II Timothy Brief Study Notes

Chapter One

Verses 1-2: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”  In the first two verses we find the key factors identifying who penned this book and to whom it was written.  Paul is the penman and Timothy is the addressee of this letter.  Paul identifies himself as an apostle of Christ by the will of God.  Paul made it clear in his letter to the Galatians that he was appointed an apostle, not by men, but by God (Galatians 1:1).  As we find in the first letter to Timothy, we also find here that Paul addresses him as his son [in the faith (I Timothy 1:2)].  Paul then extends grace, mercy, and peace not from himself; but from God the Father and God the Son.

Verses 3-5: “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; Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; 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.”  In verses three through five Paul expresses his thankfulness for Timothy’s unfeigned [sincere] faith.  Paul often displayed his thankfulness for the faith of brethren and to tell them that he prays often for them (Romans 1:8, Ephesians 1:15-16, Philippians 1:3-7, Colossians 1:3-4, I Thessalonians 1:2-3, and Philemon 1:4-5).  Paul also reveals that he saw the faith Timothy has in his grandmother and mother.  This displays the significance of women being examples to their children and grandchildren (Titus 2:3-5).  Paul later shows us that Timothy’s faith was rooted in his upbringing (II Timothy 3:15).  It is noticeable that Timothy’s father is not mentioned.  Speculation would lead too far from revelation to guess why he was not a part in Timothy’s spiritual upbringing.

Verse 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.”  The gift given here does not refer to what Timothy had naturally as a gift, but that which Paul gave him by the laying on of his hands.  Spiritual gifts were given this way to those who obeyed the gospel (Acts 8:12-20, Acts 19:1-7, and Romans 1:11), thus we can conclude Paul is referring to spiritual gifts.  These gifts were intended to be for a limited period of time (I Corinthians 13:8-10), for a purpose no longer needed today (Mark 16:15-20).

Verse 7: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  Now we are talking about a gift that God has given through non-miraculous ways.  The spirit of power, love, and a sound mind are things all Christians can and must posses.  The fearful have a place reserved for them (Revelation 21:8).  True faith removes all doubts and fears; such is why New Testament Christians were willing and able to suffer for the cause of Christ.  The word power is translated from the Greek word “dunamis” and can be researched by looking up Strong’s # 1411.  The word is defined by Thayer as “strength, power, or ability”.  We are talking in the opposite here of the spirit of fear.  A Christian can be bold in his declaration of truth.  Paul asked for prayers that he might declare the gospel boldly as he ought to (Ephesians 6:19-20).  Our speech can be in demonstration of power (I Corinthians 2:4-5).  The example of the Apostles is one for us to follow.  They were noticed because of their boldness (Acts 4:13).

The spirit of love involves a Christian’s attitude towards God and man.  We must love God with all our hearts (Matthew 22:36-38).  However, our love does not end there.  It continues on to our fellow man (Matthew 22:39).  If we love God we will obey Him (John 14:15).  If we love our fellow man we will do good things for them (Galatians 6:10), which will ultimately include our preaching of the Gospel to them.  The spirit of a sound mind that Paul refers to is about our self-control.  We must be willing, as was Paul, to control ourselves (I Corinthians 9:27).

Verses 8-11: “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; 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, 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: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.”  Paul is not condemning Timothy of being ashamed of the Gospel.  Timothy was not.  Paul was speaking in terms relating to future action.  He did not want Timothy being ashamed of the testimony of the Lord (Romans 1:16).  Paul also did not want Timothy to be ashamed of him.  We will see later in this letter how deserted Paul was.  Paul was captured in the flesh, but here refuses to acknowledge this.  He simply points out that his capture was for the cause of Christ (Ephesians 3:1; 4:1, Philippians 1:13-14, and Colossians 4:3).  Paul then urges Timothy to have that which is opposite of shame, to share in these sufferings for the cause of Christ.  Persecution is sure to occur to those who stand boldly for truth (Matthew 5:10-12, Acts 5:27-42, and II Timothy 3:12).

