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4. The Disciplines of a Strong Minister (2 Timothy 2:1-7)

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So you, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 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. Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one in military service gets entangled in matters of everyday life; otherwise he will not please the one who recruited him. Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he will not be crowned as the winner unless he competes according to the rules. The farmer who works hard ought to have the first share of the crops. Think about what I am saying and the Lord will give you understanding of all this.

2 Timothy 2:1–7 (NET)

What are the disciplines of a strong minister of Christ?

Remember that when 2 Timothy was written, the persecution of Christians was widespread; Paul, himself, was in prison. Because of this, everyone in Asia had deserted him (1:15)—some had, no doubt, even deserted Christ. In view of the surrounding persecution, Paul calls Timothy to use his spiritual gift, to be unashamed of Christ and the gospel, and to guard the apostolic deposit (2 Tim 1:6, 8, 13-14). Second Timothy 2:1 unfolds on this backdrop; Paul says, “So you, my child be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”

“Strong” means to be “‘inwardly strengthened,’ suggesting strength in soul and purpose.”1 When many were falling away or compromising the faith, Paul wanted Timothy to stand strong. This was important for Timothy to hear as his natural disposition seemed to be timidity (2 Tim 1:7). He needed to hear this exhortation and so do we.

Similarly, when God called Joshua to lead Israel, he said, “Be strong and brave.” He repeats this twice in Joshua 1:7 and 1:9. When talking about spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6, Paul calls for the Ephesians to be “strengthened in the Lord” (v. 10). If we are going to be faithful ministers of Christ, we must be strong. Why? Because we are constantly under spiritual attack from demons, principalities, and rulers of the darkness. Because we are in a world that is antagonistic toward Christ, his teachings, and his people. And also, because of our tendency to sin, get discouraged, and wander away from Christ. In the midst of all this, we must be strong to complete what God has called us to do.

How can we become strong ministers of Christ—ones who faithfully complete our God-given work, instead of quitting or falling away? We learn the disciplines of a strong minister in 2 Timothy 2:1-7.

Big Question: What disciplines of a strong minister can be discerned from 2 Timothy 2:1-7?

A Strong Minister Relies on God’s Grace

So you, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 2:1

“Be strong” is passive “indicating that the source of Timothy’s strength was not in himself but in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”2 The NEB translates this “Take strength from the grace of God which is ours in Christ Jesus.” As we study Scripture, it is clear that in our salvation Christ gave us abundant grace—grace to believe, grace to serve, grace to stand, grace to overcome our weaknesses, etc. Consider the following verses: John 1:16 says this in the ESV, “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast.” First Peter 4:10 says, “Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of the varied grace of God.” Ephesians 6:10–11 says, “Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” In addition, 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me.”

Grace has been abundantly given to believers, and therefore, we must stand and not quit. Kent Hughes comments on this passage nicely sum up Paul’s words to Timothy:

Nothing would come Timothy’s way as he guarded the gospel that he would not have the graced strength to handle—no person, no pain, no problem, no responsibility, no tragedy. There would be no time when he could not stand tall. And that is true for all who are in Christ and thus under his grace. If he calls you to do something, he will supply sufficient strength through his grace. If he calls you to step forward, he will give you the power. If he calls you to step up, he will give you the fortitude. If he calls you to endure, the strength you need will be found in “the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”3

Application Question: How can we rely on God’s grace in our ministry?

1. To rely on God’s grace, we must not put our trust in our own abilities.

Philippians 3:3 says, “For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God, exult in Christ Jesus, and do not rely on human credentials.” We put no confidence in our abilities. It is when we feel confident in our counseling, serving, or teaching that we lose God’s power. God’s power is made perfect in our weakness—not our strength.

If we are confident, we must repent. If we feel weak, we must thank God as Paul did. He said that he boasted in his weakness so that Christ’s power could rest on him (2 Cor 12:9-10). Are you recognizing your weakness before God? It is the secret to experiencing his grace.

2. To rely on God’s grace, we must abide in Christ.

In John 15:5, Christ said, “‘I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing.” We must daily abide in God’s Word, prayer, and worship in order to be strengthened by God’s grace. If not, all our work and ministry will be done in the flesh and only produce fleshly results.

