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2 Timothy 1:1-5
A FAITHFUL SERVANT IS PRAISED
A little introduction to the book might be good as we begin.
The book was written to Timothy by the apostle Paul from Prison around 67 A.D.
I would like to just quote Scofield’s note for you. “Quite different in atmosphere from the first letter to Timothy, it is less formal than the other two Pastoral Epistles and far more personal. In the earlier letter to Timothy, Paul expresses, as though he were a free man, his hope soon to be with his “son in the faith.” Here in the second letter alone he speaks of the time of his departure being at hand (4:6). Paul was not only in prison, but he had been abandoned by most of his friends (1:15; 4:16).”
1. I know a few pastors that know this feeling – worked their heads off for years and about to croak and everyone leaves them – alone and not a friend to share their burdens with.
Years ago we had the privilege of meeting and becoming friends with an old pastor and his wife. He was in his late 70’s I’d guess – he had been through all the battles, he had pastored through the storms and now he was set aside because he was too old to even teach a Sunday School class – or so the churches thought.
He was very quiet, withdrawn and didn’t have much enthusiasm at all. They had few friends – only some family nearby.
Nothing to really excite their lives. To gain some money they had to sell his model T truck that he had wanted to restore for years and now with the time he had no money nor ability to do the work.
HOWEVER, start a conversation about the Bible and he would light up like a Christmas tree and really become involved.
Question: Why do we let our pastors come to that sort of situation? Something for you to ponder – how can you remedy this in your own church in the future?
2. Timothy was in Ephesus. He had been charged with setting up church leadership, he had been charged with cleaning out false doctrine, he had been charged with weeding out the false teachers, he had been charged with many things – Paul wanted him to assist the church in Ephesus. (1 Timothy 1:3-4; 1 Timothy 6:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:1 ff)
Question: What can we learn from this? Churches need leaders, churches need purity of doctrine, churches need protection, and churches need someone to assist with problems that come and go in an assembly.
So, problems aren’t new, problems aren’t strange, problems are to be expected. The key is dealing with them as they come along. This is what the leaders are to be doing.
One might wonder about the horror cases of church splits – were the leaders doing their job or were the problems just too large?
It is evident we haven’t learned much in almost 2000 years of church.
As we move forward in our study remember the apostle is long into a long hard life and he is still plugging away at life – at ministry. It is easy to just quite and give up, but it takes strength to continue when you are tired, weary and surrounded by problems and not surrounded by supporters.
2 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, [my] dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, [and] peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God, whom I serve from [my] forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; 4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; 5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
Paul was an apostle by the will of God. I would like to consider this on three levels.
1. God’s sovereignty: God is sovereign in the creation - what He says kind of goes whether the earth, the stars or even man wants it to or not. Nothing happens in the creation without His okay. Man is part of that creation even though we often think we are above creation.
God was the one with the idea for Paul to be an apostle, it was His moving that saved Paul, it was His training that prepared Paul and it was His leading that guided Paul.
2. Man’s free will: Having said all of the above I do not for one instant believe that had Paul said no to God that God would have forced Paul to take on that responsibility.
I’m not saying that Paul’s life would have been a bed of roses walking against God’s will, but he was free to do so. We all are. You might want to review Jonah for a good example of this principle.
3. Man’s response to God: Paul’s response to his call was one of going forward with all the gusto that he could muster. He did the post salvation job just as well and as actively as he had done his pre-salvation work of persecuting the Christians.
What is being said? God has a will for our lives - it is up to us if we follow it. His sovereignty sets that will and we voluntarily follow or reject.
I don’t think Paul woke up one morning to say "Ah, since I am now saved, I think I will be an apostle." He would never have dreamed of such a thing for himself!
I don’t know all ministers, but I know enough to know that many would never have picked out their life from all the lives available to them at the time that they were called.
I have often wondered just where I would have ended up if God had not placed a call before me. I rather imagine I would still be a country western nut with a big pickup, cowboy boots, a cowboy hat to cover the bald spot and still smoking, cussing and drinking. Well, I didn’t have the hat back then – didn’t need it. A red neck if you will.
God places a call before some that He chooses to use. In my case when I realized what Christ had done for me there was no real option but to answer the call - He did so much for me, how could I not want to do as much as I could for Him.
Relating to Paul’s apostleship, one might be interested in a couple of passages that mention the requirements to be an apostle. I might mention that Paul was a special case, and since Christ appointed him directly does not necessarily need to be bound to these requirements.
Both of the following texts mention the resurrection and many people state that this is the qualification. Both however mention also witnessing his life in some manner as well as the death and burial.
Acts 1:21 “Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.” Personally the last phrase isn’t a requirement to be an apostle but a job description.
1 Corinthians 15:3 “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”
The qualification might be seen in my mind as one that had witnessed the life of the Savior and then known personally of the events surrounding his resurrection. This did not automatically make one an apostle, but made one available as a possible person to become an apostle. In short a good knowledge of Christ’s work on earth and the ability to witness to that knowledge to the world would be the requirement in my mind.
1. Take time right away to consider what you might do in light of this passage. You might consider at length what your spiritual heritage is – what precursors to your salvation occurred, were there people involved, and have you taken time to thank them for their part in your finding God’s mercy?
Years ago I was privileged to speak in the church where I was saved. I told of the many people that had brushed my life and left tidbits of spiritual dust on my soul. I told them that many of them probably didn’t know that they had any effect on me – after the service several confirmed that they had no idea that they had been used of God in my life.
2. Find someone that you can begin building a closer relationship with as a believer. Someone that is equally seeking a deeper spiritual life – someone that will take the time to build this sort of relationship. Not one based on common interest or sports necessarily, but one based on a desire to walk with Christ.
Let Paul and Timothy be your guide to find a deep relationship with someone – someone that will bring you joy when they come around.
3. Why is the grass always greener on the other side? The age old question – why do we perceive that everyone else has it better than we do?
Let us consider for a moment Paul and Timothy. We see Paul telling Timothy nice things which make me think that it must have made Timothy feel very good – to know that someone held him in such a high regard.
On the other hand we think of Paul as being this great man of God that walked the face of the earth spreading the Gospel – what a glory for man – what a way to live your life. As we compare this to our dull drudgery filled life we wonder why God doesn’t use us.
Then on the other hand let us consider Paul’s EVERY DAY life. He walked several miles a day over less than adequate roads when compared to our day – no sidewalks, no smooth blacktop, no green ways to enjoy, no Nikes to comfort his sore feet – just the ruff roads and ditches and weeds of the day.
So, why do we think Paul’s life was so glorious? Isn’t it a combination of highlights and hindsight? We see the highlights of his life; we see the bits and pieces of his life that were recorded. We don’t see the pits and gullies that he had to walk through, we only see the many people he ministered to and those that ministered to him.
