About the year AD 65 Paul was arrested and put into a dungeon, bound to a guard 24/7. He was likely in pain, probably hungry and cold and uncomfortable, he was probably humiliated, he was deserted and lonely. His associates (except for Luke) has all left him. Probably because of fear. In this prison, he was facing certain death! Yet in this place he wrote 2 Timothy which was his last letter.
Paul wrote to Timothy in this letter encouraging him to be faithful.
But Paul’s concern was not himself, but for Timothy and the success of the Gospel ministry.
Who was Timothy? Timothy was the pastor of the church of Ephesus. He was timid, suffered from physical ailments, tempted to let others take advantage of him, and he had issues asserting his authority as a pastor. But here Paul was writing one of the most personal letters that he wrote. It was full of advice and warnings and instruction but also lots of encouragement to follow in Paul’s footsteps as a true and faithful witness for Jesus.
Just in the first chapter Paul gave Timothy the essentials that he must possess to have success in ministry and the encouragement to possess them.
- Courage – no place for fear
Enthusiasm – Paul encouraged Timothy to keep the fire burning brightly by stirring up the gift of God so that the power of God could work through his life. Timothy did not need any new thing. All he had to do was “stir up” what he already had.
Reminders/Encouragement: 1. His love 2. His prayers 3. His confidence in Timothy’s faith 4. God’s call and ordination
- Be unashamed of the Gospel, of suffering for the Gospel and the sufferer – Part of faithfulness is to be unashamed!
Reminders/Encouragement: 1. God gives power 2. God called both by His grace 3. Christ defeated death
Important that we stand true to Jesus and be willing to suffer for Him and not be ashamed.
Also important that we stand by God’s servants who are suffering for righteousness sake.
- Be loyal to God’s word
God gave to Paul > Paul gave to Timothy > Now Timothy’s responsibility to “hold fast” and “keep” truth and pass it along to others.
Timothy needed to hold fast to truth or he would have nothing by which to test other teachers and preachers and we need to hold fast to what Paul taught for the exact same reason.
But also note that doctrine was to be tempered in “faith and love.”
Speak truth in love (Eph 4:15)
- Be loyal to God’s servants
The Asian believers did not stand by Paul. They were ashamed of him and so (whether they knew it or not) they were also ashamed of Jesus Christ.
Be courageous, enthusiastic, unashamed, loyal, and faithful.
Faithfulness is important concept that runs throughout the Bible. Be faithful to the Word, Be faithful to the work set before you, Be faithful to God’s servants, BE FAITHFUL TO GOD!!!! The more faithful we become, the more responsibility God can give us in regard to the ongoing work of the Great Commission.
Great Commission – Matthew 28:16-20
Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.