Gracefully Truthful


Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

2 Timothy 2:1-2

1 You, therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

The Original Intent

1) What was the relationship between Timothy and Paul, and why is it important? (verse 1)

Paul refers to Timothy as “my son” and “my dearly loved son.” (verse 1, 2 Timothy 1:2) Is Paul referring to Timothy as his biological son? For this answer we turn to Acts 16 where we read that Timothy is the son of a Jewish woman, Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5), and an unnamed Greek father. (Acts 16:1)

It stands to reason that if Paul were Timothy’s biological father, the writer of Acts (Luke) would have addressed him as such. We can also deduce from the text that this is the first meeting between Paul and Timothy. Therefore, we conclude that Timothy is not Paul’s biological son, but a spiritual son.

Paul was impressed enough with Timothy’s character and faith in God that he wanted Timothy to travel with him to share the gospel. (Acts 16:2-10) The language in 2 Timothy provides evidence of a deep fatherly and spiritual love Paul has for his “son in the faith”. He speaks of remembering Timothy continually in prayer, longing to see him so Paul would be joyful, and recalling Timothy’s sincere faith. (2 Timothy 1:3-5)

We also learn in 2 Timothy that not only is Paul in prison, but he knows his execution at the hands of the Romans is near. Thus, there is an urgency in his letter as Paul shares what could be his final words to Timothy. These words are rich with exhortations to share the gospel without shame and relying on God’s grace to do so. He instructs Timothy on how to share the gospel and how to handle false teachers while reminding Timothy that God’s word is sufficient. To the very end, Paul tenderly loves, teaches, and leads his spiritual son.

The Everyday Application

1) What was the relationship between Timothy and Paul, and why is it important? (verse 1)

As we have seen, Paul was a mentor and spiritual father to Timothy. Together with other believers, they shared the gospel and made disciples of Jesus Christ. (Acts 16:5) Although both undoubtedly had traditional family relationships, it is their spiritual relationship that gives us a peek into what it means to be part of God’s family.

Mentoring. Receiving. Leading. Following. Teaching. Growing. Encouraging. Exhorting. Even rebuking. All of these are bound together in a genuine love for one another that only comes through mutual faith in and love for God. (1 Peter 4:8-11)

In another letter, Paul instructs believers to “love one another deeply as brothers and sisters” and to “rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:10-17) Time spent together as fellow believers in worship, prayer, and teaching is beautiful and holy, knowing God is present. Time spent mentoring and in accountability can be hard, but it is worth the investment when we see marked growth in faith, understanding, and love. Some days it is challenging and messy, but on those days, it is even more important we turn to God to help us love one another, pray for each other, and meet the needs of our brothers and sisters as we have ability. (1 John 3:17-18) After all, we are family.

It’s God’s will for us to join together to share the love of Jesus with those outside of God’s family, inviting them to faith in Jesus Christ that they might become part of our spiritual family as well. This is what we do as family in the strength of the grace that is in Jesus Christ. 

The Original Intent

2) Why was Timothy instructed to be “strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus?” (verse 1)

In chapter 1 Paul gave Timothy a mix of instructions, exhortations, encouragements, and reminders. As you read through it you might begin to wonder if Timothy had begun to become fearful or complacent in his calling to share the gospel and live in the power of God. Or, perhaps, he was doing well, but needed more focus or encouragement for the sake of the gospel.

Whatever the reason, Paul was specific: Was he using his spiritual gifting? Did he remember that God had called him with a holy calling and it was according to God’s purpose and grace? Was he fearful of suffering for the gospel? Was Timothy holding on to the pattern of sound teaching that he had heard from Paul and was he teaching it to others? Was he guarding the good deposit– the gospel– through the Holy Spirit? Was he doing all of this by relying on God’s power? (2 Timothy 1:6-14)

It is no small wonder Paul is reminding Timothy he must be strong in the grace given to him in Christ Jesus before time began, knowing there was simply no other way to accomplish what God called Timothy to do outside of the strength of God’s grace. (2 Timothy 1:9, Romans 12:6; Ephesians 2:8-10

The Everyday Application

2) Why was Timothy instructed to be “strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus?” (verse 1)

Paul urged Timothy there was no way to accomplish ministry without God’s grace, and he reminds us of this as well. Our obedience to God’s call will be a failure without relying on His grace because only by His grace can we begin to share the gospel, make disciples, and love one another.

