2 Timothy 2:1-2 Commentary

 

 

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2 Timothy 2:1-2 Commentary

2 Timothy 2:1  You therefore my son be strong  (2SPPM) in (by means of) the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: Su oun, teknon mou, endunamou (2SPPM) en te chariti te en Christo Iesou, 
Amplified: So you, my son, be strong (strengthened inwardly) in the grace (spiritual blessing) that is [to be found only] in Christ Jesus. 
(Amplified Bible - Lockman)
CEV: Timothy, my child, Christ Jesus is kind, and you must let him make you strong. (
CEV)
ESV: You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,
KJV: Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
ICB: Timothy, you are like a son to me. Be strong in the grace that we have in Christ Jesus.
NLT:  Timothy, my dear son, be strong with the special favor God gives you in Christ Jesus. (
NLT - Tyndale House)
TEV: As for you, my son, be strong through the grace that is ours in union with Christ Jesus.
Wuest: As for you, therefore, my child, be clothed with inward strength by the grace which is in Christ Jesus  (
Eerdmans
Young's Literal: Thou, therefore, my child, be strong in the grace [that is] in Christ Jesus,

REFERENCES ON 2 TIMOTHY

Paul Apple
Albert Barnes
Brian Bell
J H Bernard
Paul Bucknell
John Calvin
Gilles Castonguay
Rich Cathers
Adam Clarke
Steven Cole
Steven Cole
Thomas Constable
F C Cook
W A Criswell
W A Criswell
W A Criswell
Ron Daniel
Bob Deffinbaugh
Dan Duncan
J Ligon Duncan
Dwight Edwards
Ellicott, Charles
Explore the Bible
Expositor's Greek
L M Grant
Joe Guglielmo
David Guzik
Doug Heck
Matthew Henry
David Holwick
David Holwick
A E Humphreys
Jamieson, F B
William Kelly
Guy King
Walter Lock
John MacArthur
John MacArthur
J Vernon McGee
J Vernon McGee
Robert Morgan
J. J. Van Oosterzee
Alfred Plummer
Ray Pritchard
A T Robertson
David Roper
David Roper
Charles Simeon
C H Spurgeon
C H Spurgeon
Ray Stedman
Ray Stedman
Sammy Tippit
Marvin Vincent
Precept Ministries
Today in the Word
Today in the Word
2 Timothy 2 Passing the Torch of Leadership
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:1-13 Sermon Notes
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2Timothy 2:2 - The Plan of Discipleship - recommended
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:1-7: Make Sure You Aim High
2 Timothy 2:1-7 Sermon Notes
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:1 Strong in Grace

2 Timothy 2:2 Handing Off the Truth

2 Timothy Expository Notes
2 Timothy 2 Commentary - Speaker's Commentary
2 Timothy 2:1-2 Lay People In Soul-Winning

2 Timothy 2:1-7 A Good Soldier Of Jesus

2 Timothy 2:2 Command To Teach

2 Timothy 2:1-10 Sermon Notes
2 Timothy: Perseverance in Difficult Days
2 Timothy 2:1-7 Be Strong in Grace M3U or MP3
2 Timothy 2:1-9; 2:10-13; 2:14-21

2 Timothy Call to Completion
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Teaching Notes
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy Commentary
2 Timothy 2:1-13, 2 Ti 2:3-4; 2 Ti 2:14-19; 2 Ti 2:14-26

2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:1-26 Man of God: How Does He Minister?

2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 1:15 – 2:7: Who Will Pass It On?

2 Timothy 2:1-7: The Disciplined Christian Life

2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy Commentary
2 Timothy 2:1-7 Commentary
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:1-2: Elements of  Strong Spiritual Life
2 Timothy 2 Portrait of a Leader
2 Timothy 2:1; 2:2; 2:3-4; 2:5; 2:6-12; 2:13-14  Mp3's
2 Timothy 2:15; 2:16-19  Mp3's
2 Timothy 2:1-7 Keeping the Faith Series: "Fatherly Advice"
2 Timothy 2 Commentary
2 Timothy 2:1,2 The Need of Machinery...
2 Timothy 2:1-13: How Will You Be Remembered?
2 Timothy 2: Greek Word Studies
2 Timothy 2:2a Becoming a Mentor
2 Timothy 2:1-13 Call To Endurance
2 Timothy 2:1 Strength in the Grace of Christ.
2 Timothy 2 Exposition
2 Timothy 2:1 Devotional
2 Timothy 1:14-2:2 How to Defend a Lion
2 Timothy 2 Soldiers, Athletes and Farmers
Discipleship - The Wineskin For Awakening
2 Timothy 2: Greek Word Studies
2 Timothy: Download Lesson 1
2 Timothy 2:1-4 Audie Murphy;
2 Timothy 2:2 Passing the Baton

YOU THEREFORE MY SON: Su oun teknon mou: (2Ti 1:2; 1Ti 1:2, 18, Php 2:22)

You (4771) (su) is emphatic (placed first in the Greek sentence) clearly bringing out that Paul is making a direct appeal to Timothy. But like a good spiritual father

Paul speaking from his "longing" heart (2Ti 1:4-note) adds the tender affirmation my son/child (teknon) for he knows that to truly motivate others, one must express genuine and unqualified concern for their full spiritual blessing and let them know that they are loved without reservation.

How are you motivating your children in the Lord...with legalism or love?

Son (5043) (teknon) (See discussion of my beloved son/child - 2Ti 1:2-note) refers to a child as viewed in relation to his parents or family and takes on special theological significance when the Bible calls believers the children of God. not because of our "childlikeness" but to affirm the fact that we are members of God's family and thus heirs (Ro 8:15-note; Ro 8:16-note; Ro 8:17-note) to the "family fortune". In a similar sense Timothy having been "bequeathed" the "family" treasure of the gospel was to guard it with his life. New Testament disciples are called children of their teachers, because the latter by their instruction nourish the minds of their pupils and mold their characters so that they take on "family characteristics". 

Charles Simeon introduces his sermon on this text asking...

HOW shall it be that all of us, who are assembled here this day, should ever get to heaven, so weak as we are, and so corrupt, and in the midst of so many and great dangers? I look back to the Apostle’s days; and find, that when he was in prison at Rome, “all the converts that were of Asia, turned away from him;” but that one pious man, “Onesiphorus, sought him out with great diligence,” to relieve his necessities, and to comfort his soul. Now, if reduced to such straits as the Apostle Paul was, for the Gospel’s sake, how should we hope to stand? How should we avoid the apostasy of the many, and retain the fidelity of the few? This instruction the Apostle gives to his beloved Timothy: “Thou, therefore, my son, (seeing how hard it is to stand in times of severe trial,) be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus:” that is, ‘know that there is grace treasured up for thee in Christ: and, in dependence upon that, thou shalt be able to sustain all the trials that shall come upon thee.’ (2 Timothy 2:1 Strength in the Grace of Christ)

Hiebert comments that...

the tender address "my child" reminds him that what is now to be urged upon him comes from the tender, yearning heart of his spiritual father. (2 Timothy by D. Edmond Hiebert).

Therefore (3767) (oun) refers to what has gone before and introduces a logical result or inference from the preceding discourse (See discussion of terms of conclusion). With that in mind what had Paul just related that dictated that Timothy needed to be strong in grace in Christ?

Although chapter breaks tend to "disrupt" the flow of thought in a letter, if one observes the nearest context it is obvious that Paul had just given Timothy the reminder of the spiritual defection stating "that all who are in Asia turned away" which would surely have been disheartening to his young disciple (2Ti 1:15-note, cp 2Ti 1:12-note). But Paul had also contrasted the sad defection with the noble example of Onesiphorus (2Ti 1:16, 17, 18-note).

In addition, in a more general context Paul had made it very clear throughout chapter 1 that carrying the treasure of the gospel would bring suffering. So Paul begins this exhortational-instructional portion of the letter by emphasizing the need for personal "extrinsic" empowerment for ministry. Paul is not appealing to Timothy to "pull himself up by his bootstraps" so to speak or to "get a grip" on his emotions and courage in his own strength (see below).

Paul uses multiple pictures in this chapter to illustrate various facets of the Christian life and each one is worthy of mediation:

Son/Child (2Ti 2:1-note)
Teacher (2Ti 2:2-
note)
Soldier (2Ti 2:3,4 -
note 2:3; 2:4)
Athlete (2Ti 2:5 -
note)
Farmer (2Ti 2:6 -
note)
Prisoner (2Ti 2:9 -
note, 2Ti 2:10-note)
Workman (2Ti 2:15 -
note)
Vessel (2Ti 2:21-
note)
Bondservant (2Ti 2:24-
note)

BE STRONG IN (BY MEANS OF) THE GRACE THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS: endunamou (2SPPM) en te chariti te en Christo Iesou: (2Ti 1:7; Josh 1:7; Hag 2:4; 1Co 16:13; 2Pe 3:18) (See Torrey's Topic "Grace")

Our Translations = be strong through the grace that is ours in union with Christ Jesus (TEV), be clothed with inward strength (Wuest), find your strength in the grace which is in Christ Jesus (Barclay), you must let Him make you strong (CEV ), be strong with the special favor God gives you in Christ Jesus (NLT), be strong (strengthened inwardly) in the grace (spiritual blessing) that is [to be found only] in Christ Jesus" (AMP)

Be strong  (1743) (endunamoo from en = in + dunamóo  = strengthen) in simple terms means to put power in (like a car needs gas for power) and thus to make strong or vigorous, to strengthen (active voice) or to be (passive voice) strengthened, enabled or empowered.

This word is found only in biblical and ecclesiastical Greek. The idea is to cause one to be able to function or do something. It can refer to physical strengthening as in (Heb 11:34-note) but more often endunamoo refers to spiritual or moral strengthening as in the case of Abraham who

with respect to the (humanly speaking impossible) promise of God (of the birth of Isaac in his old age by Sarah), he did not waver (was not divided, did not vacillate between two opinions - belief and unbelief - implies mental struggle) in unbelief, but grew strong (endunamoo - was endued with strength or empowered) in faith (Godly faith is not full understanding but full trust), giving glory to God (Ro 4:20-note)

Isaac was the result of a biological miracle performed by God in answer to Abraham’s faith.  Godly faith glorifies God and thus the One Who even gives the faith receives all the glory.

Dunamóo is derived from dúnamis which means to be able or to have power (Click for in depth word study of dunamis).

Related Resource: Wayne Barber on endunamoo

Dúnamis refers to inherent strength residing in a thing by virtue of its nature. The best spiritual example is the "gospel" which is the inherent, omnipotent power of God operating in the salvation of a lost soul that accepts it.

Dúnamis (Click for study of dunamis) means power in the sense of that which overcomes resistance or effects a change.

Dúnamis is used in the NT to speak of miracles or supernatural acts which have in them the inherent power of God or in which one sees His supernatural power exerted in their performance.

Endunamoo - 7x in NAS = Acts 9:22; Ro 4:20; Eph. 6:10; Phil 4:13-note; 1Ti 1:12; 2Ti 2:1; 2Ti 4:17-note. NAS = grew strong, 1; increasing in strength, 1; strengthened, 2; strengthens, 1; strong, 2.

Endunamoo is used only once in the Septuagint (Lxx) in the description of Gideon as he was being prepared for battle...

Judges 6:34 So the Spirit of the LORD came upon (Hebrew = labash = wrap around by implication to put on a garment or clothe oneself, array, used figuratively of "clothing" one's self with the Holy Spirit! Lxx = endunamoo - strengthened or empowered) Gideon; and he blew a trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called together to follow him.

Comment: What a beautiful parallel between being clothed with Holy Spirit and being empowered for spiritual work! Surely this is a pattern all God's servants should seek to emulate - being continually filled with and strengthened inwardly by the Spirit of Christ, for just as surely apart from Him and His enablement, the servant, no matter how sincere and diligent in his own strength, can accomplish absolutely nothing of eternal value (Jn 15:5), nothing which brings glory to the Lord (Mt 5:16-note).

In calling on Timothy to "be strong", note that Paul is not telling Timothy to "gut it up" and summon up his own natural strength. Paul is asking him to "be strengthened" to be made strong, which speaks not of natural but of supernatural strength to carry out supernatural "good works."

Timothy is to let the Lord's grace give him the needed strength. Endunamoo is not in the active but the passive voice, which indicates that Paul is not telling Timothy to be strong in his own strength (as would be active voice indicating the subject performs the action in this case of making himself strong). The passive voice indicates that the source of strengthening comes from without or from a source independent of the subject, specifically from the supernatural grace that is in Christ and that Timothy (and all saints) need to "tap in to" daily and even moment by moment.

Wuest tries to picture the idea translating it "be clothed with inward strength". Paul is saying be strengthened or be made strong. Do you see the important distinction brought out by the passive voice?

THINK ABOUT YOUR CAR...YOU DRIVE UP TO THE GAS STATION WHEN YOU ARE LOW ON FUEL....YOU PUT THE GAS IN YOUR CAR...YOUR CAR'S ENGINE IS "STRENGTHENED" BY POWER FROM A SOURCE THAT IS OUTSIDE THE CAR.

Paul issues this important directive as a command (imperative mood) to be carried out continually (present tense). Timothy is to be like a "vessel" and to allow the Lord to fill him with His power and strength. Remember that God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6-note) and that when we are weak (in our strength), then and only then are we strong (His strength)! (2Cor 12:9) So even though endunamoo is passive voice, this experience of being made strong still involves "co-operation" of the one being strengthened. In other words, the believer is not just a passive recipient of this strength, but must actively, continually appropriate (trust in, rely on, submit to, surrender to, yield to) the source of strength that comes from the grace that is in Christ Jesus. It is not simply "Let go and let God." The believer is not simply a passive recipient of Christ's strength, but must willingly receive, continually rely and depend on the Source of strength in God's "grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity" (2Ti 1:9 -note).

Jerry Bridges explains be strengthened this way...

Grammatically, Paul’s words be strengthened (be strong in) are in the form of what we may call “a passive imperative.” The passive voice indicates something done to us, not by us, while the imperative mood is used to command someone to do something. When we want someone to do something, we ordinarily use the active voice, not the passive. For example, when Paul urged Timothy to “preach (present imperative) the word” (2Ti 4:2-note), he used the active imperative. But Paul’s words be strengthened indicate that something is to be done to Timothy. He’s to be strengthened by something outside himself. That something is “the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” (Ed: How is this grace "distributed" to believers today? Through the effective working of the indwelling Spirit of Christ, the "Spirit of Grace" [Heb 10:29b])

We usually associate grace with the first bookend (Ed: Christ's Perfect Righteousness Imputed or Reckoned to the believer's "spiritual account"), thinking of verses like Ephesians 2:8-
note: “For by grace you have been saved through faith.” But grace in the New Testament is actually much broader—it includes all the blessings God has given us through Christ. Those blessings can generally be classified under two categories: privileges and power.

The grace in 2Timothy 2:1 is the blessing of power. It’s the same category of grace we see in 2Corinthians 12:9-
note as the Lord tells Paul, “My grace is sufficient [continually enough, continually suffices] for you, for my power [dunamis -supernatural inherent ability to accomplish] is made perfect in weakness,” and Paul responds, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power [dunamis] of Christ may rest upon me.” Here God equates His grace with His power; power that can be experienced only through human weakness. So when Paul wanted Timothy to be strengthened by the same divine power he had experienced, he urged Timothy to be strengthened by grace.

How is Timothy to respond to this command? By faith (Ed: Which includes renouncing confidence in our own natural "power" and relying wholly on the Holy Spirit's supernatural enabling power) he’s to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit (Ed: Reliance) instead of his own resolutions, self-effort, or will-power (Ed: Renunciation). He is to acknowledge that without Christ he can do nothing (John 15:5).

Just as he must look outside himself to Christ’s righteousness for his standing before God (Ed: "Bookend" #1), he must also look outside himself to the power of the Holy Spirit for his strength to live the Christian life. And the same is true for us. (The Bookends of the Christian Life -Jerry Bridges, Bob Bevington) (Ebook) (Highly recommended if you are truly seeking to "walk the talk"!) (Consider using this book for a Bible Study - you can download a free Study Guide The Bookends of the Christian Life) (Bolding added)

Comment: Jerry Bridges' preceding lucid, logical explanation begs several questions:

"Are you frustrated with your Christian life?"

"Do you feel powerless over certain sins in your life?"

"Who are you relying on to live the supernatural life
you have been called to live to the glory of God?"

Remember that Paul has already told Timothy that God has...given you a spirit of...power. (2Ti 1:7-note) and yet here we see that Timothy and you and I are to believe and receive and walk in the power (experience it = "experiential truth") that is already ours (by virtue of our position - "in Christ"! = "positional truth") because of the sure promise of God Who cannot lie (Nu 23:19, Malachi 3:6-note). In other words Timothy doesn't so much need to pray for power but he needs to learn to rely and totally depend on the power that is available to him in Christ, Whose Spirit indwells him (Ro 8:9-note) and Who is the source of that power which os based on grace (it's unmerited). Does this make sense? If not see (2Ti 2:7-note) where God says if we continually consider (continually seek to understand, giving careful consideration to) what Paul writes, He will give us understanding into these truths so vital to the "victorious" Christian walk (So let us humble ourselves and ask Him to do just that beloved)!

Paul teaches a similar truth in issuing a command (present imperative) to the saints at Ephesus to prepare them for the intense spiritual war with their powerful (but not omnipotent) supernatural foe, the devil..

be (passive voice ~ indicates this enablement comes from without, from God) strong (endunamoo - present tense = continually be strengthened with supernatural enabling power) in (Notice the Source - in) the Lord...(Why?) for (term of explanation) our struggle is not against flesh and blood... (Ep 6:10-note, Eph 6:11-note, Eph 6:12-note, also see sermon on  Ep 6:10,12).

Luke uses this same verb in describing Paul's conversion writing that

Saul kept (imperfect tense) increasing in strength (endunamoo - passive voice = was being empowered - progressively increasing in strength as Jewish opposition grew) and confounding (this word in English implies temporary mental paralysis caused by astonishment or profound abasement) the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving ("knitting together" - continually putting together in his mind the OT clues and concluding Jesus was the Messiah) that this Jesus is the Christ. (Acts 9:22)

In his first letter to Timothy Paul (probably alluding to his empowerment in Acts) thanked

Christ Jesus our Lord, Who" had "strengthened (endunamoo)" him, because He considered (him) faithful, putting (him) into service. (1Ti 1:12)

God’s sovereign purpose for Paul and for all believers works through personal faith. Until Paul was turned by the Holy Spirit from self-righteous works to faith alone in Christ, he could not be empowered and used by God.

