Paul’s circumstances changed between the writing of 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy. In the first letter, Paul was anticipating coming to see Timothy. However, in second the letter, Paul was in prison. The circumstances of Paul’s imprisonment and impending death frame the letter and focus Paul’s instructions. This letter is more urgent. Thus, the frequency of imperatives mark 2 Timothy. Watch for those as they should also direct your preaching of the book.
We learn from this passage that Timothy came from a family of faith (sort of). His father was a Gentile, but his mother was a believer.
- Paul affirms that he also learn that he came from a family of faith (cf. 1:3)
- Paul was grateful for his heritage of faith AND that of Timothy
Paul issues a Challenge to Parents: – we MUST recognize our spiritual responsibility for our homes à Train your children!
Paul also issues a Challenge to Grandparents:
- I notice only Grandma is listed and not Grandpa
- You and I must also accept our responsibility to our grandchildren to be a godly influence on them, that the faith YOU possess is passed down from one generation to the next.
Here’s what Paul remembered about Timothy:
- Your sincere faith (genuine; “I’m convinced in you”)
- Your godly heritage
Challenge – Keep it ablaze!
- This Word, “ablaze” (ἀναζωπυρέω) is only used here in NT (but often by secular writers). It refers to the embers that remain after fire has died down. Paul wants Timothy to fan them back into a flame; to awaken what remains.
There are many lessons from this text:
- The Importance of a Clear Conscience (3)
- Acts 23:1; 24:16; Rom. 9:1; 2 Cor. 1:12; 1 Tim. 1:19; 3:1
- The Value of Intercessory Prayer (3)
- The Significance of a legacy (faith of those before)
- The Accountability of an inheritance (what passed to us)
But, this passage has ONE instruction → Keep the flame of your faith burning!
This is Paul’s admonition to Timothy
Paul’s basis for his appeal is Timothy’s foundation of faith and giftedness from the Spirit
Paul explained to Timothy that he had a foundation of faith and a gifting from the Holy Spirit of God!
Paul was saying to him, “Don’t waste what has been entrusted to you!”
- There are Two Things we Don’t Know:
- First, we don’t know why Timothy was crying? – Vs. 4
- Struggles in his church?
- Tearful goodbye at their last meeting?
- I long to see you …
- Next, we don’t know what Tim was afraid of …? – Vs. 7 (difficult situations at church; fear of Paul’s circumstances …)
However, ultimately, it doesn’t matter what circumstances were or the nature of Timothy’s fear. Here’s all you need to know—that fear is NOT from God. Here’s what God HAS given Timothy:
- SPIRIT of Power, Love, Sound Mind
- Power – the enabling for the task
- Love – the attitude with which we serve
- Sound Mind – the discernment on how best to do it
Paul told Timothy, “You keep fanning that flame!” It’s going to take power, love, and self-discipline to accomplish the task that God has assigned to us.
Believers can be certain that God has NOT called you to a task for which he has NOT equipped you!
You might title a message on this pericope: Rekindle!
It is the single message of this passage and the clear responsibility that has been entrusted to Timothy.
- In light of your heritage in faith …
- In light of your gifting in ministry …
- In light of the resources God has entrusted to us …
REKINDLE YOUR FAITH!