2TIMOTHY 1:5 COMMENTARY
2 Timothy 1:5 For I am mindful (AAPMSN) of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt (3AAI) in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure (1SRPI) that it is in you as well (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: I am calling up memories of your sincere and unqualified faith (the leaning of your entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness), [a faith] that first lived permanently in [the heart of] your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am [fully] persuaded, [dwells] in you also. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: 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.
NLT: I know that you sincerely trust the Lord, for you have the faith of your mother, Eunice, and your grandmother, Lois. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: I often think of that genuine faith of yours - a faith that first appeared in your grandmother Lois, then in Eunice your mother, and is now, I am convinced, in you as well. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: having been reminded of the unhypocritical faith which is in you, which is of such a nature as to have been at home first in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and concerning which I have come to a settled persuasion, is at home in you also (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: taking remembrance of the unfeigned faith that is in thee, that dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice, and I am persuaded that also in thee.
FOR I AM MINDFUL: hupomnesin labon (AAPMSN) tes en: (Psalms 77:6)
Paul reminds Timothy of his God given faith and godly heritage which should enable daily living and the diligent fulfillment of his holy calling in Christ.
I am mindful (literally "taking remembrance") is two Greek words, lambano (2983) meaning to receive or take in whatever manner and hupomnesis (5280) (hupó = under + mimnesko = to remind) meaning remembrance, recalling, thinking about something again, causing oneself to remember, refreshing one's memory.
Hupomnesis is Paul's third reference to his memories ("remember" in v3, "recall" in v4) and denotes an external reminding. The fact that Paul remembered Timothy would certainly encourage him. Paul could have easily focused on his self in a cell and had a pity party but instead he repeatedly emphasized that he remember Timothy.
So the Greek is literally "Having received a reminder” It's like a "memorandum" that comes to mind. In some way or other, Paul had been reminded of Timothy’s sincere faith.
D. Edmond Hiebert remarks that…
Spurgeon observes that Timothy's spirit…
Sincere (505) (anupokritos from a = negative prefix meaning without + hupokrinomai [see below] = to pretend, this Greek verb being a combination of hupó = under, indicating secrecy + krino = to judge) is literally without play acting, without playing the part or without hypocrisy.
Anupokritos describes that which is unhypocritical, genuine (faith, love and wisdom in Scripture) and without show or pretense (pretense = a claim made or implied and especially one not supported by fact).
W E Vine has this note on the related root word explaining that a hypocrite (hupokrites) was…
A hypocrite is therefore an actor. Timothy’s faith was not an act but was completely genuine, unhypocritical and without pretense or deceit.
Marvin Vincent explains that the related word hypocrite (hupokrites) is…
Anupokritos is used 6 times in the NT once in each of the following books (Rom. 12:9; 2 Co. 6:6; 1 Tim. 1:5; 2 Tim. 1:5; Jas. 3:17; 1 Pet. 1:22) and in the NAS is translated "genuine, 1; sincere, 3; without hypocrisy, 2" whereas the KJV translates it "unfeigned, 4; without dissimulation (= act of hiding under a false appearance; e.g., "she smiled to dissimulate her anxiety"), 1; without hypocrisy, 1".
Timothy was aware that there were many who ostensibly were simply "playing the part" of a disciple ("You [Timothy] are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes" 2 Ti1:15). In this setting of defection by those who once stood beside Paul, it is not surprising that Timothy's "sincere faith" was a source of encouragement, joy and thanksgiving for Paul in prison.
Timothy's faith was "not an act" like the Greek play actors who were called hupokrites, because they answered from under (hupo) a mask.
D. Edmond Hiebert observes that Timothy's faith…
Timothy's faith was without "play acting" and this truth must have brought great joy to Paul's heart to know Timothy was "the real thing". In his third epistle John voices a similar exhortation to his readers…
Anupokritos is used in the NT to modify "love" three times! Clearly the implication that there can be an outward show of love which is really only a facade or mask!
THE OTHER 5 USES
In Romans Paul says…
Writing to the church at Corinth Paul describes himself and other "servants of God" as those who carry out there office
Peter exhorts the tested believers who reside as aliens that…
In Paul's first letter to Timothy, he explained to his young disciple that…
James contrasts worldly wisdom ("not that which comes down from above, but earthly, natural, demonic") with heavenly wisdom explaining that…
Godly wisdom does not pose and does not deal in deception but is honest, never pretending to be what it is not; never acting a part to gain its own ends.
Lenski comments that…
How would Paul characterize your faith?
Faith (4102) (pistis) is synonymous with trust or belief and is the conviction of the truth of anything, but in Scripture usually speaks of belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it.
As pistis relates to God, it is the conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things well as the Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ. As faith relates to Christ it represents a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through Whom we obtain eternal salvation and entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Stated another way, eternal salvation comes only through belief in Jesus Christ and no other way.
Scofield wrote that…
Genuine faith faith that results in true salvation includes at least three main elements
The highly respected theologian Louis Berkhof defines genuine faith in essentially the same way noting that it includes an intellectual element (notitia), which is "a positive recognition of the truth"; an emotional element (assensus), which includes "a deep conviction of the truth"; and a volitional element (fiducia), which involves "a personal trust in Christ as Savior and Lord, including a surrender … to Christ." (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1939)
Wayne Grudem defines faith that saves one's soul…
Maclaren writes that
A sincere faith is not hypocritical and play acting but shows itself to be genuine by a changed life.
