2 Timothy 1: Don’t Give Up!

Paul has come to the end.  Most scholars who believe that Paul wrote 2 Timothy think this is his last surviving letter.  Some date it within a year of his death, traditionally thought to have taken place around 68 AD in Rome by beheading.  Every line drips with the emotion of a man who sees the end coming and so wants his life’s work to continue on with strength after he is gone.

Sadly, most in Asia Minor — the province in which Ephesus was found — had turned on Paul (1:15).  It seems they looked to his imprisonment as evidence that he was not favored by God and they pushed on to other versions of Christianity.  Paul’s fear is that Timothy will join their ranks.  Timothy is already losing his spiritual steam (1:6), and being the spiritual son of a “prisoner” isn’t exactly a great thing to put on your resume (1:8).

A person can only make it through trying times like these by faith, and this passage drips with Paul’s faith.  He is confident of Timothy’s faith, maybe even when Timothy is not:

I have in my mind a clear picture of your sincere faith — the faith which first came to live in Lois your grandmother and Eunice your mother, and which I am confident, lives in you as well.  (1:5)

Paul has faith that the Spirit is one of power:

After all, the spirit given to us by God isn’t a fearful spirit; it’s a spirit of power, love and prudence. (1:7)

Paul trusts in God’s purpose and grace, not his or Timothy’s own power:

God saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace. (1:9)

Paul anchors his faith in the power of the resurrection:

[God] has now made it [grace] visible through the appearing of our savior King Jesus, who abolished death and, through the gospel, shone a bright light on life and immortality. (1:10)

And Paul knows God is trustworthy:

But I am not ashamed, because I know the one I have trusted, and I’m convinced that he has the power to keep safe until that day what I have entrusted to him. (1:12)

When you come to the end, when death is looming and your friends have turned against you, the only way forward is by faith.

There are several great lines in this chapter.  What was your favorite?

Categories: 2 Timothy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “2 Timothy 1: Don’t Give Up!

  1. a strike!

    “7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid,
    but gives us power, love and self-discipline”

    often we say
    “I must be self discipline.
    I must love God and my enemies”

    but the truth is, we already are discipline, and we can love.

    after all “We Love because God first loved us”

    rather than trying to teach ourselves self discipline,
    we simply just “Believe we are”

    “we have become not by doing, but by believing”

    rather than earning God’s love by loving Him

    “believe God’s love for us through Christ – John 3:16”


    but what really is striking was Paul’s reminder to Timothy

    “6… I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God,
    which is in you through the laying on of my hands”

    it is possible to fall into a state of timidity

    don’t get me wrong,
    Timothy will never lose salvation by becoming timid
    Timothy will never gain salvation by becoming timid

    a good contrast to “9 God saved us, …, not according to our works, but … grace”
    is to “work out the gifts”

    I love Paul’s phraseology “work out salvation because it is God who works”


    – grace and peace

  2. i meant
    “Timothy will never gain salvation by not becoming timid”

  3. Melanie

    From The Message–
    We can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God, who first saved us and then called us to this holy work. We had nothing to do with it. It was all his idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus long before we knew anything about it. But we know it now.

  4. “I couldn’t be more sure of my ground – the One I’ve trusted in can take care of what he’s trusted me to do right to the end.”

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