In his last words to Timothy, Paul illustrated his personal example of being strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus writing that in the face of everyone deserting him (as might happen to Timothy or any disciple who retains the standard of sound words),

the Lord stood with me (fulfilling His promise never to “leave or forsake” His children) and strengthened (endunamoo) me, in order that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of the lion's mouth. (2Ti 4:17-note)

Paul is saying to Timothy in essence that "in your weakness He will be your strength".  It is worth noting that endunamoo is used in (Acts 9:22) at the beginning of Paul's public ministry, where we noted above that he "kept increasing in strength" and then is used here in 2 Timothy 4:17 which marks the end of his public ministry—a poignant picture of this Paul's continual dependence upon the sustaining strength of the Lord!

SELF SUFFICIENT
IN CHRIST'S SUFFICIENCY!

Paul reminds the saints at Philippi that he had learned the secret of contentment (Php 4:11, 12-note)

I can do all things through Him Who strengthens (endunamoo - continually strengthens) him (Php 4:13-note).

Comment: Notice the balance in this passage - Our part is to "do" (albeit even that is enabled by the Spirit!) and God's part is to continually enable us by His Spirit Who indwells us. We can't "do" unless He first "does"! Jettison any hope or aspiration that you can do anything of eternal value in your strength - replace your self reliance with Spirit reliance. How? By faith. By believing He will enable you to do whatever it is He prompts you to do. You still have the choice to say "Yes" or "No." God will not force you (He might discipline you but He will not force you!)

I like how the Amplified Version paraphrases Php 4:13... 

I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him (Ed: Christ is the "key" - His indwelling Spirit Ro 8:9) Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency. 

Comment: To be sure it Christ in us the Hope of Glory but according to Paul it is the Spirit of Christ and so the Spirit is the Member of the Trinity Who enables us. However since the Trinity is a unity, the entire Godhead is involved as the great Puritan writer John Owen explained...

Everything God does He does as the triune God. Each Person of the Trinity is involved in every action of God. Yet at the same time each Person has a special role to fulfill in that work....There is no good that we receive from God but it is brought to us and wrought in us by the Holy Spirit. Nor is there in us any good towards God, any faith, love, obedience to His will, but what we are enabled (Ed: Note not "helped" which implies we have some ability and just need a little "push" but enabled) to do so by the Holy Spirit. (Pneumatologia, Or, A Discourse Concerning the Holy Spirit)

John MacArthur notes commenting on this passage in Philippians adds that Paul does not...

mean that he could physically survive indefinitely without food, water, sleep, or shelter. What he is saying is that when he reached the limit of his resources and strength, even to the point of death, he was infused with the strength of Christ. He could overcome the most dire physical difficulties because of the inner, spiritual strength God had given him. (MacArthur, J. Philippians. Chicago: Moody Press)

Dear reader. Are you weak today? in distress? insulted? in difficulty? persecuted? Then consider imitating Paul and "boast" about it for you are on the pathway of empowerment, for

He (Jesus) has said My grace is sufficient (adequate, enough, possessing unfailing strength, sufficing) for you, for power (dunamis) is perfected (teleo - word study) - present tense = continually perfected, brought to the intended end) in weakness.

To which Paul responded

Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power (dunamis) of Christ may dwell in me...for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2Cor 12:9,10)

Let us therefore humbly submit to and thankfully accept (this is very difficult for me and a lesson I have to continually "re-learn") the circumstances and/or people God sends into our life as the vessels He will use to cause us to continually rely on His grace and His power (dunamis).

The flow of God’s power into the believer’s life
Compared with the issue of physical health
by Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

   Now I suggest that that is analogous to this whole subject of power in one’s life as a Christian. Health is something that results from right living. Health cannot be obtained directly or immediately or in and of itself. There is a sense in which I am prepared to say that a man should not think of his health as such at all. Health is the result of right living, and I say exactly the same thing about this question of power in our Christian lives.
    Or let me use another illustration. Take this question of preaching. No subject is discussed more often than power in preaching. “Oh, that I might have power in preaching,” says the preacher and he goes on his knees and prays for power. I think that that may be quite wrong. It certainly is if it is the only thing that the preacher does. The way to have power is to prepare your message carefully. Study the Word of God, think it out, analyze it, put it in order, do your utmost. That is the message God is most likely to bless—the indirect approach rather than the direct. It is exactly the same in this matter of power and ability to live the Christian life. In addition to our prayer for power and ability we must obey certain primary rules and laws.
     I can therefore summarize the teaching like this. The secret of power is to discover and to learn from the New Testament what is possible for us in Christ. What I have to do is to go to Christ. I must spend my time with Him. I must meditate upon Him, I must get to know Him. That was Paul’s ambition—“that I might know Him.” I must maintain my contact and communion with Christ and I must concentrate on knowing Him.
     What else? I must do exactly what He tells me. I must avoid things that would hamper. If in the midst of persecution we want to feel as Paul felt, we must live as Paul lived. I must do what He tells me, both to do and not to do. I must read the Bible, I must exercise, I must practise the Christian life, I must live the Christian life in all its fullness.

--from Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure: page 298-99, 1965

Grace (5485) (charis) (Click for in depth word study of charis) in simple terms is God's unmerited favor and supernatural enablement and empowerment for salvation and for daily sanctification. Grace is everything for nothing to those who don't deserve anything.

W E Vine comments on "grace" as used in this context stating that

It is not here grace to the guilty but the gracious favor of God in its enabling power and effect, which is to be found alone in Christ...Only as we live in the enjoyment of the power of this grace can we devotedly and faithfully discharge the service committed to us. There is adequate grace to meet our every need. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson ) (Bolding added)

In the grace that is in Christ Jesus indicates that the grace is the inward source of a believer's strength. Thus in is probably instrumental and could be translated by means of or in the power of His grace. 

Williams paraphrases it this way

"in the spiritual blessing that comes through union with" Christ Jesus.

The English Version (TEV) paraphrase is similar and emphasizes the Source of this grace is

in union with Christ Jesus

Our Source of strength is Christ Jesus,

the Word...full of grace and truth...of His fulness we have all received and grace upon grace...grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. (Jn 1:14, 1:16, 1:17).

All believers need to be mindful of our spiritual resources and resist the tendency (temptation) to rely on our own strength or otherwise we will experience discouragement, weariness, and disillusionment because spiritual warfare is a supernatural battle, which is hard and which will not stop until we are glorified. 

So in this chapter, Paul is reminding Timothy of the Source of His strength and the necessity to rely on the Source rather than self, a message frequently recorded in Scripture (Joshua 1:6, 7, 1:7, 1Chr 22:13, 1Cor 16:13, see Ep 6:10-note & sermon Eph 6:10).

Ray Stedman comments on "the grace that is in Christ Jesus"

I submit to you that those are much more than mere religious words; they are words of great, practical value. The only way you can keep your inner life strong is by a relationship to the Living God. That has been proven again and again in human history. If you think you can stand against the forces of today's world by leaning on your friends, your family, your guru, your psychiatrist, or your counselor, you will find they will crumble when you need them most. The only reliable source of strength in a day in which the world is falling apart is what Paul calls here, "The grace that is in Christ Jesus." We sing that in our hymns: "On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand." That expresses what the apostle is saying here.  (Soldier's, Athletes, and Farmers)

Spurgeon comments on "grace...in Christ" --

Christ has grace without measure in Himself, but He hath not retained it for Himself. As the reservoir empties itself into the pipes, so hath Christ emptied out His grace for His people. "Of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." (Jn 1:16) He seems only to have in order to dispense to us. He stands like the fountain, always flowing, but only running in order to supply the empty pitchers and the thirsty lips which draw nigh unto it. Like a tree, He bears sweet fruit, not to hang on boughs, but to be gathered by those who need. Grace, whether its work be to pardon, to cleanse, to preserve, to strengthen, to enlighten, to quicken, or to restore, is ever to be had from Him freely and without price; nor is there one form of the work of grace which He has not bestowed upon His people. As the blood of the body, though flowing from the heart, belongs equally to every member, so the influences of grace are the inheritance of every saint united to the Lamb; and herein there is a sweet communion between Christ and his Church, inasmuch as they both receive the same grace. Christ is the head upon which the oil is first poured; but the same oil runs to the very skirts of the garments, so that the meanest saint has an unction of the same costly moisture as that which fell upon the head. This is true communion when the sap of grace flows from the stem to the branch, and when it is perceived that the stem itself is sustained by the very nourishment which feeds the branch. As we day by day receive grace from Jesus, and more constantly recognize it as coming from Him, we shall behold Him in communion with us, and enjoy the felicity of communion with Him. Let us make daily use of our riches, and ever repair to Him as to our own Lord in covenant, taking from him the supply of all we need with as much boldness as men take money from their own purse. (Spurgeon, C H: Morning and Evening) (Bolding added)

J Vernon McGee adds this pithy comment

I love this—be strong in grace. My friend, if you think that you can grit your teeth and go out and live the Christian life on your own, you’re in for a great disappointment. If you feel that you can follow a few little rules or some clever gimmicks to make you a mature Christian, then you have fallen into a subtle trap of legalism. Paul gives no rules, and the Word of God has no rules to tell the child of God how to live the Christian life. We are saved by grace, and now we are to live by the grace of God and be strong in that grace....When I hear Christians say, “I don’t do this, and I don’t do that, and I am following a set of rules,” I immediately recognize that they know very little about the grace of God. They are trying to live the Christian life in their own strength. Paul says, “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (McGee, J V: Thru the Bible Commentary:  Nashville: Thomas Nelson) (Bolding added)

Grace permeates this short epistle --

Paul opened with a benediction for grace (2 Timothy 1:2-note) reminded Timothy that he was saved by grace (2 Timothy 1:9-note) and closed with his final written words of blessing - "grace be with you".  (2 Timothy 4:22-note).

