2 Timothy



by Ken Cayce



Ken Cayce All rights reserved.


Copyright



Table of Contents



Introduction

Chapters




Introduction


Back to Table of Contents




2 Timothy Explained





Go To 2 Timothy Index



Book of 2 Timothy Explained

Title: This epistle is the second of two inspired letters Paul the apostle wrote to his son in the faith, Timothy (1:2; 2:1). For biographical information on Timothy (see Introduction to 1 Timothy: Title). It is titled, as are the other personal letters of Paul to individuals (1 Timothy, Titus and Philemon), with the name of the addressee (1:2).


Author and Date: The issue of Paul's authorship of the Pastoral Epistles is discussed in the (Introduction to 1 Timothy: Authorship). Paul wrote 2 Timothy, the last of his inspired letters, shortly before his martyrdom (ca. A.D. 67).


Background - Setting: Paul was released from his first Roman imprisonment for a short period of ministry during which he wrote 1 Timothy and Titus. Second Timothy however, finds Paul once again in a Roman prison (1:16; 2:9), apparently rearrested as part of Nero's persecution of Christians. Unlike Paul's confident hope of release during his first imprisonment (Phil. 1:19, 25-26; 2:24; Philemon 22), this time he had no such hopes (4:6-8). In his first imprisonment in Rome before Nero had begun the persecution of Christians (A.D. 64), he was only under house arrest and had opportunity for much intersection with people and ministry (Acts 28:16-31).


Paul was freed from his house arrest in Rome in the spring of A.D. 63 and traveled to Macedonia (Phil. 2:24; Philemon 22), across the Adriatic Sea, visiting Philippi, Ephesus, Colossae, and Laodicea. The great Roman fire occurred in A.D. 64. Paul possibly went to Spain, probably by sea, in A.D. 64 and 65. In the summer of 66 he returned to Ephesus in Asia Minor and left Timothy in charge (1 Tim. 1:3). In the summer of 67 he wrote to Timothy from Macedonia and probably visited Philippi and Corinth. He went on to Crete and left Titus there (Titus 1:5). He wrote Titus from Ephesus in the autumn of A.D. 67, visited Miletus (4:20), Troas (4:13), Corinth from Ephesus in the autumn of A.D. 67, visited Miletus (4:20), Troas (4:13), Corinth (4:20), and spent some time at Nilopolis (Titus 3:12). He was imprisoned again in the spring of 68, having been free about five years. He may have been arrested in Corinth, because of an accusation made by Alexander (4:14, 20). Paul was tried by the city prefect, imprisoned, and sent to Rome where he was placed in a dungeon cell of the Mamertine Prison, from which he knew he would never be set free (4:6). His only contact with the outside world was a hole, about 18 inches square, in the ceiling of his cell. Through that opening passed everything that came to and from the apostle, including his second letter to Timothy, in the fall or winter of A.D. 67. He was beheaded in Rome in May or June of 68 A.D.


In this letter, Paul, aware the end was near, passed the non-apostolic mantle of ministry to Timothy (compare 2:2), and exhorted him to continue faithful in his duties (1:6), hold on to sound doctrine (1:13-14), avoid error (2:15-18), accept persecution for the gospel (2:3-4; 3:10-12), put his confidence in the Scripture, and preach it relentlessly (3:15 - 4:5).


Historical - Theological Themes : It seems that Paul may have had reason to fear that Timothy was in danger of weakening spiritually. This would have been a grave concern for Paul, since Timothy needed to carry on Paul's work (compare 2:2). While there are no historical indications elsewhere in the New Testament as to why Paul was so concerned, there is evidence in the epistle itself from what he wrote. This concern is evident, for example, in Paul's exhortation to "kindle afresh" his gift (1:6), to replace fear with power, love, and a sound mind (1:7), to not be ashamed of Paul and the Lord, but willingly suffer for the gospel (1:8), and to hold on to the truth (1:13-14). Summing up the potential problems of Timothy, who might be weakening under the pressure of the church and the persecution of the world, Paul calls him to;


(1) Generally, "be strong" (2:1), the key exhortation of the first part of the letter, and to;


(2) Continue to "preach the word" (4:2), the main admonition of the last part.


These final words to Timothy include few commendations but many admonitions, including about 25 imperatives.


Since Timothy was well versed in Paul's theology, the apostle did not instruct him further doctrinally. He did, however, allude to several important doctrines, including salvation by God's sovereign grace (1:9-10; 2:10), the person of Christ (2:8; 4:1, 8), and perseverance (2:11-13); plus Paul wrote the crucial text of the New Testament on the inspiration of Scripture (3:16-17).


Second Timothy is the latest of the Pauline letters. As such it is of special interest not only because of what it reveals concerning the last days of Paul's life, but also because of what it reveals about its recipient.


The last words of people are particularly treasured by their loved ones. In 2 Timothy, we have the last known words to flow from the apostle's pen. In a very real way, this epistle represents Paul's last will and testament. If ever there was a time to set the record straight, it was then. If Paul was going to make any complaints, he would have to make them then, for he was at the end of his life. However, in this letter, there is not one word of apology, explanation, caution, or complaint. Paul used his last letter to deliver five exhortations to his son in the faith, which in summary tell Timothy to "keep on keeping on" just as he had told him all along.


Second Timothy claims to have come from the pen of "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ" (1:1). Though widely contested, both internal and external evidence support this claim. The style, vocabulary, and contents of the epistle are in keeping with what would be expected of the apostle when he knew he was near the end of his life (4:6). He had four purposes in writing:


(1) To exhort Timothy in his ministry at Ephesus;


(2) To warn Timothy of trouble both inside and outside the church;


(3) To request Timothy to come to Rome to visit him in prison and bring certain personal effects to him (4:5-13; 21); and


(4) To instruct all the churches in Timothy's territory.





Chapters


Back to Table of Contents




Chapter Selection



Chapters



Back to Table of Contents



2 Timothy 1
2 Timothy 2
2 Timothy 3
2 Timothy 4

2 Timothy 1



2 Timothy Chapter 1

"An apostle" [one sent with a commission] "of Jesus Christ (literally "from Jesus Christ"): Paul was not one of Jesus' earthly disciples; he received his apostleship by direct appointment of the risen Christ.


Verses 1-2: Paul reminded Timothy that, despite their intimate spiritual relationship, the apostle wrote to him with spiritual authority given him by God. This established the necessity that not only Timothy, but also all others comply with the inspired mandates of the epistle.


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,"


"An apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God" (see note on 1 Tim. 1:1). His call was according to God's sovereign plan and purpose (1 Cor. 1:1; 2 Cor. 1:1; Eph. 1:1; Col. 1:1).


"Promise of life which is in Christ Jesus": The gospel promises that those who are spiritually dead but by faith embrace the gospel's message, will be united to Christ and find eternal life in Him (John 3:16; 10:10; 14:6; Col. 3:4).


Notice, Paul makes it very clear, that his calling to preach was of the will of God, and not his own will. The message that Paul had for everyone, everywhere was the promise of eternal life in Jesus Christ.


Let us touch one more time on the name, Christ Jesus. Christ (Messiah), means the Anointed One. Jesus means Jehovah Savior. Christians alone, of all religions, have hope of the resurrection.


2 Timothy 1:2 "To Timothy, [my] dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, [and] peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord."


"Timothy, my dearly beloved son" (see note on 1 Tim. 1:2).


"Grace ... our Lord" (see note on 1 Tim. 1:2). More than a standard greeting by Paul, this expressed his genuine desire for God's best in Timothy's life.


Notice, the love that Paul shows Timothy, in the name that he calls him in the introduction of the letter. Timothy was not Paul's son in the flesh. He was Paul's son in the fact that Paul had trained him in the ministry. Even in this, we can see the devotion that Paul has for Timothy.


Paul knows if he is executed, that Timothy will carry on the work. Paul knew better than anyone else at this point, that the only real peace is in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


2 Timothy 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 thank God ... in my prayers" (see notes on Phil. 1:3-4).


"Pure conscience" (see note on 1 Tim. 1:5).


Paul is speaking of God the Father here, because his forefathers were Jews. Paul is explaining that his conscience is clear. Paul prayed for Timothy every day. No one knew better the hardships that faced those who lived for Jesus than Paul.


This mention of his forefathers and his pure conscience is also to let Timothy know that he had not done anything wrong in the sight of God the Father, by worshipping Jesus.


2 Timothy 1:4 "Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;"


"Greatly desiring to see thee": Because of Paul's affection for Timothy and the urgency of the hour in Paul's life, as he faced death, Paul had an intense yearning to see Timothy again (4:9, 13, 21).


"Mindful of thy tears": Paul perhaps remembered this occurring at their latest parting, which occurred after a short visit to Ephesus, following the writing of 1 Timothy, and prior to Paul's arrest at Troas (see note on 4:13), and his second imprisonment in Rome. Years before, Paul had a similar parting with the elders at Ephesus (Acts 20:36-38).


Paul, facing death, wanted to see his beloved Timothy one more time. Any parent, facing death of the body, longs to see their children one more time. He knew that to see Timothy would bring him great joy.


He also, was concerned at the grief that Timothy would experience at his death. He thought, perhaps if he could see him one more time, he could comfort Timothy. His prayers were partly that Timothy would not weaken in the faith, when he was executed.


2 Timothy 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."


"Lois ... Eunice": Mention of their names suggests that Paul knew them personally, perhaps because he (with Barnabas), led them to faith in Christ during his first missionary journey (Acts 13:13 - 14:21).


The women were true Old Testament Jewish believers, who understood the Scripture well enough to prepare themselves and Timothy (3:15), to immediately accept Jesus as Messiah when they first heard the gospel from Paul.


Paul is reminding Timothy that his faith has never faltered. He knew the faith of Timothy's mother and grandmother had been strong, and that same faith had been instilled in Timothy. "Unfeigned" means sincere. Lois and Eunice were both Jews and Christians; Jews by birth and Christians by faith.



Verses 6-10: Paul urges Timothy to "stir up" [keep in full flame] "the gift of God" (the "grace gift" which came from God). "By the putting on of my hands:" This refers to Timothy's ordination. The gift was given by God at Timothy's conversion and officially recognized at his ordination.


"Power" (Greek dunamis), is the ability to accomplish whatever He wills us to accomplish. "Love" (Greek agape), is volitional love. A "sound mind" is a disciplined mind. "The testimony of our Lord" refers to the gospel Paul preached.


"Me his prisoner" indicates that although Paul is actually a prisoner in a dungeon cell in the city of Rome, he regards himself there in the directive will of God. Hence, he is really God's prisoner, and Rome is merely God's agent to put him where God wants him.


"Who hath saved us" refers to the ultimate effect: our salvation. "And called us with grace ... was given us" indicates that our salvation was totally unmerited. "Abolished death" ("having rendered death ineffective"): By His vicarious death, Christ reversed the curse of sin and "brought life" [eternal union of the soul with God] "and immortality" ("incorruption"), which is guaranteed by His resurrection.


2 Timothy 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."


"Stir up the gift of God": This seems to indicate Paul was unsatisfied with Timothy's level of current faithfulness.


"Stir up" means literally "to keep the fire alive," and "gift" refers to the believers' spiritual gift (see notes on Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:7-11). Regarding Timothy's spiritual gift (see notes on 4:2-6; 1 Tim. 4:14). Paul reminds Timothy that as a steward of his God-given gift for preaching, teaching, and evangelizing, he could not let it fall into disuse (4:2-5).


"Putting on of my hands" (see notes on 1 Tim. 4:14; 5:22; 6:12). Paul might have done this at the time of Timothy's conversion, in which case it would have corresponded to when Timothy received his spiritual gift. The expression may also refer to an extraordinary spiritual endowment, which was received or enhanced at some point after his conversion.


It seems that Paul himself, had anointed Timothy. The gift of God is one or more of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Some of the gifts are miracles, healings, etc. Read (1 Corinthians chapter 12), to learn more about the gifts of the Spirit. We do not know for sure how many of these gifts of the Spirit Timothy had been anointed with. We do know he had some of the gifts.


These gifts of the Spirit are received when the leaders of the church lay their hands on you, and you receive gifts from the Holy Spirit of God. Paul is telling Timothy here, to use the gift that God has given him. The gifts grow with use.


2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."


"Spirit of fear": The Greek word, which can also be translated "fear," denotes a cowardly, shameful fear caused by a weak, selfish character.