Are you abiding in Christ?

3. To rely on God’s grace, we must ask for more of it.

Yes, God has given us much grace in our salvation. However, there is more that he would like to give. James 4:6 says he gives more grace. Are you asking for more grace over your parenting, your work, your service, your relationships, etc.? In James 4:2, the author says we have not because we ask not. Are you asking?

4. To rely on God’s grace, we must work.

Though the phrase “be strong” is passive, it does not suggest passivity. Relying on God is more a matter of the heart than an action. However, to rely on his grace, we must, in fact, work. As we pray and trust God, we must work in accordance with his grace. In 1 Corinthians 15:10, Paul said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been in vain. In fact, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God with me.”

Some trust in God but don’t work. Others work but don’t trust. Neither is a proper balance. To not work and simply claim it by faith is to have no faith at all. Because God gave grace, Paul worked harder than everyone else, and therefore, God’s grace was not without effect.

Is God’s grace effective in you? Are you trusting and working? Strong ministers rely on God’s grace, and it prompts them to faithfully work hard.

Application Question: Why is it important to rely on God’s grace in order to be a strong minister? What is the balance of relying on God and working?

A Strong Minister Faithfully Teaches God’s Word

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 Timothy 2:2

Paul called Timothy to faithfully teach others what he originally learned from Paul. The word “entrust” “carries the idea of depositing something valuable for safekeeping.”4 Timothy was part of a long train of people who had been entrusted with God’s Word with the purpose of them teaching it to others. There are four generations of teachers in this passage: Paul, Timothy, faithful people, and those the faithful people teach.

William Barclay expands on this concept, “The teacher is a link in the living chain which stretches unbroken from this present moment back to Jesus Christ. The glory of teaching is that it links the present with the earthly life of Jesus Christ.”5 The apostles, including Paul, received from Christ and taught the message to faithful men like Timothy, and they passed it on to us through a long line of faithful teachers.

It is like a relay race where individuals keep passing the baton from one person to another. Sadly, in this race, there are people who for some reason feel tired or distracted and therefore drop the baton or quit the race all together. Maybe they say, “I don’t feel like reading the Bible!” “I don’t feel like going to church!” or “I don’t feel like sharing God’s Word with others!”, and therefore, they break the link. There is nothing more selfish than this. This baton saves and changes lives. Plus, when we drop it, we neglect the work of Christ, the apostles, pastors, teachers, small group leaders, youth leaders, and parents who faithfully passed it on to us. We must be faithful students and teachers of God’s Word. We are living links in the chain, and therefore, we must pass it on to others. First Corinthians 4:1-2 says, “This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”

Are you being a faithful link in the chain—a faithful teacher of God’s Word? Don’t neglect the stewardship passed on to you—share it with others.

Observation Question: What type of people is Timothy called to share God’s Word with?

In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul uses the phrase “faithful people” or it can be translated “reliable people.” What does he mean by this? Shouldn’t we share it with everybody? Yes, we should. However, there are some that we should invest the most energy in. Who are they? They are people who faithfully attend church and small group. They use their spiritual gifts to serve others. They faithfully study the Word individually and corporately. They are disciplined with their spiritual life, work, ministry, and family. They are not letting entertainment and activities drown out their spiritual life. When you invest in these types of people, you multiply your ministry because they are going to share it with others.

This is what Christ did with his ministry: He ministered to the multitudes and ate with tax collectors and sinners. He had the seventy-two who he sent out to minister and preach the gospel. He had the twelve apostles, and even within the twelve, he had the three—his inner circle of Peter, James, and John. Though he ministered to everybody, he especially invested in the faithful. We must do the same.

When you’re looking for people to disciple, find the faithful. Reach out to unbelievers, go after the lost sheep, encourage the nominal, but invest the majority of your time in the faithful.

As we consider this, we certainly must ask ourselves, “Are we faithful?” If not, we will miss out on God’s best. With the faithful, he expands their stewardship of both the Word and souls. Are you being faithful?

Application Question: What person or persons had the most effect on your spiritual life? Who was the greatest depositor of God’s Word in you?

A Strong Minister Demonstrates the Attitude of a Good Soldier

Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one in military service gets entangled in matters of everyday life; otherwise he will not please the one who recruited him.

