Fear is not of God (but fear of God is from God.) Apparently, Timothy was a bit skittish or insecure in asserting himself boldly as Paul habitually did. Paul lists 3 characteristics of a bishop...
(2 Timothy 1:9) Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Even though Christ conquered death, most of us will die anyway and will only finally receive the gift of eternal life in the far distant future.
The gospel is the way God communicates the way we can receive eternal life. We must hear it, and receive it, and obey it. It is not sufficient to merely hear it or to believe it.
(2 Timothy 1:12) For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
Paul suffered various kinds of persecution and difficulties in his role as apostle, and was now a prisoner. Apparently, those opposing the gospel make it out to be an utterly foolish message, and heap-on derision and mocking on those who teach and preach its message. Paul is not embarrassed or ashamed by all this and he exhorts Timothy to not be either. Perhaps Timothy is a sensitive soul and is affected by the taunts of the opposition.
Paul has a certain advantage in a way, having had mystical encounters with Christ himself; Timothy must rely on hearsay and apostolic teaching. This is all we have today. Notice that Timothy's authority, his source of truth, was apostolic teaching and preaching. That is our source of truth as well. Timothy had an advantage over us in that the apostle Paul had spoken directly to him and addressed his concerns in a personal manner. We must content ourselves with reading about it all.
Paul refers to "that day", meaning, the day of judgment, the day in which our eternal fate is sealed. This occurs at death. God is able to keep each true believer until this day of judgment.
Timothy is to not be influenced by various false teachers and those who distort and twist the gospel message. His authority and source of truth is to be apostolic teaching. That is our source of truth as well. The apostles taught in faith and love; false teachers are often controlling and dominating individuals, cultlike figures. True apostolic teaching emphasizes faith and love. Heresy often emphasizes extreme ascetic practices, abstaining from food, complete withdrawal from the world, etc. Nowadays, heresy often emphasizes new modern cultural models and makes Jesus out to be someone who accepts anyone no matter what. But the gospel message of salvation is to be aways at the forefront of our thinking; if it becomes buried, the faith life languishes. Christianity means nothing without repentance from sin and living a life of virtue and holiness.
We must remain faithful to Christ until our death even though doing so may cause persecution and suffering, even martyrdom.
I wonder how Timothy felt about Paul remarking that he needed to show himself approved to God so he would not be ashamed? I think I would be annoyed, but maybe this was a cultural way that superiors addressed those under them; or maybe Paul was really speaking to all leaders, not just to Timothy (but I wonder if Timothy knew he was doing this.)
The theme of accurately presenting God's word, God's message of truth, is very common in the New Testament as well as the writings of the early church fathers. And for good reason: there were many heretics, false teachers, and schismatics from the very beginning of the Church — I suppose you could say Judas was the first.
Pleasing God requires diligence. And how do we please God? This verse provides the answer: by our works!Certainly we are not saved by works only, but the New Testament again and again and again emphasizes the role of works in salvation. As a high ranking bishop,Timothy was a workman, working God's work. And this work consisted of teaching God's word. We encounter God and interact with God through his word. This is why Jesus emphasized that he is the word of God, because we interact with the Trinity through Jesus, the Son of God who took on human form and made it part of God's nature.Jesus "deified" human nature so that redeemed humans can one day themselves be deified.
What kind of resurrection was this false teaching?Preterismhas a view of the 2nd coming of Christ in 70 A.D. in which it is completely invisible, impossible to detect. But Paul wrote this letter long before then.
Perhaps this was a reference to Docetism, the idea that the physical universe is evil and, therefore, Jesus was spiritual only, a phantasm. Based on this, the event called the resurrection of Jesus was not a physical event at all. Since the body is evil it can not be resurrected. There would, therefore, be no future bodily resurrection for Christians. In this way it could be said that the resurrection was past, over, done. It only happened for Jesus, but spiritually, not physically.
Even though some pervert the message of the gospel, yet it stands firm because is it founded on God; because it is God's message, God's gospel. Two seals on this foundation are mentioned...
(1) Some belong to God, some don't. Those who pervert God's message of salvation probably do not belong to God. Paul has been mentioning some of these.
(2) It is such a common theme in the New Testament that Christians are to be holy and righteousness. Paul likely has in mind that those who are not holy are also not redeemed. Thus, there is a link between faith and works.
Paul admonishes Timothy to avoid quarrels with false teachers about false teaching,but doesn't mention how to discipline these, other than to command them not to teach false teaching.Paul tells Timothy to preach, reprove, rebuke, and exhort.Perhaps the thinking is that if worthy bishops are ordained, they will impose discipline. Unfortunately, as history shows, the bishops were often heretics.
The Bible has all the benefits listed here and more. The Bible is inspired by God in a way that no other writing or teaching is — it is unique. This illustrates a key difference between Christianity (and Judaism) and all the other religionsand philosophical systems.
This verse states that scripture is profitable for these things...
In saying "all" scripture, Paul is not including scripture from other religions. Thus the word "all" doesn't mean all.Bible teachers and preachers often make much of the word "all" and make it to be all-inclusive — except when doing so is inconvenient for the viewpoint they are espousing.
A person of God is to be perfect. This is not referring merely to some eternal after-death state, but to our lives in this world in the here and now. We are to have only good works and no bad works: scripture provides the tools to do this.
Some teach that are sins are merely coveredand that we always remain totally depraved. This verse refutes this notion. What good is it to use scripture as a tool to become perfect if we never actually change? So many wrong ideas about salvation are based on legal arguments in which our salvation is a legal transaction between God and us. This approach leads to the most absurd and unbiblical conclusions! Our redemption is organic, not legal.
Only by keeping the faith did Paul end up redeemed.This point is where many Christians get it wrong. In their zeal to avoid the error of salvation by works only, they strip salvation of works altogether. Thus, salvation becomes a vaporous, once in a lifetime utterance of accepting Jesus into their heart during an emotionally charged moment. After that, works are just something you do because God likes good works. But Paul has a different view of his good works, of his good fight, of his finishing the course. They are the essential ingredient of his redemption. Without the perseverance of fighting the fight of faith, he considers himself lost.
(2 Timothy 4:8) Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Three possibilities for the meaning of the phrase "at that day"...
Paul wants Timothy to come to him soon. Paul would be executed in Rome by Nero in a few years but he seems to think this prison term is the end for him although he mentions he was delivered, at least for the time being.Certainly prison life in those days was extremely unpleasant and Paul wished for Timothy to come assist him.
I wonder why Paul seemingly stepped into being taken captive? He could have easily avoided it the first time in Jerusalem.Perhaps he had a martyr complex and was trying to atone for his persecution of Christians. He would have been more effective if he was free; he wouldn't need other people to stop doing what they were doing to assist him. Sadly, the early church seemed to follow in his footsteps and had many more martyrs than were absolutely necessary. This harshness of the Church influenced it through history and continues to influence it today.
Alexander opposed apostolic teaching. Presumably he was teaching heresy and schism.
Opposing apostolic teaching is different than what these others did; they merely distanced themselves from Paul, presumably in fear of arrest of imprisonment. When Paul was in court the first time to give his defense, no one came to defend him or to give positive evidence for him.
(2 Timothy 4:17) Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
Just as Daniel was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.The kingdom of Babylonwas also referred to as a lionand the 1st beast of Revelation has the mouth of a lion.Perhaps Paul was referring to being martyred in the Colosseum by lions, but this practice against Christians may not have yet begun.
King James Version