The threat of Roman persecution, which was escalating under Nero, the hostility of those in the Ephesian church who resented Timothy's leadership, and the assaults of false teachers with their sophisticated systems of deceptions may have been overwhelming Timothy. But if he was fearful, it didn't come from God.


"Power": Positively, God has already given believers all the spiritual resources they need for every trial and threat (Matt. 10:19-20). Divine power, effective, productive spiritual energy, belongs to believers (Eph. 1:18-20; 3:20; Zech. 4:6).


"Love" (see note on 1 Tim. 1:5). This kind of love centers on pleasing God and seeking others' welfare before one's own (Rom. 14:8; Gal. 5:22, 25; Eph. 3:19; 1 Pet. 1:22; 1 John 4:18).


"Sound mind": Refers to a self-controlled and properly prioritized mind. This is the opposite of fear and cowardice that causes disorder and confusion. Focusing on the sovereign nature and perfect purposes of our eternal God allows believers to control their lives with godly wisdom and confidence in every situation (Rom. 12:3; 1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8; 2:2).


Paul is reminding Timothy to not let his death cause him to fear. Fear is the opposite of faith. The spirit of fear is from the enemy the devil. God has given him, and us, the power to overcome fear in our life. Great faith does away with fear. God's love for us is enough to keep us going. He had given Timothy, and will give all of us, a sound mind.


Usually nerve problems come because of things we cannot decide in our life. When we are at peace with God and man, our mind is clear. In the book of Acts, we see that the Holy Ghost brings the power of God in our life.


2 Timothy 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;"


"The testimony of our Lord": The gospel message concerning Jesus Christ. Paul did not want Timothy to be "ashamed" to name the name of Christ because he was afraid of the potential persecution (verses 12-16).


"Me his prisoner" (see notes on Eph. 3:1; Phil. 1:12-14). Being linked to Paul, who was a prisoner because of his preaching of the gospel, could have put Timothy's life and freedom in jeopardy (Heb. 13:23).


Timothy was perhaps a shy person, and Paul is telling him to be bold in the Lord. He asks Timothy to not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord. The following is what Jesus had to say about this very thing.


Mark 8:38 "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."


Paul wanted Timothy to become bold in the Lord, even in the face of death. Paul was not promising Timothy that he would not suffer for Christ, but was telling Him to draw his strength to face the hardships from Jesus.


2 Timothy 1:9 "Who hath saved us, and called [us] with a 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,"


"With a holy calling": As always in the New Testament epistles, this calling is not a general invitation to sinners to believe the gospel and be saved (as in Matt. 20:16), but refers to God's effectual call of the elect to salvation (see note on Rom. 1:7). This calling results in holiness, imputed (justification), and imparted (sanctification), and finally completed (glorification).


"Not ... works, but ... grace": This truth is the foundation of the gospel. Salvation is by grace through faith, apart from works (see notes on Rom. 3:20-25; Gal. 3:10-11; Eph. 2:8-9; Phil. 3:8-9). Grace is also the basis for God's sustaining work in believers (Phil. 1:6; Jude 24-25).


"According to his own purpose": God's sovereign plan of election (see notes on 2:10; John 6:37-40, 44; Acts 13:48; Rom. 8:29; 9:6-23; Eph. 1:4; 3:11; 2 Thess. 2:13; Titus 1:1-2; 1 Peter 1:2).


"In Christ Jesus": His sacrifice made God's salvation plan possible, because He became the substitute sacrifice for the sins of God's people (see notes on 2 Cor. 5:21).


"Before the world began": The same Greek phrase appears (in Titus 1:2). The destiny of God's chosen was determined and sealed from eternity past (John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4-5; Philippians 1:29; 1 Peter 1-2).


By grace are ye saved, not of works lest any man should boast. Jesus Christ gave His body on the cross that you and I might be saved. We are not saved, because we are worthy, but because He is worthy. It is the precious blood of the Lamb of God (Jesus Christ), that saved us. He traded us His righteousness for our sin.


Jesus took our sin upon His body on the cross. He in turn clothed us in His righteousness. The plan of salvation was from the foundation of the world. We are saved to become sons of God. It was part of the plan for us to become sons of God.


2 Timothy 1:10 "But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:"


"Appearing": "Epiphany" is the English equivalent of this Greek word, most often used of Christ's second coming (4:18; 1 Tim. 6:14; Titus 2:13), but here of his first coming.


"Abolished death ... immortality": "Abolished" means "rendered inoperative." Physical death still exists, but it is no longer a threat or an enemy for Christians (1 Cor. 15:54-55; Heb. 2:14). It was not until the incarnation and the gospel that God chose to fully make known the truth of Immortality and eternal life, a reality only partially understood by Old Testament believers (John 19:26).


To "make manifest" is to make real. Jesus abolished sin (for the believer), on the cross. He abolished death, when He rose from the tomb.


To those who will believe, He has given eternal life. It was the Light of Jesus that shone on Paul and caused him to believe. The good news of the gospel is that we have eternal life in Jesus Christ. Death and sin no longer rule in our life. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we receive forgiveness of sins and receive eternal life in Him.


2 Timothy 1:11 "Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles."


"Preacher ... teacher" (see notes on 1 Tim. 2:7).


Paul is speaking of three different things here. Preaching, in this sense, is to bring people to the knowledge of God and get them saved. Apostle, in the sense it is used here, would mean anointed with signs and wonders following.


The Gentiles had never been taught in God's ways, as the Jews had. Paul was to teach them and bring them along in the ways of God. Jesus had specifically called Paul to minister to the Gentiles.


2 Timothy 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."


"I also suffer" (verse 8, see notes on 2 Cor. 4:8-18; 6:4-10; 11:23-28; Gal. 6:17; Phil 3:10).


"I am not ashamed" (see notes on verse 8; Rom. 1:16; 1 Pet. 4:16). Paul had no fear of persecution and death from preaching the gospel in a hostile setting, because he was so confident God had sealed his future glory and blessing.


"Know whom I have believed": "Know" describes the certainty of Paul's intimate, saving knowledge, the object of which was God Himself. The form of the Greek verb translated "I have believed", refers to something that began in the past and has continuing results (see note on Rom. 1:16). This knowing is equal to "the knowledge of the truth" (3:7; 1 Tim. 2:4).


"He is able to keep" (see notes on Jude 24-25).


"Which I have committed": Paul's life in time and eternity had been given to his Lord. He lived with unwavering confidence and boldness because of the revealed truth about God's power and faithfulness, and his own experience of an unbreakable relationship to the Lord (Rom. 8:31-39).


"That day" (verse 18; 4:8; see notes on Phil. 1:6). Also called "day of Christ" (see notes on Phil. 1:10), when believers will stand before the judgment seat and be rewarded (see notes on 1 Cor. 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Peter 1:5).


"Persuaded" (Greek peitho): The perfect tense indicates that "I was persuaded in the past and remain so now". "That he is able to keep", refers to the assurance of salvation which is "committed ... against that day," when we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ.


Jesus left no question about it when He called Paul. He told him he would suffer for the gospel;


Acts 9:16 "For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake."


To suffer for Christ, brings great rewards in heaven.


Romans 8:17 "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together."


Paul never once complained about the suffering. He felt that the job he was given was worth suffering for. Paul's suffering was because he was a preacher, apostle, and teacher of the Gentiles. His greatest persecution came from the Jews, who could not accept the Gentiles as equals.


Paul was thoroughly convinced that God was able to protect him wherever he was, if that was part of God's plan. Paul was ready and willing to go and be with God, if that were his fate. Paul was not ashamed to be imprisoned, or even killed for the gospel. He knew God was with him.


2 Timothy 1:13 "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."


"Sound words" (1 Tim. 4:6; 6:3). The Scripture and the doctrine it teaches (see notes on 3:15-17).


"Of me": Paul had been the source of this divine revelation (2:2; 3:10, 14; Phil. 4:9; see notes on Eph. 3:1-5).


"Faith and love ... in Christ Jesus": "Faith" is confidence that God's Word is true, and "love" is kindness and compassion in teaching that truth (Eph. 4:15).


The main purpose of this chapter was to help Timothy stand strong in the time of Paul's death. Keep the faith and continue to love God more than you love your own life, was the message he wanted Timothy to remember. Do not be shaken by what happens, stay in the Word of God.


This is like a father comforting a son at his death. Paul had made a pattern with his life that Timothy must follow. The sound words that Paul had brought set the pattern for the others to follow. Paul always expressed the importance of the Word. Place your faith and your love in Jesus.


2 Timothy 1:14 "That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us."


"Good thing ... committed unto thee": The treasure of the good news of salvation revealed in the Scripture (see note on 1 Tim. 6:20).


In the last lesson, we discovered that the Truth was the good thing that had been committed to Timothy. The Holy Ghost leads us into all Truth.


John 16:13 "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."


The Holy Ghost is our Teacher and Guide.



Verses 15-18: "Asia" refers to the Roman province of Asia Minor of which Ephesus was the chief city. "Phygellus and Hermogenes:" Nothing is known of these men besides this citation, although they were well known to Timothy. "Onesiphorus" (is mentioned only here and in 4:19). He frequently helped Paul in Ephesus and evidently made a special effort to visit him in Rome.


2 Timothy 1:15 "This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes."


"Asia": A Roman province that is part of modern Turkey; this is not a reference to the entire region of Asia Minor.


Phygellus and Hermogenes": Nothing else is known about these two men, who apparently had shown promise as leaders, had been close to Paul, and were well known among the Asian churches, but deserted Paul under the pressure of persecution.


This is speaking, probably, of those of Asia who were in Rome with Paul. They probably had not stood up for Paul fearing the loss of their life. Paul, of course, does not mean the churches of Asia. This has to be speaking of the Christians from Asia who had followed Paul. This letter to Timothy was actually going to Ephesus which was a city in Asia.


2 Timothy 1:16 "The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:"


"Onesiphorus": One of Paul's loyal coworkers who had not deserted Paul, but befriended him in prison and was not ashamed or afraid to visit the apostle there regularly and minister to his needs. Since Paul asks Timothy to greet those in his house (4:19), the family obviously lived in or near Ephesus.


We see from this that not everyone had abandoned Paul. He had visited Paul while he had been in prison. Paul speaks a blessing on Onesiphorus' entire family for the comfort he gave him.


2 Timothy 1:17 "But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found [me]."


"When he was in Rome": Onesiphorus was perhaps on a business trip, and the text implies that his search involved time, effort, and possibly even danger.


It seems he was a Christian from another area other than Rome. He had gone to the trouble to look up Paul and help him. The "very diligently" would make you believe, it was not easy to get in to see Paul.


2 Timothy 1:18 "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."


"That day" (see note on verse 12).


"Ephesus": Onesiphorus' faithfulness began here many years earlier, when Paul ministered on his third or fourth missionary journey.


We see from this that he was from Ephesus which was in Asia. Perhaps, Paul mentioned him to show an exception. Paul is saying that God will reward him in the day of the Lord. This man had come a very long way, and searched Paul out to help him in his time of need.


God would not overlook this. He would be mightily blessed in the life to come. He would receive a prophet's reward.


2 Timothy Chapter 1 Questions


  1. What is another name letter is called?
  2. Who wrote this letter to Timothy?
  3. Where was he, when he wrote it?
  4. Approximately when was it written?
  5. When do the history books tell us that Rome burned?
  6. Who do the fables say fiddled while Rome burned?
  7. What terrible outcome for the Christians occurred, because of Rome burning?
  8. How does history say Paul was killed?
  9. What does Paul call himself in verse 1?
  10. What endearing relation does Paul call Timothy in verse two?
  11. Was he really Paul's son?
  12. What reassurance does Paul have that the work will go on, if he is executed?
  13. Where is the only peace any of us can find?
  14. Why does Paul mention his forefathers in verse 3?
  15. How often did Paul pray for Timothy?
  16. What did Paul desire Timothy to do?
  17. Paul told Timothy, he was mindful of _______ _____________.
  18. What two women made Paul confident of Timothy's strength in the faith?
  19. What does "unfeigned" mean?
  20. Paul wanted Timothy to stir up what within him?
  21. Who had anointed Timothy?
  22. What chapter of the Bible tells us of the gifts of the Spirit?
  23. How are the gifts of the Spirit received?
  24. God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of ________, and of ______, and of a ________ ______.
  25. What does away with fear?
  26. What two things did Paul tell Timothy not to be ashamed of?
  27. Why was Paul telling him to be bold?
  28. God has called us, not because of our works, but because of what?
  29. What does to "make manifest" mean?
  30. What did Jesus abolish for the believer?
  31. What 3 things did Paul say, he was appointed to be?
  32. What does Romans chapter 8 verse 17 tell us about suffering with Christ?
  33. Who did Paul's greatest persecution come from?
  34. What was the main purpose of this chapter?
  35. What was the good thing which was committed unto him?
  36. Who turned against Paul in time of trouble?
  37. Who stood by him and refreshed him?
  38. Where was Ephesus located?



Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to 2 Timothy Menu | Return to Bible Menu


2 Timothy 2



2 Timothy Chapter 2

Verses 1-7: Paul warns Timothy of the difficulties of the ministry and urges him to "be strong," in contrast to those who defected. "Faithful men" were to be selected and trained to be leaders and teachers. Thus, personal discipleship was to be a vital part of Timothy's leadership.


"Endure hardness" ("literally, "suffer affliction"): Paul illustrates this truth by a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer, all of whom suffer privation in order to be rewarded. "Strive lawful", means to play according to the rules.


2 Timothy 2:1 "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."


"My son": Paul had led Timothy to Christ during his first missionary journey (1 Cor. 4:17; 1 Tim. 1:2, 18).


"Be strong": Here is the main admonition in the first part of the letter. Paul is calling for Timothy to overcome his apparent drift toward weakness and renew his commitment to his ministry.


This is the same Scripture as the following one, just worded a little differently.


Ephesians 6:10 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."


It is not in our strength that we do anything; it is in the strength of the Lord. In our weakness, He is strong.


2 Timothy 2:2 "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."


"Heard of me" (see notes on 1:13; 3:14). During Timothy's many years of close association with Paul, he had heard divine truth which God had revealed through the apostle.


"Among many witnesses": Such as Silas, Barnabas, Luke, and many others in the churches who could attest to the divine authenticity of Paul's teaching, a needed reminder to Timothy in light of the many defections at Ephesus (1:15).


"Faithful men, who shall be able to teach others": Timothy was to take the divine revelation he had learned from Paul and teach it to other faithful men, men with proven spiritual character and giftedness, who would in turn pass on those truths to another generation.


From Paul to Timothy to faithful men to others encompasses 4 generations of godly leaders. That process of spiritual reproduction, which began in the early church, is to continue until the Lord returns.


It seems to me, that Paul is more concerned about the work being carried on after his death, than he is of dying. He is also, very concerned that they do not teach another gospel, than the gospel that he had taught. Paul knows that Timothy will bring what he has taught him.


He is telling Timothy to seek out later ministers that had begun under his ministry, and encourage them to teach the pure gospel that he had brought. Paul was afraid that many of the doctrines would be affected too badly by the customs of the people who they were ministering to. Paul felt that his converts would follow his teachings better, when they were teaching others.


2 Timothy 2:3 "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."


"A good soldier": The metaphor of the Christian life as warfare, against the evil world system, the believer's sinful human nature, and Satan, is a familiar one in the New Testament (2 Cor. 10:3-5; Eph. 6:10-20; 1 Thess. 4:8; 1 Tim. 1:18; 4:7; 6:12). Here Paul is dealing with the conflict against the hostile world and the persecution (verses 9; 1:8; 3:11-12; 4:7).


There is a battle going on between the flesh and the Spirit, and it has been going on ever since Paul spoke this and before. Every person who ministers in any capacity is a soldier in God's army. We are in this war to the death. Paul knew this, as he faced death.


Since Paul was martyred, there have been many believers who have given their lives for the gospel's sake. This war is real. We are told, in the 6 th chapter of Ephesians, to put on the whole armor of God in this battle.


We must be willing to face any hardship in the name of Jesus. Jesus is our Commander and Chief. We march at His orders. Paul speaks with full knowledge of this war that rages. He faced many hardships in his ministry, and is warning Timothy to be prepared.


2 Timothy 2:4 "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this] life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."


"Entangleth himself": Just as a soldier called to duty is completely severed from the normal affairs of civilian life, so also must the good soldier of Jesus Christ refuse to allow the things of the world to distract him (James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17).


Paul is explaining to Timothy the necessity of having nothing else on his mind while he is a soldier of the gospel. He cannot divide his attention with other things of the world and win the battle. Soldiers must concentrate on one thing, and that is winning the war. This means that his thoughts cannot be divided with a job, or any other affair at hand.


A good soldier must be well trained. He must keep his weapon (Bible), with him at all times. He must watch his powder (Word of God), and not let it get wet. It greatly concerns me that many ministers today are using watered down versions of the Word of God.


Any version of the Bible that leaves out the blood, or that indicates in any way that Jesus was not God in the flesh, is dangerous. That would be getting our powder wet. The power of our weapon is the Word of God within its covers. The two-edged Sword is the Bible, Old and New Testament.


When over 30,000 Israelites were with Gideon to fight, God had Gideon send all of them home but 300. This 300 did not even lay their weapon down to drink. It is important for a soldier of the Lord's to keep his Bible with him all the time.


Only one out of 100 pleased the Commander and Chief. They were all Israelites (symbolic of believers). Are you the 1 in 100 who will take up the battle for our Lord Jesus Christ?


2 Timothy 2:5 "And if a man also strive for masteries, [yet] is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully."


"Strive for masteries": The Greek verb athleo expresses the effort and determination needed to compete successfully in an athletic event (1 Cor. 9:24). This is a useful picture of spiritual effort and untiring pursuit of the victory to those familiar with events such as the Olympic Games and the Isthmian Games (held in Corinth).


"Crowned ... lawfully": All an athlete's hard work and discipline will be wasted if he or she fails to compete according to the rules. This is a call to obey the Word of God in the pursuit of spiritual victory.


Paul is saying, whatever you do, do it within the law. Do not take shortcuts. Fight the good fight within the law. Then when you win, you have done it honestly.


2 Timothy 2:6 "The husbandman that laboreth must be first partaker of the fruits."


"Husbandman that laboureth": "Hard-working" (husbandman), is from a Greek verb meaning "to labor to the point of exhaustion." Ancient farmers worked long hours of backbreaking labor under all kinds of conditions, with the hope that their physical effort would be rewarded by a good harvest.


Paul is urging Timothy not to be lazy or indolent, but to labor intensely (Col. 1:28-29), with a view to the harvest (1 Cor. 3:5-8).


You cannot be a teacher of the Word of God, until you know the Word of God yourself. You cannot win people to Christ, until you are a Christian yourself. You must know how to work, before your work is productive.


2 Timothy 2:7 "Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things."


Paul wants Timothy to read between the lines and understand what he is really saying to him. Jesus spoke in parables and then told His disciples the meaning of the parables. Paul is saying, let the Holy Spirit within you open your understanding to what I have said. You have ears to hear. Understand in your inner man.


"Consider": The Greek word denotes clear perception, full understanding, and careful consideration. The form of the verb suggests a strong admonition by Paul, not mere advice, to give deep thought to what he was writing.



Verses 8-10: Paul cites two examples of endurance: the supreme example of One who endured such hardship, "Jesus Christ", and the human example of one who endured such hardship, Paul himself.


2 Timothy 2:8 "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:"


"Remember ... Jesus Christ": The supreme model of a faithful teacher (verse 2), soldier (verses 3-4), Athlete (verse 5), and farmer (verse 6). Timothy was to follow His example in teaching, suffering, pursuing the prize, and planting the seeds of truth for a spiritual harvest.


"Raised from the dead": The resurrection of Christ is the central truth of the Christian faith (1 Cor. 15:3-4, 17, 19). By it, God affirmed the perfect redemptive work of Jesus Christ (see note on Rom. 1:4).


"Seed of David" (see notes on Rom. 1:3; Rev. 22:16); As David's descendant, Jesus is the rightful heir of his throne (Luke 1:32-33). The Lord's humanity is stressed.


There are some things that are basic to Christianity. One of the things is to believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.


Romans 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."


You see, believing that Jesus rose from the dead is basic to salvation. Paul throws in that Jesus fulfilled the law of the Jews (He was seed of David). Mary was descended from David. "According to my gospel", just means that Paul preached and taught the resurrection of Jesus.


2 Timothy 2:9 "Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, [even] unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound."


"I suffer ... but the word ... is not bound": Paul contrasts his imprisonment for the sake of the gospel to the unfettered power of the Word of God.


Preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, and in it proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus, is what brought Paul to Rome in chains. His trouble with the Jews, which started his imprisonment, was because he told them they had rejected their Messiah.


Some Jews do not believe in life after death, and that was another thing he had taught. They had him imprisoned, and he had appealed to Caesar in Rome.


2 Timothy 2:10 "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory."


"For the elect's sakes": Those of the elect, having been chosen for salvation from before the world began (see note on 1:9), who had not yet come to faith in Jesus Christ (see notes on Acts 18:10; Titus 1:1).


"The salvation which is in Christ Jesus": There is salvation in no one else (Acts 4:12; Rom. 8:29; Eph. 1:4-5). The gospel must be proclaimed (Matt. 28:19; Acts 1:8), because the elect are not saved apart from faith in Christ (Rom. 10:14).


"Eternal glory": The ultimate outcome of salvation (see notes on Rom. 5:2; 8:17).


Elect has to do with election or predestination. I do not believe we are chosen to be saved. I believe that all mankind who believes in Jesus Christ are chosen to be saved. This is an act of our own free will. I do believe that Almighty God foreknew who those who would believe were and wrote their names in the Lamb's book of life.


The "elect" then, would be those who will choose to follow Jesus Christ as their Savior. Paul endured these hardships, so that all who would believe would have that opportunity.


Colossians 1:27 "To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:"


When we are born again, we no longer live this life, but Christ lives the life within us.


Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."



Verses 11-13: The principles of endurance are enumerated on the basis of the assurance of salvation.


2 Timothy 2:11 "[It is] a faithful saying: For if we be dead with [him], we shall also live with [him]:"


"Faithful saying": The saying is (in verses 11-13; see note on 1 Tim. 1:15).


"Dead with him ... live with him": This refers to believers' spiritual participation in Christ's death and resurrection (Rom. 6:4-8), including also the possibility of suffering martyrdom for the sake of Christ, as the context would indicate.


In water baptism, we bury that old man of flesh in that watery grave and a new man of the spirit rises from that grave. The flesh represents sins of this life. We rise a new creature in Christ. Our sin died on the cross on the body of Jesus Christ. Our new nature is a spirit nature. Jesus is the quickening Spirit.


Read the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians beginning with the 40th verse to understand this better. Because He arose, we shall rise also. To die with Him, is to put our affections on things in the heavens, and not on things of this sinful earth.


2 Timothy 2:12 "If we suffer, we shall also reign with [him]: if we deny [him], he also will deny us:"


"Suffer": Believers who persevere give evidence of the genuineness of their faith (see note on Matt. 24:13; Matt. 10:22; John 8:31; Rom. 2:7; Col. 1:23).


"Reign with him": In His future eternal kingdom (Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:4, 6).


"If we deny him, he also will deny us": Speaks of a final, permanent denial, such as that of an apostate (see note on 1 Tim. 1:19), not the temporary failure of a true believer like Peter (Matt. 26:69-75). Those who so deny Christ give evidence that they never truly belonged to Him (1 John 2:19), and face the fearful reality of one day being denied by Him (Matt. 10:33).


We read of this very thing (in Mark 8).


Mark 8:38 "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."


Romans 8:17 "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together."


The following Scripture is in the very words of Jesus when He is saying what will happen to those who recognize Him and work for Him on the earth.


Matthew 25:21 "His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."


2 Timothy Chapter 2 Questions


  1. What does Paul call Timothy in verse 1?
  2. What Scripture, from Ephesians, is saying the same thing?
  3. Where does the strength of the believer come from?
  4. What is Paul more concerned about than his death?
  5. Who did Paul tell Timothy to commit his teachings to?
  6. What was Paul afraid might happen to the gospel?
  7. Paul told Timothy to endure hardness as whom?
  8. What is the battle that is raging even today between?
  9. This war is so real, that many will be ___________.
  10. Where do we find what the whole armor of God is?
  11. Who is our Commander and Chief?
  12. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the ________ of this life.
  13. What should soldiers be concentrating on?
  14. What is the Christian's weapon?
  15. How can you tell, if you are reading a watered down version of the Bible?
  16. How many of the 30,000 Israelites, finally went to war with Gideon?
  17. Why were these 300 chosen?
  18. Are you in the 1 in 100 who will take up the battle for our Lord Jesus Christ?
  19. Verse 5 says we must war ___________.
  20. You cannot be a teacher of the Word, until what?
  21. What must you be, before you can win someone to Christ?
  22. What is verse 7 really saying?
  23. Who was Jesus Christ seed of in verse 8?
  24. What are some of the things basic to Christianity?
  25. What does "according to my gospel" mean?
  26. What had brought Paul to Rome in chains?
  27. Paul endured all things for the _________ sake.
  28. Who are "the elect"?
  29. What should happen in water baptism?
  30. Where can we read thoroughly about the resurrection of the dead?
  31. If we suffer, we shall also ________ with Him.



