2 Timothy 1:1-14
1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,
1:2 To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
1:3 I am grateful to God–whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did–when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.
1:4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy.
1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.
1:6 For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands;
1:7 for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
1:8 Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God,
1:9 who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
1:10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
1:11 For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher,
1:12 and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him.
1:13 Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
1:14 Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.
Paul was facing an impending persecution. He had a yearning to see Timothy again and because of the persecution that was taking place, He was urgently writing this letter to him to encourage Timothy to stand strong. In this passage we read about two main things that Paul encourages Timothy to hold on to. The first is not to give into fear and the second is to not be ashamed of the gospel.
When Paul addresses the issue of fear in verse 7, he begins by reminding Timothy that God fills our hearts with courage. The Church was facing persecution, hostility towards the gospel, along with the hostility of the Ephesian Church who resented Timothy’s leadership, and the assault of the of the false teachers . All of this may have been overwhelming to Timothy. If he was fearful, Paul wanted Timothy to know that fear was not from God.
The idea of power refers to the truth that God has already given believers all the spiritual resources they need for every trial and threat. The idea of love refers to pleasing God and putting another’s needs before her own. The idea of self control refers to a self-controlled and proper perspective. The attitude that Paul is painting for Timothy is that this type of spirit is not a cowardice one that causes disorder and confusion. It is a spirit that that focuses on God’s sovereign control over our lives and any situation that we face.
Overall, this is a reminder to us that we live in a world that is constant opposition to the gospel. This passage is an encouragement to all of us to stand strong in our faith and trust that God will empower us to preach the Gospel with faith and eliminate any fear we have of doing so. We have the privilege of the Holy Spirit living in us. We can rely on His strength to lead, guide and protect us.
Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.
Paul had continuously battled with philosophers and teachers that wanted to contort the gospel message. He was constantly having to go back to the churches he planted and warn them against straying from the faith and gospel that was taught to them. Luckily, it appears that most of them likely stayed the course or we would not be here today.
But now it is our turn. We are entrusted with the gospel which we read about the scriptures and that was passed down to us from the church fathers and theologians throughout the centuries. We are charged with the task of preserving the faith and doing so in an unashamed fashion. We must not be blown this way and that. We must not be swayed by popular opinions. Lean on the faith and the Spirit to guide you. If you are unsure of the gospel message and it’s details then you must read the New Testament and I would urge even working through some of the writings of the early church.
At a minimum we should all know and stand by the early church creed given to us through the council at Nicaea.
We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
God from God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made;
of the same essence as the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven;
he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,
and was made human.
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered and was buried.
The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again with glory
to judge the living and the dead.
His kingdom will never end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life.
He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
He spoke through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and to life in the world to come. Amen.
The church as a whole might disagree on many doctrines but most can agree on the basic truths of the Nicene Creed and the witness of the New Testament.