John MacArthur comments that…
Whittier wrote the following poem on "faith"…
William Barclay has an interesting description writing that
The Psalms record examples of insincerity…
WHICH FIRST DWELT IN YOUR GRANDMOTHER LOIS AND YOUR MOTHER EUNICE: etis enokesen (3SAAI) proton en te mamme sou Loidi kai te metri sou Eunike: (Psalms 22:10; 86:16; 116:16; Acts 16:1)
First (4413) (protos) is used here to indicate chronology and not value or importance.
Grandmother (3125) (mamme) is used only here in the NT. Mamme corresponds exactly to our word “mamma.”
Mother (3384) (meter) defines a woman in relation to her child or children.
Eunice (2131) (eunike) means happy or good victory (happily conquering).
Someone has quipped that if the three wise men had been three wise women, what would have happened? They would have asked the way, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned up the stable by putting down fresh straw, brought practical gifts and made a casserole.
Dwelt in (1774) (enoikeo from en = in + oikéo = dwell) means literally to “dwell in”, to take up residence, make one's home in or among. To live in, inhabit; dwell in. All the NT uses of enoikeo are metaphorical.
The idea of “be at home,” defines the depth and extent to which faith has become a vital and integral part of their lives. Apply this same thought to the other things that dwell in believers in the NT -- the Word of Christ, the Spirit, God, sin.
Vine observes that enoikeo
Here in 2 Timothy 1:5, enoikeo is used in a figurative sense meaning “to dwell in one and influence for good.” The root word oikos means “a home,” and the root verb oikeo means “to live at home” and so
Enoikeo is found 5 times in the NAS (Romans 8:11; 2 Corinthians; Colossians 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 1:14) and 40 times in the Septuagint (Lev 26:32; 2 Ki 19:26; 22:16, 19; Isa 5:3, 9; 21:14; 22:21; 23:2, 6; 24:1, 6, 17; 26:5, 9, 18, 21; 27:5; 32:18f; 33:24; 37:26; 40:22; 65:21f; Jer 27:11; 31:24; 42:17; 44:8; 49:1, 18; Da 9:7)
Ray Pritchard explains how this reminder of Timothy's godly legacy would have encouraged the young disciple writing that…
Paul uses enoikeo in this same chapter describing the Holy Spirit being "at home" in he and Timothy…
Paul in explaining the potential believers now possess to live a new quality of life writes…
Paul again uses enoikeo to explain that God's presence in us should motivate us to "cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (2Corinthians 7:1). Paul writes
Paul in the last NT use of enoikeo, exhorts the saints at Colossae (and all believers) to…
Luke records that on Paul's second missionary journey…
In sum, sincere faith was not just an occasional visitor in Lois and Eunice,
but was a permanent resident and an abiding presence exerting its influence for good on these godly role models as well as on Timothy himself.
Timothy enjoyed the great blessing of having a godly heritage, even though it was only one parent and one grandparent who contributed.
Note also that in the Roman world, fathers had absolute authority over the family, and since Timothy’s father was not a Christian, his home situation was probably less than ideal and yet God used these godly women in this "less than ideal environment" so that through them
It will be a joy to meet Lois and Eunice in Heaven in the age to come! Note that it was the faith of these two godly women that greatly impacted Timothy's life not simply their knowledge of God. Who is watching your "faith"?
Note the testimony concerning the parents of John the Baptist, Zacharias and Elizabeth who
J R Miller writes…
Spurgeon comments that…
Jay Kesler wrote that…
For Future Generations - When a team of Christians visited Stavropol, Russia, in 1994 to hand out Bibles, a local citizen said he recalled seeing Bibles in an old warehouse. They had been confiscated in the 1930s when Stalin was sending believers to the gulags. Amazingly, the Bibles were still there. Among those who showed up to load them into trucks was a young agnostic student just wanting to earn a day's wage. But soon he slipped away from the job to steal a Bible. A team member went looking for him and found him sitting in a corner weeping. Out of the hundreds of Bibles, he had picked up one that bore the handwritten signature of his own grandmother. Persecuted for her faith, she had no doubt prayed often for her family and her city. God used that grandmother's Bible to convict that young man. God has no grandchildren. We must each become first-generation believers through personal faith in Jesus. But the devotion to God of a grandparent or parent is a powerful ally of His Spirit to bring our children to Christ. Paul encouraged Timothy by recalling the faith of his grandmother and mother. Although Timothy's faith was his own, it was deeply linked to theirs. What an admonition to us who are parents and grandparents to be faithful! -- Dennis J. De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
We can help our precious children
The Mom Box - Each Christmas I give both of my daughters a “Mom box.” Each box contains items to encourage them to be the best mothers they can be. It might have craft books or special projects, devotional books or tapes geared toward young moms, first-aid kits, recipes for cooking with kids—and often something personal like bubble bath for a little pampering after a tough day of mothering! It’s become a tradition that Rosemary and Tanya have looked forward to every year for the last decade.
Parents, give your children guidance
John MacArthur mentions that
Our Daily Bread - As a lawyer, as a congressman, as Governor of Ohio, and as President of the United States, William McKinley had a close relationship with his mother. He either visited her or sent a message to her every day. When she became seriously ill, he arranged to have a special train standing by, ready to take him to her bedside. Mrs. McKinley died December 12, 1897, in the arms of her 54-year-old son. Her gentle, Christian virtues helped mold the President's character, for when he was gunned down in Buffalo, New York, about 4 years later, he showed no bitterness toward his assassin. With Christian courage he said, "God's will be done." Before he died, he asked to hear once again the hymn "Nearer, My God, to Thee," which his mother had taught him.
Perhaps you too have been blessed with a Christian heritage. But unlike McKinley, you've strayed from God. Confess your sin and come back to the Lord. Let the precious memories of that special person in your life, who all these years has been pointing you to God, awaken in your heart a new desire to live for Him. Don't turn your back on the influence of your godly mother. --Dennis J. De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Our thanks, O God, for mothers
No man is poor who has had a godly mother!
Mothers Who Pray - The faith and prayers of mothers can have a profound impact on the lives of their children. First Samuel 1 records Hannah's plea and God's answer in the birth of her son Samuel. And in a letter to Timothy, Paul referred to the faith of Timothy's mother, which I'm sure was often expressed in earnest prayer on his behalf. No wonder he was used of God in the early church.
I heard my name in Mother's prayer
Live Honestly - As children grow up, we who are parents or leaders pray that they will learn to discriminate more and more between right and wrong. But be prepared! Eventually these children will compare our actions with our words. If what we do and what we say don’t match up, they will be confused, not knowing which to follow—our actions or our words.
Blest is the household where honesty reigns,
Happy Childhood at Stambourne - C H Spurgeon's Grand Legacy of Grandparents - Spurgeon's grandfather once said to young Charles “I have nothing to leave you but rheumatic gout; and I have left you a great deal of that.” However as one reads C H Spurgeon's own recollections of his days at his grandparents home in Stambourne, it becomes abundantly clear that grandfather and Reverend James Spurgeon who pastored an Independent Church left his grandson a great deal more than that.
Young Spurgeon went to live with his grandparents when he was about one year old and soon was quite attracted to the message and the ministry of of preaching as modeled by his grandfather.
The story is told that as a teenager, young Spurgeon was once asked to preach at a church in Suffolk but he was delayed, which forced grandfather Spurgeon to begin preaching in his place. Upon seeing the young Spurgeon's arrival in the sanctuary, Reverend James Spurgeon declared
Charles continued the sermon right where his grandfather had left off. As great a preacher as James Spurgeon was, as providence would have it, his and grandmother Spurgeon's most fruitful ministry was their investment in the life of young Charles, who went on to become by most accounts the greatest and most prolific preacher the world has ever known outside of those in the Scriptures. If you are a grandparent (and even as I write this I am anticipating my first 3 grandchildren in 2008), I pray you (and I) take this encouraging story to heart and pour yourselves into the lives of the grandchildren God sees fit to place in your life.
Here are a few of C H Spurgeon's recollections of his time with his grandparents…
AND I AM SURE THAT IT IS IN YOU AS WELL: pepeismai (1SRPI) de hoti kai en soi: (2Ti 1:12; Acts 26:26; Romans 4:21; 8:38; 14:5,14; 15:14; Hebrews 6:9; 11:13)
I am sure (3982) (peitho) means to be convinced to believe something or be persuaded of its veracity. It means to come to a settled persuasion concerning some truth or fact and so to be convinced.
Peitho suggests that a conclusion has been reached on reasonable ground. Paul’s personal observations of the transformation that God had already wrought in his young disciple Timothy led him to form this judgment. He was entirely convinced of the truth of what he said and he thus uses the language of a man who had no doubt on the subject.
The perfect tense signifies that Paul had become persuaded at some point of time in the past and he remains persuaded. Perfect tense speaks of the permanence of his state of persuasion. It expresses Paul's confidence in a once for all completed work of salvation with present ongoing results or effects of that salvation in young Timothy.
"I stand persuaded"
It wasn’t enough that this sincere faith was in Timothy’s grandmother and mother, but it had to be in Timothy also. Our children, once of age to be accountable before God, must have their own personal relationship with Jesus Christ. On the other hand although salvation cannot be inherited from believing parents, it certainly is true that there is a "household principle" in the Scriptures (cf Acts 16:31).
D. Edmond Hiebert writes that Paul's…
We give a lot of thought to what we pass on to our children. You may cherish the crystal and chinaware that belonged to your grandmother. Or it may be something different in your home: a roll top desk, a handmade quilt, or an old family Bible. Heirlooms are important to us. But by the example of our lives, we can pass on to our children even more important things—such as a good name or honorable character. In this verse Paul alludes to the best gift of all—the example of faith in Jesus Christ. As you think about what you'll pass on to your children and grandchildren, don't forget the example of your faith in Jesus. It's the most valuable "heirloom" of all. The values we leave in our children are more important than the valuables we leave to them.