Paul brings to the context the fact that God has saved us and called us according to his own purpose and grace, not by our doing.  The gift that God has given is grand.  It is for this we should be willing to suffer.  God loved us when we were sinners (Romans 5:6-9).  Christ died for us because God loved us (John 3:16).  Do we love Him enough to suffer for Him?

It is through the Gospel God has saved us (James 1:21).  It is through the gospel that God calls us (II Thessalonians 2:14).  This has been the plan since before the world began.  It was made known by the coming of the Lord (Romans 16:25-26 and Ephesians 3:1-11).  It is for the gospel Paul is a preacher, apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

Verse 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.”  Paul’s reason for willingly suffering is the cause of Christ (Matthew 10:22 and Colossians 1:23-29).  Paul’s faith in salvation through Jesus Christ is all the consolation he needs to continue through his persecutions (James 1:2-3).

Verse 13: “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”  Paul now exhorts Timothy to hold fast the form [pattern] of sound words he was taught by Paul.  The word of God is not going to change (Matthew 24:35 and I Peter 1:23-25), and that is what Paul taught (I Timothy 1:11).

Verse 14: “That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.”  The good thing that was entrusted to Timothy (sound words) is to be kept by the Holy Spirit which Paul denotes dwells in he and Timothy.  It would be easy to treat this passage as though a miraculous indwelling was in effect.  The Bible clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit indwells the Christian (I Corinthians 6:19-20).  It is a biblical fact that God the Father dwells in us (I John 4:12; 15), and also God the Son (John 14:23 and Romans 8:9-10).  As a matter of fact we dwell in God (I John 4:16).  Common sense would clearly show the fact that the same language used in relation to us dwelling in God reveals to us that the indwelling is not literal in any case.  It is clear that the way God dwells in us (in any personage) is through the word (Ephesians 3:17 / Romans 10:17 and Ephesians 5:18-19 tied to Colossians 3:16).  Paul was telling Timothy the same thing he said in his first letter to Timothy (I Timothy 6:20-21).  If the Holy Spirit was literally involved we would have to question who did the keeping of the good thing committed to the trust of Timothy.  However, the instruction was to Timothy, not to the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit does not need to indwell the Christian to accomplish what the word accomplishes.  The major roles of the Holy Spirit in the First Century was to bring the word through the mouths and pens of First Century teachers, preachers, and apostles (I Corinthians 2:9-13 and II Peter 1:20-21), and to divide spiritual gifts to every man who had the laying on of the apostles hands (I Corinthians 12:11).  The word today does all that the Holy Spirit would do if He indwelled Christians today.  Thus, His work is finished.

Notice the following chart comparing works of the Spirit and the working of the word of God:

John 3:5; 8
Gives Birth
I Peter 1:23-25
John 6:63 
Gives Life
Psalms 119:93
Titus 3:5 
James 1:21
John 16:8
Titus 1:9
Romans 8:16
John 5:39
Romans 15:13
Gives Power
Hebrews 4:12 & Romans 1:16
II Thessalonians 2:13
john 17:17
Acts 9:31
Romans 15:4
Ephesians 5:18-19
Colossians 3:16
John 16:8
II Timothy 3:16
Verses 15-18: “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.  The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.  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.”  Paul concludes, what we know as chapter one, by revealing how alone he was.  Onesiphorus is one who Paul mentions that did not forsake him while in prison.  Onesiphorus displayed his obvious love for his brother Paul be seeking him out while Paul was in prison (John 13:34-35).  It is certainly a revealed truth that our efforts to visit [look after] our brethren when in need, will result in an eternal blessing (Matthew 25:31-46).  Obviously Onesiphours’ efforts were not hidden as we see in the conclusion of verse eighteen.

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2003 by Brian A. Yeager may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.