Living in Light of the End Approaching
2 Timothy 4
2 Timothy 4
2 Timothy 4.
Paul’s Charge for Timothy (4:1-5)
1 I testify before God and Christ Jesus, who is about to judge living and dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom, 2 proclaim the word; be urgent in season and out of season, convict, rebuke, encourage, with all longsuffering and doctrine. vv.1-2 Paul’s Charge to Timothy.
3 For the time shall be when they will not bear sound teaching; but according to their own lusts will heap up to themselves teachers, having an itching ear; 4 and they will turn away their ear from the truth, and will have turned aside to fables. vv.3-4 The Reason for Urgency: Increased Apostasy.
5 But “thou”, be sober in all things, bear evils, do the work of an evangelist, fill up the full measure of thy ministry. v.5 Timothy’s Path.
Paul, with the End in View, Reflecting on His Ministry and Companions (4:6-18)
6 For “I” am already being poured out, and the time of my release is come. 7 I have combated the good combat, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth the crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will render to me in that day; but not only to me, but also to all who love his appearing. vv.6-8 The End of Paul’s Ministry.
9 Use diligence to come to me quickly; 10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved the present age, and is gone to Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Luke alone is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thyself, for he is serviceable to me for ministry. 12 But Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. vv.9-12 Paul’s Relationships with Companions.
13 The cloak which I left behind me in Troas at Carpus’s, bring when thou comest, and the books, especially the parchments. v.13 Practical Notes.
14 Alexander the smith did many evil things against me. The Lord will render to him according to his works. 15 Against whom be “thou” also on thy guard, for he has greatly withstood our words. vv.14-15 Alexander the Smith.
16 At my first defence no man stood with me, but all deserted me. May it not be imputed to them. 17 But the Lord stood with me, and gave me power, that through me the proclamation might be fully made, and all those of the nations should hear; and I was delivered out of the lion’s mouth. vv.16-17 Paul’s First Defense Before Nero.
18 The Lord shall deliver me from every wicked work, and shall preserve me for his heavenly kingdom; to whom be glory for the ages of ages. Amen. v.18 Confidence in the Lord.
19 Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the house of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus remained in Corinth, but Trophimus I left behind in Miletus sick. 21 Use diligence to come before winter. Eubulus salutes thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and the brethren all. vv.19-21 Personal Salutations.
22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. v.22 Closing Prayer.
The Importance of Having a Gracious Spirit. As the Father of spirits (Heb. 12:9), the Lord is correcting our attitude or spirit. It is perhaps one of the most important things in our Christian life to maintain a gracious spirit. It is possible to do right things with the wrong attitude. God insists that His servants reflect His character. We see this with Moses, when he failed to reflect the gracious heart of Jehovah to the children of Israel, and said "Hear now, ye rebels, etc." and struck the rock twice (Num. 20:10). Because of this he was not allowed to enter Canaan. We see it again with Elijah, who remained faithful to the Lord, but developed a bad attitude, and said twice "I, even I only, am left, etc." (1 Kings 19:14). Because of this, Elijah was told to anoint Elisha to be prophet instead of him. The same is true in the New Testament. There are a number of times where we are exhorted to have a right spirit at the very close of Paul's epistles. Each occasion corresponds to a circumstance where is would be easy to develop a bad attitude or spirit:
- Galatians 6:18. When we have been carrying on in a legal way, and when we have been corrected.
- Philippians 4:23. When there are disagreements between brethren.
- Philemon 25. When we are called on to forgive someone who has offended us.
- 2 Timothy 4:22. When we look around and see failure in a day of public ruin.