2 Timothy 2:3-4

When every believer was born again, they were enlisted in a war. They are in a war with their flesh, as they fight against sin (1 Pet 2:11). They are in a war with the devil, as they fight against powers and principalities and rulers of the darkness (Eph 6:10-13). And they are in a war against the world, as they fight against being conformed to its pattern (Rom 12:2). We are all soldiers in a war whether we recognize it or not. The question is, “Are we good soldiers?” Charles Spurgeon said it this way:

Paul does not exhort Timothy to be a common, or ordinary soldier, but to be a ‘good soldier of Jesus Christ;’ for all soldiers, and all true soldiers, may not be good soldiers. There are men who are but just soldiers and nothing more; they only need sufficient temptation and they readily become cowardly, idle, useless and worthless; but he is the good soldier who is bravest of the brave, courageous at all times, who is zealous, does his duty with heart and earnestness.6

Observation Question: What aspects of a good soldier’s attitude does Paul focus on in 2 Timothy 2:3-4?

1. Good soldiers are willing to suffer for Christ.

Again, Paul says, “Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus (v. 3). As Christians were being persecuted throughout the Roman Empire, many deserted Paul, and probably Christ. Paul calls Timothy to be a good soldier who does not shrink from suffering. People enlist in the military knowing that they may have to suffer and even give their life for their country. This should be true of Christians as well.

Christ said this in Matthew 16:24–25, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” To take up our cross refers to the daily battle with our flesh. We must die daily to our affections for sin. But it also means being willing to suffer for Christ in a world that hates him and his Word. Timothy needed this attitude and so does every Christian.

Are you willing to suffer for Christ?

2. Good soldiers stand with other soldiers.

When Paul said, “take your share of suffering,” it not only was a call to suffer but to stand with fellow suffering soldiers—for Timothy to take his share of the whole. One of the goals of the military is to take individuals and form them into a community willing to suffer for both their country and one another. I remember when I enlisted and went through basic training in the Air Force. After eight weeks of following our training instructor, I felt a supreme amount of trust and affection for him and that I could even die for him, as well as for others in my unit. It should be the same for believers with the church.

Though we are individuals, one of the aims of the New Testament is to teach us that we are a body and that we are dependent upon one another (cf. 1 Cor 12). We may not feel this instinctively, but we must learn it and live it out. In the same way that the eyes need the hands and the feet, we need one another. When one part of the body suffers, we suffer. And when another part of the body excels, we excel. We must learn this as members of one body, but also as soldiers in Gods army. We do this, in part, by sharing our problems and joys with one another, carrying one another’s burdens, and protecting one another. Many never experience this reality because they never share their burdens, never carry others’ burdens, and never seek to protect their brothers and sisters. Therefore, they know nothing of the ‘experience’ of being part of the army of Christ and part of his body.

Are you committed to the body of Christ—the army of God? Or are you a lone-ranger?

3. Good soldiers focus on their job by avoiding distractions.

Paul says, “No one in military service gets entangled in matters of everyday life” (v. 4). What does he mean by this? When a person enlists, he often leaves friends, family, and other career ambitions to focus on serving his country. It is not that he never talks to his friends and family, it’s just that in certain seasons of military service, like a deployment, they cannot be his primary focus.

Macdonald said this about verse 4:

The emphasis is on the word entangles. The soldier must not allow ordinary affairs of life to become the main object of existence. For instance, he must not make acquiring food and clothing the main aim of life. Rather, the service of Christ must always occupy the prominent place, while the things of this life are kept in the background.7

John MacArthur adds,

I recall a story about a Civil War soldier who happened to be a watchmaker. One day the bugle sounded and the men were told to break camp. “But I can’t go now!” the soldier complained. “I have a dozen watches to repair!”8

Sadly, many Christians are like this: career, family, friends, entertainment, and many other things come before God and his mission. They may be soldiers; however, they are not good ones. They are distracted and entangled in affairs that often keep them out of church, God’s Word, and prayer, and therefore, they can’t faithfully serve in God’s army.

What is entangling and distracting you from faithfully serving in God’s army?

