The postscript of this epistle informs the reader of today that it was written from Rome as Paul was preparing for his second appearance before Nero, circa 64AD. He was now an elderly man for that age, having been born in Tarsus in around 6AD. He had lived an event-filled life. From the tenor of the letter he is lonely and realizes the stark reality that he is facing death.
The details of his death are not known for certain, but if tradition means anything he was beheaded by Nero following the great fire of Rome, which Nero blamed on the Christians, of whom Paul was chief.
His general thesis in this epistle is that Timothy “stir up the gift of God which is in thee,” presumably by the laying on of hands. The “gift” would therefore be one or more gifts of the Spirit which at that time was prevalent among the Disciples of Christ. The gifts were extremely helpful in supporting the disciples’ teachings of the principles of salvation, serving as “proof” or certification of their teachings prior to the production of the written works of the New Covenant – the New Testament.
There is evidence that Timothy was deeply spiritual, and diligent in his work with the Gentiles, but was perceived by Paul as being perhaps a bit weak in his fervor. Paul encourages Timothy to come alive in spiritual things, and build the fires of ardor and enthusiasm in his associates, because the ominous trouble of those times was bearing heavily on the congregations; Timothy was their foundation stone being built upon the Rock of Christ.
2Ti 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
2Ti 1:2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Just as Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ by the expressed will of God, so was Timothy in his subordinate position – as bishop of Ephesus. Both were anointed of Christ to His work. In shoring up the faith of Timothy, Paul makes reference to his own course of service as encouraging support for his son in the faith.
The apostle first acknowledges his consistent dependence upon intercessory prayer, reminding Timothy that he prays night and day for his spiritual welfare. His reference to Timothy’s “tears” indicates some unknown degree of stress upon the younger man at this time in history. These loving words by Paul will surely lend much support to Timothy in his perilous circumstances.
Guard the Deposit Entrusted to You
2Ti 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
2Ti 1:4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
2Ti 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
This is perhaps the only indication of any kind as to Timothy’s family background, but it becomes immediately apparent that Paul admired and loved both Timothy’s grandmother and mother – both devoutly faithful in their lives – for the same ardor of faith now resident in Timothy.
2Ti 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
The Spirit gifts went much further than power to effect healing of diseases, or raising of the dead, or resisting disease and injury as demonstrated in the episode when Paul shook off the viper that came out of the fire and bit him(Acts 28:3). All such divinely conferred abilities were not indicated for self-protection or self-aggrandizement but for testimony as to the overriding will of God in every challenge.
2Ti 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony (the evidence, or witness; all the Spirit gifts served as that witness) of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner (the play on words by Paul cannot be overstressed as his imprisonment was directly for the sake of Christ both spiritually and carnally): but be thou partaker of the afflictions (the Greek word means suffering hardship) of the gospel according to the power of God;
2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us (hath preserved us, or made us whole), and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (the literal meaning of aioneos, means everlasting; their calling and election had long been destined as realized in the foreknowledge of the Almighty),
Ever the preacher of salvational fundamental truth, the apostle here almost automatically defines the reason for their common calling (which Timothy well understands) as being to Christ’s own purpose and by His grace, entirely separate from any volition or “works” on their own parts.
2Ti 1:10 But is now made manifest (clearly illustrated) by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
Just as Jesus, as Savior, had appeared among them and by His faith had abolished death, revealing the pathway to immortality through His Gospel; so had Paul and Timothy taken up the mantle of His message and gone forward in the same spirit of service.
The hierarchy of this arrangement is clearly apparent, and is the fabric of strength and giver of immovable faith to both men. This arrangement had certified Paul as preacher, apostle, and teacher of the Gentiles; it had certified Timothy as preacher, bishop, and teacher of the Gentiles as well.
2Ti 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
Because this arrangement is of the LORD, Paul in enabled to endure the suffering which he now faces. The apostle’s confidence is entrenched deeply therefore in the giver of these gifts, realized indelibly in his very soul as being of eternal benefit in the last day.
2Ti 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
Paul’s conscience is clear in all matters of the soundness of his own faith; he has long made it his priority to live his life as a good example of the faith and love that he preaches.