Also, aren’t we viewing his life from the other end of things? We see what we see, but don’t see the bad times. We know he had some down times – they are in the Scriptures but we tend to forget them.
It is kind of like the missionaries that come to missions conferences and tell of the great things which they have been able to accomplish for the Lord. They inspire others to go prepare for the mission field and go out into this glorious exciting occupation. Then on the field reality sets in for the new missionary – this is no picnic – it is work – it is plodding – it is one foot in front of the other.
What the missionaries don’t tell you about are the days and days of slogging through rain distributing literature to gain the first contact that leads to many other visits to the person that ultimately might lead the person to the Lord. They tell of the successes and not of the day to day boring drudgery of not seeing anything happen. This is not wrong of the missionary, they like to dwell on the fun parts, they just seldom tell of the low parts.
I was speaking at a missions conference in California years ago and the pastor gave me one specific topic to speak on for one session. “What it is really like to be on deputation” was the requested topic. He specified that he wanted the negative as well as the positive sides of the issue.
I obliged him with the topic and presented it to his church. I was swamped with people thanking me for telling them what it was really like – they had no idea what deputation was really like. I told them of the long drives cross country, of the sleeping in the car, of the leaving home for a month of meetings with no money and only a gas credit card to feed the car, of the pastors that had asked you to their church because they thought you were someone else, of the long days of boredom between meetings etc.
All they ever heard was the highlights – the great things that were happening, not the day to day doing of the work of deputation – you know, like the sending out of one hundred letters of introduction and calling the one hundred pastors in a week and finding that only ten of them were even interested in talking to you and that only one of them would even ask you to speak in their church.
The reality of most missionaries is to speak in one of one hundred churches contacted. The missionary tends only to tell you of the meetings that they have had, not the day to day work of getting that meeting.
I don’t demean anyone in this spin of positivity, it is human nature, it is partly the way we are wired in our minds. When we are a year or two down life’s road from hard times, we tend to forget the bad and remember the good – probably God’s way of allowing us not to be terribly burdened with negativity.
To bring this closer to home for us, we often look at our lives as keeping one foot in front of the other so that we continue forward. We seldom can really see the highlights of our lives. We are too caught up in our drudgery.
We probably won’t get the real picture of our lives until we hear the Lord’s view of them. He has the proper view point of what we have accomplished – this is the grass we need to tend not that which seems greener in someone else’s life.
We shouldn’t count ourselves out because we can’t see that we have accomplished much – what we have accomplished can only be known by God.
We need to get our eyes off the one foot ahead of the other and concentrate on the overall view that God has – His plan for our life! It after all is His plan – His perfect plan. If you dwell on the step to step you will probably demean His plan for you.
I guess what I’m saying is quit coveting His plan for someone else’s life and concentrate on His plan for you.
1:2 To Timothy, [my] dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, [and] peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Grace, mercy, and peace - come from God - why would we ever look for them from any other source.
Many in our world look for peace in material gain, in marital bliss, or mental gymnastics (philosophy), but only God can give real true peace. The other may give a sense of peace for a time but all reveal themselves ultimately as false peace.
Note that Paul uses a very endearing greeting with Timothy. Most agree that Paul may have lead Timothy to the Lord, or at the least had a great impact on his life - they were spiritual father and son or very nearly so.
Paul knew Timothy well spiritually. He declared that Christ was "their" Lord - he knew where Timothy lived in relation to God.
Now, this business of Christ being Lord is the relationship all believers should have with God, but not all do - many there are that believe but hold God out at arms length and never make Him Lord.
Recently I read an article that set forth the premise that pastors should not preach expositorally but that they should preach evangelistically. The author’s thinking was that since most of the congregation is most likely lost that the pastor ought to try to get them saved. I would add that he might want to give a dose of Lordship teaching as well – those that do believe in our churches aren’t living like it.
1:3 I thank God, whom I serve from [my] forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
I might be making more of this than Paul meant, but the phrase "I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience...." seems to say to me that Paul was at complete peace about what he had done all of his life - even when thinking back to his days of persecuting Christians he was with a clear conscience. This would be an amazing truth to some people that struggle with past sins - there is a time in their future of a clear conscience. It should be part of their growth – realizing all is past.
Not that he liked what he had done, but he had come to grips with it and knew that God had completely wiped that guilt away, not just covered it but eliminated it - that he had a good and complete standing with God.
Many there are that are weighed down with their past sin – this ought not be their plight – they should be finding God’s forgiveness and understand what that forgiveness gives – PEACE.
He thanks God for the burden of having Timothy on his mind night and day in prayer.
He had joy in prayer, he had joy in bringing Timothy before the Lord twice a day - if not most likely much more. He knew this ministry of prayer was a privilege that he had on Timothy’s behalf.
I trust that you either have now, or will have one day the joy of ministering to another through night and day prayer for them. It is a real privilege and a real need.
1:4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
Hummm, when is the last time your superior let loose with a statement like that? What a thrill it would be for your superior to feel that way about seeing you.
Filled to the brim, filled to the top wanting nothing is the thought of this word. Paul will be filled to bursting with joy when he sees Timothy.
Now, that would be another great day when your superior was that excited about seeing you - true this was indicative of the close spiritual and emotional bond they had together - but imagine how that must have felt for Timothy to sit down and read these comments.
1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
Unfeigned is a big word that really just means honest - undisguised - sincere - Timothy’s faith was right out there in front of him, not tucked away in his tunic or head covering (if he wore one) - his faith was open for the world to see.
Not like some of us - we as Christians, I fear, all too often travel incognito. Nobody around us knows that we are a follower of Christ.
You know, like when you are in the break room and everyone is talking about all those things that you disagree with and you quietly sip your coffee trying to be inconspicuous so that no one asks you what you think. Probably enough said.
This same faith was in his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice - indeed, they probably had a lot to do with the faith of Timothy. (Lois means agreeable and Eunice means good victory.)
What a telling passage - the importance of a woman’s touch in a man’s life as he grows up – at least a spiritual touch - the importance of spiritual upbringing in a person’s life - the importance of the extended family being involved in the person’s life.
I can’t say that my mother brought me along spiritually, she did make me go to Sunday school and church – my grandmother also made me go to church when I spent week ends with her but both my mother and grandmother, like our pastor and my Sunday school teachers failed to check into my personal relationship with Christ. All in the church assumed my salvation – when a teenager, I had no idea why Christ died on the cross and wondered of the subject from time to time.
Parents have a real responsibility to watch for their children’s welfare, both in the physical/material realm, and in the spiritual realm.