2 Timothy Chapter 2 Continued

2 Timothy 2:13 "If we believe not, [yet] he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself."


"If we believe not": This refers to a lack of saving faith, not to weak or struggling faith. Unbelievers will ultimately deny Christ because their faith was not genuine (James 2:14-26).


"He abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself": As faithful as Jesus is to save those who believe in Him (John 3:16), He is equally faithful to judge those who do not (John 3:18). To act any other way would be inconsistent with His holy, unchangeable nature (Heb. 10:23).


Paul is saying here, if we choose not to believe, it does not make the gospel any the less the Truth. The gospel is Truth, whether we believe it or not.


Every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God is True. He will keep every promise He has ever made, whether we benefit from it or not. It is our choice to believe and receive the promises, or not believe and be rejected of Him.



Verses 14-15: The command to "put them in remembrance" means to remind them of these truths. The command to "study" means "give diligence and be zealous." It involves a total effort of mind, emotion, and will. "Rightly dividing" [literally, "cutting straight"] "the word of truth." The apostle appeals for effort to be made to properly interpret the Word of God.


2 Timothy 2:14 "Of these things put [them] in remembrance, charging [them] before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, [but] to the subverting of the hearers."


"Strive not about words": Arguing with false teachers, i.e. deceivers who use human reason to subvert God's Word, is not only foolish (Prov. 14:7), and futile (Matt. 7:6), but dangerous (verses 16-17; verse 23). This is the first of 3 warnings to avoid useless arguments (see notes on verses 16, 23; 1 Tim. 4:6-7; 6:3-5; 2 Peter 2:1-3).


"Subverting": The Greek word means "over-turned," or "overthrown." It appears only one other time in the New Testament (2 Pet. 2:6), where it describes the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Because it replaces the truth with lies, false teaching brings spiritual catastrophe to those who heed it. The ruin can be eternal.


Paul is saying here; do not get caught up in petty doctrinal differences. Arguments over doctrinal differences are of no use to anyone, except the devil. Arguments divide the people. Really there are so few absolute things that must be conformed to, to be a Christian.


Of course, the main one is to believe that Jesus was God manifest in the flesh, that He died for our sins, and that He rose again. This is what I mean about basic. I can worship with those who believe these few things.


This is what Paul is speaking of. Stay doctrinally sound on the important things and don't argue about the rest. You would think Christians of different denominations were not of the same family of God, when you hear them argue about these petty things.


2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."


"Study": This word denotes zealous persistence in accomplishing a goal. Timothy, like all who preach or teach the Word; was to give his maximum effort to impart God's Word completely, accurately, and clearly to his hearers. This is crucial to counter the disastrous effects of false teaching (verses 14, 16-17).


"Rightly dividing": Literally "cutting it straight", a reference to the exactness demanded by such trades as carpentry, masonry, and Paul's trade of leather working and tentmaking. Precision and accuracy are required in biblical interpretation, beyond all other enterprises, because the interpreter is handling God's Word. Anything less is shameful.


"The word of truth": All of Scripture in general (John 17:17), and the gospel message in particular (Eph. 1:13; Col. 1:5).


Just a handful of lessons on the Bible at any school are not enough to prepare you to minister. Paul told Timothy, stay in the Word of God. Continually study and learn more each day. The only way to rightly divide the Word of Truth, is to stay in the Bible studying every day, and let the Holy Spirit of God teach you the meaning of the Scriptures.


Learning Words will not help you. Learning the meaning of those Words will make you strong in the Lord. Learn what each Scripture means to you as an individual. Let God speak to your heart in His Word.


Principles of Interpretation: As we study the Word of God, we should apply both the spiritual and literal principles of interpretation. The spiritual principles include prayer (Psalm 119:18), cleansing (1 John 1:9), and the illumination by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:12-16).


The principal of literally understanding Scripture is to interpret it according to:


(1) The mind of the author;


(2) Its historical background;


(3) The context of the passage; and


(4) The basic rules of grammar.


Joshua was promised success if he meditated on the law (Josh. 1:8), and he won that success when he conquered the kings of Canaan. As a disciple of Moses, and as one who had a personal relationship with God, he could interpret the law of God and understand God's will for his life.


If we desire the will of God in our lives, we must regularly and systematically interpret God's
Word according to its proper meaning. Joshua 1:8; 2 Tim. 2:15; Acts 2:42.



Verses 16-21: "Shun profane and vain babblings" refers to useless disputes about genealogical histories and hair-splitting debates over the law. "Eat as doth a canker" ("like gangrene"): Useless bickering is a dangerous cancer that destroys the church. "Hymeneus" is the one who Paul delivered to Satan (1 Tim. 1:20), and "Philetus" is unknown apart from this mention.


Hymeneus and Philetus were false teachers who denied the literal "resurrection" of Christ. "The foundation of God standeth sure" refers to the permanence of the church, which is built on the foundation of the apostles. "This seal" guarantees the security of the body of "Christ."


2 Timothy 2:16 "But shun profane [and] vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness."


"Shun profane and vain babblings" (see notes on verse 14, 1 Tim. 6:20; Titus 3:9). Such destructive heresy leads only to "further ungodliness." Heresy can't save or sanctify. This is Paul's second such warning (verses 14, 23).


Some people cannot discuss the Bible without winding up in an argument. Run away from that type of argument.


Titus 3:9 "But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain."


This type of thing does not help anyone, and it definitely hurts the participants.


2 Timothy 2:17 "And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;"


"Canker": The word refers to a disease which spreads rapidly in a deadly manner. The metaphor emphasizes the insidious danger of false teaching. It attacks and consumes one's life.


"Hymeneus" (see note on 1 Tim. 1:20).


"Philetus": Alexander's replacement (1 Tim. 1:20), as Hymenaeus' accomplice.


"Canker", in this Scripture, means gangrene. The Word of God brings life. The word of man brings death. In this case, the death is a poison that spreads through the blood system. He is saying that the false words that Hymenaeus and Philetus said were very destructive.


These two were bringing heresy into the church (the body of Christ).


2 Timothy 2:18 "Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some."


"The resurrection is past already": Like the false teachers who troubled the Corinthians (1 Cor. 15:12), Hymenaeus and Philetus denied the reality of believers' bodily resurrection. They probably taught that believers' spiritual identification with Christ's death and resurrection (Rom. 6:4-5, 8), was the only resurrection they would experience and that had already happened.


Such heretical teaching reflects the contemporary Greek philosophical view that matter was evil and spirit was good.


"Overthrow the faith": This speaks of those whose faith was not genuine (Matt. 24:24). Genuine saving faith cannot be finally and completely overthrown (see note on verse 12). False, non-saving faith is common (4:10; see notes on Matt. 7:21-28; 13:19-22; John 2:22-23; 6:64-66; 8:31; 1 John 2:19).


Now, we see what the error in the message they were bringing was. This reminds me so much of the people in our day, who say that the teachings in Revelation have already happened. I will just ask you one question pertaining to that. When was every human on the earth marked with a number in his right hand or in his forehead?


You see how silly some of these things are. This, in my opinion, is caused by not studying the Scriptures thoroughly. The terrible thing is that some other people believed this lie.


2 Timothy 2:19 "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."


"The foundation of God standeth sure": This is likely a reference to the church (1 Tim. 3:15), which cannot be overcome by the forces of hell (Matt. 16:18), and is made up of those who belong to Him.


"Seal": A symbol of ownership and authenticity. Paul gives two characteristics of those with the divine seal of authenticity.


"The Lord knoweth them that are his": This is likely a reference to Numbers 16:5. He "knows," not in the sense of awareness, but as a husband knows his wife in the sense of intimate relationship (see notes on John 10:27-28; Gal. 4:9). God has known His own ever since He chose them before time began (see note on 1:9).


"Every one ... depart from iniquity": This statement is likely adapted from (Num. 16:26), and reflects a second mark of God's ownership of believers, which is their pursuit of holiness (1 Cor. 6:19-20; 1 Peter 1:15-16).


The foundation that the church is built upon is the Rock (Jesus Christ). Winds of false doctrine can come and go, but the church will not be moved from that foundation. We Christians, are the church. When we plant our feet on that solid Rock, we are secure in Him. Our name is written in the Lamb's book of life. When you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, you will not fall.


If you are a Christian, you are trying to become more Christ-like every day. The desire of our heart is to please Him. We have departed from iniquity, and we are travelling on the road that leads to heaven.


2 Timothy 2:20 "But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor."


"Vessels": The Greek word is very general and was used to describe various tools, utensils, and furniture found in the home. In this "large house" analogy, Paul contrasts two kinds of utensils or serving dishes.


"Some to honor": Those made of "wood and of earthenware" were not for any honorable use, but rather those uses which were repulsive, disposing of garbage and the filthy waste of the household (see notes on 2 Cor. 4:7).


This probably is speaking of the different types of people who make up the church. Some of the people who profess Christianity do not have a very deep walk with God. In fact, some of them are like the wood spoken of here. Wood symbolizes the world. This means that they have not gotten the world out of their walk.


The earth is the same thing; their Christianity will not hold water. The silver means redemption. I would say the vessel of silver has experienced redemption. They would know Jesus as Savior. The vessel of Gold would be the one who had made Christ Lord of his life, as well as Savior.


They would be letting Christ live in them. Gold symbolizes God. Those who have not given up their worldly ways would be vessels of dishonor. The silver and the gold would be vessels of honor. These vessels of dishonor are like the lukewarm Christian, who has not allowed God to remove the world from their lives.


2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, [and] prepared unto every good work.


"A man": Whoever wants to be useful to the Lord for noble purposes. Even a common wood bucket or clay pot becomes useful when purged and made holy.


"Purge himself" (see note on verse 19). The Greek word means "to thoroughly clean out," or "to completely purge." For any waste bucket in the house to be used for a noble purpose, it would have had to be vigorously scoured, cleansed, and purged of all vestiges of its former filth.


"From these": The vessels of dishonor (verse 20). Associating with anyone who teaches error and lives in sin is corrupting (Prov. 1:10-19; 13:20; 1 Cor. 5:6, 11; 15:33; Titus 1:16), all the more so when they are leaders in the church. This is clearly a call to separate from all who claim to serve God, but do so as filthy implements useful only for the most dishonorable duties.


This is speaking of what these earthly vessels of dishonor can do to become vessels of honor. Notice, that the individual must decide to get rid of this worldliness. Come to Jesus, and ask Him to burn out the worldliness, and leave a vessel of honor. Gold and silver just become more pure as the heat is applied to them. The wood will burn up as heat is applied.


The trials (heat), just removes the worldliness. This is called, being tried in the fire. Fire purifies and makes holy. When God gets through refining us, we are holy in His sight. We are set aside for His purpose. Now, we can do good work that the Master has for us to do the way He would have us do it.


2 Timothy 2:22 "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart."


"Youthful lusts": Not merely illicit sexual desires, but also such lusts as pride, desire for wealth and power, jealousy, self-assertiveness, and an argumentative spirit.


Youthful lusts are deep-seated desires that are particularly perilous to those who are youthful and inexperienced. "Follow" [literally, "pursue with intensity"] "righteousness," those things that are consistent with the character of God. "Faith" is belief in God's Word. "Charity" is volitional love, given regardless of its recipient's worthiness.


We have spoken so much in these lessons about putting our flesh to death that our spirit might rule. The flesh and its lust are what cause us to sin. If we put our body under the control of our spirit, we will make the right decisions. Faith, charity, and peace are fruit of the Spirit. These are things that automatically come when we are in right standing with God.


2 Timothy 2:23 "But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes."


"Unlearned questions ... strifes": Paul's third warning to avoid useless arguments with false teachers (see notes on verses 14, 16).


This is what I said earlier. Most misunderstandings of the Word of God come from people who have not truly studied the Word of God. The worst thing a person can do is to pick one or two Scriptures out of the Bible and base what you believe on that. Another problem is to just read one writer in the Bible, and base what you believe on his writings.


