Pastoral Epistles - Lesson 19

2 Timothy 4:3–22

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.

Bill Mounce
Pastoral Epistles
Lesson 19
Watching Now
2 Timothy 4:3–22

2 Timothy 3:10–4:8

Paul's example (3:10–13)

In the midst of suffering, preach the word! (3:14 — 4:8)

Why do we believe?

All Scripture is God-breathed (vv 16-17)

Warning: there will inevitably be conflict when the word is preached (4:3–4)

How is Timothy to repsond? (4:5 )

The crown of righteousness (4:6-8)

“Poured out like a drink offering”

Paul’s life is a “living sacrifice” to God.

V 7

1. “I have fought the good fight”

2. “I have finished the race”

3. “I have kept the faith”

4:8a — Paul’s reward

V 8b — Paul’s application to Timothy


May our lives be offerings poured out to God

May death be merely a loosening as we sail into real life with God

2 Timothy 4:9–22






Historical setting (4:16-18)

“First defense”


“Bring safely”

  • 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


2 Timothy 4:3–22

Lesson Transcript


I didn't realize how close we were to actually finishing. I may not have had a break, but let's get through the rest of the second Timothy. And just there's a couple of things that are really important to point out. Yeah. And this is the race passage. Took me a second to figure out what you were doing over there. First. Second. Timothy 413. The reason that Paul is encouraging Timothy to preach the word to be ready in season and out is because first three, the time's coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into the myths. In other words, the time is coming. This is just a generic last day kind of prophetic statement that there comes a point in time where people don't want to hear the truth. I have no intention of hearing the truth. They simply want to hear whatever they want to hear. And Paul says, Those days are coming. And I would say that they have come. Yep. And, uh, v So you need to preach. Why? You can. As for you, always be sober minded, endure suffering. Do the work of an evangelist. I think that's the one time Timothy is called an evangelist. Really? Talk about the gifts that were prophesied over and one of them was evangelism. Fulfill your ministry. In other words, complete your task. The reason it's so important that Timothy complete his task is that Paul's ministry is done. This is where we see very clearly the difference between the first and the second Roman imprisonment and the first Roman imprisonment. Paul is very clear that he expects to be exonerated.


He expects to be released this time. He knows it's done. It is done. I'm not I'm not going to get out this time, he says. I am already being poured out as a drink. Offering. Drink offering was the sacrificial right. They did it in different circumstances, such as the Olympic Games and basically saying My life is a living. Sacrifice has been poured on. It's the libation poured out on the altar of God. I'm I'm all poured out. The time of my departure has come. The word translated departure is actually the word loosening. It's it's a euphemism for dying. But I thought about this. I go, What a wonderful euphemism for dying. We're just being loosened or just being loosened from this life and moving into that which is true life. And it's really it's it's a great metaphor, isn't it? For loosening. Uh, about a. Two years ago, I think it was. We were in translation committee and Gordon Feed told us that he had just been diagnosed as having Alzheimer's. And we were I mean, we were all really sad because we were it's all we all love him to pieces. But it was he's such a valuable member of the committee and we didn't want to lose him for the committee, but got out of their plans. And I talked to him afterwards about it and I said, How are you doing? I mean, here's the man that brought academic respectability to Pentecostalism all by himself. I mean, his book on On the Spirit is just a phenomenal book. And I said, you know, certainly, God, you deserve to be around longer. But that was not what Gordon said. He said, You know, Sybil. It's been a good run. That was it. That was the evaluation of his life.


It's been a good run. And I thought about that in conjunction with this passage. Man, I hope when I'm diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's or whatever cancer or whatever it is, what's going to get me in the end? Um, I hope I can look back at my life and say that was a good run and it's time the race is over and it's time just to be loose and from this life and to go to life that is real life. I mean, I hope I have that in me. Um, but that's how Paul thought about it. He goes to the time departures comes is going to get loosened from this world. I just think the imagery is is really, really powerful. And then he says, I fought the good fight. Famous first. I have fought the good fight. And it's not that he did a good job fighting. He's saying that the fight was inherently good, right? The fight of the gospel is a good fight. It's worth fighting for as I have fought the good fight. You know, I finished the race. I I've done all that I was called to do. And I have kept the faith. I have been absolutely trustworthy. I have not I have not stopped I have not altered the gospel. I have been true to it. And then he says, henceforth, here's all that's left for me. Henceforth there laid up for me the crown of righteousness. Now, what did Paul just skip? This thing is kind of interesting. Skip dying. He's saying all that's left is the crown. That's kind of cool. Life is loosening. Death isn't really an event. The only thing that's left for Paul is I get my crown. And again, as I mentioned before, I'm not a I'm not a rewards guy.


If God wants to give me rewards, that's fine. I have no idea what they would be. I can't imagine anything better than well-done, good and faithful servant. I just I mean, I talk to people about rewards. I go, What do you want? A bigger house, The millennium. You want to rule over more cities like the parable talking about it as my definition of health. Administrative responsibilities over a large number of people. You know, I just look at him and I just said that there are anyway, I think our I think our reward is our salvation. I think it is our crown. It is our good job, Bill. Well done, good and faithful servant. Anyway, I could be wrong in that. I don't think so. But we're going to get our crown of righteousness, which we get to drop right away. Right. Actually, no. I was thinking of Murli Mat and we went to India and they gave us. What would you call them? The flower things. I forget the name, but it's just a standard Indian way of greeting. And when they they put it on Murli, he took off right away. Murli was our Indian partner in a friend in India, and they put him on me. I didn't know any better. I left it on and I preached my lesson. I thought it'd be rude to take these flowers. I've taken like a laze. What to look like. Well, found out later. It's you need to take them off. And because otherwise you're separating yourself out. Is that a fair way to say it? Something like that. And. But at least we know when we get our crowns, the whole point will be to take them off and give them back because that they belong at the feet of Jesus later.


For me, the crown of righteousness that the Lord will award to me on that day, the righteous judge. And not only to meet Timothy, he says, but to everyone who is loved appearing. So again, he is encouraging Timothy the just as this is what I have a head for me. So also you who love the Lord, who look forward to his return. We to you too, are looking forward to your crown of righteousness. That you get to give right back to them by addition. It is some interesting discussion of what is the crown of righteousness. And for some people it is the crown which is righteousness. And we are declared righteous at our conversion. But when all sin is removed, in a sense we will, I don't want to say will be more righteous word right now because of what Christ has done. We're fully righteous. But the ideal, the crown, is the fact that we are righteous in heaven. Something along those lines. There's a singer named Steve Camp that has got some amazing lyrics, and he's got a song that says, I know someday I will be free and the weight of sins shall be released. But until then, he covers me. And, you know, someday this battle with sin is going to be over, isn't it, y'all? I mean, someday, uh, every. Fiber of our being. Every cell of our body will have skin pulled out of the very DNA of every cell. You know, there are certain events that are non repeatable in all eternity. And I and I try to visualize those and think about them the first time, opening our eyes in eternity and what it's going to be like. Um, but I think the first time we see the Lord, the first time we see all of our sin for what it is giving account for every careless word we've ever said, and it's finally getting it through my thick skull.


What a sinner I really am and how great his love and mercy is to save someone like me. Because I wouldn't know the depth of his love until I know the depth of my sin. And I won't know the depth of my sin. And I can see it all in one place. And that's not going to happen until judgment day. So there are these different events that I'm really looking forward to. So that just because no matter for how many trillions of millennia I live, I'll never experience those things again. But certainly the the day and I don't know when it's going to happen. I can't figure out the eschatology of it, but the day in which sin is removed from every pore of our body, every cell in our body, sin is going to be removed and we're going to be clean in a way that we've never been clean before. I look forward to that. I look forward to that. And I think that's when when righteousness takes its full effect and and sin is gone. What a wonderful day that's going to be. The crown of righteousness will be rewarded to everyone who loves his appearing. Well, then he does. But Paul then does is he really just gets down to business and has a bunch of practical matters. He says, Please come to come and see me soon. Verse nine Demus in love with the world's deserted me. He's taken off too first. So like, we don't know, assuming because it's in love with the present world. The dream is not only left, Paul, but he left the faith. It looks like he apostasy is. Cresent has gone to Glacier Glacier. Um. Oh, I don't have a word here. Who went to Dalmatia? So Titus went to Dalmatia.


