Summary: Our text comes from the last letter Paul wrote from a Roman prison cell before his death. Paul realized that when his beloved Timothy recived word of his death --- Satan would use this to try to discourage this young minister. Paul writes to him and remin
PASSING THE TORCH OF FAITH
The book of II Timothy was the last known letter that the apostle Paul wrote from a Roman prison cell --- just before Nero had him beheaded for his belief in Jesus Christ and for the preaching of Jesus Christ and Jesus’ Teachings. Imagine being the recipient of this great man of God’s last letter!!!
The leaders of the early church did not have any material or monatary things to pass along but they were "Rich in Faith" and "Rich in Christ" and in those riches that were "Eternal", they had much to pass along. At the gate called "Beautiful" Peter told the cripled beggar asking for alms, "Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, give I thee..." In this letter to Timothy Paul is still GIVING away something more valuable than silver and gold. Paul shares with Timothy the spiritual riches that had been invested into him by people that "passed the torch of faith: along to him.
There was a young man that was very close to Paul. He was one of Paul’s earliest converts to Christ, his name was Timothy. Timothy accompained Paul on his 2nd and 3rd missionary journeys and latter on Paul left Timothy in Epshesus to oversee the church work there. There was a "Special Bond" that existed between Paul and Timothy. It reminds me of the relationship that existed between David and Johnathan in the Old Testament. They were "friends" and they were "brothers in Christ" but it went beyond that. Paul had never married and never had children, yet he felt that Timothy was "his son" and he refers to him here in our text as his "beloved son."
I believe that Paul’s purpose of this letter to Timothy was to prepare him for what was coming. Paul realized that soon his spiritual race would be over. Soon he would depart from this life and be with the Lord. We all know that when a faithful warrior as Paul dies and is taken into the presence of the Lord,-- that he is far better off than he has ever been. We know that in our hearts and minds but yet when we love that person so dearly, it still hurts to no longer have them with us. When word would reach Timothy that Paul had been beheaded --- Satan would use this tragic end of a great man of God --- to attempt to discourage Timothy. So this letter is Paul’s last effort to keep Timothy encouraged and to persuade him to continue serving Christ and fighting the good fight of faith.
We all need to make it our mission in life to love and to encourage one another. It is heart breaking to see so many people that once served Christ fervently, then allow the tragedies of life to discourage them and turn them in the opposite direction. Satan would love for every servant of God to "put his hand to the plow and then look back." Jesus said if we do that we are "not fit for the kingdom of God."
Paul Reminds Timothy Of All The Investments That Had Been Made In His Behalf:
In Verse #5 --- Paul reminded Timothy of the investments that his grandmother Lois, and his mother, Eunice had invested in him. Paul said that they had lived before him a life of "unfeinged faith" and that same faith was now also in Timothy. What wonderful patterns and examples that had been before Timothy.
In Verse #6 --- Paul reminded Timothy of how he himself had poured and invested into his life. He received the Holy Spirit as Paul laid hands on him and prayed. Paul even ordained him for the minstry by the laying on of hands. He reminds him of how he has "prayed for him day and night" always having him in his mind and thoughts.
In Verse #7 --- Paul reminds Timothy of how God had invested into him. When you hear of my death you remember what God has invested something within you. "For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love and of power and of a sound mind." In other words, "Don’t you let the news of my death discourage you. God has given you the power to rise above it and keep on proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. You are not a quitter, you are not a weakling,
there is the power of God abiding within you. Holy Ghost power --- dynamite power!!! "Praise God!"
The story is told of how that Alex Hailey, the author of Roots, kept in his office a picture of a frog sitting on a pole. Someone asked Mr. Hailey one day, "What does that picture mean?" He answered: "It is a constant reminder, that just as that frog on top of the pole, I did not get to where I am by myself. I had some help getting there." And that is exactly what Paul was reminding young Timothy. "Timothy, you are an outstanding young man of God. I am so proud of you. When Satan comes along and the thoughts of quitting, turning back, cross your mind, you remember that you did not get to where you are by yourself. You have had so much invested in you. Your grandmother’s life before God, your mother’s life before God, my life that I have lived before you, and the power that God has invested in you. So you "keep on keeping on." I passed the torch of faith on to you and you keep on passing the torch of faith on to as many people as you can."