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Bible Commentaries
2 Timothy 1

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

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Verses 1-18

  1. Intro:
    1. Book Overview:
      1. Just 4 years after Paul wrote 1st Timothy(67ad) Christians were not liked in Rome. Nero had already blamed the great fires in Rome on them(64ad).
        1. Christians were official enemies of the state, subject to public torture & execution.
        2. This was his final epistle. An inspired last will & testament.
      2. Paul, was arrested again in Rome. Was facing trial, And almost certain death. He was abandoned by most all his friends.
        1. Listen to 4:6-8.
      3. Paul was placed underground in a Mammertine Dungeon(w/a single hole in the ceiling for light & air) [Tradition tells us] He was alone(except for Luke & a few occasional visitors).He was cold(4:13). He was considered an evildoer(2:9)
      4. This book teaches us how to live & serve & persevere in the ministry of the gospel, successfully in perilous times.
        1. Paul’s message to Timothy, & us is: What the Lord requires in His workers is faithfulness, even unto death; to watch, to endure, to work, & fully to discharge the obligation of their office; to finish their course; & live in anticipation of the crowning day that is coming.
    2. Ch.1 Outline: Don’t be Cold! Don’t be Confused! Don’t be Corrupted! Don’t Cut me off!
  2. FAN INTO FLAME! (1-18)
    1. Intro! (1,2)
    2. DON’T BECOME COLD! (3-7)
    3. (3) He constantly remembers Timothy in his prayers…rather than sit there & feel sorry for himself!
    4. (5) God had saved 3 Generations of his family!
    5. I heard of four scholars who were arguing over Bible translations.
      One said he preferred the King James Version because of its beautiful, eloquent old English. Another said he preferred the American Standard Bible for its literalism, the way it moves the reader from passage to passage with confident feelings of accuracy from the original text. A third man preferred Moffatt because of its quaint, penetrating use of words, the turn of a phrase that captures the attention of the reader. After giving the issue further thought, the fourth scholar admitted, "I have personally preferred my mother's translation." When the other scholars chuckled, he responded, "Yes she translated it. She translated each page of the Bible into life. It is the most convincing translation I ever saw."
    6. When Dr. R.A. Torrey was a young man, he had no faith in God or the Bible. His mother, however, was a devout Christian who constantly prayed for his conversion and often witnessed to him. One day he said to her, "I don't want to hear about my sins and your prayers; I'm going to leave and not bother you any more." With tear-filled eyes the woman followed him to the gate and pleaded with him to change his mind. But he would not be detained. Frantically she cried, "Son, you are going the wrong way, but when you come to the end of your rope and everything seems hopeless, call upon your mother's God with all your heart and He will surely help you!" After Torrey left home, he went deeper into the ways of sin. One night in a hotel room he was unable to sleep. Weary from the problems pressing in on every hand, he decided to take the gun he kept in his dresser and end his life. Just as he reached for the weapon, he remembered his mother's last words. Convicted by the Holy Spirit, he fell on his knees and cried out, "O God of my mother, if there is such a Being, I need Your help. If You will give it to me, I'll follow You!" In a moment his darkened heart was illumined, and peace filled his soul. Later R.A. Torrey became an outstanding evangelist who led thousands to Christ! (1st Dean ofBIOLA)
      1. Are you discouraged because your children or teenagers aren't interested in the things of the Lord? Keep praying for them, loving them, and living a consistent life before them. Never underestimate the power of parental witness!
    7. (6) Stir up – “Fan into flame”(NIV); “Kindle afresh”(NASB); “Keep that ablaze”(Message);
      1. All fires die out unless from time to time they are stirred up! (Pulpit)
      2. Relight the fire of your ministry, your message, your hearts altar.
      3. I sure need my heart reignited! (a week in a Hotel/Casino in Reno)
        1. Taking a walk through the casino.
        2. You know what I saw…lights, smoke, drinking, mirrors.
        3. You know what I heard…people drunk, people losing money, some winning money. - You know what I felt…sad!
        4. Then I talked down the main drag there, & bus station.
        5. You know what I felt…sad! – For the drunks, bums, prostitutes…yep! But what the Lord shared with me…Brian the sins of your mind are no different, just better hidden.
