Summary: To establish that Paul’s Final Assurances to Timothy were that he: fought a good fight, finished his course, and fulfilled the faith. Sadly, these three assurances are Paul’s final message to Timothy, his beloved son in Christ.
1. I Fought a Good Fight
2. I Finished My Course
3. I Fulfilled the Faith
1. In our lesson today we are going to be discussing the theme: "Paul's Final Assurances to Timothy." The apostle is now in a cold, wet and dark dungeon in Rome. He begins the chapter with a stirring charge to Timothy regarding his work in the ministry. He wrote: "I charge, thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine...But watch thou in all things...do the work of an evangelist...fulfill thy ministry," 2 Timothy 4:1-5. He then turns to his final words to him; regarding, his dedication and work in preaching the gospel of Christ.
2. First, we will describe his initial assurance, "I fought a good fight." He assured Timothy that he had fought an honorable and lawful fight; in presenting the message of Christ, and ran faithfully the "race set before him," Hebrews 12:1-2. To Corinth, he wrote, after mentioning how he had been made all things to all men, that he might, by all means, save some: "And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you. Know (you) not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so I fight; not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway," 1 Corinthians 9:23-27. Paul hazarded his life for Christ, the gospel and all men; that he might save some while keeping his own body in subjection, that he might not be a castaway.
3. Second, we will discuss his next assurance, "I finished my course." Here Paul speaks of his faithfulness to remain in the work of Christ, and finish the work he was called to do, as an apostle. To the Ephesian elders, he said: "And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God," Acts 20:22-24. Paul is now at the end of his ministry and faces the possibility of death at any time. He now desires to see Timothy again: and assure him that he has completed his work and charges him to: "Watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of his ministry," 2 Timothy 4:5. Truly, these are words that need to be preached to all ministers, leaderships, and memberships around the world.
4. Lastly, we will investigate his final assurance, "I fulfilled the faith." He wrote: "I kept the faith." He affirms that he abided in the teaching of Christ. He confirmed and defended the gospel of Christ. To the Philippians, he wrote: "I have you in my heart; since both in my bonds; and, in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace," Philippians 1:7. Paul had not wavered in his work for Christ, whether it brought joy or persecution. Timothy too was familiar with the apostles walk before them; and, be all the churches. This is why he wrote: "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight...I have finished my course...I have kept the faith," 2 Timothy 2:6-7. With this introduction, let's consider our first point.
BODY OF LESSON
I - I FOUGHT A GOOD FIGHT
A. Paul affirms. That he has fought an honorable and lawful fight; in presenting the message of Christ, and running the "race set before him." In the Hebrew Letter, he wrote: "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God," Hebrews 12:1-2. Notice: