I, II Timothy & Titus – The Good Fight of Faith
Key Verse: II Tim 2:15
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
II Timothy is a letter of farewell exhortation. It is farewell from the apostle, primarily for Timothy, though he is expecting to see Timothy again but also for all of the Pauline churches.
The epistle contains warnings against false teaching similar to those which appear in I Timothy and Titus. The characteristic feature of the letter is to be found in the references to the apostle’s own life. Even the warnings and admonitions are brought into relation to these.
Paul was in his second imprisonment in Rome. Unlike the first imprisonment, this time it seems to be little hope of his release. Now he was not given the freedom and comfort of his own hired house. He feels oppressed with a sense of loneliness, only Luke was with him unlike in his first imprisonment many friends visited him.
He was in chain and treated as a criminal.
After a year or two of freedom, Paul was arrested again and executed under Emperor Nero.
The first imprisonment he was accused by Jews of heresy and sedition.
This time he was persecuted by Rome and arrested as a criminal against the Empire.
- Paul knew his days on earth were drawing near. Paul wrote this letter is to pass the torch to the new generation of church leaders so that the true teaching may continue. Also to give final instruction and encouragement to Timothy who pastor the church at Ephesus. Paul urged Timothy to be steadfast in fulfillment of his appointed task on earth. Paul was virtually alone in prison and this time only Luke was with him unlike in his first imprisonment many friends visited him.
c. To Whom Written
- Timothy and all Christians. This is the most intimate and moving of all Paul’s letters, and his last.
d. Date Written
- About AD 66 or 67 from prison in Rome.
e. Key Place
- Rome, Ephesus
f. Special Features
- This was Paul last letter, it reveals his heart and his priorities:
– Sound doctrine, warning against false teaching.
– Steadfast faith.
– Confident endurance.
– Enduring love1st century.
The Epistle may be divided as follows:-
- Paul’s charge to Timothy (Chp 1:3-18).
A plea to Timothy to be bold, diligent and discharge of his work faithfully.
- The faith of an Approved Servant in a Day of Apostasy (Chp 2).
Paul encouraged Timothy in his work. He must lodge the gospel as a truth in his hand. He must train up others to succeed him in his ministry of the gospel.
Paul drew 3 pictures of the Christian life. One must discipline himself and willingly to sacrifice to achieve the result he wants:
a) Soldier – All Christian especially ministers are soldier of Jesus Christ.
(2:3 Like a good soldier of Jesus Christ, they must approve themselves good soldiers, faithful to their captain. Timothy must aim to please his commanding officer. The great care of a Christian should be to please Christ. He must also endure hardness,
b) Athlete – Like an athlete, we must train hard and keep to the rules of the race; and
c) Farmer – Like a farmer, we must work extremely hard and patient before we can expect to enjoy a harvest from all the efforts that has put in. The farmer ploughs and sows in expectation of the harvest. So Paul encourages Timothy to look for the harvest which will result from all his work in Christ’s service. To do His will before we receive His promises.
- The Apostasy Predicted: the Christian’s resource – The Scriptures (Chp 3)
– Apostle forewarns Timothy what the last days will be. It speaks of the impact of false teachers.
– Paul encourages Timothy to continue in the good things he had learned.
- A faithful servant and his faithful Lord (Chp 4)
– Paul presses Timothy to be diligent of his work as an evangelist.
The letters have taken deep hold of every generation in the history of the Church. The fitting end of a life of true service, the calm facing of death, the certainty of heavenly communion with the Lord – these are the things above all others that have been learned from the last of the epistles of Paul..