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Lesson 3: Faithfulness without Shame (2 Timothy 1:7-18)

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Day One Study—Get the Big Picture

What does the Bible say?

Read 2 Timothy 1:6-14, (including verses from the last lesson). 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 1:7-18. Ask the Lord Jesus to teach you through His Word.

What does it mean?

Historical Insight: One of the most difficult things for ancient history students to get their heads around when first exploring the subject is the place Mediterranean societies gave to honor and shame. Honor was universally regarded as the ultimate asset for human beings, and shame the ultimate deficit—so much so that academics frequently refer to Egyptian, Greek, and Roman societies simply as “honor-shame” cultures. Much of life revolved around ensuring you and your family received public honor and avoided public shame…humility was rarely, if ever, considered virtuous. (John Dickson, Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love and Leadership, pp. 83-95)

6. What is the earnest counsel Paul gives Timothy in verse 8?

Focus on the Meaning: Three times in this chapter Paul uses the word “ashamed.” Shame is a feeling arising from something that has been done, not necessarily by oneself but by a hated cause such as Christianity or someone with whom one associates who has been discredited (Paul). The Greek word translated “ashamed” does not imply that Timothy was ashamed, but it is rather an admonition to not start being ashamed.

7. According to Paul, he is the prisoner of whom (v. 8)? See also Ephesians 3:1; 4:1; Philemon 1, 9.

8. What pressures might pull at Timothy to be ashamed to speak openly about the Lord or Paul?

Historical Insight: After the burning of Rome in 64 A.D., the Roman Christians were accused of “hatred against mankind.” This perception likely began in their refusal to participate in Rome’s social and civic life, which was intertwined with pagan worship. That despicable label for Christians (hating humanity) would have spread throughout the Empire. Paul had been considered a “ringleader” of these people (Acts 24:5). (Derrick G. Jeter, Historical Background of Pauls Final Imprisonment, posted August 14, 2017 on insightforliving.org)

9. According to 2 Timothy 1:12 and Romans 1:16, what kept Paul from being ashamed of himself?

10. In 2 Timothy 1:9-10, Paul describes the gospel message he has received from God and entrusted to Timothy. Timothy was not to be ashamed of this gospel and was to take his share of suffering for it. What key words and phrases does Paul use to describe the gospel?

Scriptural Insight: God’s plan to save lost sinners was made in eternity past (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8). (NIV Study Bible 1985 Edition, note on 1:9, p. 1844)

11. In verse 11, Paul defines himself in 3 specific roles. God appointed Paul to be a preacher or herald (kerux, “one who announces and proclaims”), an apostle (apostolos, “one who is sent”), and a teacher (didaskalos, “one who imparts knowledge and gives instruction”). How are these roles the cause of his suffering (verse 12)?

Think About It: An “apostle” today is anyone who is sent by God to a location or people. That could be your town and neighbors or a foreign village. Once sent, your job is to be a herald there proclaiming the good news about Jesus and then teach those who respond. Where have you been sent as a herald and teacher?

12. What motivated Paul to endure suffering as awful as imprisonment (v.12)?

Dependent Living: In 2 Timothy 1:12, Paul literally says, “I know Him in whom I have trusted and still am trusting, and I became convinced and still am convinced that He is able to guard my deposit until that day.” What is the deposit? Since Paul started off this letter referring to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus (1:1), the deposit is his soul committed to Jesus for salvation and eternal presence with Him. Like putting money in a bank that you trust, you (like Paul) can depend on God to fulfill His promise of eternal life to you as you have committed your very self to Him. Jesus made this promise of security in John 10:27-28.

13. Focusing on vv. 13-14:

  • What “treasure” is Timothy supposed to guard? See also 1 Timothy 1:11; 6:20; and Titus 1:3.
  • What would it look like to protect this treasure against loss?
  • How is he able to guard this treasure?

Dependent Living: We are responsible to adhere to and teach sound doctrine as well as live a godly life based on that sound doctrine. We can do this through the indwelling Holy Spirit. This is a cooperative effort. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He is given to every believer at the moment of salvation (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13). He is directly involved in both aspects of guarding the deposit of the gospel, namely, holding to sound doctrine (john 14:26) and living a godly life (Galatians 5:16-21). If you know the truth and are guarding it, you won’t be ashamed.

What application will you make to stay faithful to God?

14. Being ashamed of the gospel: You might tend to be ashamed to speak up about Christ or the gospel. How can you practice the truth of 2 Timothy 1:7 to help you tell others the good news about Jesus and to guard against being ashamed of it?

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

Day Three Study

Read 2 Timothy 1:8-18. Ask the Lord Jesus to teach you through His Word.

15. In vv. 15-18, Paul uses hyperbole (exaggeration) to describe how his friends from the province of Asia reacted to his imprisonment. What does he say about them?

Focus on the Meaning: “Deserted” means “to turn away from.” Just because they turned away from Paul doesn’t mean they turned away from the gospel. Yet, being abandoned by those who were once his colleagues caused Paul more suffering.

16. How did Onesiphorus respond differently? Be specific as you list all that is said about him.

17. Define the word “refreshed.”

18. Paul referred to this ministry of being refreshed in his other letters. What do you learn about this in the following verses? Who was refreshed and how (if given)?

  • 1 Corinthians 16:18—
  • 2 Corinthians 7:13—
  • Philemon 1:7, 20—

19. Why would being refreshed by Onesiphorus have been important to Paul at this time?

Historical Insight: The Mamertine Prison (where Paul likely was kept at this time) could have been called the “House of Darkness.” Few prisons were as dim, dank, and dirty as the lower chamber Paul occupied. Known in earlier times as the Tullianum dungeon, its “neglect, darkness, and stench” gave it “a hideous and terrifying appearance,” according to Roman historian Sallust. (Derrick G. Jeter, Historical Background of Pauls Final Imprisonment, posted August 14, 2017 on insightforliving.org)

20. What self-sacrifices did Onesiphorus make in order to refresh Paul in Rome?

What application will you make to stay faithful to God?

21. About endurance and the need for refreshing:

  • Think of a time in your life that tested your physical or emotional endurance. What kept you going? Did someone refresh you?
  • How did you help someone else endure a physically or emotionally trying time? How did you refresh them?

22. Choose one missionary (someone you know or someone your church supports) and pray this week that the grace of God will sustain them.

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

© 2019.

Related Topics: Curriculum

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