2Ti 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me (the original Greek word connotes more than just the auditory sense (hearing) but includes other senses as well, such as the ocular sense (seeing); he was adept at being a living example of the principles that he taught), in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 1:14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
Our conviction is that the apostle’s meaning of his next words is not as dire as it may sound – that not EVERY follower in Asia (Minor) had turned away. But many had, led apparently by Phygellus and Hermogenes.
Their defection may have been such. Perhaps, on the surface of things they disassociated themselves from Paul fearing the Roman authorities which were closing in on the Believers of that day much in the same way that the Apostle Peter denied Christ before Caiphus the high priest. This may not have been a wholesale denial of the Gospel; yet it was a serious matter and their faithlessness would follow them even to this day.
2Ti 1:15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
On the other hand, others were faithful and constant supporters of Paul, such as Onesiphorous, who had apparently sought out Paul in Rome and ministered to him in the face of the clear and present danger of doing so. He is mentioned again in chapter 4: 19 in a favorable light. His ministrations were greatly appreciated by the prisoner of Rome, whose closing prayer asks that on the basis of this comforting of Paul alone that he be treated mercifully in the last day (at the Judgment). Likewise the apostle remembers the heartfelt kindness of Onesiphorous as he visited Ephesus much earlier in his career.
2Ti 1:16 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
2Ti 1:17 But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.
2Ti 1:18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.
<HEL> II Timothy Chapter One. June 4, 2021
A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus
2Ti 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
Paul invokes the inevitable chain of responsibility for their overall missionary obligations in rehearsing the in-built principle of one being taught becoming a teacher of others...
The concept is not unlike a military career. The life of a soldier is always austere and difficult – fraught with danger even in time of peace, but especially in warfare. Possessions and privileges are extremely limited. A soldier is often under the management of hard taskmasters – nearly impossible to please.
2Ti 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
2Ti 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
First, Paul references the soldier of Christ.
Life itself is a battleground. Every commissioned officer in the LORD’s army must take the field repeatedly, and do battle with the ungodliness of this world.
Paul reminds Timothy that discipline, and concentration upon the tactics of such battles is paramount in our common struggle.
To allow these principles to lapse in favor of involvement with the world is unacceptable with our General Officer who has organized and trained the army to which we belong. Every soldier must remember that he or she has not “joined” God’s army, but that he or she has been RECRUITED by Him.
As with every military person, satisfactory service to one’s higher officers is the order of the day.
2Ti 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
Now the apostle compares the Believer to an athlete.
2Ti 2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries (Greek: athleo, as an athlete; to compete in the public lists), yet is he not crowned (with a stephan of laurel leaves, indicating victory), except he strive lawfully.
Thirdly, the apostle refers to our profession as an agriculturist, whose privilege is to be first partaker of the fruits of the field which he cultivates.
2Ti 2:6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
2Ti 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
As bishop of Ephesus, Timothy’s maturity should always be evident to his acolytes. Mature judgment and pervasive understanding of all their stresses and diversions was necessary so that together they might reach a satisfactory outworking of all their challenges.
2Ti 2:8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
Paul seems to be saying, Yes, we have our daily troubles – the usual intellectual and spiritual hurdles – but the advantage that he and Timothy will share is the same as enjoyed by the Lord Jesus who died in the midst of His own undertaking ... but was also raised from the dead as a result of His faithfulness and persistence in the things of the spirit.
The apostle sees himself in a parallel career as that of the LORD – deemed an “evildoer” and charged with a crime just as was his Mentor Jesus, all to the upholding and the promotion of righteousness.
Although Paul is bound in physical bonds, the word and will of God is not.
2Ti 2:9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
That realization gives him the impetus to go forward in faith, leading the elect through the treacherous minefield planted by every critic and detractor of the Gospel – showing the way forward not only by words but by deeds, leading to the salvation of those who are guided by the discipline of the Gospel as observed in the apostle.
2Ti 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
The allusion to being “dead” with Him is a reference to having submitted to baptism – the symbol of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ as the Way appointed for His followers. That sequence is the prescribed pathway to life in the future day with Him.
