The Apostle Paul: Pastoral Epistles: 2 Timothy. Part 2.

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:1–5 (ESV)

What are the theological themes contained in 2 Timothy? It may be that the Apostle Paul 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 (cf. 2:2).

While there are no historical indications anywhere in the New Testament as to why Paul was so concerned, there is evidence in the epistle itself from what he wrote. Paul’s concern is evident when he wrote “fan into flame” Timothy’s 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 be willing to suffer for the gospel (1:8); and to hold on to the truth (1:13–14).

Dr. John MacArthur writes, “Summing up the potential problem 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 strengthened” (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.”

Because Timothy was well schooled in Paul’s theology, the apostle did not instruct him further doctrinally. However, Paul did refer to several important doctrines. These included salvation by God’s sovereign grace (1:9–10; 2:10), the person of Christ (2:8; 4:1, 8), and perseverance in the faith (2:11–13). Additionally, Paul wrote the crucial text of the NT on the inspiration of Scripture (3:16–17).

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Soli deo Gloria!

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