2 Timothy 4:1-8 (Final Exhortation)

2Ti 4:1-5     In these verses is found Paul’s final charge to Timothy, and by extension, to us; in what four-fold way does Paul emphasize the solemnity of his final words?  See 2Ti 4:1; cf. 1 Tim 5:21.  In what sense is Christ the judge of the living (both physically and spiritually) and the dead (both physically and spiritually)?  See Acts 10:42, 1 Pet 4:5-6, and cf. Mat 16:27, Jn 5:22,27-29, Acts 17:31, 2 Cor 5:10, Rev 20:11-15.  Is such judgment only future, or is it also present?  See Jn 12:31, Gal 6:7-8, 1 Pet 4:17.  What does Paul mean by Christ’s “appearing”, and in what sense is it both present and future?  See 2Ti 4:8, 1:10, Tit 2:13, 1 Tim 6:14, and note that the Greek word (epiphaneia, from which we get our word epiphany) means literally a “shining upon”, for which see 2 Thess 2:8.  List the 9 elements of Paul’s final charge.  See 2Ti 4:2,5.  What does he list of first importance?  What has been the universal result throughout history when this first priority has been neglected?  What does he mean to “be ready in season and out of season”?  Note: “be ready” means to confront or face up or stand up to another, to take a stand; cf. Lk 10:40, 20:1; “in season and out of season” means to do so whether “the time is favorable or unfavorable” (NRSV).  What is the difference between “reprove”, “rebuke” and “exhort?  Note: “reprove” connotes exposing sin by shining the light of the truth on what is wrong, see Eph 5:11-13; “rebuke” derives from a word that means literally “to place honor upon” in the sense of “to mete out due measure”, and hence, to censure; “exhort” means to beseech, appeal, entreat, encourage.  Why is it important for the man of God to reprove, rebuke, and exhort “with great patience (lit. longsuffering) and instruction (or doctrine, cf. KJV)”?  See 2Ti 4:3.  What is the great temptation to God’s ministers in a day when men will not endure sound doctrine and instead are looking for someone to just tickle their ears?  See Is 1:22.  Describe the difference between a person who has a sincere love for the truth and one who only wants to have his ears tickled.  Cf. Ps 139:23-24, Jn 3:19-21, 2 Thess 2:10-12.  Describe the mutual covenant of deception alluded to in 2Ti 4:3 between false sons and false teachers; cf. Jer 5:30-31.  In what ways do 2Ti 4:3-4 describe people today?  To what myths have they turned aside?  Think humanism, feminism, materialism, etc…  What have many churches done in order to accommodate and not lose the following of those who will not endure sound doctrine?  Think “seeker friendly”.  What ought they to do?  See 2Ti 4:2.

2Ti 4:5-8     Notice the “you” in 2Ti 4:5 is emphatic, i.e., “But you,…”; what does the contrast Paul urges upon Timothy teach us about the shortcomings of those teachers who only tickle ears?  Are they spiritually sober?  Will they endure hardship?  Do they do the work of an evangelist?  In what ways do they not fulfill their ministry?  See again 2Ti 4:2.  What made it especially important for Timothy to “be sober in all things, endure hardship,…”?  See 2Ti 4:6.  Notice from Num 15:1-10 & 28:1-8 that the daily burnt offering was to be accompanied by a grain offering mixed with oil and a drink offering of wine or strong drink, which made the sacrifice acceptable to God.  These typify the daily whole burnt offering of ourselves as living sacrifices (Rom 12:1), which in order to be acceptable to God must be accompanied by the grain of God’s word (Dt 8:3) mixed with the oil of His Spirit (1 Sam 16:13) and a libation of sound doctrine.  How does this help us understand the sense in which Paul viewed himself as a drink offering?  See Rom 15:15-16, Phil 2:17.  Are we as willing as Paul to pour out our lives in order that others may become acceptable to God?  At the time of our departure from this life will we be able to echo Paul’s words in 2Ti 4:7?  See Acts 20:22-24 and consider the course that lay ahead of Paul at that time: rejection and persecution by the Jews in Jerusalem, imprisonment, shipwreck, and now a death sentence; are we as faithful through fiery trials to the ministry we have received from the Lord?  What is the reward for such faithfulness that Paul was confident awaited him?  How is a crown of righteousness a reward, and why is it worth all the cost?  See 1 Cor 9:25, James 1:12, 1 Pet 5:4, Rev 2:10.  Who does Paul say will also receive a crown of righteousness?  Do we love the fact that Christ has come and shone His light upon all the darkness of this world, including that of our own lives?  Do we face that light and allow it to chase away our darkness, or do we turn away from it for fear that our deeds will be exposed?

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