To avoid strife, do not discuss the Bible with people that do either of these things. They are not well rounded in the Scriptures. A person must study the entire Bible thoroughly too truly understand its meaning.


The Holy Spirit must be your guide as you study the Word to open your understanding. You will never know all there is to know, but this will give you a working knowledge.


2 Timothy 2:24 "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient,"


"Apt to teach": This is one word in Greek meaning "skilled in teaching" (see note on 1 Tim. 3:2).


The servant of the Lord is speaking of those who preach, or minister in some capacity. They should not engage in arguments that go nowhere. They should be of a gentle nature. They should be willing to teach when needed and be patient while others are learning.


2 Timothy 2:25 "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;"


"Those that oppose themselves": Primarily unbelievers captive to Satan (verse 26). But also could include believers deceived by the "foolish and ignorant" (verse 23). Speculation's for the false teachers; and, possibly, the false teachers themselves.


"God peradventure will give them repentance" (Acts 11:18; see 2 Cor. 7:9-10). All true repentance is produced by God's sovereign grace (Eph. 2:7), and without such grace, human effort to change is futile (Jer. 13:23).


"Acknowledging of the truth" (see notes on 3:7). When God, by grace, grants saving faith it includes the granting of repentance from sin. Neither is a human work.


"Repentance" (Greek metanoia, literally, "change of mind"), refers to the conviction that precedes genuine faith in Christ. The preaching of repentance clearly ought to accompany the proclamation of the gospel (Acts 20:21).


Those that oppose themselves are those who have not accepted Jesus as Savior. They would be their own worst enemy. Some men have never been taught the Word of God. This then, would be teaching someone who did not know the Word. To be able to get them to listen, it would be necessary to teach from meekness, not in a threatening manner. They would not listen to threats.


1 Corinthians 1:21 "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."


If your preaching or teaching could cause the people to believe, they would be saved. The main thing is stay with the Truth. It is the Truth that sets them free.


2 Timothy 2:26 "And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."


"The snare of the devil": Deception is Satan's trap. He is an inveterate, scheming, clever, and subtle purveyor of lies (see notes on Gen. 3:4-6; John 8:44, 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Rev. 12:9).


It must be an act of the person's free will to believe and receive salvation. Until they believe, they are under the curse of sin and death. The devil has them snared. The Truth of the gospel will set them free. In Jesus, sin and death are defeated. Remember, it is an act of our own free will to get out of the snare of the devil by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.


Praise God! Jesus set us free.


2 Timothy Chapter 2 Continued Questions


  1. What is Paul really saying in this?
  2. What was Paul wanting them to put in remembrance?
  3. What good do arguments of doctrine do?
  4. The author says he can worship with you, if you believe what basic things?
  5. What are some of the foolish doctrinal differences that split churches and should not?
  6. Study to show thyself _________ unto God.
  7. A workman that needeth not to be _________.
  8. How are the only ways you can be qualified to rightly divide the Word of God?
  9. Learning the Words of the Bible will not help you, what will help you?
  10. Shun profane and vain ______________.
  11. What does the word "canker" mean in verse 17?
  12. Who are the body of Christ?
  13. What false statement had Hymenaeus and Philetus made?
  14. What does the author believe causes people to believe an untruth about the Word of God?
  15. Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from ________.
  16. Who is the Rock the church is built upon?
  17. What is the seal the Christian has?
  18. Which are the vessels of honor?
  19. Which are the vessels of dishonor?
  20. What do these vessels symbolize?
  21. What does wood symbolize?
  22. What does silver symbolize?
  23. What does gold symbolize?
  24. What are the vessels of dishonor like?
  25. What should a person do to become a vessel of honor?
  26. Flee youthful _________.
  27. What are some of the fruit of the Spirit that show up in your life when you flee youthful lust?
  28. What kind of questions should we avoid?
  29. What must the servant of the Lord be like?
  30. What is meant by opposing themselves?
  31. That they may recover themselves out of the _______ of the ______.



Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to 2 Timothy Menu | Return to Bible Menu


2 Timothy 3



2 Timothy Chapter 3

Verses 1-4: "The last days" began with the birth of Christ and will culminate in Christ's return to the earth to set up His kingdom. The prediction of "perilous times" indicates that apostasy will characterize the final days of the church age.


2 Timothy 3:1 "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come."


"The last days": This phrase refers to this age, the time since the first coming of the Lord Jesus (see note on 1 Tim. 4:1).


"Perilous times": "Perilous" is used to describe the savage nature of two demon-possessed men (Matt. 8:28). The word for "times" had to do with epochs, rather than clock or calendar time.


Such savage, dangerous eras or epochs will increase in frequency and severity as the return of Christ approaches (verse 13). The church age is fraught with these dangerous movements accumulating strength as the end nears (Matt. 7:15; 24:11-12, 24; 2 Peter 2:1-2).


In previous lessons, Paul has been cautioning Timothy of false teaching that will come in the church. In this lesson, Paul speaks prophetically of the last days. This will be things that are happening primarily out of the church in society itself, but much of it taking place in the church, as well.


Perilous times would be times of great uncertainty. Possibly, a better way to say this would be to say dangerous times. I believe if you will carefully investigate this with me, you will agree this is speaking of the very days we live in.



Verses 2-4: This list of attributes characterizing the leaders of the dangerous seasons is a description of unbelievers similar to the Lord's (in Mark 7:21-22).


2 Timothy 3:2 "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,"


There has never been a time when the statement "lovers of their own selves" was truer than in our society today. I believe that much of this can be blamed on Secular Humanism in the public schools. Children are taught that everything is relative to something else. They are not taught absolutes, especially of discipline. The Bible teaches absolutes.


The child, that grows up believing himself to be the center of everything, finds it difficult to put God at the center of his life. They can easily fall into being lovers of their own selves.


When you believe that you are the center of everything, then you believe that anything you want should be yours, even if it belongs to someone else. You can see that coveting is a form of loving yourself as well. Bragging seems to be the rule of the day.


Blasphemers are everywhere. The Television, movie houses, and video rentals all lean toward movies that are rated PG, R, or X which means they are full of cursing and worst. Many times, the name of God is included in the cursing, which would certainly be blaspheming.


This is so prevalent that children and adults who watch these filthy movies do not even realize this blaspheming is going on. Their brains have been so conditioned to accept it that they are immune to it. They do not take thought that their brains are like a computer recording all of these bad words to be used later, when they least expect it.


There are so many divorces in our society today that a child must think a minute or two to remember just who their parent is. Many grandparents are raising their grandchildren, because the children are on drugs, or worse.


A few parents are trying to raise their children with respect for their parents, but they are thrown in with children from problem homes in the schools to such an extent that many otherwise obedient children become disobedient because of association.


In this affluent society, children have been given so many things they did not earn; that they have the idea society owes them a living. They never have to wait for a special occasion to come to receive their wants, so they become unthankful.


To say that we are unholy in our society today is a gross understatement. Very few even know the meaning of the word. The 10 Commandments of the Bible are broken so often, that many do not even remember what they are. God is holy. He said for us to be holy, because He is Holy. To be "holy" means to live above sin.


In our society, there are fewer marriages as many people just live together. The Bible calls that adultery. Most everyone covets, because they want to keep up with the Jones'. I could go on and on. Homosexuals live together and call it an alternate life style. God calls it an abominable sin. We would have to look around us and say we are unholy as a society.


2 Timothy 3:3 "Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,"


One of the disgraces of our society today is how we throw our parents away when they get old. We push their care off on someone who does not even know them. Mothers are abandoning their children. Women are destroying their unborn children. This is without natural affection.


When I was a child, a person would shake hands with you on a deal, and it was done.


People did not sue each other over slight things. Now to ensure that an agreement is legal, you must have an agreement written down and signed before witnesses. People will break a truce, if it will be an advantage to them.


We do not know our neighbors, so we accuse them of things we do not know to be true.


Incontinent means without self-control. Our rehabilitation hospitals can vouch for that. It is of national concern how to get people off alcohol and drugs. This is a society gone mad.


Fierce describes what is going on in our streets today with the drive-by shootings. This society makes fun of those who try to live holy before the Lord. I believe the reason they despise those trying to live good, is because they show them how bad they are by comparison.


2 Timothy 3:4 "Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;"


True loyalty seems to be a thing of the past. For a few dollars, our best friend will do you in. The main one we are traitors to is our self. "Heady" means falling forward. The Bible would call this unstable in all thy ways. Highminded means to inflate with self-conceit. How many things in our life come before God?


What excuses do we make for not worshipping in church? I can think of a few. How about golf, fishing, hunting, football, basketball, gardening, movies, etc. I could go on and on. Anything that you enjoy more than fellowshipping with God falls into this category, (even work).



Verses 5-9: "A form of godliness" is mere religion without "power" or spiritual life. Paul commands Timothy to "turn away" from these false teachers who prey upon "silly women laded with sins," who are especially susceptible to false teachers. "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth", condemns not intense study but some esoteric quest for truth apart from God's Word.


"Jannes and Jambres." According to Jewish tradition, these were the two magicians in Pharaoh's court who attempted to duplicate Moses' miracles (Exodus 7:11; 9:11).


2 Timothy 3:5 "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."


"Having a form of godliness ... denying the power": "Form" refers to outward shape or appearance. Like the unbelieving scribes and Pharisees, false teachers and their followers are concerned with mere external appearances (Matt. 23:25; Titus 1:16). Their outward form of Christianity and virtue makes them all the more dangerous.


We may appear to be a Christian to the world; we may even profess to being a Christian. My question is, if you were on trial for being a Christian, could you be convicted by the evidence in your life? Would God declare you a Christian, by the condition of your heart, or would he say get away from me, I never knew you? (Matt. 7:23).


Is the power of God working in you? God never changes. Do you believe that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, or have you put limits on the power of God?


2 Timothy 3:6 "For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,"


"Silly women": Silly in virtue and the knowledge of the truth, and weighed down with emotional and spiritual guilt over their sins, these women were easy prey for the deceitful false teachers (see notes on 1 Tim. 2:13-14; 5:11-12).


This to me, is speaking of someone who pretends to be of God convincing those (silly women), who are not grounded in the Word of God, to follow a false teaching. We see some religions today which are actually very sensual in nature. Could that be what this is talking about? Lust does not have to be just sex; it can be flesh desires for anything that is forbidden of God.


The only way to be smart enough not to fall for something appealing to your flesh is to know the Word of God and get your flesh under the control of the spirit. Do not listen to the lust of the flesh. Let the Spirit of God direct your decisions.


2 Timothy 3:7 "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."


"The knowledge of the truth": (1 Timothy 2:4), uses this same phrase, equating it with being saved. Here Paul identified those women (verse 6), and men who were often jumping from one false teacher or cult to another without ever coming to an understanding of God's saving truth in Jesus Christ.


The present age, since the coming of Jesus Christ, has been loaded with perilous false teaching that can't save, but does damn (verses 14, 16-17; 1 Tim. 4:1).


This statement, coupled with the statement above, makes you realize that this could be false doctrines that appeal to the flesh of mankind. The women are more vulnerable, because they have more time to listen to these false teachings. If the teaching appeals to your flesh, beware. It is probably not of God, if it appeals to the flesh.


Some people are constantly looking for something new. They read every how-to book they can find and never read their Bible. The Bible has the answers to all of life's problems. Look there first. Then read your other books. The Bible is the Truth.


Let me stop here, and ask you, have you not seen our society in this warning on the last days? It seems to me that each thing fits our society to a T. Next, I might ask, what are you going to do about it? We must stop and take stock of ourselves, and do what we can to change the world around us.


Pray for God to become real in your life. Let Jesus be your Lord, as well as your Savior. Before you get involved in anything, ask yourself is this sound by Bible standards? Read the guidebook to a happy, productive, holy life. It is as near as your hand, it is the Holy Bible.


2 Timothy Chapter 3 Questions


  1. What kind of times will there be in the last days?
  2. What does this mean?
  3. Men shall be lovers of their _____ _________.
  4. What does the author think is behind people being in love with themselves?
  5. What is wrong with Secular Humanism?
  6. How does loving yourself cause you to covet?
  7. What is causing the blasphemy of our day?
  8. What is our brain really?
  9. Why are children being disobedient to parents?

10.What is wrong with being an affluent society?


11.What does "holy" mean?


12.What does the Bible call living together without benefit of marriage?


13.What does the Bible call the homosexual lifestyle?


14.What is one of the disgraces of our society?


15.Describe "without natural affection".


16.What is a trucebreaker?


17.What does "incontinent" mean?


18.Give some examples of the incontinent.


19.What could drive-by shootings be called?


20.What are the people called who are trying to live for God?


21.What does "heady" mean?


22.What excuses do you make to God for not fellowshipping with Him?


23.If you were on trial for being a Christian, could you be convicted by the evidence in your life?


24.Who are being led away in verse 6?


25.Who are leading them away?


26.If the message is appealing to your flesh, what should that tell you?


27.Have you seen our society in this lesson today?




2 Timothy Chapter 3 Continued

2 Timothy 3:8 "Now as Janna's and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith."


Janna's and Jambres": Although their names are not mentioned in the Old Testament, they were likely two of the Egyptian magicians who opposed Moses (Exodus 7:11, 22; 8:7, 18-19; 9:11). According to Jewish tradition, they pretended to become Jewish proselytes, instigated the worship of the golden calf, and were killed with the rest of the idolaters (Exodus chapter 32).


Paul's choice of them as examples may indicate the false teachers at Ephesus were practicing deceiving signs and wonders.


"The truth" (see note on verse 7).


"Reprobate": The same word is translated "depraved" (in Roman 1:28; see note there), and comes from a Greek word meaning "useless", in the sense of being tested (like metal), and shown to be worthless.


The Bible does not tell us exactly who this "Janna's and Jambres" are. The history books say that they were the magicians who withstood Moses. Even though they withstood, as the 10 plagues on Egypt progressed, we see the magicians proclaiming to Pharaoh that Moses' God was God, and they could not fight against Him.


There will be a time when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. In the last lesson, we were speaking of conditions on the earth in the last days. Now, this is saying, those same people will resist the Truth (Jesus). In the end, they will be like the magicians who realize and believe.


"Reprobate" means reject. These are those who have refused to believe in Jesus, then. Those who have corrupt or evil minds are not looking for the Truth. This is not speaking of an ordinary sinner. This is someone who has opposed God in every way. These would be sinners who have gone almost too far.


2 Timothy 3:9 "But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all [men], as theirs also was."


"Folly ... theirs also was": Sooner or later, it will be clear that these false teachers are lost fools, as it became clear in the case of "Janna's and Jambres."


We know that it did not take God and Moses very long to discredit the magicians, and it will not be hidden forever the evil of these with a reprobate mind either. Truth always wins out.


When the Light of God shines on these deeds of these evil ones, it will be apparent to everyone their error. False doctrines, in a church, may flourish for a while, but when the Truth comes, it reveals the error of the false doctrine.


2 Timothy 3:10 "But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,"


Paul is saying here, that he has not hidden what he believes from anyone. The way Paul had conducted his life spoke for him, as well as the words he spoke. It was no secret to anyone that Paul had totally dedicated himself to the service of the Lord. He had fought hard, even in Jerusalem, for what he believed the doctrine of the church to be.


He had conducted his life in a manner of self-sacrifice. He had endured stoning and many other hardships to bring the message of the gospel to the unsaved world. He said himself, that he would be all things to all people that by all means he might save some. His purpose was to bring as many as possible to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.


His faith had been undaunted by the hardships. He suffered long with the stripes, beatings, shipwreck, and the utter hate of his fellow Jews.


He did not ask anyone to support him in the ministry. Most of his ministry, he was a tentmaker, so he would not be a burden to others. Those that did help him, was of their own free will, like the church at Philippi. His patience was demonstrated when he waited for years to even be tried for things he was not guilty of.


2 Timothy 3:11 "Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of [them] all the Lord delivered me."


"Persecutions": From a Greek verb that literally means "to put to flight." Paul had been forced to flee from Damascus (Acts 9:23-25), Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:50), Iconium (Acts 14:6), Thessalonica (Acts 17:10), and Berea (Acts 17:14).


"Antioch ... Iconium ... Lystra": As a native of Lystra (Acts 16:1), Timothy vividly recalled the persecution Paul faced in those 3 cities.


"The Lord delivered me" (4:17-18; Psalms 34:4, 6, 19; 37:40; 91:2-6, 14; Isa. 41:10; 43:2; Dan. 3:17; Acts 26:16-17; 2 Cor. 1:10). The Lord's repeated deliverance of Paul should have encouraged Timothy in the face of persecution by those at Ephesus who opposed the gospel.


The Jews persecuted him the most of any. The Lord was with him in every circumstance. None of the places mentioned here that he suffered were unto the death. That persecution would be reserved for Rome. Paul, not only endured these persecutions, but thought himself honored to endure them for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ.


2 Timothy 3:12 "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."


"All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution": Faithful believers must expect persecution and suffering at the hands of the Christ-rejecting world (John 15:18-21; Acts 14:22).


This was true in Paul's time, and is also true today. Jesus had told Paul that he would suffer for the gospel's sake. Throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, we find persecutions abound for those servants of God. Paul is saying that he is not alone in the persecution. It comes to all who serve God.


2 Timothy 3:13 "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."


All the dangerous movements of the false teachers (verses 1-9), will become increasingly more successful until Christ comes (2 Thess. 2:11).


This false doctrine had already started then, and the church was just a few years old. The only thing that would break this deadly chain of getting worse and worse would be to come in direct contact with the Truth.


A false doctrine does not get better as it is told. It comes from Satan in the first place, and gets worse and worse every time it is told. When a person is evil, his conscience gets where it is not working. Each sin gets a little worse until he is totally consumed with sin.


Verses 14-17: "Continue" literally means "remain." "The things which thou has learned" were his oral instruction in the "holy scriptures" (the Old Testament, here), by his mother (Eunice), and grandmother (Lois). "Inspiration of God" (Greek theopneustos, literally, "God-breathed") describes the unique character of Scripture. It is not only written by men, but authored by God.


"For doctrine" means to tell one what to believe. "For reproof" means to tell one what is wrong. "For correction" means to tell one how to correct wrong. "For instruction in righteousness" means to tell one how to live. "Perfect" (Greek artios, "proficient, capable") is having everything needed to do what God wants. "Thoroughly furnished" means "thoroughly equipped." God's inspired Word, properly used and applied, provides all we need for life and ministry.


2 Timothy 3:14 "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them];"


"Which thou hast learned" (see note on 1:13). To further encourage Timothy to stand firm, Paul reminds him of his godly heritage. The plural form of the pronoun "whom" suggests Timothy was indebted not just to Paul, but to others as well (1:5).


Paul is saying; do not let your head be turned by all of these false doctrines. Stay with the good news of the gospel that was first presented to you. Apply the things you have learned more and more. Grow in the grace that God has provided for you.


Paul reminds Timothy here, that not only are the things he learned true, but Paul was truthful, as well. He is saying to Timothy, you know I teach the truth. Paul knows also, that Timothy's mother and grandmother had taught Timothy the Scriptures all of his life. He needed to rely on the truths he had learned through them.


2 Timothy 3:15 "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."


"From a child": Literally "from infancy". Two people whom Timothy was especially indebted to were his mother and grandmother (see note on 1:5), who faithfully taught him the truths of Old Testament Scripture from his earliest childhood. So that he was ready to receive the gospel when Paul preached it.


"Thou has known the holy scriptures": A common designation of the Old Testament by Greek-speaking Jews.


"Wise unto salvation": The Old Testament Scriptures pointed to Christ (John 5:37-39), and revealed the need for faith in God's promises (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:1-3). Thus, they were able to lead people to acknowledge their sin and need for justification in Christ (Gal. 3:24).


Salvation is brought by the Holy Spirit using the Word (see notes on Rom. 10:14-17; Eph. 5:26-27; 1 Pet. 1:23-25).


"Faith which is in Christ Jesus": Though not understanding all the details involved (1 Pet. 1:10-12), Old Testament believers including Abraham (John 8:56), and Moses (Heb. 11:26), looked forward to the coming of the Messiah (Isa. 7:14; 9:6), and His atonement for sin (Isa. 53:5-6). So did Timothy, who responded when he heard the gospel.


All of the books of men pale by comparison to the Holy Word of God. It seems that even when he was a child, his mother and grandmother had taught him of Jesus. It was part of his very fiber. They had taught him that salvation is in none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. He had accepted Jesus for himself when he came to the age of accountability.


Paul is saying to Timothy, do not let these teachings fade from your memory. Keep them ever before you. They were good enough to save you, they are also good enough to live by.


Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ, and that alone. We remember here, that Timothy was preaching where the Judaizers were trying to put him back under the law. Paul reminds him of what saved him.


2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"


"All scripture" Grammatically similar Greek constructions (Rom. 7:12; 2 Cor. 10:10; 1 Tim. 1:15; 2:3; 4:4), argue persuasively that the translation "all Scripture is inspired", is accurate. Both Old Testament and New Testament are included (see notes on 2 Pet. 3:15-16), which identify New Testament writings as Scripture.


"Inspiration of God": Literally "breathed out by God," or "God-breathed." Sometimes God told the bible writers the exact words to say (e.g., Jer. 1:9), but more often He used their minds, vocabularies and experiences to product His own perfect infallible, inerrant Word (see notes on 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 1:1; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).


It is important to note that inspiration applies only to the original autographs of Scripture, not the bible writers; there are no inspired Scripture writers, only inspired Scripture. So identified is God with His Word that when scripture speaks, God speaks (Rom. 9:17; Gal. 3:8).


Scripture is called "the oracles of God" (Rom. 3:2), and cannot be altered (John 10:35; Matt. 5:17-18; Luke 16:17; Rev. 22:18-19).


"Doctrine": The divine instruction or doctrinal content of both the Old and New Testaments (2:15; Acts 20:18, 20-21, 27; 1 Cor. 2:14-16; Col. 3:16; 1 John 2:20, 24, 27). The Scripture provides the comprehensive and complete body of divine truth necessary for life and godliness (Psalm 119:97-105).


"Reproof": Rebuke for wrong behavior or wrong belief. The Scripture exposes sin (Heb. 4:12-13), that can then be dealt with through confession and repentance.


"Correction": The restoration of something to its proper condition. The word appears only here in the New Testament, but was used in extra-biblical Greek of righting a fallen object, or helping back to their feet those who had stumble. Scripture not only rebukes wrong behavior, but also points the way back to godly living (Psalm 119:9-11; John 15:1-2).


"Instruction in righteousness": Scripture provides positive training (originally used in reference to training a child), in godly behavior, not merely rebuke and correction of wrong behavior (Acts 20:32; 1 Tim. 4:6; 1 Pet. 1-2).


"Inspiration" (3:16). This refers to the supernatural guidance of the writers of Scripture by the Spirit of God, so that what they wrote was the divine Word of God, transcribed accurately, reliably, and without error in the original manuscripts ("autographs"). The word "inspiration" itself pictures God breathing out His Word to men.


Not everything written by an apostle or a prophet was necessarily inspired. Paul wrote at least three epistles to the Corinthians, but apparently only two were an inspired record (1 Cor. 5:9). Samuel, Nathan and Gad each wrote accounts of David's life; only one of these prophets produced an inspired record (1 Chron. 29:29).


Since the Scriptures are given to help Christians grow in maturity, they should rely upon them for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (right living; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21).


My own opinion of the Bible, Word of God, or Scriptures, whichever you decide to call them, is that they are like looking into the face of Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God. The word inspired" means God breathed. I prefer to say that God is the author of the Bible and people like Paul are the penman.


2 Peter 1:21 "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost."


God has always brought messages to His people through the mouth, or pen of men. I like to think of the Bible as God's instruction to man for living victorious lives. You might think of it as a road map which guides us at every intersection of life. If we stick with the guide, it will keep us from taking the wrong turn.


If the Bible says something, there is a reason. We may not understand the reason at the time, but if it says it, it has a purpose. We can learn from other's experiences in the Bible.


1 Corinthians 10:11 "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."


If it were not for the Scriptures, we would not know how to be righteous. Righteousness is received, not earned. We are clothed in the righteousness of Christ.


2 Timothy 3:17 "That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."


"Man of God": A technical term for an official preacher of divine truth (see note on 1 Tim. 6:11).


"Perfect": Capable of doing everything one is called to do (Col. 2:10).


"Thoroughly furnished": Enabled to meet all the demands of godly ministry and righteous living. The Word not only accomplishes this in the life of the man of God but in all who follow him (Eph. 4:11-13).


The word that was translated man in the verse above is not someone of the male gender, but a human being, man or woman.


Acts 9:36 "Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did."


Ephesians 2:10 "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."


