2 Timothy 1:3–18comment (0)
April 11, 2013
By Dale Younce
Related Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:3–18
Explore the Bible
Professor of Christian Ministries, University of Mobile
2 Timothy 1:3–18
Some adults live as if they have little or nothing to be ashamed of, at least, partly because of the “anything goes” climate often fostered in society. Other adults have long experience at hiding certain behaviors and faults they would be ashamed of if they were revealed. But what about Christians being ashamed, not of secret sins but of Christ and the gospel? What about the temptation to be silent when Christ’s name is treated disrespectfully or when others make fun of Christ or Christian values? From the earliest days Christians have faced the challenge of being loyal to the Christian faith, particularly when they may experience persecution and suffering if they speak up but may be left unscathed if they do not express their commitment to Jesus. This week’s lesson marks out four factors encouraging us to be loyal to Jesus regardless of the circumstances.
Remember Your Spiritual Heritage (3–8)
Second Timothy is the last letter written by the apostle Paul prior to his death. From his prison cell, alone and cold, Paul wrote this very personal letter to Timothy, his son in the faith. Timothy had trusted Christ on Paul’s first missionary journey and on Paul’s second journey, Timothy joined Paul’s missions team. He was not the first in his family to be saved. He was the third generation in his family to trust the Savior. His grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice were Old Testament Jewish believers who understood the Old Testament well enough so that they were prepared to accept Jesus immediately when they first heard the gospel. Apparently Lois and Eunice taught Timothy the truth of Scripture from childhood (2 Tim. 3:15). Timothy’s spiritual life had its roots with a believing mother and grandmother teaching their child the Scripture.
Paul calls attention to Timothy’s having been gifted and set apart for ministry. By reminding Timothy of his godly heritage and his call to ministry, Paul challenges him not to be ashamed of the gospel. Remembering our spiritual heritage will help us remain loyal to Christ.
Remember the Greatness Of Salvation (9–10)
Paul writes about God’s sovereign plan of salvation by grace through faith, apart from works. This is the foundation of the gospel. It is also the basis for God’s continuing work in the lives of believers. That plan, formulated before time/space history in eternity past, had at its center the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross as the substitute for our sins. Christ’s appearance in history and His death and resurrection not only annulled death but also made known fully the truth of immortality and eternal life, truths not fully understood by Old Testament believers. Remembering the greatness of God and His salvation will help us remain loyal to Christ.
Follow Those Who Are Unashamed (11–15)
As he did in 1 Timothy 1:12–16, so here Paul uses his own life, ministry and suffering as a pattern for living unashamedly for Christ. He lived with unwavering confidence because of the truth of God’s power and faithfulness. Timothy, traveling with Paul and observing his lifestyle, learned firsthand what it means to be unashamed of Jesus. Looking at the example of others who have lived unashamedly for Jesus can help us to be loyal to Him.
Support Those Who Are Unashamed (16–18)
Onesiphorus, an Ephesian brother, befriended Paul in prison and ministered fearlessly to Paul during his second imprisonment. He was not ashamed or afraid to visit the apostle there regularly and minister to his needs. Since Paul was in prison, the only thing he could do for Onesiphorus was to pray for him. Paul complimented and prayed for Onesiphorus because he had demonstrated by his actions that he was unashamed. Supporting and praying for those who have been unashamed of the gospel can help us be loyal to Christ.