A Daily Bible Study in 7-Day Sections with a Summary-Commentary, Discussion Questions, and Daily Application
The prior Section
1:1 From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to further the promise of life in Christ Jesus,
1:2 to Timothy, my dear child. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord!
Thanksgiving and Charge to Timothy
1:3 I am thankful to God, whom I have served with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, when I remember you in my prayers as I do constantly night and day.
1:4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.
1:5 I recall your sincere faith that was alive first in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and I am sure is in you.
1:6 Because of this I remind you to rekindle God’s gift that you possess through the laying on of my hands.
1:7 For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.
1:8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me, a prisoner for his sake, but by God’s power accept your share of suffering for the gospel.
1:9 He is the one who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not based on our works but on his own purpose and grace, granted to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
1:10 but now made visible through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus. He has broken the power of death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel!
1:11 For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher.
1:12 Because of this, in fact, I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, because I know the one in whom my faith is set and I am convinced that he is able to protect what has been entrusted to me until that day.
1:13 Hold to the standard of sound words that you heard from me and do so with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
1:14 Protect that good thing entrusted to you, through the Holy Spirit who lives within us.
1:15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.
1:16 May the Lord grant mercy to the family of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my imprisonment.
1:17 But when he arrived in Rome, he eagerly searched for me and found me.
1:18 May the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day! And you know very well all the ways he served me in Ephesus.
Lord, You will protect Your Word, You ask that we be faithful and persistent in bringing it to Your children and beyond. May I be found fearlessly-faithful for Your truth.
Paul greeted Timothy, restating his certainty of a calling from God, and restating his affection for him “... my dear child”. He also notes that he prays for him “day and night”.
He then revisited Timothy’s spiritual heritage “I recall your sincere faith that was alive first in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and I am sure (convinced) is in you.”
He challenged Timothy “... to rekindle God’s gift that you possess through the laying on of hands.”
[Note: The gift is Timothy’s call to leadership, confirmed when the apostle Paul laid hands upon him.]
Paul continued “For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
“... by God’s power accept your share of suffering for the gospel. He is the one who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not based on our works but on his purpose and grace, granted to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but now made visible through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus.”
He concluded the chapter, listing those who abandoned him in his imprisonment, and celebrating Onesiphorus who was “unashamed” and “often refreshed” him.
Paul’s challenge “For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
What are some practical ways to “... by God’s power accept your share of suffering for the gospel.”?
What does it mean to you that God “... called us with a holy calling, not based on our works but on his purpose and grace, granted to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but now made visible through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus.”?
When have you become aware of someone with a spiritual heritage, a transfer of authority and opportunity, like Timothy? Did it lead to a ministry with the clear power and purpose of Timothy’s or did it instead become more of a continuation of man’s tradition than a powerful relationship (with the Lord God) – both personal and poured-out through a calling for life?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any evidence of “... a Spirit of fear”.
Today I am committing to partner with the Holy Spirit as He affirms His gift “... of power and love and self-control.”
Serving Faithfully Despite Hardship
2:1 So you, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2:2 And entrust what you heard me say in the presence of many others as witnesses to faithful people who will be competent to teach others as well.
2:3 Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
2:4 No one in military service gets entangled in matters of everyday life; otherwise he will not please the one who recruited him.
2:5 Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he will not be crowned as the winner unless he competes according to the rules.
2:6 The farmer who works hard ought to have the first share of the crops.
2:7 Think about what I am saying and the Lord will give you understanding of all this.
2:8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David; such is my gospel,
2:9 for which I suffer hardship to the point of imprisonment as a criminal, but God’s message is not imprisoned!
2:10 So I endure all things for the sake of those chosen by God, that they too may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus and its eternal glory.
2:11 This saying is trustworthy: If we died with him, we will also live with him.
2:12 If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we deny him, he will also deny us.
2:13 If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, since he cannot deny himself.
Lord, You don't promise a trouble-free brief stay on earth but rather an eternity in the perfection of Heaven, for those who exchange this world to become Your children. May I take the suffering with the blessings and remain faithful.