Heirlooms - "My great-grandfather owned this rifle," the man said proudly. In his hand was a mint-condition rifle from the days when the pioneers were moving across the American West. I admired its beautiful walnut stock and shiny brass fittings. He said, "It came down to my grandfather, who passed it on to my father, who gave it to me. It's been in the family more than 100 years. I'm going to give it to my son when he turns 25."
We give a lot of thought to what we pass on to our children. My wife Shirley cherishes the crystal and chinaware that belonged to her grandmother. It may be something different in your home: a rolltop desk, a handmade quilt, or an old family Bible. Heirlooms are important to us.
But by the example of our lives, we can pass on to our children even more important things—such as a good name or honorable character. Today's Bible reading mentions the best gift of all—the example of faith in Jesus Christ. Timothy's grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice trusted in Christ and taught Timothy to do the same (2 Ti 1:5; 3:14-15).
As you think about what you'll pass on to your children and grandchildren, don't forget the example of your faith in Jesus. It's the most valuable "heirloom" of all. —David C. Egner (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
O give us homes built firm upon the Savior,
Indispensable - A talented stay-at-home mother wrote a delightful essay in which she vividly describes (without complaining) the frustrations, sacrifices, and loneliness that accompany her chosen lifestyle. It's not glamorous to deal with a fussy 18-month-old who is teething, to settle quarrels between an irrational 3-year-old and a pushy 5-year old, and to listen to the incessant chatter of small children. Yet she concludes that her role is indispensable for the total well-being of her children. How true!
God has conferred on motherhood
Guy King discusses the sincere faith writing that it refers to…
2TIMOTHY 1:6 COMMENTARY
Amplified: That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands [with those of the elders at your ordination]. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: 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.
NLT: This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Because you have this faith, I now remind you to stir up that inner fire which God gave you at your ordination. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: for which cause I am reminding you to keep constantly blazing the gift of God which is in you through the imposition of my hands. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: For which cause I remind thee to stir up the gift of God that is in thee through the putting on of my hands,
FOR THIS REASON I (constantly) REMIND YOU: di en aitian anamimnesko (1SPAI): (2Ti 2:14; Isaiah 43:26; 1 Timothy 4:6; 2Peter 1:12; 3:1; Jude 1:5)
For this reason (see terms of conclusion) refers to the “sincere faith within” Timothy. Having encouraged Timothy, he now begins to exhort him. In view of his godly family background & sincere faith, Timothy is to maintain its quality by diligent use.
John MacArthur adds
Apart from ministering our gift in the service of the Lord, our life on earth is worthless. Our sole purpose as Christians is to obey and serve the Lord through the gift with which He has uniquely blessed each of us, so that the body may be built up."
Remind (363) (anamimnesko from ana = again + mimnesko = remember so literally recall again is more forceful than mimnesko alone) carries idea of carefully thinking back and reconstructing something in one’s mind, not merely remembering (eg see use in Heb 10:32).
Present tense = I continually remind you.
Paul wanted Timothy to actively recall to mind again something he already knew. Paul is constantly actively stirring up the "embers" of past memories to stimulate Timothy not to shrink from the sufferings (reproach & tribulation) that a stand for Christ brings. Paul knows that remembering will help Timothy to press on to maturity, to run the race with endurance, to fight the good fight, to finish the course, to keep the faith. Paul is saying in essence "Remember when God did this or that for us… when He answered our prayers so clearly… when He removed incredible obstacles… when He performed the impossible… etc."
Hiebert explains "I remind you" as…
Remember what God has done in your life and be encouraged that He is faithful and true and that He will complete the work He has begun in each of us (see note Philippians 1:6).
TO (continually) KINDLE AFRESH: se anazopurein (PAN): (1st of 32 exhortations).
Kindle afresh (329) (anazopureo from ana = up, back or again + zoos = alive + pur = fire) means to to keep in full flame. Stir up the fire. Add fresh fuel. Cause something to begin again, to reactivate or to cause to begin to be active again.
Anazopureo was in common use in the vernacular of the time this epistle was penned and would have conjured up a vivid metaphor in young Timothy as he read these graphic words.
The present tense conveys the sense of progressive, continuous action. Keep kindling the gift afresh or make it your aim to continually keep it at full flame.
A T Robertson says
D. Edmond Hiebert notes that…
Marvin Vincent writes that anazopureo was used..
Clarence Jordon translates this verse
John Wesley says this verb is
The only other use in Scripture is from the Septuagint translation of Genesis where anazopureo is used to translate the Hebrew word for "revived" which describes old Jacob's reaction as he became convinced that his son Joseph was really alive…
A related word zopuron (zoon = living creature + pur = fire) refers to a piece of hot coal or a live coal, an ember or a spark.
This word was a favorite metaphor in Classic Greek and meant either ‘to kindle afresh’ or ‘to keep in full flame’.
Amy Carmichael (biography) caught Paul's vision…
Give me the love that leads the way,
The hope no disappointments tire,
Let me not sink to be a clod;
Robert Murray M'Cheyne (who died at age 30) said that
Richard Baxter made a similar statement…
Spurgeon adds that…
Samuel Chadwick said that
General Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, once sent this message to those under him
Anyone who has prepared a campfire for warming or cooking is fully aware that the coals need to be stirred up occasionally. As long as the coals are glowing, they can be stirred up into a full blaze.
