Home Bible Study
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15
Established November 2008 Published Weekly on Friday
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men (and women) to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4).
Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me (2:17-18).
Paul holds up the faithful service of the Philippian saints for all to see and likens his ministry among them to a drink offering. Their voluntary sacrificial service to God may be compared to an O.T. drink offering or libation. It was a sweet savor offering well pleasing to God (Leviticus 1:3; Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 2:5).
The Philippians were being persecuted and suffered because of this, but this is not unusual for the true Believer. Paul informed them this was SOP (standard operating procedure): “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to (what) suffer for his sake” (Philippians 1:29; 2 Timothy 3:11-12).
In this we learn God the Father did not promise any believer a “Rose Garden.” Tribulations of all sorts will come our way, but Paul tells us in Romans 5 how we’re to respond to suffering in our life: “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations (tribulo, to thrash, to beat. Severe affliction; distresses of life; vexations. In Scripture, it often denotes the troubles and distresses which proceed from persecution) also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost (Spirit) which is given unto us.”
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (2 Corinthians 4:16-17; Romans 1:8; 2 Timothy 2:10).
God gives us His grace and the strength to overcome every trial in our lives and the ability to fulfill His perfect will during them (2 Timothy 2:3).
Please open your Bible at Philippians 2:19-24.
But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus (Timothy) shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s. But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me. But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.
We know from previous studies Paul loved the Philippians and wanted to travel to Philippi to be with them:
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, (Philippians 1:3-4).
For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:8).
Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, dearly beloved (Philippians 4:1).
Paul had a very close and loving relationship with the Philippian church. He wanted to be there to fellowship with them, and assist all the saints with their spiritual growth:
And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; (Philippians 1:25).
There were several church related issues that needed to be addressed, one being their disunity: I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord (Philippians 4:2).
Obviously, a problem existed between these two women. The Bible doesn’t tell us what the problem was and to be honest that information is not necessary it only serves to feed the gossipers in the church. What we do know is Paul encouraged them to reconcile their differences or “to be of the same mind.” He wanted to be in Philippi with them, but he was a “prisoner of Christ Jesus” in Rome. This is where Paul’s co-worker Timothy enters the picture, so to speak.
Timothy is so much more than just a name on a Bible page. But unless you opt to “Dig Deeper” into this book, you’ll be like the people who read right over his name without so much as a “by your leave,” but that’s not Bible study. The true student of God’s Word searches the scriptures for information. This includes knowledge of Timothy and his accomplishments in serving the Lord and our Apostle Paul faithfully. So, we’re going to take the time do that very thing.
The Bible reveals Paul and Timothy were very close. How close? Paul referred to him as “my own son in the faith:”
Timothy was one of the best known of Paul's companions and fellow-laborers. He was one of Paul's own converts.
In 1 Corinthians 4:17, Paul described him as his beloved and faithful son in the Lord.
In 1 Timothy 1:2, Paul wrote: Unto Timothy, own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
In 2 Timothy 1:2 he addressed him as "Timothy my beloved child."
Timothy was most likely a native citizen of either Lystra or Derbe, cities Paul visited and evangelized. Paul led him to the Lord during his first missionary journey, when he visited these two cities (Acts 14:6). There’s biblical evidence in the book of Acts showing Lystra may have been Timothy’s home (Acts 16:3, 20:4) but nothing definitive.
In 2 Timothy 3:10-11, Paul mentioned Timothy had fully known the persecutions and afflictions which came upon him at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra. When Paul revisited Lystra during his second missionary journey, he discovered Timothy had become a reliable laborer for the Lord and a church leader (Acts 16:1-2).
Timothy's father was a heathen Greek this fact is mentioned twice in Acts 16:1-3. His mother was a Jewess, but he had not been circumcised in infancy, probably because his Greek father insisted on it. Timothy's mother was called Eunice, and his grandmother Lois. Paul mentions them by name in 2 Timothy 1:5. This is where he speaks of the sincere faith which was in Timothy, which had dwelt first in Eunice and Lois. It is evident that Eunice was converted to Christ on Paul's 1st missionary journey to Derbe and Lystra, because, when he returned to these cities, she is spoken of as "a Jewess who believed" (Acts 16:1).
