THE EPISTLE OF PAUL TO TIMOTHY: II TIMOTHY
By: Dr. Cornelio Hegeman
MIAMI INTERNATIONAL SEMINARY
14401 Old Cutler Rd.
Miami, Florida 33158. USA
2008 (revised 2015)
LESSON ONE. INTRODUCTION AND CONCERN FOR TIMOTHY
EXPOSITION OF II TIMOTHY 1:1-7
Vs. 1-2. Greetings Again
Vs. 3-5. Generations of Witnesses
Vs. 6-7. Gifts on fire!
QUESTIONS ABOUT II TIMOTHY 1:1-7
LESSON TWO. THE SHAMELESS GOSPEL
2.1. EXPOSITION OF II TIMOTHY 1:8-18
Vs. 8-10. The Power of the Gospel
Vs. 11-12. The Certainty of the Gospel
Vs. 13-14. The Soundness of the Gospel
Vs. 15. The Desertion of the Gospel
Vs. 16-18. The Encouragement in the Gospel
2.2. QUESTIONS ABOUT II TIMOTHY 1:8-18
2.3. CALVIN’S COMMENTARY
LESSON THREE. TRAINING FOR THE FUTURE
3.1. EXPOSITION OF II TIMOTHY 2:1-13
Vs. 1-2. Disciples in grace
Vs. 3-4. Example of Soldiers
Vs. 5. Example of Athletes
Vs. 6. Example of Agriculturalist
Vs. 7. Source of Understanding
Vs. 8-10. Enduring the for the Gospel’s Sake
Vs. 11-13. Faithful Saying
3.2. QUESTIONS ABOUT II TIMOTHY 2:1-13
3.3. CALVIN’S COMMENTARY
LESSON FOUR. DEALING WITH OPPONENTS
4.1. EXPOSITION OF II TIMOTHY 2:14-16
Vs. 14-18. Rightly handling the word of truth
Vs. 19-21 Recognize the true foundation
Vs. 22-24 Return to trusting the gospel rather than oneself
Vs. 25-26 Reach out to your opponents
4.2. QUESTIONS ABOUT II TIMOTHY 2:14-16
4.3. CALVIN’S COMMENTARY
LESSON FIVE. LAST DAYS
5.1. EXPOSITION OF II TIMOTHY 3:1-9
Vs. 1. The last days
Vs. 2-5. The identity of the eschaton rebels
Vs. 6-7. What to do?
Vs. 8-9. Jannes and Jambres
5.2. QUESTIONS ABOUT II TIMOTHY 3:1-9
5.4. CALVIN’S COMMENTARY
LESSON SIX. LEARNING FROM OTHERS
6.1. EXPOSITION OF II TIMOTHY 3:10-17
Vs. 10. Learn from doctrine
Vs. 11-12. Learn from those being persecuted
Vs. 13 Learn from the signs of the times
Vs. 14-15. Learn from godly family members
Vs. 16-17. Learn from Scriptures
6.2. QUESTIONS ABOUT II TIMOTHY 3:10-17
6.3. CALVIN’S COMMENTARY
LESSON SEVEN. THE FINAL CHARGE
7.1. EXPOSITION OF II TIMOTHY 4:1-8
Vs. 1-2. Preach the Word!
Vs. 3-5. Watch out for Fraud
Vs. 6-7. Fight the Good Fight
Vs. 8. Finish for the Lord!
7.2. QUESTIONS ABOUT II TIMOTHY 4:1-8
7.3. CALVIN’S COMMENTARY
LESSON EIGHT. EXEGESIS
8.1. DO YOUR OWN EXEGESIS
Exegesis Study Sheet
8.2. CALVIN’S COMMENTARY
HOW TO STUDY THE COURSE
The student will be reading the eight lessons, including the commentary of John Calvin on the verses covered in these lessons. The first seven lessons have ten questions each to answer. Lesson eight is dedicated to having the student do his own exegesis on a passage in II Timothy.
Most of the students will be familiar with John Calvin (1509-1564), the French born Protestant reformer, who spent most of his ministry in exile in Geneva, Switzerland. Calvin is not only a leading theologian, whose theology is displayed in the Institutes of Christian Religion and other theological treatises such as the Geneva Confessions, but the most important literary contribution is his commentaries on the Bible. Much of the content of the commentaries are exegetical studies the preacher made in preparing for his early morning weekday services and his Sunday sermons. Calvin promoted the preaching of Bible books, with an emphasis on finding the harmony between the Old and New Testaments, as well as between the Law, Writings, History, Prophets, Gospels, Epistles and Revelation. Calvin developed the historical-grammatical hermeneutic and left a legacy of well researched Bible word studies and biblical theological thought. He is part of the great tradition of Bible commentators as found among the Church Fathers, as well as among fellow Reformers such as John Wycliffe, John Tyndale and Martin Luther. Calvin’s commentaries would inspire Matthew Henry, John Gill and Charles Spurgeon to continue in the discipline of examining all of Scripture in order to formulate sound doctrine and ethics.
This simple commentary does not compare to the works of our Protestant forefathers. However, the training of MINTS students and teachers to write their own commentaries on the books of the Bible is part of the spirit and ethos of theological revolution that took place in the original Protestantism.
Original Protestantism promoted three irreversible literary contributions for the Christian church:
The translation, printing and public distribution of the whole Bible from the original languages to the language of the peoples.
The harmonious, grammatical and historical interpretation of the biblical text by means of publically available and readable commentaries.
The formulations of theological creeds based, not on the Church Fathers, nor on Ecclesiastical tradition, but solely on the Scriptures.
MINTS is promoting that each country where they work produce their own set of commentaries on books of the Bible. You can review the completed commentaries on our web pages: www.mints.edu and mintsespanol.com.
I hope to review your Bible book commentary in the near future.
Dr. Cornelius (Neal) Hegeman
II Timothy, a continuation of I Timothy, is all about discipleship. As I was studying to write this course it dawned on me that the relationship of the triune God is one of discipleship. The Son forever proceeds from the Father and the Holy Spirit forever proceeds from the Father and Son. Having said this, I have declared a theological war against the Eastern Orthodox churches. They believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. So who is right? The Western Church (Roman Catholic) or the Eastern Church (Orthodox)? Who will arbitrate?
The sixteenth century Protestant answer to that question is: Sola Scriptura. Only the Bible, not tradition, not the church, not the creeds, or human opinion can determine the truth of God’s special revelation (II Tim. 3: 16, 17).
In the introduction to II Timothy, Paul writes: “Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord” (1: 2). Grace, mercy and peace are part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit and it appears that they come from both the Father and the Son. Chapter 1 verses 13, 14 also show the relationship of the Lord Jesus to the Holy Spirit, “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit.” II Timothy 4: 1 says, “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ…” The conclusion of the book states, “The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen” (4: 22). It appears that the Western Church is correct in holding that the Holy Spirit comes from the Father and Son. But, so what?
It is important to honor and glorify the work of each person of the God head in order to avoid heresy. Spiritists emphasize the Spirit only. Modalists, the ‘Only Jesus’ crowd does not do justice to the eternal Father and eternal Holy Spirit. The monotheism of Judaism does not submit to the revelation of God Himself, in Emanuel, God with God, Jesus Christ the Lord, the great “I am who I am” (Yahweh).
Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit comes He would give testimony to Jesus (Acts 1:8). The convicting work of the Holy Spirit shows the finished redemptive work of Jesus (John 16: 8-11). The only way we can enter into relationship with the triune God is through the substitutionary atonement of the Son of God. The Holy Spirit applies the redemptive work of Jesus to our lives, church and world.
Before the making of the foundations of the universe God existed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Within the relationship of the triune God there is discipleship. To be honest, I do not know what that looked like before the incarnation of Jesus, but when Jesus came, we witness an amazing relationship between the Son of God and the Father. The Son was totally submitted to the will of the Father. The Son called the apostle Paul, who instructs Timothy to train godly men. Notice the progress of discipleship that takes place in the church: God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit; Paul; Timothy; faithful men. Not only that, Paul makes mention of Timothy’s grandmother Lois and his mother, Eunice. There we have three generations of discipleship that took place in the home. However, the discipleship focus is not simply theological (between God and man), nor family (Lois, Eunice, Timothy) but it is between Paul and Timothy. Theological and family discipleship is not complete without intense personal discipleship.
II Timothy affirms what Paul wrote in I Timothy. Paul presses the implications of sound doctrine and ethics to a personal discipleship and responsibility level. Paul really gets after Timothy. Most of the reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness (3: 16) is aimed at Timothy. Why? So that Timothy would disciples other faithful men (2:2) with all the intensity and sincerity that Paul has in serving the Lord. “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2: 1).
