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Pastoral Epistles - Lesson 16

2 Timothy 1:12–18

Paul concludes his encouragement to Timothy, and points out examples of faithless friends, and of one faithful friend.

Bill Mounce
Pastoral Epistles
Lesson 16
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2 Timothy 1:12–18

2 Tim 1:1-14

1:12b — Paul now specifies why he is not ashamed

#8. Sometimes our confidence can carry a hurting friend through their difficult time

1. He knows God

2. Paul is “convinced” — based on experience

Translation issue

1:13-14 — Protect the gospel

Timothy is to be controlled by the gospel message he heard from Paul

#9. Encouragement can sometimes take the form of a warning

Guard the good deposit (v 14)

#10. Remind him where the strength comes from

2 Timothy 1:15–18

Different kind of passage

Friends who were failures (V 15)

“Turned away, deserted”

Remember the historical situation — especially painful

One friend who was victorious


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Transcript
  • Dr. Mounce introduces himself and covers the traditional issues in introductions, including his historical reconstruction of the writing and history behind the Pastorals, basic misconceptions people have of the Pastorals, and the survey of the critical issues often raised.

  • Paul begins by reminding Timothy of an earlier visit, and encourages Timothy to stay on at Ephesus, dealing with the issues in the church. Paul's goal is love, which stands in stark contrast to the work of the false teachers. Throughout 1 Timothy 1, Dr. Mounce is enumerating the ways in which Timothy (and we) should deal with false teaching.

  • Paul gives the theological argument up front as to why the false teachers were wrong and Timothy needs to silence them. They are legalists, applying the Mosaic Law to all Chrsitians. Rather, salvation is by God's mercy and grace as seen in Paul's conversion. But things have gotten bad in Ephesus, and Paul had to take a firm stance on dealing with two of the leaders of the opposition.

  • Having looked at the core teaching on why the false teachers were wrong, the class now looks at the other main pasages in the Pastorals that deal theologically with the false teaching.

  • Paul begins a two chapter discussion on issues of leadership in the Ephesian church. He begins by critiquing their habit of praying only for some people, which shows their legalistic way of looking at salvation. Then he deals with issues of public worship, first men then women. These are issues that the leaderhip should have been dealing with but most likely were being caused by poor leadership.

  • While this paragraph is not a matter of orthodoxy, it is nevertheless important since there are so many women in the church. Paul lays out the basic principle that women should learn with a submissive attitude, and then restates that principle with an eye to application; they cannot teach certain people in certain situations. Paul looks to the pre-Fall creation and the relationship that Adam and Eve were created to fulfill, and then spells out a consequence of what happens when that relationship is not honored. Because Paul references Genesis 2 and not Genesis 3, this is not a cultural teaching but transcultural.

  • After dealing with some questions, the class resumes by finishing the last two verses in chapter 2.

  • Paul gives four basic requirements for the leaders of a church. He beghins by emphasizing that leadership is a good thing and insists that leaders must be a certain kind of person, a person's who character is above repreoach. To appoint unqualified people to leadership is a sin, and those appointing them share in the responsibiiltiy when they fail and damage the church. But elders must also have a proven managerial ability of people, be spiritually mature, and have a good reputation in the eyes of people outside the church.

  • We conclude our discussion of elders by looking at two other passages on the role, Titus 1:5–9 and 1 Timothy 5:17–25.

  • We now move into the discussion of deacons in 1 Tim 3:8–13. There is much overlap between elders and deacons, and yet deacons are more involved in the day-to-day service of the church and are not required to be able to teach. The major interpretive decision is in v 11 as to whether it refers to women (i.e., deaconnesses) or wives (of the deacons).

  • This paragraph is the heart of the letter, putting everything that Paul has been discussing into perspective and giving it context. The church is precious, and we should protect the gospel because of the truths it teaches.

