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Lesson 2: Stay Faithful without Fear (2 Timothy 1:1-7)

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Day One Study—Get the Big Picture

What does the Bible say?

Let’s start digging into this wonderful letter from God to us. For every lesson, we will begin with reading the whole passage to get the big picture before we study the verses more closely. Sometimes, we will include verses from the previous lesson to show continuity.

Read 2 Timothy 1:1-7. Ask the Lord Jesus to teach you through His Word.

If possible, print out the verses we are studying. Use your own method (colored pencils, lines, shapes) to mark 1) anything that grabs your attention, 2) words you want to understand, and 3) anything repeated in this passage. Draw arrows between thoughts that connect. Put a star  next to anything you think relates to being faithful or staying faithful.

1. What grabbed your attention from these verses?

2. What verses or specific words do you want to understand better?

3. What topics are repeated in this passage or continue an earlier discussion in this letter?

4. What verses illustrate or help you understand what staying faithful looks like?

5. From this lesson’s passage, choose one verse to dwell upon all week long. Write it in the space below. Ask God to teach you through this verse.

Respond to the Lord about what He’s shown you today.

Day Two Study

Read 2 Timothy 1:1-7. Ask the Lord Jesus to teach you through His Word.

Historical Insight: Who is Timothy? Timothy was born and reared in Lystra (central Turkey). His mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, were devout Jews who became believers in Christ. Timothy’s father was a Greek. There is no mention of him beyond that. Timothy first heard Paul preach the gospel on Paul’s first visit to Lystra and trusted in Christ. In essence, Paul was Timothy’s spiritual father. When Paul came back to Lystra, Timothy joined Paul on the rest of his 2nd missionary journey.

During that time, Timothy helped to establish churches at Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea. When Paul left Berea to go to Athens, Timothy and Silas stayed behind before later joining Paul in Corinth. Timothy was sent to Thessalonica to strengthen the faith of believers there. He also traveled with Paul to minister to churches in both Greece and Asia (western Turkey).

Six of Paul’s epistles to churches include Timothy in the salutations meaning Timothy was with him when Paul wrote the letters. Acts does not tell us whether Timothy was with Paul during Paul’s two-year imprisonment at Caesarea. But, he was with Paul during his house arrest in Rome. After Paul’s release (around 62 A.D.), Timothy and Paul traveled to Ephesus where Timothy was left to care for the church. Paul wrote 1st Timothy around 64 A.D. from Rome or Macedonia.

Paul wrote 2nd Timothy (~ 67 A.D.) while Timothy was still in Ephesus. The area surrounding Ephesus probably had a number of young churches, not just one, with each church led by elders. Timothy was sent as an “apostolic representative,” that is, as Paul’s substitute. He had the authority to order worship and appoint elders and deacons as well as maintain the teaching of truth and sound Christian doctrine.

According to Foxes Book of Martyrs, which was written several centuries later (originally published in 1563), Timothy remained in Ephesus until 97 A.D. During a pagan celebration of a feast called “Catagogion,” Timothy severely reproved the people in the procession for their ridiculous idolatry. This, of course, antagonized the partygoers who beat him with clubs “in so dreadful a manner that he expired of the bruises two days later.” (The above information is gathered from Acts 16-20, most of Pauls letters, and Foxes Book of Martyrs)

What does it mean?

6. After identifying himself as Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God (a declaration common to all his letters), what does he say next in v. 1? Why would this be an important truth to him at this time?

7. Looking at vv. 2-7, what words and phrases reveal the depth of Paul’s relationship with Timothy?

8. Based on what you read in the “Historical Insight” above, why is their relationship so meaningful to Paul?

9. In 2 Timothy 1:3, Paul says he serves God with a clear conscience as his forefathers did. Read Hebrews 11:17-40. What sort of spiritual heritage did Paul’s Jewish forefathers leave him?

Focus on the Meaning: To have a good, or pure, conscience does not mean that we have never sinned or do not commit acts of sin. Rather, it means that the underlying direction and motive of life is to obey and please God, so that acts of sin are habitually recognized as such and faced before God. (Dr. Constables Notes on 2 Timothy 2017 Edition, p. 8)

10. According to 2 Timothy 1:5, who were Timothy’s primary spiritual mentors as he was growing up? What gift did they impart to him? See also 2 Timothy 3:14-15.

