Dear Timothy


I intend to do an exposition of one of the charges to Timothy. This was the second letter to Timothy from Paul. Verses 1-7. It is a continuing encouragement from the first letter. Timothy was young, likely very young. He was being despised because of his youth. I first preached this sermon during a pastoral team fellowship a few years back and preached it again at the Oasis Ministry recently.

7 Commands To Timothy.

1. Be Strong in The Grace of God.

“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,” 2 Timothy‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬. Paul knew that Timothy would need strength and endurance to fulfill the calling God gave him. This is one of the twenty-five times Paul encouraged Timothy to be strong and endure in his work in Ephesus. You may ask, “Who needs encouragement?” This is for us who are men and women of normal courage but with abnormal responsibilities & callings.

“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted, but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:29-31‬ ‭ESV

The word of God further encourages us from this exhortation in the letter to the church in Ephesus. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”  ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:10-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬
How do we receive this strength? As we seek Him and rely on Him instead of relying on our own strength.

2. Commit Truth to Faithful Men.

“and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men,* who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭2:2‬ ‭ESV‬‬
The Greek word used here anthropoi refers to both men and women. So when talking about faithful men, Paul meant that Timothy commits the truth to faithful men and women. Rather commit truth to faithful people. Paul is telling Timothy here to commit the doctrines he heard Paul outline for him before many witnesses. Men and women who will be able to teach others too. God gave ministry to Timothy, not for him to keep to himself, but for him to pass on to others. An essential part of our work as pastors and ministers is to pour into others what God has committed to us.

Paul was preaching the gospel. Timothy was not to teach others his own particular ideas or theories, but simple apostolic doctrine and example (the things that you have heard from me). We are responsible for pouring into others, what the Lord has poured into us. – Position yourself to be poured into – Position yourself to pour into others.

Faithfulness: He didn’t need to find smart men, popular men, strong men, easy men, perfect men, or good-looking men; Paul told him to look for faithful men. The idea of faithfulness comes in to refer to the faithfulness to the Gospel.

3. Endure Hardships as a Good Soldier.

Persevere for God with a soldier’s attitude. A Good Soldier. We are soldiers on this assignment. The assignment is the great commission. Think of Bravery, Courage, obedience, discipline, consistency…
Every troop has a commander, we too have one. A soldier is a man under authority. No matter how high-ranking you are. Even the CDF is answerable to the CinC. Soldiers live up to certain standards. For instance, their training is intense. A civilian is enlisted from their homes, then they are secluded for a period of training. This separation is similar to the one required of us in this walk in Christ.

If a believer is not willing to endure hardship, they will never accomplish much for Jesus Christ. They will give up as soon as something hard is required of them;
“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭16:24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

4. Do not be entangled with the affairs of this life, so as to please God.

Do not be entangled with the affairs of this life, so as to please God.
The ESV Version brings the point out very nicely by their use of the term Civilian Affairs.
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

A soldier willingly separates themselves from the affairs of civil life. They have to give up many things. Some bad: (pride, independence, self-will), and some good things: (His home, his family).
If a soldier is not willing to give up these things, he is not a soldier at all.
Soldiers dress a certain way – different from everyone else. (Ephesians 6 – The whole armor of God)
All this is done for effectiveness purposes. Civilians don’t understand soldiers and their lifestyle. (That’s why most think Kenyan Soldiers just stay or live in barracks, but in actual sense, most soldiers live in rentals outside the barracks and other mysteries). Avoid anything that will make you less effective as a soldier and do more of what will make you an effective soldier. Who enlisted us? Who is the commander?
Jesus Christ is the commander of all heaven’s armies and our allegiance is to Him. Joshua writes…

“When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my Lord say to his servant?” And the commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.”

‭‭Joshua‬ ‭5:13-15‬ ‭ESV

5. Compete according to the rules.

A winning athlete obeys the rules of the game.
An athlete can’t make up the rules as he pleases; he must compete according to the rules if he wants to receive the crown.
We need an athlete’s attitude: Paul was big on sports (Track & field, Boxing, wrestling) and he made references to them because of how relatable they were at the time.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” ‭‭

1 Corinthians‬ ‭9:24-27‬ ‭ESV‬

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

Ephesians‬ ‭6:12‬ ‭ESV

‬We cannot make our own rules in our Christian life. Just like an athlete. Especially for us who are at the forefront of ministry. We are not above the rules. The work of ministry is also likened to the hard-working farmer. Good Soldier, Obedient/Submissive athlete, hardworking Farmer et al. If you put little effort into your Christian walk, you should expect little result. I am the first to partake of the crops: As carriers of the great commission, I must eat of it first. If I am not being fed from the Word of God, I cannot really feed others. This means I should get more from the message than the audience does, my time of preparation to teach God’s word is also a time of fellowship with God.
As a minister of the gospel, I must live up to the rules if I expect a crown and eternal fruit.

6. Consider what I say.

Paul is telling Timothy here to consider what he says and the Lord will give him understanding as to their application. Each of these three occupations (Soldier, athlete, farmer) needs great perseverance to succeed. (Victory, Medal, Harvest… respectively). God is faithful to give us understanding in all these things, and He will be faithful to give us the grace to be strong.

7. Christ’s Resurrection is the Chief theme of the gospel.

The Gospel is the Good News. We should not preach any other message besides that which is affiliated with the death, and resurrection of Christ for the atonement and forgiveness of sin.
God’s plan of rescue through Jesus Christ did not begin when the baby was born in Bethlehem. All of history looked forward to what Jesus would do to save us. Jesus’ resurrection was proof that though it looked like He died on the cross as a common criminal, He actually died as a sinless man, giving His life out of love and self-sacrifice to bear the guilt of our sin.
The reference to the Seed of David means He was Man with a human ancestry. Jesus was fully man; raised from the dead means Jesus was fully God. For Paul, it was essential that Timothy remember and teach the truth about who Jesus was. We are not here to preach about more money, more love, more status, or more stuff. The good news is about a real relationship with God through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Think about it, if I were to constantly preach about your blessing of cars and money, power, influence, status, and big houses, what would happen if I am needed to preach to those who already have those things? What would draw them to God? The message of repentance and the call to holiness through the finished work on Calvary should be the core theme of our preaching. Jesus Christ is the main theme of the Gospel.

Grace & Peace.

Dear Timothy

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