2 Timothy 1:1-18 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Fan Into Flame the Gift of God
Comments for Study 1

2 Timothy 1:1-18
Memory Verse: 7

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I. God did not Give us a Spirit of Timidity (1-7)

>1.What were Paul's circumstances at this time (2:9, 4:6-7)

* 2 Timothy 2:9 "for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained."

* 2 Timothy 4:6-7 "For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

* Paul was put in a Roman prison for a second time by Emperor Nero in 66-67 A.D. after Nero burned Rome in 64 A.D., blamed Christians for it, and then persecuted and killed them. The first Roman prison is recorded in Acts 28 (62/63 A.D.) where he was under house arrest. In contrast the prison he was in now was cold, damp, and dark (4:13) and he was chained like a criminal (1:16, 2:9). The dungeon was so secluded that is friends had a hard time finding him (1:17). Soon his physical life and service would end (4:6-8). Paul was probably seventy years old and alone.

* "so that I may be filled with joy" -Paul's dungeon was very unpleasant.

* The following is a time line:
    1) Paul was arrested in Jerusalem (57 A.D., Acts 21:33)
    2) Paul is transferred to Rome to stand at trial before Caesar (59-60 A.D., Acts 25:10-28:16)
    3) Paul awaits for trial in Rome under house arrest. Acts is penned by Luke who was with Paul. (60-61 A.D. Acts 28:17 to end)
    4) Paul underwent his first Roman imprisonment during which he wrote the letters to the Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, and Philippians. (61-62 A.D.)
    5) Paul was released from prison. (between 62 and 64 A.D.)
    6) Nero burns Rome and blames the Christians. A great persecution begins. (64 A.D.)
    7) Paul's fourth missionary journey where he covers a great deal of territory including Crete. He writes 1 Timothy and Titus from Macedonia. (64-67 A.D.)
    8) Paul was arrested and tried by Nero again. He writes 2 Timothy. (66-67 A.D.)
    9) Paul was beheaded in Rome. (68 A.D.)
    10) Nero dies and the persecution against Christians subsides. (68 A.D.)

>How does Paul introduce himself?

* 2 Timothy 1:1 "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus"

* "Paul" -Paul is Greek. His name changed from Saul at the beginning of his first missionary journey. (Acts 13:1, 13)

* "an apostle of Christ Jesus" -Apostle means sent. Jesus chose twelve to be his apostles during his earthly ministry. When Judas betrayed Jesus another was chosen to take his place. Then Jesus called Paul, the fourteenth apostle. (Acts 9:1-30) Apostles are the only ones that display all the gifts of the Holy Spirit in order to support the mission that God has given them.

* "by the will of God" -The only way to be an apostle is by the will of God.

* "according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus" -The gospel, Jesus' death and resurrection from the dead was Paul's main message. (1 Cor. 15:1-8) Of the two, Paul emphasized Jesus' resurrection from the dead for it is the promise of life in Christ that we look forward to.

* "God, whom I serve" -Paul called himself a servant of God; not a friend or anything remotely equal to God.

* "as my father's did" -Paul was a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin.

* "with a clear conscience" -Paul's sins had been forgiven by the grace of God found in Jesus. Paul had persecuted the church before Jesus called him and cleansed him. He had supported and witnessed the murder of Stephen. And yet Paul could say that he had a clear conscience. How? Because of faith in Jesus Christ.

* "night and day... prayers" -Paul prayed constantly. He had a personal relationship with Jesus.

>2. What was Paul's relationship to Timothy? (Phil. 2:20-22)

* 2 Timothy 1:2-4 "To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy."

* "my dear son" -Timothy was not Paul's physical son. Timothy was like a son to Paul. Paul loved Timothy as he would his own son if he had one. Timothy loved Paul as his father. Timothy's father is never mentioned other than he was a Gentile.

* "Grace" -unmerited divine assistance.

* "mercy" -Compassionate kind forgiveness to those under one's authority.

* "peace" -Not struggling against the one in authority over another.

* "from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord" -The Father and Son of the Triune God.

* "I thank God... as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers" -Paul was the one in a dark, cold, damp dungeon and yet he prayed for Timothy.

* "recalling your tears" -Paul and Timothy had known each other for almost twenty years. They meet at the beginning of Paul's second missionary journey (51 A.D.). They went through hard and happy times together. They helped each other many times in life and death situations. They grew to love and respect each other.