2Ti 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
Godliness means a life lived with some inconveniences to the flesh and its desires. Such a life means that the flesh “suffers” not having its way in our lives – but it also assures a future time of promised authority and power over unrighteousness in the Kingdom age.
To follow the opposite path of denial of His convictions in our lives will lead to His denial of us – and oblivion...
The result of being an unbeliever is to deny Him; but He shall persevere and hold to the course of fairness and equity that He has established for the elevation and exoneration of His name.
2Ti 2:12 If we suffer (to have trials, but to persevere), we shall also reign (be a co-regent) with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
2Ti 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
A Worker Approved by God
On the basis of these realities, all the opposers need to be reminded to be sober. Be mature. Be realistic. Be honest in all things. Even conceding minor points of difference on such principles as the finite meaning of certain words or phrases, excessive discussion of which is a major disruptor of the spiritual climate that every Believer needs and deserves – a private life free of such inane distractions which are of little value.
2Ti 2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
Paul’s next admonition is often misappropriated in our opinion.
The word “study” does not mean primarily to pore over books in order to gain knowledge, but rather to be diligent in a project – substantiating one’s provability (veracity) before God ... upright in conduct and demeanor ... an unabashed workman who rightly and responsibly handles the precious truth of God.
2Ti 2:15 Study (be diligent) to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (dissecting, and expounding) the word of truth.
The opposite course of conduct brings about opposite results in the finality...
2Ti 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
2Ti 2:17 And their word will eat as doth a canker (a gangrenous ulcer): of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
Of Philetus, we only know by these words that he was an opposer of Paul. But Hymenaeus is named in I Timothy 1:20 as a blasphemer. These were likened to a gangrenous ulcer, which can result in fatality if not expertly treated (handled). In his next phrases Paul makes known the precise error which was being expounded by these two disruptors: they taught that the resurrection is an accomplished fact, not to be regarded as a future event ... a corruption that was believed by some in the congregation to the hurt of all. It is remarkable that seemingly “small” crochets can lead to such catastrophic results!
2Ti 2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
The principle upon which all must rely is that the foundation that the Almighty has laid is a rock-solid one which will “stand” in the face of assault and challenge. Far above man’s ability, our LORD knows far in advance those who “are His – always those who flee from iniquity.
2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal (stamp of genuineness), The Lord knoweth them that are his (His own). And, Let every one that nameth (professes) the name of Christ depart from iniquity (or moral wrongfulness).
The apostle’s comments now speak to the varying quality of the functional apparatus of a “great house” by which he infers the Ecclesia of Christ – the household of faith. In such an house there are vessels of high value devoted to elegant uses, but others relegated to ignoble uses – common pottage of little inherent worth devoted to menial functions.
2Ti 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonor (comparative indignity of function).
As servants of God, we may be likened to such vessels; but in human terms one may by details of preparation improve his identity and level of utility in the service of the household.
2Ti 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these (disavow them, and not practice dishonorable identity), he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified (purified, or venerated), and meet (appropriate) for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
2Ti 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts (concupiscence): but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
2Ti 2:23 But foolish and unlearned (figuratively stupid) questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
2Ti 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive (i.e., quarrel, or dispute); but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
The apostle’s phraseology in his next words illustrates the concept of self-opposition: a condition in which the subject acts in ways that are hurtful to his own status, degrading himself in a meaningful way.
2Ti 2:25 In meekness (in gentle humility) instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
2Ti 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil (diabolos, a traducer – meaning one’s own self, in actuality!), who are taken captive by him at his will.
In the next chapter the trail of evil and betrayal continues to unfold – even unto the last days... <HEL> II Timothy Chapter Two
Godlessness in the Last Days
This special letter to Timothy might have been imminent only in Paul’s day if indeed the Second Coming of our LORD had been near. But it was not; so his admonitions maintained their immediacy through the centuries following. Nearly 2,000 years lay ahead for the world and the redeemed of the LORD before these vivid depictions would come alive before our eyes.
Conditions would worsen before they became better...
2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous (furiously dangerous) times shall come.
Narcissism (love of one’s self) and hedonism (love of pleasure) have been apparent for a long time. Both were recognized even by some in the ancient world as self-defeating characteristics in humans.
