This pericope has two imperatives (“hold fast” in vs. 13; and “keep” in vs. 14). In this passage, Paul is reminding Timothy of 2 things that he possesses. In describing each possession, Paul issues Tim an imperative describing what to DO with that possession. Next, Paul emphasizes how to DO it. Finally, Paul gives 2 illustrations: one who failed the first charge; and one who passed the second.
In his first charge, Paul admonished Timothy to HOLD ON to the pattern of sound words.
We live in a time that believes that it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you believe it strong enough. But, God’s Word is clear—It matters what you believe!
NOTE: Timothy is instructed to hold fast to the pattern of sound words.
- The word conveys the idea like an architect’s blueprint for a building.
Paul gave Tim a blueprint to follow. He did not cover every conceivable issue, but it was a pattern to follow.
Next, Paul instructed Timothy in HOW to hold to the pattern. This phrase looks back to the imperative. Timothy is to hold fast “in faith and love which are in Christ.”
- By faith we believe the Word
- In love we practice it
Paul’s second imperative was to GUARD (literally, “the good deposit”). In other words, what has been entrusted to you…KEEP that!
- There are 2 references in vs 14 to vs. 12
- The word “keep”
- The word “deposit”
HOW: By the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
Paul uses two illustrations of the two instructions he just issued: one in the negative and one in the positive. Here are Two kinds of people who, if you meet them, you will never forget them. Two people’s names you will never forget.
The first illustration is about two people who did not hold fast the sound instruction
Let me SHOW you what that would look like:
- Phygellus and Hermogenes
You know this … It was common knowledge that some left. Paul remembered their names.
- Paul used names in the Pastorals more often than other books (cf. 2:17 – two more)
The word Paul uses here means “deserters.” They have abandoned him and the faith. They did NOT hold fast!
The second illustration is about a man who did hold fast the sound instruction
- He refreshed me (cool breeze; he often refreshed me)
- He was not ashamed (same instruction in vs. 8)
- He sought for me
- He searched diligently (with great effort) for me
- He searched until …
- He helped me
You might title this message: Hold On!
- Hold Fast the Pattern
- Keep the Good Thing Which was Committed to You