Gary Demarest rightly comments that
Albert Barnes writes that anazopureo was originally used to denote…
Vine writes that in the present context anazopureo…
Paul is saying in essence
John Gill writes that
Guthrie adds that
Another reason that Paul's statement does not necessarily convey censure is that fire in the ancient world was never kept at a continual blaze but rather kept alive through glowing coals which were rekindled to a flame by a bellows whenever the situation demanded flame. Paul's "flame" was almost ready to go out, so Paul begins his exhortations in this letter with a general one "FAN YOUR FLAME TIMOTHY!"
Get on fire for God
Wiersbe writes that
John Calvin wrote…
Vance Havner once remarked that we need…
On another occasion Vance Havner commented on stirring "up the gift of God"…
Finally Vance Havner summed up Paul's exhortation to Timothy…
God’s gifts must be used if they are to reach and maintain their full potential. Are you using your spiritual gift? Do you even know what your spiritual gift is? (Click here for chart summarizing "Spiritual Gifts". Also you might consider taking the Precept course on Spiritual Gifts - click here to download lesson 1)
F B Meyer writes that…
MacDonald adds that Timothy
Christians in America live in discouraging times when many in the so-called "church" have chosen to compromise truth for the sake of "unity", watering down the message of the Cross so as to make it less offensive and more seeker friendly. And although we are not (yet) being physically persecuted for our faith in America, we do see Biblical Christianity being attacked on virtually every front. The challenge for all "Timothys" and "Timotheas" is to keep the embers of our heart stoked to full blaze, so that we might be ready and able to resist the pressure to compromise truth and ready and willing to persevere to the end enduring hardship for the sake of the gospel, lest future generations be denied vital sound doctrine found only in the "Word of Truth". Every saint's prayer should be "Lord, find us faithful."
Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart
J. Oswald Sanders reminds the disciples of Jesus Christ that
THE GIFT OF GOD WHICH IS IN YOU: to charisma tou theou ho estin (3SPAI) en soi: (2 Ti 4:2; Exodus 35:26; 36:2; Matthew 25:15-30; Luke 19:13; Romans 12:6-8; 1Thessalonians 5:19 -note; 1 Peter 4:10,11)
Matthew Henry comments that in this section Paul…
The suffix –ma, indicates the result of grace and refers to that which is freely and graciously given. (For summary chart of spiritual gifts click here) (Click Spurgeon's sermon on 2 Ti 1:6 "Our Gifts and How to Use Them")
At salvation, each Christian’s grace gifts are bestowed on him or her uniquely to equip each to serve God in the specific area or areas of ministry to which they have been called. The grace gifts are divine enablement for effective service of the Lord.
God sovereignly bestows (1Cor 12:11) these supernatural enablements on/in believers according to His own divine will, totally apart from any personal merit, qualification, or seeking. (see notes Romans 12:6, 12:7-8, 1 Peter 4:10, 4:11, MacArthur or Piper on 1Peter 4:10-11)
In the first epistle to Timothy Paul had written ,
Dwight Edwards adds that…
THROUGH THE LAYING ON OF MY HANDS: dia tes epitheseos ton cheiron mou:
Spurgeon quips that…
The gift was a grace gift (charisma) from God not because of Paul's laying on of his hands. Putting hands on served as recognition that Timothy had a gift. Timothy's responsibility was to keep rekindling his spiritual gift.
Epithesis is used 4 times in the NT…
It is interesting to note that root verb epitithemai (2007) is frequently used in the Greek translation of the Hebrew OT (Septuagint - LXX) to describe the laying of one's hands on the substitutionary sacrifice (eg see Leviticus 1:4).
John MacArthur comments that the laying on of hands…
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Just Be Yourself (READ: Ephesians 4:1-16) Stir up the gift of God which is in you. —2 Timothy 1:6 -- Some Christian groups exert pressure on their members to talk, act, or look alike. This must frustrate the people who are judged for not conforming. In trying to make them "fit," the group may be stifling their strongest and best gifts.
God builds His church with different stones,
Let C H Spurgeon's prayer for his congregation be also a prayer for our good and God's glory…
Vance Havner… THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS THAT CAN SMOTHER THE FIRE.
Foundation for Faithful Ministry
Imagine that we are at a marathon race. Many contestants are lined up at the starting point, but one especially catches your eye. He’s in his sixties, but he looks much older. You can tell that his body has endured many hardships. The thought flits through your mind that the old guy could die on the course. You wonder, “Why is he even in the race?”
But as the race gets underway, you’re amazed that the old man holds his own. In fact, he even pulls in front of the pack. And to your utter astonishment, as you stand at the finish line, you see him sprinting far ahead of his competitors. As he comes across the line, you expect him to collapse in a heap. But, instead, he turns and trots back to an earlier point in the course where a younger man in his late thirties seems to be losing steam. The older man jogs along-side the younger man, saying, “Come on, you can make it! Hang in there! Don’t quit!”
If that really happened, I would want to know, “What does this old guy have that I lack?” If I heard that he was going to speak on his training secrets, I’d show up and take notes. Clearly, the old man knows something about endurance. He is an example of how to finish well.
