The Genesis To Revelation Bible Course
By WILLIAM M. GROOM, Th.M., D.D.
Lesson No. 55 – 2 Timothy
Copyright, 1921 BY THE BIBLE STUDY PUBLISHING CO.
* KEY VERSE–2Ti 2:3.
* KEY PHRASE,–“BE A WORKMAN THAT NEEDETH NOT TO BE ASHAMED.”
In this book, we have the last known words of the Apostle Paul, and his last instructions to his favorite disciple and through him to the churches. His course is almost run. He has fought a good fight. Before he shall end his wonderful life in noble martyrdom, he writes this letter. It is worthy, therefore, of prayerful reading.
For family altar read:–
* Sunday–Stir up thy gift,–2Ti 1:1-9.
* Monday–Hold fast to sound teaching,–2Ti 1:10-18.
* Tuesday–Endure hardness as a good soldier,–2Ti 2:1-15.
* Wednesday–Pursue righteousness,–2Ti 2.
* Thursday–Perilous times will come,–2Ti 3:1-8.
* Friday–All scripture is profitable,–2Ti 3.
* Saturday–Last charge of the apostle,–2Ti 4:1-8.
DATE–68 A. D.
PLACE–During his last imprisonment at Rome.
OCCASION–Paul was now a prisoner in Rome for the second time, awaiting a hearing before the emperor. He was not being treated with the consideration shown him before, and because of the danger and shame, all his friends but Luke had deserted him. Knowing the wicked emperor, Nero, Paul felt sure his own death would not be long delayed, and longing for the presence of his beloved son in the faith, Timothy, he sends this letter, bidding him come with all speed to Rome. Then fearing that Timothy might arrive too late to receive his last instructions face to face, the condemned apostle pours forth his soul with all the earnestness of a dying man.
1. To inspire Timothy to Christian heroism.
2. To instruct him in his pastoral duties.
3. To charge him to combat false teachings.
4. Last Charge.
Great Facts I. A Call to Boldness
Paul thanks God without ceasing for Timothy’s sincere faith, and for his religious training received at the hands of his grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice. He begs him to keep in active exercise the spiritual gifts received at his ordination, for the Spirit Which God gave was not a spirit of cowardice, but a spirit of power, love, and self-control. Therefore, Timothy should not be ashamed of his Lord, nor of Paul, the Lord’s prisoner, but should rather join him in suffering for the gospel’s sake. God’s purposes and grace were made known to us by the appearing of our Saviour, who has put an end to death and brought life and immorality from darkness into light by the gospel. “I have the perfect assurance that Christ will keep me until the Day of His Coming. Hold fast to the sound teaching that you have heard from me.”
1. Timothy had gifts and graces imparted to him through ordination at Paul’s hands. None, however, but the apostles had the power of imparting these gifts. Our gifts come in regeneration and sanctification and should be stirred up by reading, meditation, and prayer.
2. Cowardice is unworthy in us, who have received as a sacred trust the gospel truth to spread everywhere. The fear of man is very common, but those who fear God ought to know no other fear. Pr 14:26.
Great Facts II. A Call to Endurance
The truths you have learned from me entrust to reliable men, who in their will be able to teach others. Endure hardships as a brave soldier of Christ, not entangling yourself in ordinary affairs, but seeking to please your superior officer. No athlete wins the wreath of victory unless he does this. As the farmer is the first to partake of the fruits of his labor so shall it be with you. Keep in mind that Christ is risen from the dead, as told in the gospel entrusted to me, in the service of which I am suffering hardships even to be put in fetters like a criminal. But I gladly submit to anything, just so the gospel is not fettered! Urge the people to shun foolish and ignorant discussions, for they only breed quarrels, and a servant of the Lord should never quarrel, 2Ti 2:24. As one of God’s workmen, do your utmost to win God’s approval, by handling aright the word of truth, Vs. 16. Banish all evil desires, but rather follow after righteousness, faith, love, and peace, in company with those who out of pure heart call on the Lord, 2Ti 2:22.
