2 Timothy 2:1-7 (3 Exhortations and 3 Illustrations For Times of Hardship)

2Ti 2:1-3     What does the word “therefore” in 2Ti 2:1 refer back to?  See 2Ti 1:8,12-14.  In light of the external persecution that had arisen against the Christians, with what three things does Paul exhort Timothy in these verses?  As opposed to being strong in himself, what does Paul encourage Timothy to be strong in?  How was Paul’s life an example of finding strength in the Lord that was beyond himself?  See 2Ti 4:17, 1 Tim 1:12, Phil 4:13, 2 Cor 12:9-10, Acts 9:22.  Note: the Greek word translated “entrust” (NASB) or “commit thou” (KJV) in 2Ti 2:2 is the verbal form of the word that refers to “my deposit” (lit.) in 2Ti 1:12 and the “good deposit” Paul had entrusted to Timothy in 2Ti 1:14 (see NASB text note and 1 Tim 6:20); in this context it could be translated literally as “deposit with faithful men”; see also 1 Tim 1:18 for the same verbal form.  What does this teach us about the way Timothy was to guard the “treasure” that had been deposited with him (2Ti 1:14) and how Paul believed the Lord would guard his deposit?  What two qualifications does Paul emphasize that Timothy should seek in men with whom he could deposit the gospel trust?  Did Paul consider every word he had ever spoken to be a part of that trust and worthy of being passed on?  See 2Ti 2:2a.  Does “men” in 2Ti 2:2 exclude women from the principle Paul is emphasizing?  Note: “men” in 2Ti 2:2 is the generic man often translated as “people”; see also Tit 2:3-5 for the same principle applied to women.  How many generations of believers are mentioned in 2Ti 2:2?  What does 2Ti 2:2 teach us about the most effective way to propagate the gospel trust?  Are we faithful with the good deposit that has been entrusted to us and seeking out others to whom we can pass it along and who will also be faithful to teach others also?

2Ti 2:3-7     With what three figures in these verses does Paul illustrate his exhortation to Timothy to “suffer hardship with me”?  How does the figure of a soldier illustrate our need to be willing to suffer hardship for the sake of the gospel?  Who is it that enlists us as a gospel soldier?  Are we good soldiers of Christ whose desire is to please Him?  Are we willing to suffer hardship for His sake, or are we entangling ourselves in “the affairs of everyday life”?  What does the figure of an athlete illustrate about the need to suffer hardship for the gospel?  See 1 Cor 9:24-27.  How does a Christian “strive lawfully” (KJV); i.e., what are the “rules” we must compete according to (NASB) in order to win the race for the imperishable prize?  See 2Ti 1:8,13-14, 2:3a, and Heb 12:1-3.  Is Paul here using the figure of the hardworking farmer in 2Ti 2:6 to illustrate the Christian worker’s right to financial remuneration (cf. 1 Cor 9:7)?  Consider the context.  What is it about suffering hardship that Paul is communicating to Timothy through this figure?  Note: translated most literally this verse reads “It is necessary for the hard working farmer to be the first to take / receive a share of the fruit”.  What does Paul have in mind as being necessary for Timothy to partake of, and in what sense can that be considered fruit?  See again 2Ti 1:8, 2:3a and confer Mat 5:10-12, James 1:2-4,12, 5:11, 1 Pet 2:19-23, 4:1-2.  In what way was Christ a hard-working farmer, and why was it necessary for Him to be the first to partake of such fruit?  See again 1 Pet 2:21.  In what way was Paul a hard-working farmer, and why was it necessary that he too be a first to partake of that fruit?  See again 1 Pet 2:21.  Why is it necessary that people have such examples of patient endurance in the midst of suffering hardships? See 2Ti 3:12, Acts 14:19-22.  Are we such an example to others?  Considering Paul’s circumstances, what additional significance do his words in 2Ti 2:6 have?  What does 2Ti 2:7 teach us about what is necessary on our part if we really want to understand the word of God?  Do we take time to consider / ponder / meditate and think deeply about the word of God in order that the Lord may give us understanding, or does our love for money and pleasure leave no time for such?

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