Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Timothy Studies|
Ch. 3 & 4
Chapter: 2 Tim 3
Passage: 2 Tim 3:1-9
A. Find Out:
1. Of when does Paul now speak? v.1
2. How many descriptions describe these people? v.2-4
3. What contradiction is there in some? v.5
4. On whom do they prey? v.6
5. What do they do? v.7,8
6. What will be the consequence? v.9
The “last days” obviously started after Jesus ( see Acts 2:16 ,17) and we are still living in them. Paul describes many people who will be living in these days and warns against them.
First, they will be self-centred, unrighteous and godless. Those three things always go together and they sum up all the descriptions in v.2-4.
Second, although they are self-centred and godless, they may have an appearance, some of them, of being good and spiritual, but if they deny the power of the Gospel, the power of the word of God, and if they deny the Spirit of God, of Jesus living today and still working today, then they are to be avoided.
Third, they prey on those who are weaker, especially women, and that for their own desires. Fourth, they appear to be open to learn but they never come to the truth of the Gospel and the word of God. The truth never gets to them and they remain unsaved and unchanged by the Spirit of God.
Finally the only good thing that can be said about this is that they will be clearly seen, and their stupidity and falseness will be recognised. May we ensure we in no way fit any of these descriptions and may we be alert to those who do?
Chapter: 2 Tim 3
Passage: 2 Tim 3:10-17
A. Find Out:
1. Of what does Paul remind Timothy? v.10,11
2. What principle does he lay down? v.12
3. What will happen to the ungodly? v.13
4. What is Timothy to do and why? v.14,15
5. What is the use of Scripture? v.16
6. To what end? v.17
First, Paul uses himself as an example to Timothy. First an example of CHARACTER but second an example of SUFFERING. He reminds Timothy of what he has been through, noting that the Lord had rescued him from all the difficult times. He tells Timothy to be aware that if he wants to be godly then he WILL attract persecution. Evil men will always oppose us if we are being like Jesus, for darkness hates light.
Second, Paul challenges Timothy to go on in what he knows, hanging on to all he has learnt and not diverting from it, because he has learnt the value of the truth as it has come to him through Scripture. Here we come to the greatest description of the Scriptures that can be found. In origin they are breathed or inspired by God, HE is their originator! They are useful for imparting knowledge and understanding, for telling off, for showing the right way and for leading us into the life of righteousness. When we let the Scriptures do ALL that, we will indeed be equipped to be led of God for any good work that He has for us to do.
Chapter: 2 Tim 4
Passage: 2 Tim 4:1-8
A. Find Out:
1. For what reason was Paul giving this charge? v.1
2. How was Timothy to fulfil his ministry? v.2
3. What would happen in the future? v.3,4
4. But what was Timothy to do? v.5
5. How did Paul see his own situation? v.6,7
6. What did he see ahead of him? v.8
A poignant passage, where Paul speaks solemnly about Timothy's ministry and his own future.
First the BASIS FOR MINISTRY: all serving is to be done in the awareness of the One True God who will judge all men, and who will return to this earth and who is establishing His kingdom. When we remind ourselves that all we are is but a small part of what He, the Lord, is doing, it puts us in perspective.
Second, the WORK OF MINISTRY: preaching God's word, being personally prepared at all times, straightening out and helping the flock, persevering in the face of opposition and constantly reaching out to the lost. Whatever “specialisms of ministry” we feel God has led us into, these are the general activities of any servant of God, leading in whatever capacity.
Finally, the GOAL OF MINISTRY: to persevere in the ministry, keeping the faith, until the eventual call to be with Christ and receive the crown of righteousness. That proclaims our eternal sonship, whether that be when we die or when He returns to the earth and calls us to Himself. One day we will be with Him, and that is to be the anchor that keeps us in the face of all the trials and opposition now
Chapter: 2 Thess 4
Passage: 2 Thess 4:9-22
A. Find Out:
1. What has Demas done and why? v.10
2. Why was Timothy to bring Mark? v.11
3. What had Alexander done? v.14,15
4. How had Paul managed to survive? v.16,17
5. Of what was he sure? v.18
6. What was Paul asking Timothy to do? v.9,21
In these closing words of this letter we get an insight into Paul's life in an even greater way as we see the people around him. First let's note the hard side of his life: there was opposition (Alexander) and there were those that let him down and were a disappointment (Demas).
Second, let's note those who were obviously servants of God who travelled among the churches under Paul's apparent leading; Demas (previously), Crescens, Titus (we believe in contrast to Demas), Mark, Luke, Tychicus, Priscillla, Aquilla, Erastus and Trophimus and of course Timothy.
Then next there are those others who were in fellowship with him but about whom we know little: Carpus, Pudens, Linus, and Claudia, all saints serving God in that uncertain time. Finally let's note the strength of testimony that Paul gives in the face of many having deserted him: “the Lord stood at my side” to provide him with strength and deliverance (from death by lions?). To this end this man of God testifies to the grace and goodness of God. May we so do likewise.
RECAP: "Last Days & Last Instructions" 2 Timothy 3 & 4
In these final chapters we have seen Paul:
Paul's warning, that in the last days there will be many who are godless, is especially appropriate for the day in which we live. His instruction to Timothy, to follow his way of life, serving the Lord with godliness is, therefore, also appropriate for us. And yes, if we seek to be godly we will be persecuted for it. We are, never-the-less, to hold to the Scriptures and fulfil whatever ministry the Lord gives us, spreading the word at every opportunity. Do we go looking for those opportunities?
Paul's faces his probable death with assurance, yet desiring to see Timothy before it comes. Many others had deserted him but the Lord upheld him. May we know such grace!
1. Godliness excludes self-centredness
2. Opposition will come when we seek to be godly
3. God has given the Bible to equip us
4. Servanthood requires perseverance
5. God will reward the faithful with a crown
6. The Lord will stand beside us, even if all others desert us
Thank the Lord that He is faithful, even if all others are not. Ask Him to help you to persevere in what He has given you to do, being faithful to the end.
B. Encouragement, Command and Guidance
As we view these two letters we can see distinct differences. In the first one Timothy is clearly at Ephesus and Paul gives him specific guidance on how to lead and help the church there. The first letter has many topics pertaining to the life of the church.
In the second letter everything has changed: Paul is clearly imprisoned and sees the end of his life fast approaching. The subject of his second letter is, therefore, strong encouragement to Timothy to continue in full commitment to God and to his ministry.
B. Personal Lessons?
Different things may speak to different people but the following should perhaps stand out:
1. The danger of false teaching
2. The wonder of our salvation
3. The needs of ministry
4. The realities of the Christian life
5. Life in the church