      4. Q: If you compared you hearts flame(your spiritual passion) to one of your burners on your stove top…How high would the flame be?
        1. Oh it doesn’t always have to be on high!
          1. Rice – After it boils you better reduce the heat.
        2. But there are times when the flame becomes so low & starts flickering, that it is dangerously close to going out!
      5. God has built into nature: animals to go into hibernation, fruit trees to go dormant, volcanoes to be inactive.
        1. But none are designed to stay that way!
        2. The bear, the fruit tree, the volcano must awake.
        3. And so with the Christian in his ministry, in his personal life.
      6. Many enemies want to quench the fire!
        1. Can you identify what is trying to snuff your flame?
        2. Busyness? A boy/girl-friend? Your Job? Overtime? Same-ol, same-ol? Monotony? Tired? Depression? Spiritual slumber? Fears? - Summer activities? (out of sync, vacations, mens/womens studies over, home bible study)
      7. An old seaman once said, “In fierce storms we must do one thing, for there is only one way to survive: we must put the ship in a certain position & keep her there.”
        1. Sometimes you can’t see the sun or the stars to help you navigate when the storm is bearing down on you.
        2. Reason cannot help you, past experiences will shed no light, & even prayer will bring no consolation…only one course remains: you must put your soul in one position & keep it there!
        3. Ps.78:7 “set your hope in God”
        4. Ps.78:8 “a generation that did not set its heart aright.”
        5. Anchor yourself steadfastly upon the Lord, so whether wind, waves, rough seas, thunder, lightening, jagged rocks, or roaring breakers, you must tie yourself securely to the helm, firmly holding your confidence in God’s faithfulness, His promises, & His everlasting love in Christ Jesus!
      8. An untended fire finally becomes ashes…fan the flame!
    8. (7) Fear God...& have no other fear!
      1. Fear - During World War II, a military governor met with General George Patton in Sicily. When he praised Patton highly for his courage and bravery, the general replied, "Sir, I am not a brave man -- the truth is, I am an utter craven coward. I have never been within the sound of gunshot or in sight of battle in my whole life that I wasn't so scared that I had sweat in the palms of my hands." Years later, when Patton's autobiography was published, it contained this significant statement by the general: "I learned very early in my life never to take counsel of my fears."
      2. The Holy Spirit does not produce timidity or cowardice.
      3. Are you a somebody, or a nobody? Feel weak, timid, inadequate? You may be an inviting prospect for the H.S.!
      4. Oswald Chambers wrote: “God can achieve his purpose either through the absence of human power & resources, or the abandonment of reliance on them. All through history God has chosen & used nobodies, because their unusual dependence on Him made possible the unique display of his power & grace. He chose & used somebodies only when they renounced dependence on their natural abilities & resources.”
        1. Either: Depend fully on Him! Or, Don’t depend upon you!
    9. What did God gives us?
      1. Power – a reference to a forcefulness of character that can use authority boldly & fulfill difficult tasks.
      2. Love – a love that endures even the most cantankerous opposition, conquering opposition by forgiveness & a refusal to seek revenge.
      3. Sound mind(self discipline)[levelheadedness] – the power to keep oneself in hand.
        1. It’s the Holy Spirit that gives us the resources we need to get the job done.
        2. If a person fears Satan’s persecuting power more than he trusts God’s ability & ever-readiness to help, he has lost his mental balance.
    10. DON’T BECOME CONFUSED! (8-12)
    11. (8) Timothy don’t be embarrassed of either Jesus or me.
      1. Like Peter did! :-0
    12. His prisoner…not Nero’s.
    13. Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play major league baseball. Breaking baseball’s color barrier, he faced jeering crowds in every stadium. While playing one day in his home stadium in Brooklyn, he committed an error. The fans began to ridicule him. He stood at second base, humiliated, while the fans jeered. Then, shortstop Pee Wee Reese(Captain for the Dodgers in the early 50’s) came over and stood next to him. He put his arm around Jackie Robinson and faced the crowd. The fans grew quiet. Robinson later said that arm around his shoulder saved his career.
