2 Timothy 1:3-8 (A Reminder in Time of Hardship)

2Ti 1:3-5     How does Paul communicate his fond affection for Timothy in these verses?  See also 2Ti 1:2, 1 Cor 4:17, Phil 2:19-22, 1 Tim 1:2.  What words in 2Ti 1:3 and 5 communicate the substance of true religion?  See also Acts 23:1, 24:16, 1 Tim 1:5.  How often did Paul pray, and how should he be an example to us?  See also Rom 1:9, Eph 1:16, Col 1:9, 1 Thess 1:2, Phlm 1:4; see also 1 Tim 2:1.  What do these verses teach us about the power and importance of a godly heritage?  Men: what greater legacy can we leave to our children (both natural and spiritual) than the pure heart and clear conscience that makes for one like the apostle Paul?  Ladies: what greater calling is there than to instill a sincere faith to your children and be like a Lois who raised up a Eunice, or a Eunice who raised up a Timothy?!  When Paul speaks of serving God the way his forefathers did does that mean that his forefathers were followers of Christ?  When he speaks of the “sincere faith” that first dwelt in Lois and Eunice does that mean that they had come to a sincere Christian faith before Timothy?  Consider that Timothy likely came to know Christ at the same time as Lois and Eunice when Paul first brought the gospel to Derbe, Lystra and Iconium on his first missionary journey since he was already a disciple when he joined Paul on his second missionary journey just a year or two later (see Acts 14, 16:1-2).  If the sincere faith he speaks of was not in Christ, what was it in?  What does this teach us about how the true seeker of God is to remain in the middle of His unfolding plan of salvation and avoid going astray or missing the further revelation of His will (as happened to so many of the Jews)?  Is it significant that Paul uses some form of the word “remember” in each of 2Ti 1:3-5?  What might it suggest about his present circumstances?

2Ti 1:6-7     Of what does Paul remind Timothy in 2Ti 1:6?  For what reason does he remind him?  See 2Ti 1:5.  How and when was the spiritual gift Paul speaks of in 2Ti 1:6 bestowed upon Timothy?  See also 1 Tim 4:14.  What do his words here and in 1 Tim 4:14 teach us about our role in the partnership we share with the Holy Spirit in accomplishing God’s will?  How might one “neglect” his spiritual gift, and how might he “kindle [it] afresh” or “fan [it] into flame” (NIV)?  What seems to have been the nature of Timothy’s gift, and how was it different from any of his natural abilities?  See 2Ti 1:7, 4:2,5.  Notice in 2Ti 1:7 that the gift of God is a new “spirit” under the control of the Holy Spirit; how is this spirit different from that of our “old man” (Rom 6:6, Eph 4:22, Col 3:9).  Note: NASB timidity means fearfulness and is always used in the bad sense of cowardice; what does Paul contrast with such cowardice?  Note: NASB discipline = NIV self-discipline = KJV sound mind; see also NASB text note sound judgment; the Greek word used is related to that used in Titus 2:2,4,6 for “sensible”; how is a sober, self-controlled spirit contrary to a spirit of cowardice?  How is a spirit of love contrary to a spirit of fearfulness or cowardice?  See 1 Jn 4:18.

2Ti 1:8          Considering the state-sponsored persecution of Christians that had recently arisen, what was the great temptation facing believers in regard to the gospel message or its messengers who were now branded as criminals?  How does Paul exhort Timothy in regard to this temptation?  See 2Ti 1:8.  Is it in our own power or might that we are able to overcome such temptations and join others in suffering for the gospel?  What is the nature of the “power of God” that allows us to do so?  See 2Ti 1:7, Acts 4:8,13.  In what ways do true believers suffer for the gospel even in countries like America where there is religious freedom?  See 2Ti 3:12.  In what ways can we join with servants like Paul in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God?  See Heb 13:3.  What do 2Ti 1:3-8 teach us about the importance of reminders and encouragement for even the most faithful of God’s servants in times of hardship and distress?

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