Historical Insight: Timothy’s mother Eunice was Jewish, but her own father was apparently not very orthodox. He violated one of the clear commands of the Law in arranging a match for his daughter with a Gentile (Acts 16:1). Later, when Timothy was born, he wasn’t circumcised (16:3). So, it seems that neither Eunice’s father nor husband were observant of Judaism. But Eunice was. Paul praised her for her “genuine faith,” which she shared in common with her own mother Lois. Eunice imparted that faith to her son, Timothy, and…equipped him for a lifetime of usefulness for God. Eunice is an encouragement for every woman faced with the daunting task of nurturing the spiritual life of her children. (The Word in Life Study Bible, p. 746)

What application will you make to stay faithful to God?

11. Consider the role of mentoring / discipling in your life.

  • Have you had a spiritual parent or mentor like Paul? If so, who, and how did that person influence you to love and serve Christ?
  • Have you had a spiritual child or trainee like Timothy? If so, who, and what did you do to influence him/her to love and serve Christ?
  • If you have influence over children (parent, grandparent, teacher, friend, or other), what are you doing to impart a spiritual legacy, or heritage, to them?

Respond to the Lord about what He’s shown you today.

Day Three Study

Read 2 Timothy 1:1-7. Ask the Lord Jesus to teach you through His Word.

What does it mean?

12. According to 2 Timothy 1:5, we know that Timothy possessed sincere faith, which is a precious treasure especially in a church leader. He also had been given a spiritual gift for leadership and teaching.

  • What is said about this gift in 1 Timothy 1:18; 4:14?
  • Because of this faith, what was Paul encouraging Timothy to do with his God-given gift?

From the Greek: The Greek word translated as “fan into flame” or “kindle afresh” literally means to “kindle up, inflame one’s mind.” The word picture is that of a pair of bellows used on burning embers to invigorate a flame.

  • What would it look like to “fan into flame” or “kindle up” a spiritual gift?
  • What would the opposite look like?

13. Read 1 Corinthians 16:10 and 1 Timothy 4:12. The implication in these verses is that Timothy had a tendency to be timid or be afraid when facing challenges.

  • In 2 Timothy 1:7, what does not come from God?
  • To combat fear, what does God’s spirit provide to us? See also Romans 8:15.

From the Greek: Let’s define those words. “Power” comes from dynamis, meaning “the power of God to make you strong and able.” It is God’s power manifested in us. “Love” is agape, meaning unconditional love, God’s kind of love. “Self-control” comes from sophronismos, meaning “soundness of mind, moderation, self-control, disciplined mind.” It is the opposite of hysteria.

14. Why are these three qualities so important for those who want to serve Christ with their lives?

15. If God’s spirit within us is one of power, love, and discipline, what should (or could) characterize our response towards life’s hardships? Glean the following verses for your answer:

  • 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 —
  • Philippians 4:13, 19 —
  • Hebrews 4:15-16 —

Think About It: “Craving, cringing, panicky fear is one of the devil’s greatest weapons. I have a better chance of solving problems if I deal with them in a spirit of power, love and a sound mind. (Tim Stevenson, Mind Games)

What application will you make to stay faithful to God?

16. About “fanning into flame” your spiritual gifts:

At the end of this lesson, you will find a list of spiritual gifts with descriptions of each and a link to an online assessment that will help you to discover your gifts. Most of the spiritual gifts are described in Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-30 and Ephesians 4:11.

  • Do you recognize the spiritual gift(s) God has given you?
  • How are you using your gift(s) and experience for serving Christ?

17. Timothy may have had a tendency to be timid and fearful when faced with a challenge. What specific fears or inabilities tend to get in the way of your service to Christ? How can you apply 2 Timothy 1:7 to your life?

Respond to the Lord about what He’s shown you today.

