"...prove all things; hold fast to that which is good..." 1TH 5:21

2 Timothy

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1:6 See comments on 1Ti 1:18

1:7 What is the "spirit of fear" Paul refers to here?

The spirit of fear here is best understood as referring to a disposition of the mind. In this context it means "fearfulness, cowardice, timidity, reticence" (CP Psa 55:5; Mt 8:26; Mk 4:40-41; Jn 14:27 with Rev 21:8). Power refers to all the spiritual resources God has given to believers in Christ to combat every adverse circumstance in life that they may encounter (CP 2Ti 1:8 with Mt 10:19-20; Ac 1:8; Eph 3:20; 6:10-18). Love is the agape love of God. This kind of love does not centre on self, but on pleasing God, and on the welfare of others. It is self-sacrificial love (CP 1Cor 13:1-7; 1Pe 1:22; 1Jn 3:16-18; 4:18). The "fear" referred to in 1 Jn 4:18 is not the same "fear" as in 2Ti 1:7 - this fear is the fear of not being saved - but the perfect "love" is the same. A sound mind is a self-disciplined, self-controlled mind - one capable of making sound judgements. It is the opposite of the fearful, cowardly, timid and reticent mind of 2Ti 1:7 that causes disorder and confusion (CP Ro 12:3; 1Ti 3:2; Tit 2:2).

It should be noted here that the "fearful" in Rev 21:8 are professing Christians whose fear of man overrides their loyalty to Christ and the truth of His word. Their personal feelings and status among men mean more to them than being faithful to Christ and witnessing to His saving grace. They claim to be Christians but they compromise God's word rather than proclaim it. There is no suggestion whatever that Timothy is included in this category. However, he was rather diffident toward his ministry, at one stage anyway, because Paul had to remind him of the need to give himself wholly to his ministry; to "stir up" the spiritual gift God had given him; to lay hold of eternal life, and to guard the gospel which God had entrusted to him (CP 1Ti 4:12-16; 5:21-22; 2Ti 1:6). There appeared to be an element of fear in Timothy's natural disposition because of his youthfulness, which obviously was prejudicial to his efficiency as the leader of the church at Ephesus (see also comments on 1Ti 1:18, 5:23, 6:14 and 6:20).

1:8-9 What do we learn from what Paul tells Timothy here?

We learn from this that before time began God saw ahead that man would fall from grace and that He would have to send a Saviour to save him. He predetermined a plan for man's salvation and the Saviour through whom it would be accomplished - the Lord Jesus Christ (CP Gen 3:15; Isa 7:14; 9:6-7; 49:1-8; 50:2-11; 52:13 - 53:12; Zech 13:6; Mt 1:18-25; Lu 1:68-75; 2:34; 20:17-18; Jn 1:29; Ac 2:22-23; 4:24-28; Ro 1:1-4; 8:28-30; 16:25-27; 1Cor 15:3; Ga 4:4-5; He 10:1-10; 1Pe 1:2, 18-23; Rev 13:8). While Jesus died for the sins of all mankind, only those who accept Him as their Saviour will be saved (CP Jn 3:16, 18, 36; Ro 3:21-26; 5:6-21; 10:8-10; Eph 2:1-8; Tit 3:4-8; 1Jn 2:2). See also comments on Mt 11:28-30, 13:10-11, 20:16, Jn 1:12-13, 3:14-15, 3:36, 6:37, 12:37-40, Ac 2:37-38, 3:22-23, 13:48, 28:23-29, Ro 1:16-17, 3:24-26(A), 8:28-30, 9:7, 9:10-13, 9:14-18, 9:19-21, 9:30-33, 10:12-13, 10:14-17, 11:2, 11:4, 11:7-10, Eph 1:3-6, 1:11-14, 2:8-10, 1Th 1:4, 2Ti 1:8-9, Tit 2:11, 1Pe 1:2, and author's study Salvation - A Free Will Choice or Predestinated? in his book Advanced Studies in the Christian Faith (Volume 1).

1:10 What does Paul mean here that Christ abolished death - Christians still die?

Abolished here means rendered idle, ineffective, inactive. Physical death still exists but it no longer holds any fear for Christians. Christ has rendered it ineffective (CP Jn 8:51; He 2:9-10, 14-15 with 1Cor 15:51-58). Physical death is simply the doorway to eternal life for Christians (CP Jn 3:16; 14:1-3; 1Ti 1:15-16; 1Jn 2:24-25; 3:14; 5:11-13, 20). See also comments on Jn 5:28-29, 14:1-3, 1Cor 15:51-58, 1 Th 4:13-18, 2Th 2:7, and author's study The Rapture in his book Foundational Truths of the Christian Faith.