How would Timothy "succeed" in ministry? How could he possibly be able to suffer hardship as a good soldier? Would he succeed because he studied enough, prayed enough, taught enough, endured enough, etc?

No, there was only one way to fulfill his ministry. The way he began...by the grace that is in Christ. This grace is embodied in Christ Jesus Who imparts it to all who are in union with Him, just as the vine imparts its life and fruitfulness to the branches that are abiding in union with it, for as Jesus said "apart for Me (and His "sap" of empowering grace) you can do nothing" (Jn 15:5). As believers we exist in the sphere of grace through our union with Christ. It's the grace of God that empowers believers. It's God's grace that would enable Timothy and us to please and serve God--otherwise we could do nothing of eternal value.

Peter prayed that

grace and peace be multiplied" to his readers (who were believers) "in the knowledge (epignosis = full, complete knowledge) of God and of Jesus our Lord (See note 2Peter 1:2).

From Peter's prayer for his readers, one can deduce that the deeper and wider the channel through which knowledge of the Lord flows, the more grace and peace will be multiplied, assuming that this "head knowledge" becomes "heart knowledge", leading to obedience motivated by love not legalism. The more we study and obey the "gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24), the more grace shall we derive from the "Word of His grace" (Acts 14:3).

John Piper adds that

knowing God is the means by which His grace and peace become large and powerful in our lives. If you want to enjoy God's peace and be the aroma of his grace in the world, your knowledge of Him has to grow. Grace is not a mere deposit. It is a power that leads to godliness (Titus 2:11, 12 see notes Ti 2:11, 2:12) and eternal life (cf Ep 2:8,9 - Ep 2:8-note; 2:9-note). And where knowledge of the glory and excellence of God languishes, grace does not flow. The channel from God's infinite reservoir of grace into and through our lives is knowledge of God. We do not study the Scripture for its own sake, but because through it comes the knowledge of God and through that, grace and peace are multiplied in your heart..." But knowledge alone will not open the floodgates of grace. We must obey what we know. To say it another way: Because we belong to Christ, we are continually in the sphere of grace (grace in which we stand - see Romans 5:2 - note). But to enjoy the sphere of blessing, we must live in the sphere of obedience. Peter ends his second epistle with a command to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2Pe 3:18 -note). Spurgeon adds that "an increase of love to Jesus and a more perfect apprehension of His love to us is one of the best tests of growth in grace. (Bolding added)

In Faith's Checkbook Spurgeon comments on the truth that

"The LORD gives grace and glory" (Ps 84:11): "Grace is what we need just now, and it is to be had freely. What can be freer than a gift? Today we shall receive sustaining, strengthening, sanctifying, satisfying grace. He has given daily grace until now, and as for the future, that grace is still sufficient. If we have but little grace the fault most lie in ourselves; for the LORD is not straitened, neither is He slow to bestow it in abundance. We may ask for as much as we will and never fear a refusal. He giveth liberally and upbraideth not. The LORD may not give gold, but He will give grace: He may not give gain, but He will give grace. He will certainly send us trial, but He will give grace in proportion thereto. We may be called to labor and to suffer, but with the call there will come all the grace required; What an "end" is that in the text -- "and glory!" We do not need glory yet, and we are not yet fit for it; but we shall have it in due order. After we have eaten the bread of grace, we shall drink the wine of glory. We must go through the holy, which is grace, to the holiest of all, which is glory. These words and glory are enough to make a man dance for joy. A little while -- a little while, and then glory forever!" (Bolding added)

The way upward to the throne of grace to receive grace in the nick of time is downward in our estimation of our abilities and our strength. Spurgeon (Faith's Checkbook) commenting on the fact that "God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6,  1Pe 5:5-note, Pr 3:34) that

Humble hearts seek grace, and therefore they get it. Humble hearts yield to the sweet influences of grace, and so it is bestowed on them more and more largely. Humble hearts lie in the valleys where streams of grace are flowing, and hence they drink of them, Humble hearts are grateful for grace and give the LORD the glory of it, and hence it is consistent with His honor to give it to them. Come, dear reader, take a lowly place. Be little in thine own esteem, that the LORD may make much of thee. Perhaps the sigh breaks out, "I fear I am not humble." It may be that this is the language of true humility. Some are proud of being humble, and this is one of the very worst sorts of pride. We are needy, helpless, undeserving, hell-deserving creatures, and if we are not humble we ought to be. Let us humble ourselves because of our sins against humility, and then the LORD will give us to taste of His favor.

It is grace which makes us humble,
and
grace which finds in this humility
an opportunity for pouring in more
grace.

Let us go down that we may rise. Let us be poor in spirit that God may make us rich. Let us be humble that we may not need to be humbled but may be exalted by the grace of God." Spurgeon adds that "Our troubles have always brought us blessings, and they always will. They are the black chariots of bright grace." "Our LORD will give us grace to follow the most difficult paths of duty without a stumble. He can fit our foot for the crags so that we shall be at home where apart from God we should perish." "It seems that Jehovah's way is to lower those whom He means to raise and to strip those whom He intends to clothe. If it is His way, it is the wisest and best way. If I am now enduring the bringing low, I may well rejoice, because I see in it the preface to the lifting up. The more we are humbled by grace, the more we shall be exalted in glory. That impoverishment which will be overruled for our enrichment is to be welcomed. (Bolding added)

Commenting on "My grace is sufficient" (2Cor 12:9,10) Spurgeon writes

Our weakness should be prized as making room for divine strength. We might never have known the power of grace if we had not felt the weakness of nature. Blessed be the LORD for the thorn in the flesh, and the messenger of Satan, when they drive us to the strength of God. This is a precious word from our LORD's own lip. It has made the writer laugh for joy. God's grace enough for me! I should think it is. Is not the sky enough for the bird and the ocean enough for the fish? The All-Sufficient is sufficient for my largest want. He who is sufficient for earth and heaven is certainly able to meet the case of one poor worm like me. Let us, then, fall back upon our God and His grace. If He does not remove our grief, He will enable us to bear it. His strength shall be poured into us till the worm shall thresh the mountains, and a nothing shall be victor over all the high and mighty ones. It is better for us to have God's strength than our own; for if we were a thousand times as strong as we are, it would amount to nothing in the face of the enemy; and if we could be weaker than we are, which is scarcely possible, yet we could do all things through Christ. (Bolding added)

><>><>><>

What Comes Naturally? - The story is told about an elderly man who retired after many years in the British Army. One day a man who knew about his long and distinguished military career decided to play a prank on him. As the old soldier walked down the street with his arms full of packages, the jokester sneaked up behind him and shouted, "Attention!" Without hesitation, the military man dropped his arms to his side, and every package went tumbling to the sidewalk. Without a conscious thought, the veteran was doing what comes naturally for a soldier.

Similarly, as believers in Christ, we should respond in a manner that corresponds with our new life. Our behavior is to be more and more in line with the example of Jesus' life. We still must deal with sinful desires, so we need to discipline ourselves to be the kind of person God wants us to be. Like a soldier or athlete in training (2 Timothy 2:3-5), we need to practice repeatedly until doing what's right comes naturally.

Through faith in Christ we are children of the heavenly Father. By the power of the indwelling Spirit, therefore, let us develop the habit of submitting to God's Word. Then, in every situation of life we will increasingly find that obeying Him is "doing what comes naturally." — Richard De Haan (
Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Lord, may our lips and lives express
The blessed gospel we profess;
So let our works and virtues shine
And speak of Him who is divine. —Anon.

When we walk with Christ,
we become more like Him.

I love Annie Johnson Flint's poem on grace below (click here for more of her poetry)

HE GIVETH MORE GRACE
by Annie Johnson Flint

He gives more grace when the burdens grow greater.
He sends more strength when the labors increase,
To added affliction He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed 'ere the day is half done
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father's full giving is only begun.

His love has no limit, His grace has no measure.
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.

 

2 Timonty 2:2  And the things which you have heard (2SAAI) from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust ("deposit") (AMM) these to faithful (trustworthy, reliable) men who will be (3SFMI)  able (competent) to teach (AAN) others also. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek:  kai a ekousas (2SAAI) par' emou dia pollon marturon, tauta parathou (AMM) pistois anthropois, hoitines hikanoi esontai (3SFMI) kai heterous didaxai. (AAN)
Amplified: And the [instructions] which you have heard from me along with many witnesses, transmit and entrust [as a deposit] to reliable and faithful men who will be competent and qualified to teach others also.  (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: and entrust the things which you have heard from me, and which are confirmed by many witnesses, to faithful men who will be competent to teach others too. (
Westminster Press)
GWT: You’ve heard my message, and it’s been confirmed by many witnesses. Entrust this message to faithful individuals who will be competent to teach others. (
GWT)
KJV: And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
NLT: You have heard me teach many things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Teach these great truths to trustworthy people who are able to pass them on to others. (
NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Everything that you have heard me preach in public you should in turn entrust to reliable men, who will be able to pass it on to others. (
Phillips: Touchstone)
Weymouth: All that you have been taught by me in the hearing of many witnesses, you must hand on to trusty men who shall themselves, in turn, be competent to instruct others also.
Wuest: and the things which you heard from me personally in the presence of many witnesses, these things commit as a trust to trustworthy men who are of such a character as to be capable of teaching others also (
Eerdmans
Young's Literal: and the things that thou didst hear from me through many witnesses, these things be committing to stedfast men, who shall be sufficient also others to teach

AND THE THINGS WHICH YOU HAVE HEARD IN THE PRESENCE OF MANY WITNESSES: kai a ekousas (2SAAI) par emou dia pollon marturon: (2Ti 1:13; 3:10,14 1Ti 4:14; 6:12, Php 4:9)


Related Resources
-
 

Dawson Trotman Born to Reproduce (Pdf format which includes a link to his audio message) - If there ever was a man who epitomized the truth of 2 Timothy 2:2, it was Dawson Trotman, the founder of the Navigators - a must read & listen!

