Second Timothy 1:1




The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy in Second Timothy 1:1, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus.” Paul was very close to Timothy. They had a father-son relationship the way that such a relationship should be. That is what a common bond of faith in Jesus can do. You may not have a human family, but your Christian family can come to mean even more than the human one ever could have. Paul introduces himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ. Of course, Timothy already knew that Paul was an apostle. Undoubtedly Paul wrote this knowing that others would be reading this letter. Certainly the Spirit of God had Paul put this down as a reminder to all who would read it that this writing is a part of the authoritative scripture. God used the apostles and some of the direct associates(prophets) of the apostles to write the New Testament.


Paul said that he was an apostle “by the will of God.” Paul did not choose to become an apostle: God chose him. The same thing is true for each of us. God has a will for us, and in order to live by faith we must have confidence that we are doing His will. That is why Jesus said that an important part of our prayers should always be, “Thy will be done.” If you pray, “Thy will be done,” and mean it, then His will shall be done. He will either change your circumstances or He will lay upon your heart something that you can do to change your circumstances.   


Paul knew that in his case the will of God had to do with “the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus.” An important thing to remember about the book of Second Timothy is the fact that Paul wrote this epistle from a Roman prison just before his death. He was on death row. But Paul was not thinking about death. He was thinking about life: spiritual life, eternal life which is in Christ Jesus. The day will come when each of us will die. “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Thanks be to God that the last enemy of mankind, death, has been defeated by Jesus. John Donne had it right: Death, thou shalt die. Instead of the doom of death and the finality of it, for the believer death is a peaceful closing of the eyes, only to open them in the glorious presence of the loving Savior. If you want to be prepared for old age, and if you want to be prepared for death as Paul was, make sure that you are rightly related to Jesus Christ. Remember that Jesus can give you something that no one else can give: “the promise of life


In Second Timothy 1:2 Paul wrote, “To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” Paul is certainly starting out by giving honor and glory to Jesus. Paul had pointed out that he was an apostle because Jesus had made him such. Paul pointed out that the promise of life that obviously was dear to him was in Jesus. And now as Paul thinks of Timothy, the things that Paul hopes will be abundant in Timothy’s life also come from Jesus: grace, mercy, and peace.


Grace comes from Jesus: God’s riches at Christ’s expense. Grace refers to God giving to us freely. Grace has to do with things that we can in no way do for ourselves, but that God can and will do for us without any merit on our part. Salvation can only come by the grace of God, and everything that is done in Christian service can only be done by the grace of God that is in Jesus Christ. Be careful about ever saying that things have happened because of someone’s efforts or abilities. It is really only by the grace of God. When someone worked hard, it is only by the grace of God that they even had the energy and the desire to do so. If we have the grace of God, we have all that we need for any endeavor. It is no wonder that Paul wished and hoped that Timothy would have more grace.


Paul also wished and hoped and prayed that Timothy would have mercy. The difference between grace and mercy is the fact that grace is God giving to us what we do not deserve, and mercy is God not giving to us what we do deserve. It is important to note that Paul hoped there would be mercy bestowed upon Timothy. Timothy still needed mercy. At this point in his Christian life, he was more than a companion and co-worker of the Apostle Paul: Timothy was also about to inherit even more responsibility as Paul was about to be put to death. But in spite of where he had come to in his walk with the Savior, Timothy still needed mercy. You only need mercy when you sin and when you fail. It is kind of like the Spirit of God was saying through Paul, “You are still going to need mercy. Do not forget that.” This is the same message that John gave in First John 1:8 when he said, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” John also said in First John 2:1, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” The wise Christian understands that often he must rely upon the mercy of God. Woe to the person that relies upon his own goodness. Happy is the person who relies upon the unfailing mercy of God.


The third thing that Paul hoped and prayed would be Timothy’s was “peace.” Peace also comes from Jesus. If you do not have peace, maybe you have not gone to Jesus for it. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Jesus said to His disciples, “My peace I give unto you.” There are two kinds of peace. There is peace with God, and there is the peace of God. According to Romans 5:1 we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. This is referring to the enmity between us and God that is taken away once we have been born again by faith in Jesus. This kind of peace is given to a person once forever. Timothy already had this kind of peace, and so does everyone who knows Jesus as Savior. But the other kind of peace may not be so widespread even among believers: the peace of God. If we are not careful, there are many things in life that can have the effect of reducing our peace. Among these are worry, fear, anxiety, and impatience. Each of us will have plenty of circumstances daily to lose or forget the peace of God. Some Christians do not have much of this kind of peace. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God; And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” If we have the proper amount of prayer and thanksgiving concerning all the details of our lives, we will have peace. If you are worried, or angry, or impatient about something, the question is: have you prayed about it? One thing is for sure. If you do have peace of either kind, it comes from Jesus. He is the author of peace. All peace comes from Him. No wonder the world cries, “Peace, peace,” and there is no peace. No one can find peace unless they go to Jesus for it.