>What can you say about Timothy's background? (Acts 16:1-3, 5; and 1 Tim. 4:12a; Phil. 2:19-20)

* Acts 16:1-3, 5 "He came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek. The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek... So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers."

* 1 Timothy 4:12a "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young"

* Philippians 2:19-20 "I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare."

* Timothy's mother was a Jew. His father a Greek and perhaps not influential in his life, thus making Timothy timid in nature meaning he lacked confidence in his ability to carry out the mission given him. He was well spoke of and underwent circumcision for ministry purposes even though he knew he didn't need to. He went with Paul on mission journeys. Paul considered him a son of faith. He was gifted for ministry though young and thus some considered him inexperienced. He took interest in other's welfare. He became the pastor (Latin for shepherd) for the congregation in Ephesus. He stood up against false doctrine being taught there, having the gift of discernment. He remained loyal to Paul, and the gospel he preached to the end of Paul's life. He was sincere, easily discouraged, sentimental, powerful, emotional, and leadership quality.

* Timothy was a third generation Christian. His grandmother and mother were probably converted on Paul's first missionary journey. Timothy would have been a young lad then.

>3. What was Timothy's position in Ephesus? (1 Tim. 1:3)

* 1 Timothy 1:3 "As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer"

* "Macedonia" -Now the northern most providence of Greece and the east edge of Europe. Macedonia is the link between the Balkan peninsula to the north and the Greek mainland and the Mediterranean Sea to the south.

* "Ephesus" -One of the largest and most impressive cities in the ancient world, a political, religious, and commercial center in western Asia Minor, on the coast of the Mediterranean. Associated with the ministries of Paul, Timothy, and the apostle John, the city played a significant role in the spread of early Christianity. Ephesus and its inhabitants are mentioned more than twenty times in the New Testament. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* Under the Romans, Ephesus thrived, reaching the pinnacle of its greatness during the first and second centuries of the Christian era. At the time of Paul, Ephesus was probably the fourth largest city in the world, with a population estimated at 250,000. During the reign of the emperor Hadrian, Ephesus was designated the capital of the Roman province of Asia. The grandeur of the ancient city is evident in the remains uncovered by archaeologists, including the ruins of the Artemision, the civic agora, the temple of Domitian, gymnasiums, public baths, a theatre with seating for 24,000, a library, and the commercial agora, as well as several streets and private residences. Also discovered were the head and forearm of a colossal statue of the emperor Domitian. Today the Turkish town of Seljuk occupies the site of ancient Ephesus. Holman Bible Dictionary)

* Paul stopped by Ephesus only a short time at the end of his second missionary trip, making him perhaps the pioneering missionary. (Acts 18:18-21). Aquila AND Priscilla were with Paul and stayed their for a time and is perhaps mentioned in (4:19). Apollos was discovered there and converted by them from Jewism. (Acts 18:26) Paul, on his third journey, spent more than two years in Ephesus teaching and preaching in the synagogue and in the hall of Tyrannus until he was forced to leave. (Acts 19:24-41) Christian tradition from the second century and later claimed that the apostle John moved to Ephesus, and after living to an old age, died a natural death there.

* Paul stated that he should "command certain men." As noted above Timothy was the pastor, meaning he was chosen and appointed by the elders (1 Tim. 4:13) and Paul agreed, to be the one responsible for building up the congregation in the faith and service of the Lord Jesus Christ.

>What can you say about his situation in Ephesus at that time?

* Timothy needed to be strengthened and encouraged. Persecution from without and challenges from within were exasperated with Paul's imprisonment and pending death.

>What does Paul say about Timothy's faith? (5)

* 2 Timothy 1:5 "I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also."

* "sincere faith" -a true believer, having no fault, pure, not deceitful.

>What might have been his spiritual condition at this time?

* Weak and timid.

* Timothy seems to have backed away from the ministry that was given him for he needed to be encouraged to get back to it.

>4. Why might a person with sincere faith like Timothy be fearful?

* Persecution from without and challenges from within were exasperated with Paul's imprisonment and pending death. The church seemed helpless and weak compared to the power of Rome to Timothy as more and more believers left Rome and Italy and moved into or through Ephesus and all of Asia Minor. Also, false teachers had swayed the hearts of many.

>Where does the spirit of fear come from? (Romans 8:15, Hebrews 2:14-15)

* Romans 8:15 "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."

* Hebrews 2:14-15 "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil-- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death."

* Fear of death is the tool of the devil, that is Satan. Jesus sets us free from the fear of death because he conquered death for us. We will rise with him.