As Paul and Silas began their missionary journey that would eventually bring them to Timothy, their brothers and sisters commended them “to the grace of the Lord” in the journey. (Acts 15:40-16:1) Earlier in Acts, Paul and Barnabas arrived back to the church at Antioch “where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work they now completed.” (Acts 14:26) Paul reminded the Corinthian church they had behaved with godly sincerity and purity toward both the world and the church by God’s grace. (2 Corinthians 1:12) Later, Paul tells his readers he had a thorn in the flesh which tormented him. He pleaded with God three times to remove it, but God said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Why is God’s power perfected in weakness? Because when we are weak, and His work is still accomplished, we know it is God who did it and should receive the glory, not us. It is by His lavish grace we are saved through Jesus (Ephesians 2:1-10), helped in time of need (Hebrews 4:16), and given all we need to proclaim to unbelievers the incalculable riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8).

Sweet sister, pray! Ask God to join you together with Him in His work in your circle of influence. Ask Him to make you bold and kind to share Christ and make disciples around you. His grace is sufficient to do whatever He asks! 

The Original Intent

3) What was Paul’s urgent instruction to Timothy and what does it mean for us today? (verses 1-2) 

For what purpose was Timothy to be strong in God’s grace? (verse 1) Why rekindle God’s gift within him? (2 Timothy 1:6) Why guard the gospel? (2 Timothy 1:14) Why hold to the pattern of sound teaching Timothy heard from Paul? (2 Timothy 1:13)

The overarching answer was for Timothy to commit the gospel to faithful people who in turn would be able to teach others also. (verse 2) In other words, to share Christ with a lost and dying world with the hope and prayer they would repent of their sins, accept Jesus as their Savior, and grow in their knowledge, faith, and love of Him. Then they would share Christ with others hoping that they would repent, accept Jesus, grow, and share. A few verses later, Paul told Timothy to diligently present himself “to God as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of God.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

Paul also reminded Timothy he would encounter evil people and imposters lurking in the church who deceived others and were deceived themselves; Timothy was instructed to use the gospel to combat that deception. He urged Timothy to continue in what he had learned and firmly believed in spite of the deceivers. Then he reminded Timothy that all Scripture is inspired by God (literally God-breathed) and is profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness so the believer is equipped for whatever God asks to be done. (2 Timothy 3:13-17)

Later in the letter, Paul told Timothy to “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:2) God strengthened Timothy in grace and equipped him with His Word. Timothy was called to make disciples who would make disciples in the same strength of God’s grace.

The Everyday Application

3) What was Paul’s urgent instruction to Timothy and what does it mean for us today? (verses 1-2) 

God’s message to Timothy is God’s message to believers today. It can be summed up by Jesus’ final words to His disciples before He was taken up to heaven, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

This is referred to as the Great Commission. We are to make disciples who make disciples, not on our own strength but by relying on the strong available through an abiding relationship in Christ Jesus. We are to teach others what we have been taught, and love others as Jesus loved. In the book of Ephesians Paul wrote, “This grace was given to me– the least of all saints– to proclaim to the Gentiles the incalculable riches of Christ.” (Ephesians 3:8)

Our purpose in life is to glorify God. The primary way we do this is to share Jesus with those who do not know of the riches in Christ we have both now and into eternity.

Share Christ. Make disciples. Be a part of how God is growing His family; this is your invitation to Mission!

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