Paul greeted Timothy with a wonderful phrase “... be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus”.
He instructed Timothy to raise up leaders among those whom God brings to his fellowship “... entrust what you heard me say. in the presence of many others as witnesses. to faithful people who will be competent to teach others as well.”
[Note: It is a serious failing of leadership that every leader has not consistently mentored one or more in leadership and in teaching so as to multiply themselves. It is also a violation of this clear command of the Lord God. One may speculate that it is out of fear of being displaced, an unwillingness to invest in others, and/or ignorance of the Word of God. The result has been the delegation of leadership training to para-church institutions.]
Paul exhorted Timothy “Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”, making certain that he would not be surprised by or unprepared for troubles sure to come from a world that hates the gospel.
He warned Timothy to avoid entanglement in the things of the world, to train and to compete energetically and ethically, and to not refuse reasonable compensation from those whom he serves.
Paul summarized what it is that Timothy must emphasize “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David [through Mary] ...” then continued:
“If we died with Him we will also live with Him.” [Salvation requires a spiritual rebirthing.]
“If we endure, we will also reign with Him.” [He rewards obedience.]
“If we deny Him, he will also deny us.” [This applies only to the unsaved.]
“If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, since he cannot deny himself.”
[He has guaranteed our salvation is recorded in “the Lamb’s Book of Life, the indwelling Holy Spirit is God’s “first downpayment” on our guarantee of eternal life with God, and a contract with God can never be canceled by mere man.]
Paul commissioned Timothy to “Remind people of these things ...”, both the gospel and the instructions for right-living before God.
Paul reminded Timothy of the centrality of Gospel and of right-living before God.
What are some practical ways “... to avoid entanglement in the things of the world”? (e.g.busy oneself with the things of the Kingdom, have Christian-accountability for lifestyle and priorities.)
Paul’s instruction to Timothy to raise up leaders among those whom God brings to his fellowship “... entrust what you heard me say. in the presence of many others as witnesses. to faithful people who will be competent to teach others as well.” Is this being obeyed in your fellowship and your life?
When have you observed an example of a Christian leader mentoring someone who then stepped-into leadership?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal you a Christian leader who has been imprisoned for his faith somewhere in the world.
Today I will pray for the prisoner-of-faith and will recruit others to pray in-agreement. As may be appropriate we will also encourage those imprisoning him or her to release them, we will contact our government officials to request that they lobby on behalf of the prisoner, and we will tell others via electronic, written, and in-person communications.
Dealing with False Teachers
2:14 Remind people of these things and solemnly charge them before the Lord not to wrangle over words. This is of no benefit; it just brings ruin on those who listen.
2:15 Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately.
2:16 But avoid profane chatter, because those occupied with it will stray further and further into ungodliness,
2:17 and their message will spread its infection like gangrene. Hymenaeus and Philetus are in this group.
2:18 They have strayed from the truth by saying that the resurrection has already occurred, and they are undermining some people’s faith.
2:19 However, God’s solid foundation remains standing, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from evil.”
2:20 Now in a wealthy home there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also ones made of wood and of clay, and some are for honorable use, but others for ignoble use.
2:21 So if someone cleanses himself of such behavior, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart, useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
2:22 But keep away from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faithfulness, love, and peace, in company with others who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
2:23 But reject foolish and ignorant controversies, because you know they breed infighting.
2:24 And the Lord’s slave must not engage in heated disputes but be kind toward all, an apt teacher, patient,
2:25 correcting opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance and then knowledge of the truth
2:26 and they will come to their senses and escape the devil’s trap where they are held captive to do his will.
Lord, You have counseled us to “... reject foolish and ignorant controversies, because you know they breed infighting.” Among my fellow children of the Lord God may I be known as one who listens more than I speak, who encourages more than I correct, and one who brings words of peace rather than of conflict.
Paul warned Timothy to resist the false teachers who led people into “... wrangling over words”, what He characterizes as “... of no benefit; it just brings ruin on those who listen.”
He challenged Timothy “Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately.”