 

Dawson Trotman - The Need of the Hour

 

Dawson Trotman - The Big Dipper

 

How to Make Disciples 8 Part Series by Gene Warr (Pdf and Audio)

Operation Multiplication 4 Part Series by Billie Hanks, Jr. (Pdf and Audio)

The Art of Personal Witnessing 13 Part Series by Lorne Sanny (Pdf and Audio)
 

Master Plan of Evangelism 3 Part Series by Robert Coleman (Pdf and Audio)


Other translations..
.

You have heard me teach many things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses (NLT)

Everything that you have heard me preach in public (Phillips)

And the [instructions] which you have heard from me along with many witnesses (Amplified)

You and many others have heard what I have taught (ICB)

You’ve heard my message, and it’s been confirmed by many witnesses (GWT)

And links naturally with Timothy's being empowered in grace, enabling him to transmit the precious deposit of the things...heard which in context refers to the Gospel. We cannot pass on something which we don't possess. Timothy was to pass on the things which Paul had poured into him. 

The fact that these things were heard in the presence of many witnesses indicates that there were others who could testify to the truth, trustworthiness and validity of the things Paul taught. They were not private communications, restricted to an inner group. There is herein a noteworthy principle: One of the tests of trustworthy doctrine is that the teacher is willing to expound it publicly as well as privately. Note for example how most of the cults refuse to do this but rather seek their converts through secret initiations.

Witnesses (3144) (martus) describes those who have heard Paul's words and are competent and willing to confirm his statements.

The point Paul is making is his teaching was not a matter of private discourse, restricted to some select inner group, but heard by many (polus = much in number or quantity) who could testify to the "soundness" of the doctrines he taught. The apostles had no private esoteric doctrines privately communicated to their successors as was true in many of the "secret cults" of that day and is a characteristic of many of the cults today.

Presence of many witnesses - Discipleship may occur in large groups, small groups, or one-on-one encounters and in the use of this passage Paul emphasizes a group setting. The question we must ask ourselves constantly is "Am I being obedient to the Lord's command to make disciples?" (Mt 28:18 19 20). In that famous passage often referred to as the "Great Commission" note the "steps" - (1) Go (2) Make disciples (the only "step" which is an actual command) - learners (3) Baptize - speaks of true believers where water baptism reflects spiritual baptism (Ro 6:3) (4) Teach - Not to be hearers but doers. How is this possible? He is with us, enabling us by the indwelling Spirit of Christ (cp Acts 1:8, Ro 8:9), until the end of this present age. The implication is that that first 4 steps are taken with a continual, conscious awareness that we are not able to complete the good works created for us to walk in unless we depend on, lean on, abide in, yield to, surrender to, rely upon...Christ Jesus Who promises to be with us to the end! (cp 2Co 3:5, 6).

The things...heard refers back to "the good thing committed (entrusted)" (2 Ti 1:14, Young's Literal), specifically the Gospel. Lenski aptly remarks, “The apostle evidently did not expect the future teachers of the Church to produce new or different teaching. The Gospel is changeless in all ages."

Have heard (akouo) which means to hear with attention and to hear effectually as to perform or grant what is spoken. In short, this is not a description of "in one ear and out the other!" The aorist tense speaks of a past completed (effective) action and in context sums up as a historic fact the many occasions when Timothy had heard Paul present the standard of sound words in the Gospel (2Ti 1:13- note, e.g. see Acts 20:7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12) in the presence of other witnesses.

Dwight Edwards writes that

This great verse contains three major sections, each dealing with a different time period. We see the prerequisite for discipleship, the process of discipleship, and the product of discipleship. The prerequisite (past event). "And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses..." We cannot pass on something which we don't possess. Timothy was to pass on the things which Paul had poured into him. These "things" are the approximate equivalent to "the standard of sound words" of 2 Ti1:13 and "the good deposit" of 2 Ti1:14....The significant point is that preparation always precedes presentation. Every man or woman God has used significantly has undergone a period of intense spiritual preparation. Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, and Paul among many others spent a significant amount of time being prepared by God before He sent them forth into divine service. Thus we also must not neglect the time of our spiritual training and preparation. It is only by allowing the spirit of God to hone and sharpen us that our lives will have the keen cutting edge which God can use in His skillful hand. Timothy is to take what Paul has poured into his life and let it overflow into the lives of others.

The Process (Present Event): "commit these to faithful men..." Timothy is to take what Paul has poured into his life and let it overflow into the lives of others...

The Product (future event) " who will be able to teach others also." Here is the end product of the process of discipleship. If done properly, it will breed warriors for the faith who will go forth to the battle for men's souls. They themselves will be involved in equipping still other faithful warriors for the conflict. And thus the process of spiritual reproduction and multiplication is set in motion; a process which has the potential to fulfill the first command ever given to man. ""Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it" (Ge 1:28)." This process also is the key to fulfilling the last command given to man before Christ's ascension, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations" (Mt 28:18-20, Acts 1:8)" (Bolding and color added)

ENTRUST TO FAITHFUL MEN: parathou (AMM) pistois anthropois (2Ti 1:14; 1Ti 1:18; 5:22) (Nu 12:7; 1Sa 2:35; Neh 7:2; Ps 101:6; Pr 13:17; Jer 23:28; Mt 24:25; Lk 12:42; 16:10, 11, 12; 1 Co 4:2; Col 1:7; 1Ti 1:12; Heb 2:17; 3:2,3; Rev 2:10, 11, 12, 13, 1Ti 6:20) (See Torrey's Topic "Faithfulness")

Other translations - Teach these great truths to trustworthy men (TLB), entrust them to reliable people (TEV), Teach these great truths to trustworthy people (NLT), transmit and entrust [as a deposit] to reliable and faithful men (AMP), these things commit as a trust to trustworthy men (Wuest)

TRAIN OTHERS
TO TRAIN OTHERS

Paul had instructed Timothy to "guard what (had) been entrusted to" or deposited with him for safe, faithful keeping and protection. In the present verse Paul gives a practical example of how Timothy is to protect the "deposit". Now he "should in turn entrust to reliable men, who will be able to pass it on to others." (Phillips)

Entrust (3908) (paratithemi from para = beside + tithemi = place) (click in depth study of related noun paratheke) literally means to place something beside, to set alongside or place before someone. It was used in Greek meaning to give someone something in trust and so to "deposit" with another. It conveys the picture of a precious treasure being deposited as a trust into the hands of other persons. Those to be entrusted with the message must be “faithful” persons, reliable and trustworthy men “who will not swerve aside because of fear or favor, who will not compromise with the spirit of the age through which they are passing.”

Paratithemi is used 19 times in the NT (Mt 13:24, 31; Mk. 6:41; 8:6, 7; Lk. 9:16; 10:8; 11:6; 12:48; 23:46; Acts 14:23; 16:34; 17:3; 20:32; 1Co 10:27; 1Ti 1:18; 2Ti 2:2; 1Pe 4:19) and is translated as: commend, 1; commended, 1; commit, 1; entrust, 3; entrusted, 1; giving evidence, 1; presented, 2; serve, 1; served, 2; set before, 5; set...before, 1)

There are 19 uses of paratithemi in the Septuagint - Ge 18:8; 24:33; 30:38; 43:31, 32; Ex 19:7; 21:1; Lev. 6:4, 10; Deut. 4:44; 1Sa 9:24; 21:6; 28:22; 2Sa 12:20; 2Ki 5:24; 6:22, 23; 2Chr. 16:10; Ps. 31:5; Pr 23:1

As shown below the NT uses paratithemi to describing setting of food before those who were hungry. How apropos then that in the figurative use, paratithemi refers to setting the "food" of God's Word before those who are hungry, setting the table for them so to speak that they might partake of the very bread of life!

The TDNT has the following note regarding paratithemi writing that...

In the ancient Gk. and Jewish sphere, as well as the ancient Roman, one finds the legal device whereby an object can be entrusted to another’s keeping for a specific period. This object was to be kept free, unused and undamaged until restoration. The trustworthiness of the trustee was thus most important. But there was, too, a stringent penalty for embezzlement, and the special wrath of the gods was also invoked. The legal formulae soon came to be used in a transferred sense, e.g.,  “to entrust someone to the care or protection of someone,” Diod. S., 17, 23, 5; "to submit words as entrusted goods" (Ed note: as here in 2 Timothy)...(In the Septuagint paratithemi is used 42 times including use as...) "a term in commercial law “to give money to someone for safekeeping,”...The responsibility of the trustee for the money handed to him is regulated in Exodus 22:7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13... When the psalmist in Psalm 31:5 prays "into Thy hands I commit [Lxx = paratithemi] my spirit", as one who is persecuted, though innocent, he sets himself under the protection of the faithful God." (Ed note: And of course our Lord Jesus quoted these very words from the Cross as noted below)...(the Jewish Historian in using paratithemi...) lays special emphasis on the honesty which, grounded on fear of God and the conscience, must hold sway in trusts." The TDNT appropriately adds that "All that man is and has he should regard as something entrusted to him by God" (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Erdman) (Bolding added)

As illustrated by the following passages, and as used in the present verse by Paul, paratithemi meant to entrust or commit for safekeeping with the implication that one was committing to another with confidence. It can convey (as in our present passage) the idea of investing or charging someone with a duty or responsibility.  It can convey the idea of putting something into the care or protection of someone. This is very similar to use of paratithemi in classical Greek to describe anything being deposited with a friend for the purpose of safekeeping.

When used with the idea of commit (as by Jesus on the Cross) paratithemi conveys the may express the general idea of delivering into another’s charge or the special sense of transferring to a superior power or to a special place of custody.

Paratithemi is sometimes translated "commend" which mends to entrust for care or preservation. The sense is to deposit what belongs to one into the hands of another.

In (Matthew 13:24) Jesus used paratithemi in the context of teaching, Matthew recording that...

He presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field

In (Mark 6:41) Jesus uses paratithemi to describe setting the table with food...

"And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food and broke the loaves and He kept giving them to the disciples to set before them; and He divided up the two fish among them all."

In (Luke 12:48) we see paratithemi used with the idea of trusting something into one's care, Luke recording...

but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.

In probably the most notable use of paratithemi Luke (Luke 23:46|) records Jesus' words from the cross...

And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, "Father, INTO YOUR HANDS COMMIT MY SPIRIT ." Having said this, He breathed His last.

Paul in his last words to the elders of the church at Ephesus (Acts 20:32) said...

And now commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

Paul in this first epistle to Timothy (1Timothy 1:18) said...

This command entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight,

Peter (see note 1 Peter 4:19) in a use that parallels that of our Lord's on the cross wrote that those believers...

also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

In the secular Greco-Roman world, paratithemi was used as a banking term meaning to deposit something valuable as a trust or for protection. The point of this specific verb is that truth is not simply to be given away but is to be carefully deposited, much like we might make a monetary deposit in a promising investment.

Thus as we pass on the "baton" of God's truth to the next "runner" we dare not fail to communicate the sober responsibility that accompanies reception and transmittal of this truth for the eternal truths of God's matchless Word are not on an equal par with other interesting and valuable information. Thus we must never forget or fail to communicate to others that the word of God is a "good deposit" for which God will call us into account one day. And on that day the burning question will not be "How much did you know?" But "How fully do you obey what you knew?"

Paul is commanding Timothy even with a sense of urgency (aorist imperative conveys urgency ~ do this and do it effectively!) to deposit the "good deposit" (NIV; see note 2 Timothy 1:14) (Gk word paratheke derived from the verb paratithemi) to trustworthy (pistos - trustworthy, dependable, reliable, worthy of placing one's confidence in) men. These are not just any believer but were to be men who could be trusted, who would pass the gospel "deposit" on to other men. These were to be men Timothy could place his confidence in...men who would be sure to follow through to the end even if it cost them their life. They must prove themselves worthy of this eternal investment by their faithfulness, the dividing line between mediocrity and excellence in Christian living. Note that the requirement is not eloquence, charisma, intellect, or natural talent even though these tend to attract men's attention and praise. Instead Paul commanded Timothy to look for faithful men, through whom there is no limit what God can do.

John Wesley said,

"If I had 300 men who feared nothing but God, hated nothing but sin, and were determined to know nothing among men except Jesus Christ and Him crucified; I would set the world on fire."

Paul used the same verb (paratithemi ) when he exhorted and admonished the Ephesian elders upon his departure, saying

"now I commend (paratithemi ~ "I deposit you") you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified." (Acts 20:32)

Vine notes that

"There is no hint here, or anywhere else in the New Testament, of apostolic succession. The apostle is arranging for the maintenance and the perpetuation of the faith. Nor is there any intimation, in the charge here given, of a communication of an official right to preach. Timothy was not commissioned to consecrate men, or to impart authority to them, he was to hand on the truth as he had received it." (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson )

A pastor’s ministry is never to be a “one-man show”. He must be continually raising up people in ministry around him, and pushing ministry down to others who strengthened by grace in Christ can perform "good works".  Serving the Lord is not an onerous burden but a gracious privilege that must be shared with faithful men.

J Vernon McGee comments

"As sons of God (Mt 5:9-note, Lk 20:36, Ro 8:14-note, Ro 8:19-note, Ga 3:26) we ought to be concerned about our Father’s business. The Lord Jesus in His humanity as a boy said (quoting from KJV translation), “I must be about my Father’s business.” Well, I have become a son of God—not like the Lord Jesus, but I’ve become a son of God through faith in Christ. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power [the authority] to become the sons of God, even to them that [do no more nor less than] believe on his name” (John 1:12). Now that I am a son of God I am interested in my Father’s business. By the way, are you interested in your Father’s business? And the main business is getting out the Word of God (cp Ps 40:9-note, , Jonah 3:2, Lk 9:60, Ro 10:14, 15-note, Col 1:25-note, 2Ti 4:1-note, 2Ti 4:2-note, 2Ti 4:3, 4-note, 2Ti 4:5-note). But we need to recognize that we need the grace of God (Acts 14:26; 20:24; Ro 5:15-note; 1Co 3:10; 15:10; 2Co 1:12; Titus 2:11-note; Titus 2:12-note; He 12:15-note; 1Pe 5:12-note) to do the business of God—as well as in every facet of our lives as His children." As Jesus taught His disciples in Luke "Do business...until I come back." (Lk 19:13) (McGee, J V: Thru the Bible Commentary:  Nashville: Thomas Nelson)

To faithful men - What is their chief characteristic? They can be trusted to retain the standard of sound words (2Ti 1:13-note) and guard through the Holy Spirit Who indwells them the treasure that has been entrusted to them (2Ti 1:14-note) and secondly they are adequate, qualified and competent to teach ("pass the baton" to) other trustworthy men (in essence this is the fulfillment of Jesus' great charge to go and make disciples or learners - not just "smarter sinners" but "learners who obey" [see esp v20 that follows] - Mt 28:18, 19, 20, cp Paul's example in 2Ti 3:10, 11-note, 2Ti 3:12-note).

E. K. Simpson writes that...

The torch of heavenly light must be transmitted unquenched from one generation to another, and Timothy must count himself an intermediary between apostolic and later ages.

Faithful (4103) (pistos [word study] from peitho [word study] = to persuade - induce one by words to believe, have confidence) is something or someone who is worthy of faith or keeps promises and is applied to God, humans, His Word, etc. As used by Paul, pistos is speaking of men who will prove themselves reliable, worthy of trust and dependable in fulfilling the ministry that has been entrusted to them (see Col 4:17-note). As explained below these are men who live up to the acronym  F.A.T.Faithful, Available and Teachable.

Pistos - 67 uses in NT - Mt. 24:45; 25:21, 23; Lk 12:42; 16:10, 11, 12; 19:17; Jn 20:27; Ac 10:45; 13:34; 16:1, 15; 1Co 1:9; 4:2, 17; 7:25; 10:13; 2Co 1:18; 6:15; Ga 3:9; Ep 1:1; 6:21; Col 1:2, 7; 4:7, 9; 1Th 5:24; 2Th 3:3; 1Ti 1:12, 15; 3:1, 11; 4:3, 9, 10, 12; 5:16; 6:2; 2Ti 2:2, 11, 13; Titus 1:6, 9; 3:8; He 2:17; 3:2, 5; 10:23; 11:11; 1Pe 1:21; 4:19; 5:12; 1Jn 1:9; 3 Jn. 1:5; Re 1:5; 2:10, 13; 3:14; 17:14; 19:11; 21:5; 22:6

Vincent gives a nice summary of the meaning of pistos, faithful, writing that it is used

(1), of one who shows Himself faithful in the discharge of a duty or the administration of a trust (Mt 24:45). Hence, trustworthy (2Ti 2:2). Of things that can be relied upon (2Ti 2:11-note). (2), Confiding; trusting; a believer (Gal 3:9; Acts 16:1; 2Co 6:15; 1Ti 5:16) (Word Studies in the New Testament)

Webster says that "Faithful" means firm in adherence to whatever one owes allegiance and implies unswerving adherence to a person (in our case the Captain of the hosts, our Lord Jesus Christ) or to the promise by which a tie was contracted (cp the truths inherent in the Biblical doctrine of Covenant = Solemn and Binding, A Walk Into Death, Oneness of Covenant)

Timothy was a trustworthy man according to Paul who testified...

of his proven worth that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father. (Php 2:22-note)

See Sammy Tippit's exhortation to make disciples - Discipleship - The Wineskin For Awakening (from his book Fire In Your Heart - highly recommended - online here). Here is a brief excerpt from his charge...

(Speaking of his days in Hahn Baptist Church in West Germany) I saw not only lasting fruit, but also multiplying fruit. Most of those men and women are not only growing in Christ, but they are also serving the Lord as lay people and vocational ministers in many congregations. The greatest joy of my ministry has been to watch those people become spiritual multipliers.

The last and great commission Jesus gave His followers before ascending to the Father was to make disciples (Mt 28:18 19 20). The objective of the church was not to build an organization, but to build an organism made up of people who had decided to follow Jesus and learn of Him. The objective became "people," to win people and grow them in Christ so that they could in turn win others. Every man and woman was to become a soul winner and a disciple maker.

Any church doing less than that
has ceased to fulfill Christ's objective for His church.

If a bakery does not produce baked goods, there is something radically wrong with it. By the same token, there is something radically wrong with the church that is not winning people to Christ and helping them grow spiritually. The church must enable every member of its congregation to win souls and make disciples. God never intended for the pastor to win all the souls and teach all the classes. Revival will produce a well-mobilized laity for God's glory. (Full article)

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The Value of One - When Harvey Penick died at the age of 90, the world of golf lost one of its greatest teachers. Although his books have sold millions of copies, he was remembered most for his direct impact on people.

An Associated Press story stated, "Penick refused to teach methods or group lessons, instead applying his wisdom to the talents of individual players." Tom Kite, the leading money winner in PGA Tour history, was 13 when he began working with Penick. Ben Crenshaw began learning the game from Penick at the age of 6.

Penick, who could have spent his life speaking to crowds, chose to invest himself in people--many of them children--one at a time.

The apostle Paul modeled this kind of unselfish mentoring relationship with a young man named Timothy. Then he urged Timothy to do the same with others. He wrote, "The things that you have heard from me . . . commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others" (2Ti 2:2).

Face to face--person to person--one to one. This is the most effective way of teaching. It goes beyond the telling of facts to communicating genuine interest and love.

Why not begin today to invest yourself in someone who needs a spiritual teacher, mentor, and friend? — David C. McCasland
(Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

To help another person grow,
You have to pay a price;
It takes the giving of yourself--
And that means sacrifice. --DJD

One who follows Christ
is to lead the way for another.

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Never Underestimate the Power of Passing on the Word of God to Trustworthy Men - Noted Bible teacher E. Schuyler English told of Michael Billester, a Bible distributor who visited a small hamlet in Poland shortly before World War II. Billester gave a Bible to a villager, who was converted by reading it. The new believer then passed the Book on to others. The cycle of conversions and sharing continued until 200 people had become believers through that one Bible. When Billester returned in 1940, this group of Christians met together for a worship service in which he was to preach the Word. He normally asked for testimonies, but this time he suggested that several in the audience recite verses of Scripture. One man stood and said, "Perhaps we have misunderstood. Did you mean verses or chapters?" These villagers had not memorized a few select verses of the Bible but whole chapters and books. Thirteen people knew Matthew, Luke, and half of Genesis. Another person had committed to memory the Psalms. That single copy of the Bible given by Billester had done its work. Transformed lives bore witness to the power of the Word.

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WHO WILL BE ABLE TO TEACH OTHERS ALSO: hoitines hikanoi esontai (3PFMI) didaxai (AAN) kai heterous: (2Ti 2:24;25 Ezra 7:10; 25 Mal 2:7; Mt 13:52; 1Ti 3:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; 4:6; Titus 1:5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

Paul Bucknell's convicting discussion on 2Timothy 2:2 - The Plan of Discipleship - a pithy practical paper worth perusing!

Other Translations = who will, in turn, pass them on to others (TLB), who will have the ability to teach others as well (NAB), who will be competent to teach others as well (NET), who will be competent and qualified to teach others also (AMP), these things commit as a trust to trustworthy men who are of such a character as to be capable of teaching others also (Wuest), faithful individuals who will be competent to teach others (GWT)

The OT Scribe Ezra is a beautiful example of a trustworthy man who fulfills the ministry granted to him and teaches others also, Scripture recording ...

For (see end of Ezra 7:9 for the effect that this verse explains) Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD, and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel. (Ezra 7:10-see in depth exposition of this passage)

Able (2425) (hikanos from the root hik- = “to reach [with the hand],” “to attain”, `reaching to', `attaining to'; hence, `adequate') refers to that which reaches or arrives at a certain standard and in context refers to men who meet the standard and are fit, qualified and able to "teach" (didasko).

The primary meaning of hikanos is sufficient, and hence comes to be applied to number and quantity and so means many or enough.

In reference to time hikanos means long.

Hikanos means worthy or sufficient for an honor, a place or a position.

Untrained, unqualified believers are not be placed in teaching positions, which so often happens in churches today. In a frantic rush to increase our numbers, we often fill empty teaching slots with men who lack adequate training. In our pursuit for quantity we sacrifice quality and the church languishes in mediocrity.

Hikanos - 41x in NAS - Mt 3:11; 8:8; 28:12; Mk. 1:7; 10:46; 15:15; Lk. 3:16; 7:6, 12; 8:27, 32; 20:9; 22:38; 23:8, 9; Acts 8:11; 9:23, 43; 11:24, 26; 12:12; 14:3, 21; 17:9; 18:18; 19:19, 26; 20:8, 11, 37; 22:6; 27:7, 9; 1Co. 11:30; 15:9; 2Co. 2:6, 16; 3:5; 2Ti 2:2. NAS translates: able, 1; adequate, 2; aloud, 1; considerable, 4; enough, 1; fit, 4; good many, 1; large, 1; large sum, 1; length, 1; long, 5; long while, 1; many, 9; number, 1; pledge, 1; satisfy, 1; sizeable, 1; some, 1; sufficient, 1; very bright, 1; worthy, 2

Hikanos has been variously used from the time of the Greek tragic dramatists in the basic sense of adequate (sufficient for a specific requirement), sufficient (enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end), enough (in or to a degree or quantity that satisfies or that is sufficient or necessary for satisfaction), qualified (fitted as by training or experience for a given purpose), competent (having the capacity to function or develop in a particular way) to do a thing or large enough. As illustrated in selections below, the NT usage corresponds to these secular uses.

Hikanos - 27x in non-apocryphal Septuagint (LXX) - Ge. 30:15; 33:15; Exod. 4:10; 12:4; 36:7; Lev. 5:7; 12:8; 25:26, 28; Ruth 1:20, 21; 1Ki 16:31; 2Ki. 4:8; 2Chr 30:3; Job 21:15; 31:2; 40:2; Prov. 25:16; 30:15; Is 40:16; Jer. 48:30; Ezek. 34:18; Joel 2:11; Obad. 1:5; Nah. 2:12; Hab. 2:13; Zech. 7:3. Note that some Septuagint uses have nuances of meaning not found in the NT uses. For example in Ruth the Septuagint translators selected hikanos to translate God's Name, the Almighty (Shaddai - see study)...

And she said to them, "Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has witnessed against me and the Almighty (Lxx = hikanos with definite article = "the Adequate One") has afflicted me?" (hikanos meaning sizeable, considerable, competent, ample, adequate, enough, large enough or sufficient. Take those meanings and plug them into the Name of God. Naomi is saying my God is "the Sufficient (One)", "the (One Who is large) Enough", "the Adequate One", etc. It is as if by using Shaddai (seldom used outside of Genesis and Job), Naomi is expressing trust in Him even in the midst of her pain. Would it be that we could all see God as ample, adequate, competent, large enough, sufficient, etc when we are experiencing adversity. Open our eyes LORD to see Thee as Who Thou truly art -- "Large Enough" for any and every trial and affliction we will ever encounter. Click notes Ruth 1:20-21)

In Exodus we see the Israelites had to be restrained from bringing materials for the building of the Tabernacle...

For the material they had was sufficient (Hebrew =  day = sufficiency; Lxx = hikanos) and more than enough for all the work, to perform it.  (Exodus 36:7)

John the Baptist declared in (Mt 3:11) that...

He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

In a similar statement (Mt 8:8) the centurion told Jesus...

Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.

Mark (Mark 15:5) uses hikanos to describe Pilate's acquiescence to the wishes of the Jews writing...

Wishing to satisfy (to content) the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

Luke uses hikanos far more than any other writer in Scripture, most often conveying a semi-quantitative sense...

Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. (Lk 7:12)

And He began to tell the people this parable: "A man planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey for a long time." (Lk 20:9)

They said, "Lord, look, here are two swords ." And He said to them, "It is enough."  (Lk 22:38)

for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord." (Acts 11:24)

Hikanos can refer to a pledge (something given as security for the performance of an act;  a binding promise or agreement to do), Luke recording...

And when they had received a pledge (hikanos) from Jason and the others, they released them." (Acts 17:9)

Vincent comments that Hikanos here means: "Bail, either personal or by a deposit of money. A law term. They engaged that the public peace should not be violated, and that the authors of the disturbance should leave the city." )

A T Robertson adds: "receive a pledge" was "A Greek idiom = Latin satis accipere, to receive the sufficient (bond), usually money for the fulfillment of the judgment.

Writing to the Corinthians  (2Cor 3:5-note) Paul declares...

Not that we are adequate (sufficient - No one in his own strength is adequate or competent to serve God in the ways and with the power that Paul has been describing) in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy (related noun hikanotes - only God can make a person adequate to do his work, and Paul realized that it...) is from God,

Teach (1321) (didasko from dáo= know or teach; English = didactic; see study of related noun didaskalia and the adjective didaktikos) (click for study of related word didaskalía) means to provide instruction or information in a formal or informal setting. Didasko does not mean simply the impartation of facts, but instruction given in such a way so as to shape the will of those being taught, the "molding" being the product of the content taught. Here we see the picture of "sound doctrine" being perpetuated through a successful teaching ministry which exercises care to "retain the standard" of the apostolic principles of faith and practice.