4. Good soldiers aim to please their Commanding Officer, Christ.

Sadly, many are more focused on pleasing friends, family, professors, or bosses. Proverbs 29:25 says, “the fear of people becomes a snare.” Many, including those serving in pastoral ministry, are ensnared by the expectations of others which keeps them from fully committing to Christ and doing his will. They become people pleasers instead of God pleasers. In Galatians 1:10, Paul said, “Am I now trying to gain the approval of people, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ!”

Are you a slave of Christ or a people pleaser? You can’t have two masters; you will always hate one and love the other.

Timothy was timid and not naturally disposed to the attitudes of a soldier. However, Scripture seems to indicate that by God’s grace he in fact developed these attitudes and faithfully discharged his duties. Hebrews 13:23 says, “You should know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he comes soon, he will be with me when I see you.” At some point, he was imprisoned for his faith and eventually released. By God’s grace, Timothy was a good soldier of Christ, and by God’s grace, we can be as well. We can be soldiers that are willing to suffer, partner with other soldiers, avoid distractions, and please our Commanding Officer—Christ.

Are you a good soldier of Christ or just a soldier? Christ has given grace to be faithful, even amidst hardships and temptations.

Application Question: What are some other important qualities of a good soldier that are necessary in the Christian life?

A Strong Minister Competes Like an Athlete, According to God’s Rules

Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he will not be crowned as the winner unless he competes according to the rules.

2 Timothy 2:5

Paul often used athletic illustrations in his letters. He mentions track and field (1 Cor 9:24), boxing (1 Cor 9:26), and wrestling (Eph 6:12). Here in 2 Timothy 2:5, he refers generally to sports and particularly to the Greek games. In these games, there were three rules that each athlete had to keep:

First, he had to be a trueborn Greek. Second, he had to prepare at least ten months for the games and swear to that before a statue of Zeus. Third, he had to compete within the specific rules for a given event. To fail in any of those requirements meant automatic disqualification.9

Though the Christian life is often compared with an athletic competition, we are not competing against each other, but to complete the race God has given us and be rewarded (cf. 1 Cor 9:24-26, Heb 12:1). For this reason, we must keep the rules, lest we become disqualified (v. 27).

Application Question: How can Christians follow God’s rules like an athlete?

Every athlete, often from a young age, spends time learning the rules of a sport. A basketball player knows that he can’t carry the basketball while running—that’s a travel. He can’t slap somebody on the wrist while playing—that’s a foul. In the same way, Christians must strive to know the entire revelation of Scripture so that we may be approved by God (2 Tim 2:15) and not disqualified for the prize—eternal reward.

Ephesians 5:8b-10 says, “Walk as children of the light—for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth—trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.” We learn what pleases God by knowing his Word, discerning his will through prayer, his work in our hearts, the counsel of godly saints, and his sovereignty over the events of life. Our ultimate desire must be to please God, our Commanding Officer.

Sadly, many Christians don’t know the rules, or they simply try to make up their own. Some even talk as though they have some special relationship with God which allows them to break the rules. I’ve met Christians who say things like, “God understands where I’m at right now, and I feel like I’m OK with him.” Then they go on to describe why it’s OK for them to date an unbeliever, to live with their boyfriend, to not go to church, or to participate in some other form of rebellion. If we are going to be rewarded, we must, like athletes, compete according to the rules.

Are you competing like an athlete—according to God’s revealed will?

Application Question: How can we discern God’s will concerning things not clearly taught in Scripture like what job to take, who to marry, etc.? What other disciplines of an athlete are important in our Christian life?

A Strong Minister Is Like a Hardworking Farmer

The farmer who works hard ought to have the first share of the crops.

2 Timothy 2:6

Paul switches metaphors here, from sports to agriculture. He exhorts Timothy to be a strong minister by modeling a hardworking farmer. The phrase “works hard” means “to toil intensely, to sweat and strain to the point of exhaustion if necessary.”10 Sadly, many Christians think they don’t have to work hard—they just need to wait and trust God. Maybe, they’re in a spiritual rut—they don’t enjoy their spiritual disciplines and are struggling with some sin. But instead of disciplining themselves to get out of it, they are apathetic and lazy. They think it’s God responsibility to change them with no effort on their own. Therefore, they fold their hands, and their hearts, and get mad at God. Essentially, they say, “Why won’t God change me? Why won’t he give me a heart for his Word or to serve? Why won’t he set me free from this sin?” However, Scripture says, “continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence, for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort—for the sake of his good pleasure—is God” (Phil 2:12-13). We should work because God is working in us. We need to faithfully do our part.

