The Second Epistle of Paul to Timothy is one of my favorite writings by the Apostle it has within it all the ingredients of several relationships; father-son, teacher-pupil and a cherished friendship. Paul exhorts young Timothy to rekindle his zeal for the Gospel, Christian life and ministry, to receive “the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus.” This is the kind of reminder that a father would offer a son, a teacher a pupil and one friend would offer another. Several years have passed since Paul wrote his first letter to Timothy and life has changed drastically for both. Paul is awaiting execution in a Roman prison and Timothy is on the verge of walking away from his ministry.
Paul, the elder of the two, writes his dearly beloved friend a second letter of “tough love” urging Timothy to call to remembrance the faith “that [is] in thee also.” It is this faith, inherited and visible in his grandmother and mother that is his strength. In spite of the personal trials and opposition to his preaching the Gospel, Paul exhorts Timothy to a necessary Christian understanding; sometimes circumstances afflict us, sometimes other
people and most often we afflict ourselves. But, in the midst of our trials and afflictions, we need encouragement, Paul writes “to establish and encourage” Timothy. He (Paul) under-stood encouragement is one of the most powerful ministries on earth.
Paul wrote; “I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day,” in this moment of sadness and trepidation he wanted his friend to understand difficulty is sent to reveal to us what God can do in answer to the faith that prays and works. Timothy inherited this faith from his grandmother and mother, Christians today owes a debt of gratitude to our parents, grandparents and forefathers for our faith. The patriarchs of the Old Testament Scriptures held this faith; “He maketh sore, and bindeth up: He woundeth and his hands make whole” (Job 5:18). Paul one of the martyrs of the New Testament Gospel was reminding his friend in a last letter that there are things he can do when faith waivers.
A list of phrases Paul uses to establish and encourage Timothy in this Epistle (Chapters
“Stir up” the gift of God which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
“Be not thou ashamed” of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner.
“Be thou partaker” of the afflictions of the Gospel according to the power of God.
“Hold fast” the form of sound words, which thou has heard from me in faith and love, which is in Christ Jesus.
“Be strong” in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
“Endure hardship” as a good soldier…..endure all things for the elects’ sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
“Study to show” thyself approved of God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
“But shun” profane and vain babblings, for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
“Flee” also youthful lusts…foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strife.”
“Follow righteousness” faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
“Preach the word” be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
“But continue thou in the things which thou has learned and has been assured of, knowing of whom thou has learned them” (II-Timothy 3:14). In the Christian life faith battles doubt, strength battles weakness, certainty battles discouragement and the war goes on from one generation to the next. It is our spiritual condition and the spiritual laws of God which makes the possibility of our spiritual condition worse instead of better without a living and vibrant faith. Paul says that we were dead. We had decrees written against us that we were powerless to remove. God made us alive together with Christ and removed the decrees against us by nailing them to the cross. Establishing—working out our salvation by grace through encouraging—faith in Christ Jesus the promise of life, “salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” is everlasting or not at all. “And that from a child thou has known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (II-Timothy 3:16). Amen.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- In Remembrance of These things (thethirdcross.wordpress.com)