Share in Suffering
2 Timothy 2:1-13
Pastor Tony Chute
Overview: Paul writes to Timothy in order to encourage him not to give in to his fears, but rather to fan into flame the gift of God and thus continue to serve the Lord without reservation. In doing so, Paul does not avoid the stark reality that Timothy will likely suffer for his faith, and he even raises the possibility that Timothy might be tempted to walk away from the faith. So, he instructs Timothy on how to persevere by likening the Christian life to that of a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer. He also encourages Timothy to persevere by remembering that Jesus was victorious over death, that God’s plan will be fulfilled, and that his life can have a direct impact on the lives of others. He concludes by reminding Timothy of his only two remaining choices—to endure and reign with Christ or deny and be denied by Christ.
01. The gospel of Jesus Christ is good news, but it also comes with a price; while granting us peace with God, it also sets us at odds with the world.
02. The gospel of Jesus Christ is grace oriented, but it calls for perseverance; while God knows all who are His, we must overcome the world.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. Note Paul’s instruction to Timothy in verse 1. What does it mean to be strengthened by grace? What is the difference between trusting in our own strength and trusting the Lord for strength?
2. In addition to keeping the faith (1:13-14), Paul reminds Timothy to continue the work of making disciples by passing on the faith (2:2). Who has invested in your life by passing on the faith? Are you investing in the lives of others by making disciples? What are the characteristics of “faithful men” when it comes to teaching and making disciples?
3. Which of the images of the Christian life as described in verses 4-6 do you find most helpful? What is the expectation for the soldier, the athlete, and the farmer? In what ways do these images and expectations describe your walk with Christ?
4. Why does Paul tell Timothy to “remember Jesus Christ” (verse 8)? How could the death and resurrection of Christ serve as an encouragement to Timothy as he faced potential suffering? Do you remember Christ and his sufferings when you are also suffering?
5. Have you ever thought of the impact that your life might have on others as you live for Christ? Who have you looked to, in addition to the Lord, for strength and encouragement in your walk with Christ? How do verses 11-13 serve as both an encouragement and a warning? How does this passage take us back to verse 1 again as a reminder about our need for grace?