  • Paul goes back to addressing the needs of the Ephesian church. He deals in summary fashion with people of different ages, with a special note of concern for Timothy in how he deals with young women, which leads him into a discussion of young widows. His concern is that the church care for those who are "truly widows," i.e., who are old, truly alone, and have lived godly lives. Younger widows, however, should remarry and not burden the church. The church has limited resources, and it should initially care for those who are the most vulnerable.

  • Paul concludes his letter with a series of different and not always related topics. He deals with slaves, and begins to lay the groundwork for abolition, gives Timothy two tests for correct theology and spells out the download spiral and eventual destruction of the false teacher especially related to their love of money, and then encourages Timothy three ways. And in proper biblical fashion, he concludes with a doxology. The final paragraph (skipped by Dr. Mounce, is a final word to the rich in the church and a final plea to Timothy to be careful.

  • Most of the content of Titus has been covered in the lectures over 1 Timothy. However, the letter does have something to add to the discussion of leadership, and its two salvific hymns raise the issue of the reationship between justification and sanctification.

  • Paul begins his letter to his best friend by encouraging him to continue in ministry. If ever there were a model for how you encourage someone, especially someone who looks up to you, this is the chapter. The best thing you can do is find how many ways Paul encourages Timothy, and then see how to apply those points in your own life and ministry.

  • Paul concludes his encouragement to Timothy, and points out examples of faithless friends, and of one faithful friend.

  • Paul continues to encourage the discouraged Timothy, reminding him of the glorious gospel that he proclaims. Even if Paul himself is bound, the gospel is not.

  • The false teachers come back into view with a strong emphasis on Timothy's need to remain faithful. But the encouragement is that God's foundation in Timothy's life, and others, is sealed with a promise, and yet Timothy must also pursue righteousness and flee evil. Paul uses his own life as an example of faithfulness, and concludes with a strong admonition to preach the gospel because it comes from the very mouth of God.

  • Paul concludes his discussion of the role of Scripture in Timothy's life, reminding Timothy of Paul's own life of faithfulness. Paul makes some personal remarks about a few people, and references his final trial. He knows he will die, but death is merely a loosening.

The Pastoral Epistles contain some of the most practical advice in the New Testament. Learn how to handle heresy, appoint qualified leaders, take care of those who may not be able to care for themselves, and especially how to encourage one another in ministry. Titus alone contains two of the most powerful salvific statements in all of Scripture. These 13 chapters are worth studying.

Pastoral Epistles

Dr. Bill Mounce

nt630-16

2 Timothy 1:12–18

Lesson Transcript

 

Okay, getting back on the verse 12, which is why I suffer as I do. But I'm not ashamed for I know whom I have, believe it and then persuade, you know. I know whom I have believed. And I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day the Capitol deeming the day of judgment. Until that day what was entrusted to me in terms of encouragement before we actually know the meaning of the verse. The encouragement is, is that sometimes we have to experience has to help us become convinced that something is true, doesn't it? And once the experiences of life have taught us to be deeply convinced that something is true, that conviction is something that we hang onto, even when times get difficult, whether it is being convinced about your calling or convinced about, um, you know, the truth, the scripture, You know, when I was teaching in college, you know, you go through the doctrines of inspiration, inerrancy, infallibility, authority can and necessity, all that kind of stuff. And, you know, you given the students the data, but you know very well that it's just going to be data until they're actually up against difficult situations in life. And they have to choose whether they really do believe that the Bible is true or not. You know, the famous story of Billy Graham, where he got to a point in his young life where he simply had to make a choice. He had a friend that was was being lured away by liberal theology and was trying to pull Billy Graham after him. And and Billy Graham just tells the story in his autobiography, how he just sat down and said, okay, I'm in a conflict situation. I'm in a difficult situation.