But these are only a portion of the catalog of fleshly decline that would become apparent in the people of the last days of the earth. Paul’s list is comprehensive – and odious – running the gamut of corruption through lust and pride.
Helpful clarification or explanation of each will abet our ability to visualize each harmful trait in greater relief...
2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous (unduly fond of riches), boasters (braggarts), proud (appearing above others, or haughty), blasphemers (scurrilous, and impious), disobedient to parents (rebellious), unthankful (ungrateful), unholy (wicked),
2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection (hard-hearted towards kindred), trucebreakers (betrayers of honest agreements), false accusers (the Greek word for it is diabolos, or “devil!”), incontinent (without self-control), fierce (savage), despisers of those that are good (that is, hostile to all virtue),
2Ti 3:4 Traitors (betraying close associates), heady (rash), highminded (conceited), lovers of (sensual, or voluptuous) pleasures more than lovers of God;
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness (presenting a false impression), but denying the power thereof (acting contradictory to that conviction): from such turn away.
All these fleshly traits degrade and destroy the spiritual path of the redeemed, leading them to debauchery and defection from The Way. Such pathways lead to ruin, and ultimate ignorance of God’s ways – deflections of one’s life away from the principles of godliness.
2Ti 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
2Ti 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Paul now utilizes two traditional designations of men not mentioned by name in scripture, directly referring to the Egyptian “magicians” of Exodus 7:22 et seq. These men mysteriously were able to duplicate the first miracles that Moses displayed before Pharaoh in his request for Israel to be released from Egypt. The apostle likens those who displayed the previous list of unspiritual characteristics as being like these two pagan officials of Pharaoh’s court – willingly corrupt in their unbelief.
2Ti 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres (the Egyptian magicians) withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
In the finality of Judgment – or prior, in the outworking of their natural lives, such men and women are cut off abruptly. They have no future prospects at all.
2Ti 3:9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
All Scripture Is Breathed Out by God
As an obvious example to Timothy, the apostle contrasts his own demeanor and manner of life with the preceding godless ones. His life was plainly laid out before all men as upright and righteous in every aspect ... as proven by Paul’s response to the deadly afflictions with which he was assaulted at Antioch and subsequent towns (see historical mention at Acts 13:45 to 14: 21), which included his being stoned and left for dead!
2Ti 3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine (teaching), manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
2Ti 3:11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
Paul’s reasoning is that one enduring such persecution would be delivered; if not in this life, certainly in time to come. One living godly in Christ Jesus shall not evade the hatred of many – nor the animosity of all the enemies of the Almighty and His Son.
2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Just as Paul predicted, here, in our own day, we are beholding the worst display of such animosity toward godliness. The forces of darkness lie in wait in every street for those lives are devoted to right living and resolute conduct before their God. It has become dangerous for God’s people the Jews to wear their traditional clothing in public lest they be set upon and suffer bodily harm – a phenomenon that seems to have exacerbated following the Israeli-Gaza conflict of May, 2021, as “Pales******” hatred has emerged into open society in great force and caused the attacks upon Jews to soar several magnitudes above previous levels.
2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
But the apostle’s admonition cannot be other than encouragement not only for Timothy, but for all the righteous men and women of all ages to continue steadfastly in their course of life as earlier taught to them.
2Ti 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
The ultimate source of that knowledge is of course the Almighty Himself and His divinely appointed Son. Their certification is undeniable; the pursuit of their ways unimpeachable.
The proverbist has written in ancient time, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6.
Paul echoes that adage in his following admonition... reminding Timothy of his long acquaintance with and respect for God’s word – the message of salvation.
2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Paul’s excellent summation of the substance and benefits of God’s Word follow, extolling the factor of the Almighty’s inspiration of all those writings and the full measure of their benefits to fallen mankind...
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect (in the sense of complete), throughly furnished (exhaustively equipped) unto all good works. <HEL> II Timothy Chapter Three.
Preach the Word
Just as the apostle had received his significant mission to preach the Word of God, he urges Timothy upon the same pathway of being ready always to instruct men and women in the doctrines of Truth. He implies that this obligation will be soberly considered at one’s final judgment as the LORD Jesus comes to begin His future reign on the earth. Preaching is vital to the advance of the Truth among men, and is of the highest priority.
