EXEGETICAL PAPER 1 9
Paulwrote the second epistles to Timothy when he was imprisoned in Rome.At this time, Paul knew that his life will end sooner and thissetting saw him charge Timothy to conduct his ministry according towhat he had learned from Paul and from scriptures. He urged Timothyto aspire to become a “special utensil for every good work. In 2Timothy 3:1-17, Paul encourages sound doctrine and warns of difficulttimes in the last days. He described the conditions during thesetimes in his letter to Timothy, and comments on Christ suffering. Thegospel has dangerous enemies and for one to succeed, the HolyScripture should be understood and followed. In difficult times, thebible is useful and very reliable in life since it is “God-breathed”.
Paulwas a Hebrew and was brought up in religious ways (Phil. 3:5).Initially, he used to persecute Christians in Jerusalem but he wasconverted on his way to Damascus. His conversion and call can befound in the book of Acts. The Damascus road encounter transformedhim from a sinner to a saint. This chapter of 2 Timothy outlinesabout the great apostasy, an example of a Christian according to Pauland the inspiration of the scriptures. First this paper will analyzethe dangers of apostasy and how Christians can stand against it.Secondly, an example of a Christian and how they can persevere in thedifficult times is discussed. Lastly, the scripture is an inspirationand useful for teaching the gospel of truth
In2 Timothy 3:2-4, the verses start by describes the future times forPaul and Timothy. The bible in both the new and the Old Testamentdescribes the last days as that time of pre-rapture. Thecharacteristic of the times before Jesus second coming is describedas filled with self-centeredness and justification where people willfocus of themselves and use God to hide their hostility andpervasions. On the other hand, these last days are described in Luke21:8 as where many false prophets, wars and many will persecute therighteous. Timothy was challenged to persevere in these difficulttimes by holding fast the sound doctrine and defend it against thefalse teachings. In addition, Paul advises Timothy that he must payattention and keep off from evil men. At the time this letter waswritten, the apostle was undergoing persecution. It was important forboth Timothy and other God’s workers to know of the times ahead andbecome prepared to deal with all the adversities. As a result, thosewho believe in God will be strong and able to deal with the periloustimes. This is because the truth will keep them safe and secure. Onthe other hand, without God’s laws people will be lost andconfused.
Inaddition, this passage address Paul’s persecution (3:12) and exhortothers to follow his experience to suffer for living a godly life,since suffering is shared. He describes his sufferings andpersecutions, and demonstrates that suffering is inevitable to allwho will live a godly life. Generally, Paul expresses that scriptureknowledge and understanding led to faith in Christ as well as thecorrect interpretation of that faith.
Paul’steachings and the final charge
Paulused his persecution and suffering as an example to encourage Timothyand presents himself as a person not ashamed of sufferings. Apastoral charge is call for Timothy to continue where Paul left theministry. Paul urges him not to be ashamed and present the message oftruth and not falling into false teachings that creates confusion. Tostand against apostasy, one should be uncompromised in their faithand have a strong spiritual foundation as well as a strong confidencein the word of God. Paul says to Timothy that he must fight the hardbattle and lead troops since he got what it takes. Timothy wascharged to come up with a decision concerning how he will build thehouse of God. It is clear that Paul knew that he was qualified inteaching the message of truth and was urged by teach the church inEphesus. This pastoral charge was urgent because Paul was facingdeath and he had finished his course. 2 Timothy 3: 16-17, thisbiblical text has been the subject of scholarly debate for a longtime. This verse described the scriptures as God- inspired and givento prepare man for every good work. He described the scriptures asGod-breathed and with them Timothy was assured that he was wellequipped to continue with the ministry he was called to carry out. Itis clear that the scriptures achieve this purpose by teaching peopleon what it wrong and right.
Inspirationof the scriptures
Inverse 16”All scripture is divinely inspired, and useful forteaching.” Practically, for a leader today this message isapplicable to the church that the word of God is the most significantresource and will keep the church secure and solid. Following thisteachings, the church must fully understand the word, proclaim it andpractice as well as preach godliness. God gave us the scripture totrust and pass on to others. Thus, believers have a responsibility tofulfill the purpose of the church since the gospel has dangerousenemies.
