4. Standing Up for the Gospel
2 Timothy 2:1-13
Day One Study
1. Read 2 Timothy 2:1-13. In verse 1, what is Paul urging Timothy to do?
2. Why do you think Paul tells Timothy to be strong in “grace,” rather than something like knowledge?
3. How could God’s grace help Timothy pass on the gospel of Jesus Christ?
4. To whom is Timothy supposed to entrust the gospel?
5. Why do you think faithfulness (or reliability) is more important to Paul than position or influence?
6. To Live Faithfully: Do you consider yourself a faithful or reliable person who can “guard” the truth of Jesus Christ and teach it to others? If so, what steps will you take or opportunities will you seek to do this in your life?
Read 2 Timothy 2:3-7. As Timothy preached and taught, he would face suffering, but he should also be able to endure (verse 3). In verses 4-6, Paul uses 3 vivid examples to motivate his beloved son Timothy, illustrating the attitude that Christ’s followers must have through suffering. The first example is that of a soldier.
7. What are the characteristics of a good soldier?
8. In what ways does a believer “endure” or “suffer” hardship in the same manner as a soldier?
9. “Civilian affairs” (verse 4) is also translated “matters of everyday life.” Give some examples of these. How can such affairs “entangle” a Christian?
10. How can we avoid such entanglement?
11. Paul then turned to the image of the competitor in the Greek games (verse 5). How does being an athlete relate to being a Christian?
Day Two Study
Read 2 Timothy 2:3-7. Paul continues his analogy of the Christian life with contemporary examples.
12. The third example is that of a farmer. What does laboring have to do with being a Christian worker?
13. To Live Faithfully: Read the following paragraph.
Focus on the Meaning: John Stott, in his Bible study guide, states that by these first three metaphors that illustrate the duties of the Christian worker, Paul isolated three aspects of wholeheartedness that should be found in Timothy and in us: The dedication of a good soldier, the law-abiding obedience of a good athlete and the painstaking labor of a good farmer. Without these we cannot expect results. There will be no victory for the soldier unless he gives himself to his soldiering, no wreath for the athlete unless he keeps the rules and no harvest for the farmer unless he toils at his farming.
Considering this, how would you describe:
· Your dedication to Jesus Christ? What gets in the way?
· Your obedience to Christ? What tempts you not to obey?
· Your laboring for Christ? What sidetracks you?
Pray that God will help you live out the standards for a Christian worker you have just studied.
14. Read 2 Timothy 2:8-13. Paul’s own example should also motivate Timothy. How would you describe Paul’s attitude towards his circumstances in verses 9-13?
Think About It: “...Paul could confidently endure everything knowing that God remained in control...A woman endures the pains of childbirth for the sake of her child. We must never think of suffering as some form of work of merit to earn our salvation or to work off our guilt, nor as some form of punishment from God. Although Paul experienced very real pain as he spread the gospel, he focused on the results of his suffering—others were finding salvation in Christ.” (Life Application Bible Commentary)
15. What convictions enable and motivate Paul to have such an attitude? (See also 2 Corinthians 4:15).
16. To Live Faithfully: What are you learning about the cost of following Jesus? Are your expectations of the Christian life different now than when you first became a believer? How so?
Think About It: God is faithful to his children, and although we may suffer great hardships in this life, God promises that someday we will live eternally with Him. What will this involve? It means believers will live in Christ’s kingdom, and that we will share in the administration of that kingdom. This truth comforted Paul as he went through suffering and death. Are you facing hardships? Don’t turn away from God—focus on your wonderful future with Him. (Life Application Bible Commentary)
Related Topics: Curriculum