I might add in here a little item of thought. I had always been taught that this passage pictured a Godly grandmother and mother raising a small son into a Godly man. I have also been taught that Paul most likely led Timothy to the Lord. There has always been a disconnect between the two facts in my mind. I think that the answer to this is that Eunice and Lois most likely raised Timothy as a good Jewish – Godly person and when Paul came to Ephesus it would be consistent if Paul lead them all or at least Timothy to their Messiah. Since we aren’t told I would never jump up and down and demand this interpretation, but it does fit the facts of the Word quite well.
A FAITHFUL SERVANT IS CALLED
2 Timothy 1:6-12
6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: 11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
Some relate this gift to the spiritual gifts of the New Testament however this does not seem to be the case. First of all the gifts are not bestowed by the laying on of hands. Secondly the gift is from God, while the spiritual gifts are given as the Spirit wills. I believe this was some gift that was given so that Timothy could do the work that he was called to. The gift is also directly received from Paul’s own hand as well as from others. 1 Timothy 4:14 mentions the gift as well. “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.”
This adds a third point, the gift was given by prophecy and again the spiritual gifts are not given in this manner.
Gill suggests that Timothy may have allowed his gift to fall into less than active use, even allowing it idleness. The thought of the stirring of this gift relates to the stirring of a fire that has lost its flame - that is dying down to a bed of coals – a fire that needs to be stirred, that needs fresh oxygen to be allowed to circulate and raise up a new and heavy flame.
Indeed, with the I Timothy exhortation I’d guess Paul saw something lacking both then and now so gives further comment to Timothy’s lack of action. In fact fear seems to be related to his problem.
I have not run across any suggestions for what this gift was other than the possibility of it relating to Spiritual gifts. I would suggest that Ephesians 4:11 might relate to a special class of gifts that were given to special men at the beginning of the church. If this is true, I would suspect that there is a run over into all of church time for the gifts of evangelists and pastors teachers. Ephesians 4:11 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;”
If, indeed this is the case, I would think that Paul was speaking to the gift of evangelist that he mentions in relation to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:5 “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”
1. Relating to your gift. Is your gift in active use? Is your gift one that is needed in the church and is not active? It is YOUR gift, it is GIVEN to you for use in the church, and it is a GIFT of God not to be hidden.
All believers have one or more gifts, but I fear there are few that are using them within the church. After all how can believers really be using their gifts if they are sitting in the pew without doing something within the church? They can’t!
2. Almighty God gave you a gift – something that you are supposed to be doing within the local church. He – GOD – decided just what HE wanted you to do for HIS church!
Some things to consider:
a. He has confidence in you to be able to do that job – not sometime in the future, not sometime when you get around to it, not sometime when you are fully mature, not sometime when you are fully trained. He wants and expects you to be doing that ministry.
b. He does not expect you to be doing the ministry of someone else. You are to do what you are designed and gifted to do. You are not designed and gifted to be what someone else is designed and gifted to be. SO – be rightly satisfied with what you are in the grand scheme of things because it is HIS grand scheme.
It never fails, when a missionary comes through I get the feeling that the field is where I should have been and be. I think back over all those months of deputation and preparing, but it was GOD’S decision for us not to go – HE prepared us in just the right and precise way that He did for our ministry at any given point in time.
I don’t need to desire to be a missionary, I don’t need to desire to be a pastor, I don’t need to desire to be a deacon, I only have need of doing what He has prepared me to do at this point in time. I need to be satisfied with where I am in His Grand Scheme.
Charles Napier. Who can tell me who this man is? Would it help to know that he is a movie star? Would it help you to know that he has been in almost 100 films?
This man was on the Dr. Phil show this week and is frustrated that he has not attained stardom. In my book he has - he has made many movies I have enjoyed over the years much more memorable.
Dr. Phil was basically trying to get him to understand that he has attained that which he seeks to attain.
I personally believe this is kind of an inward born nature of man - to never be satisfied with what we are doing. We can even look back over our years and see big things we have done and still feel we haven’t done anything meaningful.
Leave it to God to determine how meaningful you are - using your gift in the church can assure that He will find your life of ministry as meaningful.
A listing of his movies and television appearances can be found on his official website - http://www.charlesnapier.com
c. We should be satisfied in this life with the place in which God has placed us. Some of us are leaders, some of us are ministers, some of us are other things – all effectively prepared for our specific place within the body of Christ. If we are not a leader, we need not feel less than we are. If we are leaders, we need not feel more than we are. We are all believers prepared as He desires for the ministry that is before us.
d. He gave you a gift to use, not a gift to develop pride over. Some believers seem to feel that their gift is one that everyone ought to have, and when they see someone not having the same fruit as they there grows a spirit of judging toward others.
Some preachers seem to think they are God’s gift to mankind, when in fact they are only a gift to the church for the growth of the church.
Some evangelists assume all will lead as many to the Lord as they. They begin to assume that all should have the fruit that they produce. God gifted them to do a work – not everyone to do the same work. All of us are to evangelize, but few are gifted as evangelists and few of us will have the fruit of an evangelist.
Just some brief notes relating to the gifts:
THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS EXAMINED BRIEFLY
PROPHECY: This gift is quite often listed in the sign gift area due to the revelatory nature of it in the New Testament. "But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort." (1 Corinthians 14:3) Some feel that prophecy rightly belongs in the ministry gift area due to this verse. In truth it would seem that possibly the gift of prophecy had a redefinition in the New Testament times. In the Acts the gift has the idea of forth telling with the future involved as in the Old Testament prophets. While this verse (1 Corinthians 14:3) sounds very much like a gift that belongs in the Ephesians four category.
Some see different aspects of the gift in the New Testament. There is the prophetic aspect of revealing God’s message to man, there is the forth telling of God’s message as in what we view as preaching. I’m not sure there is enough evidence to justify either side of the case. The important item is this, if you see the gift of prophecy in place today, be sure that you explain what you mean by that gift, and not allow people to believe there is prophecy of the New Testament revelation type going on today!
FAITH: This gift seems to be the God given faith to see something that God wants done and to go forward planning and praying toward that end. This would probably be in view in the book of James. "And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up;" James 5:15
WORD OF WISDOM: This is usually seen as a sign gift, and rightly so, however there may be a sense in which you should watch the wisdom that comes your way as you walk through life. I personally believe that the gift of wisdom is a sign gift, yet I have seen some very wise men who God has placed in my path. Don’t discount wisdom when it walks up to you and says hello. Learn from it!
It seems to be the ability to take the facts and consider all information and wisely choose the course of action to be taken. You may run into this fellow when you begin trying to figure out what the Lord wants you to do with your life. You may give him all your assets and fears, and he will work through your fears and help you to an understanding of what you can do and encourage you toward that end. Not all people are as wise as they profess, so be very careful, of those that you take advice from. If you don’t have confidence in them, if you don’t see evidence of wisdom in that life then don’t ask them advice.
