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2 Timothy 1:1-7

What last words does Paul have for the church today? In the first week of our series on 2 Timothy, David Leventhal introduces the book at a high-level and then dives into verses 1-7 of chapter 1. In them, we will see that this is a letter for us today as much as it is a book for Timothy in 60 AD.

David LeventhalFeb 7, 2021

In This Series (3)
The Last Word: 2 Timothy 1:8-18
Todd WagnerFeb 21, 2021
The Last Word: Courage in the Cold
Todd WagnerFeb 14, 2021
2 Timothy 1:1-7
David LeventhalFeb 7, 2021

Summary

What last words does Paul have for the church today? In the first week of our series on 2 Timothy, David Leventhal introduces the book at a high-level, and then dives in to verses 1-7 of chapter 1. In them, we will see that this is a letter for us today as much as it is a book for Timothy in 60 AD.

Key Takeaways

  • Last words are lasting words.
  • Paul’s life before Christ was not good, but the Lord had chapters yet to be written. No matter where you are in your life, the Lord can write new chapters of hope. No one is too far from God.
  • You cannot earn your way into God’s favor.
  • 2 Timothy is a letter from a spiritual father to his beloved son. We are reading someone’s mail.
  • Timothy felt ill equipped, fearful and timid, had to defend his faith. There were those that were intolerant to his beliefs. He was facing a future that would include times of difficulty and others who would not tolerate his sound teaching. Timothy was facing a future that was almost certainly to include suffering & persecution.
  • We are moving to place in our lives where, for the first time, it’s going to cost us something to follow Jesus. And for some of us this reality can bring about anxiety and fear. This letter is going to get us ready and is going to teach us why we don’t have to fear.
  • We are to maintain the gospel—preach it, defend it, ensure its passed along, and ultimately suffer for it.
  • In 2 Timothy, Paul emphasizes suffering for the gospel and enduring faithfully. He emphasizes not being ashamed of Jesus or of those who suffer for Jesus. Lastly, he places an emphasis on the truth—teaching it, protecting it, and passing it on to others.
  • Hardship and sacrifice are a foundational part of the Christian life.
  • Faithfulness comes with a cost.
  • We must radically commit to raising up faithful leaders for the next generation.
  • Remember the context – the church in Ephesus is in turbulent waters – opposition to the gospel, rejection of Timothy’s authority, members of the church are hurting, and now his beloved mentor is coming to the end of his life, it’s not hard to imagine Timothy feeling outnumbered, intimidated & wanting to cower back.
  • One of the ways we know God remembers us is when we remember each other.
  • A sincere faith is always a visible faith.
  • Generations of faithfulness start with being faithful today.
  • A gift that is not used is a wasted gift. We are called to grow in our proficiency.
  • Timidity is not in God’s playbook for your life.
  • Paul is reminding us and Timothy, “You can do it.” And not because of anything we bring anything to the table but because of who is on our side. You have the Holy Spirit and He will allow you to be powerful and loving and full of self-control.

Discussing and Applying the Sermon

  • Are you investing in anyone like Paul invested in Timothy? Who are you investing in? Who are you pointing to Jesus?
  • Do you feel under-utilized or not deployed? Do you know what your spiritual gifts are? Check out the spiritual gift resources below!

Stewarding the Gifts God Gave You

Timothy was called to “fan into flame” the spiritual gift God had given him, using it to impact others more and more. If you’re a Christian, you also have one or more spiritual gifts. These aren’t the same as natural talents or learned skills. Spiritual gifts are special ways God works directly through believers to impact others.

But if you’re not sure what your spiritual gifts are, how can you use them? Here’s some good news about discovering your spiritual gifts:

  1. We tend to use our gifts before we can define them. If the Holy Spirit is truly leading our lives, then spiritual gifts tend to “show up” as we serve others! We can watch Him work through us even before we can put a name to what He’s doing.
  2. So, the first way, and best way, to discover our spiritual gifts is by serving! We can wonder about our gifts, talk to friends, or take some tests (see below), but we won’t truly recognize our spiritual gifts until we see them in action (read more on this idea here).
  3. Spiritual Gift Assessments can help “name” our gifts. While we shouldn’t take the results as the final indicator of your gifts, Spiritual Gift Assessments can help us consider which gift(s) we most likely have. Then as we continue to serve, talk with community, and pray about it, God may very well identify some gifts that seem most prominent in each of our lives. Find a useful Spiritual Gifts Assessment here.

As we steward our lives for God’s Kingdom and the good of others, we should also consider the other kinds of gifts God has given us. These include our experiences, our natural abilities, skills we have learned, and even our interests or passions. As we let God direct our lives, our gifts will likely play a big part in the “good works” He has prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10).

We would love to let you know when opportunities arise to use your specific abilities, experiences, and passions. If you haven’t already, please fill out our brand new Shape Survey. This lets us know more about you and how you’d like to use your many gifts if opportunities arise!

Other Mentioned or Recommended Resources