Because of Timothy’s unwavering faith and his dependability Paul took him on his second missionary journey. We find him with Paul at Berea (Acts 17:4), having evidently accompanied him to the cities of Phrygia, the region of Galatia, Mysia, Troas, Neapoils, Philippi, Amphipolis, Apollonia, and Thessalonica. From Athens Paul sent a message to Silas and Timothy at Berea to meet him in Athens post haste. There they met Paul and he sent them immediately away to Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 3:1-3).
Paul had left Athens before Silas and Timothy were able to rejoin him. He had continued to Corinth, Greece. When Silas and Timothy arrived in Corinth from Macedonia, “Paul was pressed in the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ” (Acts 18:5). Timothy evidently remained with Paul during the eighteen months he stayed in Corinth, and throughout this missionary journey to its end. From Corinth Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans, and he sent them a salutation from Timothy, "Timothy my fellow-worker saluteth you" (Romans 16:21).
It was Paul’s habit when writing letters to the churches to associate with his own name one or more of his co-workers in his opening remarks. Timothy’s name appears in 2 Corinthians 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; Philemon 1:1. We also find it along with Silvanus’ (Silas) name in 1 Thessalonians 1:1 and again in 2 Thessalonians 1:1.
On Paul's 3rd missionary journey, Timothy again accompanied him, though he is not mentioned until Ephesus was reached. This journey involved much traveling, much work, and much time. They spent two whole years at Ephesus alone. And when Paul's time there was ending, he made plans to go to Jerusalem, after passing through Macedonia and Achaia. Accordingly, he sent on before him "into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timothy and Erastus" (Acts 19:22).
From Ephesus Paul wrote the First Epistle to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 16:8), and in it he mentioned in 1 Corinthians 16:10 that Timothy was then traveling to Corinth. After requesting the Corinthians treat Timothy with love and respect upon his arrival, Paul proceeded to say Timothy was to return to him from Corinth; that is, Timothy was to bring with him an updated report on the Corinthian church’s state.
Soon thereafter the riot in Ephesus occurred; and when it was over, Paul left Ephesus and went to Macedonia and Greece. In Macedonia he was rejoined by Timothy, whose name is associated with his own, in the opening salutation of 2 Corinthians. Timothy accompanied him into Greece, where they dwelled three months.
From Greece Paul once again focused on his trip to Jerusalem, Timothy and others accompanying him (Acts 20:4, 21:8). Paul and his companions eventually reached Jerusalem, where Paul was arrested and Timothy was with him.
The scriptures do not record the way Timothy served Paul, until he is found once more with him during his first imprisonment in Rome. He is mentioned in three of the Paul letters at this time, namely, in Colossians 1:1, and Philemon 1:1, in both of these writings his designation is "Timothy our brother," and in Philippians 1:1, "Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus." Then in Philippians 2:19, Paul wrote “But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you (in Philippi), that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.”
By the way, the word “shortly” in this verse is translated ASAP in the English language. Paul intended to send Timothy to Philippi to minister to their needs and act as a mediator should that be required just as soon as the events in Rome ran their course.
We know Paul was eventually released from “house arrest” in Rome, but we gather from Paul’s second letter to Timothy he was imprisoned again, and Paul believed on this occasion his trial before Nero would be followed by an adverse judgment and his death. Paul wrote from The Mamertine Prison in Rome to Timothy at Ephesus, affectionately requesting he come to him: "Give diligence to come shortly unto me" (2 Timothy 4:9). The fact that at that time, when no other close friend was with Paul except Luke (2 Timothy 4:11), it was to Timothy he turned for assistance and solace, closing with the request that “his own son in the faith” should come to him, to be with him in his last hours. This reveals the tender affection and respect they held for one another as fellow soldiers for Christ Jesus.
(To be continued)
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved