In order to fulfil the ideal revealed in the instructions, Timothy was charged to "be strengthened in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." The apostle employed three figures of speech, the soldier, the athlete, and the husbandman, as revealing the methods by which Timothy might be strengthened in grace. The ultimate command is, “Remember Jesus Christ."
The apostle next referred to his own experiences again. Briefly, but vividly, he said, "I suffer hardship unto bonds, as a malefactor." Paul was now in prison for the second time, and was ranked as one of the lowest criminals. Nevertheless, he was jubilant over the fact that "the Word of God is not bound." It is in fellowship with Christ that such experience is granted. "If we died with Him, we shall also live with Him; if we endure, we shall also reign with Him." This declaration is followed by the solemn warning, "If we shall deny Him, He also will deny us." for God must be faithful to Himself.
The apostle then turned to the subject of Timothy's responsibility as to the Church. This is revealed as threefold:
first, the exercise of power (verses 2 Timothy 2:14-19) ; second, the exercise of love (verses 2 Timothy 2:20-23); and, third, the exercise of discipline (verses 2 Timothy 2:24-26). In the presence of difficulties created by a wrong teaching, Timothy must show himself a workman skilled in the specific calling of handling the Word of truth. The goal of ambition is "approved unto God." The method is, "Give diligence . . . a workman." The work, "rightly dividing the word of truth."
The duty of Timothy in the exercise of discipline, and the manifestation of love are then set forth. The apostle grants the existence of mixture in the Church. Separation from fellowship with the unworthy is a condition of fitness for the highest forms of service. The apostle urged this consecration in a threefold injunction, the key words of which are "flee," "follow," "refuse."
the Second Week after Epiphany