Monday, March 26, 2012

2 Timothy 1:13-18

The Apostle Paul's exhortation to hold fast the pattern of sound words given through him is not not just an exhortation to blindly adhere to sound doctrine as if one grows spiritually mature by merely publicly reciting it, or assenting to it. But rather Paul's exhortation is personal, and is commending us all to adhere to sound doctrine in faith and love. For without faith, the Word of God will not profit you (Heb. 4:2). And without love; doctrine (even sound doctrine) can quickly become a catalyst for making lifeless and loveless legalistic Pharisees (consider Luke 11:42). Therefore though sound doctrine is crucial, how it is presented, received, and applied is also crucial.
Now in regards to the Apostle's doctrine please consider that the Apostle Paul universally taught the same gospel and doctrine everywhere (1 Cor. 4:17). Sound words given him through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:3). Which we, like Timothy must hold fast to in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus if we hope to grow and mature, not only Spiritually, but also in every aspect of our person's and lives (1 Peter 2:2). For it is through sound doctrine and soundly adhering to it, that not only the church and believer individually grows, but we also avoid spiritual peril as well (2 Cor. 11:3-4; Gal. 1:6-9; 2 John 10; Rev. 18:3-4). That good thing committed to Timothy then is a reference to not only to the gospel (i.e. the Biblical Apostle's gospel; Rom. 2:16; 16:25; 2 Tim 2:8 etc.). But also all of Jesus Christ’s commandments given for us in the gospel, as well as His commandments through the Apostles writings in the N.T. all which are given for that expressed purpose (i.e. our sanctification). Therefore we must all strive to keep our doctrine and ourselves pure by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us all who believe. For grace and the pursuit of holiness are not mutually exclusive ideas.

Vs. 15-18 The Apostle Paul now reminds Timothy that all those in Asia (that is Ephesus) have turned away from him. In this two individuals are mentioned: Phygellus and Hermogenes. Were not told why they did, only that they did. And that is the real issue. For the Apostle Paul also mentions the household of Onesiphorus, and requests that they all be granted the Lord’s mercy since Onesiphorus often refreshed Paul and was not ashamed of his chain. That is of Paul being imprisoned for his faith In Jesus Christ. For when Onesiphorus arrived in Rome he was very zealous in seeking Paul until he found him. That is why the Apostle Paul requests that Onesiphorus be granted the Lord’s mercies in that Day. A reference to when Jesus will personally return to both gather all who believe to Himself with the rest of the saints (i.e. those who believe, but have already died and now gone on to be with the Lord, see 1 Thess. 4:13-18). But also Jesus will personally reward each person according to their own faithfulness to Himself, which is often demonstrated by our faithfulness to each other (consider Matt. 25:31-46). Therefore though this section (vs. 15-18) is brief, and thus may be overlooked by some. It is an important one, since it reminds us all of our responsibilities towards each other, not to abandon each other in our hour of need. The Apostle then closes by reminding Timothy that Onesiphorus even ministered to him at Ephesus as well. And so what will be the legacy that each of us leave here on earth towards our Christian brethren, when we go home to be forever with Jesus Christ? May God guide and direct our steps into His heart and love, so that it may be known to all.

Scripture Quotations
The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982

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