Dear student, who are your personal disciples? Do you think you could learn a lesson or two from the apostle Paul? By studying II Timothy will you grow to appreciate more the triune God? I pray so. That is why we study this great book of the Bible: that we may be discipled by the triune God in order to disciple our disciples.
INTRODUCTION AND CONCERN FOR TIMOTHY1
EXPOSITION OF II TIMOTHY 1:1-7
Vs. 1-2. Greetings Again
The greeting or salutation of II Timothy 1:1-2 is very similar to the greeting in I Timothy 1:1-2. The same Paul is writing. Circumstances have changed, Paul is imprisoned now, but Paul’s vocation and authority is still the same.
Paul adds several phrases to this greeting.
In I Timothy Paul makes reference to the command of Jesus and now he mentions the will of God and the promise of life. This is significant in light of his imprisonment and impending death. Paul looks straight through his circumstances and sees the bigger picture, the promise of spiritual and eternal life in Christ Jesus.
The salutation of I Timothy contains “God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,” while II Timothy’s greeting is shorter, mentioning Christ Jesus. I Timothy asserts the divinity of Jesus Christ as well as affirms the existence of the three persons of the triune God.
Timothy is referred to as a “true son” in I Timothy and “a beloved son” in II Timothy. Paul’s relationship to Timothy his disciple has not been changed. However, as Paul speaks about shame in II Timothy chapter 1, it appears that Timothy had been deeply shaken by the second imprisonment of the apostle Paul.
Vs. 3-5. Generations of Witnesses
Undoubtedly, the Jews would have critized Paul and Timothy for having denied his Jewish heritage in becoming a Christian. Paul points out that the grandmother, Lois, and mother, Eunice, of Timothy were both Jews and believers. Christianity is not antithetical to being Jew, but the fulfillment of the promises God gave to Abraham and Israel (Matt. 5:17).
The purpose for the existence of Israel was to prepare for the coming of the Messiah, the Christ. Jesus is the Son of David and the Son of Abraham (Matt. 1:1). Paul calls the Church the Israel of God (Gal. 6: 16). Paul reminded the Galatians that “in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation” (6:15).
Paul observes that the same faith that was in grandmother Lois and mother Eunice is in son Timothy as well. There is no such thing as one faith for the Jews and another faith for the Christians. It is the same faith in the same God.2
Paul prays. Even though the apostle is in a miserable prison and is aware of his upcoming death, his prayer life cannot be imprisoned.
Prayer is a spiritual weapon. Paul does not stop ministering because he is being sinned against. Eventhough his enemies rejoice in his imprisonment, Paul continues to pray. In the words of Sidlow Baxter..."Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers."
He prays with thanksgiving. One does not encounter a bitter and helpless prisoner. Rather, we hear the prayer of an unselfish saint who prays for his young disciple and the first generation church.
Paul prays with a pure conscience. This is what Jesus taught in the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer. “Our Father in heaven, holy be your name.” We are to ask God in prayer to show us His holiness and our own unholiness. We are to enter into the presence of God on the merits of God’s grace, mercy and peace as they are offered to us through faith in Christ. Paul places his prayers in the tradition of his Jewish forefathers, for God has always had a people, a remnant, who prayed with a pure conscience. Like Paul, they were persecuted and many of them killed by their fellow countrymen.
Paul prays without ceasing. Paul practices what he taught and preached. "Pray always.." (Eph. 6:18); "Continue in prayer..." (Col. 4:2); "Pray without ceasing" (I Thess. 5:17). The seasoned apostle knows that it would be wrong to not pray. The prophet Samuel said, "Should I sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you..." (I Sam. 12:23)?
Paul prays for the strengthening of a disciple’s relationship to his mentor. According to verse 4, Timothy was very upset over the imprisonment of his mentor. According to verse 8, he might have even been ashamed. And now, eventhough Timothy is far away, Paul longs to see him, to assure him that his imprisonment is according to the “will of God and the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus.” The imprisonment cannot stop the advancement of the gospel. This whole epistle shows how the gospel of grace will triumph as the gospel advances from one generation to the next.
Vs. 6-7 Gifts on Fire
Dormant gifts. Timothy had been gifted with spiritual leadership gifts. As with all spiritual gifts, they have to exercised or used. Gifts do not simply work on their own.
In one of our first church plants there was a teenager who had become a Christian. One day he came to the front of the church in order to testify. He stood there with his mouth open. He did not say anything and sat down again. After the service we asked him what happened.
“Well,” he said sheepishly, “Scripture says, ‘open your mouth and I will fill it’ but nothing happened.”
How many spiritual gifts lie dormant in the church pew on Sunday mornings! Is it not the task of the pastor to remind, as Paul did, “to stir up the gift of God which is in you?” The NIV says it even more graphically, “to fan the flame.”
Paul specifically points out that Timothy was being timid. Such fear and holding back had to be replaced with the flames of power, love and selfdiscipline.
Laying on of hands. The text clearly states that Paul laid hands on Timothy and so Timothy received spiritual gifts (Paul refers to the elders in I Tim. 4:14). Do all spiritual gifts (Romans 12, I Cor. 12, 14; Eph. 4) come through the laying on of hands? If so, that would certainly give new meaning to being a greeter at the church!
The laying on of hands, like the ordinances of baptism and the Lord Supper, give visible expression to how the Holy Spirit works. In baptism and the Lord Supper, the grace of God does not come through the physically elements (water, bread, wine) but through the working of the Holy Spirit as the Word and gospel is preached. In the laying on of hand, the church leaders set apart other leaders in the church, pray that may receive the spiritual gifts to be able to carry out their functions and communicate to the congregation that their cooperation is needed for these men to carry out their spiritual functions.
The laying on of hands has become a power show in the charismatic and neo charismatic churches. The leader works the gathers into an emotional frenzy through singing, praying, shouting, cheering and then the “slaying of the Spirit” begins. Some practicioners fall even before the leaders give the magical signal. Some leaders blow, others lay hands on the forehead and others shout, and the people fall to the ground.
The slain person has to cooperate. A friend of mine went to a Benny Hinn service and vowed not to fall. He said that everyone around him fell but he remained standing. It was also the last time he said he would go to such a meeting. “If this was of the Holy Spirit, how could I have resisted?” he reasoned.
If only all the slaying in the Spirit would regenerate and sanctify the human heart and send people into full time service for the Lord! Why, such an assembly would produce the finest Christian leaders, church planters, missionaries and servants for the Lord’s kingdom. There would be missionaries leaving for Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Sudan on a regular basis. The sad fact is that international radio, TV and internet is saturating the closed world with extreme evangelical emotionalism, something that is not needed for the advancement of the gospel.
So what is needed? Paul mentiones: power, love and a sound mind. All three need to work together.
Power (dunamis) is the opposite of weakness and the timidy that Timothy was suffering from. The power of the gospel overcomes sin, temptation, world powers, demons, Satan and all of the enemies of God. Paul is an example of the power of the gospel. Here he was, most likely in solitar confinement, alone, forsaken by men, and yet, in his human weakness, the dunamis of God. Nothing could deter Paul from preaching, praying, evangelizing, teaching, writing, witnessing and eventually being martyred for God.
Love (agape). Agape love is an inconditional love. Paul called Timothy to love the unloveable. Paul would have to show inconditional love to his captors, to his enemies, and to those who had wronged him. But nothing can separate us from the love of God, the love of neighbour and the love of ourselves.
Sound mind (sophronismos). The word used by Paul is self controled or disciplined. The fact that there is power in the gospel, that we are to unconditionally love, does not mean that we become mindless or irrational. The mind is an instrument given by God to be used. Many of the emotional charismatic extremes made reference to previously occur because people stop thinking, reasoning and controlling themselves. Such mindlessness usually begins with the leaders.
Power, love and discipline are three legs to one stool. Take anyone of them away and your fall over.
The reader of the introduction to II Timothy is confronted with a very emotional scene. The great apostle has been imprisoned, now for the last time. He writes one more letter to his beloved disciple, Timothy. Paul writes as a broken man, not broken by the Roman captors, or the Jewish accusers, or by the heritics in the church, but broken by the love of God for His people and His Church. What a legacy this dying saint leaves for all following generations to consider.