>How can God's servants overcome their fear problem? (6; 1 Cor. 12:1-11, 28; Acts 2:38)

* 2 Timothy 1:6 "For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands."

* 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 "Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines."

* 1 Corinthians 12:28 "And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues."

* Acts 2:38 "Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

* "fan into flame" -The embers are there meaning the Holy Spirit is in all of us, given to all true believers in Jesus. To "fan into flame is described in Acts as being "full of the Spirit". (Acts 6:3, 6:5, 7:5, 11:24) "Fan into flame" implies that we have to do something. What is needed? A healthy personal relationship with Jesus. Therefore, go to him with prayer and fasting! Jesus said, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matt. 7:7-11)

* "gift" -The Greek word here is "charisma". In its seventeen uses in the New Testament it is always translated gift or free gift.

* "the gift of God" -Each true believer in Jesus is given at least one gift of the Holy Spirit at any given time, yet the initial gift given is seldom changed in a persons life. A gift is given freely. Some have more gifts than others, with an apostle displaying them all.

* The Holy Spirit gives many kinds of gifts, at least one to each believer in Jesus. A believer must use the gift God has given us. Find out what gift Jesus has given through the Spirit and develop that one gift.

* "through the laying on of my hands" -A sign of given another person their blessing and support.

* Timothy needed a balance of power, love and self discipline. Power alone will crush others. Love alone can't lead others. Self discipline alone will forget others. Power is consistently overcoming. Love is taking care of others needs first. Self discipline is denial and control over ones body.

>5. Where does the spirit of power come from?

* 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."

* "give us" -Not you, or me, but "us". Paul softened the challenge and at the same time set the truth that the Holy Spirit empowers us.

* "a spirit of timidity" -Lacking self-confidence; shy, fearful and hesitant; problems that call for bold, not timid responses. Other Bible translations have interpreted this, "For God did not give us a spirit or fear..." and "a spirit of cowardice." Many Christians have become cowards when it comes to sharing the gospel. They hid behind excuses like, "I don't know what to say," and "I've messed it up before," and "I'm not trained in that." Behind the excuses is the reality of fear; they are afraid of sharing the gospel. I am not saying we shouldn't be trained. God has provided excellent ministries for such reasons like Evangelism Explosion. Every city has some churches either using this ministries or has a clinic. No what I am saying is, "Fess-up! The reason you don't share the gospel is because you're afraid and ashamed, active as if you should apologize for even mentioning Jesus' name." Jesus said on the day of judgement he will be afraid of those who are ashamed of him. Having fear is not wrong; rather letting fear control us is wrong. J. Vernon McGee wrote, "Overcoming emotions means not letting your emotions stop you from doing something you should be doing. When you have a fear of flying, you discipline yourself to fly away. but you still live with your emotions. If you do like I do, you sit there on the plane, gritting your teeth and wondering how many more hours it will be, with every hour seeming like an eternity. If the plane starts bouncing around, I have a tendency to grab the seat in front of me. I know that the seat in front of me is not any safer that the seat I'm sitting in, but somehow I feel better when I have hold of it! Paul's admonition to Timothy is a wonderful help to me. god is telling me that I am not to be a defeated Christian; I should not let my emotions control my life." (Thru the Bible Commentary Series)

* "a spirit of power" -A spirit of power is listed for for Timothy was a leader of the church. This is not power over people (Mk. 10:42-43), but power to do what God called us to do; to have confidence in what we believe; outspoken, bold, quick to speak and act; that is, to stand up and be heard.

* Isaiah 51:12-16 states, "I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass, that you forget the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor, who is bent on destruction? For where is the wrath of the oppressor? The cowering prisoners will soon be set free; they will not die in their dungeon, nor will they lack bread. For I am the Lord your God, who churns up the sea so that its waves roar-- the Lord Almighty is his name. I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand-- I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, 'You are my people.'"

>How does the spirit of love drive out fear from the hearts of God's servants? (1 John 4:18, Romans 8:31)

* 1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."

* Romans 8:31 "What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?"

* Love is listed second for a leader for power left unchecked with destroy others and self. As the saying goes, "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely."

* Jesus' life with his disciples is an example for us on how to love.

* Without love all service is in vain.

>Why is it essential for God's servants to maintain the spirit of self-discipline?

* Self discipline is listed third. Self-discipline is needed to keep the first two in balance and to keep the first two alive in our hearts. Timothy had lost both except for their embers.