First Corinthians 15: 58 says, “…Always be outstanding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” If we are going to be strong ministers, we must be willing to work hard. Our emotions can’t control us, our faith in God must. Just as farmers get up early to work the field and, at times, go to bed late after working all day, we must demonstrate that same faithfulness in our labor. If we’re going to be strong and not weak, we must work hard.

With that said, more characteristics are implied by Paul’s illustration of a hardworking farmer that partakes in the harvest.

Application Question: What are some other characteristics of a hardworking farmer that should be applied to our spiritual lives?

1. Christian farmers must be patient.

The farmer works hard but waits on God to make the fruit grow; ministers must do the same. If we are not patient, we will become frustrated with the spiritual growth of others or even ourselves. Paul said this in Philippians 1:6, “For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Are you confident in God or frustrated at yourself and others? We never see a farmer yelling at the field. He simply works, while patiently trusting in God.

2. Christian farmers must be faithful in the mundane.

John MacArthur adds:

The teacher often finds exhilaration in the aspiring minds of his students, the soldier often has the excitement of battle, and the athlete the thrill of competing. But most of a farmer’s working hours are tedious, humdrum, and unexciting… Many Christians’ lives are like the farmer’s. Although there may be occasional times of excitement and special satisfaction, the daily routine is often, in itself, unattractive and unrewarding.11

Most of the Christian life is being faithful in the mundane—the everyday, ordinary tasks. We don’t always experience harvest seasons or times of revival. Most times life includes hard labor with little fruit and little encouragement. However, it is probably in those seasons where our true faith shows. It’s easy to have faith on the mountain top, but what about while in the valley or climbing the mountain? If we’re going to be hardworking farmers, we have to be faithful in the mundane seasons of breaking up hard ground, sowing seed, and waiting.

Are you faithful in the mundane?

3. Christian farmers must hope in a future harvest.

Again 2 Timothy 2:6 says, “The farmer who works hard ought to have the first share of the crops.” However, MacDonald suggests a different translation, as originally shared by Darby. He says,

While Darby agrees that the above is a possible rendering, he suggests that the sense of the passage is that the farmer must work in order to enjoy a share of the harvest. Therefore, he translates, “The husbandman must labour before partaking of the fruits.” This preserves the thought of necessity: The soldier must endure; the athlete must keep the rules; the farmer must work hard.12

Either way, it is clear that Christians, as do farmers, must work hard to receive a harvest. It is hope in seeing the harvest that inspires both the hardworking farmer and the hardworking Christian. Without hope, we’ll get discouraged and give up. Are you laboring in hope?

Interpretation Question: What type of harvest is Paul referring to?

Two types of harvest most naturally come to mind: Obviously, we should work for the fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, self-control, etc. (Gal 5:22-23)—to be born in our lives and others. These fruits should motivate us as we labor. Initially, all we may see is the opposite of these fruits—anger, unforgiveness, lack of discipline, etc., but as we sow the truth with love into hearts, fruit may in fact grow.

Secondly, harvest also refers to the salvation of souls. Christ said the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few (Matt 9:37). We should labor in prayer, share the gospel, and live holy lives with the hope of seeing the fruit of salvation.

If we are going to be strong ministers who last and don’t give up, we must be hardworking farmers. We must demonstrate patience, faithfulness in the mundane, and also hope in a harvest.

Application Question: Which characteristic of a hardworking farmer do you feel most challenged to grow in and why?

A Strong Minister Is a Faithful Bible Student

Think about what I am saying and the Lord will give you understanding of all this.

2 Timothy 2:7

Paul tells Timothy to “think about” what he said and the Lord would give “understanding.” The word “think” means “to consider carefully,” “to ponder,” or “to mull over.” The form of the verb is “an imperative, indicating that Paul was giving a strong admonition, not mere advice.”13 With all this said, Paul’s instructions in verse 7 has applications for understanding not just 2 Timothy 2:1-6 but all of Scripture. Therefore, to be a strong minister, Timothy would need to be a faithful Bible student, and this is true for us as well.