Paul gave Timothy one key to recognize the false teachers, and to avoid drifting into their error “But avoid profane chatter ... their message will spread its infection like gangrene ... saying that the resurrection has already occurred, and they are undermining come people’s faith.”
He reassured Timothy that the Lord God’s plan was sure “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must torn away from evil.”
Paul used the illustration of vessels in the home, some used for clean things, others for refuse. He notes that a person in-rebellion was like the unclean vessel, but once cleansed by the Lord God he became useful to God’s good purposes.
He provided Timothy a checklist of do’s and don’ts to do “... in company with others who call on the Lord from a pure heart:
“... keep away from youthful passions”
“... pursue righteousness”
“... pursue ... faithfulness”
“... pursue ... love”
“... pursue ... peace”
“... reject foolish and ignorant controversies, because you know they breed infighting. And the Lord’s slave must not engage in heated disputes but be kind toward all”
“... the Lord’s slave must ... be an apt teacher”
“... the Lord’s slave must ... be patient”
“... the Lord’s slave must ... correct(ing) opponents with gentleness “
Paul noted that when “... the Lord’s slave” does these things “Perhaps God will grant them repentance and then knowledge of the truth and then they will come to their senses and escape the devil’s trap where they are held captive to do his will.”
[Note: Paul was speaking of Timothy’s interactions with the unsaved, the Lord God’s decision to “... grant them repentance” was based on His knowledge of their hearts and therefore their capacity to respond to truth, and he was reminding Timothy that every unsaved person is “captive” to “the devil”.]
“Wrangling over words ...” was discouraged as bringing conflict without wisdom.
What are some practical ways to implement Paul’s checklist of do’s and don’ts to do “... in company with others who call on the Lord from a pure heart” in your fellowship and your life.
Even though we allow tests to become temptations and therefore render ourselves as vessels for the Lord God to use to bless others He will lead us back to righteousness, make us clean, and then pour His blessings in and through us.
When have you experienced or observed an example of a “... Lord’s slave” interacting with an unbeliever and that person moving toward Christ such that God “... grant(ed) them repentance” and they were saved?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any place in your walk where you fall short in Paul’s checklist of do’s and don’ts, including the avoidance of “profane chatter”.
Today I will celebrate with the Holy Spirit the places where I am doing well and will ask Him to empower me to mature in the areas where I am weak. I will ask a fellow believer to pray in-agreement with me and to hold me accountable where I need to grow.
Ministry in the Last Days
3:1 But understand this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
3:2 For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,
3:3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, opposed to what is good,
3:4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God.
3:5 They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power. So avoid people like these.
3:6 For some of these insinuate themselves into households and captivate weak women who are overwhelmed with sins and led along by various passions.
3:7 Such women are always seeking instruction, yet never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
3:8 And just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these people – who have warped minds and are disqualified in the faith – also oppose the truth.
3:9 But they will not go much further, for their foolishness will be obvious to everyone, just like it was with Jannes and Jambres.
Lord, You have warned of “... difficult days to come”, and You provided Your indwelling Holy Spirit to carry us through. In times of trouble may I remember to lean on You.
Paul warned “... in the last days difficult times will come.” he then listed the symptoms:
“... people will be lovers of themselves”
“... lovers of money”
“... disobedient to parents”
“... without self-control”
“... opposed to what is good”
“... loving pleasure rather than loving God”
“They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power.”
“... some of these insinuate themselves into households and captivate weak women who are overwhelmed with sins and led along by various passions. Such women are always seeking instruction, yet never able to arrive at a knowledge of truth.
“... these people—who have warped minds and are disqualified in the faith—also oppose the truth. But they will not go much further, for their foolishness will be obvious to everyone “
Paul’s list of “symptoms” which are evidence of the last days of “difficult times to come”. Do you see them converging together across humanity as never before?
Isn’t it amazing the “... weak women who are overwhelmed with sins and led along by various passions. Such women are always seeking instruction, yet never able to arrive at a knowledge of truth.” How might your fellowship do a better job of discipling them and of connecting them to peer-accountability so that they become spiritually strong?