1. We must watch lest the comforts and innocent enjoyments of life make us love to ease too well and make Us less sturdy and brave than a good soldier ought to be. Endurance is not merely bearing difficulties and disappointments, but bearing them manfully and with the spirit of a hero. Samuel Rutherford, when imprisoned for the gospel’s sake, used to date his letters from “Christ’s Palace,” and when Madame Guyon was shut up in a castle, she said, “Now the Lord has allowed me to be placed in a cage; I have nothing to do but sing.”
2. If we would be God’s workmen who win His approval, we must like the apostle, “Be always abounding in the work of the Lord.” Only so can Christians definitely accomplish something worthy, have a good conscience, and live under God’s smile. Faithful service is the highway to the hills of happiness, and the world needs as never before buoyant, radiant workers. Shall we not then “give every flying minute something to keep in store.”
Great Facts III. The Resource of the Believer in Perilous Times
Be sure of this that in the last days perilous times will come when men will be laden with sins, and while they retain the outward form of religion, they will not allow it to influence them. Turn your back upon such men as these, for their minds, are corrupted, and as regards the Faith they are utterly worthless, 2Ti 3:8. All who seek to live a religious life in union with Christ Jesus must suffer persecution, but wicked people and impostors will go from bad to worse deceiving others as they themselves have been deceived, 2Ti 3:12-13. Have unshaken faith in the Holy Scriptures, for they lead unto salvation, and being inspired by God are profitable for teaching, for refuting error, for giving guidance, and for training others in righteousness, so that the man of God might be noble and equipped for every work, 2 Timothy 3:14-17.
1. As people progress in error there will be widespread moral decay. Wickedness will make the times perilous. It will be a time of danger to the faith of God’s people and a time of peril to their lives.
2. The believer’s resource, however, is to be found in the Holy Scriptures. In the bright light of its truth, errors and heresies will be exposed, the deluded shall be set straight, the waverers established, the weak strengthened, and the believer shall find ever-new supplies of comfort and hope, and gain new insight into the depths of revelation. Let us then delight ourselves in the triumphant certainties of Scripture, for happy is that man who knows the ways of God.
Great Facts IV. The Last Charge of the Great Apostle
I solemnly charge you before God and Jesus Christ, who will judge you and who will soon appear, spread the gospel everywhere whether it is convenient or inconvenient to do so. Convince, rebuke, exhort, for a time will come when people will not endure sound teaching but will rely upon fictions. But be thou temperate, face hardships, do the work of a missionary, and discharge all the duties of your office. As for me, my life’s’ blood is already being poured out, and the time of my departure has come. I have run the great race, I have finished the Course, I have kept the Faith. Now the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me in the crowning day, and not to me only, but to all who have loved His appearing, 2 Timothy 4:1-8.
1. These tender farewell words from the greatest man God ever made have a solemn message for every Christian as well as for Timothy. We should seriously consider that the gospel-truth as a priceless pearl is entrusted to us for the salvation of others and that soon we must give an account of the trust reposed in us. Happy shall we be if we have been good trustees.
2. Life’s evening hour for Paul was full of glory. He forgot that the lions, the flames or a cruel cross would end his earthly life; the good fight was ended, the long, hard race was run, and the memories of a noble life gave him great peace at eventide. Thus we learn that God’s good men:–
1. Welcome death or the Lord’s Coming.
2. That they look forward with certainty to the crown of righteousness.
3. They are anxious for the good work to go on after their death with uninterrupted power and success. Let us walk by faith that we too may have a coronation in the everlasting summer of the saints.
Questions on the Lesson
1. Give the keyword and key verse.
2. What relation has this to Paul’s other epistles?
3. Give date and place.
4. Tell of the occasion of writing.
5. What the purpose?
6. Name the great facts.
7. What has God given instead of a spirit of cowardice?
8. What assurance did Paul have?
9. How do we obtain spiritual gifts now?
10. What should we do with the truths we have learned?
11. Give our relation to the soldier, athlete and farmer.
12. What is endurance? Illustrate it.
13. What are the benefits of abounding in the work of the Lord?
14. What is meant by perilous times?
15. What is the believer’s resource?
16. Tell how the scriptures help.
17. Tell of Paul’s last charge.
18. What is entrusted to us?
19. What three lessons do we learn from Paul’s eventide?
20. How much of the book have you read?
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. — 2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV