Shame has no place in the Christian life. Paul boldly exhorted Timothy to be unashamed of the gospel and unafraid to partake in suffering for Christ. But that is not all that this spiritual father imparted to his mentoree. Paul didn’t just tell Timothy to be bold and joyfully suffer persecution; he gave young Timothy a much bigger charge. He commanded Timothy to faithfully guard what God had given him
“Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.”
~2 Timothy 1:13-14
This short letter to Timothy contains some powerful exhortations! Paul started his letter with a bang by reminding Timothy of the godly heritage, the gifts God had given him, and his need to keep the fire of his passion and devotion for God burning. Paul also encouraged Timothy to not walk in a spirit of fear or timidity, but to remember that he has power, love, and self-control through the Spirit of God. Now, in light of these things—a spirit of power, love, and self-control and the gifts God had given him—Paul reminded Timothy to not be ashamed of the gospel, but to boldly share in suffering for the truth by God’s power.
“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.”
~2 Timothy 1:8-9
God has given us gifts, as we saw last time. However, He did not leave us to figure out to use and grow those gifts on our own. He is with us, showing us the way and empowering us to use what He has given us for His glory. After Paul encourages Timothy to fan into flame the gifts God had given, he writes the reason for the exhortation. Why Timothy should not be afraid to let his light shine brightly. Why he ought to stir up his passion into a blazing fire that can be seen by many. The reason is that God has not only given gifts, but He has also given His followers power.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
~2 Timothy 1:7
From the very beginning, Paul opens his letter to Timothy with words of love, affection, and joy. He is blessed and encouraged by Timothy’s love for the Lord and faithful service in the work of the ministry. Within the first seven verses of this book, Paul not only celebrates Timothy’s faith, but he points out the power of a godly legacy.
“To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”
~2 Timothy 1:2
As the name of this epistle suggests, Timothy was the recipient of Paul’s deeply personal letter. Notice the title Paul ascribes to Timothy. He doesn’t say “Timothy, bishop of Ephesus” or “Timothy, missionary” or “Timothy, church leader.” Paul uses a tender, personal, loving title for his protégé. He writes, “Timothy, my beloved child” or as some translations put it, “Timothy, my dear son.” Obviously, Paul and Timothy shared a special connection that went beyond serving together in ministry. Paul was more than Timothy’s teacher; he was Timothy’s spiritual father.
But who was Timothy? What was his story? How did he get involved in Paul’s life and why was he separated from the Apostle at the time of this letter?
Welcome to a new Bible study! I am excited to dive into the book of 2 Timothy together and mine out the great treasures God has for us in this special letter. To get started, we’re going to explore the background of this letter and get an overview of what this letter is all about before diving into the rich verses. So let’s begin by looking at the author of this powerful book.