Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

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God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control – 2nd Timothy 1:1-7

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God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control – 2nd Timothy 1:1-7 – 03/04/2016

Thank you for clicking on our page for the Pauline epistle which is called 2nd Timothy, the letter is authored by the apostle Paul to Timothy who was in the Ephesian church. This is called a Pastoral Epistle and gives many doctrines that we still use in both church structure and also for choosing leaders in the church. For other bible studies on other epistles please see our main epistle page or for others in 2nd Timothy please click on this link.

2nd Timothy 1:1 (ESV) Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. Guard the Deposit Entrusted to You 3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

When I set this blog up my intention was to explore the epistles and do the occasional bible study based on what I had studied and learned, what you are reading below is notes I have made. I have to confess that this bible study is basic in its content and is not prepared by a pastor and I have to admit I have no theological training; my hope in prayer is that someone will be blessed by the notes below.

Let’s start in verse one of the first chapter of Second Timothy.

V1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,

Paul starts with a typical Pauline greeting calling himself and apostle of Christ Jesus and I doubt there would be many who would argue this fact, but what he said next is what makes the declaration interesting, he states that he is an apostle “by the will of God” and not according to self-ambition or some man declaring that he should take that position. God placed Paul in that ambassador role in order to eventually reach the Gentile world. The mere fact that you are reading this webpage is a continued fruit of that work.

Remember John 3:16? God so loved…the world! Paul was the guy who was going to be the missionary to take the gospel of Jesus beyond the traditional borders of the Jews. He as a Roman citizen had license to travel anywhere within the Roman Empire and this facilitated travel in a way that could not have been possible if that Empire was not still at large.

What are you doing “…by the will of God” What is your role? Are you a worship leader? Chair stacker? Prayer warrior? Encourager? Counselor? Regardless of how grand our servantlike you view your place in the kingdom of God we all have callings and a position that we need to play in the field and much like a team sport, if you are not in your position you will not take part in a victory that is assured for you.

Paul writes about the “promise of life” and this more extraordinary considering that Paul is imprisoned in Rome at this time and this time he is facing a sentence of execution and this letter is written after his re-arrest in Rome. So he is writing from a prison cell in the most desolate of conditions, imprisoned by an empire that is not known for their humanity for criminals and he is still writing letters of hope? How mind blowing is that for anyone else? This is the equivalent of a guy on death row who has become a Christian sending out letters to exhort those who still have liberty to believe.

V2 To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. Guard the Deposit Entrusted to You

Paul addresses this letter to Timothy who he describes as his beloved child, in our articles we did on First Timothy we examined the close relationship that Paul had with Timothy and Timothy was really like a relation to Paul and Timothy was very much a student of Paul. The words “grace, mercy and peace” are also used in the other pastoral letters 1st Timothy and Titus and this is a good reminder that these three things are required for leaders just as much and if not more than churches do. Pastors/leaders are men like the rest of us who have struggles like we do and require all three in greater portion. Spurgeon states the following…

“Did you ever notice this one thing about Christian ministers, that they need even more mercy than other people? Although everybody needs mercy, ministers need it more than anybody else; and so we do, for if we are not faithful, we shall be greater sinners even than our hearers, and it needs much grace for us always to be faithful, and much mercy will be required to cover our shortcomings. So I shall take those three things to myself: ‘Grace, mercy, and peace.’ You may have the two, ‘Grace and peace,’ but I need mercy more than any of you; so I take it from my Lord’s loving hand, and I will trust, and not be afraid, despite all my shortcomings, and feebleness, and blunders, and mistakes, in the course of my whole ministry.”

V3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.

Paul harks back to a time where his ancestors served God with a clear conscience and a clear heart when they approached God in the correct repentant manner, it certainly makes me think if I am more like the Old Testament Jewish believers who had a genuine fear of God and wanted to atone for their sins or have I come into the realms of the Pharisee who makes their worship to God a show and do it for their own selfish ends in order to seem holy?

Quite a question to ponder huh? Paul backs up this thought by stating his own spiritual integrity by stating that he remembered him constantly in his prayers both day and night and yes I do understand that Paul was in prison so there was precious little to do in there, however we in our own human nature will find ways of distracting ourselves if we allow our flesh to take over. Paul shows the volume and quantity of his prayers and that is to be admired. I would commend this to be a model in our own prayer lives, how about when you drive round your neighborhood, why not pray for the streets and houses as you pass them? How can you increase your prayer life?

V4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy.

Paul remarks that their parting was tearful, not in a bad way as Paul writes with such favor however it is clear that these men missed the company of one another and that seeing Timothy would make him filed with joy. We have to ask at this part what makes Paul happy. He answers below.

V5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.

Paul is happy when he is reminded of a sincere faith that Timothy had and it made Paul happy to see the will of God unfold in young men like Timothy and if we are teachers we must also have that goal, to invest in the Timothy’s that God places in our way, to assist the students who want to do his will, to mentor those who are younger in the faith and start them mentoring others to.