1:12 What day is Paul referring to here?

That day Paul is referring to here is the Judgement Seat of Christ when every Christian's earthly works will be judged, the purpose of which is to determine rewards in heaven, or loss of them (CP V18; 4:8 with Ro 14:10-12; 1Cor 3:11-15; 2 Cor 5:10; 1Pe 1:5). This will not affect our salvation - it will simply determine our position in heaven (see also comments on Ro 14:10-12 and 1Cor 3:12-15 and author's study Coming Judgements of God in his book Advanced Studies in the Christian Faith (Volume 1)).

1:13-14 See comments on 1Ti 6:20
1:18 See comments on 2Ti 1:12

2:1-6 What does Paul mean by what he says here?

Paul is admonishing Timothy here - and by extension, every Christian - to overcome his apparent diffidence toward his ministry and renew his commitment to it. He is to teach others all that he has seen and heard Paul do in his ministry. Teaching others God's word is incumbent upon all Christians. This is the foundational requirement of discipleship commanded by Jesus (CP Mt 28:18-20; Lu 9:59-60; Ac 10:42; Ro 1:14-15; 1Cor 9:16). See also comments on Mt 8:18-22, 28:18-20(A); Jn 15:16; Ro 1:13).

Paul likens Christians to soldiers, athletes and farmers. Like soldiers called to endure the hardships of war, Christians must be prepared to endure hardships for the cause of the gospel (CP 2Ti 2:3, 9-12 and 1Ti 1:18 with Php 1:29-30; 2Ti 1:8; 3:12; 4:5). As soldiers prepared for war are no longer involved in normal civilian life, so too Christians must not get involved in worldly pursuits (CP 2 Ti 2:4 with 1Cor 9:25-27; Jas 4:4; 1Jn 2:15-17). A Christian's commitment to the service of God is also likened to an athlete's commitment to sport. Like an athlete, the Christian must be willing to sacrifice and live a life of strict discipline (CP 2 Ti 2:5 with 1 Cor 9:24-27; Php 2:16; 3:13-16). Finally, like farmers who labour to the point of exhaustion for a bountiful harvest, so too Christians must labour intensely for a spiritual harvest - they cannot be lazy or indolent (CP 2Ti 2:6 with 1Cor 3:9; 15:10; Col 1:28-29). See also author's studies The Christian Calling - Winning Souls to Christ in his book Foundational Truths of the Christian Faith and Redeeming the Time - Winning Souls to Christ in his book Advanced Studies in the Christian Faith (Volume 2).

2:10 Who are the "elect" Paul refers to here?

The elect Paul refers to here are believers in Christ, chosen unto salvation (CP Mt 24:22, 24, 31 (also Mk 13:20, 22, 27); Lu 18:7; Ro 8:33; Col 3:12; Tit 1:1; 1 Pe 1:1-2). Believers are also called the election in scripture (CP Ro 11:5, 7, 28). See also comments on Ro 8:33.

2:11-13 How are we to understand what Paul says here?

What Paul is saying in effect here is that, in view of the fact that Christians have put their faith in Christ for their salvation, they have died with Him (to their old sinful nature), and been spiritually resurrected from the dead (in their trespasses and sins). They will live by means of Him, now and throughout eternity (CP Ro 6:1-14; 2Cor 5:14-15). If Christians suffer for the gospel, they have the assurance that they will rule and reign with Christ in His eternal kingdom (CP Ro 8:17-18; 2Ti 3:12). If Christians deny Christ, He will also deny them (CP Mt 10:33; Mk 8:38). If Christians are untrue to Christ and fall away from the faith, they will bring damnation upon themselves, for Christ must remain faithful to His own character as revealed in His word (CP He 6:4-8; 10:23-30; 2 Pe 2:20-22). See also comments on Ro 6:1, 6:3-5, 6:6-11, 6:12-14, 8:17, 2Cor 5:11-15, Eph 2:5, He 6:4-6, 2Pe 2:20-22.

2:18 What resurrection is referred to here?

Paul is referring to the first resurrection here, of which the rapture of the church forms part. This is when Jesus comes back to take all the saints of God, Old Testament and New Testament alike, both living and dead, back to heaven with Him at the end of this present age (CP Jn 14:1-3; 1Cor 15:51-58; 1Th 4:13-18). See also comments on Lu 21:36, Jn 5:28-29, 14:1-3, 1Cor 15:51-58, Php 3:20-21, 1Th 4:13-18, 5:1-11, 2Th 2:1-3, 2:6-8, Rev 1:19, 3:7-13, and author's study The Rapture in his book Foundational Truths of the Christian Faith.