Are you struggling with any of the “symptoms” listed by Paul?
When have you observed people with influence in a fellowship who maintained “... the outward appearance of religion but ... repudiated its power?”
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you anything from Paul’s list of “symptoms” which are evidence of the last days of “difficult times to come”.
Today I will partner with the Holy Spirit as He helps me to endure the challenges and to continue to share His Word.
Continue in What You Have Learned
3:10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, my faith, my patience, my love, my endurance,
3:11 as well as the persecutions and sufferings that happened to me in Antioch, in Iconium, and in Lystra. I endured these persecutions and the Lord delivered me from them all.
3:12 Now in fact all who want to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
3:13 But evil people and charlatans will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived themselves.
3:14 You, however, must continue in the things you have learned and are confident about. You know who taught you
3:15 and how from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
3:16 Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
3:17 that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.
Lord, You have given us role-models, Your Word, and equipped us “... for every good work.” May I emulate Your role-model, apply, obey, and teach Your Word, and never cease from doing Your good work.
Paul was coach and mentor to Timothy, intentionally modeling for him right-living and sound leadership.
He warned him of conflict to come, as he had seen while traveling with Paul, but from inside and outside of the fellowship of believers (both from deceived-believers and fakes).
Paul reminded Timothy of the value of his discipleship and knowledge of the Word:
“You, however, must continue in the things you have learned and are confident about. You know who taught you and how from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus,”
“Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and in training in righteousness. for the person dedicated to Go may be capable and equipped for every good work.”
The Lord God disciples and equips those whom He calls to leadership.
If you were in Timothy’s position would you be somewhat intimidated by the circumstances and tasks before you?
The Lord God provided “... scripture [that] is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and in training in righteousness. for the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.”
When have you observed an example of a practical application, in your life, of “Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and in training in righteousness. for the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.”?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a situation where you are, or are about to be, persecuted for your faith.
Today I will read this text again, ask a fellow believer to pray in-agreement for protection and wisdom, and stand my ground for the Lord God.
Charge to Timothy Repeated
4:1 I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:
4:2 Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction.
4:3 For there will be a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching. Instead, following their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves, because they have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things.
4:4 And they will turn away from hearing the truth, but on the other hand they will turn aside to myths.
4:5 You, however, be self-controlled in all things, endure hardship, do an evangelist’s work, fulfill your ministry.
4:6 For I am already being poured out as an offering, and the time for me to depart is at hand.
4:7 I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith!
4:8 Finally the crown of righteousness is reserved for me. The Lord, the righteous Judge, will award it to me in that day – and not to me only, but also to all who have set their affection on his appearing.
Lord, we are to be fearless in sharing Your Gospel, resilient in resisting distractions and apostasy. May I be Your faithful instrument, however and wherever You choose to use me.
Paul concluded his second and final letter to Timothy with a review of what he has taught him about leadership as a shepherd, beginning with Whose authority he is asserting “I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom”
[Note: “... his appearing and his kingdom” may be taken it two ways, that Paul’s “solemn charge” is authoritative because it is approved by the Lord God, Christ Jesus, Who will judge all and who appeared to us in the flesh on the earth and Who established His kingdom, or, Him Who will return/appear again and Who will literally establish—or complete—His kingdom following His return and judgment.]
He then provided a checklist of instructions:
“Preach the message ...”
“... be ready whether it is convenient or not”
“... reprove ... with complete patience and instruction.” [challenge to know what they believe and why]
“... rebuke ... with complete patience and instruction.” [challenge false teaching]
“... exhort ... with complete patience and instruction.” [challenge to act from faith, or submit in faith]
Paul then warned Timothy again of the changes that were coming “For there will be a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching.”, they will seek teachers who will promote myths and other non-Biblical teaching.
He instructed Timothy further “... be self-controlled in all things, endure hardship, do an evangelist’s work, fulfill your ministry.”
Paul concluded by stating that he is about to die for his faithfulness and others need to be willing to do the same, knowing that God will keep His promises “... to all who have set their affection on his appearing.”