WORD OF KNOWLEDGE: The ability to search the scriptures, systematize and communicate the knowledge received. Again this is usually viewed as a sign gift and should be. There is the idea of it in our own day also however. Hopefully this is what we have in the books that we are reading. The men of God of our day and past days are looking at the word, looking at the language, and looking to other areas of research and are setting down information that we might be able to use in our own lives.
HEALING: The miraculous bringing about of cures to all manner of diseases. Another sign gift. This is seen as the complete and immediate cure of the malady. This is seen in several accounts of the healing in the Book of Acts. It is significant to note that the apostle Paul healed many in the book of Acts, yet in later life he could not heal himself or others mentioned in the epistles. This is proof that he no longer had the gift of healing.
We might make comment also that God is able to do as He pleases in response to our prayers, and based on this it should be noted that He does heal at His choice and discretion. This healing is done directly and not through a faith healer or some other third party.
MIRACLES: The supernatural intervention of someone with the laws of nature to bring about some work via a command or prayer. Again this is a sign gift that is no longer in existence. The fact that God works in miraculous ways in this day is not disputed. He, as we have said, can do as He pleases, and does intervene at times in wonderful ways.
DISCERNING OF SPIRITS: The ability to discern the difference between a spirit of truth and a spirit of error. Though I believe that the gift has passed away, I would encourage you to develop your impressions and feelings toward people and what they teach. As you go along you may feel, with no cause there is something wrong. Go carefully and see if your feelings or impulses are correct. I have noticed many times that we will meet someone in a secular setting and I will tell my wife that I would bet the person is a charismatic. I have been quite accurate. We arrived for a deputation meeting in Oregon and about fifteen minutes into the Sunday school lesson, I leaned to my wife and said that I thought there was something very wrong in the church. She said that she felt the same thing. Within a couple of weeks someone told us that the church had gone charismatic.
TONGUES: The supernatural ability to speak in a previously not known tongue or language. This is definitely one of the sign gifts and is not for the use of the believer today. The so called heavenly tongue that many claim to use is easily proven to be of something other than the Lord and His plan.
INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES: The supernatural ability to interpret what is spoken by the person speaking in tongues.
APOSTLES: This would seem to be the office that the disciples and Paul held. There is no equivalent to this office or gift today.
MINISTRY: This would seem to relate to the work of the Deacon. This is the ministering to the physical needs of the saints. I rather suspect that many people have this gift in there is so much to be done in this area of the church. Indeed, I have to think that many of the bench warmers that we have in our churches may well have this gift, for there is quite often too much ministering to be done for those that minister.
TEACHING: The God given ability to search the scriptures and declare that truth which has been learned. This seems to carry with it the ability to create interest in spiritual things and have insight into the needs of the students. We have many teachers in our churches, but I’m not sure how many gifted teachers we have in our churches. (That are busy Ministering at any rate.)
EXHORTATION: The Spirit given ability to comfort and help those that call you along side for help or assistance. The term is also used of the Holy Spirit in relation to his ministry as the comforter. The person who has this gift quite often finds that people with problems seek them out for help, advice or just a listening ear. If you have this gift PLEASE use it at every opportunity. Many in our churches are hurting and have no one to talk to.
GIVING: The ability to give money for the ongoing work of the Lord with a single-minded commitment to continue to do so as long as the Lord allows. This does not mean that you are or will be rich. We had a supporter that felt that giving was his gift. He was on a disability income from social security and is unable to work. He and his wife give as much as they can and are determined to do so as long as the Lord gives them income and life. Even though they are low income, they seem to have the gift of giving.
RULING: Some would lump this into the gift of governments however there is a possibility that the two are different. Ruling may have the idea of ruling over the church as in oversight. The idea of the one that guides the church along.
MERCY: The ability to show mercy or kindness to those in the body of Christ that are hurting and/or are in need of encouragement. This will normally be a part of a pastor’s ministry, however there may be some in the body that could do a much better job of mercy. We should teach people this so that the pastor is not burdened with a ministry that he is not gifted to do. The pastor can do his part and allow others to come in and hurt with the people. I’ve noticed in the past, however that normally the pastor does do well in this area and is probably gifted for the ministry.
HELPS: The ability to step into any situation and assist in accomplishing the task at hand. This gift may well involve the ability to organize and carry through on a task until done. In a church in Nebraska there was a man that always headed up everything. At potlucks if something needed done he was in the middle of rounding up workers to get it done. His motto was, "Everybody works!" Many joked of the man’s work, but he was a man that got the work completed in quick and good order.
GOVERNMENTS: As opposed to Ruling this gift would be in the area of administration. The smooth running of the church affairs. Possibly an assisting of the different church leaders. We have churches and organizations with gifted people in this area, but the heads of the groups are too insecure to allow them to minister and have a great effect upon the body.
EVANGELISTS: The gift that enables its bearer to share forth the Gospel to the unsaved in a way that is both powerful and effective unto the leading of souls to the Lord. Some churches are seeing an advantage in having an evangelist on staff. This is a man that is equipped, not only to evangelize, but to train others to do the same. He is usually head of outreach for the church and is given a certain amount of time in the pulpit to exercise his gift among the assembly. It is not necessarily the man that is called in for evangelistic services. The order of evangelism in the New Testament is for the church to train workers that go out evangelizing and then bringing the new converts into the church for training. (I think that you have read that before!) If the church was functioning properly, there would be no need for an outside evangelist to come in for meetings.
PASTOR-TEACHER: The shepherd of the flock that can both shepherd and feed the flock with the food from the Word of God. This man may well have the gift of administration in a small church, yet not in the large church where they have a very good business manager. When you are organizing the church as it develops, be sure to see what qualified and gifted people you have. This may well help you know what ministries the Lord has in mind for your people. If you are in a city and find that you have three evangelists and four or five pastor-teachers, you might conclude that a few satellite churches would be in order.
1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Paul tells Timothy he doesn’t have the spirit of fear, but of power, love and of a sound mind.
I’m not sure my wife would agree with the final of that trilogy as it relates to her husband, but definitely we are not to fear that which is without. God is our power, our love, and our sound mind.
Let’s look at these items for a moment.
If we fear, we know it is not from God, thus we need to deal with it at once and put the Devil behind us. Maybe that relates to the break room situation mentioned earlier in the study. Don’t ever fear speaking out for your Lord.
“Spirit” is the term used of the spirit of man as well as the Spirit of God - I assume that it relates to the thought that fear is what is internal - this is not from God. Fear is something that is very hard to control once it has taken hold – don’t allow it that first hold!
