Paul’s Second Epistle to Timothy
Paul is now back in prison, not under house arrest as during his first detention in Rome, but in a cold dungeon where even
his friends took a time to find him. This is the last letter Paul wrote. His mixed emotions of confidence in his salvation, his
desperation to see Timothy again, and his concern for the welfare of the church can all be found in his words.
Greetings and encouragement
Paul demonstrates his great affection for Timothy in his greeting by referring to him as his ‘dearly beloved child’. He gives
thanks to God for Timothy’s continued faith and expresses his great desire to see him again. He encourages him to be
strong in the Spirit of power and love, and not to be ashamed of the gospel, given by grace, which is the way to eternal
life. Paul reminds Timothy that many of his own followers in Asia had turned away from him, then offers a prayer for the
house of Onesiphorus who had supported him and shown kindness to him.
Advice for the pastor
Timothy is encouraged to continue to be strong in his faith and to teach others so they too will be able to teach. As Christ
suffered and died, all his servants must suffer and (their old selves) die for him, for if we suffer, we will also reign with him.
Paul exhorts Timothy to study to show himself approved of God, and to shun false teachings that will lead to more
ungodliness, citing the examples of Hymenaeus and Philetus. He is urged to purge himself of anything less than pure, in
order that he might be a vessel worthy for the use of his Master. To accomplish this he must flee youthful lusts, follow the
path of faith, love and peace, and avoid being sidetracked by foolish and unlearned questions designed to produce strife.
An atmosphere of gentility and meekness, not strife, is the way to bring people to God.
Paul warns Timothy there will be troubles to come from a growing number of people who will appear to be godly, but will
love the pleasures of this life more than God. Numerous sinful faults are listed, but the deceit is that they will influence
people who will learn from them, and who will never come to the knowledge of the truth in God’s word. These deceivers, as
well as afflictions and persecutions, will continue and grow. Hence the importance of scripture is emphasised as the rock on
which the Christian life is built, for All Scripture is God breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction,
for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work.
Preach and evangelise; final requests and greetings
Timothy is exhorted to continue to preach and evangelise, for false teachers will grow in numbers with people hearing what
they want to hear, rather than what they should hear.
Paul knows the end is not far away for him. Many have deserted him, but Luke is still with him at the prison. A plea is
made for Timothy to come to see him, to bring Paul’s cloak, some books and parchments and to bring Mark with him.
People Timothy should be aware of are mentioned. Those who send their greetings and those whom Paul asks Timothy to
greet are named.
Paul’s letter then ends with the words, May the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.