Summary: Christianity is sufficient for both life and death.
1. MacDonald, “The last words of famous people are generally cherished by those who loved the individual…Sitting in the dark dungeon in Rome, was only a hole in the ceiling for light, and awaiting execution by beheading…The now aged and worn out from his long and arduous race for God, pens a final appeal to hold firmly to the truth and life that Timothy has been taught.”
2. It seems to me that Paul reveals that he had everything he needed to face both life and death.
3. The Sufficiency of Christianity.
2 Timothy 1:1-2 (NKJV)
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
2 To Timothy, a beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
I. First, he had a Labor to do.
A. The Author of this book. [2 Tim. 3:16-17]
Paul - PAUL
at Stephen's murder—Acts 7:58
qualified to tell Jews about Jesus—Acts 7:58
how Jesus broke into his life—Acts 9:2-5
shown Christian love by Ananias—Acts 9:17
shared his new faith with others—Acts 9:20
escaped from Damascus—Acts 9:23
had to change his reputation—Acts 9:26-27
why he returned to Tarsus—Acts 9:30
made Antioch his home base—Acts 11:22
began first missionary journey—Acts 13:2-3(2)
mistaken as a god—Acts 14:11-12
disagreement with Barnabas—Acts 15:36-39
began second missionary journey—Acts 15:40
praised God despite his circumstances—Acts 16:22-25
religious leaders jealous of—Acts 17:5
presented Good News to Greek philosophers—Acts 17:22
a tentmaker—Acts 18:2-3
unjustly charged with treason—Acts 18:13
began third missionary journey—Acts 18:22
wanted to go to Rome—Acts 19:21
took gift to impoverished Jerusalem church—Acts 20:4
young boy saved his life—Acts 23:16-22
sent to Caesarea—Acts 23:23-24
more false accusations against—Acts 24:1
appealed to Caesar—Acts 25:10-11
what he did while imprisoned in Rome—Acts 28:30
tradition says he took fourth missionary journey—Acts 28:30(2)
compared himself to Apollos—1 Cor 3:6
wanted to be thought of as a servant—1 Cor 4:1-2
authority as an apostle—1 Cor 9:1
searched for Titus—2 Cor 2:13
his thorn in the flesh—2 Cor 12:7-8
spent many years preparing for ministry—Gal 2:1(3)
confronted Peter—Gal 2:11ff
imprisoned twice in Rome—Phil 1:19-21
why he had persecuted the church—Phil 3:6
his writings contrasted with Peter's—2 Pet 3:15-18
Life Application Study Bible.
B. The Authority of Paul.
An apostle – mentioned for the benefit of the false teachers.
From the very preface we already perceive that Paul had not in view Timothy alone; other wise he would not have employed such lofty titles in asserting his apostleship; for what purpose would it have served to employ these ornaments of language in writing to one who was fully convinced of the fact? Calvin's Commentaries.
C. The Ability of Paul.
Apostle was a spiritual gift – “a God-given ability for service in the body of Christ.”
In a general sense the word means one who is sent (as used of Epaphroditus in Phil. 2:25). But the technical sense of apostleship refers to the Twelve and possibly a few others like Paul and Barnabas (Acts 14:14). The gift was given for the founding of the church and was accredited by special signs (2 Cor. 12:12; Eph. 2:20). This is not a gift that God gives today. Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical Truth.
The gift gave Paul a cause in life, his life’s labor was that of planting and nurturing local churches. We all have a labor to do in relationship with the local church. That work will be defined by our spiritual gifts. 1 Pet. 4:10/1 Cor. 7:7
Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, likely has the gift of helps or serving. When he left the White House in 1981, he began working with Habitat for Humanity. In the New Yorker he said:
“When Rosalynn and I left the White House, we decided since I was one of the youngest survivors of the office and we had a lot of years ahead of us, and I was deeply interested in human rights, and I didn’t want to just build a library and go back to farming – we would do things that others wouldn’t or couldn’t do. To me, this is part of my duty as a human being. It is part of my duty to capitalize on my reputation and fame and influence as a former President of a great nation. And it’s exciting. It’s unpredictable. It’s gratifying, it’s adventurous. I just enjoy it.”
Jimmy Cater is a Christian who has served many years in a local church as a Sunday School teacher.
Whether a former president or a teenager working at McDonald, all Christians have a special duty, a labor, a calling. Without a cause, a labor, life becomes meaningless and void. But thankfully every Christian has a project, a duty suited for them. While our nation has a high unemployment rate these days, no Christian is ever unemployed but has a wonderful labor to do.