2:19-21 How are we to understand what Paul says here?

V19 teaches that the truth of God's word is a sure foundation regardless of how many in the church have taught error and shipwrecked their faith, as well as cause others to abandon theirs (CP V17-18; 1Ti 1:19-20). Paul uses the word vessels metaphorically of the visible church in 2Ti 2:20-21. Not all are sincere Christians "... vessels to honour". Many are false Christians "... vessels to dishonour". God knows those who are His. They turn away from iniquity and false teaching (CP Jn 10:14; 1Cor 8:3 with 1 Ti 6:3-5, 11). See also comments on Ro 9:22-24.

2:26 What exactly does Paul mean here?

We learn from this that Christians must not quarrel with those who have wandered out of the way of God's truth. Christians must be patient, and gently instruct them in the ways of God in the hope that God will give them the opportunity to repent and escape the snare of the devil, who has taken them captive, so that they then can do God's will (CP V24-26).

3:1 What are the last days Paul refers to here?

The last days here refers to the close of the present age - the period of time just before the second coming of Christ (CP Jas 5:1-3; 1Pe 1:3-5; 2Pe 3:3-4; Jude 17-18). 2 Ti 3:1 is not to be confused with 1 Ti 4:1 which covers the whole period of time from Paul's day until Christ's second coming (CP 1Ti 4:1). Many Christians believe that Paul is referring in 1Ti 4:1 to the so-called "great apostasy" by the church at the end of the church age. But that is not correct. The latter times refers to the entire period of time from Paul's time onward until Christ comes again to take all the saints of God back to heaven with Him (CP Jn 14:1-3; 1Cor 15:51-58; 1 Thes 4:13-18). See comments on 1Ti 4:1.

3:8 Who were Jannes and Jambres? Although their names were not mentioned in the Old Testament, it is generally agreed among bible scholars that Jannes and Jambres were the two magicians who opposed Moses and Aaron in Pharaoh's court. They tried to duplicate the miracles God wrought through Moses and Aaron, until God brought them to nought. Paul was speaking of the false and morally dangerous teachers as opposed to the truth in Ephesus, as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses (CP V1-9 with Ex 7:8-22; 8:16-19).

3:16-17 What do we learn from what Paul says here?

All scripture refers to the whole body of truth - Old Testament and New Testament together. It is God's revealed will for fallen man, and is the only infallible witness to God's plan of salvation. There is no light beyond the revelation of God in scripture - we cannot look beyond scripture for new revelation or new spiritual experiences, as some do to their peril (CP Isa 8:19-20; Mt 7:15-20; 24:4-5, 11, 23-26 with Lu 16:19-31). Lu 16:19-31 confirms the teaching that there is no light beyond the revelation of God in scripture. Nothing supernatural or miraculous can have any effect on anyone's lifestyle if the word of God is not believed and obeyed. The rich man thought that if someone came back from the dead to warn his brothers of their impending doom that it would appeal to their consciences to alter their lifestyles, and so be saved. But nothing could save them, even if someone came back from the dead, if they did not believe and obey God's word, which they already had.

Peter also confirms that there is no light beyond God's revelation of Himself in scripture (CP 2Pe 1:16-21). Here Peter shows us the relative importance of signs and wonders compared to the testimony of God's word by comparing his own experience with Jesus on the mount of transfiguration, to the abiding prophetic word of scripture. He teaches that the testimony of scripture is a surer confirmation of God's truth concerning Jesus than even the supernatural events of Jesus' transfiguration, to which he was an eyewitness. Peter is not detracting from the events of the transfiguration, but he wants believers to see that no supernatural experience holds greater authority than the established word of God. Every teaching in the church must be judged in the light of scripture (CP Ac 17:10-11; 1Cor 14:29; 1Th 5:21; 1Jn 4:1; Rev 2:1-3). Scripture cannot be added to or taken away from (CP De 4:2; Pr 30:6; Jn 10:35; Ga 1:6-9; Rev 22:19).

