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2Timothy 2:8-18

Thursday Evening Bible Study

May 3, 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

The history recorded in the book of Acts ends around AD 60, with Paul being confined under house arrest in his own apartment in Rome.

We believe that Paul was released after a couple of years, and would travel to Ephesus, Macedonia, Crete, Nicopolis, and then be rearrested in Troas and taken back to Rome.

In AD 64 Nero burned Rome, blamed it on the Christians, and kicked off a period of persecution.

This time, Paul would be confined in the Mamertine Prison.

Everyone has abandoned Paul except for his friend Luke the physician.
(2 Timothy 4:11 NKJV) Only Luke is with me.
It’s from here that Paul writes this letter, his final letter somewhere around AD 66-67, just prior to his death.
Paul is hoping that Timothy would come to him, but that isn’t going to happen.
Paul will shortly be taken outside the city of Rome where he will be beheaded.

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 beheaded.

These are Paul’s final written words, instructions to Timothy, his “next generation” leader.

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.

remembermnemoneuo – to be mindful of, to remember, to call to mind; to think of and feel for a person or thing; to hold in memory, keep in mind; to make mention of

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.
It’s recorded in both the genealogies of Matthew as well as Luke.

Both Joseph and Mary had blood ties back to King David.

David was promised that the Messiah would be through his lineage.
God said this to David:

(2 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 throne forever.

Isaiah wrote,

(Isaiah 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 enemies.

Jesus will indeed to this when He returns.

Joseph would be told that the baby boy would bring an even greater salvation.

(Matthew 1:21 NKJV) And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

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

gospeleuaggelion – good tidings


Good News

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:
(1 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 sins.

He took the punishment that we deserved.

Isaiah wrote,

(Isaiah 53:5 NKJV) But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

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.

Jesus didn’t just “swoon” on the cross and pass out.  He was in fact so “dead” that He was “buried”.

The truth that He rose from the dead after three days shows that He made a full payment for our sins.

It’s like me offering to pay for all your credit card debts, car payments, and mortgage payments, and to show you how wealthy I am, I show you that I’ve still got billions left in my bank account when it’s all over.

The historical truth of the resurrection is proven by those who saw Him after He rose from the dead.  He was seen by all the apostles, more than five hundred others, and Paul too.

:9 for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained.

suffer troublekakopatheo – to suffer (endure) evils (hardships, troubles); to be afflicted

evil doerkakourgos – a malefactor

chainsdesmon – a band or bond

chaineddeo – to bind tie, fasten

Perfect passive indicative

: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


Without Limits

We can tend to think that God needs certain things in place for things to work.
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 Voice Guy

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 is possible.
Some in Paul’s day might be tempted to think that since Paul is in prison, that his ministry was over.  But it wasn’t.
Paul wrote to the Philippians while he was in prison:

(Philippians 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’s chains.

Paul shared the gospel with the “palace guard”, and many became believers.

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) For 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 powerful.

Here’s what God says about His Word:
(Isaiah 55:11 NKJV) So 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.
Chains shmains.  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 the Greek.

: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.

electeklektos – picked out, chosen

obtaintugchano – to hit the mark; of one discharging a javelin or arrow; to reach, attain, obtain, get, become master of

:10 I endure all things for the sake of the elect

endurehupomeno – 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 prison.

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 Christ.
Because of what follows in context, I tend to think this is the better choice. 
In a minute Paul will write about why we all need to endure:

(2 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 Timothy:

(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.
died withsunapothnesko – to die together; to die with one
Aorist tense
live withsuzao – to live together with one
Future tense

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.

endurehupomeno – to remain; not recede or flee; under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one’s faith in Christ; to endure, bear bravely and calmly

Present tense

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.

reign withsumbasileuo – to reign together

We won’t reign apart from Christ, but we will reign “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”.
(Matthew 24:13 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:
(Revelation 20:4b NKJV) And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

:12 If we deny Him, He also will deny us.

Jesus said,

(Matthew 10:32–33 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.

denyarneomai – to deny; not to accept, to reject

This is the same word used to describe Peter denying Jesus:
(Matthew 26:72 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 action
It’s not a one-time denial (or three times like Peter), but a life of continually denying Him.

:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

faithlessapisteo – to betray a trust, be unfaithful; to have no belief, disbelieve

faithfulpistos – trusty, faithful

denyarneomai – to deny; to deny someone; not to accept, to reject, to refuse something offered.

cannotdunamai – to be able, have power whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources, or of a state of mind

: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 believe

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 faithful.

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.

chargingdiamarturomai – to testify earnestly, religiously to charge

:14 Remind them of these things

Remindhupomimnesko – to cause one to remember, bring to remembrance, recall to mind

These “faithful sayings” are important, and need to be remembered.

:14 not to strive about words to no profit

strive about words logomacheo (“word” + “fight”) – to contend about words; to wrangle about empty and trifling matters

profitchresimos – fit for use, useful

ruin katastrophe (“catastrophe”) – overthrow, destruction

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.

Video:  Zootopia – Meet the Sloth
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 Barnhouse)
Paul is encouraging Timothy to be an honorable man when it comes to how he handles the Word of God.

to showparistemi – to place beside or near; to present a person for another to see and question; to present or show

:15 a worker who does not need to be ashamed

workerergates – a workman, a laborer; usually one who works for hire esp. an agricultural worker

who does not need to be ashamedanepaischuntos – having no cause 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 be embarrassed.

: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 say.


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 biblical quotations?

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 more ungodliness.

:16 shun profane and idle babblings

profanebebelos – lawful to be trodden; unhallowed, public place

There are some topics of discussion that are dirty, like food dropped on the floor that has been walked on with dirty shoes.

idle babblingskenophonia – empty discussion, discussion of vain and useless matters

Some discussions aren’t worth arguing over.

shun periistemi – to turn one’s self about for the purpose of avoiding something; to avoid, shun

The word has the picture of when you see someone you don’t want to talk to, and you turn to walk the other way so you don’t run into them.

:16 they will increase to more ungodliness

will increaseprokopto – to beat forward; to lengthen out by hammering (as a smith forges metals); to go forward, advance, proceed; metaph. to increase, make progress

ungodlinessasebeia – want of reverence towards God, impiety, ungodliness

Some kinds of worthless topics don’t help or edify anyone, but only end up leading to ungodliness.


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.  It’s not.
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 their message will spread like cancer

a cancer gaggraina – a gangrene

a disease by which any part of the body suffering from inflammation becomes so corrupted that, unless a remedy be seasonably applied, the evil continually spreads, attacks other parts, and at last eats away the bones

will spreadnome – pasturage, fodder, food; growth, increase; of evils spreading like a gangrene; of ulcers; of a conflagration

: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.

HymenaeusHumenaios – “belonging to marriage; a heretic, one of the opponents of the apostle Paul

PhiletusPhiletos – “beloved”; a heretic and a disciple of Hymenaeus,

:18 saying that the resurrection is already past

It seems we have an example of what Paul would consider “profane and idle babblings”.

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?

have strayedastocheo – to deviate from, miss (the mark)

overthrowanatrepo – to overthrow, overturn, destroy; to subvert

Their doctrines were leading people to walk away from Jesus.

So …

Be a diligent worker when it comes to the Scriptures.
Be careful to “rightly divide” the Scriptures.