 

My good friend is going this direction and doesn't trust the Bible. I have to believe I have to trust the Bible. And it was some of the difficult things in life, in his case, a relational conflict that that brought about a deep conviction that the Bible is true. And so I'm always trying to encourage students and people in the church that, you know, it's one thing to, you know, be taught by mommy that the Bible is true, but that doesn't hold you through the difficult times of life. You have to become convinced, right? You have to be convinced. And you will get convinced not in an academic, sterile setting. We get convinced when life gets difficult. And so one of the encouragements is just that. Paul is reminding Timothy that in the sum total of the experiences of my life, what they've done is that they they brought me to a point of deep conviction that the gospel is true and it's worth suffering for. So just the whole role of experience and being convinced, I think is a is a source of encouragement. Now, my memory was right, even though it was foggy, it was right, and it doesn't always happen that way. This is an interesting passage and this is where, again, if you see footnotes in the ESV, there's something really, really, really important going on. There are people like the Net Bible that then there are 60,000 or whatever it is, footnotes. And I love the net, I love the footnotes and I use them extensively. But there's something about in translation theory that that if you're not going to use footnotes unless you absolutely have to. There's something about that approach to translation that makes translation longer, but it makes it's better.

 

You just you got to fight to the to the point of you have a vote and you have the majority and you say this is what most of us think diverse means. And sometimes you can kind of opt out early if there's footnotes that make sense. And the ESV was very much man. There is not going to be a footnote unless unless we're deadlock. Um, and so when you see a footnote in the ESV and Ivy is a bit that way to it's not quite as adamant I don't think, as the ESV, but it's pretty adamant that we should get the text as right as we can and then that's it. So if you look at the ESV on this, it reads. Um. Which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he is able to guard. Until that day, what has been entrusted to me now? What has been entrusted to Paul? Most likely the gospel. And what Paul is saying is that despite the persecution, I am convinced that God is able to guard the gospel no matter what happens to me until the end of time. And so the deposit is the gospel and it's God who is doing the entrusting to Paul. Now, if you take the footnote, it says or what I have entrusted to him. Now, what is Paul entrusted to God? His life. Most likely. And so Paul is saying, no matter how much persecution and again, we know from later on his second term is that Paul knows he's going to die. Paul's saying all the persecution, all suffering doesn't really matter. I'm convinced that that I have entrusted my life to God and he is able to take care of that.

 

And then in the ESV, it says Greek my deposit. And the Greek is really that obtuse. It simply says. Um. I am persuaded that able he is the, uh, deposit of mine or the deposit of me to guard. Thank you. I was two verses later. Thanks. Yeah. My deposit. The deposit of me to guard. So the Greek is. Is really obtuse, if that's the right word, is just. It's not clear at all. So it's either would guard God is entrusted to Paul or what's Paul is guarded to and entrusted to guard. But whatever specifically means, it is an encouragement that Paul, through experience, has become absolutely convinced that God is able to do what he says He's going to do. This is one of the reasons this is one of the verses I go to. By the way, when I talk about that, I don't really believe in the perseverance and the saints. I believe in God's perseverance. I believe in the perseverance of God, because I think that puts the emphasis where it's supposed to be. It's on God's faithfulness to continue to enable me to respond in faith, regardless of how difficult the situation is. But anyway, the source of encouragement is that is being encouraged to the experiences of life. Okay, I muddle through that. I'm sorry, but is that clear? Yeah. The arguments on going either way are pretty strong. This is not a cut and dry kind of thing. Paul continues to follow the pattern of the sound words, the words that you heard from me, and follow those things in faith and love. The faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. I think it's kind of interesting that again, again, remember how difficult the situation is. Paul is saying be sure that you follow the gospel message, the core gospel message, the pattern of sound words in faith, in other words, continue to be faithful to the teachings of the text, continue to be faithful to the teachings of, let's say, orthodoxy to use a later word in faith is one of those.