Thebook of 2 Timothy narrates about the ungodliness in the last days.This letter depicts Paul when in Rome prison facing execution. FromPauline story perspective, this is the last chapter and Paul mergedtogether the suffering pattern and vindication of his own experiencesto those of Christ. The genre of this letter belongs toparenetic-protreptic where personal address and catchphrases aremostly backed by Paul’s example. Thus, this example where Paulfollowed Jesus suffering because of his faithfulness to the gospelwas urged and thus, Timothy should keep the pattern and must never beashamed of both the testimonies of the lord and Paul (Wall &Steele, 2012).
TheOccasion that prompted Paul to write
Paulwrote this scripture to Timothy at the time where certain believershad started to manifest the ungodliness traits. Thus, the occasionfor these epistles is when he was deeply troubled by false teachingand apostasy which put the church at Ephesus in danger. Therefore, heurged Timothy in verse 3-5 to avoid and distance himself from thecorrupt individuals. The context of his statement was to warn aboutthe difficult times characterized as the last days.
Themain themes in these scriptures are those of endurance and sufferingpresented by Paul’s reflections in the letter. His willing tosuffer for Christ as well as calls to Timothy to do the same mirrorsthe experience of Christ own death. In summary, this scriptures marksthe path Paul expects Timothy to follow, but with full knowledge ofthe suffering ahead. Timothy was supposed to resume his ministry withfull awareness that Paul had finished his course. In addition, Paulwas Timothy model and thus prepared for the job (Towner, 2009).
Thenature of the scripture
InSecond timothy, Paul gave instructions so that Timothy can join himin regulating the church. Mostly these scriptures are described asthe last will and testament of Paul. Careful reading of thesescripture shows that Paul way of describing these conditions inTimothy’s day can also be found in the Old Testament in Hebrews1:1-2. It is also important to note that Paul was optimistic when hestates that “those that will perform such deeds will not progressfurther, because of their folly which will be obvious to all” (2Tim 3:9)
Purposeof the scripture
Themain purpose of Paul writing these epistles is because he wasconcerned about the church’s welfare during that time ofpersecution. He wanted Timothy to guard the gospel, persevere andalso be prepared to suffer for it. He already knew of the futuredevelopment that will affect Christians. He mentioned that thedifficult times ahead would symbolize the “last days”. Paultalked to Timothy on how to remain faithful to the ministry duringsuch times. As a matter of fact, he urged his disciple to stay strongand grounded in the true word that is elaborated as holy writings inverse 16-17. According to Paul “sound doctrine” was the bestsolution to false teachings and apostasy. The ultimate purpose ofscripture is found in verse 17 which states that God’s peopleshould be well-equipped for life and service. The significant of thescriptures is to equip people in preparation for God’s work. Thismeans that the word of God given to Christians is beneficial to theman of God (Wall & Steele, 2012).
Intheology, this letter is a useful inspiration since it contain theterm “breathed by God” referring to every passage of thescripture. This means that any passage have value for believers sinceits commanded and originate from God. Therefore, Christian’s lifeis empowered and guaranteed by God but depend on their faith andcommitment since the gospel has dangerous enemies. Also noteworthy isthe interpretation that perilous times will occur in gospel timeswhere persecution and ungodly acts will be prevalent, and this Godwill not permit. For this reason, the more believers understand thedoctrine of Christ, the more closely they cleave to it.
Inconclusion, the second epistle of Paul to Timothy was significantbecause he was a trusted companion and fellow teacher. In 1sttimothy, we can see that Paul was the one who led Timothy to Christand for this reason referred to him as a son in faith. This narrativeis significant to Christians and makes them aware of the challengesand perversity they will face. It is clear that the gospel hasdangerous enemies and Christians should be aware of the HolyScriptures which is useful in difficult times. The bible is usefuland totally reliable in life since it is “God-breathed”. Thisscripture shows that Christians should be prepared for the worsttimes and be willing to face sufferings.
Towner,P. H. (2009). Theletters to Timothy and Titus.Grand Rapids, Mich. : Eerdmans.
Wall,R. W., & Steele, R. B. (2012). 1and 2 Timothy and Titus.Grand Rapids, Mich: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.