On the other hand power, love, and sound mind are the opposite of fear in this case.
We have the spirit of power: The term translated “power” is the word we gain dynamite from. We ought not come across as power hungry nor overpowering but should show forth a confidence fitting the power within us.
We have the spirit of love: What might that mean? I personally see it as the outworking of several Scriptural texts. John 13:34-35 for one example. "34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
No clearer statement needs to be made. It isn’t a request but a command. And we ought not lose sight of the reason why we are to love - identification with Him.
We have the spirit of a sound mind: All right, so I shouldn’t comment on this one. Just a few simple comments and I will get back to areas I know something about.
Have you ever seen a decision someone made and observed that they couldn’t be in their right mind? Most of us have – indeed, we may have seen believers doing this.
We as believers need to be walking with the Lord in all our decisions. Once we step outside His guidance we are not necessarily operating with a sound mind - example: the young couple that tells you God is leading them to live together. GOD NEVER LEADS ANYONE TO GO INTO SIN!
When we identify our guidance as from God we need to know that it indeed is from Him and not from our warped sense of what He wants. Remember a sound mind will make sense - it will sound right to other believers as well as to ourselves.
1:8 "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;"
What was the testimony of the Lord? I would assume it relates to His pre-cross activities as a prisoner being brought before the courts.
Why might some be ashamed of Paul? His imprisonment. Imagine if we were in a time of persecution how quickly you would respond to your pastors call from prison to help him – hopefully we would respond – not being ashamed of being related to a person in prison for preaching Christ.
Note that Paul identifies himself as Christ’s prisoner rather than Caesar’s. What significance can we draw from this?
1. All bad that happens to the person walking with God – good or bad - is meant to be understood as from God. Do you agree with this?
a. Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose."
b. Would you assume based on the Romans verse that good would come from Satan? I don’t think so.
2. He knew well that he served God and does not serve man or some philosophy.
3. We should know the same as Paul, the one we serve.
4. We should also encourage other believers to this same standard. I fear one day in our own country, some believers will face prison for their faith. We are seeing more and more Christians in prison in middle eastern countries as well as in China.
Rather than be ashamed, we should be a partaker in the problems which arise from being a proper witness.
How do we do this – be a partaker - with the power mentioned just prior? Our reaction to our situation will do more to witness than our speech in many cases.
One year both my wife and I faced serious medical problems in emergency rooms and hospitals. We reacted as we always do with lightness and humor - we knew God was in control and that we could do absolutely nothing about the situation - like what can you do while having a heart attack? Say no, I’m not going to have it right now - schedule me in two weeks when it is more convenient.
As we joked with one another and with the medical staff we were given a number of puzzled looks as if we didn’t know how serious things were. I think they ultimately realized that it was our confidence in God that allowed us peace.
1:9 Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Saved us: He saved us, we didn’t save ourselves. We could do nothing toward our own salvation - He had to do it all. This is purely logical. How can a totally corrupt person do anything that is worthy of pleasing a completely just and righteous God? They can’t - impossible.
Called us: A general statement that seems to cover all believers. Called us - this calling seems to relate specifically to our salvation, though the fact that His purpose is involved we might see application in the thought of each of us being called to some specific life - if nothing else, the sanctified life, but I believe even more.
I would suggest that we are all called to a specific life - one of sanctification, one of using our spiritual gift, and one of specific purpose to God’s overall plan.
If you aren’t living a pure life, if you aren’t using your spiritual gift, and if you aren’t doing what God is leading you to do in life, then you are not following your calling before God.
Not, if I may say so, a wise position to be in when we are speaking of an all powerful holy God.
Not according to works: Not our works, nor the works of relatives and saints. The Roman church suggests that one may be bought out of purgatory by the works and giving of others, but this passage teaches otherwise. No work, no matter how great and glorious can add one bit toward a person’s salvation - nothing except the cross work of Christ.
According to His OWN purpose: Again, we see it is all of God. Not my purpose, not my mother’s purpose, not my wife’s purpose, but according to God’s purpose only! What a blessing that should be.
God saved me and called me to satisfy His own desire in some fashion. I can certainly please Him if I fulfill that desire in a loving manner for Him.
He saved us, He called us - how can we do less than follow His will for our lives and accomplish those things He wants us to do in life? It can only be disobedience if we don’t and it can only be pleasure to God if we do.
According to His OWN grace: Not the grace of the saints that they had left over, not the grace of the church, but HIS OWN grace.
Again, the Roman church would suggest that grace is gained from the sacraments or works that man decides to do for God. What an affront to a Gracious God.
How comforting to know God has enough grace for all of us - we don’t have to rely on what others might do, nor what the church might decide to do for us.
And all this before the world began: This one boggles the minds of many. He decided before He created the world that Stanley L. Derickson would sit down and punch out a bunch of thoughts on a portable keyboard attached to a PDA (Personal Data Assistant) to upload electronically to the internet for people to see around the world. How in the world could He have known about the internet much less a computer that fits in a shirt pocket - He must be a pretty great God!
The real shocker to me is that He would have decided to use a two bit, small town hood, to do anything for Him.
1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
God is the one being made manifest through Christ. Can you think of a passage that might illustrate what Paul is getting at here? John 1:1 gives indication, but John 14:9 mentions it more clearly "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father?"
By knowing more of Jesus we can know more about God - what a strong reason to study the Word!
"who hath abolished death" Since we all die, the text must mean spiritual death - we do not have to continue in our spiritually dead condition - we have life through His work on the cross.
"and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:" The Gospel is the only way spiritually dead mankind can know of what Christ did on the cross.
It is our generation’s responsibility to get this message to man, not someone else’s. This relates back to the purpose of God set before the foundation of the world. He could have set up a one hundred-foot billboard on the corner of Hazel and Academy in Salem, OR and required every man woman and child of all generations to walk by it slowly so that they could read the good news, but He did not set it up that way.
He made it our responsibility. He chose to limit Himself to such as we to accomplish His work. 2 Corinthians 5:20 "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ...."
1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
Whereunto: What is Paul appointed to? The Gospel of the previous verse. This is the sum and substance of all this saving/calling of the passage, in Paul’s own life - an illustration, if you will, of what he has been talking about.
First of all let us apply briefly the truth that there are preachers and there are teachers. They may be one and the same, or they may not be. Just because someone can teach does not mean he can preach, and vice versa as well.
When you know you have a great teacher, don’t force them into preaching unless they are gifted and prepared for that ministry.
Let’s see what a preacher and a teacher are.