I didn’t make up that story. It really happened, but in the spiritual race, not in an actual marathon. We read about it in Paul’s second letter to Timothy. The apostle was in his sixties, but his body bore the marks of much suffering. He was in a cold, damp dungeon in Rome, about A.D. 67, awaiting execution at the hands of the cruel madman, Nero.
There were numerous reasons that he could have been discouraged. In 2Ti 1:15-note, he writes, “all who are in Asia turned away from me.” In 2Ti 4:10-note, he mentions Demas, whom he had formerly called a “fellow worker” (Philemon 24). But now he had deserted Paul, “having loved this present world.” In 2Ti 4:14-note, he warns Timothy about Alexander the coppersmith, who did Paul much harm. Perhaps he had been responsible for Paul’s arrest and imprisonment. In 2Ti 4:16-note, he pathetically writes, “At my first defense no one sup-ported me, but all deserted me.” Only Luke was with him (2Ti 4:11-note).
Not only that, but as the aged apostle awaited execution, he saw many serious errors infiltrating the churches. Hymenaeus and Philetus had gone astray from the truth, teaching that the resurrection had already taken place, thus upsetting the faith of some (2Ti 2:17, 18-note). Other ungodly false teachers were entering households and captivating weak women weighed down with sins (2Ti 3:6-note). Paul knew that the day was soon coming when professing Christians would not endure sound doctrine, but would pile up teachers in accordance with their own desires to tickle their ears, turning from the truth to myths (2Ti 4:3, 4-note). Bishop Moule said that, humanly speaking, Christianity trembled on the verge of annihilation (Studies in I Timothy [Kregel], p. 18).
If there was ever a prime candidate for discouragement, Paul was it! Who could have blamed him if he had said, “I’ve had enough! I’ve given this thing more than my fair share of effort! I’m going to retire!” We would expect him to be a bitter, pessimistic, discouraged old man, his hopes and dreams shattered by overwhelming disappointments and setbacks. And yet we find him sprinting across the finish line and then jogging back to Timothy, who is pooping out, saying, “Come on, Timothy, keep going! Be strong! You can make it! Don’t quit!” When this guy speaks about endurance in the Christian life, I want to listen!
We live in a culture where pastors are bailing out of the ministry in droves. A newsletter in 2003 reported that 1,500 pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burn-out, or contention in their churches. It said that 70 percent of pastors constantly fight depression. Fifty percent are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but they have no other way of making a living.
Not only pastors, but also many Christians, have burned out in serving the Lord. They have been wounded by criticism or conflict in the church. Some drop out of church entirely. Others attend occasionally, but that’s all that they do. They don’t want to risk getting hurt again. So they don’t get involved in serving the Lord.
I suggest that any discouraged pastors and Christians need a good dose of 2 Timothy. It’s a very personal letter, Paul’s last, written to his beloved son in the faith, who was timid by nature. He probably felt inadequate for the tasks facing him. The problems were overwhelming. It looked as if Paul was about to be executed, and the mantle would fall on Timothy. William Hendriksen (New Testament Commentary, I-II Timothy & Titus Baker], p. 218) nicely sums up the dominant theme of the book, “Timothy, do not be ashamed, but by God’s grace exert yourself to the utmost, being willing to endure your share of hardship in preserving and promoting sound doctrine.” We can sum up each chapter as follows:
Chapter 1: Unashamed as a witness: Guard the gospel!
Chapter 2: Unashamed as a workman: Suffer in godliness for the gospel!
Chapter 3: Adequate as a workman: Continue in the gospel!
Chapter 4: Awarded as a workman: Preach the gospel!
In Paul’s opening greeting and in his expression of thanks to God for Timothy (2Ti 1:1, 2, 3, 4, 5), we see the foundation for a lifetime of faithful ministry. When I say ministry, I’m not referring only to those who are called into so-called full time ministry. Paul himself would not qualify, since he often had to work to support himself in ministry. Rather, I’m referring to the biblical truth that every Christian is saved to minister according to his or her gifts. If you’re a Christian, you were saved to serve, as we will see more next week. So you need to lay a solid foundation so that you will not burn out or drop out of the race.
A firm foundation for faithful ministry rests on knowing God’s call on your life through the gospel.
Our text makes three points about this gospel foundation:
1. The gospel brings us into a personal relationship with the Father through faith in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul begins (2Ti 1:1, 2), “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” In 2Ti 1:5-note, he also mentions the sincere faith that he is sure dwells in Timothy. These words reveal three vital truths about the gospel:
A. The gospel gives us the promise of life in Christ Jesus.
Paul was facing death, but he was focused on the promise of life in Christ Jesus (see also, 2Ti 1:10-note). Christianity is not primarily a matter of religious rituals or a moral code to live by, although it does give us God’s moral standards. Rather, Christianity is a matter of experiencing new life in Christ Jesus. By nature and by our many sins, we all were spiritually dead (Ep 2:1-note). Dead men do not need in the first place to hear about a better moral code to live by. They need life! They need God to raise them from spiritual death to spiritual life.
The eternal life that God gives centers on knowing Him personally through His Son. Jesus said (Jn 17:3), “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Or, as 1Jn 5:11, 12 puts it,
“And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.”