* Even in a dungeon Paul had power and love.

* Richard J. Foster's short book Celebration of Disciples is a good source on the subject of self-discipline.

II. Join with me in Suffering for the Gospel (8-18)

>6. Why might Timothy be ashamed of Paul or the gospel? (8a)

* 2 Timothy 1:8a "So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner."

* "do not be ashamed" -1 Corinthians 1:18 states, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

* "to testify about our Lord" -This is to witness to others.

* "ashamed" -Even in this generation it is not easy to associate one's self with a criminal. Jesus was considered a criminal and given the worse penalty. James the apostle was killed by a Roman court. Paul and other Christians were now in prison.

* In my youth being a Christian wasn't that shameful if a person kept their "religion in check" meaning they didn't make a subject of it. Now claiming to be a Christian brings sneers, jeers, and harsh words. Lately in many parts of the world Christians are attacked, jailed and killed. Soon, very soon, the Spirit is testifying, there will be a great persecution of the church, even greater than what Paul and the apostles experienced.

* Today many pastors and rabbis stand up on Sunday and preach that the Christian life ought to be very easy, nice, sweet and full of riches and blessings so that our neighbors are jealous. A great many people believe this. They see an indulgent heavenly father who is going to fill their pockets and make life trouble free. "Dance, sing, shout, wave flags and sing happy tones," they say. The Lord Jesus made it clear that we would have trouble. He said, "in the world you shall have trouble" (John 16:33) Christians who believe this are going to be shocked and are being shocked when they learn that they have been taught a lie so that they can be robbed. When the persecution increases the professions decrease and denials begin. When this happened they are replaced by true believers.

* Samuel Rutherford wrote, "If you were not strangers here, the hounds of the world would not bark at you."

>How does Paul challenge him to have a positive attitude toward suffering?

* 2 Timothy 1:8b "But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God,

* "join with me in suffering" -Timothy was shrinking away from testifying about Jesus because he saw how much suffering it had brought to other Christians. Paul encouraged him to join him in suffering.

>7. How can one participate in the suffering of Christ? (8b-9a)

* 2 Timothy 1:8b-9a "But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace."

* "for the gospel" -There are many reasons people suffer. (See my introductions to the book of Job for a list.) Paul is only talking about suffering for the gospel, the message of the kingdom of God, the message of King Jesus.

* Be united with Jesus in spirit and mission.

* "by the power of God" -If Timothy would be full of the Holy Spirit he would have the power of God.

* "who has saved us" -Jesus saved us from sin and death. Paul reminds Timothy that the gospel he was afraid to share was how he was saved. If we are afraid to share that which saved us, how will others be saved?

>How might testifying about Jesus lead to suffering?

* "called us to a holy life" -One God saves us he calls us to a holy life. Ephesus and the Greek culture was filled with sins of all kinds especially sexual immorality. The young are especially tempted to commit them. God calls us from them to live a holy (separated and pure) life. The world finds the pure life strange. I've been persecuted so much because I've walked away from immoral jokes.

* "holy" -Means separate. Jesus prayed to his Father during the Last Supper, "I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified." (John 17:13-19)

* "not because of anything we have done" -We are not saved by our own work. There is nothing a person can do to be saved.

* "but because of his own purpose and grace" -God called us because he has a purpose for us. God's will can not be stopped. God's purpose will happen whether we resist it or embrace it.

>8. How is the grace of God revealed to us? (9b-10)

* 2 Timothy 1:9b-10 "This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel."

* "before the beginning of time" -God destined us before the creation of all things to receive the grace of God.

* "it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior" -When Jesus came he revealed how God was going to save people from the sin nature inherited by Adam and the effects that sin brings.

* "our Savior, Christ Jesus" -There is no other name a person can be saved by.

* Jesus has done three things:
    1) destroyed death
    2) brought life
    3) brought immortality to light

* "through the gospel" -Preaching the gospel may lead another to listen and believe, and thus receive these three things.

>What is his purpose of calling and saving us?

* God wants us to participate with him in the gospel work and live a holy life.

>9. How can Paul confidently encourage Timothy to join him in suffering for the gospel?

* We will not die so we need not fear death.

* Jesus suffered and died and received glory and honor.

* Paul gives himself as an example too.

>Why wasn't Paul ashamed of his suffering and of the gospel? (11-12)

* 2 Timothy 1:11-12 "And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day."

* Paul had personal faith in God's call and love.