Paul wrote in Second Timothy 1:3-5, “I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” From a human standpoint the circumstance that Paul was in was not very good to say the least. He was sitting in a Roman cell just a short time from his unjust execution. He was separated from Timothy, who was undoubtedly his closest companion and who was like a son to him. But Paul said, “I thank GodIn the midst of these unfortunate and difficult circumstances when looked at from a human standpoint, Paul found things to be thankful about. Faith is like that. Paul certainly had the peace of God, and no wonder. He said that “without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day


Notice what Paul was thankful for: Timothy’s “unfeigned faith.” It is critical that every person have true faith. No one has become what they should become in life unless they have acquired true faith and kept it. That is always the key question for each individual in the world: do they have faith or do they not? Paul was thankful that Timothy had faith. Paul knew that he had been used by the Lord as an instrument in the development of the faith of Timothy. That is what life is all about. Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” If you have been involved in someone’s faith being born or growing stronger, then you have been used directly by the Lord in a critically important work.  


In Second Timothy 1:3 Paul said that he served God with a “pure conscience.” Obviously, Paul thought it was very important to have a pure conscience. Paul mentioned the conscience four times in First Timothy and now here in Second Timothy. The reason that having a good conscience is so important is because you cannot live by faith without a good conscience, and you can only serve God through faith. “The just shall live by faith.” “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Your conscience is your knowledge of yourself and of your own actions compared to a standard of right and wrong that you have learned. With a bad conscience there is something going on in your mind that is a blockade between you and the Lord. You cannot exercise faith in Him when you know there is something between you and Him.


There are two ways to have a pure conscience, and there are two important things that must be a part of your life if you are to have a pure conscience. The first thing is to do the right thing. Never do something because it is profitable or expedient or pleasurable. Do something because it is the right thing. If you know that you have done what you ought to do, then you will have a pure conscience. One of our problems is that we do not always do what we ought to do. Because of our selfish natures, sometimes we fail. How do we get a pure conscience in those times? We confess our sins and find the forgiveness that only the Lord Jesus Christ can bring. If He washes you, you will be whiter than snow. Someone might say, “I was not pure in the things that I did.” But through Jesus you can be pure from this day forward. You can have purity from this day forward to the rest of your life. You can also have a pure conscience just like Paul did.


The Bible says in Second Timothy 1:6, “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.” We know that God gives to each of us at least one gift to use in service to Him. There is a human side to that gift that involves our own efforts and will. God gives us a gift, but then we must do something with that gift. Paul told Timothy to “stir up the gift of God” that was in him. The Greek word that is translated to stir up refers to the rekindling of a fire. If you get a good fire going in the fireplace, when enough time has gone by the fire will need to be rekindled if it is going to continue to burn. There is something very similar concerning the gift that God has given to you. There is a certain amount of attention that you must give to it or else it will die down and become ineffective.


Paul told Timothy, “Stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.” Paul is not talking about some kind of religious ceremony. The putting on of the hands is symbolic of the close connection between Paul and Timothy. Paul recognized the gift that was in Timothy. Paul was in agreement with Timothy concerning his gift. One way that you will know what your gifts are is by the feedback that you get from other spiritually minded people.


Paul said to Timothy in Second Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” One of the reasons that some people do not use their gifts or exercise their gifts is because of fear. Remember when Jesus told the parable of the good steward. The good steward took what was given to him and used it and expanded it. The bad steward did not. According to Jesus, the answer of the bad steward in Matthew 25:25 was, “And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth.” Fear can paralyze people. The fear of failure keeps some people from exercising the gift that God has given to them. The answer to that fear is to remember what the Bible says right here in Second Timothy 1:7. “For God hath not given us the Spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind   


Where does fear come from? It comes from man. It never comes from God. When we believed in Jesus, we were given the Spirit of God. According to Second Timothy 1:7, the Spirit takes one thing from us and gives us three things in its place. The Spirit takes fear from us. The ungodly fear often. They fear death, they fear their enemies, they fear the unknown, they fear the future, and anything imaginable some humans fear. We call these fears phobias. There is the fear of success, the fear of failure, the fear of heights, the fear of flying, the fear of water, the fear of spiders, and on and on and on. Jesus said to His disciples on several occasions, “Fear not


One of the reasons that believers do not need to fear is because of what the Spirit has given us instead of fear. We now have the spirit “of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Some people fear because they realize their own limitations and inadequacies. But we have the spirit of power. That is the word dunamis; that means enabling and capability. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I will fear if I think of myself and rely on myself. I will not fear if I think of Christ in me and rely on Him. We have also been given the Spirit of love. “Perfect love casteth out fearIf you have love for God and Christ, and love for all those around you, then you will have the kind of motivation that leaves no place for fear. Fear has a certain selfishness to it. When I am thinking of others and doing what I am doing for their benefit, there is no room left for selfishness or fear. We serve a great God and a great Savior. “God has not given us the Spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind   



Copyright; 2002 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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