Paul says that this life is a promise. God is the Promiser. Paul mentions God three times in the first three verses. The promise is as reliable and secure as God is faithful. If God promises new life in Christ Jesus, then we can count on it, even when we’re in a dungeon facing an unjust execution, when former friends have deserted us and spread falsehoods about us.
This promise of life comes to us in Christ Jesus, whom Paul also mentions three times in 2Ti 1:1,2. The other New Testament writers always use the order, Jesus Christ. But Paul, especially in his later writings, often writes, Christ Jesus. Bishop Moule (p. 30) suggests that this order breathes a certain feeling of worship and intimate affection towards the Lord. It emphasizes His office as the Anointed One (= Christ, Messiah), embodied in the human Jesus, who revealed the Father to us. The mention of Christ Jesus our Lord in conjunction with God the Father, as the source of grace, mercy, and peace, is a strong affirmation of the deity of Christ. Clearly, for Paul, Christ Jesus was central. He is the gospel. To know Him is to have eternal life. Paul the persecutor had become Paul the apostle because God had intervened in his life, giving him eternal life according to the promise in Christ Jesus.
B. This life comes to us by God’s will through sincere faith.
Paul’s conversion and his calling as an apostle both happened at the same time. When God struck down Paul on the Damascus Road, He told Ananias, whom He sent to restore Paul’s sight (Acts 9:15), “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine….” Paul’s salvation and his calling as an apostle were not by his human choice, but rather, by God’s will and choice. Of course, salvation is received by faith. But the reason we believe in Christ is that before the foundation of the world, God willed to save us.
I’m not making this up! Read Ephesians and you will see it clearly. Paul says (Eph 1:4-note), “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.” He adds (2Ti 1:5-note), “In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.” He repeats (Ep 1:11-note), “also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.” Or (Ep 2:8, 9-note), “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Paul recalls (2Ti 1:5-note) the “sincere faith” within Timothy, which first dwelt in his grandmother Lois and in his mother Eunice. Timothy’s father was probably not a believer, but God used his godly grandmother and mother as links in the chain that led to Timothy’s salvation. They taught him the Scriptures (2Ti 3:15-note), but then God used Paul’s preaching to bring Timothy to saving faith. “Sincere” means, “unhypocritical.” There is such a thing as hypocritical or false faith, but Paul was convinced that Timothy’s faith was the real thing. It had to be Timothy's faith, not the faith of his grandmother or mother. God may use godly parents or grand-parents to bring us to faith in Christ, but no one gets saved apart from sincere personal faith in Jesus Christ.
By the way, these words should encourage any mothers who may be trying to raise your children without the help of a believing husband. Even though God’s best is to have a godly father and mother training their children in the Lord, His grace and power can work in imperfect situations. Train your children in the Lord and pray for the influence of a godly man, who could take your sons further in the Lord, as Paul did with Timothy.
C. The gospel brings us the benefits of God’s grace, mercy, and peace.
We saw these three qualities in our recent study of 2 John. In Paul’s writings, this threefold blessing occurs only in 1 & 2 Timothy (the addition of “mercy” in Titus 1:4 lacks solid manuscript support). Why did Paul add “mercy” in his letters to Timothy? I think it was because as he drew near to the end of his life and ministry, Paul was ever more aware of the reality of God’s mercy to him, the sinner (1Ti 1:13, 14, 15, 16).
God’s grace is His undeserved favor to those who deserve His wrath. His mercy is His compassion to those who are in misery be-cause of their sin. His peace is the result of being reconciled to Him because of His grace and mercy. These blessings come to us freely from God the Father who sent His Son, Christ Jesus our Lord, to die for our sins.
Ask yourself, “Have I experienced new life in Christ according to God’s promise? Do I know personally God’s grace, mercy, and peace? Because of God’s sovereign will, do I now personally have sincere faith in Christ Jesus?” If you can answer yes, then you have a foundation for serving Him, no matter what trials it may bring into your life. You are not your own. “For you have been bought with a price” (1Cor 6:20). God’s call on your life through the gospel is the foundation for a life of faithful service.
2. The gospel brings us into close, life-changing relation-ships with other believers.
This opening greeting oozes with Paul’s deep feelings of love for Timothy, whom he calls “my beloved son.” He constantly remembered him in his prayers and he longed for the joy of seeing him, even as he recalled Timothy’s tears on their last parting (2Ti 1:3, 4-note). We don’t know whether Timothy got to Paul’s cell before the sword fell.
Beyond Timothy, this short letter mentions many others that Paul knew and loved. There were Onesiphorus and his household (2Ti 1:16, 17-note), Crescens, Titus, Luke, Mark, Tychicus, Carpus (2Ti 4:10, 11, 12, 13-note), Prisca, Aquila, Erastus, Trophimus, Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brethren (2Ti 4:19, 20, 21-note). Paul was not a lone ranger Christian! Each of these dear brothers and sisters in Christ meant something to Paul. The relationships that they shared had changed them all.
