2 Timothy

 
THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL TO TIMOTHY, CALLED
SECOND TIMOTHY
 
 
O U T L I N E
– Preparation for Service 2 Timothy 1
– Salutation 2 Timothy 1:1-2
– Unfeigned Faith 2 Timothy 1:3-5
– Courage in the Face of Opposition 2 Timothy 1:6-12
– Keeping Sound Doctrine, When Others are Giving Up 2 Timothy 1:13-18
– Principles of Service 2 Timothy 2
– Be Strong in Grace 2 Timothy 2:1
– Passing on the Truth 2 Timothy 2:2
– Willingness to Suffer for Christ 2 Timothy 2:3-13
– Handling Doctrine and the Word of God 2 Timothy 2:14-15
– The Principles of Sanctification 2 Timothy 2:16-23
– A Gentle and Gracious Attitude 2 Timothy 2:24-26
– The Ruin of Christendom and the Resource of Scripture 2 Timothy 3
– The Ruin of the Christian Profession in the Last Days 2 Timothy 3:1-9
– The Resource of the Scripture, Old and New 2 Timothy 3:10-17
– Living in Light of the End Approaching 2 Timothy 4
– Paul’s Charge for Timothy 2 Timothy 4:1-5
– Paul, with the End in View, Reflecting on His Ministry and Companions 2 Timothy 4:6-18
– Salutations 2 Timothy 4:19-22
 
Timothy.

Timotheus, or Timothy, was a young man from Derbe whom Paul calls "my own son in the faith" (1 Tim. 1:2) and to whom Paul addressed two pastoral epistles. He was a companion of the apostle Paul from a young age, accompanying him on many journeys. Timothy was either left by Paul in, or dispatched to: Berea (Acts 17:14), Thessalonica (1 Thess. 3:2), Macedonia (Acts 19:22), Corinth (1 Cor. 4:17), Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:3), and finally to Rome (2 Tim. 4:9). Timothy served with Paul until his martyrdom around AD 67. He was a servant of Christ much used by the Lord in the early church. Even toward the end of Paul's life, he referred to Timothy's "youth" (1 Tim. 4:12), making Timothy a remarkable example for young Christians.

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Historical Note. This epistle was probably written around AD 67, shortly before Paul’s martyrdom at the hands of Nero. This was the last inspired epistle that Paul wrote. He wrote Titus and 1 Timothy during his release after the first arrest, but then Paul was arrested again. By the time he wrote 2 Timothy, Paul was given to know that he would be put to death. He had already passed through his first trial before Nero (“my first defence”, 2 Tim. 4:16), and he stood alone. He indicates that a certain “Alexander the smith” did him much evil, and some historians feel that refers to His second arrest or trials before Nero. Perhaps he was a false witness against Paul.
 
Pastoral Epistles. 2 Timothy is one of the pastoral epistles, which are those epistles that give Divine instruction to individuals in various circumstances. These epistles tend to be more personal than those to the saints collectively, and more practical as well. They are written usually much later, after the doctrine of the Church has already been laid down. The character of 2 Timothy is deeply personal, and we find Paul speaking candidly to Timothy about a number of topics, including Timothy’s fear, Timothy’s gift, Paul’s companions both good and bad, individuals who were an encouragement to him and not ashamed of his chain, his betrayal by Alexander, the state of the church in Asia, the future of Christendom, and – most personal of all – his desire for Timothy to make a quick journey to visit him in Rome. To summarize, Paul is laying down for Timothy the necessary instructions that would help the young man in the difficult times ahead, when Paul would no longer be there.
 
Overview of the Epistle. The first epistle deals with the proper order and behavior of the house of God, when things were generally as they should be, although Timothy is given warnings that decline would come in. In the second epistle, things are in ruin; “this thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me” (2 Tim. 1:15). The expression “turned away from me” does not mean they had rejected Christ, but rather the teaching of the Apostle Paul, which really gives us the proper order of the Church. This turning away from Paul is illustrative of the general pattern of things in the early Church. Very quickly, the Church departed from her true character and hope, and returned back to Judaistic principles and practices. The result of the carelessness of the early Church (pictured in Matt. 13:25 by the “men” that “slept” while the enemy sowed tares), is that false doctrine and false profession invaded the sacred precincts of the House of God. From there, the Church fell into a state of outward ruin, as the progression of the seven assemblies in Rev. 2-3 outlines. Paul was allowed to witness, in his final years, the crumbling of what he had suffered for and labored so hard to build. The great question arises; “Can we still walk according to the mind of God, even in a day of ruin?” 2 Timothy shows us that there is a pathway for the believer in those kinds of circumstances. We find that “the foundation of God standeth sure”, although everything committed to man’s hands was fallen into ruin. The individual is obliged to “depart from evil”. These things weighed heavily on the aged apostle as he wrote his final letter to the beloved Timothy. While the epistle is addressed to Timothy, the warnings and instructions therein are applicable to all believers, at all times. Timothy was a godly young man that was going to face very trying circumstances, but in 2 Timothy, Paul does not neglect to remind him of the things to encourage him. Paul reminds him of:
  • the promise of life by Christ Jesus; the possession of a life that is beyond sin and ruin (2 Tim. 2:1)
  • the grace of God in saving Timothy (2 Timothy 1:9)
  • the work of Christ that made our salvation possible (2 Timothy 1:10)
  • a risen Savior as a pattern of glory after suffering (2 Timothy 2:8)
  • the value of the Word of God for present guidance and instruction (2 Timothy 3:14)
  • the future prospect of the believer at the appearing of Christ (2 Timothy 4:18)