Kindle Your Spiritual Gifts

Every believer in Jesus Christ is gifted by the Holy Spirit to serve the Body of Christ. A spiritual gift is a supernatural capacity for service to God in the Body of Christ. All believers receive the same gift of the Holy Spirit but individually receive spiritual gifts that differ, according to the will of God, to be used for the common good.

Although opinions differ on the actual number of spiritual gifts, the Bible clearly indicates a variety of gifts understood from such key passages as Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4. Listed below are some of the gifts and how they are beneficial to the Body of Christ, especially the local church body.

The following list is adapted from “The Gifts of the Spirit,” an article by Kenneth Boa, accessed at www.bible.org.

  • Administration (1 Corinthians 12:28) — The ability to steer a ministry toward the accomplishment of God-given goals and directives by planning, organizing, and implementing what is needed to accomplish the goal including supervising others. A person may have the gift of leadership without the gift of administration.
  • Discernment (1 Corinthians 12:10) — The ability to clearly discern the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (cf. 1 John 4:6). With this gift, one can distinguish reality versus counterfeits, the divine versus the demonic, true versus false teaching, and in some cases, spiritual versus carnal motives.
  • Evangelism (Ephesians 4:11) — The ability to be an unusually effective instrument in leading unbelievers to a saving knowledge of Christ. Some with this gift are most effective in personal evangelism, while others may be used by God in group evangelism or cross-cultural evangelism.
  • Exhortation (Romans 12:8) — The ability to motivate others to respond to the truth by providing timely words of counsel, encouragement, and consolation. When this gift is exercised, believers are challenged to stimulate their faith by putting God’s truth to the test in their lives.
  • Faith (1 Corinthians 12:9) — The ability to have a vision for what God wants to be done and to confidently believe that it will be accomplished in spite of circumstances and appearances to the contrary. The gift of faith transforms vision into reality.
  • Giving (Romans 12:8) — The ability to contribute material resources with generosity and cheerfulness for the benefit of others and the glory of God. Christians with this spiritual gift need not be wealthy.
  • Helps (1 Corinthians 12:28) — The ability to enhance the effectiveness of the ministry of other members of the body. Some suggest that while the gift of service is more group-oriented, the gift of helps is more person-oriented.
  • Leadership (Romans 12:8) — The ability to discern God’s purpose for a group, set and communicate appropriate goals, and motivate others to work together to fulfill them in the service of God. A person with this gift is effective at delegating tasks to followers without manipulation or coercion.
  • Mercy (Romans 12:8) — The ability to deeply empathize and engage in compassionate acts on behalf of people who are suffering physical, mental, or emotional distress. Those with this gift manifest concern and kindness to people who are often overlooked.
  • Service (Romans 12:7) — The ability to identify and care for the physical needs of the body through a variety of means.
  • Shepherd or pastor (Ephesians 4:11) — A person with this spiritual gift has the ability to personally lead, nourish, protect, and care for the needs of a group of believers. Many with this gift do not have or need the office of pastor to be useful to the body.
  • Teaching (Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:28-29; Ephesians 4:11) — The ability to clearly explain and effectively apply the truths of God’s Word so that others will learn. This requires the capacity to accurately interpret Scripture, engage in necessary research, and organize the results in a way that is easily communicated.
  • Wisdom (1 Corinthians 12:8) — The ability to apply the principles of the Word of God in a practical way to specific situations and to recommend the best course of action at the best time. The exercise of this gift skillfully distills insight and discernment into excellent advice.

Discover Your Spiritual Giftedness

Various spiritual gift assessments are available to further help you understand how you have been gifted. We recommend the online spiritual gifts analysis freely provided by “Ephesians Four Ministries” of the Church Growth Institute at the following website: www.churchgrowth.org.

Allow yourself at least 15 minutes to take this assessment (or any other assessment you have available to you). At the end, you will receive a detailed description of what may be your main spiritual gift. Often, a second gift is evident, and that description will be displayed as well. If possible, print these descriptions for future reference.

Primary gift: _____________________

Secondary gift (if applicable): _____________________

What did you discover about yourself regarding your spiritual gift(s) and how they could benefit your local community of believers?

© 2019.

Related Topics: Curriculum

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