QUESTIONS ABOUT II TIMOTHY 1:1-7
1. How would you defend the Pauline authorship of II Timothy?
2. Does it make a difference if Paul wrote this epistle?
3. What are the differences between the salutions to the letters in I and II Timothy?
4. How many generations of believers did Paul identify in Timothy’s family?
5. How is praying with a pure conscience related to the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer?
6. How does prayer show that God triumphs over persecution?
7. Can spiritual gifts lie dormant in a believer?
8. What is the relationship of the laying on of hands and the reception of spiritual gifts?
9. What three things does the apostle charge Timothy to seek?
10. Do you have questions on this passage that remain unanswered? What are they?
1. Paul an Apostle. From the very preface we already perceive that Paul had not in view Timothy alone; other wise he would not have employed such lofty titles in asserting his apostleship; for what purpose would it have served to employ these ornaments of language in writing to one who was fully convinced of the fact? He, therefore, lays claim to that authority over all which belonged to his public character and he does this the more diligently, because, being near death, he wishes to secure the approbation of the whole course of his ministry, “Although, in all that Paul has left us in writing, we must consider that it is God who speaks to us by the mouth of a mortal man, and that all his doctrine ought to be received with such authority and reverence as if God visibly appeared from heaven, yet still there is in this epistle a special object to be kept in view, that Paul, being in prison and perceiving his death to be at hand, wished to ratify his faith, as if he had sealed it with his blood. So then, as often as we read this epistle, let the condition in which Paul was at that time come before our eyes, namely, that he was looking for nothing but to die for the testimony of the gospel (which he actually did) as its standard-bearer, in order to give us stronger assurance of his doctrine, and that will affect us in a more lively manner. Indeed, if we read this epistle carefully, we shall find that the Spirit of God has expressed himself in it in such a manner, with such majesty and power, that we are constrained to be captivated and overwhelmed. For my own part, I know that this epistle has been more profitable to me than any other book of Scripture, and still is profitable to me every day; and if any person shall examine it carefully, there can be no doubt that he will experience the same effect. And if we desire to have a testimony of the truth of God, which pierces our heart, we may well fix on this epistle; for a man must be in a profound sleep, and remarkably stupid, if God do not work in his soul, when he hears the doctrine that shall be drawn from it.”- and to seal his doctrine which he had labored so hard to teach, that it may be held sacred by posterity, and to leave a true portrait of it in Timothy.
Of Jesus Christ by the will of God. First, according to his custom, he calls himself an “Apostle of Christ.” Hence it follows, that he does not speak as a private person, and must not be heard slightly, and for form’s sake, like a man, but as one who is a representative of Christ. But because the dignity of the office is too great to belong to any man, except by the special gift and election of God, he at the same time pronounces a eulogy on his calling, by adding that he was ordained by the will of God His apostleship, therefore, having God for its author and defender, is beyond all dispute.
According to the promise of life. That his calling may be the more certain, he connects it with the promises of eternal life; as if he had said, “As from the beginning God promised eternal life in Christ, so now he has appointed me to be the minister for proclaiming that promise.” Thus also he points out the design of his apostleship, namely, to bring men to Christ, that in him they may find life.
Which is in Christ Jesus. He speaks with great accuracy, when he mentions that “the promise of life” was indeed given, in ancient times, to the fathers. (Acts 26:6.) But yet he declares that this life is in Christ, in order to inform us that the faith of those who lived under the Law must nevertheless have looked towards Christ; and that life, which was contained in promises, was, in some respects, suspended, till it was exhibited in Christ.
2. My beloved son. By this designation he not only testifies his love of Timothy, but procures respect and submission to him; because he wishes to be acknowledged in him, as one who may justly be called his son. The reason of the appellation is, that he had begotten him in Christ; for, although this honor belongs to God alone, yet it is also transferred to ministers, whose agency he employs for regenerating us.
Grace, mercy. The word mercy, which he employs here, is commonly left out by him in his ordinary salutations. I think that he introduced it, when he poured out his feelings with more than ordinary vehemence. Moreover, he appears to have inverted the order; for, since “mercy” is the cause of “grace,” it ought to have come before it in this passage. But still it is not unsuitable that it should be put after “grace”, in order to express more clearly what is the nature of that grace, and whence it proceeds; as if he had added, in the form of a declaration, that the reason why we are loved by God is, that he is merciful. Yet this may also be explained as relating to God’s daily benefits, which are so many testimonies of his “mercy”; for, whenever he assists us, whenever he delivers us from evils, pardons our sins, and bears with our weakness, he does so, because he has compassion on us.