The exhortation of Paul to Timothy “... be self-controlled in all things, endure hardship, do an evangelist’s work, fulfill your ministry.” How are you doing with those things?
What are some practical ways to implement the checklist of instructions for Timothy? Where do you see these practiced in your life of ministry (the ministry of all believers), and where do you need to consider discipleship, opportunity, and sacrifice to cause them to be realized in your ministry?
Paul reminded Timothy (and us) that the Lord God is always watching, always cares, and always chooses the eternal consequences of our choices. He has chosen to work out His plan though us, but reserves the right to work out His plan despite us, should we choose to be less-than-cooperative.
When have you observed an example of “... people [who] will not tolerate sound teaching.”, they will seek teachers who will present myths and other non-Biblical teachings. What was the result?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you moments/places in your life where the Lord God is providing opportunities to reprove, rebuke, and exhort.
Today I will commit to His indwelling Holy Spirit to be a willing vessel through whom He may pour His wisdom and power so that those opportunities are fully actualized to His glory and purpose.
Travel Plans and Concluding Greetings
4:9 Make every effort to come to me soon.
4:10 For Demas deserted me, since he loved the present age, and he went to Thessalonica. Crescens went to Galatia and Titus to Dalmatia.
4:11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is a great help to me in ministry.
4:12 Now I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
4:13 When you come, bring with you the cloak I left in Troas with Carpas and the scrolls, especially the parchments.
4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him in keeping with his deeds.
4:15 You be on guard against him too, because he vehemently opposed our words.
4:16 At my first defense no one appeared in my support; instead they all deserted me – may they not be held accountable for it.
4:17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message would be fully proclaimed for all the Gentiles to hear. And so I was delivered from the lion’s mouth!
4:18 The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed and will bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever! Amen.
4:19 Greetings to Prisca and Aquila and the family of Onesiphorus.
4:20 Erastus stayed in Corinth. Trophimus I left ill in Miletus.
4:21 Make every effort to come before winter. Greetings to you from Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers and sisters.
4:22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.
Lord, You know that Your people will often be weak, despite Your strength available to them through Your Holy Spirit. May I remember to endure and persevere in Your work not through my strength but rather Yours.
Paul experienced the same abandonment when arrested and prosecuted as did Jesus.
He was delivered from his persecutors after the opportunity to share the Lord God’s Gospel with the “gentiles”; once again what the enemy meant for evil the Lord turned to good.
Paul used the OT imagery of Daniel in the lion’s den to describe his experience.
He counseled Timothy to beware of “Alexander the coppersmith” who was apparently influential and invested in opposing the Gospel.
Paul appealed to Timothy to join him and to gather some resources he had left-behind along the way.
No matter how we may be attacked, for our faith, we may be certain that the Lord God will provide opportunities along the way to be a witness, and perhaps to even tell His story in words.
How might we better prepare ourselves, and those around us, to stand firm in the face of attack?
Paul was confident that the Lord would deliver him and bring him home to Heaven.
When have you experienced or observed attacks for faith? How did those involve respond?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you at least one person who will stand faithfully by you should you be attacked for your faith.
Today I will encourage and pray for the one whom the Holy Spirit has revealed, and as is appropriate, will engage them in Bible study and fellowship so that we may both grow.
All Bible text is from the NET unless otherwise indicated—http://bible.org
Note 1: These Studies often rely upon the guidance of the NET Translators from their associated notes. Careful attention has been given to cite that source where it has been quoted directly or closely paraphrased. Feedback is encouraged where credit has not been sufficiently assigned.
Note 2: When NET text is quoted in commentary and discussion all pronouns referring to God are capitalized, though they are lower-case in the original NET text.
Commentary text is from David M. Colburn, D.Min. unless otherwise noted.
Copyright © 2012 by David M. Colburn. This is a BibleSeven Study, “2 Timothy” – prepared by David M. Colburn and edited for bible.org in March of 2012. This text may be used for non-profit educational purposes only, with credit; all other usage requires prior written consent of the author.