Application Question: How does Paul’s instruction apply to understanding Scripture?

1. To understand Scripture, we must study it.

As mentioned above, to “think” means to “consider carefully.” One of the reasons many aren’t growing in knowledge of Scripture is because they never carefully consider it. They quickly look over a few verses in the morning or at night, if they do it at all, then wonder why they don’t get anything from it and are not growing. They passively listen to a sermon on Sunday, and expect the Holy Spirit to saturate them with understanding and fruit. However, he doesn’t. And the reason is because they are not “carefully considering” it. They are not studying.

Psalm 1 talks about the blessing on the man that “meditates” day and night on God’s law. The word “meditates” is used of a cow chewing his cud. He chews, swallows, regurgitates, and then chews, swallows, and regurgitates again, and so on. God blesses those who study Scripture like that. He gives them more understanding and blesses them in many other ways. He makes them like trees that bear fruit in season (1:3). One application of the tree metaphor is the strength of a tree. Because of their root system, they can stand amidst great storms. That’s what Paul wanted of Timothy. He wanted him to grow strong in God’s grace through meditating on God’s Word.

Do you faithfully study God’s Word?

2. To understand Scripture, we must rely on God.

Studying, by itself, will not unlock the truths of Scripture or produce fruit. God must give us understanding. Therefore, like David, we must always pray, “Open my eyes so I can truly see the marvelous things in your law… Teach me, O Lord, the lifestyle prescribed by your statutes, so that I might observe it continually” (Ps 119:18, 33).

Whereas some rely on God but don’t carefully consider, others carefully consider but don’t rely on God. They pull out their commentaries, biblical encyclopedias, and Greek and Hebrew lexicons and yet still don’t gain understanding or fruit. We must do both. We must study, and we must rely. We must do our part, and God will do his part—he will give us both understanding and fruit.

Are you a faithful Bible student? If not, you won’t be a strong minister of Christ.

Application Question: What disciplines have you found helpful in studying Scripture? Do you tend to rely on God and not study or to study and not rely on God? How should we maintain this delicate balance?

Conclusion

In an ungodly and antagonistic world, we must be strong ministers who faithfully serve God and others. What are the disciplines of a strong minister of Christ, and how can we become one?

  1. A Strong Minister Relies on God’s Grace
  2. A Strong Minister Faithfully Teaches God’s Word
  3. A Strong Minister Demonstrates the Attitude of a Good Soldier
  4. A Strong Minister Competes Like an Athlete, According to God’s Rules
  5. A Strong Minister Is Like a Hardworking Farmer
  6. A Strong Minister Is a Faithful Bible Student

Copyright © 2017, 2018 (2nd Edition) Gregory Brown

Unless otherwise noted, the primary Scriptures used are taken from the NET Bible ® copyright © 1996-2016 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

Holy Bible, New International Version ®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®) Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, Copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NASB) are taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, and 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Scripture quotations marked (KJV) are from the King James Version of the Bible.

All emphases in Scripture quotations and commentary have been added.

BTG Publishing all rights reserved.


1 Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vines Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Vol. 2, p. 198). Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.

2 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 2 Timothy (p. 37). Chicago: Moody Press.

3 Hughes, R. K., & Chapell, B. (2000). 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus: to guard the deposit (p. 193). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

4 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 2 Timothy (p. 40). Chicago: Moody Press.

5 The Letters to Timothy, Titus and Philemon [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1957], 182.

6 Guzik, D. (2013). 2 Timothy (2 Ti 2:3–4). Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik.

7 MacDonald, W. (1995). Believers Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2114). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

8 Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 245). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

9 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 2 Timothy (p. 44). Chicago: Moody Press.

10 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 2 Timothy (p. 47). Chicago: Moody Press.

11 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 2 Timothy (p. 47). Chicago: Moody Press.

12 MacDonald, W. (1995). Believers Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2115). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

13 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 2 Timothy (p. 47). Chicago: Moody Press.

Related Topics: Discipline, Issues in Church Leadership/Ministry, Pastors

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