Summary: An introduction to 2nd Timothy. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Background of the letter
Purpose of the letter
Introduction to the letter
Four influences on Timothy:
*1st Influence: His Family (VS 5)
*2nd Influence: The Apostle Paul (VS 3-4)
*3rd Influence: A Gift From God (VS 6)
*4th Influence: Timothy’s Dedication (VS 7)
Background of the letter:
• Second Timothy was probably written a year or so after the first letter to Timothy;
• The background events to this letter;
• Are not recorded for us in the New Testament;
• If you do a little bit of detective work;
• You can trace Paul’s travels from the references given in the New Testament letters.
• i.e. Titus chapter 1 verse 5: He visited Crete.
• i.e. 1 Timothy chapter 1 verses 3-4: He visited Ephesus.
• i.e. 1 Timothy chapter 1 verse 3: Macedonia
• It is also possible that he also Spain.
• So we get a glimpse from these references of where Paul went in his travels;
• What we do know is that the apostle Paul was rearrested,
• At the time when Nero had unleashed a wave of terrible persecution against Christians.
Note: This second imprisonment would be very different to his first.
• His first imprisonment was for two years he was under house arrest (Acts chapter 28);
• That means he had a measure of freedom;
• He was allowed to hold meetings in his home.
• And people could openly come and go whenever they wanted too.
• In his second imprisonment he is writing from a little circular Roman prison cell;
• About twenty feet in diameter.
• He is very limited in who he can see and what he can do!
• e.g. Chapter 1 verse 17 tells us he was imprisoned in such an out-of-the-way place;
• That Onesiphorus, a Christian friend,
• Had a great deal of difficulty in actually discovering where he was held.
• In his first imprisonment, we might say ‘there is light at the end of the tunnel’:
• Paul knew one day he would be free,
• One day he would fulfil his desire, his ambition;
• To stand before Caser and share his faith.
• In this second letter he knows his time on earth is up;
• Only Luke was with him and he longs to see Timothy again before he dies,
• So in chapter 4 verses 9: his request is ‘Come quickly’ – while there is still time.
• We are not told in the New Testament;
• But scholars agree that Paul was most likely beheaded under Nero in A.D. 64.
• Even though his circumstances are tough;
• Even though his death is imminent.
• There is no hint of self-pity in this letter;
• There is no hint of regrets in this letter;
• His last word is one of encouragement to all who follow after.
• For Paul the race is over – ahead is his reward.
• Note: the description he uses in chapter 1 verse 8: “His Prisoner”
• Paul was a prisoner of Jesus Christ and not ‘a prisoner of Rome’.
• ‘A prisoner of Rome’ might describe his geographical position & his actual state;
• But Paul always saw the bigger picture – his times were in God’s hands.
• And his suffering and imprisonment was part of his ministry & service for God!
Purpose of the letter:
• Timothy is no longer the leader at Ephesus;
• He would appear to be doing a more itinerant ministry.
• Paul’s concern in writing this letter was not for himself but for Timothy
• Paul encourages him to be faithful when others were compromising and even defecting.
• To go on declaring God’s message, come what may.
• In the three Pastoral Epistles’ (1 & 2 Timothy & Titus;
• The Greek word ‘Pistos’ (‘Faithful’) is used at least 17 times;
• The them runs through each chapter.
• i.e. Be faithful to the Word,
• i.e. Be faithful to your task,
• i.e. Be faithful to the people to whom you minister
• i.e. Remember that God is faithful.
The apostle Paul reminds Timothy & the Church:
• To be on their watch against false doctrine & false teachers;
• And to guard faithfully the truth entrusted to him.
• Dr. Sidlow Baxter in ‘Explore The Book’,
• Points out that the ‘Some’ mentioned in the 1st letter to Timothy;
• Have now become the ‘All’ (‘Everyone’) in the 2nd letter to Timothy.
• i.e. 1 Timothy chapter 1 verse 6:
• “Some have wandered away”
• i.e. 1 Timothy chapter 1 verse 19:
• “Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith”
• i.e. 1 Timothy chapter 5 verse 15: