2 Timothy 4:1-8
1. Read 2 Timothy 4:1-8. Paul’s final words to Timothy in this letter carried a particularly solemn charge (command or injunction). According to verse 1, who is witnessing this charge?
2. What key facts does Paul cite about Christ?
3. How would reading these facts motivate Timothy to carry out Paul’s charge?
4. The content of Paul’s charge represents the central thrust of every minister’s task. First and foremost, what was Timothy to do? When was Timothy to do this?
5. As he preached the gospel message, Timothy would undoubtedly come up against false teaching, believers who are willingly sinning, and those sincerely trying to grow in the faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ. How is a minister of Christ to deal with all of these people, and what should characterize his interaction with them?
6. To Live Faithfully:
· What responsibilities and tasks do you administer that require great patience and instruction?
· What happens when you carry them out in anger and frustration?
· How does Galatians 5:22-23 apply here?
Reread 2 Timothy 4:1-8. Paul’s continuing concern about false teaching was a catalyst in issuing such a charge (v. 1-2) to Timothy. When Paul spoke about false teaching, he usually focused on the evil intentions of the false teachers. However, false teachers could not flourish if they had no audience.
7. This time, who was Paul faulting? How were they willing participants in their own deception?
8. Why is it so important to maintain sound doctrine and refute false teachings?
9. In your opinion, what is it about the truth (sound doctrine) that propels people away from it?
10. In what way do people take comfort in their “own doctrine”?
11. To Live Faithfully: Do you personally know anyone like those described in verses 3-4? Or, on a deeper level, was this ever a portrait of you? If so, how have you changed? To what do you attribute this change?
12. Read 2 Timothy 4:1-8 again. Paul follows his discussion of wayward people (v.3-4) with a strong contrasting “but you” for his disciple Timothy. What earnest instruction does Paul give Timothy in verse 5?
13. Why do you think Paul felt it necessary at this point to give such instruction to Timothy?
14. After exhorting Timothy once again to be faithful and strong (v.5), Paul reflects on his life, which he viewed as a sacrifice to God (v.6). Paul knew he would be executed soon. The time for his departure had come. What had he accomplished in order to claim that he had fought the good fight and finished the race?
Scriptural Insight: A drink offering consisted of wine poured out on an altar as a sacrifice to God (see Genesis 35:14; Exodus 29:41; Numbers 28:24). (Life Application Bible Commentary)
15. What do you think it means to “keep the faith”?
16. In Whose strength was he able to “keep the faith”? (See also 2 Timothy 1:7; 2:1.)
17. Why do you think Paul compared the task of “keeping the faith” to a “good fight” and a “race”?
18. Looking at verse 8:
· What reward is Paul anticipating?
· Who will bestow this reward?
· To whom will this reward be given?
19. To Live Faithfully: As he neared the end of his life, Paul could confidently say he had been faithful to God’s call. Thus he faced death calmly, knowing that Christ would reward him. Is your life preparing you for death? Do you share Paul’s confident expectation of meeting Christ? How do Paul’s words challenge your life?