To Timothy, My Beloved Child
2 Timothy 1:1-7
Pastor Tony Chute
Overview: Paul begins his second letter to Timothy by identifying himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ, a role that he never sought but received by the will of God. In what is otherwise a typical salutation, Paul defines his relationship to Timothy by way of the gospel itself, which unites all believers regardless of age or title. Paul traces the origins of this relationship to their ancient heritage and to Timothy’s parentage but roots it ultimately in Timothy’s reception of the work of God in his own heart. Paul affectionately longs to see Timothy again, but his main purpose for writing is to encourage Timothy to live up to his own calling in the Lord. Paul thus reminds him to fan into flame the gift of God so he can serve the Lord without fear, but with power, love, and self-control.
01. Each one of us has a calling from God to turn from our sins and turn to Him for salvation. This calling may come gradually or suddenly, yet both are a work of God’s grace from beginning to end.
02. Each one of us has a calling from God to serve Him in light of His great salvation. This calling may be vocational or personal, and both will need God’s grace to continue to the end.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
- What is an apostle? How was Paul included among the apostles even though he wasn’t one of the original twelve? Are there apostles today? Why or why not?
- How was Paul’s conversion different from Timothy’s conversion? Is a sudden awareness of one’s sinful state necessary to become a Christian, or might there be a gradual awakening? What elements are necessary for every true conversion?
- How did Paul and Timothy’s heritage inform their faith? What advantages does one have in growing up in a Christian home and/or a country that affirms Christian principles? What disadvantages might come from such environments?
- What reasons might underly Timothy’s hesitancy to engage in gospel work? What three areas did Paul address for him? Are you hesitant to serve in a particular ministry for the Lord? Are you hesitating to fulfill your normal Christian duties?
- Have you written a letter or email to someone to encourage them in the faith? Why not take a moment and do so now?
For Further Reading: D. A. Carson and John Woodbridge, Letters Along the Way: A Novel of the Christian Life (Crossway, 1993).