2Ti 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (those living at His coming) and the dead (who shall be raised from the dead) at his appearing and his kingdom;
2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
It is incumbent upon each of us today to be ready to insert into any conversation our fervent expectation of His imminent return to the earth and the sequence of events which will follow; Paul is saying “It’s okay to change the subject” of any conversation to the godly principles which are inevitable and now imminent.
Some today who claim the title “Christian” claim that WHAT one believes makes no difference, and that it is only sincerity that counts.
However, the reverse is true. Throughout the ages since the apostle’s time, people have failed to maintain sound teachings. They have suffered the truth of God to be changed into a lie as Paul wrote to the Romans. There would be many who would “... change the truth of God into a lie, and (would) worship and serve the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” Romans 1:25.
The will of the Creator has now largely been replaced by the will of errant men and women who have set up their standards of sins of the flesh as being acceptable behavior – practices such as homosexuality, lesbianism, trans-genderism, and abortion of the unborn being some of the most egregious. All these practices have now been largely indemnified by legislation of the various governmental bodies of the planet – these practices which only a few decades ago were condemned as ungodly and immoral by upright persons.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
In the latter category we think of enormous upheavals which led mankind away from principles that had been established from early times such as Charles Darwin’s theories on organic evolution – the effect of which is to discredit God as Creator and Sustainer of all living things, turning that principle into a literal rebuttal of the godly statement that “It is He who has made us, and not we, ourselves.” Psalm 100:3. If organic evolution has brought humanity to this stage of being, then it IS “we” who have in a real sense, “made ourselves.”
Perseverance is therefore the divine guideline for all the called, chosen and elected...
2Ti 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
These admonitions are some of the final ones uttered by the apostle. He realizes now that the time of his demise, by whatever horrible means are at Nero’s disposal, is rapidly approaching. But the observation may be readily applied to every man whose fleshly demise is likewise approaching, usually on a more uncertain path, as the years of his life tick away. At the end lies certain death – entry into the protected sleep of the covenanted ones who are often said to be “asleep” in the Lord – because their destiny is to awaken in the resurrection...
2Ti 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
In his next phrases, Paul is not being arrogant. He can honestly claim to have led an exemplary life in Christ since his call to the Light. He has accomplished his charter as received from the Lord Jesus. His conscience is clear. He has no qualms therefore in saying that “there IS laid up for me a crown of righteousness.” It is a clear statement of his faith – and we believe it should be ours as well, if our conscience is as clear as Paul’s.
2Ti 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
This claim must not be construed as support of any kind for accomplishment of “works” as rewarded by salvation. It is instead an earnest claim to have acquitted himself in the LORD’s business because of common, intense interest in glorifying Him by compliance with His wishes – in having and working toward the same righteous ends in the ranks of the faithful – in teaching these to others avidly and faithfully – and in promoting them out of his pure love for the Almighty and His ways.
The result of such a course can be none other than the promised blessings that can only arise from such a dedicated application of one’s life of service and gratitude to his heavenly Father.
What a glorious prospect, dear brethren ... to stand before our gracious and forgiving elder Brother at His Judgment assize and, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, actually to sense our vile bodies being transformed by His Spirit into the glorious body of the returned Son of God, that blessed condition in which He shall have returned “... the second time, without sin, unto salvation” as expressed in Hebrews 9:28!
2Ti 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Although Paul wishes fervently for a personal visit from Timothy, there is no indication that Timothy ever traveled to Rome to comfort the apostle in the short time that remained. Only one of Paul’s epistles was written after II Timothy, and that is Titus, written in the same year while Paul was awaiting his appearance before Nero. In the book of Titus there is no mention of any visit by Timothy.
2Ti 4:9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:
Here we learn that Demas has defected ... departed from the faith and from his faithful companion of earlier times (cf., Colossians 4: 14; Philemon 1:24). Demas, it would seem from the tenor of this statement, had made a clean break of Paul’s fellowship and perhaps had even traveled purposely to discredit his work and the effects of his evangelism – to Thessaloniki.