    14. (9) Who has saved us –
      1. Not saved all but saved “us” (Christians)
      2. Our salvation is an accomplished fact!
      3. It doesn’t say that God may save us, or God will save us…but that He already has!
        1. Read - Jn.3:36; Jn.5:24; Jn.6:47 (also 1 Jn.5:13)
        2. If Jesus said on the cross “it is finished” who am I to be insinuating that it is incomplete?
        3. If God has already accepted it as perfect, who am I to be vainly presuming to add to it?
        4. Is there any use making a solid cube more symmetrical?
      4. The unbeliever may doubt it! The sceptic may deny it! The worldling may deride it! The wiseacre may despise it! The modern preacher may dismiss it!...but each of us born againChristian believers can attest “I was blind but now I see!” (Rev. William Jay; pg.60; Feb.21)
    15. Called us with a holy calling –
      1. He didn’t call us because we were holy, but that we might be holy!
      2. When you hear we are supposed to be holy, just translate it “endeavor to be like Christ”.
    16. (10) “life” & “immortality”-Are these two words tautologous (redundant)?
      1. Life = new spiritual life which only Christ can bring.
      2. Immortality = relates to the body.
    17. (12) I know whom I have believed!
      1. Not what I have believed; Not when I have believed; Not how much I have believed; Not even in whom I have believed.
      2. But I know whom I have believed. I know the person into whose hand I have committed my present condition & my eternal destiny.
        1. You wouldn’t commit a valuable treasure into the hands of a stranger. But you would with someone you trusted deeply.
    18. He is able to keep what I have committed to Him –
      1. Paul knew the deposit he had made w/Him was secure.
    19. DON’T BECOME CORRUPTED! (13,14)
    20. The gospel is a treasure of truth which has been entrusted to us.​​​​​​​
      1. 1 Thes.2:4 “But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.”
    21. DON’T CUT ME OFF! (15-18)
    22. Paul wants Timothy to imitate the example of Onesiphorus & avoid the shame of those who deserted him.
      1. Most deserted him out of fear!
      2. Ancient fable “The Two travelers & the Bear” describes a fearsome encounter w/a huge bear. One traveler, in great fear, shimmied high into a tree, giving no thought to his friend. The other, w/no chance to go anywhere, remembered that bears often lose interest in the dead & so fell to the ground feigning death. The bear came along side & nuzzled & sniffed at his face & ears. Thinking the man to be dead the beast ambled away. When the bear was long gone, the man up in the tree climbed down & asked his friend what the bear had whispered to him, “because,” he said, “I noticed that his mouth was long at your ear.” The other said, as he stood dusting himself off, “It is no secret what he told me. What he said was that I should be careful about keeping company with those who, when danger arises, leave their friends in the lurch!” (Taken from Kent Hughes; pg.186.)
      3. Paul was abandoned by his fair-weather friends.
    23. We don’t know anything more about these 2 guys from Scripture.
      1. In other literature(the apocryphal book, acts of Paul & Thecla) they were described as “full of hypocrisy”.
    24. In contrast we have the commendable behavior of Onesiphorus.
      1. Q: Could you befriend one in whom much of the church has despised/blackballed?
    25. Are you like the Shadow that said to the Body: “Who is a friend like me? I follow you wherever you go. In sunlight or moonlight I never forsake you.” “True,” said the Body. “You go w/me in sunlight & moonlight. But where are you when neither the sun nor the moon shines upon me?”
      1. Keep the faith w/me Timothy…in the dark of this dungeon where neither the sun nor the moon shines!
    26. Refresh me spiritually…This is soul refreshment!
      1. (root of refreshed is the word soul)
    27. Turn it up to full flame Timothy! - No Fear Timothy! - No Shame Timothy! Hold fast to the Gospel Timothy! - Refresh me Timothy!
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 1". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/2-timothy-1.html. 2017.
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