Often when I counsel with someone who is struggling with a personal problem or a difficult sin, I ask, “Do you know any other brothers in Christ who could meet with you each week and help you in the things of the Lord?” Sadly, the answer is often, “No.” That’s not right! The Christian life is not just you and God. It is you and God and God’s people. You may be thinking, “It’s God’s people who are my problem!” That may be so. In fact, Paul mentions many people in this letter who had caused him grief (2Ti 1:15-note; 2Ti 2:17-note; 2Ti 3:5-note, 2Ti 3:6, 7, 8, 9, 11-note, 2Ti 3:13-note; 2Ti 4:3-note, 2Ti 4:10-note, 2Ti 4:14-note, 2Ti 4:16-note).
But it’s only as you remain committed to God’s people in a local church and work through your problems in accordance with His Word, that you will grow as a Christian and have a foundation for serving Him. Try to look for both a Paul and a Timothy in your life. Ask God for an older man (or, a woman for women) who can be a friend and an example of godly maturity in your life. And, look for a younger man (or, a younger woman for women) that you can help to grow in Christ. These relationships that we form through the gospel should cause us to thank God and to pray continually for one another (2Ti 1:3-note).
So, the gospel brings us into a personal relationship with the Father through faith in Christ Jesus our Lord. It also brings us into close, life-changing relationships with others. Finally,
3. The gospel brings us into a life of service according to God’s will and gifts.
Paul was called to be an apostle by the will of God. None of us are apostles, but each of us has received a spiritual gift that God expects us to use to serve Him in some capacity (1Pet. 4:10, 11-note). There should be no benchwarmer Christians. As Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 12, there aren’t any spare parts in the body. He wasn’t talking about a “spare tire,” of course! But except for that, we need every part of our bodies to function.
But, why does Paul emphasize his apostleship in a letter to Timothy, who knew full well that Paul was an apostle? Some suggest that it was because Paul intended for these pastoral letters to be read more widely, and he wanted all of his readers to be reminded of his divine appointment as apostle. Many were attacking Paul, saying that a true apostle would not be imprisoned. Paul wanted Timothy and others to recall the dramatic story of how God had appointed him to this office of apostle.
He also was emphasizing to Timothy that he had not volunteered for the job. Rather, he had been drafted! Timothy was faltering in the race. Maybe he was thinking, as every pastor has, “I’ll bet there is an easier line of work to get into! Maybe I should consider a career change.” Once in California I had been going through a difficult time, receiving a lot of criticism. Marla and I were driving somewhere and were stopped by a flagman for road work. I sat there watching a guy driving an earth-mover and thought, “That looks like a nice line of work to get into! You go to work, drive your machine, go home at night, and nobody criticizes you. Maybe I should look into that!”
But Paul says, “I am an apostle by the will of God.” I’m not in this line of work because I went to a guidance counselor who said, “Your aptitude tests show that you’d make a good apostle.” It wasn’t my career of choice. Rather, it was the will of God.
Why does Paul mention serving God with a clear conscience the way his forefathers did? Paul was about to lose his head for the faith. At such times it’s important to remember that you’re dying for the faith of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Elijah, and all of the other faithful men of God in history. You’ve been handed the torch and you’ve got to carry it faithfully and hand it off to those who come after you.
Also, both Nero and the Jews were persecuting Christianity as a new cult. Paul is saying, in effect, “This is not a new cult. This is the culmination and fulfillment of God’s promises to the Jewish fathers. They looked forward to the promised Messiah. Christ Jesus is the promised Messiah, in whom we also believe.” So Paul was making the point that he was in the mainstream of the history of God’s purposes as revealed in the Old Testament, but now fulfilled in Christ.
If you’re feeling like dropping out of the race, read about the heritage of godly men in the Bible and in church history. They have persevered through incredible trials, disappointments, loss of loved ones, persecution, and martyrdom. As I’ve said before, I’ve learned more by reading Christian biographies than from any other source, except for the Bible itself (which also has many biographies).
Paul mentions serving God with a clear conscience. “Serve” means to serve as an act of worship. “Clear” is literally, “cleansed.” It does not imply perfection, but it does imply walking in reality before God, confessing your sins to Him and to those you have wronged, so that you don’t fall into hypocrisy. Paul knew that God examines the heart (1Thess. 2:4-note), and so he lived to please God on the heart level (2Co 5:9). He knew that soon he would be standing before God, to give an account of his ministry. So will each of us.
Are you running in the race, serving God in accordance with the gifts He has bestowed on you? You may say, “I’m retired. I’ve already put in my time.” But there’s nothing in the Bible about re-tiring from serving God. Paul was an old man in jail, but he says, “God, whom I serve” (present tense). God doesn’t have a retirement program!
You say, “I don’t feel qualified to serve.” Neither did Timothy. He was in over his head. So was Paul. He exclaimed, “Who is adequate for these things?” (2Co 2:16). You think, “But I’m not in the best of health.” Neither was Timothy. He had frequent stomach and other ailments (1Ti 5:23). “But I’m shy and introverted. I don’t have the personality to lead.” Neither did Timothy. “But I tried serving and people criticized me.” Yes, talk to Paul. Here’s this old geezer, sprinting across the finish line, and then he comes back to you as you’re ready to drop out of the race. He says, “If God has called you through the gospel and given you new life in Christ, then you’ve got to hang in there. Don’t drop out! Keep going! Eternity is just ahead. Then you can rest.” (2Timothy 1:1-5 Foundation for Faithful Ministry)