Thinks I'd better fix it. Luke alone is with me. Hmm. I wonder why Luke is there. Maybe he's writing Second Timothy Denmark and bring him with me, for he's very useful for me in ministry. So neat picture reconciliation, isn't it? This is the John Mark that abandoned him and split Paul and Barnabas second missionary journey. Evidently there was some reconciliation and Mark was part of Jump Paul's ministry again and enticing, as I've said to emphasize. In other words, this is one of your replacements. And when you come bearing the cloak I left with carpets of Tropez, bring the books, but really bring those parchments. Uh, we have no idea what the parchments were, but Paul really wanted to see them. It's interesting. He asked for the cloak again. He's probably down the hall. And he's probably very cold. And so he just thinking very practically. Charles Swindell is a very famous sermon on this verse, but practical. Bring the cloak, bring the books, bring the parchments. These is watch out for Alexander Again, we don't know, but this probably is the Alexander that gets excommunicated in chapter one. Alexander the Coppersmith, the great Harm and the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Um. Revenge is not a bad thing. It's a God thing, right? Vengeance is a God thing. And, um, Paul is willing to turn over vengeance about Alexander to God. It's one of the kind of interesting ways to reconstruct the facts is you wonder if Alexander is this efficient elder that was helping to cause the problems. Paul excommunicated him. And so in revenge, Alexander got Paul rearrested. That's that's one way to to look at the details of it, which probably means Alexandra wasn't Paul's best friend. But he said Alexander did a lot of harm to me, the Lord.


But the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Vengeance is a God thing. But he says, Beware of them. Be careful. Watch out for innocents, doves and the shrewdest snakes is hard, isn't it? And he's saying, be really careful of Alexander. He strongly opposed our message, so be careful of them. Then in verse 16, we have this reference to this first stage of the Roman trial where Paul would come and the charges would be read and it would be an initial defense, and usually someone would have stood by him and vouched for his character and that kind of stuff. Paul says, In my first defense, no one came to stand by me that everybody deserted me. And we've already looked at some of the desertions in Second Timothy one because may not be charged against them. Please forgive them, Lord. Um, you know that basically I'm going to do what Jesus did on the cross. Then he says, But I wasn't really alone. He said, The Lord stood by me and strengthened me. And because it was the Lord who was standing by me and strengthening me at my trial. The message was fully proclaimed All the Gentiles here might hear it. See that the Gospel has now officially spread, hasn't it? From Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth, even to the Imperial Court in Rome, we now got the spread of the Gospel, complete through all the ancient world. All the Gentiles can hear it, he says. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth, and the Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom. You go, Wait a minute, Paul. You know you're going to die. And he goes, That's not the point.


So I've been rescued in the sense that God has kept me faithful to the very end. And and I'm going home to my reward. I'm going home to my to God's glory. God's rescued me. He's bringing me home at this point. That's my rescue. I was rescued. We don't know whether whether he actually was put in the arena with lions and he was saved from it or whether the lions is metaphorical for the Alexander and the other charges that were brought against him. But whatever they were, he says, I wasn't alone and God didn't fail me. He stood by me and he rescued me and he's going to bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom, to him, be glory forever and ever. And then he concludes. Say hi to Priscilla and Akilah. Say Hey, little Southerner. Right. Okay. Say, Hey, do you all say that, North Carolina? Do you say say hey, instead of say say hello? It's like, okay. All right, all right. Yeah, I, I say, Hey, Goober, I don't think I would say that, but one of my few Southern expressions I picked up at Kentucky, it said, Say hey to the household of honest difference. Why not? Honest difference is probably dead. He's probably gone home. So say hey to the household of on a surface Arastoo stated cause troll for Miss got sick. I had to leave in my lettuce. In other words, this is what happened. Probably after Paul got arrested and was being taken back to Rome. Do your best to come before winter. In other words, Paul didn't know when his execution was going to happen, and he really wanted to see Timothy because once winter hits, travel stops on the Mediterranean and he wants to see Timothy for sure before he dies, do your best to come before winter.


You business. I'm not sure how to say it. It's a I'm assuming it's a Latin name sends greetings to you, as do Prudence and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers. In other words, this. These are the brothers of the Roman church. And then it concludes, the Lord, be with your spirit, Grace. Be with you all. Unfortunately, we don't know if Timothy made it. Uh, there's. There's just nothing in church history. Uh, but I hope that, uh, God made sure that Timothy was able to get there before he died. Um, it's in the commentary, but according to church tradition, Paul was taken out to was there on the Appian Way and was beheaded in A.D. 67 and the end of his life. Well, that's the rose then. And and know we spread quickly through Titus and second Timothy. But, um. Karl. I do so much in four days. So thank you guys for the opportunity. It's been a pleasure. And I suspect I'll be seeing some of you again. Thanks.