Preacher is the Greek word “kerux” which means according to the lexicon “a herald or messenger vested with public authority, who conveyed the official messages of kings, magistrates, princes, military commanders, or who gave a public summons or demand, and performed various other duties. In the New Testament God’s ambassador, and the herald or proclaimer of the divine word.”
Teacher is the Greek word "didaskalos" which is used of one that teaches others the Word of God, it is used of Christ as well as Paul and others. One that is able and prepared to share and instruct others in the principles of the Word.
Teaching is one of the spiritual gifts. One ought not teach if they do not know they have the gift of teaching - they may impart some truth, and some information, but they will not do it as effectively as one that is gifted in this area.
We were interim-pastor at a little Bible church in a little town in Wyoming for about a year. They had two Sunday school teachers while we were there - one was gifted and one was not. The ungifted one imparted information, but very poorly and often incorrectly. The gifted man was an old farmer that had been plowing the Word as long as he had been plowing his fields. His crop of spiritual truths was as great as his crops of wheat and corn. He simply shared what God was giving to him and doing it in a simple, yet effective manner. He was gifted of the Spirit to instruct His saints effectively.
Paul was all three - preacher, apostle, and teacher. He was the proclaimer, the messenger and the purveyor of truth. No matter the need of the people or situation that he came upon he was gifted and prepared to share the gospel with all.
It is of note to me that he did not feel he was gifted as an evangelist. He was a preacher and teacher but evangelism was not a strength. This runs counter to our impression of Paul at times.
It is important to know what your gift is and to use it properly. This includes stopping the use of it in a particular place when it is no longer needed.
Several times I have seen men that were well gifted in evangelism that were able to gather a group of new believers together into a local church, however they weren’t sharp enough to know that they weren’t pastors. They out lived their usefulness to the assembly and ultimately drove away the people he was supposed to be shepherding.
I have also seen men with this gift gather their flock and leave as soon as they saw that there was a need for a shepherd - these assemblies flourished.
A few men are both evangelist and pastor - they can establish a church and then shepherd it. I have also observed these men and again, the churches flourish.
Paul knew what his gifts were and used them to the ultimate level in his life. We ought do the same.
The next verse is one that we all have heard, but seldom if ever have we heard it in its own context.
1:12 "For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
Because of his calling and because of the gospel he is in suffering - yet he is not ashamed. If and when suffering comes to American Christians we ought not be ashamed - we do it for the proper cause - our Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the cross for others.
"...for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
He knew his work was for Christ, he knew that Christ was able to do all that He had told him he would do, and he knew Christ could keep his work secure until that day.
Okay, folks, that is one for you. He - Christ can keep the results of your work - you don’t have to - you don’t have to struggle to keep those new converts on track - He can. Yes, do what you can to assist those you minister to, but allow Christ to keep them - He will do a much better job than you will.
Paul committed his efforts to Christ for safe keeping. Not your worry, not your responsibility, not your load to carry.
I have often felt for pastors that have struggled to get a work moving and then be called away to another ministry only to see some new jerk come in and run the work into the ground. Not the pastor’s load - Christ will care for it. It is His plan that He is working on.
We should commit ourselves and our labors to Him for His safekeeping - I think he will do a much better job of it than we.
"that day" seems to indicate a particular day - a particular twenty-four hour period. The term translated “day” is normally used for a twenty-four hour period rather than a period of time as in the last days.
It would make sense that Paul was thinking about the day in which the Lord will judge our works. That day is the one that all of us should look forward to. We will see sorted out before us some of the things that God has been able to accomplish through us. Unfortunately we will most likely see what He wasn’t able to accomplish through us because we were not tuned into Him at all times.
2 Timothy 1:13-18
1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. 15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. 16 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: 17 But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found [me]. 18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.
1:13 "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."
What we hear and accept of God should be held in faith and love - faith that it is true and love toward others that need to hear the same.
Hold fast the sound words! Hang onto what you learn of the Lord from the Word.
Hold fast has the thought of a possession of the mind - hanging onto a possession as furniture - making it yours - to wear it as a possession.
Neat thought! So, how do we do that?
1. Determine what is good. Be good Bereans and check all you hear against the Word and determine what is right. As an old farming area pastor put it, "Chew and spit" - chew on what you hear and spit out the pits and retain that which is good.
Acts 17:10-11 mentions the Bereans - those that compared all with the Word. 10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
2. After you determine it is right, then store it away for future reference. Both in your mind for your personal walk, and I find I also need to store it in a file somewhere so that I can refresh my mind now and then. When I wear things in my mind, they tend to get misplaced.
I have always kept files of studies and sermons - all are now on a computer so I don’t need the two four-drawer large size filing cabinets - they are now full of electrical and computer parts.
It is good to just sit down and remind ourselves of some of those things we have determined to be good in the past.
One day after chapel my wife came to me and said, "He agrees with you on that passage." During the message I had thought the preacher had a great take on the passage. I looked in my notes and sure enough I had taught the same principle a number of years before and forgotten all about the truth.
There is the thought that we are ever learning of the lord. If your knowledge of His Word is not increasing weekly then we are amiss in some manner. We learn from reading the Word and we learn from hearing the word. If you aren’t learning from these things something is wrong – either with your or those you read (books) or those you listen to.
It is a sad church that does not offer opportunity for growth for its people.
Wear those things you learn and hope they are made of strong material so they last better in your mind than mine.
I suggest that the love that is mentioned here might come in as we relate to other believers. How do we normally react to people that disagree with us?
Not necessarily with love. We ought to react with love - sharing if possible the truths God has given us, but also very importantly, react in love if they continue to disagree with you.
This gives rise to just what disagreement we can have with believers and still remain in fellowship. Some say that nothing should come between believers. Others insist on separation from those that are not following the Word.
Scripture gives us some guidelines relating to separation.
1. From nonbelieiver should be obvious - not that we shouldn’t witness to them, but we should not accept them as believers into the church.
One of the great losses to the church today is the loss of purity - the accepting of unsaved people into its membership.
Many churches do not require personal salvation testimony for membership. To me, it ought to be a requirement for each candidate to testify before the assembly they wish to join. Not just to the board or a select few - but all the assembly - the assembly votes on the candidate, thus taking partial responsibility in the issue, even though they have no personal knowledge of the person’s salvation in many cases.
Other churches allow the most limited of testimony to be basis for membership. One such testimony I heard - "I met Christ in 1981" - well many lost people have met Christ, but never accepted his work on the cross personally.
2 Corinthians 6:14 ff “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
2. Division is another cause to separate. Romans 16:17 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.”
I have not seen anywhere in Scripture where this concept was rescinded.
Note, “divisions and offences contrary to the DOCTRINE which ye have learned” – separate over divisions of false doctrine.