In this verse Paul gives the formula for spiritual multiplication: Paul was the first generation, Timothy the second, faithful men the third and others the fourth. Someone has said we should be looking for those men (and women) who are F.A.T. or Faithful, Available and Teachable and invest ourselves heavily in their lives. Then they will be fit, adequate and qualified to teach others also.

In 1835 the visiting Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville gave a penetrating analysis of the greatness of America. He said

I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers — and it was not there. I sought in the fertile fields and boundless forest — in her rich mines and vast world commerce — and it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution — it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good — and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. (Bolding added)

If America is weak spiritually, it is because the pulpits are "weak" doctrinally. And if the pulpits are weak, it is because its leaders have not been faithful men and they have failed to instruct by mouth with the intent to pass on the passion and purity of doctrine of Paul and Timothy to the next generation.

Conversely, if the church in America is to be strong (and parenthetically to experience Spirit driven, Word centered revival it so desperately needs), its leaders must "be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus", imbued with His power (Acts 1:8), allowing "the word of Christ" to "richly dwell within" so that they would be "with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another" (Colossians 3:16-note). 

Leaders can become strong only if they are carefully built up in "the Word of His grace" as noted above (Acts 20:32). This was the principle and practice predicted in Ps 145:4  (Spurgeon's note)

One generation shall praise Thy works to another, and shall declare Thy mighty acts.

Dawson Trotman who founded the Navigators was a "faithful man" whom God used mightily to equip other faithful men who would teach others. Preaching at Trotman's funeral Billy Graham said

I think Dawson Trotman has personally touched more lives [for Christ's sake] than anybody that I have ever known. (Click Born to Reproduce to read Trotman's biography)

William Barclay observes that

The teacher is a link in the living chain which stretches unbroken from this present moment back to Jesus Christ. The glory of teaching is that it links the present with the earthly life of Jesus Christ

This is the way to pass on the torch of the light of the knowledge of God in Christ. Paul taught Timothy who will teach others who will teach still others, an endless chain.

A dramatic example of the power of the principle of multiplication of
faithful men began (as far as we have record) with a Sunday School teacher named Mr. Kimball,  who in 1858 was burdened to lead a Boston shoe clerk named D. L. Moody to new life in Christ.

Dwight L. Moody became a faithful evangelist and while in England in 1879 God used his message of sound doctrine to awaken an evangelistic zeal in the heart of F. B. Meyer, pastor of a small church, who later visited American and while preaching on a college campus was used by the Spirit to bring a student named J. Wilbur Chapman to saving knowledge of Christ. Chapman, engaged in YMCA work employed a former baseball player, Billy Sunday, to do evangelistic work and while leading a revival in Charlotte, N. C. so stirred the hearts of a group of local (faithful) men that they prayed and planned another evangelistic campaign which came to fruition when God brought Mordecai Hamm to preach. During this revival, a young man named Billy Graham heard the Gospel and yielded his life to Christ. It may be that you dear reader are one of the tens of thousands who has been led to Christ through the ministry of Billy Graham. Only eternity will reveal the tremendous impact of that one trustworthy Sunday School Teacher who invested his life in the lives of others. O, that God might grant America more "Mr. Kimball's", "faithful men who will be able to teach others also"!

Like seed, God's Word must be continually planted in the hearts of faithful followers of Christ, who in turn will pass it on to others. As they do, the process of sowing and reaping will continue until the Lord of the harvest returns. Someone has taught you the truths of the gospel and helped you to understand the teachings of the Bible. Are you planting seeds for the next harvest? We are to be channels of God's truth, not reservoirs.

O teach me, Lord, that I may teach
The precious things Thou dost impart;
And wing my words, that they may reach
The hidden depths of many a heart.
                                          --Havergal

The Next Planting - When I was a child, it was a family custom to look for the first ripe tomato in our garden. Somehow that first red tomato (often allowed to finish ripening on the kitchen window sill) always seemed to taste the best.

As the summer wore on, my mother found a variety of ways to serve the tomatoes that followed: stewed, sliced for sandwiches, and even breaded fried green tomatoes. Many quarts were canned for winter use in spaghetti and goulash.

One thing was never neglected: Dad always saved some of the seeds from his prized tomato plants for the next year's planting. Thus a harvest was assured, year after year.

I think Paul had that principle in mind when he told Timothy to commit the truths of the gospel to faithful believers who would be able to "teach others also" (2Ti 2:2). Like seed, God's Word must be continually planted in the hearts of faithful followers of Christ, who in turn will pass it on to others. As they do, the process of sowing and reaping will continue until the Lord of the harvest returns.

Someone has taught you the truths of the gospel and helped you to understand the teachings of the Bible. Are you planting seeds for the next harvest? --D C Egner (
Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

O teach me, Lord, that I may teach
The precious things Thou dost impart;
And wing my words, that they may reach
The hidden depths of many a heart. --Havergal

We are to be channels of God's truth,
not reservoirs.

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He Did It - At the memorial service for LeRoy Eims, longtime staff member with The Navigators, I pondered why hundreds of colleagues and friends had come from across the US to pay tribute. Why did so many people love him so deeply?

As a young Christian, LeRoy had been challenged to disciple others one-on-one. He took seriously Paul’s charge to Timothy: “The things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2Ti 2:2). LeRoy embraced that clear, simple command of Scripture and practiced it faithfully for more than 50 years.

Scores of people who packed the church that afternoon had lived in LeRoy and Virginia Eims’ home. They had been embraced, encouraged, and instructed by him. As his spiritual children, they had multiplied his ministry by investing themselves in others, just as he had in them.

One sentence in a written tribute captured the essence of the man: “His life was characterized by singleness of purpose, great creativity and a wonderful sense of humor.”

LeRoy’s example spurs us on to a lifetime of faithfully following the Lord. He did it! And by God’s grace, so can we. — David C. McCasland (
Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

It is in loving—not in being loved—
The heart is blessed;
It is in giving—not in seeking gifts—
We find our quest. —Anon.

You can teach more with your life than with your lips.

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An Unbroken Chain - Whenever I meet a Christian for the first time, I'm interested in learning how he came to trust Jesus as his Savior. Each person has a different story to tell, but they all testify that they learned the truth because of the efforts of others—their parents, pastors, Sunday school teachers, Bible club leaders, friends, writers. Someone has rightly observed that the body of Christ grows through "an unbroken chain of teachers."

In today's Scripture we learn that Timothy became a believer through the influence of his grandmother Lois, his mother Eunice, and the teaching of Paul (2 Timothy 1:5; 2:2). The apostle told Timothy to become part of that chain and "commit these truths to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (v.2).

The "faithful men" Paul had in mind were probably church elders, yet he was expressing a principle that applies to every believer. We had to receive the truth from someone; now it is our gracious privilege and solemn duty to transmit that truth to others.

Think of yourself as a link in the living chain that extends from the time Jesus lived on earth to the present. We must keep that chain strong by telling others about Him so that the gospel will reach to future generations.— Herbert Vander Lugt (
Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Give me a passion for souls, dear Lord,
A passion to save the lost;
O that Thy love were by all adored,
And welcomed at any cost. —Tovey

The good news is meant to be shared.

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Becoming A Mentor- According to Homer's Odyssey, when King Odysseus went off to fight in the Trojan war, he left his son Telemachus in the hands of a wise old man named Mentor. Mentor was charged with the task of teaching the young man wisdom.

More than 2,000 years after Homer, a French scholar and theologian by the name of François Fénelon adapted the story of Telemachus in a novel titled Télémaque. In it he enlarged the character of Mentor. The word mentor soon came to mean "a wise and responsible tutor"—an experienced person who advises, guides, teaches, inspires, challenges, corrects, and serves as a model.

Second Timothy 2:2 describes spiritual mentoring, and the Bible gives us many examples. Timothy had Paul; Mark had Barnabas; Joshua had Moses; Elisha had Elijah.

But what about today? Who will love and work with new Christians and help them grow spiritually strong? Who will encourage, guide, and model the truth for them? Who will call young believers to accountability and work with God to help mold their character?

Will you become one whom God can use to impart wisdom and to help others grow toward maturity? — David H. Roper (
Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

THINKING IT OVER
Who has helped you to grow in your faith?
How did that person help you?
By teaching, example, or friendship?
To whom can you be a mentor?

God teaches us so that we can teach others.

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Pupil Or Teacher? - A college student was having difficulty with his studies, so he finally decided to talk to his professor. He complained, "I'm studying hard. I'm doing my best, but I just can't retain what I read or try to memorize. Do you think it would help if I hired a tutor?"

Clearly understanding the young man's problem, the instructor replied, "No, I wouldn't recommend that at all. You don't need a teacher, you need a pupil!" He knew that learning is enhanced when we share our knowledge with others.

This professor's advice reminds me of believers who know many Bible facts but still have a poor understanding of scriptural truths. They attend church every Sunday, listen faithfully to religious broadcasts, enroll in Bible correspondence courses, and study the Scriptures personally; yet they seem to lack a working knowledge of the Bible. What's the problem? They never do anything with the information! They don't need to be taught more; they need to tell others what they have learned. As they put it into practice, they will fully grasp it.

Do you discuss the truths of God's Word with others? If not, it's time you stopped being just a pupil and started being a teacher. — Richard De Haan (
Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Until you tell someone what you have learned,
Your study may not stand the test;
But when the Spirit's truth you have discerned,
By teaching it you'll know it best. --Hess

A good way to learn God's truth is to teach it to others.

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