Paul references the strong belief of women who were pivotal to Timothy’s faith, we cannot underestimate the place that we have in our children’s lives in showing them whether our faith is genuine or not, in the book of Acts we learn the following…

Acts 16:1 (ESV) Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. 2 He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.

So Timothy had a less than ideal home situation, the head of the home was not a believer and he was taught the faith by the female in the home. He was also well thought of by the folks who shared the same common faith he did and that is important, in those days it wasn’t like today where you may see your fellow church members once a week. In those days they lived together, they saw each other often and they were involved in each other’s lives, so if he had a good report then that meant that he was the real deal, people saw the faith was genuine from the fruits of the walk of the individual in person.

This is why Paul is sure that it dwells in him also, it is not enough to say “well my descendants had faith, I will be okay” I cannot get into heaven based on my father’s faith or my grandfathers, in the same way my daughter has to choose for herself also. As much as I would wish to be saved for her, she has to reason for herself that this faith is real. It is my job to be the real deal to her and show her that this is real. Paul reminds Timothy more in verse six…

V6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands,

Paul exhorts Timothy to use the gifts that God has blessed him with and be bold for Jesus Christ, we learn this in the first epistles to Timothy and Paul starts this epistle the same way and as leaders we have to be bold, be willing to stand in the way of contentious issues and I totally understand because I am also like Timothy that I am not in favor of being confrontational so I understand any angst that Timothy may have in a real and primary fashion.

Paul is encouraging him to not do this as sometimes the leader has to stand in conflict and resolve falsehoods that come into the church, challenge immoral behaviors and apply tough truths from scripture in love. Paul urges Timothy to stir up those gifting’s and be effective for use in his kingdom. We are not robots or zombies, God does gift us but allows us to use the gifts according to our talents but use them according to our willingness or drive. I know gifted pastors who would have a much better ministry if they were more driven or stirred up.

Paul said this should be through the laying of hands and that is something we should not neglect and we should use this common way even today in the commission of our people and asking them to either grant gifts, confirm gifts or commission them for the work of the ministry.

V7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

God has supplied all the tools that Timothy needed in order to fulfil his calling that God has given, he has also given us a spirit which is not of fear and that the fear he faces is not from the Lord, his timidity is his own character but through prayer and supplications he will be strengthened in the Lord. I guess I am so passionate about this because I know that it is true and I know from personal experience that God does strengthen when I need it.

God has also given us a spirit of power, love and self-control; let’s look at these separately…

  • Power – We are empowered by God when we are doing his will and we have the creator of all things backing us up as we are the tool being used for his glory.
  • Love – This power is not a controlling power, it is a power of love, we love, we serve, we are different to this world and we pray for others that persecute us.
  • Self-Control – We are calm, not in a state of emergency or panic, we are not swayed by the rigors of this world. We are in contrast to that spirit of fear.

Don’t you agree that that spirit of fear is such a poor substitute for the riches that God wants to do for us? We are all different and are at different stages with the Lord however God wants us to be bold in the things we are called into. We have to get up, stop being lazy (me included) and get to what God has planned for our lives, for some that will be harder than others and for some it will be a step of faith. If we do indeed step out in God’s will, he will use us far more exceedingly than we could ever dream of.

Lord willing, in our next article in Second Timothy we look at verses eight through fourteen when Paul encourages Timothy and continues to strengthen Timothy by these exhorting words. I pray that you are able to join us as we go through the bible, line by line and precept by precept.

God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to, as always I love questions about this or any other article so please feel free to fill in the form below, all comments are moderated to avoid profanity.
TTE
TGBTG
SDG

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Silence the insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers – Titus 1:10-16