1 Timothy 6:11 "But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness."


Whoever you are, if you are called to work for God, you must set an example for others in the way you live. The most important thing in working for God is the fact that you turn your will over to the Father. You must let the Holy Spirit teach you the Truth of the Word of God, that you might bring the Truth to others.


Learn all you can about the Word of God, share with others what you know.


2 Timothy Chapter 3 Continued Questions


  1. Who were Jannes and Jambres, probably?
  2. What were they?
  3. Did they change their minds?
  4. How many plagues did God send on Egypt?
  5. Who is the Truth?
  6. What does "reprobate" here, mean?
  7. Their folly shall be known to all ______.
  8. What reveals the error of these reprobates?
  9. What did Paul say, that Timothy knew about him in verse 10?
  10. What kind of hardships had Paul faced?
  11. What had Paul dedicated himself to?
  12. Why was Paul all things to all people?
  13. How had Paul made his living while he preached?
  14. What church helped Paul?
  15. Who persecuted Paul the most?
  16. Name some of the places where Paul was persecuted?
  17. Where did Paul die, reportedly?
  18. What attitude did Paul have about the persecutions?
  19. Evil men and seducers shall wax ________ and _______.
  20. What did Paul tell Timothy to continue in?
  21. Who, besides Paul, had taught Timothy the Scriptures?
  22. How long had Timothy known the Scriptures.
  23. The Holy Scriptures will make you wise unto __________.
  24. Where was Timothy teaching?
  25. All Scripture is given by _________ of God.
  26. It is profitable for _________, for _________, for __________, for ____________ in righteousness.
  27. What is the authors opinion of the Bible?
  28. What does "inspired" mean?



Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to 2 Timothy Menu | Return to Bible Menu


2 Timothy 4



2 Timothy Chapter 4

Verses 1-4: "Preach the word: Preaching is the God-ordained means to prevent defection from the truth. "Teachers" who appeal to "itching ears" tell people what they want to hear, not what they need to hear. Thus, both "shall be turned unto fables" (myths or legends).


2 Timothy 4:1 "I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;"


"I charge thee": Or better "command." The Greek has the idea of issuing a forceful order or directive (2:14; 1 Tim. 1:18; 5:21).


Before God and the Lord Jesus Christ": The Greek construction also allows the translation "in the presence of God, even Christ Jesus," which is probably the best rendering since He is about to be introduced as the judge (John 5:22). Everyone who ministers the Word of God is under the omniscient scrutiny of Christ (see notes on 2 Cor. 2:17: Heb. 13:17).


"Christ, who shall judge": The grammatical construction suggests immanency, that Christ is about to judge. Paul is emphasizing the unique accountability that all believers, and especially ministers of the word of God, have Christ as Judge.


Service to Christ is rendered both under His watchful eye and with the knowledge that as Judge He will one day appraise the works of every believer (see notes on 1 Cor. 3:12-15; 4:1-5; 2 Cor. 5:10). That is not a judgment of condemnation, but one of evaluation. Regarding salvation, believers have been judged already and declared righteous, they are no longer subject to the condemnation of sin (Rom. 8:1-4).


"The quick and the dead": Christ will ultimately judge all men in 3 distinct settings:


(1) The judgment of believers after the Rapture (1 Cor. 3:12-15; 4:1-5; 2 Cor. 5:10);


(2) The sheep and the goats' judgment of the nations, in which believers will be separated from unbelievers (Matt. 25:31-33); for entrance into the millennial kingdom; and


(3) The Great White Throne judgment of unbelievers only (Rev. 20:11-15).


Here, the apostle is referring to judgment in a general sense, encompassing all those elements.


"His appearing": The Greek word translated "appearing" literally means "a shining forth" and was used by the ancient Greeks of the supposed appearance to men of a pagan god. Here, Paul is referring generally to Christ's second coming, when He will judge "the living and the dead" (see previous note). And establish His millennial and eternal kingdom (see note on 1 Tim. 6:14).


The "quick", (in the verse above), are speaking of those who will be alive at the coming of the Lord. These are those who will be changed in the twinkling of an eye. The word "therefore", connects this chapter to the preceding chapter. In the light of all the signs of the last days in the last chapter, this is what you are to do.


Paul says, God and the Lord Jesus Christ are my witness that I am guiding you correctly. At His appearing means when Jesus appears in the sky to call His children out of the great tribulation of this earth.


Notice, His kingdom is separate. That is when he sets up "His kingdom" reign on this earth. This is the 1000 year millennium reign of Jesus Christ upon the earth. Jesus is the Judge of the world. We are judged His, or not His. The sheep (Christians), belong to Jesus. The rest belong to Satan.


2 Timothy 4:2 "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."


"The word": "The entire written Word of God, His complete revealed truth as contained in the Bible (3:15-16; Acts 20:27). Here the form of the verb suggests the complementary ideas of urgency, preparedness, and readiness.


It was used of a soldier prepared to go into battle or a guard who was continually alert for any surprise attack, attitudes which are imperative for a faithful preacher (Jer. 20:9; Acts 21:11-13; Eph. 5:15-16; 1 Pet. 3:15).


"In season, out of season": The faithful preacher must proclaim the Word when it is popular and/or convenient, and when it is not. When it seems suitable to do so, and when it seems not. The dictates of popular culture, tradition, reputation, acceptance, or esteem in the community (or in the church), must never alter the true preacher's commitment to proclaim God's Word.


"Reprove, rebuke": The negative side of preaching the Word (the "reproof" and "correction"; 3:16). The Greek word for "reprove", refers to correcting behavior or false doctrine by using careful biblical argument to help a person understand the error of his actions. The Greek word for "rebuke", deals more with correcting the person's motives by convicting him of his sin and leading him to repentance.


"Exhort ... doctrine": The positive side of preaching (the "teaching" and "training"; 3:16).


I really like the fact that Paul does not just say preach. He says preach the Word. The Word of God (Bible), is the power of the message.


"Being instant in season and out of season" is just saying stay ready all the time. Preach whenever and wherever you have the opportunity. "Reprove" and "rebuke" mean to tell a fault. When you see a brother in error, tell him.


Matthew 18:15 "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother."


"Exhort" can mean to pray, comfort, or draw near. This is just saying not to get weary in preaching to those who are afar off. Preach to them, pray for them, in love, tell them of their errors, and then preach to them again. Do not give up, until they draw nigh unto God.


Give them the Truth, and do not get weary in giving the Truth. Have patience with them and they will hear and receive.


2 Timothy 4:3 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;"


"Not endure": This refers to holding up under adversity, and can be translated "tolerate." Paul here warns Timothy that, in the dangerous seasons of this age, many people would become intolerant of the confrontive, demanding preaching of God's Word (1:13-14; 1 Timothy 1:9-10; 6:3-5).


"Having itching ears": Professing Christians, nominal believers in the church follow their own desires and flock to preachers who offer them God's blessings apart from His forgiveness, and His salvation apart from their repentance. They want to be entertained by teachings that will product pleasant sensations and leave them with good feeling about themselves.


Their goal is that men preach "in accordance to their own desires" Under those conditions, people will dictate what men preach, rather than God dictating it by His Word.


We are experiencing this in the church world today. Sound doctrine teaches sacrifice of self. Sound doctrine teaches walking each day in the salvation Christ has provided for you. Sound doctrine teaches living a holy separated life to God. Sound doctrine is the Word of God.


There is a great falling away in the church today, not only in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense, as well. Many go to church, but want to hear a message of nothing but God's love. They would tell us not to speak against adultery or homosexual activity, because we will hurt some of the member's feelings.


They would have us preach things pleasant to the flesh of man. The sermon that appeals to the flesh of mankind, is preaching to itching ears. I would say the time Paul was speaking of in the verse above is here. Not many want to hear about the blood of Jesus. Not many want to know that Jesus is Judge, as well as Savior.


Not many want to hear that we must take up our cross daily and follow Him. Most want to hear, that when they become a Christian, all of their problems will be gone. Most would like to hear, that when they come to God, they will never be sick again. They want to believe that their money problems are over. The sad thing is that we are not equipping our people to face hardship.


John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."


2 Timothy 4:4 "And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."


"Fables": This refers to false ideology, viewpoints, and philosophies in various forms that oppose sound doctrine (see notes on 2 Cor. 10:3-5; 1 Tim. 1:4; 4:7; Titus 1:14; 2 Pet. 1:16).


The truth of the matter is, many will turn from the Truth to a good time religion which pleases their flesh. "Fables" are speaking of doctrines that are not Truth.


Titus 1:14 "Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth."


2 Peter 1:16 "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty."


We all need to devote more time to the study of God's Word (Bible). The Word will straighten out our thinking and we will not be so easily swayed with messages that Paul would classify as fables.



Verses 5-8: "Do the work of an evangelist:" Paul commands Timothy to fully discharge his evangelistic ministry by preaching the gospel (Good News), of Jesus Christ. Evangelism is viewed by New Testament writers as an essential task of the New Testament church.


2 Timothy 4:5 "But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."


"An evangelist": Used only two other times in the New Testament (see notes on Acts 21:8; Eph. 4:11), this word always refers to a specific office of ministry for the purpose of preaching the gospel to non-Christians. Based on (Eph. 4:11), it is very basic to assume that all churches would have both pastor-teachers and evangelists.


But the related verb "to preach the gospel" and the related noun "gospel" are used through-out the New Testament not only in relation to evangelists, but also to the call for every Christian, especially preachers and teachers, to proclaim the gospel. Paul did not call Timothy to the office of an evangelist, but to "do the work" of one.


The work of the evangelist is to save the lost. This watching in all things means to stay grounded in the Word and be moderate. Paul warns Timothy again, that there are afflictions associated with serving God. The full proof is telling Timothy to not waver in his ministry. He must be fully persuaded, and also give this message without wavering from the Truth.



Verses 6-8: As Paul neared the end of his life, he was able to look back without regret or remorse. In these verses, he examines his life from 3 perspectives: the present reality of the end of his life, for which he was ready (verse 6); the past, when he had been faithful (verse 7); and the future, as he anticipated his heavenly reward (verse 8).


2 Timothy 4:6 "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand."


"I am now ready": Meaning his death was imminent.


"To be offered": In the Old Testament sacrificial system, this was the final offering that followed the burnt and grain offerings prescribed for the people of Israel (Num. 15:1-16). Paul saw his coming death as his final offering to God in a life that had already been full of sacrifices to Him (see note on Phil. 2:17).


"My departure": Paul's death. The Greek word essentially refers to the loosening of something, such as the mooring ropes of a ship or the ropes of a tent; thus, it eventually acquired the secondary meaning of "departure."


Paul has probably been sentenced to die, when he wrote these words. He wanted Timothy to know that he was ready to die for the gospel. He probably was actually looking forward to being with his Lord and being out of this life of hardship.


2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith:"


The form of the 3 Greek verbs "good fight, have finished, have kept," indicates completed action with continuing results. Paul saw his life as complete, he had been able to accomplish through the Lord's power all that God called him to do. He was a soldier (2:3-4; 2 Cor. 10-3; 1 Tim. 6:12; Philemon 2), an athlete (1 Cor. 9:24-27; Eph. 6:12), and a guardian (1:13-14; 1 Timothy 6:20-21).


"The faith": The truths and standards of the revealed Word of God.


This is a gross understatement. Many men would have given up long ago. Paul's faith never wavered, regardless of the hardship he was facing. He had ministered to the very end. God has a job for each of us to do in this life. Paul is saying, he has done what the Lord Jesus called him to do.


He believes in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord just as strongly at the end, as he did when he first met him on the road to Damascus.


2 Timothy 4:8 "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."


A crown of righteousness": The Greek word for "crown" literally means "surrounding," and it was used of the plaited wreaths or garlands placed on the heads of dignitaries and victorious military officers or athletes. Linguistically, "of righteousness", can mean either that righteousness is the source of the crown, or that righteousness is the nature of the crown.


Like the "crown of life" (James 1:12), the "crown of exultation" (1 Thess. 2:19), the "imperishable crown" (1 Cor. 9:25), and the "crown of glory" (1 Pet. 5:4), in which life, rejoicing, imperishability, and glory describe the nature of the crown, the context here seems to indicate the crown represents eternal righteousness.


Believers receive the imputed righteousness of Christ (justification), at salvation (Rom. 4:6, 11). The Holy Spirit works practical righteousness (sanctification), in the believer throughout his lifetime of struggle with sin (Rom. 6:13, 19; 8:4; Eph. 5:9; 1 Pet. 2:24).