Doctrine in 2Ti 3:16 refers to the wealth of teaching which scripture provides. All teachings necessary for life and Godliness are provided in scripture (CP Psa 119:97-105; Col 3:16; 2Pe 1:2-3; 1Jn 2:24). Reproof is conviction. It means to rebuke with the truth so as to bring the one rebuked at least to a conviction of their sin (CP Job 13:6; 23:4; Hos 5:9). Correction means bringing to an upright or right state, setting up straight again, correction or improvement of life and character. 2Ti 3:16 is the only place in the New Testament where this word is used (CP Psa 119:9-12; Pr 3:11-12; 15:9-12; Jn 15:1-2). Instruction refers to training and education. It relates to the cultivation of mind and morals - chastening and chastisement, discipline. It does not relate to punishment, as so many Christians believe (CP Psa 2:10; Pr 6:20-23; 19:18; 29:17; 1Cor 11:32; He 12:6-7, 10; Rev 3:19). Perfect means completely qualified, one in whom all the parts are complete or whole and what they are supposed to be, so that they might serve their destined purpose (CP 1Cor 14:20; Eph 4:11-13; Col 1:28; 2:1-2, 10; He 5:14). Thoroughly furnished means being fully equipped for God's service. God's word equips one with the necessary skills and tools to be capable of performing every good work (CP 2Ti 2:20-21; He 13:20-21).

The entire process of sanctification is outlined here. First of all, scripture is presented as doctrine, instruction, authoritative teaching, i.e. truth. Secondly, as truth it is ethically persuasive - proof, correction - convincing us of any sin in our life. Thirdly, it then places us in a correct moral posture, and fourthly, it continues to provide chastening, discipline and training in righteousness. (See also author's studies Psalm 119 - A Study on Salvation by the Word of God in his book Advanced Studies in the Christian Faith (Volume 1) and Regeneration and Sanctification Defined in his book Advanced Studies in the Christian Faith (Volume 2)).

4:1-2 How are we to understand what Paul says here?

The word charge in V1 is a summary command that has to be obeyed (CP Ac 10:42; 1Ti 5:21). Preach is from the Greek word kerusso, which means to proclaim or herald in an authoritative manner which must be listened to (CP Mt 3:1-2; 1Pe 3:19). Word refers to the whole body of scriptural truth (CP Ga 6:6; 1Th 1:6). In the Greek construction of 2Ti 4:1-2 Paul commands Timothy, and by extension every Christian, to preach God's word with dignity and authority which will command the respect, careful attention and affirmative response of the listeners. There is no place for flippancy or jocularity when preaching God's word (CP Tit 2:7-8). We are to be in a constant state of readiness to preach God's word - whether we feel like it or not, and whether the time is opportune or not. We are to use careful biblical argument for correcting any error in the lives of our listeners (CP 1Ti 4:13; 5:20; Tit 1:13; 2:15). See also comments on Tit 2:7-8.

4:6-8 What is Paul saying here?

Paul is speaking of his impending death here - he would soon be martyred. God's purpose for his life had now been fulfilled and his death would be his final sacrificial offering of himself to God (CP Ac 9:15-16; 2Cor 1:8-9; 4:10-12; Php 1:20-21; 2:16-17; 3:7-11). In 2Ti 4:6-8 Paul saw his life as complete - he had been able to accomplish all that the Lord had called him to do and now he was ready to die (CP V7-8 with 1Cor 9:24-25; Php 3:13-14). Every true Christian will receive a crown of righteousness, which is also called a crown of life and a crown of glory in scripture (CP Jas 1:12 and Rev 2:10 with 1Pe 5:4). These are not three different crowns as many Christians believe, but three facets of the same thing. The word crown is used figuratively as a symbol of the reward of eternal life (CP 1Cor 9:25; Rev 3:11). At that day refers to the time of Jesus' coming again to take all the saints of God back to heaven with Him at the first resurrection (CP Jn 5:29; 14:1-3; 1Cor 15:51-58; 1Th 4:8-13). See also author's study Paul the Apostle - A Chosen Vessel unto God in his book Advanced Studies in the Christian Faith (Volume 2).

4:10 What does it mean that Demas had forsaken Paul having loved this present world?

Forsaken means to abandon, desert, leave in the lurch, let one down. This teaches that when Paul needed him the most, Demas left him in the lurch and went back into the world. Until then Demas had been one of Paul's most dependable and trusted co-workers in the gospel (CP Col 4:14; Phm 1:24). See also comments on Col 4:14.

Paul wrote 2Timothy from Rome where he was in prison for the second time. When his preliminary hearing came before the court Paul had no one to stand up for him - everyone had forsaken him but the Lord, who saved him so that he could proclaim the gospel before the tribunal that was trying him (CP 2Ti 4:16-18). The phrase delivered out of the mouth of the lion in V17 is qualified for us in V18. It means being delivered from every evil work and being preserved for God's heavenly kingdom (CP Psa 121:7; 2Cor 1:8-10; 2 Pe 2:9). See also author's study Paul the Apostle - A Chosen Vessel unto God in his book Advanced Studies in the Christian Faith (Volume 2).

4:20 See comments on Php 2:25-30

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