 

This is the creedal use of the word faith. And he's saying, make sure you stick to the faith. You keep keep what you believe. True. But he also said, continue to follow the gospel message in love. And this is, again, that same message that we saw at the end of first Timothy four, that Timothy, you have to do the right thing in the right way. And it's really easy, isn't it? Especially when you have institutional power to use that power to do the right thing in the wrong way, to not do things in love. And Paul is reminding Timothy again how how important it is, is that he, as he follows up the gospel as he performs his ministry. Make sure you do it in love. There is an allusion in segments of the church that doctrinal purity is enough in and of itself. All you really have to do is say the right thing. That's all that really matters is say the right thing. Get your theology right because everything is about theology. And if that were true, you wouldn't have needed the second statement. He simply could have said, follow the pattern of the sound words in the faith that isn't Jesus. But he adds love. And so it's so important, isn't it, to do the right thing in the right way. Sometimes I'm more I was looking at my notes last night and I said, that line doesn't make any sense to me at all. Then I realized I was being sarcastic and it didn't come through in my notes. Sarcastically. Sometimes I say the greatest commandment is to be right. It's part of my heritage, I think. But the most important thing is to be right. And then the second commandment is like the first.

 

Convince the other person you're right. But isn't that a sad commentary on many of our experiences in church? And I have a new line that I use. And it's a it's a very disarming line. And you're more than welcome to use it as that. Sometimes if I'm in a conflict situation and and, you know, if someone's trying to be right or something else. Well I'll say this comes out of repenting of religion or my reflection on or repenting of religion that the book. I go, I'm struggling a bit to know how your statement is an act of love. But. But I'm right. I'm not really talking about that right now. I'm asking you, how is what you're saying an act of love? It's a very disarming way to deal with the situation I've learned. And it comes from these kinds of statements that Timothy is to be orthodox in his faith. He is stick to what he knows is true. But you can do the right thing in the wrong way. And the right way is always the way of love. And if in pursuing doctrinal purity, we are not at the same time loving the other person, there's something wrong because the greatest commandment is not to be right. It is for the Pharisees. But it isn't for Jesus. The greatest commandment is to love. And even in the in the context of love, you can disagree and you can do all the things you need to do in ministry. In fact, I found. Have you guys found this? There's always two ways to say something. There's a loving way in a harsh way. And sometimes when I'm, you know, putting a sermon together and I was reading my notes and I go, Oh, that sounds harsh.

 

And one of the one of the things that I used to do is I would in my schedule at a block, a time where I did nothing but ask myself. I go through the sermon notes and I'd ask myself, How will people misunderstand this? How will people misunderstand that? And I it was one of the grids that I pushed the sermons through, because, you know, in this postmodern culture, communication is not what you see. It's what they hear. I hate it because I'm a words guy. But that's the nature of reality. And they will hold you responsible for how they hear it, not for what you say. And so it's really important, I think, in preaching and in teaching to work through and try to imagine how are people going to misunderstand this. And sometimes it pop up. That's kind of harsh. Okay. Is there another way to say this? And I don't think I it was ever the case that I couldn't find a loving way to say something. I still had to say things from time to time that were hard, that were confrontational. Um, you know, I remember one time, a couple months to their credit, much to their credit, came in and said, We have a real problem with how you preach. And I said, And I knew these people. I had known him for years. So I said, okay, tell me, tell me. He said, You sound like you're glad people are going to hell. And I said, Well, thank you for talking to me, because that is definitely not the case. Can you can you tell me? What I have said so that I could hear what you hear. And we went through it. I went, Yeah, yeah. I could see how somebody they were, they knew I wasn't glad people are going to hell, but they were they were really evangelistic oriented.