But only when the struggle is complete will the Christian receive Christ's righteousness perfected in him (glorification), when he enters heaven (see note on 1:12).


"The righteous judge: (see note on verse 1);


"That day" (see note on 1:12);


"His appearing" (see notes on verse 1; 1 Tim. 6:14).


Now that his work on this earth is done, he is looking forward to standing before the Lord Jesus and hear Him say, well done, thy good and faithful servant. The crown of righteousness is speaking of us being in right standing before God, because the Lord Jesus has clothed us in His righteousness. There will be a crown awaiting those who believe.


1 Peter 5:4 "And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."



Verses 9-13: Paul makes three personal requests. He asks Timothy


(1) "To come" soon;


(2) To "bring" along "Mark" because "he is profitable", which lets us know that the disagreement between Barnabas and Paul over John mark had been rectified (Acts 15:36-41); and


(3) To bring his "cloak."


Apparently, Paul had been arrested suddenly without a chance to take his personal belongings with him. "Books" and "parchments" probably refer to Paul's personal copies of the Old Testament books and the New Testament manuscripts.


In these closing verses, Paul brings Timothy up to date on the spiritual condition, activities, and whereabouts of certain men and women who either helped or harmed his ministry.


2 Timothy 4:9 "Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:"


"Thy diligence to come shortly unto me": Paul longed to see his beloved coworker, but it was imperative that Timothy make haste because Paul knew his days were numbered (verse 6).


Paul still wants to see Timothy one more time, before he departs this earth.


2 Timothy 4:10 "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia."


"Demas": He had been one of Paul's closest associates along with Luke and Epaphras (see notes on Col. 4:14; Philemon 24).


Loved this present world" (see notes on James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17).


"Departed": This Greek word means "to utterly abandon," with the idea of leaving someone in a dire situation. Demas was a fair-weather disciple who had never counted the cost of genuine commitment to Christ. His kind are described by our Lord (in Matt. 13:20-21; John 8:31; 1 John 2:1).


"Thessalonica": Demas may have considered this city a safe haven.


Crescens": In contrast to Demas, Crescens must have been faithful and dependable, since Paul sent him to Galatia, a Roman province in central Asia Minor, where Paul ministered on each of his 3 missionary journeys.


"Titus": Paul's closest friend and coworker next to Timothy (Titus 1:5).


"Dalmatia": Also known as Illyricum (Rom. 15:19), a Roman province on the east coast of the Adriatic Sea, just north of Macedonia.


In great time of stress, those weak in the faith will leave. It seems from this statement, that Demas feared for his own life and left the work he had been doing with Paul. We must remember that Nero was having many of the Christians killed at this time.


I do not believe that Titus or Crescens left for fear. Titus was probably sent to Dalmatia by Paul to minister. Little is known of Crescens.


2 Timothy 4:11 "Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry."


"Luke": The author of the Gospel of Luke and Acts, and Paul's devoted friend and personal physician, who could not carry the burden of ministry in Rome by himself.


"Take Mark, and bring him with thee": Evidently Mark lived somewhere along the route Timothy would take from Ephesus to Rome. The one who was the author of the Gospel of Mark (sometimes called John), cousin of Barnabas (Col. 4:10), and devoted fellow worker (Philemon 24), had once left Paul and Barnabas in shame (see notes on Acts 13:13; 15:36-39), but had become by this time a valued servant.


Luke (the physician), had been faithful to God and to helping Paul. He had been with Paul on many of his journeys and also, here in Rome. Luke, in the book of Acts, used "we" many times when speaking of Paul.


Mark had settled his differences with Paul and had apparently been ministering with Timothy. We know that Paul had accepted him back in the work, because he said he would be useful to him here.


2 Timothy 4:12 "And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus."


"Tychicus": Paul had either sent him to Ephesus earlier, or he was sending him there to deliver this second letter to Timothy, just as Tychicus had previously delivered Paul's letters to the churches at Ephesus (Eph. 6:21), Colossae (Col. 4:7), and possibly to Titus (Titus 3:12; see note on Col. 4:7).


"Ephesus": (see note on Rev. 2:1).


It seems all of these men had been ministering under the direction of Paul. It seems Tychicus had gone to Ephesus when Paul could not be there himself.


2 Timothy 4:13 "The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring [with thee], and the books, [but] especially the parchments."


"Cloak": A large, heavy wool garment that doubled as a coat and blanket in cold weather, which Paul would soon face (verse 21).


"Troas": A seaport of Phrygia, in Asia Minor.


"Carpus": An otherwise unknown acquaintance of Paul whose name means "fruit."


"The books", but especially the parchments": "Books" refers to papyrus scrolls, possibly Old Testament books. "Parchments" were vellum sheets made of treated animal hides, thus they were extremely expensive.


They may have been copies of letters he had written or blank sheets for writing other letters. That Paul did not have these already in his possession leads to the possible conclusion that he was arrested in Troas and had no opportunity to retrieve them.


Paul, being in prison, possibly needed the cloak for warmth. It seems that Paul had left these things, before he came back to Rome. It would be pure speculation to try to decide what these important parchments were.


2 Timothy 4:14 "Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:"


"Alexander the coppersmith": Probably not the same man whom Paul delivered to Satan along with Hymenaeus (1 Tim. 1:20), since Paul singles him out as the one who was a "coppersmith." This Alexander, however, may have been an idol maker (Acts 19:24).


"Did me much evil": Alexander opposed Paul's teaching and likely spread his own false doctrine. He may have been instrumental in Paul's arrest and may even have borne false witness against him (Acts 19:23).


The Lord reward him according to his works": Paul left vengeance in God's hands (Deut. 32:35; Rom. 12:19).


Paul was letting the Lord take vengeance on Alexander. Paul was truly following the Scripture. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.


2 Timothy 4:15 "Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words."


It appears this Alexander was an enemy of the gospel. This is just a warning to Timothy to be aware of his evil.



Verses 16-18: "No man stood with me, but all men forsook me" does not mean that no one cared for the apostle, but that in his final hours he realized that only "the Lord" stood with him. Despite his impending execution, Paul was convinced that the "Lord ... will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom."


2 Timothy 4:16 "At my first answer no man stood with me, but all [men] forsook me: [I pray God] that it may not be laid to their charge."


"First answer" or defense: The Greek word for "defense" give us the English words "apology" and "apologetics." It referred to a verbal defense used in a court of law. In the Roman legal system, an accused person received two hearings: the prima action, much like a contemporary arraignment, established the charge and determined it there was a need for a trial.


The secunda actio then established the accused's guilt or innocence. The defense Paul referred to was the prima actio.


"That it may not be laid to their charge": Like Stephen (Acts 7:60), and the Lord Himself (Luke 23:34).


Fear does strange things to very strong men. We learned about that when Peter denied Jesus. It seemed when Paul was accused, that no one stood up for him. Paul is saying, he did not hold that against them and hoped God would not charge them sorely for their fear, as well.


2 Timothy 4:17 "Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and [that] all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion."


"The Lord stood with me": The Lord fulfills His promise never to "leave or forsake" His children (Deut. 31:6, 8; Josh. 1:5; Heb. 13:5).


"Preaching ... fully known": As he had done in the past (Acts 26:2-29), Paul was able to proclaim the gospel before a Roman tribunal.


"All the Gentiles might hear": By proclaiming the gospel to such a cosmopolitan, pagan audience, Paul could say that he had reached all the Gentiles with the gospel. This was a fulfillment of his commission (Acts. 9:15-16; 26:15-18).


"Mouth of the lion" (Dan. 6:26-27). A common figure for mortal danger (Psalms 22:21; 35:17), and a common occurrence for Paul (Acts 14:19; 2 Cor. 4:8-12; 6:4-10; 11:23-27). Peter pictured Satan as a lion (in 1 Peter 5:8).


When we have Jesus, we are never completely alone. The world may abandon us, but He will never leave us, or forsake us. Paul knew the presence of the Lord was with him.


Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."


The Spirit of the living God within Paul strengthened him. Paul knew that his preaching had brought salvation to the Gentile.


He was not sorry he had served the Lord. He had been delivered over and over from the power of Satan. That old devil walks through the earth seeking for those he can devour. He could not devour Paul.


2 Timothy 4:18 "And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve [me] unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen."


"Shall deliver me from every evil work": On the basis of the Lord's present work, strengthening Paul and standing with him (verse 17), Paul had hope for the Lord's future work. He knew God would deliver him from all temptations and plots against him (2 Cor. 1:8-10).


"Preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom": Paul knew the completion of his own salvation was nearer than when he first believed (Rom. 13:11; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21).


Paul is not speaking of being saved from physical death here. He is saying that God will be with him and not let him fall. He is looking forward to his heavenly rewards. He knows he will live in the kingdom of God. When he begins to think of the wonders of heaven, he burst out into praise. To God be the glory forever and ever.


2 Timothy 4:19 "Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus."


"Prisca and Aquila": Paul first met these two faithful friends in Corinth after they fled Italy (see note on Acts 18:2). They ministered for some time in Ephesus (Acts 18:18-19), later returned to Rome for a period of time (Rom. 16:3), and had returned to Ephesus.


"The household of Onesiphorus" (see note on 1:16).


Priscilla is intended by Prisca here. Priscilla and Aquila had been faithful to the Lord's work. Paul had lived with them when they were all tentmakers together. Undoubtedly, Onesiphorus had been martyred here. His household indicates that he is no longer alive.


2 Timothy 4:20 "Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletus sick."


"Erastus": Probably the city treasurer of Corinth, who sent greetings through Paul to the church at Rome (see note on Rom. 16:23).


"Corinth": The leading city in Greece (see note on Acts 18:1).


"Trophimus": A native of Asia, specifically Ephesus, who had accompanied Paul from Greece to Troas (see note on Acts 20:4).


"Miletus": A city and seaport in the province of Lycia, located 30 miles south of Ephesus.


Paul is telling Timothy where all of the fellow workers are, as if Timothy will be overseeing them after Paul's death. Notice, that the ministers of the Word, even in that day, were sometimes sick in their bodies.


2 Timothy 4:21 "Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren."


"Before winter": In view of the coming season and the cold Roman jail cell, Paul needed the cloak for warmth. He would also have less opportunity to use the book and parchments as the duration of light grew shorter in winter.


"Eubulus ... Pudens ... Linus ... Claudia": The first 3 names are Latin, which could indicate they were from Italy and had been members in the church at Rome. "Claudia" was a believer and close friend of whom nothing else is known.


Paul undoubtedly was unaware of when the execution would take place. Winter storms would make it difficult to travel to Rome. Paul had experienced that on his first trip to Rome. These mentioned here, were Christians in Rome. They could have been also, workers in the church there, since they are mentioned separate from the brethren.


2 Timothy 4:22 "The Lord Jesus Christ [be] with thy spirit. Grace [be] with you. Amen."


"Grace be with you": This is the same benediction as in Paul's previous letter to Timothy (see note on 1 Tim. 6:21). The "you" is plural, which means it extended to the entire Ephesian congregation.


Even in the final words of this letter, we can see the love that Paul had for Timothy. Paul did not want Timothy to get down in his spirit. His prayer was for the strength for Timothy. Amen "so be it".


2 Timothy Chapter 4 Questions


  1. Who shall judge the quick and the dead?
  2. When shall they be judged?
  3. Who are the "quick"?
  4. What does the word "therefore" show us about this Scripture?
  5. What is "His kingdom"?
  6. What did he tell Timothy to preach?
  7. What other things did Paul tell Timothy to do pertaining to the ministry?
  8. What is meant by "being instant in season and out of season"?
  9. The time will come when they will not endure _________ ________.
  10. They will heap to themselves teachers, having _________ _______.
  11. What are some of the things sound doctrine teaches?
  12. What is the message most church goers want to hear?
  13. What are some of the things people tell you not to preach about, so you will not offend the members of the church?
  14. The sermon of itching ears appeals to the ______ of ____.
  15. What are some of the things not many want to hear?
  16. What do most church-goers want to hear?
  17. They shall turn away their ears from the ______.
  18. What is it saying when it says "fables"?
  19. In verse 5, Paul tells Timothy to do the work of an ________.
  20. What is laid up for Paul in heaven?
  21. What is Jesus called in verse 8?
  22. Why did Demas forsake Paul?
  23. Only ______ is with me.
  24. Who was the coppersmith that had done much evil to Paul?
  25. Who stood with Paul?
  26. Who is Prisca in verse 19?



Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to 2 Timothy Menu | Return to Bible Menu

###