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Silence the insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers – Titus 1:10-16 – 12/31/2015
This bible study is part of a series on the book of Titus, in order to see the full series please check out our “epistle” page or alternatively please check out our page dedicated to the book of Titus for other studies in this book.
Titus 1:10 (ESV) For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. 11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.
Lord willing, my aim with these studies are to do a line by line and verse by verse study on the text so let us begin with verse ten…
V10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party.
In the last article we went through all the credentials of a man who was to be appointed as a leader in the church and now we see the reason why these men had to be of such a high standard. The people they would be serving would be the following…
•       Insubordinate – These ones would not just be insubordinate in speech but in action also, I am sure we have dealt with some like this in the modern church, they would be the ones causing drama, causing tension, be a walking Jerry Springer show, the root word is a negative of “submit” so these would be the ones who would be always working outside of the leadership and not submitting to the leaders that were trying to serve.
The church hasn’t changed that much that it is still populated by imperfect people and we have authority in all walks of life. In my day to day job I have a boss, and my boss has someone that they answer too. I am supposed to be the head of my home and with that leadership comes a great responsibility. God places authority in our lives for a reason and even Pastors will have mentors that they will check in with. Authority as long as it is Godly authority is always a good thing and really should not be railed against.
•       Empty talkers – You know these as well and we have these also in the church today, those who are all schmooze and fluff, they could talk all day but never bring anyone closer to God. They were full of compliments and even offered to help those in need but never followed through with anyone. They could be coarse jesters and telling and spreading stories and jokes that really have no place in the church. Lastly they could be working the crowd to try to get a position in the church and regrettably I have seen these types of folks in leadership.
•       Deceivers – There wouldn’t be liars, cheats and deceivers in the church would they? Have you ever been inside of one? It is full of imperfect people, we all have our weak spots and we all struggle with different sins but Paul is not referring to those who struggle and are trying to repent of where they are going wrong. No! he is talking of those who are in their sin and willfully deceiving people deliberately for a variety of reasons, it may be to get a position, it may be for personal profit, Paul does not say and anyone who guesses would simply be speculating but the vital information is that Paul warns against them nonetheless.
And Paul accuses those who he used to be a part of, he calls those who were of the Jewish faith “The Circumcision Party” (would you vote for them?) who were trying to Judaize the Gentile believers and this is a common theme among a few of the epistles and an issue that Paul had to address more than once.
This is a heresy that creeps into most modern cults today and they all start off the same way that Jesus is not enough, that his sacrifice on the cross was not enough to absolve your sins and you have to do something extra. The Mormons have tapped 3 extra holy books (Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price and Doctrine and Covenants) the JWs have rewrote the bible and added a whole bunch of works and the circumcision party wanted the Gentile Christians to adopt the Jewish customs and place the yoke of the Law around themselves.
V11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.
Titus once he had appointed, selected and trained these men up to be elders was going to put them to work immediately, those people had to be dealt with by the leadership of the church. They had to not be allowed to take over meetings in the manner that they had been allowed to and in many cases not allowing the real reason for the meeting to occur, the edification of the saints.
I have been in bible studies where people with agendas have been allowed to have a larger piece of the conversation than they should have had, it has always been dealt with in and out of the meetings and although Titus used words such as “silenced” the elder would not be rude, be wishing to be aggressive or behave in a way that would cause an accusation against him.
The reason is simple, they were “they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach” they were going into the households and causing discord amongst the believers and giving incorrect theology as the gospel. Paul said similar in his first letter to Timothy…
1st Timothy 1:3 (ESV) As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. 5 The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.
This list is more exhaustive than the one in Titus and the heart of the discussion in both passages of scripture is that if it does not add to the kingdom of God then please don’t teach it. Lastly they had impure motivations for wanting to teach it, they were teaching for shameful (or dishonest gain) and their motivation was not a pure one, they had little interest in spreading or advancing the kingdom of God and were more interested in what they were getting out of it in a selfish fashion as opposed to serving the Lord.
V12 One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth.
Remember an earlier article where I gave the characteristics of the people from Crete, here is where I gleaned the information, do you see why it was vital to have good strong leadership in an area where the people are described as liars, evil beasts, lazy and subject to gluttony? It was to avoid spiritual madness and chaos and doctrinal error all over the region. The reason for that is that he was told to “rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith” and that it wasn’t personal but simply about making sure the doctrine was correct.
It is so easy to get lost in the simplicity of the gospel, to say “is that it?” to wonder in awe that God made it so easy to be reconciled to him. I personally do not judge those who had it wrong as to the Jews it would have been really hard to lose everything that they had culturally as their new faith in Christianity was the fulfillment of so many of their prophecies. But they were trying to bring in myths and oral traditions that were not biblical into a place where they did not belong and they were acting in the same manner as the modern day cultists and because of this their error was causing more harm than good.
V15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.
Which is why the Jewish fables were so dangerous, they clouded the correct definition of purity because they were wrapped up in their Pseudo-Ultra-Jewish legalism they believed nothing was pure and they did not comprehend that they were washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. They spread contentions about foods which should be eaten and other things that were kept by the super strict legalism that denied their faith in Christ and showed that their true faith was still in the rules that they had made their God. In that they denied Him because they defiled themselves in that they denied God by their works.
Lastly Paul calls them “detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work” and let’s look at this accusation that Paul rails against them.
•       Detestable – They were in idolatry to the Law and due to this this was overriding their Christian walk, here is an interesting thing that you may or may not have pondered. Just because you are busy with things of God may not mean that you are fulfilling God’s will. Sometimes we can be in love with the things of God opposed to being in love with the creator.
•       Disobedient – is what it states! Those people had instruction from others and we know that Paul himself had given the Cretans instruction if no-one else had but the instruction they had received they did not heed.
•       Unfit for any good work – The Greek word had a variety of meanings; it meant the same as a counterfeit coin, cowardly soldier and something or someone that was rejected.
The key here is that you do not lose yourself into doctrine that is not profitable in advancing the kingdom of God and especially do not let it creep into heresy and take control of your life. Lord willing next time (and next year) we will start in Titus 2 where Paul continues this exhortation to “teach sound doctrine”.
God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to
TTE
TGBTG
SDG