* "he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him" -Paul did not entrust salvation to him for he already had the free gift of salvation. Paul entrusted the good works he did after salvation to God. The works of obedience to God were given to God knowing that God rewards those who earnestly seek him. The Lord told Abraham after he saved Lot from enemies, gave a tenth to Melchizedek, and gave all the spoils of war to the king of Sodom, "I am your great reward."

* "for that day" -The day we will each, one-by-one stand before Jesus at the Bema seat. 2 Corinthians 5:10 and Romans 14:10 tell us that believers will be brought into examination before the Son of God, the King and their Bridegroom. The New Testament uses the Greek word Bema for this judgment seat. Bema means a raised platform which had a seat on it. Sale-Harrison wrote in the book The Judgment Seat of Christ, “In the Grecian games in Athens, the old arena contained a raised platform on which the president or umpire of the arena sat. From here he rewarded all the contestants; and here he rewarded all winners. It was never used as a judicial bench.” Paul used the Athens' games as an example of his goal to gain a prize and a crown. (1 Cor. 9:24-27, and 2 Tim. 2:5, 4:6-8, Phil. 4:1, and 1 Th. 2:19)

>What can you learn about Paul's faith through this?

* 2 Timothy 1:13-14 "What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you--guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us."

* Resurrection faith leads to witnessing faith.

* Resurrection faith overcome fear.

* Believe in the power of the gospel.

* "pattern of sound teaching" -Paul's message was based on Jesus' teaching. We should base the gospel message on Jesus and his teaching which includes the whole Bible.

* "pattern" -When making clothes one follows a pattern so that the cloth is the same as the pattern.

* "guard the good deposit" -Some say that the deposit mentioned is the gospel. Perhaps they are right, but I am inclined to say that the Holy Spirit is given to us in this life as a deposit for what awaits us. A down deposit is a portion of what is to be totally given as a type of promissory note of more to come. So I believe the gifts of God that come by the Holy Spirit are the good deposit.

* The Holy Spirit brings satisfaction to Jesus' people. (Rom. 8) The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Gal. 5:22-26) In prior ages only a few received the Spirit of God from time to time. In this age all believers receive the Spirit. (Acts 2:16-21, and 1 Cor. 6:19, Eph. 1:13) Yet the measure of the Holy Spirit given in this age is small compared to the measure given when we leave this age.
Imagine you're in a hot sandy dry desert. All you know of and have been given to cool off and refresh in is a shower of cool water that you can access any time. It cleanses and strengthens you. You drink from it and your body and soul are soothed. You enjoy the shower and thank God for it because it enables you to get through the desert's torturous heat. Then one day you are introduced and given complete and unending access to a large pool of fresh clear cool water and around the pool is an oasis that stretches to the horizon. Suddenly the desert becomes a very enjoyable playground full of unending laughter and joy. The measure of the Spirit given in this life is like the shower. The measure of the Spirit given in our future is like the pool. (Rom. 8:18-26, Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:13-21)
Romans 5:1-5 states, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

* The above is from the manuscript The Believer's Future - Hope that Inspires.

* "faith and love in Christ Jesus" -Faith and love for a Christian is from union with Jesus.

>10. Who had discouraged Paul and Timothy?

* 2 Timothy 1:15 "You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes."

* "everyone in the province of Asia" -Those who left Rome and ran to the Roman province of Asia Minor. Ephesus was in Asia Minor. Roman and Ephesus was separated by a Sea.

* "Phygelus and Hermogenes" -They are now called apostate Christians meaning one who abandons one's religion.

>Why?

* They deserted him. They left Rome when the persecution started. At the beginning of the persecution Paul was arrest and hidden in a dark secret dungeon. Only one person looked for him. The rest ran away in fear, leaving without even looking for Paul.

* Acts 19:8-10, 22

>Who is the soldier of Christ, Paul introduces?

* 2 Timothy 1:16-18 "May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus."

* "Onesiphorus" -Probably lived in Ephesus, but did business in Rome too.

* "find mercy from the Lord on that day!" -Again Paul is referring to the Bema seat. Not all will find mercy there. Jesus, in one of his parables speaks of a servant who is beaten severely.

* "You know very well... Ephesus" -He must have been in the habit of helping people even when it could mean personal trouble.

>What can we learn with Timothy from his courage and faith?

* Support the pastors and people suffering for the gospel work.

>What kind of personal decision and commitment must Timothy have in order to be a good soldier of Christ?

* A good one.

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