 

They're always bringing their neighbors in. So they were very, very sensitive to how a non-Christian would hear my sermon. And I went, You know, you're right. There's there's got to be a better way to say that, because I did sound harsh and it got through the grid and I didn't catch it. Um, so always be careful of how we say things, how people are going to hear you knowing that there's that there's possible to say the right thing or the wrong way and the grid is is this going to come across as a statement of love? It's I love you and I desperately do not want you to go to the one place in all reality where God is not. So I just this is why I think this is one thing that Paul is getting at here. Do these things in faith. Stick. Stick to your doctrinal guns, but do it in love. Do it in love. Then he says, by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us guard the good deposit entrusted to you. Now, in this particular case, the Greek is pretty clear that the deposit came from God, and it's entrusted to Timothy, which is one of the arguments. That's what he's saying up there in verse 12 as well. The counter argument is that makes him redundant. The counter counter argument is that Paul doesn't mind being redundant. But anyway, and again, this would be the final note. Whatever whatever number were on this would be the final note of encouragement. And that is to remind Timothy that the Holy Spirit dwells in Him and whatever he is called, to do whatever, guarding the good deposit, which in this case is the gospel, Right? The guarding of the gospel, the guarding the gospel by teaching it, by defending it, by arguing against people who don't agree with it.

 

These are all the ways we guard the good deposit. It's been it's been a deposit that's been entrusted to Timothy. But it's really cool because he's saying, God didn't just give you something that you have to do. Or he just didn't give you the gospel. Say, Say now, make sure it stays safe. But as is always the case in Paul, he emphasizes that it is God who is giving you something, giving you the power in this case, giving you the Holy Spirit, and is part of the power of God's spirit that Timothy is able to guard the gospel, that you and I are able to guard the gospel. So that is certainly a source of encouragement. Yeah, it got. Yeah. How do you guard the. How do you guard the gospel? What are ways in which you guard the gospel? You preach it. Preach it faithfully. You don't shy away from it. You're unashamed of the message. You guard the gospel by teaching it so that other people know it. I mean, I think this is what he means by guard. Yes. You guard you. Very good. You would guard the gospel by by living it out in love. I mean, the number one complaint against the church is that we're hypocrites, Right? And so these are people that that are not guarding the gospel because they will say the right things. But by the very where they live, the lives, they'll be denying the reality of it. Hence hypocrites and lopsidedly by the media as very good. You can be dead right and dead wrong. You can be dead right in the in the technical critical sense of what you're saying is biblically accurate. And you can be dead wrong because you're saying in such a way that you're not guarding it.

 

What he does then in 15 to 18 is that in one sense he's just conveying history to Timothy. But in another sense, he's holding up examples of what it means to guard the gospel. And I. I like that idea. I like that we have examples of how people do not guard the gospel. And then we have a wonderful example of how someone does guard the gospel. And so we start by talking about friends that have abandoned him. And these are people that aren't guarding the gospel that by their very lives are working against the cause of Christ. And so Paul says to Timothy, You're aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me. Now, remember, Ephesus is in Asia. Paul's over in Rome. So we're not sure exactly are these Asians who live in Asia or what? But basically, whatever, whatever the specifics are, is that he's been. Yeah. Or it's either Asians living in Asia or it's Christians from Asia living in Rome. And I think it's probably the latter. It says all who are in Asia, meaning all who are from Asia might be a better translation. I've been abandoned by by all the people from Asia. I'm all alone is the problem. I've been. I've been abandoned. I've been deserted. And again, this is not apostasy. This is just people disassociating themselves with Paul because it's very clear that Paul's going to be condemned in this second imprisonment. And then he surprisingly names two of them, among whom are fides and homogenize. So even these two people from Asia have abandoned me. Apparently, people that Timothy and the Fusion Church, I would guess, knew. Remember the historical situation. Remember how painful this abandonment probably was for Paul? He is in Rome.

 