2Ti 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
Crescens is unknown to us, being mentioned by no other writer of the N.T. The inference seems not to be that these latter two brethren, Crescens and Titus, unlike Crescens, have departed the faith but have merely departed to continue the work of Paul in Galatia and Dalmatia.
This development has left only Luke the physician in Rome to minister to Paul in his final days. He asks fervently that Timothy bring John Mark with him when he comes to Rome, the latter also having been useful in the missions that they have undertaken.
2Ti 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
Special mention is made of Tychicus, an apparently close companion from earlier times as he is mentioned in four other places: Acts 20; Ephesians 6; Colossians 4; and Titus 3. Paul has dispatched Tychicus to Ephesus to be associated with Timothy once again...
2Ti 4:12 And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.
A personal note here is charming, lending some understanding of the day-to-day conduct of life in those times. Paul now needs the cloak which he had left at Troas and asks that when Timothy comes to Rome that he may bring this item along with certain books and parchments belonging to Paul. No doubt the apostle’s possessions as a prisoner in Rome were extremely limited even though he maintained his own “hired house” as he awaited his final trial.
2Ti 4:13 The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.
Reading of the courageous Alexander the coppersmith in Acts 19: 33, 34, one would not conjecture any future defection on his part. But the next words and the brief words of I Timothy 1: 20 indicate that, with the passage of time, he also lost his earlier resolve and defaulted to the ways of the world.
Paul generously does not condemn his former fellow servant but leaves his judgment entirely in the hands of the LORD at His return. The prognosis for Alexander is not good...
2Ti 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:
2Ti 4:15 Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.
The next verse is not clear as to its meaning. Does it refer to Paul’s notable defense before the elders and priests at Jerusalem (see Acts 22), or does it refer to his first appearance before Nero in Rome? We suspect he might be referring to both appearances before officials but we have no details of his appearance before Nero on the first occasion. In either case he received no human assistance or ministration.
2Ti 4:16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.
But the apostle was notably not alone; he had received the support of the LORD Jesus from the appearance of the bright light and the Voice on the road to Damascus; His Savior has never left His side in all his subsequent tribulations.
Note well the assurance of Paul that “the Lord stood with me.” Can we make that statement with that same level of confidence? In reviewing our lives I believe that we can so state unequivocally that the Lord has often “stood by us” in our trials ... and has delivered us from dire consequences.
The present writer can recall that on more than five occasions on which he has been prevented from being killed or seriously injured because of the Lord’s intervention – deliverance from such being a continued cause of thanksgiving.
2Ti 4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
We cannot be sure of Paul’s motivation for mentioning “the lion.” Was he ever at hazard of being fed literally to the lions of the Coliseum in Rome as were many Christians of the day? Or was he shadowing the treatment of the great Prophet Daniel who was cast into a den of lions and survived throughout the night?
Whichever meaning was in his mind, he now expresses his utter faith that his LORD should continue to deliver him from all adversity – and award him citizenship in His coming Kingdom – a feature of Paul’s faith that renders him impervious to fear or trepidation for his temporal destiny, ever reinforcing his eternal expectations on every occasion.
2Ti 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
In his parting words to Timothy he recalls past associations of dearly beloved brethren, some of which are more familiar to us than others. These are almost casual notations to Timothy of their current status and reassurance of their faithful service alongside the apostle, but in their tenderness of expression, we perceive Paul’s deep love for those enumerated.
2Ti 4:19 Salute Prisca (a variant of Priscilla) and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.
2Ti 4:20 Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.
The next four named brethren were apparently members of Paul’s household in Rome, all of whom sent their spiritual greetings. We know nothing more of these...
2Ti 4:21 Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren.
Finally, the apostle evokes the greatest blessing that a Believer may have – the ongoing comfort and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ as we venture forward always into unknown territory. That warm wish must certainly be the most comforting of all his thoughts toward the faithful at Ephesus where Timothy continued to serve as bishop.
2Ti 4:22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen. The second epistle unto Timotheus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians, was written from Rome, when Paul was brought before Nero the second time. <HEL> ~6,600 words. A Study in II Timothy. June 11, 2021.