of the following are
1. “Cleanliness is next to godliness.”
2. “God helps those who help themselves.”
3. “An honest confession is good for the soul.”
4. “We are as prone to sin as sparks fly upward.”
5. “Honesty is the best policy.”
The answer? While some of these
statements are truisms, none of them, as quoted, are found in the Bible! So before you quote
the Bible, make sure it is in the Bible.
Learn to “cut straight” in the Scriptures.
Learn to study the Scriptures in their “context”. Don’t just take a verse here and a verse
there. Learn the whole chapter.
There is the story of the man who was in a difficult situation, and in
desperation turns to the Bible. He
didn’t know where to look, so he let the book flop open and he laid his finger
on a verse, which said that Judas “went and hanged himself.” After a moment’s
thought, he decided to turn to a different verse for help; he repeated the
process and read, “What thou doest, do quickly.”
:16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to
:16 they will increase to more ungodliness
Some kinds of worthless topics don’t help or edify anyone, but only end up leading
Words versus Living
Some people know lots of stuff – they’re very brainy, and
know lots of words.
God is more concerned that our lives are being changed and we are living
more godly lives.
I’ve known people over the years who like to take great pains in arguing
over this or concerning theological ideas.
I don’t want to make too hasty a generalization, but in most cases, these
guys have lives that are pretty messy.
They also tend to be guys that are pretty brainy,
and perhaps they fall into the trap of thinking that their whole relationship
with God is a “brain” kind of thing.
For example –
I’ve known folks who will argue that we ought to be holding church in the
local bar. And order beers for everyone.
Really? Does that
produce godliness or ungodliness?
What kind of fruit does your discussions produce?
Is your life together? Are you
growing in your relationship with God?
Are you falling deeper and deeper in love with God? Are you gaining more and more victory over
sin in your life?
:17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort,
:18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is
already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.
:17 Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort
Paul has already mentioned Hymenaeus to Timothy:
(1 Timothy 1:19–20
NKJV) —19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected,
concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander,
whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.
Paul was not a fan of what Hymenaeus was doing and teaching.
:18 saying that the resurrection is already past
It seems we have an example of what Paul would consider “profane and idle
These fellows were teaching that the resurrection (or perhaps the Rapture)
had already taken place.
It sounds to me like they were taking away people’s “hope”, one of our
better motivations for living a holy life.
If there’s no hope for the future, if this is all there is, then why not
just quit trying?
Their doctrines were leading people to walk away from Jesus.
Be a diligent worker when it comes to the Scriptures.
Be careful to “rightly divide” the Scriptures.