He is in Rome, as he's going to say later on, a serious criminal. He when he talks about himself, it's not just as it's just chapter two, verse nine, that the word just that mean, you know, I've been accused of something. I'm being treated as a serious criminal. In fact, in 117, he's going to say that his friend on a sephora's searched hard for me. In other words, Paul was so deep in the Roman dungeons that on the surface couldn't find him. He says that honest difference was not ashamed of my chains. So Paul's is not in some kind of group holding cell. He's he's chained up somewhere again, where nobody where it's hard to find him. He was treated as a serious criminal. Then in chapter four, Paul is going to say that he knows he's going to die. So, I mean, that in himself is difficult enough, right? I mean, that's a hard situation to be treated like a really, really, really serious criminal. But then on top of it, he's being abandoned. All of the Asians living in Rome have disconnected themselves with him. FUDGE Listener MAGINNIS, Again, probably friends have disassociated with himself in 410. He is going to say Demas has abandoned him. And we know Demas from all the passages. Demas was part of Paul's inner circle and Demas has abandoned him. And in 416 is going to see no one no one to watch the actual word for six. 416 I'm sorry. 416 At my first defense, no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. This is the the first stage of in a Roman trying trial and the defendant will be brought forward. But normally people would come forward with them, people who would speak to his character or whatever.

 

This is the imagery of the parakeet, the pair of Cletus Holy Spirit, one who comes alongside, especially in a legal connotation. So on top of being a very st is a very serious criminal. Paul Paul is completely, almost completely abandoned. And these people just become examples of those who don't guard the gospel, who don't live out what the gospel really says. And they says, Well, let me tell you about one person who is guarding the gospel. Well, let me tell you, one person who has an abandoned me and it's only Severus. And he just it's like he's falling over himself to praise on a surface, she says, May the Lord grant mercy to the household of owner Sephora's, for he often refreshed me and he was not ashamed of my chains. But when he arrived in Rome, he searched for me earnestly. In other words, it was. He had a hard time finding me. I'm so far deep in the dungeons. He he searched for me and found me. And there's a play of words between the word found in the name on a surface that he who finds found me is that kind of thing. May the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day, and you will know all the services rendered in emphasis. In other words, he was a well-known person, the Fusion church that had helped Paul in his ministry a lot. Okay. That's a lot of different information and you have to kind of guess just a bit and how it all goes together. Here's my here's my best guess. My guess is that only Tsipras was an older Christian gentleman. Who died in the process of finding Paul. And the reason that's generally believed is that Paul says two things.

 

She says, May the Lord grant mercy to the household of honest difference. Why the household? Why not grant mercy to owners? Sephora's. Well, maybe it's on a difference in his family. Okay. But then down in 18, he says, May the Lord grant him to find mercy on that from the Lord on that day. In other words, may the Lord treat Him with mercy at the judgment seat. The possible implication is that only Sephora's died. And so Paul is looking forward to the next stage in on a cifers his life which is standing before judgment. So if that's if that's the case, then what it looks like is that honest difference was an older Christian gentleman who lived in Ephesus when he found out that Paul was in prison, perhaps when he found out that everyone else, all of his other friends were abandoning Paul. He got up and he went to Rome. And he couldn't find Paul and he but he wasn't going to give up. It was so important that he find Paul. And he looked. And he looked. He looked earnestly. And finally he found me and he refreshed me. Remember, Roman prisoners were responsible for their own keep. If they wanted clothing, if they wanted to eat, they had to provide it to their friends, had to provide it. The government didn't provide it. And so on. A sephora's refresh, Paul Probably clothing, most certainly food. And not only did he refresh me physically, but he wasn't embarrassed to me. He didn't care that I was in chains. And again, when you say he wasn't afraid, he was in shame because I was in chains. Is this not being a Bears? But he was willing to associate himself with me. He was putting himself in danger, Right.

 

Paul was a an almost condemned prisoner. And here's the owner, Sephora's hanging out with him. That's just something, isn't it? And he's still, he says. And if, in fact, only staffers died during this process. Paul's Paul's final statement is, Oh, God, be merciful to him, be merciful to his children. Now that honest difference is gone. I grant him mercy on the day of judgment. Becomes a very, very powerful example, doesn't it? Of real friendships, committed friendships, friendships in the Lord. Now, I don't normally guess. I think you've picked it up by now. I try not to read too much between the lines, but I think I think it's a pretty solid argument. And, you know, it's a pretty powerful example of an older guy risking life, which is exactly what he ended up doing to care for his friend Paul. And it's pretty cool picture.