Possibly, just a little comment on the terms involved here would be of interest. The word translated “hold fast” has the idea of hold or even “wear” thus it is not only holding onto but holding on very tightly - to the embedding of them into your flesh might be my idea of the word.
When I had a heart attach, the doctor inserted stents into the vessels to open the blockage. These stents are inside the artery, but the artery actually grows over the stent and the stent becomes an integrated part of the artery. This is what the Word should do – become an integrated part – so much a part that it dictates our every motivation and action.
The term form has the thought of an outline or an example.
Timothy is to wear the pattern or outline of these words of good spiritual health – now being a theologian I might take a stab at defining this. Take all the good words received from Paul and roll them into a workable outline – or might I suggest a systematizing of the words into a pattern to wear for life.
Some might disagree, but in my mind if you don’t have a systematizing of the Word of God you have a touch of chaos. If there is no outline to follow you can and will get anywhere you want to go with the words. If you, on the other hand have an outline to go by, you are forced to interpret and understand within that outline. It was Paul that used the term “form” at this point.
1. Taking a stand for Christ and His Word. There are some things to learn in this area.
a. We need to take a stand when the situation warrants it. Allowing things to slide will only cause further trouble down the line.
Many of the problems of decline in organizations is the allowance of minor issues to continue. If a minor issue slides by then later, larger issues are a little easier to allow to slide by till all is by and nothing is left to stand for.
Most liberal and doctrinally incorrect organizations and institutions did not just overnight change their spots - it was a slow-moving process of allowing little things to change away from the solid bedrock Word of God.
When on the east coast for orientation we assisted a couple in moving their belongings into a large four story mansion that had been divided into small apartments. The building as well as others was owned by a very liberal missionary organization. They would rent the apartments for a very token amount to missionaries on furlough. To show how liberal the group was the couple we assisted had nuns for next door neighbors.
The organization began many years ago when a group of fundamentalist pastors got together with some businessmen to purchase old seaside mansions that had been allowed to fall into disrepair by wealthy city folks that didn’t go to the coast any more. The group would buy, renovate and rent the buildings as a ministry to fundamental missionaries home from the field.
At one point they needed to fill one slot on their board and there were no fundamental men willing to work with them. They took on a man that had some slight liberal leanings. One thing led to another and before all that many years all of the fundamentalists had died off and all had been replaced by liberal people.
A downward spiral always goes down! Allow the first step and you may hit a slippery spot.
b. We need to take a stand - even if it is alone. Others may not, but you must. Don’t look to the support of peers, look to the support of the Lord.
When we left my teaching position, a doctrinal issue was at the basis of it. It normally is not an issue requiring separation, but I had agreed to leave quietly if I ever came to disagree with the policy or practices of the school. The board changed a long-standing policy on divorce/remarriage. I disagreed, so ethically needed to leave. This we did.
Over a year later one of the other faculty members took me aside and confided that when I left he should have gone with me.
I was willing to do what was right - even if I was alone in the decision. This admission, however, was a real encouragement even though it was a year later in coming.
c. We need to take a stand that others may learn. Others will hear of your stand and possibly come to agreement with you on your position. You have assisted another believer in their walk.
2. Ministering beside one that is in the forefront.
One of the privileges I had years ago was to assist a young pastor in the Portland area. He was pastor of a small church and he called me alongside to teach Sunday school class and assist in the ministry. He included me in a lot of his planning, and desires for the church.
We had our doctrinal and practice differences, but we never saw them as divisive - we knew they were there and just went forward anyway.
The result seemed to be a working of the Spirit in the church body. There was physical growth as well as a lot of spiritual growth because we were working together.
We noticed as well that there were areas where we complimented one another’s inadequacies - what an honor to be used in that way.
I raise this point, in that, many pastors can’t stand to have an assistant - they will often run an assistant off rather than seek to work together. There are some problems with this that the pastor’s deacons or elders fail to deal with. The arrogance of a man running another person off because he does not want to work with him seems obvious. Oft times these assistants are called and hired by the church leadership/congregation, not the pastor.
Having said that I would be quick to suggest that any assistants called be quite well looked at and evaluated by the pastor that is to work with him. There are personality differences, practice difference etc. that need to be similar. However, an assistant should not be rejected just because the pastor does not want an assistant – he also should work through his congregation/leadership if there are personality/practice differences.
3. A little further concerning the thought of a systematizing of the Word of God.
It isn’t that God did not organize the Word He delivered to us, but He didn’t. It is a compilation of 66 books by a number of different authors over a multitude of years. It is not a clearly understandable document as it stands. Anyone that disputes this statement must require of himself a literal and careful following of the Word as it was set forth in its present format.
This will require a few items of constraint. There will be a number of chronological errors within the Word. There will be some historical errors. I say this based on the fact that there are some books that cover the same materials and if taken strictly chronologically will have the same event occurring in two different places.
I think the untenablness of this line of thought is obvious without going into further considerations.
For the average person reading the Word of God there is a confusion as to how a particular passage relates to the whole. The outlining or systematizing will allow the reader to find how the passage relates to the whole.
I don’t know that I would require the thought of systematizing to relate to systematic theology, though this is quite a plausible line to follow - at least there should be the thought of a system of understanding such as Dispensationalism. Admittedly other systems of understanding are around and these “others” allow for plugging in the passages to assist in understanding, but they also point out the need to adopt the correct and Biblical system before doing any plugging.
I also am quick to point out that any system, or outline is based on man’s thinking so may well be flawed, but it is a tool to assist the Bible student.
Years ago we ran into a man that had a very well thought through system of belief. He held that we are all eternal, however his eternity related to one of Einstein’s theories. He said as you go out into space time slows down and that if you go fast enough you can stop and look back and see yourself coming – in this sense we are eternal beings. Based on this he was trying to discuss the Bible with us and how the Bible related to his system of belief.
It should not surprise you that in about two hours of discussing different issues he buried his head in his hands and declared loudly, “Wait a minute you have me totally confused.” Guess our system of belief worked better than his.
Chafer defines systematic theology as “the collecting, scientifically arranging, comparing, exhibiting, and defending of all facts from any and every source concerning God and His Works.” Lewis Sperry Chafer; Systematic Theology; I, 6; Dallas Seminary Press; 1947
I like Hodges definition “Systematic Theology has for its object “to systematize the facts of the Bible, and ascertain the principles or general truths which those facts involve” Dr. Charles Hodge; Systematic Theology, I, 18; quoted in Lewis Sperry Chafer; Systematic Theology; I, 6; Dallas Seminary Press; 1947
In short, we are to have an understandable body of beliefs – based on Scripture - that can be shown to others for their consideration and acceptance.
Can you see how important it is to study before teaching – whether it be teaching children, whether teaching adults, whether teaching lost people or teaching believers – all need truth – all need Biblically based information.
One of the great differences between Colleges and Christian colleges has always been that the Christian colleges teach all subjects in the CONTEXT of the Word of God. If a school leaves this one premise they no longer are a Christian college.
4. Just a note about Phygellus and Hermongenes. Did you notice anything of interest in Paul’s comments relating to them, besides the fact that they left him?
It is of note what he didn’t say of them. Of Onesiphorus he gave praise, of Phygellus and Hermongenes he gave nothing - he didn’t bless them, he didn’t give any good comment of them, he only gave of the negative. This relates to how we ought to treat those that wrong us. We need not be magnanimous in how we talk of those that have wronged us, but just give the facts. He did not belabor their wrong either.
I personally feel that we need to warn others of a persons short comings if they are apt to be a problem to others as they have been to us. Not that we are to go looking for opportunity to demean those that have hindered us, but that we should give information to others that might assist them.
Example: When a pastor is approached by a new person/persons seeking membership. Talk with them and find out where they have been attending. Call their former pastor and inquire of their status with his church. Some would call this snooping, but I would call it protecting the sheep. Why would you want to welcome in someone that has been causing problems in another flock?
Take a stand for the solid doctrine you have been taught.
1:14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
“Good thing” relates to the Gospel, according to Clarke. Barnes suggests that it is the good doctrine he had been taught. “The reference here in the phrase, “that good thing committed to thee,” is to the sound Christian doctrine with which he had been entrusted, and which he was required to transmit to others.” Wesley agrees with Barnes.
Gill suggests it relates to either his gifts or his work.
If it relates to his gift, it has to jump back several verses and out of context in my mind. I think that the doctrine or teaching thought would be most consistent with the text.
Robertson introduces the thought that this could be translated “good deposit.” If this is the case, it could be as general as just the time and effort that God had deposited in Timothy.
This has some distinct possibilities of application if nothing else. There would be the efforts of Timothy’s mother and grandmother into his life, the efforts of Paul not to detract from the efforts invested by the Holy Spirit. Much had been invested in Timothy and he ought to give serious thought to how he uses this effort – how good a steward is he being in his life.
I might suggest we as individuals take a moment or two and wonder if we are being good stewards of all the efforts that have been placed in us and our spiritual lives. Are we doing as much as we should be with our spiritual preparation? Are we really succeeding to the maximum?
There have been times that I have contemplated the effort I have invested in people and their seeming use of that effort. I know in my mind that it is up to the Lord to watch over my effort and that I need to allow Him to work in the life, but you sometimes wonder anyway.
When I was teaching, the faculty always put in one hundred and ten percent of their life to the students learning. One year we had a young man that seemingly got sidewise to the Lord over the summer. Previously he had been a great student – interested, engaged, learning and excited. When he came back he was slouchy, uninterested, and sloppy with his work. He was still engaged, but in all the wrong activities.
This young man had not kept the good things he had learned – he had set them aside for things that were hindering his walk with the Lord.
1:15 "This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes."
The next verse indicates that the believers around the area Paul was in had turned away from him due to his being a prisoner. There might be two reasons for this, though Paul indicates it was the fact that they were ashamed of his chains. There would be one other possible - that they were afraid of being caught up in the governmental mind set that caused Paul’s imprisonment - namely the thought of being a Christian and the persecution believers were going through.
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown indicate that they may have turned from him at Nicopolis when he was arrested. I am not sure what they base this on as the Scripture only uses Nicopolis once (Titus 3:12) and it does not mention his arrest there. “It is possible that the occasion of their turning from him was at his apprehension in Nicopolis, whither they had escorted him on his way to Rome, but from which they turned back to Asia.” (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown) I suspect they may have had some tradition that mentioned this.
Other commentaries suggest that either those that abandoned him were present in Rome when he was arrested or they were there on business and just avoided going to see him.
Turned away is a word that relates to apostate, or turning from one’s loyalty. This might in my mind indicate that Paul considered them as not only turning from him but from what he stood for - namely, Christ.
The term is used in this manner in Titus 1:14 "Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth." Men that turn from the truth would relate well with the people turning from Paul and more importantly from Christ’s work.
What an important truth. When one believer is in trouble because of the truth all should rally around him rather than turn away for fear of retribution.
It is not easy to place oneself and ones fortune or family in harms way to take a stand with another for the Lord, yet this seems to be the criterion.
Those that signed the Declaration of Independence, though not taking a direct stand for Christ, did lay all they had and owned on the line for their principle of freedom of religion.
Phygellus: This man’s name means "a little fugitive"
Hermogenes: This name means "lucky born or born of Mercury"
Just a side note, abandonment by co-workers is not a pleasant thing to experience. You know that Christ is your strength and that He is all you should care about, yet to see those that should support you in time of trouble turning their backs on you is hard. Disappointment is not an emotion that necessarily is wrong. It seems there is some disappointment in Paul’s word here.
On the other side of this – you might well be wise to expect abandonment when you decide to take a stand – often you will find yourself alone.
1:16 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
The term refreshed relates to cooling one’s heat or refreshing of the spirit. The latter would relate well here. Chain relates to the bondage that chain imparts to the wearer.
Paul asks for mercy for the whole house of Onesiphorus - God does often bless whole houses even if only one believer in that house is walking with the Lord.
Onesiphorus means "bringing profit" a very fitting name for one that ministered so greatly to Paul. He is mentioned here and in 4:19.
Paul gives a glowing report of this man to Timothy. A man to be emulated.
One must wonder if these Biblical names were prophetic or if the meaning had such meaning to the people that they wanted to live up to their name. My name means stone lea (valley) – now I relate to that – I lay like a stone.
1:17 "But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found [me]. 18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well."
He was with Paul at Ephesus and at Rome. Paul was at Ephesus for two years ministering, thus he must have been assisting in some manner.
Another great truth. There may be a big name preacher but you can bet there are many men like Onesiphorus behind them making the big name possible.
Those big names ought not use those under them incorrectly, nor should they become too big on themselves, because they are big due to those behind them and the work that God has given them.
Really big names are not right and proper. It is God that is working behind the scenes in peoples hearts to make a particular ministry move along, thus the name that should be lifted up should be God’s rather than some man that happens to be at the forefront of a given ministry.
Indeed, most of these large ministries falter because the leader begins to think too highly of himself - that he is above the moral code set up by the one he serves.
Copyright 2008. Used by Permission. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the author, except as provided by U.S.A. copyright laws. Do feel free to make copies for friends that might be interested as long as you do not make profit from the copies. This is God's work and I don't want anyone to profit from it in a material way.
Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 1". "Derickson's Notes on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany